Posts in "Leadership"

Provocative competence

Just read the article “Please make yourself uncomfortable” from Ken Norton where Frank Barrett captures one essential aspect of leadership in this quote:

“The goal is the opposite of conformity: a leader’s job is to create the discrepancy and dissonance that trigger people to move away from habitual positions and repetitive patterns.”

Well, the article it is not purely about leadership, it talks about product management and jazz and how making innovative products requires the ability to surrender to the unknown, to follow the music wherever that goes. Tt’s a recommended reading (together with this letter from Slack CEO).

But this article made me reflect again on mediocrity and leadership. Mediocrity can arise in many forms: managers remaining silent or providing optimistic or filtered information (check Nokia case), employees evaluated subjectively, relaxed accountability (for them and for their employees) or managers playing it safe and shooting for staying under the radar.

Rise the bar since day 0. Kick your hiring standards up a notch and don’t settle for less. And continue doing it every single day, restlessly. That should be the norm and it should be defended regularly and vigilantly.

Provoke.

 

The Price of Shame

Monica Lewinsky… Do you remember her? It was 1998 and she had “an affair” with the former president of the United States of America, Bill Clinton. 17 years later I still remember that episode. It was maybe one of the biggest scandals in modern history. And yesterday, I was reading some news and I run into this video: “Monica Lewinksy – The Price of Shame”. I was curious. I lost her track long time ago. I thought that after this humiliation, she would fallen into a deep depression and would be hidden from the world, perhaps in some rehab center to recover from an addiction to drug or alcohol. A broken toy. But I was wrong.

In this short video Lewinsky changes public perception of her, by moving from a woman who was once narrowly defined by a youthful mistake to emerge as a commanding leader of anti Internet shaming force. She proves leader attitude taking a personal and embarrassing situation and tuning it into a rallying cry for compassion and tremendous fight.

Hat off Monica Lewinsky.