Saturday, June 21, 2008


I wonder what is Leadership all about after hearing today many failures of leaders in delivering his or her job. I saw many incapable so to speak leaders around and hardly find some great example one. There are so many books around today about Leadership and not to be mentioned about tons of seminars, workshop, mentoring, coaching and training about it.

Traditional education was designed merely for industrial age purpose. The model that used would be the concept of carrot and stick. If you do well, you get a carrot otherwise you get a stick. It works well during industrial age revolution which unfortunately the model does not evolve further. Till today we still carry that practiced while we are facing the knowledge age era.

John Maxwell produces tons of books about Leadership. I quote one his book "Be A People Person" Whether in the office, church, neighborhood, or elsewhere, interpersonal relationships can make or break a leader. That's why it's so important to be a "people person" and develop skills in tapping that most precious of all resources: people. Formerly, GE Chairman and CEO, Jack Welch has been recognized most Fortune 500 companies leaders as one of the best example leaders at that decade.

Most information and practices by Jack Welch shared and preached by many Fortunes 500 companies worldwide today. Jack Welch is fondly known as unorthodox and no-nonsense style of leadership preaches 4E's and 1P. He said before a person in GE need to be energy, energize, edge, execution with full of passion. Failing either one will not be able to share the company vision and subsequently be relegated to bottom 10% in GE, which nobody wants that.

However, not too long ago, Stephen R. Covey came to Malaysia to present a talk about 8th Habit and Great Leaders and he quoted Jack Welch is one of the best leader in the industrial age era. Awkwardly I feel but we are using some of his techniques in this Knowledge age era. Perhaps Stephen should comment what makes an example of Great Leaders in the Knowledge age era.

Ram Charan shared his view that a leader needs to share his vision and the way the organization runs. In a book of "What the CEO wants you to know" talks about the actual money making model that anyone in the organization should understand. He offered 5 building blocks that explained cash, margin, velocity, growth and customer are essential to the organization. Most great leaders apparently master all 5 building blocks and one of the example would be Jeff P. Bezos running the famous business. The entire covered very well all 5 building blocks, and it is still one of the most successful business offering books and other related via online method.

Is leadership only applicable on business only, of course not. One of the examples, would be Eric Weyhenmyer a famous mountain/rock climber. What makes so great about him is not because about how many summits he has reached. But is because of his leadership skills enable him to get the best people assisted him to reach the summit of Everest without seeing anything at all. A blind man as a leader and successfully climb Everest, indeed possible. He empowered everyone in his team during thick and thin of his journey heading above 8000 meters above the sea.

I will share more about what create great leaders in my next post.

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