Nonprofit Performance 360 Issue 12

Executive Office


Sustainable Leadership

• If you’re organized, you’ll find time for everything. Take as big a bite of the apple as you want. • Keep success as well as failure in perspective and always play by the rules. Never think you have to cheat to win; there’s no need to bend your principles. Cheating to win is a hollow victory at best, and you won’t feel good about yourself. • We don’t have an ethics crisis. If anything, it’s a leadership crisis. It all goes back to the top. Leaders must lead by example. • Enjoy what you do. Work hard. Move quickly. Laugh a lot. If there is a screw- up, it’s a team screw-up. Have more than engaged minds in the workplace. Achieving and maintaining good health requires individual effort. Such effort is particularly essential for individuals holding jobs that do not require physical labor. Anyone will deteriorate physically sitting at a desk with no regular physical exercise. Work eight hours and sleep eight hours, but make sure that they are not the same hours. I believe I was put on this Earth to make money and be generous with it. That’s my underlying driver, and that’s what I’ve continually tried to do. continued on page 44

The most important quality in a good leader is to be willing to make decisions. Don’t fall victim to what I call the ready- aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome. To stand up, stand tall, and be a leader, you must be willing to fire. Business leaders and entrepreneurs can learn from President Reagan’s management style and communication practices. He always left an audience with the impression he was sincere, approachable, and a regular guy. These qualities are described in James Strock’s Reagan on Leadership in a way that is invaluable for today’s executive. It should be required reading in business schools across America. There are three kinds of business management styles. Some see changes coming well in advance and may even accelerate the process. Some see changes coming just in time to adjust before it’s too late. Some never see changes coming, so they don’t adjust. A management style is an amalgamation of the best of other people you have known and respected, and eventually you develop your own style. I never consciously manage anybody. I try to lead people. Here is my analysis of performance greatness for an entrepreneur, leader, and doer.

• Learn to analyze well. Assess risks and prospective rewards, because there is no substitute for good research. • Leadership transforms good intentions into positive action, turning a group of individuals into a team. • Be a team player. • Be patient. Remember the old adage: patience is a great virtue. • Be realistic. Dream, but don’t be a daydreamer. • Concentrate on the goals, not on the size of the organization. • Forget about age. Give young people a chance. • Keep things informal. Talking is a natural way to do business. Writing is great for keeping records and pinning down details, but talk generates ideas. • Make sure as many people as possible have a stake in the game. • Learn from mistakes. It’s all right to get your fingers crushed in the door, but don’t let the same door crush them twice. • Stay fit. Physical fitness is an essential part of the best-run companies, for it has economic as well as spiritual and psychological benefits. • Practice moderation. Balance family life and work.There’s plenty of time for play, but plan it.

14 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker