BLG Leadership Insights

10 Must-Read Leadership & Social Media Links From the Past Week

1. The US military relies on great management and leadership strategies to get people motivated and on-task. Wally Bock outlines three essential military leadership techniques that your organization can easily benefit from.

2. Getting your idea across isn’t always easy. Keep these 7 rules in mind the next time you need to get to point clearly.

3. According to some there are three keys to success. The trick is knowing you only need two.

4. This guy used Google Ads to market himself and get a job. Check out his amazing video.

5. When I read the title, What Han Solo Can Teach You About Informal Leadership I laughed. In fact, I’m still laughing, but it’s a great read and a surprisingly apt comparison.

6. Use Twitter in your PowerPoint presentations! Great tool and a strong way to lead the way with social media.

7. How exactly do you know when a leader is ineffective? Here are 8 warning signs.

8. Facebook, argues Stanley Bing, is teaching young people business skills. Too bad it can’t teach math & science as well.

9. Google can make or break your reputation, especially if you are always trying to meet new clients. This company will make sure the most flattering sites appear when your name is searched…for a price.

10. If you haven’t been able to follow the Net Neutrality battle of late, here’s a really good  guide…for dummies.

Bonus: How to make your Facebook account private in 2 minutes. The fact that we need third parties telling us to make Facebook private is not a good sign.

BLG Leadership Insights

Prisoners of Power: Leaders Trapped by Inertia

bush-with-barack-obama“The whole history of America since World War II” Gary Wills argues in the New York Review of Books, “caused an inertial transfer of power toward the executive branch.” In his interesting article, entitled Entangled Giants, Mr. Wills wants to dispel the notion that the Bush administration, with its acceptance of torture and rejection of habeas corpus, is responsible for the expansion of the executive branch. Rather, the executive branch has grown in power and has shown no signs of stopping since the advent of the nuclear bomb and America’s increasing global dominance…

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Leaders Can’t Play Do-Overs: Learn From Losing

The Millennium Challenge 2002 was a three week war game conducted by the US armed forces that cost over $250 million dollars. It fictionally pitted American forces against an “unnamed Persian Gulf military” most likely a stand in for Iran (or, as some argue, Iraq).

“Iran’s” forces were headed up by Marine Corps Lt. General Paul Van Riper, a tough Purple Heart recipient, who beat the American forces at every turn in the action. Van Riper, in what he assumed was a everything-goes drill, carried out mock suicide attacks, ran his fleet without radar effectively making them impossible to track, and he kept his men on the go constantly.

Needless to say, Van Riper defeated the American forces–badly.

The result: Van Riper got “relieved” from his post and the rules of the war game were changed. The new guidelines, among other things, forced enemy ships to operate with radar making them easy to follow and detect. In the school yard “do-over“, America won the drill and everyone went home happy.

What does this mean for organizations?

What are the lessons to be learned?

1. Pride on the Line: When we talk about leaders and organizations that wear blinders–it’s crucial to ask, why? Likely, it’s a poor mix of pride and ego that’s at stake and it’s difficult to admit to failure, laziness, lack of innovation, or knowledge. However, it’s essential to always remember that pride, especially in the face of truth, needs to be put aside.

2. Test for Failure–Don’t Imitate Success: Businesses always know that there are  cracks in their foundations. Searching for problems, then fixing them, is a required task. Yet, some businesses, on finding problems, merely write them off, pass responsibility, or vow to fix them next year.

The same can be said for leaders. If leaders find faults within their team or their leadership style they need to remedy them, not explain them away while pointing to a few successes in their office.

3. The Longer You Wait–the Bigger the Risks: Organizations and teams that choose to sideline problems, difficulties, and challenges will face a greater trouble and risk when they eventually try to resolve a situation.

BLG Leadership Insights

When Self-Interest Is An Excuse Not to Lead

In the last few days the Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, maintained that he could not be involved in negotiations over the West Bank territories because he has a home on the West Bank and is thus a self-interested party. Mr. Lieberman’s lack of action can be characterized as taking a moral stand; however, beneath the surface, it’s a true failure of leadership.

Leaders who don’t have the capacity to understand the collective good and are not able to work toward it have no business to lead, especially if they are only thinking in terms of their self-interest. Indeed, the moral failure in the financial world stems from the inability of leaders to differentiate from individual self-interest and the collective good. In the realm of investment banking, many leaders thought that their self-interest and the collective good were one in the same. This delusion perpetuated moral failure and the financial collapse.