Thursday, November 25, 2010

i-TFTD #299: Former CEOs Dispense Wisdom

#299-1. Leaders who execute, focus on a very few clear priorities that everyone can grasp. A leader who says "I've got ten priorities" doesn't know what he's talking about—he doesn't know himself what the most important things are.
-Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, in their book, Execution

#299-2. A CEO's job is to interpret external realities for a company.
-A. G. Lafley, former CEO of Procter and Gamble

#299-3. It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all. You can be discouraged by failure—or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that's where you will find success.
-Thomas J. Watson, Former CEO of IBM

Leaders who, by definition, are at a higher vantage point, need to share useful perspectives with their teams that helps the team perform better. It is the leader's job to crystallize the relevant key aspects of the barrage of dynamic information from the environment and spell out a simple vision for everyone to work toward.

Increasing the top line, improved profitability, higher customer satisfaction, better quality, innovation on products or services... when would an organization not want to pursue all these objectives? But if all of them are stated as important, they become platitudes. Effective leaders identify the need of the hour and articulate in a memorable manner to energize the workforce to attain ambitious goals in that direction.

In the quest for higher levels of performance, mistakes are an essential part of the process. Bill Gates and Tom Peters among others ! have emphatically pointed out the need for companies to foster a culture of trying out things that may not succeed the first time.

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