Leadership 101: Values & Attitudes Trump Skills & Knowledge!
Thanks to fellow Pinker, Pattie Lanktree, for uncovering this article in Forbes about the IBM Executive School.
It’s interesting to learn what happened, way back in 1955, when IBM’s CEO Tom Watson, Jr instructed Louis R. Mobely to create a school to develop executives at IBM. Mobley assumed it would be pretty straightforward. After all, he’d recently succeeded in his previous task, to create a development program for managers & supervisors. Mobley’s assumption was that he just needed to do the same thing again:
1. Identify the skills & knowledge needed by a good executive.
2. Build the education programs accordingly.
3. And validate the effectiveness through testing.
However, while this approach worked for the management & supervisory program, it didn’t work for the executive program!
Read the article, written by August Turak, to discover what Mobley found - that values and attitudes were the characteristics that made a good leader, not skills and knowledge.
Turak lists 10 Leadership lessons from Mobley’s experience. I particularly like the fact that Mobley eventually abandoned “lectures & books” and turned to “games, simulations and other experiential techniques” to develop IBM’s leaders. Fits in with what we’re discovering at Pink as we learn more about what makes a good leader in IT Service Management.
For example, the official ITIL certification program may be an effective way to learn the basic knowledge and some skills needed to work with ITSM the ITIL way. But you can’t just rely on that if you aim to implement meaningful and lasting changes in work practices. A more useful technique is “ITSM In Action: The Apollo 13 Simulation Workshop” to really bring home the changes in attitudes and behaviour needed to get the right things done.