PLEASE COMMENT: Leadership – What Does It Mean To You?

I’m working on a presentation about leading the next generation.  And I want to get your inputs for this presentation.

Think of a leader that you have known in your life.  This leader can be a boss, someone at your school, someone you know, a president, a great speaker, someone from history…. basically anyone that you have witnessed as a great leader.

Now, think of what made them a great leader.  What were the 1-2 things that they did that stood out to you that made them great?  How did they interact with their followers?  How did they tell their stories and talk to the people?

I have just one request – please share your thoughts as comments to this blog.  I’d like to take your input and build it into my presentation as inputs from the community.

Thanks in advance for your inputs and comments!

Advertisements

12 Rules of Success from Steve Jobs

Anyone that knows me understands that I have quoted Steve Jobs many times in my leadership coaching, mentoring, speaking, and training.  I was fortunate to find an article which listed 12 rules of success that he had claimed years ago.  I wanted to share these 12 rules with my readers and followers….

Photo Oct 08, 7 35 23 PM

Rule #01: Do what you love to do. Find your true passion. Make a difference. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.

Rule #02: Be different. Think different. Better to be a pirate than to join the navy.

Rule #03: Do your best at every job. Don’t sleep! Success generates more success so be hungry for it. Hire good people with a passion for excellence.

Rule #04: Perform SWOT analysis. As soon as you join/start a company, make a list of strengths and weaknesses of yourself and your company on a piece of paper. Don’t hesitate to throw bad apples out of the company.

Rule #05: Be entrepreneurial. Look for the next big thing. Find a set of ideas that need to be acted upon quickly and decisively and jump through that window. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one. Just take it. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Rule #06: Start small, think big. Don’t worry about too many things at once. Take a handful of simple things to begin with, and then progress to more complex ones. Think about not just tomorrow, but the future. Put a ding in the universe.

Rule #07: Strive to become a market leader. Own and control the primary technology in everything you do. If there’s a better technology available, use it regardless of whether or not anyone else is using it. Be the first, and make it an industry standard.

Rule #08: People judge you by your performance, so focus on the outcome. Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected. Advertise. If they don’t know about it, they won’t buy your product. Pay attention to design. We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

Rule #09: Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Each one will tell you one useful thing. If you’re at the top of the chain, sometimes people won’t give you honest feedback because they’re afraid. In this case, disguise yourself, or get feedback from other sources. Focus on those who will use your product – listen to your customers first.

Rule #10: Innovate. Innovation distinguishes a leader from a follower. Delegate. Let other top executives do 50% of your routine work to be able to spend 50% your time on the new stuff. Say no to 1,000 things to make sure you don’t get on the wrong track or try to do too much. Concentrate on really important creations and radical innovation. Hire people who want to make the best things in the world. You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together.

Rule #11: Learn from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

Rule #12: Learn continually. There’s always “one more thing” to learn.
Cross-pollinate ideas with others both within and outside your company. Learn from customers, competitors and partners. If you partner with someone whom you don’t like, learn to like them – praise them and benefit from them. Learn to criticize your enemies openly, but honestly.

I hope you enjoy these, and I hope also that you are already following some of these rules in your life.  I wish you all much success and that you reach all of your goals!

Source of information: http://www.businessbrief.com/apple-ceo-steve-jobs-12-rules-of-success/

Who Needs A Leader?

How many of you have played the game “follow the leader” as a child?  We gathered as children and we designated just one as the leader and then everyone else was to follow the leader and trust their judgment to not only keep them safe but to also enjoy the game.

Imagine how difficult the game would have been if it had been called “follow each other”. Instead of a single file line behind one person making decisions for the team, you’d have a whole field of kids standing side by side and going in every direction.  It would not be long before the game would bore everyone and a new game would have to be played to keep the attention and excitement of the crowd.

At the time I am writing this article, one of the latest news reports in the United States is around Zappos.  The company has moved to a new organizational structure called Holacracy (www.holacracy.org), in which managers have been removed and the team is empowered to work together.  Zappos CEO, Tony Hseih is quoted as saying, “Think of every employee as a mini entrepreneur.  Which is not really for everybody; some people like to be told the 10 things to do”.  He’s absolutely right.  In fact, it was proven this week as 14% of the staff accepted a buy-out to leave the organization because they didn’t like the new structure.

I’m honestly surprised that it was only 14%, because I would think many of us want to have some direction and guidance.  In fact, even if you’re a CEO, you look for direction from your board members, customers, and supporters.

Why is this structure so difficult for some to deal with?  The reason is that it’s human nature to be led. When we are born, we immediately inherit parents who will guide us, protect us, and teach us how to deal with and survive in the world.

We then go to school, and experience teachers, counsellors, and coaches that provide guidance and direction for our education.  Imagine how we would have learned as children had we gone to school and was told “work together, but we are not going to tell you what to work on, nor are we going to give you homework or exercises to learn”.

As we grow up, we experience sports, and in part of that experience, we notice that there is a coach there to guide the team. I’ve heard the following quote many times through the years: “players win games, but coaches win championships”. We can all play well together.  It’s quite possible that we can even be productive and successful. But to experience true success beyond all opportunities takes having a coach and a leader there to drive toward the goals.

When I examine the holacracy practice, I begin to wonder why some people accept it and some people cannot. Here is what I’m thinking:

The Leaderless

Some people do not want to answer to authority. They feel independent and want to have control over their responsibilities and their outcomes.

The Leader Needers

Some people require that leadership, the push to keep them going. They seek guidance to send them in the right direction and drive them to success. Without it, they would simply sit and wait for the next suggestion or command.

If you’re a believer of the “Leaderless” theory, then you must find the best approach to work collaboratively with your team to ensure the responsibilities are met without someone in the front driving the direction. It is important that everyone understand the roles of the team.

For the “Leader Needers”, if you are the leader in front, you have a great responsibility which can not only affect your life, but the lives of others. I would assume that many people are starving for direction in their successes. If you are focused on winning with the team collaboratively (similar to the leaderless theory) while still driving the decisions and directions of the team, you can be part of something amazing.

For the reality check, It’s very likely that we live in a society where leaders are becoming soft. They are not accepting their position and driving the team aggressively with authority. I challenge the leaders who are not taking the responsibility and either do not want the role (maybe it was given to them against their wishes) or they are not dedicating themselves to being successful.  If you’re in this position, maybe it’s best for you to give someone else a chance to take the reigns of the team. If you’ve ever seen birds flying in a “V” formation, keep in mind that the front bird is hardly ever consistently the same. Sometimes they fall back and let another take the lead for a while. You will earn much more respect by recognizing that a change is needed than to just keep trying with no success.

Which best fits your idea of a high performing team? Could you operate in either? I would like to hear your inputs on which one you would feel most comfortable working within, and the reasons behind your decision.

Stand Out in the Crowd

20130112-101446.jpg

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, I feel everyone wants to be appreciated and remembered for something.

I spent this morning realizing that we have an endless web of resources at our fingertips, thanks to the internet, for improving ourselves, learning how to be a better leader, coworker, employee, family member, or friend. And most importantly, I have accepted the fact that I will never be able to read everything I would like before my time on the Earth is over.

But that should never stop us from trying. Today is the day that you can get started – find an interesting article, and then build on it. The thing I realized today was that if you find a great article or posting, there is almost another one sitting right there on the same site for you to go even further into this ‘web of knowledge’. And what I find is that one site will give me multiple other sites to go, and in turn, those sites will provide links to other sites, and soon you will find yourself in the middle of dozens and dozens of interesting readings that will help you to improve in your own personal life.

First of all, I want to be part of that web. When folks start digging deep into great articles and things that change their lives – whether short term or long term – I want to be remembered as one of their stops along the way to self improvement. And I won’t stop until I do just that!

So for today, I wanted to share with you a great article I just read on Inc.com from Jeff Haden below:

10 Things Extraordinary People Say Every Day

To summarize the 10 things that extraordinary people say – they are:
1. Here’s what i’m thinking
2. I was wrong
3. That was awesome
4. You’re welcome
5. Can you help me
6. I’m sorry
7. Can you show me?
8. Let me give you a hand
9. I love you
10. Nothing. (there are times this is the best thing to say….nothing!)

What you will find from this site is that Jeff, as well as others, have so many other links with similar topics.

Start today improving yourself — even if you only have a few minutes per day – everything you do every day is taking you one step closer to being a better you!

Enjoy the journey.