Leadership: CEOs and Organizations

I ran across two different views of leadership over the last few days.
One is about CEO leadership and the other is about directional
leadership from an organizational perspective.

The Upside of the Downturn by Geoff Colvin talks about the different actions leaders
need to keep in mind as adversity mounts. They are:

  • Be seen early and often
  • Act fast
  • Show fearlessness
  • Tell a story that puts the crises in perspective

like each of these. Be seen early and often is of the same vein as Show
fearlessness – courage. Both of these demonstrate to your employees
that although times are tough, there is no reason to hide. Story
telling is one of the best ways for people to learn, so leveraging that
instinct is helpful. Having experience, even if it isn’t your own, is
valuable to those that are being led.

In Leadership 2.0, and How Not to Achieve It by Umair Haque talks about how there are areas where organizations intersect. He calls these areas the edges. Here is a great excerpt:

Orthodox business is obsessed with “cores.” That’s the stuff that
happens in boardrooms. It is about dominance, coercion, tyranny, and
(myopic, valueless) profit.

It’s not concerned with what happens with what happens at the edges.

What happens at the edges is
different, and better. Meaning, democracy, participation, collaboration
— these are what power leadership. And so edgy players are more (and
more) valuable, because they are more innovative.

It is these edges where people with unique or game changing ideas can
have immense impact. But there are different styles of leaders as well.
Being a dictator won’t work on the edges, you have to be more
persuasive and possibly negotiate. These skills are often foreign in
many corporations.


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