Once in a while, I like to look at something in a different way, and pull leadership lessons from unexpected sources. These are lighthearted views into leadership lessons, from places that are not your usual sources of leadership inspiration. But it's good fun, while being educational. I'd like to share just a few of my favorites from this year:
Kneel before Zod (Superman II)
- Support your staff development. For example, when one of your senior leadership team develops the ability to set snakes on fire with her eyes, celebrate her achievement.
- Delegate tasks effectively. Don't feel you must take down every helicopter on your own.
- Communicate your vision in simple terms. And you have to admit "Vengeance on the son of Jor-El" is pretty straightforward.
- Be careful of subordinates who try to undermine your authority. They may double-cross you when you least expect it.
- Be clear in your desired results. "Kneel before Zod" sets a pretty clear expectation, and others will know when they have done it right.
Leading a small group discussion (Pulp Fiction)
- Spend a few moments before entering the room to consider the discussion topics, and get into "character" for the meeting.
- Position yourself to hear everything clearly. If you continue to interrupt by asking "What?", you will derail the conversation and annoy the speaker.
- If you interrupt and break the other person's concentration, apologize. Then move on.
- Use emotional intelligence to keep the discussion calm, or you'll find the meeting getting out of hand and people losing temper.
- Never stop a discussion to quote Bible verses. It is considered rude.
Leadership lessons from.. (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)
- Explaining your "end state" vision is an important start, but you must coordinate if your vision will be executed by several groups.
- Use delegation wisely. Know when to get involved if things don't go well.
- Take advantage of coaching opportunities to help others find their strengths.
- Be mindful of lead-manage-do. A leader cannot be effective at the high level vision if she is too "hands on" (or "hoofs on", in this case.)
- Identify "stretch" opportunities to develop new leaders.