Sunday, April 18, 2010

Respecting Babe’s House

We went to the New York Yankees – Texas Rangers game this weekend in the new Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. Yep – home of the Bronx Bombers. The House that Babe built. Wait a minute. We were in the new stadium and walked by the demolished remains of the old stadium that Babe built in 1923.

I will say up front that I understand many people have an affinity to the old stadium and the many important things happened there. That as a given, I thought the designers and builders of the new stadium did an outstanding job respecting the past and incorporating it into the design while providing a world class, modern sporting venue.

It made me think that evening about what a leader’s role is when they follow a legend into the position. It is likely the team loved your predecessor and they were not looking for someone new. In a situation like this, it would seem the best approach would be the same as the new Yankee Stadium. Incorporate the history and best elements of the past, speak well about what was and the future that will be, and go boldly to a new place.

What lessons can you share about following a great leader into a position?


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unwanted milestones

LiaV (Leadership is a Verb) reached a couple interesting new milestones in the past weeks. Unlike the competition last year where we placed 2nd in the “Best Leadership Blogs of 2009,” we were informed that an independent researcher identified LiaV as in “Top 150 Management & Leadership Blogs. It is an ordered list, created using statistics from Google PageRank, Bing, Alexa, Technorati, Twitter Grader, PostRank and FeedBurner.” I guess this is ok enough.

The second category we achieved was the arrival of multiple public relations firms volunteering to send me free copies of their client’s recently released books to read and blog about. First, LiaV is not for sale or influence. You can bank on the fact that the posts you will read on LiaV are original, uninfluenced and simply the way I observe the world.

All in all, these were unwanted milestones and ones you achieved more than me based on your hits and comments. I respectfully declined each of the offers, but suspect they will continue.

What would you do with these if you were me?


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Boomer 61, Gen X 59

I know a few of you cringe when I use a sports analogy, but having attended last night’s NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis you are about to read one.

Coach K (Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University) is a 63 year old boomer that teaches classic basketball fundamentals. His team came out for pre-game warm-ups all wearing the exact same attire, doing the consistent team drills and acting very disciplined. He has now won four national championships and is a legend. Coach Brad (Coach Brad Stevens of Butler University) is a 33 year old Gen X that is on his second career (he started in corporate America in advertising for Eli Lilly). He understands basketball and really grasps how to build teams. His team participated in pre-game warm-ups dressed in all varieties of Butler wear, preparing in their individual ways, many wearing iPods and enjoying the moment.

While I’m probably more “old school” when it comes to sports fundamentals, I was reminded last night how important it is to adjust my believes as a leader based on who I am leading. While Coach K won, Coach Brad gave Duke more of a game than anyone thought they would. Teaching is one thing, but building a cohesive team is often more than simply providing direction. Sometimes you have to bend and let the team do some of “their” thing.

Have you needed to make adjustments to your leadership style to effectively lead Gen Y’s? What did you do differently?


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