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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Monday, September 26, 2011
This is an extract from a New York Times interview with David Barger, president and chief executive of JetBlue.
Q. How do you talk about leadership within the company?
A. We teach principles of leadership on a regular basis, to supervisors and above. The module I teach is, “Inspiring Greatness in Others,” and we talk a lot about how we each have a silhouette that comes to life. And, as the silhouette comes to life, it’s as much about what you’re doing, the body language, as what you’re saying. There’s a lot of lessons to be learned by watching others make a mistake. And I’ve certainly seen that, in the past. It could be leaders coming in and the next thing you know they’re not visiting the cockpit, they’re not saying hi in the galley, they’re not going to the baggage service office, they’re not stopping by the ticket counter. It doesn’t take a lot. People know you’re there. Go see them. Be present.
Q. What are some other takeaways from your session?
A. There are several, but here’s a few more: Be mindful that there is incredible leadership all around you. Go find it. Go tap it. Go mine it. And here’s a key question: would you want to report to yourself? It’s little things, too. When you say hi to somebody, do you mean it, or is it just a casual comment?
Q. Any leadership insights you’ve gained in the last couple of years?
A. We have executive coaches we’ve used over the last couple of years. The message was, enough consensus building. When it’s time to make a decision and your team’s not making the decision, make the decision. I don’t think I ever was reticent in terms of making a decision. But, as I look back, there were plenty of examples where the team was looking at an issue but not getting a final decision. I think it’s probably the most formative feedback I’ve been given — that it’s fine to be the consensus builder, and I know that’s where I lean in terms of my leadership DNA, but now I am more comfortable saying, “This is what we’re going to do. Next topic.”
For more, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/25/business/early-access-as-a-fast-track-to-learning.html?_r=1