Get Your Lead On

“He who has never learned to obey cannot be a good commander.” Aristotle

At the end of October 2015, over 1200 books had been published with “leadership” in the title. If you type in “leadership” on, over 180K results occur, including “Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun” (no, I didn’t buy it).  If you consider books on leadership without that word in the title, along with the plethora of articles and posts, there’s plenty of advice to go around.

Just like exercise being a good thing to take up whether 9 or 99, no matter what your role, or where you are in your career, there’s never a better time than right now to tone up your leadership.

  1. Continuous learning. Read top articles from a reputable business news outlet every day, as well as top news in your industry. Keep current in those skills you need not only today, but will need based on your organization’s strategy and plans. Also, take time regularly to learn a bit about topics you know nothing about (again, from a reputable source). Migratory bird habits. How to make a soufflé. Spread your mind.
  2. Care more about others’ success than your own. Teams have to be greater than the sum of their parts to succeed, and successful teams are made up of people who take blame, give praise, lend a helping hand, and deliver with quality.
  3. Be thoughtful in your speech and actions. Like it or not, every time you speak, you are not only interviewing for your next job, you are continually interviewing for your current job. Some of the best advice I ever got was “does it need to be said, right now, and by me?” If I can’t say “yes” to all three, then I pause and consider.
  4. Make and meet the right commitments. Before saying “yes,” make sure you understand and agree with what you need to do and how you are going to get it done. Don’t confuse this with analysis paralysis. It’s OK to say things like “I hear you that we need this by June 1. Let’s set that as a target. I’m going to gather information and put options together for you by end of day tomorrow.”
  5. Last but not least – humility. According to this Washington Post article, humility is often associated with embarrassment or humiliation. Actually, true humility occurs when a person has an accurate assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, and knows they aren’t the center of the universe and like all of us, has opportunities to learn and grow.

There’s thousands of people to learn from about leadership. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to learn, care and be humble enough to truly lead.

“Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flocks to fly and follow.” Chinese Proverb

Worth considering:

I missed an opportunity for a $200 travel voucher this week. Another outage on 1/30 for Delta Airlines. I don’t know their CIO Rahul Samant, but I feel I should offer to buy him a beer.

Word of the day: “malvertising.” The rise of malicious adware and other techniques has spam at new record highs – 65% of all e-mail.

WiFi is increasingly “free” at hotels and airports, but the angst continues as the lousy, slow WiFi is free – you often still have to pay for real WiFi if you want to do anything much more than read e-mail. Hint: I’d rather have WiFi than extra towels or a bag of peanuts.


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