Day 11: People

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When you’re changing, even the best people can be difficult.  Be honest and transparent about what you want to do and where you are going.  Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5W Public Relations, says about building one of the top 25 U.S. public relations firms (in an industry famous for its turnover), “Realize just how hard it is to find and retain really good, strong people. Growing (and retaining) my nearly 100 employees is more important than any individual action I can take.”

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Day 10: Pigs

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It’s easier to change the person in the job than it is to change a person.  Even Donald Trump sometimes feels terrible about using his catchphrase.  It sucks.  As a change agent, it’s important to know when you should fire yourself from certain roles. Move out of the way and be a leader.  Pigs are lousy kissers.

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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Much will be written today about the incredible contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King.

“During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history.” http://www.thekingcenter.org/about-dr-king

As we pause to reflect, let’s allow ourselves to be deeply stirred and then equally motivated to dust off good intentions and get to work on this business of change.

Without hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the primitive forces of social stagnation. So we must help time and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”
“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. – Change Agent

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Day 9: Seams

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Leaders are seam operators, they don’t get involved in the day-to-day.  I tell my team all the time, “I don’t want to know or hear about how the sausage is made unless someone died.”  It’s a fine balance to keep informed and push the questions that cause tension while not getting overly involved in the details. How about you? Give me an example of when you created tension in order to affect positive change.

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Day 8: Drive

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In my own company, I like to create an atmosphere where my team isn’t afraid to ask questions, take risks and initiate change.  I encourage healthy debate; but sometimes you have to crack a big whip in order to create the tension you need.  Note: you don’t actually have to use it.  Every leader needs people on their teams who are creative, resourceful, problem solvers. But they also need risk-takers, those unafraid to step forward without all the answers and take some chances. Those creative jumps have been the result of many great advancements. We’ve got to be the change we want to see in the world.

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