In the splendid interview I mentioned in the previous blog, ‘celebrating talent’, Bruce Springsteen talks about throwing out 40 songs he had spent a year writing for a new album before he created the smash hit ‘Wrecking Ball’. He spent a year creating what appealed to him and he liked but felt the songs were not right for now. So he put them aside and came up with some alternatives. He says he said to himself “This is the wrong voice for me right now”.
As I work with leaders or people who are in influential positions I rarely hear them ask how appropriate their voice, style or strategy is right now. I rarely find them questionning their own assumptions or being curious as to how what is in place has worked for people so far. I rarely hear people with ideas for products and services listen when others question whether they are appropriate right now and suggest constraints or alternatives. I very rarely see people let things go and move on – although everybody claims themselves to be excellent with change. Why then do they become so doggedly resistant, so closed to alternative views and so convinced of their own genius?
Bruce once again demonstrates some key leadership qualities that differentiate what we see the really high performers demonstrating; empathy with their people their wider audience and their customers, humility about their own ideas (however much they love them!) and curiosity about alternatives, and a range of styles which they are able to adapt.
Find out more about our typical approach for helping people build these capabilities at http://www.leadershipfootprints.com/seniorleadershipworkshop.php or through our coaching work at http://www.the-executive-footprint.com/