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Notes – The Physics & Chemistry of Leadership

Notes from a leadership talk given in 2013

  1. The Business Physics Law of Ownership: “the responsibility for the performance, productivity, morale and attitude of the employees rests with the leader”
  2. Four-House Management: “maintaining balance among all 4 houses is critical”
    1. growth
    2. control
    3. process
    4. culture; drives all the other houses
    5. Kotter-Heskett Question: adaptive cultures have higher productivity per employee and thus higher net profit
    6. Zappos Company Culture Handbook, available on website
    7. Steam Employee Handbook
    8. Lou Gerstner
  3. The Law of the Poker Chips: “never confuse activity with results”
    1. focus on blue chip items rather than white chip items (easily identified/quantified items that can be checked off)
    2. identify your REAL priorities; plan and organize EVERYTHING around these priorities
    3. attention is all there is
    4. Annie Maddox:
      1. the ability to concentrate
      2. the ability to operate w/ consistent self-discipline
      3. the ability to turn abstract objectives into concrete goals and achieve them
      4. the ability to build a cohesive, focused team around those objectives
  4. The Law of F & V: “my willingness to adapt will determine my performance potential”
    1. performance potential is a function of
      1. versatility
      2. flexibility
  5. Social Learning Theory: “self-management must precede people management because most organizational behaviors are learned through observation and modeling:”
    1. credibility killers
      1. unenforced policies or operational procedures
      2. failure to resolve weak performance or work execution issues, especially when they impact other employees
      3. failure to resolve employees toxic behavior issues
      4. apparent lack of responsiveness to correctable process problems
      5. emotionally immature behavior among leaders
    2. if you can simply manage your conversation, almost everything else in life will fall into place ~ Mike Corbit
    3. you don’t have to be a perfect leader but you do have to improve, if people see you making progress this gives you leverage
    4. Dr. Albert Bandura
  6. Propulsion Theory: “energy comes from purpose”
    1. emotional intelligence
      1. self-awareness
      2. self-control
      3. self-motivation
      4. empathy for others
      5. ability to influence others
    2. what do employees care about?
      1. treatment
      2. communication
      3. meaningfulness
    3. what is motivation?
      1. the internal force that prompts to action
  7. The Chemistry Law: “human behavior is based primarily on chemistry and emotion, not logic”
    1. “stress makes people stupid.”
    2. nothing grows in nature without stress
    3. growth only occurs with the carefully managed application of appropriate levels of stress
    4. the discovery principle: positive discovery triggers the release of chemicals whose net result is the feeling of physiological betterment
  8. The Law of Engagement: “increasing our level of engagement will increase their level of engagement”
    1. total, active involvement
    2. emotional connection
    3. full participation
    4. complete interlocking for the purpose of transferring power
  9. The Algebra Teacher: “leadership success depends on desire, willingness and ability to influence, teach and develop people”
  10. Pygmalion Management: “the leader knows that how they think about employees affects their performance because people will rise or fall to the level of our expectations”
  11. The Power of Electricity: “increased productivity is a result of increased self-esteem, which is a result of ongoing, learned and personal achievement”
    1. A leader is a dealer in hope. ~Bonaparte
  12. The Power of Self-Discovery: “questions are more powerful than answers”
    1. we want to ask enough well thought-out questions to lead to either self-discovery and progress on the employees’ part or useful understanding on our part
    2. “if it was your ship, what would you do?”
  13. The Law of the Cheetah: “productivity improves as communication improves because perception drives behavior”
    1. it is the responsibility of the manager assigning the task to ensure that the request was received, understood and executed
  14. Inertia and Entropy: “never ignore unsatisfactory behavior or performance”
    1. an object at rest tends to stay at rest, in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force
    2. the natural progression of everything in the universe is from order to chaos
  15. Curing Frustration: “the primary difference between great managers and average managers is often their willingness and ability to take action”
    1. “action cures frustration”
    2. 6 basic functions of a supervisor
      1. hire carefully, and hire character first
      2. train, teach, instruct and develop
      3. monitor and evaluate progress
      4. provide feedback, adjustment and input for correction and improvement
      5. keep people focused
      6. create and maintain an environment that is inspiring and energizing
    3. EPT training
      1. you watch me
      2. we do it together
      3. I’m going to watch you
      4. we review it
      5. I watch you teach
      6. you take ownership
  16. The Power of Niagara Falls: “part of leadership is being aware of theater, which creates energy”
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