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Leading Heroically In 8 Principles

General William Cohen believes in eight universal laws of leadership that have worked so successfully and ethically for thousands of years despite severe conditions of risk, uncertainty and hardship.

Cohen correctly reveals in Heroic Leadership that “we cannot lead on automatic.” It demands “considerable thought, intention, and action.” He believes that effective and heroic leadership must be grounded in his eight principles and, especially, my favorite six:

  1. Maintain Absolute Integrity — Leadership is a trust. Keep your word; do the harder right instead of the easier wrong; be principled.
  2. Declare Your Expectations — What exactly does “successful” look like? How will you know when you are there? You need to decide on where you’re going, and then declare it and promote it in everything you do.
  3. Show Uncommon Commitment — Army Brigadier General Edward Markham explained, “A leader must take a bulldog approach to accomplish the mission.” When a leader does this, others do the same.
  4. Expect Positive Results — Winners expect to win. Visualize success. Vincent Lombardi once said, “We never lose, but sometimes the clock runs out on us.” “You can expect positive results and still not get exactly what you want,” says Cohen, “but research demonstrates that those who ‘think positive’ achieve more and get better results.”
  5. Take Care of Your People — “Take care of your men and they will take care of you,” says Brigadier General Philip Bolte. Thomas Noel told Cohen, “You are what your people are, no more, and no less.”
  6. Get Out in Front — You have to be “up front” where the action is. General Harry Aderholt said, “There’s no secret about leadership. You’ve got to know your people, live with them, and be seen always out front.”

How many of these principles are you using to heroically lead yourself and your team and organization?

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Unlocking the Mental Locks to Creativity

What stifles your creativity?

Most of us have attitudes or “mental locks” that keep us “thinking the same,” according to Ph.D. Roger von Oech, author of the popular A Whack On The Side Of The Head.

Von Oech has discovered 10 mental locks to be especially hazardous to creative thinking. Here are my six favorites:

  1. The right answer — Our education system teaches us to look for one right answer and we stop when we find the right answer. That’s unfortunate because often it’s the second, third or even tenth idea which can solve the problem. Ask “what if…” to prompt more answers.
  2. Follow the rules — Creative thinking is not only constructive, it’s also destructive. You must break out of one pattern to discover another one, so be flexible with the rules.
  3. Play is frivolous — If necessity is the mother of invention, play is the father. Use it to fertilize your thinking. If you don’t have a problem, take time to play anyway. You may find some new ideas.
  4. That’s not my area — Specialization is a fact of life, and you will benefit from narrowing your focus and limiting your field of view. When you create ideas, information-handling duties can limit you. Develop the explorer’s attitude: the outlook that wherever you go, there are ideas waiting to be discovered.
  5. Don’t be foolish — The fool’s job is to shake, assault, massage, caress and take a whack at rules, habits and conventions that keep you thinking the same way.
  6. I’m not creative — The world of thought and action overlap. What you think has a way of becoming true. Believe in the worth of your ideas and have the persistence of continuing to build on them.

What locks can you open to boost your creativity?

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Reorganizing Your Marketing Team for Greater Success

How is your marketing team organized today to take advantage of this ever evolving marketing environment?

Leading experts believe there is a better way – “The Orchestrator Model – in which CMOs and marketing leaders increasingly operate as orchestrators, tapping internal and external talent for short-term task forces.

That’s the premise of a Harvard Business Review story, “The Ultimate Marketing Machine” by Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Driest, and Keith Weed.

The task forces bring together people with one of three kinds of focus: think, feel or do. Based on the task, the mix of the three types shift. Here is how cable service provider Liberty Global mixed teams of six for three task forces.

That sounds like a pretty simple and smart way to organize a marketing team.

How can you use this Orchestrator Model to achieve greater marketing success?

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