Several weeks ago, Amazon’s Leadership Principles surfaced in my reading. I was so impressed by their breadth and scope that I wanted to share them with you, along with a brief summary, focusing on how they might apply in higher education, of each of the 14 points.
Are you listening?
Hearing and listening. We hear when sound waves reach our ears and are converted into neural signals by the inner ear. We choose to listen when we intentionally let those neural signals impact us. This is why we can sit in a busy place totally immersed in our reading or in a conversation with another person and be completely oblivious of what is taking place immediately around us.
… Not you? Research says that 95% of us do procrastinate.
We all procrastinate! Research by Piers Steel found that about 95% of us do and several other researchers suspect that the remaining 5% of us are, shall we say, stretching the truth.
So, two questions: Why do we procrastinate? And, what can we do about it?
First, let’s define what we’re focusing on:
I’ve written before on grit (see here), about having stamina, about sticking with what you’ve chosen or been led to do, your future, day in, day out, not just for a week, nor for a month, but for years, working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is a marathon, not a sprint. To succeed, leaders have to have grit in abundance.
Last week, during the closing session’s CIO Panel at one of the MOR Leaders Programs, every CIO on the panel commented on the importance of trust. Earlier in the session in a similar vein, I had noted that followers want leaders who are credible, trustworthy, leaders who do what they say they will do. Max De Pree, the former CEO of Herman Miller Inc., wrote in his book Leadership Jazz: “Followers cannot afford leaders who make casual promises; someone may take them seriously!”
… Hunting, Fishing, Trawling
Every organization has hidden leaders. They’re everywhere. They consistently step up to deal with client problems, with intractable issues, with extra effort to meet an unusual request from a key client, etc. We often don’t think of such individuals as leaders, after all they don’t have a positional title that would signify that they are a leader. However, they are key to the success of the organization.
From time to time in the Tuesday Readings, we have talked about practices, small habits, that we can use regularly in our day-to-day activities to improve our outcomes. For example, past Tuesday Readings have focused on practices (“The Meeting Is Over …” – January 31, 2017, “Resilience” – February 10, 2017, “Questions”
Requires that you continue learning
Last spring I spoke at my undergraduate college, Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, at their 2017 Undergraduate Research EXPO. As I reflected on the Tuesday Reading to begin the 2017-2018 Academic Year, it occurred to me that a version of my remarks there, which ultimately focused on continuing to learn, was an appropriate way to begin the year.