Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Leading Quietly - Doing the Right Thing

One of the books I read on the weekend was – Leading Quietly – An unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing by Joseph Badaracco.

The book is more about the subtitle “An unorthodox Guide to Doing the Right Thing” than the title – “Leading Quietly”. It did make a valid point that often the best leaders are not the loud stars that the press talks about all the time. Often the best leaders are the quiet plodders that create value over a long period of time.

Much of the book talked about making decisions in uncertain circumstances. Much of leadership involves decision making. And most decisions are not clear. The mark of a good leader is one who is willing to make the decisions quickly. Good leaders know when enough information is enough (some people will not make decisions because they want more information even though the probability of that information changing the decision is negligible). As Badaracco says “the courage to prudently tackle tough situations”.

Good leader do not balk at making decisions even though there is risk involved. Usually there is greater risk in not making the decision.

Much of good decision making is about identifying the problem and simplifying it. Einstein said “Everything should be as simple as possible and no simpler”.

On statement that rang true to me “leadership is hard work”. I guess I never really thought about it but at the time I was reading it, I was struggling with many issues and juggling many balls so it hit home. It also talked about tenacity. This is a trait that I try hard to have. When I do not get the answer I want, I try to figure other approaches to make the sale (and most things are sales even if they involve selling internally or selling someone in a negotiation).

Good book.


At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book. My latest enjoyable book has been Jon Stewart's America. It's hilarious. I am going to try to work in one of his quote about the internet and authority in one of my projects this semester abou wikipedia and the democratization of knowledge.


At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, great blog. I definitely agree about making decisions quickly. Make a decision then work on it to make it excellent!
From one of your quiet leaders...;)

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't agree more, doing the right thing is always a quick decision to make and usually instinctive, on the flip side of this the right thing usually leads to many more difficult decisions that sometimes take a little longer to make and do require more input.


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