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The Leadership Secret Steve Jobs And Mark Zuckerberg Have In Common

Stashed in: Steve Jobs, Zuck!, Decisions, Dilbert, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Leadership, Leadership

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Self-awareness is equally a great trait in life as high tech. 

Looking forward when making decisions is also helpful in real life:

To make a decision most people just say “Where do we want to be a year from now? And what stops us from getting there?” Instead, try going “back to the future.” Sometimes they call it a “pre-mortem”. Imagine you already succeeded or you failed.

Imagine it’s 2015 and we failed at rolling out our IT implementation. Just that simple sort of cognitive switch leads people to be much more realistic, and more fine-grained in the analysis of what they need to do.

...I use this myself. I say, “Jeff should I go on this trip?” Jeff always says the same thing, “Okay. It’s three months from now. Imagine you’re there, how do you feel?” Instead of thinking how nice it might be, imagine you’re there and sort of looking back from the future.

Gary Klein, the psychologist who has been pushing this, he has studies that show people make better decisions when they do this.

How humble!

What great leaders do is they build a team that enables them to succeed.

I'm unclear as to whether that comes from humility.

This is interesting and contradictory, the advice Sutton gives to his MBA students as example:

"When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be working with — because the odds are you’re going to become like them, they are not going to become like you. You can’t change them. If it doesn’t fit who you are, it’s not going to work."

In other words expect "going native" will be your norming experience in the workplace.  WTF!?

I suspect Sutton's caveat is the truth regarding the mode and mean experience of most MBAs, but it's interesting that his advice repudiates the notion of being/becoming a leader of a team in the workplace.  I guess he's teaching Stanford MBAs to become good followers, not leaders?


Regardless where we examine the use of leadership secrets, their most salient feature and primary context is decidedly NOT going native--leaders must often tackle less than optimal behavioral states (theirs and others) in order to move the mode and mean experience of all to the higher-performing, upgraded states... 

The point where anyone goes native to others in the workplace is the precise point where they've screwed themselves out of any leadership role.

My favorite illustration of leadership secrets in action is easily digested in under two hours by the great, classic movie "Twelve O'Clock High" starring Gregory Peck:  

Is Twelve O'Clock High the definitive movie about leadership?

If you don't have a chance to watch this classic to get the principles in black and white, here's an easy essay synopsis:

Thank you for that Twelve O Clock High synopsis, Rob. It stands up to multiple readings. 

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