He regularly leads Wharton graduates on leadership treks to the Himalayas. Occasionally the arrangements violated civil service rules, but when told to conform, Kranz invented ways around them. Implicit comprehension was a key objective of the team building: "You learn to use the nonverbal communication," Kranz says. The flight teams then challenged the astronaut teams on the football field. Other seasons produced still more competitive sports, even judo.
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In these stories leaders are born and tested. The cases can be applied universally. Each account is about an individual who faced unusual circumstances and overcame them using critical leadership skills. Each of the nine stories Useem describes depicts challenges that had to be thought through in order to have a successful outcome.
The leaders in these stories displayed the courage needed to lead while facing challenges. Wagner Dodge faces the decision of a lifetime by creating a fire in order to escape a fast-moving forest fire that overtakes his firefighting crew.
Eugene Kranz struggles to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts home after an explosion rips through their spacecraft. John Gutfreund loses Salomon Brothers when his inattention to a trading scandal almost topples the wall street giant.
Useem defines leadership as the act of making a difference. He states "Leadership entails changing a field strategy or revamping a languishing organization. It requires us to make an active choice among plausible alternatives, and it depends on bringing others along, on mobilizing them to get the job done.
Leadership is at its best when the vision is strategic, the voice persuasive, and the results tangible. Useem examines each story and develops the following key lessons for leaders to take heed of: Clearheaded thinking about why you have been appointed to an office and what those who have placed you there expect of you is a prerequisite to clear-minded, if not predictable, decision making. If your organization is facing a period of uncertainty, change, or stress, now is the time to build strong culture with good lines of interior communication, mutual understanding, and shared obligation.
A clear sense of common purpose and a well-formed camaraderie are essential ingredients to ensure that your team, your organization, or your company will perform to its utmost when it is most needed. Expecting high performance is prerequisite to its achievement among those who work with you. Your high standards and optimistic anticipations will not guarantee a favorable outcome, but their absence will assuredly create the opposite.
Developing teams, and teams of teams, through training and exercise can create the implicit understandings that make for fast and accurate decision making when the teams are under duress but must act.
A new position of leadership will engender the experience you lack on arrival, and seeking feedback on your performance in the position will ensure that you take advantage of the experience. Recognizing when autonomous action is the right course-and learning to act on that recognition-can be essential, both for yourself and for those on whom you depend. Consultation with them, engagement of them, and appeals to them are the critical steps for building acceptance of the change.
Linking Performance Management and Leadership Leaders play a vital role in the success of performance management. Making decisions that will help employees reach organizational goals involves giving employees the opportunity to participate in developing their performance plans. Great teams have great team leaders. It is important to embrace team spirit and to communicate with the staff, so that it is clear what the mission is and how it will get accomplished.
Recognizing and rewarding good performance builds relationships between the supervisor and employees, which results in good teams willing to follow and complete the mission.
Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their Lessons for Us All
Leadership Content Ample research shows that leadership makes the greatest difference when the world around us is uncertain, and we are unsure about what lies ahead. We also know that the impact will be greatest when it comes not only from the apex but also from the middle ranks and front lines, writes Michael Useem in this opinion piece. Useem is faculty director of the Leadership Center and McNulty Leadership Program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and author of books on leadership during crisis. What an extraordinary and terrifying moment for us all. We are victims of one of the most dreadful and far-reaching disasters of our lifetimes.
It’s Your Leadership Moment
It is my view that one of the most effective ways of preparing for such challenges is by looking at what others have done when their own leadership was on the line. By examining their experience and asking what they did and what they could have done, and by wondering what you would have done yourself, you can better anticipate what you should do when faced with your own leadership challenges. This book presents accounts of nine such experiences. The reader will naturally find herself reliving them and reflecting on what she would have in these situations. Am action gripping and learning filled read on leadership!
In these stories leaders are born and tested. The cases can be applied universally. Each account is about an individual who faced unusual circumstances and overcame them using critical leadership skills. Each of the nine stories Useem describes depicts challenges that had to be thought through in order to have a successful outcome. The leaders in these stories displayed the courage needed to lead while facing challenges. Wagner Dodge faces the decision of a lifetime by creating a fire in order to escape a fast-moving forest fire that overtakes his firefighting crew. Eugene Kranz struggles to bring the Apollo 13 astronauts home after an explosion rips through their spacecraft.