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June 05, 2009


Dan McCarthy

Scott –
Nice job tying together two pieces of research to make a provocative point. At the risk of oversimplifying, it sounds like unsuccessful leaders are (1) lazy, (2) don’t give a damn, (3) clueless, (4) dumb as dirt, and (5) can’t play well with others. No surprise there.
Successful leaders achieve a level of success by working their #@%*’s off. Again, no surprise there.
The “aha”, and why I find your book to be such an important resource for newly promoted executives, is that those same behaviors that made them so successful can be their downfall at “the next level”. While they may get it conceptually, changing behaviors that have always produced results is incredibly challenging. Perhaps even trying to change within the first year is an unrealistic expectation? Whenever I take on a new job, I find myself working the longest hours the 18 months or so, because I’m learning and I’m trying to establish credibility. There’s no way I’m going to step back and slow down. But after a while, when I start to plateau and run into problems, then I might be ready to try something different.
So when it comes to “picking up and letting go” new behaviors at the next level, what advice would you give when it comes to timing? Right away, a gradual 1-2 year transition, or when you first begin to run into problems (but before it’s too late)?

Gilbert Melott

Scott - great post. Your ability to communicate multiple points of view on strengths and weaknesses of leaders.

My biz focuses on teaching personal and professional skills to young emerging leaders and today our post was on leadership characteristics as well. I think your writing is telling - especially in the sentence related to "am I doing any of these things?" Most young and seasoned leaders ask that question everyday - unfortunately the answers aren't always evaluated constructively, transparently and certainly not bridged as well as they could be between the senior leaders of an organization and those they lead.

I have always believed in the Jack Welch tenet that the majority of your time as a leader is spent on people and development. If you do that, the result is a skilled base who deliver results because they understand the mission and they respect the leader.

Would love to exchange some thoughts.

Gilbert Melott

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