One Thing All Remarkable Leaders Learn to Do

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All successful leaders universally share one quality. I’ve interviewed and learned from some of the world’s most respected leaders and thinkers.

  • James Whitehurst – CEO and President of Redhat.
  • Jack Welch – retired CEO of GE.
  • A. G. Lafley – Executive Chairman of the Board of P&G
  • Jim Parker retired CEO of Southwest Airlines.
  • Doug Conant retired CEO of Campbell’s Soup.
  • Jim Quigley – retired CEO of Deloitte.
  • Jim Collins – Author, speaker, consultant.
  • Simon Sinek – Author, speaker, consultant.
  • Gary Hamel – Author, speaker, consultant.
  • Ken Blanchard – Author, speaker, consultant.
  • Marshall Goldsmith – Author, speaker, coach.
  • And many more …

The list is diverse. Some are relaxed and spontaneous; others structured and formal. Some are extroverts like Jack Welch; others introverts like Doug Conant.

One thing remarkable leaders learn to do:

Remarkable leaders learn to make the most of unexpected interventions.

  • Doug Conant – the introvert – became a masterful networker after unexpectedly losing his job.
  • Jim Collins experienced an intervention when his team convinced him to write about leaders, rather than organizations.
  • Ken Blanchard wrote the, “One Minute Manager,” with an author of children’s book. They met at a party.
  • Jack Welch rose above stuttering to become one of the most visible leaders in the world.

Unexpected interventions are inflection points where leaders become remarkable or forgettable.

Disruption and intervention make you great, if you grow through them.

Five ways to thriving in interventions:

  1. Lean toward taking action. Do something as long as you’re reasonably confident it won’t do harm. Inaction seldom makes you remarkable.
  2. Believe negative interventions produce positive benefits. Ask the darkness, “Who are you calling me to become?”
  3. Maintain an outward focus. Don’t close down or sink into yourself. Remarkable leadership is always about the value you bring others.
  4. Gather a team of advisers, mentors, and/or coaches.
  5. Keep asking, what if and what about.

How might leaders grow through disruptions and interventions to become remarkable?

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