Pearl's Paradise

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled teams yearning to breath free…"

October 14, 2011
by Steve Pearl

Adaptive Leadership in a New Job

<p><a  data-cke-saved-href="">Image: href="">Image: africa /</a></p>We take this brief side-trip from our, "Making Meetings Matter" series to talk about an under-appreciated concept in organizational leadership.  Sometimes it feels like leadership experts talk about the practice of "leadership" in narrowly-defined, myopic terms.  "Leaders" tend to say "this," or "leaders" behave a certain way in certain situations.  

To hear some leadership gurus describe it, you would think that the same leadership skills and styles apply equally well to all disciplines, all industries, and all challenges.

That's just not the case.  Applying good leadership practices to the unique circumstances of one company versus another is rarely neat, tidy, or predictable.  Leadership can be messy at times as you use a method that worked one time before only to find out that the new team doesn't respond the same way as the old.

Sometimes a leadership style that worked well in one environment backfires in another.

With Steve Jobs' death so fresh on our minds, a perfect example of a leadership mismatch springs to mind.  John Sculley, skilled at leading consumer products giant PepsiCo, notoriously bombed at Apple when he tried to impose the skills he had honed at PepsiCo on the laid-back, Cupertino-based technology company.  Jobs and Sculley clashed horribly, resulting in Jobs' departure from the company he founded in a garage with his friend Steve Wozniak back in the late 70's.

Click to continue reading “Adaptive Leadership in a New Job”

October 7, 2011
by Steve Pearl

Phillies Lose. Time to Retool Offense.

No, this is not going to be a long editorial on the tragedy of a dream season suddenly come to a screeching, horrible halt. The Phillies set two records along the way to crashing and burning in this 5 game series with St. Louis. They won more games than any other Phillies team in history and Charlie Manuel became the winningest coach in Phillies history.

Overall, it was a magical season. I'll never forget it.

And then, you have tonight.

Click to continue reading “Phillies Lose. Time to Retool Offense.”

October 5, 2011
by Steve Pearl

Making Meetings Matter: Step 1, Selflessness Matters

(In the previous installment of "Making Meetings Matter" we introduced 5 simple guidelines to help you get more value and effectiveness out of your meetings.  Now it's time to dig deeper…)

STEP 1: Selflessness Matters"I just packed a few bags for the trip…"

A weird thought crossed my mind the other day.  It happened while I was thinking about the first thing you must do to unleash the power of your teams.  I was mulling the notion that setting a general tone of selflessness in your organization is actually a huge part of effective team leadership.

And that was when my thought processes went sideways.  Hang in with me for a minute.

Most leaders expect that their people will show up and contribute when they call a meeting.  They pay their employees good money, so why shouldn't they expect good performance?  They assume the hearts and minds of the people who walk through the door are all-company, all the time.  Heck, in this economy most of us are lucky to have a job!  Just showing up to meetings with a bunch of great ideas isn’t a differentiator; it’s pure survival!

How dumb are we if we think that people become emotionless, unfettered, bottomless wells of great ideas the second they cross the threshold of the conference room?  

NOBODY walks through the door of a meeting room these days without carrying a load of emotional baggage on their shoulders!

Click to continue reading “Making Meetings Matter: Step 1, Selflessness Matters”

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