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The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star

The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star

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The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star

2/5 (1 valutazione)
75 pagine
1 ora
Nov 12, 2013


Kevin Allen, author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following, is back, with a fabulously entertaining (and true) tale of a newly minted leader made buoyant during The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A Leadership Course for the Rising Star. As a young manager at an airline catering facility, Kevin had to find out why silverware was disappearing at a rapid clip. The route to solving this mystery of The Case of the Missing Cutlery results in Kevin learning to rise to the occasion, to become a leader who inspires followers and is able to rely on their hard work and support. Kevin has called upon this story countless times during his long career in advertising, and has shared it broadly on the BBC’s Radio 4 program, “Four Thought.” [This edition contains content previously published as The Buoyant Leader.]
Nov 12, 2013

Informazioni sull'autore

CHRIS CHELIOS spent twenty-six seasons in the NHL as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and Atlanta Thrashers. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. He currently serves as advisor to hockey operations with the Red Wings. He and his wife, Tracee, have four children. KEVIN ALLEN covers hockey for USA Today and has written numerous books about the game, including Star-Spangled Hockey, Without Fear (with Bob Duff), J.R. (with Jeremy Roenick) and My Last Fight (with Darren McCarty). He was president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association from 2002 to 2014 and remains on its executive committee. In 2013, he received the Lester Patrick Trophy for contributions to U.S. hockey. In 2014, he was honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Toronto.

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The Case of the Missing Cutlery - Kevin Allen



Well, kid, welcome to the club. You are now dinner conversation.

These words, said to me when I was promoted to my first management role at Marriott International, rang in my ears. I was an excited twenty-two-year-old former floor mopper who would now be a shift manager, with several dozen people working for me.

Actually, I was terrified.

I couldn’t get my mind off the idea that I would be dinner conversation. What would the people I managed say about me? What should I say to them? How would I get them to do as I asked? They all had far more experience doing their jobs, and the large majority were far older than I—some were even old enough to be my parents. Surely they would see that I didn’t have a clue what to do.

Years later, when I was made executive vice president at McCann Erickson Worldwide, I felt the same twinge of anxiety. Soon I came to realize that the gift of human empathy, which had guided me through those early days at Marriott, would allow me to steer literally thousands of people to row in the direction of McCann Erickson’s future.

As my career has progressed, I’ve learned things the hard way, through trial and error . . . mostly error. Through it all, I came to realize people don’t follow you because of a chain of command, or because of discipline, orderliness, or even intimidation. They follow you because of who you are; because you have come to understand the deep desires and hopes of your people; and because, by connecting with them, you have created a culture and a common cause they believe in.

So that dinner conversation can go one of two ways. Around their dining tables, your people could be grousing bitterly, Do you know what he did to us today? Conversely, with excitement in their voices, they could be saying, Guess what we did today! The difference lies in your ability to reach your people on a purely emotional level. As a leader, you do not preside or command; instead you float, buoyant, because the people you lead believe you should. They reward your generosity, your belief in them, and your ability to galvanize them toward a common purpose by believing in you.

To be sure, decisiveness is a requisite of leadership, but it is not what inspires people to make you float. They see, through your empathy, that you give them as high a priority as you do yourself and that you have created a culture and climate in which they can flourish.

When I got into the business world I quickly saw what appeared to be rules for leadership. From the oft-mimicked behaviors I observed, it seemed that success belonged to the swaggering tough guy types who ate bowls of nails for breakfast, and who bellowed orders and made clear who was boss. I quickly took inventory of myself; as a somewhat soft-spoken, altogether emotional person, I deduced that I did not possess the requisite skills for leadership.

Take heart. Success didn’t—and doesn’t—depend on a tough-as-nails bearing.

As a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, I learned from a very young age to play the hand I was dealt. I couldn’t command my way into being followed I would have to encourage followers to join me. Blessed with a highly intuitive nature, I could easily relate to people—I understood how they felt and could instinctively zero in on their unstated desires. Quietly, I would set out to find a way to connect with these people and bring them together toward some amazing end. I saw management not as a practice but as a journey that we all traveled together. I realized quickly that the way to achieve a something great was not just to manage but also to ignite.

Leadership is an act of human empathy and generosity of spirit. When people know you understand their hopes and desires, and you make your connection clear to them and show confidence that you as a community can get there, they’ll follow you anywhere.

Why This Book?

After a thirty-year career, first at Marriott International then in the global advertising business, I came to a realization. I discovered that the joy of my life and career was no longer my own success, but rather seeing the up-and-coming leadership of the company succeed. With company turnarounds, mayoral elections, and the now-famous Priceless campaign for MasterCard and many others behind me, I realized that the thrill for me was not another account win; it was picking

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