As our nation’s workforce struggles into its new normal, it is easy to believe there are more questions than answers on the horizon. Is the office truly necessary for productivity? Do we need to build a new system for getting work done? If so, do we implement the changes all at once, or do we transition slowly? How do we effectively lead our teams when their workdays are staggered or completed remotely? Never before has the Silicon Valley idiom, “building the plane while flying it,” made more sense. But do we really need to know all the answers to be able to lead well? History says No.
Known as our nation’s first oil tycoon, John D. Rockefeller is believed to be the wealthiest American in history. To the casual observer, his career appears to be a steady line of easy victories. The reality, however, was much different. From his birth into poverty to his meteoric rise to oil magnate, Rockefeller navigated the uncertain future of the fledgling oil industry, a national economic crisis, a six-year recession, an industry-wide strike and a domestic oil shortage—all while continuing to attract new talent and steadily grow his company. How did he chart his path through all the uncertainty? A careful look at his leadership style reveals three important habits.
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John Rockefeller knew that strong leadership was important during uncertain times. How do you think we, as leaders, need to support our teams as our country reopens? What changes or difficulties do you anticipate? We would love to learn some approaches you have taken with your organization that made a difference.
7/9/2020 11:00:04 am
This is a remarkable example of how an effective leader, though not especially "sympathetic" to many of us, for many reasons, can nevertheless present admirable lessons for our benefit, and for the achievement of our goals. One might find Rockefeller's goals to be abhorrent, and his micromanagement to be constrictive, but his focus on goals, his persistence in pursuit of them, and his attentiveness to the management of himself and his energies as well as his project - capitalists, socialists, traditionalists, and reformers alike can learn from that.
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