I read somewhere that leaders should sharpen tools not blame them. I think this is particularly apt when we consider leadership under the lens of constant learning. The best leaders are the best learners and if we identify a tool that is under-performing or not serving the purpose, we should learn how to get that tool to do the job we want it to do. It might mean repurposing the tool, changing certain aspects or “sharpening” it as mentioned in the opening sentence of this post.
Leaders are sharpeners of tools and are constantly looking to learn new ways of doing things or adapting tools to suit the job to be done.
Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
la investigación y el desarrollo no son iguales a la innovación; que la innovación implica la capacidad de coordinar el aprendizaje a través de entidades y funciones distintas – EMC
R&D does not equal innovation; innovation implies the ability to coordinated learning across distinct entities and functions – EMC
Here is an excerpt from an article I wrote several years ago about leadership. Rings true today as I study and write about balance and successful leadership in organizations in Latam.
… about forming other leaders.
I have “taken the helm” of a sailboat many times. I don’t remember having to ask for permission. Leadership means forming other leaders and inspiring others to take risks, take action and help to further the shared vision. It’s not about control or power but rather about giving those things to others so that the whole can be larger than the sum of its parts.
“No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.” Peter Drucker
“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” — Ralph Nader
The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“You don’t convince people by challenging their longest and most firmly held opinions. You find common ground and work from there. Or you look for leverage to make them listen. Or you create an alternative with so much support from other people that the opposition voluntarily abandons its views and joins your camp.”
— Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is the Way
Inspired by a HBS course I am taking, here is Clayton Christensen talking about deciding what you stand for and stand for is 100% of the time! Enjoy today’s Savvy Saturday! – EMC
The lesson I learned from this is that it’s easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time. If you give in to “just this once,” based on a marginal cost analysis, as some of my former classmates have done, you’ll regret where you end up. You’ve got to define for yourself what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place.”