Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Affirmative leadership

We'll be writing and talking a lot about leadership as we chart the way through The Present Troubles, but here's one theme you can take to the bank now: it's essential for you to demonstrate and model an affirmative, optimitistic approach.

Pollyanna? Not at all. In fact, I think a cleareyed, honest approach is the only one that will work long-term. But being honest about the present doesn't mean being negative about the future. The people who successful guide this company to the future will be those who believe in it, have a vision of where to go and a passion for getting there.

I'm no Steve Ballmer fan (I have a great t-shirt from the Microsoft Eradication Society) but I think he said this very well in his NYT interview recently:

You've got to be very realistic about where you are, but very optimistic about where you can be ... And the day you can't be both of those things, you shouldn't be a leader of a company like Microsoft. You have to believe; you have to believe; you have to believe.''

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