Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Leadership and Management

Management is nothing more than motivating other people.
--Lee Iacocca

Leadership is figuring out what direction to go. People need to be inspired to do something. Leadership is about figuring out what that is. Leadership provides the vision. Management executes.

My biggest challenges always involve figuring out what direction to move in. This applies not only to my business but to my life.


At 1:51 AM, Blogger serenity said...

"My biggest challenges always involve figuring out what direction to move in. This applies not only to my business but to my life."

You took the words right out of my mouth!!! Thank you for being real, being honest, being you. You have no idea who you may be reaching.

At 11:20 AM, Blogger steven edward streight said...

I think the Vision comes from the front-line workers and the customers, which is then absorbed and crystallized by the Leader.

The Leader is not the only Visionary, and if the Vision comes only from the Leader, the Vision will not correspond to the reality of the sales situation and the needs of your customers.

The Leader sets the Example, more than formulating or enforcing the Vision.

The Leader gets in-depth information about customer needs, organizational capabilities, and where the Future will likely be.

A customer-based Vision will always beat an organization-based Delusion. The prime example of this is the automobile industry.

The housing market is providing another lesson. Huge, hard to heat and air condition, stereotypical $300,000 homes in America have been all the rage.

Until lately. Now the trend seems to be headed to more modest, compact, simple accomodations.

Displaying wealth with items that deplete it is beginning to be seen as a type of consumer insanity.

Anticipation of the future must be derived from a true sense of customer needs evolution, where the trends are headed, not where you think they should be, to favor what you're already doing or wanting to sell.

We must stoop to conquer.

Stoop, get low, humble, bend down and converse with customers, let them define what we sell, rather than the Old Economy of telling customers what they should desire.

Back to Vision, the Leader should not only get it from the customers, sales staff, and service rep input...he/she should gather, crystallize, and then set the example.

I worked once for a telemarketing firm. One day the CEO came up, with his brother, from Texas. Young guys, late 20s. I had a problem, and I went to their office to seek advice. They were playing cards and pretty much blew me off with, "Hey, it's a numbers game. Just keep calling."

No solution to my problem. I quit the next day.

They should have been on the phones, demonstrating how it's done.

That's how you motivate your employees: get down there and show them how to do it. Don't just tell them: "This is the Vision. You will now obey and implement it. I have spoken."

I'm sure you aren't like this, but many are. They are trapped in the old, outmoded, discredited Command and Control mentality.

It's now Converse and Comply.

Converse with customers to know their real needs. Converse with sales staff to know the real benefits of product and demands of consumers. Converse with support staff to know the real logistics of serving the customers and helping sales to function. Converse with service department to know the real weaknesses and defects of products.

Comply with all this data, develop everything based on this rich and relevant input.

That seems to me how Vision is formulated.

Not "where do we want to be in 10 years?" Rather: "where are customer needs today and where are they likely to be in 10 years?"

That's your Vision.

Jim, your simplicity and sincerity are inspiring me greatly.

I'm going to read your time management document you sent me today. Finally found the time to read it. Heh.


At 11:51 AM, Blogger Jim Estill said...


Great comments. I totally agree that it takes input from the whole team and mostly the customers to create vision.

Could not agree more on the set the example.

The only comment I might make about allowing customers to set the vision is sometimes I have found they actually do not know what they want until you actually start delivering it.


At 7:59 PM, Blogger steven edward streight said...

I'll have to think about that one.

Innovative products can meet needs that were relatively unknown prior to the product release.

I recall how so many said that nobody would buy personal home computers, and the remark was always: "What would you do with a computer in your home?"

The reply was typically: "Organize thngs, inventory items that are depleted rapidly, send out invitations to parties."



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