Simple Leadership Lessons


I’m a simple guy and I tend to lose focus when I’m listening to long, drawn out explanations and teachings (more on that in a different post), so I think that’s why I’m attracted to quick lists of insights. Just give me the nuggets and I’ll decipher whether or not they’re applicable to my ministry/leadership environment. Here’s one of those lists that I found on Russ Hollman’s “Strategize” blog. These insights are attributed to Bill Swanson, CEO of Raytheon, from a Business 2.0 article available on the Raytheon website:

  1. You can’t polish a sneaker. (“Even if you polish a hollow shell, it’s still nothing more than a hollow shell.”)
  2. Learn to say “I don’t know.” If used when appropriate, it will be used often.
  3. You remember 1/3 of what you read, 1/2 of what people tell you, but 100 percent of what you feel.
  4. Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what’s there; few can see what isn’t there.
  5. Never direct a complaint to the top; a serious offense is to “cc” a person’s boss on a copy of a complaint before the person has a chance to respond.
  6. Treat the name of your company as if it were your own.
  7. Have fun at what you do. It will be reflected in your work. No one likes a grump except another grump!
  8. When faced with decisions, try to look at them as if you were one level up in the organization. Your perspective will change quickly.
  9. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
  10. When something appears on a slide presentation, assume that the world knows about it and deal with it accordingly.
  11. A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter — or others — is not a nice person. (This rule never fails.)
  12. When facing issues or problems that are becoming drawn out, “short them to ground.” (Find the quickest path from problem to solution.)

Good list for leaders. I guess that’s how someone becomes CEO of Raytheon. You have to know smart stuff and make it easy to understand for simple guys.

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