Actually it starts with the way that I think. My thinkiandrogen influences who I am. Who I am influences what I do. The writing part comes from my thinking and my being. Reading Lee Thayer's book Leadership Virtuosity would be very helpful in seeing leadership from this aspect and all its many other perspectives.
We are herd/pack animals who call ourselves human beings or social animals. The helpers are people who revert back to their instinct to help a fellow man. Often at peril to their own lives. Often sacrificing their own life to save another. When you look at the derivation of "sacrifice" it is made up of two Latin words "sacra" and "facio" that is "to make holy."
Marty Cooper made the first cell phone call from a portable device 40 years ago this month.
It has been a delight to meet Marty and Arlene through my dear friend Victor Geberin and his wife, Alison.
What I walked away with from reading this article is Marty's words:
“Good technology is not technology at all unless it makes people’s lives better,” said Cooper. “They have gone about as far as they can go with the hardware. But hardware doesn’t count. It’s people that count.”
Jennifer Sertl's reminder about not losing our humanity when we believe that technology has the answers. Or Lee Thayer's observations that communication is about our humanity and what we can become and can achieve if we can get our thinking right.
Taking the time to reflect, to be mindful, or to meditate by turning off all the technology and listening, being present and observing.
As Siddartha said: I can wait, I can fast, and I can meditate.
It is with the heart that one see rightly. For what is essential is invisible to the eye. The Little Prince
For those interested in the DISC profile, the numbers are:
Percentage of population with High C (page 180) – 8% Percentage of population with High S (page 184) – 45% Percentage of population with High I (page 188) – 29% Percentage of population with High D (page 192) – 18%
For me, as a Vistage Chair for 26 years, it has been a wonderful teaching tool for communication. I always remember Meg Wheatly being asked what she was on the Myers-Briggs. Her answer: was: IDKAIDC. I don't know, and I don't care. I believe that she was addressing those who neglect getting to know the person and rather use an assessment.
Lee Thayer put is well in Leadership: Thinking, Being, Doing. He talks about creating a Role Desciption rather than a Job Description.
A role description talks about the results that a position requires one to achieve.
A job description talks about the activities that one does in a position.
What has always been interesting to me is that the word "Job" is from the Anglo-Saxon and means: "a lump." Like a lump of coal. So 250 years ago they were saying you can't do a "job" of work. W is about creating something that gives purpose, meaning and significance to one's life. For many that meant working on projects that would not be finished in their lifetime, yet it was contributing to their community.
Now, people are afraid of losing their "jobs." How many in the US will be going from unemployed and onto disability?
Read some of Karen Dietz's Just Story It. Life is Improv. We are all under the same economic cloud at anytime. Some will succeed and others will fall victim. If I can't imagine it, I can't create it. What are each of us imagining and creating to contribute to the betterment of mankind.
Some of us may want to start with: Mindfulness as a practice. Then realizing that how I think is who I become and from that being flows the habits that show themselves in what I do...and don't do. Back to: Be, Do, Be, Do, Be, Do.
One of the business issues gaining in importance is the trust – or lack of trust – that we have in our large corporations.
In Vistage, the foundation of its Values, at the base of a triagle is: Trust. Up one side is Caring, up the other side is Challenge, and in the middle is growth.
Dan Ariely speak about the Cost of the Social Norm which is based on Trust and Social Relationships. The Market Norm is based on Financial Transactions. When the Social Norm is replaced by the Market Norm he says it is extremely difficult if not impossible to regain the trust.
Trust cannot be bought, it must be earned.
If you lose my trust by your behavior, then I can trust that I cannot trust you.
Lee Thayer speaks of Leadership is a role that one plays. If one plays it well and is had by a vision that may outlast them, then history recognizes them as leaders. Those who we recognize as historical leaders did not have access to the 10,000 books that we have today on Leaderhship, yet what they accomplished was because of their competence at doing what needed to be done to accomplish their leadership role.
When you understand the underlying physiology of mindfulness, you begin to see that any discussion about human change, learning, education, even politics and social issues, ends up being about mindfulness.
CCARE investigates methods for cultivating compassion and promoting altruism within individuals and society through rigorous research, scientific collaborations, and academic conferences. In addition, CCARE provides a compassion cultivation program and teacher training as well as educational public events and programs.
The Drucker School of Management and Wharton Business School both offer courses in mindfulness meditation. Virginia Tech is sponsoring "contemplative practices for a technological society," a conference for engineers who integrate contemplative disciplines into their work. Google offers courses in meditation and yoga
Aetna, Merck, General Mills--the list goes on--all are exploring how meditation can help their leaders and employees agilely thrive in today's fast-paced business environment. And the benefits are widely publicized: sustained attention span, improved multi-tasking abilities, strengthened immune system, increased emotional intelligence, improved listening skills...And there is science behind such claims.
Servant Leadership The largest financial example of Servant Leadership to change the world is being led by Bill and Melinda Gates via their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
These words shared by Bill Gates at the 2007 Harvard Commencement say it well:
"We can make market forces work better for the poor if we can develop a more creative capitalism – if we can stretch the reach of market forces so that more people can make a profit, or at least make a living, serving people who are suffering from the worst inequities. We also can press governments around the world to spend taxpayer money in ways that better reflect the values of the people who pay the taxes."
"If we can find approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits for business and votes for politicians, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce inequity in the world. This task is open-ended. It can never be finished. But a conscious effort to answer this challenge will change the world.”
Thanks to Zach and Team Juice for a site with insight on telling stories using data that is outa sight for all that is shared. II thank Karen Dietz of www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it for the cite. Look for her book coming out in the fall on storytelling for business.
A Leader, A Blue Vaser, A Storyteller Extraordinaire. This was written almost 5 years ago to honor Red Scott who touched my life and the life of so many.
A dear friend, teacher, mentor, and leader has died. Red Scott's legacy will live on for many generations to come.
Red, like Pat Hyndman, gave all though their lives and will continue to give for many generations by the legacy they have left behind. Red was the consumate: green and growing. Always learning. Always having a story to put it in a way that would get the point across and yet having Texas humor.
His message to us came in December:
Sent: 12/6/2012 2:04:10 P.M. Eastern Standard Time Subj: <no subject>
Dear Family and Friends:
To quote the great Dandy Don Meredith:
"Turn out the lights - - the party is over." Oh and, I have also been advised to not buy any more green bananas.
As most of you know I was diagnosed with aggressive Prostate Cancer almost 8 years ago. Kathy and I vowed then that we would try to live a normal life and squeeze out ever ounce of "living" - - for what ever time was left. Boy oh boy what a wonderful ride we have had ! Thanks in no small part to a great team of doctors who are knowledgeable, caring and loving !
My Maternal Grandmother (Eliza Jane Patton) used to say to me as a little boy: "He with 1000 friends has not one to spare!" Eliza, I don't know if I ever hit the 1000 mark - - but I came pretty durn close...
I apologize to the many, many of you who have called or wanted to stop by. We turned you away simply to try to preserve what little strength I had left. I hope you understand.
Worry not about me now. I am looking forward to the greatest reward of all - - to go be with my Lord & Savior - - Jesus Christ.
It’s linked, I think, to the benefits of journaling … that by writing, we can access the deeper meaning of the events and emotions that swirl around our lives. Sometimes, that deeper meaning comes through recollections or insights that emerge as you write. Sometimes, it comes from examining the unspoken assumptions we’ve made or contradictions we’ve ignored. Sometimes, it comes from letting our imagination run free, from exploring what could be or what might have been.
Simon Sinek led Thursday morning’s programming at the Vistage Think Big Conference in Grapevine, Texas, with a base of pop science and a healthy dose of common sense leadership. Sinek, author of the book “Start with Why” and Ted sensation(he has the 7th most watched video ever on the popular site), has taken a departure from his original work. The high energy Englishman is working on a new book focusing on the chemicals he says drive human behavior. Sinek’s new book is out in September, but he remains mum on the title.
Sinek boiled it down quickly, saying “What does it require to be a leader? Followers.” In other words, every organization has leaders. Truly effective leaders are less common. His current work revolves around what makes leaders, and their organizations, exemplary. He says our natural desire to be inspired by our leaders and to work cooperatively is not often met in modern companies. Sinek painted a picture of employees who are so unsupported and worried about layoffs that they are ineffective at their basic job requirements.
So, what is Sinek’s recipe for human drive? In a Q&A segment, he joked he studied anthropology in college and has no other credentials. I trust he’s being a bit modest, but it’s a good joke. He credited four chemicals that rule our behavior:
Endorphins – the shot of energy we receive to complete physical tasks. He said the feeling during exercise is the closest comparison in the modern world. Endurance can be a valuable skill in the business world.
Dopamine – the pleasurable feeling when seeking and receiving rewards. Sinek credits this to early man’s hunt for food. In the modern world, Dopamine is released when we check our cellphone or email, make a sale, meet a goal, or even eat and drink. Although Dopamine can lead to risky behavior, it is present any time you receive an anticipated reward. He encouraged leaders to be careful about which behaviors are rewarded because you will end up with a significant amount of that behavior. This can be selfish and not always a good chemical.
Serotonin – the chemical behind pride. Sinek tells us workers want the same type of safety and support from their company which they get from their family. He challenged us, “Stop saying your company is like a family, it is a family.” This is a selfless- good chemical.
Oxytocin – this is responsible for our feelings of love and friendship. Sinek says we must approach work relationships, especially hiring, with the same type of measured, emotionally-driven decision processes. To simplify, he values an informal dinner meeting to get to know someone more than a number-crunched, surveyed, and achievement-oriented hiring process. This is about trust and honesty and are they a good fit for our family. Not about reliability.
Must have a purpose, belonging and protection and metrics to measure progress. Oxytocin is contagious: Treat your people well and they will treat each other well. Good leader is a good parent and trusted. Leadership has authority without context- Crew has context without authority. “I intend” is a great concept instead of permission or authority. Give responsibility together.
Ultimately, Sinek put together a convincing argument for not forgetting the humanity of your employees. Too often, he says, we get focused on numbers. People are hard-wired, physically and emotionally, to want to work toward collective goals which they believe in. Unfortunately, building and maintaining these dynamic, honest relationships with staff and customers is hard work and must be adopted at all levels.
Perhaps his speech was best encapsulated in an African proverb he quoted,
“To go fast, go alone. To go far, go together.”
Building a great company of people is about “Who Belongs” and “Peer Recogniton”
Cortisol is about Alert for danger. It is a bad chemical. It causes stress and shuts down many things, including growth and immune system. Not belonging causes cortisol and shuts down Oxytocin, chemical of trust.
Sinek went on to say that if your employees children are failing, it could be your fault. Employees with cortisol can take it home and pass on to children. Employee surveys do not work. Do it personally!
To find out culture people look at the values. Personality traits that apply to all of them reflect the culture.
Posted by Terry Morawski on January 24, 2013. Revised by Andy Bourey on February 10, 2013.