Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership

Well the parsley is doing awesome. Italian parsley (the closest one) grows like a weed. I am eating a cup or more per day. Raw - just nibbling on it.

What I learned about parsley:

1 - Chewing it raw is a natural way to treat gum disease.

2 - Parsley naturally eliminates bad breath.

3 - A cup of Parsley contains 21% of the daily iron needed and 100% of the vitamin C (if you believe RDA suggestions are right)

4 - I need to eat 100 cups per day just to get enough calories to maintain my weight. (and I suspect even that would barely make a dint on my crop)

5 - It is one way to stop smoking.

And no, I do not have any of these problems but I do have a bumper parsley crop. Asparagus is also doing well.

And I am way behind on my book reviews so a short one:

Gary Burnison wrote The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership.

Burnison is an impressive guy. CEO of Korn Ferry. It seems logical he would know a thing or two about leadership not just because he runs his own company but as a recruiter, he would have seen hundreds of leaders. And he already a published best seller ("No Fear of Failure")

I liked the simple one word chapter titles. 12 Absolutes - 12 chapters one for each.

The 12 absolutes are:

1 - Lead - This seemed like too simple of a place to start but the chapter is quite good. I got hooked by the subhead "Anchor yourself in Humility". I see a lack of humility in leadership and I think this does not serve us. Leader need to move above the me to the we.

2 - Purpose - This is the true enabler of any company.

3 - Strategy - In the end, it is all about execution.

4 - People - Clearly key to everything. I always had the theory that a leaders' job was to hire average people and help them grow to be above average (by empowering, training, coaching, mentoring and giving them the tools to do the job well)

5 - Measure - I find this easy on the "hard stuff" like sales, profits, delivery standards etc but always struggle trying to measure the "soft" like culture. I also find too often, measures are short term where the organization really needs long term.

6 - Empower - I am a big believer in this. No business can scale without empowering people - not just delegating but trusting them to make the right choices to help a company thrive.

7 - Reward - obvious. If the company does well, the people should do well.

8 - Anticipate - "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan" Elanor Roosevelt.

9 - Navigate - the unexpected will happen.

10 - Communicate - key to all leadership.

11 - Listen - I would have put this before communicate.

12 - Learn - I love learning and always wanted any company I am involved in to be a constant learning company.

Some quotes:

"Leadership is the eighth wonder of the world - easy to intellectualize, but elusive to actualize"

"Leading is less about analytics and strategy and much more about making a difference in the lives of others."

"Leaders are mirrors of the organization"

"Leadership is Grace, Dignity and Restraint."

"Shared Purpose Creates Shared Urgency"

It is a good book.


At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And parsley helps for digestion, antiaenemic, etc, etc.

Recommended daily powershot squeezed though the juicer:
a cup of fresh parsley
a bit of fresh ginger
a carrot
juice from half a lemon

Awesome for attacking endless do-it-lists and keeping the doctor away:-).

At 11:13 AM, Anonymous John @ Universal Remotes said...

Unfortunately, some managers and bosses don't realize that a pat on the back is perfectly fine but an employee who performs and is constantly profitable and helpful deserves more than a compliment. A small raise of bonus goes along way to show appreciation for a job well done. Ignoring the need for appreciation will leave employees bitter and resentful. This is why most good employees leave.


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