Great Leaders are Great Because They …
Great leadership is more about others and less about you. Stop focusing on yourself.
Great leaders are great because they:
- Have emotional intelligence.
- Reveal greatness in others.
- Know where they’re going and why.
- Don’t really think they are great.
Read the whole “great leaders” list on Facebook.
Two great leaders:
Warren Buffet (4th richest person in the world) and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) are great leaders because they hire great people and get out of the way.
- Hire people and don’t tell them what to do.
- Let good people set their own standards and direction.
- Delegate almost to the point of abdication.
Dr. David Vik (Doc) invested early in Zappos and worked there for five years. I asked Doc what made Tony Hsieh a great leader. “Zappos’ vision to Deliver Happiness is so clear and powerful that management doesn’t have to tell employees what to do.”
Enable people to act without you
by establishing shared vision.
Stop telling good people what to do.
Two factors of great leadership:
Great leadership isn’t about you. It’s about the people around you. “Get the right people on the bus.” Jim Collins.
Surround yourself with the most talented, passionate people available. Jack Welch said, “The team with the best players wins.”
Second, great leaders become less central, not more. Work yourself out-of, not into jobs.
If you are essential you are the bottleneck.
Third essential ingredient:
Doc believes organizational culture creates environments that empower people to function at their best. In other words, you can’t simply hire people and leave them alone. Success requires high performance cultures.
Great leaders build empowering organizational culture.
Doc explains the five factors essential to culture building in his book, “The Culture Secret.”
- Business Model.
- Unique/Wow factors.
Doc, in his own words on what makes Tony Hsieh a great leader:
Connect with Doc on Linkedin.
What factors make leaders great?
One of the most important things my hiring VP said to me, way back when, “I hired you because you can do what I do as well or better than I can. Now I am freed up to take on other interesting projects.”
A great recipe for growth.
Thank you Lynn.
It’s wonderful to see these principles at work.
Thanks for all your contributions and social media support!
wat exactly entails emotional intelligence?
I think Great Leaders are people who are up to something to the point others see what they are up to and want to be a part of it..
Then they get other people, great people, and set up a culture where those people can flourish.
Thank you Scott. I feel the word infectious bubbling up.
Excellent post, Dan! The insecure/ineffective leader says “This ship will sink without me at the wheel!” The secure, effective leader might rather be in the crow’s nest!
Thank you Justin. Love the illustration of the crows nest.
This reminds me of a favorite quote from Capt. Bob Crowder of the Texas Rangers, whose definition of a Ranger was :”An officer who is able to handle any situation without definite instructions from his commanding officer or higher authority. This ability must be proven before a man becomes a Ranger.” – This was critical for a ranger out in the field in the days before e-mails and cell phones, but is just as pertinent for leaders today- grow your people into confident, decision makers who don’t need 14 meetings and an e-mail trail to make a decision.
Thank you Dave.
YOu make me think about leaders who love to be asked questions and permission. Too many questions suggest poor leadership, poor culture, and unprepared people.
Tony’s approach works on projects, too. I encourage project managers to ask people to define the perfect outcomes and the perfect journey to get there. I use “perfect” on purpose even though people are uncomfortable about it. The audio brings out the importance of this in deciding how to “wow” the customer. On projects, we have to decide what it will be like to “wow” ourselves with our results, and then define the project around that. Those who have to get it done and will live with the results are the best ones to do it. Thanks for the reaffirming post, Dan.
All five factors are great to make organization and leaders great. I would focus more on vision and then on implementation and alignment. During my thesis writing on banking sector I could find out that people awareness about the mission statement is very low. Even they are not aware about the priority and strategy of top management. I realized that this division is division of mindset. Management assumes its it their job, employees assume it it management job. And this priority of management can be spread by creating culture of “our” feeling. Let us say, it is our priority than management priority. And when people are fuzzy about mission statement and do not know what it means how they know what they are doing. I think mission clarity and awareness is first and foremost in the organization. Then employees should align and feel that they know it , feel it and do it. And I believe when employees action is aligned with the mission, then even bigger goal is easy to achieve. And the most important factor is to implement the policy in the same way as described. If deviated sometimes, it should be clearly justified and employees should be convinced.
Today, at work places there are lot of relationship practices that keep performance and merit at the back seat. Leaders should be aware about such practices that try to influence and tempt them. I agree with you the leaders should be strong emotional intelligence.
I love Doc’s perspective on Tony’s expert hiring perspective. Autonomy is SO important – for the employees personal well-being — translating to great productivity that benefits the bottom line and the overall organization’s brand power.
Couldn’t agree more, Dan – why hire someone if you don’t believe they can deliver. And if they do perform – why still remind them constantly who’s in charge. Well said, Mr Dan!
Dan, great advice to strive for!
It also takes great courage to let go like that. Send this post to Washington… Awesome
Its one among the best what I read about leaders and I believe leadership is all about believe in other soul its really good worth reading
Observe, listern, be available, pick your fight, trust those around you
real good article. Young aspiring leaders should take note of it.
Thank you for a great piece on leadership. I am working hard on trying to be a great leader and these tips have helped me. I actually gave your piece some commentary and coverage on our platform. Appreciate it sir!
The most effective leaders know themselves (which means they manage their emotions) and consistently demonstrate genuine respect for others.
Needless to say you have a great blogsite. With 3 yrs of experience in Corporate Human Resources I can appreciate what you are sharing here. I also love the easy format in which you present your content. Thank you.
Loved the article. Good content as always. For me Jim Collin’s Good to Great had the biggest impact on how leaders can create great organizations when I first read it about 10 years ago. I recently came back to it and because I did not have time to fully re-read it I watched some nice video summaries of it as a refresher. I am sharing one I liked https://youtu.be/rDeDQzJ91e8 in case anyone else is in a hurry like me.