Sunday, December 19, 2010

The seating of leaders

I attended two year-end senior leadership events in the last couple weeks and something became very obvious. People notice where leaders sit.

The first was a senior leadership objectives alignment meeting where the top leadership filled the front row of the venue. Each had a speaking role and this did make the transition between speakers smooth. The second was a large holiday celebration party where the senior leadership gathered together at a front and center table with their significant others. In both cases, the seating was “expected.” People shared two thoughts on the seating of leaders. Many traditionalists felt they wanted their leader at the front table to show the importance of the organization in which they work. The newer teammates would have liked to have seen their leaders sitting with their teams to learn about them as people rather than executives. From my perspective as a senior leader, it reminded me of all those years sitting at the kids table on Thanksgiving, only to become old enough to be “promoted” to the adult table to find the old table was a lot more fun!

Where would you like to see your leader sit at large company function? Where do you sit as a leader?


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Leaders have to set the standard

The University of Oregon football team has developed a new approach that moves very quickly and keeps its opponents off guard. They have not lost a game this season and will play in the national championship game.

This, unfortunately, has brought out some of the worst of its competition. On November 13th, Aaron Tipoti (#40) of the University of California at Berkeley was instructed by his coach to fake an injury an effort to slow down the Oregon team. It became obvious from the YouTube video watched by thousands that Berkeley Coach Jeff Tedford delivered the instructions for the ruse.

We continuously to hear and see poor sportsmanship in college and professional sports. We normally think of it as something linked to spoiled, overpaid, over-hyped athletes. This case the coach instructed the athlete to cross the ethics line. Then, to make matters worse, Aaron Tipoti did the unethical act. As leaders, the standards we set ripple throughout the team. Whether it is actually instructing unethical behavior or role modeling it, people do what we indicate is ok.

How do you ensure you leadership messages so up to standard that you would like thousands to view them on YouTube?


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