- "Can I have an umbrella of mercy?" - We have actually used this one for some time at Grace. It's a phrase that was hatched by the Willow Arts team. It means, “I’m going to propose a high-risk idea, and something in me wishes there was an umbrella of safety over my head to protect me from bad reactions.” Everyone in leadership has felt the emotional risk that comes when a new idea is put out on the table. This phrase asks for some grace from those listening to "hear me out" without judgment.
- “When something feels funky, engage.” - This was a new one to me, but it resonates deeply. Often when leaders are walking around, they pick up on a hint of something funky going in a particular department. Sometimes they tend to avoid addressing it and hope it will go away or resolve itself. That usually never happens! When something feels funky -even if you can't put your finger on exactly what it is - it's time for a leader to engage.
- "Check your ego at the door" - Colin Powell developed some axioms that are called the “Powell Principles,” and this is one of them. Hybels noted how every part of this axiom is memorable — especially the visual imagery of arriving at a meeting, walking through the door, checking your ego like a coat, leaving it behind, doing your business, and picking it back up when you leave.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
On my last trip down to the SC (that's South Carolina) - I listened to a podcast by Bill Hybels about his new book Axiom. I had just purchased the book and wanted a little primer before I got into it. It was excellent. Hybels defines axioms as carefully-crafted phrases of just a few words through which leaders can communicate a complex concept, value, or a learned leadership lesson, and these axioms become part of the organization’s culture. They are short repeatable sound bytes that help organizations develop a common leadership language and value system. Here are three that caught my attention: