As a leader, do you listen to your subordinates tell you their truth and punish them if they disagree with you, or dismiss them if they are contrary to your direction, or do you thank them and honor them whether you agree or not?
Do you massively, immediately reward the fact that they opposed your position with integrity and disagreed with you?
Unfortunately, many leaders create an environment where it is not safe to be a person of integrity. People who speak the truth in staff meetings are often punished. And if you sit quietly and say nothing, you are rewarded as a “team player.” Integrity demands that your authentic self is always passionately present.
Set an intention to lead: Everything that happens or fails to happen is your responsibility. Period. You own everything as a leader. The success, the failure, the sideways movements, the challenges, the crisis, the resolutions, everything! People will respond powerfully to this. Don’t blame, don’t make excuses, don’t complain – be committed to your outcomes either set consensually with the teams or by you as an inspired, passionate leader, but be committed to the outcome. Do not be committed to your political success and make decisions, actions, and communications contingent on a triangulated shifting position designed to minimize your failure. You own everything. Know that, live that, celebrate that! If you are that kind of leader, your team will follow you anywhere at any time.
Know your “why” (why must you be a great leader?): When the why is big enough, reasons, answers, and the “how” will appear. Trying to make sure that you are safe, avoiding failure, and limiting your downside, and calling that “the upside” is not great leadership. You must know WHY. The “why” will sustain the team through the thick and the thin times. Because it is the “why” that will provide the fuel for the passionate fires burning to tap into the team’s greatest potential! When you know your “why” (and use great words, emotional language, and powerful phrases to describe your “why”, you will be gratified and amazed at the great results that you will achieve. The great challenges that you will also attract will be the fuel to grow the great results!) There will be a deeply satisfying resolution of all the things that conflict you and the team when the why is big enough.
Having worked on Bill’s team in the past I can confirm that this is in fact his leadership style — and it was very effective. I enjoyed coming to work, and we had a very successful team.