Leadership Lessons Ripped from the Headlines
Through his work as an executive coach, leadership strategist, speaker and author, Scott Eblin has become known as a thought leader in identifying the behaviors that executives need to pick up and let go as they transition into new and larger roles. President of the leadership development and strategy firm The Eblin Group Inc., Scott is a former Fortune 500 executive, with a coaching client list that runs the gamut from Astra Zeneca to the U.S. Navy. He is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success which Business Book Review calls a “fascinating read” that “is full of potentially career-saving advice.”
As Joe Nocera pointed out in his weekly Talking Business column, one of the most important duties of a leader is to prepare his or her successor. This is true not just for CEO’s, but for leaders at any level. How do you do it? Here are five simple yet actionable ideas for preparing your successor:
While it’s unlikely that most of us are going to be global rock stars anytime soon, I saw some great leadership lessons from Bono and the band that I want to pass on for your consideration.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you the top 10 to-do’s for leaders that he offered at the end of his two hour segment. (These are paraphrased based on my notes.) It’s unlikely that all ten will resonate with you, but my guess is that you (like me) will find at least two or three that hit home. Here they are:
Zipster yourself.) Backed up with some great technology, the Zipcar model is pretty simple. You join the program for a modest annual fee. When you need a car you reserve one online or on the phone. You walk to your car’s reserved parking space and unlock it using your Zipcard. You drive away for a low hourly fee which includes your gas and insurance coverage. When you’re done, you park the car in its spot, lock it up and walk away.
Before you conclude that this post is an ad for Zipcar, let me explain what really rocked me about Griffith’s presentation.
“Corner Office” Q&A in Sunday’s New York Times. Wanting to make a good impression in her new role, Hudson picked up some new suits at Nordstrom’s and, as part of her ensemble, learned some interesting ways to tie a scarf to complement her suits. She showed up as president on day one looking really sharp. The surprise came on day two when, as she described to the Times, she ran “into no fewer than a dozen women in the organization who have on scarves tied exactly like mine.”
When you’re the leader, people take their cues from you. When you’re aware of it, this can work for everyone’s benefit. If you aren’t aware of your footprint or ignore its impact, you can quickly set yourself and the organization up for failure.
So, with your leadership success in mind, here are five tips for how to successfully live with a big leadership footprint:
I’ve admired Tony Dungy for a long time because of his capacity to succeed in the high stakes competitive environment of the NFL while maintaining grace and humility whether he’s won or lost. Since I’m a huge football fan and Dungy is on the broadcast crew for NBC’s Football Night in America this year, he has been on my radar screen a little more than usual these past few weeks.
So, it was with great interest that I read David Rock’s article, “Managing with the Brain in Mind,” in the latest issue of Booz and Company’s Strategy + Business magazine. Rock is an executive coach specializing in the connections between neuroscience and leadership. He is the author of Quiet Leadership and the forthcoming book, Your Brain at Work. In his S+B article, Rock opens with the story of recent MRI based research that demonstrates that people who feel rejected or treated unfairly activate the same regions of their brain as people who are taking a literal blow to the head. The brain’s responses to relational and physical attacks are quite similar.
Rock quotes a neuroscientist who says the link between social discomfort and physical pain makes sense “because, to a mammal, being socially connected to caregivers is necessary for survival.” In an economic environment where people are naturally worried about the future, this strikes me as a very important thing for leaders to pay attention to. Rock offers a helpful acronym, SCARF (which stands for Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness and Fairness), which can help leaders better understand and act on the relationship factors that people naturally need to have addressed. He outlines a number of ideas in his article about how to act on these needs. Building on Rock’s model, I’ll offer a few of my own here: