I stumbled across a faded client file from 20 years ago and unfolded a sheet of newsprint I used during a workshop in 1993. During a discussion on leadership, I referred to a book that had just been published that captured the “essential elements of a leader”. I was a huge fan of Leadership Jazz by Max Depree – one the best books on the subject.
All these years later, I remain a fan, and a fervent advocate of these principles that withstand the test of time.
(And, in the newsprint vs Powerpoint debate, chalk a point up for the pen and paper! A typed transcript is provided after the jump.)
Tough Questions for Very Human Leaders
- Do you take time regularly to recognize and thank people?
- Do you show interest and concern in their work?
- Do you let people know when you don’t know something?
- Do you call key customers regularly to touch base?
- Do people come to you to confide in you?
- Does the day to day work of the organization feel boring, stale & conservative? What risk or sense of adventure do you model?
- Do you hire the best – even individuals better than you?
- Do you stop, talk, listen, congratulate, inquire – as part of your role?
- But, do you really listen?
- Are you willing to let go of unproductive programs? People?
- Do you institutionalize effective interventions?
- Do you life people beyond complacency, reignite emotion or ambition, challenge?
- Do people feel supported, encouraged to grow personally?
- Are you publicly accountable with your own goals? Achievements? Feedback?
- Do you model openness?