If anyone knows how to design and build THE perfect book on this subject, it is my colleague Mr. Andreas von der Heydt: The 7 Qualities of Tomorrow’s Top Leaders: Successful Leadership In A New Era.
Mr. von der Heydt is an executive at Amazon Kindle Deutschland, and has been a highly influential and respected leader at other world-class companies. His experience as a certified master coach, which he practices to this day, propels him well above typical leaders because he actively TEACHES what he knows and continues to learn from experiential experience, plus honing his skills on the run.
Mr. von der Heydt’s field manual isn’t just for established leaders. It is for students and would-be leaders who are actively studying the broad strokes and details of leadership in today’s highly competitive atmosphere.
To his credit, he is an unabashed rebel who does not call himself an unabashed rebel. With charming self-deprecation and mild self-admonishment, he describes himself as one who has made all the mistakes . . . and for all the right reasons. Truly, he is one who does the right thing and sticks by it, regardless of the consequences.
On a purely selfish note, I love that his philosophy mirrors mine: “Your rules do NOT apply to me.”
Is this not a man we should follow and listen to?
This manual isn’t a bullet list of leadership advice. Mr. von der Heydt sprinkles lively anecdotes from his professional and personal lives, and shares with us just how truly caring and diligent he is, and how his positive and upbeat attitude reflects so highly in the minds of those he touches.
Here’re a few telling examples from his book:
Chapter 1: Inspire!
If you were to take JP Morgan from his grave and dust him off, ask him if it’s important to INSPIRE his employees, he would’ve slapped you with his cane and said, “They work under my employe and are paid well; there is no reason to inspire them. If they perform, they get paid; if they do not perform, I fire them.”
Mr. von der Heydt is an evangelist for stimulating and inspiring his people. Dream big . . . be bold . . . pick yourself up after failures . . . think outside the box. He is preparing his people for leadership by showing them how the best leaders today do it. In JP Morgan’s time, leaders kept all the secret to themselves for fear that their employees would learn a thing or two, rise up against them and take their job away. Mr. von der Heydt isn’t afraid that his people will rise up. He is afraid that they will NOT, and so encourages them to success as leaders rather than followers who must be taught everything from A to Z and beyond.
2: Six Success Questions You Must Ask
What if? What if not?
When? By When?
Again, he is challenging you not only to THINK actively like an outstanding leader, he gives you the distillate of his wisdom with these six basic questions, which provide the foundation for anything you do, in work and in your personal life.
3: Stop Making Resolutions – Develop Your Vision Instead!
Forget the traditional list of things you won’t accomplish. Get out and be inspired by a Mama Mia! play or go ice skating in the park to fire up those neurons in your beautiful mind! Then take that positive energy and DREAM BIG. Write them down, think about them daily. Make them your new mantra. These are no longer resolutions, they are dreams now manifesting themselves as REALITY.
. . .
Chapter 6: Improve and Innovate!
Be disruptive! Be the fastest with the mostest! Do NOT penalize failures (like JP Morgan always did!)
. . .
Chapter 7: CARE!
This is a fitting denouement to a lovely share by Mr. von der Heydt, inspiring leaders to be “Gold Thinkers,” not just traditional leaders. He injects some very personal feelings about people and causes. For example, he shows us how the rapid fall of infamous cyclist Lance Armstrong did not have to happen, and he shares some very choice thoughts about it, too! He reminds us that we get back what we give . . . and that we should LOVE every day. . . .
Mr. von der Heydt fills this wonderful book with further anecdotes, examples, companies to watch for, and, perhaps riskiest of all, predictions. He does not refer to them as “predictions,” rather, he cleverly says things like “What the Best Brands Will Do in 2015.” We all know that only a handful of one’s prediction come to pass, thus relegating the authors of those failed thoughts to the dust bin. Something tells me that Mr. von der Heydt knows something we do not . . . and this is one of the gems of this book. He is not only an expert, he is a PROPHET, one we should pay good mind to.
I highly recommend Mr. von der Heydt’s book to anyone who wishes to learn about the details of leadership, either in work or personal life, and those who wish to improve their lives by learning some of the secrets to success from a guru and prophet.