Wednesday, August 25, 2004

...You Need to Know, Pt. 3 - Leadership

For the past two posts, I have been reviewing Marcus Buckingham talk "One Thing You Need to Know." This is the final post on the session.

The job as a leader, according to Buckingham, is to rally people to a better future. One trait of leaders is that they are deeply, deeply optimistic. They are not naive, nor unaware of the dangers and difficulties. They have egos to lead. Some would say a leader should have strong ethics and integrity. We all should have that. But leaders have self-confidence and assurance above what most people, including managers, have. Leaders want to steer the boat, and believe in their hearts that they should be the one to do it.

Leaders find what is universal about their people and capitalize on it. One universal trait among people is fear of the unknown. And leaders traffic there.

The disciplines of leadership are:
1. Reflection, typically on excellence. Many people fail because they fail to understand what success means.
2. Picking the right heroes.
3. Practice - the words, stories to answer the universal fears and concerns of their people.
4. Clarity. Who do we serve? What is our core strength? What is our core score/metric? What actions can we take today? Why will we win? What is our competitive advantage?

Getting back to engaging workers, outstanding management and leadership engages people, not leaving 20% actively disengaged, wasted potential, like, as Buckingham said, "sundials in the shade."

More on Gallup's Q12 that lead to First, Break All the Rules here...
A summary of the strengths movement is here and related materials here.

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