Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Projects need People

I just finished this excellent book. I highly recommend it for anybody wanting to learn about leadership. It is full of advice-laden anecdotes, sorted by category, rather than chronologically.

His closing words really hit home for the projects I'm currently involved in. He quotes Admiral Rickover: Organizations don't get things done. Plans and programs don't get things done. Only people get things done."

Then he quotes his own speeches to White House Fellows: "No good idea succeeds simply because it is a good idea. Good ideas must have champions - people willing to believe in them, push for them, fight for them, gain adherents and other champions, and press until they succeed. I follow up with a related truth: Bad ideas don't simply die because they are intrinsically bad. You need people who will stand up and fight for them, put themselves at risk, point out the weaknesses and drive stakes through their hearts."

These last words have inspired me to be more courageous in the organizations I work for. I've been pretty good at standing up for my own or other people's good ideas. But I look back at times in the past when I have seen bad ideas, shrugged and said to myself, "They'll find out before long they are going down the wrong path," rather than standing up and fighting against the bad ideas when I could have changed things.

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