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Realm Of Personal Leadership Book May11


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Your realm is your world – your inner world and your outer world. We all live in our own worlds. You live in yours. And I live in mine. Your world is how you see it and not what I or anyone else tells …

Your realm is your world – your inner world and your outer world. We all live in our own worlds. You live in yours. And I live in mine. Your world is how you see it and not what I or anyone else tells you. Hence, try to see your world anew so that you can attain greater happiness, health and respect. To my mind, anyone blessed with these three gifts has attained true wealth.

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  • 1. Category: Self help/Self-improvementYour realm is your world – your inner world and yourouter world. We all live in our own worlds. You livein yours. And I live in mine. Your world is how yousee it and not what I or anyone else tells you. Hence,try to see your world anew so that you can attaingreater happiness, health and respect. To my mind,anyone blessed with these three gifts has attainedtrue wealth.About the authorKamran has made a unique place for himself in the historyof a young nation straddled with a burgeoning populationof over 180 million people. He has pioneered the self-improvement and organizational developmentmovement in Pakistan in 1991. With amazing supportfrom his teams in Navitus & SoL, and through his writings,workshops, seminars and inspiring speakingengagements, he has, directly and indirectly, helped inpositively transforming the lives of millions in Pakistan. Aflourishing learning and development industry has takenroot making education and success an unstoppableagenda for change in the 9 780751 312782
  • 2. Kamran Rizvi Realm OF PERSONAL
  • 3. Realm of Personal Leadership Contents Acknowledgements 01 Preface 02 Introduction 07 Chapter 1: Followership is Leadership 09 Chapter 2: The Flipside of Life 12 Chapter 3: Centre of Reality 16 Chapter 4: Confronting Ignorance 18 This book is dedicated to all those Chapter 5: Our Common Origin 21 who know they cannot wait Chapter 6: The Danger of Half-Truths 25 for a knight in shining armor Chapter 7: Eternal Leadership 33 to appear and rescue them from their plight. These are people who realize they can make Chapter 8: Gift of Contradictions 35 a difference and are keen to be who they are Chapter 9: In Search of Wisdom 58 – leaders of their realm! Appendix Reading 1: Legends Never Die 01 Reading 2: Simplicity of Self Reliance 02 Reading 3: What the CEO Thing Is All About 07 Reading 4: Nissans Turnaround ARTIST 09 Reading 5: The Power of Words 12
  • 4. Realm of Personal Leadership Acknowledgements Notes Acknowledgements We managed to reconnect on facebook Notes last year and have kept in touch with each As before, this annual endeavor of writing other since. a book would not have been possible without the constant encouragement of I am thankful to Muhammad Asif my family, friends and colleagues. Here I Razzaque who has promoted and would like to make special reference to arranged distribution of my previous my father, Dildar Rizvi who is my mentor book, Reinvent Yourself and continues to and guide and whose patient listening provide valuable suggestions for this and generosity of heart I admire the initiative as well. My three young friends, most; my mother, Kishver Rizvi, whose Maryam Ahmed, Syed Nazim and Emran immense love and faith in my abilities is a Baluch have teamed up yet again to source of great strength to me; and my ensure that the manuscript transforms wife Samia, who has made valuable itself into the book you see. Maryam inputs in making this book more readable. Ahmad and Syed Nazim, are studying at the Lahore University of management Amongst my friends in Pakistan and Sciences (LUMS), and Emran Baluch, our abroad, and colleagues who are always creative guru at Navitus, continues to add there when I need them, I would value to this effort. I am forever grateful particularly like to thank Shireen Naqvi to everyone working at SoL, Navitus, Riz who continues to motivate me and is also Consulting, and other individuals and gradually nudging me towards research organizations whose dedication on management practices in South Asia, continues to strengthen the learning and with particular emphasis on organizations development industry in Pakistan. (non-profit and commercial) based in Pakistan. John Hillbery, my senior Kamran Rizvi colleague from BCCI1 days (the early 80s), Apr 26, 2012 has been a remarkable inspiration for me. His belief in human potential, his ability to move people through his speeches and his uncanny ability to connect with people across cultures, is still fresh in my mind.1 Bank of Credit and Commerce International. The banks worldwide operations were shut down at the directive of The Federal Reserve of the US in July 1991.
  • 5. Realm of Personal Leadership Preface Notes Preface Your personal leadership begins when Notes you begin to see yourself at the centre of Go For It! was my first book that got your realm (within and outside) – which published in 2010. In it, I urged my readers only you can determine. How big or small to get on with their life instead of just its size and scope is, is of little sitting and waiting for things to get consequence. What matters more than better. We must not be at the mercy of anything is that you thrive in your realm events. Instead, we need to act by inspiring those in it – yourself and intelligently by selecting the right others. moment to seize the opportunities around us, while trying to mitigate This book is designed such that the threats through concrete and practical chapters are independent of each other. measures. Each holds its story within itself so you can open any page and carry on from Reinvent Yourself, published in 2011, was there. my second book in which you were At the end of this book I have included encouraged to equip yourself with tried inspiring articles and extracts from a book and tested beliefs to meet the challenges that will help you further enrich your within and around you, with confidence. I realm. shared with you the idea that our future is no longer what it was. Our rapidly I hope that by the time you finish reading changing world makes sure of this. Tools this publication, you will start seeing and concepts were conveyed to help you yourself as priceless and feel extremely thrive in this rapidly changing world by fortunate to be alive, with the power of tapping the power of your mind for your infinite choices in your armory. own good and for all those you care for. In Realm of Personal Leadership I invite you to re-discover, analyze and expand your conceptual landscape... your playing field, so to speak.
  • 6. Realm of Personal Leadership Introduction Notes Introduction live in mine. Your world is how you see it Notes and not what I or anyone else tells you. “It is a passion to see, almost forensically, Hence, try to see your world anew so that the character, potential and quality of you can attain greater happiness, health another human being. Understand it, and respect. To my mind, anyone blessed admire it, or engage with it, to enhance with these three gifts has attained true oneself or the community as a whole. The wealth. Leader interfuses with that being and blends it with others and unites them in a Consider this: YOU are alive and YOU can purpose directed by a Vision. This is make a greater difference than you are leadership.” John Hillbery making at this very moment. What stops you from doing more by extending Whenever you hear yourself saying that yourself? Could it be fear? Or is it apathy? there is a leadership crisis in the country – Whatever it is, stop looking to others to stop. There isnt. You are simply passing come and rescue you. the buck! The fact that you realize the need for leadership says a lot about you. YOU were born. And it is YOU who will It shows you are aware that something die, sooner or later. Life as we know it is needs to be done. Yes…You are terminal. Hence live each day, each absolutely right! But who will ultimately moment, as though it was your last. bell the cat? It is high time you took Enrich your NOW with dreams of a responsibility for your realm. beautiful future. Craft it brick by brick, day by day, every day, with lessons and Realm, according to Encarta Dictionary, is skills you have learned from your past. the scope of something; an area or domain, e.g., of thought or knowledge. It Think. It is only YOU who will wake up in is also an area of interest e.g., the realm the morning. It is only YOU who will eat of pure mathematics or philosophy. and drink to nourish yourself. It is only YOU who can forgive yourself or Your realm is your world – your inner someone else when YOU feel the need to; world and your outer world. We all live in and it is only YOU who can thank a person our own worlds. You live in yours. And I for being of help to you in some way. It is
  • 7. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 1 Followership is Leadership Notes only YOU who will succeed or fail in any Chapter 1 Notes venture you embark upon. It is only you who will be acknowledged for the positive contributions you make and it is Followership is Leadership only YOU who will be condemned for any wrong that you do. In short, YOU are “Leadership is about creating, day by day, a responsible. Blaming others is a waste of domain in which we and those around us time and energy. continually deepen our understanding of reality and are able to participate in We were all born to lead. We all have the shaping the future. This, then, is the deeper requisite attributes and hidden territory of leadership -- collectively capabilities. The question: Are leaders listening to what is wanting to emerge in born or made? was never valid. Instead, the world, and then having the courage to we should be asking ourselves, Since we do what is required.” Joseph Jaworski all are born with the potential to lead, what are we doing to prepare for Leadership and followership go hand-in- leadership? What kind of a leader do we hand. One cannot be a leader without wish to become? How effective can we also being a follower, no matter what role ultimately be? All this will depend on how one plays in life. aware we are of ourselves and others; how we relate to others; and how Have you ever wondered why there has conscious we are of our environment – been little or no talk on the subject of with all the threats and opportunities it followership? I have yet to see a book or a contains. training program titled, “Effective Followership”! This may be because we all like to see ourselves as leaders and not followers. But if this is so, why is it that we keeping hearing of a leadership crisis in our midst? You are a leader if at least one person follows what you say or do. The key
  • 8. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 2 The Flip Side of Life Notes question is, Who do you follow? Do you Chapter 2 Notes follow ideas of others, without believing in them? I hope not! Do you follow your ego? Your ego is likely to blind you to The Flip Side of Life alternative perspectives, and you may end up forcing your point of view on In over thirty years of my professional others. You will end up saying things like, career in international banking and later Do it, because I said so or its my way or as a motivational speaker, trainer and the highway! Instead, we all need to management consultant, I have had the follow higher principles that govern life good fortune of interacting with a variety itself – principles of fairness and justice; individuals, from all walks of life, in my protecting our own rights, while country, Pakistan, and abroad, mainly in respecting the rights of others; respect the UK and Canada. I have come to for humanity and diversity etc. realize that nothing in itself is new. Whats new is the different ways in which Universal principles imbued by the spirit we see things and interpret our own of love and generosity serve to guide experiences. humankind towards growth and progress, where everyone wins. It is our Consciously acknowledging the reality of tendency to hate and our lust for fame death as an ever present phenomenon and power that destroys the moral and teaches us how to live. Awareness of this social fabric of society. The good news is fact alone keeps us from procrastination that we can change this through greater and helps us live each day to the full. awareness of self. Death is the flip side of life; night is the other side of day; followership reflects Building a home, a family, an organization leadership. or a society is a patient labor of love – it is this finest expression of giving which Talk to anyone who has had a near-death rewards us with the highest sense of experience e.g., an almost fatal road fulfillment. Such a feeling is unmatched accident; kidnapping; or has suffered a hi- and no amount of money can buy this jacking ordeal, from which they came out sense. alive. Their lives have transformed
  • 9. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 3 Centre of Reality Notes immediately after. Whereas previously Chapter 3 Notes they valued physical possessions, status and power, they now find greater meaning in relationships, spirituality and Centre of Reality caring for self and others. They are free from worldly attachments and find Stop and think for a moment. You are the strength in their newfound faith that centre of your own reality – your world – stems from deep within themselves. your universe. When you shut your eyes, everything goes dark for you. When you Whether you believe in God or not is your go to sleep, you become completely prerogative. However, the fact remains oblivious of your surroundings. When you that life as we know it will come to an are in severe pain, your world becomes end, sooner or later. Therefore, why not unbearable. When you are in a state of do todays work today? Why leave joy, being stuck in a traffic jam, feels like a important things in life unattended, till it celebration! becomes too late? Snapping out of torpor is the finest form of leadership. Accepting You are powerful beyond measure. Any and realizing the impending reality of place you visit comes to life! For example, death helps us to do just that. the moment you enter a meeting room with people in it, they notice you and We all have different views with regards respond to your greeting; look at how to what will happen after we die and how your family welcomes you when you we came to being here – on this planet. arrive home after a week-long trip. Is it This, before and after life, talk falls in a not true that when you smile, the world different realm altogether, which is not smiles with you? Your sheer presence in my focus here. any place makes a difference! Even your bike comes to life when you ride it!!
  • 10. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 4 Confronting Ignorance Notes Chapter 4 in living on purpose, as you have defined Notes it for yourself. Confronting Ignorance What we urgently need is to be honest with ourselves and others. This begins the Poverty is not lack of means, but lack of moment you recognize your self-interest choices. This stems from ignorance – and try to discover and respect the same ignorance about who we are and what in others. For example, you cannot be we are capable of. loyal to anyone else, unless, first, you are loyal to yourself! This suggestion may The journey of self-knowledge is never- strike you as strange, but I would like you ending. Moreover, the very process of to take a pause and reflect deeply on this self-discovery is rewarding. The more you perennial idea. know of yourself, the better you will understand others and your environment. Our appreciation of the world we live in becomes clearer and more engaging as we delve into our own being and find glimpses of the countless gifts we have. I have come to realize that by merely amassing knowledge and regurgitating facts with the intent to impress others is a futile activity. Such a pursuit only fascinates the ignorant and satisfies the narcissistic tendencies of those who love to bask in their own glory. The act of learning becomes an inspiring endeavor, only when it is done to achieve a vision you hold dear. True greatness lies
  • 11. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 5 Our Common Origin Notes Chapter 5 achieve your shared purpose. Notes The central theme in all my writings and Our Common Origin speaking engagements is to draw the attention of my audience to one simple A simple, yet profound fact connects us fact i.e., Know who you are, and be it!! Of all. I am the son of my mother, as indeed, course, this is easier said than done. you are either the son or daughter of your mother. Can you think of anyone who is not a child born of his/her mother?! We share a common origin. We are alike in many ways, and yet very different when it comes to our aptitudes, attributes and attitudes. What remains most significant is the fact that as individuals we can make a real difference in our lives and in the lives of those you care for. Your realm lies within and around you. It comprises of your hidden potential, your mind, body and soul. It is only when you are able to manage your thoughts and emotions effectively that you will have a positive impact, with your direct and indirect relationships having a variety of expectations from you. What the individuals around you do each and every day, affects your life, positively or adversely. You can rely on some, if not everyone, to share in your dreams and to a lesser or greater extent, help you
  • 12. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 6 The Danger of Half-Truths Notes Chapter 6 we find the balance we need. This balance Notes keeps us away from the dangers of mindless euphoria and a sense of total The Danger of Half-Truths despair. “To be hopeful in bad times is not just The danger of half-truths is that they foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact blind us from the whole picture that that human history is a history not only of constitutes any event and, as a result, we cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, fail to make contingency plans. E.g., it is courage, kindness. What we choose to only natural to feel excited and happy emphasize in this complex history will when you get the job you were looking determine our lives. If we see only the for. Getting a job is one thing, staying in it worst, it destroys our capacity to do is quite another matter. What if you get something. If we remember those times fired for no fault of your own? Did you and places -- and there are so many -- plan for such an eventuality? If not, you where people have behaved magnificently, will be in for a shock. this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top No matter what the situation is, never get of a world in a different direction. And if too excited or excessively depressed we do act, in however small a way, we about it. Youll recover to a state of dont have to wait for some grand utopian mental and emotional balance as soon as future. The future is an infinite succession you see the whole picture. For example, of presents, and to live now as we think loss of a loved one will fill you with grief human beings should live, in defiance of all momentarily. You will recover your that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous balance as soon as you realize that the victory.” Howard Zinn individual has met with destiny, just as we all will one day. As I see it, we are often victims of half- truths. It is only when we see the whole We all know that death is inevitable. It is picture i.e., threats as evidence of the only certainty in our future. Yet what opportunities; night as evidence of day; remains uncertain is when! evil as evidence of good ...and so on, that
  • 13. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 7 Eternal Leadership Notes Chapter 7 how long our legacy reverberates Notes through time, once we are dead and buried. Eternal Leadership Back in 1987 in the City of London, I met a “I sense a great desire among people colleague and friend of mine, Shahid everywhere I go to get the country back on Doha, in his office. He had recently track, to improve education, improve returned from his honeymoon in Italy. performance in all fields, and recover the Not having visited the country till then, I old commitment to the common good. The asked him to share some highlights from world has a vested interest in how well we his experience. He took his time succeed in that; and make no mistake: It describing the beauty of the different will take a lot of strong, enlightened cities visited. When he said, “We spent leadership.” half a day marveling the grandeur of St David McCullough 2 Marks Cathedral in Venice”, I was shocked, “Half a day??!! Staring at bricks We are mortal. Yet as human beings we and mortar? You could just as easily have can become immortal through our deeds bought a few picture postcards of the by continuing to live in the memories of cathedral and drawn delight from them!” coming generations, long after we are He replied, “If only you knew the history gone. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and other of this cathedral, you would not say this.” legendary figures from our recent and “What can be so unusual about its past?” ancient history go on having a pervasive I remarked. impact on us to this day. As the story goes, there was a man called The thought behind Eternal Leadership Mark, who, in 1100 AD, when he was 50 was inspired by a saying that suggests we years old, dreamt of a magnificent should plan as though we will never die; cathedral he had constructed to glorify but when it comes to action, we need to God. When he woke from his dream, he act, as though we may not get a second commenced meticulously working on chance. Life is not only the time we have drawings and plans for constructing this from birth to death. Life is more about beautiful structure, which he had seen in2 Timeless Leadership: The great leadership lessons dont change. HBR, March 2008
  • 14. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 7 Eternal Leadership Notes his minds eye. This process took him five through people touched with the same Notes years. By now he was 55. He shared his eternal spirit. plans with family and friends and tried to recruit as many hands as he could muster. Pakistan is just over sixty years old. According to Marks estimates, it would Where are the leaders who have a take around 350 to 400 years to build the compelling vision for our nation that cathedral. He knew at the outset, that the extends beyond their mortality? You need task that lies before him goes way not look around for such leaders. You are! beyond his expected lifespan. Yet, despite Be the change you want to see in this the odds, he managed to get the project world. This saying from Gandhi has almost started with trusted and able members become a cliché. What stops you from amongst his family and friends. He passed living this creed? away a few years later as the massive foundations were being dug. Despite this, History illustrates enduring leadership through several generations, his team principles handed down through continued working relentlessly. The job centuries by individuals from a variety of was finally done, and today, the cathedral cultures and traditions. Courage, honesty, stands tall over a thousand years later in flexibility, vision and persistence are testimony of a man with a great vision. timeless nuggets worth keeping in mind Imagine the faith he had in people to see in your repertoire of leadership. this mega project through. Feel the 3 immensity of commitment and belief Michael Anthony Jackson brings to the each one on the thousands in this story surface 21st century lessons we can learn must have displayed through successive from prominent personalities of the past. generations. Try and visualize the His book contains revealing short succession process in which incumbents biographies of five well-known passed on what they knew to those who individuals, namely, Alexander the Great; followed, and that too, without any Changez Khan; Hannibal, Elizabeth I, and dilution! No wonder Mark was labeled a William the Conqueror. These saint. He thought of the possibility way personalities died centuries ago, but are beyond his lifespan, in the faith that a they really dead? Lives of those process once commenced, will endure considered dead today continue to guide 3 Author of Life Lessons from Historys Heroes
  • 15. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 7 Eternal Leadership Notes us to this day. Their endurance comes Apathy can kill our ability to lead and to Notes from their high impact legacy. make a lasting positive difference. Pretense is our worst enemy. The first Not to see leadership as an enduring step to becoming a leader is to stop phenomenon is to miss the point. Not pretending. You know what you need to entertaining eternity in your mind is to do – Just do it! steal the soul from the vital act of leadership that we can and must demonstrate in all walks life. Our souls are eternal. What Dr Wayne Dyre says is paradigm shifting: "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Think about it. You admire people who faced great odds and challenged status quo wisely. They shared a daring and a beautiful vision, demonstrated courage and compassion and made lasting contributions to society. In an HBR 4 interview, David McCullough pointing to the need for leaders suggests: "We need leaders in every field, in every institution, in all kinds of situations. We need to be educating our young people to be leaders. And unfortunately, thats fallen out of fashion." He refers to leadership not being in fashion these days, particularly in the American context. I fear this trend is more widespread than we would like to believe.4 Harvard Business Review, March 2008
  • 16. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 8 Gift of contradictions Notes Chapter 8 If it werent for our curious minds, would Notes we ever learn anything new? Could we Gift of contradictions ever improve the way we think and behave? What triggers curiosity in us? Contradictions! For this reason I have "In a business, quarterly reports and an associated the term gift with this average lifespan of 40 years for big phenomenon. companies tend to put immortality on the back burner…The Mitsui Corporation and Consider this: We are forever caught my old Oxford college are both over 600 between the need to control and at the years old, both still going strong and same time, to empower; Leaders need to thinking far…You can only look ahead as exhibit courage, while also having far as you can look back." capacity for compassion; Managers need Charles Handy 5 to focus on goals and at the same time need to show the flexibility of mind to Change is the eternal reality individuals create and innovate. and organizations have always faced, are There are numerous instances where I confronting today, and will continue to have seen managers hang when faced encounter through time. However, it is with competing ideas. They need to our understanding and adherence to reboot themselves in order to use never-changing principles that help us contradictions as a springboard for thrive in change. success. We all know and agree how important it is Everything we take for granted today was for organizations to continually learn, once viewed as impossible by many. Take improve, and grow. These are eternal flying for example. The governing requirements and imply the need for us to paradigm almost a century ago was that adapt to change continuously. Such only lighter than air can fly. Thank God contradictions in life are everlasting and there were a vital few who had the come in all shapes and sizes. They are audacity to challenge status quo and built into the very fabric of nature - within today we have over six hundred tons of and around us. immaculate engineering transporting a 5 In his book, The Empty Raincoat.
  • 17. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 8 Gift of contradictions Notes vast number of humanity across the guru of the modern workplace. Many Notes continents at the speed of a bullet! of his predictions have already come true, including the demise of the traditional The world-wide web is yet another organization and job and the emergence example which glaringly illustrates the of talented individuals and entrepreneurs power of contradictions to inspire being outsourced for their expertise in innovation. The "www" marvel is the specialized fields. most centralized system on earth, and has liberated individuals to access Handy concedes disparagingly that, "In a knowledge and communicate globally, business, quarterly reports and an instantly. The internet has transformed average lifespan of 40 years for big human possibilities beyond belief! companies tend to put immortality on the back burner." He finds this short- A colleague once asked me, "Who has sightedness ill-founded; institutions, he been your best teacher?" I thought for a declares, can be immortal. "The Mitsui while. Names flashed through my Corporation and my old Oxford College memory. I went to the white board in my are both over 600 years old, both still office and made a circle. In it, I placed the going strong and thinking far." He symbol of a question mark "?". I am continues to amplify his point, "You can eternally grateful to my colleague for only look ahead as far as you can look asking such an innocent question. I spent back." that entire day pondering on what gives rise to questions in my mind. Voila!! I Building trust with others and between found the answer: Contradictions! My life people in organizations is the only real changed forever. Its in small moments way to achieve greater efficiency, reduce like these that big things happen, but only costs and create sustainability. However, if we make time to reflect deeply. to enjoy the fruits of trust, you will have to make yourself vulnerable! I have since discovered many truths. That mortal beings can create immortality if There are no perfect solutions to they so wish. Social philosopher, Charles anything, and no one can predict exactly Handy is widely regarded. He is seen as what the future may hold. The ambient
  • 18. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 9 In search of wisdom Notes paradoxes are too complicated for that, Chapter 9 Notes but continue to be a blessing. In search of wisdom Our continuing success depends on making sense of contradictions. Over two thousand years ago, a young man in his late teens had this intense desire to seek out the truth. He discovered that there was a man in his town he could go to in his search for wisdom – and this wise old man was Socrates. The young man met the philosopher who took him for a walk to a nearby lake. On reaching the shore Socrates took this young mans hand in his and started walking into the water ever so slowly and continued moving gently till both of them were in waist high water. Socrates stopped, quietly placed his hand behind the young mans head and in a sudden motion, shoved the boys head into the water and held it there. The seeker of wisdom was now in a state of terrible shock and a thought raced through his mind that maybe he had made a mistake by coming to the old philosopher. Maybe the old man had gone mad. As the seconds ticked away, the lad struggled for breath, and Socrates in turn used more force to keep him down. A point came when the boy knew that the only
  • 19. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 9 In search of wisdom Notes way to survive was to put all his might making incorrect use of knowledge is a Notes and lunge out of Socrates firm grip for a fool! gasp of air. Using every bit of his strength he succeeded to pull himself out of It would be interesting to learn how many danger. On recovering his breath and people in top management positions composure, he demanded to know why today are graduates of reputable business on earth did Socrates do this?! Socrates schools and regularly read books on replied, “Young man, the day you pursue management. My guess is the number your goals with the force of passion and would be small – much less than 50% in courage you displayed for catching one any given organization. The next question breath, is the day you will gain wisdom!” is: Who are being more effective, those with MBAs or the ones who have practical This parable is simple, yet profound and hands-on experience and are street contains several implications for leaders smart? Invariably, one finds that those whose aim it is to empower others. I have with greater wisdom are not necessarily shared this parable of the young boy and the ones with better educational Socrates with a countless number of qualifications or degrees! managers in coaching and training sessions throughout the country to good In essence, what makes managers effect. Brig Azhar Ansari (Retd), quoting a effective and better than their general he admired, once said, “You counterparts is their ability in applied cannot lead with the heart of a sparrow.” wisdom – ie., knowing how to get people to work well with one another; knowing The Random House College Dictionary how to attract talent and get them to describes wisdom as having knowledge of coach their successors; how to motivate what is true or right, coupled with good people to do their best; how to get the judgment. In another dictionary I found whole organization strategically aligned wisdom to mean making correct use of and to act together on difficult issues. knowledge. This made me think. I After all, management is about wondered what incorrect use of converting resources into results knowledge might be! And the answer was efficiently and effectively, and this goal astonishing. It turns out that someone can never be accomplished without
  • 20. Realm of Personal Leadership Chapter 9 In search of wisdom Notes people skills. as well as through informal sources e.g., Notes self-study, experience etc. Experience, Look around you. Meet senior however, is the more relevant avenue of bureaucrats in government, top wisdom acquisition. There are signs for managers in companies, leading social those who reflect. activists and members of civil society. Notice a string of degrees some have Every day experiences carry immense under their names as proof of all the value for us if only we develop the insight accumulated knowledge. What good is all to find significance in the apparently this knowledge if it is not being put to mundane events of life and work. For correct and effective use? The more we example, the simple exercise of learning know, the greater the chance of us acting from ones own mistakes. The most as fools, if we fail to do what we know to important elements in our experience are be right. How many managers challenge the day-to-day routine mistakes we make. status quo? How many directors speak up Being able to acknowledge our own in board meetings and express views that mistakes and draw lessons from them is go counter to that of the chairmans? the starting point of wisdom. It takes Behind a lot of pomp and ceremony, good intent, courage and vision to be when you look hard enough, you will find wise – wise enough to take the kind of cowardice dressed up as expedience. Fear actions that lead to improvement and is the enemy of wisdom and turns enduring good in our places of work, and knowledgeable workers into fools. in our homes and communities. The rubric, In search of wisdom, can also Learning from our own mistakes is fine. be stated differently as, A desire to avoid But to supplement this by learning from foolishness! Foolishness in Urdu means the mistakes of others is even better. Jihaalat. Sadly, in our society, people Obaidullah Baig recently gave an inspiring who are not literate are mostly termed talk on History to over 200 young “Jaahils”, when, in fact, some may students and professionals at the Young actually be quite wise! Knowledge is Leaders Conference organized in Karachi acquired through formal means e.g., by the School of Leadership Universities, colleges, schools, madrassas; ( Participants were spell
  • 21. Realm of Personal Leadership Conclusion Notes bound for over an hour. His message was Conclusion Notes crisp and clear. According to him the study of history enriches us with the Wisdom is like excellence – an ever wisdom and experiences of colossal moving target, the pursuit of which is in personalities who have ever lived. We itself an admirable quality in people. Not learn of their thoughts, actions, and to search for wisdom is to condemn our consequences of their actions. By caring lives voluntarily to mediocrity and indeed to read the great figures of history, we to foolishness. can learn from their mistakes and their decisions and become even wiser. But Einstein reminds us by saying that no alas, what we often learn from history is matter how much we know, our that we dont learn from history! knowledge will always be limited. But with imagination, we can encircle the world. I hope you have made notes of key points that you have found useful and worthy of further consideration.
  • 22. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 1 Legends Never Die Notes Appendix: Reading 1 Notes This section contains readings that will Legends Never Die furnish your mind with more ideas and help you enrich your realm: Here is a story of a legendary figure from the Asian Subcontinent which will furnish Reading 1: Legends Never Die your mind with empowering ideas. Reading 2: Simplicity of Self Reliance Legends never die. They live in memories of people inspired by their achievements. Reading 3: What the CEO Thing Is All No one in the history of our subcontinent About ever accomplished global impact of the magnitude a man did in less than twenty Reading 4: Nissans Turnaround ARTIST years (1972 to 1991). This man built an organization from scratch in 1972 that Reading 5: The Power of Words grew to being the seventh largest private bank in the world. At its height, the bank had an active presence in 72 countries with assets exceeding US $ 50 billion (direct and indirect) by 1990. It had over fourteen thousand employees comprising 98 nationalities. Here was a global corporation with a corporate culture, mission and purpose that transcended the ordinary and conventional. This bank, one of the fastest growing in the world, was the Bank of Credit and Commerce, better known as BCCI. It became a source of envy in the international banking community and within a few years was surrounded by
  • 23. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 1 Legends Never Die Notes controversy. In 1987 it fell victim to prime minister of Great Britain, late Indira Notes money laundering allegations of epic Gandhi and the like. global proportions and was shut down in July 1991 by the Bank of England Mr. Abedi, his vision and his philosophy of following pressure from the Federal business management were pioneering Reserve of the US. and far ahead of his time. Values are the soul of the culture, and leaders personify Much has been written on BCCI and them. They are pivotal figures in a strong several paperbacks on its rise and fall culture. He was a human being with found their way to the bookstores in the immense strengths and dare I say early nineties. What were the reasons for weaknesses. In an interview that Mr the collapse of BCCI? This is a big question Abedi gave to Financial Times of London and to answer it is beyond the scope of back in 1978, he was asked to share his this article. However, I must add that biggest strength and his significant much of what has been published weakness. His answer was simple, he said portrays a biased picture of events that “people” to both. History records this to lead to its closure. be true. It is vital to strike a balance when trusting and forgiving people. Trust Who has ever achieved such feat in our should never be blind. It also needs corporate history? No one comes to mind, watchfulness. In my view, it is this except late Agha Hasan Abedi, a man with imbalance that led to the undoing doing a mega dream, who traveled the world, of BCCI. and networked with prominent figures and heads of states from the east and Mr. Abedi was born in Lucknow (India), in west, the north and south. He was given a family of noble descent. After taking a state receptions in countries like China. masters degree in English Literature and Amongst his close friends and associates graduating in Law, he began his banking were prominent personalities like career in Bombay with Habib Bank. The President Jimmy Carter, late Clark partition of the Indian Sub-Continent in Clifford, legal counsel to four previous 1947 brought about dramatic changes in presidents of the United States of its banking system. It created a near America; Sir James Callaghan, the then vacuum of banking services in the area,
  • 24. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 1 Legends Never Die Notes which became Pakistan. Habib Bank In a talk recently given by Peter Senge in Notes Limited moved its Head Office to Pakistan Dubai, he shared his definition of learning in order to fill this vacuum and became as “a process that enhances our capacity virtually the unchallenged leading bank of to help us achieve our dreams.” Dr Peter that country. Senge is a faculty member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Seeing a unique opportunity to fulfill his director of the Center for Organizational inborn urge to grow and succeed, Mr Learning at MITs Sloan School of Abedi made an important contribution in Management and founding partner of the the growth of the newly established management consulting and training firm bank. By 1958, he felt that the economic Innovation Associates, Inc. His insights development of the new nation of into how organizations learn and share Pakistan called for greater competition knowledge have helped many leading and innovation in its banking system. companies around the world to tap into a Therefore in 1958, he founded a new bank new and very real source of competitive – United Bank Limited. advantage. What Peter Senge has been saying for almost two decades, Mr Abedi In addition to the considerable banking has lived for over forty years. experience he is said to have acquired, he had also developed new approaches to Mr. Abedi was the first banker in Pakistan management and business development, to realize the potential of people and which stressed individual development markets, particularly overseas. As a and autonomy. Sadly, this is still not a consequence United Bank successfully reality in most companies. Business established itself in several Middle development became a primary objective Eastern countries and the United of management. Within ten years of its Kingdom. At the beginning of the 1970s foundation, the United Bank had become he began to feel, in the restrictive the second largest bank in Pakistan and exchange control climate of the home when banks were nationalized in Pakistan country, that it would be very difficult to in 1973; it was almost as large as the sustain the expansion of UBLs foreign largest bank in that country in terms of operations. Also with the emergence of assets. the new socio-political trends in the
  • 25. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 1 Legends Never Die Notes country, nationalization of the banking universal and purposeful. Notes sector appeared imminent. It was with this background that he is thought to - An ability to communicate through the have conceived the idea of the articulation of feelings, thereby attracting establishment of an international bank in people of extraordinary commitment. a country, which offered facilities for growth and expansion. - An inherently persistent urge for growth and success, as a continuous The dramatic success of BCCI lay in the phenomenon: a law of nature. leadership and philosophy of its founder president. Mr Abedis beliefs and insights Mr Abedi emphasized that “The character may be summarized as follows: of this institution is the result of a process of evolution in a situation of which the entire staff and such other conditions as - A sense of timing, a sense of history, a economic, social, political etc., are the sense of what the future holds. components. These components are neither created nor controlled by one - A profound interest in human nature and person and they are constantly changing. the purpose of life. As you know the abilities of all of us are also constantly changing. And for this - A realization of the power of the human reason we have been taking pains to potential and some discovery of a key avoid the establishment of authority and factor that enables the individuals to superiority of one staff over the other, translate this potential into tangible except just to the extent that is necessary results and achievements. for keeping an order in the working”. He went on to say: “We are trying our best to - An extraordinary ability to relate to create a climate of complete freedom and others and to the communities which openness, where people can grow they compose: to forge them into a uninhibited by pressure of delegated powerful force by linking them in pursuit authority and by sheer merit and ability… of uncommon common values, beyond where every individual has the fullest their narrow interests, to an end more opportunity and freedom to assume
  • 26. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 1 Legends Never Die Notes responsibilities on the one hand and to leadership and vision. Without this vision Notes take the pressure of work on the other the energies will wane and collapse in hand to whatever extent he may like. In misdirected efforts and random this concept of management, there are activities”. two central points, namely, that each individual in the institution moves around It is with dreams that our learning truly objectives rather than dance to the tune starts. What are your dreams? I have met of authority, and that a unity is obtained many pragmatic and expedient in freedom, as against a unity through directors, general managers and CEOs in authority…unity of thought, purpose and Pakistan, but few who also love to dream action.” Mr. Abedi said this in an and inspire others through their interview he gave in 1966, while still compelling vision of the future, like Mr. President of the United Bank Limited Abedi. Our aspirations trigger curiosity (published in BCCIs in-house journal and compel us to learn in order to build “International” January 1985). our capacity to create what we truly believe is important to us. The importance of managing the culture of an organization was not lost on Mr. We dare to dream only when we have Abedi. In his inaugural address at the 1984 faith in ourselves and in our future. Look convention of the Management around you, meet people working with Association of Pakistan (MAP), he said: you, interact with friends and ask yourself “the culture determines how things get how many people do you come across in done in a business. Managing this culture your family, in your circle of friends and is the principal task of the chief executive colleagues and community who are officer (also senior and middle beacons of hope and vision? If the management). The culture in turn then number is more than five, you must be in manages the people …it is the vitality of great company. the organization. Its collective energies determine the quality and quantity of our Companys performance. As custodians and keepers of this spirit, we are the ones who nurture its growth through
  • 27. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 2 Simplicity and Self Reliance Notes Reading 2 of refugees from newly independent Notes Bangladesh. Simplicity and Self Reliance Orangi could have resembled the Akhtar Hameed Khan had called for desolation of many other famous South simplicity, renunciation and self-reliance Asian Slums. But Orangi today is a as sanctions began to bite, says Tarik Ali development miracle, a thriving Khan in his article reproduced below. community of middle and lower-income migrants. The difference from a slum is Every morning Akhtar Hameed Khan immediately apparent: the stench of makes the journey to Orangi, Pakistans human waste has disappeared due to a largest unplanned urban settlement, or network of sewerage lines, secondary katchi abadi. Located 12 kilometers from drains and pour-flush toilets. Small locally- Karachis centre, it is a microcosm of this built schools vastly outnumber city of migrants, a sprawling community government schools – all built by Orangi of mohajirs (Indian Muslim refugees from residents with technical and 1947), Biharis (more recent refugees from organizational guidance from Khans Bangladesh), Pathans, Sindhis, Punjabis brainchild, the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP). and Balochs. Orangi has swallowed up 7000 acres of the barren Sindh landscape After a stint at teaching at Michigan State on the edge of Karachi and is still University in the 1970s, Khan returned to growing. Orangi is as big as Colombo or Pakistan to serve as an adviser to a rural Amsterdam, a city within a city. development project near Peshawar. The Bank of Credit and Commerce (BCCI) More than three and a half million people approached him in 1980 to start a project live in the 400 katchi abadis that surround in Orangi. With no office, no staff, and no Karachi. Being outside the official city contacts in Orangi, Khan began by plan, the migrants have little access to walking the lanes for months. He peered government-funded resources. Officials into the middle and lower income houses have traditionally ignored their squalor. of its one million residents, people who Orangi itself began to be occupied in 1965 came in search of the economic dream in and grew rapidly after 1972 with the influx Karachi. Khan spoke to local officials,
  • 28. Realm of Personal Leadership Hard Program Notes councilors and lobbyists and discovered percent of Pakistani households enjoy Notes how little the katchi abadi residents had this kind of access. in the way of rights. But perhaps the biggest urban Hard Program management lesson was that it could all be done without grants or subsidies. Realizing that OPP would have little Khan has been able to harness and legitimacy and no authority within the organize the migrants spirit of traditional structures of city government, enterprise. With their own money, and Khan decided that the solution lay in supported by the OPPs technical organizing residents. He got to work with guidance, residents constructed over them, and the communities identified 5000 sewerage lines and 80,000 latrines. health and sanitation as the primary With the sewage taken care of, the needs. In response, OPP began to communities went on to build 750 schools develop low-cost sanitation technologies and 646 health clinics. Residents formed that people could craft themselves. An their own local organizations and took engineer offered technical help and OPP- over the running of the facilities from trained social organizers provided the OPP. logistics. The results have been dramatic. Between Work soon picked up steam. Every 1982 and 1991, Orangis infant mortality mohalla (locality) elected a manager, rate dropped from 130 to 34 per 1000 someone who would oversee the work of (Pakistans average is 95 per 1000). installing sewerage lines, secondary Property prices rose in Orangi, and the drains and toilets. Khan recalls: "The residents benefited. Through OPPs designs made by foreign consultants Research and Training Institute, Khans were expensive and inappropriate, we action research approach has brought found. The ones we developed were more initiatives after the initial focus on more culturally appropriate and made at sanitation, health and education: social one-tenth the cost." By 1995, 76 percent forestry, low-cost housing construction, of Orangi households had proper and family planning. sanitation facilities. On average, only 24
  • 29. Realm of Personal Leadership Hard Program Notes From the Pathan children who collect “Whereas we were telling them not to Notes plastic bags for recycling to the Banarasi wait for handouts and do it for silk weavers busy with their intricate themselves," recalls Khan. "It was hard to work, every lane of Orangi bustles with convince them.” enterprise. Khan felt the average working familys productive capacity could be Believing that women are generally more improved through access to credit. In honest, Khan has employed an all-female 1987, OPP established a trust which staff to handle credit disbursement and borrowed from Pakistani banks and repayment. The credit office at OPP has a began lending. The first two years saw deliberately spacious and open design to high default and blackmailing, but today a encourage transparency and prevent tight lending policy ensures that there is a under-the-table deals. Khans own daily 95 percent return rate on OPP loans. New vigilance routine also has an effect on the clients must be referred by a trustworthy staff; he is still as watchful as a hawk. "All former loan recipient, and each recipient Pakistani organizations which dole out finds himself listed in one of four money are corrupt. Initially out of the 10 categories: competent/honest, staff I hired, I had to fire five," he says. incompetent/honest, competent/dishonest, Khan is convinced that Pakistans incompetent/dishonest. problems are largely moral. Given the countrys current state of corruption and Over the years, Akhtar Hameed Khan has debt, Khan says what it needs is a hard become convinced that true development program of development, one that must make the poor self sufficient. demands self-sufficiency without donor Subsidies or handouts have contributed aid. At Orangi, OPP has broken the vicious to dependence on foreign aid, which he circle of waiting for a free lunch: residents calls the "langar khana (free food) and staff both accept the new ethos of a mentality". Beginning a project like OPP hard program, even if leaders do not. was no easy task because, as Karachi mushroomed in the 1980s, politicians like the late Gen Zia-ul Haq were making wild promises to the shanty-town residents.
  • 30. Realm of Personal Leadership Shurfa Boy Notes Shurfa Boy Victorian self-discipline, modesty and Notes frugality. In a country where feudal politicians, bureaucrats and the military elite call the Akhtar Hameed Khan says that in his shots, Akhtar Hameed Khan draws his college days in Meerut, he was influenced inspiration from the Sufi and Buddhist by Nietzsche and the writings of Allama principles of simplicity and renunciation. Mashriqui, the latter a strong proponent Born to a Uttar Pradesh Pathan family of ghalba-i-Islam, or Islamic domination. from Agra in 1914, Khan was bred for In the 1930s, Mashriqui had founded the success. He recalls life as part of the All-India Khaksar Movement. Dressed in shurfa, or Muslim middle class, that khaki, Khaksars largely lower-class continued to survive in North India after members were organized for social the Mughal decline. The UP Pathans had service, but its militant fascist undertones been transformed from belligerent tribes were obvious. Khan eventually married who challenged the Marathas in the 18th Mashriquis daughter and joined the century into jagirdars (landowners), prestigious Indian Civil Service (ICS). policemen, soldiers and civil servants. But after nine years as a colonial civil He was raised in the tradition of Sir Syed servant, and having participated in the Ahmed Khan, the 19th-century reformer poor central planning that led to the 1943 who founded the Aligarh Muslim famine in Bengal, Khan was disillusioned. University and encouraged Muslims to The decay of the British Empire was as synthesize Western knowledge and apparent to him as was the growing Islamic thought. Sir Syed offered Muslims poverty of the Subcontinent. Long reformation through his humanist influenced by Islams Sufi mystics and the alternative to the religious madrassah writings of Tolstoy, he decided to schooling and post-Mughal decadence. renounce the world. He resigned from the His promotion of English education ICS in 1945 and spent the next two years brought opposition from the ulema. He as a reclusive locksmith. discouraged practices such as having multiple wives and dancing girls in the "Why did Buddha give up his prince hood shurfa household and encouraged to become a wandering mendicant?"
  • 31. Realm of Personal Leadership Shurfa Boy Notes Khan muses. "Because the way to There is no mistake in my life except this Notes discover the meaning of life is through migration.” controlling your instincts. This is the message of Sufi poets like Jalaluddin Khans love of scholarship and free Rumi as well. What are the three things speech is often exploited by his enemies, we must control? Greed, hatred and those whose very power is threatened delusion.” when the poor become mobilized. "My social work in Pakistan is like walking a Khan confesses that his love of tightrope. I have to avoid controversy at scholarship brought him back to the every turn. But the advice of the Sufis is world. His Khaksar fantasy dissolved and not to care for ones surroundings. The he soon discovered his next teacher, Zakir world is within you.” Hussain, the head of Delhis Jamia Milia Islamic University, and, later, president of In teaching, he had found his calling. He India. In Zakir Hussain, he found Sir Syeds migrated to East Pakistan in 1950 where rationalism coupled with strong Indian he was appointed principal of Comilla nationalism. Khan taught English to College. In addition to the writings of the primary and secondary schoolchildren sages, he began to devour books on and history to college classes at the Jamia economics and the theories of Marxism Milia until 1949. Its extensive library and capitalism. With his ICS experience as allowed him to continue studying the an administrator in Bengal, he was soon writings of Islams mystics and appointed director of the US-sponsored philosophers, while Partition took place village agricultural and industrial outside. development ("V-AID") projects. He was sent for a year to Michigan State But East Pakistan soon beckoned. "Zakir University for training and the Americans Hussain told me not to leave for Pakistan. became his new teachers. He returned to He said that people like me were leaving an appointment as director of the because we were frustrated. He felt that Pakistan Academy for Rural Development we could better serve the Muslims of in Comilla (today the Bangladesh India. But I was full of Islamic ideology Academy for Rural Development). and thought Pakistan would be a utopia.
  • 32. Realm of Personal Leadership Organized Development Notes Organized Development says Comilla was the American answer to Notes the socialist model of development but The task before Khan now was to figure makes it clear he was not driven by any out where to begin the development ideology, either communism or process. The colonial legacy of the British capitalism. was an administration based on law and order and revenue collection. The Khan left in 1969 and ended up teaching foundation stone for maintaining the Pax at his alma mater, Michigan State Britannica in the Subcontinent had been – University. By the time he returned to and continued to be – the thana, the Pakistan in the late 1970s, the east had police station. The few facilities which become independent Bangladesh. existed in the rural areas (schools, health Officially retired, he was soon busy giving dispensaries, veterinary dispensaries, and advice on Comilla-style pilot projects at even roads) were often at the thana. For Daudzai near Peshawar, and in the Khan, the jurisdiction of the police station Northern Areas with the Aga Khan Rural was small enough, and developed Support Program. But it is at Orangi, enough, to serve as the centre of his where he has patiently brought activities. The Comilla experiment was development according to his Sufi- underway. Buddhist principles of right livelihood that his efforts sank deep and paid off. Khan focused on improving rural infrastructure: link roads and irrigation Khans towering six-foot body is now channels. While development fads like slightly stooped, the gait is slow as he community development and V-AID came arrives every morning at OPPs office to and went, Comilla blossomed. It had meet guests and receive reports from the American financial backing and the staff. His associates listen intently to his support of Pakistans Prime Minister, Field booming voice as he responds to each Marshal Ayub Khan. Its thana training new situation, quoting instructively from centers, rural works projects, and the Quran in Arabic, Sufi poetry in peasants cooperatives soon became Persian and the Buddhist sutras in Pali. models of organized development. Khan Says Khan, "Although there is no concept
  • 33. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 3 What This CEO Thing is All About Notes of an ashram in our society, I feel OPP is Reading 3 Notes an ashram. And here I am not a bull baboon who demands obedience. I am more like a daadi ma (grandmother) who What This CEO Thing is All About guides out of love.” Who better than Jack Welch to speak on the subject? After all he is one of the most Asked whether OPP will survive without admired CEOs ever to have lived. Jack him, Khan sounds confident, and it is clear started life as the only son of a railway he is proud of his associates and the conductor and rose to great heights in his people of Orangi. "The work will go on. career, before retiring at his peak, having successfully passed on the mantle to Jeff We have Arif Hassan at OPP and Tasneem Imelt almost a decade ago who continues Siddiqui of the Sindh Katchi Abadi with Jacks legacy to this day. This Authority. These people understand the succession challenge took six intense self-help philosophy. We have the support years and turned out to be an inspiring of the people. And even though we success. criticize them, we now have the support of the government as well. We have I am reproducing below extracts from proven here that the hard program lives. Jack Welchs book, Jack – Straight from It is sustainable." the gut: Being a CEO is the nuts! A whole jumble of thoughts come to mind: Over the top. Wild. Fun. Outrageous. Crazy. Passion. Perpetual motion. The give-and-take. Meetings into the night. Incredible friendships. Fine wine. Celebrations. Great golf courses. Big decisions in the real game. Crises and pressure. Lots of swings. A few home runs. The thrill of winning. The pain of losing. 6 Extracts from: Jack. An Autobiography by Jack Welch (Ex GE)
  • 34. Realm of Personal Leadership Integrity Notes Its as good as it gets! You get paid a lot, 0830 hrs in the morning until 2030 hrs at Notes but the real payoff is the fun. night. Like any job, though, it has its pluses and Every day, of course, wasnt this hectic. minuses – but the good sure overwhelms Theres no pat formula for this CEO thing. the bad. The schedule is packed, with many Everyone does it differently, and theres no hours blocked out a year in advance, yet right or wrong way to go about it. I every day manages to bring new crises that certainly dont have a magic formula, but butcher your calendar. The days are crazy since I was presumptuous enough to write long, yet the hours race by because youre this book, I will take a shot at sharing some always fighting for more time. The job of the ideas that worked for me. I hope never leaves you no matter what youre some might be helpful. Pick and choose doing – whats on your mind is always so among them, or just toss them all. absorbing. Integrity There are all kinds of boring external functions, but none internally – well, at Establishing integrity and never wavering least not for me because I set the agenda. I from it supported everything I did through was invited to a lot of black-tie dinners and good and bad times. People may not have industry association meetings. The best agreed with me on every issue – and I may thing is, I didnt have to go. Some of the not have been right all the time – but they dinners are real special, like the White always knew they were getting it straight House State Dinners you wish your parents and honest. It helped to build better were alive to see. I got to meet lots of relationships with customers, suppliers, bright people Id otherwise only read analysts, competitors, and governments. It about, and I found most of them self- set the tone in the organization. I never effacing and fun. had two agendas. There was only one way – the straight way. Theres no such thing as a typical day. While I was working on this book in late May, I happened to have a day that was packed wall-to-wall, with meetings from
  • 35. Realm of Personal Leadership Setting a tone Notes The Corporation and the Community Thats why a CEOs primary social Notes responsibility is to assure financial success Everybody has a view about a of the company. Only a healthy, winning corporations role in society. I do, too. I company has the resources and the believe social responsibility begins with a capability to do the right thing. strong, competitive company. Only a healthy enterprise can improve and enrich Setting a tone the lives of people and their communities. The organization takes its cue from the When a company is strong, it not only pays person at the top. I always told our taxes that provide for important services, business leaders their personal intensity it also builds world-class facilities that meet determined their organizations intensity. or exceed safety and environmental How hard they worked or how many standards. Strong companies re-invest in people they touched would be emulated their people and their facilities. Healthy thousands of time over. The CEO sets the companies provide good and secure jobs tone. Every day, I tried to get into the skin that give their employees the time, the of every person in the place. I wanted them spirit, and the resources to give back to to feel my presence. their communities a thousand-fold. When I traveled to remote locations – Weak and struggling companies, on the Europe, Asia, or wherever – the days were other hand, are often community liabilities. 16 hours long, allowing me to touch They have little or no profits and pay few, if hundreds, if not thousands of people. At any taxes. Theyre tempted to take Crotonville (GEs Leadership School), Ive shortcuts to save a buck – investing little in led exchanges with more than 18,000 the development of their employees and managers. At every human resources workplaces. The constant threat of layoffs review, I met with the union leaders to breeds insecurity and fear in employees understand their concerns so they could whose worries about their own future understand mine. I didnt want to be the affect their ability to volunteer time and picture in the annual report. I wanted to be money to help others. someone whom everyone in GE knew.
  • 36. Realm of Personal Leadership Informality Notes Maximizing an Organizations Intellect businesses. I sat in rooms for years, looking Notes at promising strategies that never Getting every employees mind into the delivered results. We had great plans for game is a huge part of what the CEO job is ultrasound, but we could never make them all about. Taking everyones best ideas and happen until we found the perfect person transferring them to others is the secret. with ultrasound in his veins. We had service Theres nothing more important. I tried to strategies in aircraft engines, power, and be a sponge, absorbing and questioning transportation for years. Service was every good idea. The first step is being always a second-class citizen until we put open to the best of what everyone, leaders in place who had the courage to everywhere, has to offer. The second is “kick ass and break glass”. transferring that learning across the organization. Work-Out drove We learned the hard way that we could boundaryless behavior and developed have the greatest strategies in the world. ideas. We rigorously evaluated everyone on Without the right leaders developing and this value to reinforce its importance. owning them, wed get good looking Connecting all the meetings (“operating presentations and so-so results. system”) – from HR to strategy – gave new ideas, increased momentum and helped Informality refine them. Crotonville helped share the learning and brought out the best in Bureaucracy strangles. Informality everyone. liberates. Creating an informal atmosphere is a competitive advantage. Bureaucracy Searching for a better way and eagerly can be the ultimate insulator. Informality sharing new knowledge has today become isnt about first names, unassigned parking second nature at GE. spaces, or casual clothing. Its so much deeper. Its about making sure everybody People First, Strategy Second counts – and everybody knows they count. Titles dont matter. There are apaulets on Getting the right people in the right jobs is shoulders, or stiffs in corner offices making a lot more important than developing a all the calls – just a wide-open spirit where strategy. This truth applied to all kinds of everyone feels they can let it rip. “Covering
  • 37. Realm of Personal Leadership Passion Notes your ass” is ridiculed. Passion, chemistry, hand go up and say, “Passion.” For me, Notes and idea flow from any level at any place intensity covers a lot of sins. If theres one are what matter. Everybodys welcome and characteristic all winners share, its that expected to go at it. they care more than anyone else. No detail is too small to sweat or too large to dream. Self-Confidence Over the years I have always looked for this characteristic in leaders we selected. It Arrogance is a killer, and wearing ambition doesnt mean loud or flamboyant. It is on ones sleeve can have the same effect. something that comes from deep inside. There is a fine line between arrogance and self-confidence. Legitimate self-confidence Great organizations can ignite passion. is a winner. The true test of self-confidence Stretch is the courage to be open – to welcome Stretch is reaching for more than you change and new ideas regardless of their thought possible. Ive always used the source. Self-confident people arent afraid annual budget process as the best example to have their views challenged. They relish of stretch. the intellectual combat that enriches ideas. They determine the ultimate openness of You know the drill. There is a business team an organization and its ability to learn. in the field, working for a month on a How do you find them? By seeking out presentation at headquarters; trying to people who are comfortable in their own develop the case for the minimum number skin – people who like who they are and they think they could “sell.” The are never afraid to show it. headquarters team comes to the same meeting armed to squeeze out the Dont ever compromise “being you” for maximum. The field team comes with all any damn job in any institution. kinds of charts on the weak economy, tough competition, and says, “We can Passion produce 10.” The top management comes in that morning wanting 20. Whenever I went to Crotonville and asked a class what qualities define an “A player,” it The presentation usually takes place in a always made me happier to see the first windowless room. No customers are
  • 38. Realm of Personal Leadership Celebrations Notes present. You know what happens. After relative performance against competitors – Notes mountains of PowerPoint and hours of not against a highly negotiated internal give-and-take, the budget is set at 15. Its number. Their stretch target keeps them an enervating exercise in minimalization. reaching. Weve never yet made a “stretch operating plan.” Yet weve always done The field team flies back, high-fiving one hell of a lot better than we thought wed another. They didnt have to give all they do – more than Wall Street expected. had to headquarters. Top management thinks it had a great day, ratcheting the A stretch mentality isnt easy to get, and by objectives to new heights. no means does GE have it throughout the company. Sometimes we found cases Why is this game played? Over the years, where managers at lower levels took people everywhere have learned that if you stretch numbers and called them budgets, made your number, you got a pat on the punishing those who missed. I dont think back or better, and if you missed your it happens much anymore, but I wouldnt budget, youd get a stick in the eye or bet on it. worse. Everyone plays by these rules. In a stretch environment, the same field Nevertheless, well never stop team is asked to come in with “operating “stretching.” plans” that reflect their dreams – the highest numbers they think they had a shot Celebrations at: their “stretch.” The discussion revolves around new directions and growth, Business has to be fun. For too many energizing stuff. people, its “just a job.” The team leaves with everyone on both I always found celebrations were a great sides of the table having a pretty good way to energize an organization. From my understanding of what the business will do first days in plastics, I was always looking and what theyll try to do. An operating for ways to celebrate even the smallest plan is put together reflecting that reality. victories. The team knows theyre going to be measured against the prior year and At Crotonville, Id often get frustrated by
  • 39. Realm of Personal Leadership Aligning Rewards with Measurements “Wheres the margin?” Notes the answer to the simple question, “Are Notes you celebrating enough?” The students turned silent or would murmur, “No.” I “We didnt ask for margin?” loved to push back on this one. Thats the simplest example of a “Dont look at me. I cant celebrate for you. universal problem: What you Were going to have a vice president of measure is what you get – what you celebrations at GE.” You have to consider yourself the manager of celebrations. reward is what you get. Youve got the authority. Go back and make it happen. You dont have to hand Static measurements get stale. out a new Mercedes. It can be a keg of beer Market conditions change, new or a dinner for two. “Your job is to make businesses develop, new sure your team is having fun – while theyre being productive.” competitors show up. I always pounded home the question “Are Aligning Rewards with we measuring and rewarding the Measurements specific behavior we want?” You have to get this one right. By not aligning measurements and rewards, you often get what youre One time, I was surprised to see a not looking for. great fourth quarter revenue line and no income to go with it. I asked, “What the hell happened here?” “Well, we had a fourth quarter sales contest and everyone did a great job!”
  • 40. Realm of Personal Leadership Appraisals All the Time Notes Differentiation Develops Great people.” Bill Conaty and I felt we had Notes Organizations personal responsibility for the top 750 managers. We looked after their No one likes to play God and rank people, development, their rewards, and their especially the bottom 10 percent. advancement. We ran the people factory to Differentiation is as tough an issue as any build great leaders. manager faces. I thought it was my job to talk about it, to force it every day, to Our business CEOs knew they would be demand it from everyone. From my first rewarded for teeing up high potentials. days, I thought it was the key to building a Our boundaryless culture changed the great organization. For us, the vitality game from hoarding your best people to curve made differentiation work. We used sharing your best. Of course, Id sometimes it relentlessly to push leaders to continually hear a groan on the other end of the phone upgrade their teams. Year after year, when Id call a business leader and say, forcing managers to weed out their worst “Sorry, you just lost X.” performers was the best antidote for bureaucracy. Our surveys showed the Giving up the best is not a natural act. lower we went in the organization, the Within minutes, wed be talking about the louder the concerns about our weakest backup slate to fill the new role we performers. The lower-level executives, created. With our bench, the backups more than senior managers, bore the brunt sometimes turned out better than the of laggards. starters. Differentiation is hard. Anybody who finds Appraisals All the Time it easy doesnt belong in the organization, and anyone who cant do it falls in the Appraisals to me were like breathing. In a same category. meritocracy, nothing is more important. I was giving appraisals all the time – Owning the people whether I handed out a stock option grant or gave a raise – or even when Id bump We always told our business leaders, “You into someone in the hallway. own the businesses. Youre renting the
  • 41. 9Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes I always wanted everyone to know where Reading 4 Notes they stood. Every year, Id send a hand written note with the annual bonus to my Nissans Turnaround ARTIST direct reports. Id write two to three pages, outlining what I was looking for in the As he walked the floor of the Detroit coming year. Id attach to it the prior years Motor Show last month, Nissan CEO letter, which I would mark up in red, to give Carlos Ghosn was trailed by a sizeable continuity to the process. entourage. There were Nissan executives from Japan and from its French partner, These notes did a couple of things. I had Renault, and a contingent from the chance to reflect on each business and Americans – nine in all. Peppery and what I thought was important. My direct enthusiastic, his rectangular glasses, reports realized that there would be Ghosn (rhymes with “cone”) spent more follow-up – and that I cared a lot. The than an hour examining new vehicles, process was time-consuming, and occasionally climbing into the drivers sometimes late on a Sunday night, I would seat. He fired off questions in French and wish I hadnt started it, but it was great English while candidly expressing his own discipline for me. opinions. “They do the minimum to make the vehicle acceptable but nothing more,” Ghosn observed about a competitor SUV. “Good quality, but boring.” Nothing is boring in Ghosns life these days. Having reversed Nissans slide towards bankruptcy and set it on a path to profitable growth, he has become a business celebrity. He didnt just rescue a company that everyone thought was doomed – the 47-year-old, Brazilian, French trained Ghosn did it in Japan, a country in which non-Japanese 9 Carlos Ghosn is giving Japan a lesson in how to compete by BY ALEX TAYLOR III in Business Week, 2002
  • 42. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes traditionally have little influence. Now from Frankfurt-based Commerzbank: “We Notes Nissan, Japans second largest believe that the company is on the verge automaker, is poised to challenge Toyota of a major product revival.” again in its home market, as well as in Europe and North America, and hold off That certainly is the thinking behind the an increasingly formidable Honda. Nissans $930 million bet in central Mississippi, where the company is Nissan expects profits of $2.9 billion for building an assembly plant. An act of faith the fiscal year ending March 31, compared where Ghosn approved it in the dark days with a loss of $5.7 billion 2 years ago. of 1999 – the company was close to Ghosn did it by shrinking the company, collapse at the time – the plant is streamlining its operations, and paying scheduled to start production in the down debt. But just as remarkable as this summer of 2003 with three new vehicles financial performance is that he turned a aimed straight at the heart of the group from losers into winners. “His American market: a full-sized pickup greatest achievement is that he was able truck, a full-sized SUV, and a minivan. to restructure peoples mindsets,” says Located in the small town of Canton, the Norio Matsumura, executive vice factory will increase Nissans production president and board member. in North America to about one million units, bringing it closer to its Japanese Now the hard part begins. Ghosn has set rivals. (Toyota produces 1.25 million ambitious targets for future growth: He vehicles in North America and Honda 1.22 wants to boost worldwide sales to 3.6 million.) million vehicles, from 2.6 million now, to improve pretax operating margins to 8% Nissans turnaround – one of the most from 6.3% for the first half of the year, and dramatic in Asian business history – has to pay off Nissans remaining $5.8 billion made Ghosn a star in Japan. Nicknames in debt. He has set a deadline of 2005 for “7-11” by the Japanese press because of those targets which would still leave the his long working hours, he has written a company well behind Toyota (5.9 million best-selling account of his tenure at vehicles sold last year), but these are not Nissan. A Japanese comic book aimed at impossible dreams. Says a recent report businessmen is serializing his life story. He
  • 43. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes causes a stir when he appears in public, clearly,” says Isuru Nakamura, Nissans Notes whether he is being asked to pose for chief designer. “But he is not Brazilian or pictures in an airport waiting lounge or French either. He is a leader. If his being applauded at a sumo-wrestling personality reflected a strong nationality, match. In an opinion poll Japanese he might not have been very successful.” woman named him one of the top four men they would like to father their Ghosn was born in Brazil, the son of a children. Ghosn appreciates the Lebanese businessman and a French recognition, not because it feeds his ego mother. At age 6, he moved to Lebanon but because it serves his business with his mother and sister to attend a purposes: “You buy cars from somebody French Jesuit school. Ten years later he you like.” was one of 300 students chosen from 6,000 applicants to attend the École The most remarkable part of the Ghosn Polytechnique in Paris, where he got an story is that he transformed Nissans engineering degree. He then enrolled in corporate culture without destroying its the equally selective École des Mines de morale. Ghosn attributes his success to Paris for graduate training. At each necessity – employees knew he was their juncture he refined his ability to adapt to last shot – and attention to detail. He was new surroundings. “In any country I was scrupulous about observing traditional always different,” he says. Japanese social customs, refusing to lay off workers as Nissan downsized. But at After graduation, Ghosn joined Michelin, the same time, he was committed to the French tire maker. Sent back to Brazil, overhauling the business practices that he was chief operating officer of its South had brought Nissan to its knees. American business by the time he was 31. Four years later he was dispatched to Ghosns multinational background helped South Carolina, where he oversaw prepare him for his immersion in Japan. Michelins North American tire interests He has held executive jobs in four and completed a tricky merger with continents and speaks French, English, Goodrich Uniroyal. Since Michelin was a Portuguese, Italian and Spanish. (Hes family run company, Ghosn had no choice learning Japanese.) “He is not Japanese, to advance to the top job, so he was
  • 44. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes looking for other opportunities when build almost a million more cars than it Notes Lewis Schweitzer recruited him in 1996 to could sell. Purchasing costs were 15% to help run French automaker Renault. 25% higher than Renaults. And with debt Ghosn closed a large assembly plant in of more than $11 billion, it was running Belgium, a tortuous proceeding that short of cash. Ghosns diagnosis: “Nissan sparked massive protests, and suffered from a lack of clear profit- rejuvenated the automakers sales with orientation, insufficient focus on new models, such as the Megane Scenic. customers and too much focus on chasing competitors, no culture of working Two years later Schweitzer, desperate to together across functions, borders, or expand Renault outside Europe, made a hierarchical lines, lack of urgency, and no bid to bail out Nissan. At the time Nissan shared vision.” was dominated by managers who were famously bureaucratic and engineers who On the plus side, Nissan was in such a spent lavishly but couldnt produce the mess that people were looking for a cars that made a profit. During the 1990s savior. Ghosns Brazilian-French-Lebanese Nissan lost money in every year but one. background may have helped. Coming Both Ford Motor and Damlier Chrysler from outside the system, he had more had backed away from offers, but Renault freedom than a Japanese executive. But agreed to take a 36.8% equity stake in he also knew that he had to protect the exchange for assuming $5.4 billion in identity of the company as well as the debt. Few gave the alliance any chance of self-esteem of its employees. Simply success. The idea of Renault recruiting dictating changes could undermine Nissan, one observer commented at the productivity. If he was too passive, the time, was like relying on the French civil company would continue its downward service to revive the Japanese economy. spiral. Schweitzer tapped Ghosn for the job. A week after he took over in July 1999, Upon moving to Tokyo in 1999 with his Ghosn created nine cross-functional wife and four daughters, Ghosn teams to probe the innards of such vital discovered a company in disarray. functions as manufacturing, purchasing, Nissans factories had the capacity to and engineering to help him formulate a
  • 45. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes revival plan. To promote cooperation “Should I do what people think I should Notes from the whole company, he assigned a be doing or should I approach the cross section of employees to the teams, problem directly?” the answer was clear. not just top executives. He also salted the Says Jed Connelly, Nissans top U.S. sales teams with key managers from Renault executive: “He didnt accept the old who had come to Japan with him. To taboos about Japanese styles, and he make sure that everybody could convinced people that he was the communicate, he established English as solution. Un-compromised by old pledges the common language of the company. or preexisting deals, Ghosn was free to do what he felt needed to be done. Although, he was determined not to demoralize Nissan, Ghosn was quick to By the biennial Tokyo Motor Show in discard some traditional Japanese October 1999, Ghosn was ready to unveil practices. One was the seniority system. his “Nissan revival plan,” taking on some Instead of paying and promoting of Japans sacred traditions. He planned employees according to tenure and age, to reduce Nissans workforce by 21,000, Ghosn installed a merit plan. Ghosn also through retirement, attrition, and began offering stock options plus reassignment to subsidiaries. He wanted bonuses that sometimes amounted to to cut the number of suppliers in half and more than a third of annual salaries. liquidate $4 billion in cross-holdings Finally, he created defined areas of between the companies and Nissan. The accountability. He eliminated advisors and remaining suppliers were asked to deliver coordinators who had no defined price reductions by 20% over three years. responsibilities and gave all his executives And what if it didnt work? Well, Ghosn direct operational authority. said, if Nissan wasnt breaking even in 18 months, he would resign. While Ghosn was formulating his plan, he got a lot of advice – mostly to go slowly. Bold in any culture, Ghosns plans for “In a new situation, you have to listen to Nissan hit Japan like an earthquake. At different opinions,” he says. “But a lot of Nissans annual meeting in June 2000, an people told me, Be patient, you cant do antagonist criticized Ghosn for failing to all this. The question I asked myself was, bow before his speech, and added, “I
  • 46. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 4 Nissans Turnaround ARTIST Notes dont want to buy a car made by people stay ahead of Honda, which had 13.8%, but Notes who cant bow properly. Youve got to leaves it well behind Toyota with 42.2% of learn some manners.” Replied Ghosn: the market. Ghosn expected the share to “You are right. There are many Japanese rise to above 20% between 2003 and habits I dont know because Ive been 2005, and remain there, but wasnt working very hard. I intend to become fretting about it. “I have no problem in more Japanese in the months to come.” losing market share that I dont deserve,” he says. “We are concentrating on No part of the company was sacred. profit.” In the U.S., Nissan had also lost Ghosn promised to slash overhead and share, slipping to 4.1% in 2001 from 4.3% a the number of dealers by 20%. But he also year earlier. But it reduced its marketing laid the groundwork for a revival of incentives and made its North American Nissans product line. He freed designers operations more profitable. from the tyranny of engineering by allowing them to make decisions without New models reflect the companys effort first considering manufacturability. He to develop a stronger identity by directed designer Shiro Nakamura, hired emphasizing edgy styling and hot from Isuzu, to put some personality and engines. The revamped Altima, for individuality into Nissans bland cars and example, is outselling previous versions trucks. And he promised to re-introduce 40% and is three times more profitable. the much-loved Z sports car as a symbol With eight new Nissan and Infinity of Nissans revival. (Look for it as a 2003 vehicles headed to showrooms in 2003 model.) He also announced a joint project model year and another four arriving the with Renault to market small cars and following year, “Nissan has the potential said he would replace Nissans European to be the star among the Japanese car line. manufacturers,” says Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa. The product revival began to gather speed – and not a moment too soon. Now that Nissan was back on its feet, Nissans slice of sales in Japan fell to a 27 Ghosn could turn his attention to the year low of 17.4% in 2000, climbing back to reason Renault bought the company in 18% last year (2001). That enabled it to the first place: forming alliances for new
  • 47. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 5 The Power of Words Notes projects that will create economies of Reading 5 Notes scale. “With a multicultural company,” he says, “you have high risk, but you have higher potential and higher opportunity.” The Power of Words In the opinion of some analysts, the mere presence of Ghosn improved the chances by Harriet Rubin in Fast Company 10 of success. “Having a first-class strategist as a top manager is the most effective Fernando Flores was Chiles minister of way to transfer capabilities,” argues finance -- and, later, a political prisoner. Takahiro Fujimoto of the University of Now he teaches companies how to use Tokyo, co-author of a paper on assessments and commitments to automotive alliances. “The transfer of transform the way they do business. The Carlos Ghosn from Renault to Nissan may outcome: executives who speak and act be regarded as the key to the success of with intention. this alliance.” Fernando Flores is pissed off. He has had Although Ghosns name is now enough of the bullshit. The 55-year-old mentioned for any vacant CEO job in the philosopher, former Chilean minister of auto industry, he has vowed to remain at finance, former political prisoner under Nissan for at least two more years. He Augusto Pinochets rule, has flown plans to find a Japanese executive to halfway around the world, from California replace him. After that, he is due to to Holland, to transform two executive succeed Schweitzer as head of Renault. teams -- 32 leaders in all -- of a global Ghosn still maintains a residence in Paris. construction giant. These are people More than anywhere else, it seems to be accustomed to building on a grand scale. where this man of the world feels most at But right now, building is their problem, home. not their business: Their world-class reputation for being brilliantly managed, it turns out, consists only of hollow words -- words that have little power and less value. 10 Harriet Rubin is a contributing editor at Fast Company and the author of The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women.
  • 48. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 5 The Power of Words Notes Flores knows about words and how they actually an improvement over the Notes translate directly into deeds. He knows performance of his predecessor, who lost that talk is never cheap -- he often significantly more. Anton attributes this charges more than $1 million for his improvement to Floress intervention services, a fee that is linked directly to over the past six months. "We are still specific promises of increased revenues several hundred million dollars off our and savings. He also knows that talk is the target goal," Anton informs his team, source of these executives failure. Their "which we will have to make up by the words work against them -- which is why end of the year, only four months away. they cant get anything to work for them. There is a look of despair in some of you. Talk all you want to, Flores says, but if you In others, there is a look of, Ive seen this want to act powerfully, you need to before. I can live with it. " master "speech acts": language rituals that build trust between colleagues and Antons language is strong, but his words customers, word practices that open your are nothing compared with Floress. "The eyes to new possibilities. Speech acts are soft issues are the hard issues," Flores powerful because most of the actions begins. "Your problems dont come that people engage in -- in business, in because you dont know how to calculate marriage, in parenting -- are carried out entropies or to design plates. They come through conversation. But most people because you dont know about people. speak without intention; they simply say Our best comes out when we have whatever comes to mind. Speak with honest discussions. Our worst comes out intention, and your actions take on new when we behave like robots or purpose. Speak with power, and you act professionals. You all have the delusion with power. that its your business to sell hardware. But every company of the future is going The team that Flores is working with is to be in the business of exquisite care -- hemorrhaging money and losing market which means quick turnaround time and share. In charge is Anton, a Palestinian convenience. To deliver exquisite care, engineer, who is determined to turn you need an organization that things around. Last year, his division lost coordinates well and listens well. Right tens of millions of dollars -- which was now, you are in an organization that has
  • 49. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 5 The Power of Words Notes poor quality and slow delivery. You have colleagues to "assess" Tomas. One Notes one big mythology in your favor: executive leaps to the challenge. "Tomas, Everyone believes that you Europeans are you are blind, egotistical, and inwardly impeccable. But I know you are jerks." focused," he says. "I cant challenge you without your getting defensive." The temperature in the room is rising. The air-conditioning is on arctic blast, but the The words leave Tomas stunned. men are beginning to sweat. "When you "Tomas," Flores says, "say, Thank you for get into a situation like this, nothing that assessment. " The words are part of seems to work," Flores says. "Thats a script written on an easel next to Flores. when you dont need solutions -- you Tomas tries to repeat them, but he need transformation. Youve already tried stutters when he gets to the word everything to stop your losses." "sincerity," even though the rest of his One executive says to Flores, "Youre our English is nearly perfect. Flores prompts last hope." "Hope is the raw material of Tomas, "Follow the script, exactly as it is losers," Flores shoots back. written": The session has only started and already Assessor: [Name], [negative assessment]; Flores has had enough. He lifts his 6-foot, [positive assessment]. 220-pound frame from his chair. Imagine a Person assessed: [Name], thank you for bear rising up on its hind legs: The men your assessment. I appreciate your are simply not prepared for how big sincerity. I would like to have further Flores is when he stands -- or how fierce. conversations with you about the topic. He turns on Tomas, a relative newcomer Assessor: Thank you. Person assessed: to Floress sessions. Youre welcome. "Tomas," Flores begins, "tell me: Why is "Tomas," Flores says, "why this rebel- change taking so long here?" Tomas child attitude? Cant you answer me?" responds: The group is resisting Floress Flores turns away in disgust. Another approach. To Flores, Tomass answer colleague uses the script to assess Tomas. sounds like projection. It is Tomas who is "Tomas," he begins, "you are a resisting change. Flores invites Tomass bureaucrat. You are married to rules, not
  • 50. Realm of Personal Leadership Reading 5 The Power of Words Notes to listening." In fact, Tomas keeps his be trained and dont follow my lead, I will Notes head down, scribbling notes, unable to kill you. And thats worse than my style." look at his colleagues. Flores asks Tomas Then something amazing happens: Tomas what he learned from this comment. smiles. He . . . thanks Flores for his "That I have more work to do," Tomas assessment. He looks relaxed. And he whispers. recites the script word for word, this time pronouncing "sincerity" flawlessly and Flores eyes the group warily. "I am using without hesitation. The mood in the room Tomas for one purpose," he says, "to lifts. Tomas has walked through the fires show you what transformation is not. To of truth and come out safely on the other show you what it means to be weak and side, and there he has found trust. His insincere. Tomas, stand up and tell me colleagues beam. He is now willing to honestly what you think of me. This is listen to what they have to say about him how you develop trust. I know you have and to accept the truth in their criticism. been saying things behind my back. I He is not hiding from them or from promise that no matter what you say to himself. He feels . . . free. The conversion my face, I will reply with, Thank you for is almost spiritual. your assessment. " Tomas measures out his words as if each one were a drop of "You feel good now?" Flores asks. "Yes," poison for Flores to swallow: "I . . . dont . says Tomas, nodding, clearly pleased. . . like . . . your . . . style." Flores corrects him: "You hate my style." "I hate your "Thats what happens in an atmosphere style," Tomas says. of openness," Flores says. "When trust improves, the mood improves. Everyone "Thank you very much for your feels more confident. One thing we need assessment, Tomas. I appreciate your to do here is to produce despair -- sincerity. Now here is my assessment of because despair produces reality. A feel- you. You are an asshole, but less of an good style can be a symptom of asshole than you were two minutes ago. unawareness or lack of caring. Im You have opinions on things that you showing you what your blindness looks know nothing about. If you give me like. Drop the idea that you have a map permission, I will train you. If you agree to for the future, or that you need one. I
  • 51. Realm of Personal Leadership The World According to Flores Notes want you to build your sense of curiosity. deception and self-limitation that we Notes If you act as if you know everything when collect in our personalities. Im fighting you meet with your customers, youll lose for freedom, for breadth of being. I want your job." to open up peoples moral imaginations -- which will give them a strategic Tomas is not off the griddle yet. "Tomas," advantage in business, in politics, and in Flores says, "here is my prediction: You their personal lives." are going to be fired from this company if you dont transform yourself. You will be The World According to Flores fired because all of the others in this room are committed to transformation, There is magic in Fernando Flores: the and they need you with them. If magic of transformation. Like any true everybody here says you are full of shit, magician who transforms things -- or, in and you dont acknowledge it or see how this case, people -- Flores is not content to that assessment serves you, you are describe the act of transformation. He doomed. You should be happy and must perform it -- which is what he has grateful for these assessments." done with Tomas. To transform these executives, Flores must prompt them to Flores is making a larger point about the engage -- specifically, through language. real source of strength in business. "In To get them to engage, he conjures up the western mind, there are two notions moments of truth and of trust. He must of compassion," he explains. "One is, Im scare them to death about what they are going to be a good Samaritan and help not doing. "Great work is done by people this guy. But that is the compassion of the who are not afraid to be great," Flores weak. The compassion of the strong is in says. waking people up to their blindness. For that, you need to be a warrior. I am tough The World According to Flores exists in and sweet. I show you your bullshit, but three realms. The first is the smallest -- Im also infinitely patient with you." Flores and the most self-limiting: What You stands up very straight and addresses the Know You Know. It is a self-contained group. "Know this," he announces. "We world, in which people are unwilling to arent aware of the amount of self- risk their identity in order to take on new
  • 52. Realm of Personal Leadership The Journey of Transformation Notes challenges. system out of its arrogance, blindness, Notes and complacency. Since all action is based A richer realm is What You Dont Know – in conversation, the shock has to come the realm of uncertainty, which manifests through language. itself as anxiety or boredom. Most things in life belong to this realm: what you This is Floress realm, his gift, his dont know about your future, your invention. What Peter Drucker did for health, your family. People are always organizations, Fernando Flores is doing trying to merge this second area into the for individuals. Before Peter Drucker, realm of What You Know You Know -- in there was no science of management. order to avoid uncertainty, anxiety, and Before Fernando Flores, there was no boredom. science of organizational transformation. Flores has defined the terrain, drawn the But it is the third realm of Floress maps, created the language -- and built taxonomy to which people should aspire: the rocket ship to take you there. What You Dont Know You Dont Know. To live in this realm is to notice The Journey of Transformation opportunities that have the power to reinvent your company, opportunities Fernando Flores is . . . who? This is not a that were normally too blind to see. In simple question. A magician of this third realm, you see without bias: transformation, he is in a perpetual state Youre not weighed down with of flux. Flores lives according to his own information. The language of this realm is theories of language. When he speaks, he the language of truth, which requires makes a commitment. If he says that he trust. will phone you on Saturday at 9 a.m., you can set your watch by the ringing of the As Flores practices it, transformation phone. He trusts people to be as truthful requires that you risk your current with him as he is with them; most rise to success -- What You Know You Know -- in the occasion. His ambition is not to make order to join a more satisfying game. It more money: Hes worth $40 million. His allows you to enter the realm of freedom. ambition is not to conquer hearts: He But to get there, you have to shock your cares only for the approval of his family
  • 53. Realm of Personal Leadership The Journey of Transformation Notes and his clients. His ambition is to live understanding, and a new commitment Notes every moment to the fullest and to help to the fundamental connection between others to do the same -- which is why so language and action. many people say that Flores has changed their lives. "When I left prison, I had to figure out how to embrace my past," Flores says. Its a lesson that Flores learned the hard way. In 1970, at the age of 29, he was “Those three years represented a tragedy named Chiles minister of economics -- that I used to re-create myself, not becoming one of the youngest men in the something that was done to me. I never countrys history to hold that post. Later blamed Pinochet, or my torturers, or he was named minister of finance -- at a external circumstances. I feel co- time when the country was undergoing responsible for the events that took its own transformation, from dictatorship place. I never told a victim story about my to democracy. That transformation, imprisonment. Instead, I told a however, ended abruptly in 1973, when transformation story -- about how prison Salvador Allende, the democratically changed my outlook, about how I saw elected president, died in a bloody coup. that communication, truth, and trust are Flores was one of the cabinet ministers at the heart of power. I made my own who fought Augusto Pinochets fascist assessment of my life, and I began to live forces to the bitter end. Flores was it. That was freedom." imprisoned, subjected to mock trials, and punished with solitary confinement. For In 1976, nearly broke, Flores came to the three years, he was separated from his United States. In 1977, he began a PhD wife and five children. Many Chilean program at the University of California at intellectuals were reported to have Berkeley, drawing together several fields: "disappeared." Flores, for some reason, the philosophy of language, computing, attracted the attention of Amnesty operations research, and management. International, which helped to negotiate He found himself drawn to the work of his release from prison in 1976. Being in Martin Heidegger, a German philosopher prison changed his life: He emerged from whose dictum "Language is the house of jail with a new vision, a new being" defined for Flores the link
  • 54. Realm of Personal Leadership The Way Words Work Notes between words and the self. From firm. But Flores soon became concerned Notes Heidegger, Flores learned that language about the direction in which Erhard was conveys not only information but also moving and broke with him. In 1984, commitment, and that people act by Flores founded Action Technologies to expressing assessments and promises. develop software that can track the Computers, he concluded, would be more fulfillment of promises and commitments effective if they recorded and tracked in day-to-day work operations. Then, in commitments, rather than simply moving 1989, he founded Business Design information. Associates Inc., a 150-person, $30 million consulting firm. But more than that, In 1979, Flores completed work on his Flores is committed to living what he calls dissertation, "Communication and "life at its best." He chooses his clients. Management in the Office of the Future." He rewards himself for his hard work with Even before he had finished the shopping splurges, sometimes buying dissertation, the power and insight of $1,000 worth of books -- and then Floress work -- in which he introduced rearranging his work schedule to give the notion of "action language" -- had himself time to read them. Last year begun to make an impact. EST founder [2001], he bought a majority interest in a Werner Erhard heard about what Flores school in Santiago, Chile in order to test was working on and offered him a grant. and teach his theories. It is a life filled The money seemed like a deliverance. with commitments -- a life based on While Flores had struggled to complete freedom. his degree, his wife, Gloria, had worked as a food preparer for Marriott. His teenage The Way Words Work children had taken jobs at Burger King, and they contributed their wages to help How does this all work? What is at the keep the family going. Flores accepted heart of Floress system of Erhards offer. After the dissertation was transformation? To speak in language that done, Erhard incorporated Floress ideas promises action, you must practice into EST and invested in Floress first assessments (to work on truth) and company, Hermenet Inc., a generate commitments (to work on communications-consulting and software trust). Heres how Floress technique
  • 55. Realm of Personal Leadership The Way Words Work Notes works. Lesson One: How to Make the easel. "You are to use my story, not Notes Assessments. The 12 men meeting with yours." Flores are learning the baby steps of conversation, even though most of them There is a method to Floress model: Air are in their forties and fifties. "We havent strong opinions in public; make honest met for two months," Flores says. "Lets assessments in plain view of your start with assessments." colleagues. Truth equals trust. But you Abel, an engineer in his fifties with a sweet, boyish face, begins. He turns to must make these assessments regularly, Felix, a planner. "Felix, I believe we still because, at first, people will try to game have many issues to discuss. There is still a lot of information that we need to the system. They will use assessments as share. On the positive side, I find you a way to enhance their own power or to open to my concerns." diminish the power of others -- which is exactly what Ryan is trying to do now. "Thank you for that assessment, Abel," Each time Ryan is assessed, he alters Felix replies. "We are remiss in not Floress script slightly. He never says, discussing these problems more often." "Thank you for your assessment," or "I appreciate your sincerity." Instead, he "Youre welcome," Abel says. Abel then explains away the criticism that he proceeds to go around the room, receives. His refusal to follow the script is assessing each man, always using the a red flag -- and a symbol of Ryans same script. When he gets to Ryan, the problem in general: Ryans own words head of sales, Abel states that he is not reveal that he is a weak manager. Others getting a clear picture of whats going on trust him at their own peril. in sales; on the positive side, he acknowledges that Ryan is working hard. Flores can take only so much of Ryans "Were all working hard," says Ryan. insolence. "If people deviate from the "Especially my guys who are busting their formula," he spits out, "it is an opening . . ." Flores breaks in. "Dont change the for bullshit." In Floress world, bullshit is story," he says, pointing to the script on hypocrisy -- and it shows up in the
  • 56. Realm of Personal Leadership The Way Words Work Notes language used within an organization. colleagues to improve our productivity, Notes Hiding behind hypocrisy and half-truths we also improve our mood, and as a will weaken you and blind you to result, clarity and happiness will increase. opportunity. That is why, Flores tells the People talk about changing their thinking, men;, engineers of their caliber can but they have no idea what that is, let develop impeccable strategy and still fail. alone how to do it. The key is to stop Their language lacks commitment, and producing interpretations that have no that lack, in turn, generates resignation. power." When these men make sales calls to Lesson Two: How to Make Commitments. clients, their speech is full of defeat. They dont notice it anymore, but their Assessments go hand in hand with one customers detect the lies and the empty other speech act -- that of commitment. promises. Commitments are bold promises. That is why the assessment script is According to Flores, the performance essential. If Ryan and the others stick to breakdowns in this company are the instructions, they are more likely to attributable to failures of commitment: hear the assessments made of them. If Executives make promises that they have they hear the assessments, they will no intention of fulfilling. "Your work is not become less blind. If they refuse to cut impeccable," Flores challenges. "Ikea one another any slack, to accept one cant get away with selling a $30 table anothers lies, then they will fear nothing. with missing parts or bad instructions. Become practiced in making assessments, But you think that you can get away with and you come to see others clearly, well missing specs and bad quality in beyond their fictions and lies. You also producing multimillion-dollar projects." come to see how much influence you have over your own life. "We dont realize Ryan is presenting his idea for a logistics how much we create reality through center, which he wants authorization to language," Flores says. "If we say that life build and which he believes will save the is hard, it will be hard. If, on the other division $2 million. "The opportunity is hand, we make commitments to our there," he says quietly, his tone now very
  • 57. Realm of Personal Leadership Conclusion Notes different from his earlier one of cowboy bold commitment from Ryan. Ryan, you Notes arrogance. say you want to start this logistics center, which will save your division $2 million. "If you believe in this plan, why dont you But that is nothing! I want to teach you close?" Flores asks. "None of your talk how to make $20 million for your division. indicates action -- just desire." Flores has You need to learn to manage put his finger on the disconnect: Ryan has commitment! Ryan, whats the value of gone to enormous pains to develop a plan your logistics center?" that doesnt excite him. Even as he presents it, he is backing away from it. He "It will give us competitive advantage," is doing what people do in organizations Ryan says. every day -- saying one thing, meaning another. Ryan is bullshitting his In a flash, Flores becomes Ryan. He colleagues. The tragedy -- and the waste -- rounds his shoulders into his chest, is not that his colleagues dont realize it recedes into himself, and says in a wimpy voice, "I think it will give us advantages." but rather that Ryan himself doesnt realize it. Then he shouts, "There is no energy in that story! You need to put emotion into Felix, the planner, is already worried. your message. If you cant put your body Ryans idea isnt too weak; its too bold. into it, there is no truth. And without "We cant make a decision like this from truth, you cant sell the idea, not even to scratch," he says. "I dont think were yourself." ready for it yet." Flores is standing. Spit is flying from his Flores lets loose. "I cannot tolerate this mouth. He conveys his message with his bullshit," he rages. "Listen, Boy Scout, whole body. "Ryan, you are a Dilbert whats your name? Felix? In this arena, Im leader. You never take a stand. And here the master and youre the junior. A junior you are listening to Felix, who is sees only one little piece of reality. The resignation personified. You know what truth is, Ryan no more wants to build this mood you are in? The life-is-tough mood: center than you do. You need to get a Dont be too optimistic. Next year, well
  • 58. Realm of Personal Leadership Conclusion Notes lose a little less than this year. If you live he beams. "These are ideas you can stick Notes in a mood, you are blind to it. The last your neck out for. More than ever, our time I made that mistake, I was in prison group feels like a team." for three years." But Flores isnt buying it -- not yet. "Let Now Flores is ready to challenge the me challenge you," he says. "In my group. He coaches them on how to opinion, you are still complacent. You say develop a big story -- a story of a you have the best people, and yet you are transformed reality, with the promise of still losing the war. How is it possible that an action plan. By the end of the morning, the best troops in the world are losing the they have hammered out a plan for war? Thats not an interesting story. cutting construction time in half, saving Winning the war with the worst troops, $10 million. They have also developed a as in The Dirty Dozen, now thats an bold proposal for entering the Y2K- interesting story. One element is missing consulting business, solving problems from all of your stories: You have to be that some of their infrastructure clients willing to risk your identity for a bigger may encounter. future than the present that you are living. Ten million dollars isnt that much. I Flores reminds them: This must be a total commitment. "I want you to say that the think the real number to shoot for is $30 $10 million project that you need to invent million. And Im a conservative guy." is a promise that you are obliged to keep. Can you invent a story in which you can How conservative is Flores? He has put his be competitive, world-class people? own identity on the line with this Thats an act of committed imagination. turnaround effort: He has promised to Your problem is not that you have to restore this business division to work harder. Value is not produced by profitability, and he will continue to work hard work. Value is produced by a story. with this client until it is satisfied. That is Value lies in creating a new possibility." an interesting story. That is a bold gesture. That is commitment. The team leader is pleased. "This day and a half was the best time I have ever had,"
  • 59. Realm of Personal Leadership Fernando the Magician Notes Fernando the Magician life and the lives of his family members Notes hung in the balance in Pinochets Chile. One of Floress critics calls him "dangerous." There is, says this doubter, Flores knows that freedom is worth the something unsettling about Flores. Flores effort. "That critic who thinks Im reminds him of the magician in Thomas dangerous," Flores says, "tell him that I Manns haunting story "Mario and the dont think I am dangerous enough." Magician." In that story, the magician has the power to transform people: He gets important men to double over and bray like donkeys; he gets stylish women to leave their seats, where they sit beside their loving husbands, and to rush onstage toward him. The magician does all of this not through magic but by knowing that his audience -- powerful men and women -- have a great capacity to be led. Does Flores think he is dangerous? A philosopher who sets out to change people and companies is playing a risky game. But most of the people he works with are desperate for change, for adventure, for a bigger playing field. These are the same people who buy books about conquering Mt. Everest, who sail dangerous waters for vacation, who seek the magic that will help them break free of the tyrannies that bind their lives and make them feel small. As for Flores, he played for even higher stakes when his
  • 60. Realm of Personal Leadership Other books by the author: Notes Other books by the author: Notes - Go For it - Reinvent Yourself Management articles and the abovementioned books are available in pdf in the Reading Corner tab of .