Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Leadership and Small Things

Author and Harvard business professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter weighed in this week on “big traps in small lapses.”

The case in point was the recent resignation of HP CEO Mark Hurd, a man who made more than $66,000 a day, because he fudged a $20,000 expense report.

Kanter asked,
“How can very smart, accomplished people do such stupid things?”
Kanter, whose 18 books have won her recognition as one of the 50 most influential business thinkers in the world, noted that Hurd has a fair amount of company.
“Hurd is not the first, and probably won't be the last, top leader to fall from grace over seemingly trivial and avoidable lapses of judgment.”
Citing several cases ranging from the US military to politics, she said the underlying causes include embarrassment (fear of disclosure), lack of attention and arrogrance.

Her bottom line:
“As is often said, the devil is in the details — and so is the angel. Signs of character are most visible when they are least visible — that is, demonstrated by what people do when they think no one is watching, such as following the rules or taking the moral high ground with no audience observing them. That's why the signals of a leader's judgment lies in the small things.”
Her comments apply to leadership in any organization. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:13 PM

    All things CIRM: follow the money. Always follow the money.