It’s easy to see why. Immensely likable on stage he is adept at both entertaining and getting across his points with captivating stories, Dilbert-like in their tragicomic tone.
Here are some quips from his presentation today at the World Business Forum in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall:
Leaders must learn to over-communicate: If you are a great leader, your people should be able to do an impression of you when you’re not around.
When we focus on things outside of our circle of influence, our circle of influence shrinks.
Someone may say to me, “I work on a great team, but we don’t win any games.” I say to them, “No, you work on a crappy team. You just happen to like each other.”
Wine is the great elixir of truth at many executive meetings.
One person – just one person – can change the dynamics of a team completely.
If they don’t weigh-in, they’re not going to buy in.
When we don’t get conflict, we don’t get commitment. We get half-hearted, eye-rolling commitment.
Peer pressure is the most important form of accountability we have on teams.
Some people say to me that they look forward to retiring so they can do work that benefits humankind. I want to say to them, The way you manage people has a profound impact on the way people go home and treat their family and kids. You have a ministry now.
While he points the way to high-functioning teams, clearly a pre-requisite for well-run organizations and increased effectiveness, he did not connect the dots to the challenges facing the global business community today, leaving that to the audience. I thought he was funny, entertaining, and had compelling content. I would have liked to learn how to apply his experience and insight to address some of the overwhelming challenges we are facing today in the business world.
Kahan is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and
executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell,
World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of
Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike
Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder
of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a community of CEOs working together
to innovate through the current economy. His next book, Getting Change Right: Guaranteeing Buy-In from Your Most Valuable Players, will be published in spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass.Visit his other blog, GettingChangeRight.com for more info on the book.