If you’ve ever been hired into a leadership role, you know how difficult it can be to lead when you are viewed as an “outsider.” It’s crucial to establish trust and connection with your new colleagues quickly, but how?
Leaders who find themselves in this challenging position can look to a widely unknown example from the American Revolution for inspiration and guidance: Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette, more commonly known as the Marquis de Lafayette.
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia User MyCanon
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Taylor Swift has successfully managed living in the frying pan of fame for nearly a decade now. That is a difficult thing to do, especially for singers who come on the scene in their teenage years (ahem, Britney, Miley and Justin). Personally, I think she may become the Queen of Media who reigns for decades, akin to the first Queen Elizabeth who ascended to the throne of England at 25 and ruled England for more than 40 years during its Golden Age and was beloved by many.
Because I advise leaders, I took a moment to imagine what it would be like to advise Ms. Swift about maintaining her realm, just as the faithful and wise William Cecil, Lord Burghley advised Queen Elizabeth I.
Marcus Mariota throws a pass while playing against Colorado in 2014. Photo courtesy of Alex Thies.
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Marcus Mariota’s list of accomplishments is impressive. Although his Oregon Ducks football team ultimately lost the national championship game to Ohio State, the young quarterback can still claim a Heisman Trophy, Rose Bowl and Fiesta Bowl victories, and numerous other awards earned in just a few short years. His success as a quarterback places him in an elite group of individuals who have reached the pinnacle of their fields.
But how do people like Mariota become so successful? Are there certain characteristics these people share that set them apart?
I once attended a meeting where it seemed that everyone was focused on the people or relationships in a business and believed that doing so would bring success.
Don’t believe it.
Great leaders focus on achieving BOTH task excellence and relationship excellence. This dual focus produces sustainable superior performance.
#51 Employ “Flash Mentoring”
One way to match mentors and mentees is to ask them to commit to meet just once to see if both parties “click” (or “connect,” if you will) and if the mentor believes he/she has the knowledge/expertise and sufficient time available to meet the mentee’s needs and expectations. If both parties agree to continue, they should agree to a set number of additional meetings rather than leave the term open-ended. Unless both mentor and mentee agree to a set number of additional meetings, there is no commitment to meet again. “Flash mentoring” was a term coined by K. Scott Derrick in his work with 13L, a group of federal employees who share a passion for leadership excellence.
This is the fifty-first post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.
While working at Morgan Stanley in New York City, I met and discovered the writings of several thoughtful market analysts. Among my favorites was Byron Wien, who is now a vice chairman at Blackstone. In “20 Lessons Learned,” Byron includes quite a few lessons that are relevant to connection and Connection Culture.
Day of Discovery Documentary – John Wooden: They Called Him Coach
I’ve written a lot about legendary Coach John Wooden on this blog, and for good reason. His life, leadership, and legacy are an inspiration to us all.
I highly recommend taking the time to watch the documentary John Wooden: They Called Him Coach, available online. You’ll learn more about Wooden’s perspective on success, love, and faith and see interviews with his family and former players. It will definitely motivate you to be a better leader, family member, and friend.
What’s your favorite Coach Wooden story? Feel free to share in the comments.
#17 Cascade Your Vision
When Frances Hesselbein led a remarkable turnaround of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. she implemented an inclusive annual planning process. Frances communicated the vision, mission and annual objectives then explained why each objective was selected. She gave people a voice to provide feedback about “what’s right, what’s wrong and what’s missing” from the vision and annual objectives. Her leadership team considered the feedback, made adjustments and communicated the final plan.
You should do the same. At some point in the year, repeat the process after you’ve factored in how well your plans are working and what adjustments are warranted given more current information. An inclusive process to establish annual objectives and action plans engages people and helps them align their behavior with the plan. If you want to learn more about a detailed process to implement this approach, read Michael Kanazawa and Robert Miles’ book Big Ideas to Big Results.
This is the seventeenth post in our series entitled “100 Ways to Connect.” The series highlights language, attitudes and behaviors that help you connect with others. Although the language, attitudes and behaviors focus on application in the workplace, you will see that they also apply to your relationships at home and in the community.
U2 rose from a band with less than ideal musical skills when it began in 1976 to today having received a remarkable 22 Grammy awards, morethan any band in history. At the 71st Golden Globe Awards ceremony on January 12, the band added yet another accomplishment to its credit: the Golden Globe for Best Original Song from a Motion Picture for “Ordinary Love” from the movie “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”
U2 Ordinary Love Album Cover
In my last article, “3 Practices CEOs Should Adopt from this Rock Star,” I credited Bono’s leadership of U2 as a key factor behind the band’s success. His leadership approach can be described in one sentence: Bono communicates an inspiring vision and lives it, values people, and gives them a voice. CEOs would be wise to follow Bono’s example. In the article I highlighted three aspects of Bono’s leadership. As a follow up, here are three practical ways CEOs can implement leadership practices like those of Bono.
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One of the great success stories of our time is the rock band U2. When the band began in 1976, its musical skills left much to be desired. More than three decades later, U2 has received a remarkable 22 Grammy awards, more than any band in history. In addition, the band surpassed the Rolling Stones’ record for the highest revenue grossing concert tour. How did this transformation happen?
Like all great groups, leadership makes the difference. Bono is U2’s leader, lead singer and lyricist. His leadership approach can be described in one sentence: Bono communicates an inspiring vision and lives it, values people, and gives them a voice. CEOs would be wise to follow Bono’s example.