Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leadership, A Learned Skill

I got the following joke from a conservative friend of mine the other day. You know how jokes, etc. float around on the Internet and Facebook and go viral.  I tried to track down the source for credit but to no avail as is usually the case when you receive such forwarded stuff. Who knows if it is true or not. It doesn't really matter.  It is pretty humorous and indicative of a lot of people we probably know in our daily lives who may exhibit the same kind of "leadership" traits.

It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who don't listen first or get the facts before acting. Human nature, lack of security in one's self, a grandiose sense of importance, call it what you will, those traits or characteristics can wreck havoc in our daily lives and in the workplace. This joke might be an over the top, hilarious exhibition of those traits, but somehow, I am sure it will hit home to anyone who works or has worked for a boss who acts before having all the facts. Here it is:

If you've ever worked for a boss who reacts before getting the facts and thinking things through, you will love this!

Arcelor-Mittal Steel, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired a new CEO.  The new boss was determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO noticed a guy leaning against a wall.  The room was full of workers and he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy, "How much money do you make a week?"

A little surprised, the young man looked at him and said, "I make $400 a week. Why?"
The CEO said, "Wait right here." He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, and handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, "Here's four weeks' pay. Now GET OUT and don't come back."

Feeling pretty good about himself, the CEO looked around the room and asked, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?"

From across the room a voice said, "Pizza delivery guy from Domino's."

There were two people in my professional life who made an impact and always suggested ways to improve one's abilities. They both gave me excellent suggestions on reading material about leadership. I don't care who you are or what you think of yourself. The day you stop learning and the day you stop trying to be something better than who you are is the day your skills in the workplace stop being effective. Just because you are in charge or are the top dog, doesn't mean you know everything.

Professional speaker, author and consultant DeeDee Rapp (JourneyWorks), who specializes in communications and customer service suggested the book, The Leadership Challenge by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, to me. It is an excellent book for self awareness and personal growth.

T.J. Reardon, businessman, banker and consultant specializing in identifying and developing strategies to remove obstacles limiting one's success in the workplace, suggested the following books as a training tool for the city management team back in my work days. These are excellent books and good reading as well when you are in positions of leadership in any organization. There are 4 in the series and all of them are must reading: The Five Temptations of a CEO, The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and The Death by Meeting.

Good leaders are never smart enough or good enough and should constantly listen, learn and work to improve their skills. The learning process never stops no matter how old you, what your position is in an organization, or where you are in life.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Think they have any of those books here?