Leadership Is Confusing as Hell

“Think of pre-1990 as the Age of Sucking Up to the Hierarchy. The Age of the Promise ‘Em Everything Pitch lasted from 1995 to 2000. The next five years will be the Age of No-Bull Performance. Which means that we’re going to see leadership emerge as the most important element of business — the attribute that is highest in demand and shortest in supply. And that means that over the next five years, we’re going to have to reckon with a new, unorthodox, untested list of leadership qualities.”

Some listed in this article include:
1. Leaders are important. But great managers are the bedrock of great organizations.
2. But then again, there are times when this cult-of-personality stuff actually works!
3. Leadership is confusing as hell. (The situation rules. Leader for all seasons? In your dreams!)
4. When it comes to talent, leadership doesn’t income-average.
5. Leaders love the mess.
6. The leader is rarely — possibly never? — the best performer.
8. Leaders create their own destinies.
9. Leaders win through logistics.
10. Leaders understand the ultimate power of relationships.
11. Leaders multitask.
15. Leaders trust their guts.
17. Leaders are natural empowerment freaks.
18. Leaders are good at forgetting.
20. Leaders make mistakes — and make no bones about it.
21. Leaders love to work with other leaders.
22. Leaders can laugh.
26. Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.
28. Leaders don’t fall prey to their own success.
30. You must execute consistently. But consistency = focus = blinders
31. Leaders honor the assassins in their own organizations.
32. Leaders love technology.
33. Leaders wear their passion on their sleeve.
34. Leaders know: Energy begets energy.
35. Leaders are community organizers.
36. Leaders give respect.
38. Leadership is a performance.
39. Leaders have great stories.
40. Leaders give everyone a cause.
43. Leaders always make time to work the phones.
44. Leaders listen intently.
45. Leaders revel in surrounding themselves with people who are smarter than they are.
46. Great leaders are great politicians.
48. Leaders learn.
50. Leaders know when to leave.

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  1. the Peters Principle: “Leaders are cool. Managers are cool too!”
    Leadership mantra #1: It all depends.

  2. “Most of our ideas have died before we could test them in the market. Often, we don’t even get a full-fledged business model built because something diverts our attention; our jobs get in the way. It’s nearly impossible to get employees who understand the Internet to really focus on an experiment. They’re so in demand that every department head is using them to “webify” existing businesses. So venture projects tend to lose focus and get drawn out; we spend more time and money than we planned an

  3. “Although seemingly counter-intuitive, a wealth of corporate resources in a startup, especially money, can actually grind progress to a halt. New ventures need to be weaned from corporate wealth—which encourage dependence on safe conditions and easy solutions—to test the true viability of the venture and the team’s mettle. GE, easily one of the richest and most admired large companies, learned this with its factory of the future experiment, which burned through hundreds of millions of dollars b

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