Trick or Treat! The Leadership Lucky 13
With the leaves changing and my kids asking to try out their costumes, it can only mean Halloween is just a short few weeks away. Whether or not you’re not superstitious, here’s my Leadership Lucky 13:
- Think and act positively. Earle Nightingale said we become what we think about.
- Match words and actions.
- Plan goals. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road can take you there.” –Lewis Carroll
- Insist on results. I remember an Intertech board meeting where I was going through a litany of accomplished “to-do’s” for the past quarter. A board member stopped me and said, “I don’t care what you do. I care what you delivered.”
- Solve problems. I’ve not seen a dedicated course on solving problems. The closest I’ve seen is in a Dale Carnegie leadership course where a section was focused on a problem statement… “In what ways can I solve [enter problem here]”, sort worst to first, then get going on execution.
- Delegate. I used to take pride in arriving early, staying late, and doing it myself. Now I realize delegation is a key part of leadership. As Tina Fey said, the job of a good leader is hiring the right people and getting out of their way.
- Give away credit. Jim Collins stated “Leaders look out a window when there’s problems and in a mirror when there’s success.”
- Correct, correctly. In private. With clear examples and not sandwiched between praise.
- Care. In Rudolph Giuliani’s book on leadership he shares “Weddings are optional. Funerals are mandatory.” I’ve rescheduled sales calls, business meetings, and vacations to be available or present for those going through a rough patch.
- Accept the importance of communication. When in doubt, over communicate. You can’t hold someone accountable for something you’ve never communicated.
- Give meaningful feedback. “You did a good job” isn’t impactful. Meaningful feedback is specific and shares what it means to you specifically.
- Tell the truth. My dad told me, “Tom, you’re not smart enough to remember two stories. Tell the truth.” It also makes life a lot simpler.
- Listen. I asked a board member for the one piece advice to follow in business and life, he paused and said, “Seek first to understand… things aren’t always what you think.”
Tip a hat or raise a glass… here’s to The Lucky 13.