Knowledge is power but the problem is too many people abuse that power. Spidey said “with great power comes great responsibility.” I’m pretty sure wherever he is, Spidey is reading this series on the Leadership Principles just like you are. You can be a super-hero just like him. As a leader in your organization, you are privy to a ton of information which in turn gives you a great deal of power. Unfortunately, many so-called leaders fail to share information and either knowingly or unknowingly abuse the trusted position they occupy. Does your boss ever act like James Bond? They go into a meeting with mucka mucks above them (search the blog for the technical definition of mucka mucks). They come out of the meeting and everyone is wondering what’s going on. You wait all day to get an update and come 5PM, they disappear into the night (it’s getting dark pretty early these days – curse you daylight savings time!). Their Bond persona kicks in and they act as if the information they’ve been given is for their eyes only and divulging it would put the security of the UK at risk. (Note: I asked my twitter followers to pick the best bond – the vote was split between Craig and Connery hence the pic. Follow me on twitter – it’s fun!). How do you feel not knowing what’s going on? It’s unnerving. Annoying. Such behavior plants the seeds of poisonous gossip. If people don’t know what’s going on, they’ll make something up, won’t they? So let’s put the flip-flops of subversion on your feet, get into your team members’ heads and see how you can prevent your people from experiencing the same frustration. The basic premise to follow here is that they know what you know. Sure, some […]
I recently had the extreme pleasure of being a speaker at the W.P. Carey School’s Compete Through Services Symposium. Some fantastic lessons came out of the sessions that were delivered by some phenomenal speakers. I count myself fortunate to have been part of such incredible company. The W.P. Carey School at Arizona State University has distinctive offerings in the arena of business services and they’ve truly become thoughtLEADERS on the topic (according to my definition of someone who agitates for change in order to drive business impact). The symposium, led by Dr. Stephen Brown, Dr. Mary Jo Bittner, and Alicia Holder drew phenomenal speakers from around the world. Those individuals covered some great topics and leave us with some pointed lessons on differentiating in the new service-based economy. The leaders of the symposium describe the program as follows: “In business, there is one decisive moment when the choice to separate and set one’s self apart becomes evident. The “Compete Through Service” Symposium is the premier executive education event that helps you seize that opportunity by showing you how to: – Design and deliver “out of the box” customer service – Create and promote new, innovative services – Construct value-added, revenue-producing services – Establish a service culture that differentiates – Instill an unrelenting focus on the customer” They’re lofty goals but the event absolutely delivered on them. I’d like to share a few thoughts from some of the other speakers at the event (there’s no way I could ever cover all the great stuff that was presented there):
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-12 14:11:002013-11-07 16:58:54Competing Through Service Differentiation
It’s time to get into the heavy lifting of the Leadership Principles. The fifth principle – know your people and look out for their well-being seems like the easiest one of all. Therein lies the trap. How well do you know them as individuals? What makes them tick? Freak out? Happy? Fearful? What do they do really well? What are they terrible at? Getting the picture yet? You know I love examples so let’s explore this principle with some stories. First, I encourage you to read this previous post about 7Up. It’s good grounding on treating your folks as individuals which is the first step in getting to know them and looking out for their well-being. So here’s a story. I screwed up (I know! Some of you are shocked. Some of you are applauding that I’ve finally come to my senses and admitted a mistake.). I had a great guy on my team. He did phenomenal work. He tackled large projects, put order to them, and made stuff happen. I made some assumptions about work he was comfortable performing based on my prior experiences with folks of similar backgrounds. I asked him to perform said work and present it to our muckamucks (definition – muckamuck, noun: an individual in an organization whose title has a letter in front of “VP” or begins with the letter “C”). He did the work. I didn’t check it because I thought it was pretty basic for him and I trusted he had nailed it. He hadn’t.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-10 06:03:002018-12-21 13:40:24Do You Know Your People? The Fifth Leadership Principle
Do you have kids? Want some? (Kidding – mine are great and you can’t have them and no, I’m not implying your kids or mine look like this post’s picture…). I ask this first question to kick off our discussion of the fourth Leadership Principle: Set the Example. Anyone who has kids or has spent any time around them knows this principle can be an exceedingly powerful and/or embarrassing one. Kids are incredible mimics and they are very adept at self-preservation. Let’s explore. As far as being mimics, if you do it, they do it (monkey see, monkey do, right?). If you take out the trash, fold laundry, clean up after yourself, etc. you’ll find them doing the same (or at least not complaining when you ask them to perform those thrilling tasks). They’ll also imitate the bad behaviors. Pick your nose. Kick the dog. Drink too much. Drive like a maniac. How do you think they’ll behave in their teenage years? Yeahhhh… Fortunately for them no matter how badly you behave, you’re not allowed to get mad at them or discipline them when they behave that way. Why? Because “well you do it” is an incredibly powerful defense. How do you as a parent have a whit of moral authority in such a situation? Short answer – you don’t. No, you haven’t been transported to a child rearing blog. This dynamic applies in business more than you might appreciate.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-03 06:05:002018-06-21 14:21:08Monkey See... The Fourth Leadership Principle: Set the Example
Back on the topic of the Leadership Principles, we’re going to explore one that even Tommy from Rugrats understands: responsibility (or “‘sponsbltee” as he pronounces it). The principle states “seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.” While it seems relatively straightforward, this principle requires some parsing and deeper exploration. Many managers (which I do work hard to differentiate from leaders) understand they are accountable but few make the leap to being responsible. Responsibility is all about ownership. Accountability is simply being the first person they call when things get screwed up. Big difference. To really understand this principle, I think some fictional examples might be helpful. First we’ll explore the “take responsibility for your actions” clause because it’s simpler then we’ll move into the advanced class about “seeking responsibility.” Accountability and responsibility are somewhat different animals. To make the point, allow me to offer two responses to the same scenario. The situation is the business unit just cratered and completely missed its earnings target. The leader of said unit is called onto the carpet to explain what’s happened. Here are the responses.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-10-27 05:03:002018-06-21 14:15:27Leadership Means Seeking Responsibility, Not Chucking People Under The Bus
Do you know what you’re doing? I mean really know what you’re doing? Continuing with our Leadership Principles series of posts, today let’s explore the second principle: be technically and tactically proficient. I realize when you see the word “tactically” you might have the reaction of “gee Mike, I don’t wear camo therefore this doesn’t apply.” Wrong. If you have a job, it applies. This principle is all about knowing how to do your job; how to execute the daily tasks required not only of you but of your team members. How will you coach them or hold them to a standard with a straight face when it’s not something you can do yourself? As far as credibility goes, this is perhaps the most important leadership principle. Your people watch your every move (just like kids do). They imitate your actions and behaviors. They talk about you at the water cooler when you violate this principle. The good news is there are a few very pointed ways you can immediately bring this principle to life.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-10-20 05:42:002018-12-21 13:39:53Do You Really Know What You're Doing? The Second Leadership Principle
Clearly I’ve become infatuated with new technologies that enable better communications (especially with broader audiences). But all of us have fallen into that trap of using technology without first understanding the impact and results we want to get from it. Jim Canterucci and I just co-authored a blog post on this very point. Essentially we’re asking you to think about which comes first: the Twitter or the egg (and our perspective is it’s the egg because you have to understand the results you’re seeking before you start Tweeting or using any other technology). I also encourage you to check out the rest of Jim’s blog and his offerings. He’s an extremely smart guy I’ve been fortunate enough to find on Twitter. I also encourage you to follow Jim and I on Twitter (@Canterucci and @Figliuolo). Doing so will help you learn how we’re leveraging this new technology to expand our networks and our businesses. I hope you enjoy the first of what will be several collaborative efforts between Jim and I. – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-10-17 05:22:002018-12-21 13:37:34Communicating Via New Technology: The Twitter or The Egg
In my last post, I opened the conversation about the “original” leadership principles. Number one on the list is know yourself and seek self improvement. Just by virtue of the fact that you’re actively reading this blog, you have clearly taken the first step in that direction (at least I hope you’re here for self improvement and not just irreverent and witty banter). But what’s this principle really about? Knowing yourself. It’s about taking a hard look in the mirror and assessing yourself warts and all. We all have our deficiencies. The difference between the Average Joe/Josephine and a solid leader is the solid leader is honest (sometimes painfully so) in their assessment of self. They first can admit they have weaknesses and they actively move toward fixing them or mitigating their deleterious effects (Yay! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to use “deleterious” in a sentence. Now THAT’S a fun word!). The real challenge here is summoning up the courage to know yourself. There are a few ways you can get started pretty quickly though.