Obsession: Pat Riley

Patrick James Riley, born in1945, is an American professional basketball executive, and also a former coach as well as a player in the National Basketball Association. He has been the team president of the Miami Heat since 1995 as well as head coach in two separate tenures.

Know as one of the elite few among NBA coaches, Riley has served as the head coach of five championship teams. He won four with the Los Angeles Lakers during their Showtime era in the 1980s. And also one with the Miami Heat in 2006.

In 1996, he was named one of the 10 Greatest Coaches in NBA history. He played for the Lakers’ championship team in 1972 as well. Riley won the 2012 and 2013 NBA championships with the Heat as their team president. He also received the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award from the NBA Coaches Association.

Riley has been quoted as saying that, “To have long term success as a coach or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way.” Clearly, his healthy obsession with the game lead him to become one of the great leaders in NBA history.

He was named NBA Coach of the Year three times. He was head coach of an NBA All-Star Game team nine times. Amazingly, he is the first North American sports figure to win a championship as a player, assistant coach, head coach, and as an executive.

 

Education is the mother of leadership

Wendell Lewis Willkie: an American, a lawyer and corporate executive, and the 1940 Republican nominee for President. Willkie appealed to many delegates as the Republican field’s only interventionist. Even when the U.S. remained neutral prior to Pearl Harbor, he favored greater U.S. involvement in World War II. The goal, to support Britain and other Allies. His Democratic opponent Franklin D. Roosevelt, won the 1940 election with about 55% of the popular vote. Roosevelt took the electoral college vote by large margin.

After  Pearl Harbor, Willkie offered his full support to Roosevelt. Willkie’s mission was to be Roosevelt’s personal representative. After leaving the U.S. on August 26, Willkie’s first stop was in North Africa. Willkie met General Montgomery and toured the front at El Alamein. In Beirut, he stayed with General de Gaulle. In Jerusalem, Willkie met with Jews and Arabs. He also told the British rulers of Palestine that both peoples should be brought into the government.

Willkie later noted that the conflict there was so ancient, it was unrealistic to think that it could “be solved by good will and simple honesty”.

Willkie had been moved to add the Soviet Union to his itinerary when three Western reporters there urged him by telegram to do so There, he met with Stalin, and upon his return he advocated more liberal Lend-Lease terms for the USSR.

“He was a born leader and he stepped to leadership at just the moment when the world needed him.” Allan Nevins, historian, wrote of Willkie.

Even though Mr. Willkie never reached the presidency, his legacy is perhaps more important than any specific title in that his name will always be remembered as part of American history.

During his 1940 campaign, Willkie had pledged to integrate the civil service and armed forces, and proudly pointed to what he deemed the strongest civil rights plank in history in the Republican platform. He also promised to end racial segregation in Washington, D.C.

Shortly before his death, Willkie told a friend, “If I could write my own epitaph and if I had to choose between saying, ‘Here lies an unimportant President’, or, ‘Here lies one who contributed to saving freedom at a moment of great peril’, I would prefer the latter.”

Eleanor Rosalynn Carter: First Lady and Leader

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”

– Rosalynn Carter

Eleanor Rosalynn Carter is the wife of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

She has been a leading voice for many causes. Primarily for mental health research. She sat in on Cabinet and policy meetings, her husband’s closest adviser. She also served as an envoy in Latin America.During her husband’s administration, Rosalynn supported her husband’s public policies.  The idea for her to be in attendance came from her husband’s suggestion after she started to question him about a news story.

“For every person who needs mental health care to be able to receive it close to his home, and to remove the stigma from mental health care so people will be free to talk about it and seek help. It’s been taboo for so long to admit you had a mental health problem.”

Rosalynn Carter sat as an active honorary chair of the President’s Commission on Mental Health. She testified before a Senate committee, the second First Lady to appear before the Congress (the first being Eleanor Roosevelt). The purpose? To speak on behalf of the Mental Health System Bill, enacted in 1980, of her priorities, mental health was the highest. Working to change the nature of government assistance to the mentally ill, Carter wanted to allow people to be comfortable admitting their disabilities without fear of being called crazy.

How to Be Viewed as a Leader

How do emerging leaders become viewed as such by their peers and superiors? What does it take to be considered an emerging leader? What are these people doing that sets them apart, not just in the eyes of their superiors, but also their peers?

It isn’t about being a yes-person or company person or a thankless workhorse. It is about influence. It’s about doing things that make people feel good about the work when you are on the team. They should choose to follow you, your advice and suggestions when offered. Better yet, become the kind of person from whom people seek suggestions and advice.

Influential employees identify problems, take them to people in power, offer practical, thoughtful solutions, note their own role in whatever mess needs mending, and offer to take part in the repair work they suggest. Telling your bosses that all’s not well can be risky when done wrong, but rewarding when you prove yourself to be the “loyal opposition.”

If you’re seen as operating from a small silo while ignoring the organization’s big picture, you won’t be taken seriously. At the same time, if you’re not interested in learning new skills as your business evolves or keeping updated on industry developments, your colleagues won’t count on you to do more than stagnate in the status quo while others lead change.

Finally, people who automatically look for ways to help others tend to do well at work, unless they are so self-sacrificing that they’re taken advantage of and fail to effectively manage their own time and workload.

These principles can be applied to our work inside all kinds of organizations like NPOs and community projects, not just at work.

Source:
https://www.poynter.org/news/four-ways-be-seen-leader-even-when-youre-not-charge

New Year Resolutions for Leaders

Resolve to be the kind of leader we want to follow. Be consistent. We can tolerate even a poor leader if he isn’t channeling a different sort of poor leadership each day. Be real. Let us see how you as a leader effectively manage emotions and frustration at work. Show us what excites you about the challenges ahead.

Resolve to help us understand how we can develop. This helps us be better in many ways. It allows us to understand our future with the company; it gives us a way to structure our efforts to learn more about our jobs, our company, and our industry; and it shows that you have a personal interest, because you have made an effort to know our individual strengths and weaknesses.

Become a better listener. We have ideas. They won’t all be great ideas, but if you listen to us you can coach us to develop our ability to better vet and sharpen the next one.

Hold the micromanagement. Let’s talk trust. Nothing is more frustrating than to be prevented from just doing the job you hired me to do. We understand that it can be uncomfortable to delegate work. We understand that in many cases it is your reputation on the line when our team fails to produce something to our standard.

Hold poor performers accountable. If they can’t improve, pay the price necessary to cut them loose. What could be more damaging to the morale of the team than the struggle associated with carrying dead wood? We understand that you may not want to lose a position, that you may have some hope that you can magically restore someone’s motivation or suddenly implant some talent, or that politics may provide the poor performer with protection.

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. She popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages, which led to the development of COBOL, an early high-level programming language still in use today.

Hopper had attempted to enlist in the Navy during World War II, but she was rejected by the military because she was 34 years of age and too old to enlist. She instead joined the Navy Reserves. Hopper began her computing career when she worked on the Harvard Mark I team that was led by Howard H. Aiken.

Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she was sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper was named for her, as was the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC. During her lifetime, Hopper was awarded 40 honorary degrees from universities across the world. A college at Yale University is named in her honor. In 1991, she received the National Medal of Technology. On November 22, 2016, she was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Rear Admiral “Amazing” Grace Hooper is well known for having said of leadership, “You manage things; you lead people.”