Lessons for the New CEO From 5 Great Leaders of History
Pointing out others’ mistakes rarely encourages them to change their behavior, and it certainly doesn’t help them learn anything. People aren’t driven by reason, but by emotion; so a public critique is far likelier to reflect poorly on you than it is to make them change their ways.
Abraham Lincoln was nearly forced into a duel for criticizing an opponent. His new policy became one of understanding what drove his opponents, accepting their shortcomings and going easy on the open criticism, eventually even turning some into friends.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
Read more efficiently
Save what inspires you
IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:
Nelson Mandela was lauded as a courageous leader -- even when he was truly terrified. Like the time he astonished his bodyguard by calmly reading a newspaper while the plane he was flying on had engine failure.
Mandela himself, however, later confessed in private that he’d been truly terrified but refused to show it. Mandela knew that courage is a choice, and everyone can be courageous by learning to cope with your anxieties and fears every day.
Niccolò Machiavelli held that using advisors well begins with knowing one’s own weaknesses and selecting advisors to offset them. It’s also necessary to know how to solicit advice the right way.
For Machiavelli, that meant showing advisors he valued their honest opinion and would not punish them for giving it. But, at the end of the day, he was the one calling the shots.
A leader needs to adapt to the situation. Study your environment and your competition to make the best of every opportunity.
Sun Tzu, counseled that a martial leader should observe the terrain to take advantage of its natural layout and stay alert for startled birds or beasts that might indicate an ambush. He also advised becoming a student of one's enemies, to know their signs of fatigue or desperation.
A former slave inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, Touissaint L’Ouverture defeated the European empires to found Haiti and expunged slavery from his colony.
Early in the revolution, L’Ouverture determined that he would never compromise on his ideal of complete abolition of slavery in the colony. L’Ouverture succeeded by getting clear on his cause and doing whatever was necessary to serve it, even if it meant fighting alongside European powers.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
A leader's vision may or may not be that different from the next person's; what can set them apart is the vigour with which they pursue that st...
Leaders need to have a relatable and understandable long-term view of where an organization is headed.
When faced with the issue of slavery before the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s vision was that the United States should be “a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. "
Changing the mood of an organization can be enough to stave off collapse and foster progress.
Nelson Mandela changed the mood of a divided South Africa coming out of the brink of civil war and facing a future with a high likelihood of inter-racial conflict. Once elected, he ran the new multiracial government with a light but decisive touch and set the tone – relaxed, inclusive, cheerful – that would create a new mood in the country.
2 more ideas
Throughout history, some individuals got to play bigger roles than others. Among them, Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that the success of a cause depends directly on the involvement of the peopl...
According to the main character's behaviour, one should used other means of negotiation besides persuasion, which is, undoubtedly, of high importance. For instance, why not try using the very language of the counterparts, if possible. It can lead to unexpectedly good results.
Buddha's belief that anybody can changed is a powerful tool in the hands of good coaches. Having trust in people's ability to change can prove to be way more effective than believing that they can't.
8 more ideas
Often leaders have chosen to stay on when they should have bowed out. Without intending to, they often undo much of their own work and cause problems for their successors.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey, accounted for his limitations by issuing an order to ignore instructions he gave in the evenings – when he liked to carouse with his friends. But history has far more examples of leaders whose convictions of infallibility grow in proportion to their power, eventually leading to the failure of their plans.
A job can subtly warp your judgement so that you only see things from one perspective.
Think of Richard Nixon trying to use the institutions of the American government to shut down the Watergate scandal. Or the unexpectedly long American war in Vietnam.
5 more ideas