Several weeks ago, Amazon’s Leadership Principles surfaced in my reading. I was so impressed by their breadth and scope that I wanted to share them with you, along with a brief summary, focusing on how they might apply in higher education, of each of the 14 points.
Are you listening?
Hearing and listening. We hear when sound waves reach our ears and are converted into neural signals by the inner ear. We choose to listen when we intentionally let those neural signals impact us. This is why we can sit in a busy place totally immersed in our reading or in a conversation with another person and be completely oblivious of what is taking place immediately around us.
I’ve written before on grit (see here), about having stamina, about sticking with what you’ve chosen or been led to do, your future, day in, day out, not just for a week, nor for a month, but for years, working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is a marathon, not a sprint. To succeed, leaders have to have grit in abundance.
Last week, during the closing session’s CIO Panel at one of the MOR Leaders Programs, every CIO on the panel commented on the importance of trust. Earlier in the session in a similar vein, I had noted that followers want leaders who are credible, trustworthy, leaders who do what they say they will do. Max De Pree, the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc., wrote in his book Leadership Jazz: “Followers cannot afford leaders who make casual promises; someone may take them seriously!”
How to Get Up to Speed in Your New Leadership Role
Then, Ask for It!
Ingredients: A challenging topic, participants, rules and processes for conducting the conversation, (if the number of participants is large), and a “container.”
One of the central tenets of leadership is that you put your leadership skills to work wherever you are. This follows from a strong belief that leadership is not about a position or a title but rather the simple idea that leadership is more about a set of skills that you can develop and make use of no matter where you are. Yes, in your place of employment. And, also in every other part of your life! Anyone can choose to be a leader wherever she or he is. And in doing so, he or she can make a crucial difference.
Sue Workman, Vice President of University Technology, at Case Western Reserve University, keynote video at the 2017 MOR Leaders Conference.