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What it takes to pull off the Olympics (and more)

The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” Blog had some great articles this week, and I thought I’d share a few that intrigued me:

First, there’s this article about the CEO of Lenovo giving away his $3 million bonus to his employees.  Here’s the key quote:

In a show of generosity that’s rare these days from corporate leaders, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing is giving $3 million of his bonus for the company’s record-setting year to 10,000 junior-level employees. Rank-and-file workers such as receptionists, production-line workers and assistants each got an average of 2,000 yuan, or $314. That may not sound like much, but it’s nearly equivalent to an average month’s pay for workers in Chinese plants.

As the author states, this is a fairly unprecedented action by a CEO.  One wonders–is this merely a ploy to get good publicity (if so, it obviously worked) or is this a wonderful example of servant leadership and putting one’s followers first?  Either way, this move has clearly engendered praise from the media as well as from his own employees.

Likewise, I found this article on “What it Takes to Pull off the Olympics” to be fascinating.   Here’s a great quote from the article:

I’m interested in what kind of mechanism the International Olympic Committee has for passing down lessons from the games. How in touch are you with the London organizers?

After every Olympics there is a knowledge debrief, a knowledge transfer process. You prepare a program that lasts for about a week to 10 days, and you go to the host country and spend as much time as you can giving them the clear, unfiltered [version of] this is how it happened, this is what we would have done differently, these are the mistakes we made, these are the things we were very proud of. It’s one thing the IOC does very well. It causes organizing committees to become very serious about gathering data and knowledge. So London had a very close relationship with Vancouver for years. We had people from London on our team; they learned as much as they possibly could from us.

It is a reminder that mentoring in any organization is an important component to success.  Sharing what you have learned with those who come after you is vital to the sustainability of success in any organization.  Without a clear succession-plan and leaders who have intentionally mentored future leaders, any organization–even the Olympics–will flounder.

Well, I thought I’d share these articles that interested me.  Hopefully they’ll provide insight to you as you lead your own companies.  Have a great day from all of us here at Cook & Gore.

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