From time to time we all read something about leadership that sticks with us. After reading this on the US Chamber's Institute for Organization Management's blog, I thought I'd share it. Submitted by Dave Kilby, IOM California Chamber of Commerce
As I was doing some spring cleaning a few weeks ago I came across a book “The Heart of a Leader” by Ken Blanchard. I was reminded of the Tom Peters’ quote “If I had one failing of CEOs, it’s they don’t read enough.”
So I decided to make the time the time to re-visit Blanchard’s book and, although it was originally published nearly 20 years ago, I found many of the passages, advice and insights extremely relevant for today’s “busy” chamber and association professionals.
Here’s a sampling:
Walk your talk: It is vital for an organization and its leadership to “walk their talk.” They must make every effort to become living symbols of their organization’s value system. Once core values have been set in place – identified, communicated and impacting behavior – they become the “boss.”
It’s more important to be respected than to be popular: Blanchard says if you think back to someone who got a great performance from you, more likely, this was a leader who combined tough and nice. Are you willing to push your people beyond their comfort zone in order to achieve excellence? They might not like what you ask of them, but they will remember you as a leader they respected. NOTE: For several decades, I have advocated that it’s far better for our organizations to be respected, than to be liked.
Winning coaches make their teams audible ready: Can you, like a quarterback, make a snap decision to call an audible, a different play that has a better chance of success? There is nothing wrong with plans, policies or rules. The problem comes when people are told to implement them no matter what. Teach you people to bring their brains to work and be “audible-ready.”
Inquire within: Most of the significant advances in human history have come not from rushing around, but from being still. They required periods of deep and rigorous contemplation and quiet time. There is no way to do silence wrong. The only thing “wrong” would be to not do it.
Never! Never! Never! Never! Give Up! – Winston Churchill: If one quality epitomized Winston Churchill it was persistence. He never gave up. It was that attitude that inspired England in World War II when others might have surrendered. Persistence is sticking to your guns. It’s keeping your commitment and making your actions consistent with your word.
Your life is yours to design: Purpose has to do with one’s calling – deciding what business you are in as a person.
Make your life all it can be!
Cheryl B. Kuhn, IOM