One of the greatest resources in helping me think outside the box in leadership is TED: Ideas worth spreading. There are some amazing talks by incredible people there, and it is all free. I recently came across a talk by Simon Sinek from 2010 that looks at why some people are able to defy the odds and do well when others who seem to have everything together end in failure.
He sums it all up in one simple statement.
People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.
Leading teams is difficult, especially if your team does not understand or buy into why you are doing what you do. If all your team knows is what their tasks are and how to do them, they are likely to burn out or stop at satisfactory. If your team knows why they are working, they will put in that extra effort to achieve excellence in what they do. If they buy into the why, they will follow your lead and bring others along with them….
“What’s one thing you can know for sure about a turtle on a fencepost?”
I first heard this question my freshman year in college. It’s a question that is intended to inspire a journey into a multitude of questions and infinite unknowns. The question makes you wonder about meaning, purpose, and sacrifice. The answer to the question, however, sounds like a punchline to a joke, and, like so many other punchlines, it holds deep meaning.
“So, what is one thing you can know for sure about a turtle on a fencepost,” you ask?…
On March 4, 2013 an interview was published to YouTube. Chris Stark, a rookie reporter from a popular BBC radio show, sat down to interview Mila Kunis. Mila Kunis began her rise to stardom during nine seasons of That 70’s Show; since then, her career and popularity have grown exponentially.
Why do I mention this? Since the seven minute interview hit YouTube less than ten days ago, it has garnered over 10.4 million hits. [You can watch the interview by clicking here.] That’s an average of over 1 million hits a day. What has made this video of what should have been a fairly boring actress/reporter promotional interview something that more than 10 million people have directed their browsers to see?…
Much is written about the need to “persevere” in just about any kind of pursuit, but I believe this is especially true when it comes to leadership.
When you are in a place of influence of others and obstacles continue to block your path for a long period of time, people begin to wonder if anything is going to happen, if someone’s going to break the stalemate, if the obstacles will ever be overcome. That’s what leaders are known to do. They make things happen when it appears that it’s not going to be so.
Last evening, 3-12-13, the Pittsburgh Penguins played 53 minutes of scoreless hockey and were being written off by the national sports casters as not having their game in gear that night as they were about to be shut-out by the Boston Bruins. With less than seven minutes left, winger Chris Kunitz made a goal which cut the lead to 2-1. Remember, the Penguins had not scored in the first 53 minutes and were still 1 goal behind. All Boston had to do was continue to keep the puck in the Penguins end of the ice for the remaining 6+ minutes and the game would be over….