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Leadership

 

"Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best --and change-- from hearing stories that strike a chord within us....Those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves." - John Kotter, Harvard Business School

One of my favorite traditions every year is to watch the American Super Bowl, both on the personal level for the game itself, and professionally to view the latest batch of TV commercials. Some quick statistics on this year's XLVII edition (1):

 

"Choose a job you like and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

In the hustle and bustle of running through life, we often forget that we are actually on a journey which has an expiration date. My favorite post this week was a reminder that the journey of life is really work in progress. Think of it as a personal resume, an accumulation of individual choices that through time build into your life's work.

 

"Life is divided into three terms - that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the future, and from the present to live better in the future." - William Wordsworth

Having just moved to Europe for three years, 2013 promises to be a year of new experiences, possibilities, and opportunities to shape the future. Timely that this move was at the beginning of a new year.

 

This week's post was inspired by a recent article in "Fortune" magazine where Steve Jobs and Sam Walton were compared and contrasted by their biographers Walter Isaacson and John Huey (1). Walton and Jobs were born in different eras, had very diverse backgrounds, pursued different paths to success, failed a few times along the way, and all while still chasing their career zenith by the end of their lives. In this post, we will discuss the ONE thing they both had in common that ultimately made them superstars in their respective fields.

Let's start with some quotes from both Sam Walton and Steve Jobs.

 

"Individuals score points, but teams win games." - Zig Ziglar

Have you ever been part of a highly motivated team breaking through cross functional barriers with everyone wanting to assist in accomplishing a clear mission targeted at delivering clear results? That breakthrough moment when all the team members are pitching in new ideas and each of those ideas builds great content that everyone buys into to the next level of success. These "can do" euphoric moments do happen and what you are experiencing is that great feeling of being on a winning team.

 

This week's favorite post is all about communications. It is a great reminder that communications is one of the most critical elements for the success or failure of any business. It is also the key component for a satisfying and fulfilling personal life with family and friends.

· Favorite post from this past week: From Harvard Business Review "The Silent Killer of Big Companies" ow.ly/eOUhq

 

Walmart exterior

Building on last week's blog on your own unique success formula, this week we focus on translating those personal skills into profitable business ventures. My favorite news item this past week led me to re-read the Top 10 Rules for BUSINESS SUCCESS written by Wal-mart's founder Sam Walton that are on display in my office. These top ten business success rules are all about focus, passion, discipline, commitment, boundaryless communications, and motivation to win. In other words, familiar themes that build on the personal success formula discussed last week.

 

My favorite post this week went viral on the Business Insider web site with almost 1.4 million views. The article reminded me that the journey of life that we are all on is unique for each of us. There is no magic formula for success. Ultimately, we make the choices on which path to take in our personal future. In many ways, information around us is the food to our thoughts that leads to the choices we make. What we choose to read, what we believe in, how we decide to turn our thoughts into action helps shape the journey.

 

The 2012 London Olympics are now history. As we all cheered through the thrills of victory and yes the agonies of defeat (ABC Sports), we probably missed were some key marketing lessons as they relate to branding. For the Games of the XXX Olympiad, a new technology subplot emerged that in the future will lead participating companies that understand it to either win gold in branding or go home without a medal. Thinking of the marketing lessons from the 2012 Olympics led to selecting the following as the most important post of the week:

Four Leadership Lessons From The Olympics http://ow.ly/cOrdW

Some key 2012 London Olympics statistics to set the scene: