The Lead: Cargo Company Emulates Uber, New Zealand Disappears

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Cargo Company Emulates Uber

The largest Indian Cargo company, Allcargo Logistics Ltd., is working to boost its business of sharing marine containers by emulating Uber Technologies Inc., and the timing may work in the company’s favor as India’s logistics infrastructure is seeing vast improvements. Allcargo Chairman Shashi Kiran Shetty said “internet companies like the Ubers of the world have successfully converted their aggregation model with robust technology infrastructure. The idea is to help its customers to make it simple to conduct their business with ECU Worldwide, from any corner of the world through their devices.”

Our View: Though less flashy and often under recognized, followership is an important part of leadership success. When companies like Uber create waves of disruption, other companies can learn and emulate the disruptors with what works while often creating even more improvements of their own. Just as organizations can benefit from asking how they can be a better leader, they can also reap rewards from asking how they can be a better follower. Further Reading

New Zealand Disappears from Some World Maps

New Zealand, home to 4.7 million people, should be on every world map next to Australia, but it has been left off charts displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, the Central Park Zoo, Ikea, and Starbucks. New Zealand’s tourism department created a new viral video with a comedic message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addressing the disappearance. It is the latest in a series of videos produced by New Zealand government agencies and advocacy groups that use humor to address topics such as racism, drunk driving, and homophobia.

Our View: People collaborate better when humor is involved. The anthropologist Edward Hall said, “if you can learn the humor of a people and really control it, you know that you are also in control of nearly everything else.” Laughter may be an untapped resource at your organization, because a recent study of Gallup data for the U.S. found that we laugh significantly less on weekdays than we do on weekends. Laughter can bring in a wide variety of business benefits, relieve stress and boredom, and boost everything from engagement and productivity to creativity and analytic precision. Further Reading

Volcano Erupts in Hawaii

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii erupted last week and forced mandatory evacuations of more than 1,500 people. Steam and lava teemed out of a crack in Leilani Estates, which is close to the town of Pahoa on the Big Island. While most of Kilauea’s activity has been nonexplosive, a Kilauea eruption in 1924 killed one man.

Our View: Leaders can be proactive with disaster preparedness with drills and scenario planning, and leaders must also to be responsive to disasters in real time. Clear communication is key when delivering messages during a disaster. How you communicate is nearly as important as what you communicate, and your crisis communication plan should use multiple modes of communication, including standard and mobile phones, text messages, email, social media, notifications to desktop and mobile devices, sirens, lights, public address systems, and digital signs. Further Reading

Apple Shares Hit Record

Warren Buffet told CNBC that he bought an additional 75 million shares of Apple in the first quarter, and shortly after the announcement, Apple Inc. shares hit a record. Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owned nearly 170 million shares of Apple at the end of 2017, and it was already his biggest shareholding.

Our View: As simple as it sounds, what leaders say and do creates an impact, and understanding how words and actions carry weights of influence can guide better outcomes. Whether it’s an investment guru sharing investment strategies or a manager trying to motivate employees, the words and actions leaders take can make a difference in the effects they obtain. Influential leaders make it a priority to choose their words thoughtfully and their actions deliberately. Further Reading

A Little Laugh Can Go a Long Way

A UK charity called Comic Relief is a great example of an organization that created a sustainable new market space by carefully aligning its value proposition, its profit proposition, and its people proposition. Comic Relief focuses on inspiring volunteers, corporate sponsors, and celebrities to do something fun to change the world. Comic Relief’s events, Red Nose Day and Red Nose Night, (where taking part is as cheap as spending £1 for a little plastic red nose) have helped the organization raise more than £950 million since it launched in 1985.

Our View: The charity Comic Relief demonstrates “Blue Ocean Leadership,” a term developed by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne that calls for a shift of focus from “a bloody red ocean of rivals fighting over a shrinking profit pool” to creating new market space known as “blue oceans” in order to make competition irrelevant. Excellent leaders look for these blue oceans and untapped new market spaces that are ripe for growth. Further Reading

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