Be Prepared to Make an Idiot of Yourself.”

„Smart groups beat individual decisions if they have: 1. Diversity of opinion (each person should have some private information, even it it’s just eccentric interpretation of the known facts) 2. Independence (people’s opinions are not determined by the opinions of those around them) 3. Decentralization (people are able to specialise and draw on local knowledge) 4. Aggregation (some mechanism exists for turning private judgements into collective decision).“ (p 15)

„Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you’re on a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.“ (p 36)

„You need to compete to be unique, not the best.“ (Michael Porter in an interview with the author,  p 39)

„Positional leaders – those who are most driven by the need to be in a leadership position – often have a stifling effect on growth, as they see other potential and existing leaders as threats.“ (p 43)

„Just because you tell people to do things it doesn’t mean they have the resources, time, structure, systems, their own levers of power, and the will „to make it so“. (p 44) 

„The sculptor August Rodin was once asked: ‚How do you make your marble horse so lifelike?‘ Irritated by the questioner, Rodin supposedly replied: ‚Take a large piece of marble. Take a hammer and a chisel. Cut away everything that doesn’t’t look like a horse.‘ “(p 49)

„Leading innovation is one of the least understood and most challenging areas of leadership. It’s not about technology or research and development. It’s about everything.“ (p 99)

„Tom Peters says that a commitment to innovation means being prepared to make an idiot of yourself. By that, he means allow your success rate to slip, and encourage others to do the same, by trying things that you do not know will work. This is counter-intuitive  for most working cultures, which are build on predictability: repeating what you know works.“ (p 100)

„…known as WOCAS (What Our Customers Are Saying) reports. The go straight to the CEO along with ‚customer verbatims’ the actual e-mails sent in by customers…“ (p 113)

„If you want to make a real difference to customers, look at your approvals and permission process to allow frontline people to take the initiative, to lead as they interact with customers. The more decision have to be deferred for approval, the more in danger  your organisation is because it’s not going to be fast or flexible enough at the edges to be competitive.“ (p 117)

„When the focus shifts from authority and technical problems to leadership and adaptive challenges, the charisma and traits of the individual personality may become less critical. In this view, acts of leadership depend less on the magnetism and social dominance of heroic individuals and more on the capacities of individuals (who may be located in a wide variety of positions) to intervene skilfully in complex systems.“ (p 150)

„One of the roadblocks for groups moving forward now is thinking that they have to wait for a leader to emerge – someone who embodies the future path. But I think what we’ve been learning… is that the future can emerge within the group itself, not embodied in a ‚hero‘ or traditional ‚leader‘… we have to nurture a new form of leadership that doesn’t depend on extraordinary individuals.“ (p 150)

„If you systematise anything you end up with too much similarity. And that applies to the way large organisations develop leaders. There is already too much sameness out there.“ (p 154) 

The 60 Second Leader – Everything You Need to Know About Leadership, in One Minute Bites. Phil Dourado, 2007, published by MJF Books.

We provide our insights through quotes directly taken from books, articles, videos, info graphs and other media. We do not add, comment or reflect on the topics highlighted or represent the media in its intentions or as a whole. We hope to inspire you to dig deeper, discover and fall in love with your own eureka moments.

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