Posts Tagged ‘visionary’

Jimmy Buffett Story Is Having Fun

Friday, January 27th, 2012

I just discovered an interesting article on Jimmy Buffett, who by any measure is a skillful and wildly successful storyteller. Many songwriters are great storytellers, of course, but few have careers as enduring as Buffett’s.

Written by Karen Dietz, a colleague of mine based in San Diego, the article is based on an interview she conducted “years ago” when working for a national magazine. Describing Buffett’s diverse talents as visionary, businessman and airplane pilot, she elaborates on his top criteria for developing good stories:

  1. Spend most of your time listening to others
  2. Take time to develop interesting characters
  3. Remember that the objective is to paint pictures with your words
  4. Have fun!

In summary, Dietz says corporate storytelling can be challenging, but it’s easier if you follow Buffett’s advice. She says “the last piece of advice that Jimmy gave me…(was, ‘No matter what you do, just don’t forget to have fun with it. If you aren’t having fun, it makes for really long, boring days. And no one needs that.’ ”

The entire article is at

Lessons from Steve Jobs on Succession

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

A phenomenal visionary and innovator, Steve Jobs also demonstrated a lot of skill as a leader. One case in point is the thoughtful way he handled succession planning, an area many CEOs avoid, to their company’s disadvantage.

Information Week writer Robert Strohmeyer reported earlier this year that author Carmine Gallo, who followed Jobs’ career closely over the years and wrote two well-received books about him, identified the five key lessons to be learned Jobs’ succession planning:

  1. Focus on the customer, client, and user experience, above everything else
  2. Ensure that the culture of the company is held up as a higher value than a particular person’s leadership so that everyone realizes the company can succeed without certain individuals
  3. Control the core message and exemplify it (walk your talk)
  4. Be proactive about turning over the reins gradually so that people become accustomed to the new CEO before it’s time to leave
  5. Select your successor by evaluating the person’s ability to do the job rather than assessing whether the personality is similar to yours

What do you think is most important to remember when preparing to step down from a leadership role? Please offer your thoughts, ideally based on your experience.

Thousands of executives, top-flight sales leaders and savvy marketers have learned—with Evelyn Clark’s help—how to identify, create and deliver messages that stick in audiences’ minds. An author, workshop/retreat leader and keynoter, she is a recognized expert and pioneer in organizational storytelling. Learn about her Corporate Storytelling® system and services, or buy her book, at


Creating Inspirational Leaders in the Lab?

Sunday, November 13th, 2011

In an effort to understand what makes a leader inspirational, researchers are hoping to be able to identify areas of the brain that are different in those who are inspirational–and then to use neurofeedback to develop similar wiring in others in order to develop more charismatic leaders. So far, their research findings are promising.

As reported in the “Academy of Management Perspectives,” researchers have identified the area of the brain that helps form “socialized visionary communication,” which in turn helps followers to perceive a leader as inspirational or charismatic. What do you think about this? Is it reassuring to think that a person’s wiring can be manipulated this way? Or a bit frightening to realize how close we’re getting to the sci-fi scenarios described in Brave New World?