Leadershipbydesign
News From LBD
February 2011 Volume 3 Issue 2
A Costly Mistake or a Learning Investment?

    Tom Watson Jr., CEO of IBM between 1956 and 1971, was a key figure in the information revolution. Watson repeatedly demonstrated his abilities as a leader, never more so than in this example.   

 

    A young executive had made some decisions that cost the company several million dollars. He was summoned to Watson's office, fully expecting to be dismissed. As he entered the office, the young executive said, "I suppose after that set of mistakes you will want to fire me." Watson was reported to have replied, "Not at all, young man, we have just spent a couple of million dollars educating you."

 

    This story provides a strong message of support and a reminder that some of the most powerful lessons we can learn are from our "so called" failures or difficult times and how we respond to them. 

 

    A characteristic of good leadership is to see things differently.  Watson's response illustrates the importance of vision over short sightedness. It is seeing mistakes as an investment in learning.  

 

(Source: Organizational Culture and Leadership by Edgar Schein) 

  
 

What Leaders are Reading
 

 

Organizational Culture and Leadership by Dr. Edgar H. Schein - Published in 1992, Organizational Culture and Leadership is a must read for all who live and work in organizations. Leaders, managers, members, and consultants will especially want to digest its rich cultural descriptions and classic principles for understanding and managing organizational culture and leadership.

The Bible, The book of Nehemiah -
When looking for a book on leadership principles, the average person is not likely to think of the Bible as a resource. But, to a discerning reader, the Bible has much more to offer than spiritual guidance. Nehemiah, the sixteenth book of the Old Testament, for example, is a compendium of leadership principles and techniques.

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Leadership Tip of The Month

Many organizations will hire good people only to let them go when it "appears" the job isn't getting done. These people were hired because they had the talents, traits and characteristics to be successful. They just weren't developed. This is a "costly mistake" that could have been a "learning investment."
The investment in training, which is teaching someone new skills, is huge.  The investment in development, getting someone to use their skills more often and more effectively, is rare.
The key to success in any organization is the development of its most valuable resource, its people.

For additional information contact LBD.
John Branstad
John Branstad

Quote of the Month

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Thomas Edison
John Branstad
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