Now that Letterman is off the air from National Television,
I recall that the thing that I liked most about his broadcast
was the Top Ten Lists that were so irreverent and funny that made
Dave a self humbling force and added a bit of genuine humour and
levity to the otherwise barren TV land…
So it follows that whenever I decided to get some mindrot or receive
some companionable sound-sympathy from television balm for the lonesome
traveler, while working away the night in some random hotel room across
America — I always turned on Dave Letterman and his Top Tens.
Therefore, please don”t blame me then that I started in earnest giving
the Top Tens a Refresh, Right here but without the Sound and Light of the
stupid TV tube.
So if you still remember how to read — here are some of the most important lessons about Leadership that can fit into one of the Top Ten Lists:
You are not God:
Remember that. Remember it always. The people might forget it, but You must always recall that and stay humble.
You are not Napoleon either:
Let’s be clear on that, because unless Yo are five feet tall with a gorgeous babe in your arms named Josephine, and speaking terrible Corsican French — You are not Napoleon.
And please clean up your French and fix the accent, cause it’s embarrassing. Don’t use Argot if you don’t understand it. There is no Spartan shorthand for Speaking Good French.
Don’t get depressed about anything that goes down:
Worry and Depression only leads to faulty judgement. Who need judgement. That stuff is for the birds and for the bird brained out there. Keep Looking Up. Things will turn up and your destiny will follow your gaze toward the cloudless sky.
I had to say this although myself — love clouds, rain, and thunderstorms.
Take time to think:
Don’t react to situations. Take time to get to Clarity. Give time to the members of the company to seek and find their Spirit in order to Do the Right Thing.
Give time to yourself to do the Same.
Speak the truth:
Share the truth that everyone on the ground already knows. Do not try to minimize or to deflect the problems onto others, or on the Team, or onto the Clients, & onto the Customers.
Take responsibility for the failures:
It is always You and nobody else. If it is your company that failed, it will be evident soon enough. Live with it.
Don’t fix blame — Fix the problem:
Fixing the blame feels good, but this is a time when everyone is waiting for direction. We said to the organization that we will use this as an opportunity to be better in the future.
Build your teams through action:
Over the course of staff meetings lasting from a few hours to a few days You need to build team commitment and “Esprit De Corps” through the belief that we can prevail in the face of peril — if we all pull together.
Failures, Difficulties, and Dark days are amazing leadership opportunities for Turn around success. As bad, scary, and dark, as these days can be, it is the job of the leader to see beyond the moment. If you can do that — failure, catastrophe, and even fierce adversity including war, are truly unique opportunities for proving your mettle, building strong teams, weeding out the undesirables, creating strong ethical Leadership culture and bonding within the company. And if you can turn around the temporary defeats into long lasting Victory — You be the Man.
Please don’t forget that of course there will be good days again. The Sun will shine as it has always done behind the clouds of war. It is your job of leadership to see beyond the cloudy moments and to provide a counterweight to the Cry-babies that inevitably exist in most failing corporate teams. If you want to turn them around — it is best to remind those people that the good days are coming but only for those that will manage to stick it through thick & thin. And of course You need to remind people of the tasks undone, the opportunities for improvements, and the greater destiny ahead. Provide the Vision and the Mission directions and allow them to erupt and fail on their own words and sword — but please don’t remind them that there will likely be dark days again someday because it scares the children and they start throwing their toys off the pram…
Find Your Josephine if you want to complicate your Life, and remember that even the pocket Emperor of France couldn’t conquer that woman. So don’t even try to conquer any female of the species and accept your fate as the weaker link of the species. Aha.. Atta Boy. Play nice now because that should be a good lesson in humility, and a brave thought, for all of You sporting some savoury arm-candy, to wrestle with.
You are neither Hercules nor Hussein Bolt. Act like neither of them:
Stick with constitutional walks and aerobics in the bedroom for your daily exercise, because you are not Hercules or H. Bolt either. Don’t spend all the time of your life pumping muscle and stop running around all the time as if a hungry T-Rex is coming after You. Remember what Mark Twain said: “I get all of my exercise walking in the funerals of my friends who spend all their time at the Gym running and pumping like Mad-Men. The heart needs some better kinder care. More on that later…
Live long and Prosper:
Just watch Star Trek instead of TV and You’ll be fine on both fronts. Keep repeating and dong the Space Galaxy Peace sign with your fingers and all with be good for a very long time…
We are running today a baker’s dozen in case you might have noticed if you know how to count to twelve this early morning….
But I figures I’ll give you a couple Extra lessons because every time that Dave finished with his Top Ten — I always longed for a couple more.
So there you have it…
Enjoy, and Thank God on my behalf.
And by the way,
Keep this in Mind:
You are not the Pope either…
That is unless you dress like this dude in white and ride around in your own chariot with Swiss guards, speaking to simple folks and world leaders alike in kind words and deeds — You are not the Pope.
Got that Memo?
But above all else — Do The Right Thing.
You know what that is.
And then maybe You’ll start acting like him…
You never know where that’ll get you.
This guy had to start someplace too.
As a matter of fact, he too began life in humble places.
Because he started as a bouncer in a Buenos Aires disco himself…
But by doing the RIGHT THING he sits in the Vatican throne today leading a couple of billion people…
Well Done Francis.