Promote a clash of ideas
Encourage a noisy system: This effort has to far beyond the confines of the traditional “suggestion box”. An organization’s leader must use every means to reach out, encouraging a diversity of opinion and what Powell calls a “clash of ideas”.
Look for great ideas … wherever they come from: Encourage communication from every direction, and never let rank or hierarchy get in the way. Smoke out the opinions of those closest to the front lines. Invite “outsiders” into the discussion.
Speed communication through technology: Harness the power of the new technologies in order to ensure that everyone is included. Invest the necessary resources, and create the psychological climate in which information flowing freely over networks is seen as a resource, rather than a threat.
“I want to hear all the rough edges of all arguments. I don’t want to concur things to death and coordinate things to death so I get a round pebble instead of a stone that has edges on it. I want to hear from you.”
 Be prepared to piss people off
Make performance and change top organizational priorities: Encourage experimentation and innovative initiatives to replace “the old way”. Provide people with tools, technologies, and training to build their skill sets and enhance their sense of personal responsibility.
Reward your best performers, and get rid of non-performers: Remember that this is not a zero-sum game, and that there’s a plenty for everyone, as long as performance counts. But don’t take the easy, “across the board” way out. And unload people who can’t or won’t perform.
Encourage creative disruption: Random hostilities are not what the organization needs, but if nobody’s pissed off, maybe you’re not pushing hard enough.
“Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.”
 Establish trust
Never underestimate the “Trust Factor”: The Powell Principles are about building trust. Trust comes from exhibiting many key traits, including competence, character, courage, loyalty, confidence, self-lessness, sacrifice, and empathy.
Encourage communication: A leader has a responsibility to be available to his troops. Giving them an easy opportunity to speak their piece, without fear of retribution, builds trust throughout the entire organization.
Be a servant leader: Help people to accomplish the goals that emanate from the vision. Give them the tools they need, and turn them loose.
“Why would you follow somebody around a corner? Or up the hill? Or into a dark room? The reason is trust.”
 Walk the talk
Practice empathy and selflessness: Understand the hardships and sacrifices of those under you … and be prepared to share these hardships yourself.
Curiosity is a key leadership ingredient: The best leaders arouse curiosity. They are interesting and are able to inspire others to act. Boring people stifle curiosity, and drive away potential followers.
Use influence, not authority: People will always be more inclined to follow a leader whos mantra is “do as I do” rather than “do as I say”. Influence accomplishes as much as – if not more than authority … and it leaves a better residue.
“You can issue all the memos and give all the motivational speeches you want, but if the rest of the people in your organization don’t see you putting forth your best effort every single day, they won’t either.”
 Pick the right people
Hire talent and values, not just resumes: Resumes, by definition, describe past performance. They don’t begin to indicate how someone will fare in your organization.
Seek value alignment: Don’t hire or promote anyone who does not share the same values that drive your organization. Even a talented individual will find it hard to contribute to your mission if their values are not in synch with your own.
Hire people who compensate for your own weaknesses: Don’t let your ego get in the way. Hire people you consider good enough to succeed you, should the situation warrant it. Strong leaders are not afraid to surround themselves with people better than themselves.”
“You give me the right people, and I don’t much care what organization you give me. Good things will happen. Give me the wrong people, and it doesn’t matter what you do with the organization. Bad things will happen.”
Use every means to encourage communication: Sidestep bureaucracy and rank to smoke out the opinions of those closest to the front line. Invite “outsiders” into the discussion to get the benefit of their insights.
Maintain one pure line of communication: Find people you trust and give them a way to provide you with feedback. This guarantees that the information you need won’t get “managed” by some well-meaning staffer. (It also means that you must be ready to hear criticisms without any sugar-coating).
Use symbols to encourage communication: The higher one goes up in the hierarchy, the harder one has to work to stay in touch with real people and real data. Use symbolism (like round tables, no dress code, etc.) to reinforce your availability.
“In the military, when you become a four-star general, people will do anything you even suggest you want … I had to work at breaking down that deference to hear from my people.”
 Be vigilant in details
Master the details, then execute: Sound strategy requires sound execution. Even the best ideas are useless if they cannot be implemented; therefore, the details – grubby as they often are – will dictate the best course of action.
Stay in touch with the little things: As Powell says, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” Ultimately, it may be attention to the small matters that may translate into a key victory. Don’t lose touch – especially as you ascend the hierarchy.
Avoid “analysis paralysis”: Attending to the fine points is not a license to micro-manage, hide from a decision, or delay.
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
 Be a disorganizer
Look below the surface: Never stop doubting and challenging habits and conventional wisdom. Always look for alternate and better paths. Be the organization’s primary agent for change.
Fight complacency: In today’s world, contentment with the status quo is dangerous. Lead with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Dig, dig, and dig some more: An open-door policy is a good thing. But this alone won’t get you to the truth below the surface. It is the leader’s responsibility to constantly probe below the surface.
“Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so just because you might not like what you find.”
 Check your ego at the door
Don’t become a prisoner of your position: Leaders who cling to their established positions and standard operating procedures will place their enterprises in jeopardy.
Change before you are forced to change: Great leaders take a deep breath, walk right up to Change, and shake its hand. They check their ego and try on a new self-image. It’s always less painful to change yourself than to have change forced upon you.
Reinvent your job before it’s too late: When managers lock their egos into a fixed position, they jeopardize not only their enterprises, but also their careers. The simple fact is that no matter who we are, our jobs are becoming absolute. The skill sets and habits that we call upon to do our work are a little less valuable every day.
“Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.”
 Let change lead growth
Encourage those around you to learn new skills: Create a climate in which people are valued for their ability to develop new skills and grab new responsibilities, thereby perpetually reinventing their jobs.
Replace the old missions with new ones: No organization can tolerate a vacuum in mission. If your old mission has become outdated, make sure that you define a new one and that everyone in your organization understands and supports the new goal.
Unlearn lessons – look beyond yesterday, and today: Don’t let the organization stagnate. Even in the best of weather, look for competitive clues on the horizon. Adapt to new situations, and respond to them with innovative action.
“I’ll bet you right now that there’s no established organization where you won’t find somebody who says … I know what I’ve been doing for the last 15 years, and you’re not going to screw me up.”
 Seek consensus (but don’t be ruled by it)
Earn personal commitment from every member of the team: Make sure that everyone is invited – and expected – to participate in the new game. When individuals become personally commited to the mission, the potential for success is greatly magnified.
Don’t push harder or faster than the organization will allow: Change is a continuous, dynamic process that people a little extra time to adjust to change can smooth ruffled feathers and ultimately, protect the mission.
Seek consensus, but be prepared to move ahead decisively: There are some circumstances in which a gradual process is not an option. In these cases, a good leader will risk pissing people off for the good of the organization.
“Everyone wants me to reorganize, but I’m not reorganizing until I’ve got these folks on my side and believing in my leadership.”
 Fit no stereotypes
Be ready to change on a dime: No leader should plan on constantly shaking things upa and shifting strategy. On the other hand, the best leaders run enterprises that are fleet and flexible.
Beware package solutions: Practical, action-oriented leaders think on their feet. They improvise. They understand that part of good leadership is the ability to employ the most effective tool for the situation at hand.
Don’t limit your toolbox of management techniques: Management techniques are not magic elixirs, but simply tools that wise leaders reach for at the right times, and then put back on the shelf.
“Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.”
Define the game clearly, and expect everyone to play by it: Clearly articulate a broad agenda. Provide everyone with the tools and training necessary to take action. Insist that everyone take the responsibility to carve out the best ways to execute that agenda.
Make sure the mission reaches every part of the organization: Never stop articulating the message, up and down the hierarchy. When you are clear, consistent, and committed, you lend enormous strength to your organization.
Let overarching goals drive daily behavior: Consistency builds a leader’s credibility and effectiveness. It’s easier for the troops to follow you – literally and figuratively – if you say the same things every day and if these principles drive everything that the organization does.
“We had to make sure that we took the new mission and drove it down to the last private in the ranks, Whoever came in and emptied the trash can at night had to understand the vision.”
 Let situation dictate strategy
Avoid “one size fits all” solutions: There are no magic elixirs for every situation. A leader’s job is to assess every situation and adopt a direction and a course of action that best fit the situation.
Be flexible: No leader should plan on constantly shaking things up and shifting strategy. On the other hand, the best leaders run enterprises that are fleet and flexible. Be prepared to change direction as the situation warrants it.
Don’t fight “the last war”: In times of uncertainty, don’t assume “back to basics” is the right course of action. Many leaders fall into the trap of returning to the familiar when things get rough. Don’t cling to stereotypical responses just because you’re comfortable with them.
“Vague phrases such as ‘power down’ and ‘centralized versus decentralized management’ were not part of my vocabulary. I would give each of them whatever help was needed to get the job done.”
 Push the envelope
Don’t look for “no’s”: Less effective middle managers tend to say, “If I haven’t explicitly been told ‘yes’, I can’t do it.” The best ones tend to say, “If I haven’t explicitly been told ‘no,’ I can do it.”
Live the old adage: “No guts, no glory”: But taking calculated, intelligent risks, you are likely to accomplish more than playing it safe. It is easier to secure forgiveness than permission.
Don’t punish for failure: As long as people are not subjecting your organization to undue risk, it’s never a sin to fail when pursuing a good objective using sensible tools and tactics. Find ways to keep the organization from making the same mistake twice.
“You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.”
 Close with the enemy
Execution is the key: Do not articulate a vision or a mission unless you are prepared to implement it with overwhelming strength. Stay cool under fire, think big, act fast, and go for the big win.
Pick your battles: Elevate to “mission status” only those causes that are vital to the organization’s success.
Remain flexible: Pick your battles, but don’t turn up your nose at opportunity. And even after you’ve settled on a winning strategy and tactics, be prepared to throw the plan out the window in response to fast-moving circumstances.
“(Once) we have looked at all the rough edges and we have made a decision as to what we are going to do, then we are all going to move out in that decision and stick with it, with coherence and consistency over time, unless it has been proven that we should move in a different direction.”
 View people as partners
Ignore hierarchy: Like most effective leaders, Powell sees every person as a partner who brings experience and expertise to help him achieve exceptional goals.
Depend on people, not plans … plans accomplish nothing: Without great people empowered by supportive cultures, the best-laid plans are likely to be of little use.
Spend at least 50% of your time on people: Surveys suggest that highly effective executives spend between 50% and 75% of their time on “people” issues.
“Our ability to successfully perform our mission depends, first and foremost, on the quality of our people … We’re all part of one quality family, working together as a family. No component more important than any other component.”
 Challenge the pros
Tolerate rebels: If you’re going to be speaking out, you need to be helping others speak out, too. It’s the best way to get the best ideas on the table. Encourage those around you to challenge you and the other senior members of your team.
Emphasize respect while disagreeing: Disagree without being disagreeable. Powell challenges his bosses when necessary, but he does so in a way that respects the dignity of his superiors and preserves the dignity of his own position.
Challenge the pros to get to better solutions: Whether it’s you challenging your superiors or your subordinates challenging you, remember that more opinions and more voices usually translates into more alternative options.
“Every organization should tolerate rebels who tell the emperor he has no clothes.”
 Don’t rely on charts and titles
Respect authority, but don’t be cowed by it: Paying undue attention to things like status and position won’t get the job done.
Use charts as a guideline, but be ready to abandon them: Smart employees learn to ignore the org chart when necessary. And effective leaders tell their people to figure out how things actually work today, in this organization as it is currently populated and configured, and then get the job done.
Remember that titles are just titles: Tittles don’t necessarily translate into wisdom. Respect those in authority, but remember that leadership is about much more.
“Plans don’t accomplish work. Goal charts on walls don’t accomplish work … It is people who get things done.”
 Trust those in the trenches
Take advantage of the intelligence of those in the field: Those not in touch with what is happening on the the “front lines” can’t make all the key decisions. If your division or unit is not decentralized, consider a deep, pervasive, structural, and cultural reorganization.
Use the Internet to ensure access to information: All members of the team must have access to key resources. Trusting those in the trenches means trusting them with information, and digital tools are a great help in leveling the knowledge playing field.
Stay involved and supportive: Decentralization is not an excuse for being out of touch. It is still the leader’s responsibility to provide effective leadership. In times of crisis, strong leaders become much more involved – and their troops understand why they are doing so.
“The people in the field are closest to the problem, closest to the situation, therefore, that is where real wisdom is.”
 Make optimism a top priority
Spread optimism around the organization: The leader sets the tone, and he or she must be sure that optimism – not pessimism – permenates the fabric of the organization.
Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers: Don’t let naysayers or partial facts tell you that it can’t be done. Remember – positive distortions of reality can be highly desirable.
Make optimism fuel for bold action: “Dynamic” optimists apply their optimism to attain goals and help others attain goals, as well. They take action. Don’t just smile and shrug in the face of a problem – do something with the hand you’ve been dealt.
“Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision … never step on enthusiasm.”
 Have fun in your command
Work hard and play hard: In successful organizations, fun has emerged as a business priority and encouraging employees to “work hard and play hard” is an informal but powerful corporate value.
Create a fun environment for others: Fun can take the form of formal structures like on-site fitness centers, parties, and celebrations. But it should also be engrained in the work itself and in the working relationships.
Minimize unnecessary stress: Build realism into schedules and workloads. Identify sources of stress in the workplace and think about how they might be minimized. Conversely, identify sources of satisfaction and inspiration in the workplace and reinforce them.
“I told the ambassadors to take seriously their role as the President’s personal representatives. At the same time, I encourage them to have great fun in their new assignments. Fortunately, the two are not mutually exclusive.”
 Strive for balance
Take leave when you’ve earned it: Don’t neglect home and family life. Don’t spend yourself entirely at work. If your workplace gets jealous, think about a change.
Don’t clock hours for hours’ sake: Don’t mistake activity with productivity. Get things done, take your vacations, and encourage others to do the same.
Don’t always run at a breakneck pace: There may well be stretches of time when you’re putting in 14 hours a day at the office or giving up weekends. But these have to be the exceptions to the balanced rule. No organization is sustainable that counts on burning up its people.
“Never become so consumed by your career that nothing is left that belongs only to you and your family. Don’t allow your profession to become the whole of your existence.”
 Prepare to be lonely
Accept responsibility: Those who seek out responsibility have to be prepared to accept it. Failures are their own; successes belong to their colleagues.
Lead by example: All employees are boss-watchers. The rank and file will always take their cues from the leader. It is therefore doubly important that the leader live the values he or she espouses.
Know when to exit: When you’ve figured it all out, it’s time to pass it along to the next generation. Sometimes leaving is the greatest act of leadership.
“Sitting alone in the dark in the back seat of my car, I felt full of foreboding. I was going to be involved in conducting a war, one that I had urged, one that was sure to spill blood. Had I been right? Had my advice been sound?”
Ke-24 prinsip kepemimpinan Collin Powell ini saya ambil dari buku Oren Harari (2003) berjudul The Powell Principles, 24 Lessons from Collin Powell, a Legendary Leader, New York: McGraw-Hill. Bila berminat, silakan klik tautan judul bergaris bawah untuk mengunduh format PowerPoint 97-2003 (hasil Save as dari versi PowerPoint 2007) dalam bahasa Indonesia yang lebih lengkap. Bila Anda menghendaki tampilannya pada PowerPoint 2007, jangan ragu menghubungi saya.