Friday, July 11, 2008

8 Lessons of Leadership

Read this article in Time magazine. For those in business analytics it brings eight principles that we should be applying to provide leadership to our organizations:

  1. Courage is not the absence of fear - it's inspiring others to move beyond it. I am sure that getting involved in changing the status quo brings fear of rejection. The issue is not whether changing the status quo brings fear or not, it is the leadership that we provide to inspire other to move beyond that fear.
  2. Lead from the front - but don't leave your base behind. Your base is your co-workers and your clients (internal and external). Incremental changes make changes easier than drastic changes.
  3. Lead from the back - and let others believe they are in front. Give your co-workers permission to try their own ideas, and permission to fail. When people in good faith unite for a common purpose the impossible become possible.
  4. Know your enemy - and learn about his favorite sport. It is part of the natural order to have adversaries, but it is important to have something in common with everybody within an organization. Besides sports I recommend talking about family, since this is a common denominator to all of us.
  5. Keep your friends close - and your rivals even closer. Your friends will help you reach your goals, but your rivals can block your progress. The person that opposes the initial objective the most is a great candidate to lead the second version of the product.
  6. Appearances matter - and remember to smile. Always make sure that your appearance is professional. This is not the university, this is the business world and appearances do matter.
  7. Nothing is black or white. Please learn the difference between what is illegal and unethical. Illegal is against the law. Nobody is perfect, including you.
  8. Quitting is leading too. We can exercise leadership by changing course. Reach consensus on metrics and timetable up front in the process and they will be the best indicator when is time to change course or make adjustments during the process.

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