#GLS14 Session 2 :: Carly Fiorina – Leadership is a Choice

Carly Fiorina

Carly started out as a secretary for a small real‐estate business. She then joined AT&T in an entry‐ level sales position. Fifteen years later she led AT&T’s spin‐out of Lucent Technologies and then Lucent’s North American operations. In 1999, she was recruited to Hewlett‐Packard where she would become the first woman to lead a Fortune 50 business. In her six years as Chairman and CEO of HP, she would double its revenues to $90 billion; more than quadruple its growth to 9%; triple the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day; achieve market leadership in every market and product category and quadruple cash‐flow. She traveled the globe and made lifelong friends from countries in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

 

Leadership is A Choice

  • All of us learn life’s lessons from living life. So I want to tell you a bit of my story.
  • What you are is God’s gifts to you, and what you make is your gift to God.
  • I started out as a full-time secretary. About 6 months in, a couple guys came to my desk and said that I could do a little more in the business.
  • People saw possibilities in me. So I saw possibilities for myself.
  • I then went on to lead HP.
  • I battled cancer. I lost my younger daughter a couple years ago. Like all of you, I’ve had hardships.
  • Through all the experiences and hardships, I’ve learned a couple basic things.
  • Leadership is the same no matter what the context is.
  • Everyone has potential. Everyone has more potential than most of us realize.
  • Human potential is the only limitless resource we have in this world.
  • We fail to fulfill our potential because we are afraid.
  • There are things that crush potential.
  • Bureaucracy crushes potential.
  • Bureaucracies crush the people inside organizations.
  • If human potential is the one and only limitless resource we have, and we know the things that crush it, what unlocks it?
  • When you unlock human potential everything truly is possible.
  • Leadership unlocks the potential of others.
  • We sometimes call alot of people leaders who are not leaders at all.
  • Leadership is not management.
  • Management is the acceptance of results in known conditions.
  • A leader says “I’m going to change these conditions to unlock human potential.”
  • Leadership is actually about changing the order of things.
  • There are lots of people in corner offices who have never led a day in their lives.
  • Leaders imagine a different future.
  • Leadership is not about position and title and power. Leadership is about unlocking the potential of others.
  • Nelson Mandela didn’t become a leader because he was president. He became president because he was a leader.
  • Jesus went among the poor not because he felt sorry for them, but be cause he knew the potential they had.
  • People aren’t poor because they lack potential. They are poor because they lack the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
  • People think that a great speech is leadership.
  • Leaders must have a vision, strategy, and goals.
  • Leaders must ask the question “Where are we going?”
  • Leaders must define where we are now, and where we want to be.
  • Leaders must answer the question, “How are we going to work together to get this thing done?”
  • Leaders must have organization, team, structure, and process.
  • Structure should always follow strategy. You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
  • Leaders should answer the question “How are we going to measure progress?”
  • In any organization, what gets measured is what gets done.
  • How success is defined has alot to do with whether or not success is achieved.
  • Leaders have to set culture.
  • Culture means ‘what’s it like to work around here?’
  • The hardest decision I ever made was to fire a direct report.
  • If you want anyone to believe what you say about your culture, you have to walk the walk.
  • Any leader who wants to get from here to there has to have a leadership framework and then set people free to operate within the framework.
  • An organization cannot achieve it’s potential unless the people inside it achieve theirs.
  • 20% of the people in most organizations are ‘change warriors.’ Identify those warriors and set them free.
  • Another 20% is what I call ‘hell no I won’t go.’
  • 60% are skeptics.
  • The skeptics have engage.
  • When the skeptics engage then forward momentum is possible.
  • Leaders are made, not born. Everyone has the potential to lead.
  • Leadership is available to us all.
  • All of us have the potential to lead.
  • True leadership requires faith.
  • A true leader approaches their task with a servant’s heart.
  • Faith gives us the gift of empathy.
  • People, if given the opportunity will lead.
  • Leadership is a choice. It can be learned by anyone.
  • Leadership is a choice. Choose to lead.
  • Choose the joy to unlock the potential in others.
  • What you are is God’s gifts to you. What you make of yourself is your gift to God.

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