Robert Murray believes that everything you need to be a great leader is already inside you. “It’s in your DNA.” I also agree that many people graduating from our schools today do not have the ability to think critically. “Problem finders are everywhere,” writes Murray. “Innovative problem solvers are rare. Imagination and thinking outside the box is scarce.” It’s Already Inside (Kindle) is a collection of well-told personal stories with solid leadership lessons. Here are several of the lessons:
Never walk past corporate graffiti. It comes in all forms. From brand violations to messy office space, from inconsistent customer service to poor employee practices and procedures, and to leadership apathy. It’s your job as a leader to do everything within your power to ensure graffiti is removed immediately when it appears.
In leadership, you cannot successfully fly by the seat of your pants, or in other words, fake your way through every scenario you come across. You might every once in awhile; however, you cannot on a lasting basis. You need to develop some form of leadership flight simulator that you can immerse yourself in to design the best-case solutions to complex problems. This process will enable you to respond quickly and naturally when something happens and …without stress.
Survey each person in your business, from the janitor and those in the mailroom to the accountant and HR person. Ask them how their individual roles serve the customer, ask for their ideas to better serve the customer, and ask what they hear about the company on the street from customers. If they are clueless, meet with the employee individually to explain his or her role as salesperson [leader] for the company and to brainstorm ways to enhance it.
Windows and Mirrors. Your stock as a leader (and leadership stock is measured by how much people trust you and will follow you on a journey) goes up significantly when you practice two simple “leadership optics” habits. Look out the window when times are good and look in the mirror when things aren’t going so well.
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