George Washington truly was a great man. His leadership character will be etched in the annals of history books forever. There is much to study and learn from the man and his actions (or lack thereof). Up until that point in human history, no individual had ever walked away (he did it more than once by the way) from such power and influence.
Terrific book by Jim Collins worth reading by every business leader – How The Mighty Fall I just wish he published more often… Five Stages of Decline: Hubris Born of Success Undisciplined Pursuit of More Denial of Risk and Peril Grasping for Salvation Capitulation to Irreverence or Death “The concept of hubris is defined as […]
Everyone should be mindful of their temptations. Temptation is an issue we all deal with. I don’t usually mix my faith, which I deem to be a very personal issue, with my leadership development work. And, I have no intention of radically changing course now, however what we read, and study does affect us and […]
Employee engagement doesn’t mean coddling or succumbing to every employee’s need or whim. Employers, you will always have more leverage in the relationship. Lately, I’ve watched as many of you have allowed the power dynamic to shift upside down. Given the dearth of talent and supply of qualified candidates, you are slowly letting the “inmates […]
We need to move towards not away from one another. I worry that lately, we are a culture that has embraced a “divide and conquer” mindset. Instead of “win-win”, we think “win-lose.” Instead of choosing to co-exist with people who think differently from ourselves, we further and further isolate ourselves from others who could potentially […]
Never allow yourself to get bullied in business or life. It was true on the playground when we were kids and it is true as an adult in your business dealings. I make it a rule to never to business with anyone I perceive doesn’t have my best interest at heart. Any dealing that is completely one-sided is not a good business deal but extortion. The good news is that once you survive a bad economy, it becomes pretty evident who the worst transgressors are. I sincerely hope that they end being held to account for their actions.
Sometimes I am a little late to the party and only recently discovered the powerful original STARZ TV series “Boss” starring Kelsey Grammar. It sure is a departure from his typical roles as he plays a brilliant yet dark and ruthless Mayor of Chicago who recently was diagnosed with a life threatening illness. The power he evokes on the screen is quite remarkable. You get the sense that maybe he started out with the right intentions but then became obsessed with power and position at all costs. It’s actually hard to identify a protagonist in this show. The scripts and acting are a very clever take on what has always happened to leaders throughout history. It’s pretty obvious that both Shakespeare and Machiavelli are a huge influence on the writers.
After watching the whole first season, a number of things jumped out at me as someone who studies leadership for a living:
In business and life it is important to understand what motivates you. There are good motivators and bad ones. Striving to make a positive difference in the world and/or building a great company is a much healthier objective than simply accumulating personal wealth or power. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reap the rewards of your efforts. There are few things more valuable than a person working hard and doing well at something they consider to be meaningful and important. However, be wary of seeking money just for the sake of it. Wealth should be the outcome not the objective.
The objective of a leader, especially a public figure, should be to bring people together and foster a dialogue that strives to bridge our differences and find areas agreement. The end result should be to tap into the greater good rather than pursuing a Win-Lose agenda.