Leading Blog


Balance: The Business—Life Connection

In Balance, James A. Cusumano reflects on his five careers as the lead singer of a rock band, an Exxon research scientist and executive, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, a filmmaker and a luxury hotel owner. Through it all he points to people who helped him along the way and pointed him in the right direction. Their perspective helped keep his life in balance.

We can all make a unique contribution with the specific set of skills we came into this world with says Cusumano and "there is no greater personal satisfaction on this planet than being in the thick of doing so."

To find your passion and purpose, you have to answer four questions:

1. What do I love to do so much so that time passes incredibly quickly?
2. What work do I do or have done in the past that I do not consider work?
3. What could I do that would create the greatest value for the world around me, as well as the greatest personal satisfaction for the amount of time spent?
4. What is my unique ability, the skill or skills which, if truly actualized, could provide significant benefits to the organization for which I work and to me?

He believes that 80 percent of his success was based on his early discovery of his fundamental essence—his life purpose—that was fueled by the energy of passion and guided by the "giants" in his life.

Passion fuels your creativity and the process provides a deep sense of gratitude and "gratitude always leads to long-term fulfillment and happiness. The greater your sense of gratitude, the greater your level of happiness."

Cusumano provides eight principles for building a successful business:
  1. Have a skilled CEO who embraces and is committed to Inspired Leadership*, and has a deep sense of how to create a challenging, far-reaching, yet realistic company vision and mission. The CEO creates the dream; committed employees embrace and embellish it.
  2. Achieve passionate buy-in of this vision and mission from all key stakeholders—customers, employees, investors, suppliers, and the community.
  3. Coach employees on developing corporate values to which they are firmly committed.
  4. Hire the right people for the right positions at the right time—and compassionately and quickly ask those to leave who do not work out.
  5. Address a growing market, better yet, create one. Don't waste your time on dying markets.
  6. Focus strictly and passionately on the best opportunities. You can't do everything.
  7. Plan for an early commercial success—even a modest one. Hit a few singles instead of trying for all home runs.
  8. Have a strategic plan but stay flexible. For maximum effectiveness, the plan should be understood and embraced by all employees.
*Inspired Leadership is based on the CASTLE Principles, an acronym for Courage, Authenticity, Service, Truthfulness, Love, and Effectiveness developed by Lance Secretan. Inspired Leadership is a serving relationship with others that inspires them to grow and reach their innate human potential and in doing so they not only exhibit outstanding performance and thereby contribute much more to their company, but they also make the world a better place. Inspired Leadership is not a model, or a formula, or a system, or a process. Instead of doing something to someone, Inspired Leadership is a way of being and it comes from within.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:30 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Personal Development



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