Tom Kelley -> CEO of IDEO on Leadership

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One of my favorite speakers was Tom Kelley from Ideo who spoke about leadership. Here are a few excerpts that I found extremely relevant from his talk.

-Education should be a full time vocation
-Leaders do not necessarily follow a certain pattern, they are very different except for a few traits
General Normal Schwarzkopf – “Leadership is getting people to do things they would normally not do, willingly”
Francis Ford Coppola – Do you stuff you love and are passionate about, because during tough times that is when leaders are tested, when they have to be creative, when their passion will save them.
Warren Bennis (Leadership Author) – “The highest quality for a leader is to make a new leader”
AG Lafley (CEO P&G) – The toughest thing for me to do as a leader was to change the rules and culture in a company that I grew up in

Tom also mentioned the importance of ‘Reverse Mentors’. People who are younger than you that can help you answer dumb questions, or tell you about trends, or new technologies. I have actually found this to be extremely useful. You will never believe how much you don’t know until you talk to a kid in high school.

Another important point he made [which is the opposite of what they teach in you consulting] is not to have 30 people work on one idea fro 30 days to perfect it, but instead of 30 people work on 30 half-baked ideas and look at the potential of each idea before you begin to really invest time and resources to perfect it. He also said that great leaders don’t laugh at bad ideas, and they know how to look at the shape of an idea instead of the final, baked, perfect presentation of the idea.

“If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own” – Tom Kelley

Here is a great video of how Ideo’s innovation process is so unique and why they are market leaders. They show this video in all of the business schools.

Written by Sid Shah

November 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Business, People

Tagged with , ,

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