● Maintain your integrity. Establish your integrity and never waver from it. People might not have agreed with Welch on every issue, but they always knew they were getting it straight and honest. He never had two agendas; there was only one way — the straight way.
● Set the tone for your company. The organization takes its cue from the person on top. Welch always told GE’s business leaders their personal intensity deter- mined their organization’s intensity — how hard they worked and how many people they touched would be emulated a thousand times over.
● Maximize your organization’s intellect. Getting every employee’s mind into the game is a huge part of what being a CEO is all about; taking their best ideas and transferring them to others is the secret. Be open to the best of what everyone, every- where, has to offer, then transfer that learning across the organization.
● Put people first, strategy second. Getting the right people in the right jobs is a lot more important than developing a strategy — this truth applies to all kinds of businesses. Without the right leaders in place, the best, most forward-thinking strategies in the world will amount to little.
● Stress informality. Bureaucracy strangles; informality liberates. Creating an informal atmosphere is a competitive advantage. It isn’t about first names, unassigned parking spaces, or casual clothing; it is about making sure everybody counts, and everybody knows they count. Passion, chemistry and idea flow from any level at any place are what matter. Everybody’s wel- come and expected to go at it.
● Be self-confident. Arrogance is a killer, and wearing ambition on one’s sleeve can have the same effect; legitimate self-confidence, however, is a winner. The true test of self-confidence is the courage to be open o welcome change and new ideas, regardless of their source. Self-confident people also are not afraid to have their views challenged; they relish the intellectual com- bat that enriches ideas.
● Appraise all the time. Whether you are handing out a stock option, giving a raise, or simply bumping into someone in the hallway, always let your people know where they stand.
● Mind your culture. If your company joins forces with another through merger or acquisition, establish the new entity’s culture on day one, to minimize confusion and root out resistance to your goals.
● Recognize the benefits of speed. By acting decisive- ly on people, plants and investments, Jack Welch was able to get out of the pile very early in his career at GE. Yet, upon his retirement 40 years later, one of his greatest regrets was that he hadn’t acted fast enough on a number of occasions. He never regretted taking quick action.
● Forget the Zeros. The entrepreneurial benefits of being small — agility, speed and ease of communication — are often lost in a big company. Welch’s experience in plastics enabled him to come to the job of CEO knowing that isolating small projects and keeping them out of the mainstream was a smart thing to do. By focusing on such projects as separate, smaller business- es, the people involved were more energized, adventurous and backed by the right resources.
Jack Welch: Straight from the gut
There is no pat formula for being a CEO. Everyone does it differently, and there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, no magic formula that is the right thing to do in all cases. Jack Welch has, however, found a number of things that have helped him lead GE over the years, among them the following:
The heart of this process is the human resources cycle — full-day Session C human resources reviews at every major busi- ness location (held in April), two-hour videoconference Session C follow-ups (held in July), and Session C-II’s, held in November, which confirm and finalize the actions committed to in April.
And that is only the formal structure. At GE, there is an informal, unspoken personnel review — in the lunch- room, the hallways and in every business meeting. That intense people focus — testing everyone in a variety of environments — defines managing at GE.
All these people-centric endeavors, both formal and informal, are done in an effort to differentiate GE’s best employees and managers from the rest of the pack. Differentiation isn’t easy; over the years, the company used many kinds of bell curves and block charts to differentiate talent, in an effort to rank performance and potential (high, medium and low). Eventually, Welch found a ranking tool he liked — the “Vitality Curve.”
Every year, the company asked each of its businesses to rank all of their top executives, in an effort to force these business leaders to differentiate their leadership. They had to identify the people in their organizations that they considered in the top 20 percent, the vital mid- dle 70, and, finally, the bottom 10 — by name, position and compensation.
Those who did not perform to expectations generally had to go. While making these judgments is not easy, doing so is how great organizations are built, Welch felt. Year after year, differentiation raises the bar higher and higher, increasing the overall caliber of the organization in a dynamic process that makes everyone accountable for his or her performance. People (particularly those in the top echelon) must constantly demonstrate that they deserve to be there.
One of Jack Welch’s passions as CEO of GE was to create a corporate culture devoid of the kinds of territorial walls that can sink even the best operations. This type of “boundaryless” culture (introduced at the company’s 1990 annual meeting) would remove the barriers among all the various functions at the company — engineering, manufacturing, marketing and the rest. It would recog- nize no distinctions between “domestic” and “foreign” operations. It would knock down external walls, making suppliers and customers part of a single process. It would eliminate the less visible walls of race and gender. It would put the team ahead of the individual ego.
Boundaryless would also reward people who recog- nized and developed a good idea, not just those who
came up with one, encouraging leaders to share credit for ideas with their team, rather than take full credit themselves. The concept also opened GE to the best ideas and practices from other companies, like Wal- Mart’s process to gather and use market intelligence quickly (see box above). It would make each employee and leader at GE wake up with the goal of “Finding a Better Way Every Day” — a phrase that became a slo- gan at GE plants and offices the world over.
In 1992, Jack Welch discussed with GE’s leaders how to differentiate GE’s managers, based on their ability to deliver numbers, while maintaining GE’s values, includ- ing being boundaryless. He described four types of man- agers:
● Type 1: The manager who delivers on commitments — financial or otherwise — and shares the values. His or her future is an easy call.
● Type 2: The manager who doesn’t meet commitments and doesn’t share the organization’s values. Not as pleasant a call, but just as easy as Type 1.
● Type 3: The manager who misses commitments but shares all the organization’s values. This type might be given a second or third chance, just in a different environment.
● Type 4: The manager who delivers on all commitments, makes numbers, but doesn’t share the values. This type usually forces performance out of people, rather than inspiring it. GE could not afford the Type 4 manager.
Welch immediately illustrated his commitment to these values by asking four corporate officers to leave the company, because they did not share GE’s values, particularly boundaryless behavior. Suddenly, “Finding a Better Way, Every Day” wasn’t just a slogan — it was the essence of boundaryless behavior, and by defining the expectations of everyone at GE, established the “social architecture” of the company. Over the course of three years, employ- ees used that architecture to hammer out a values state- ment for the entire organization, one that GE considered so important, it put them on laminated cards that all employees carry.
GE is all about finding and building great people, in direct accordance with Jack Welch’s passion for making people GE’s core competency. The secret to GE’s success in this regard is the system it employs to select and develop great people. In a company with over 300,000 employees and 4,000 senior managers, GE needed a structure and a logic, so that every employee knew and understood the rules of the game.
The Leader’s Checklist comprises fifteen mission-critical, time-tested leadership principles that vary surprisingly little among companies or countries. Taken together, they constitute a playbook for leadership decisions whatever the challenge. “Effective leadership can be learned, and indeed should be learned, by those with responsibility for the performance of their enterprises and their employees.”
I have concluded that effective leadership can be learned and indeed should be learned, by those with responsibility for the performance of their enterprises and their employees. I have also found that leadership benefits from an approach built upon specific guiding principles that, taken together, create a clear road map for navigating any situation. The Leader’s Checklist, a complete set of vital leadership principles that are tried, tested and true. Fifteen Core Principles
The principles of the checklist should be applicable to most leaders, in most endeavors, in most circumstances, whether investment banking, high technology, or public service; whether good times or bad; and regardless of company or country. But a checklist is only as good as its underlying foundation, and the foundation is only as solid as the materials and engineering that go into it.
Here are the fifteen essential principles that taken together, I believe, constitute an irreducible checklist for leadership action:
Customizing the Leader’s Checklist
- Articulate a Vision. Formulate a clear and persuasive vision and communicate it to all members of the enterprise.
- Think and act strategically. Set forth a pragmatic strategy for achieving that vision both short- and long-term and ensure that it is widely understood; consider all the players and anticipate reactions and resistance before they are manifest.
- Honer the room. Frequently express your confidence in and support for those who work with and for you.
- Take charge. Embrace a bias for action, of taking responsibility even if it is not formally delegated, particularly if you are well positioned to make a difference.
- Act decisively. Make good and timely decisions and ensure that they are executed.
- Communicate persuasively. Convey messages in a way that people will not forget; simplicity and clarity of expression help.
- Motivate the troops. Appreciate the distinctive intentions that people bring and then build on those diverse motives to draw the best from each.
- Embrace the front line. Delegate authority except for strategic decisions and stay close to those most directly engaged with the work of the enterprise.
- Build leadership in others. Develop leadership throughout the organization.
- Manage relationships. Build enduring personal ties with those who look to you and work to harness the feelings and passions of the workplace.
- Identify personal implications. Help everyone appreciate the impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have on their own work and future in the firm.
- Convey your character. Through gesture, commentary and accounts, ensure that others appreciate that you are a person of integrity.
- Dampen over-optimism. Counter the hubris of success, focus attention on latent treats and unresolved problems and protect against the tendency for managers to engage in unwarranted risk.
- Build a diverse top team. Leaders need to take final responsibility but leadership is also a team sport best played with an able roster of those collectively capable of resolving all the key challenges.
- Place common interest first. In setting strategy, communicate the vision and reaching decisions, common purpose comes first, personal self interest last.
While the fifteen principles provide a solid template for action, suitable for most leadership moments at most organizations at most times, “most” is not always good enough. Customized checklists are required for distinct contexts, and among the most important divisions are those of company, role, and country.
The Leader’s Checklist for General Electric, according to those highly familiar with the company, would include, for instance, teaching others how to lead their divisions, making tough – often wrenching – personnel decisions around performance, and continually innovating. A checklist for Google, by contrast, would place greater emphasis on pursuing individual creative sparks, keeping teams small, and guiding others in an even-keeled manner. A checklist for a major professional services firm might identify nearly a dozen special capacities that it holds to be vital for its managers, including seeing the world through its clients’ eyes, enthusiastically engaging with clients, and working with them to transcend conventional thinking. “While the 15 principles provide a solid template for action, customized checklists are required for distinct contexts; most importantly the divisions of company, role, and country.” Role
. Distinct positions necessitate their own unique additions to the core Leader’s Checklist. The customized principles for top executives are different from those for frontline managers. They, in turn, are different from those for company directors. Country
. Specific principles are essential for varied national locations as well. What is required in Argentina or Great Britain is at least partially distinct from what is essential in America or France. “Even the best checklist has no value unless it is routinely activated to guide a leader’s behavior.” “Organizational leadership has its greatest impact in times of uncertainty and change. It is when uncertainty becomes the norm that a Leader’s Checklist becomes most valuable.”
When markets are predictable, when change is not in the offing, leaders can coast, at least for a while. It is when uncertainty becomes the norm and turbulence more commonplace that a Leader’s Checklist becomes most consequential.
Get out from behind your desk and wandered around your department or organization and just talk with the members of your department or organization? There is a term for this activity – MBWA, management by walking around.
Presence Among Your Employees is Important The benefits of getting to know your people and letting them know you care about them will go a long way toward improving morale, communication, and employee performance. Time spent with them will have dramatic, indirect, positive rewards for you as a manager.
You don’t have time? You have too much on your plate already? Excuses, excuses! If you are stuck every day in meetings, conferences, research, doing paperwork, reading email its time to get you S#@t together, Review your priorities and make some commitments to work towards yours and the organizations goals.
You can’t manage and coach your staff from behind your desk. You can only coach, train, inspect, lead, and direct when you are in the presence of your employees.
Being visible to your employees allows you to:
1. Catch people doing things right and recognize them.
2. Catch people doing things wrong and modify behaviour through coaching.
3. Keep in touch with the reality of your department or organization.
4. Be available for questions, concerns, or needs of your employees.
5. Find new creative ways to run your department.
6. Be a sounding board for your employees.
7. Send the message to your employees that you care and are interested in them and their jobs.
8. Fix things before they break.
9. Break things that need to be broken.
10. Determine common perceptions that people have about the business, their jobs, customers, and so on.
Effective Managers and coaches are In Tune with Their Organization The most effective managers and leaders get to know their people. They know their frustrations, concerns, questions, beliefs, problems, dreams, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. You can’t know any of this if you are barricaded behind piles of reports, non-stop meetings, and a heavy workload. The job of a manager is to manage it, not do it. The job of a coach is to coach not sit from a far and question.
It is critical that managers be in tune with their organization’s culture, perceptions, employee attitudes and frustrations, and not wait for these to filter up through the ranks as rumours or hearsay.
Negative things are happening in your organization right now, and the sooner you identify them, the sooner you can reduce, eliminate, or neutralize them. If you just act as if everything is just fine, prepare for the consequences. Get your head around what your role and responsibilities are.
Leadership, management and coaching are not easy, it’s not sexy its hard work. Its repetitive, doing the same thing day in day out, setting expectations, measuring result and adjusting with effective feedback. Coaching is ongoing, working with individuals to achieve there goals and the organizations expectations. Now get going. Get out from behind that computer and start talking to your people… Now!!
Today I see so many manager and coaches sitting behind their desk, Creating spread sheets and sending out emails that never get read.
Presented by John Maxwell. 5 Levels of Leadership. How to increase your influence on people..The five levels are:
Most of us start at Level one. They key is been aware that this is the foundation are there are more levels to move through, this is not the end.
- Position. People follow you because they have to.
- Permission. People follow because they want to, they like you. Focus on connecting with people. "Leadership is the ability to get people to work for you when there not obligated." Connecting with people starts with caring for people. "You can love people without leading them, but you can not lead people without loving them." Connecting with people continues by communicating with people.
- Production. People follow for what you have done for the organization. Focus on leading people and the organization. Make something happen, produce and accomplish something. "Your accomplishments are much more vital to your success than seniority."
- People Development. People follow you for what you have done for them and your people become loyal to you. Focus on growing and training people. "Build a dream team through recruitment, training & coaching to achieve your organizations dreams, goals and objectives."
- Person-hood. People follow because of who you are and what you represent.
A lot of people have not been successful because they have never had a true leader.Whats your plan to develop yourself? Whats your plan to develop your people?
The way to grow people is to grow yourself. Place top priority on developing people.
Unfortunately, skepticism toward leadership abounds throughout society.
Given how jaded people have become toward those in positions of authority, leaders face a stiff challenge in persuading others to link up with their vision. In today’s climate people distrust the motives of leaders, disbelieve their promises, and are inclined to second-guess their decision-making. Increasingly, people perceive leaders as having the same detestable qualities as the stereotypical used car salesman: self-interestedness, underhandedness, and manipulation.
Leaders inevitably must convince others to support their vision and/or decisions, but how can they gain influence with followers who hold them in suspicion? In short, how can leaders be persuasive without being manipulative? Let’s examine three primary ways in which leaders behave manipulatively, and then look at three alternative means of persuasion.
Tactics of a Manipulative Leader
1) They misuse or abuse power
Leaders generally enjoy a positional advantage over their followers. That is, they have the authority to issue rewards or mete out punishments. Leaders abuse their power when they tilt the structure of incentives to secure personal advantages or to enhance their own prestige. For example, they may reward unethical behavior if it brings them financial gain, or they may leverage their power to sully the reputation of a subordinate who frequently disagrees with them.
2) They fabricate or withhold information
Leaders manipulate people through misinformation. The past decade has witnessed corporate scandals in which executives have fudged numbers or completely “cooked the books.” Yet, most manipulation happens far more subtly than financial fraud. Leaders may simply mislead their constituents by accentuating the positives of an arrangement while hiding its drawbacks.
For example, a used car salesman may not tell outright lies about the mileage or features of an automobile. However, he may cover up aspects of the vehicle’s history such as accidents or flood damage. Hence, the resonance of the advertising slogan “Show me the Carfax!”
3) They prey on the emotions of others
Manipulative leaders generally are not blind to the needs of others. In fact, the most deceptive leaders are keenly aware of the wants and aspirations of their people, and they use this knowledge to control others. To increase their influence, they appeal to hopes and fears while downplaying reasoning and logic.
Tactics of a Persuasive Leader
1) They leverage power to serve and empower others.
All too often organizations treat their employees as if they should be thankful just to have a job. However, great leaders earn support by developing their people. Such leaders proactively serve as mentors, networkers, equippers, and coaches; they are always on the lookout for ways to empower employees to grow toward their potential.
With respect to those following your lead, ask yourself: “What’s in it for them?” That is, what do they stand to gain during the process of pursuing the vision of your team/organization?
2) They speak truthfully, even when the truth hurts.
In the long run, people trust leaders who help them discover the truth, even if it is uncomfortable initially. Often, the shortest path to a trusting relationship crosses through some feelings of discomfort. The truth isn’t always pleasant. Leaders help people to get past temporary discomfort and to move toward decisions that will benefit them long-term.
What unpleasant truths does your team presently face? Have you forthrightly informed your team about the unpleasant aspects of your current reality?
3) They underpromise and overdeliver.
Eager to close a sale or secure a commitment, leaders have a bad habit of promising more than they can deliver. By overpromising, they create unrealistic expectations, set up others for disappointment, and ultimately lose respect. The best leaders have self-awareness of what they can offer, and they refuse to enter into agreements based solely on optimism or best-case scenarios. Leaders not only are dealers in hope; they also have the wherewithal to ensure that the hopes they engender are not disappointed.
What promises has your organization made to its customers or clients? Are you meeting, exceeding, or failing to reach the expectations created as a result of those promises?
All leaders are salespersons. Though they may not be peddling a product, leaders are selling a picture of what the future could be and should be. They seek to persuade others to buy-in to a particular vision.
In the words of Steve Jobs a reflection on what he hoped his legacy would be.
My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything: the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings.
Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do. I think Henry Ford once said, “If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, ‘A faster horse!’” People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.
Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves. In fact some of the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were also great at science. Michelangelo knew a lot about how to quarry stone, not just how to be a sculptor.
People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7. If you have an extreme passion for producing great products, it pushes you to be integrated, to connect your hardware and your software and content management. You want to break new ground, so you have to do it yourself. If you want to allow your products to be open to other hardware or software, you have to give up some of your vision.
At different times in the past, there were companies that exemplified Silicon Valley. It was Hewlett- Packard for a long time. Then, in the semiconductor era, it was Fairchild and Intel. I think that it was Apple for a while, and then that faded. And then today, I think it’s Apple and Google—and a little more so Apple. I think Apple has stood the test of time. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still at the cutting edge of what’s going on.
It’s easy to throw stones at Microsoft. They’ve clearly fallen from their dominance. They’ve become mostly irrelevant. And yet I appreciate what they did and how hard it was. They were very good at the business side of things. They were never as ambitious product-wise as they should have been. Bill likes to portray himself as a man of the product, but he’s really not. He’s a businessperson. Winning business was more important than making great products. He ended up the wealthiest guy around, and if that was his goal, then he achieved it. But it’s never been my goal, and I wonder, in the end, if it was his goal. I admire him for the company he built—it’s impressive—and I enjoyed working with him. He’s bright and actually has a good sense of humor. But Microsoft never had the humanities and liberal arts in its DNA. Even when they saw the Mac, they couldn’t copy it well. They totally didn’t get it.
I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies like IBM or Microsoft. The company does a great job, innovates and becomes a monopoly or close to it in some field, and then the quality of the product becomes less important. The company starts valuing the great salesmen, because they’re the ones who can move the needle on revenues, not the product engineers and designers. So the salespeople end up running the company. John Akers at IBM was a smart, eloquent, fantastic salesperson, but he didn’t know anything about product. The same thing happened at Xerox. When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when Ballmer took over at Microsoft. Apple was lucky and it rebounded, but I don’t think anything will change at Microsoft as long as Ballmer is running it.
I hate it when people call themselves “entrepreneurs” when what they’re really trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now. That’s what Walt Disney did, and Hewlett and Packard, and the people who built Intel. They created a company to last, not just to make money. That’s what I want Apple to be.
I don’t think I run roughshod over people, but if something sucks, I tell people to their face. It’s my job to be honest. I know what I’m talking about, and I usually turn out to be right. That’s the culture I tried to create. We are brutally honest with each other, and anyone can tell me they think I am full of shit and I can tell them the same. And we’ve had some rip-roaring arguments, where we are yelling at each other, and it’s some of the best times I’ve ever had. I feel totally comfortable saying “Ron, that store looks like shit” in front of everyone else. Or I might say “God, we really fucked up the engineering on this” in front of the person that’s responsible. That’s the ante for being in the room: You’ve got to be able to be super honest. Maybe there’s a better way, a gentlemen’s club where we all wear ties and speak in this Brahmin language and velvet code-words, but I don’t know that way, because I am middle class from California.
I was hard on people sometimes, probably harder than I needed to be. I remember the time when Reed was six years old, coming home, and I had just fired somebody that day, and I imagined what it was like for that person to tell his family and his young son that he had lost his job. It was hard. But somebody’s got to do it. I figured that it was always my job to make sure that the team was excellent, and if I didn’t do it, nobody was going to do it.
You always have to keep pushing to innovate. Dylan could have sung protest songs forever and probably made a lot of money, but he didn’t. He had to move on, and when he did, by going electric in 1965, he alienated a lot of people. His 1966 Europe tour was his greatest. He would come on and do a set of acoustic guitar, and the audiences loved him. Then he brought out what became The Band, and they would all do an electric set, and the audience sometimes booed. There was one point where he was about to sing “Like a Rolling Stone” and someone from the audience yells “Judas!” And Dylan then says, “Play it fucking loud!” And they did. The Beatles were the same way. They kept evolving, moving, refining their art. That’s what I’ve always tried to do—keep moving. Otherwise, as Dylan says, if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.
What drove me? I think most creative people want to express appreciation for being able to take advantage of the work that’s been done by others before us. I didn’t invent the language or mathematics I use. I make little of my own food, none of my own clothes. Everything I do depends on other members of our species and the shoulders that we stand on. And a lot of us want to contribute something back to our species and to add something to the flow. It’s about trying to express something in the only way that most of us know how—because we can’t write Bob Dylan songs or Tom Stoppard plays. We try to use the talents we do have to express our deep feelings, to show our appreciation of all the contributions that came before us, and to add something to that flow. That’s what has driven me.
One sunny afternoon, when he wasn’t feeling well, Jobs sat in the garden behind his house and reflected on death. He talked about his experiences in India almost four decades earlier, his study of Buddhism, and his views on reincarnation and spiritual transcendence. “I’m about fifty-fifty on believing in God,” he said. “For most of my life, I’ve felt that there must be more to our existence than meets the eye.”
He admitted that, as he faced death, he might be overestimating the odds out of a desire to believe in an afterlife. “I like to think that something survives after you die,” he said. “It’s strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it just goes away. So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures.”
He fell silent for a very long time. “But on the other hand, perhaps it’s like an on-off switch,” he said. “Click! And you’re gone.”
Then he paused again and smiled slightly. “Maybe that’s why I never liked to put on-off switches on Apple devices.”
The Final chapter for the book.
Here are 10 fundamental truths about leadership and becoming an effective leader:
1. The first truth is that You Make a Difference. It is the most fundamental truth of all. Before you can lead, you have to believe that you can have a positive impact on others. You have to believe in yourself. That’s where it all begins. Leadership begins when you believe you can make a difference.
2. The second truth is that Credibility Is the Foundation of Leadership. You have to believe in you, but others have to believe in you too. What does it take for others to believe in you? Short answer: credibility. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t willingly follow you.
3. The third truth is that Values Drive Commitment. People want to know what you stand for and believe in. They want to know what you value. And leaders need to know what others value if they are going to be able to forge alignments between personal values and organizational demands.
4. The fourth truth is that Focusing on the Future Sets Leaders Apart. The capacity to imagine and articulate exciting future possibilities is a defining competence of leaders. You have to take the long-term perspective. Gain insight from reviewing your past and develop outsight by looking around.
5. You Can’t Do It Alone is the fifth truth. Leadership is a team sport, and you need to engage others in the cause. What strengthens and sustains the relationship between leader and constituent is that leaders are obsessed with what is best for others, not what is best for themselves.
6. Trust Rules is the sixth truth. Trust is the social glue that holds individuals and groups together. And the level of trust others have in you will determine the amount of influence you have. You have to earn your constituents’ trust before they’ll be willing to trust you. That means you have to give trust before you can get trust.
7. The seventh truth is that Challenge Is the Crucible for Greatness. Exemplary leaders — the kind of leaders people want to follow — are always associated with changing the status quo. Great achievements don’t happen when you keep things the same. Change invariably involves challenge, and challenge tests you. It introduces you to yourself.
8. The eighth truth is that You Either Lead by Example or You Don’t Lead at All. Leaders have to keep their promises and become role models for the values and actions they espouse. You have to go first as a leader. You can’t ask others to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself.
9. The ninth truth is that the Best Leaders Are the Best Learners. Leaders are constant improvement fanatics, and learning is the master skill of leadership. Learning, however, takes time and attention, practice and feedback, along with good coaching. It also takes willingness on your part to ask for support.
10. The tenth truth is that Leadership Is an Affair of the Heart. Leaders make others feel important and are gracious in showing their appreciation. Love is the motivation that energizes leaders to give so much for others. You just won’t work hard enough to become great if you aren’t doing what you love.
These are enduring truths about leadership. You can gain mastery over the art and science of leadership by understanding them and attending to them in your workplace and everyday life.
There are fundamental principles that inform and support the practices of leadership that were true 30 years ago, are true today and will be true 30 years from now. They speak to what the newest and youngest leaders need to appreciate and understand, and they speak just as meaningfully to the oldest leaders, who are perhaps repurposing themselves as they transition from their lengthy careers to other pursuits in volunteer, community or public sectors. They are truths that address what is real about leadership.
Some of the best idea’s and products come from your front line staff but they don’t have a clear channel to express these idea’s, or if they do, they are ignored which is discouraging.
Business leaders want to promote a more idea-receptive environment; but most don’t know how to do it. More than ever, the need for continuous innovation – in developing new products and services, re-designing work processes, communicating with external and internal customers, and more – is seen as a key to survival.
Though the stereotypic image of creativity is the lone inventor or artist dreaming up a new technology or masterpiece on canvas, most creative thinking is done in groups, where each individual can tap into both his/her own imagination, and that of others. It’s what the term synergy really represents. But, as surely as the group dynamic can exponentially increase the creative energy and output, it also has the power to quash it. Those who roll their eyes when asked to participate in a brainstorming session have undoubtedly experienced this. Engaging in a true creative session can be exhilarating; however, when the session is filled with value judgments, selective acceptance of ideas and lack of open-mindedness to new thinking, it can be downright depressing.
Here are ways in which executives and managers can actively support and encourage creative thinking and innovation:
Give a genuine Thankyou.
First and foremost, you must thank the person who is presenting the idea. It takes a person with passion and courage to come forward with idea's on how to help your organization, acknowledge there efforts and give them praise.
Create a safe haven for new thinking.
Use a safe haven to encourage a broad range of ideas, including those not immediately seen as feasible, or even “sensible,” for they are where the seeds of innovation can be found.
Above all, people must feel safe in pushing the envelope. New or unfamiliar ideas are almost surely “wrong” in their first iteration. They should be considered starting points on which to build and encourage further thinking. An immediate negative evaluation of the idea (however warranted) will kill it, along with any desire on the employee’s part to offer another. Therefore, leaders should convey openness to ideas that are imprecise, untested or even fanciful.
The key factor is an attitude by management that values the inherent creativity of employees and envisions the long-term strategic benefits of empowering them to exercise their imaginations.
Cross-pollinate ideation groups.
Idea generation works best when there are differences in perspective, knowledge and background. Ideally, a team attempting to come up with a fresh, new solution to a tough challenge should consist of both experts in the area being discussed, as well as so-called “naïve” idea-contributors who may see the problem in ways the experts cannot. Also, because they’re not experts, they don’t know what doesn’t work!
While bringing such outsiders into your sessions may pose problems of a practical or proprietary nature, there are still plenty of internal resources to draw upon. What does an account executive have to say about a technical subject? An engineer about marketing approaches? A line worker about company strategy? Creativity is a product of organizational diversity, and even the smallest companies have that. Use it to your advantage.
Have a neutral facilitator conduct ideation sessions.
There are a thousand different ways for people to put down each other’s ideas. Some are blatant (“It’ll never work,” “Been there, done that…”). Others are more subtle (a roll of the eyes, refusal to acknowledge an idea), often committed without awareness or intent. Either way, the effects are the same: potentially groundbreaking ideas are lost, and so too are those offering the ideas. Creative thinking, in the context of a “get it right” corporate environment, is risky business. A good facilitator will not only keep the process moving along, but will also protect ideas and the people who offer them, two of your company’s greatest assets.
Support employees for engaging in the process.
It is important to recognize the efforts of those who contribute to the process of generating and developing ideas, even if no applicable concept or solution is produced. Properly encouraged, these individuals are more likely to engage in the creative process again, perhaps coming up with the next big breakthrough!
Supporting such involvement needn’t be difficult nor complicated. It may only entail giving people the time (company time, not their own) to periodically take part in a two- to three-hour ideation session. Given a conducive climate most employees enjoy the opportunity to exercise their creative muscles. It is a side of them they may not often get to express, so it tends to be rewarding. What’s more, there is a definite practice effect; the more people do it, the more comfortable they become, and as a result, the greater the potential for coming up with innovative solutions.
This is not to suggest that every concept developed will necessarily be implemented – far from it. It does mean, however, that whatever steps are needed to take it to the next level of possible implementation be specifically stated along with assignments and timetables.
If a group has come up with a potential innovation, you could “lose” it through failure to take immediate action. Another reason for rapid action is that it will overcome the common scenario in which somebody wonders, weeks or months later, “Whatever happened to that idea we were working on …?” Again, the entertainment value of pure creative thinking is short-lived; task groups want something to show for their efforts, even if the concept they were envisioning cannot be fully realized at the present time.
It is easy in our digital age, where each new day seems to bring with it an eye-popping new technology, to lose sight of the organizational conditions that engender high levels of innovation. At times it seems as if technology, itself, is responsible for such progress, but this is not the case. Rather, it is people – working together in high-performing collaboration – who reach beyond current boundaries to come up with new ideas. Start putting these recommendations in place, and you too will begin to experience the power of employees’ imaginations!
In today’s competitive industries, we all need to be thinking about new and innovative ways to capture and retain our customers. As a leader within a organisation we need to encourage everyone in the organization to be innovative.
1. Even the most ardent fan of cold calling would admit it’s less effective than it used to be.
Everyone’s tolerance of being interrupted whether by phone or by email is falling – there’s too much of it because it’s so easy with all the new technologies. So there is too much interruption, but increasingly we have the ability to filter it out. And busy, successful people do just that. Filter it.
2. Cold calling positions you as a supplicant in B2B sales
Anyone who sells anything knows one truth in their guts:
You must come across as not needing their business – and that you are ready to walk away at any time; that you have options. You will never win unless you are prepaired to loose.
But when a prospect receives a cold call from you, you are demonstrating the complete opposite – that you need their business. At the same time you convey that you are not busy; that you don’t have anything more important to do than ‘smile and dial’.
So are you calling random prospects? You come across as needy and desperate. And every time you make a call, you do a little damage to your brand, to your positioning as a successful expert.
Here’s something no-one can argue with: People with power cannot be reached by phone. Have you tried calling Gates or Obama or Winfrey recently? Gurus don’t have their mobile numbers on their business cards. And if they mistakenly do, they certainly don’t say “call me anytime, day or night. I’m there, just awaiting your call”.
3. Cold calling won’t find what we all want: Qualified leads
How could it? It is not what cold calling is designed to do. It’s a numbers game; a random numbers game.
And a large and growing proportion of buyers are like me: we don’t take unsolicited sales calls – ever.
Because it’s now so easy to do research, most of us know we can find what we need via Google when we need it, so we don’t need to be interrupted. And, most importantly, we can dig out the sellers who are well regarded from our networks; who come well recommended with lots of (meaningful) testimonials.
4. It limits your results and wastes valuable time
In the Social Networking Age we all have the ability to leverage our time (our scarce and valuable B2B sales time) using all the amazing new connection and engagement tools.
The problem is cold calling allows you to be in only one place at one time. Making one phone call or opening one door. So your results are strictly finite. There is no leverage in this one-by-one approach.
On the other hand, leveraging Social Networks and other New Media allows you to be in many ‘places’ at one time. Create the system and it can almost run itself if you have clear goals and a clear strategy. And the results are open ended, not finite. A good B2B sales system builds over time. Money spent is money invested, unlike cold calling where every day is a new day (and a day from hell!).
A sales system stops you from spending time with people who:
And over 90% of cold calls clearly fall into one or more of these categories. A truly sad call could cover all four!
- Have no need for your product
- Might buy your product at some future but undetermined date
- Have just bought from a competitor
- And, god forbid, are already a customer! It happens if your CRM is out of date, and whose isn’t?? One of the benefits of Social Networking is that it’s your ‘self updating CRM’.
5. Cold calling puts you in a negative light as a time waster
If there’s one thing that always annoys a busy, successful person, it’s wasting their time. And it is precisely the busy and successful who are your best prospects. But given it is unashamedly a numbers game, it has to be a waste of time for over 90% of those you call, because the calls are unqualified and unfocused.
Why risk starting on the bad side of 90% of your business prospects? People who otherwise might have bought from you?
6. Reason number 6, the big one: Sales people hate it!
The biggest reason for why it’s time to think again. Now, I worked in HR and career guidance for many years. The following is well known, backed up by serious of research:
Love what you do and success is likely
Hate it, and failure or ‘merely average’ performance is inevitable
So why choose failure by executing activities that you hate? Activity that in some companies has come to dominate BDMs’ valuable time as they plan the calls, make them, record them and finally prepare to justify to their Manager what they’ve done. And, at best, sales people regard cold calling as a necessary evil. Unfortunately they and their bosses don’t know there is another way. In B2B sales it is a system that embeds LinkedIn amongst other online tools.
Overall, these are 6 compelling reasons to find a different approach to B2B sales. But let’s leave the last word to Albert Einstein – one of his most famous quotes, and incredibly apt when it comes to the dinosaurs of cold calling:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
There are 6 reasons why cold calling doesn’t work in today’s world: