Leadership Excellence October 2010Document Transcript
L E A D E R S H I P
THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY
Roger Nierenberg Leadership
and Leadership Consultant
in Hard Times
“Leadership Excellence is an exceptional
way to learn and then apply the best and
latest ideas in the field of leadership.”
Transcend the Possible
—WARREN BENNIS, AUTHOR AND
USC PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT
w w w . L e a d e r E x c e l . c o m
L E A D E R S H I P
THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY
VOL. 27 NO. 10 OCTOBER 2010
Man in the Moon
Even at night, the leader or
maestro of virtue is vigilant,
keeping a watchful eye on all
who count on him for vision
and navigation and who have
a stake in the success of the
venue or venture.
KEN SHELTON LAURA STACK ROBERT E. KNOWLING, JR. BILL GEORGE
Leaders Develop Leaders Leader Productivity Leading Transformation Authentic Leaders
Use this as the mantra Start creating your Dramatically change They make the difference
of your LD program. . . . . 2 culture of excellence. . . . . 8 the direction of your in their worlds. . . . . . . . .16
organization by leading
WARREN BENNIS TIM HURSON people with passion. . . . . .12 RICHARD E. BOYATZIS
Field Leadership Think Better How People Change
I learned many lessons See more clearly, think TONY ALESSANDRA Coach people in a way
in wartime trenches. . . . . . 3 more creatively. . . . . . . . . .9 Look of Leadership that inspires growth. . . . 17
You may never have a
NANDO PARRADO HOWARD DEAN chance to show substance HAL MOVIUS
Keep Hope Alive Hiring Diversity if you lack style. . . . . . . . .13 Better Agreements
It’s all you have on Share leadership with Train leaders to negotiate
any survival trek. . . . . . . .5 diverse talent. . . . . . . . . . .9 ROGER NIERENBERG better outcomes. . . . . . . .18
MITCH ALBOM HANK HANEY Learn how to conduct MERRIE SPAETH
Have a Little Faith Practice Patience with confidence your BP’s Oil Spill
An attitude of gratitude Analyze your style team’s performance. . . . 14 Every leader can learn
will keep you alive. . . . . . 6 to improve results. . . . . . . .10 some lessons from this. . .19
PHIL HARKINS MARSHALL GOLDSMITH Vision Inspires PATRICK LENCIONI
Leading in Hard Times Future Leaders The first act of leadership Getting Naked
Exercise courage and Be cognizant of global is to have a vision of a Be open and transparent in
apply 10 tactics. . . . . . . . . .7 shifts and local trends. . .11 better, brighter future . . .15 service and innovation . .20
LEADERSHIP LESSONS potentially deadly bad decisions made
by the brass. The first, most critical
thing Bessinger did for me was to give
Field Leadership me the short course in survival on the
front. By example, he taught me how
It matters most in the trenches. to navigate the lethal terrain of war.
Stop grousing. By January 1945 the
Germans were in retreat but still dead-
by Warren Bennis And we were often filthy—showers ly. The most dangerous thing we did
were as rare as hot meals. Ordered to was fighting house to house. You have
assume command of a platoon on the no idea what might be waiting for you.
I ’VE SPENT MUCH OF MY
academic life in offices
and classrooms; yet I
front lines, I arrived around midnight.
The men were sleeping in the ruins of
a house. The platoon’s runner took me
Some civilians hung white flags in win-
dows to let Allied soldiers know they
were peaceful, but so did German
learned many leadership tenets in WWII into what remained of the kitchen and troops hoping to trick us. When we
trenches. Here are lessons for leaders: showed me a bench where I could were not fighting or trying to get warm,
Listen to the music. Like so many sleep. I then made my first important we did what soldiers have always done
others, my father lost his last real job leadership decision—I chose to put my —we groused. Once, Captain Bessinger
in 1932. From then on, he supported sleeping bag on the floor with my men. listened patiently as I ticked off my
my mother, older twin brothers, and Without knowing why, I made a quiet, growing list of complaints about the
me loading illegal booze for the New unobtrusive entrance—not one of those Army—from the inadequacy of our air
Jersey mob. He worked tirelessly, but flashy, arrogant entrances that so many support to the woeful quality of the
he had no talent for business. Hoping officers made and enlisted men despised food. One day, almost sputtering with
a change in geography would change (some officers rub their superior rank disgust, I began to rant, “I don’t know
his luck, he moved us from New Jersey in the faces of their men). I quickly how the hell we’re going to win this
to Southern California, where a friend learned that the men needed me as much war . . .” At that point, Captain
owned a drugstore in Beverly Hills. as I needed them. The Battle of the Bulge Bessinger had enough. As usual he
In Los Angeles, my father opened a had taken a dreadful toll on my pla- had a cheekful of Red Man chewing
malt shop. It wasn’t much of a finan- toon. We were down to 24 men (from tobacco. Perhaps to emphasize his
cial success, but it bettered my life. As point, he spat out his tobacco and said,
a confused, nebbishy teenager, recent- “Shit, kid, they’ve got an army too.”
ly graduated from high school, I was Earn trust and respect. The men
unmoored, unsure of who I was, let quickly seemed to accept me, even like
alone who I wanted to be. I didn’t me, and I soon felt comfortable, even
have interests so much as a handful of safe, with them. Trust, a kind of love,
obsessions. The healthiest, by far, was and the knowledge that you share a
my quest to build a collection of great common fate, forges bonds between
pop music. Music was my therapy, as soldiers. Courage is so often a function
it is for many young people who of that sense of belonging, and some-
yearn for something they can’t yet times so is cowardice. GIs were citizen
articulate—something grander than soldiers who had to obey their officers,
their lonely, mundane lives. 48) with only two officers (down from but they didn’t have to respect them.
Learn to lead: ready or not. In June six) in the company of four platoons. Most new officers had no idea how to
1943, as my 18th birthday neared, I de- Listen to your men. At 19, I was lucky win over their men. The lucky ones
cided to enlist in the Army Specialized to have joined a company of seasoned had the empathy and emotional intel-
Training Program. Just 18 months later, soldiers. Although no one said it, the ligence to realize that their acceptance
(Dec. 1944) I was the rawest second men had decided to teach me how to was not a given and to signal their
lieutenant in the U.S. Army, a 19-year- be a leader. They started at once. Early respect to those under their command.
old shavetail trying to keep my platoon that morning, the first sergeant told When I went through Officer Candidate
(and myself ) alive as we pursued the me, “We’d like you to follow the cap- School, our instructors at Fort Benning,
retreating enemy into southern Ger- tain for a couple of days, just to see charged with the task of turning raw
many. I was a replacement officer in what he’s doing.” They’d decided I material into officers, tried to warn us
the 63rd Infantry Division, arriving was too green to make it on my own, a how important it was to prove our-
there as American forces were in the condition that endangered their lives. selves to those we led. It was one of
final throes of the Battle of the Bulge. Learn from a mentor. That was my countless ways they tried, at record
Back home in Southern California, I introduction to the commanding offi- speed, to create officers who inspired
might have felt half-formed and inse- cer, Captain Bessinger, my first mentor trust and might stay alive long enough
cure. But in Germany, I was about to and one of the finest leaders I’ve ever to win the war. You can’t command
become a leader of men, ready or not. known. One thing he did as a leader respect, they warned us: “Don’t flaunt
In your entry as a leader, be low-key. was to listen to his men—a good way those gold bars. You have to earn them.”
Our orders were to capture or kill Ger- to get valuable information but also Seek advanced training. Although I
man soldiers and clear the towns they evidence of his respect for them—even didn’t appreciate it at the time, I was
had occupied and abandoned. When though he was quite deaf as a result of lucky to have been trained as an officer
on the march (most of the time), we too much exposure to too many deci- at Fort Benning. There, I completed an
were cold, wet, exhausted, and often bels in too many battles. And he did updated version of the same grueling,
hungry, desperate for anything hot. all he could to keep them safe from the legendary Infantry Officer Basic Course
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 3
that polished the military and leader- had only six weeks to three months back on. And none of my men got sent
ship skills of “Ike” Eisenhower, George before he was seriously wounded or back because of trench foot. It is one of
Marshall, and Colin Powell. Our motto killed. I rarely thought I’d die, even the things I’m most proud of doing in
was emblazoned on a banner: “I am the when we were under fire. In fact, I was the war. It was an example of an officer
Infantry, the Queen of Battle. Follow Me!” far more anxious as a new university fulfilling one of his most important
We trained for 17 weeks in weapons, president than I ever was in combat. obligations—taking care of his men.
communications, navigation, fitness, Fully assume the role. My lack of Endure to the end. By April 1945, we
vehicle and equipment maintenance, fear may have been directly related to knew the war had to end soon. At that
and leadership. We learned how to the role I assumed as a platoon leader. point, we got really scared. Nobody
fight the enemy under the most realis- That role required me to appear calm wanted to die on the last day of the
tic conditions the Army could simulate. and fearless to my men. Too often we war. We had just one more town to
Thanks to Benning, I didn’t have to look to psychobiography, not role, to take—in Bavaria, near Ulm. The town
master the tricky business of fighting explain behavior. I believe that the roles had been bombed by Allied planes, but
house to house in Germany. We learned we play in life have more to do with our suc- there were still enough tall buildings to
the art of it in the replica of a European cesses or failures than our personal histories. shelter German snipers. My platoon
village the Army built on red Georgia Being a soldier came with an impres- was between two others whose orders
clay. There I learned skills and habits sive costume—a handsome uniform. were to cross the airfield and take the
that have served me well my entire life. And much as a good actor does, when town. It was clear that we’d be vulner-
I learned the value of organization. I I put on that uniform and the gold bars able to enemy fire if we went in with-
learned how to work as part of a team. that went with it, I instantly became an out armored support, so one of my
I learned that one of my most important officer. The role prescribed certain atti- forward observers called for tank sup-
jobs was to take care of my people. Fort tudes and behaviors, and provided models port. In time, the tank commander
Benning was exhausting and demand- for how I was to act. It empowered me arrived, took one look at the exposed
ing. But I found a lot to like there. The to try on selves that nothing airfield, and refused to lead
military was a great equalizer, and in my past had suggested us in. I don’t know what
Benning was as close to a meritocracy to me. I was expected to got into me, but I told him
as I’ve known. You could come from lead my men and give and that he would most certainly
the wealthiest family and be a disaster; enforce orders and so I did, be leading us in. I’d already
you could come from the poorest fami- without any of the hesita- drawn my pistol. The man
ly and be a success. All that mattered tion or insecurity that was was much older—I’d just
was performance—and attitude. natural to the boy I’d been. turned 20—but he was per-
Education in leadership should pre- The uniform gave me per- suaded by my argument.
pare you for what needs to be done. mission—required me, real- We swept into town behind
Most lessons were experiential, and of ly—to observe the officers three tanks, with his in the
the highest order. I never heard any- around me and to find lead. Later, my superiors
thing at MIT or Harvard that topped strategies for being a suc- awarded me the bronze
the best lectures I heard at Benning, no cessful officer in their example. Nothing star for my soldiering that day.
doubt because I knew they might save in my previous life had indicated there was a Invent a new life. I stayed in the Army
my life. The school wants three things leader in me waiting to emerge. But the after the war was over in Europe and
out of officers: academically sound, uniform gave me entree into the lead- ended up in Frankfurt. There I partici-
physically fit, and leadership. Lack of ers’ world. It created expectations of lead- pated in a project that planted the seeds
leadership washes the majority out. ership that I was eager to fulfill, and it of my interests in leadership: interviewing
Everything you do in the field indicates gave me an ideal vantage point from which soldiers about their morale, the quality
whether you have leadership or not. to observe good leadership and bad being of their leaders, and what they wanted
Know the downside of leadership. I played out in real time for the highest possi- to do in the future. I also spent much
don’t know now why I volunteered for ble stakes, human lives. In an almost time in the officers club, educating
Officer Candidate School. There were magical way, the uniform bestowed on myself for what I hoped lay ahead.
no early indications that I’d develop a me the ability to do what I had to do. It Without being obvious, I began to be a
fascination with leadership or even the was talisman and inspiration, a symbol first-class noticer of officers’ behavior.
stomach for it. I remember reading of my new authority and responsibility. On August 6, 1945, I was on a base
Julius Caesar in junior high school and Take care of people’s physical needs. in Heidelberg. As the officer of the day, I
thinking it was a cautionary tale. Being In the field, one danger was trench foot. was inspecting the men at the guard
a leader might make you rich and Our boots and socks would quickly posts when one soldier, wild-eyed,
famous, but it could also get you killed. become soaked. Soon our feet would saluted and blurted out, “Sir, did you
That seemed like a pronounced downside become infected. If not tended to prop- hear the news on Armed Forces Network
to a child afraid of almost everything, erly, the toenails fell off, the feet turned —we dropped 20,000 tons of TNT on
from dogs to lightning. I’ve always black, and developed gangrene. The Hiroshima. It’s gone. They say the
believed that fear is as contagious as problem was enormous, especially for Japanese must now surrender!”
measles or chicken pox, and my moth- soldiers stuck in foxholes. The only I thanked him for the report. He sal-
er was the perfect vector. She was the way to avoid it was to take off your uted and said, with a look of joy,
least calm person I’ve ever known (my boots and socks, wash your feet, and “Now we can have our lives back.”
father called her Calamity Jane), and I dry them carefully, toe by toe, prefer- I realized I didn’t want my old life
think I caught my early fearfulness from ably by a fire. Nightly, I made sure back—I wanted to invent a new one. LE
her. Oddly enough, I was rarely afraid each man took off his boots, washed Warren Bennis is author of Still Surprised, a Memoir of a Life
as a soldier. That was true even though his feet, dried them carefully, and put in Leadership (Wiley). Visit www.WarrenBennis.com.
I knew that the average platoon leader on dry socks before he put his boots ACTION: Apply these lessons in leadership.
4 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP HOPE through the god-forsaken country that
separated me from my home with love
and hope in my heart. I would walk
Keep Hope Alive until I had walked all the life out of
me, and when I fell I would die that
Chart a course to th e summit. much closer to my father. These
thoughts strengthened me, and with
renewed hope I began to search for
promises to myself and my father, it pathways through the mountains.
by Nando Parrado
would end like this. We would all die “There must be a way through the
in these mountains. We would sink mountains,” I said.” Do you see there,
I N OCTOBER 1972,
Uruguayan Air Force
Flight 571, carrying the
beneath the snow, the ancient silence in the distance, two smaller peaks with
would fall over us, and our loved ones no snow on them? Maybe the mountains
would never know how hard we had end there. We should head that way.”
Uruguayan rugby team, crashed into struggled to return to them. In the morning we climbed the steps
the Andes Mountains, leaving 16 peo- In that moment all my dreams, to the summit. Roberto stood beside
ple to survive for 72 days among the assumptions, and expectations of life me. I saw the fear in his eyes, but I also
highest peaks of Argentina and Chile. evaporated into the thin Andean air. saw the courage. “We may be walking
After waking from the crash with a I’d always thought that life was the to our deaths,” I said, “but I’d rather
concussion, I learned that my mother actual thing, the natural thing, and that walk to meet my death than wait for
had died on impact and my sister was death was simply the end of living. death to come to me.”
near death. I became obsessed with Now, in this lifeless place, I saw with a Roberto nodded. “You and I are
surviving. My rugby teammate terrible clarity that death was the con- friends, Nando,” he said. “We’ve been
Roberto Canessa and I decided to stant, death was the base, and life was through so much. Now let’s go die
search for a way out of the mountains. only a short, fragile dream. I was dead together.” We walked to the western lip
Here I describe reaching the first sum- already. I’d been born dead, and what I of the summit, eased ourselves over the
mit, which took four days to climb: thought was my life was just a game edge, and began to make our way down.
It was an agonizing process, inch- death let me play as it waited to take me.
ing up the mountain that way, and the In my despair, I felt a sharp and Make Miracles of Your Own
hours passed slowly. Sometime in late I hope that my story helps you cope
morning I spotted blue sky above a with adversity. In adversity, leaders
ridgeline and worked my way toward often must take things one day at a
it. After so many false summits, I had time, keep hope alive, and make mira-
learned to keep my hopes in check, cles of their own.
but this time, as I climbed over the This harrowing experience taught
ridge’s edge, the slope fell away flat me to look forward, never backward,
and I found myself standing on a because I can’t modify the past. Many
gloomy hump of rock and wind- times I’ve asked myself why did I have
scoured snow. It dawned on me slow- to go through something so extreme?
ly that there was no more mountain Why did I invite my mother and sister
above me. I had reached the top. to go with me, only to die in the plane
I don’t remember feeling any joy or crash? I realized these questions will
sense of achievement. If I did, it van- sudden longing for the softness of my never be answered, no matter how
ished as soon as I glanced around. The mother and my sister, and the warm, hard I search for them.
summit gave me a 360-degree view of strong embrace of my father. My love I learned that most of our lives will
creation. From here I could see the for my father swelled in my heart, and be dictated by our own decisions and
horizon circling the world like the rim I realized that, despite the hopelessness actions. I followed my heart and intu-
of a colossal bowl, and in every direc- of my situation, the memory of him ition when I was faced with the most
tion off into the fading blue distance, filled me with joy. It staggered me: The horrible and hard circumstances I could
the bowl was crowded with legions of mountains, for all their power, were imagine, and I still do that every day.
snow-covered mountains, each as not stronger than my attachment to my This experience taught me much
steep as the one I had just climbed. I father. They could not crush my ability about leadership. The teamwork that
knew that the Fairchild’s copilot had to love. I felt a moment of calmness occurred in an extreme survival envi-
been badly mistaken. We had not and clarity, and in that clarity of mind I ronment showed me that there’s a dif-
passed Curicó, we were nowhere near discovered a simple, astounding secret: ferent type of leadership. Leaders
the western limits of the Andes. Our Death has an opposite, but the oppo- emerged because of their actions and
plane had fallen somewhere in the site is not mere living. It is not courage work, not because they were appointed
middle of the vast cordillera. or faith or human will. The opposite of leadership positions. They were com-
I stood there, staring, motionless death is love. How had I missed that? passionate, and the collaboration grew
until I felt a burning pressure in my How does anyone miss that? Love is to levels where we were giving our
lungs, and I realized I had forgotten to our only weapon. Only love can turn lives for one another. I have tried to be
breathe. I sucked air. My legs went mere life into a miracle, and draw pre- the same type leader with my compa-
rubbery, and I fell to the ground. I cious meaning from suffering and fear. nies, and it has worked. I give people
cursed God and raged at the moun- For a brief, magical moment, all my my best, and they give me their best.
tains. The truth was before me: for all fears lifted, and I knew that I would My people are my companies, not the
my striving, all my hopes, all my not let death control me. I would walk other way around.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 5
In 2001/02, we went through a hard PEOPLE FAITH a pill for his peace of mind. He loved to
economic crisis. This crisis directly smile. He avoided anger. He was never
impacted my business. The situation haunted by “Why am I here?” He knew
was so overwhelming that we didn’t Have a Little Faith why: to give to others, to celebrate God, and
know what to do, except that we had Be grateful for what you have. to enjoy and honor the world he was put
to do something. We started by cutting in. His morning prayer began “Thank
corners. I cut out all of the insurance you, Lord, for returning my soul to me.”
on the company’s assets. If we were When you start that way, the rest of
by Mitch Albom
broke, what was the importance of the day is a bonus.
insurance? At one point, we even stop- What makes a man happy? I asked him.
ped buying office supplies. I also rene-
gotiated salaries with all of my staff
and employees. We took it step by step,
M ANY PEOPLE SEARCH
for happiness in a
tablet: Prozac. Paxil.
He rolled his eyes around the hospi-
tal room. “This may not be the best
setting for that question. On the other
not knowing if we would survive. Xanax. Billions are spent to advertise hand, here we must face the real issues.
Thankfully, we were staying active. and purchase such drugs. You don’t Some people will get better. Some will
Many companies that were paralyzed even need a specific trauma; just gener- not. So it may be a good place to define
by the economy did not survive. al depression or anxiety, as if sadness what happiness means. Society tells us
When I was faced with this business were as treatable as the common cold. we must have things to be happy—a
crisis, I asked myself: How much I know that depression is real, and new this or that, a bigger house, a bet-
would I have given 30 years ago to be often requires medical attention. I also ter job. I know the falsity of it. I have
in a situation where I was refinancing know that much of what we call depres- counseled many people who have all
with banks, negotiating new employee sion is dissatisfaction, a result of setting a these things, and I can tell you they are
salaries, and making incredibly fast bar impossibly high or expecting trea- not happy because of them. The num-
decisions that could make me go broke? sures that we aren’t willing to work ber of marriages that have disintegrat-
During that time, I would have for. I know people whose unbearable ed when they had all the stuff in the
signed any paper given to me by the source of misery is their weight, bald- world. The families who fought and
devil to be alive and have to go ness, lack of advancement at work, or argued all the time, when they had
through a bad business storm, instead their inability to find the perfect mate, money and health. Having more does not
of being condemned to die a most hor- even if they themselves don’t behave keep you from wanting more. And if you
rible death. These were business deci- like one. To these people, unhappiness always want more—to be richer, more
sions, whereas in the mountains, all of is a condition, an intolera- beautiful, more famous—
the answers were measured in terms ble state of affairs. If pills you are missing the bigger
of my own life or death. To make deci- help, pills are taken. picture, and I can tell you,
sions where the outcome would only But pills can’t change happiness will never come.”
relate to business gave me perspective. the basic problem—want- Suddenly, in the hall, I
And then I just took it one day at a ing what you can’t have; heard an infant scream, fol-
time. Three years after this huge busi- looking for self-worth in lowed by a quick “shhh!”
ness crisis, I was in the black again. the mirror; layering work presumably from its moth-
In business, I like to think I deal on top of work and won- er. The Reb heard it, too.
with issues, not adversity. Sometimes dering why you aren’t sat- “That child reminds me
things do not go in the direction that I isfied—then working more. of something our sages
want them to go. Yet, I keep moving I knew this from experi- taught. When a baby comes
on regardless. I do not see failing as ence. There was a stretch where I could into the world, its hands are clenched.
being unsuccessful. When adversity not have worked more hours without Why? Because a baby, not knowing
comes, I look at the situation and eliminating sleep altogether. I piled on any better, wants to grab everything,
determine the best course of action. I accomplishments. I made money. I to say, ‘The whole world is mine.’ But
try to sail through the storm, always earned accolades. And the longer I when an old person dies, how does he
going forward—one step at a time. I went at it, the emptier I began to feel. do so? With his hands open. Why?
think the essential thing is to not stop, The time I spent with Morrie, my old Because he has learned the lesson.”
but to always move forward. professor, changed much of that. After What lesson? I asked.
I’ve redefined the meaning of the watching him die, and seeing what He stretched open his empty fin-
word impossible. For me, the only mattered to him at the end, I cut back. gers. “We can take nothing with us.”
insurmountable thing is death. All But I still kept my hands on my own For a moment we both stared at his
other things can be dealt with. You can wheel. I didn’t turn things over to fate hand. It was trembling.
go around them, change them, leave or faith. I recoiled from people who put So, have we solved the secret of
them, push them, change directions, their daily affairs in divine hands, say- happiness? I asked.
change jobs. You always have options. ing, “If God wants it, it will happen.” I “I believe so,” he said.
If you face any insurmountable odds kept silent when people said all that Are you going to tell me?
in a financial crisis, business crisis, mattered was their relationship with Jesus. “Be satisfied. Be grateful for what
relationship crisis, health crisis, you Such surrender seemed silly to me. I you have. For the love you receive.
can dive inside yourself and search for felt like I knew better. But I couldn’t And for what God has given you.”
your own version of a miracle. LE say I felt any happier than they did. He looked me in the eye. Then he
sighed deeply. “That’s it.” LE
Nando Parrado, “Miracle in the Andes” plane crash survivor
is author of Miracle in the Andes. Visit www.parrado.com.
Lesson from Reb Mitch Albom is the best selling author of Have a Little Faith
My friend Reb, for all the milligrams and Tuesdays with Morrie. Visit www.mitchalbom.com.
ACTION: Keep moving forward. of medication he required, never popped ACTION: Be happy now.
6 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP COURAGE tive). Tell the cost-reduction (efficiency)
team that they can’t impact quality
delivery to customers (effectiveness).
Leading in Hard Times 6. Lean on “go to” people. When
times get tough, lean on winners.
Exercise courage and apply 10 tactics. Winners never give up; they express
hope, confidence, and passion; and
they make the tough decisions and
selves, or they risk giving way to feel- move on with them. Winners are pas-
by Phil Harkins
ing trapped, unable to please or to win. sionate champions. Employ your pas-
High-impact leaders dare to make sionate champions as change leaders.
S MART, ACTION-ORIENT- strategic and tactical moves when oth-
ed leaders who make ers are stalled. They bypass fear, since
good decisions rapidly fear is a paralyzing agent. Action and
(without overextending them).
Passionate champions are A players
who want results, make results hap-
and adjust quickly can thrive in bad movement release energy that is often pen, and deliver every time possible.
times. They focus on short-term wins suppressed by worry of failure. They 7. Triple communications. In hard
and adapt their style to the new normal. create focus and alignment and man- times, people need to hear more fre-
They set clear direction and enable age their way out of adversity. quently what the plan is and be reas-
passionate champions to drive results sured of the objectives. Weekly, comment
and accept accountability. In this way, Ten Hard-Time Ta c t i c s on progress toward goals. Daily, con-
they build a committed work force. Here are 10 things to do in hard times: nect with people to encourage them
They talk directly to the front-line 1. Reallocate time to high-percentage, and praise their efforts in advancing
sales and service force to learn what short-term returns. Focus 80 the business. During a
customers want. They talk to man- percent of time on the most threatening time, ample
agers about what employees are important 20 percent to get communication inspires
thinking, feeling, and needing. the most short-term impact. focused drive and keeps
Great leaders see bad times as an Allocate more time on people going.
opportunity to fix, repair, prepare, adjust, sales-related activities. 8. Get in front of cus-
focus, and become more action-oriented. Reduce time spent in meet- tomers more. Listen to cus-
They think about what they need to ings. Become more focused tomers to find nuggets of
do to get through the challenge and on performance goals and opportunity. Use a bad
better prepare for the new. One expe- aligned around strategy. time to listen more to your
rienced leader said: “Bad times are 2. Create measures around customers. Assign senior
like times in a sailboat race when the high-impact programs and managers 10 accounts to
wind stops. The winning boat uses projects. You can only control what you oversee and to ask customers, “What
this time to get ready to be the first to can measure. Focus on what matters are two or three reasons that you buy
catch the wind.” High-impact leaders most by asking for only a few key our products and services?” Ask this
send clear messages, always with the numbers. Focus on where the organiza- question to open the door to new pos-
underlying theme–we’ll get through tion can leverage its strengths. sibilities. Meet monthly to discuss
this and be better in the next round. 3. Meet directly and frequently with what was learned and who and what
the sales force. Sales is the conduit to can be improved.
Leading with Courage the eyes and ears of the customer and 9. Get rid of waste. Bad times enable
Leading in turbulent times can tear the place where rapid decision-making leaders to get under the covers. Track
leaders apart. Hard times can become can keep leaders ahead of a downward your use of time and look for specific
even lonelier for leaders, since they curve. Start meeting with sales and ser- ways you can better align your time
must project a positive but realistic vice managers every week and ask around the major initiatives. You may
spirit. On the outside, leaders have to them what can be done to increase see your sales volume rise dramatically.
be resolute and strong while often their time spent with customers and 10. Make the tough moves now.
their hearts are broken, knowing that prospects. Too much time is spent on When you know you are right, don’t
good people lose their jobs, incomes non-customer related activities. In hard hesitate. Make the moves when you
are reduced, and projects delayed. times, you need to ask questions and need to make them. During difficult
Leaders also come under attack as find ways to increase efficiency, effec- times, change is even harder. Once you
negativity abounds, everyone wants tiveness, productivity, and innovation. get through it, everyone sees it’s the
more time with them. This starts at 4. Leverage A players and reduce C right thing to do. Use hard times to
the top. Boards become more critical, players. Cut the least effective. Having upgrade on all key positions.
ask more questions, want more check- the right people in the right positions When the air is full of fear, brave
points, and may not understand why ensures survivability by boosting the hearts—leaders with conviction—con-
things aren’t turning faster. bottom line dramatically while getting fidently walk in the direction that most
Relationships suffer. More demands the job done more efficiently. are running away from. Mustering oth-
on direct reports result in a feeling of 5. Install innovation and improve- ers to follow, they win others to join
pulling away. Peers who once were ment teams with flexibility to cut across them by speaking in simple language
pals seem to compete, with less time departments and businesses. One team and overcoming barriers with resolve
for just getting together. As intensity might focus on cost reduction (efficiency), that keeps everyone focused. LE
builds, leaders can feel under siege. another on opportunities (innovation). Phil Harkins: Linkage CEO, GILD co-chair, powerful conver-
Yet leaders must avoid bunker men- Tell the innovation team to propose only sationalist. Visit www.linkageinc.com.
tality and must take care of them- two initiatives (make them be selec- ACTION: Try these 10 tactics.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 7
COMPETENCY PRODUCTIVITY A team with strong character requires
much less management. People appre-
ciate not being micromanaged, and
Leader Productivity you’ll have more time to address your
job duties. High productivity is based
on a person’s values. If you employ
Create a culture of excellence.
someone who values hard work and
honesty, that’s what you can expect
3. Maintain a united front. A reason- from them when you’re not looking.
by Laura Stack
able amount of conflict is good. It can Clearly state the productivity traits you
help stimulate ideas and bring out the want people to demonstrate: integrity,
P ERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY
is great. But once
you become a leader,
best in people. But as a leader, your job
is to have the final say. Your team might
squabble and butt heads, but your job
accountability, punctuality, excellence,
self-discipline, responsibility, and hon-
esty. Post them on your wall. Repeat
productivity is no longer just a matter is to ensure that they all leave the table them often. Refer to your values when
of being the best you can be, but of bring- with a common purpose. “We can argue explaining your decisions. Ensure that
ing out the best in others. This can be all we want behind closed doors, but your team knows what you stand for
hard! Priorities compete. Personalities when we put on our public face, our and what you expect from them.
conflict. And some folks just won’t team must be in agreement externally.” 6. Engage your employees. Engaged
commit to doing productive work. 4. Set (and manage) expectations. As employees enthusiastically contribute
So how do you create a productive a leader, you set the collective tone, to both team and company success.
team culture that contributes not only attitude, and work ethic of your team. They are proud of what they do and
to individual productivity, but also to Decide what is expected and make where they work. The leader makes the
that of the group? Here are six tips: your thoughts known. Do you expect difference here: the relationship between
1. Teach others that “not in their job others to meet deadlines or to exceed employee and manager is an excellent gauge
description” should be “not in their them? Will you track everyone’s work- of the employee’s engagement level. Engaged
vocabulary.” Sometimes, employees ing hours, or do you allow some flexi- employees are SuperCompetent: the type
are asked to do things outside of their bility? How informed should your of people you count on to drive perfor-
normal duties. When it takes a team direct reports keep you about the sta- mance outcomes. Engagement is driven
effort to get the job done, you want tus of their projects—just the high by several factors, including employee
folks ready to roll up their sleeves and confidence and autonomy, the nature
pitch in. Yes, in general, you want and quality of the job, access to training
everyone to have their own defined and career development, opportunities
responsibilities. But these tidy bound- for growth, ongoing communication
aries can’t hold up 100 percent of the and feedback, a clear grasp of the goals
time. Keep a positive attitude and and why their contributions matter,
reward your team for pulling together trust in the leaders and their integrity,
and getting things done. Create a cul- pride in the company and their place in
ture where people jump at the chance it, relationships with team members
to help others as opposed to standing and co-workers, and presence of a com-
back and watching the chaos unfold. petent and supportive managers who
2. Save the day now. Fix the prob- foster an environment of excellence and
lem later. Imagine this scenario: there’s points or do you prefer detail? Your motivate team members by walking the
a big project on the line, and your people are not mind readers! Make talk, making personal integrity clear.
team needs to pull together to pull it sure they know what you expect of 7. Lead by example. People might
off one day before the deadline. You’re them and what they can expect from question what you say, but they can’t
frustrated. You want to know how this you. Keep regular appointments to deny what they see you do. If you arrive
happened. Who dropped the ball? review each individual’s progress and late, miss deadlines, or settle for slop-
Why didn’t they ask for help sooner? to reinforce your expectations. As pri- py work, you signal that that this is
Where did the system break down? orities conflict and you adjust expecta- acceptable. If you show a sincere com-
Well, forget it—at least until the dust tions, share these changes with your mitment to following through on your
settles. This is not the time for second- team. If someone needs to drop every- promises, fulfilling your obligations,
guessing, finger-pointing, or scape- thing and focus on one problem or pro- and behaving with integrity, you set a
goating; you can’t tolerate any of that ject, make sure he or she knows it. If positive standard. Be consistent.
from anyone on your team. At the out- you need to be kept more informed Contradicting yourself one time can
set of your work, let everyone know about a key initiative, make the person undo years of demonstrating good
that problems will be addressed, but responsible aware by saying, “Please behavior. People tend to notice incon-
not until the crisis has passed. The first keep me posted on your progress and sistency in a heartbeat and have little
order of business it to pull together let me know if you run into problems.” patience for it. Hold your team to a
and finish the project with a positive 5. Don’t just make rules—build char- high standard, but hold yourself to an
attitude. Once the project is complete, acter. You can set rules all day, but what even higher one. LE
you can figure out what happened, you want to do is help develop the
Laura Stack is a productivity expert, speaker, founder of The Pro-
and ensure that it never happens character of your team. Character is ductivity Pro, and author of Supercompetent, The Exhaustion
again. This way, cooler heads prevail, what kicks in when the rules break Cure, Find More Time, and Leave the Office Earlier. Call 303-
471-7401 or visit www.TheProductivityPro.com.
and the project won’t suffer because of down. It is also what helps your team
internal strife and tension. get through tough, demanding times. ACTION: Cultivate a culture of excellence.
8 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
COMPETENCY THINKING you can rapidly define a future worth PEOPLE DIVERSITY
aiming for; and you can use After
Action Reviews to understand what
Think Better works and what doesn’t. Hiring Diversity
Get tools to help you. Increasingly, it is quality of think-
ing that differentiates great companies
A n d s h a r i n g t h e p o w e r.
from good ones. I co-founded thinkx
by Tim Hurson intellectual capital to bring together
by Howard Dean
colleagues from all over the world to
help people raise the power of their
A S SOMEONE WHO
consults with lead-
ers in strategic prob-
thinking—to think exponentially.
Some say the x in thinkx brings out
the notion of unlimited thinking and
L EADING ANY ORGANI-
zation requires deal-
ing with hot-button
lem-solving, I’m often asked, “What unlimited possibilities. We see it as diversity issues as race, gender, sexual
are the most common problems you exponential power—of you, your com- orientation, and immigration status. If
see in the companies you work with?” pany, and your results. your workforce doesn’t look anything
It only takes me a moment to answer. Most organizations have the ideas like the people you are selling to, or
There are three: they need inside their own walls. By making things for, or teaching, you are
1. Solving the wrong problems. developing the productive thinking less likely to be successful.
Almost everywhere I go, I see rooms capacity of your people, you can gen- When I was Governor of Vermont, I
full of smart, dedicated people, work- erate more ideas, more innovative always had a female chief of staff who
ing their tails off—on the wrong stuff. ideas, more workable ideas, and, ulti- did most of the hiring. Soon I noticed
Companies spend gobs of time, ener- mately, more success. that my office had become a matri-
gy, and money trying to solve the Productive Thinking is a clear, archy. The vast majority of senior staff
wrong problems. Often their solutions repeatable process for solving prob- were women, half the Cabinet appoint-
are well-designed, clever, even bril- lems, identifying opportunities, and ments were women, and half Judicial
liant. But if you’re asking the wrong creating innovative change. It can appointments were women. One day
question, it really doesn’t matter how help you raise the power of your my chief of staff came to my office and
good your answer is. It’s not going to thinking—to think exponentially. Your told me she was hiring a new policy
address the real problem. organization’s most important analyst: “I just want you to know that
2. Heading toward resource is its capacity for you’ll be seeing a new face around here.”
nowhere. Time and again, I productive thinking. The I said, “Let’s discuss this. There’s a
see leaders implementing better your people can tremendous gender imbalance in this
new programs without a think, evaluate, and apply office, and I wonder if you could find a
clear idea of where they their ideas, the more suc- man for this position?”
want to go. Sometimes they cessful you are. She answered, “Governor, you’re
know what they’re trying to Whether working alone right. There is an imbalance. But it’s so
change from, but rarely do or in teams, you will get hard to find a qualified man.”
they have a clear view of better results in less time We are all more comfortable hiring
the future they want to by developing your pro- people like us—people who look like us,
reach. It’s like trying to find ductive thinking skills. people we went to school, or church, or
Waldo without knowing With productive thinking, synagogue with. It’s not just aging
what he looks like. You can’t. Yet you discover a new sense of freedom, white guys like me who do it. Women
many companies spend huge amounts confidence, and possibility, project do it, African Americans do it, Jews do
of time and energy aiming somewhere teams perform at the highest level of it, Catholics do it, Gay people do it—
into the future, hoping they’ll hit a productivity and creativity, and solu- everybody does it—and doing it does-
target. tions are transformed from good to n’t mean we are all racist or bigots. But
3. Filling the same hole over and inspired. in a diverse country, ethnocentrism
over. Despite what we hear about I founded my company thinkx on leads to institutional racism if one group
companies becoming learning organi- three beliefs: 1) The most productive of people does most of the hiring.
zations, very few of them know how priority in any organization is the The trick is to understand what sub-
to learn from their successes and fail- development of its intellectual and conscious decisions those who do the
ures. They institute programs, market- creative capital so it can tap into the hiring are likely to make outside the
ing campaigns, strategies, and then wisdom of its people; 2) Although hiring process, and figure out how to
when they’re finished, they don’t real- many people talk about innovation, compensate for that. Since becoming
ly learn from them. No wonder a com- few understand how to make it hap- aware of subconscious matters is such
mon complaint is the cynical comment pen; and 3) How we think can be more hard work, I recommend that you
about the latest flavor-of-the-month important than what we know. diversify the group that does the hir-
initiative. The Productive Thinking Process ing. You can better achieve diversity by
Sound familiar? You’ve likely can help you see more clearly, think having the hiring done by a diverse group.
encountered each of these syndromes more creatively, and plan more effec- When I took over the Democratic
more than once in your career. The tively. LE National Committee, I became the titu-
good news is that you can learn sim- lar head of a very diverse organization.
Tim Hurson is co-founder of thinkx and author of Think
ple thinking tools to avoid these three Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking. Visit But there was not as much diversity
common mistakes: You can easily www.thinkxic.com or www.timhurson.com. inside the organization as you might
identify the right problems to solve; ACTION: Try the Productive Thinking Process. expect from a political organization
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 9
that was selling its candidates to an COMPETENCY PRACTICE you must be patient with your plan.
incredible array of customers. We had This formula works for everything in
17 desks for various interest groups: life, including executive coaching.
one for Hispanics, African Americans, Practice Patience One key to success is to always
Gays and Lesbians, Women, Veterans, Think and act like a champion. have a plan, whether it is in teaching
Religious groups, Asian Americans, golf, in business, or in life in general,
Pro-choice advocates, Jews, etc. so I am always talking about having a
This arrangement had two big prob- plan. You can’t get to where you want
by Hank Haney
lems. First, it continued the warring to go without a plan. The Haney Plan
interest group model (which yielded is my personal plan for success.
few results). Second, although anyone
could find someone they could identify
with at the DNC to talk with, the core
G OLF TEACHES US MANY
I consider golf to be the
The best part of being an owner and
leader is being able to train people
who work with you to be able to be
functions of the party at the top were hardest game to master, and the lesson successful in their own right. The more
controlled by white men; hence, the of patience is one every golfer must successful that people who are associ-
various desks couldn’t break through learn. Patience is key in leadership; it ated with you are, the more successful
the hierarchy in a reliable way to get takes confidence to be patient; and confi- you will be yourself, regardless of how
what they and their constituents needed. dence comes from knowing that you know. those people are connected to you.
So, despite the objections of many I admire every leader because leader- I’ve always believed that all golfers
groups who thought their influence ship is never as easy as it looks. Every (and leaders) can improve their games
would wane, we got rid of the desks leader not only sets an example for his and that the real enjoyment of golf
and replaced the outreach program with or her followers, but is responsible for (and leadership) is that challenge to be
a single office—the American Majority creating more leaders. The more lead- the best that you can be.
Project. The message was clear: We still ers there are, the more able followers Like many leaders and coaches, I’ve
care about your group, but we’re now going there are. The more people follow, the gone through some transitions, but I
to look at you for all your talents, and on more goals of a group get met. see transitions in my career as chal-
the merits, not simply as a member of an One of the greatest leadership chal- lenges and opportunities. I’ve moved
ethnic or other minority to be dealt with. lenges I’ve faced—and one of the great- my career in an exciting direction,
And: The only way we can be a majority est opportunities that I’ve had to lead— focusing on speaking and teaching at
in this party of so many minorities is if we was resigning from working with Tiger my own Golf Academy and opening
all work together for a common goal. Woods. In doing so, I was the Hank Haney Golf
This could not have worked without able to show my colleagues Academy at Mission Hills
an even bigger change. When I won the that two of the most impor- Haikou in China.
election, a team of experienced DNC tant things in life are: 1) to I continue to work with
members assessed all we were doing. not be afraid to do some- golf’s top players, but my
Their mission was to keep those who thing that you believe in, passion is to help any golfer
wanted to change and who were doing and 2) when you do some- with the desire to improve. My
their job well, gently send the others thing, to do it the right way. students have won every
on their way, and build a senior opera- I believe that the process major championship in pro-
tions team that looked like our voters. that it takes to improve in fessional, amateur, and
Over time, constituents were delighted golf is no different than the junior golf. They improve
to find that instead of having a desk to process that it takes to make and have fun in the process.
deal with them, they had senior people who improvements in anything. The formu- We train amateurs and professionals
understood them and their community, la for success is the same, and you can alike in the fundamentals.
even if the answer to a request was no! always improve no matter how good We use sophisticated digital video
We need to change organizations so you are at something. The key is to analysis and work with you on every
that the old, rapidly-shrinking majority understand that you are either getting aspect of the swing to improve power,
(people like me) no longer relies on better, or you are getting worse. accuracy, and consistency. We empha-
tokenism and silos to satisfy a diverse I know when I’m making progress size the short game of chipping, pitch-
customer base. The majority must accel- with a student. Progress always hap- ing, sand shots and putting to lower
erate the inevitable—genuine power-sharing pens, but it doesn’t always show itself your scores. To develop a complete
in senior decision-making. We can better in a way that you hoped or thought it player, all the mental aspects and
appeal to a diversity of people with a would. Goals are stepping stones that course management skills are covered.
unified message when we are credible allow you to make and see progress As you progress, we help you to
in terms of conveying both our loyalty with your plan. As long as you step understand what your swing is doing
to the ideals and qualities of our orga- forward, that is all you have to moni- by analyzing the ball flight—the cor-
nization and our loyalty and personal tor no matter how small the steps are. nerstone to becoming your own best
understanding of people we talk to. In my Teach the Teacher seminars, I teacher. You learn how to practice,
The bar has been raised by the new teach golf instructors how to diagnose how to play the golf course, how to
generation. The question is not simply, any situation that a coach might face analyze your game to find the areas
“Do they look like me?” but “Do they and how to formulate a plan to work that need the most improvement, and
understand me?” and “Do they have toward improvement. I don’t think it how to think and act like a champion. LE
enough clout to deliver for me?” LE matters what you’re trying to improve; Hank Haney is CEO of Hank Haney Golf, former Instructor to
Tiger Woods and author of Essentials of the Swing, The Only
Howard Dean is former governor of Vermont and founder of you must first diagnose the situation Golf Lesson You’ll Ever Need, No More Bad Shots and Fix
Democracy for America. Visit www.democracyforamerica.com. and then formulate a step-by-step plan Your Yips Forever. Visit www.hankhaney.com.
ACTION: Share leadership with diverse talent. to work toward improvement. Then ACTION: Practice patience in your leadership.
10 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP ADVANCEMENT Coaching Future Leaders
I help successful leaders achieve
positive, long-term, measurable change in
Future Leaders behavior—as judged by key co-workers. I
refuse to work with leaders who don’t
How can we help them? care. I only work with people who
make a sincere effort to change and
who believe that this change will help
puter scientists, but they need to know them become better leaders and role
by Marshall Goldsmith
how the intelligent use of new technol- models. I won’t work with people who
ogy can help them; recruit, develop, have an integrity violation—those peo-
I N ADDRESSING THE TOPIC
of future leaders, I’d
first ask, who are they?
and maintain a network of technically
competent people; make and manage
smart investments in new technology;
ple should be fired, not coached.
I involve key stakeholders by ask-
ing them to help the person that I am
Many qualities of effective leadership— and be positive role models in the use coaching in four ways:
characteristics such as communicating of new technology. Without technolog- 1. Let go of the past. When we bring
vision, demonstrating integrity, focus- ical savvy, you can’t have integrated up the past constantly, we demoralize
ing on results, and ensuring customer global partnerships and networks. people who are trying to change. What
satisfaction—will never change. But 4. Building partnerships and happened in the past can’t be changed.
five new factors play in the selection: alliances. Forming alliances will be By focusing on a better future (feedfor-
1. Thinking globally. Leaders will even more dramatic in the future. ward), stakeholders help themselves
need to understand the economic, cul- Reengineering, restructur- and my clients improve.
tural, legal, and political ramifications ing, and downsizing are 2. Be helpful and sup-
of global markets. Leaders must see leading to a world where portive, not cynical, sarcas-
themselves as citizens of the world with outsourcing of all but core tic or judgmental. If my
an expanded field of vision and values. brand-related activities clients reach out to key
With dramatic projected increases in may become the norm. The stakeholders and feel pun-
global trade and integrated global tech- ability to negotiate ished for trying to improve,
nology (such as e-commerce), leaders alliances and manage com- they quit trying. I don’t
must learn how to manage global pro- plex networks of relation- blame them! Why should
duction, marketing, and sales teams to ships is increasingly any of us work hard to
achieve competitive advantage. important. Joint leadership build relationships with
New technology will make it feasi- of new business models is people who won’t give us
ble to export white-collar work world- vital to a successful global venture. a chance? If my clients’ co-workers are
wide. Programmers in India will com- The changing role of customers, sup- helpful and supportive, my clients are
municate with designers in Italy to help pliers, and partners has implications more likely to improve.
develop products made in Indonesia for leaders. In the past, it was clear who 3. Tell the truth. I do not want my
and sold in Brazil. Technology can your friends (customers and collabora- clients to get a glowing report from
help break down barriers to global tors) and enemies (competitors) were. key stakeholders and later hear, “He
business. Leaders who can make glob- In the future, these roles will become didn’t really get better—we just said
alization work in their favor will have blurred. Building positive, long-term, that.” This is not fair.
a competitive advantage. win-win relationships becomes critical. 4. Pick something to improve your-
2. Appreciating cultural diversity. 5. Sharing leadership. Sharing lead- self. My clients are open with stake-
Leaders will also need to appreciate ership is a requirement. In an alliance, holders about what behavior they are
cultural diversity, defined as diversity telling partners what to do and how to trying to change. My clients ask for
of leadership style, industry style, in- do it may lead to having no partners. suggestions. I also ask the stakeholders
dividual behaviors and values, race, In dealing with knowledge workers— to pick something to improve and to
and sex. They’ll need to understand people who know more about what ask my client for suggestions. This
economic, legal, social, religious, and they are doing than their managers do— makes the process two-way and helps
motivational differences—as well as old models of leadership will not work. stakeholders act as fellow travelers,
smaller issues such as the meaning of Future leaders will ask for input and not judges or critics. It also expands
gifts, greetings, or timeliness. share information. They may be diffi- the value gained by the corporation.
The ability to motivate people in differ- cult to keep. They’ll view themselves By using feedforward—and by
ent cultures is vital. Motivational strate- as professional free agents who will encouraging others to use it—leaders
gies that are effective in one culture work for the leader who provides the can dramatically improve the quality
may be offensive in another. The same most developmental challenge. of communication, ensuring that the
recognition that could be a source of Most high-potential future leaders right message is conveyed, and that
pride to one could be a source of em- see the value of these new competen- those who receive it are receptive to its
barrassment to another. Leaders who cies and are willing to have their per- content. The result is a more dynamic,
can understand, appreciate, and moti- formance measured by them. If future open organization—where people
vate colleagues in multiple cultures leaders have the wisdom to learn from focus on the promise of the future rather
will be a very valued resource. the experience of present leaders, and than dwell on the mistakes of the past. LE
3. Demonstrating technological savvy. if present leaders have the wisdom to
Marshall Goldsmith is the author of Mojo, What Got You
Future leaders will view technology as learn new competencies from future Here Won’t Get You There and Succession. Visit
an integrated part of their lives. They leaders, they can share leadership in www.MarshallGoldsmithLibrary.com.
need not be gifted technicians or com- ways that benefit the organization. ACTION: Attend to these five factors.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 11
PERFORMANCE TRANSFORMATION into the school system, I could see the
results—principles turned into prac-
tices and applications. The ultimate
Leading Transformation measure was that more NYC students
graduated from high school and went
Ye s , i t c a n e v e n h a p p e n i n e d u c a t i o n . on to vocational schools or universities.
As a leader of transformation, you
continue to set the bar higher. Every
by Robert E. Knowling, Jr.
a vision, enlists people, and creates a cul- one of our intervention tracks under-
ture where people can reach their potential. went 40 percent revision because expe-
Our mission and vision at NYC/LA rience made us smarter. We became a
A S AN EXECUTIVE
coach and leader-
ship development con-
was to provide the system with principals
with a strong grounding in instructional
and transformational leadership who then
repository of best practices. I applied
the lessons and principles in LD gleaned
from business, military, government, and
sultant, I help senior leaders formulate make a difference for children. Of course, non-profits. I borrow from everybody—
strategy and lead transformations. I’ve bureaucracy makes an organization if you’ve got the best, I’ll use it. I believe
led many ventures, but I’m perhaps resist change. In education, you face in benchmarking. If you want to become
best known as former CEO of the resistance in spades. This system has the best at what you do, learn how to
NYC Leadership Academy. been entrenched in an old paradigm for so be a learner. Open yourself up to learning.
I’ve been asked, Why would a high- long that poor, status quo performance is How do you evaluate a person’s po-
tech CEO with a bright future sign up to accepted. This happens in businesses tential to benefit from an LD program?
transform the New York public school sys- too. To a new leader, it is clear that When I look at aspiring principals, I
tem? For me, it was a seductive propo- things need to be done differently. look at whether they can be great prin-
sition. I grew up poor in a family with It’s easy to realize you need a revo- cipals in real schools. I look for edge,
13 children. So, it’s hard for me to look lution when you’re on a burning plat- energy, and vision. Do they have the
the other way. Every time the media form—the hardest transformations are conviction and passion to enlist others?
shot at me, I remembered that most of when companies are doing well. Does the leadership bucket have a lot
the kids that fail in this system look more volume than the instructional
like me. I got my reality check know- bucket? It’s hard to make a leader out
ing this was the most important work of someone who is an instructional
I’d ever tried to do. Still, many people expert but shows no leadership traits.
regard public education as an impene- When I’m recruiting principals to take
trable fortress of vested interests and over troubled schools, I look for seasoned
impervious to change. I tackled the veterans who have done it—people
transformation task because I have a with a track record in an urban school
firm commitment to learning and know system, in tough circumstances and
how to ignite the spark of leadership. tough communities, and who, in spite
As CEO and teacher-in-chief of the of all the barriers, can get it done. To
NYC/LA, I was part of a daring attempt At Ameritech, we’d come off of six recruit them, I touted the future attrac-
to turn school principals into agents of years of record earnings. But the tiveness of a candidate who can come
change using LD practices from busi- chairman, who at 62 could have retired, into this system and get things done.
ness, military, and government. The said the company was ill-prepared for There is great upward mobility.
mission of the Academy was to grad- its future. So, we focused on mid-level How did you measure your success in
uate leader-principals into NYC ele- managers as leaders. We changed our LD? First, set clear expectations—we had
mentary, middle, and high schools. go-to-market strategy—from a 100- a checklist of things that we promised to
Our tough-love approach to developing year history of a big, heavy, multi-lay- do. Second, prove that you can act within
principals into agents of change drew the ered organization to a flat, nimble the fiscal constraints imposed upon you—
fire of the media and the ire of unions organization with a focus on the cus- we were fiscally responsible. Third, de-
and local politicians. In response, I tomer. We learned how to tap into monstrate results—we showed that our
opened our books, classrooms, and human capacity and human capital. principals can turn schools around and
leadership philosophy to a skeptical When I went to US West, it was a that students can achieve at a higher
and often hostile press—and the burning platform—the lowest-perform- rate. When you put the right kind of
money and support kept coming in. ing Bell operating company. I thought, leader in a school, within three years,
Leaders on the front lines of trans- Why not use the same methodology with a the leader can turn a school around.
formation must be deadly serious about different twist? As a new person, you Many leaders have now done it. What
LD. When I first spoke with Chancellor think you can get everyone to play at a I tried to do is scale it through LD.
Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloom- higher level. That doesn’t work. You’ve Like most leaders, I’m focused on
berg about the change initiative and its also got to infuse new blood to combat bottom-line results. If I don’t improve
focus on LD, it was clear they knew that the antibodies fighting against change. performance, I fail. There are safer
transformation must be steered from the The challenge for the leader of trans- things I could do, but I pick difficult
top and that there is no more important formation is gaining traction and build- things. All great leaders see the power and
intervention than LD. Giving principals ing momentum—moving toward a wisdom of investing in people. LE
technical training or new pedagogical tipping point. After just one year at the
Robert E. Knowling, Jr. is Chairman of Eagles Landing
approaches has been tried before, with- NYC/LA, we had 77 new principals Partners and former CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy.
out change. The cornerstone of transfor- and 242 principals whom I worked Visit www.eagleslanding.com.
mation is a strong leader who articulates with the previous year. When I went ACTION: Lead a transformation.
12 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP STYLE feelings. “The right word may be effec-
tive,” Mark Twain said, “but no word was
ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Look of Leadership Don’t dawdle at the finish line. The
end is as important as the beginning.
Listen, speak, and project image. This is your chance to sum up your
best thoughts, words, and images and
imprint them indelibly on the audience.
Create and use an active-listening Don’t blow it by running beyond your
by Tony Alessandra
attitude. Learning to be an active listen- time limit, or fumbling a final message.
er is like learning to be an active jog- Know what you want to say, say it, and end.
H AVE YOU EVER BEEN TO ger—it takes effort. You start little by
a gathering where little and work upward. It’s as much a
you sensed the talk was state of mind as a physical activity.
Project a Positive Image
You make a statement about your-
just a series of monologues? No one is Besides, as you work longer and get self before you open your mouth. Your
listening. They’re rehearsing what they better, it pays ever-increasing benefits. image or silent message includes every-
might say—or talk without communicating. thing from your posture to your posi-
While we hear, we only pretend to Speak with Authority tivity. It’s the way you carry yourself—
listen. Listening is more than hearing. The ability to communicate well to physically, emotionally, and intellectu-
It also takes intellectual and emotional groups is vital to leadership. In fact, the ally. Such quiet signals affect people’s
effort. To appreciate the other person top predictor of upward mobility is how much perception, impression, or image of you.
and what’s being said, you need to ask you enjoy and how good you are at public Image, especially when backed up by
questions, give feedback, remain objec- speaking. Organizations seek individuals strong performance, is a powerful force.
tive, figure out what’s being said and who can sell products, present propos- And a negative first impression—saying
what’s not being said, and observe and als, report findings, and explain ideas. the wrong thing, wearing the wrong clothes,
interpret body language. When you Improve your speaking in five ways: coming across as uncaring or inept—creates
want to win people’s attention, listening Care about your subject. Passion is roadblocks that cut off relationships.
is just as important as speaking. Good lis- the starting point. Pick a subject that To create a favorable first impression
tening draws people to you; poor lis- you’d like to share with others because (and have people put a positive spin on
tening causes them to drift away. you know that they could benefit from everything you say or do and admire
Practice active listening in five ways: your knowledge. Enthusiasm shows. you even before they know much about
Listen–really listen–to one person you), try these five ideas:
for one day. Choose one person you 1. A winning image starts with a good
could relate to better. Commit to listen- self-image. Get some photos or tapes
ing to him—not just hearing him—for of yourself when you feel you’re look-
one day. Then, extend this exercise to ing your best and study them. What do
more days, and to other acquaintances. you see that you like, or don’t like? Ask
Create a receptive listening environ- friends for their opinions. Promise you
ment. Turn off the TV. Hold your calls. won’t take offense–and don’t!
Put away spread sheets and silence the 2. Avoid annoying or distracting
computer. When listening, forget about habits or mannerisms. Such habits as
clipping your nails, crocheting, solving tugging at clothing, drumming fingers
crossword puzzles, or snapping your Be brief. The best way to impress an on a table, tapping pencils, clicking
chewing gum. Instead, provide a pri- audience is to finish early. Said James pens, doodling, jangling keys or change,
vate, quiet, comfortable setting where Roosevelt, son of FDR: “My father told biting nails, cleaning teeth make it more
you sit side by side with others with- me,” “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” So difficult for the other person to hear
out distractions. If that’s not possible, hit it hard, hit it well, finish strong, and you, and detract from your image.
perhaps suggest a later meeting in a keep it short. The less your audience’s 3. Seek winners, spurn losers. Choose
more neutral, quieter environment. minds wander, the more they’ll appre- friends who want you to succeed and
Be alert to body language. What you ciate you and remember what you said. who encourage you. Reduce your
do with your eyes, face, hands, arms, Make use of memory joggers. Use exposure to the negative, whether it’s
legs, and posture sends out signals as examples to transmit your message gossip from co-workers, violence in
to whether you are listening to and powerfully. Statistics, if used sparingly the media, or pessimism in self-talk.
understanding what the other person and presented simply, can add drama 4. Treat everyone as if he or she is
is saying. When you acknowledge the and credibility to a message. Compar- the most important person you’ll meet
other person both verbally and nonver- isons can help your audience evaluate that day. Replace arrogance with empa-
bally, you build trust and increase rap- different options quickly and logically, thy. Every once in a while, you’ll learn
port. And you’ll learn something, too! and testimony—personal stories of a big lesson from that “little” person.
Abstain from judging. If you pre- credible people—can make your mes- 5. Make fitness a lifestyle, not a chore.
judge someone as shallow, crazy, or ill- sage more memorable and believable. Walk up and down the stairs to your
informed, you cease paying attention Remember the pause that refreshes. high-rise office or apartment. Ride a
to what they say. So judge only after Use the sweet sound of silence, the bike to the store. Take a nature hike. LE
you’ve heard and evaluated what they power of the pause. Pauses are not
Tony Alessandra is a founding partner in The Cyrano
say. Don’t jump to conclusions based empty spaces. Instead, they enable the Group and author of The NEW Art of Managing People.
on how they look, what you’ve heard audience to respond to your words Visit www.alessandra.com.
about them, or whether they’re nervous. with their own thoughts, images, and ACTION: Develop the look of leadership.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 13
PERFORMANCE STYLE less emotionally and feel less able to
make their unique contributions.
As the musicians illustrate both dys-
Maestro Leadership functional and functional behaviors,
the dysfunction leads you to look with-
Go beyond business as usual. in yourself and your organization. The
music starts to sound like what is hap-
pening in your office, and you begin to
by Roger Nierenberg organizational dynamics: Observers can question your leadership. And, the
easily view the entire system at once; function that is created by the music
communication among players is leaves you with a picture of what your
H OW OFTEN HAVE YOU transparent and instantaneous; and the
wished as a leader connection between behavior and
that you and your peo- results happens immediately.
organization could achieve. When you
see the music that is created through great
leadership and teamwork, you start to have
ple could break free of the business-as- more productive meetings, increased cre-
usual mentality—the enemy of inno- From Micromanaging to Leading ativity, openness, inspiration and energy,
vative thinking, fresh initiative, high When asked to play without a leader, and individuals become eager to consider
aspiration, and exceptional performance? the orchestra plays accurately, but the ways to work more effectively.
And yet leaders often capitulate to the music lacks emotion and pace. When I As in an orchestra, the power of an
seductive allure of “good enough.” micromanage the performance, the organization lies in the people doing
How do you enlighten people about group sounds stilted and flat. When an the work and how they interact with
the crucial difference leadership can make in inexperienced conductor stands in, the each other. The role of a leader is to
a way that inspires impressive results? performance is tentative and uneven. create the best possible space for this to
I do this in the Music Paradigm, using But when the maestro con- happen: Don’t tell players
a symphony orchestra as a metaphor fidently conducts, musi- what to do; provide them
for an organization dealing with chal- cians respond with a lush with a vision for the whole,
lenge or change. Executives sit among and expansive rendition. guidelines, and resources;
musicians as I lead them through craft- So, what purpose does a and give them permission
ed exercises that illustrate qualities, conductor or CEO serve? to get the job done. Recog-
reactions, and practices of top teams. The leader’s first job is to nize that you, as the leader,
I may ask the orchestra to play provide others with a sense don’t have all the power.
without a conductor. They intensify of the big picture. The con- But you do have the power
their communication, and manage to ductor can see and hear the to create circumstances
play quite well. Then I ask them to whole, gather information where others can excel,
make a different interpretation, and from the music, and convey transcend what is possible,
they can do that too. I often select a that information to the group. At the and together achieve the goal.
participant to stand on the podium end, I invite participants to stand Under the direction of a great mae-
and hold the baton in her hand. She behind me as I conduct, to better stro, musicians work together in aston-
feels the way I move it and listens to understand the unique perspective of ishing synchronicity. Why? The maestro
the orchestra’s response. Then we dis- the entire system that the leader holds. conceives of the orchestra as a living,
cuss what it means. The experience A skilled conductor infuses the notes intelligent system of interlocking aware-
serves as a tangible reminder of the of a musical score with meaning, inspir- ness. So he changes the orchestra’s
beauty and promise in effective team- ing the orchestra to perform with rich- playing by addressing the connections
work and inspirational leadership. ness, depth, and emotion. Visionary between the players, rather than isolating
This exercise shows the courage re- leaders can make a qualitative difference in the parts. The maestro’s direction helps
quired of conductors and leaders: the a team’s functioning. A conductor must musicians to identify with their collec-
willingness to be the first to commit to provide guidance in advance of the tive sound. They feel more like an intelli-
a purpose that exists only as an idea. orchestra’s playing a note; leaders gent community that doesn’t need a con-
Most of the people that you need to commit themselves to things that have ductor to tell them who’s sharp or flat.
execute a plan won’t at first under- not yet happened. If leaders make a They can solve the problem themselves.
stand your vision. But they feel the force commitment—and engage others in This is why the maestro’s rehearsals
of your commitment. When they see you creating a vision—when the time comes generate such enthusiasm. People feel
living in your imagined future, they’ll for people to act, they know what they that they are working together, empow-
put themselves at risk for it. But, if you need to do to bring the vision to life. ered to use their own judgment. This
retreat from your purpose and align Conductors don’t make music directly opens the door to participation with
yourself with the present state, you’ll —the people they lead do. Leaders can’t the rest of their artistry—shaping their
lose energy, ambition and meaning. precisely control operations, but the own phrases and drawing from the full
The Music Paradigm provides a cre- people who work for them can. An range of their instruments’ sound palette.
ative framework for rethinking leader- effective conductor enables people to exe- The maestro offers musical vision and
ship styles. You gain unique insights cute their jobs well: revealing things guidelines that help musicians to align
about the contribution that each play- about the music to the players, show- their efforts into a coherent interpretation. LE
er makes to the whole, the importance ing them what’s important, and lifting
Roger Nierenberg is a Symphony Orchestra conductor,
of effective teamwork, and the impact them out of their silos to gain a sense creator of The Music Paradigm and author of Maestro.
of different leadership styles on per- of the whole. Under a controlling Visit www.musicparadigm.com. Call 212-246-0525, visit
MaestroBook.com, or email: RNierenberg@MusicParadigm.com.
formance. A symphonic performance leader, musicians may be more togeth-
serves as an ideal lab for studying er in terms of timing, but they give ACTION: Lead your team like a maestro.
14 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP VISION between the creativity instilled by a love of
the arts, and skills needed in business.
Artists are by nature entrepreneurs. They
Vision Inspires visualize something that doesn’t exist—
they look at a canvas and see a painting.
E n v i s i o n a b e t t e r, b r i g h t e r f u t u r e . When I saw Frank Lloyd Wright’s
Falling Water for the first time through
the growth of rhododendrons, I was
it was all housed in a sleek, clean, sun- amazed. Here I was, a 16-year-old kid
by Bill Strickland
lit space that had been meticulously from inner-city Pittsburgh, looking at
designed down to the last detail, to this house with a creek running through
IN MY MEMOIR, MAKE
the Impossible Possible,
I describe the images
give our students the same sense of
self-worth and possibility that Frank
Ross’s classroom had nurtured in me.
the middle of it. I thought, If I can bring
that light into my neighborhood—bring it
to people who deserve it and respond to it
of my earliest memories. I grew up in A person’s environment shapes who as wholeheartedly and creatively as any-
Manchester, an inner-city neighborhood they are and how they see the world. body—then I am home free. I’m talking
of Pittsburgh. What I saw as I walked Decay fills us with despair while beau- about respect, about common sense
to school each day was an unbroken ty inspires us to hope and to dream and decency, about the dictate that our
landscape of decay that taught me indel- beyond our circumstances. MBC is a best hopes must always be acted upon,
ible lessons about hopelessness and model for education, culture and hope. that all people everywhere possess an
defeat no matter where my gaze fell. Our Youth & Arts program serves innate hunger for, and right to, what is
Home was different. There my moth- about 3,900 youth a year through class- sustaining, good, and beautiful.
er enlisted her children’s help in keep- es and workshops in ceramics, photog- Success is the point where your most
ing their simple abode neat and clean. raphy, digital imaging, and design art. authentic talents, passion, values, and
And in high school, a teacher, Frank MCG Arts enables students to work experiences intersect with the chance to
Ross, introduced me to the art of mak- intensively with visiting artists of great contribute to some greater good. A suc-
ing pottery. It changed my life. Frank stature through exhibitions, lectures, cessful life or career is not something
was a skilled artisan on the potter’s workshops, residencies, and visits. you simply pursue—it is something
wheel. The relationship that we creat- that you create, moment by moment.
ed around a revolving mound of clay Over 30 years, I’ve been transform-
gave form to the future vision of ing the lives of people, striving to give
Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG). disadvantaged kids and adults the
The decline of the steel industry time and tools they need to envision
created widespread unemployment, and build a better, brighter future.
and I decided to address the problem Every one of us has the potential for
by offering vocational training to dis- remarkable achievement. Every one of
placed and underemployed workers. us can accomplish the impossible in our
The Guild began as an after-school arts lives if given the right inspiration and
program in a donated North Side row- motivation. We all make ourselves poor
house that I secured while a student at in one way or another when we accept
the University of Pittsburgh. Our Jazz program is dedicated to that we are not smart enough, experi-
My vision for the center was met preserving, promoting and presenting enced enough, or talented enough to
with skepticism and doubt in board- jazz music by bringing audiences accomplish something. I work with the
rooms where I tried to raise funds. But together with jazz artists at a 350-seat least advantaged among us, and if I
as word spread through the communi- music hall in Pittsburgh for innovative can help them achieve the impossible in
ty, an influential patron saw the poten- performances and recordings. After 20 their lives, think what each of us can do!
tial in my vision and motivated others years, MCG Jazz has become an anchor People are born into this world as
to support it. With the support, I of Pittsburgh’s cultural life. For me, jazz assets, not liabilities. A person’s out-
founded the MCG when I was 19. is one of the most powerful metaphors for come is often determined by the way
Due to my track record, I was asked living an extraordinary life. Jazz is a state we treat him (and ourselves). The sand
in 1971 to assume leadership of MB of mind in which possibilities for innova- in the hourglass flows only one way.
and guide its transition to providing tion and discovery are revealed to you, and Stop going through the motions of living
skills relevant to Pittsburgh’s emerging you can tap into deep reserves of com- —savor each day. Life is here and now,
market economy. This doubled the mitment and passion. Many jazz artists not waiting for you in the future.
strength of MB’s ability to help the have influenced my thinking; and their You don’t have to travel far to change
community. I envisioned a template music has helped me live an authentic life. lives. I grew up in a ghetto, four blocks
for social change, and formed relation- MBC is a business model that works. from where I built our training center.
ships with people who shared my vision. In fact, it works so well that I’m repli- You only need to change your thinking
Today MBC is a gleaming, expan- cating the MB enterprise throughout to remake your world. All of us can
sive community arts and jobs training the country. Our future rests in our ability build on our passions and strengths,
center in Pittsburgh. This place was to form visions and partnerships. As leaders, dream bigger, set the bar higher,
built to offer our students the same we’ve got to change the way people see achieve meaningful success, and help
rich experiences that had turned my themselves and their futures. mentor and inspire the lives of others.LE
life around. There is clay. There is art Entrepreneurs are visionaries. The use Bill Strickland is CEO of Manchester Bidwell and author of Make
and photography. After a while, there of art to change students’ attitudes is at the Impossible Possible (Broadway). Visit Bill-Strickland.org.
were flowers and gourmet food. And the heart of my vision. I see connection ACTION: Have a leadership vision and voice.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 15
LEADERSHIP AUTHENTIC career. My first week on the job, Win
told me, “Bill, don’t worry about the
numbers for six months. Get out and
Authentic Leaders learn the business from the top doc-
tors.” That sent me on a quest to work
What a difference they make! with some of the world’s finest physi-
cians by watching them implant every-
thing from pacemakers to defibrillators.
by Bill George Since turning over the CEO reins to Win retired from Medtronic in 1991,
successor Dan Akerson, Whitacre has but he certainly didn’t retire from life.
received undeserved criticism for step- In addition to chairing Medtronic’s
I T IS FASHIONABLE THESE
days to vilify leaders,
from BP’s Tony Hayward
ping down. But this was his intention.
He noted, “It was my plan—to help
return this company to greatness—and
board, he joined five corporate boards
where he provided invaluable advice.
He also answered UM President Nils
to Wall Street bankers. When a prob- not stay a day beyond that.” He’s a man Hasselmo’s request to help turn around
lem arises, we look for the villain who of his word, and he delivered on every its struggling health sciences area.
caused it. Then we search for the perfect promise and commitment he made. In the 1990s, Win and his wife, Max-
leader to guide us—only to find they ine, formed the Wallin Foundation, set-
have feet of clay. E x a m p l e 2 : W i n Wa l l i n ting aside a major proportion of their
Instead we need authentic leaders— Another role model is Winston Wallin. gains from Medtronic stock. More than
people who own their mistakes, Now in his mid-80s, Win is former CEO 3,000 students have benefitted from
acknowledge their faults, and always of Medtronic and my ex-boss. He had $26 million in scholarships.
put the interests of their organizations three distinguished careers—at Pillsbury, Aspiring young leaders would do
ahead of self-interests. Young leaders Medtronic, and the University of Minn- well to look to Win Wallin for a model
need role models whose actions pro- esota. As a board member, Win made of authentic leader and sustainable success.
vide guidance for their leadership. major contributions to the success of
Cargill and Norwest Bank (now Wells Leadership Ethics
Example 1: GM’s Ed Whitacre Fargo). But his greatest legacy may be Today’s leaders need to be asking
Only a year ago, General Motors the Wallin Education Scholars, a pro- questions: How do we do business?
emerged from bankruptcy. What a dif- What happens when you get asked for
ference a year has made! GM is now favors? You need to trust but you also
solidly profitable, growing its revenues need a verification and compliance system.
once again, retooling its lineup of auto- When there are any deviations, it
mobiles, and enabling the U.S. govern- should be a zero-tolerance policy, with
ment to recoup its bailout investment. no second chance. If you make mistakes,
GM’s fall into bankruptcy was more you should get a second chance. But
like a steady decline over 50 years. on questions of company values, there
When the end came in early 2009, is no second chance. Everybody needs
President Obama had the courage to to know that. We need to vet, not just
finance the company to bring it out of gram that enables thousands of high criticize, people who violate ethical
bankruptcy. And, he appointed a highly school students to attend colleges. standards. We also need to uphold
successful board chair in Ed Whitacre, After graduating from UM, Win join- leaders who seek to make a difference.
who became CEO four months later. ed Pillsbury, where he spent 37 years, To get through a crisis, leaders need
Whitacre was a successful telecommu- rising to president/COO. The Pillsbury an outside team. It starts with having
nications executive, chair and CEO of board made a grievous error in not choos- one person with whom you can be entirely
SBC who saved ATT from its demise. ing him to succeed Bill Spoor as CEO. open. That person for me is my wife,
Ed Whitacre’s remarkable leadership Pillsbury’s loss was Medtronic’s gain. Penny. If I get too high on myself, she
rapidly turned around GM. His one-year Win accepted the board’s request to be pulls me back down; and if I get down,
tenure marked a dramatic shift in the CEO in 1985. Medtronic was flounder- she gives me a practical view of things.
old way of doing business, as the days ing, and Win soon recognized Medtronic’s I also meet with a men’s group weekly
of redundant bureaucracy and disjoint- future was at risk: Medtronic was block- to talk about issues and challenges.
ed innovation quickly ceased. Whitacre ed from entering the nascent implantable And when I have tough questions, I
abandoned GM’s moribund committee defibrillator market by a pioneering have mentors like Warren Bennis and
system that protected executives from patent held by archrival Eli Lilly. David Gergen who I can call up.
being accountable for results, and made Win’s first act was to ask Medtronic It’s easy to fall into group-think. You
clear, decisive decisions while challeng- pacemaker chief Bobby Griffin to launch tend to talk about the same issues, and
ing people to move much faster. a massive R&D effort to get Medtronic tend to think about them the same
Whitacre even appeared in GM ads, into the defibrillator business. Win also way. It’s vital to have outside exposure,
heralding the new GM and challenging recognized that the company was too an external team that brings perspective.
customers to give GM cars a try while reliant on pacemakers, in part due to Leading with ethics and values is
offering them their money back if they several failed attempts at diversification. the best way to build an organization
weren’t satisfied. He got a break when So he hired Dr. Glen Nelson as vice and the right way to sustain success. LE
Toyota ran into quality problems, but chairman in 1986; together they began
William W. George is a professor of management at Harvard
he moved quickly to take advantage of to diversify Medtronic’s business. Business School, former CEO of Medtronic, and author of 7
it by ramping up production rates and When I joined Medtronic as president Lessons for Leading in a Crisis. Visit www.billgeorge.org.
sales and marketing efforts. in 1989, it was the best move of my ACTION: Model authentic leadership.
16 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
PEOPLE CHANGE Coaching for compliance. When we arily, are soon forgotten. They may act as
try to help someone, we’re often seduc- if they care about learning something,
How People Change ed into focusing on things that need to
be fixed, like a person’s weaknesses. In
go through the motions, but then disre-
gard it or forget it—unless it is something
Create positive attractors. the process, we invoke the NEA and that they want to learn. Even when peo-
the body’s stress reaction. Those being ple are under threat or coercion, their
coached often feel on the defensive, behavior will typically revert to its original
by Richard E. Boyatzis
feeling a need to justify or prove them- form once the threat is removed.
selves or pushed toward the coach’s Most sustainable behavioral change
I N THESE UNCERTAIN AND
fearful times, many
people are avoiding
image of how they should behave. In
this way, we often slip into coaching for
compliance. Instead of invoking the per-
is intentional (affected by your will,
values, and motivations). Self-directed
change is an intentional change in an aspect
looking to their future and just trying son’s Ideal Self, we invoke the person’s of who you are (Real Self) or who you
to get by in the present, or tolerating Ought Self. They stimulate the image of want to be (Ideal Self), or both. Self-direct-
their situation. It is a dysfunctional the person they ought to become. When ed learning is self-directed change in which
response to having a dream. this Ought Self is imposed and is incon- you are aware of the change and the
Sadly, as managers doing perfor- sistent with a person’s Ideal Self, it process. The process, however, is rarely
mance reviews or trying to motivate a causes the person to close down his or linear. Your behavior may be stuck for
person to improve, we also often com- her mind and willingness to change. long periods of time and then change
mit the act of visionocide. We kill peo- Coaches often utilize feedback data, suddenly. This is a discontinuity. Self-
ple’s dreams and inhibit their progress analyze the weaknesses or gaps in the directed learning often begins when
toward a better future. The source of data, and try to get the person to iden- you experience a discontinuity, the
the misdirected effort lay in misunder- tify what they can do to change—thus associated epiphany, or a moment of
standing how people change. unintentionally arousing the NEA and awareness and a sense of urgency.
diminishing the person’s ability to I see eight major learning points:
Po s i t i v e a n d N e g a t i v e A t t r a c t o r s make sustainable change. 1. Engage your passion and create
In pursuit of change, adaptation, or Life seems more exciting when we your dreams. Describe the person you
in response to threat, we move toward consider the possibilities and pursue want to be (your Ideal Self) and the life
a Positive Emotional Attractor (PEA) or them. We are actually healthier, more and work you want in the future.
a Negative Emotional Attractor (NEA). open, more capable of learning, and 2. Know thyself—your Real Self.
Arousal of the NEA pulls us into a better able to function at a higher 3. Identify your strengths (aspects of
stress-aroused state by arousing the plane. Coaching with compassion arous- yourself you want to preserve) and your
Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). es this in the coach and in the person gaps or discrepancies (aspects of your-
This results in decreased cognitive being coached. It is coaching for self you want to adapt or change).
functioning, perceptual openness, and results and sustained desired change. 4. Keep your attention on both char-
immune system function- Two competencies— acteristics, forces or factors! Attend to
ing, and greater suscepti- empathy and emotional self- both strengths and gaps—not letting
bility to illnesses—you awareness—predict the effect- one become the preoccupation.
tend to feel nervous, anx- iveness of executive coaches. 5. Create a personal learning agenda!
ious, and worried. Empathy. Coaching Others may tell you how to change or
In contrast, arousal of requires listening to and impose goals on you, but this won’t
the PEA helps us function understanding people, help you change. Fit elements of your
at our best. Arousing hope their issues, problems, and learning agenda into the structure of
for the future stimulates situations at work and your life, work, and learning style.
the Parasympathetic home. If a person is seen 6. Experiment and practice new habits
Nervous System (PNS)— merely as a problem bearing and actions and learn from your experi-
the state in which the platform, the coach will ences! Learn more from experiences.
mind and body are at their best, creat- focus on the problems, not the person 7. Find settings in which you feel
ing new neural tissue that allows for —and miss factors that sustain current safe to experiment and practice!
learning, engages the immune system, behavior. The coach must be sensitive 8. Develop and use your relation-
and enables us to be open to ideas, to changes in the person and tailor ships as part of your change and learn-
feelings, and people. suggestions to the person’s needs. ing. Have coaches, mentors, friends,
Coaching with compassion involves Emotional self-awareness. A coach and others with whom you can discuss
arousing the PEA by eliciting dreams can’t focus on a person if the coach is progress on your learning agenda.
about the future, about possibilities, preoccupied with his or her own chal- Your future may not be entirely with-
arousing hope, and helping people to lenges. Awareness of transference, counter- in your control, but most of what you
articulate their personal vision. When transference, and projection must be a become is within your power to create.
you coach someone to their PEA, you part of executive coaching. Coaches As Goethe says: “What you can do, or
arouse enhanced cognitive and emo- must separate their own feelings and dream you can, begin it, Boldness has
tional functioning. The emotional values from those of the client. This is genius, power and magic in it!” LE
renewal enables people to consider difficult without high self-monitoring
Richard E. Boyatzis is Professor of OB at Case Western Reserve
possibilities of change—be more open or Emotional Self-Awareness. University and HR at ESADE. He is author of The Competent
to the coach and other people—and Manager; Primal Leadership with Daniel Goleman and Annie
break through to a new insights about I n t e n t i o n a l C h a n g e McKee; Resonant Leadership, with Annie McKee; and Becom-
ing a Resonant Leader with Annie McKee and Fran Johnston.
their dreams and future possibilities. Adults learn what they want to learn.
But this does not always happen. Other things, even if acquired tempor- ACTION: Coach people to make progress.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 17
COMPETENCY NEGOTIATION wonder leaders remain wary. But lead-
ers should not let the word negotiation
deter them from focusing helping their
Better Agreements people get better at reaching agreements.
4. Create opportunities—through
Help your people reach them. coaching, training, and leadership
development experiences—for your peo-
ple to confront their own emotional
conduct a negotiations audit. A systemat- barriers to conflict. Most executives can
by Hal Movius
ic evaluation and assessment based on tell stories about key team members
confidential interviewing can do three avoiding conflict because they don’t
A S WARREN BENNIS
argues, nothing is
more important to good
things: 1) analyze where current deal
preparation and decision-making prac-
tices are falling short, and why; 2) how
want to be seen as obstacles to success.
But conflict that goes underground can
create much bigger problems later.
leadership than making good decisions. training must be tailored to address those Leaders should seek to normalize con-
I help leaders negotiate better specific problems; 3) what leaders must flict on their teams among people who
agreements. This involves treating do alongside training to ensure that new are paid to care about different things.
negotiation as an organizational capabil- skills and learning will be deployed. Even normalizing conflict does not
ity, so that decisions about negotia- More leaders are recognizing that guarantee that people will have the
tions are not left largely to the last efforts to improve require key sponsor- emotional intelligence or courage to
minute, or to individual intuitions. ship; mechanisms for knowledge cap- confront different interests, perceptions,
In my role, I’m struck by the effort ture and continuous beliefs, or priorities. It’s
that leaders put into negotiation skills learning; and realignment of easy after the fact to con-
training, without focusing on other processes and incentives demn others for failing to
(often less costly) moves that would where needed. The results have acted courageously by
enable their people to negotiate better. of thinking more holistically “speaking up” or raising
Even experienced negotiators are are not trivial. In 2008—a issues that might “cause
prone to powerful tendencies that hinder year when the net income of problems.” It’s harder to be
their ability to negotiate better deals. the Global 2000 fell by 31 the person in the room,
Much research suggests that negotiators: percent—companies ranked actually facing the situa-
fail to prepare adequately by thinking in the top quartile of negoti- tion. Effective leaders rec-
through how the other party sees the ation posted an average ognize how hard it is for
problem and their alternatives; fail to increase in net income of 42.5 percent! people to voice disagreement.
create as much value as they could; 2. Specify the criteria that define a 5. Recognize that negotiations are a
believe they have claimed most of the successful negotiation. It is not enough potent source of feedback regarding
available value (when they haven’t); to articulate company values. Too often strategy. Leaders often tell me, “We
believe that others will choose and people assume that negotiations fall into perform a high-value service, but in
interpret data in the same way they some nether world where values-based negotiation we’re treated like a com-
will; and fail to recognize ways in behavior does not apply. In worst cases, modity.” When pushed, however, they
which the situation powerfully shapes trumpeting values like trust and collab- can’t explain how their services are dif-
their behaviors and thought processes. oration create cynicism in business part- ferent or better that what their competi-
But these shortcomings affect other ners when negotiation behavior tors can provide. They can’t point to
judgments and intuitions as well. (driven by short term goals) is more examples of boosting their client’s top
For example, people have undue con- dictatorial than collaborative. Creating or bottom lines in ways that justify a
fidence in their ethical invulnerability. In a list of criteria, and scorecard for mea- higher price. If you can’t articulate con-
one study of medical residents, only 1 suring against them, ensures that in vincing arguments about the value you
percent felt that sales reps from drug negotiations, people will balance short- add, you can expect to be treated as a
companies had impacted their pre- term financial targets with other longer commodity at the negotiating table
scription choices, but reported that 33 term interests (risk, deal stability, trust, (and the rise of Procurement reflects
percent of their colleagues had been reputation, time spent negotiating). this reality). Yet this is principally a
influenced. Among physicians, 61 per- 3. Embrace negotiation as a core strategy problem, not a negotiation
cent claimed they had not been influ- capability. Many leaders remain ner- problem. Leaders who use negotiations
enced—but only 16 percent felt that vous about helping their people to as feedback are more likely to address
their colleagues had been similarly negotiate better. Leaders in one Fortune the fundamental problems that lie at
immune. We all imagine our best 200 company readily admitted that the heart of the negotiation, rather than
intentions will guide our decisions, conflicts were routine, and that resolv- sending their people to negotiate with
but the evidence suggests otherwise. ing them was critical to success. “Just the hope that there is some “magical
don’t use the word negotiate,” they tactic” that will rescue a favorable deal.
Do Five Things pleaded. “We’re very collaborative.” Leaders who manage negotiations
Leaders must do five things to enable (Their counterparts told me a different well are process designers, coaches,
better decision-making in negotiations: story.) In spite of books like Getting to and role models. By moving in these
1. Recognize that negotiation is not Yes—which argues that negotiations five ways, you can expect dramatically
just an individual skill, but an organi- can take the form of joint problem- better results in your organization. LE
zational capability. When I am asked solving—the word negotiation still sug- Hal Movius is co-author of Built to Win: Creating A World-
by leaders to design training programs gests to some deception, exaggeration, Class Negotiating Organization. Visit www.cbuilding.org.
in negotiation, I first suggest that they manipulation, and even threats. No ACTION: Negotiate to reach better agreements.
18 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
LEADERSHIP PR through the coastal communities. making a great effort to be accessible
BP also got good marks by using and forthcoming, made a number of
social media, tweeting its efforts and mistakes. First, they repeated lines like
BP’s Oil Spill enlisting hundreds of volunteers.
Lesson 4: The media will pull out
“all legitimate claims,” and then they
said stupid things—which were bound
Eight lessons for leaders. sound bites. Be prepared. BP CEO Tony to be amplified. “This spill is tiny when
Hayward was trying to position the compared to the size of the ocean and vol-
company as fulfilling its responsibili- ume of water in the Gulf.” “The oil in the
by Merrie Spaeth
ties, but saying “It wasn’t our accident, Gulf is the consistency of tea.” “The over-
but we are absolutely responsible for clean- all environmental impact of this spill will
W E ALL WATCHED
the oil spill crisis
in the Gulf, specifically
ing it up,” seemed to muddy the mes-
sage. Predictably, the line, “It wasn’t our
accident,” was repeated over and over.
be very modest.” Executives also did not
know how to acknowledge questions,
and in a memorable exchange with U.S.
BP’s response to the crisis, with great Similarly, the line that the company members of Congress, appeared to
interest. I hope that it caused you to “would pay all legitimate claims,” was repeatedly duck questions about what
reevaluate how you think about crisis interpreted that they would fight for a they would consider “legitimate” claims
communication. In the past, you may narrow definition of claims. This line that the company would pay for.” So a
have been prepared to give a response was repeated over and over by compa- question would be asked, “Will you pay
by the “end of the day.” Now, you ny executives, clearly indicating it was for lost income?” and the BP executive
may not have more than five minutes purposeful. BP did post a statement on would repeat the line, “We will pay for
to formulate your initial response. its website saying it will all legitimate claims.” These
Here are eight lessons for leaders: “pay all necessary and appro- framing questions are com-
Lesson 1: It’s not enough to practice priate clean-up costs” as well mon, and the respondent
operational scenarios—practice com- as “legitimate and objectively does not need to be limited
munication scenarios. The division of verifiable” claims for proper- to “yes” or “no” but must
ownership between BP, Transocean ty damage, personal injury pick a substitute phrase
and Halliburton meant there was no and commercial losses. such as “I don’t know,”
clear definition of who was to speak While it’s early in the inci- “It’s too early to tell,” “I
on what subject and when. The result dent, this claim will be cred- hope so,” “I can’t predict.”
was finger pointing and bickering— ible when they can start Lesson 8: Have “compet-
making all three parties look bad. By posting examples where itive video” ready to go.
contrast, Turner Construction, the they have processed and The images of oil slicks on
world’s largest construction company approved a claim. top of the ocean, deep water plumes of
and a division of a German-based com- Lesson 5: Get validating third parties dark matter, oil-soaked birds, beached
pany, employs many subcontractors. on board before a crisis. Messages about fishing boats, and other similar images
Since Turner’s name is on the sites, who was responsible or what failed (Trans- dominated the news. Competitive video
Turner always controls the communi- ocean’s blow out preventer) should should have been ready to counter
cation and takes the position that what have been discussed by experts, even if these predictable images. Caution: the
happens is their responsibility. BP retained them. BP’s statements that video needs to be authentic, not “PR.”
Lesson 2: Set expectations at the start they weren’t at fault made it look as if Useful examples are videos of training
that things will change. BP initially es- they were trying to avoid responsibili- exercises which back up a company’s
timated 1,000 barrels of oil was leaking ty. Predictably, Transocean and Halli- commitment to safety procedures and
daily. Eight days later, they announced burton produced their own facts about show a company’s concern for antici-
it was more like 5,000 barrels a day. By who ordered whom to do what, trying pating problems and preparing for them.
May 5, BP said it could be as much as to shift blame back on to BP. The public Think about the anticipated crises—
60,000 barrels a day. That led to criti- doesn’t speak the same language and what images they will generate and
cism that they had lowballed the esti- can’t sort out who’s credible. what pictures will counter them. Years
mate on purpose. Here is an example Lesson 6: Ask yourselves what will ago, PepsiCo was hit by claims that
of language they could have used dur- the media, regulators, and others find— consumers found syringes in cans of
ing the first day when they were in fact and what they will think of it—if a dis- Pepsi. PepsiCo didn’t argue that this
finding mode: “As we gather information, aster or problem occurs. Media combed was extortion or sabotage—which they
we will provide it in a timely and appropri- BP’s readiness reports and plans for were certain it was. Within hours, they
ate manner. We ask you to remember that spills, finding them pro forma. It looked released video of their high-speed can-
new information may change our assess- like BP had patched together copy from ning lines, showing that it would be
ment of the situation and our plans. Facts, other plans. For the Gulf of Mexico, one impossible to insert anything. The
figures and even conclusions will change paragraph pulled from a 500+ page video also showed inspectors standing
and evolve as we get new information. This plan for spill mitigation noted that oil over the lines. The footage received
is part of handling a situation like this.” By could “harm seals, sea otters, and wal- wide exposure and was very convincing.
using such language upfront, you can ruses” (there are no seals, sea otters or Rethink and revamp your approach
refer back to it when new facts emerge. walruses in the Gulf). Assigning a team to crisis communication. Review these
Lesson 3: Start talking with people on to “play reporter” before any real crisis lessons from the BP crisis and stay dili-
the ground and have a physical presence would have helped BP understand its gent in your crisis preparation. LE
in the community. BP got it right to wait exposure to criticism and risk.
Merrie Spaeth is Founder and CEO of Spaeth Communi-
one month before communicating via Lesson 7: Get the most advanced cations. This article is adapted from her speech for the
the usual corporate full-page ads. Instead, message/media/spokesperson training Montreal Chapter of IABC. Visit www.spaethcom.com.
employees and managers spread out available. BP executives, while clearly ACTION: Learn and apply these eight lessons.
L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 19
PERFORMANCE SERVICE the ideas we recommend to them—is most executives don’t like the prospect
to be vulnerable with them. of their people generating new ways to
Vulnerability is about honesty and do things, hoping instead that they’ll
Getting Naked authenticity. Only by facing and over- simply do what they’re asked to do in
coming those fears, and getting com- the most enthusiastic, professional way
R e d e f i n e c l i e n t s e r v i c e . fortable being naked, can we earn the possible. So it is no surprise when they
trust that creates loyalty with clients. get pounded for preaching innovation
Naked service providers confront without really valuing it.
by Patrick Lencioni
clients (kindly) with difficult informa- What should leaders do? They should
tion and perspectives, even if the client “get naked,” stop over-hyping innova-
W HEN I GRADUATED might not like hearing it. Naked con-
from college and sultants ask potentially dumb questions,
became a consultant, I and make potentially dumb suggestions,
tion and realize that only a few people in
the company really need to be innovative.
As heretical as that may seem to
was taught how to answer questions because if those questions or sugges- those who believe that “innovation is
without giving away my age or inex- tions ultimately help their client, it is everyone’s business!”, consider that
perience. This is part of the “never let worth the potential embarrassment. even the most innovative organizations
them see you sweat” mentality. They also admit their weaknesses and need far more people to be dutiful,
I was taught how to research and celebrate their mistakes. Even before enthusiastic, and consistent in their
present ideas to clients as if I had all landing a client, a naked consultant work than innovative or creative.
the answers, to demonstrate authority will demonstrate vulnerability and What should leaders demand of their
and portray myself as smart—even take risks. They’ll give away their best people, if not innovation? How about a
slightly superior to clients. Many of ideas and start consulting with prospects combination of creativity and autonomy?
my colleagues, including me, hated during a sales call. In fact, they’ll forego This suggests that we as managers and
our jobs. And to be fair, it didn’t feel selling to find a way to help a client, leaders need our people to take com-
like our clients liked us much either. even if they never actually become one. plete responsibility to do their jobs and
But that was the world of consulting, Service providers that practice the satisfy customers in the most effective
and unfortunately, in many places, this naked approach will find it easier to and charismatic way possible, within
approach to client service still exists. retain clients through greater trust and the bounds of sound business princi-
When I left that job and joined a real ples. You may mean that when you use
company, I became a client myself, bring- the word innovation, but that is not
ing in consultants to do work for us. what your employees are hearing.
There I developed an approach to con- Creativity and autonomy thrive in
sulting that we’ve used in my firm for great companies. Southwest airlines,
12 years. We call it naked consulting, Chick-fil-A, and Nordstrom excel in it.
and it has yielded more client loyalty Their employees are passionate and
then we could have ever imagined. committed and take responsibility for
turning customers into loyal fans. Sure,
The Naked Approach they’re encouraged to share ideas about
Naked service boils down to the abil- new ways to work, but they are known
ity to be vulnerable, humble, selfless, loyalty. It also allows firms to be more for being great at what has already been
and transparent for the good of a client. open, generous and less desperate in defined as the product or service that their
Most of us live our lives trying to avoid the sales process—the differentiator company offers. Most leaders would take
awkward and painful situations, which from more traditional sales approaches. that any day, even before innovation.
is why it is no surprise that we are all One group that must exercise the
susceptible to the three fears that sabo- N a k e d A p p r o a c h t o I n n o va t i o n capacity for innovation is the leader-
tage client loyalty: Many leaders in search of innova- ship team. They are the keepers of inno-
• Fear of losing the business. Worry- tion generate as much cynicism as they vation, ultimately responsible for
ing about losing a client’s business may do new thinking. They exhort people to determining the acceptable boundaries
cause us to avoid the very things that be more innovative, providing classes of change, and identifying the few oth-
ultimately engender trust and loyalty. and workshops designed to teach ers within their departments who have
• Fear of being embarrassed. Rooted in everyone how to think outside the box. the invitation and freedom to innovate.
pride, this fear can lead service provid- They also include innovation on a list So, before calling for your people to
ers to withhold their best ideas. of core values, emblazoning the word innovate, be more specific about what
• Fear of feeling inferior. To avoid on annual reports and hallway posters, you really want from them. And if you
feeling irrelevant or being overlooked, hoping that this will inspire people to really believe that your organization
we try to achieve and preserve a high come up with new ideas for revolution- isn’t innovative enough, focus your
level of importance in clients’ minds. izing strategic and financial prospects. efforts first on the people at the top.
We find that clients are more inter- Even well-intentioned and dedicat- When you can be vulnerable with the
ested in candor, modesty, and trans- ed employees are bound to respond people you live and work with daily, you
parency than they are in confidence, cynically to these efforts, frustrated by build stronger relationships, show your
authority, and perfection. Yes, clients what they see as hypocrisy. They just trust in them, and inspire them to improve
need to know that we have the knowl- don’t perceive a genuine eagerness by being vulnerable themselves. That
edge and experience to help them. But among leaders to embrace the new is certainly worth getting naked for. LE
once we reach that level, the best way ideas of rank-and-file employees (and Pat Lencioni is CEO of The Table Group and best-selling author
to differentiate ourselves from compe- they are mostly accurate in that percep- of Get Naked and other books. Visit www.TableGroup.com.
tition—and to help a client implement tion). For all the talk about innovation, ACTION: Be naked in your approach to service.
20 O c t o b e r 2 0 1 0 L e a d e r s h i p E x c e l l e n c e
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