The second day of the Global Leadership Summit carried the themes of motivation, values, and discipline, in my opinion. The speakers included Jeff Manion, Blake Mycoskie, Terri Kelly, Daniel Pink, Jack Welch, and TD Jakes. A unique mix of leaders, but each with an interesting perspective.
Motivation. Through several of the speakers and interviews, the discussion centered on what motivates people. We enjoy the opportunity to work without detailed direction and take on activities which are not only purposeful but also extend the reach of our capabilities. In fact, being in a state of flow was highlighted as a time when people felt the most engaged and motivated.
The flow concept is a real one, I believe. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has studied and written about flow. A great quote from Dr. Csikszentmihalyi is:
“A joyful life is an individual creation that cannot be copied from a recipe.”
That is the challenge for leaders – how to engage individuals, their energy, and their creativity to achieve a mission, a project, or activities.
Values. A great example of implementing a practical approach to engage people in a team-based, self-directed way is W.L. Gore & Associates. Corporate culture is front-and-center at W.L. Gore. The culture is built and nurtured around teams, people, and innovation. The leadership model is flexible and peer-based; they undertake a “latticed” approach to management instead of a laddered hierarchical approach.
Fostering and continuing this culture is one of the primary focus areas of the CEO. It is her leadership which is continuing to enrich this approach and keep the individual and team inspired approach thriving.
Another example of a values-based approach to corporate culture is TOMS. They are a for-profit company which is undertaking a social cause. For every pair of shoes purchased by a consumer, a pair of shoes is given to someone who probably has never had a pair of shoes. It is an inspiring approach to matching an enterprise to making the world better, one shoe at a time.
Discipline. In some respects, it comes down to individual discipline. It is discipline which keeps leaders on track – morally, intellectually, and inspirationally. It is what kept Jack Welch leading GE effectively for so many years, and it is what keeps people moving through challenging times.
Identifying an organization’s top 20% and the bottom 10% every six months takes discipline. It is not that some people are bad; it may mean they are just misplaced. However, without doing this, an organization can become lethargic and ineffective, inflicting greater potential pain on many more people.
Keeping focused on getting through the barren times, or the land between, takes discipline and faith. It is easy to sometimes think we are better off without God during these times, rather than opening ourselves up to transformation and learning from the challenges.
Discipline is essential to keep the focus in the right places all the time.
The second day was well-balanced and thought-provoking. The mix of leaders worked well in delivering a message of being motivated and encouraging motivation; developing, fostering, protecting, and enhancing organizational and personal values; and maintaining personal and organizational discipline in achieving the cause, the mission, the purpose.
After all, the mission is larger than any individual. It is what individuals are signing up to do, not necessarily to follow a person, but achieve a higher goal.
Note: For more details on Day 1 of the Global Leadership Summit, please click here.