Live from NCOF: Taking the LEAP

Chicago—The word “leadership” has been bandied about so frequently, it’s all but lost its meaning, according to Steve Farber, president of management consultancy Extreme Leadership. But the stellar leader is one who takes a leap—or make that LEAP, as in “cultivating Love, generating Energy, inspiring Audacity, and providing Proof.” Farber discussed the concept during his Monday morning keynote address, “The Radical Leap: Extreme Leadership at Work and Beyond,” at the National Conference on Operations and Fulfillment.”

“The extreme leader’s ideal,” Farber said, is to “do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” Before a leader can cultivate love in colleagues and staffers, he or she must love the work. Farber recommended asking oneself, Why do I love this business/customer/colleague, and how do I show it?

Once the leader “feels the love,” it’s that much easier to generate energy among coworkers and customers. Another suggestion from Farber: Ask, What’s exciting about the work that I/we really do?—and answer it out loud, among a group of peers and colleagues.

Moving beyond the warm and fuzzy, Farber stressed the importance of audacity: “A bold and blatant disregard for normal constraints.” He warned, though, against taking risks for the heck of it or disregarding constraints out of a sense of rebellion or anger.

As for the proof portion of the LEAP, Farber noted that before a manager can win the trust and respect of others, he or she has to provide proof of being trustworthy and respectable. That requires “no incongruity between words and actions.”

What Farber calls extreme leadership isn’t for the weak of heart. “The main reason people back away from leadership is that it’s scary,” he said. “When you’re in the moment, you can’t tell if the risk you’re taking is a good thing or a bad thing.”

Nonetheless, Farber advocated “pursuing the OS!M”—the moment when you say to yourself, Oh, shoot (or most likely, a more colorful version of the sentiment). “If you’re not experiencing the thrill and fear,” he said, “then you’re not experiencing extreme leadership.”

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.