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Leading in Totally Screwed Up Times 21 May 2001/Master Leadership Seminar. “There will be more confusion in the business world in the next decade than in any decade in history. And the current pace of change will only accelerate.” Steve Case.
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“There will be more confusion in the business world in the next decadethan in any decade in history. And the current pace of change will only accelerate.”Steve Case
“In 25 years, you’ll probably be able to get the sum total of all human knowledge on a personal device.”Greg Blonder, VC [was Chief Technical Adviser for Corporate Strategy @ AT&T] [Barron’s 11.13.2000]
“We are entering an era of no limits, with nothing to brake the cascade of human intelligence unleashed by the Information Age. The Web essentially allows all the brains on earth to communicate and share insights in real time, around the globe, all the time.”Jeffrey Young, Cisco Unauthorized
<1000A.D.: paradigm shift: 1000s of years1000: 100 years for paradigm shift1800s: > prior 900 years1900s: 1st 20 years > 1800s2000: 10 years for paradigm shift21st century: 1000X tech change than 20th century (“the ‘Singularity,’ a merger between humans and computers that is so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history”)Ray Kurzweil, talk april2001
“The corporation as we know it, which is now 120 years old, is not likely to survive the next 25 years. Legally and financially, yes, but not structurally and economically.”Peter Drucker, Business 2.0 (08.00)
“Most of our predictions are based on very linear thinking. That’s why they will most likely be wrong.”Vinod Khosla, in “GIGATRENDS,” Wired 04.01
1. Great Leaders on Snorting Steeds Are Important – but Great Managers(Type I) are the Bedrock of Organizations that Perform Over the Long Haul.
“The leader who says ‘I don’t know’ essentially says that the group is facing a new ballgame where the old tools of logic may be its undoing rather than its salvation. To drop these tools is not to give up on finding a workable answer. It is only to give up on one means of answering that is ill-suited to the unstable, the unknowable, the unpredictable. To drop the heavy tools of rationality is to gain access to lightness in the form of intuitions, feelings, stories, experience, active listening, shared humanity, awareness in the moment, capability for fascination, awe, novel words and empathy.” - Karl Weick
Weick IUncertainty will be based less on insufficient facts and more on insufficient questions.There will be fewer experts and more novices.There will be more of a premium on stating in motion than on detaching and reflecting.There will be more migration of decisions to those with the expertise to handle them, and less convergence of decisions on people entitled by rank to make them.
Weick IIThere will be fewer attempts to capture the big picture and more attempts to capture the big story, with its ongoing, dynamic plot.There will be more focus on updating and plausibility and less on forecasting and accuracy.There will be more improvisation and fewer routines.There will be more humility and less hubris.Source: The Future of Leadership, Warren Bennis et al.
Is It …“The Oh-Hell-I-Wish-It-Were-Over Memorial Day picnic”or “The First Annual Seriously Kewl Celebration of Our Incredible Staff”
Is It …Wrestle the damn Safety Manual into line with the ridiculous new OSHA Regs?Or …A stealth opportunity to address the War for Talent via … a thoroughgoing review of how safety and environmental issues contribute to making this a Great Place to Work?
Reframers’ Rules:Rule 1:Never accept an assignment as given! (Please.)Rule 2:You’re never so powerful as when you are “powerless”!Rule 3:Every “small” project contains the entire enterprise DNA!
Characteristics of the “Also rans”*“Minimize risk”“Respect the chain of command”“Support the boss”“Make budget”*Fortune, article on “Most Admired Global Corporations”
“AS LEADERS, WOMEN RULE: New Studies find that female managers outshine their male counterparts in almost every measure”Title, Special Report, Business Week, 11.20.00
Women’s Stuff =New Economy MatchImprov skillsRelationship-centricLess “rank consciousness”Self determinedTrust sensitive IntuitiveNatural “empowerment freaks” [less threatened by strong people]Intrinsic [motivation] > Extrinsic
RM: “A lot of companies in the Valley fail.”RN: “Maybe not enough fail.”RM: “What do you mean by that?”RN: “Whenever you fail, it means you’re trying new things.”Source: Fast Company
Forbes100 from 1917 to 1987: 39 members of the Class of ’17 were alive in ’87; 18 are in ’87 F100; the 18 F100 “survivors” underperformed the market by 20%; just 2 (2%), GE & Kodak, outperformed the market from 1917 to 1987.S&P 500 from 1957 to 1997: 74 members of the Class of ’57 were alive in ’97; 12 (2.4%) of 500 outperformed the market from 1957 to 1997.Source: Dick Foster & Sarah Kaplan, Creative Destruction: Why Companies that Are Built to Last Underperform the Market
Nasser’s Triad*: The InternetIs the New Job 1Brian Kelley, 40, head of global sales and service (GE appliances); first non-“car guy” in the jobKaren Francis, 38, eBusiness czar (Olds brand boss)Marv Adams, 43, CIO (Bank One’s IT infrastructure consolidator)* All three are “direct reports”
Suck up to biggest customers
Pursue “strategic vendors”
Bigger is better
Accept assignments as given
Hire 4.0s from “top schools”
Promote when they’ve “paid their dues”
Appoint a “prestigious” board
Hang out with my pals
Be “professional” at all times/Honor thine elders
Acquire for innovation
Partner with cool customers
Seek out pioneering vendors
Break it up … to refresh
Reframe all tasks to innovate
Hire “intriguing,” wherever
Promote tomorrow if the work product is weird and WOW
Appoint an interesting, headstrong board
Take a freak to lunch today
Stay loose, stay cool/The hell with thine eldersButton-down OrgH.S.D.E..
“Our strategies must be tied to leading edge customers on the attack. If we focus on the defensive customers, we will also become defensive.”John Roth, CEO, Nortel
From “1, 2 or you’re out” [JW] to …“BestTalent in each industry segment to build best proprietary intangibles”[EM]Source: Ed Michaels, War for Talent (05.17.00)
Home Depot:7 new growth initiatives ($20B to $100B in 5-7 years)Arthur Blank: BESTPERSONINTHEWORLD TO HEAD EACH INITIATIVEE.g.: COO of IKEA to head international expansionEd Michaels, War for Talent (05.17.00)
“We believe companies can increase their market cap 50 percent in 3 years. Steve Macadam at Georgia-Pacificchanged 20 of his 40 box plant managers to put more talented, higher paid managers in charge.He increased profitability from $25 million to $80 million in 2 years.”Ed Michaels, War for Talent (05.17.00)
“Diversity defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century. Mighty is the mongrel. … The hybrid is hip. The impure, the mélange, the adulterated, the blemished, the rough, the black-and-blue, the mix-and-match – these people are inheriting the earth. Mixing is the new norm. Mixing trumps isolation. It spawns creativity, nourishes the human spirit, spurs economic growth and empowers nations.”G. Pascal Zachary, The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge
“It is impossible to claim that all good teachers use similar techniques: some lecture nonstop and others speak very little; some stay close to their material and others loose the imagination; some teach with the carrot and others with the stick. But in every instance, good teachers share one trait: a strong sense of personal identity infuses their work. ‘Dr. A is really there when he teaches.’ ‘Mr. B has such enthusiasm for his subject.’ ‘You can tell that this is really Prof. C’s life.’ ”Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach
“It was much later that I realized Dad’s secret. He gained respect by giving it. He talked and listened to the fourth-grade kids in Spring Valley who shined shoes the same way he talked and listened to a bishop or a college president.He was seriously interested in who you were and what you had to say.”
Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot, Respect
“A key – perhaps the key – to leadership isthe effective communication of a story.”Howard GardnerLeading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership
1st Law Mktg Physics: OVERTBENEFIT(Focus: 1 or 2 > 3 or 4/“One Great Thing.” Source #1: Personal Passion)2ND Law: REALREASONTOBELIEVE(Stand & Deliver!)3RD Law: DRAMATICDIFFERENCE(Execs Don’t Get It: “intent to purchase” – 100%; “unique” – 0% to 5%)Source: Jump Start Your Brain, Doug Hall
Message: Leadership is all about love! [Passion, Enthusiasms, Appetite for Life, Engagement, Commitment, Great Causes & Determination to Make a Damn Difference, Shared Adventures, Bizarre Failures, Growth, Insatiable Appetite for Change.] [Otherwise, why bother? Just read Dilbert. TP’s final words: CYNICISM SUCKS.]
“A real superstar is mean in a particular way. He is Michael Jordan or Cal Ripken, greedy for records and history. Armored and self-contained, his inner core is a hard knot of physical talent and fierce will. Nothing penetrates that core, and anybody or anything that gets too close is out of his life.”Michael Sokolove, “The last Straw”
Indefatigable“indefatigable” … “courage” … “love the thrill of the hunt” … “must not have just a desire to win, but a need to win” … “enjoy doing things they don’t know how to do” … “seek out discomfort zones in order to gain new experiences” … “willing to piss people off” … “LEADERS NEED TO BE THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR ON ROLLER BLADES”
You Must Care!“Leaders care!” … “The true definition of leadership is service.” … “genuinely care” … “Leaders CARE!” … “Leadership is service.” … “LEADERS SERVE.”
Real!“Leaders are living individuals whom employees can smell, feel, touch their presence” [the elevator test] … “Leaders love their work. That passion is infectious.” … “ ‘It’s only business, not personal’ … IT ALWAYS IS PERSONAL.” … “If you love what you do, it shows. You cannot fake love and succeed.”
“Sweat the small stuff” [cultural giveaways: the clean parking lot, etc.] … “Build/Design” beats “Design/Build.” … Ferret out the truth/Find cool internal sources: LEADERS NEVER HEAR THE TRUTH … “COMMUNICATE RELENTLESSLY” … ASK BETTER QUESTIONS …
“Hire smart – go bonkers – have grace – make mistakes – love technology – start all over again.” … “Leaders are never afraid to walk away from business.” … “Leaders select their battles carefully.” … “A leader must hear the wrong notes.” …
“Leaders have a kid alive in them.” … “Leadership is the PROCESS of ENGAGING PEOPLE in CREATING a LEGACY of EXCELLENCE.” … “Real leaders don’t always get their way.” [creative director]
JOHNSON. Great pol. Gutsy pol. (Civil Rights Act.) (GUTSY pol = Visionary?) Sucked into swamp, uncharacteristically. (Vision-less? Or: Who woulda known?)
NIXON. Visionary. (Foreign Affairs.) (Pick your causes: Couldn’t care less about “domestic stuff.”) Fab #2: HAK. Torpedoed by lack of character. (But: ALL POTUSs OBSESSED BY RE-ELECTION.)
CLINTON. Vision. (Thwarted by TCI/The Character Issue.) (Too much “vision”: health care.) Great pol. (Billy & Newt Show.) (Character “hangover” killing Dems in Bush II.) (Legacy = CONFUSING.)