Saturday, January 07, 2012

Novak: Taking People with You

David Novak, the CEO of Yum! brands, has written a book on leadership and Fortune has a review. An excerpt:

This book is demanding because Novak understands that leadership isn't about techniques. It's about your own deep nature, your traits as a human being, and how you connect with other people at deep levels. Most business books tell you to do analysis; this one makes you do psychoanalysis, mostly of yourself, and that's a lot harder. Calculating free cash flow is easy. Being honest with yourself about whether you ever pretend to be something you're not, whether others see you as reliable, whether you really value the contributions of others -- that can leave you exhausted.


John said...

Of all the wisdom you have cataloged that paragraph, even without reading the rest of the book, can be matted and framed. As I read it triggered a cascade of impressions that have underscored that simple truth, starting with Covey's Seven Habits. I don't remember which number it is but one of his most challenging "habits" rests on serious, honest introspection. And of course that seventh one "Sharpening the saw" means you don't let yourself off the hook -- ever.

Long ago when going through one of those inevitable crises that make you want to quit and walk out someone told me about "How to Manage Your Boss." I don't recall the author, but early in the book he lays out the most compelling reality of all when he forces the reader to confront the fact that he may be in the wrong company or the wrong line of work. (For anyone in the food business that's a no-brainer. No one is there deliberately and getting out is not an option, so I quickly skipped that part and went on with the rest of the book.) That notion of critical self-evaluation was the writer's jumping off place.

Michael Wade said...


A key aspect of great leaders is introspection. There is a reason why Ben Franklin wrote a great autobiography.