Newsletter May 2024

Newsletter May 2024

It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top

Organisational Psychologist Adam Grant believes that,

“Insecure leaders strive to be the most powerful person in the room. They make others feel weak so they alone can stay strong. Secure leaders aim to amplify the power of the room. They use their strength to make others stronger. The best and highest use of power is to share it.”

Adam Grant quote for Newsletter May 2024

Wow. That hit us. You don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room. Leadership is often portrayed as a symbol of strength, resilience, and having all the answers. The reality is startlingly different.

Recently we’ve been hearing more from leaders in our client base on how lonely it can be at the top! Often, when people move into leadership roles for the first time, they assume that from now on, the burden of having all the answers falls squarely on their shoulders and theirs alone.

Common Leadership Myths

  • As a leader I am supposed to have all the answers
  • Leaders are supposed to be the smartest people in the room
  • Leaders are only supposed to deliver good news
  • Leaders are not supposed to ask for advice

These have been recurring themes in our conversations over the last few weeks and has reminded us that we have a story on this topic from Mark Templeton, former CEO of Citrix.

Listen to what we think is one of the most powerful leadership lessons ever shared and told in just 6 minutes and 20 seconds!

Mark generously shares his learning from that challenging time:

“The role of a leader is not to be the smartest person and have all the answers. The role of a leader is to be smart enough to surround themselves with people who complement each other and to whom you raise the questions that are important and that you don’t have answers to.”

“Being vulnerable is very important to exhibit”

Acknowledging our own limitations is not a weakness – it’s crucial in navigating through tough business times. The power of vulnerability and being able to seek advice can help redefine leadership.

Mark shares a tough but game changing lesson when he learnt that as a CEO, he didn’t need to have all the answers.

You can find the full Get Amplified conversation with Mark here.

Get Amplified podcast leadership quote from Mark Templeton

Cultivating a culture that values collective intelligence over individual prowess

Mark emphasizes the significance of assembling a team with diverse skills and the wisdom in raising important questions to which you don’t have the answers. This approach not only leads to better problem-solving but also fosters an environment of trust and mutual support.

Mark has learnt,

The smartest and most successful people I know are the people that ask for the most advice.”

This challenges the common misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Instead, it positions vulnerability as an asset, an essential component of resilient leadership.

As a guest on the Women@Tech podcast, Amplified Group co-founder Vicky Reddington was recently asked the question,

How can you establish credibility if you are demonstrating vulnerability?”

We think there is a super simple answer to this.

Establishing credibility isn’t about having all the answers – it is about knowing what questions to ask to find the answers together.”

Listen to the Women@Tech podcast ‘The Impact Room’: Building Confidence as a Leader: People, Passion and Potential

Women@Tech The Impact Room podcast episode with Vicky Reddington

Leading like a gardener

As we are on the topic of leadership, let’s end with how we like to define leadership which is: Leading like a gardener!

We would love to take the credit for this approach, but alas it was created by General Stanley McChrystal, author of bestselling book ‘Team of Teams’. McChrystal defines leadership as leading like a gardener.

Relating this back to Adam Grant’s point at the beginning of this newsletter – this does not mean you need to be the loudest, leading from the front, but instead be able to create an environment where your individuals and teams are able to flourish and grow.

His story of having common purpose and trust, with a shared consciousness, is the very best example we have come across for how to break down the silos. McChrystal’s productivity gains from this went from 18 successful missions a month to 300. With the same number of people!

Imagine translating this into enterprise deals in your organisation!

Perhaps the Tech Industry is powered by people 😉

A bit about us

We help tech organisations execute at speed through the power of TeamX™. As a change management organisation, we help leaders build more engaged, strong, and united teams through a breakthrough business methodology. This is built by rallying behind a common purpose and supported by simplicity in execution – all underpinned by Patrick Lencioni’s Five Behaviors® model.

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