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In troubled times, leadership is key, and can make the difference between profit and bankruptcy. So what makes a successful CEO?
Skip all the "How to..." and "Do this..." articles and read this one instead. A phenomenal article with references to the work of Kevin Dutton and Manfred Kets de Vries.
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Working professionally with leadership development I collect gold nuggets on leadership/management, that I find useful, educational, and inspirational to others.
It is no longer a futuristic vision to talk about a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment. It is the reality that most leaders face every day. The way we work is fundamentally under pressure and it is evident that leaders must develop new responses and capabilities to navigate in the world and stay relevant. The purpose of this site - LeadershipABC - is to help leaders rethink, redefine, and reshape their organizations and themselves to meet the challenges of the future.
My personal aim is to provide you with stories you can learn and grow from. The kind of stories that provokes personal reflection and constructive action.
You're welcome to connect via:
Sustained organizational health is among the most powerful assets a company can build. Healthy companies generate total returns to shareholders three times higher than those of unhealthy ones.
New research suggests that the performance payoff from organizational health is unexpectedly large and that companies have four distinct “recipes” for achieving it.
Successful companies match their organizations to their aspirations. Once a company has identified the most appropriate organizational recipe for the chosen strategy, it should align the organization as far as possible with that mix of practices. If its most important day-to-day practices do not support its strategy, or are not consistent with the direction communicated by its leadership, the misalignment can often undermine both overall performance and health.
Evolve or die. If it ain’t broke, break it. If you don’t like change, you are going to like obsolescence even less.
By now, the idea that organizations must adapt in order to maintain both relevance and market share in a rapidly changing world is so ingrained that it’s been reduced to pithy sayings. And there are many organizations — from Blockbuster to Kodak, print-only newspapers to pay-phone makers — that no doubt wish they’d followed the advice.
But is constant adaptation always the best policy? Research indicates it isn’t.
As your role grows in scale and influence, so too must your ability to listen. But listening is one of the toughest skills to master — and requires uncovering deeper barriers within oneself.
While tactically there are many ways to strengthen your listening skills, you must focus on the deeper, internal issues at stake to really improve. Listening is a skill that enables you to align people, decisions, and agendas. You cannot have leadership presence without hearing what others have to say.
להקשיב...זה שם המשחק
Thirty years ago an empire builder might have been applauded for chutzpah. But times have changed. In recent years there has been growing scrutiny on the dangers of empire building; management experts have come to see it as a hidden toxin at the root of many business dysfunctions, leading to excess spending, anemic growth and turf wars.
In today's lean landscape, there is little tolerance for rogue hoarders and bloat. Further, leadership philosophies are evolving from the rigid command-and-control structure to a collaborative model. Power-hungry alphas are seen as undermining the collective good and hindering employee engagement.
The cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios recalls how a serious organizational rift led him to a new sense of mission - and how it helped Pixar develop a more open and sustainable creative culture.
Tradition embraces stability. Time honored principles get that way because they have strong track records of success. The tried and true, extrapolated into the future, often looks like a sure thing, while deviating from historical norms can look downright foolish.
Yet the funny thing about the future is that there’s no guarantee that it will look like the past. Contexts change and when they do, old rules no longer apply. Following them blindly does not honor the past, but diminishes it by confusing fealty with wisdom.
Since 1960, the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has fallen from more than 60 years to less than 20. The power of technology will increase as much in the next 18 months as it has in the last 30 years.
Clearly, technology cycles have begun to outpace planning cycles. We need to learn to manage not for stability, but for disruption.
Speed, disruption and the Unknown. Managing with and for Disruption is a new competence.
A plane crash, Lehman Brothers, and bike helmets can demonstrate that the key to strategic flexibility is to keep things simple.
Taking steps to tame complexity of a system are meaningless without also addressing incentives and culture, since people will inevitably drive a safer car more dangerously. To tackle this, organizations must learn to improve the “cognitive diversity” of their people and teams — getting people to think more broadly and diversely about the systems they inhabit.
Complexity was the theme of the 2013 Global Drucker Forum in Vienna. You can find a series of perspectives here.
It is time to adopt an upside-down view of how organizations work. That means focusing resources on the front-line staff who deliver to customers, not on executives who primarily manage the spin among the investment community.
Sidestepping four common mistakes can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money, and boost morale.
The four common mistakes are:
1. Overlooking context
Context is a critical component of successful leadership. A brilliant leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Academic studies have shown this, and our experience bears it out.
2. Decoupling reflection from real work
When it comes to planning the program’s curriculum, companies face a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, there is value in off-site programs (many in university-like settings) that offer participants time to step back and escape the pressing demands of a day job. On the other hand, even after very basic training sessions, adults typically retain just 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, versus nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing.
3. Underestimating mind-sets
Becoming a more effective leader often requires changing behavior. But although most companies recognize that this also means adjusting underlying mind-sets, too often these organizations are reluctant to address the root causes of why leaders act the way they do.
4. Failing to measure results
We frequently find that companies pay lip service to the importance of developing leadership skills but have no evidence to quantify the value of their investment. When businesses fail to track and measure changes in leadership performance over time, they increase the odds that improvement initiatives won’t be taken seriously.
Great article! An acknowledgement of our experience and customer dedication. Want to change? Apply the underlying rules.
Overall this Quote says it all,"Embedding leadership development in real work; fearlessly investigating the mind-sets that underpin behavior; and monitoring the impact so as to make improvements over time." I believe my group is on track.
Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad, whose 1996 book Competing for the Future highlighted what they called the “40-30-20 Rule” of strategic planning.
By that they meant that most senior executives spend less than 40% of their time focused on the world outside their own organization, only about 30% thinking about the next three to five years, and no more than 20% of their time talking with their colleagues about the future to build a common view. In other words, only about 2.4% of management time (40% x 30% x 20%) is focused on building a corporate view of the future.
Yes, that’s right - 2.4%!
Flourishing enterprises have agility to promote proactive evolution of the business by spotting and embracing changes in their competitive environment faster than their competitors do. http://www.efficienarta.com/strattomics-raising-agility/
Organizational change is inseparable from individual change. Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves. Anyone who pulls the organization in new directions must look inward as well as outward.
One of my favorite quotes by the Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy:
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
An American Management Association study of Fortune 500 companies found that “…less than 50% of changes in their organizations were successful, and that employee resistance was the main reason for failures.” This is why it's necessary to focus on the person.
Change starts with awareness. This article has excellent insights, along with an easy-to-understand chart from Erica Ariel Fox on leaders' power sources and "sweet spots."
This week on Leading Beyond the Status Quo we explored a critical and very difficult leadership trait to master; forgiveness.
Good leadership requires us to avoid our initial reactions when someone does us wrong. To lead positive change when dealing with someone who has insulted, excluded or belittled us, we need to drum up the courage to rise above the other action and explain to that person why their behavior is detrimental to the success of the team.
Then, we need to lead the process of leading a negotiation of terms in which we will operate in a positive way.
Forgiveness as a leadership weapon.
Cries of "no more managers" and "end the hierarchy" are well-intentioned efforts to accelerate the ongoing paradigm shift in management, but they are counterproductive: all organizations are hierarchical and all have managers.
British linguist Richard Lewis charts everything from structured individualism in the U.S. to ringi-sho consensus in Japan.
Here's 24 charts of leadership styles from his book: When Cultures Collide.
When it comes to seeking insights on the best leadership practices, the natural inclination is to look towards successful organizations like Southwest Airlines and Zappos for inspiration and guidance.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technical business decisions and how they interact with others. Good culture creates an internal coherence in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.
Excellent article by Bill Aulet. Follow him on Twitter here: @BillAulet.
This is a great article, it gets to the heart of the matter of the what , how and why we are developing Kudos.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and product for dinner" - this quote describes how a great culture holds a team together and guides them.
It is easy to have a engagement success when everything is going right. It also can make a company lazy, wasteful and forget what made them successful in the first place.
What separates the good from the great companies is how everyone reacts when the going gets tough, the unexpected happens or great challenges are ahead.
If you focus on your culture, define your mission, vision and values and live it everyday - the company with a good culture will persevere and overcome challenges because their people want to be there, want to succeed, and care.
So in the end you create engagement by focusing on your culture and you have a better chance of being successful if you have highly engaged team members.
Kudos purpose is to help companies create the culture they want by adding a healthy does of appreciation with enhanced communication.
You market to your clients and try to get them to believe in your product - market to your team and try to get them, to believe in your company.
If you get the culture right everything else falls into place.
Globalization, technology, and rapid change are creating a more complex world. Corporate leaders are operating in more markets than ever before. Their companies are generating and dealing with more data than ever. Social media are amplifying the effects of customer complaints and internal discussions, creating a greater need for open, honest, and multichannel communications. Executives are interacting with a widening array of stakeholders and addressing an expanding set of business, political, and social issues. Public leaders are facing analogous pressures.
If you want to be successful over the long haul, you have to have a sense of purpose that is clearly articulated and embedded in your organization and processes, but you also have to live it. There can’t be two sets of rules.
Good data and insight from Deloitte study
Five simple exercises can help you recognize, and start to shift, the mindsets that limit your potential as a leader.
As important as mindsets are, we often skip ahead to actions. We adopt behavior and expect it to stick through force of will. Sadly, it won’t if we haven’t changed the underlying attitudes and beliefs that drove the old behavior in the first place. Making matters worse, our behavior affects other people’s mindsets, which in turn affect their behavior.
A leader’s failure to recognize and shift mindsets can stall the change efforts of an entire organization. Indeed, because of the underlying power of a leader’s mindsets to guide an entire organization toward positive change, any effort to become better leaders should start with ourselves, by recognizing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that drive us.
Five simple exercises to challenge your mindset adapted from Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie's new book, Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact.
Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex -- and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies.
I have always been a big fan of simplicity.
It seems to be human nature and the desire of MBA's to want to complicate things by trying to measure everything with the false illusion we can then improve and tweak things to make a thousand process improvements that matter. In the end, we often measure things that do not really matter in the big picture. Think of all the layers of middle management that get added to manage, measure and track things that do not matter.
Measuring some things is essential. Sales, Profits, Engagement. Those are the only measures that matter at the end of the day. And processes are are also essential but like the old saying - everything in moderation.
I liked the key message that Cooperation is secret to success. We build walls with too many processes. We need to keep people close to one another and aware of their interdependency and effect on one another so they think about how their actions and output effect other peoples outcomes and output.
If you connect people to solve problems through cooperation, you will get innovation and the the results you are looking for. Instead of trying to make everything easier by adding processes and layers, it better to make things harder by forcing people to cooperative verses work around one another with only their goals and objective in mind.
I see this in the struggle between design. programming and admin (Sales, Customer Service) all the time in the agencies and companies I have been part of.
- Programming wants things to be efficient and streamlined based on their sensibilities.
- Design wants to create exceptional user experiences and artful design based on their sensibilities.
- Admins wants things to be simple and effective based on their sensibilities.
People always want things done their way based on their sensibilities and that can lead to low cooperation.
I will often hear when I ask for something - "that is not possible". Then then next questions I ask is "do you mean impossible or difficult" and the answer is always difficult. Then their is a discussion, some cooperation and often a compromise. The outcome is a better product, better service and 9 times out of 10 difficult was not so difficult after all.
If you keep everyone close to the product, customer and one anther they will cooperate and compromise and that keeps things more simple.
The only problem with simple is... it is hard to keep things simple. Back to human nature an MBA's.
In the spirit of keeping things simple, every employee manual in the world only needs these three words.
"Make Good Decisions"
Only if it was that simple. :)
One of the world's leading authorities on the digital revolution, Don Tapscott, shares the vital qualities and characteristics of our digitally connected world. He will explain how the power of networks will radically transform our ability to solve global challenges, the way states are governed and how the next generation will live and work in the future. You are invited to learn from his personal journey of profound discovery.
From a young age we are taught to be fast.
As kids, we are rewarded for being the athlete with the greatest speed. At university, we are examined under time pressure. And in business life, CEOs incentivize and promote those senior executives who can get new ideas to market more quickly than competitors.
But what if speed is the wrong measure for success?
What if, instead of being fast, what matters is endurance – the ability to sustain competitive advantage longer and more dominantly than others?
(KEY QUOTE) When we slow down and think about what it means to be successful, endurance may be a more prized possession than raw speed alone. Consider what it takes to be big in 100 years, not just 100 days.
Successful managers today are no longer supervisors, nor are they deciders, but formulators of strategic intent. As the information economy takes hold and creates pervasive change, managers will have to evolve. Those who don’t adapt, will not survive.
Peter Drucker, considered the leadership guru of the twentieth notes that, “The leader of the past may have been a person who knew how to tell, but certainly the leader of the future will be a person who knows how to ask."
A kind of coaching approach to leadership which cope great with the non-hierarchic company structure, which the greatest employeers and top minds of the future demands.
One of the more rewarding periods of my business career included a leadership meeting weber of CEO adjourned discussion of a topic because the team were not asking questions ............. When we discussed the topic at the following meeting we had a lively debate both initially in a "seek to understand" phase and then later in what amounted to brainstorming of potential solutions.
Absolutely a valid assumption for the 21st century leader.
Growth and innovation doesn't necessarily come from the people with lofty titles, but from the people who develop new ideas and execute them on a daily basis. And that's why, increasingly, traditional hierarchies don't work--and neither do traditional promotion and recognition systems.
Interesting article. It does not propose that hierarchies should not exist or are bad for the organisation, but that the traditional hierarchies based on tenure rather than merit should be challenges I especially like the comment - listen to your employees to determine the real leaders.