A leader must be careful about how he solves a challenge. If he solves a problem for his team, the best he can hope for is that they are grateful. If he solves the problem with his team, he can help them become more capable. A leader surrounded by admiring people is building a cult, a leader surrounded by capable people is building an organization.
Leaders can become overwhelmed by all that must be done. However, the No. 1 reason we carry the burden is not because we have too much to do; it is because we have too much to "see". We have not fought hard enough for perspicuous clarity. Beware of the “leadership fog”. We should not rush forward faster than we can truly see.
What makes a great leader is not so much what she does, but rather who she is. Developing trustworthy character, unflinching courage, and a transcendent vision requires a move beyond systems and programs. By focusing on our “being”, we elevate our “doing” so that the leader's ontology is more important than her methodology.
Leaders are masters of energy. They master their own, and they shape the energy of those around them. Leaders have an ability to cultivate and extend positive energy within their organizations. This concept transcends, but is connected to the notion of culture. The first job of the leader is to manage energy.
Be careful about judging a man by his self-heroic moments; you must judge him by is ordinary moments. Judge him by those things which to him are ordinary, but perhaps exceptional to others. Every man who aspires to fulfill the image he has of himself has moments where he does something “self-heroic”. But these moments are his exception, not his norm. An extraordinary man truly is defined by his ordinary moments.
As I seek to try and build a beautiful organization, I realize that structure is closely associated with one's concept of beauty. Structure is foundational to design. I find it difficult, however, to devise the ultimate structure for my multifarious operation.
Every form seems flawed. I've learned to survive with ambiguity, and the tradeoffs associated with business, but I suspect that there is a different kind of problem at work here. Overt structure can distract from seeing the natural structure associated with wholeness, health, and beauty. This requires one to think more of business as organism rather than organization.
If the human body were "organized", we would all be dysfunctional, if not dead.
Because we are finite beings, we cannot experience precision. What we consider precise, is only an illusion. The beauty of math is that it allows us to achieve precision in the abstract. The tragedy of math is that this precision cannot be birthed into existential - at least not with our tools. We can conceive of a perfectly straight line, but we cannot create one. I'm weary of our approximate existence.
If you want it to rain you first have to fill the clouds with water. Sometimes activity produces an outcome, even when you can’t draw a direct cause and effect relationship. Working smart is better than working hard, but working hard is better than not working at all.
As a leader, our greatest danger is never the blatant crime that we commit, but rather the lie we tell ourselves first. Our greatest weakness is not our surrender to vice, but rather our enormous capability of deceiving our self. Behind most of our worst deeds is an even worse lie. The number one threat to the leader is self-deception.
My best music is constrained so that I only compose what I cannot say in prose. The subtleties of sound with no meaning but inexplicable symmetry, and of words with indirect meaning but penetrating message, form a canvas for the heart. You do not write a song; the song writes you.