Flight of the Buffalo is another ground-breaking book for me which pointed out to me how to be a better leader. After I read the book I was completely blown away by harsh reality that I was exactly the type of leader I didn't want to be. Talk
about your cold dunk in ice water...
Flight of the buffalo puts leaders into two categories: buffalo leaders and goose leaders. Buffalo leaders love to be in the middle of the fray and work 12+ hour days to keep up. The buffalo leader's staff is trained to follow the direction of the buffalo leader and will not make a move without the leader knowing about it. Lastly, buffalo leaders take responsibility for solving other people's problems.
Goose leaders, on the other hand, transfer ownership, responsibility and accountability to his/her team and foster an environment where the team can flourish. Goose leaders coach the development of their team and ensure team members feel the ownership of their work. Lastly, and most important IMHO, the goose leader learns fast and encourages those around him/her to learn fast as well.
Attributes of a buffalo leader
Attributes of a goose leader
Create a responsible environment
Learn faster and encourage others to learn
• Buffalo management: The people propose, the manager disposes
• Goose management: The people propose, the people dispose
• Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly, at least in the beginning
• See mistakes, fear, anger and stubbornness as great teachers for the future
• See mistakes as gems for learning and not as sins
• Coach people, not scoreboards
• Proactively insist on meeting tough standards
• Ask questions and avoid giving answers
• Reward accomplishment, not effort
• World-class rescuers are world-class losers
• The person doing the work must own the responsibility
I love this book. Though it does border a bit on being too steeped in academia, the concepts are sound and are great building blocks for enabling empowered leaders. Read Flight of the Buffalo and pull the nuggets from the book that will help you be a leader that empowers great teams.