Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Learn from Reading 'Leadership 2.0': Character

Being a leader is to incorporate what you believe into the company vision and mission. Sometimes, what you want and what the company wants could be different. But you need to do your best to put them together. To this end, you need to develop your character so that people can look up to and do their best to follow you. You need integrity, credibility, and value differences.


"Integrity is the consistency between what you say, what you do, what you value, and what your organization values."
Integrity is what people don't talk about often. They only talk about it when something went wrong, at your retirement party or after you retire, and other occasions. Yet, it is something you should always embrace. You should have it without having someone remind you of it.
Yet, sometimes, it's hard to keep your integrity intact, especially when you need to get things done quickly. Adopt the following strategies to avoid tarnishing your integrity:

  1. Do what you say. You are the leader. So, you need to do what you say all the time, not just in the company. Keep you behavior like what you say at all time, e.g., in the office, during elevator talk, in a golf course, basically everywhere.
  2. Do not put your self-interest first.
  3. Don't lose yourself. Your family, personal belief, and anything that make up you also matter. Do not throw away yourself for the sake of the company. Find the right balance.
  4. Take a good look at yourself regularly. Does what you are align with what your organization want you to be?
  5. Be a good steward. Take care of your people. Put away your personal interest.
  6. Use your integrity as a flag. Say and do everything according to your integrity, not according to situation. If you can do this, you will live without regret.


Credibility makes others believe in you and want to follow you. It consists of the past and the present. People look at your three following attributes and give credibility you deserve: What you know (expertise in your field), who you are (understanding your strength and style), and how you conduct yourself (how you treat others). Here are five steps to improve your credibility:

  1. Earn it. Credibility is not something you can declare that you have. You have to demonstrate great behavior. Bits by bits, people will give you more credibility.
  2. Be a good example. Don't just talk and do things differently.
  3. Broaden your knowledge. Get just deep enough to be able to discuss with your team.
  4. Be consistent. Be credible everyday, not just some days.
  5. Be slient when you need to. Do not try to find situation all the time. Sometimes, silence is the best solution. Listen. You might hear a solution from the other side.
  6. See the forest. Do not try to see every single tree. Don't micro manage. Focus on the big picture.

     There are two notes about credibility. First, credibility cannot be created quickly. You need to be patient. Secondly, credibility cannot be created by you. You need other to see your credibility by themselves.

Value Differences

Being a leader is about trusting others to do the job. Leaders who don't understand this and cannot force themselves to do this end up either

  • Micro manage everyone. Get in every single details and make everyone frustrated. These leaders trust no one and get uneasy when having to let go of the job.
  • Try to be a hero by saving everyone. These leaders trust no one and believe that only they can do the job, or
  • Want to be a hero by taking all the credits. These leaders don't like smart people because they are threaten by smart people.

     Good leaders, on the other hand, understand that everyone is different. Everyone has different value to offer. They exploit the variety of their people and harvest the best out of them.
     Here are a few strategies that help you understand the difference and capitalized on the variety of your people:

  1. Avoid getting a person like you. People generally like a similar person, e.g., being good at the same thing, sharing hobbies. Avoid working with these people, because it's just like working with yourself. You don't get value variety. Find people whose skill complement yours. You will get a lot more benefit.
  2. Respect and value opinions especially those coming from people with different background.
  3. People from different background may have different point of view. Treat them how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated.
  4. Remember. You can't do it alone.

People don't like change. So, embracing difference could be difficult. But, if you can, it will be a great source of asset that you don't currently have.
Source: Leadership 2.0 by Travis Bradberry, Jean Greaves 

Book or Audiobooks?

          Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post]. 
          There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into audible.com. You can keep downloading the over and over again.
    About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.