America has reached a level of divisiveness that is simply unhealthy. Politicians, the media, and everyday citizens of both political affiliations are to blame.
We have forgotten what it means to work together; our country is being torn apart.
We have mistaken political positions and party lines for moral principles. Only the latter can not be compromised. It is the duty of every leader to know the difference.
Integrity requires that we live in accordance with what we know is right. Character requires that we work in good faith with others to find common ground.
Experience matters. It is difficult enough for a first time CEO to learn how to lead and manage all facets of a business as it grows. To do so without the assistance of an experienced team of direct reports is nearly impossible.
In the last 12 months, had an aha moment. I have always been very deliberate about surrounding myself with experience. I built a board of directors early on, seeking to surround myself with professionals who had done what I was trying to accomplish. I have sought out mentors, advisors, and even employees who know more than myself.
But it wasn’t until just a few months ago that I realized how critical it was that every one of my direct reports have experience that is directly relevant to the role I have asked them to play. A first-time CEO and a first-time direct report of a CEO simply don’t mesh.
The best team wins. Period.
The most talented individuals don’t always win. The best strategy doesn’t always win. The most innovative product won’t always win. But in my experience, the best team wins.
The formula for team-building is fairly simple. Attract and retain the best talent, get those individuals to play well together, and then leave them alone to fly. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done.
Software products have taken over the business world. I’ve mentioned before that your software is now your brand. Despite the dramatic shift that has already taken place, digital productization is just getting started.
Defense wins championships. Why? Because it stifles growth. If your opponent doesn’t score, there is no way for them to beat you. A good defense usually slows the tempo of a game. This typically results in lower offensive output for both teams, not just the winner.
Take some of the most stifling defenses in the NFL during the super bowl era.
I was fortunate to get to spend two days last week at the MIT Technology Review Mobile Summit in San Francsico. It was fascinating to be surrounded by some of the brightest minds in software product development and to hear their takes on the future of mobile development.
One of the running themes of the conference was the focus on the day in the not-too-distant future when mobile devices will become less about whether mobile is the first or second screen and more about it becoming the invisible screen.
A couple of months ago Marissa Mayer asked all Yahoo employees to give up the privilege of working from home and make the trip into the office. A vigorous debate ensued and individuals on both sides of the argument took nearly religious positions regarding whether she had made a mistake.
Are you kidding? There is no right or wrong answer here folks, but, there is another debate that we’re ignoring.
In 20 years the way we learn will bear little to no resemblance to the educational system that exists today. If you want proof, just look at the printing press.
The first “modern” universities were formed in the 15th century. It is not a coincidence that this revolution of learning followed the invention of the printing press in 1450.
Think about it. Prior to the printing press, knowledge was at a premium. Those with great memories and the ability to recall and communicate knowledge were at a premium. Lecture was the medium for learning.
With the advent of the printing press, knowledge was more readily available. No longer was memorization and lecture the most critical skill in the ecosystem of knowledge sharing. A new medium (print) replaced the lecturer and a new age was born. Memorization was replaced by explanation and the facilitation of understanding as the most critical aspects of teaching.
Your title makes you a manager, not a leader. Leadership is bestowed. Bill Campbell, EIS Summit 2013
Great leaders build great teams. Great teams don’t just happen. They are built and maintained deliberately. Over the years, I have found the following guiding principles to play a key role in my team building efforts: