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Finding Treasures & Picking Battles

Written by KV on Thursday, 15 August 2013 02:45.

I recently taught an Executive MBA course in Leadership Development Skills. The program included an in-depth look at what I believe to be the Top 10 obstacles to achieving effective team leadership and team performance. It will be no surprise then that the #1 barrier I identify in the course is "Lack of Planning that Gets to the Point". To support my view, I used an interview with Carlos Ghosn, the current CEO of Nissan who is credited with leading one of the most dramatic turnarounds in the history of the modern corporation.1 In the interview, Ghosn was asked how he galvanized the people at Nissan to discover a solution when things were going so badly at Nissan at the time he was named CEO in 2001. His response is golden. He didn't say that it was his brilliant, multicultural and highly-educated mind that held the solution to the turnaround. He instead explained that the most critical action he took was to maintain the belief that the solution existed within the company. The solution was buried deep within the organization and his job was to dig to find it. He did this by talking to the people who worked at Nissan - lots of them from all areas and levels - and listening to what they believed were the issues. Doing this enabled him to make what he calls a "lucid diagnosis" of why Nissan was in the state it was in and begin to develop solutions. What is a


"Plans are not important.
Planning is."

Dwight D. Eisenhower