Comments to Snelling Leadership Students at Graduation 082720

Tenets of Leadership: A Unity of Opposites

(applies to all three sectors: gov., bus., & nonprofit)

  1. Humility (arrogance is toxic) and Courage
  2. Seek and defend truth (no alternative facts, only alternative opinions) ex.
  3. Managing democracy and executive action (70% rule) define consensus
  4. Model a culture or learning, diversity, and mutual respect. Lead by example, not by rule
  5. Curiosity (capacity to pay rapt attention) and Filter (recognize implicit bias)
  6. Capture nuance and the whole simultaneously
  7. Clarity of organizational or business mission: who benefits? Constituents, community, B Corp? (shareholders, vendors, employees, community) or is shareholder value the sole measure?
  8. Leadership wisdom is knowing what you don’t know and hiring and empowering complementary skills:
    1. Most leaders have one or two skills among the multiple disciplines needed to run a company or organization (finance, law, marketing, operations, data, personnel etc.). Each skill needs definition and a commensurate job description. Search, hire, and compensate the best resources (not friends or assumed allies)
  9. Ego-management: allow others the origin of heroic ideas.
    1. Collaborative Plan development (with goals and objectives):
      1. Annual operating budget
      2. Marketing and communications
      3. Strategic Plan
  1. Understanding accountability and governance (a good leader accepts accountability-to-mission as a form of continuous improvement)
    1. Best practices and a culture of continuous improvement.
      1. Annual performance reviews
      2. Executive sessions w unattributed feedback
      3. Welcome and share internal and external criticism
  1. Communications management and understanding organization’s role in the larger community.
  2. Succession planning:
    1. develop and encourage emerging leadership
    2. leave when done