Leadership lessons from 2014

“His emotional and intellectual investment in the company he founded was boundless. Why would he not love traveling to IDG offices to talk with IDG employees about their work at IDG?” #

Pat also had some strong philosophies underpinning his approach to working. #

“Alan is putting himself out there pretty far with this one, and I’m not sure we know how to back him up. That’s the problem with visionaries. You don’t always know what you’re following until you get there.” #

By the time Edward Snowden got through to Glen Greenwald, Alan had created the window through which others could see where he was taking the Guardian. He had the kind of support needed not just to execute the journalism he envisioned but, more importantly, to act as a truly independent voice in the world. #

“There is an irreversible trend in society today which rather wonderfully continues what we as an industry started – here, in newspapers, in the UK. It’s not a “digital trend” – that’s just shorthand. It’s a trend about how people are expressing themselves, about how societies will choose to organise themselves, about a new democracy of ideas and information, about changing notions of authority, about the releasing of individual creativity, about an ability to hear previously unheard voices; about respecting, including and harnessing the views of others. About resisting the people who want to close down free speech. #

Alan’s strategy for the Guardian meant that the Snowden revelations and other stories of that scale were possible in a way that the digital era had not yet seen. For that we should all be thankful, regardless of your view of the Guardian. #

  • Being committed to your team makes them happy and committed to you.
  • Distributing authority and enabling your best people to do what they do expands your influence as they expand theirs.
  • Grounding your vision with a philosophy that others can apply in their day-to-day jobs creates a network of support required for executing the more risky things a leader wants to achieve.
Now that the tech and media worlds have begun maturing in the era of Life After Jobs it’s worth understanding the styles employed by some of the people who lead from behind the scenes instead of from the stage. #