If you want to achieve dramatic change in mindset and behavior, the fastest way is through provocation. By provocation, I mean deliberately evoking a visceral emotional response in others. There is nothing wrong with provocation if you do it right. It’s just that, as a leader, you ought to be provocative, but never a provocateur—the two are not the same.
On February 5th, I conducted an on-stage conversation with LVMH Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy Japan President, Norbert Leuret, for both the American and French Chambers of Commerce at the Tokyo American Club. Here are my takeaways from that conversation.
The most successful expat CEOs in Japan I know never adapt their leadership style to their company’s culture. They adapt their company’s culture to their leadership style, and there is no reason you cannot do the same in your company in Japan.
Some have argued the reason for Carlos Ghosn’s legal trouble is for having pushed change too hard—that he crossed some kind of Japanese nationalistic redline in wanting to merge Nissan and Renault, giving the French company control over the Japanese entity. Had Ghosn been more conservative in his actions, they reason, he would not be in the predicament in which he finds himself. This narrative, however, is disingenuous.
The scarcest resource in a business today is not talent, money, or technical ability, but rather independent thought and the courage to act on it.
As 2018 comes to a close, I foresee three trends based on my experience with clients. Here are business trends to keep an eye on in 2019.
For some, artificial intelligence and automation in business herald a new era of increased productivity. For others, these are a harbinger of job obsolescence and layoffs.
A leader can never give anyone ownership of a business initiative or objective.
Ownership is always taken, and to take ownership requires the will to do so. A leader can no more give someone ownership than a leader can give someone will.