Posted in Leadership

A Different Leadership Model

Snip20180916_1My phone rang at 9:30 p.m. one Thursday evening. I recognized the caller immediately as my boss, a senior director. The caller said, “Mike, you have a new assignment. Beginning tomorrow morning, you are the new QA [quality assurance] lead for our next-generation product, with a staff of fourteen. The project is eighteen months old and has missed all its delivery dates. Your team has worked twenty-six consecutive weekends.”

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Posted in Book Reviews, Leadership

A Leadership Model That is Different Than the World

A pivotal scene in Disney’s Lion King occurs between Simba and Rafiki as Simba looks at his reflection in the water.Snip20180705_1Rafiki: Look down there.
Simba: {Disappointed} That’s not my father. That’s just my reflection.
Rafiki: Noo. Look … harder.
Rafiki: You see … he lives in you.
Mufasa: {Quietly at first} Simba . . .
Simba: Father?
Mufasa: Simba, you have forgotten me.
Simba: No. How could I?
Mufasa: You have forgotten who you are, and so have forgotten me. Look inside yourself, Simba. You are more than what you have become. You must take your place in the Circle of Life.
Simba: How can I go back? I’m not who I used to be.
Mufasa: Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king.
Simba: No! Please! Don’t leave me.
Mufasa: Remember…

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Posted in General, Leadership

How My Greatest Failure Turned Into a Real Life Parable

Snip20171015_13Can a career failure return more value than any success? My question was not a philosophical one following an annual review that left me completely humbled. Like many Silicon Valley firms, my company had just initiated 360 reviews. In this process, all direct reports and three peers submit anonymous assessments evaluating all aspects of your job performance and your contribution to the larger engineering mission.
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