Chair, Leadership Development, N2Growth
Everyone says self-awareness is essential to effective leadership. It is, but there is another aspect to awareness that may be equally compelling and sadly overlooked. It’s self-management.
It’s one thing to know yourself. We know what we do well. Yay! That’s why we are so good at what we do. We may even know what we are not so good at it so we ignore it. Boo! That can hurt us.
Management is your day job; leadership is your career. Managers by nature are pragmatists; leaders are dreamers. Organizations need both types to survive. Managers are required to lead and leaders are expected to manage. It is a challenge to do both well. The higher one rises in an organization, the greater are the responsibilities. Therefore, managers learn to delegate and in doing so free themselves to be more strategic and in the process develop the talents of others and grow the capacity of the organization to meet rising challenges. That’s what we call leadership.
The challenge of leadership is to do what is right for the organization even when it means reversing a decision. When reconsidering a decision it is important to decide what you did, why you did it, and what will be the consequences of reversing the decision. Shrewd leaders think ahead, and are willing to reconsider decisions when situations change.
Does your business need more wolf-type managers to be successful?
Until I read a delightful New York Times essay by Carl Safina, I would have said heck no! Business get in trouble when those at the helm are “alpha wolves”—overly aggressive, dominant and liable to fight rather than listen. That stereotype may apply to humans but not to wolves, as Safina, author of the forthcoming book Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel, explains.
You don’t know how tough our business is!
That’s a lament that I hear from executives, be they in software development, technology hardware, finance and banking, or automotive. Even people in my field of human development complain about the effort it takes to generate work.
I have to confess that I knew nothing about Michele Ferrero until I read of his passing. Which is not surprising. As The Economist noted in his obituary, this Italian businessman from the Piedmont gave only one interview in his entire life. It was to Italy’s La Stampa and he did so wearing sunglasses, to shield his weak eyes a well as to recede into the background.
Strategy management processes and the so-called “best practices” most organizations follow have not kept pace with the demands of the marketplace and the performance expectations of shareholders. By definition, best practices are “tried and true,” meaning they have been around for a long time—too long.Read More›
I have been a Digital Marketer, a Genius, a Business Representative, and a Shift Manager. I have guided through the titles that life has graciously provided me, without a true understanding of what it meant. Now, I find myself in this position again as a Chief Innovation Officer. When people ask me, “Brody, what do you do?” I tell them my respective title. When they look at me with a puzzled ‘yeah right!’ face, I say something to the effect of – “That means I sit in a chair and think about things.” It’s not wrong, that is my job, and for those only seeking your title, that’s all they care about.Read More›
While having lunch with a number of writers, Ernest Hemingway claimed he could write a short story that was only six words long.
When the lofty group of writers scoffed at the notion, he invited each of them to put ten dollars on the table, saying that if he was wrong he’d match it. But if he was right he’d keep the money.Read More›
You will make the best decision you can make.
That advice comes from a scene in the movie, 13 Days in October, about the Cuban Missile crisis. It was a time in 1962 when the United States and the USSR came about as close as they could to nuclear war.
In the movie recreation Kenny O’Donnell, de-facto chief of staff (played by Kevin Costner), has a conversation with President Kennedy (played by Bruce Greenwood) before Kennedy is to go on television.
Five Paradigm-Shifting Principles
Repeatable processes and procedures add great value in stable and predictable times. Those are not the times we live in today or likely in the future. Strategy that works has got to be based on something that proves successful in unpredictable, fast moving, and changing times. Principles, not process and procedures, provide the overarching guidance in any situation for making the right decisions and taking the best action.
A move toward the Advantage Strategy Paradigm begins with the adoption and commitment to a set of principles that guides all executives in the decisions and actions they take related to developing, planning, and executing strategy. Principles provide a broad context for strategic action and guidelines that can be communicated and taught at all levels of the organization, eventually becoming part of the organization’s culture. Throwing out standard process and procedures in favor of a handful of powerful but easily remembered principles for managing strategy will soon begin to show improvements in your business results.Read More›