One global leadership perspective July 1, 2010Posted by integrityintegrated in Uncategorized.
I get asked a lot if there are differences between leadership qualities around the globe. And my answer is “no”, the essential qualities for leaders don’t differ, no matter where you are in the world.
Today, in the leadership class I’m teaching for CIMBA MBA students in Italy, we heard from an Italian entrepreneurial leader. Luca Seminati is the founder of Ideal Work company. (www.idealwork.it). He kicked off our class this morning by sharing stories and his 5 points of advice about leadership.
1. Get leadership skills and ideas from areas outside of just business. “You can learn a lot from people outside of business. “ Look to religion, community and politics for perspectives. “When I was a participant in leadership courses through CIMBA,” he said, “It was like they walked into my house and pointed to a box that was already there, and said, ‘open it.’ I realized that I already had a great deal of leadership skills but had kept them locked away inside.”
2. Don’t copy other people’s leadership style. Have your own style and remember that other people are always watching you. He cited the experience of the French soccer coach in the World Cup who didn’t cross the field to shake the hand of the other coach after France lost the game. He was later fired by the President of France.
3. Have Passion and Vision. “I have 2o people in my company and we’re constantly talking about the vision of where we are headed.”
4. Find a way to get feedback about your leadership skills. “As you move up the organization, you’ll find that people are more and more reluctant to give you candid feedback. That is when it is even more important.” When he found he was getting niceities and not feedback he asked “Are you SURE there isn’t anything I can do better?” After a couple times of asking, he started to hear better feedback.
5. The most visible person isn’t necessarily the leader. Last year, in 2009, his company sustained heavy damage from a tornado . “It impacted 50% of my business,” he said. He was honest and upbeat with his people and said that while this was going to be a tough time, “we do have insurance and we’ll cover the rest. It will be a difficult couple of months but we’ll get through.” And NOW, the kicker. A number of his people voluntarily slept in the building at night for up to three weeks in order to protect it from intruders. “All because they wanted to do it.”
Thank you Luca for your many words of wisdom!
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