“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature’s inexorable imperative.” – H.G. Wells, (Mind at the End of Its Tether, 1946)
As I said yesterday (in Message #475), your growing business needs both “governors” and “pioneers” — some leaders who can handle existing operations and others who can create new ventures.
If you are managing a pioneer, you are experiencing a certain amount of stress — because pioneers are often contrary, irritable, grouchy, and argumentative. To cultivate that pioneer who is giving you heartache, encourage him to practice what Debra Meyerson (writing in the Harvard Business Review) calls “tempered radicalism.” He can do that by:
* Introducing new words that encapsulate a radical idea for change. By making the term new, the idea behind it is sometimes seen by other employees as less disruptive and more progressive.
* Making regular “loyalty” statements. By peppering radical suggestions with phrases like “a great thing for our future” and “a terrific chance to boost the bottom line,” everyone is reminded that the pioneer has a good purpose.
* Encouraging the conditional modality. Pioneers prefer to say “must” and “is” and don’t realize that they will not lose power by substituting “should” and “could be.”
A company that appreciates its pioneers, gives them room to move, and allows them the chance to temper their radicalism over time will be blessed a thousand times over.
[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]