Whether you are a project leader or the CEO, leadership is more about what you do than what you say. I witnessed this first hand yesterday, and have to admit I was pretty surprised by what I saw.
Our department is moving into another building on campus and noticed a rather hostile sign on the exterior door.
At first, I thought it had to be a joke. But after further investigation, I realized I was wrong.
Curious about the savvy tech business-leader who would put such a poor example of leadership and hubris up for public display, I stumbled upon his twitter post celebrating this example of leadership acumen.
It blows my mind that anyone could think this was cool. If you copy and paste the link, it will take you to the above sign.
We've recently been talking about how we Lead by Example or Not at All, and I wonder what type of organization is lead by the author of the pithy message to the parking log anarchists. Regardless of how many polite interactions may have taken place before this point, I have to wonder if this is really the best way to encourage someone to stop parking in his "reserved" spot.
Here's some of what the company website says about Mr. Hanks, it makes me wonder if this is the same guy.
In my opinion, this arrogant and self-indulged approach to dealing with people is a great example of what's wrong with the leadership of some organizations. Mr. Hanks as well as his company should be embarrassed by this display of immaturity and sense of entitlement. The reason I mention it here is because his reply to one of his Twitter followers assured me that his personal brand was strong enough that reporting on his childish stunt wouldn't have a negative impact. And besides, if he's not embarrassed by it, why should I be embarrassed to report on it?
I'd like to contrast his parking space preferences to a recent action by our corporate leadership. Every quarter there are a number of people recognized as MVPs within their individual departments. With this quarter's announcement, our executives have relinquished their parking spots as a reward for these folks. Basically, the best employees get to park next to the entrance of our building and the execs park wherever they can find a spot with the rest of us.
You lead by example or not at all.
Thanks Jeremy for a great example of what NOT to do.