Saturday, March 8, 2014

Leadership By The Book - Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels and Phil Hodges

Get a corporate manager, a professor and a priest together and have them figure out the perfect leadership model - what can be better leadership model than the one Jesus set - for the corporate manager to stay afloat. That's the theme of the book, an interesting one at that, except that the style gets to me. It grates, but I loved the analogy, the concept, and much of the wisdom that one can find hidden among the many small irritating things that these three people do. And the book they are referring to is the bible, from which they quote a few times when relevant.

The story starts with the corporate manager getting a heart attack from his stressed out life. He had earlier been coached by the professor and priest and had slowly drifted away (which is why the heart attack!). Now the two coaches are called upon to help again and they team up. Much of what they discuss happens later in a log cabin retreat. I will again stick to words, lines and concepts that made sense to me.

"Effective leadership starts inside."

"Jesus wants me to be honest at the core" (not to show other people but be really honest).

"Leaders must think of themselves as servants first, as having been called to lead (knocks out ego and gives a purpose and approach). It helps serve better and looks to grow because they want feedback on how they are serving. Their paramount aim is the best interests of those they lead and they get personal satisfaction from watching the good of those they lead. It requires great humility to be that way."

'Profit is the applause you get from creating raving fan customers through gung-ho people.'

'In chasing your faith, use words only when necessary.'

'Clearly define operating values and enforce them. There can be no optional cultures.'

'Doing the right thing is vision. Doing things right is implementation.'

On vision I liked this. "It has four parts. purpose - telling me and others what business we are in, Values - how to behave when working on the purpose, Image - picture of how things would be like if everything were running as planned, Goals - focus energy on now."

'Good performance starts with a clear goal.'

'There is a method side to effective leadership.'

'If I want people to be responsible, I must be responsive.'

'A servant leader should be a performance coach. The job includes performance planning, day-to-day coaching and performance evaluation. Most forget the day-today coaching bit and focus on evaluation.'

'The 5 Key steps are -Tell them what to do, Show them, Let them try, Observe, Train program, redirect.'

'Servant leadership is not about pleasing everyone. It has a spiritual significance. It addresses the triple bottom line - financial, customer and people.'

'Recalibrate commitment to serve on a daily basis.'

The heart of the matter is in 30 pages. To have a service orientation to leadership which has the best of your people in mind. The concept of servant leadership, being focused on the good and growth of your people, the path of clear vision, of values and goals, of support and encouragement are all nice and well-explained. I am unclear about this though - 'If I want people to be responsible, I must be responsive'. Is it about empowering them or supporting them? But otherwise a nice and easy read and a fine evolved concept.

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