An excerpt from Liquid Leadership, page 16, The Credo of a Liquid Leadership.
The 6th Law: A Leader Takes Responsibility
"Unfortunately, the news today is filled with plenty of examples of business leaders who decided to take the low road, appearing on some financial show and pontificating about how great their company is while secretly dumping the stock. Or my personal pet peeve: when a high profile leader is caught lying and leaves with a multimillion-dollar golden parachute and a book deal. Meanwhile the company employees are ruined and incapable of retiring. As Lee Iacocca says, “Where have all the leaders gone?” The problem is a small bunch of bad apples making it bad for the group. When you visit companies like Google, W. L. Gore & Associates (makers of GORE-TEX), or Nintendo, you see such great innovation taking place that you begin to realize that the majority of companies out there are doing things right.
Even so, integrity can never be taken for granted—and it starts with you. What do you stand for? Today’s leader is actually an extension of their brand. Name any top company, and chances are, you can name the CEO or founder as well. The attributes of a great leader can be felt within every inch of an organization: uncompromising, intense, and always on the cutting edge of their market.
Taking full responsibility for your actions—with no compromises—is the standard for great leadership. It takes the same amount of energy to be good at something as it does to not be so good. So why not stand for greatness? Setting higher standards is contagious and permeates an organization to its core.
On the negative side, if you’re caught in a lie, it hurts morale. And once morale is compromised, cynicism runs amok. Cynicism is a cancer that destroys hope, creativity, and our sense of adventure. And as with cancer, you must detect it early and eradicate it.
The key to taking responsibility is to look for your blind spot. This is the area where you may not realize you are weak. Lack of detail, inexperience, and arrogance are all examples of blind spots. The best way to discover a blind spot is to ask your team of trusted advisors and confidants to tell you what your weakness is, and demand the truth—no matter how painful. By taking responsibility for your actions, you become a person of uncompromising values, incapable of being swayed by a solipsistic ideology or a quick buck. At the same time, you become invincible. When you know your weaknesses and lead with them, there is nothing left for people to sense but your strengths.
It is easy to be a leader when times are good. But when times are tough, these are the moments that make a leader great. Developing working methodologies and profit centers during tough times is what creates an invincible leader. Signs of integrity are written all over a leader who shows up, gets involved, tweaks the business, and stands for reinvention. The news is filled with leaders who say they take full responsibility, yet their actions suggest otherwise. Why not stand for something better? Why not promote a higher standard of excellence where leaders take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their people, and expect the same in return?"
Wouldn’t you follow a leader like that?
Thanks again for reading,
21st Century Change Agent: Generational expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker
But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.
Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.
Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554
Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.
Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.
Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.
Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer.
* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership
* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author