Taken from my soon to be released book, Camino – Leadership Notes On The Road
‘This isn’t a period, it’s a comma, in the continuing story that is America’, Obama said when leaving office.
Well, very often we don’t get our organizational punctuation right. New CEOs come in and declare a full stop, period, new paragraph. But people may expect a comma, à la Obama. Other people are craving for a bit of a semicolon: please explain what so and so means.
We hire Big Consulting Groups whose grammatical expertise is the parenthesis, a big parenthesis in which all stops. Corporate communications often provide the exclamation marks and HR the spellchecker. What about the question marks? Do we want them? Allow them? Seek them?
In corporate life, the quote attributed to Neil Postman [1931-2003], applies: ‘Children enter school as question marks and leave as full stops’. But we don’t even have to leave the company to get quite domesticated with full stop production. People with lots of question marks could be enormously irritating.
I guess getting the corporate grammar right is a great leadership skill. Leaders who provide full stops when a comma is due or a comma when the full stop is, or exclamation marks in the form of corporate reports when it all should end as a question mark, etc., are walking mis-spellers. Confusion is then inevitable. Just remember that a little piece of grammar (filioque) in the form of a single word caused the schism between the Eastern Orthodox and Western churches in Christianity! No kidding. Let’s get our organizational punctuation right.
I promise you that these Daily Thoughts belong to the comma tribe.
My new book coming soon! Camino – Leadership Notes On The Road
Good leaders are good path makers. For me, a leader is the cartographer in chief who, whilst walking with others, also becomes an architect and a builder. If this is about journeys, and maps, and building, then there is almost no end to it.
On my imaginary journey inside my head, I took notes and articulated ideas. Most became my Daily Thoughts, a blog I have been running for years. This book is a collection of those notes. Don’t look for Harvard here, there are only harbours and other places that have generously adopted the content between them.
In this Camino (road in Spanish) of mine, I have also learnt to spot the real things, the fundamentals, the rocks. This is a collection of warnings, strong views and discoveries that I do not intend to be transferable. After all, the journey is not transferable, nobody can walk the Camino for you. Liberated by the idea that I don’t need to impart universal wisdom to end in a sterile case study and that I can share these notes and ideas, like one shares a meal without having to explain the chemistry of the ingredients, they are here in this book, still full of dust from my journey. The one I have only just begun.
More information on pre-orders shortly.