Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lessons in Leadership - by General Colin Powell (Part - II)

Lesson 7 - "Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds"

In a brain bases economy, the best assets are people. This is a well known fact. But how many leaders actually 'walk the talk"?

How many leaders immerse time in the goal of creating and environment where the best, the bright and the most creative are attracted, retained and more importantly 'unleashed'?

Lesson 8 - "Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing"

In a well run organization titles are meaningless. Titles mean little in terms of 'real' power, which is the capacity to influence and inspire. A team will commit to a person who might not have any authority on paper but who possesses drive, expertise and genuine concern for team members....

Lesson 9 - "Never let you ego come so close to your position so that when your position goes, your ego goes along with it..."

Very often change is stifled by people who cling to their familiar turfs and job descriptions. Real leaders understand everyone of our jobs will become obsolete. Effective leaders therefore create a climate where peoples' worth is determined by willingness to learn new skills, grab new opportunities, and reinvent jobs.
The most important question in performance appraisals should not be "How did you perform in yoru job since we last met"? rather "How did you change your job..."

Lesson 10 - "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier"

The ripple effect of enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism. Perpetual optimism is not about accepting organizational stupidity or incompetence. Its about a 'gung-ho" attitude that says - we can change things here, we can achieve big goals, we can be the best !

Lesson 11 - Fit no stereotypes. Don't chase latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the mission"

Flitting from fad to fad creates confusion and reduces the leader's credibility. Blindly following a fad generates rigidity in thought and action.
Some situation require the leaders to hover closely while others require a long loose leash. Leaders honor core values but are flexible in how to execute them.

Management techniques are not magic 'mantras' but tools to be reached at the right times.


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