upstart thoughts on talent and leadership

Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

CEOs Taking $1 Salaries: Matching the Behavior of Optimism to the Rhetoric of Optimism

In ! Jen, Leaders on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 at 4:05 am

Recall the Robert Browning poem that begins: “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.”

There is a growing number of CEOs who, by taking an annual base salary of $1, are sending the message: “Follow me, the best is yet to be.”

Choosing to take one’s compensation in annual and long-term incentives is an interesting conception, with great symbolic meaning. But no one would think for a second that the $1 CEO is being unselfish or taking a path of martyrdom. Rather, he shows he’s willing to have skin in the game; truly believing lasting results will be far superior to any short-term expedients satisfying annual goals alone.

No doubt the net-net for these CEOs will be far fatter coin when dollars are ultimately tallied years from now. And personally, I’d much rather follow the leader who puts her money and true faith where her mouth is.

Great quote from the HBR blog linked above: Executives who realize that leadership is not about being lavished with personal riches, receiving attention, or being served but rather by creating value, developing others, and serving the community are those who inspire the trust and confidence of their colleagues.

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What Matters Now Riff-Off: Reality

In ! Kristy, Change, Leaders on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 at 9:53 am

REALITY

 …There’s no such thing as “steady state” anymore… change is the new black.

 … If you wait until things calm down to launch your project, charter a team, talk to people about their careers, or otherwise get work done, it’ll never happen.

 …Coming to terms personally with constant change, and then leading your team through constant change, is the most important thing you can do as a leader in the current reality.

 … It’s also the most difficult thing to do as a leader… it’s one of those management “perks” they forget to tell you about in the interview.

 … It can be done… with transparency, authenticity, humility/servant leadership, and a keen sense of:

  • Where you are in the change process and what you are doing to help yourself navigate successfully
  • How each individual team member is reacting to the change at any given moment, and how you need to flex your approach to help each of them succeed

 … It’s tempting to gloss over the difficulty of change and take the easy way out.

 … Signs you’re taking the easy way out include:

  •  “I sent a very thorough email about the change… what’s the problem?”
  • (or worse), “Corporate Communications sent a very thorough email about the change… what’s the problem?”
  • “Our external consultant is handling change management; they’ll figure all that stuff out for us.”
  • “The change is long over; time to suck it up and move on.”

 … Constant change requires that we find our grounding, stability and clarity in a place outside of work. And this is not a bad thing at all.

 … Change is exhilarating, challenging, and it can fuel your fears and your cynicism… or your joy and your passion. The cool part is, you get to choose. Choose wisely, peeps!

(Bring it, JLO.)

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