Leadership Elements by Erwin McManus

In our leadership/entrepreneurship track, Erwin McManus shared the following ideas on executing what we want to execute:

“There are two critical questions to ask yourself as a leader:

Are you solving a problem that others want to be solved? Are you the person others perceive can solve that problem?

Have you ever recruited someone who seemed to have great talent only to find out they did not? Often it is the result of assuming that someone who is talented in one area is talented in all areas.

‘Recruit and find A people, tolerate B people, and fire the C people.’ – Jack Welch of General Electric

What if the issue is that all of us have A within us if as long as we find our A space?

Elements that we bring to the table as a leader:

Capacity – Not everyone has the the same capacity. Often we move people into areas where they cannot succeed. To determine your capacity, consider how quickly you get stressed. How long do people continue to follow you? Teach others how to deal with stress – to manage what they can and let go of those things they cannot.

Ceiling – Not everyone has the same ceiling. Someone with a high ceiling raises up to the level of leadership required and then ask: what else can I do? Consider: are talented people willing to work with you? It is best when you can work effectively with people who are more talented than you are.

Complexity – Not everyone can take on the same level of complexity. Those who struggle with complexity tend to move everything towards simplicity and uniformity. Those with a low level of complexity tend to be drawn towards environments where everyone is the same since diversity can be complex.

Competencies – Are you willing to work towards learning the skills necessary to accomplish what needs to be done? Competencies can be learned and developed over time.

Essence – Do you personify the cultural values you need for your organization to succeed? A group of individuals does not make up a team. People can feel whether or not we fit the vision. We can sense this instinctively. Essence is about building trust. We cannot create a world that is not reflective of who we are.

Instincts – People are solving the wrong problems right. Our instincts are off. Instincts can be improved through experience (rather than schooling). Failure can be really helpful in this. The more patterns I see, the more instinctive I become. Great athletes have muscle memory. We can develop leadership memory.”


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