Category Archives: Leadership

LOSING SIGHT OF THE BIG PICTURE

 

Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s Military Rules for Leading Your Business

In his book, he relates an entertaining anecdote from the airline industry. A baggage handler broke a musician’s $3,000 guitar, and the musician spent nine months working through the airline’s labyrinthine phone system to no avail. Finally he wrote a song about it, put it on YouTube and got more than 1 million views. The airline’s stock price fell 10 percent, costing shareholders more than $180 million, roughly 60,000 times the value of the original guitar.

LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP

 

Image result for Peter Scazzero

From Peter Scazzero, “Lessons in Leadership and Differentiation” (Part 1); Feb. 20, 2013

Leaders have a number of key tasks if we are to operate out of high level of integrity. These include:

  1. Confronting myself. Am I calm and clear about what God has given me to do? Where am I doing the easy thing, not the best thing for those around me? Where am I abandoning my own values? How am I allowing fear to cause me to ignore problems?
  2. Mastering myself in the face of anxiety. When we don’t, we end up looking for validation from other people. We end up using the people we aim to serve.
  3.  Tolerating discomfort. There is never a good time to change things. In fact, it is impossible to create change while maintaining stability. To kindly bring up hard things others want is one of our critical tasks.
  4. Getting clear on my goals and steps. This is hard work. The alternative, however, is much worse. Once I have my goal, the next great challenge is to think through the steps to get there – in the right order.

In what ways might you be doing an easy thing in your leadership today and not the best? Where are you not thinking things through but taking the easy way out by focusing on the short-term?

ON LEADERSHIP

Our oldest works for Deloitte in Dallas.  He recently asked for my recommendations on books that tell about leaders who led even though they had limited resources.  Here are my recommendations:

Founding Father: Rediscovering Geo. Washington by Brookhiser

What do you do when your soldiers are hungry, don’t have proper clothing/shoes, and some have already deserted?  Washington’s m.o. gives lots of practical help.

https://www.amazon.com/Founding-Father-Rediscovering-George-Washington/dp/0684831422

Five Days in London: May 1940 by Lukacs

How did Churchill convince Parliament and so many others that Hitler was a serious threat?  Churchill was in a very small group who was concerned.

 

Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Shenk

The title gives away the gist.  Lincoln took a debilitating personal problem and used it for the good of the nation.
 

https://www.amazon.com/Lincolns-Melancholy-Depression-Challenged-President/dp/0618773444

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Millard

After TR lost the election he took a trip deep into the Amazon jungle where he almost died.  His group had to fight off Indians, deadly diseases, killer fish, all while losing their resources.  Great story of how strong a leader TR was.

MY NUMBER ONE GO TO SOURCE ON JACKSON

Image result for American Lion Jackson

I’ve read several good books about President Jackson.  None have been duds.  All of them taught me fascinating and important things about Jackson.

Jon Meacham combines some of my favorite features for biography: wonderful wordsmithing, lucid prose, an eye for the salient details, and a nose for smelling out the proper drama.

If you are looking for a terrific biography of Jackson, this is the place I would recommend.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

Seven Things I Wish all of Them Would Stop Doing:

Dressing alike

Mocking one another and then saying they still like so and so.

Saying, “I’m the only one on stage to do thus and such.”

Quoting the Bible

Fearing that an admission of an error in judgment is a sign of weakness

Calling a thoughtful change of mind, “Flip flopping”

Telling jokes

 

MOORE’S LAW OF LEADERSHIP

“As the number of books on leadership skills and strategies increase, the number of available leaders decrease.”

I say this, of course, with my tongue firmly in cheek.  

There is a very serious point that must be made: leaders don’t become that way by reading books on steps and strategies or simple formulas for success.  Leadership can be messy which is not the sort of thing that is easily reducible to cleverly laid out principles.

What is one quality you respect the most in the best leaders you have seen?

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