When I wrote my first book there were three distinct areas of interest to leaders in business and/or higher education….leadership, accountability and motivation. The latter being individual motivation, on overcoming personal seemingly insurmountable obstacles in life. As a result, the book resulted in several speaking engagements from a wide range of audiences in both business and higher education.
The talks in higher education circles has prompted a second book (in the draft stage) tentatively titled, “Education on a Conveyor Belt”, dealing with the lack of preparation for college, or life, by today’s high school graduates.
My background as a former
If you are a leader, one of the challenges is to always think and act like a leader, on or off the job. A big part of effective leadership is having genuine respect from those who work for you, from your peers, and from your boss. This can be especially challenging sometimes for those who are new to leadership. If you have had bad habits in the past (e.g. drinking too much, sexual harassment, etc.), you must immediately and forever shake these bad habits to assure staying power in your leadership position, or you will risk losing some or all
An excellent leader should attempt to keep the business or organization at the leading edge of competition within the applicable industry, to attempt to be continuously outside the box, instead of just attempting to keep one step ahead or on a par with the competition. An excellent example of this is the current status in the mobile operating systems industry. Apple iOS and Google Android are apparently marching ahead with such speed and innovation that they are far ahead of the competition – and very good competition at that. All of this requires continuous excellent research – knowing what customers
Maybe the toughest thing in management to do is persuade others to go along with you when you have no authority over them. I once heard Jim Collins, the leadership expert and author of Good to Great (Social Sector), analogize this situation as the equivalent of Lyndon Johnson leading in the Senate.
As Senate Majority Leader in the Fifties, Johnson was able to drive through legislation through the power of his persuasion. He was a good talker, but he was also a great listener. And as Johnson’s biographers Robert Dallek and Robert Caro point
The tough part of management is not administration; it is people. Well-managed systems may run themselves. People, on the other hand, are not to be managed; they must be led.
Part of the governance process in any organization is getting people to go along with ideas they themselves have not initiated. Good leaders know that most people, if not all, are motivated by self-interest.
While politicians cater to the interest of voters, true leaders understand that governance goes well beyond communication. Good governance requires an ability to see both sides of an issue and work toward an outcome that a
Leaders may, and should, take days off, but the leadership system can never have a day off. It has to be functioning 24/7/365.
The leaders of a nationally well known organization seemed surprised by the results of their premier event of the year. Had they had the proper leadership systems in place, they should have not been surprised at all. Rather, everything should have been tested out thoroughly in advance and they should have, like in playing chess, had action plans ready to go for all the key variables that could have taken place. So there need to be
Oil spills. Terrorist attacks. Pandemic influenza. Hurricanes. Each of these events can disrupt your business significantly. It is therefore important to develop what a 2009 report from the IBM Business Values Institute calls “human capital resilience,” which the study defines as “an organization’s ability to respond and adapt rapidly to threats posed to its workforce.”
The word resilience captures how leaders must learn to cope with adversity. The report outlines a number of steps that organizations can employ to ensure their employees have the infrastructure and resources they need to work through a crisis. Critical to the success of crisis
Sometimes if you scratch beneath the surface of a good team, you may find that team performance depends upon the efforts of one or two high achievers. That may be okay for the short term but what happens when one or two of those stars move on?
What does the manager do next?
First look to the team. Ask for the members of the team to step up. One or more of them may be your future stars. Here are some suggestions.
Face reality. Losing a star is different than losing a middle of the road performer. Stars pick up
If you’ve seen the movie “the King’s Speech,” you know that to reassure his people during a time of crisis, King George VI had to overcome his stutter.
If you’ve been in the audience when CEO’s, Chief Technology Officers, VPs, Program Managers, Directors, and other leaders have made their presentations, you know that many of them have their own speaking obstacles to overcome. With their “ahs” and “ums” and poor eye contact (reading, looking at the screen), monotone and low volume, reliance on buzzwords and cliches (“the bottom line,” “going forward”), they undercut with their poor presentation skills the important