Are you afraid of failure or making mistakes? Where do you think the deepest wisdom comes from? Look to the wisest leaders and know the advice they pass on was earned the hard way and from mentors who cared. Learn from it and develop your own wisdom to pass on to those you work with.
I remember seeing Gen Powell’s leadership list a while ago but just recently stumbled on it again. Interestingly, upon researching it this time, I found TWO lists attributed to the former General. I write them here for easy reference but recommend watching the video to absorb the meaning of the first list that I find most moving and poignant.
Here’s a suggested way to read these lists.
Rule #1: It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
Rule #2: Get mad, then get over it.
Rule #3: Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
Rule #4: It can be done.
Rule #5: Be careful whom you choose.
Rule #6: Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
Rule #7: You can’t make someone else’s decisions. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours.
Rule #8: Check the small things.
Rule #9: Share credit.
Rule #10: Remain calm. Be kind.
Rule #11: Have a vision. Be demanding.
Rule #12: Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
Rule #13: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
My favorites above are #4 and #13. What are yours?
Lesson #1: Being resonsible sometimes means pissing people off.
Lesson #2: The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading hem. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
Lesson #3: Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.
Lesson #4: Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
Lesson #5: Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted, the leader must be doubly vigilant.
Lesson #6: You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.
Lesson #7: Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so (just) becuase you might not like what you find.
Lesson #8: Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fail because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great success.
Lesson #9: Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.
Lesson #10: Never let ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
Lesson #11: Fit no steroetypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.
Lesson #12: Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
Lesson #13: (When choosing people) look for intelligence and judgment, and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego and the drive to get things done.
I am sticking with #12. You?
This last list is from a .ppt doc that includes some other explanation that might be of interest. Download it from Scribd here.