The Irreducible Components of Leadership

Paul O’Neill The Irreducible Components of Leadership

During a discussion regarding the Hamburg based company JIMDO and them firing 75 awesome people, I was pointed to this awesome talk by Paul O’Neill about leadership (Thanks to @s0enke). Following you can find my notes I took, while I watched the video.

A true leader has to articulate non arguable goals

Finance should not be an objective but a consequence of excellence

In an organisation that has the ‘potential’ for greatness, the people in the organisation can say every day without reservation or hesitation yes to these three questions:

  • I am treated every day with dignity and respect by everyone I encounter, without respect to my gender or my nationality or my race or my educational attainment or my rank or any other discrimination disqualifier.
  • I am given the things I need - training, education, tools, encouragement - so that I can make a contribution that gives meaning to my life.
  • Every day I can say someone I care about and respect, noticed I did it.

It’s the leaders job (and it cannot be delegated to HR) to establish the conditions on an ongoing basis so every person in the institution everyday can say yes to these three propositions. These are goals and cultural characteristics.

Leadership is not writings on the wall, it’s about acting in a noticeable way on the principles you establish, so that people begin to believe that they are real.

We have to keep things personal, not statistical.

You get close to zero (in errors, injuries, failures) by continuous learning and continuous improvement from everything going wrong.

A leader needs to provide running room for people to work to the theoretical limit.

Published: November 01 2016