Confessions of a Leader

Time to Read – 100 Seconds

Confessions of a Leader was a phrase first used to me by a CEO, just after he closed his door and before he opened his mouth to whisper “How can I get rid of my dead wood.”

Since that day in September 2002, leaders from all walks of life have shared their biggest dreams, challenges and…confessions.

Sadly my diary only allows me to do one UK public leadership event this year, and for it I have brought together the top ten of these, ranked by the number of times I have heard, read or experienced them. I won’t share the name of country, company or leader of origin; I will share with you exactly what to do about them.

Here’s two of the ten.

7th Place.    “As a company we go on and on about innovation, but all the really exciting ideas get squashed by committee, or consensus.”

Ulster University Business School champions innovation in their entrepreneurial leadership faculty. They have concluded that the creativity agenda has become uncreative, candy-flossy and boring. Business must now find really big, breakthrough ideas and a must-do attitude – how?

Do these three things:

•    As a leader, do your own job, and stop doing other peoples. Give people as much freedom as possible, within a clearly defined, wide framework.
•    Ask your customers this – “what is the one thing we could do for you, that would get you to refer us to three of your friends or business contacts” and do what they tell you.
•    Speak at a local school (great training) and ask the children for ideas on how your company could be more successful.

2nd Place (Runner-Up). “Our projects rarely deliver what they promised”

Do this:

•    Make sure you have a single overall point of ownership for every project – that is one person, and say to that person that they are personally accountable for the delivery of the project and all of its benefits. Give them an incentive for so doing  (pleasure) and a consequence if they do not (pain). Oh yes, and there is no such  thing as an “intangible benefit,” unless of course you enjoy making losses and are fully staffed by volunteers.

With my tangible love and innovative best wishes

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