Tag Archives: Leadership

The Classic Pamela Positive: “You Have to Be Able to Tell People ‘Great Job’ on Things That Didn’t Work”

 

“You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

— J. Kermit Campbell, former CEO of Herman Miller

 

 

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Campbell has it right.  A CEO is not an expert except in one area: getting the right people. Actually, let’s add another area: values. You must be a leader who gets the best people and demonstrates the highest values.

Even if you are a manager, you should still think this way. Empower your people to learn and maintain a domain of expertise. Hopefully, you can hire them with it. If you can’t, make sure they have the rapid capability to do so.  Let’s learn from Campbell’s advice to us:

“I don’t believe that my job is to lead design at Herman Miller.  My job is to make sure we have great design leaders, continue to listen and try to learn from them…My job is not to be a creative guy, my job is to create a culture that allows and promotes creativity…

You’re going to have to take risks. It’s not all going to work.

You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

 

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J. Kermit Campbell is a former CEO of Herman Miller, and the current Lead Independent Director of SPX Corporation.  He is an investor or board member for a number of companies and charitable organizations.  Herman Miller is a leading furniture company, founded by D. J. DePree, with a more than 100-year history.  They focus on innovation, and designing products to create a better world.

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Dag Hammarskjold Gives Hope to the World

 

Dag Hammarskjold was such a wonderful model of what the U.N. can be and do. As Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, Hammarskjold was known for his unrelenting energy given to fairness, peace and collaboration. He represented hope and reconciliation throughout many corners of our world.

 

Hammarskjold supported countries whether or not there was an economic interest, as it should be.  Equitable involvement for all countries was his philosophy.

 

 

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For example in the Suez Crisis, when Egypt nationalized the canal, Hammarskjold was able to broker French, British and Egyptian collaboration to keep it open. Meanwhile, Israel attacked Egypt and the peace process was upset. With Mr. Hammarskjold’s leadership, U.N. Forces were able to maintain a peaceful solution until a longer term solution was reached.

 

In endangered Laos, he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection. He also became part of a very long-term process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa, opening up attitudes of equality and fairness regarding race.

 

 

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Hammarskjold’s last challenge was the crisis in the Congo where violent civil war was ensuing. Here he had brokered leaders meeting in neutral territory to resolve the conflict. Unfortunately, his plane was shot down and he did not survive.

 

Dag Hammarskjold was mourned by the world. He was seen as an extremely strong leader led by principles; tireless and needing little sleep.

 

 

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It was as if he were “on call” for the world.

 

“The world in which I grew up in was dominated by principles and ideals…I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country or humanity.  This sacrifice required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.”

 

 

 

Hammarskjold also created a meditation room or peace room in the U.N.  It is a place only for thoughts, no words, and embraces all types of prayers.  There is a stone in the middle of the room with nothing on it, and yet a shaft of light shines directly there.  It is dedicated as an altar to harmony and freedom that is worshipped in many forms, by different countries and peoples, in many varied ways all over the world.

 

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Dag Hammarskjold was an economist and diplomat who was the second Secretary-General of the United Nations. He was born in Jönköping and grew up in Uppsala. His father was Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, the Prime Minister of Sweden from 1914 to 1917. By the age of 25, he had already received a Licentiate of Philosophy and his Master of Laws degree. After receiving his Ph.D. in Economics, Hammarskjold began serving his country in various roles from state secretary in the Ministry of Finance to being vice chairman of of the Swedish delegation to the United Nations General Assembly. In becoming Secretary-General, he received an unexpected nomination from the Secretary Council (with China abstaining) and he surprised everyone with his knowledge of the United Nations’ affairs when accepting his nominations. He’s widely considered to be one of the two best Secretary-Generals of the United Nations. During his tenure, he made sure to promote peace and equality both within and outside the United Nations. Hammarskjold promoted peace in Congo and he was unexpectedly killed en route to a trip there. After his death, he was rewarded a Nobel Prize. 

The Classic Pamela Positive: “There is no door that love will not open.”

“There’s no difficulty that enough love will not conquer . . . no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love will not throw down; how hopeless the outlook . . . how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all.”

Emmet Fox

 

I think this is beautiful and these kind of things are so important to keep emphasizing.

 

 

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Emmet Fox (1886 – 1951) was a New Thought spiritual leader, meaning that he was aligned with the philosophical movement from early 20th century USA. His words were particularly influential during the Great Depression when he would give sermons to people suffering from the economic downturn. Today, he is remembered for his strikingly beautiful phrases and his involvement with the New Thought movement.

The Classic Pamela Positive: There Are Two Types of People, Says Winston Churchill…

 

“There are two types of people: those who see difficulty in every opportunity, and those who see opportunity in every difficulty.”

— Winston Churchill

 

 

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Be, see, and live opportunity.

 

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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a British politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Noble Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. He was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family. Churchill married Clementine Hozier in 1908 and had five children: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold Frances, and Mary.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Don’t Ever Give This Up: Humble Will

 

Don’t ever give this up. Your Humble Will.  It’s your commitment to persevere.

 

 

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Business models will change and do change. Systems change, marketplaces change, technology changes.

 

But your Humble Will to persevere cannot. Your organization relies on it; your team must know it. And you must found this commitment to persevere deeply within your soul and daily execution.

 

 

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Please note I add “humble will.” It’s a listening commitment, a listening perseverance. You can’t just bulldoze ahead….. You have to be in touch with your marketplace, sector, clients, board, partners, team in order to know the best way to go, each moment, each day. And that takes humble listening.

 

 

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Don’t ever give up your Humble Will to persevere.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”

 

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.”

– Alexander Haig

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Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan. He grew up as the middle child in a Catholic family in Pennsylvania. Haig would attend the University of Notre Dame for a couple years before finishing at West Point Academy. He would later also receive an MBA from Columbia Business School and a MA in International Relations from Georgetown University. A veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War, Haig received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart. He was married Patricia Fox and they had three children together.

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Undertake Something So Great You Cannot Accomplish It Unaided

“We never become truly spiritual by sitting and wishing to become so. You must undertake something so great that you cannot accomplish it unaided.”

 

  – Phillips Brooks

 

Phillips Brooks, an educator and spiritual leader, advised us to push ourselves into the unknown for a special reason:

To become spiritual.

Well, you might ask, “Why is being spiritual so important? I simply want to create a great company, write a book, or scale Mount Kilimanjaro.”

The qualities it takes to do any of the above, and anything miraculous, are unseeable.

They are:

Perseverance: Don’t ever think of giving up…
Thoughtfulness and care in building a team…
Inspirational, being able to paint your vision in a way that excites others, impels them to take action…

You must have these qualities to build successful relationships and enduring companies.  Yet all of these are qualities which are not required in school, home or job.  And yet they are the invisible glue which will allow you “…to undertake something so great you cannot accomplish it unaided.”

They are not material or physical. They are spiritual.

 

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Phillips Brooks was an American clergyman in the Episcopal church during the 19th century. Before he joined the clergy, Brooks attended Harvard College and graduated at the age of 20. He moved on to become a schoolteacher, where he would be fired soon after. This led him to study in the Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. He published several books of lectures and sermons, as well as authoring the popular Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” During the American Civil War, he supported the North and denounced slavery.  He was highly regarded as a preacher and a patriot.