Here is an excerpt from an article written by Dorie Clark for the Harvard Business Review blog. To read the complete article, check out the wealth of free resources, and sign up for a subscription to HBR email alerts, please click here.
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What kind of leaders do we need today?
Steve Jobs — mysterious, charismatic, intriguing — is often cited as one of the recent greats, and there are clearly benefits to his style. A recent study showed that leaders like him — those perceived as having an almost magical aura — are seen as visionary, with employees and customers clamoring to touch the hem of their garments. But that kind of leadership also has its limitations.
Succession is made harder by a towering and mysterious personality (good luck, Tim Cook). And, even more importantly, there’s no formula for becoming charismatic. You could try to model others — emulating Jobs’ cool reserve, exacting standards, and mercurial temper, for instance. But the nuances are subtle; you’re just as likely to come off as aloof or entitled, rather than intriguing. The harder, but more rewarding, path as a leader is to make yourself known — to your employees, your customers, and the public. Here are three reasons the new leadership imperative is all about transparency.
To know you is to love you. Well, love might be strong. But you want your employees to at least like you and understand where you’re coming from — because, as copious research has shown, money isn’t a good motivational tool. Rather, what will make them go above and beyond is their relationship and loyalty to you — and you’ll never get that if you don’t let them know you as a person. (Customers, being human, also like to form relationships with real people, not just faceless organizations.) Lunch meetings and feedback sessions are a great place to start, and if you’re managing across continents or your workforce is simply too large, don’t underestimate the power of video. Your personality and enthusiasm can come through just as clearly on YouTube. (A great example is this 2009 video featuring Best Buy Chief Marketing Officer Barry Judge, in which he explains his philosophy of marketing and how the company should interact with customers.)
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To read the complete article, please click here.
Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant who has worked with clients including Google, Yale University, and the National Park Service. She is the author of the forthcoming Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press 2013). You can follow her on Twitter at @dorieclark.
Here is a brief excerpt from an article featured online by Business Insider. To read the complete article, check out others, and sign up for a free subscription, please click here.
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Benjamin Franklin was a man of action. Over his lifetime, his curiosity and passion fueled a diverse range of interests. He was a writer (often using a pseudonym), publisher, diplomat, inventor and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
His inventions included the lightning rod, bifocals and the Franklin stove. Franklin was responsible for establishing the first public library, organizing fire fighters in Philadelphia, was one of the early supporters of mutual insurance and crossed the Atlantic eight times. Self-development was a constant endeavor throughout his incredible life.
Benjamin Franklin was clearly a man who knew how to get things done.
Here are [four of] 14 action-inducing lessons from him:
1. Less Talk, More Action: “Well done is better than well said.”
Talk is cheap. Talking about a project won’t get it completed. We all know people who constantly talk about the things they are going to do but rarely ever take that first step. Eventually people begin to question their credibility. Taking action and seeing the task through to completion is the only way to get the job done.
2. Don’t Procrastinate: “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.”
This is probably one of the first quotes I remember hearing as a teenager. With an impressive list of achievements to his credit, Benjamin Franklin was not a man hung up on procrastination. He was a man with clear measurable goals who worked hard to turn his vision into reality. What are you putting off till tomorrow that could make a difference in your life today?
3. Be Prepared: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
You need a plan to accomplish your goals. Charging in without giving any thought to the end result and how to achieve it, is a sure way to fall flat on your face. Think like a boy scout. Have a realistic plan of attack and a systematic approach for getting where you need to be.
4. Don’t Fight Change: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
Whilst many of us don’t like change, others thrive on it. Either way change is inevitable. The stronger we fight against it, the more time and energy it consumes. Give up the fight. Focus on proactively making positive changes, instead of having change merely thrust upon you. Wherever possible, try to view change as a positive instead of a negative.
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To read the complete article, please click here.
I also suggest that you check out these books, one by Franklin and the others about him:
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin: An Amnerican Life
H.W. Brands’ The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin
Edmund S. Morgan’s Benjamin Franklin
How do we keep getting better at what we do? One way is to keep a commitment to the task, the discipline, of life-long learning. And so we keep learning, and then try to put this learning into practice.
To quote Peter Drucker, we all need to cultivate and maintain the “habit of continuous learning.”
We can help you with this “keep learning” task with our monthly book synopsis event. Now in our 15th year of monthly gatherings, we have a large group of life-long learners at the First Friday Book Synopsis. This morning, we presented synopses of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, and Take the Stairs by Rory Vaden.
Next month, on June 1, I will present my synopses of The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (a terrific and important book), and Karl Krayer will present his synopis of All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton.
Corporate culture; personal and corporate habits. Pretty good issues to focus on.
If you are in the DFW area, come join us for the June 1 First Friday Book Synopsis. Great conversations, wonderful food, and useful content – all fast-paced, in just over an hour. Hope you can join us. (You will be able to register soon from this web site).