Leadership is not just about task competence. If that were the case, every orchestra conductor would be a virtuoso on strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion. The leader is there because they multiply the value of individuals by making them into a team. Good judgment is needed when encouraging people ‘what’ to do not ‘how’ to do it. Today’s post is by Chris Lewis, co-author, with Pippa Malmgrem, of The Leadership Lab (CLICK HERE to get your copy). The obsession with the infallible (often male) leader is not a new one. From Jesus to Jobs and from Moses to Musk, we’ve been taught to focus on the leader as a hero. And this despite history, what’s so often prophesied to lead to the mountain top, ends in the abyss. And we’ve had a few of those anti-hero leaders in the last decade, but maybe the penny is finally dropping? In business, we know that inclusivity and diversity promote success. This is not just a matter of social justice, it’s a matter of money. The research shows that leaders with connections to people of different demographic backgrounds and skill sets create higher enterprise values. But how do we build this into business leadership? Let’s start by focusing less on the ‘leader’ and more on the ‘ship’. You know – the folks in the galley rowing, those who spend a lot of their time doing stuff. Leadership is not just about doing, but let’s come back to that.
About Ryan Shaw
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Our reader poll today asks: How often do you tap into your high school/college/etc. alumni networks to create business opportunities? All the time: 3% Occasionally: 14% Infrequently: 32% Never: 50% Your network is bigger than you realize. Take a look at where you are in your career. Now think about all those folks you went to high school, undergrad or grad school with. They’re probably at similar spots in their careers. That’s a big, untapped network for selling your services or products, finding new customers, finding new partners and suppliers and looking for new jobs. Social platforms like LinkedIn make it easier than ever to reconnect with these folks. We all know cold calling is awful. Why not reach out to a lead that is warmer than a cold call and see what happens? You never know where that next meaningful business relationship will come from. Don’t ignore a big asset already at your disposal for finding it. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Are you keeping an eye on the various leadership trends happening in your industry? Well, take a look at this list of leadership trends that have been growing and will sticking around for quite awhile. Today’s post is by thougthtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. I host a weekly radio show that helps leaders update how they lead. The interviews are with key business leaders, global leaders, thought leaders, authors, and academics. Each year, I publish the main themes we discuss on the show as well as in my consulting work with senior executives around the world. I have now completed more than 150 interviews, and volatility was a recurring theme. This article is a synthesis of what we can take away as key factors for leaders and executives to focus on for the next four years. Leaders must pay attention to trends and predictions. As the rate of change accelerates, if you take a “wait and see” stance, you will be caught unprepared. The intersection of volatility changes in technology, and global interconnection means there are threats and opportunities on all fronts and a large pool of organizations poised to leverage both. Speed continues to matter. Leaders and their organizations are becoming more agile. A McKinsey survey of more than 2,500 organizations of different sizes, specialties, and regions reported that “37 percent of respondents said their organizations are carrying out company-wide agile transformations, and another 4 percent said their companies have fully implemented such transformations. The shift is driven by proof that small, multidisciplinary teams of agile organizations can respond swiftly and promptly to rapidly changing market opportunities and customer demands.” As leaders, it’s important to adopt a nimble mindset and culture. Being nimble means paying attention to trends and identifying small “experiments” you can run to keep up with or even ahead of the […]
We all need reminders from time to time that it’s far more important to understand than to be understood. Today’s post is by Rick Miller, author of Be Chief (CLICK HERE to get your copy) In a recent interview for my new book Be Chief: It’s a Choice, Not a Title, I was asked to share an embarrassing moment I’d had on stage. My mind instantly flashed back to Beijing and a session I’d had 15 years ago. It was 2003 and China was celebrating the year of the goat. By the end of the event, I was the one feeling like the goat—and I’m not referring to “the greatest of all time.” Quite the opposite. It was a great reminder that: It’s far more important to understand than to be understood. Nine months earlier, I’d been recruited by the new CEO at Lucent Technologies to turn around company sales. As de facto Chief Sales Officer of a sales force that had generated $21B in worldwide revenue the year prior, it was a big job. By the time I arrived in Beijing, I’d assessed where I thought we needed to make changes and was focused on implementing the first steps of a global transformation. But it was my first trip to China, a unit that was delivering $2B in revenue to the corporation. In recent years revenue growth had stalled, but Lucent China had a very strong leadership team.
Our reader poll today asks: What is your approach to negotiating with vendors? Crises are harder to lead in: 17.% Day-to-day environments are harder to lead in: 83.0% Harder to lead during the calm. It makes sense that it’s harder to lead a team during day-to-day calm periods. There’s no “enemy” to galvanize your efforts. There’s no crisis to rally the team around. It’s just the boring daily operations that have to be done, but they also have to be done well. Just remember the old military aphorism that how you train in peace defines how you fight in war. If you’re not maintaining standards and holding people accountable during the slow times, they’re more prone to mistakes that can be costly during a crisis. If you place the right focus on the details when things are slow, that will be one less thing to worry about during the crisis that’s inevitably going to come your way. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
When it comes to making decisions about their own business, some of the smartest leaders and best business people make the dumbest decisions, especially when it comes to selling. Today’s post is by Terry Monroe, author of Selling With Certainty (CLICK HERE to get your copy). I am shocked by how many successful entrepreneurs—smart folks who’ve devoted years to building their businesses—can be so casual and sometimes downright dumb when it comes time to sell their businesses. Regardless how successful someone may be, and I am talking about business owners who are making $5MM, $10MM, $15MM a year in net income, they are undermining and underselling when putting their businesses on the market. I believe part of the reason people behave in this manner is they think because they have sold things in the past such as vehicles, buildings, houses, or maybe even one time a business, they can sell what may be the largest financial asset they own, which is their business, by themselves. And armed with this uneducated self-confidence they proceed in attempting to sell what is basically their retirement account, themselves, and wonder why things didn’t work out. Either they are not finding the right buyer or are getting so frustrated they end up abandoning the sales process and continue to run the business. My goal is to help educate as many business owners as I can on how to determine if you are ready to sell your business and, if so, what steps need to be taken and how the process works.