A General, an Anarchist, and a Business Guru Walk Into a Bar...A Lesson in Leadership #GetInSynk

…actually, a general, an anarchist and a business guru spoke at the same growth summit last week.

General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, Ari Weinzweig (founder of the Zingerman’s Deli Empire and self described anarchist) and Verne Harnish (Gazelles founder and growth guru) all spoke at the 2016 ScaleUp Summit that I attended last week as a part of my continuing education as a Gazelles International Certified Coach.

The result this time is that, as different as they are and coming from such different backgrounds, they each said almost precisely the same thing.

The leader’s role in the world today is to be a coach to teams.  It’s not giving commands or telling team members what to do,

but coaching them to make the important decisions themselves.

There were some additional insights upon which they agreed.

  • If you wait to start leadership training and development until someone is put in a leadership position, it’s too late.  Start educating them to be leaders the minute they join  your organization.
  • From McChrystal–A leader is a gardener, creating an ecosystem where each team member can grow.  (Never, ever thought I would hear a general say something like this, and he gave evidence that he actually did that in his last command because that was what worked in the new complex world of fighting terrorists).
  • The biggest constraints are organizational structures.  Circles are what works; they are built for learning to create change which delivers growth.  Hierarchy doesn’t work anymore.

McChrystal also shared a story especially important for those of you resisting the need to have daily huddles with your team.

He held a daily huddle with 7000 people participating.  Yes! The 7000 participants were his team members fighting Al Quaeda and ISIS.  To be certain, he deployed superior technology to do so. But it worked. It empowered his team to learn from each other, make decisions, and take action, all without having to walk any of it up the chain of command.

Don’t tell me you can’t do a daily huddle.

Rock & Sand, the book and the video, will help you learn more about providing context for effective leading, coaching, and meeting rhythm (daily huddles).

Sorry, there’s really no punchline to the headline 😉