Wisdom of the flying pig – Interview with Jack Hayhow

Last week I had an opportunity to talk to Jack Hayhow, founder of Opus Training. I also had an opportunity to read his wonderful little book called “The Wisdom of the Flying Pig” and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Jack was not only kind enough to answer a few of my questions for the benefit of the readers of Life Beyond Code but also offer an eBook version of “The Wisdom of Flying Pig” for FREE. Details to access the book are at the end of this blog post

Now, here is the Q&A with Jack Hayhow:

RS:  The title of your book mentions managers AND leaders.  What, in your opinion, is the main difference between managers and leaders?

JH:  That’s an important question and one that a lot of people have asked.  There is some overlap between management and leadership, but in my view the roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders are fundamentally different.  Managers look first to the individual in the present moment while leaders look first to the group and toward the future.

Managers help their companies grow one person at a time by helping each individual turn his or her talent into performance.  The great manager’s focus is always locked on to what is happening with each individual direct report in real time.

On the other hand, every leader on the planet woke up today thinking about tomorrow.  The gift of great leaders is that they rally the collective passion of the organization toward a better future.

RS:  How can people evaluate themselves as a manager?

JH:  The important thing to remember is managers don’t get paid for what they do, they get paid for what their people do.  So, if you want to figure out how you’re doing as a manager, ask yourself these three questions:

1)    Are your people more productive working for you than they would be working for someone else?

2)    Are your people growing more working for you than they would be working for someone else?

3)    Do your people stay with the company longer working for you than they would have stayed working for someone else?

RS:  What’s the litmus test for leaders?

JH:  There have been thousands of books written about that question, but I think it’s productive to think about what leaders are responsible for producing.  At the end of the day, it seems to me there are four deliverables of great leadership:

1)    Amazingly engaged employees

2)    Evangelical customers

3)    Consistently solid financials

4)    Growth (Revenue, Profit, Capability)

Without these results, it’s hard to be described as a great leader.

RS:  What’s the most important thing a manager can do to be successful?

JH:  There are a handful of critical activities, so it’s tough to pick just one.  But you asked for one, so maybe we can compromise – I’d mention two:

1)    Make sure your people have the talent they need to do the job you’ve asked them to do.

Great achievement starts with great ability.  The idea that anybody can do anything is just flat wrong.  If you want your people to perform at a high level, you have to identify each person’s talent and then match that talent with the task.

2)    Make sure your people are doing work they find satisfying and meaningful.

Without quoting all the research (and there is a ton of it), just know that intrinsic motivation trumps any external device, process or practice ever invented by man. When the work itself is meaningful and satisfying, people are inspired to amazing achievement and the manager’s need to motivate mostly disappears.

RS:  What characteristics must a leader have to be successful?

JH:  Leaders can be successful in a number of different ways.  But there are some indispensable characteristics.  The two that jump most immediately to mind are honesty and optimism.

Honesty requires that you tell the truth, of course.  But it goes much deeper.  You must always do what you say you will do.  Your actions must be absolutely consistent with your words.  If you don’t walk the talk, you can’t be believed and you will fail as a leader.

Optimism is central to leadership because people need hope.  They need to believe the future will be better than the past.  To be a leader, you must have followers – people who will commit their hearts and minds and sweat to attaining your vision.  Can you imagine that anyone would commit so much to a person who is pessimistic about the future?

Now, here are the instructions to access the eBook version of “The Wisdom of the Flying Pig”

2) Click on “Books and eBooks”
3) Click “Add to Cart”
4) Enter Discount Code:  L8B1C
Have a great week ahead!