Jack Welch has a new book coming out next week called WINNING.
There is an excerpt in Newsweek, this week.
He offers 8 how to's on being a good leader. My comments in RED.
#1 LEADERS RELENTLESSLY UPGRADE THEIR TEAM, USING EVERY
ENCOUNTER AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE, COACH AND BUILD
- As much emphasis as I place on maintaining quality relationships within an organization, I agree with him here. For a business, the purpose is not to build a community of leaders, but to create a sustainable, growing company. The relationships are a means to that end. Creating a cohesive team is far more productive than just trying to heard cats. But there has to be a purpose, a focus. In for-profit businesses, it is profitability. In a non-profit, it is measureable change in your mission's area of interest.
#2 LEADERS MAKE SURE PEOPLE NOT ONLY SEE THE VISION, THEY LIVE AND BREATHE IT.
- A clear, compelling vision has to be something that people can imagine like a dream. It is a real life story taking place in their head, so that they know what to do, and they know when it is happening. It has to be something that commands their passion and love. It can't do that if it is only ink on paper.
#3 LEADERS GET INTO EVERYONE'S SKIN, EXUDING POSITIVE ENERGY AND OPTIMISM.
- As Peter Drucker says, "Leaders lead people, not organizations." Leaders have to believe in the people they lead. They have to care about them in such a way that they want to give their very best to the goals of the organization. This is why Greenleaf's servant leadership has garnered such an important place in discussions about leadership. If the leader cannot connect with his or her people in a personal way, then it will be difficult to expect excellence service from them.
#4 LEADERS ESTABLISH TRUST WITH CANDOR, TRANSPARENCY AND CREDIT.
- AMEN! When leaders do not do this, they foster an environment of suspicion. No one really knows what is happening. As a result, the network of people within the organization begin to work at cross purposes from one another. It is important that critical candor be constructive. That it is not just to put someone in their place, but provide them a way to move to a different place. When you have that kind of communication stream going on, the sharing of credit becomes much more motivational. Honesty begets motivation to improve and perform at your best. The leader though must model this genuinely for it to be effective.
#5 LEADERS HAVE THE COURAGE TO MAKE UNPOPULAR DECISIONS AND GUT CALLS.
- In Homer's day, loyalty to family and community was demonstrated by courage. I believe the same is true for today.
#6 LEADERS PROBE AND PUSH WITH A CURIOSITY THAT BORDERS ON SKEPTICISM, MAKING SURE THEIR QUESTIONS ARE ANSWERED WITH ACTION.
- This is why this blog is called Leading Questions. Questions lead to insight. However, if the questions are to humiliate, to put someone to shame, then it is counterproductive.
#7 LEADERS INSPIRE RISK TAKING AND LEARNING BY SETTING THE EXAMPLE.
- A clear, compelling vision will be a picture of change. Change always involves risk. It is important to know that the risk is worth it.
#8 LEADERS CELEBRATE.
- Every grand endeavor needs to have an ending point, and a new beginning point. Ships come into port, restock, and go back out to sea. Businesses need to do the same. Take time to celebrate and reflect on accomplishments in anticipation for the next exploration of the unknown future. It is so important to celebrate, and to celebrate in a way that sends the message to every participant that their contribution was essential in their success.