If fewer people succumbed to the siren song of leadership—to the prestige, the paycheck, the perks—the overall level of leadership in our society would instantly rise, because many people with the wrong motives would be cleared out of the executive suites.
“Remember before the internet?” asks Joi Ito. “Remember when people used to try to predict the future?” In this engaging talk, the head of the MIT Media Lab skips the future predictions and instead shares a new approach to creating in the moment: building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission or for proof that you have the right idea. This kind of bottom-up innovation is seen in the most fascinating, futuristic projects emerging today, and it starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, he suggests: be a now-ist.
After Ev Williams first started working on Twitter, he reached out to Jason Stirman in Texas. “You have to come out here,” Williams said. “Twitter is happening and we want you to join us.” But Stirman wasn’t easily convinced. “I told him, ‘You want me to move for 140 characters and a button? I don’t think so,’” Stirman says. “And I’ll never forget this. Ev looked me right in the eye and said, ‘If we do this right, it’ll totally change the way the world communicates.’ I thought to myself, ‘I like you, but you’re crazy.’” He regretted his decision almost immediately, and 18 months later, when Twitter hit 50 or so employees, he made the jump.
The Five Lessons for Leaders as they Build a Great Workplace distills the key takeaways from this year's annual Great Place to Work® Conference, where FORTUNE Best Companies leaders, Great Place to Work®, and industry experts opened up regarding the realities of creating a great workplace in today's world.
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