I’ve been unplugged for about 12 days and it felt wonderful! Caught up on a bunch of family time, a bunch of sleep, a bunch of eating and basically forgot about email and work – well for the most part. One thing I was able to do on vacation, that I don’t get to do regularly, is read the paper – not the online version, but a real get-your-hands-a-bit-dirty paper, I love that! Just sitting in a quiet house, before everyone is up, just catching up on the world. I start with the sports section, spend probably 50% of my time there, then the business section, then the front page, and finally the personal journal/back page/health wellness/entertainment section – whatever that thing is called in your hometown.
Much to my surprise I actually found an article that I thought was actually worth blogging about – and more to my surprise – I was unable to find the copy anywhere online – even at the local paper I was reading! Can you imagine – actual content that has never seen the internet – who knew!?!
The article was actually an interview with Scott Durschslag the current CEO at Expedia, he was also the previous CEO at Skype, so I was intrigued to what he had to say. Mostly they were talking about the future of travel, in regards to online booking, etc., but stuck in the middle was an actual question about Leadership and Management, whereas the reporter asked him why Expedia who prevail over other travel sights and he got into his leadership theory. Durschslag said he has 3 “management” traits that he focuses on, which are:
1. Define a clear vision and strategy. (I think this is probably two traits – vision and strategy aren’t quite the same – but it’s a good start)
2. Get the required investment. (This one is a bit tricky, for most HR folks I think they immediately go to the finance portion of “investment”, but what he was referring to was the investment you need from your workforce to be successful. Your people need to be invested in the vision and strategy, if they aren’t, you will fail every single time)
3. Put great people in charge and empower them. (Yep, get yourself out of the way – a great leadership trait to have, but extremely hard to do for most leaders!)
It just sounds so easy!
The fact is, it’s not – defining a clear vision is a skill most people just don’t have, getting your people to buy into your crazy vision is even harder, and then you want me to just watch someone else put it all together! Yep. Stay thirsty my friends.
Consider these 4 Questions departing IBM CEO Sam Palmisano asks of IBM’s leaders…
“Why would someone spend their money with you — so what is unique about you?”
“Why would somebody work for you?”
“Why would society allow you to operate in their defined geography — their country?”
“And why would somebody invest their money with you?”