Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How We Lead Matters

How We Lead Matters
Reflections on a Life of Leadership by Marilyn Carlson Nelson

The Big Idea
Marilyn Carlson Nelson has achieved global recognition for the Carlson brands of hotels, restaurants, travel, and marketing services.

As a daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother, Marilyn has always put people first. Most compelling of all, she reveals how a meaningful legacy is built one day at a time.


Why You Need This Book
This thoughtful book offers a surprisingly personal glimpse into a multi-faceted woman who became one of the world’s most successful global CEOs.


Star Gazing
Those of us who are “called to business” as our life pursuit must learn how best to leverage our influence and work across sectors on complex problems for the common good. We must be what is called “integrative leaders.”

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, business leaders must pause and contemplate the way businesses can best interact with the non-profit and public sectors.

Like magicians with their adroit movements, Klaus is a master at focusing all attention on the object at hand whether it be peace, social responsibility, economic vitality, or world health.


Secret Ingredient
In today’s pop business culture of motivational phrases and self-improvement books on successful management, there is no shortage of slogans about the value of teamwork:

“There’s no ‘I’ in teamwork.”

“TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More.”

The fact is, they all convey what we know instinctively: TEAMS ARE POWERFUL.

Through our own experience and supporting research, we are convinced that complex problems benefit greatly from the creativity that comes from diverse thought, backgrounds, and styles.

The researchers studied “successful” teams and the true “breakthrough” teams to try to determine the differentiators between the two. In the end, they concluded that the greatest determinant of a breakthrough team is that they members of the team care as much about each other’s success as they do about their own success.

It’s well worth the investment to institutionalize a method for hiring people that’s based not only on the capacity to do the job but also on the capacity to care.

The Greeks, who had a wise saying for everything, said, “A people are known by the heroes they crown.”

There are some of us, though, who do see the quiet but significant contributions they make to society and mentally crown them heroes, adding their vocal and, when appropriate, financial support.

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