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A fantastic read for anyone looking to learn more about and institute great techniques to build your leadership profile. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Burnison while participating in the LMLP Program in 2014. The course and the inspirational words Mr. Burnison departed on the class helped shape my smooth transition from the U.S. military to the corporate ranks. A great read for anyone looking to understand what leadership is and is not.
Lead Question 5: How to truly prove “inspire & empower” instead of an empty & fake talk? Whenever see and hear the words “inspire and empower”, I can naturally feel the inspiration and empowerment, which leverages on the advantages of words themselves – their pronunciations and imaginable meaning. It can also automatically visualize an authentic leader trumps charisma every day by moving his/her feet, wallet, and the tongue going in the same direction to let people “feel leaders’ force of the passion and commitment to transform the notions into actions”. Accordingly, “people will believe and be inspired to action”. Leaders can’t inspire others before getting themselves inspired by the purpose and strategy. A successful “inspire and empower” can never be working without an authentic leader, the key, who leads movements and realizes the actions narrated in stories. In Lead, “inspire and empower” theory was perfectly conveyed within an ivory tower, provided several positive examples and shared the effective skills. While it didn’t touch the negative impact of wrong “inspire and empower” if leaders ask, hint or tolerate people to do wrong things for obtaining or protecting shared benefits. Any scandals of Arthur Anderson, Lehman Brothers and GSK China etc. could not be done by fake leaders only, but a group of people who were inspired and empowered by their fake leaders to share the same wrong things and damage company’s benefits. This is one risk exists in Lead and get people misled. Empower is not about power, is about “people empower themselves so as the leader”. The Leader’s job “is to motivate them to feel, think, and act – and then to step far enough away from the action to allow them to won the process”. Again, what will happen if the leaders are not authentic, and they give the wrong direction? Or let empowerment become an excuse for fake leaders to take-off the responsibility? Isn’t this another high risk? Among all examples, people only feel truly touched about “inspire and empower” when their leaders help them “by being behind them in success and in front of them in defeat”. My personal experience was I ever highly inspired when my former line manager showed up and demonstrated his passion & commitment when the team is in huge challenges. I do so, and keep learning to do it better. Big figures like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, they have a lot emotional stories of inspiring and empowering their people and even the public, because they both do have values to follow. Otherwise, how can Apple and Microsoft become so great companies leading the world trend? Mr. Gary Burnison, the author of Lead, is the CEO of Korn Ferry International, a world leading HR firm. When his people went on the wrong track, participated in the conspiracy with certain customer for financial target and reached to a crossroad, how should he demonstrate the power of “inspire and empower”? Or chose to tolerate and let people continue to go on their wrong way and eventually step far enough away? If he cannot demonstrate the authentic “inspire and empower” within Korn Ferry, does it mean what he wrote is just a fantasy story, which can never come true but confuse, mislead and even cheat? Therefore, the 6th Absolute of Lead is continually an empty talk.