Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Radical Leap





A few things have changed in my job. One of the recent changes were my direct reports. Since July I had this young guy who was new to the BU. I am convinced if he sticks it out he will one day be president of the company. I could go on all day about him. The decision to move him from reporting to me was not my favorite move but it was done to help the new guy. So my new report has had a tough time over the last 3 years. She has not had the same boss for more than one year in at least 3 years. Her last boss who only worked with her a short time gave her a less than good review. So she was passed on to me to get her motivated again. She is super sharp but it was believed she just needed crisp clear direction. At the time of the change I gave each of them a copy of my favorite leadership book of all time The Radical Leap.

Today as I was preparing to write the 2008 plan for my new direct report I decided to read it again. All I can say is this: If you are in a situation as a boss or a direct report where things aren't going as planned read this book. If you have read the book, read it again. No book I've ever read explains leadership in such simple terms as Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof. Generally the other books I've read have been theory or they were written by life long consultants who forgot what working in a big office is like. The Radical Leap will teach you new things every time you read it. One thing for sure is that leadership is not a title you get. Sure there are lots of people with Leadership in their title but that does not make them true leaders. True leaders come from all levels of an organization and from all different backgrounds.

A short story about one of my favorite leaders. His name is Scott Shewmaker and he's the quality assurance guy at my old company. Scott is admittedly a bit quirky in his day to day life. He's a huge baseball fan and I'm sure he is excitedly gearing up for the 2008 Padre season. Scott leads radically. He has a passion for what he does that goes beyond a job and has a passion for the people he works with. He brings great energy to the job every day. He has an audacity I only wish I had. He has an ability to tell you you're full of shit without you hating him. And he backs his leadership with proof day in and day out. Without much fanfare he produces results. He has no direct reports and has to get things done through relationships and it's amazing to watch him work through other people. The only way he can do that is by being a great leader.

Most people can read this book in one sitting. I'm not most people so it takes me longer. The point is simple find time to read it if you are in a state of Flux. If you aren't ready for it, it won't do much for you. My new direct report is on fire right now. She is just blowing me away with her energy to get things done. The only thing I have really done so far is give her this book to read. She doesn't even realize that she's quoting it on a regular basis.

The Cold Weather

Just an update from my post yesterday. It was colder than I thought it would be this morning. -7 on the celcius scale. That's just a bit colder than Southern California. In fact my hands were hurting cold when I got home and I had fleece gloves on while running. Hands while running generally produce good heat. Anyway it was totally worth it. I got my hill repeats in. Scout chased a Hare, a Fox and two deer. We both will sleep well because of it.

It's a good life.....
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