Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Re-Reboot

Over the holidays heading into 2009, I decided to take a step into the unknown leaving a very long, single company career.  I called it my “reboot.”  A reboot is different from retirement.  It is like when your computer is stuck and you hit “Control-Alt-Delete” to start over (hopefully not losing all the work you had done).  After six months having a blast in Southern California, we tried something completely different - I role that allowed me live near family, experience NYC and test my theory on how to successfully start international operations.  Three years later, this reboot has been achieved.

Time for the next one.  What shall it be?  Leaders need to step into the unknown periodically just as we expect of our people.  We ask them to follow us to ne places.  Long and comfortable careers can be a hindrance to imagination if left unchallenged. How would you respond to your boss if she asked you the day you returned “How do you plan to lead more effectively in 2013 than you did in 2012?”  This is a question we should ask ourselves every year at this time.  My answer is easy.  I’m going to re-reboot similar to 2009.

Are you going to change/improve your leadership in 2013?  What will you change? How will you explain the change to your team?   


Friday, December 21, 2012

Leaders as Passengers

We are all guilty of it, some more often than others.  Leaders must be able to step into the forefront and be good followers. But, sometimes we disengage so much that we actually become passengers.  Those times we are uninvolved participants going for the ride.  I heard this term from Astronaut Mike Mullane on uTube” 

LiaV Top 5 Leaders as Passenger List:

  1. Reading your Smartphone during meetings and presentations.
  2. Going radio silent on topics to avoid controversy.
  3. Not asking clarification questions to gain understanding.
  4. Thinking about what you are going to say next when the other person is still talking.
  5. Multi-tasking (it is really high speed serial processing).
What would you add to this list?  How do you overcome these challenges?


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Search for dissenters!

A leader is most vulnerable to serious mistake when they are emotionally tied to the topic and surround themselves with people that agree with them.  You know the situation, something has you total engulfed and you absolutely know that you are right.  You share the situation with a loved one and ask their opinion.  They feel your pain and agree with your position 100%.  The problem is they are being supportive not objective!

We recently attended The 2012 Richard Salant Lecture presented by the New Canaan Library and hosted this year by Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News).  One important topic discussed was the fragmentation of the US news media into cable channels with different slants and points of view.  The distinguished guest panel (David Gergen, Peter Goldmark, Jr. and Joe Scarborough) shared their concern that this created a problem in the US where people can listen to the “news” that matched their opinion and it stopped people from hearing things that made them consider alternative ideas.  It seemed like a reasonable hypothesis so I tried it.

This week when I had a strong opinion on something, I continued to share the example with trusted colleagues until I found someone who disagreed with me.  Guess what happened – they were also right and I tailored my view.

Do you search from dissenting opinions? Do you search until you find one?  Once you find one, does it typically sway your opinion?


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