In Chapter 12 of 13 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, data analytics expert Ken Rona answers "What Leadership Skills are Becoming More Relevant as Your Career Progresses?" Rona first makes the distinction between leadership and management, where managing is tracking tasks, holding each other accountable and working in teams. He then discusses how he learns to turn a recognition conversation into a business impact one by using leadership language.
Erik: What leadership skills are becoming more relevant as your career progresses? Ken: Yeah, I mean I’ll make the distinction between leadership and management. So managerially, I pretty well have it down, right. I mean we track what we do, we report out to each other, my team and I, like we hold each other accountable, so that piece I think is pretty squared away. I mean I’m sure it will evolve as the challenges change, but I feel comfortable in that. The leadership side, I’d say, because I’m not a natural diplomat. I’m still learning some twists of the phrase to help people reframe a problem. So I saw to three people this week that wanted recognition for doing a piece of work, and the work was very good, right, really good. We’re gonna show it to very, very senior people. Hopefully, it has the kind of game-changing impact, I mean we really hope so, and they were like look, you know, I wanna be in that meeting. I wanna be recognized. And I was like okay, I understand that, like as a kind of human need, and I was talking to my boss about it, and I said they wanna be recognized. Like to me that’s not a principle; that’s a selfish reason, right. It’s something where you’re like I need for me, I need to feel valued, and she said I understand what you’re going for. Try this. Substitute the word ‘be recognized’ for ‘I want to create the most impact I can.’ And so she gave me language then to talk with them about it, about how this was not about recognition, it was about what is the right thing to create business impact. You know, as a leader, the language is super important, right. I mean there is a big difference between recognition – it’s the same issue, right – recognition and, you know, business impact, right. It’s like totally different, right. Those are night and day. One is about me and the other one is about you, right, the company, and your colleagues, right, and, you know, the value of creating for – for your shareholders and for yourself, it’s very different.