Showing up – Rosabeth quotes Woody Allen’s famous saying that 90% of success in life comes from just showing up, and I agree. In the context of leaders and entrepreneurs that means getting started on things and being visible, and that includes when things are difficult/might not work. In fact, not putting off the difficult things is what separates effective people from the rest.
Speaking up – we all know that great leaders make great speeches, and often those speeches come to define the period of leadership – think about Martin Luther King and you quickly think about his famous “I have a dream” speech. It is still inspiring nearly 50 years later (if you haven’t heard it recently listen here – 9mins in is a good place to start). More prosaically CEOs and founders are most effective when they are vocal within their companies shaping the debate and articulating the conclusions at team meetings. I recently asked a former employee of successful UK SEO/SEM agency The Search Works why the company had prevailed over its competitors and his answer was that Nick Hynes, the CEO, had a special talent for articulating the vision and direction of the business and getting everyone at the company believing and pulling in the same direction. Think about that for a moment.
Teaming up – great companies aren’t built by individuals, they are built by teams. Usually that is a team of co-founders and in just about every case there is a team of executives who have real power and operate as a team. Delegation is a pre-requisite for success.
Looking up – I’m going to quote directly from Rosabeth’s post here, as she nails it “Looking up: the power of values. Higher principles help people transcend the conflicts and concerns of the moment. Standing for something larger than mere self-interest gives leaders moral grounding and provides a basis for inspiring and motivating the work. Those who are honored as great leaders are not merely good at getting results efficiently, they are able to find grander goals that help people look up to see the big picture and set their sights higher.”
Not giving up – much has been written about the importance of persistence, and for good reason. It is something that is easy to forget when the going gets tough and reminders are useful. As Rosabeth says “everything can look like failure in the middle”.
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