What You Can't Learn at Harvard About Leadership

Carl Robinson, Ph.D., copyright 2006

At the urging of many of my clients, I recently wrote and published a booklet titled, "What You Can't Learn About Leadership At Harvard: 100+ tips learned in the trenches." This booklet came about because my clients kept saying, "Carl, you should write that suggestion/tip down." A couple of them began keeping journals of my suggestions and shared them with me. One client, a Harvard MBA graduate, told me, "I never learned this stuff at Harvard. They never told us we would be spending so much time with people issues." Hence the title of the booklet.

After awhile, I realized I had over 100 tips that my clients have told me were helpful and that they have used. In this briefing I'm sharing tips 63 - 73 from a section titled: "Motivation Keeps It Moving." As a thank you to all my loyal subscribers/readers, I will be pleased to provide you with a complimentary PDF copy of my complete booklet. Just send me an email requesting it.

Motivation Keeps It Moving

63. Lead by example. Act quickly to stop behaviors that breakdown trust and collaboration. Your employees become energized and want to follow in your footsteps when they know they have your respect. Generate and sustain trust as the key ingredient in becoming a top level motivator.

64. Have the right people on the bus. That includes people who don’t need to be actively managed. It also means your being self confident enough to hire people who may be smarter than you. Then your primary task will be helping them do their job rather than motivating them.

65. Enable others to act. The more successful an executive you are, the more humble you probably are. Promote collaboration through relationships and supporting personal development.

66. Prepare successors for success. Give your subordinates plenty of developmental help through training and coaching. Allow your people to shine. Notice and celebrate your followers’ contributions and achievements.

67. Search for opportunities. Ask how something can be done better. Doing the same thing over and over may be safe. It doesn’t motivate people very much and gets boring.

68. Learn from mistakes. See each experience of yours and your team as an opportunity to learn, to do it better the next time. Develop core interpersonal skills and competencies. Become a lifelong learner of people and processes.

69. Stay open to new or different ideas. You do not have to like or accept every new idea. Exploring and examining different ways of doing things keeps you and the people around you alive, interested, and interesting.

70. Be accountable to yourself and your team. Do what you say when you say you will to the best of your ability. Expect the same from your people. Minimize excessive defensiveness by remaining as open to suggestions and other perspectives as possible.

71. Apologize when you make a mistake or cause a problem. That simple apology paves the way for positive future dealings which can reward you and your team many times over. Self-assured people are able to acknowledge their mistakes

72. Say you are wrong when it’s clear that you are. There may be a lot of evidence to support you made a mistake. Admit it and move on.

73. Take initiative as a leader. Be willing to experiment. Test your assumptions, refine, and start again.

If you find this excerpt useful, please request the complimentary booklet and then consider ordering a bunch of them to give to your employees or to your prospects/clients as a value added way to be in contact with them. I can even license it to you so you can customize it by adding your company name. Just let me know!