I was recently interviewed by Andrew Clancy of Soundview Executive Book Summaries. We discussed my book, One Piece of Paper, and how leaders can implement and live their leadership philosophies on a daily basis. Here’s the conversation I had with Andrew.
Andrew: Leadership is a skill that is honed over a lifetime. As you travel on your leadership journey, you will inevitably be influenced by a variety of resources: books, seminars, other leaders, personal experiences. Taken as a whole, your sources of inspiration could probably fill a 300-page book. Now consider the challenge issued to you by author, U.S. Army veteran and management consultant Mike Figliuolo. He believes you should distill your guiding leadership principles down until they fit on a single sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper. In this interview, the author of One Piece of Paper discusses the importance of maxims, how they grow and change, and how you can communicate your maxims to others.
Andrew: What is it that makes maxims so powerful?
Mike Figliuolo: A maxim is nothing more than a trigger. It’s something to remind you of strong emotions. It’s something that will resonate for you. It should remind you of a story or an example from your personal past or experience. The method is designed such that when you read your own maxim, it triggers all those feelings inside of you and those feelings are what are going to get you to behave differently. It’s very easy for me to ignore a platitude like “Be the best that I can be,” but when I tap into something much more emotional, much more personal, it’s a lot harder to ignore and it will change my behavior.
Andrew: There may be readers who approach the process with the impression that the maxims should be carved on stone tablets and never changed. Are leadership maxims fluid? Can they be adapted as a leader grows and changes?