Leadership secrets of Napoleon


“First I get all of my men facing the same direction.” – Napoleon Bonaparte when asked what the secret of his success was.

Easier said than done and even more critical in these times of permanent whitewater. This was my opening of my session at the DigitalNow Conference this past Saturday.

Despite all of the changes swirling around us, the fundamental job of leadership revolves around four main themes:

  1. Engagement
  2. Alignment
  3. Commitment
  4. Accountability

and the most important piece is Hope and Inspiration!

So, how can you accomplish these, while innovating, and when you don't know what is going to happen five minutes from now?

Our research & experience show four major themes:

  1. Making your thinking visible to others
  2. Leveraging the power of We (collaboration, participation and engaging stakeholders)
  3. Finding your edges and pulling the core towards them
  4. Making your strategy a continuous process and not episodic

If you do these right, you will begin to turn that “flywheel” of making your strategy real and allowing for innovation and change as you go.

We recommend taking a simple strategy framework and using across your multiple stakeholder groups (members/customers, board/leadership, and team members). It is like running around the “fireman's trampoline of days gone by” to keep the sides from dropping to the ground and catching all of your critical stakeholders.

Our response to this was to create our i2a: Insights to Action Strategic Planning(co-authored by BLI strategic partner, Gretchen Pisano of Sounding Board Ink) process which we have been using internally since 1999 and now using to help others.

These were the main points in my closing session at the DigitalNow Association Leadership Conference in Orlando last week.

Here is my preso:

There are three strategy mapping tools we provided at the conference you can get here:

  1. Our i2a: Big Ideas worksheet (go to this link, right sidebar and download – registration required)
  2. Vision alignment grid (see page 31 in preso above – download from Slideshare)
  3. Opportunity Portfolio (see page 32 in preso above – download from Slideshare)

Here is the one page strategy map we created for our parent organization, the Maryland Association of CPAs Download MACPA Strategy on a page and another we created for the CPA Horizons 2025 Project Download CPA Vision on a page.

and then there is the tweetbook Download DigitalNow tweetbook from the conference which has notes and reflections from three days of intense learning, re-kindled relationships, and inspirational thought leaders.

Based on the tweets, here are some of the most tweeted comments:

Some pictures from our own Bill Sheridan. Thanks to the whole DigitalNow community – you are my edge!

Also see our post on www.cpasuccess.com on Managing innovation is about…

So tell us how you are going to implement all of the great ideas from DigitalNow?


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