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Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I recently read The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion (Hagel, Brown, & Davison, 2010).

This is one of the best books I've read on the topic of leadership - moving others and ourselves - in several years.  It would make a great resource for team book studies. 

My biggest takeaways:
  • Success can be defined as making sense while making progress.
  • In current contexts, our ability to tap knowledge flows is more important than tapping archives of knowledge.
  • We should think of our environment as a creation space, something we have power to shape.
  • Talent development MUST be a top priority.
  • Push models lead to heightened resistance, boredom, and stress.  Pull models stoke curiosity, innovation, and energy.
  • Seek out and engage the folks who have the tacit knowledge - the know-how - rather than the know-what group.
  • Connect with smart, talented, capable others, and make the most of those "serendipitous" encounters.
  • Leaders should be trying to pull the core to the edges rather than the edges to the core.
  • Senior (seasoned?) leaders ought to be seeking out "reverse mentors," in order to stretch their own thinking.

My favorite quotes:

  • “As a billboard along Highway 101 in Silicon Valley put it, '1,000,000 people overseas can do your job. What makes you so special?'” (p. 12)
  • “There are always more smart people outside your company than within it.  If we are serious about developing our own talent, we must find more ways to connect with and collaborate with all of those smart people outside our organization.” (p. 189) 
A superb book!

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