Leadership Excellence October 2010


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Leadership Excellence October 2010

  1. 1. ww ww ww .. LL ee aa dd ee rr EE xx cc ee ll .. cc oo mm Excellence L E A D E R S H I P THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY OCTOBER 2010 “Leadership Excellence is an exceptional way to learn and then apply the best and latest ideas in the field of leadership.” —WARREN BENNIS, AUTHOR AND USC PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT Transcend the PossibleTranscend the Possible Maestro Leadership Maestro Leadership Field Leadership Field Leadership Leading in Hard Times Leading in Hard Times Roger Nierenberg Symphony Conductor and Leadership Consultant
  2. 2. Excellence L E A D E R S H I P THE MAGAZINE OF LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, MANAGERIAL EFFECTIVENESS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY KEN SHELTON Leaders Develop Leaders Use this as the mantra of your LD program. . . . . 2 WARREN BENNIS Field Leadership I learned many lessons in wartime trenches. . . . . . 3 NANDO PARRADO Keep Hope Alive It’s all you have on any survival trek. . . . . . . .5 MITCH ALBOM Have a Little Faith An attitude of gratitude will keep you alive. . . . . . 6 PHIL HARKINS Leading in Hard Times Exercise courage and apply 10 tactics. . . . . . . . . .7 LAURA STACK Leader Productivity Start creating your culture of excellence. . . . . 8 TIM HURSON Think Better See more clearly, think more creatively. . . . . . . . . .9 HOWARD DEAN Hiring Diversity Share leadership with diverse talent. . . . . . . . . . .9 HANK HANEY Practice Patience Analyze your style to improve results. . . . . . . .10 MARSHALL GOLDSMITH Future Leaders Be cognizant of global shifts and local trends. . .11 ROBERT E. KNOWLING, JR. Leading Transformation Dramatically change the direction of your organization by leading people with passion. . . . . .12 TONY ALESSANDRA Look of Leadership You may never have a chance to show substance if you lack style. . . . . . . . .13 ROGER NIERENBERG Maestro Leadership Learn how to conduct with confidence your team’s performance. . . . 14 BILL STRICKLAND Vision Inspires The first act of leadership is to have a vision of a better, brighter future . . .15 BILL GEORGE Authentic Leaders They make the difference in their worlds. . . . . . . . .16 RICHARD E. BOYATZIS How People Change Coach people in a way that inspires growth. . . . 17 HAL MOVIUS Better Agreements Train leaders to negotiate better outcomes. . . . . . . .18 MERRIE SPAETH BP’s Oil Spill Every leader can learn some lessons from this. . .19 PATRICK LENCIONI Getting Naked Be open and transparent in service and innovation . .20 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.
  3. 3. I’M PLEASED TO REVEAL THE 2010 Best in Leadership Dev- elopment rankings. Again this year, we connected with over 1,000 organizations known for developing leaders. In tribute to the #1 ranked Global Institute of Leadership Development (Linkage), I ded- icate this issue to the 2010 GILD speakers— all articles in this edition are authored by them. What makes GILD and CLO #1 is the fact that these programs fit hand and glove with our seven criteria: 1. Vision/mission. Are these statements linked to business strategy and outcomes, and meaningful to participants? 2. Design, content, and curriculum. How well designed is the LD model? How credi- ble is the content? How relevant is the cur- riculum? How customized is the program? 3. Involvement and participation. How broad is the involvement and how deep the partic- ipation? 4. Measurement and accountability. What ROI measures are made and reported and to what degree is accountability for per- formance and results part of the program? 5. Presenters, presentations, and delivery. What are the qualifications of the presenters, how effective are their presentations, and how is the program delivered? 6. Take-home value. What do participants take away and apply? 7. Outreach. What is the impact of the program on all stakeholders? Do the program and its participants benefit the broader community? TTeedd HHooffff aanndd IIBBMM This year, I rank IBM #1 among large organizations after meeting Ted Hoff, VP of IBM’s Center for LD, and witnessing his work. His mantra is Leaders Develop Leaders. He’s expanded the impact of his LD pro- gram from 600 to 60,000 people! Great LD programs benefit all stakeholders, cultivate loyalty, and inspire service, even sacrifice. We rate LD programs in seven categories: I t ’ s t h e m a n t r a f o r m a n y L D m a n a g e r s . by Ken Shelton Volume 27 Issue 10 Leadership Excellence (ISSN 8756-2308) is published monthly by Executive Excellence Publishing, LLC (dba Leadership Excellence), 1806 North 1120 West, Provo, UT 84604. Editorial Purpose: Our mission is to promote personal and organi- zational leadership based on constructive values, sound ethics, and timeless principles. Basic Annual Rate: US $69 one year (12 issues) US $120 two years (24 issues) Corporate Bulk Rates (to same address) Ask about logo and custom editions and foreign bulk rates. Article Reprints: For reprints of 100 or more, please contact the editorial department at 801-375-4060 or email CustomerService@LeaderExcel.com. Permission PDF US: $50. Internet Address: www.LeaderExcel.com Submissions & Correspondence: All correspondence, articles, letters, and requests to reprint articles should be sent to: Editorial Department, Executive Excellence, 1806 North 1120 West, Provo, Utah 84604; 801-375-4060, or Editorial@LeaderExcel.com. Customer Service/Circulation: For information on products and services call 1-877-250-1983 or email: CustomerService@LeaderExcel.com. Executive Excellence Publishing: Ken Shelton, CEO, Editor-in-Chief Dirk Cline, Circulation Manager Contributing Editors: Chip Bell, Warren Bennis, Dianna Booher, Kevin Cashman, Marshall Goldsmith, Howard Guttman, Jim Kouzes, Jim Loehr, Tom Peters, Norm Smallwood The table of contents art is a detail from TThhee MMaann iinn tthhee MMoooonn (image cropped) © Scott Gustafson, and is courtesy of the artist and art print publisher Greenwich Workshop. For additional information on artwork by Scott Gustafson, please contact: Greenwich Workshop 151 Main Street Saymour, CT 06483 1-800-243-4246 www.greenwichworkshop.com Full view of table of contents art. Copyright © 2010 Executive Excellence Publishing. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from the publisher. Quotations must be credited. Leaders Develop Leaders E . D . I . T . O . R ’ S N . O . T . E 2 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 Small to midsize organizations (20) 1. Media Tec/CLO 2. Carnival Cruise Lines 3. Saltwater Institute 4. DPR Construction 5. Seagate Technology/LD 6. BB&T 7. Container Store 8. Equity Residential 9. InsureMe 10. CSC 11. Analytical Graphics 12. Simonton Windows 13. Acuity 14. Highmark 15. Vulcan Materials Co. 16. Genencor International 17. Datatel 18. Gables Residential 19. American Laser 20. BJC Health Large organizations (50) 1. IBM 2. General Electric 3. Boeing 4. Procter & Gamble 5. Ritz-Carlton Hotels 6. Sun Microsystems 7. Fed Ex/ELI 8. Microsoft 9. Qualcomm 10. Intel 11. Yahoo 12. Caterpillar Univ. 13. Chevron 14. General Mills 15. Alcatel-Lucent 16. Capital One 17. Direct Energy LDP 18. GM University 19. Johnson & Johnson 20. Motorola 21. Intercontinental Hotels 22. Pepsico/Pepco Holdings 23. Cigna 24. Mars 25. McDonald’s/HU 26. Whirlpool 27. Wachovia Corp. 28. LaQuinta 29. Bank of America 30 Farmer’s Insurance 31. MasterCard 32. SCC Soft Computer 33. Northrop Grumman 34. BNY Mellon Asset Mgmt. 35. ConAgra 36. Disney/DI 37. Allied Barton 38. UBS 39. Black & Decker 40. Brown-Forman 41. Archer Daniels Midland 42. Textron 43. Colgate 44. Memorial Health 45. Medco 46. Johnson Controls 47. Barilla America 48. JetBlue 49. Digitas 50. Lowes Education (25) 1. Univ. of Michigan/Ross 2. Center for Public Leadership, JFK School of Government, Harvard 3. Univ. of Chicago/GSB/Leadership 4. MIT /Sloan LC 5. Harvard Business/Authentic LD 6. Northwestern/Kellogg 7. Pennsylvania/Wharton 8. USC/Marshall/CEO 9. UCLA/Anderson 10. Utah Valley Univ./CAL 11. Duke/Fuqua 12. Vanderbuilt LD 13. Yale Leadership Institute 14. Stanford/GSB Leadership 15. Emory Univ. 16. SMU/Cox 17. Pepperdine/Graziadio/SBM 18. Carnegie Mellon/Tepper/Leadership 19. Alliant/MGSM 20. Ball State/ EdL 21. OSU/Fisher College of Business 22 . Rider Univ./CDLS 23. Univ. N.Colorado/Monfort Institute 24. Rollins College/Crummer GSB 25. Notre Dame/Mendoza/EIL Non-profit organizations (22) 1. ASTD 2. SHRM 3. American ManagementAssoc.(AMA) 4. Human Capital Institute (HCI) 5. NYC Leadership Academy 6. ISPI 7. HR.Com 8. IQPC/Corporate University 9. National ManagementAssoc.(NMA) 10. Greenleaf Center 11. Conference Board 12. Berkana Institute 13. Leader to Leader Institute 14. CAEL 15. Philips Ultrasound 16. Trinity Health 17. CHCI 18. International Leadership Assoc. 19. Healthcare Businesswomen Assoc. 20. Addison Avenue Fed. Credit Union 21. Rush University Medical Center 22. Best Practices in Leadership Devel. Government/military (15) 1. Defense Acquisition University 2. U.S. Marine Academy 3. U.S. Air Force Academy 4. U.S. Army/Westpoint 5. FBI Academy 6. U.S. Navy Naval Academy 7. NASA/Leadership Alchemy 8. U.S. Army Rangers 9. ASQ Baldrige Award 10. U.S. Coast Guard 11. FAA 12. U.S. National Guard 13. National Defense University 14. U.S. Tactical/Seals 15. Naval Undersea Warfare Center Consultants/trainers/coaches (33) 1. Korn/Ferry International 2. Marshall Goldsmith Partners 3. Zenger/Folkman 4. Bluepoint Leadership 5. Ninth House 6. Jim Collins 7. Human Performance Institute 8. Leaders Toolbox 9. Marcus Buckingham Company 10. Tom Peters Company 11. Guttman Dev. Strategies 12. Strategos 13. Leadership Circle 14. Josh Bersin & Assoc. 15. Arneson Leadership Consulting 16. Forum LD 17. Root Learning 18. Table Group 19. Chip Bell Group 20. iLeadUSA 20. Right Management 21. Leadergrow 22. Monitor Group 23. Leadership Challenge/KP 24. Authentic Leadership Institute 25. Leadership Development Services 26. Sensei International 27. Michael G.Winston Leadership 28. Mariposa Leadership 29. The Levin Group 30. Perth Leadership Institute 31. Refinery Leadership Partners 32. Future Considerations 33. Benchmark Communications Large consulting groups (33) 1. Linkage/GILD 2. Results-Based Leadership 3. Achieve Global 4. Center for Creative Leadership 5. Senn-Delaney Leadership 6. McKinsey/Leadership 7. Denison Consulting 8. DDI 9. Accenture 10. Lee Hecht Harrison 11. Adizes Institute 12. Richard Chang Assoc. 13. Dialogos 14. Mercer 15. Booz Allen Hamilton 16. Hewitt/Leadership 17. Plante & Moran 18. BlessingWhite 19. Vital Smarts 20 Franklin-Covey 21. Ken Blanchard Companies 22. Integro Leadership Institute 23. Personnel Decisions Intl. (PDI) 24. Human Potential Project 25. Crowe Horwath 26. Leadergrow 26. Kepner-Tregoe 27. Gallup/Leadership 28. Dale Carnegie/LD 29. Oliver Wyman/LD 30. Corrnerstone CG 31. Deloitte/Leadership 32. Maxcomm/Full Circle Group 33. Leadership Circle 2010 BEST IN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT RANKING
  4. 4. And we were often filthy—showers were as rare as hot meals. Ordered to assume command of a platoon on the front lines, I arrived around midnight. The men were sleeping in the ruins of a house. The platoon’s runner took me into what remained of the kitchen and showed me a bench where I could sleep. I then made my first important leadership decision—I chose to put my sleeping bag on the floor with my men. Without knowing why, I made a quiet, unobtrusive entrance—not one of those flashy, arrogant entrances that so many officers made and enlisted men despised (some officers rub their superior rank in the faces of their men). I quickly learned that the men needed me as much as I needed them. The Battle of the Bulge had taken a dreadful toll on my pla- toon. We were down to 24 men (from 48) with only two officers (down from six) in the company of four platoons. Listen to your men. At 19, I was lucky to have joined a company of seasoned soldiers. Although no one said it, the men had decided to teach me how to be a leader. They started at once. Early that morning, the first sergeant told me, “We’d like you to follow the cap- tain for a couple of days, just to see what he’s doing.” They’d decided I was too green to make it on my own, a condition that endangered their lives. Learn from a mentor. That was my introduction to the commanding offi- cer, Captain Bessinger, my first mentor and one of the finest leaders I’ve ever known. One thing he did as a leader was to listen to his men—a good way to get valuable information but also evidence of his respect for them—even though he was quite deaf as a result of too much exposure to too many deci- bels in too many battles. And he did all he could to keep them safe from the Field Leadership I’VE SPENT MUCH OF MY academic life in offices and classrooms; yet I learned many leadership tenets in WWII trenches. Here are lessons for leaders: Listen to the music. Like so many others, my father lost his last real job in 1932. From then on, he supported my mother, older twin brothers, and me loading illegal booze for the New Jersey mob. He worked tirelessly, but he had no talent for business. Hoping a change in geography would change his luck, he moved us from New Jersey to Southern California, where a friend owned a drugstore in Beverly Hills. In Los Angeles, my father opened a malt shop. It wasn’t much of a finan- cial success, but it bettered my life. As a confused, nebbishy teenager, recent- ly graduated from high school, I was unmoored, unsure of who I was, let alone who I wanted to be. I didn’t have interests so much as a handful of obsessions. The healthiest, by far, was my quest to build a collection of great pop music. Music was my therapy, as it is for many young people who yearn for something they can’t yet articulate—something grander than their lonely, mundane lives. Learn to lead: ready or not. In June 1943, as my 18th birthday neared, I de- cided to enlist in the Army Specialized Training Program. Just 18 months later, (Dec. 1944) I was the rawest second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, a 19-year- old shavetail trying to keep my platoon (and myself ) alive as we pursued the retreating enemy into southern Ger- many. I was a replacement officer in the 63rd Infantry Division, arriving there as American forces were in the final throes of the Battle of the Bulge. Back home in Southern California, I might have felt half-formed and inse- cure. But in Germany, I was about to become a leader of men, ready or not. In your entry as a leader, be low-key. Our orders were to capture or kill Ger- man soldiers and clear the towns they had occupied and abandoned. When on the march (most of the time), we were cold, wet, exhausted, and often hungry, desperate for anything hot. potentially deadly bad decisions made by the brass. The first, most critical thing Bessinger did for me was to give me the short course in survival on the front. By example, he taught me how to navigate the lethal terrain of war. Stop grousing. By January 1945 the Germans were in retreat but still dead- ly. The most dangerous thing we did was fighting house to house. You have no idea what might be waiting for you. Some civilians hung white flags in win- dows to let Allied soldiers know they were peaceful, but so did German troops hoping to trick us. When we were not fighting or trying to get warm, we did what soldiers have always done —we groused. Once, Captain Bessinger listened patiently as I ticked off my growing list of complaints about the Army—from the inadequacy of our air support to the woeful quality of the food. One day, almost sputtering with disgust, I began to rant, “I don’t know how the hell we’re going to win this war . . .” At that point, Captain Bessinger had enough. As usual he had a cheekful of Red Man chewing tobacco. Perhaps to emphasize his point, he spat out his tobacco and said, “Shit, kid, they’ve got an army too.” Earn trust and respect. The men quickly seemed to accept me, even like me, and I soon felt comfortable, even safe, with them. Trust, a kind of love, and the knowledge that you share a common fate, forges bonds between soldiers. Courage is so often a function of that sense of belonging, and some- times so is cowardice. GIs were citizen soldiers who had to obey their officers, but they didn’t have to respect them. Most new officers had no idea how to win over their men. The lucky ones had the empathy and emotional intel- ligence to realize that their acceptance was not a given and to signal their respect to those under their command. When I went through Officer Candidate School, our instructors at Fort Benning, charged with the task of turning raw material into officers, tried to warn us how important it was to prove our- selves to those we led. It was one of countless ways they tried, at record speed, to create officers who inspired trust and might stay alive long enough to win the war. You can’t command respect, they warned us: “Don’t flaunt those gold bars. You have to earn them.” Seek advanced training. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I was lucky to have been trained as an officer at Fort Benning. There, I completed an updated version of the same grueling, legendary Infantry Officer Basic Course by Warren Bennis 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 LEADERSHIP LESSONS I t m a t t e r s m o s t i n t h e t r e n c h e s .
  5. 5. that polished the military and leader- ship skills of “Ike” Eisenhower, George Marshall, and Colin Powell. Our motto was emblazoned on a banner: “I am the Infantry, the Queen of Battle. Follow Me!” We trained for 17 weeks in weapons, communications, navigation, fitness, vehicle and equipment maintenance, and leadership. We learned how to fight the enemy under the most realis- tic conditions the Army could simulate. Thanks to Benning, I didn’t have to master the tricky business of fighting house to house in Germany. We learned the art of it in the replica of a European village the Army built on red Georgia clay. There I learned skills and habits that have served me well my entire life. I learned the value of organization. I learned how to work as part of a team. I learned that one of my most important jobs was to take care of my people. Fort Benning was exhausting and demand- ing. But I found a lot to like there. The military was a great equalizer, and Benning was as close to a meritocracy as I’ve known. You could come from the wealthiest family and be a disaster; you could come from the poorest fami- ly and be a success. All that mattered was performance—and attitude. Education in leadership should pre- pare you for what needs to be done. Most lessons were experiential, and of the highest order. I never heard any- thing at MIT or Harvard that topped the best lectures I heard at Benning, no doubt because I knew they might save my life. The school wants three things out of officers: academically sound, physically fit, and leadership. Lack of leadership washes the majority out. Everything you do in the field indicates whether you have leadership or not. Know the downside of leadership. I don’t know now why I volunteered for Officer Candidate School. There were no early indications that I’d develop a fascination with leadership or even the stomach for it. I remember reading Julius Caesar in junior high school and thinking it was a cautionary tale. Being a leader might make you rich and famous, but it could also get you killed. That seemed like a pronounced downside to a child afraid of almost everything, from dogs to lightning. I’ve always believed that fear is as contagious as measles or chicken pox, and my moth- er was the perfect vector. She was the least calm person I’ve ever known (my father called her Calamity Jane), and I think I caught my early fearfulness from her. Oddly enough, I was rarely afraid as a soldier. That was true even though I knew that the average platoon leader back on. And none of my men got sent back because of trench foot. It is one of the things I’m most proud of doing in the war. It was an example of an officer fulfilling one of his most important obligations—taking care of his men. Endure to the end. By April 1945, we knew the war had to end soon. At that point, we got really scared. Nobody wanted to die on the last day of the war. We had just one more town to take—in Bavaria, near Ulm. The town had been bombed by Allied planes, but there were still enough tall buildings to shelter German snipers. My platoon was between two others whose orders were to cross the airfield and take the town. It was clear that we’d be vulner- able to enemy fire if we went in with- out armored support, so one of my forward observers called for tank sup- port. In time, the tank commander arrived, took one look at the exposed airfield, and refused to lead us in. I don’t know what got into me, but I told him that he would most certainly be leading us in. I’d already drawn my pistol. The man was much older—I’d just turned 20—but he was per- suaded by my argument. We swept into town behind three tanks, with his in the lead. Later, my superiors awarded me the bronze star for my soldiering that day. Invent a new life. I stayed in the Army after the war was over in Europe and ended up in Frankfurt. There I partici- pated in a project that planted the seeds of my interests in leadership: interviewing soldiers about their morale, the quality of their leaders, and what they wanted to do in the future. I also spent much time in the officers club, educating myself for what I hoped lay ahead. Without being obvious, I began to be a first-class noticer of officers’ behavior. On August 6, 1945, I was on a base in Heidelberg. As the officer of the day, I was inspecting the men at the guard posts when one soldier, wild-eyed, saluted and blurted out, “Sir, did you hear the news on Armed Forces Network —we dropped 20,000 tons of TNT on Hiroshima. It’s gone. They say the Japanese must now surrender!” I thanked him for the report. He sal- uted and said, with a look of joy, “Now we can have our lives back.” I realized I didn’t want my old life back—I wanted to invent a new one. LE Warren Bennis is author of Still Surprised, a Memoir of a Life in Leadership (Wiley). Visit www.WarrenBennis.com. ACTION: Apply these lessons in leadership. had only six weeks to three months before he was seriously wounded or killed. I rarely thought I’d die, even when we were under fire. In fact, I was far more anxious as a new university president than I ever was in combat. Fully assume the role. My lack of fear may have been directly related to the role I assumed as a platoon leader. That role required me to appear calm and fearless to my men. Too often we look to psychobiography, not role, to explain behavior. I believe that the roles we play in life have more to do with our suc- cesses or failures than our personal histories. Being a soldier came with an impres- sive costume—a handsome uniform. And much as a good actor does, when I put on that uniform and the gold bars that went with it, I instantly became an officer. The role prescribed certain atti- tudes and behaviors, and provided models for how I was to act. It empowered me to try on selves that nothing in my past had suggested to me. I was expected to lead my men and give and enforce orders and so I did, without any of the hesita- tion or insecurity that was natural to the boy I’d been. The uniform gave me per- mission—required me, real- ly—to observe the officers around me and to find strategies for being a suc- cessful officer in their example. Nothing in my previous life had indicated there was a leader in me waiting to emerge. But the uniform gave me entree into the lead- ers’ world. It created expectations of lead- ership that I was eager to fulfill, and it gave me an ideal vantage point from which to observe good leadership and bad being played out in real time for the highest possi- ble stakes, human lives. In an almost magical way, the uniform bestowed on me the ability to do what I had to do. It was talisman and inspiration, a symbol of my new authority and responsibility. Take care of people’s physical needs. In the field, one danger was trench foot. Our boots and socks would quickly become soaked. Soon our feet would become infected. If not tended to prop- erly, the toenails fell off, the feet turned black, and developed gangrene. The problem was enormous, especially for soldiers stuck in foxholes. The only way to avoid it was to take off your boots and socks, wash your feet, and dry them carefully, toe by toe, prefer- ably by a fire. Nightly, I made sure each man took off his boots, washed his feet, dried them carefully, and put on dry socks before he put his boots 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
  6. 6. promises to myself and my father, it would end like this. We would all die in these mountains. We would sink beneath the snow, the ancient silence would fall over us, and our loved ones would never know how hard we had struggled to return to them. In that moment all my dreams, assumptions, and expectations of life evaporated into the thin Andean air. I’d always thought that life was the actual thing, the natural thing, and that death was simply the end of living. Now, in this lifeless place, I saw with a terrible clarity that death was the con- stant, death was the base, and life was only a short, fragile dream. I was dead already. I’d been born dead, and what I thought was my life was just a game death let me play as it waited to take me. In my despair, I felt a sharp and sudden longing for the softness of my mother and my sister, and the warm, strong embrace of my father. My love for my father swelled in my heart, and I realized that, despite the hopelessness of my situation, the memory of him filled me with joy. It staggered me: The mountains, for all their power, were not stronger than my attachment to my father. They could not crush my ability to love. I felt a moment of calmness and clarity, and in that clarity of mind I discovered a simple, astounding secret: Death has an opposite, but the oppo- site is not mere living. It is not courage or faith or human will. The opposite of death is love. How had I missed that? How does anyone miss that? Love is our only weapon. Only love can turn mere life into a miracle, and draw pre- cious meaning from suffering and fear. For a brief, magical moment, all my fears lifted, and I knew that I would not let death control me. I would walk Keep Hope Alive IN OCTOBER 1972, Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571, carrying the Uruguayan rugby team, crashed into the Andes Mountains, leaving 16 peo- ple to survive for 72 days among the highest peaks of Argentina and Chile. After waking from the crash with a concussion, I learned that my mother had died on impact and my sister was near death. I became obsessed with surviving. My rugby teammate Roberto Canessa and I decided to search for a way out of the mountains. Here I describe reaching the first sum- mit, which took four days to climb: It was an agonizing process, inch- ing up the mountain that way, and the hours passed slowly. Sometime in late morning I spotted blue sky above a ridgeline and worked my way toward it. After so many false summits, I had learned to keep my hopes in check, but this time, as I climbed over the ridge’s edge, the slope fell away flat and I found myself standing on a gloomy hump of rock and wind- scoured snow. It dawned on me slow- ly that there was no more mountain above me. I had reached the top. I don’t remember feeling any joy or sense of achievement. If I did, it van- ished as soon as I glanced around. The summit gave me a 360-degree view of creation. From here I could see the horizon circling the world like the rim of a colossal bowl, and in every direc- tion off into the fading blue distance, the bowl was crowded with legions of snow-covered mountains, each as steep as the one I had just climbed. I knew that the Fairchild’s copilot had been badly mistaken. We had not passed Curicó, we were nowhere near the western limits of the Andes. Our plane had fallen somewhere in the middle of the vast cordillera. I stood there, staring, motionless until I felt a burning pressure in my lungs, and I realized I had forgotten to breathe. I sucked air. My legs went rubbery, and I fell to the ground. I cursed God and raged at the moun- tains. The truth was before me: for all my striving, all my hopes, all my through the god-forsaken country that separated me from my home with love and hope in my heart. I would walk until I had walked all the life out of me, and when I fell I would die that much closer to my father. These thoughts strengthened me, and with renewed hope I began to search for pathways through the mountains. “There must be a way through the mountains,” I said.” Do you see there, in the distance, two smaller peaks with no snow on them? Maybe the mountains end there. We should head that way.” In the morning we climbed the steps to the summit. Roberto stood beside me. I saw the fear in his eyes, but I also saw the courage. “We may be walking to our deaths,” I said, “but I’d rather walk to meet my death than wait for death to come to me.” Roberto nodded. “You and I are friends, Nando,” he said. “We’ve been through so much. Now let’s go die together.” We walked to the western lip of the summit, eased ourselves over the edge, and began to make our way down. MMaakkee MMiirraacclleess ooff YYoouurr OOwwnn I hope that my story helps you cope with adversity. In adversity, leaders often must take things one day at a time, keep hope alive, and make mira- cles of their own. This harrowing experience taught me to look forward, never backward, because I can’t modify the past. Many times I’ve asked myself why did I have to go through something so extreme? Why did I invite my mother and sister to go with me, only to die in the plane crash? I realized these questions will never be answered, no matter how hard I search for them. I learned that most of our lives will be dictated by our own decisions and actions. I followed my heart and intu- ition when I was faced with the most horrible and hard circumstances I could imagine, and I still do that every day. This experience taught me much about leadership. The teamwork that occurred in an extreme survival envi- ronment showed me that there’s a dif- ferent type of leadership. Leaders emerged because of their actions and work, not because they were appointed leadership positions. They were com- passionate, and the collaboration grew to levels where we were giving our lives for one another. I have tried to be the same type leader with my compa- nies, and it has worked. I give people my best, and they give me their best. My people are my companies, not the other way around. by Nando Parrado 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 LEADERSHIP HOPE C h a r t a c o u r s e t o t h e s u m m i t .
  7. 7. In 2001/02, we went through a hard economic crisis. This crisis directly impacted my business. The situation was so overwhelming that we didn’t know what to do, except that we had to do something. We started by cutting corners. I cut out all of the insurance on the company’s assets. If we were broke, what was the importance of insurance? At one point, we even stop- ped buying office supplies. I also rene- gotiated salaries with all of my staff and employees. We took it step by step, not knowing if we would survive. Thankfully, we were staying active. Many companies that were paralyzed by the economy did not survive. When I was faced with this business crisis, I asked myself: How much would I have given 30 years ago to be in a situation where I was refinancing with banks, negotiating new employee salaries, and making incredibly fast decisions that could make me go broke? During that time, I would have signed any paper given to me by the devil to be alive and have to go through a bad business storm, instead of being condemned to die a most hor- rible death. These were business deci- sions, whereas in the mountains, all of the answers were measured in terms of my own life or death. To make deci- sions where the outcome would only relate to business gave me perspective. And then I just took it one day at a time. Three years after this huge busi- ness crisis, I was in the black again. In business, I like to think I deal with issues, not adversity. Sometimes things do not go in the direction that I want them to go. Yet, I keep moving on regardless. I do not see failing as being unsuccessful. When adversity comes, I look at the situation and determine the best course of action. I try to sail through the storm, always going forward—one step at a time. I think the essential thing is to not stop, but to always move forward. I’ve redefined the meaning of the word impossible. For me, the only insurmountable thing is death. All other things can be dealt with. You can go around them, change them, leave them, push them, change directions, change jobs. You always have options. If you face any insurmountable odds in a financial crisis, business crisis, relationship crisis, health crisis, you can dive inside yourself and search for your own version of a miracle. LE Nando Parrado, “Miracle in the Andes” plane crash survivor is author of Miracle in the Andes. Visit www.parrado.com. ACTION: Keep moving forward. by Mitch Albom a pill for his peace of mind. He loved to smile. He avoided anger. He was never haunted by “Why am I here?” He knew why: to give to others, to celebrate God, and to enjoy and honor the world he was put in. His morning prayer began “Thank you, Lord, for returning my soul to me.” When you start that way, the rest of the day is a bonus. What makes a man happy? I asked him. He rolled his eyes around the hospi- tal room. “This may not be the best setting for that question. On the other hand, here we must face the real issues. Some people will get better. Some will not. So it may be a good place to define what happiness means. Society tells us we must have things to be happy—a new this or that, a bigger house, a bet- ter job. I know the falsity of it. I have counseled many people who have all these things, and I can tell you they are not happy because of them. The num- ber of marriages that have disintegrat- ed when they had all the stuff in the world. The families who fought and argued all the time, when they had money and health. Having more does not keep you from wanting more. And if you always want more—to be richer, more beautiful, more famous— you are missing the bigger picture, and I can tell you, happiness will never come.” Suddenly, in the hall, I heard an infant scream, fol- lowed by a quick “shhh!” presumably from its moth- er. The Reb heard it, too. “That child reminds me of something our sages taught. When a baby comes into the world, its hands are clenched. Why? Because a baby, not knowing any better, wants to grab everything, to say, ‘The whole world is mine.’ But when an old person dies, how does he do so? With his hands open. Why? Because he has learned the lesson.” What lesson? I asked. He stretched open his empty fin- gers. “We can take nothing with us.” For a moment we both stared at his hand. It was trembling. So, have we solved the secret of happiness? I asked. “I believe so,” he said. Are you going to tell me? “Be satisfied. Be grateful for what you have. For the love you receive. And for what God has given you.” He looked me in the eye. Then he sighed deeply. “That’s it.” LE Mitch Albom is the best selling author of Have a Little Faith and Tuesdays with Morrie. Visit www.mitchalbom.com. ACTION: Be happy now. MANY PEOPLE SEARCH for happiness in a tablet: Prozac. Paxil. Xanax. Billions are spent to advertise and purchase such drugs. You don’t even need a specific trauma; just gener- al depression or anxiety, as if sadness were as treatable as the common cold. I know that depression is real, and often requires medical attention. I also know that much of what we call depres- sion is dissatisfaction, a result of setting a bar impossibly high or expecting trea- sures that we aren’t willing to work for. I know people whose unbearable source of misery is their weight, bald- ness, lack of advancement at work, or their inability to find the perfect mate, even if they themselves don’t behave like one. To these people, unhappiness is a condition, an intolera- ble state of affairs. If pills help, pills are taken. But pills can’t change the basic problem—want- ing what you can’t have; looking for self-worth in the mirror; layering work on top of work and won- dering why you aren’t sat- isfied—then working more. I knew this from experi- ence. There was a stretch where I could not have worked more hours without eliminating sleep altogether. I piled on accomplishments. I made money. I earned accolades. And the longer I went at it, the emptier I began to feel. The time I spent with Morrie, my old professor, changed much of that. After watching him die, and seeing what mattered to him at the end, I cut back. But I still kept my hands on my own wheel. I didn’t turn things over to fate or faith. I recoiled from people who put their daily affairs in divine hands, say- ing, “If God wants it, it will happen.” I kept silent when people said all that mattered was their relationship with Jesus. Such surrender seemed silly to me. I felt like I knew better. But I couldn’t say I felt any happier than they did. LLeessssoonn ffrroomm RReebb My friend Reb, for all the milligrams of medication he required, never popped Have a Little Faith Be grateful for what you have. PEOPLE FAITH 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
  8. 8. selves, or they risk giving way to feel- ing trapped, unable to please or to win. High-impact leaders dare to make strategic and tactical moves when oth- ers are stalled. They bypass fear, since fear is a paralyzing agent. Action and movement release energy that is often suppressed by worry of failure. They create focus and alignment and man- age their way out of adversity. TTeenn HHaarrdd--TTiimmee TTaaccttiiccss Here are 10 things to do in hard times: 1. Reallocate time to high-percentage, short-term returns. Focus 80 percent of time on the most important 20 percent to get the most short-term impact. Allocate more time on sales-related activities. Reduce time spent in meet- ings. Become more focused on performance goals and aligned around strategy. 2. Create measures around high-impact programs and projects. You can only control what you can measure. Focus on what matters most by asking for only a few key numbers. Focus on where the organiza- tion can leverage its strengths. 3. Meet directly and frequently with the sales force. Sales is the conduit to the eyes and ears of the customer and the place where rapid decision-making can keep leaders ahead of a downward curve. Start meeting with sales and ser- vice managers every week and ask them what can be done to increase their time spent with customers and prospects. Too much time is spent on non-customer related activities. In hard times, you need to ask questions and find ways to increase efficiency, effec- tiveness, productivity, and innovation. 4. Leverage A players and reduce C players. Cut the least effective. Having the right people in the right positions ensures survivability by boosting the bottom line dramatically while getting the job done more efficiently. 5. Install innovation and improve- ment teams with flexibility to cut across departments and businesses. One team might focus on cost reduction (efficiency), another on opportunities (innovation). Tell the innovation team to propose only two initiatives (make them be selec- Leading in Hard Times SMART, ACTION-ORIENT- ed leaders who make good decisions rapidly and adjust quickly can thrive in bad times. They focus on short-term wins and adapt their style to the new normal. They set clear direction and enable passionate champions to drive results and accept accountability. In this way, they build a committed work force. They talk directly to the front-line sales and service force to learn what customers want. They talk to man- agers about what employees are thinking, feeling, and needing. Great leaders see bad times as an opportunity to fix, repair, prepare, adjust, focus, and become more action-oriented. They think about what they need to do to get through the challenge and better prepare for the new. One expe- rienced leader said: “Bad times are like times in a sailboat race when the wind stops. The winning boat uses this time to get ready to be the first to catch the wind.” High-impact leaders send clear messages, always with the underlying theme–we’ll get through this and be better in the next round. LLeeaaddiinngg wwiitthh CCoouurraaggee Leading in turbulent times can tear leaders apart. Hard times can become even lonelier for leaders, since they must project a positive but realistic spirit. On the outside, leaders have to be resolute and strong while often their hearts are broken, knowing that good people lose their jobs, incomes are reduced, and projects delayed. Leaders also come under attack as negativity abounds, everyone wants more time with them. This starts at the top. Boards become more critical, ask more questions, want more check- points, and may not understand why things aren’t turning faster. Relationships suffer. More demands on direct reports result in a feeling of pulling away. Peers who once were pals seem to compete, with less time for just getting together. As intensity builds, leaders can feel under siege. Yet leaders must avoid bunker men- tality and must take care of them- tive). Tell the cost-reduction (efficiency) team that they can’t impact quality delivery to customers (effectiveness). 6. Lean on “go to” people. When times get tough, lean on winners. Winners never give up; they express hope, confidence, and passion; and they make the tough decisions and move on with them. Winners are pas- sionate champions. Employ your pas- sionate champions as change leaders. (without overextending them). Passionate champions are A players who want results, make results hap- pen, and deliver every time possible. 7. Triple communications. In hard times, people need to hear more fre- quently what the plan is and be reas- sured of the objectives. Weekly, comment on progress toward goals. Daily, con- nect with people to encourage them and praise their efforts in advancing the business. During a threatening time, ample communication inspires focused drive and keeps people going. 8. Get in front of cus- tomers more. Listen to cus- tomers to find nuggets of opportunity. Use a bad time to listen more to your customers. Assign senior managers 10 accounts to oversee and to ask customers, “What are two or three reasons that you buy our products and services?” Ask this question to open the door to new pos- sibilities. Meet monthly to discuss what was learned and who and what can be improved. 9. Get rid of waste. Bad times enable leaders to get under the covers. Track your use of time and look for specific ways you can better align your time around the major initiatives. You may see your sales volume rise dramatically. 10. Make the tough moves now. When you know you are right, don’t hesitate. Make the moves when you need to make them. During difficult times, change is even harder. Once you get through it, everyone sees it’s the right thing to do. Use hard times to upgrade on all key positions. When the air is full of fear, brave hearts—leaders with conviction—con- fidently walk in the direction that most are running away from. Mustering oth- ers to follow, they win others to join them by speaking in simple language and overcoming barriers with resolve that keeps everyone focused. LE Phil Harkins: Linkage CEO, GILD co-chair, powerful conver- sationalist. Visit www.linkageinc.com. ACTION: Try these 10 tactics. by Phil Harkins 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 LEADERSHIP COURAGE Exercise courage and apply 10 tactics.
  9. 9. 3. Maintain a united front. A reason- able amount of conflict is good. It can help stimulate ideas and bring out the 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 is to ensure that they all leave the table with a common purpose. “We can argue all we want behind closed doors, but when we put on our public face, our team must be in agreement externally.” 4. Set (and manage) expectations. As a leader, you set the collective tone, attitude, and work ethic of your team. Decide what is expected and make your thoughts known. Do you expect others to meet deadlines or to exceed them? Will you track everyone’s work- ing hours, or do you allow some flexi- bility? How informed should your direct reports keep you about the sta- tus of their projects—just the high points or do you prefer detail? Your people are not mind readers! Make sure they know what you expect of them and what they can expect from you. Keep regular appointments to review each individual’s progress and to reinforce your expectations. As pri- orities conflict and you adjust expecta- tions, share these changes with your team. If someone needs to drop every- thing and focus on one problem or pro- ject, make sure he or she knows it. If you need to be kept more informed about a key initiative, make the person responsible aware by saying, “Please keep me posted on your progress and let me know if you run into problems.” 5. Don’t just make rules—build char- acter. You can set rules all day, but what you want to do is help develop the character of your team. Character is what kicks in when the rules break down. It is also what helps your team get through tough, demanding times. Leader Productivity PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY is great. But once you become a leader, productivity is no longer just a matter of being the best you can be, but of bring- ing out the best in others. This can be hard! Priorities compete. Personalities conflict. And some folks just won’t commit to doing productive work. So how do you create a productive team culture that contributes not only to individual productivity, but also to that of the group? Here are six tips: 1. Teach others that “not in their job description” should be “not in their vocabulary.” Sometimes, employees are asked to do things outside of their normal duties. When it takes a team effort to get the job done, you want folks ready to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. Yes, in general, you want everyone to have their own defined responsibilities. But these tidy bound- aries can’t hold up 100 percent of the time. Keep a positive attitude and reward your team for pulling together and getting things done. Create a cul- ture where people jump at the chance to help others as opposed to standing back and watching the chaos unfold. 2. Save the day now. Fix the prob- lem later. Imagine this scenario: there’s a big project on the line, and your team needs to pull together to pull it off one day before the deadline. You’re frustrated. You want to know how this happened. Who dropped the ball? Why didn’t they ask for help sooner? Where did the system break down? Well, forget it—at least until the dust settles. This is not the time for second- guessing, finger-pointing, or scape- goating; you can’t tolerate any of that from anyone on your team. At the out- set of your work, let everyone know that problems will be addressed, but not until the crisis has passed. The first order of business it to pull together and finish the project with a positive attitude. Once the project is complete, you can figure out what happened, and ensure that it never happens again. This way, cooler heads prevail, and the project won’t suffer because of internal strife and tension. A team with strong character requires much less management. People appre- ciate not being micromanaged, and you’ll have more time to address your job duties. High productivity is based on a person’s values. If you employ someone who values hard work and honesty, that’s what you can expect from them when you’re not looking. Clearly state the productivity traits you want people to demonstrate: integrity, accountability, punctuality, excellence, self-discipline, responsibility, and hon- esty. Post them on your wall. Repeat them often. Refer to your values when explaining your decisions. Ensure that your team knows what you stand for and what you expect from them. 6. Engage your employees. Engaged employees enthusiastically contribute to both team and company success. They are proud of what they do and where they work. The leader makes the difference here: the relationship between employee and manager is an excellent gauge of the employee’s engagement level. Engaged employees are SuperCompetent: the type of people you count on to drive perfor- mance outcomes. Engagement is driven by several factors, including employee confidence and autonomy, the nature and quality of the job, access to training and career development, opportunities for growth, ongoing communication and feedback, a clear grasp of the goals and why their contributions matter, trust in the leaders and their integrity, pride in the company and their place in it, relationships with team members and co-workers, and presence of a com- petent and supportive managers who foster an environment of excellence and motivate team members by walking the talk, making personal integrity clear. 7. Lead by example. People might question what you say, but they can’t deny what they see you do. If you arrive late, miss deadlines, or settle for slop- py work, you signal that that this is acceptable. If you show a sincere com- mitment to following through on your promises, fulfilling your obligations, and behaving with integrity, you set a positive standard. Be consistent. Contradicting yourself one time can undo years of demonstrating good behavior. People tend to notice incon- sistency in a heartbeat and have little patience for it. Hold your team to a high standard, but hold yourself to an even higher one. LE Laura Stack is a productivity expert, speaker, founder of The Pro- ductivity Pro, and author of Supercompetent, The Exhaustion Cure, Find More Time, and Leave the Office Earlier. Call 303- 471-7401 or visit www.TheProductivityPro.com. ACTION: Cultivate a culture of excellence. by Laura Stack 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 PRODUCTIVITY C r e a t e a c u l t u r e o f e x c e l l e n c e .
  10. 10. you can rapidly define a future worth aiming for; and you can use After Action Reviews to understand what works and what doesn’t. Increasingly, it is quality of think- ing that differentiates great companies from good ones. I co-founded thinkx intellectual capital to bring together colleagues from all over the world to help people raise the power of their thinking—to think exponentially. Some say the x in thinkx brings out the notion of unlimited thinking and unlimited possibilities. We see it as exponential power—of you, your com- pany, and your results. Most organizations have the ideas they need inside their own walls. By developing the productive thinking capacity of your people, you can gen- erate more ideas, more innovative ideas, more workable ideas, and, ulti- mately, more success. Productive Thinking is a clear, repeatable process for solving prob- lems, identifying opportunities, and creating innovative change. It can help you raise the power of your thinking—to think exponentially. Your organization’s most important resource is its capacity for productive thinking. The better your people can think, evaluate, and apply their ideas, the more suc- cessful you are. Whether working alone or in teams, you will get better results in less time by developing your pro- ductive thinking skills. With productive thinking, you discover a new sense of freedom, confidence, and possibility, project teams perform at the highest level of productivity and creativity, and solu- tions are transformed from good to inspired. I founded my company thinkx on three beliefs: 1) The most productive priority in any organization is the development of its intellectual and creative capital so it can tap into the wisdom of its people; 2) Although many people talk about innovation, few understand how to make it hap- pen; and 3) How we think can be more important than what we know. The Productive Thinking Process can help you see more clearly, think more creatively, and plan more effec- tively. LE Tim Hurson is co-founder of thinkx and author of Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking. Visit www.thinkxic.com or www.timhurson.com. ACTION: Try the Productive Thinking Process. AS SOMEONE WHO consults with lead- ers in strategic prob- lem-solving, I’m often asked, “What are the most common problems you see in the companies you work with?” It only takes me a moment to answer. There are three: 1. Solving the wrong problems. Almost everywhere I go, I see rooms full of smart, dedicated people, work- ing their tails off—on the wrong stuff. Companies spend gobs of time, ener- gy, and money trying to solve the wrong problems. Often their solutions are well-designed, clever, even bril- liant. But if you’re asking the wrong question, it really doesn’t matter how good your answer is. It’s not going to address the real problem. 2. Heading toward nowhere. Time and again, I see leaders implementing new programs without a clear idea of where they want to go. Sometimes they know what they’re trying to change from, but rarely do they have a clear view of the future they want to reach. It’s like trying to find Waldo without knowing what he looks like. You can’t. Yet many companies spend huge amounts of time and energy aiming somewhere into the future, hoping they’ll hit a target. 3. Filling the same hole over and over. Despite what we hear about companies becoming learning organi- zations, very few of them know how to learn from their successes and fail- ures. They institute programs, market- ing campaigns, strategies, and then when they’re finished, they don’t real- ly learn from them. No wonder a com- mon complaint is the cynical comment about the latest flavor-of-the-month initiative. Sound familiar? You’ve likely encountered each of these syndromes more than once in your career. The good news is that you can learn sim- ple thinking tools to avoid these three common mistakes: You can easily identify the right problems to solve; Think Better Get tools to help you. by Tim Hurson COMPETENCY THINKING 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 LEADING ANY ORGANI- zation requires deal- ing with hot-button diversity issues as race, gender, sexual orientation, and immigration status. If your workforce doesn’t look anything like the people you are selling to, or making things for, or teaching, you are less likely to be successful. When I was Governor of Vermont, I always had a female chief of staff who did most of the hiring. Soon I noticed that my office had become a matri- archy. The vast majority of senior staff were women, half the Cabinet appoint- ments were women, and half Judicial appointments were women. One day my chief of staff came to my office and told me she was hiring a new policy analyst: “I just want you to know that you’ll be seeing a new face around here.” I said, “Let’s discuss this. There’s a tremendous gender imbalance in this office, and I wonder if you could find a man for this position?” She answered, “Governor, you’re right. There is an imbalance. But it’s so hard to find a qualified man.” We are all more comfortable hiring people like us—people who look like us, people we went to school, or church, or synagogue with. It’s not just aging white guys like me who do it. Women do it, African Americans do it, Jews do it, Catholics do it, Gay people do it— everybody does it—and doing it does- n’t mean we are all racist or bigots. But in a diverse country, ethnocentrism leads to institutional racism if one group of people does most of the hiring. The trick is to understand what sub- conscious decisions those who do the hiring are likely to make outside the hiring process, and figure out how to compensate for that. Since becoming aware of subconscious matters is such hard work, I recommend that you diversify the group that does the hir- ing. You can better achieve diversity by having the hiring done by a diverse group. When I took over the Democratic National Committee, I became the titu- lar head of a very diverse organization. But there was not as much diversity inside the organization as you might expect from a political organization Hiring Diversity And sharing the power. PEOPLE DIVERSITY by Howard Dean
  11. 11. that was selling its candidates to an incredible array of customers. We had 17 desks for various interest groups: one for Hispanics, African Americans, Gays and Lesbians, Women, Veterans, Religious groups, Asian Americans, Pro-choice advocates, Jews, etc. This arrangement had two big prob- lems. First, it continued the warring interest group model (which yielded few results). Second, although anyone could find someone they could identify with at the DNC to talk with, the core functions of the party at the top were controlled by white men; hence, the various desks couldn’t break through the hierarchy in a reliable way to get what they and their constituents needed. So, despite the objections of many groups who thought their influence would wane, we got rid of the desks and replaced the outreach program with a single office—the American Majority Project. The message was clear: We still care about your group, but we’re now going to look at you for all your talents, and on the merits, not simply as a member of an ethnic or other minority to be dealt with. And: The only way we can be a majority in this party of so many minorities is if we all work together for a common goal. This could not have worked without an even bigger change. When I won the election, a team of experienced DNC members assessed all we were doing. Their mission was to keep those who wanted to change and who were doing their job well, gently send the others on their way, and build a senior opera- tions team that looked like our voters. Over time, constituents were delighted to find that instead of having a desk to deal with them, they had senior people who understood them and their community, even if the answer to a request was no! We need to change organizations so that the old, rapidly-shrinking majority (people like me) no longer relies on tokenism and silos to satisfy a diverse customer base. The majority must accel- erate the inevitable—genuine power-sharing in senior decision-making. We can better appeal to a diversity of people with a unified message when we are credible in terms of conveying both our loyalty to the ideals and qualities of our orga- nization and our loyalty and personal understanding of people we talk to. The bar has been raised by the new generation. The question is not simply, “Do they look like me?” but “Do they understand me?” and “Do they have enough clout to deliver for me?” LE Howard Dean is former governor of Vermont and founder of Democracy for America. Visit www.democracyforamerica.com. ACTION: Share leadership with diverse talent. by Hank Haney you must be patient with your plan. This formula works for everything in life, including executive coaching. One key to success is to always have a plan, whether it is in teaching golf, in business, or in life in general, so I am always talking about having a plan. You can’t get to where you want to go without a plan. The Haney Plan is my personal plan for success. The best part of being an owner and leader is being able to train people who work with you to be able to be successful in their own right. The more successful that people who are associ- ated with you are, the more successful you will be yourself, regardless of how those people are connected to you. I’ve always believed that all golfers (and leaders) can improve their games and that the real enjoyment of golf (and leadership) is that challenge to be the best that you can be. Like many leaders and coaches, I’ve gone through some transitions, but I see transitions in my career as chal- lenges and opportunities. I’ve moved my career in an exciting direction, focusing on speaking and teaching at my own Golf Academy and opening the Hank Haney Golf Academy at Mission Hills Haikou in China. I continue to work with golf’s top players, but my passion is to help any golfer with the desire to improve. My students have won every major championship in pro- fessional, amateur, and junior golf. They improve and have fun in the process. We train amateurs and professionals alike in the fundamentals. We use sophisticated digital video analysis and work with you on every aspect of the swing to improve power, accuracy, and consistency. We empha- size the short game of chipping, pitch- ing, sand shots and putting to lower your scores. To develop a complete player, all the mental aspects and course management skills are covered. As you progress, we help you to understand what your swing is doing by analyzing the ball flight—the cor- nerstone to becoming your own best teacher. You learn how to practice, how to play the golf course, how to analyze your game to find the areas that need the most improvement, and how to think and act like a champion.LE Hank Haney is CEO of Hank Haney Golf, former Instructor to Tiger Woods and author of Essentials of the Swing, The Only Golf Lesson You’ll Ever Need, No More Bad Shots and Fix Your Yips Forever. Visit www.hankhaney.com. ACTION: Practice patience in your leadership. GOLF TEACHES US MANY leadership lessons. I consider golf to be the hardest game to master, and the lesson of patience is one every golfer must learn. Patience is key in leadership; it takes confidence to be patient; and confi- dence comes from knowing that you know. I admire every leader because leader- ship is never as easy as it looks. Every leader not only sets an example for his or her followers, but is responsible for creating more leaders. The more lead- ers there are, the more able followers there are. The more people follow, the more goals of a group get met. One of the greatest leadership chal- lenges I’ve faced—and one of the great- est opportunities that I’ve had to lead— was resigning from working with Tiger Woods. In doing so, I was able to show my colleagues that two of the most impor- tant things in life are: 1) to not be afraid to do some- thing that you believe in, and 2) when you do some- thing, to do it the right way. I believe that the process that it takes to improve in golf is no different than the process that it takes to make improvements in anything. The formu- la for success is the same, and you can always improve no matter how good you are at something. The key is to understand that you are either getting better, or you are getting worse. I know when I’m making progress with a student. Progress always hap- pens, but it doesn’t always show itself in a way that you hoped or thought it would. Goals are stepping stones that allow you to make and see progress with your plan. As long as you step forward, that is all you have to moni- tor no matter how small the steps are. In my Teach the Teacher seminars, I teach golf instructors how to diagnose any situation that a coach might face and how to formulate a plan to work toward improvement. I don’t think it matters what you’re trying to improve; you must first diagnose the situation and then formulate a step-by-step plan to work toward improvement. Then Practice Patience Think and act like a champion. COMPETENCY PRACTICE 1 0 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
  12. 12. puter scientists, but they need to know how the intelligent use of new technol- ogy can help them; recruit, develop, and maintain a network of technically competent people; make and manage smart investments in new technology; and be positive role models in the use of new technology. Without technolog- ical savvy, you can’t have integrated global partnerships and networks. 4. Building partnerships and alliances. Forming alliances will be even more dramatic in the future. Reengineering, restructur- ing, and downsizing are leading to a world where outsourcing of all but core brand-related activities may become the norm. The ability to negotiate alliances and manage com- plex networks of relation- ships is increasingly important. Joint leadership of new business models is vital to a successful global venture. The changing role of customers, sup- pliers, and partners has implications for leaders. In the past, it was clear who your friends (customers and collabora- tors) and enemies (competitors) were. In the future, these roles will become blurred. Building positive, long-term, win-win relationships becomes critical. 5. Sharing leadership. Sharing lead- ership is a requirement. In an alliance, telling partners what to do and how to do it may lead to having no partners. In dealing with knowledge workers— people who know more about what they are doing than their managers do— old models of leadership will not work. Future leaders will ask for input and share information. They may be diffi- cult to keep. They’ll view themselves as professional free agents who will work for the leader who provides the most developmental challenge. Most high-potential future leaders see the value of these new competen- cies and are willing to have their per- formance measured by them. If future leaders have the wisdom to learn from the experience of present leaders, and if present leaders have the wisdom to learn new competencies from future leaders, they can share leadership in ways that benefit the organization. Future Leaders IN ADDRESSING THE TOPIC of future leaders, I’d first ask, who are they? Many qualities of effective leadership— characteristics such as communicating vision, demonstrating integrity, focus- ing on results, and ensuring customer satisfaction—will never change. But five new factors play in the selection: 1. Thinking globally. Leaders will need to understand the economic, cul- tural, legal, and political ramifications of global markets. Leaders must see themselves as citizens of the world with an expanded field of vision and values. With dramatic projected increases in global trade and integrated global tech- nology (such as e-commerce), leaders must learn how to manage global pro- duction, marketing, and sales teams to achieve competitive advantage. New technology will make it feasi- ble to export white-collar work world- wide. Programmers in India will com- municate with designers in Italy to help develop products made in Indonesia and sold in Brazil. Technology can help break down barriers to global business. Leaders who can make glob- alization work in their favor will have a competitive advantage. 2. Appreciating cultural diversity. Leaders will also need to appreciate cultural diversity, defined as diversity of leadership style, industry style, in- dividual behaviors and values, race, and sex. They’ll need to understand economic, legal, social, religious, and motivational differences—as well as smaller issues such as the meaning of gifts, greetings, or timeliness. The ability to motivate people in differ- ent cultures is vital. Motivational strate- gies that are effective in one culture may be offensive in another. The same recognition that could be a source of pride to one could be a source of em- barrassment to another. Leaders who can understand, appreciate, and moti- vate colleagues in multiple cultures will be a very valued resource. 3. Demonstrating technological savvy. Future leaders will view technology as an integrated part of their lives. They need not be gifted technicians or com- CCooaacchhiinngg FFuuttuurree LLeeaaddeerrss I help successful leaders achieve positive, long-term, measurable change in behavior—as judged by key co-workers. I refuse to work with leaders who don’t care. I only work with people who make a sincere effort to change and who believe that this change will help them become better leaders and role models. I won’t work with people who have an integrity violation—those peo- ple should be fired, not coached. I involve key stakeholders by ask- ing them to help the person that I am coaching in four ways: 1. Let go of the past. When we bring up the past constantly, we demoralize people who are trying to change. What happened in the past can’t be changed. By focusing on a better future (feedfor- ward), stakeholders help themselves and my clients improve. 2. Be helpful and sup- portive, not cynical, sarcas- tic or judgmental. If my clients reach out to key stakeholders and feel pun- ished for trying to improve, they quit trying. I don’t blame them! Why should any of us work hard to build relationships with people who won’t give us a chance? If my clients’ co-workers are helpful and supportive, my clients are more likely to improve. 3. Tell the truth. I do not want my clients to get a glowing report from key stakeholders and later hear, “He didn’t really get better—we just said that.” This is not fair. 4. Pick something to improve your- self. My clients are open with stake- holders about what behavior they are trying to change. My clients ask for suggestions. I also ask the stakeholders to pick something to improve and to ask my client for suggestions. This makes the process two-way and helps stakeholders act as fellow travelers, not judges or critics. It also expands the value gained by the corporation. By using feedforward—and by encouraging others to use it—leaders can dramatically improve the quality of communication, ensuring that the right message is conveyed, and that those who receive it are receptive to its content. The result is a more dynamic, open organization—where people focus on the promise of the future rather than dwell on the mistakes of the past. LE Marshall Goldsmith is the author of Mojo, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Succession. Visit www.MarshallGoldsmithLibrary.com. ACTION: Attend to these five factors. by Marshall Goldsmith 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 1 1 LEADERSHIP ADVANCEMENT H o w c a n w e h e l p t h e m ?
  13. 13. a vision, enlists people, and creates a cul- ture where people can reach their potential. Our mission and vision at NYC/LA was to provide the system with principals with a strong grounding in instructional and transformational leadership who then make a difference for children. Of course, bureaucracy makes an organization resist change. In education, you face resistance in spades. This system has been entrenched in an old paradigm for so long that poor, status quo performance is accepted. This happens in businesses too. To a new leader, it is clear that things need to be done differently. It’s easy to realize you need a revo- lution when you’re on a burning plat- form—the hardest transformations are when companies are doing well. At Ameritech, we’d come off of six years of record earnings. But the chairman, who at 62 could have retired, said the company was ill-prepared for its future. So, we focused on mid-level managers as leaders. We changed our go-to-market strategy—from a 100- year history of a big, heavy, multi-lay- ered organization to a flat, nimble organization with a focus on the cus- tomer. We learned how to tap into human capacity and human capital. When I went to US West, it was a burning platform—the lowest-perform- ing Bell operating company. I thought, Why not use the same methodology with a different twist? As a new person, you think you can get everyone to play at a higher level. That doesn’t work. You’ve also got to infuse new blood to combat the antibodies fighting against change. The challenge for the leader of trans- formation is gaining traction and build- ing momentum—moving toward a tipping point. After just one year at the NYC/LA, we had 77 new principals and 242 principals whom I worked with the previous year. When I went Leading Transformation AS AN EXECUTIVE coach and leader- ship development con- sultant, I help senior leaders formulate strategy and lead transformations. I’ve led many ventures, but I’m perhaps best known as former CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy. I’ve been asked, Why would a high- tech CEO with a bright future sign up to transform the New York public school sys- tem? For me, it was a seductive propo- sition. I grew up poor in a family with 13 children. So, it’s hard for me to look the other way. Every time the media shot at me, I remembered that most of the kids that fail in this system look like me. I got my reality check know- ing this was the most important work I’d ever tried to do. Still, many people regard public education as an impene- trable fortress of vested interests and impervious to change. I tackled the transformation task because I have a firm commitment to learning and know how to ignite the spark of leadership. As CEO and teacher-in-chief of the NYC/LA, I was part of a daring attempt to turn school principals into agents of change using LD practices from busi- ness, military, and government. The mission of the Academy was to grad- uate leader-principals into NYC ele- mentary, middle, and high schools. Our tough-love approach to developing principals into agents of change drew the fire of the media and the ire of unions and local politicians. In response, I opened our books, classrooms, and leadership philosophy to a skeptical and often hostile press—and the money and support kept coming in. Leaders on the front lines of trans- formation must be deadly serious about LD. When I first spoke with Chancellor Joel Klein and Mayor Michael Bloom- berg about the change initiative and its focus on LD, it was clear they knew that transformation must be steered from the top and that there is no more important intervention than LD. Giving principals technical training or new pedagogical approaches has been tried before, with- out change. The cornerstone of transfor- mation is a strong leader who articulates into the school system, I could see the results—principles turned into prac- tices and applications. The ultimate measure was that more NYC students graduated from high school and went on to vocational schools or universities. As a leader of transformation, you continue to set the bar higher. Every one of our intervention tracks under- went 40 percent revision because expe- rience made us smarter. We became a repository of best practices. I applied the lessons and principles in LD gleaned from business, military, government, and non-profits. I borrow from everybody— if you’ve got the best, I’ll use it. I believe in benchmarking. If you want to become the best at what you do, learn how to be a learner. Open yourself up to learning. How do you evaluate a person’s po- tential to benefit from an LD program? When I look at aspiring principals, I look at whether they can be great prin- cipals in real schools. I look for edge, energy, and vision. Do they have the conviction and passion to enlist others? Does the leadership bucket have a lot more volume than the instructional bucket? It’s hard to make a leader out of someone who is an instructional expert but shows no leadership traits. When I’m recruiting principals to take over troubled schools, I look for seasoned veterans who have done it—people with a track record in an urban school system, in tough circumstances and tough communities, and who, in spite of all the barriers, can get it done. To recruit them, I touted the future attrac- tiveness of a candidate who can come into this system and get things done. There is great upward mobility. How did you measure your success in LD? First, set clear expectations—we had a checklist of things that we promised to do. Second, prove that you can act within the fiscal constraints imposed upon you— we were fiscally responsible. Third, de- monstrate results—we showed that our principals can turn schools around and that students can achieve at a higher rate. When you put the right kind of leader in a school, within three years, the leader can turn a school around. Many leaders have now done it. What I tried to do is scale it through LD. Like most leaders, I’m focused on bottom-line results. If I don’t improve performance, I fail. There are safer things I could do, but I pick difficult things. All great leaders see the power and wisdom of investing in people. LE Robert E. Knowling, Jr. is Chairman of Eagles Landing Partners and former CEO of the NYC Leadership Academy. Visit www.eagleslanding.com. ACTION: Lead a transformation. by Robert E. Knowling, Jr. 1 2 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 PERFORMANCE TRANSFORMATION Y e 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 .
  14. 14. Create and use an active-listening attitude. Learning to be an active listen- er is like learning to be an active jog- ger—it takes effort. You start little by little and work upward. It’s as much a state of mind as a physical activity. Besides, as you work longer and get better, it pays ever-increasing benefits. SSppeeaakk wwiitthh AAuutthhoorriittyy The ability to communicate well to groups is vital to leadership. In fact, the top predictor of upward mobility is how much you enjoy and how good you are at public speaking. Organizations seek individuals who can sell products, present propos- als, report findings, and explain ideas. Improve your speaking in five ways: Care about your subject. Passion is the starting point. Pick a subject that you’d like to share with others because you know that they could benefit from your knowledge. Enthusiasm shows. Be brief. The best way to impress an audience is to finish early. Said James Roosevelt, son of FDR: “My father told me,” “Be sincere, be brief, be seated.” So hit it hard, hit it well, finish strong, and keep it short. The less your audience’s minds wander, the more they’ll appre- ciate you and remember what you said. Make use of memory joggers. Use examples to transmit your message powerfully. Statistics, if used sparingly and presented simply, can add drama and credibility to a message. Compar- isons can help your audience evaluate different options quickly and logically, and testimony—personal stories of credible people—can make your mes- sage more memorable and believable. Remember the pause that refreshes. Use the sweet sound of silence, the power of the pause. Pauses are not empty spaces. Instead, they enable the audience to respond to your words with their own thoughts, images, and Look of Leadership HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO a gathering where you sensed the talk was just a series of monologues? No one is listening. They’re rehearsing what they might say—or talk without communicating. While we hear, we only pretend to listen. Listening is more than hearing. It also takes intellectual and emotional effort. To appreciate the other person and what’s being said, you need to ask questions, give feedback, remain objec- tive, figure out what’s being said and what’s not being said, and observe and interpret body language. When you want to win people’s attention, listening is just as important as speaking. Good lis- tening draws people to you; poor lis- tening causes them to drift away. Practice active listening in five ways: Listen–really listen–to one person for one day. Choose one person you could relate to better. Commit to listen- ing to him—not just hearing him—for one day. Then, extend this exercise to more days, and to other acquaintances. Create a receptive listening environ- ment. Turn off the TV. Hold your calls. Put away spread sheets and silence the computer. When listening, forget about clipping your nails, crocheting, solving crossword puzzles, or snapping your chewing gum. Instead, provide a pri- vate, quiet, comfortable setting where you sit side by side with others with- out distractions. If that’s not possible, perhaps suggest a later meeting in a more neutral, quieter environment. Be alert to body language. What you do with your eyes, face, hands, arms, legs, and posture sends out signals as to whether you are listening to and understanding what the other person is saying. When you acknowledge the other person both verbally and nonver- bally, you build trust and increase rap- port. And you’ll learn something, too! Abstain from judging. If you pre- judge someone as shallow, crazy, or ill- informed, you cease paying attention to what they say. So judge only after you’ve heard and evaluated what they say. Don’t jump to conclusions based on how they look, what you’ve heard about them, or whether they’re nervous. feelings. “The right word may be effec- tive,” Mark Twain said, “but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.” Don’t dawdle at the finish line. The end is as important as the beginning. This is your chance to sum up your best thoughts, words, and images and imprint them indelibly on the audience. Don’t blow it by running beyond your time limit, or fumbling a final message. Know what you want to say, say it, and end. PPrroojjeecctt aa PPoossiittiivvee IImmaaggee You make a statement about your- self before you open your mouth. Your image or silent message includes every- thing from your posture to your posi- tivity. It’s the way you carry yourself— physically, emotionally, and intellectu- ally. Such quiet signals affect people’s perception, impression, or image of you. Image, especially when backed up by strong performance, is a powerful force. And a negative first impression—saying the wrong thing, wearing the wrong clothes, coming across as uncaring or inept—creates roadblocks that cut off relationships. To create a favorable first impression (and have people put a positive spin on everything you say or do and admire you even before they know much about you), try these five ideas: 1. A winning image starts with a good self-image. Get some photos or tapes of yourself when you feel you’re look- ing your best and study them. What do you see that you like, or don’t like? Ask friends for their opinions. Promise you won’t take offense–and don’t! 2. Avoid annoying or distracting habits or mannerisms. Such habits as tugging at clothing, drumming fingers on a table, tapping pencils, clicking pens, doodling, jangling keys or change, biting nails, cleaning teeth make it more difficult for the other person to hear you, and detract from your image. 3. Seek winners, spurn losers. Choose friends who want you to succeed and who encourage you. Reduce your exposure to the negative, whether it’s gossip from co-workers, violence in the media, or pessimism in self-talk. 4. Treat everyone as if he or she is the most important person you’ll meet that day. Replace arrogance with empa- thy. Every once in a while, you’ll learn a big lesson from that “little” person. 5. Make fitness a lifestyle, not a chore. Walk up and down the stairs to your high-rise office or apartment. Ride a bike to the store. Take a nature hike. LE Tony Alessandra is a founding partner in The Cyrano Group and author of The NEW Art of Managing People. Visit www.alessandra.com. ACTION: Develop the look of leadership. by Tony Alessandra 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 1 3 LEADERSHIP STYLE L i s t e n , s p e a k , a n d p r o j e c t i m a g e .
  15. 15. organizational dynamics: Observers can easily view the entire system at once; communication among players is transparent and instantaneous; and the connection between behavior and results happens immediately. FFrroomm MMiiccrroommaannaaggiinngg ttoo LLeeaaddiinngg When asked to play without a leader, the orchestra plays accurately, but the music lacks emotion and pace. When I micromanage the performance, the group sounds stilted and flat. When an inexperienced conductor stands in, the performance is tentative and uneven. But when the maestro con- fidently conducts, musi- cians respond with a lush and expansive rendition. So, what purpose does a conductor or CEO serve? The leader’s first job is to provide others with a sense of the big picture. The con- ductor can see and hear the whole, gather information from the music, and convey that information to the group. At the end, I invite participants to stand behind me as I conduct, to better understand the unique perspective of the entire system that the leader holds. A skilled conductor infuses the notes of a musical score with meaning, inspir- ing the orchestra to perform with rich- ness, depth, and emotion. Visionary leaders can make a qualitative difference in a team’s functioning. A conductor must provide guidance in advance of the orchestra’s playing a note; leaders commit themselves to things that have not yet happened. If leaders make a commitment—and engage others in creating a vision—when the time comes for people to act, they know what they need to do to bring the vision to life. Conductors don’t make music directly —the people they lead do. Leaders can’t precisely control operations, but the people who work for them can. An effective conductor enables people to exe- cute their jobs well: revealing things about the music to the players, show- ing them what’s important, and lifting them out of their silos to gain a sense of the whole. Under a controlling leader, musicians may be more togeth- er in terms of timing, but they give Maestro Leadership HOW OFTEN HAVE YOU wished as a leader that you and your peo- ple could break free of the business-as- usual mentality—the enemy of inno- vative thinking, fresh initiative, high aspiration, and exceptional performance? And yet leaders often capitulate to the seductive allure of “good enough.” How do you enlighten people about the crucial difference leadership can make in a way that inspires impressive results? I do this in the Music Paradigm, using a symphony orchestra as a metaphor for an organization dealing with chal- lenge or change. Executives sit among musicians as I lead them through craft- ed exercises that illustrate qualities, reactions, and practices of top teams. I may ask the orchestra to play without a conductor. They intensify their communication, and manage to play quite well. Then I ask them to make a different interpretation, and they can do that too. I often select a participant to stand on the podium and hold the baton in her hand. She feels the way I move it and listens to the orchestra’s response. Then we dis- cuss what it means. The experience serves as a tangible reminder of the beauty and promise in effective team- work and inspirational leadership. This exercise shows the courage re- quired of conductors and leaders: the willingness to be the first to commit to a purpose that exists only as an idea. Most of the people that you need to execute a plan won’t at first under- stand your vision. But they feel the force of your commitment. When they see you living in your imagined future, they’ll put themselves at risk for it. But, if you retreat from your purpose and align yourself with the present state, you’ll lose energy, ambition and meaning. The Music Paradigm provides a cre- ative framework for rethinking leader- ship styles. You gain unique insights about the contribution that each play- er makes to the whole, the importance of effective teamwork, and the impact of different leadership styles on per- formance. A symphonic performance serves as an ideal lab for studying less emotionally and feel less able to make their unique contributions. As the musicians illustrate both dys- functional and functional behaviors, the dysfunction leads you to look with- in yourself and your organization. The music starts to sound like what is hap- pening in your office, and you begin to question your leadership. And, the function that is created by the music leaves you with a picture of what your organization could achieve. When you see the music that is created through great leadership and teamwork, you start to have more productive meetings, increased cre- ativity, openness, inspiration and energy, and individuals become eager to consider ways to work more effectively. As in an orchestra, the power of an organization lies in the people doing the work and how they interact with each other. The role of a leader is to create the best possible space for this to happen: Don’t tell players what to do; provide them with a vision for the whole, guidelines, and resources; and give them permission to get the job done. Recog- nize that you, as the leader, don’t have all the power. But you do have the power to create circumstances where others can excel, transcend what is possible, and together achieve the goal. Under the direction of a great mae- stro, musicians work together in aston- ishing synchronicity. Why? The maestro conceives of the orchestra as a living, intelligent system of interlocking aware- ness. So he changes the orchestra’s playing by addressing the connections between the players, rather than isolating the parts. The maestro’s direction helps musicians to identify with their collec- tive sound. They feel more like an intelli- gent community that doesn’t need a con- ductor to tell them who’s sharp or flat. They can solve the problem themselves. This is why the maestro’s rehearsals generate such enthusiasm. People feel that they are working together, empow- ered to use their own judgment. This opens the door to participation with the rest of their artistry—shaping their own phrases and drawing from the full range of their instruments’ sound palette. The maestro offers musical vision and guidelines that help musicians to align their efforts into a coherent interpretation. LE Roger Nierenberg is a Symphony Orchestra conductor, creator of The Music Paradigm and author of Maestro. Visit www.musicparadigm.com. Call 212-246-0525, visit MaestroBook.com, or email: RNierenberg@MusicParadigm.com. ACTION: Lead your team like a maestro. by Roger Nierenberg 1 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 PERFORMANCE STYLE G o b e y o n d b u s i n e s s a s u s u a l .
  16. 16. it was all housed in a sleek, clean, sun- lit space that had been meticulously designed down to the last detail, to give our students the same sense of self-worth and possibility that Frank Ross’s classroom had nurtured in me. A person’s environment shapes who they are and how they see the world. Decay fills us with despair while beau- ty inspires us to hope and to dream beyond our circumstances. MBC is a model for education, culture and hope. Our Youth & Arts program serves about 3,900 youth a year through class- es and workshops in ceramics, photog- raphy, digital imaging, and design art. MCG Arts enables students to work intensively with visiting artists of great stature through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, residencies, and visits. Our Jazz program is dedicated to preserving, promoting and presenting jazz music by bringing audiences together with jazz artists at a 350-seat music hall in Pittsburgh for innovative performances and recordings. After 20 years, MCG Jazz has become an anchor of Pittsburgh’s cultural life. For me, jazz is one of the most powerful metaphors for living an extraordinary life. Jazz is a state of mind in which possibilities for innova- tion and discovery are revealed to you, and you can tap into deep reserves of com- mitment and passion. Many jazz artists have influenced my thinking; and their music has helped me live an authentic life. MBC is a business model that works. In fact, it works so well that I’m repli- cating the MB enterprise throughout the country. Our future rests in our ability to form visions and partnerships. As leaders, we’ve got to change the way people see themselves and their futures. Entrepreneurs are visionaries. The use of art to change students’ attitudes is at the heart of my vision. I see connection Vision Inspires IN MY MEMOIR, MAKE the Impossible Possible, I describe the images of my earliest memories. I grew up in Manchester, an inner-city neighborhood of Pittsburgh. What I saw as I walked to school each day was an unbroken landscape of decay that taught me indel- ible lessons about hopelessness and defeat no matter where my gaze fell. Home was different. There my moth- er enlisted her children’s help in keep- ing their simple abode neat and clean. And in high school, a teacher, Frank Ross, introduced me to the art of mak- ing pottery. It changed my life. Frank was a skilled artisan on the potter’s wheel. The relationship that we creat- ed around a revolving mound of clay gave form to the future vision of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG). The decline of the steel industry created widespread unemployment, and I decided to address the problem by offering vocational training to dis- placed and underemployed workers. The Guild began as an after-school arts program in a donated North Side row- house that I secured while a student at the University of Pittsburgh. My vision for the center was met with skepticism and doubt in board- rooms where I tried to raise funds. But as word spread through the communi- ty, an influential patron saw the poten- tial in my vision and motivated others to support it. With the support, I founded the MCG when I was 19. Due to my track record, I was asked in 1971 to assume leadership of MB and guide its transition to providing skills relevant to Pittsburgh’s emerging market economy. This doubled the strength of MB’s ability to help the community. I envisioned a template for social change, and formed relation- ships with people who shared my vision. Today MBC is a gleaming, expan- sive community arts and jobs training center in Pittsburgh. This place was built to offer our students the same rich experiences that had turned my life around. There is clay. There is art and photography. After a while, there were flowers and gourmet food. And between the creativity instilled by a love of the arts, and skills needed in business. Artists are by nature entrepreneurs. They visualize something that doesn’t exist— they look at a canvas and see a painting. When I saw Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water for the first time through the growth of rhododendrons, I was amazed. Here I was, a 16-year-old kid from inner-city Pittsburgh, looking at this house with a creek running through 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 as wholeheartedly and creatively as any- body—then I am home free. I’m talking about respect, about common sense and decency, about the dictate that our best hopes must always be acted upon, that all people everywhere possess an innate hunger for, and right to, what is sustaining, good, and beautiful. Success is the point where your most authentic talents, passion, values, and experiences intersect with the chance to contribute to some greater good. A suc- cessful life or career is not something you simply pursue—it is something that you create, moment by moment. Over 30 years, I’ve been transform- ing the lives of people, striving to give disadvantaged kids and adults the time and tools they need to envision and build a better, brighter future. Every one of us has the potential for remarkable achievement. Every one of us can accomplish the impossible in our lives if given the right inspiration and motivation. We all make ourselves poor in one way or another when we accept that we are not smart enough, experi- enced enough, or talented enough to accomplish something. I work with the least advantaged among us, and if I can help them achieve the impossible in their lives, think what each of us can do! People are born into this world as assets, not liabilities. A person’s out- come is often determined by the way we treat him (and ourselves). The sand in the hourglass flows only one way. Stop going through the motions of living —savor each day. Life is here and now, not waiting for you in the future. You don’t have to travel far to change lives. I grew up in a ghetto, four blocks from where I built our training center. You only need to change your thinking to remake your world. All of us can build on our passions and strengths, dream bigger, set the bar higher, achieve meaningful success, and help mentor and inspire the lives of others.LE Bill Strickland is CEO of Manchester Bidwell and author of Make the Impossible Possible (Broadway). Visit Bill-Strickland.org. ACTION: Have a leadership vision and voice. by Bill Strickland 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 1 5 LEADERSHIP VISION Envision a better, brighter future.