Last month Geoffrey James provided me with the rare honour of guest posting my 5 Most Dimwitted Leadership Strategies on BNET’s Sales Machine. Geoffrey is a prolific writer with a highly provocative and cynical nature reflected in his outspoken readers. Today’s post is inspired by a number of his readers who challenged me to write about leadership strategies that DO work, strategies that foster sustainable results in today’s highly complex business environment.
Each one of these practices yields significant results on its own, but in union they become extraordinary. For the sake of consistency, my intent was to provide 5 clever leadership strategies, however I simply could not narrow my list down to less than these 6.
1. Zoom-In, Zoom-Out. Leaders need to maintain multiple vantage points, navigating with ease between a worm’s-eye and bird’s-eye perspective. Typically they favour one or the other which can hinder their ability to make good strategic decisions. Effective leaders instinctively know when to zoom in and zoom out, this strategy is critical in times of crisis or tackling complex problems. Read Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s illustration of the significance of a zoom-in, zoom-out framework to learn more.
2. Getting Naked. Vulnerability is arguably the most important leadership trait, yet it is widely shunned upon. Nothing inspires trust like confident humility, there is no more powerful attribute than honesty and from trust breeds loyalty. Patrick Lencioni, author of the very clever “Getting Naked” shares how to embrace this transformational strategy.
3. Shared Value. If you are not familiar with the Shared Valued Movement then dive in! We are finally moving beyond our outdated approach to creating value and harnessing value with purpose. Our business community is developing a global conscience and discovering it pays to act responsibly.
4. G7. The Group of 7 provides a bird’s-eye view of your corporate environment with strategies and pathways to address pervasive issues right down to the worm’s-eye view. The health of your corporate environment is an imperative determinant in your ability to embrace change and complexity.
5. Customer Experience Driven. Business starts and ends with the customer experience; a closed-loop strategy is essential. Start with these 7 Habits of Highly Successful Customer Experience Leaders and then move from effectiveness to greatness with the 8th habit.
6. Cross Fertilization. I have blogged extensively about the genius born by cross-fertilizing brilliant ideas. Creating the practice of exploring different disciplines fosters innovation and creative problem solving.
“All decisive advances in the history of scientific thought can be described in terms of mental cross-fertilization between different disciplines.” Arthur Koestler
What other brilliant strategies do you have to add?