Now that my role has changed from Chairman and CEO to just Chairman of The Bozzuto Group, I’ve spent some time assembling random thoughts that I’ve had about business and leadership through the years. Having done that, a friend suggested I jot a few of these down in my blog. And so that’s what I will be starting to do here.
Before I go any further, I want to make sure you understand that I view each of these “rules,” as aspirational rather than descriptive. That’s my way of acknowledging in advance that I didn’t always live up to them. I want to be the first to point that out so as to save my colleagues the time of doing so.
So, here goes. The first of these is probably one of the most important rules for anyone building a company. I believe that:
“A good leader selects the best people he or she can find, points them in the right direction, makes clear the mission and, as importantly, the values by which they are expected to behave, then encourages, cajoles, trains and coaches, and then gets the hell out of their way.”
Too often, people building organizations create limits on the growth of that organization by fearing to trust those he or she hires. For an organization to grow and prosper, one must be willing to allow those working in the organization to grow and prosper as well. It’s one of life’s great ironies that to be willing to take the risks necessary to create a business one must have an inordinately strong ego. However, to grow that same business one must have an ego that can be subordinated sufficiently to allow the ego of others with whom one works to shine through.
Now that I’ve whet your appetite, assuming you’re still reading, let me give you one more of my rules. This one I describe as “Management by Fiddling Around.”
“When you have a problem, don’t waste your time trying to find the right solution. Try everything! Success usually comes to those who experiment.”
The thinking that there is a single solution for every problem has always intrigued me. Maybe there is, but business moves too fast to run sequential experiments. It seems to me that one can get into far deeper trouble wasting time trying to find that perfect solution. When something is wrong, you just can’t afford to test alternative remedies. You have to try a number of things simultaneously. If you’re successful, your biggest problem will be not knowing to what to credit that success. At worse, you will have eliminated a lot of possible solutions.
Let me know what you think. While I have compiled many more of these rules, it seems to me that the purpose of a blog is to facilitate communication. So if you disagree with any of what I’ve written here, or even, bless you, if you agree, let me know your thoughts.