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Change Leader, Change Thyself

Change Leader, Change Thyself | Creating new possibilities | Scoop.it

"Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, famously wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

Tolstoy’s dictum is a useful starting point for any executive engaged in organizational change. After years of collaborating in efforts to advance the practice of leadership and cultural transformation, we’ve become convinced that organizational change is inseparable from individual change. Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves.1

Building self-understanding and then translating it into an organizational context is easier said than done, and getting started is often the hardest part. We hope this article helps leaders who are ready to try and will intrigue those curious to learn more.

Organizations don’t change—people do

Many companies move quickly from setting their performance objectives to implementing a suite of change initiatives. Be it a new growth strategy or business-unit structure, the integration of a recent acquisition or the rollout of a new operational-improvement effort, such organizations focus on altering systems and structures and on creating new policies and processes.

To achieve collective change over time, actions like these are necessary but seldom sufficient. A new strategy will fall short of its potential if it fails to address the underlying mind-sets and capabilities of the people who will execute it.

McKinsey research and client experience suggest that half of all efforts to transform organizational performance fail either because senior managers don’t act as role models for change or because people in the organization defend the status quo.2 In other words, despite the stated change goals, people on the ground tend to behave as they did before. Equally, the same McKinsey research indicates that if companies can identify and address pervasive mind-sets at the outset, they are four times more likely to succeed in organizational-change efforts than are companies that overlook this stage.

Look both inward and outward

Companies that only look outward in the process of organizational change—marginalizing individual learning and adaptation—tend to make two common mistakes.

The first is to focus solely on business outcomes. That means these companies direct their attention to what Alexander Grashow, Ronald Heifetz, and Marty Linsky call the “technical” aspects of a new solution, while failing to appreciate what they call “the adaptive work” people must do to implement it.3

The second common mistake, made even by companies that recognize the need for new learning, is to focus too much on developing skills. Training that only emphasizes new behavior rarely translates into profoundly different performance outside the classroom.

In our work together with organizations undertaking leadership and cultural transformations, we’ve found that the best way to achieve an organization’s aspirations is to combine efforts that look outward with those that look inward. Linking strategic and systemic intervention to genuine self-discovery and self-development by leaders is a far better path to embracing the vision of the organization and to realizing its business goals.

What is looking inward?

Looking inward is a way to examine your own modes of operating to learn what makes you tick. Individuals have their own inner lives, populated by their beliefs, priorities, aspirations, values, and fears. These interior elements vary from one person to the next, directing people to take different actions.

Interestingly, many people aren’t aware that the choices they make are extensions of the reality that operates in their hearts and minds. Indeed, you can live your whole life without understanding the inner dynamics that drive what you do and say. Yet it’s crucial that those who seek to lead powerfully and effectively look at their internal experiences, precisely because they direct how you take action, whether you know it or not. Taking accountability as a leader today includes understanding your motivations and other inner drives.

For the purposes of this article, we focus on two dimensions of looking inward that lead to self-understanding: developing profile awareness and developing state awareness.

Profile awareness

An individual’s profile is a combination of his or her habits of thought, emotions, hopes, and behavior in various circumstances. Profile awareness is therefore a recognition of these common tendencies and the impact they have on others.

We often observe a rudimentary level of profile awareness with the executives we advise. They use labels as a shorthand to describe their profile, telling us, “I’m an overachiever” or “I’m a control freak.” Others recognize emotional patterns, like “I always fear the worst,” or limiting beliefs, such as “you can’t trust anyone.” Other executives we’ve counseled divide their identity in half. They end up with a simple liking for their “good” Dr. Jekyll side and a dislike of their “bad” Mr. Hyde.

Finding ways to describe the common internal tendencies that drive behavior is a good start. We now know, however, that successful leaders develop profile awareness at a broader and deeper level.

State awareness

State awareness, meanwhile, is the recognition of what’s driving you at the moment you take action. In common parlance, people use the phrase “state of mind” to describe this, but we’re using “state” to refer to more than the thoughts in your mind. State awareness involves the real-time perception of a wide range of inner experiences and their impact on your behavior. These include your current mind-set and beliefs, fears and hopes, desires and defenses, and impulses to take action.

State awareness is harder to master than profile awareness. While many senior executives recognize their tendency to exhibit negative behavior under pressure, they often don’t realize they’re exhibiting that behavior until well after they’ve started to do so. At that point, the damage is already done.

We believe that in the future, the best leaders will demonstrate both profile awareness and state awareness. These capacities can develop into the ability to shift one’s inner state in real time. That leads to changing behavior when you can still affect the outcome, instead of looking back later with regret. It also means not overreacting to events because they are reminiscent of something in the past or evocative of something that might occur in the future.4

Close the performance gap

When learning to look inward in the process of organizational transformation, individuals accelerate the pace and depth of change dramatically. In the words of one executive we know, who has invested heavily in developing these skills, this kind of learning “expands your capacity to lead human change and deliver true impact by awakening the full leader within you.” In practical terms, individuals learn to align what they intend with what they actually say and do to influence others.

Erica Ariel Fox’s recent book, Winning from Within,5 calls this phenomenon closing your performance gap. That gap is the disparity between what people know they should say and do to behave successfully and what they actually do in the moment. The performance gap can affect anyone at any time, from the CEO to a summer intern.

This performance gap arises in individuals partly because of the profile that defines them and that they use to define themselves. In the West in particular, various assessments tell you your “type,” essentially the psychological clothing you wear to present yourself to the world.

To help managers and employees understand each other, many corporate-education tools use simplified typing systems to describe each party’s makeup. These tests often classify people relatively quickly, and in easily remembered ways: team members might be red or blue, green or yellow, for example.

There are benefits in this approach, but in our experience it does not go far enough and those using it should understand its limitations. We all possess the full range of qualities these assessments identify. We are not one thing or the other: we are all at once, to varying degrees. As renowned brain researcher Dr. Daniel Siegel explains, “we must accept our multiplicity, the fact that we can show up quite differently in our athletic, intellectual, sexual, spiritual—or many other—states. A heterogeneous collection of states is completely normal in us humans.”6 Putting the same point more poetically, Walt Whitman famously wrote, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”"


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Lisbeth Holter Brudal introduces her newly-translated version of her book, “Empathic Communication: The Missing Link”. This is a book tackles how we relate to each-other through empathy and communication.

 

Empathy - the ability to recognize other people’s feelings and intentions - is an innate ability. To communicate - to participate in dialogue, seek contact, and engage in interaction with others - is an innate need. There is strong evidence that the ability to empathize is partially linked to a specific type of nerve cells in the brain, called “mirror neurons.” Neurobiological research shows that our mirror neurons make it possible for us to replicate and recognize other people’s feelings and intentions.

 

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“Empathic Communication” will expand your ability to understand and care for the ones you love the most. It tackles difficult conversations in the event of a loss or a tragic change in the lives of others. This book allows you to respond in empathy and dissolve confusion created by communication barriers.

Lisbeth Holter Brudal’s “Empathic Communication” will be free and available for download on Amazon for 5 days (01/12/2015 – 01/16/2015) at: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PA0SWB4. “Empathic Communication” has a 5 star rating on Amazon.com. Here’s what some people are saying:

 

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By Jeet Heer

In 1970, in the Vietnamese city of Cao Lanh, not far from the festering border with Cambodia, Corporal Arthur Goldhammer learned his first crucial lesson about the relationship between translation and reality. Trained in Vietnamese by the army, Goldhammer was tasked with translating reports from spies and interviewing Viet Cong defectors. As he collated these reports and stuck pins on a map to trace out supposed enemy troop movement both in Vietnam and Cambodia, Goldhammer concluded that much of what he was being told was “invented out of whole cloth” by cynical locals with no special loyalty to or love for the American mission. Goldhammer’s superiors were little interested in whether the reports were true or not. They were happy to take credit for engagements with fictitious foes. The folly of translating dubious reports was a microcosm for the larger absurdity of the war. 

Translators have to grapple not just with language but also the reality that stands behind words: that’s the lesson Goldhammer learned in Vietnam, one that he’s been able to apply under happier circumstances as a crucial cultural broker between France and the United States. “I’ve always thought of myself as a translator whose speciality is not only in language,” Goldhammer explained in a Skype conversation, his voice still parched and scraggy from a bout with cancer he survived in 2012.

Goldhammer is the major importer of French writing into the United States. Over the course of three decades, he has translated more than 100 books, some from classic authors like Alexis de Tocqueville, Emile Zola, and Albert Camus but many more from specialized scholarly like the historian Georges Duby, the literary theorist Julia Kristeva, or the classicist Giulia Sissa. Last year, Goldhammer has been in the news for his widely praised translation of Thomas Piketty’s surprise best-seller Capital in the 21st Century, which has sold more than 650,000 copies. 

More recently, he's been an invaluable guide to French politics and culture in the messy aftermath of the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris. In both his blog French Politics and his published articles, he's become an essential bridge between North America and France. Writing for Al Jazeera, for instance, he included Charlie Hebdo in "an old Parisian tradition of cheeky humor that respects nothing and no one. The French even have a word for it: 'gouaille.' Think of obscene images of Marie-Antoinette and other royals, of priests in flagrante delicto with nuns, of devils farting in the pope's face and Daumier’s caricatures of King Louis-Philippe, whom he portrayed in the shape of a pear." 

Many, including the author of Capital himself, are full of praise for Goldhammer’s lucid, elegant translation. “I cannot find the words to express how grateful I am to Art for the wonderful translation he has done,” Piketty told me in an email. “I made virtually zero change, this was just perfect immediately, and it reads so much nicer than everything I could ever have written with my bad english.”

David Bell, professor of French History at Princeton, writes, “Arthur Goldhammer is without a doubt the world's leading translator of French nonfiction into English. He is peerless. To a greater extent than any other translator, he combines a perfect, fluent, idiomatic command of French with a deep knowledge and appreciation of French culture and history, an impressive familiarity with the main currents of thought in the social sciences and humanities on both sides of the Atlantic, and, not least, a graceful writing style in English.”

  

As Goldhammer admits, his path to becoming a translator was a “checkered” one. Born in Plainfield, New Jersey in 1946, the grandson of a doctor and son of an engineer, Goldhammer initially planned on following the family tradition of working in the sciences. He started studying at MIT at age 16, at first focusing on physics but increasingly tugged by the austere beauties of mathematics. “I had switched in my sophomore year from physics to math because I thought physics was too ‘messy’ and physicists took too many liberties with pristine mathematical logic,” he says.  

Evident even in his undergraduate days were the two threads that would dominate his life: Francophilia and a persistent tendency to flee from the academic imperative to specialize.

The 1960s were the golden age of Francophilia in America. In everything from student radicalism to sexual liberation, France was an older sister who always seemed two steps ahead of its Anglophone sibling Republic. In his philosophy courses Goldhammer encountered the existentialists and via New Wave filmmakers like Francois Truffaut he acquired “a yearning for a certain Gallic flavor in life, a kind of engaged insouciance that I didn’t find at home.”

In the summer of 1968, Goldhammer and a girlfriend travelled to Europe. Breathing the post-revolutionary élan of Paris in the aftermath of the May 1968 uprising deepened Goldhammer’s Francophilia. “I found the engagement of intellectuals in politics and the higher level of political debate compared with the U.S. to be quite exhilarating,” he says. 

The visit to France ended up sending Goldhammer to Vietnam. Since he travelled in Europe, the draft board decided he was no longer eligible for deferment as a graduate student. Goldhammer was already anti-war, but was unwilling to claim conscientious objector status or flee to Canada. “I didn’t want to serve, but I also felt that in a democracy it was wrong to use dishonest means to escape the draft, even if it meant serving in a war of which one disapproved,” he says, adding, “I no longer think this.”

Because of his proven language skills in French and his ability to play a musical instrument (Vietnamese is a tonal language) he received translator training. While in military training, Goldhammer joined the massive anti-war protest that rocked Washington, D.C. on November 15, 1969.

Vietnam, Goldhammer says, was where he “began to think politically” and also realize that “devotion to pure science…was an evasion of the messiness and illogicality of existence.” He started reading Marxist scholarship intensely. After his tour of duty, he received an Army Commendation Medal for his service, “mainly for my excellent grammar and typing skills.”

Given an early discharge to finish his graduate studies, he completed his PhD at MIT, writing a thesis on “Cobordism Operations in Topological, Piecewise Linear, and Differentiable Manifolds.” In the 1970s, he claims, differentiable manifolds were a fashionable subject. Despite this thesis and two years teaching Math at Brandeis, Goldhammer already decided that a professor’s life wasn’t for him. He wanted to write fiction and live in Paris. Translating scholarly works provided him with a niche that allowed him to pursue both his literary ambitions and his love for French culture.

From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, often while living in France and working as a translator, Goldhammer worked on a long novel called Shooting War, based on his Vietnam experiences and inflected with a Saul Bellow-esque sense of the inevitable clash between the luftmensch and the street smart. His inability to find a publisher for this novel is “the great disappointment” of Goldhammer’s life. After he was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, he decided to self-publish the book “in case I don’t survive and at least the text will be available.”

 

Translation always involves stylistic choices, ranging from extreme literalism to wild free-style improvisation. These decisions aren’t merely linguistic but invariably entangled in politics and philosophy. Literalism in translation is often favored by cultural conservatives trying to return to some irrecoverable primordial paradise: think of Vladimir Nabokov’s Eugene Onegin, the many translations done by the students of Leo Strauss, or Robert Alter’s rendition of The Pentateuch. In transposing Pushkin’s poem into an English syntax that mirrored as closely as possible the Russian original, Nabokov was surely trying to negate his exile from his homeland. An even more radical denial of history fuels Straussian translations, where a focus on the narrow dictionary-meaning of words and aversion to contextual explanation is upheld as the only way to be faithful to great philosophic texts.

Conversely, free-style adaptations—Christopher Logue’s “account” of The Iliad being a prime example—are showcases for a translator’s verbal prowess but unreliable as renderings of the original. 

As a translator, Goldhammer tries to find a pragmatic middle-ground between literalism and freestyle. The goal is to be faithful to the contents of a book but also find a style for it that works in English. For Goldhammer, Derrida’s famous adage “there is nothing outside the text” is of little use to a translator. To translate both non-fiction and novels, Goldhammer contends, “You need a familiarity with French culture. You need to do work that goes well beyond and outside the text to in order to translate inside the text. It’s part of my work as a translator to read up on a subject. When I take on a book in a new area of history in which I haven’t worked before I read other texts in both French and English that deal with a similar subject or subfield.” 

By this criteria, a good translator, someone fluent in different cultures and intellectual traditions as well as different languages, has to be a polymath as well as polyglot. As Ian Malcolm of Harvard University Press notes, “Translators working with complex ideas need an intellectual hinterland, and Art's is vast. He can move from translating a book in the heart of the humanities one day to translating advanced economics and mathematics the next, and with an equally deep understanding of text, context, and history‎. ‎It's not everyone who can write about modern art or Dionysus who has a PhD in mathematics from MIT.”

Malcolm describes Goldhammer’s range and depth of knowledge as “superhuman.” It is undeniable that Goldhammer is imposingly erudite, sometimes frighteningly so. Going over my emails over the last few years, I’ve found a note from him comparing the social theories of Karl Polanyi and Alexis de Tocqueville, a paragraph on how the phase “compositional effect” migrated from the physics of magnetism to the social sciences, a small disquisition on recent revisions in the scholarship of same-sex practices in Ancient Greece, among countless other recondite topics.

Given his polymathic range, has Goldhammer made the best use of his formidable brain-power by being a translator? He quotes the publisher Alfred A. Knopf, who once said that “translation has always been dog’s work—never well paid and seldom if ever bringing the translator any glory." Financially, translation has only made sense as a career because of Goldhammer’s marriage, in 1983, to Dr. Stephanie Engel, a psychiatrist.

“I became a translator because I wanted to have more control over my own time than the life of a professional mathematician or professional scholar would have permitted,” he says. “Sometimes people say ‘you’re a polymath’ but I say that’s the positive way of looking at it. The negative, I’m a dilettante and have never settled down to one thing. There are plusses and minuses. I would like better a world in which there are more people like me who are free to range across a number of areas. Perhaps we’d have more productive public discussions if there were people who had fairly advanced knowledge of more than one thing and we weren’t helpless in the face of specialists who say ‘this is the truth and you have to accept it because I know more than you do.’ The world as it is is not very tolerant of such people.”  

Perhaps describing Goldhammer as a translator, while accurate enough, is simply insufficient. In many ways, Goldhammer’s cultural services go well beyond translating. The case of Piketty is instructive. As George Ross, a professor at Brandeis University, notes, Goldhammer has been “in part responsible as impresario” for the Piketty phenomenon. I first became cognizant of Piketty a few months before the English translation was released, thanks to Goldhammer’s enthusiasm. Based on Goldhammer’s arguments for the importance of Capital in the 21st Century, I floated the idea of doing a “Piketty for the Complete Dummy” popularization. As it turned out, Piketty didn’t need such a sale’s pitch since he was capable of winning readers on his own. “I may have had some part in Piketty’s success because I talked the book up and brought it to the attention of a number of journalists,” Goldhammer admits. Behind the scenes, Goldhammer has been a daunting advocate on behalf of Piketty, challenging what he sees as misinterpretations of Capital. 

Goldhammer’s ad hoc work as a publicist for Piketty shouldn’t surprise us if we appreciate that any translation above the level of a crib involves a personal connection. It’s not an accident that Marguerite Yourcenar had the English translation of The Memoirs of Hadrian done by her lover Grace Frick or that Nabokov’s friendship with Edmund Wilson was shattered by arguments over the Pushkin translation.

“Translation is like forming any kind of human relationship.” Goldhammer notes. “When you meet a new person you think it might be a friend, you are still sometimes wary, you are not completely familiar with the kinds of exchange you are going to have with this person, so you are more cautious at the beginning. Caution is one of the things a translator has to overcome.”


Jeet Heer is the author of In Love With Art: Francoise Mouly's Adventures in Comics with Art Spiegelman. He is also the co-editor, with Chris Ware, of the ongoing book series Walt and Skeezix, reprinting the Gasoline Alley comic strips of Frank King.

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and hope for a better world - julie ali

http://readingchildrensbooks.blogspot.ca/2014/12/never-give-up-hope-dear-yukoners-if-you.html

 

and hope for a better world
but work for it as well
for the hell you are in
will only alter
if you choose this new world
begin where you are
and keep going
don't give up
and don't give in
yes it is terrifying
to work for change
but do not expect
anyone to come and help you
there are disasters


and hope for a better world
but work for it as well
you cannot see the blue skies of Alberta
digging in a pit with the bodies of strangers all around
you must decide to do what small works
that you are able to do
and then looking
neither to the right
nor to the left
you begin the work
that you don't know how to do
others will come
to help you out
they will summon up their small cache of energy
to tell you the way    then magical events will happen
for when you work hard the wheel of fortune turns
and you receive what you never expected

and hope for a better world
but work for it as well
the players will do what they will
to further the corruption of our society
the leaders will open and close their mouths
like fish in a fish bowl
the followers will follow
as the cloned cells of a monolayer that will never alter
but adhere to the same surface of conformity
only a few citizens will be brave
and alter what is by their sacrifices
the masses are stupid
and addicted to debt
the media panders to their stupidity
every level of government is dumbed down machinery
we have the quality control leaders lauding their own failures
to provide oversight   as is the AER so is the AHS
and only one thing is evident to me
we have criminals in charge
of the justice system


and hope for a better world
but work for it as well
never give up hope
speak up when required
and then act in the family for change
your children can be the change that you are looking for
show them the traps
that are laid for them
and ask them to work hard
for those among us who are defeated and maimed
tell them the way to freedom
is in their brains
and in their mouths
tell them that deferred gratification is ignored
by the society
but it is a discipline
worth courting
teach them that the one they live with is the one they should love
tell them what they do to others
is what will be done to them


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jose antonio gabelas's curator insight, December 18, 2014 12:47 PM

añada su visión ...

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Es un proyecto con un importante impacto social que aprovecha múltiples expresiones y representaciones en textos plurales como el comic, arte callejero, contenido de aplicaciones y demás; un uso más allá de lo comercial como tendencia del transmedia.

 

 

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Both of these themes were at the heart of an exceptional two-day event I attended in Copenhagen recently, hosted by Healthcare DENMARK.  Called “The Ambassadors’ Summit,” each participant was invited to attend based upon his or her lifetime healthcare-industry contributions.  The Summit provided our group the opportunity to compare ideas and benchmark best practices with peers from around the world.  And while every national representative had something valuable to offer, some of the best thinking came directly from our hosts themselves.

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At the end of the Summit, we all agreed to return a year from now having advanced our own care systems by harnessing and developing the rich ideas we’d shared in just 48 hours.  Easily said, but what will prove the best means of connecting all the ideas in all those back yards?  The answer is social media used smartly – in a way that establishes closely defined social networks that engage communities interested in solving very specific problems.

As I left the Summit, I could already envision a new group of social communities that could invite the participation of the leaders who contributed so much to the Ambassadors Summit – effectively creating real-time conversations around the key issues that concerned each one of us.  For example, we could launch a new community with a “Danish voice” to advance our nation’s work to increase patient centricity.  Another smart social network could consider the construction of new hospitals and the consolidation of existing ones.  Other smart social healthcare communities could focus on medical homes, the roles of primary-care physicians, and the true connectivity of personal health records.

The possibilities are energizing because they are so clearly within our reach.  With the smart use of social platforms, global boundaries lose relevance, great meetings like the Ambassadors Summit never have to adjourn, and our power to drive a world of better care increases exponentially.

 


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Filipe Cálix's curator insight, November 30, 2014 12:05 PM

Ponha um anel no dedo, um headset na orelha e prepare-se para uma experiência futurista até com as apresentações mais banais. Voiceboard usa os gestos e a voz para comandar a apresentação dos slides. Tão simples quanto isto.

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RECURSO INTERESANTE
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When I met Bill Clinton for the 1st time I felt that not only did he care about me as a person, but that he wanted to learn everything he could about appreciative inquiry in the first five minutes. That's what great leaders do. They are fascinated. They glance around them with delight. There is joy in learning and surfacing the best each person has to offer. And they thrill to surprise. Bill Clinton has a startlingly simple secret to success: the former president gives everyone he meets his full, undivided attention. Countless anecdotes about Clinton suggest that his legendary charisma stems from the full focus he gives to every person he meets, and it's made him one of the greatest political communicators in recent history. Clinton was known, during his early career, for connecting with the people he was leading, looking them in the eye, and listening to what they had to say. He embodied an important trait of great natural leaders: They genuinely care about others, and no matter how busy they are, they always give people the time of day. "All my life I’ve been interested in other people’s stories," Clinton wrote in his autobiography My Life. "I wanted to know them, understand them, feel them." Clinton's superior powers of attention only highlight to our larger cultural "attention deficit" that can have a significant negative impact on the way we communicate and interact with others. Paying attention to people might not sound too difficult, but consider how often we actually do this. Technology has contributed to a decline of eye contact, and multitasking has become so much the norm that we often check our email or text while conversing with others. Even when we're not multitasking, research suggests that we only give people roughly a third of our attention -- but a great leader knows that everyone they work with deserves more than that.
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