If you are a game-changing leader then chances are that impostor syndrome could be getting in your way. That is the term that was coined to describe the fear we have all experienced that one day we will be discovered as a fraud. Faye* is a case in point. She impressed her prospective employer at interview and won a big new job. When she started in the new role and confronted the magnitude of her new challenge she privately questioned whether she really had the capability to deliver on her promise.… Read more
Ivan* was a perfectionist. It served him well for much of his career. People were impressed with the results he produced and he quickly moved into leadership roles. But now it seemed more like a curse. He was working long hours and was not fulfilled by his work. His health was suffering from sleepless nights. His team found him demanding and impatient. But the thing that really irritated him was that he was now making predictable commitments to reduce his fear of failure.… Read more
At its peak in the late 1980s, Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) had $14 billion in sales, 130,000 employees and was ranked among the most profitable companies in the US. DEC’s founder and CEO, Ken Olsen, was named “most successful entrepreneur in the history of American business,” by Fortune magazine. DEC tried on four separate occasions to transition from their traditional minicomputer business into personal computing. But each attempt failed, the company fell from grace and by 1998 DEC was sold to Compaq in a fire sale.… Read more
Photo: Jeremy Bishop
Leanne* inherited a poison chalice when she took her new role. Her new employer, a global technology services business, had lost the confidence of a major client. Her job was to rebuild what had become a poisonous relationship. It was a multi-million dollar account and the client’s perception of her employer was at an all-time low. Attempts at conciliation had turned into threats of legal action.
All eyes were now on her to turn things around.
She committed to the objective of restoring the relationship in the next six months.… Read more
MIT have just announced their annual list of the 50 Smartest Companies. These superstar companies made the list because they have an especially impressive combination of technological leadership and business acumen, as judged by MIT, over the past year. What can we learn from these superstar businesses?
One thing that seems clear according to the editor of MIT Technology Review, David Rotman is that, “…they got there through exploiting a growing gap in digital competencies…….and have gained their power at least in part by adeptly anticipating and using digital technologies.”
But what can we learn about leadership from these superstar businesses.… Read more
Instagram Photo / Eugene Hsu
Jaws dropped last week when Amazon announced its intention to purchase Whole Foods for $13.7B ($18B AUD). What are the leadership lessons from the announcement?
One obvious answer is that no business is immune from disruption. Amazon, a technology business intends to move into an adjacent bricks and mortar industry as the lines between technology and business become blurred. John McDulig, writing in the Australian Financial Review put it this way, “The distinction between tech and business is becoming irrelevant.… Read more
When Graham* took on his new leadership role he initially spent quite a bit of time discovering how people viewed the viability of the organisation. He asked them what they saw as the predictable future if nothing changed. It seemed obvious to him that the successful parts of the business would be sold off and the groups that were not doing well would gradually decline.
People said that they more or less knew where things were headed but that the organisation would probably limp along for another few years.… Read more
How do you secure the job of your dreams? You know, the one where you cannot believe you get paid to do what you do.
When Gary* was made redundant from his job, he wanted a global opportunity for his next role. He met with people in his network about global trends in his area of expertise. He initially thought that the meetings were a waste of time; the main reason being that no-one had yet offered him a job.… Read more
Don* inspired people with a vision of a whole new future for their organisation. One very excited group picked up on his ideas and started to make big things happen. They invited him to come and see the results they were producing. He was blown away by how much further they had expanded on what he had originally envisaged. It was consistent with his objectives though.
When we spoke later about the visit he was initially disappointed, saying they talked about it like it was their concept when it was actually based on his idea.… Read more
Are you the same leader that you were five or even ten years ago? Of course you are essentially the same person. But as you continually confront new challenges, chances are that you have also found some new depth to your leadership ability, something you did not know you had.
Maybe you pitched yourself at interview for a big new promotion. When you got the job, you discovered that it was way bigger than you first thought. You may have even privately wondered if you have what it takes to deliver on your promise.… Read more