August 29, 2011
[Editor’s Note: This article summarizes the just completed 10-part Cornerstones of Effective Leadership series examining the building blocks of effective L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P.] “Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.“ [...]
August 22, 2011
“What are you doing that for? “Why are we doing things this way?” “Should we add more products or specialize in deeper categories?” “Why do we continue to invest in unprofitable customers?” “Why are we thinking about building a new plant in this dragging economy?” These are just a few of questions that arise in the course of figuring out what business you’re in. It’s also an appropriate note on which to finish our L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. series with P = PURPOSE, which relates to not only your organization’s direction, but to your own individual purpose as a Servant – Leader.
August 15, 2011
What would you do if you found your competitor’s customer list in your inbox one morning? Would you keep it? Would you use it? Would you destroy it? Would you return it? A tiny demon with a pitchfork, oversized ears and a red tail will be camped on one shoulder, urging you to keep it and chase down every one of them to make them your customers. Perched on your other shoulder, in a white robe with a golden halo, is your ally, I = INTEGRITY, urging you to ignore the temptation and do the right thing. She’s certain you know exactly what she means.
August 8, 2011
At this point in our Leadership series, I hope you’ve begun to think of these essential building blocks as an interlocking structure that strengthens your ability to lead. As we saw last week, for example, reliability is one of the linchpins in the exercise and the embodiment of many of these qualities.
There’s another even rarer seed that is not so easy to come by. You may not see it very often in the business leaders with whom you’re familiar. But as bread won’t rise without yeast, a business without a humble leader won’t rise well. So in our acronym for the building blocks of leadership, this week we explore H = humility.
August 1, 2011
Success. Solitude. Sacrifice. Satisfaction. What to do with one of the most popular letters in the English language when there are so many leadership qualities we could identify that start with “S”? A lot of tempting choices, but S = Service best expresses another inescapable quality of great leaders.
July 25, 2011
This concept is pretty simple, isn’t it? We expect that Sam’s mom will pick up our child from school when promised … that our salary increase will take effect as scheduled … that our boss will fight for our marketing budget as he said he would. We expect our leaders to have our back, to be responsive, to honor their word and generally do what they say they’re going to do when they say they’re going to do it. It’s simple … but when it’s absent, it can be paralyzing.
July 18, 2011
Interestingly, this L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. series has prompted several suggestions about what concepts I should use for some of the letters remaining in the series. I considered several candidates, as I’ve done for each column … Élan, Enjoyment, Energy, Engagement … and while there are a lot of worthy candidates, my objective is to select the 10 essential qualities of leadership that truly differentiate great leaders. For me, there is nothing more powerful than E = Educaton.
July 11, 2011
Identify what’s important, what’s urgent, what can wait for another day [Editor's note: This is part 4 of a 10-part series examining the building blocks of effective L.E.A.D.E.R.S.H.I.P. This time? D = discipline.] “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” –author unknown In our Cornerstones of Effective Leadership series, we’ve covered some steadfast qualities of [...]
July 4, 2011
There’s nothing more destructive of our first two l.e.a.d.e.r.s.h.i.p. building blocks — loyalty and excellence — than a bad attitude.
June 27, 2011
“Why do we even bother?” he asked. I was standing in the president’s office when the chairman and CEO walked in with a sheaf of papers in his hand.