Sunday, July 10th, 2016
DON’T LEAD WITH YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
This may be heresy for me to say but–focusing on leadership skills is not your most important priority. If you are doing what is most important, then your lack of leadership skills will be forgiven, laughed at lovingly and become part of the company narrative.
–Loving and enjoying and digging deep into the business even when it is a
tough tough time. People like to work with and for people who love their work.
–Being nice matters intensely. People have a good bull shit buzzer for nice.
They smell quickly if the niceness is real. Nice means kind, friendly, aware of
the contributions of others, accessible and tolerant.
–Being trustworthy may be the most important. We are so cynical and so
hungry to find someone worthy of our trust. Do you keep your word? Do you
honor confidences? Are you willing to lose some power or perk in order to
maintain your values? I can’t tell you how ungrounded most companies are
due to trying to do difficult work in an atmosphere of smoke and mirrors.
–Being unrelenting about fairness. The question of fairness is always in play
for top leaders—compensation, opportunity, access, communication, being
heard, parking spaces, office space, and on and on. You are the fairness
–And lastly being optimistic but not foolish or spinning a false story.
The ability to create a positive atmosphere for hard work in tough times is
essential. Failing out loud and in public and then shrugging and putting it all
in perspective makes the whole enterprise ring true and creates energy.
So you don’t delegate well. You run a lousy meeting. You don’t always follow-up.
You talk too much or too little. You are late with performance conversations.
On and on. You can make lots of mistakes with leadership skills and be forgiven.
But betray any one of the above qualities and no skill will make up for the
inner good heartedness that great leaders carry in them.