Recently I found an article by Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Local, NY. Kerpen talks about leadership and figures out key principles that great leaders embody. Leadership, an often used term, both in business and sport, also influences our project strongly, as lines are crossed constantly.BeFunky_HDR_1.jpg
The article describes 11 concepts, and we believe that we can take a lot of each of them, not just in terms of direct leadership qualities but also as general company guidelines. Therefore I thought it would be useful, to take a closer look at each of them and add my personal views.
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
I always have to think about Richard Branson’s words, stating that we are having two ears and one mouth and we should use it in that ratio. People often talk too much and forget to listen at the same time. In a highly digitalised world and many social media platforms, to express opinions on one side as well as distracting elements on the other, listening is something we often neglect.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown
Telling a good story is in my view a challenging but highly effective skill. Look into children’s eyes, while they hear a well presented story. They follow every word, they are giving you complete attention, and they draw upon their own picture. This is a great ability, this is what we should take into business and sport environments as well, not just inform people but captivate them, they will love you for this.
“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey
An obvious one, you would think. But everyone knows how difficult it is to be and stay you, especially if unpopular decisions are needed. Is it really you, or is it a mean grumpy business man who just made a difficult decision? But turning it around, it becomes clear that making business with authentic people, those who know who they are, and what they stand for, is much more satisfying than with suspect ones.
“As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” -John Whittier
This is a really important one to us. Since I came up with the idea about 7 Bamboos Rugby, I always wanted to share it. Not just because I am excited about it, but also because I believe that such an idea, becomes better by seeking feedback and inspiration from all sides. I call that the snowball effect. All my friends know about the idea, (to be honest some of them can’t hear it anymore), and it has helped growing it quickly. If we would be unclear and imprecise about what we do and our progresses, I reckon it couldn’t expose the way it does.
5. Team Playing
“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying
As a former rugby player and a current coach, I learned one thing in particular, you never ever can win a game of rugby without the highest level of support. Rugby is probably the ultimate team game, which doesn’t allow individuals to decide a game on its own. Apply that mind set to business and you’ll have a good chance to come up with strong, convincing collective results.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll
Another key principle for us. We learn a lot from everyday experiences, positive and negative ones. Dealing with organisations or individuals, which do not get back to requests for a few days or at all, is something we experienced often and we know how painful it can be. In my opinion, a company has a certain responsibility to respond, to all sorts of requests, and with so many communication platforms available, it isn’t the hardest task in the world.
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin
We are living in a fast-changing world. Inspiring ideas are constantly floating around us. It is a lot about taking them on board and applying to existing concepts. Flexibility is a great ability, that allows keeping a company exciting and it solves problems for your customers.
“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” -Steve Jobs
Part of our mission statement. Great work only evolves with passionate people. 7 Bamboos Rugby is a project, which aims among others for fulfilment. Achieving this aim, only works with a passionate approach. We went for rugby because we love this sport, we went for development, because we love seeing people progressing. Passion, in my view is a highly affective attitude, so we hope that we can transfer it to people around us.
9. Surprise and Delight
“A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” -Charles de Gaulle
A strong leader gives a lot, too. Underline what you give, with an element of surprise, is a strong way to attract an audience. We need to be highly aware about this, as we naturally expect a return for a giving, but giving without expecting returns, is always a good way to secure a bond.
“Less isn’t more; just enough is more.” -Milton Glaser
One of the most fascinating ability, great leaders are equipped with it. Taking a complicated problem and simplify it. This is probably the ultimate service/product you can offer. We know how difficult that is, and therefore we take it into consideration before we launch products or services.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” -Gilbert Chesterton
Eventually a principle, that again should be naturally in companies mission statements. We are highly grateful, for getting the opportunity to turn a passion into a professional career. I am well aware about how few people have that chance. We know we can do this, and we are thankful for it, and we hope that our customers, employees and business partner notice it as well.
The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated –
I think nothing needs to be added to this one!
The original article can be found here.