Thursday March 17, 2011 #299

 “What leadership means is the courage it takes to talk about things that, in the past, perhaps we wouldn’t have, because I’m not right all the time.”

~Howard Schultz

Ah – the rare leader who has learned humility.   You can lead by fear, intimidation, domination, or more benignly, a sheer force of personality.   In doing so, you can move a lot of people a long way, very quickly. You may be perceived as extremely effective as your results come in.  However, in the longer term, people and businesses do not long flourish in this environment.  Great leaders know this (or learn this) and lead with clarity of purpose, consistency, and courage to act decisively to end negative situations and to exploit opportunities.  But they do so with humility and grace, admitting mistakes, and involving and engaging their direct reports and the larger organization.  By doing so, the people around them not only admire their intellect and vision, they truly engage with them on a human level feeling honored and valued.  Long term loyalty ensues and these followers will do heroic deeds to ensure the leader’s vision is realized.

Howard Schultz has learned this lesson and evolved as a leader.  Have you?