Good and Bad Leadership

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder.” Laurence J. Peter

Leadership is the most difficult role anyone can take.  Leaders step up, make decisions, and do the hard things – which not everyone understands.  Not so tough for managers who keep the status quo under control.

I hear a lot of comments about “good leaders” and “bad leaders,” and while there are some that fit those definitions, we have to be sure we’re not labeling people through the lens of how we see ourselves.  That “good leader” you may have in mind may look good to you because of how you see leadership, while others see them as terrible leaders because they don’t resonate with their views.  So your perception can be right for you, but it may not be right.

I always tell people that the first step toward leadership is gaining enough self-awareness that you understand the role service plays.  You’ll never be a leader if you don’t understand the connection to serving the people you lead.

Otherwise, you’re probably just another loud manager.

Easter Creativity

You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” – Walt Disney.

First of all, Happy Easter, He is risen.

Ever get into a discussion of creativity with one of those, “I’m the creative one around here,” or “all creativity comes from one department?”

Well, it’s wrong.  Creativity and creative people are all around you. I’m fortunate enough to work in a place heavily populated with creativity, as this video about Easter shows. The author, writer, and producer, Mark Ornelas isn’t in radio programming or marketing, but his creativity and communication skills are unmistakable.

When it comes to creativity, my mind always wanders over to Walt Disney.  The man was not only creative, but he was so “systematically.”  He established a framework of producing creativity through the lens of three roles.

The Dreamer has the visionary, big picture role.  This is where ideas start.

The Realist is the one who thinks constructively and devises an action plan for the vision.

The Critic (the most familiar role) tests the idea, looks for problems and unintended consequences.

The best ideas come when all three roles are present, but that’s not what typically happens.  If the roles are completely separate instead of a continuum, they fight each other.  Some say that all three roles can be handled by one person, but I know more people who think they are that person than are. The best creativity necessitates all three roles being involved.

So one of three things happens.  We tilt to one role or the other roles, and miss the totality, bringing about a “good idea” that goes nowhere.  Or we outsource our creativity and innovation to people who have convinced us they are that three-in-one person. Lastly, we just stop being creative – we give up on even trying to be more creative.

Creativity isn’t a department or a person, and it’s not a collection of good ideas that, in the end, don’t “put points on the scoreboard” at all.  They’re just cool ideas.

Mark and his video showed me that creativity isn’t that elusive, it’s right under our noses if we look for it.

Beyond Just The Games

 “Unless you are prepared to give up something valuable you will never be able to truly change at all, because you’ll be forever in the control of things you can’t give up.” – Andy Law


Pandora now has an app for the Microsoft XBOX system.

Not really earth shaking…or is it?

Gaming is huge, which draws people to XBOX, and then XBOX provides them an entrée into movies, the web, and music.

Pandora uses Kinect to allow people to listen, vote, and change songs with just a gesture. So Pandora has now integrated themselves into yet another popular distribution channel. Have you heard the old story about finding a parade getting in front of it?

But both may soon be rendered obsolete as Virtual Reality achieves broad acceptance over the next five years.  Change is a fact of life.

My point here is to show how unimaginative and lame most of our radio apps are. Radio will not continue to succeed by being “good enough,” at a time when the life cycle of an app becomes shorter and shorter.  Let’s do something different that really intrigues the listener/consumer, and be prepared to understand that change is faster and more constant than ever.

The Value Of Never Giving Up

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. – Pele, sort of ok “football” player.

I spent some time at the Oregon coast recently, which brought me to the guy on the skim board, in front of our rental.

He, at least I think it was a he, hard to tell with a wet-suit.  But that’s not the point.

In this shot, it looked like he was trying to become one with the ocean.  He leaned over, studied the water, and then stepped off into the waves.

As much as I’d like to make this a story of overcoming adversity, but it’s not.  Time after time he stepped off and lost the board in the first wave.  Good thing he was wearing a wet-suit.

The remarkable thing to watch was how he never gave up.  Time after time he’d step off, not make it, and do it over.  I found myself really respecting his refusal to give up when I knew many people I know would call him a failure.

The problem with being perfect is that that guy is already taken.  There’s only one perfect person, and I’m ok with that.  For the rest of us, we can only accept it.

So whoever you were out there along the Lincoln City beach, a digital high five from all of the rest of us who understand not giving up and applaud your efforts.