Leadership is Essential to Personal & Corporate Success
A great leader inspires people to have confidence him and in themselves. Though it’s not easy to become a leader, yet a great leader.
You work hard to get your education and skills. You also work equally hard to develop and market your products or services. But you don’t think enough about leading your own people and recruiting the best suitable tallent.
Are You a Role Model?
It’s impressive that Warren Buffett has earned billions of dollars. It’s even more impressive that he has the good grace and social conscience to state the obvious.
But what’s most impressive about Warren Buffett is that he recognizes his wealth and success are not simply a function of his skills. As he acknowledges, he also had the incredible good fortune to be born into money and privilege, which provided him with endless support, social capital and opportunity.
“If you stick me down in the middle of Bangladesh or Peru,” Buffett says, “you’ll find out how much this talent is going to produce in the wrong kind of soil.”
Let’s save admiration for people who serve a greater good, and are willing to make sacrifices to do so.
The vast majority of the wealthiest people I’ve met are far more about building value for themselves than they are about creating value for anyone or anything beyond themselves.
We reward and admire the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
I admire anyone who chooses teaching as a profession, especially when they could make far more money in another profession.
It’s great that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates launched the “Giving Pledge” to which they and other billionaires have committed to give away the majority of their wealth during their lifetimes.
Still, let’s not confuse that with sacrifice. None of those who’ve made the Giving Pledge will live any less well as a result of giving away half their fortunes, nor will their children, or their children’s children.
Deep generosity — generosity that requires personal sacrifice — is something else altogether. It’s the $15-an-hour worker who puts $10 in the collection plate every week, or lends money to a friend in even greater need, and therefore has less money available to put food on the table for his family.
What we need more of — especially from billionaires, but also from any of us who have more than we need — is the sense of social responsibility.
What we need, above all, is more role models.
Leadership Begins at Home
One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is help in foregoing immediate gratification, by setting boundaries for them and by modeling the behavior yourself. That’s also one of the greatest gifts you can give to those you lead or manage.
Nothing better fuels high quality work and productivity, or makes us feel more satisfied, than deeply immersing ourselves in a task. But really focusing requires resisting the instant gratification of other distractions, and that takes effort.
There are lessons here for parents, but also for leaders:
First, model the behaviors you hope to see. If you’re forever on your iPhone, or watching TV, your kids get that message. If you’re always looking over at your computer screen when you’re meeting with people, they too get the message.
Second, recognize that these technologies are as addictive as any other drug or diversion that provides an instant hit of pleasure and/or an escape from pain. “Sometimes I’ll say: I need to stop this and do my schoolwork, but I can’t,” Vijay Singh tells Ritchel, echoing his friends. Parents must set firm boundaries restricting the use of electronics. It’s not about banning them, which is unrealistic and extreme, but rather about helping kids to regularly experience the deeper satisfaction that comes from becoming truly absorbed in and mastering a complex challenge.
Leaders, meanwhile, need to encourage their employees to turn off email entirely at times, in order to focus uninterrupted attention on their most difficult tasks.
Third, parents and teachers alike ought to encourage a new way of working. Whether it’s for homework or for office work, the best way to get things done is in periods of interrupted work no longer than 90 minutes, followed by true renewal.
We embed, contextualize, and synthesize learning during downtime – which is what we’ve sacrificed in our addiction to constant connection. The new technologies aren’t going away, nor should they. The real issue is whether we can learn to manage them more skillfully, so they don’t end up managing us. Who’s going to lead the way?
The Leader is the Chief Energy Officer
The most fundamental job of a leader is to recruit, mobilize, inspire, focus, direct, and regularly refuel the energy of those they lead.
Energy, after all, is contagious — especially so if you’re a leader, by virtue of your disproportionate position and power. The way you’re feeling at any given moment profoundly influences how the people who work for you feel. How they’re feeling, in turn, profoundly influences how well they perform.
A leader’s responsibility is not to do the work of those they lead, but rather to fuel them in every possible way to bring the best of themselves to their jobs every day.
Think about the best boss you’ve ever had. What adjectives come to mind to describe that person?
My colleagues and I have asked this question of thousands of people over the past decade, and here are the ten most common answers:
Only three of those qualities have anything to do with intellect. More than two-thirds are emotional qualities — and they’re all positive ones.
No one has ever said to us, “What I loved about my boss is how angry he got. It showed me how much he cared.” Negative emotions may prompt instant action, but they don’t inspire people in the long term. Even in small doses, negative energy can take a considerable toll on people. .
The best leaders used their own positive energy to bolster their employees’ faith in their own abilities and to fuel their optimism and perseverance in the face of stresses and setbacks. That belief from a leader is intoxicating. Leaders lead not just by the actions they take, but by the way they make us feel along the way. It’s not false or half-hearted praise most of are looking for, but rather simple recognition and appreciation for real effort and for our tangible contributions.
REF: Tony Schwartz; http://www.tonyschartz.com