Leadership is a big name, abused by many people in many places, making it hard to grasp it, or even to realize the importance of it.
My understanding is that first, leadership is of crucial importance to lead a happy life; second, leadership can effectively unite people around to accomplish missions and make them all live a happy life; third, leadership can be learned with the method of listing. It’s not a mystic craft or talent that only a few people can possess. Based on the method of listing, let’s break it down to the key components as follows (this summary is attributed to Fan Deng).
- vision and mission.
- rule of execution
- treat others as allies
- Vision and mission. Money is never been the ultimate goal for most human beings. Something abstract, noble, to make some change to the society is what motivates people including myself. Inevitably, I resonate it with what Jeff Bezos – Amazon Founder – described as “Regret Minimization Framework”. The vision and mission of creating a future Amazon is like the calling for him when he was still working at DE Shaw, earning considerable income, living a comfortable life. But, the “regret minimization framework” made him to make the decision without hesitation because he doesn’t want to regret when he was in his eighties. We need this calling for ourselves and for uniting people who share it to work together in solidarity.
- Rule of execution. The rule, is approximate to and can be understood as a method, a framework, or to be more extreme, an algorithm – the clearer and simpler form of all rules, for example, Uber/Lyft just operates on an algorithm to match cars and passengers, anybody can join the organization if he/she obeys the rule, and anybody can take away her fair share of pay no matter she was favored or disfavored by her supervisor, actually, there is no such supervisor as is in conventional companies. On the other hand, with respect to our world other than Uber/Lyft, for mechanical tasks such as to pass a test like CFA(certified financial analyst), to play the violin, we can more or less agree that there is a certain effective learning method to follow to achieve the goal. But people balk at the notion that leadership can be grasped in exactly the same way. For a detailed work task in daily operation, the rule is to ask four-layer questions instead of jumping into the task or order given. Question1, what is the thing you are asked to do? Question 2, what’s the approach? Is it an effective approach? Question3, what’s the purpose of this task? Is there other ways/things we need to consider? Question4, Can it be used as a systematic framework for a scaled growth?
- Feedbacks. Feedbacks are essential. The most effective way for any women who want to be prettier is to place mirrors everywhere so she is mindful of how she looks, behaves anytime, and without applying many methods, she would be prettier in a short time.
- Treat other as allies. Jeff Bezos stresses the word “fellowship”, differentiating from “friendship” most people use, which is somewhat close to what allies mean. capitalists exploiting or workers being utilized as labors are the concepts of industrial age, we are now in an internet age. When more and more robot-like work is taken over by robots, the demand for labor is not to work as labor but to dictate labor by our human insights. This new generation of people is not the kind being managed in a supervisor-subordinate hierarchy structure. We will and have to allow ideas proliferating, nimble, creative, dynamic market in an unprecedented way. In this aspect, what’s happening in China is closer to this state than in America.