Posts Tagged leadership

Thursday Flash (39)

Flash…

A good read on #EQ and whether it is important when hiring for a start up or hiring in general. I actually wrote about that on LinkedIn earlier last month: EQ vs. IQ.

And if you deal a lot with negative people, find a great guide on simple ways to handle negative people!

Seven Ways to say NO when it is easier to say yes – reminds me of a book on my parent’s shelf: Don’t say Yes if you want to say No.

Enjoy,
Volker

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Inspirational Thought: Walk the Talk

I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. ~ Tony Robbins

Those who lead rather than manage, are the ones that lead by example.

Walk your talk and become a leader!

Only those who believe in what they are saying will lead by example. Only those are the ones in whose shoes you would want to walk for a mile!

Do what you preach.

Best wishes,
Volker

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Inspirational Thought: Progress & Decisions

You cannot make progress without making decisions. ~ Jim Rohn

Whether as a manager or employee or CEO one has to make decisions. Even as a private person. From my point of view there isn’t a point of mulling too many decisions over. One needs to get on with it.

Some decisions, no matter how many information you collect, won’t become easier. You might as well make the decision now and get on with it. Let’s base it on your best knowledge and experience and go for it. You will the the progress happening.

I am sure if you made a decision based on the best of your abilities, then no one will rip off your head if things go wrong. Depends on the scale of course 🙂

Some decisions just don’t get better over time.

Get on with it, grab the bull by its horns and make your day. And maybe someone else’s.

Have a good one, lead by example!

Volker

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3 A’s to energise yourself and others

Dan Rockwell, on his blog Leadershipfreak, wrote about the 3 A’s that energise yourself and others. Here is a summary.

The main aim is to understand how to energize others.

Abandonment – you need to have an unreserved dedication to the mission and vision of your organisation. A buzz and feel for the passion to get the job done needs to be felt by everyone around you.

Affirmation – you should make positive statements at least 4 times more than negative statements. Be positive. Use positive language. You’re always dealing with problems. You’re always thinking about ways to improve your team’s performance.

Addition – you should decide to add rather than subtract from others. Find ways to lift others higher than you. Offer staff a career, a path to success. Challenge someone to step out of their comfort zone. Let them feel the pressure and then add comfort to them by expressing confidence in their abilities.

I like how Dan puts the alphabet into context and finds ways to come up with inspiring quotes, comments and ideas to improve leadership and management.

Thanks for this inspiration.

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Leadership & Great Companies

I recently revisited the book Good to Great by Jim Collins which I read a few years ago studying for my MBA. Now, with the TED talk about inspiring leaders and its affinity to both NLP and DBM, it was time for another post.

“It is your Work in life that is the ultimate seduction”, Pablo Picasso.

In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and DBM (Development of Behavioural Models), you drill down on actions by asking:

– What do you do?
– How are you doing it?
– Why are you doing it?

With more modelling this goes deeper, however focusing on this three questions, and looking at the TED talk, we are looking to answer the question what a successful leader is made of, and what are successful companies made of:

– What does s/he do?
– How is s/he doing it? How is he leading, managing and setting example?
– Why is s/he doing it? What motivated the leader and makes him so good in what he is doing and how he is doing it.

The latter seems to be key to a lot of discussions around leadership. Hence in Jim Collins book it is about “good to great”, the “level5 leader”. As of the graph above, the level5 leader builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. S/he differs from the effective leader, e.g. level4, through the input of personal humility and professional will: the main difference is the personal involvement and drive rather than “just following a vision and stimulating higher standards”.

Now my first question that comes to mind is “incentive”: why would a leader be like that? What are the incentives for that?

It seems to me that most examples of level5 leaders are either owner managers or they seem to have a big share package 🙂 Some of course just want to do it for the recognition but let’s be honest: does anyone really care if you have build a great company over a period of 5 years and you didn’t see any financial rewards from it? I don’t think so.

Of course there are personalities that focus on the larger goal of building a great company, and their ambition drives them on to be above and beyond themselves and only think and work for the organisation.

Another principle Collins introduces is the hedgehog concept, e.g. waiting and being on top of things rather than being a fox that tries all possibilities. Maybe not the best summary of the concept, but I am personally not convinced that this is the best analogy in the first place. It is about “focusing on one big thing” rather than diversifying (too much) and having not real focus.

Let’s have a look at the circles:
– What are you passionate about?
– What you can be the best in the world at?
– What drives your economic engine?

Anyone having achieved a Master Practitioner in NLP and has worked with coaches, coached people or is interested in personal development knows what s/he is passionate about. The fundamental will to live and what makes you tick and cry, what makes you feel complete. What gets you out of bed in the morning. Collins however looks at the company perspective here.

Same with the next circle, from a corporate perspective it is all about: what you are good at? Don’t try to build an engine if you don’t know anything about engineering and don’t try to be a doctor if you cannot see blood. What is it you are good at? What are your skills? This could be something your company is currently not involved in.

Now the economic engine: money and share options? Maybe if you look at this model from a personal perspective but Collins refers to the ROI of your business, how do you measure economic success for the company.

Let’s reflect for a moment: the circles don’t only apply to corporate success but can be equally used to look at personal success. Then, once modelled for the individuals of a company, or maybe founding members of a company, transferred into a model for a successful business. As one of my managers used to say: “I recruit people that I trust and I can work with, I can then teach them the details they need to learn” – personality plays a key role in who we work with and how we (and a company) become successful.

Reading the Collins book, he goes on and describes the use of technology and its importance for further greatness of companies. Definitely a must read book for any manager and aspiring leader.

And the latter is then responsible for keeping the momentum going, or as Collins calls it the “flywheel effect”. Once a company is going, and growing, one needs to look at the results, energize the people and build the momentum to drive the company forward. Not too fast, not too slow, and always looking at the underlying processes. Companies without the right processes, monitoring and feedback tools are prone to fail as control is everything. If you don’t know where your profits come from or whether you make money, you are doomed straight away, becoming a fox.

This sums up the key principles of successful companies by Collins and shows the resemblance between successful personalities/leaders and companies. Maybe another pointer to make a company “more personal” and look at it from a different perspective. What do you think?

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Buddhist Thoughts – being better

Happy New Year again!

I came across this quote and in all honesty I am not sure if I understand it totally.

If, in your course, you dont meet your equal, your better, then continue your course firmly, alone. Theres no fellowship with fools.

– Dhammapada, 6, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Does it say that if you are on a mission or project and you don’t think that you are meeting your equal, e.g. you are superior and better than everyone else, then you should continue as you were?

Alone. As no one is following you if you are a fool. So are we fools thinking that we are the best and better than anyone else I suppose?

Is that true? It reminds me a bit of NLP where you create your own map of the world. Where you make up your own ideas and thoughts and then you are the person in charge, you are going the way alone as you think this is the only right way. But maybe, it is foolish to go this way in the first place.

Have a think.

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Why we do what we do?

Definitely worth watching:

Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better

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How great leaders inspire action (Simon Sinek)

Amazing talk on Leadership.

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Productivity: Start with the answers

I read Bob Seelert’s book, Start with the answers, last year. It is a great book, very inspiring.

Below is a presentation I made, integrating his wisdom with mine and cb consulting.

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Leadership Ideas – Ronald Heifetz

The other day in the FT weekend, 16/17 May (you see I am behind writing in my blog), I came across the key leadership ideas of Ronald Heifetz. I just thought it would be nice to share those with you. Maybe you have some input on that?

He defines Leadership as the activity of mobilising the community to tackle tough problems. That sounds like a good definition. Something very tangible, down to the point. Other definitions the FT summarises are:

Technical Problems: we already know the solution, it is just a matter of time and knowledge to come up with a solution
Adaptive Challenges: not a clear-cut solution where the “solution finder” needs to apply learning to come up with a solution
Equilibrium and disequilibrium: leaders, Heifetz says, need to balance stability and periods of stress or conflict. Adaptive change tends to require sustained periods of disequilibrium – it must be carefully paced. That means that you should try to pace between the ups and downs of any cycle. He refers to the pressure cooker metaphor
Work avoidance mechanisms: People fail to adapt because they want to resist change in terms of pain, anxiety or conflict that comes with engaging with a problem.
Holding Environment: “a holding environment is any relationship in which one party has the power to hold the attention of another in order to help them face up to their problems”. A classic example between a therapist and a patient

I hope you found this useful and found some food for thought on how to approach your next leadership challenge?

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