New research from the CIPD has found that when tasked with increasing organisational performance, 30% of business leaders would choose to continue rewarding high-performing individuals regardless of the values they demonstrate, suggesting that the next big corporate scandal is already in the pipeline.
The article concludes "... if recent events have taught us one thing, it is that developing leaders’ ability to optimise the flow of information and quality of debate around them has become a matter of basic risk management".
Areas of expertise include, peak performance coaching, emotional intelligence, leadership development, advanced presentation and facilitation skills, conflict resolution and the development of a coaching culture.
When we make decisions, we make mistakes. We all know this from personal experience, of course. But just in case we didn’t, a seemingly unending stream of experimental evidence in recent years has documented the human penchant for error. This line of research—dubbed heuristics and biases, although you may be more familiar with its offshoot, behavioral economics—has become the dominant academic approach to understanding decisions. Its practitioners have had a major influence on business, government, and financial markets. Their books—Predictably Irrational; Thinking, Fast and Slow; and Nudge, to name three of the most important—have suffused popular culture.
So far, so good. This research has been enormously informative and valuable. Our world, and our understanding of decision making, would be much poorer without it.
It is not, however, the only useful way to think about making decisions. Even if you restrict your view to the academic discussion, there are three distinct schools of thought. Although heuristics and biases is currently dominant, for the past half century it has interacted with and sometimes battled with the other two, one of which has a formal name—decision analysis—and the other of which can perhaps best be characterized as demonstrating that we humans aren’t as dumb as we look.
New leaders don’t spend nearly enough time and effort being intentional about how they show up and how they spend their own time. The effort they devote to forming meaningful connections with the people in the organization is almost an afterthought.
In this paper John Pourdehnad and Larry M. Starr propose a new approach to executive education that takes into account the prevalence of dynamic complexity caused by massive changes in the nature of the internal and external environments of a system.
They argue that the educational requirements necessary to prepare leaders who have the cognitive capacity to steer through the “perfect storm,” are very different from leading in simple and stable contexts.
The authors suggest that this proficiency emerges from the interaction of relevant skills, accessed experience, knowledge and understanding of the situation, practical wisdom and sound judgment, and relevant personality attributes.
Charles Handy speaks at Leadership All-Stars in downtown Los Angeles during the Drucker Centennial celebration. Charles is a globally renowned business expert and is often regarded as Britain's greatest management thinker. He has been an executive, a theorist, a management thinker and a student of business all his life.
Barraged by lists of predictions, trends, and otherwise guesses. Swaddled in our own strategic plans. Yet, 2015 won’t conform neatly to our organizational goals and expectations — to succeed, we must learn to adapt ourselves and our organizations to the unforeseen events that will undoubtedly shape the year ahead.
I have been a proponent of the importance of leaders developing strengths as a means to improve toward excellence. After all, the best leaders are characterized by the presence of strengths, not the absence of weakness. That concept is illustrated in the article I coauthored for Harvard Business Review, called [...]
Elaine Cox's insight:
In our new book, which should be available next summer, Mike McLaughlin and I will be discussing the other leadership traps: ego, fear and power - all of which get in the way of being a brave leader.
Vision is the foundation of leadership. Whilst leadership starts with being the right person - the character of the leader, great leadership is sustained by a shared and compelling vision. A compelling vision is one that describes who you are, why you exist and the future you want to create.
Nearly two fifths (38%) of those surveyed in middle management or above said that professional anxiety was a decisive factor in limiting career progression to senior leadership or CEO level.
Elaine Cox's insight:
Currently I'm working on a book on Leadership Coaching with Mike McLaughlin. We'll show how a model of coaching to develop braver leaders can help overcome anxiety and other problems that interfere with leader effectiveness. The book will be published in 2015.
Leadership Coaching offers a new model of coaching for leadership development. It explains how the brave model extends existing leadership theories, and includes specific coaching processes and sense-making techniques.
Author David Zweig writes on his experience profiling highly accomplished introverted professionals and their powerful, yet undervalued, qualities.
Elaine Cox's insight:
".... while it may feel as though the whole world is beguiled by those who make the most noise in conference rooms and boardrooms, it’s encouraging and, critically, worth noting that that’s not actually the case".
As Paul Polman at Unilever shows, the role of the CEO on sustainability can be key, but the departure of a strong leader doesn’t have to leave an organisation in drift
Elaine Cox's insight:
New chief executives typically use the time prior to taking control and then their first 100 days for a “substantial refresh”, Keeble notes. “If sustainability is factored into that refresh then it’s a fantastic opportunity".
Wharton School professor Michael Useem scopes out the leadership challenges facing executives today:
Because the world is now more complicated and more uncertain, I think that on top of always having a great vision there will be a premium on thinking strategically and on being able to come back from setbacks, and maybe above all, on being very good at reading the increasingly ambiguous and uncertain universe we operate in.
Companies probably focus too much on the bottom line, too much on meeting quarterly analyst expectations, and this has cost us companies paying attention to what the country needs or what the world needs or certainly what the community requires.
Good leaders have always stepped out of their comfort zones, but converging global megatrends are putting more pressure on those at the top to navigate a faster, more complex, more integrated, and more transparent business world.
To identify what we stand for as leaders is not a fancy exercise. It’s a requirement of all great leaders to examine their successes and failures to uncover the nuggets that lead them to insights about what they stand for. This inquiry is unending.
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