Florida Aviation Business Association
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:15

Inspirational Leadership and Competent Management— Prerequisites to Success in Business

Written by Paul A. Meyers, Principal Aviation Management Consulting Group
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While there are many things that contribute to the success of a business (or any other endeavor for that matter), leadership and management are typically at the top of the list. Without inspirational leadership and competent management, it can be difficult to achieve the level of success desired.

In the best case… a business “thrives”; in the worst case… a business “fails”; somewhere in between… a business may just be “surviving”—not thriving or failing, but merely getting by (or just slogging through the wasteland of mediocrity).

Within this context, this article explores leadership and management, asks key questions about how you and your team are performing in terms of leading and managing your organization, and discusses an opportunity for you and your team to improve and/or enhance your effectiveness as leaders and managers within your organization, at your airport, and even, within your community.

What is Leadership?

Leadership is a process of influence which maximizes the efforts of others towards the achievement of a goal. Being an effective leader goes beyond holding a position or a title of leadership—it is about adhering to a set of core values or key principles, engaging in best “leadership” practices, and maintaining a positive attitude and outlook.

Without influence, it is difficult, if not impossible to lead. By influencing the way people think, talk, and act, a good leader brings out the best in people and helps an organization attain goals that, often times, far exceed what any individual could ever accomplish alone.

Who are some of the greatest “positive” leaders of “all” time and what goals were achieved?

Good to Great and Success to Significance

In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins, who is an influential thinker in the areas of leadership and management, and his team sought to answer the question… can a “good” company become a “great” company and if so, how? Collins and his team studied the performance of 1,435 “good” companies over a 30 year period (from 1965 to 1995) and identified 11 “great” companies that had sustained performance (i.e., averaged cumulative stock returns 7 times the general market) for a minimum of 15 years. He concluded that disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action were the most significant factors that differentiated a “good” company from a “great” company.

Collins writes in his book about:

Level 5 leaders
• Leaders who have great drive and desire to succeed and most importantly, are humble people.

First who… then what...
• Leaders who ensure that the right people are “on the bus” – sitting in the right seats—and the wrong people are not on the bus.

Confronting the brutal facts
• Leaders who consistently and thoroughly confront reality, maintain vision, pursue goals, and keep an “ear to the ground”

The hedgehog concept
• Leaders whose organizations work in the “sweet spot” of: (1) what can we be the “best” at; (2) what are we “passionate” about; and (3) what can we “make money” at.

Culture of discipline
• Leaders who have an entrepreneurial spirit, maintain discipline, and keep a “stop doing” list.

• Leaders who utilize technology to adapt and endure, increase leverage, accelerate momentum, and enable change.

The flywheel
• Leaders who realize that constant, steady, and methodical work generates momentum.

Collins concludes his book by stating “When all these pieces come together, not only does your work move towards greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to

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