This video is about how to become someone who is inspiring to those around you.

There are 4 key ingredients of the people that get the best out of the teams around them. I shared this talk with over 800 school heads, teaching leaders and educational leaders at the Global Forum on Girls Education in Washington on June 19 this year.

The book mentioned in the video is “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner.

Summary of The Leadership Challenge

Here’s a customer review by Daniel King on Amazon that gives a great summary of the book:

The Leadership Challenge is considered a classic on leadership principles. Kouzes and Posner have spent more than three decades studying the best practices of top leaders. In their book, they explain five practices that all great leaders engage in. Under these five practices, they also discuss ten commitments of exemplary leadership. Below are some of the ideas and quotes that stood out to me.

Practice 1 – Model the Way

1. The first step to being a great leader is to clarify your values.
  • “You must be able to “clearly articulate deeply held belief” (44).
  • “To find your voice, you have to explore your inner self. You have to discover what you care about most, what defines you, and what makes you who you are” (46).
  • Question: What values guide your current decisions, priorities, and actions? (69).
2. The second step is to set an example by aligning actions with shared values.
  • “Credibility is the foundation of leadership” (37). You have to practice what you preach. Do what you say you will do. (39).
  • “Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that earns you respect” (16).
  • “Leader’s deeds are far more important than their words” (17).
  • “Leading by example is more effective than leading by command” (17).
  • “What you do speaks more loudly than what you say” (76).
  • Use stories to “pass on lessons about shared values” (91).
  • “How you spend your time is the single best indicator of what’s important to you” (96).
  • Question: How are you spending your time?

Practice 2 – Inspire a Shared Vision

3. The third step is to envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities.
  • Vision begins with “one person’s imagination” (103).
  • “Leaders are dreamers. Leaders are idealists. Leaders are possibility thinkers” (105).
  • “Leaders need to spend considerable time reading, thinking, and talking about the long-term view, not only for their specific organization but also for the environment in which they operate” (110).
  • “Imagination is more important than intelligence” – Albert Einstein (112).
  • It is easier to drive fast when there is no fog on the road. This “analogy illustrates the importance of clarity of vision…You’re better able to go fast when your vision is clear” (123).
  • Question: What do you care about? What drives you? Where do your passions lie? What do you want to accomplish and why? (126). What ideas and visions do you hold in your mind of what can be? (100).
4. The fourth step is to enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations.
  • “You can’t command commitment; you have to inspire it. You have to enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations” (18).
  • “No matter how grand the dream of an individual visionary, if others don’t see in it the possibility of realizing their own hopes and desires, they won’t follow voluntarily or wholeheartedly” (117).
  • “The best leaders are great listeners (118).
  • “People commit to causes, not to plans” (121).
  • “People aren’t going to follow someone who’s only mildly enthusiastic about something. Leaders have to be wildly enthusiastic for constituents to give it their all” (129).
  • “Visions are about ideals. They’re about hopes, dreams, and aspirations. They’re about the strong desire to achieve something great. They’re ambitious. They’re expressions of optimism. Can you imagine a leader enlisting other in a cause by saying, “I’d like you to join me in doing the ordinary?” (130).
  • “Feeling special fosters a sense of pride” (134).
  • “Show people how their dreams will be realized” (138).
  • “Visions are images in the mind…They become real as leaders express those images in concrete terms to their constituents” (143).
  • Question: What common ideas are you appealing to? (152).

Practice 3 – Challenge the Process

5. The fifth step is to search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and looking outward for innovative ways to improve.
  • “Maintaining the status quo simply breeds mediocrity” (156).
  • 100% of the shots you do not take will miss going into the basket (166).
  • “Find ways for people to stretch themselves. Set the bar incrementally higher, but at a level at which people feel they can succeed” (169).
  • “Be on the lookout for new ideas, wherever you are” (181).
  • Question: What are you doing new today in order to become better than yesterday?
6. The sixth step is to experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from experience.
  • “Nothing new and nothing great is achieved by doing things the way you’ve always done them. You have to test unproven strategies…break out of the norms that box you in…venture beyond the limitations you normally place on yourself” (188).
  • “Big things are done by doing lots of little things” (196).
  • “It is hard to argue with success” (197).
  • “Small wins produce results because they make people feel like winners and make it easier for leaders to get others to want to go along with their requests” (199).
  • “Learning is the master skill” (202).
  • Question: How are you changing, improving, growing, and innovating?

Practice 4 – Enable others to Act

7. The seventh step is to foster collaboration by building trust and facilitating relationships.
  • “The team is larger than any individual on the team” (21).
  • “‘We’ can’t happen without trust” (219).
  • “When you create a climate of trust, you create an environment that allows people to freely contribute and innovate” (222).
  • “Placing trust in others is the safer bet with most people most of the time” (223).
  • “People have to believe that you know what you’re talking about and that you know what you’re doing” (226).
  • “Once you help others succeed, acknowledge their accomplishments, and help them shine, they’ll never forget it” (234).
  • “Demonstrate that you trust them before you ask them to trust you” (239).
  • Question: Who are you willing to trust?
8. The eighth step is to strengthen others by increasing self-determination and developing competence.
  • “The paradox of power: you become more powerful when you give your own power away” (244).
  • “Feeling powerful…comes from a deep sense of being in control of your own life” (246).
  • “Individual accountability is a critical element of every collaborative effort” (252).
  • “The more freedom of choice people have, the more personal responsibility they must accept” (253).
  • “If your constituents aren’t growing and learning in their jobs, they’re highly likely to leave and find better ones” (261).
  • Question: Do the people around you feel powerful?

Practice 5 – Encourage the Heart

9. The ninth step is to recognise contributions by showing appreciation.
  • “The climb to the top is arduous and steep. People become exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted, and are often tempted to give up. Genuine acts of caring draw people forward. “recognition is the most powerful currency you have and it costs you nothing.” (23).
  • “Say Thank You” (294).
  • “Spontaneous, unexpected rewards are often more meaningful than expected, formal ones” (292).
  • Question: Do you say “thank you” enough?
10. The tenth step is to celebrate values and victories by creating a spirit of community.
  • “Leaders never get extraordinary things accomplished all by themselves” (30).
  • “Celebrate accomplishments in public” (307).
  • “Get personally involved…leadership is a relationship” (315).
  • “Make celebrations part of organizational life” (323).
  • Question: Who are you celebrating?

The Top 6 Reasons why Leaders Seek Coaching

  1. Creating a 90-day plan
  2. Navigating Organization politics identifying tactics to deal with “politics”
  3. Managing work and life priorities achieving a workable “balance”
  4. Developing a strategy to grow your leadership presence
  5. Accelerating momentum in your current role
  6. Clarify goals and pinpoint how to achieve them

I was reading about how the Washington Post has changed since it’s purchase by Jeff Bezos.  One of the quotes in the article struck a chord with me:

“not to fix broken things, like IT will do at a company, but build the future”.

Jeff Bezos brought in Jarrod Dicker to run technology development at the Post – a division that is called R.E.D. (Research, Experimentation and Development) and told him that he was “not to fix broken things, like IT will do at a company, but build the future”.  (Read more at The Drum)

Leadership should take this as a mantra – work on what is important for the future of the enterprise, not what is broken in today’s version of the enterprise.  Accenture had a similar mantra when I was working as a consultant back in the 1990’s “Don’t pave the cow path”.

We were told that the worst IT implementation is one that just automates the processes of pre-computer work.  The best is to design the processes and technology for what the customers really want to achieve with their interactions with the company.

 

LinkedIn is testing out a new free service for members that will match them with other professionals who can give them career advice. LinkedIn will help to make matches between mentees and mentors via its online platform.

Mentorship is a significant part of the careers of every successful person that I know. I personally have sought out and found mentors since my early 20s working in Accenture.  I used to think this was normal, but I discovered over the last decade that many talented friends have never found a formal mentor relationship.

I have run the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation Mentorship Program in Barcelona for the last 3 years and have learnt a lot as we have got 15 mentor-mentee pairs connected and working together to achieve specific goals.  Personally I have have benefitted from some wonderful mentors throughout my life – in particular Michael (my first long-term manager at Accenture), Brian (the reason I teach at IESE Business School), Harry (helped me take a big decision last year).  I personally mentor 5 people each year and it is hugely valuable for me to reflect on my own life as I listen to the challenges and opportunities of these inspiring individuals.

How will Mentorship work on LinkedIn?

Hari Srinivasan, director of product management at LinkedIn, says, “As people spend less and less time at a company, it’s hard to find people you need to talk to.”  LinkedIn user analysis shows that 89% of senior leaders (on LinkedIn) would be interested in giving advice.

This is how it works: There will be a section on your profile called “dashboard”. This will display the “career advice hub” where you can sign up to be a mentor or a mentee.

The first screen is a basic overview of the function and its value for both those giving and getting advice. From there, you are instructed to provide specifics on who you’d like to talk to with parameters such as region, industry, school, etc.

LinkedIn’s matching algorithm will immediately send recommendations for matches. If you select someone who is a match they will get a message immediately notifying them of your interest to connect. Once both parties agree, they can start talking.  Read more about LinkedIn’s plans for mentorship on Fast Company.

Two of the reasons mentorships fail are…

  1. the mentee isn’t able to articulate what they need or
  2. asks too much of a mentor.

Check out my blog post: “How to be a Good Mentor

LinkedIn is working on ways to make the conversation flow more smoothly so both sides get what they need.  LinkedIn say that it’s not meant to be a replacement for long-term mentorship. It’s meant to tackle those “quick question” requests such as whether you are taking the right approach in different scenarios.

Do you have a mentor?  Are you searching for a mentor?  Are you interested in becoming a mentor?  

This video is about Sequoia Capital and their 3 rules for success in leading a business.  They make leadership feel very simple.. but it works. They have 30 years of track record of successfully taking on and turning around businesses.

Their rules are:

  1. 30/30
  2. 80/20 &
  3. the golden rule: 90/10.

More on Leadership

This video is about Verne Harnish’s 5 habits of the Leaders that will succeed in the next decade.

Conor and Verne before the ScaleUp Conference in Barcelona

The 5 habits are:

  1. Ratio of “No” to “Yes”
  2. Meals with Influencers
  3. Calender hours on Gold Chip actions
  4. Total brains involved in your decisions
  5. Regular Reading and Thinking Time

Verne C. Harnish founded Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs, both international entrepreneurship organizations. He also serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gazelles, Inc., a strategic planning and “executive education” company. He chairs the “Birthing of Giants” leadership program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ScaleUp Barcelona

Here’s some of the action from last week’s ScaleUp Barcelona conference:

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This is an interview that I recorded with Christoph Magnussen during the EO Global Leadership Conference recently. It is part of a series of video blogs that Christoph is producing called: WorkDay Vlog.

Christoph has some great videos on his channel Workday Vlog and Worktools  – covering the new way of work, cloud tools for your company (office 365 vs Google Apps), the life of a tech entrepreneur.

The Making of the Interview

In a new move for the youtube video creator community… we actually have a short facebook live “the making of” video of myself watching Christoph getting ready for the shoot:

Were you at the EO GLC?  What did you learn?  What lesson will you take home and put into your business and into your local chapter?

Genetically we differ 2% from chimpanzees and 3% from worms. Our big difference is the cortex, the upper layer of the brain.  The cortex is the home of imagination.

Imagination gives us the choice to live intentionally.  We can make a choice: lead a life that is not just response to stimuli, but building towards a vision: an imagined future.

Why is imagination so important?

A leader sees a future that is not yet here.  This requires imagination. The clearer you can see and touch and feel this potential future the more compellingly you can communicate it to others.

Imagination is what makes us human. 2,300 years ago in the Greek city-state of Athens, Aristotle asked himself “what is the purpose of human life?”  Aristotle defined the purpose of an object as being that which it can uniquely do.  A human is alive – but plants are also alive – so that cannot be human purpose.  A human feels – but animals also feel – so that cannot be human purpose. The unique gift of humanity is reason, the ability to solve problems in the mind, to imagine.

How can you develop your imagination?  The video below shares a tool that Jim Collins uses to develop his power of Imagination.

If you are reading this via email, the video is on the blog here: Start with the End in Mind

Today is Martin Luther King Day.  Martin Luther King had courage as a leader to stand up for what is right.  He was willing, and did finally, pay the full price as a leader.

Update: I recorded a Facebook Live video session about this post and Bill Treasurer’s new book:

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Conor & Bill on Conor’s roof terrace, Barcelona 2015

Bill Treasurer’s latest book, “A Leadership Kick in the Ass” launches today, January 16.  Bill is a good friend and a trusted source of expert guidance when I have questions about leadership, life and living well.  The pic to the right is from Bill’s last visit to Barcelona in 2015.

I first met Bill in 1996 at Accenture’s Global Leadership Training facility in St Charles, near Chicago USA.  We were put on a team of 4 consultants for a week-long training course.  I loved the experience, and I gained a leadership mentor that week.  Bill has gone on to publish 5 books on Leadership and speak on the stage with Marshall Goldsmith, Ken Blanchard.  I’m proud to say that Bill is turning into a Leadership guru.

About this post...  I did a short interview with Bill about his life and his motivations for writing this latest book.  First, here is Bill himself explaining what the new book is all about...

How to Lead with Experience: Making the Shift

If you are reading this via email you can watch the video on the blog here: How to lead with Experience

The Rhetorical Journey Interviews Bill Treasurer

Over to Bill… 

Where did the idea for the book come from? 

I didn’t know where the book came from until after I wrote it! Though I’ve worked with lots of famous companies over the years, the bulk of my work has been with three unionized construction companies based in Chicago. They have a very low tolerance of leadership fru fru. If you don’t give them practical and useful stuff that works, they will chew you up and spit you out.

This book is low on theory and high on practicality. Even the title was influenced by my construction company clients. Believe me, “ass” is the tamest word I hear when I’m working with them!

What single achievement are you proudest about? 

Honestly, when other parents compliment my wife and I on our kids. I love being my kids dad.

Outside of my home-life, the achievement I’m most proud of is having developed long-term relationships with my clients. In this business, if you’re not adding value, your business will fail. I love my clients, and I love the trust that we’ve built together. I consider the fact that they’ve entrusted me with the development of their leaders to be a sacred honor.

If you could speak to every person on the planet for 1 minute what would you say (what would you ask of them?)?

I would have the world start each day with 5 minutes of reflective silence. With all the technological bombardment in the world, we often move too far off-center, away from our inner wisdom.

With even 5 brief minutes of silence each day, people could become reconnected with the wisdom inside them, and collectively, humanity would be a lot better off with more wisdom and less distraction.

Who are 5 people who inspire you to be the best version of yourself?

My three children, Bina, Alex, and Ian. My wife, Shannon. And all my clients.

What is one failure you had, and how did you overcome it?

I sucked at leading. I know that because one of my employees had the courage to tell me. At first I got defensive. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. I didn’t know who I was as a leader, so I had adopted the leadership style of my main leadership role model: my dad. Turns out, my dad was a controlling temperamental hothead, and I was mimicking him.

So I picked up my first book on leadership: The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. It lit a fire in me. I started reading more leadership books, and then entered graduate school and studied leadership. My thesis focused on the effectiveness of various leadership styles. Before long, I got better as a leader myself. Now I work with leaders as part of my professional practice. I owe that courageous employee a debt of gratitude for telling me I sucked as a leader.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

 I’m a gregarious loner. People sometimes mistake me for an extraverted socialite.

In actuality, I’m a very solitary person and relish my time alone. I sometimes think of myself like a full moon that you can see during the morning. I’m at my best when I am able to be a bit of an outsider, observing the world with a certain objectivity, and then sharing what I’ve observed in my books.

I can be social, but it’s just as important to me to be unsocial so that I observe the world without becoming subsumed by it.

What is one internet resource that you regularly use?

Wikipedia. Someday, when computers get integrated with human biology, I’m going to upload Wikipedia into my brain!

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

You mean besides my new book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass? J

One of my all-time favorite leadership books is Obedience to Authority, by Stanley Milgram. When you learn how easily people capitulate to authority figures, with little or no coercion, it becomes less perplexing to see how a Hitler or other malevolent leaders emerge. Every leader needs to read this eye-opening book.

About Bill Treasurer

Bill Treasurer is the Chief Encouragement Officer (CEO) of Giant Leap Consulting, Inc. His new book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass, focuses on the crucial importance of leadership humility. He is also the author of international best-seller Courage Goes To Work, which introduced the new management practice of courage building and Leaders Open Doors, which became the #1 leadership training book on Amazon. Bill’s clients include NASA, Saks Fifth Avenue, UBS Bank, Walsh Construction, Spanx, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs, and many others. Learn more at: www.CourageBuilding.com/Kickass

Connect with Bill through social media: facebook.com, twitterlinkedin. youtube