samedi 26 novembre 2011

Leadership: Who Is With You?

Recently as i have been thinking more about the role of leadership and as I prepare for the long overdue Leadership post series here on J.C as i promised, it came to my attention as I re-read the '21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership' book of John Maxwell that support the idea that effective leadership is really conditioned. It is conditioned by the team surrounding the leader.

In his 1998 movie 'Armageddons' Bruce Willis, the heroic character who saved the world from a dangerous asteroid threatening to cause extinction of all human life on earth, refused to work with the best agents from NASA after being solicited by the government officials. He explained why, "I am the best in what i do because i work with the best." With that he required his non- NASA team members to join him for the earth saving mission. And they beautifully succeeded in their mission.

What the Bruce Willis character was saying should make leaders really think long and hard. In the 11th Law of Leadership, Maxwell based the whole chapter on this rule: "A leader's Potential is Determined by Those Closest to Him". He go on telling the story when he was offered the job of leading a Wesleyan Church that had had a great history but couldn't grow. He said himself that after he was retained after the interview for the position of senior pastor at Skyline (the church's name), 'The task that laid ahead of me was clear. I needed to remove the weak leaders I possessed and bring in better ones. That was the only way i would be able to turn the situation around.' So he proceed changing existing leaders and bringing in the best people he could find even from outside the Church. By the end of the three years he had completely 'cleaned house', leaving only two on staff out of the original group. I know it sounds heartless for a christian to do that, but it isn't.

Leadership expert Jim Collin said, a leader should be rigorous but not ruthless. As a result, the inner circle of Skyline leadership had gone to a new level, the organization was able to go to a new level with an almost noticeable change. The Church started growing again after years of growth stagnancy. In less than ten years the Church had triple in size and the annual budget of $800,000 had grew more than $5 million a year.

In Maxwell chapter of the Law of Intuition, He tells the amazing story of Apple Computer. In brief, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started the company at Jobs's father's garage. The year was 1976. Just four years along the way the company went public and turned its forty employees and investors millionaires overnight.
However there was a dark side to story. In 1985, Jobs left Apple having been pushed out in a battle with CEO John Sculley, the former Pepsi president whom Jobs had recruited in 1983. By 1997, sales were depressed and the company was dying. That was when Apple looked again to the leadership of its original
founder, Steve Jobs, for help. They needed to be saved or less they'd perish into oblivion since Microsoft was the great vampire sucking financial life out of everybody. When Jobs came back on board, he reviewed the situation and immediately took action. As Maxwell put it, 'He knew that improvement was impossible without a change in leadership, so he quickly dismissed all but two of the previous board members and installed new ones ... Jobs wanted to get back to the basis of what Apple had always done best: use its individuality to create products that made a difference. Jobs said, "We've reviewed the road map of new products and axed more than 70% of the projects, keeping the 30% that were gems. Plus we're adding new ones that are a whole new paradigm of looking at Computer."'

That is when Apple started turning around, with the first fiscal quarter of 1998 year, within one year of Jobs return, the company registered a net profit of $47 million. 'Prior to Jobs' return,' Maxwell said, 'the company had posted net quarterly losses the previous year totaling more than $ 1 billion.' And you want me to think that leadership is useless? This guy with his new team turn the life of a whole bankrupting company almost in a year! What i am really trying to bring to your attention is the knowledge of how crucial leadership is for the success of a company, an institution or else. And a leader strength is in its surrounding. The Leader needs to be strong himself, and have a clear vision and then attracted quality people, effective leaders as strong as him/herself to get the job done! As i recently said to friends of mine here and there, when it comes to leadership we do not aim for good people. We aim for strong leaders who are good people. There is no compromise if we search for excellence! Mark my words on that!

It is interesting to notice that even in the Biblical world, the belief that a strong team was key to success. Moses asked Joshua to choose warriors before the fight with the Amalekites "And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek:" (Exodus17:9). Gedeons also had to reduce his army from 32000 soldiers to a humble number of 300 soldiers before his fight because he learned from the Lord that victory are won not necessarily by the number of the Army as much as by the quality of the army (Judges 7). Similar stories are found in the Bible, where it is clearly shown that leadership can only go so far and get limited by the quality of people chosen for any given task. Even the Gospel which is said to be the power of God or possessing life and immortality could not go and spread around the world with the wrong quality of people,
"And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." (2Timothy 2:2)
With this note I wish you all a great weekend under the Leadership of the Holy Spirit.

Aucun commentaire:

Enregistrer un commentaire