True Leaders Have a Passion for the Business, and for Their People

January 11, 2010

True leaders are passionate people, and the best leaders have both a passion for the business AND a passion for their people.

It’s not all about them, but about the success of the organizations they lead, and in turn, the success of people who join them on the journey. Their enthusiasm and pride in their work, and their desire to see each individual reach their full potential, inspires others to follow them and put forth their best efforts. People follow them because they know their efforts will be recognized and rewarded.

Great leaders realize that their organization’s best customers will be treated no better than how they treat their employeesand with that in mind they ensure employees are treated as the valuable assets they are.

When Eastern Airlines was purchased by Texas Air, led by Frank Lorenzo, in 1986—new policies and practices caused a severe decline in employee morale, and these declines were readily apparent to Eastern Airlines’ customers. I know, because I flew on Eastern Airlines at the time employee morale plummeted, and their low morale caused me (as well as many others) to not want to fly Eastern again. Interestingly enough, Lorenzo was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten worst bosses of the century, and vilified in a Time article titled “Bosses from Hell.”

In Leading at a Higher Level, Ken Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager, suggests that leadership needs to be grounded in humility, and that it is essential to focus on the greater good of people and the organization. I agree with Blanchard when he says, that leadership is, “the capacity to influence others by unleashing the power and potential of people and organizations for the greater good [emphasis mine].

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com


True Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer

August 8, 2009

True leaders work to create a climate where information sharing and discussion are welcome, where there are no “taboo” topics, and where team members are welcome to express dissent in a professional manner.

True leaders foster a climate where people with diverse perspectives, interests, and experience can influence decisions, and they do so because they realize that the best decisions are made in an atmosphere of open and honest communication and healthy discussion.

In a climate where team members are conditioned to say, “Yes,” without any discussion, leaders run the risk of making decisions without what may turn out to be invaluable input. True leaders welcome that input, and as a result end up making better decisions which have the buy-in and support of the team.

To learn more about why true leaders don’t take “Yes” for an answer, check out these two timely classics:

  1. Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes for an Answer
    In this excellent book, Harvard Business School’s Michael Roberto explores five myths of executive decision-making that are so dangerous that they must be overcome if organizations are to have a chance of making the best decisions—decisions that are not later undermined by people who said, “Yes,” only because it was considered the politically correct answer.
  2. The Wisdom of Crowds.
    In this insightful book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki offers an appealingly simple if somewhat counter-intuitive thesis: that large groups of people are smarter than an elite few (no matter how brilliant they may be), and are better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, and even predicting the future.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com

Program Director

What’s a True Leader

March 3, 2009

True leaders are individuals, regardless of their level, position, or title, who rise to the top because they:

  • naturally stand out,
  • live by a set of guiding values,
  • have an innate concern for people,
  • have and share a clear and inspiring vision,
  • are confident and capable—yet not egotistical and self-centered, and
  • understand and apply a core set of basic leadership principles.

What about authority? Having authority does not make someone a leader, it simply grants individuals the ability to make decisions that impact others. True leaders exert influence by gaining others’ trust, respect, and admiration.

I will provide additional insights on what sets true leaders apart in future blog entries.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com


Personal Introduction

January 26, 2009

Allen Stalvey

Welcome to my blog, where I will be touching on key leadership-related topics as I attempt to define and expound on what I call “true leadership.”

As a specialist in developing and enhancing corporate processes, policies, tools and standards while improving organizational productivity, quality, and timeliness—I have learned that it’s not just what you do that matters, but also how you do it.

In a world where some may say the end justifies the means, I hold the view that true and lasting success (both personally and organizationally) can only be achieved by practicing a set of leadership principles that foster sustained performance.

In this blog you’ll read more about my views on what true leadership entails, and hopefully glean key insights that will aid you in your journey.

Allen Stalvey
Director of Operations / Program Director
Dallas / Fort Worth Area
http://allenstalvey.com