As I’ve been becoming more acquainted with the HR and leadership-related “blogosphere” in recent weeks, I’ve compiled a short list of interesting “takes” on leadership and organizations that I wanted to share:
Billionaire entrepreneur/innovator, Sir Richard Branson, weighs in with an impassioned insight into one of his keys to
building successful organizations: hiring great people . . . and delegating extensively. Paralleling the first rule of management (“hire good people and get out of their way”), this view will cause great consternation in organizations with “trust issues.”
Contrary to what Machiavelli (or Leo Durocher) might have said, studies show that nice people are more likely to rise to power (because people genuinely like them and want to be led by them). Once in the seat of power, though, is it really possible that they lose their “niceness” and “forget what got them there”? Is this perhaps just another example of the axiom that “power corrupts . . . and absolute power corrupts absolutely”? Say it ain’t so!
Results-Only Work Environments (ROWE) might be described as “flexible work schedules on steroids.” While they aren’t for every organization, they seem to be embraced in several leading firms, including The Gap and Best Buy — and are even being piloted by the federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM).
From this view (as well as my own), it seems that “articulating a vision” doesn’t, by itself, demonstrate great leadership. Cutting through thousands upon thousands of pages of leadership studies (saving us the time), the author makes the case that sability to implement and manage also count for a great deal . . . or, with allusions to Ram Charan’s terrific tome, Execution, “execution is where it’s at.” A brief excerpt:
I am all for dreaming, Some of the most unlikely and impressive things have been done by dreamers. But one characteristic of the dreamers I respect — Francis Ford Coppola, Steve Jobs, folks at Pixar like Ed Catmull and Brad Bird — is that they also have remarkably deep understanding of the industry they work in and the people they lead, and they are willing to get very deep into the weeds. This ability to go back and forth between the little details and the big picture . . . .