What Can Leaders Gain By Acting Like Politicians?

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

“You have to link managing with politics.”

That was the way that Eduardo Campos, who was governor of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, believed that public officials needed to lead. According to his obituary in The Economist, Campos was a technocrat beloved by international bankers but also someone with the common touch who liked to meet and mingle with his constituents. It was on a campaign trip for Brazil’s presidency that he was killed.

 

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Question For Leaders: What’s Your Value?

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

What do you think the biggest problem facing leaders today is?

Sanjog Aul, host of CIO Talk Radio, asked me that question during an off-air discussion and I am glad I was off the air because I couldn’t not think of what to say. Our on-air discussion was focusing on time management and while I think every executive struggles with the perception of not having enough time, I don’t think that biggest problem facing leaders. Good executives figure out how to manage their time.

 

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Stand Your Ground – Even When You’re On TV

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

What do you do when the person sitting across from you fires a question at you that, like a 90 mph curveball spinning toward your face, threatens to knock you flat?

This is a challenge that I as an executive coach have advised many senior executives – as well as rising ones – to handle without looking like a minor leaguer bailing out of the batter’s box. Typically such questions come from a journalist, or maybe in a town hall situation from an aggrieved employee.

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Mary Barra Faces A Question Of Loyalty

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

Is there such a thing as too much loyalty?

That is a question that Mary Barra may be considering after her latest appearance before a Senate committee investigating the faulty ignition switch problem that resulted in 11 deaths. While GM has cleaned house of engineers and lawyers accused of culpability, Michael Millikin, its chief counsel, has remained in place.

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Defining Presence As A Leadership Behavior

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

* This post was originally posted in Life Science Leader

In my writings, I define leadership presence as the “right stuff of leadership,” and, by doing so, I embrace a holistic concept. For me, presence is more surface appeal — as the term executive presence connotes; it denotes a leader’s approach to getting the most out of themselves as well as their team. By that definition of presence encompasses conviction, authority, power, and the application of them through a leader’s actions and words.

You might consider presence as defined by three verbs: be, do, review. Let’s take them one at a time…

 

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Eric Cantor: The Art Of The Graceful Exit

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

Politicians make the best punching bags.

Eric Cantor is Exhibit A. He was laid flat by a roundhouse punch by voters in his House District who opted for an unknown economics professor as their Republican candidate. Cantor was surprised; his own internal polls had him leading handily, and he out spent his opponent nearly 20:1. What a knockout.

While Cantor may have lost touch with voters, he did not lose touch with his humanity. He conceded defeat on election eve, and the very next day Cantor said that he was giving up his role as Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

Politics aside, Cantor’s exit shows class. As pundits have noted, by removing himself from office he spared his party the kind of internecine battles that could only hurt Republicans.

 

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Management: Good Service Begins (And Ends) With Good Values

By John Baldoni
Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth

“They make it easy for us to do our jobs right.”

That is what a young service advisor at my local dealership said to me when I complimented him on his service acumen. He had overhead him speaking to a new customer; he was solicitous of the customer’s needs and made no effort to “upsell” him on services he didn’t need. In fact, he didn’t sell him anything; he just advised.

This dealership, founded by Howard Cooper in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has a history of customer service. When Howard sold the store in 2012, he took a portion of the proceeds and distributed them to his employees based upon their tenure. For every year of service employees received $1,000. Even employees who had less than one year service received something in profit sharing. The new owners (Germain Honda) are building on the service tradition that Howard Cooper established.

 

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12 Reasons Crisis Leadership Trumps Crisis Management

By Damian D. “Skipper” Pitts
Chair, Organizational Development, N2Growth

The media lives for a crisis, politicians look for ways to gain advantage in a crisis, and some businesses will even try and profit from a crisis. Everyone loves a crisis; except the unprepared who didn’t see it coming – those led straight into the proverbial brick wall by a leader who missed something they shouldn’t have. One thing is for sure – we’ll all be better off when leaders stop trying to manage a crisis and become more proficient at crisis leadership.

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The Brilliance Of Naiveté

By Mike Myatt
Chairman, N2Growth

* This post was originally published on Forbes

I was speaking with a colleague last week who at one point in our conversation referred a third party as being naïve, to which my response was, “I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing – perhaps we should all be a bit more naïve.”  The seed I was trying to plant was that if people (particularly those in leadership) spent less time defending what they think they know, and more time exploring the vast universe of what they don’t know, we might make more progress.

 

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