Friday, 24 December 2010

Newsletter Issue 194, December 2010

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 194, December 2010
Hi guys,
I have talked about this topic before, but I don't think we have really talked about what Level 5 Leadership is and is not. So this time we have a quick look.
How many times have you clicked on a link that said one thing, to find quite another string in your web browser, with that sinking feeling in your stomach? Here's one way to verify with the TinyURL Preview
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Level 5 Leadership

Kenn Butler (2010) discussed a Bob Gass UCB article (2010) in his December 14th newsletter. Kenn quoted Gass "Disraeli [... & Gladstone] accomplished much. But what [...] separated them was their approach to people. The difference can be best illustrated with a story told by a young woman who dined with each of the two rival statesmen on consecutive nights. When asked for her impression of them, she said. ‘When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.’"
What a wonderful comparison of the two men; and what a pity the woman's name appears to have been lost to history. The clarity of her thought is fantastic.
What Gass is illustrating in the retelling of that little story is that that Gladstone was more of a charismatic leader; when he was in the room, there was no one else there. He shone the spotlight on himself. Disraeli was what we would now call a Level 5 leader (Collins, 2001a); the quiet, humble person who has "a wonderful team" and looks through the window when there is a success, and in the mirror when there is a failure. Disraeli led by shining the spotlight on others, not on himself.
Level 5 leaders are rarely seen unless you look for them. They are not the grandstanders, the shouters, the shining, polished people. As Jim Collins himself explains them, they are not the "celebrity CEO, the rock-star leader whose deepest ambition is first and foremost self-centric" (Collins, 2001b).
Level 5 leaders are the quiet battlers who get out there and do things for their people. They are passionate, hardworking, and work for, in and with their team. And they form great teams. They get the best group of "who"s in a room and collectively decide the best "what." Level 5 leaders don't decide alone, they are truly participative. It is often not their own visions they pursue, but, using penetrating questioning to draw out the team's strategies, the best their team can come up with (McCrimmon, 2008).
That is a great skill set to have; that of recognising the unique abilities that everyone has, and being able to put them together in a team that allows each of them to work to the best of their ability. To smooth the path in front of each person; to guide them; and then to get every unique team member working in the same direction for the greater good of the organisation.
Jim Collin's list of US CEOs whom he feels (for a variety of reasons including performance; impact; reputation resilience; and ultimately longevity) historically fits the Level 5 leadership model (Collins, 2003; Crainer, 2006) are, in best-fit place order:
  1. Charles Coffin, GE (1892+)
  2. Bill Allen, Boeing (1945+)
  3. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart (1945+)
  4. George Merck, Merck (1950-1970s)
  5. Darwin Smith, Kimberly Clark (1970-1990s)
  6. Jim Burke, Johnson & Johnson (1970-80s)
  7. David Maxwell, Fannie Mae (1980s)
  8. William McKnight, 3M (1940-50s)
  9. Katharine Graham, Washington Post (1960-70s)
  10. David Packard, HP (1940-1960s)
"Level 5 leaders are a study in duality" notes Collins, "modest and wilful, shy and fearless." (Crainer, 2006). Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if all leaders were like that :-)
Bibliography & further reading:

TinyURL Preview

If you have been sent a Tiny URL by someone who you may not quite trust, you can preview where the URL takes you, quite simply by adding the word "preview" as a prefix to the address:
Eg: Windows Secrets home page TinyURL link is
Copy that link into your browser address bar and change it to read "". Hit enter.
Now the link will bring you to a preview page that displays the full, expanded URL, so you can verify it was going to take you where you thought it would.
Build up that trust :-)

Mass Updates in Outlook

Have you ever been in the situation where a company name has changed, and you have had to change the data for several Outlook contacts?
TechRepublic just published a great tip at for doing a mass company change using grouping, and drag & drop:
  1. Go to Contacts.
  2. Click the View tab | Arrange By | Current View group | choose By Company.
  3. Click the header "Company" to sort the list by Company.
  4. In the Arrangement group, choose Collapse All from the Expand/Collapse option.
  5. Scroll to the company you want to update, choose "Expand This Group" from the Expand/Collapse option.
  6. Open any one contact in the group, update the Company field and save. This will create a new group.
  7. Collapse the old company and drag that group by the group bar to the new company. When a "Change Company Name To" control tip text message appears, drop the old company into the new one.
For any common information that you can group on, you can do the same kind of mass update. It is so much easier to get Outlook to update your contacts!

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • HERO, "Highly Empowered and Resourceful Operatives". Term coined in the new book, "Empowered: Unleash Your Employees, Energize Your Customers, Transform Your Business", by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
If you are working in a large Excel spreadsheet, and lose sight of your active cell, there are a couple of Excel shortcuts that will send you back:
  • Excel "Return to the active, off-screen cell" - Ctrl & Backspace
  • Excel "Return to the active, off-screen cell if you know the cell address or range name" - Ctrl & G, enter range/address, Enter

Hot Linx
If you like Kiwiana, you have to check out the tea towels for sale by Martha Craig (aka Wanda Harland) at Love the hats too!
Scroll down to "Map of the on-line community" on and have a look at the Map - fantastic. You can also buy a poster-sized copy if it rings your bell at
And if you are wanting a styley umbrella, check out the technology in these ones at
Check out how corrupt your country is by heading off to and viewing the country results. Makes for very interesting reading. NZ is at the top in a tie with Denmark, with Finland and Sweden in second place.

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here


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