April 2, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 43
Sunday The Arizona Republic newspaper is must reading for me.
A few weeks ago they ran a series of articles on Leadership in Arizona. The "good ole days" when a man (always a man, never a woman - remember this was a great while back!) could gather a few folks together and get something done. 25 years ago that was still possible - today it appears to be nearly impossible. Thus, the topic as a main feature in the paper.
Well, I'm certainly not a pro at business leadership. Have not studied it. Sure, like you, I've read what Drucker says, and Peters and others. I know Jack Walsh, during his years at GE, was most certainly considered a great leader. And every now and then there is news about a business leader who gets axed ... most often for not leading.
Everyone one of us has been a member of an organization which had great leaders and the group grew and prospered. And then a change at the top takes place - and the group goes off in the other direction. It happens. Some can lead - some cannot.
Many of us are much better at following.
Here are some thoughts on leadership;
Alan Maguire, an economist, defines leadership this way;
I like his word "vision". "Seeing" ahead as to what must be done to achieve. Sounds good!
Athia Hardt, a PR consultant says this:
"Leadership is the opposite of sticking your finger in the wind."
This seems to say it is thinking up front, planning before you do. Dah!
"Leadership is taking chances", so says Rick DeGraw of Maricopa Community Colleges. How true.
20 years ago, if you pulled together a list of leaders in the State of Arizona USA it would include A. J. Pfister, now a Veep at Arizona State University in Tempe. In those days the major Salt River Project was his bag - getting water where it is needed in the state. Pfister says this;
"Linking and leveraging, that's what leadership is all about."
To me, this sounds like it's who you know - and then negotiation. That I understand.
Mike Rappoport of the Salt River Project says this about leadership;
"I tend to think of leadership in terms of power (see above!)
Power is the ability to grant or deny things of value."
Why is leadership such a challenge? Several reasons;
Catherine McKee of General Dynamics shares a scary few words ... which, unfortunately are probably more true than not;
As I did this mini-leadership study a single word was used over and over; vision. Knowing where you're going. Sometimes we call it planning. Taking the time to think, to plan and to organize. Not really novel - yet, still today, very necessary. Knowing where you're going.
In the "ole days" the back-room cigar smoke filled rooms did get things done. Usually because of a single person who pushed the issue until agreement was reached. Not all bad for it's time - today that approach will not fly.
To quote from the source document, "much of this conversation bores Danny Ortega", who says"
I think Danny has a point.
Grant Woods echos this thought;
Well, that's a good place to end this rambling. It appears all agree leadership must first have a vision, a direction, a focus. And second ... do it!
More Interesting Numbers
Last week I shared several "interesting" numbers. Here are a few more.
There are times when 99.9% "perfection" is not good enough. A handful of examples prove the point;
"Strive for perfection ... settle for excellence" ... a quote from Don Shula, former football coach of the Miami Dolphins professional football team. Well, the idea is fine - sometimes "excellence" just won't cut it. You need to be better.
The second quarter of 2002 has begun. Yesterday was April Fools Day.
Yet, some things remain the same. Such as the wisdom of Anonymous. Here's one I can relate to ... especially with repeat projects (new things are so much more fun!). Maybe you feel similar;
"It's the start that stops most people."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
The past few months have kept me on the side lines ... very few speaking engagements.
Lost my voice completely when acquired a rare medical condition.
Now I'm back! Big time. The voice is working - and I feel great! So, now is a good time to tell you about my special BONUS:
When you invite me to speak at your special event, conference, corporate meeting or association gathering, you get your choice of 100 FREE copies of either my book Power Direct Marketing, or the audio/booklet direct mail package titled Magic Marketing Minutes!
For details E-mail @ Ray@RayJutkins.com, fax +1+928+244-6148, or phone me at 1+928+785-9400. Oh, and there is no fine print!
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.