“Leadership is communicating to another person their worth and potential
they are inspired to see it in themselves.“
A Sense of Meaning
One of the most inspirational people I have ever known is Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist who was imprisoned in the death camps of Nazi Germany in World War II. He was a scientist. He was terribly inquisitive and understood scientific methodology, and he wondered what enabled some of the prisoners who were subject to such terrible treatment in the death camps to survive. He studied the survivors and attempted to understand what enabled these people to survive, unlike the hundreds of thousands who perished. Was it their physical health? He found physical health to be secondary. Was it their survival skills? Secondary. Was it their intelligence? Secondary. He explored every alternative hypothesis. He finally concluded they were all secondary factors.
We are shaped by the people who surround us. Our joys are more pleasurable when they are cherished by our friends, our successes more enjoyable when they are applauded by those whose opinions we care about, our protests are less lonely and our indignation less unsure when shared by our supporters, our hatreds more corrosive when goaded by fellow zealots, our sorrows less burdensome when borne with our family.
A servant leader has the ability to recognize and understand feelings and emotions that are experienced by their team. Such a leader will care for other people and will deeply experience emotions that match what others are feeling. Since they understand others so deeply, their actions are motivated by a genuine desire to help others.
By paying complete attention to what others are saying, servant leaders are able to get a complete understanding of all interpersonal situations that they are dealing with. They use active listening to resolve conflicts, counsel others, and also to impart training.
Many people in positions of power are blissfully ignorant of their shortcomings, but not the servant leader. They are completely aware of their strengths, weaknesses, values, emotions, and feelings. This self-awareness allows the servant leader to understand personal biases and set them aside while making decisions.
Followers typically desire for a leader who has a sincere interest in fostering their emotional and spiritual well-being. By taking an active role in promoting the mental and emotional strength of their employees, servant leaders typically inspire an exceptional level of trust and faith from others. Continue reading
My colleagues and I focus on helping a system develop greater self-knowledge in three critical areas. Continue reading
Why companies need to move away from a “product first” orientation to pursuing innovation based on customer need.
In the past, companies found success with a product-first orientation; they made a thing that did a thing. TheInversion Factor explains why the companies of today and tomorrow will have to abandon the product-first orientation. Rather than asking “How do the products we make meet customer needs?” companies should ask “How can technology help us reimagine and fill a need?” Zipcar, for example, instead of developing another vehicle for moving people from point A to point B, reimagined how people interacted with vehicles. Zipcar inverted the traditional car company mission.
The authors explain how the introduction of “smart” objects connected by the Internet of Things signals fundamental changes for business. The IoT, where real and digital coexist, is powering new ways to meet human needs. Companies that know this include giants like Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Google, Tesla, and Apple, as well as less famous companies like Tile, Visenti, and Augury. The Inversion Factor offers a roadmap for businesses that want to follow in their footsteps.
The authors chart the evolution of three IoTs―the Internet of Things (devices connected to the Internet), the Intelligence of Things (devices that host software applications), and the Innovation of Things (devices that become experiences). Finally, they offer a blueprint for businesses making the transition to inversion and interviews with leaders of major companies and game-changing startups.