Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colin Powell on leadership

Lesson 3:  "Don't be buffaloed by experts and elites.  Experts often possess more data than judgment.  Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world."

Small companies and start-ups don't have the time for analytically detached experts.  They don't have the money to subsidize lofty elites, either.  The president answers the phone and drives the truck when necessary; everyone on the payroll visibly produces and contributes to bottom-line results or they're history.  But as companies get bigger, they often forget who "brought them to the dance":  things like all-hands involvement, egalitarianism, informality, market intimacy, daring, risk, speed, agility.  Policies that emanate from ivory towers often have an adverse impact on the people out in the field who are fighting the wars or bringing in the revenues.  Real leaders are vigilant, and combative, in the face of these trends.

No comments: