Mastering ‘Crock-Pot’ Leadership
A crock-pot is a counter-top electrical cooking appliance used to prepare food at a lower temperature and over a longer period of time. The liquid transfers heat from the walls of the pot to its contents and slowly distributes flavors. A microwave oven, on the other hand, is an electric oven that heats food rapidly by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation. Microwave ovens heat food quickly and efficiently.
According to the Internet, nearly 10,000 books on leadership are written each year. Since the year 2,000, more than 200,000 books have been penned by researchers, academics, and practitioners which provide a plethora of information. To understand leadership requires a “crock-pot” not a “microwave” approach to grasping its significance in today’s every-changing and dynamic business environment.
In my own limited library, for example, I have examined nearly 35 books, which have taught me:
- 12 Rules from 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson, Professor at the University of Toronto
- 5 Principles of the Reinventionist Mindset by Joe Jackman, CEO of Jackman Reinvents
- 4 Capabilities of the incomplete leader from In Praise of the Incomplete Leader co-authored by Peter Senge, creator of the Learning Organization, and senior lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management
- 30 Challenges to leadership success from Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow by Scott Jeffrey Miller, Executive VP, FranklinCovey
- 10 Lessons from Leading Matters: Lessons from My Journeys by Walter Isaacson, Chairman of the Board of Alphabet and Director of Knight-Hennessey Scholars at Stanford University
- 12 Strategies for leading from Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization by Ron Williams, CEO of RW2 Enterprises
- 4 Elements of leading from In Great Company: How to Spark Peak Performance By Creating an Emotionally Connected Workplace by Louis Carter, CEO of Best Practices Institute
- 10 Impacts of leading from purpose from Leading from Purpose: Clarity and the Confidence to Act When It Matters Most by Nick Craig, founder of the Core Leadership Institute at Harvard University
- 7 Portraits of elite leaders who have changed our world, not necessarily for the better, in Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giriharadas, Aspen Institute fellow
- 5 Imaginations to Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change by Beth Comstock, currently director at Nike
- 8 Arts from The Art of Strategic Leadership: How Leaders at All Levels Prepare Themselves, Their Teams, and Organizations for the Future by Steven J. Stowell, co-founder of the Center of Management and Organizational Effectiveness
- 3 Secrets of leadership from Flex: The Art and Science of Leadership in a Changing World by Jeffrey W. Hull, CEO of Leadershift, Inc.
- 11 Essential Changes which every leader must embrace from Leadershift: The 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace by John Maxwell, founder of the John Maxwell Company
- 4 Foundational Practices from The Leadership Contract: The Fine Print to Becoming an Accountable Leader by Vince Molinaro, Global Managing Director of Strategic Solutions
- 52 Discoveries from It’s the Manager: Gallup Finds the Quality of Managers and Team Leaders Is the Single Biggest Factor in Your Organization’s Long-Term Success by Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup
- 5 Fundamentals of becoming an exemplary leader from Learning Leadership: The Five Fundamentals of Becoming an Exemplary Leader by James Kouzes and Barry Posner, leadership fellows at the Leavey School of Business
- 80 Interventions from Cultural Change and Leadership in Organizations: A Practical Guide to Successful Organizational Change by Jaap J. Boonstra, Professor of Organizational Dynamics at ESADE Business School, in Spain
- 7 Tools in the Mentor’s Toolkit from Managers As Mentors: Building Partnerships for Learning by Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling authors on leadership
- A 9-Step Story from Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself by Stedman Graham, CEO of S. Graham & Associates
- 17 Insights of EQ (Emotionally Intelligent) from The EQ Leader: Instilling Passion, Creating Shared Goals, and Building Meaningful Organizations through Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Steven Stein, clinical psychologist a and CEO of Multi-Health Systems
With all these rules, principles, capabilities, challenges, lessons, strategies, elements, secrets, fundamentals, interventions, beliefs and insights, etc., how could we possibly absorb them using a “microwave” approach?
For rewarding results over time, simmer slowly.
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Vice President Emeritus for Learning Technologies Donald Smith, Ed.D, CPT, headed ME&A programs in learning, leadership, and performance enhancement. He stayed with the firm in his retirement, bringing more than 65 years of experience as a coach, designer, facilitator, evaluator, manager, educator, and organizational change architect in more than 50 countries.