The sun was reflecting off the ocean nestled on Pebble Beach as if the hand of God was swiping landscapes on the I-pad that is the world. Professional Golfers sprinted past my son (understandably intent to finalize their score cards). Only one man stopped to say hello to the youngster. He gave him a golf ball, posed for a photo and ignored my extended hand to embrace me in a hug. He was not a professional golfer but a CEO.... better yet, a Chief Shoe Giver. For the rest of his life my son will remember the genuine attention granted him by a man who had hundreds waiting for him at a Corporate tent.
His name is Blake Mycoskie and he is an example of the new breed of Corporate Leaders.
The definition of Leadership is changing. Arrogance in being replaced by empathy, over-extended hours are giving way to flexible work, the track to promotion is no longer a measure of "just" results, and organizations are putting purpose in front of profits.
Average tenure has never been a more important measure of organizational longevity. Succession Planning now starts on Day One of employment and serves to drive organizational legacy. Sharing ideas has become more important than protecting knowledge.
At some point, we came to realize that beyond product knowledge, process comprehension and/or the ability to sell; common sense is a universal language.
So we take a look at the recent fall out over at HubSpot. This is a case of the sexy perks in start-up life positioned to replace a genuine need to be challenged and lead. Where leadership concentrated on process over empowerment, the new-age environment was trumped by age-old business practice....
Manage to your margins and always have candy in the jar (in this case, literally).
... Common Sense...
With every negotiation is a heart-to-heart conversation. With every demo a practical discussion about whether your shit actually works. With every sales pitch an investigation of the problem the tool can fix.
The gig is up.... if you no longer possess the skill to differentiate yourself, you will be passed over. You can no longer lean back on a nice tie to make up for your lack of knowledge. Fancy graphics are insignificant if your product doesn't work.
True Leaders accept their role as part of the team, they do not pretend that they are more important than the group.
True Leaders take accountability for everyone and give credit when things go well.
True Leaders are positive while remaining aware of the potential for failure.
By eliminating ego, empowering instead of commanding and prioritizing organizational purpose over operational efficiency; a company becomes a culture.
Short term thinking will validate quarterly earnings but harm long term partnership potential.
Treating employees like widgets will create greater cost in employee turnover than incremental margin improvement due to tactical over-emphasis.
Every employee you hire has the potential to become your most fierce competitor.
The rest is up to you. Think it through.
Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!
Originally posted on LinkedIn.