Leadership in 2010
"In years to come your students may forget what you taught them, but they will always remember how you made them feel." This is an extract from the A.B.Combs faculty room as quoted in the book 'The Leader in Me: How Schools and Parents Around the World are Inspiring Greatness, One Child At a Time' by Stephen R Covey.
Stephen Covey also wrote the best-selling book 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People', and his book 'The Leader in Me" is the story of the extraordinary schools, parents, and business leaders around the world who are preparing the next generation to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. I believe that it's a great book for parents and educators alike, however the main reason I have chosen to use this quote as the basis of my first editor's note of the year is that I believe the quote above is particularly pertinent for leaders of business.
If a CEO, Managing Director, Board or senior manager / management team really want to lead innovation in the year ahead, they need to take a look at how they make people feel about the creative process. I believe that one of the greatest challenges we face in attempting to draw great ideas out of organisations, is that management must first encourage people to feel good about creating. Too many people find it easier to shoot ideas down in flames, than to encourage new and different thinking around them. If you make those who work with you feel great about having new ideas, about challenging the status quo, about finding different ways of doing things, and make them feel great about being part of an organisation that challenges how the rest of the industry operates, then you are well on your way to becoming a great leader and in particular a great leader of innovation. Apple's
Steve Jobs, Virgin's Richard Branson and TASC's Dan Toombs (CEO of one of Australia's most innovative not-for-profit organisations in Toowoomba, QLD) make people feel great about challenging how things are done and they give people the room and freedom to try new things. Now that's creative leadership!
Ask yourself as you start the year how you make your team and those around you feel?