Redesigning Leadership

…the one thing I’ve learned it’s most important to convey is respect–it’s the prerequisite for any other kind of communication.

…I still find an online poll to be tempting, but I know that it doesn’t really do the community justice as a means to be heard. Votes are blind, scalable, and measurable, but they are also unfortunately simplistic in their ability to capture the complexity of opinion beyond a raised or lowered hand.

…managers in the hierarchy serve specific roles in communicating with the campus and I now believe that the president really has no business responding on their behalf.

Until you can serve pizza or drinks over the Web, a social media portal to foster true collaboration will be so-so.

I’ve learned that the first step in forming any team is to resolve the most basic challenge: getting folks to take the big step away from just being themselves and joining something larger .

When the right people are all in the right room with the right timing they can make the right decision … right now.

because he thought so differently, his point of view helped me avoid making errors in how I framed a problem. When he did not understand something, it became an opportunity to sort through our differences and construct a common frame built out of the misunderstanding. Learning is said to be most potent when “cognitive dissonance” occurs.

Nobody signs on to be the weakest link in a chain; I’ve learned in building my own team that it’s the ultimate responsibility of the leader to ensure that his team consists of the right members for the job at hand.

On one hand, the experience of leading is rewarding because you are in a position to positively enable others. On the other hand, leading often hurts, because the decisions you make can negatively affect a lot more people than just yourself.

Ideas lead to a result; ideals result in a leader.

Having ideals is having a compass that always points to your heart instead of your brain, and fulfillment isn’t something you just imagine in your head but have to feel in your soul.

Trouble is, what makes good leadership is a moving target.

It’s often hard to get a read on how well you might be doing because the negative voices too often drown out the positive.

If people are lucky, they will have at least a few good bosses to guide their own behavior as they progress in life.

So always ask yourself, “What are the principles?” Say them to those who haven’t yet heard them clearly, and start from there.

I’ve observed firsthand how change and uncertainty create an informal stream of information–rumors–that quickly fills the unfilled vacuum of official information. Fueled by anonymous voices and emotional information that’s extra-tasty , these informal information structures situate themselves as the alternative locus of “the truth.” In other words, rumors effectively transfer the power of spreading information away from the official structures–which tend to be slower, more methodical, and more measured–and toward informal structures that deliver “news” without any need to wait.

I realize now that rumors are a by-product of not only not knowing the facts, but also not feeling heard.

…positive acts often go unrewarded; negative acts always remain unforgotten.

the impact of a leader comes from more than the individual moves he makes. The leader makes sure his organization is operating fairly, joyfully, for the right cause, and with gratitude. And he makes sure that thanks are constantly given to all those who have chosen to join the team.