25 Jan 7 Lessons From The Steve Jobs Of The IT Industry
- Great Leaders Want Options. Long before it became noticeable, Charles Ranlett was a huge proponent of diversity. However his definition meant a diversity of opinion rather than the kind we usually associate with political correctness. Ranlett as a great leader he was, he constantly demanded diverse options from his team, and used these options to produce creative decisions.
2) Great Leaders are Tough Enough to Face Facts. At heart Charles Ranlett was a spiritual man who valued the Truth for the Truth’s sake. Successful executives face facts, and this means being open to the truth even when it is not what we want to hear.
3) Great Leaders Stick Their Necks Out. It is a natural human trait to fear being evaluated. We crave wiggle room so we can deflect blame and get off the hook when things go wrong. In business what is often passed off as a collaborative effort is actually just an attempt to avoid individual accountability. The old adage that success has a 1000 fathers while failure is an orphan does not apply to great leadership. Great leaders want to be measured and evaluated.
4) Great Leaders Believe in Themselves. While great leaders crave advice, options, and strong colleagues, they all share a profound belief in themselves and their judgment. Charles Ranlett described great leaders as “people who don’t know how to quit.” Holding this stubbornness in tension with a willingness to be wrong is perhaps the greatest trick that every great leader must perform.
5) Great Leaders are Deep Thinkers. Managers get things done. Executives must decide on the things worth doing in the first place. Though very difficult to quantify, great leaders are deep thinkers. They constantly dive below surface “facts” searching for new ways to knit those facts together. Great leaders are generalists not specialists driven by an omnivorous curiosity. They know that the answers they are seeking will probably emerge from outside business and from disciplines that may seem utterly unrelated.
6) Great Leaders are Ruthlessly Honest with Themselves. Self-knowledge is perhaps the most critical trait that all great leaders share. Leaders question assumptions and disrupt complacency. If you are not clear about the purpose of your own life how can you provide a sense of organizational purpose for others?
7) Great Leaders are Passionate. They may be loudly charismatic or quietly intense, but all great leaders care deeply about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Perhaps most importantly they care about people. Every business is a people business, and passionately caring about people whether they are employees, customers, vendors or stockholders is an essential leadership value.
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