Stephen Covey had an uncanny ability to push his ego aside and make others feel included and valued. Even though we only met three times, he inspired me year after year to weave these key philosophies into my daily business activities.
Leaders' primary objective is to empower others to make decisions and take actions that are aligned with the organization’s vision, purpose, and strategy. These nuances are the softer side of leadership, beyond the technical skills that you have already mastered.
Ken O'Brien was an NFL quarterback in the 1980s and 1990s. Early in his career, he threw a lot of interceptions, so one clever team lawyer wrote a clause into O'Brien's contract penalizing him for each one he threw. The incentive worked as intended: His interceptions plummeted. But that's because he stopped throwing the ball.
Years ago, AT&T executives tried to encourage productivity by paying programmers based on the number of lines of code they produced. The result: programs of Proustian length.
1. Paper Route USA Today became the nation's largest daily newspaper by getting inertia on its side. Twenty-two percent of its average daily circulation of 2.3 million readers comes from getting its paper distributed in hotels.
2. Spend to Save
Wachovia's Way2Save program is a real-world version of Thaler's Save More Tomorrow experiment. With each use of its check card or online bill payment, Wachovia transfers $1 into a savings account that has a 5% annual percentage yield.