Curating Leadership!
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Curating Leadership!
This scoop is about sharing great leadership stuff I find on the Internet - quality not quantity - to save you time and give you greater insight into leadership. I am interested in how we become and remain leaders in business, in community and in life.
If you find something that seems to belong here, please let me know.
...Geoff (www.performancepeople.com.au)
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Status Reporting 101: Using the PPP Method

Status Reporting 101: Using the PPP Method | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

As Cleve Gibbon aptly put it, PPP is “rich in stuff, low in fluff”.

GHiggins's insight:
I do not know how useful the Weekdone tool is (promoted in this post). However, I do know that reporting the three Ps is very effective. I've been using the headings: Completed Last Week/Month; Working on Next Week/Month; and Risks/Issues for a long time. Another alternative is to replace the first two with Tasks Underway and Tasks Completed. There is no right way to do this. Consider what information you and others need to receive.
...Geoff
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Turning Goals into Results: Catalytic Mechanisms

Turning Goals into Results: Catalytic Mechanisms | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it
Characteristic 2: A catalytic mechanism distributes power for the benefit of the overall system, often to the great discomfort of those who traditionally hold power.
GHiggins's insight:

Good advice on translating goals into action - albeit quite tricky in implementation, due to the complexities of the real world. As Tom states: "Obviously, not every company should institute short pay." Good luck finding your 'short pay'.

...Geoff

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Performance Management is Broken - The Performance Improvement Blog

Performance Management is Broken - The Performance Improvement Blog | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"To label this a “performance management system” is to give the process much more credit than it deserves. A perfunctory meeting between a manager and employee once a year to review a standard rating sheet that lists competencies and goals that are probably no longer relevant is not a performance management system."

GHiggins's insight:

Another thought-provoking blog post by Stephen Gill. He clearly explains issues that make many of us uncomfortable with the annual performance review meeting; and goes on to promote a 'learning alliance' between manager and direct report - a commitment to a performance-focussed relationship.

 

The very next (and much more recent) post I read by Stephen:  http://stephenjgill.typepad.com/performance_improvement_b/2014/10/performance-reviews-are-bad-for-learning.html

 

...Geoff

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Matt Crawford - Manual Competence

"I lasted 5 months, then I quit and I opened a motorcycle repair shop.  The point of contrast I want to make is that in fixing motorcycles you answer to standards that really aren't open to manipulation..."

GHiggins's insight:

Wow, it's a bit of a video time, and a TED time, for this series of scoops.

Professor David Swain blends hands-on skills with intellectual nous in creative ways at CQ University. He put me onto this TED talk by Dr Matthew Crawford.

(For those of you following along in this ScoopIt, Matthew did this presentation at the same TEDx event - TEDxEast in 2011 - as the talk by Gever Tully that I linked not long after setting up this ScoopIt.)

...Geoff

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Seth Godin: The tribes we lead

Seth Godin: The tribes we lead | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don't show up. They want to be missed when they're gone."

GHiggins's insight:

Not new, but still awesome - Seth Godin on tribes and movements.

 

...Geoff

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Can strategic planning pay off? | McKinsey & Company

Can strategic planning pay off? | McKinsey & Company | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"What does produce earnings are strategic decisions, and strategic decisions should be the ultimate output of a strategic-planning program. That is, the strategic plan should clearly set forth the critical issues currently facing a company or division in terms of alternative courses of current action."

GHiggins's insight:

I just love the quote attributed to Dwight Eisenhower: "Plans are nothing; planning is everything." This article focuses on decisions over plans in a good way.

...Geoff

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Is This a Sandwich?

Is This a Sandwich? | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"In what ways are our social practices, personal relationships, moral judgments, foreign policies, and political beliefs based on foundations of “knowledge” that, when pressed, we can’t even satisfactorily define or demonstrate?"

GHiggins's insight:

I talk a lot about questions. The ability to ask good questions is critical to collaborative (and any other kind of) leadership.

This article by ike Merrill is about a technique with a long history - the Socratic Method. And it is presented in such a way that you can see that our assumptions can be, and should be, smashed.

...Geoff

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Katie Owens: Active Listening

"Three words come to my mind when I think about active listening. They are: BE HERE NOW. Seize the moment. Live in this moment. Listen to the person who is right beside you."

GHiggins's insight:

Katie has a down-to-earth way of selling the benefits of active listening and presenting the core elements of active listening.  Happy watching.

...Geoff

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One on One

"Generally, people who think one-on-one meetings are a bad idea have been victims of poorly designed one-on-one meetings. The key to a good one-on-one meeting is the understanding that it is the employee’s meeting rather than the manager’s meeting."

GHiggins's insight:

Ben Horowitz has written about why and how he does one-on-one meetings (often called 'one-on-ones') with people who report directly to him. I have described these meetings as "the core line management practice". Don't believe me and Ben, try them for yourself.

...Geoff

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The Red Horse & Giving Clear Work Instructions

"Have you ever been impressed with the way an employee completed a project so you assigned them another one like it and it got done, but wasn't exactly what you wanted? Why do you suppose that was?"

GHiggins's insight:

I am doing some work on how to give instructions in the workplace at the moment, and came across this simple illustrative story, with an excellent commentary from F. John Reh at About.com.

...Geoff

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My Management Lessons from Three Failed Startups, Google, Apple, Dropbox, Twitter and Square

My Management Lessons from Three Failed Startups, Google, Apple, Dropbox, Twitter and Square | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"You’re worried about hurting the person’s feelings so you hold back. Then, when they don’t improve because you haven’t told them they are doing something wrong, you wind up firing them. Not so nice after all…"

GHiggins's insight:

This post blew me away. I am going to lead off with some of Kim's insights in a leadership training session next week. They are very relevant to the 'difficult conversations' session I had with this group when we last met.

 

I collect quotes while I'm reading to put in the quote block above, I love the one I found above.  Here is another one that resounds with me: 

"Is my job to build a great product or am I really just an armchair psychiatrist?” She got her answer when her coach literally yelled at her: “It’s called management and it is your job!"

 

...Geoff

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No more kids?

No more kids? | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"I wonder what happens when we treat children and customers like maybe, just maybe, they're the last chance we get to do it right."

GHiggins's insight:

Seth provides some substantial food for thought.  In good times we tend to have 'an abundance mentality'.  How many customers/clients are you taking for granted?

 

...Geoff

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Andy Grove Tells The Truth About What Great Leaders Do - Bob Sutton

Andy Grove Tells The Truth About What Great Leaders Do - Bob Sutton | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"you have to keep your spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing"

GHiggins's insight:

Last year in feedback on a leadership workshop a participant wrote that another topic that should be dealt with is:

"Coping with the self-doubt and stress of leadership roles.  The program has dealt really well with the nuts and bolts of leadership skills but sometimes the elephant in the room is the topic I've listed above. Just a thought."


And a big thought at that.  While looking for some assistance in framing this topic for emerging leaders, I found this post by Bob Sutton.  It is old, but is not out of date.


...Geoff

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Strategy, Tactics, Operations and Doctrine: A decision-language tutorial

Strategy, Tactics, Operations and Doctrine: A decision-language tutorial | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"Strategies are imagined stories about possible worlds, whose constraints are determined by elements of doctrine, and whose vocabulary is determined by available tactics. Converting those stories into reality through appropriate mixes of deliberative, reactive and opportunistic planning, scheduling, resource allocation and risk management, in the fog of action, is the discipline of operations."

GHiggins's insight:

I have been using the Strategic - Tactical - Operational Pyramid for years now (taught to me by Bruce Reidy), and I am looking for a deeper understanding of how these elements work together. I do not agree with all that Venkatesh writes, but he certainly gives a different and well-considered perspective.

...Geoff

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What Makes Teams Work?

What Makes Teams Work? | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"I view teams skeptically, because so many organizations treat them cynically. Teamwork has become a euphemism for organizational politics. Guess what? People sense the dishonesty there. People aren't stupid. They know when they're being used." (Michael Schrage, MIT Media Labs)

GHiggins's insight:

I came to this page looking for something about teams vs single-leader units by Jon Katzenbach , and I stayed to read a bunch of pretty considered responses to 'What makes teams work?'.

Happy reading,

...Geoff

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The Leader Effect - Stephen Gill

The Leader Effect - Stephen Gill | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

Leaders must find ways to show respect for everyone in the organization, from front-line hourly workers to top-level executives. Otherwise, employees will tell themselves stories about leaders that may or may not be true.

GHiggins's insight:

Stephen Gill does a great job of explaining the importance of leaders being self-aware and being present and connected

 

This echos some important points made by Robert Sutton, who says (quoting from a slide I use in a leadership workshop):
The team members are watching you
They are looking for cues
They want to know:
- What you are thinking
- What they should do
- Whether you are worth following

 

...Geoff

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Derek Sivers: How to start a movement

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"the first follower is actually an underestimated form of leadership in itself. It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader."

GHiggins's insight:

This is really short, and very entertaining. You can just watch this video for some laughs and an important message.  Or you can watch it alongside the Seth Godin video I just Scooped too ('The Tribes We Lead'). And create a movement yourself!

 

...Geoff

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Ken Thompson: The Habits of High Performing Teams

"The three starling behaviours:
Separation - Dont fly so close to the other birds
Alignment - Steer towards the average heading of the flock
Cohesion - Stay close, don't all move apart"

GHiggins's insight:

On top of the quote above about starlings, there are four more rules for good teams. You'll have to listen to Ken to hear them.
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Leadership: what it is (and isn't)

Leadership: what it is (and isn't) | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"To be successful, such collaborative adaptive leadership requires humility, honesty and trust, empathy, suspended judgements, commitment and authentic listening. The “inner game” of leadership can be tough to master."

GHiggins's insight:

Samuel Wilson and John Fien distinguish between different types of problems which require different sorts of responses. And do so within the context of contemporary Australian politics. A fine read.
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No Fine Print in Leadership

No Fine Print in Leadership | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"Don’t Rely on Fine Print in Leadership"

GHiggins's insight:

My friend Simon Terry recently posted a great post on authenticity in leadership. It is short and sweet, but don't let that fool you. It packs a punch.
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"Weird Al" Yankovic - Mission Statement - YouTube

"transitioning our company, by awareness of functionality.  Promoting viability.  Providing our supply chain with diversity.  We will distill our identity..."

GHiggins's insight:

From Melinda and Suzie at Anglicare, Wierd Al has the last word on Mission for all of us. There is nothing more to say. Move along.

...Geoff

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A Good Place to Work

A Good Place to Work | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"Let me break it down for you. In good organizations, people can focus on their work and have confidence that if they get their work done, good things will happen for both the company and them personally."

GHiggins's insight:

Ben Horowitz, a Venture Capitalist, writes extensively on leadership and management. His posts are often self-critical, which is a useful standpoint to come from as a leader. In this post he writes about one-on-ones, a technique I have been talking about to a lot of practicing managers lately. You might also want to read his co-post explaining one-on-ones, which I am also scooping here.

...Geoff

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How Medium Is Building a New Kind of Company with No Managers

How Medium Is Building a New Kind of Company with No Managers | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"We may be doing things differently just to be different sometimes, but it’s also allowed us to embrace so many new things."

GHiggins's insight:

Two in a row from 'First Round Review'. The practical suggestions in each of these articles means you can implement changes in your practices immediately. Here's an aspect of overlap between the two articles: "He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof."

 

Interestingly, Olivier Compagne of Holacracy has waded into the Comments section, and made some good points. Including linking this blog post: http://holacracy.org/blog/whats-wrong-with-your-organizational-structure

 

For those of you interested in Ricardo Semler's work, there are some pretty strong echos here.

 

...Geoff

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Killing the Golden Goose: From Waste to Potential

Killing the Golden Goose: From Waste to Potential | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

We need a new growth mindset and to develop a new opportunity narrative for management that embraces human potential.

GHiggins's insight:

Simon talks here about a significant risk embedded in the mindset of many managers.

 

Simon's blog post talks to me right now as the federal public servants in Australia are going to be expected to work longer hours as a proxy for productivity (http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-servants-to-work-longer-for-more-pay-20140418-zqwgn.html).  This comes after recent austerity drives have thinned out the ranks, and apparently resulted in a lot of unpaid overtime.  Can you see the paradox here?

 

...Geoff

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Measuring nothing (with great accuracy)

Measuring nothing (with great accuracy) | Curating Leadership! | Scoop.it

"You can't tell if a book is any good by the number of words it contains, even though it's quite easy and direct to measure this."

GHiggins's insight:

A client of mine is thinking of changing a column in their Strategic Plan from 'measures' to 'indicators'. This could make a world of difference when it comes to reporting progress against the plan.

 

...Geoff

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