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.
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:
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
“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?