Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leadership and the Art of Struggle

I love early mornings.  There are so many things I could do and want to do.  At my desk in the office by 6:30 after a long workout.  Perfect start to a day.

So why would I be thinking of failure?

I read a book last night Leadership and the Art of Struggle - How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity by Steven Snyder.

I love success stories.  And in a way, this book is about successes but those that are preceded by failure.  Or as he puts it - being human.  Leaders are often put on a pedestal and expected to be perfect.  Or in the case of failure, held out to be complete losers. 

We are all a bit of both.  The key is to not get depressed or swamped by the losses.

Random snippets from the book(with some of my interpretation):

Use adaptive energy.  Confront failure with proactive reinvention.   Channel adaptive energy through self awareness. Reflect.  Be centered.  Adopt a growth mindset.  Wake up smarter every day. Abilities can always improve.  We can choose positive change.  Just because we were one way does not mean we cannot be another.  Winners are resilient.  Prepare yourself.  Rethink your vision.  Have goals.  Have passion (and figure out what gives you passion).  Re-imagine.  Pivot.  Leap.

Snyder speaks of the challenges of many great leaders including one of my favourites - Anne Malcahy CEO of Xerox.  When I was CEO of SYNNEX, I found her to be responsive, approachable and just a genuinely nice person (even though I think I only ever met her on the phone and email). 

One of my expressions is "fail often, fail fast, fail cheap".  And having a failure does not make you a failure.  And someone said "You miss 100% of the balls you do not swing at". 

It is all about recovery.   Picking back up.  Learning.  But mostly trying again.


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