founder of naked leader

Leadership from a different perspective – Mine!

Naked Leader Week – 205 (w/c Monday 7 May 2007)

Leadership from a different perspective – Mine!

With a very big announcement coming next week, I thought I would share my favourite extracts from The Naked Leader and The Naked Leader Experience. I have many bits I love (and some I wish I had never written), so I will keep them brief.

The Naked Leader (Link to Amazon with picture of cover)

My favourite here is easy – the first words I ever wrote:

23     “Recapture the magic…” (In Leadership of Culture Journey)

 Go into any new company, one that is just starting out. Witness the enthusiasm, energy and excitement as the founders discuss their dreams, shape their future and make their plans a positive reality. Feel the culture of a new project at its launch – a new team comes together for the first time, full of hope and expectation at the success ahead of them. Experience a company as it grows fast; see the ideas, instinct and imagination flow through everyone involved, like a collective heartbeat of inspiration. It is a healing process, providing an atmosphere of certainty in the destiny that is being shaped by constructive forces.

 Go into any large company, one that has been established for a while. Introduce a management initiative, call it total quality anything, or continuous improvement, or worse still, business process reengineering, then stand back and watch. The blame starts slowly at first, then grows, fast. It eats its way through an organisation, freezing new ideas, initiative and action in its wake. It is like a virus of negativity. War breaks out as everyone focuses on saving costs, avoiding failure, and rooting out anyone who dares to make a mistake. It is a harming process, providing an atmosphere of inevitability in the disaster that is being shaped by destructive forces.

 My immediate challenge was that I loved this so much I didn’t write anything else for about a week!

And the lines I wish I hadn’t written:

If you want to learn about that, [the theory of leadership] go read an academic book and good luck at staying awake.

At best uncalled for, at worst insulting. My defence to the furore it caused was that I didn’t ever think anyone would ever buy the book, let alone read it!

The Naked Leader Experience (Link to Amazon with picture of cover)

So, there I was, ready to start writing book two. I remember the day well, I had got up really early to make a start, and set myself a target of writing two chapters that day. I opened Word and stared at the blank screen for ages- and I mean at least 30 minutes. All of the usual distractions and excuses beckoned – coffee, e-mail, solitaire. So, one Saturday morning at 7am, having been awake for two hours, I had still not written anything.

And then it came to me – if only 10% of business and personal development books are read past the first chapter (and only 1% ever finished), how many are never even begun?

And so I typed:

Thank you for reading this far.

And that was it for the morning, feeling very proud of those six words, and managing to control my voice that was whispering – “well done, smart-arse, just another 79,994 to go”

And the bit I wish I hadn’t included…

The piece about building teams using astrology:

 Astrology offers methods to describe and explain the specific talents, predispositions, strengths and weaknesses each person brings to the group with whom they work.

Not because it was out of the box thinking, not even because many translations missed it out completely, rather because I found myself embroiled in numerous e-mail debates I was simply not qualified to have.

The greatest compliment a writer can ever receive is for people to read what they have written, so…

If you have read this far – thank you, it means a lot to me

If you have not read this far – oh, I wish I’d used those pointless seven words, somewhere…

With love and best wishes




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