Category Archives: arrogance

Leadership according to Steve Jobs

To start with this is not a summary or a synopsis of Steve Jobs life and works. It is another of my ramblings, kick started by stuff that I have read in the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.

You may or may not have seen my Facebook or Twitter posts on my perception of Steve’s approach to Leadership and achievement. If not, a summary of what I said is that when one has a vision, one has to be courageous enough to go out on a limb to proclaim that vision, not giving a stuff about what others think about it.

The visionaries of this world, the gurus of this world, the dreamers of this world who had enough belief in what they possessed that they were willing to put their future on the line, were the ones n general that were recognised. The Edison’s, the Faraday’s, the Freud’s the Columbus’s and so on.

To be willing to be seen as arrogant. To be open to criticism for not fitting into the status quo. To be willing to sacrifice popularity for the sake of achieving the dream. To be willing to head out with absolutely no proof that you were going to achieve, purely because  you knew deep inside that that was the direction you needed to go.

I am only half way through the book, so there may be things I am not yet aware of, however I have become aware of some great options from what I have read.

What are they?

Number one. Be possessed by your vision that you have a burning desire to follow it.

Number two. don’t ever entertain that it can be done differently.

Number three. Take on board your team those who can capture the dream that you promote.

Number four. In the face of adversity search for the people who still believe in your vision.

Number 4. There is always a better way. No matter how well you define your way, someone else can improve on it.

Number 5. Don’t allow the negative/conservative people to steal your vision.

Number 6. Do it anyway.

Edward de Bono did some work 9n the 1980’s and wrote a book on: The Six Thinking Hats this is a way to still hold strongly onto the dream/vision, yet at the same time do what Jobs did not do.

Jobs was brilliant with new ideas, not very good at listening to other ideas, some of which were “Black hat” ideas. Reason’s why it might not work. These people should not control the ideas, however, they should be available for involvement in the assessment process. It could have helped him achieve more easily. Who knows?

How willing are you to step up to the plate and own totally your dreams, vision and beliefs. Then follow through, no matter what others may think.

That is Leadership.

I have had the privilege to have worked for two persons who had that single mindedness of purpose. They did what others said could not be done. They followed  their visions, beliefs and dreams. They were the epitome of Steve Jobs, willing to be different, and were. One has since died and his presence lives on, the other is still continuing to break new ground.

Are you? At Austin Parry: “Your Journey to Extra-ordinary Business Results”, we work with you to achieve that position, where you are able to stand out and become who you believe you can be.

Thanks Steve, thanks to Noel, thanks to Greg. Thanks to those others who would not believe that it was not possible and did it anyway.

The future is created by those who can not conceive that it could not happen, so continue to move forward.

Traits of a Great Leader- Integrity.

During last week I watch the DVD of “Robin Hood”.

I had put off getting this DVD because I ad heard doubtful comments about it.

They were wrong.

It was a powerful movie with a great deal of memorable occasions in it.

Even more though it characterized a variety of Leadership styles.

I have chosen the trait of integrity as this was a common theme.

According to the first definition I found on Google, Integrity is “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”

Wikipedia says this is hard to define because moral principles are subjective.

However there are some generalisations of the definition. In western society there is a broad understanding of what moral principles and moral uprightness requires.

In Robin Hood, Robin himself, answers King Richard, the Lion heart, honestly when asked, the King  reneges on his promise, Honesty and keeping one’s word are truly a part of integrity. In this incided, Richard did not show integrity.

King John, Richard’s brother who inherited the throne is even more lacking in integrity.

The character of Robin Hood is painted as showing great integrity.

1. Going out of his way to keep the promises that he has chosen to make.

2. Being a person who sees the injustice, greed and inconsistency of many of the players who come from the side of politics, religion and royalty.

3. Being a person who is compassionate and understands what it is like to suffer.

4. Being someone who does not use his power primarily for his own purposes, but for the good of all. He did use subterfuge to get back to England, however, he attached it to a promise that he made to get the crown home. Profit is acceptable as long as no one is disenfranchised.

5. He does not take advantage of Marion, even though he has been virtually given permission to.

It seems that it could be said that the whole story has been written to contrast the integrity of the political and Royalty of the 11th Century BCE with Robin Hood’s integrity.

I believe the picture has done this well. Like Braveheart from a Scottish perspective. These movies portray aspects of history that could have been completely different if the powers that be had shown a much greater level of integrity in the way they dispensed the Law and Justice.

To me I believe that Integrity come high up on the list of traits, very close to actually be number one.

What are your thoughts? Let me know.

Traits of a great Leader. Number 1

The other week I posted a question on Facebook asking what people believed were the traits of a good leader.

I received six responses which was great.

They were: humility, passion, unwavering vision, integrity, ability to lead and inclusiveness.

Each of these has very good value.

The first one mentioned is humility.

One of the biggest challenges for people working in an organization is to have a manager, an overseer, a leader who is so caught up with looking good, impressing their next level of management, needing to affirm that they know it all.

Especially when they know for certain that the decisions the person is making are totally focused in the wrong direction.

It is a bit like watching the majority of politicians of all persuasions and from most countries, so caught up in looking good, sounding definitive, appearing in control, creating assurance, yet as the observer, it being so easy to see through the bluff, through the BS, the waffle, the half truths spoken in hope, the “fingers crossed” proclamations that rely on no-one calling them to task. Their inability to admit to making a mistake.

A bit like proclaiming that black is white and then when someone categorically points out that black is black and white is white, stating that they never really meant that black was white and how they had been misrepresented.

Elusive in their dealings with the truth!

I would place this trait of humility high on the agenda. When someone is humble, there is an honesty about them. There is no BS. What you see is what you get.

If there is a stuff up, then the humble leader will acknowledge what has gone wrong. If there is misunderstanding then the humble leader will be totally open to re-expressing the concern so all understand.

Humility stands high on the requirement list for a leader. As a leader where do you stand on that specific trait? Can you in all honesty admit to being humble?

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