Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best, together, to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose.

At this week’s Cornerstone International Group conference, Kevin Turner described how Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates recruited and then onboarded him out of Walmart into Microsoft.  Ballmer worked on him for 18 months over a series of conversations, dinners and the like.  Finally, Gates met with him and said “I hope you’ll come change the world with us.”  Gates had him.

There are two parts to this: aspiration and invitation.  These apply whether you are recruiting someone to join you or seeking to join up yourself – with the difference that one is focused more on the inspiring part of leadership and the other is focused more on the enabling part.  In the Microsoft case, the common aspiration is to change the world.  Gates’ invitation was “come with us” – inspiration.  Turner’s implied invitation was “leverage my strengths” – enabling.

George Bradt – PrimeGenesis Executive Onboarding