Moe and Herminia Ibarra talk about what kind of work is important, how to invest your time, why and which relationships matter and who you want to become.
Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader
I remember vividly being offered my first leadership opportunity; I was 22 years old, and my managing partner and I were having dinner at a swank “K Street” restaurant when he asked me to go for walk after he paid a bundle for what seemed to be a small amount of food. I was a bit perplexed because it was a particularly cold December evening in DC, but we walked and talked for the better part of an hour, before he finally said to me that I’d be ‘an outstanding manager.’ I didn’t quite know what to make of it, still I acknowledged his sentiments by expressing my appreciation for his mentorship, and let him know that I had a great role model in him.
As we neared our cars, he stopped, again to ask me if I’d ever seen myself in a management role? Being honest, I reiterated how much I enjoyed the freedom of sales, but stressed that I’d be open to listening and following his guidance. We met at the office the following morning, and within a week, I was handing out my ‘Sales Manger’ business cards. I felt both excited and scared. I had more questions than I did answers, and despite being reminded on numerous occasions that the job ‘didn’t come with an instruction manual,’ I found my safe haven in Nike’s ‘just do it’ campaign.
The quintessential 30 second clip had launched a year prior and featured an 80-year-old, Walt Stack running across the Golden Gate Bridge chatting about his daily 17-mile run smiling and reminding us to ‘Just Do It’. Those three words inspired me to look beyond the fear, and seek greatness in everything I did, Much like what Herminia Ibarra, professor of leadership and organizational behavior at INSEAD will stress in her latest book, Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader. As you’ll see, her philosophy isn’t about strengths, introspection or self-reflection. To her, it’s about acting your way into becoming a great leader.
As you listen to our conversation, pay attention to her commentary on these key topics:
Why the state of leadership today is less than satisfactory
Why the way leaders think about their jobs is what’s keeping them from stepping up
How admired leaders define their identity
Why scheduling ‘thinking time’ is a bad idea
The three key principle of The “Outsight” Principle
The key to continually redefining your role as a leader
The Power of Play