These are the final 5 of the 11 key leadership thoughts taken from a talk by Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, head of the University of Pittsburgh for the past 18 years. For more on Nordenberg’s leadership lessons, see these two previous posts, https://jvearle.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/lessons-from-a-university-president/ and https://jvearle.wordpress.com/2013/08/24/lessons-from-a-university-president-part-2/.
Nice guys finish first. My thoughts: It’s nice to hear from a genuinely nice guy, that he did in fact finish first. There may be times that you doubt this; but continue to follow the golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated, continue to persevere, and you will finish first.
Bad guys self-destruct. My thoughts: Be a good person and finish first. In the end, the bad guys lose. I know, sometimes it seems like it takes forever, but they do lose in the end.
Mission matters. My thoughts: Does your organization have a mission? Do your team members know what it is? Mission matters because it gives people a reason, a purpose, and pride in their work. Clarify your mission and then communicate it clearly.
There’s no substitute for hard work. My thoughts: This one speaks for itself. Success only comes after hard work. And as leaders, we must be the hardest workers in our organizations. If we set the example for hard work our team members will follow.
Believe in others and the basic goodness of people. My thoughts: I know at times this seems hard. We hear all the time about the bad things going on in our world and we start to question the basic goodness of people. But Chancellor Nordenberg reminds us that the majority of people are good. So believe in others until they give you a reason not to.
Chancellor Nordenberg has had tremendous success at the University of Pittsburgh. Through this series of posts, I’ve shared some of his secrets. And all of these lessons are clearly things we can do. Look at this week’s lessons – be a good person, set a clear mission, work hard, and believe in others. Seems achievable doesn’t it? So go out and do it. Start today and your team will follow.
Thanks for reading,
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Twitter – @jvearle
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Book – 100 Yards of Success: Leadership Lessons from College Football, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781625107312