Here’s an idea to help established expectations in a new position. Reading time: 3:04
Congratulations! You’ve been promoted. Or maybe condolences are in order. New department. Same old problems.
You’ve seen this movie before. And it ain’t pretty. So now what do you do?
Write a new ending of course. This is YOUR movie now. Direct it –the WRITE way.
Write a personal letter to each one of your direct reports, a personal letter that details your passion and your expectations for that person’s area of responsibility.
That’s what a four-star general did when he became Chief of Staff of the US Army. Gordon R. Sullivan refers to his Letters to Commanders in his book HOPE IS NOT A METHOD , What Business Leaders Can Learn from America’s Army. Continue reading →
Here’s an idea to stay focused on increased performance. Reading time: 2:37.
You won. But you’re not done. Not yet. Leaders don’t take time to rest— no matter how good the profit margin; no matter how prolific the units sales, no matter how pre-emptive the new product launch. There’s just TOO MUCH left to do. Going forward.
At least that’s the assessment of Lee Iacocca who led Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy. “Never rest on your oars as a boss, if you do, the whole company starts sinking.”
The most effective leaders intuitively know they need to continuously improve. Consistently perform. Persistently progress. After all:
Karate practitioners, the day after their black belt exam, are expected to be on the mat the next day practicing, improving and improvising.
Artist Grandma Moses would finish a painting and then 10 days later study it to see where she could improve and improvise.
Author James Michener was asked to name his favorite book among the more than 35 he had authored. Michener said: “My preference is always the next book” where he could improve and improvise.
Abraham Lincoln always kept his oar in the water even when it seemed his boat was sinking. The president quickly paddled his way out of his situation, no matter how devastating the defeat or how exhausting the effort or how hopeless the condition. Keep rowing. Continue reading →
James Michener authored more than 40 books. “Which one of your books was your favorite?” Michener was often asked. His answer was always the same: “The next one.”
Likewise the most effective leaders I’ve known are more apt to look forward than celebrate or bemoan the past. They are much like Santiago, the old man in Ernest Hemingway’s classic : The Old Man and the Sea.” It didn’t matter than he had not caught a fish in 84 days. On the 85th day he not only went out fishing but ventured father out into sea than ever before.
For leaders like Santiago, it’s always the next problem to solve, the next project to plan and execute, the next hill to climb. It’s more about the pursuit than the capture, more about mining than the minting of the proverbial gold. Continue reading →