Thursday, August 24, 2006

Leadership Quotes

This is a compilation of quotes to which I add from time to time.

In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of the relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles and positions.

- Margaret Wheatley

Good Leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that's what gives their work meaning.
- Warren Bennis

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-Albert Camus

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.
- Walter Lippman.

Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.
-Vaclav Havel

Technorati tags: , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Can Respect Survive the Bad Times?

In her 8/18/06 article in, Joanne Laurier describes an extreme case of lack of respect between leaders and followers: Northwest Airlines to laid-off workers: rummage through the trash. Workers who have already made substantial concessions and are now to be laid off as their jobs are outsourced, received a company published book, "Preparing for Financial Setback," which contained this and other unusual recommendations. Meanwhile it is reported that executive earnings exceed $20m and prior to Northwest's bankruptcy filing the chairman dumped stock worth $26m.

The Vision of Leadership (now Leadership for Collaboration and Innovation) shows how, in the name of effective organization and collaboration, respecting binds together leader and follower. The leader is usually the person or people who take an initiative. Over the years Northwestern employees have lead by striking (disrupting organization and collaboration) in the hope of retaining benefits. In the present case management leads by publishing "Preparing for Financial Setback" against a background of pocket lining by executives. At this point any residue of mutual respect is likely to have evaporated, creating yet more obstacles to organization and collaboration.

Before airline industry deregulation Northwestern had a very successful business model and since then the company has been adapting to the new circumstances. The news item highlights how respect between leaders and followers is probably more important and harder to sustain in the bad times than in the good. In the good times organization and collaboration appear to be effective. In the bad times, with the stress of change, assumptions are challenged and small, misplaced actions can be potently negative. Without basic respect, an enterprise's survival through bad times appears less probable and if that culture continues, longer term success appears improbable.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Return on Leadership Investment

The Boss's Paycheck

CEO compensation policy is "not rocket science" yet it "remains remarkably disparate" at major U.S. corporations, according to two studies by The Corporate Library, an independent research firm.

The first study, Pay for Failure, highlighted 11 companies that authorized a total of $865 million in pay to CEOs who presided over an aggregate loss of $640 billion in shareholder value.

"Pay for Failure"

  • AT&T Inc.
  • BellSouth Corporation
  • Hewlett-Packard Company
  • Home Depot, Inc.
  • Lucent Technologies Inc.
  • Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Safeway Inc.
  • Time Warner Inc.
  • Verizon Communications Inc.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

The second study, Pay for Success, highlighted 10 companies that awarded $190 million in pay to CEOs who presided over $82.7 billion in gains.

"Pay for Success"

  • AutoNation, Inc.
  • AutoZone, Inc.
  • Express Scripts, Inc.
  • Franklin Resources, Inc.
  • Humana Inc.
  • NCR Corporation
  • Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Nucor Corporation
  • Progressive Corporation
  • Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Source: BusinessEthicsBuzz, August 2006