Friday, August 18, 2006

Glue Horizons

I've been having some interesting discussons about leadership recently for a project I'm working on.

One of the best concepts of entrepreneurial leadership I've come across came from a middle manager whose first language is not English.

He described the job of the entrepreneurial CEO as "gluing people together." That put some pretty weird images into my mind, so I asked what he meant.

He meant that the CEO (or president, or whatever) should focus on aligning people: getting them to share values, beliefs and direction. In an organization that has good managers who know their jobs, CEOs shouldn't be getting involved in management, but in making sure everyone else knew what they were suposed to be doing and that they had the motivation and the resources to get it right.

And then he said something equally interesting. In his business and others, a lot of future opportunities are going to come from outside the business's traditional markets. The job of the CEO, he said, is to make a point of getting to know other CEOs, outside of their own industry, to scout out possible collaborations and create the relationships that may lead to successful new opportunities, products and services down the road.

Good advice, I think. As our markets become more competitive and crowded, it's clear that the best opportunities will not be found in old spaces, but in the intersection points. And it's the people actively exploring those frontiers that will see them first.

Sure, we've heard stuff like this before.

But what did you spend your day doing?

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