8 Principios para que los Líderes Aprovechen al Máximo la Era Exponencial
8 Principles for Leaders to Make the Most of the Exponential Age (Part 1)
How do top CEOs lead during this exponential age?
How do you manage the explosion of information and onslaught of increasing competition?
How do you sort through the abundance of opportunity and prevent getting burned out?
How do you maintain agility during today’s tsunami of change?
Today’s blog is the first of three parts deriving insights and advice from three incredible, forward-thinking leaders: Beth Comstock, Sue Siegel, and Arianna Huffington (their bios are below).
Beth, Sue and Arianna participated in my 2017 Abundance 360 CEO Summit in a module called “Exponential Leadership.”
This is a post for any exponential leader, so let’s dive in.
Meet the Exponential Leaders
Beth Comstock is the vice chairman of GE. In this capacity, she leads GE's efforts to accelerate new growth. She heads GE's business innovations including GE Lighting, GE Ventures, GE Licensing, GE sales, marketing and communications. And since 2008, she has served as GE's Chief Marketing Commercial Officer.
Sue Siegel is the CEO of GE Ventures. She heads their growth innovation business investing, licensing new creations. Previously, Sue was the President of Affymetrix, and she’s had 30 years of combined commercial experience. She's also on my board at Human Longevity Inc., which I'm very proud of, and GE is an investor in HLI.
Arianna Huffington is the founder of Huffington Post, the Founder and CEO of Thrive Global and a fellow Greek. She is the author of 15 books, including "Thrive - The Sleep Revolution.” She's been named by Time Magazine and by all of us as one of the most influential people on the planet.
All three of these leaders had extraordinary insights to share about leadership in exponential times.
For part 1, let’s dive into Beth’s top takeaways.
Beth Comstock’s Eight Principles of Exponential Leadership
Beth has an extraordinary mindset as a leader at GE.
“These days, I think you have to be constantly thinking about what's next, what's new, and how do I adapt,” Beth began, during her address to A360 members.
Beth outlined eight principles for exponential leadership. Read carefully.
1. Be a Mission-Based, “Emergence Leader”: If you're a leader today, your job is change and culture. It's a lot of other things, but it doesn’t matter where you are in the organization, [the most important aspects] are change and culture. The old is going away (but it has not fully disappeared), the new is emerging and we're all trying to make sense of it. Change suddenly shows up and it's disruptive. An emergence leader is constantly focused on and ready for change.
2. Organize Around Information Flows: In the digital age, information moves fast. To keep up with information flows, you have to ditch hierarchy. There's no room for bureaucracy. It's about openness, candor, radical feedback and full transparency. If you organize your organization around these tenets, you’ll thrive. At GE, we've really reorganized ourselves as a digital industrial company digitizing everything we can get our hands on.
3. Empower Individuals: Build a team of people who are prepared for change and empower them to do great work. The question is: how do you get people to get excited to grab power and go for it? More autonomy.
4. Define your company's “MO” - Mindset Orientation: Mindset is everything. As a leader, you must provide the vision and then allow your teams to figure their way out. Create a mindset that incentivizes them to do what they need to do the fastest, best way they can. It means they may fail. You should encourage them to fail fast, learn from their mistakes, and keep going. At GE, this process is called FastWorks, and it's built on lean startup methodology.
5. Establish Feedback Loops: Exponential leaders must both give and receive feedback—and importantly, they have to actually use it. Beth offers three ideas here:
First: “One of the things we've done at GE is we've actually gotten rid of our employee performance reviews. Anyone in the organization can give anyone feedback. I just did a Facebook Live event last week and one of my young colleagues in the company gave me some feedback. It wasn't so good... ‘You weren't looking at the camera at the right point. You looked like you were distracted.’ It was hard feedback to receive, but it was encouraged.”
Second: Beth suggests asking your team a very direct question that yields a lot of value: “What is the one thing that is true that you think I don’t want to hear?” Beth comments that you’ll be amazed what you’ll learn. It’s extremely valuable.
Third: Rather than doing long, convoluted employee surveys, stick to a simple feedback mechanism: Continue, or consider. You get feedback that says either “Continue doing X” or “Consider changing X to make it better.” It’s really simple, fast and actionable.
6. Get Used to Living in the In-Between: Exponential leaders are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. This is going to be key to survive the change that is coming. Beth advises, “Get used to the ambiguity of working with people who know how to figure it out and who don't need as much instruction.”
7. Mash Up Minds and Machines: Exponential leaders use technology to their advantage, combining the power of computing and data with human leadership. They must develop collaborations between people and machines, between artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the people operating in their company, their customers and their executives. Teams that don’t do this will be left behind.
8. Prioritize Innovation and Observe Patterns That Block It: Innovating is really hard. Good leaders understand they have to navigate the tension. Sometimes leaders give up, and they don't hold their team accountable for growing. They themselves back off on it. And so is it any wonder that the people on the team deprioritize innovating? It’s also important to stick around a while. I've been around my company a while, and it's only after a few years that you start to see the patterns and to understand what went wrong.
Change is coming. Exponential leaders must prepare for it and embrace it.
Beth concluded, “I think we still need great leaders with vision, the ability to find and coach people, to encourage people, to help them renew themselves, to go forward…
“I'm a firm believer that the future still depends on great leaders who can constantly reinvent themselves.” –Beth Comstock, Vice-Chair, GE
8 Principles for Leaders to Make the Most of the Exponential Age (Part 2)
How do top CEOs lead during this exponential age? How do you manage the explosion of information and onslaught of increasing competition? How do you sort through the abundance of opportunity and avoid getting burned out? How do you maintain agility during today’s tsunami of change?
Today’s post is the second of three parts deriving insights and advice from three incredible, forward-thinking leaders: Beth Comstock, Sue Siegel, and Arianna Huffington. Today, we will focus on Sue Siegel’s advice. Sue, Beth and Arianna addressed my 2017 Abundance 360 CEO Summit in a module called “Exponential Leadership.” (Be sure to read part one for eight excellent insights from Beth Comstock.)
Sue Siegel is the CEO of GE Ventures. She heads GE's growth and innovation business comprised of GE Ventures, GE Licensing and New Business Creation (NBC).
GE Ventures is the venture capital arm of General Electric that invests hundreds of millions of dollars in and partners with the entrepreneurial ecosystem across healthcare, energy, software, advanced manufacturing and lighting, and starts and grows companies via its New Business Creation unit.
Previously, Sue was the president of Affymetrix, and she’s had 30 years of combined commercial experience. She's also on my board at Human Longevity Inc., which I'm very proud of, and GE is an investor in HLI.
Sue Siegel on Exponential Leadership
1. Always be an ambassador for your team, innovation happens everywhere: As a leader, you must always be an ambassador for your team. Not only is it important for you to always reflect your company’s values, but it’s also important that you constantly search for opportunities, tools, people, and ideas that would be valuable to your team. In other words, if you go to an event or conference, always be on the lookout for great opportunities for your team.
2. Issues within the team should be resolved within the team: Given the pace of change and complexity of leading a high-performance team, there is often a lot of stress and confusion with implementing team decisions. This can lead to gossiping or complaining outside of the group. Sue notes that your colleagues outside the team don’t want to sit there and actually help you; instead, they just want to hear the gossip and spread it. This can be detrimental to productivity and team morale. Instead, don't start rumors, don’t spread them, and if you have an issue, take it up immediately within the team and solve it there.
3. Once a decision is made, it is supported. Period. This is really important. Once a decision is made in a meeting, there must be no second-guessing of that decision after the fact. Sue explains, “When we walk out of that room, and you've had all the chance to actually defend your position to make the decision, it’s time to start executing. That's it.” If you need to change a strategy, use data from implementation to support your argument and bring it up in the next decision-making meeting.
4. Proactive problem management – go directly to the source: As complexity increases, so too does the potential for conflict or confusion. As an exponential leader, you must be proactive in managing this. Sue’s strategy is simple and clear: “Go to the source, directly to the source. Don’t complain to managers or others before you’ve gone to the person first to resolve the conflict.”
5. Assume noble intent: I love this one. It’s important as a leader to trust your team and assume that they have the team’s best interests in mind. It’s remarkable what you are able to achieve when you assume noble intent. Ultimately, this goes back to hiring as well. You must ensure that you are hiring team players who are inspired by the company’s mission and purpose.
6. Ambidextrous leadership (investor + operator thinking): Sue believes there is enormous value in pairing venture capital investor-type thinking with operator-type thinking. Being able to step back and analyze opportunities from an investor’s perspective can be a valuable tool in helping entrepreneurs and managers alike make better decisions. And for investors, thinking like an operator is so important to understand the businesses they are investing in and, more than that, to best leverage your resources to help the companies.
7. You can’t delegate culture: This is absolutely critical for exponential leaders. Culture can make or break a company, and therefore it a) must be very high on a leader’s list of priorities and b) must come from the top. Leaders can’t delegate culture. Sue goes on, “Leaders are the culture bearers, the torchkeepers of culture in our companies. They might have change agents, or those that actually help them amplify their culture, but the leader cannot delegate culture. This is a truth that a lot of us forget because we're so busy. Employees and teams really want to see it from their leaders. They want to hear the talk, they want to watch them walk the talk, all the time.” Interestingly, while leaders cannot delegate culture creation, they can delegate culture keeping.
8. Purpose and passion: Purpose and passion drive people to do what they do. Sue explains, “Our people are very motivated by a purpose. And you have to go recruit for that kind of person. Purpose fuels passion. Passion creates energy to deliver. It empowers people to believe they can. Purpose and passion actually help people unlock the potential they never knew they had. It is up to leaders to define the purpose and build a team around it.”
Change is coming. Exponential leaders must prepare for it and embrace it.
You’ve got to resolve conflict proactively, expect the best from your team, and fuel their energy to solve problems and create extraordinary results.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
- Dr. Peter Diamandis was recently named by Fortune Magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
- He is the founder and executive chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation which leads the world in designing and operating large-scale incentive competitions.
- He is also the co-founder and executive chairman of Singularity University, a graduate-level Silicon Valley institution that counsels the world’s leaders on exponentially growing technologies.
- Diamandis is also the co-founder and vice-chairman of Human Longevity Inc. (HLI), a genomics and cell therapy-based company focused on extending the healthy human lifespan.
- In the field of commercial space, Diamandis is co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resources, a company designing spacecraft to enable the detection and prospecting of asteroids for fuels and precious materials. He is the also co-founder of Space Adventures and Zero Gravity Corporation.
- Diamandis is a New York Times bestselling author of two books: Abundance – The Future Is Better Than You Think and BOLD – How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World.
- He earned degrees in Molecular Genetics and Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
- His motto is, “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”