Tuesday, June 13, 2006

LEADERSHIP--Another Urban Legend

People love "urban legends"--stories passed along from person to person, usually by email, that sound like they're true but usually have little basis in fact. According to the web site, Snopes.com, "urban legends are narratives which put our fears and concerns into the form of stories or are tales which we use to confirm the rightness of our world view."

You may not know it, but there are "urban legends" everywhere, even in the business world. Let me give you one example: you're firing one of your employees and to soften the blow, you tell them, "It's not personal, it's just business."

Wrong. That's an urban legend of leadership.

The maxim should be "When it comes to business, it's all personal." As a leader, you're responsible to customers, employees, maybe stockholders...and believe me, they take what you do seriously. So when you tell them, "It's not personal," what you're really saying is that it's not personal to you.

But it should be.

The most successful leaders carry a passion for personal performance with them every day and instill a sense of accountability with everyone they encounter. Your business will grow every time you let someone you work with know "it's personal."

(If you'd like to hear more about my presentation, "The Urban Legends of Leadership," please check out my web site at MARKtalks.com.)

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