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Tough-minded values for tough-minded leaders.

Reprinted by permission from Administrative Radiology Journal, Vol. IX, No. III, March 1990.

If American leaders and managers-and there is a difference-become secondary in the emerging global village, we have only ourselves to blame.

I have given presentations to companies in both Japan and England-the two countries that seem to be buying up the United States. And what a contrast I found in the reaction of the executives in Japan, particularly, as compared to those in the United States. The typical audience here said something like, "That was great, Joe, I really enjoyed it. Be seeing you. . . . " In Japan, virtually every member of these groups said, "Tomorrow I start to do this!," Some even said, "I will start to do these things today!"

Above all, they were hungry for an understanding of values: their nature, their importance, their use, and their application. Here are some of the salient values and insights that are turning these leaders and potential leaders

Openness and emotional vulnerability. Leaders let other people in and themselves out. They believe the absence of defensiveness indicates strength and management maturity.

Warmth. Leaders reach out to people; they do not simply sit back and wait. They demonstrate caring and concern-tough, loving care. Their voices and manners project relaxation and concern.

Consistency. Leaders meet their commitments, keep their word, and are reliable. They expect the same from others.

Unity. Leaders develop a fused and focused oneness of purpose, effort, and direction. Their example says to others, "Focus, focus, focus!,"

Caring. Leaders want others to grow and benefit. They believe the empowerment of self and others through strength optimization is the wave of tomorrow.

Positive listening. Leaders are positive listeners. They keep an open and flexible mind. Since they incessantly encourage creativity in their organization, they listen positively and openly to ideas presented, trying to discover ways that will work.

Unsatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is a preoccupation with weaknesses and failures. Real leaders are hungry for improvement, growth, and a better way. They have a fanatic commitment to reach for the best.

Flexibility. Leaders abhor rigidity in all forms, particularly mental. They know hardness and weakness are usually synonymous.

Giving. Leaders believe that the more people put in - or give - to life and their work, the more they receive. Also, giving yields more real pleasure. They relish giving earned praise.

Involvement. Leaders consistently seek to involve their people in developing strategies, goals, plans, and tactics, not only because they want to use all the talents in their organization, but also because they know that people will be more committed to meeting these objectives if they have a part in determining them.

Tolerance of mistakes. Leaders have the courage to let people make mistakes. They even encourage it! Without mistakes, there is no boldness, creativity, innovation, profit, or growth.

Values. Leaders believe values should be precision instruments that unify, inspire, lift, stretch, and pull. They know that leaders who are value-driven are not leaders at all, they are pushers. True leaders are value-led.

The winning formula. Integrity plus quality plus service says it all. Leader create customer satisfaction through quality, productivity, people, and ideas.

An open mind. An open mind can grow. A closed mind dies. Where the is an open mind, there will always be a frontier.

Development of people. Leaders know this is the alpha and omega of the great organizations of the future. The three most important words in the '90s will be train, train, and train.

Self-discipline. This is the key difference between Japanese and American managers. We must vastly accelerate the discipline and focus of our society, or we'll truly become also-rans

Fitness. Leaders become committed to organized programs of physical mental, and spiritual fitness. They know there is nothing more practical.

Vision. Vision provides the basic energy, lift, and stretch for pulling the organization toward the future.

Purpose and direction. Leaders are visionaries. They know that all team members will contribute and receive more when they are helped to develop clear feelings of purpose, direction, dignity, and expectations. They provide direction, not directions. They explain thoroughly what they want and expect but leave the how up to their team members.

Compensation related to performance. Leaders take decisive action to ensure that compensation is based on performance.

Future leadership style. Real leaders lead as they would like to be led. Their style is passionate rather than passive.

The groups in Japan and England reacted positively to the power of gratitude in all dimensions of life and the power of forgiveness and vulnerability as crucial requisites to ongoing growth and healthy change.

If we are to surge again into the vanguard worldwide, the choice for American executives and administrators is clear. Will you do it?

Joe D. Batten is founder and chairman of the board of Batten, Batten, Hudson & Swab Inc., a management consulting firm based in Des Moines, IA. He is the author of several books, including Tough-Minded Leadership and Tough-Minded Management.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Society for Industrial Security
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Batten, Joe D.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Nov 1, 1990
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