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Serving and Leadership
" We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. " - Winston Churchill
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The Ugly Truths About Telecommuting And How To Prevent Them | In The Loop

The Ugly Truths About Telecommuting And How To Prevent Them | In The Loop | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Here are some of the ugly truths about telecommuting—and how you can prevent them.

 

Telecommuters can set their own work hours, work from wherever they choose, avoid long commutes, and enjoy some semblance of work-life balance. But what are the downsides of telecommuting?

 

The Washington Post recently outlined several of the ‘ugly truths’ about telecommuting. While working from home has its advantages, there are several undeniable drawbacks of not working in a traditional office setting. Here are some of the ugly truths about telecommuting — and how you can prevent them.


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Leadership Tip: Take Lessons from a Baby

Leadership Tip: Take Lessons from a Baby | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
ForbesLeadership Tip: Take Lessons from a BabyForbesThis week, Shaun Spearmon, my Kotter International colleague, describes how leaders can apply the lessons of parenting when pursuing large-scale change.

 

Facilitating transformational change is easy when the desired outcome is crystal clear. Ever watched a baby learning to walk?

 

The way a baby transforms her ability to move from point A to point B – crawling and later walking – is an excellent reminder for us adults that transformation can be rather easy. That is, if the vision is crystal clear and the fear of failure is eliminated.

 

My own daughter recently started walking. Watching her go from sitting up to literally running has been incredible to see, and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from her experience.


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How to clear your inbox, make decisions and generally get things done

How to clear your inbox, make decisions and generally get things done | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
“When you most need to plan is when you least feel like you have time to do it.”...

 

QUESTION: What are some of the biggest productivity problems that leaders face?

 

A lot of stuff banging around in their heads; and if not captured, you’ll be driven by the latest and loudest. Even if you’ve captured everything, but you don’t decide what it means quickly enough, then you become a compulsive list-maker. You’re still not getting anything done, and you’re just wasting time making lists. People must ask: What does this mean? Is this actionable or not? What is the outcome that I am committed to?

 

Many people make decisions when they blow up instead of when they show up. Even if you’ve decided what the next step is, you must be organized. And, even if you’ve captured, decided and organized, you will still face problems if you don’t step back, review and reflect on your decisions.

 

The worst practice is to fall off of any of those steps and start working out of hope...


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How to Stay Focused When You’re Tempted to Slack Off – in 3 Simple Steps

How to Stay Focused When You’re Tempted to Slack Off – in 3 Simple Steps | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Do you ever find yourself staring at web comics or news sites (or even blogs on personal development…) when you’re supposed to be working?  Sure.  We all do, right?

We all lack focus at times – especially if we’re struggling with a hard or boring task. And with computers / tablets / phones close to hand, we’ve got a world of distractions at our fingertips.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t always concentrate as well as you’d like. Staying focused takes effort, and practice … but by following these steps, you can hugely increase your chances of having a productive day.

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3 Ways To Productively Rest Your Brain

3 Ways To Productively Rest Your Brain | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

By Matthew E. May

 

"Neuroscientific research is beginning to shed light on the idea that to be more productive and creative, we need to make break-taking a regular practice. In his recent bestselling book Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer writes:

 

“While it’s commonly assumed that the best way to solve a difficult problem is to relentlessly focus, this clenched state of mind comes with a hidden cost: it inhibits the sort of creative connections that lead to breakthroughs. We suppress the very type of brain activity that should be encouraged.”

 

"The challenge, though, is that we’re generally reticent to take those breaks, especially when it comes to our work and business. But many of us might not know an effective brain-rest technique aside from the obvious (take deep breaths, close your eyes) and the time-consuming (who has time to meditate for hours or take yoga three days a week?). So here are three targeted, quick and easy ways to rest your brain and maximize productivity."


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Time: The Currency of Life

Time: The Currency of Life | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Time: The Currency of Life...

 

Which is more scarce: time or money?

 

Or let me put this another way. Which one runs your life?

 

For most people, the obvious answer is money. Almost everyone I know seems to struggle to make as much as possible and spend as little as they can manage to. They view dollars as life’s most valuable commodity and worth working themselves to death over. And still, they just barely seem to manage to make ends meet and maintain a balanced personal budget.

 

Someone who has really learned to value their own existence holds time as their unwavering master. Anyone can through proper diet and lifestyle attempt to extend the total amount of years in their lifetime. But no matter what you do, you cannot change the amount of time in a day.

 

We are all given the same number of minutes in every hour to spend as frivolously or as finickly as we desire.


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Sakis Koukouvis's comment, June 13, 2012 11:19 PM
Thanks. A really good article about the time
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What do Mentors Really Want from Proteges?: 4 Quick Ideas

What do Mentors Really Want from Proteges?: 4 Quick Ideas | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
What do Mentors Really Want from their Protégés?: 4 Quick Ideas I get asked “What do mentors really want anyway?” I wish there was a magic potion I could share with you that would create perfectly satisfying mentor-protégé relationships.

 

What do Mentors Really Want from their Protégés?: 4 Quick Ideas

 

I get asked “What do mentors really want anyway?” I wish there was a magic potion I could share with you that would create perfectly satisfying mentor-protégé relationships.

 

Although the mysterious alchemy between individual mentor-protégé pairs is quite unique, there are four general wants that many mentors would have from their protégés.

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Sitting Is Killing You! #Infographic Promoting Exercise

Sitting Is Killing You!  #Infographic Promoting Exercise | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Are you sitting down? Statistically speaking, you probably are. But that's not necessarily a good thing. In fact, the long-term effects of prolonged sitting day-in and day-out are not good for your personal health.

 

This Infographic details the potential harms in spending too much of your day sitting down. Other than the obvious (more time sitting = less time for exercise = gaining weight) sitting for prolonged periods can not only increase your risk for diabetes, but for heart disease as well.

 

There are ways you can break free from the dangers of being stuck in the chair from 9-5 and get some exercise for better back and body health.

 

By Ian Andrew - http://bit.ly/LCIkVX ;

Source: http://bit.ly/LCIn45 ;


Via maxOz, Abioya S Abramson , David Hulme, Alice Ruxton Abler
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Alice Ruxton Abler's comment, June 13, 2012 6:46 PM
Many thanks!
Alice Ruxton Abler's comment, June 13, 2012 9:50 PM
Thanks!
Alice Ruxton Abler's comment, June 13, 2012 9:51 PM
Thank you!
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Four Rules for Innovative Leadership

Four Rules for Innovative Leadership | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Yesterday's leader can become tomorrow's laggard without innovation and reinvention. Here's how to always stay ahead of the competition.

 

Even iconic companies can disappear from the landscape if they aren't constantly staying ahead of the customer. Remember when Blockbuster franchises dotted strip malls around the country? Yesterday's leader can become tomorrow's laggard without innovation and reinvention.

 

Why can't some companies reinvent themselves?Management consultant and bestselling business author Jason Jennings finds that the problem often boils down to four issues -- attachment, ego, control and complacency. Lead your market by ditching those innovation killers and following these rules:

 

Forget yesterday's breadwinner. Every product has a life span--don't hang onto your Big Idea until it's on life support, Jennings says in his new book, The Reinventors: How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical, Continuous Change (Portfolio/Penguin, 2012).

 

Don't get attached to a product or way of doing business, he says. Form an advisory committee with several trusted customers who will give you feedback on what your business is doing well and what needs to be improved. Then, act on their suggestions. Visit and read about competitors and successful businesses in other sectors to see how they're growing and changing and get ideas that you can apply to your own products and services.

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The Essential Component of High Performance

The Essential Component of High Performance | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

When someone asks, “How did I do ?” I realize I haven’t done well at giving feedback.

 

I’ve been passive not active.

 

I’ve never heard high-performers say, “I get too much feedback.” They crave more. On the other hand, I’ve never met a leader who gave enough.

 

"High feedback leaders develop high performance cultures, when feedback’s done well."

 

Effective feedback energizes; nitpicking de-motivates.

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Leadership Is a Conversation

Leadership Is a Conversation | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

"The command-and-control approach to management has in recent years become less and less viable.

 

Globalization, new technologies, and changes in how companies create value and interact with customers have sharply reduced the efficacy of a purely directive, top-down model of leadership. What will take the place of that model?

 

Part of the answer lies in how leaders manage communication within their organizations—that is, how they handle the flow of information to, from, and among their employees.

 

Traditional corporate communication must give way to a process that is more dynamic and more sophisticated.

 

Most important, that process must be conversational."


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'The End of Leadership' peddles the idea of an impotent leadership industry

'The End of Leadership' peddles the idea of an impotent leadership industry | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

"The End of Leadership" by Barbara Kellerman is one of the best leadership books, I've read for a long time.

 

She describes why leadership is so hard to exercise today due to major shifts in society.

 

She raises the important question: Why has the leadership industry, for all its apparent successes, failed on so many levels? Why do incompetence and intemperance continue rampant? Why are ethics so elusive? Why is teaching leading full of “flaws”? Why has it proved so hard to build a body of knowledge? Why are our leaders so widely disdained—and why is our trust in leaders of every stripe at a leaden low?

 

Barbara has strong opinions about the leadership industry. She doesn't believe that becomming a leader is a quick fix that can be learned from a seven-step guide written by former CEOs or short and expensive leadership courses.

 

Instead she refers to both Plato and Confucius' wise words about what shapes a great man or women. And that learning is a lifelong exercise where you need to expose yourself to other things in life that aren't business related.

 

Here's what she writes about Plato and Confucius:

 

Confucius was himself an inveterate teacher. When one of his students, a lord, asked, “What should I do in order to make the people respectful, loyal, and zealous?” Confucius replied, “Approach them with dignity and they will be respectful. Be yourself a good son and a kind father, and they will be loyal. Raise the good and train the incompetent, and they will be zealous.”

 

"How, according to Plato, was this rare bird to be tutored? His education would be, in effect, lifelong, and steeped deep in a range of subjects, most not in any obvious way connected to leadership as we conceive of it, including literature, music, elementary and advanced mathematics, philosophy and metaphysics, physical exercise, and experience in both the civil service and military."

 

I HIGHLY recommend reading this book!

 

I interviewed Barbara the other day and an article about her book will be published this summer. Will post a link once it's online.

 

This article is a book review from LA Times.

 

/Kenneth


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5 Minutes in the morning

5 Minutes in the morning | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

A Time Management Windfall

 

People often talk to me about having great intentions about what they want to get done on a given day or week…

 

But then they get to work and it all those good intentions go out the window as they deal with all the urgent crap that comes up.

 

Endless Distractions

 

We are all faced with constant distractions and interruptions from others — not to mention a fair amount of wasted time that we inflict upon ourselves…

 

…through procrastination, 2000 messages in our inbox, or just the general chaos that leaves us waiting, searching, or wasting time vs. doing.

 

Create your daily 5 minute plan

 

I have found a simple practice that only takes 5 minutes, and it makes an enormous difference in turning those good intentions into finished work.

 

Each day, before you do anything else, spend the first 5 minutes planning your day. Think about and write down, “what are the specific things I need to finish today?”...

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The Emotional Adventure of Leadership

The Emotional Adventure of Leadership | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
If you want to be a powerful leader, you have to become familiar with the sweat-inducing, anxiety-producing, adrenaline-generating emotions of being lost while people are following you. Because that is, as often as not, the emotion of leadership.

 

I gathered the students in a circle and told them we would have to set up camp by ourselves on the snow, and that we would find the other groups in the morning.

"So, we're lost?" a student asked me.

 

I felt so lame and inadequate. This was not at all what I had thought it would feel like to lead. Leaders are supposed to have the answers. They're supposed to be confident, self-assured, and knowledgeable. They're supposed to know where they are and where they're going at all times.

 

But here is what I have discovered in my subsequent 25 years of leadership experience: leadership is, as much as anything, an emotional adventure.

 

If you want to be a powerful leader, you have to become familiar with the sweat-inducing, anxiety-producing, adrenaline-generating emotions of being lost while people are following you. Because that is, as often as not, the emotion of leadership.


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5 Tips for gaining self-confidence

5 Tips for gaining self-confidence | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

I think self-confidence doesn’t come so much from knowing you’re great as just knowing who you are.

 

Everyone is great for something, anyway. I mean, there are 16 personality types. Each has strengths. You can get more self-knowledge by clicking the link on the sidebar of this blog that says self-knowledge.

 

It’s the biggest category on the blog because it’s where I put all the posts where I’m having a breakdown and telling you it’s not a breakdown but a learning moment. You can also learn about getting more self-confidence right now.

 

Here are five things I’ve learned from years of focusing on it:...

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Flying Your Flag

Flying Your Flag | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
What would your personal leadership flag look like – and why does that question even matter?

 

We put flags on a pole, and hoist them into the air to wave proudly.  They provide a sense of belonging, and pride. They are a touchstone to deep meaning.  We even create days to celebrate them.

 

Wouldn’t it be useful to be able to clearly codify your leadership history and values?

 

 Wouldn’t it be helpful if people could see exactly what you stand for and what matters to you?

 

What would be on your flag? 

 

What are your organizational priorities?

 

What values are most important to you as a leader and how do they inform your actions and choices?

 

These are important questions to ask yourself in more than a passing fashion.  Your answers are more than symbolic and worth exploring.

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10 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your Work Day

10 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to Your Work Day | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

This is an excellent article about how to bring the practice of mindfulness to work with you. Consider picking one of these ideas and trying it out for a few days. Then consider adding another and see where that takes you. These are simple ideas that can produce powerful results with practice. . .


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Bouncing Back from Job Loss: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters

Bouncing Back from Job Loss: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Job Hunters | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
If you look at job loss, like any setback from an enlarged perspective, you realize that success in life is measured far less by our opportunities than by how we respond to life’s setbacks and challenges.

 

A friend recently shared with me how her husband fell into yearlong depression after he was laid off from his finance job during the global economic meltdown in late 2008. He’d worked hard all his life, thrived on the pressures and challenges of his work, and enjoyed the money he earned. Becoming unemployed for the first time in his midforties was a huge kick in the gut, and one he didn’t cope with very well.

 

There’s no two ways about it: Losing your job is hard. Whether it has everything to do with your performance, or nothing at all, it’s still hard. However, if you look at job loss, like any setback from an enlarged perspective, you realize that success in life is measured far less by our opportunities than by how we respond to life’s setbacks and challenges.


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Before You Send That Angry E-mail...

Before You Send That Angry E-mail... | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Over the course of my career, I have fired off my share of angry letters and e-mail. However, I cannot think of a single time when these communiques had a positive effect.

 

Several years ago, I wrote a fourteen-page diatribe to a business associate. I skewered him. I was right. He was wrong. And I had the proof.

 

I laid it out in meticulous detail. I prosecuted my case like a lawyer before the bar. I sent it off with fire in my eyes and a healthy dose of self-satisfaction in my heart. That’ll show him, I thought.

 

I eagerly waited for his response. After a few weeks, I still hadn’t heard a word. So I re-read the letter and was embarrassed. My response was way out of proportion to the stimulus that provoked it. While I was technically right, I was relationally wrong.

 

I never should have sent the letter. I regretted that I had acted so childishly.


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The Protégé Effect

The Protégé Effect | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Why teaching someone else is the best way to learn By Annie Murphy Paul...

 

For thousands of years, people have known that the best way to understand a concept is to explain it to someone else. “While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. Now scientists are bringing this ancient wisdom up to date, documenting exactly why teaching is such a fruitful way to learn — and designing innovative ways for young people to engage in instruction.

 

Students enlisted to tutor others, these researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively. In what scientists have dubbed “the protégé effect,” student teachers score higher on tests than pupils who are learning only for their own sake. But how can children, still learning themselves, teach others? One answer: They can tutor younger kids.

 

The benefits of this practice were indicated by a pair of articles published in 2007 in the journals Science and Intelligence. The studies concluded that first-born children are more intelligent than their later-born brothers and sisters and suggested that their higher IQs result from the time they spend showing their younger siblings the ropes. Educators are experimenting with ways to apply this model to academic subjects.

 

In an ingenious program at the University of Pennsylvania, a “cascading mentoring program” engages college undergraduates to teach computer science to high school students, who in turn instruct middle school students on the topic.


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How to Speak More Strategically

How to Speak More Strategically | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
It had been three weeks since my throat started to feel sore, and it wasn't getting better. The pain was most acute when I spoke. So I decided to spend a few days speaking as little as possible.

 

 Every time I had the urge to say something, I paused for a moment to question whether it was worth irritating my throat.

 

This made me acutely aware of when and how I use my voice. Which led me to a surprising discovery: I spend considerable energy working against my own best interests. And if my experience listening to others is any indication, so do you.

 

In my observations, we speak for three main reasons:

 

1. To help ourselves

 

2. To help others

 

3. To connect with each other

 

That's not surprising. All three of those objectives are legitimate and worthwhile.

 

What is surprising though is how frequently we fool ourselves into thinking we're achieving those objectives when, in reality, we're thwarting them. The more I listened, the more I noticed how we undermine our own interests.

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What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Between wrangling children, walking dogs, and checking email, your early hours might be more crazed than calm. Carve out some a.m. tranquility (and productivity) with these steps.

 

Mornings are a great time for getting things done. You’re less likely to be interrupted than you are later in the day. Your supply of willpower is fresh after a good night’s sleep. That makes it possible to turn personal priorities like exercise or strategic thinking into reality.

 

But if you’ve got big goals--and a chaotic a.m. schedule--how can you make over your mornings to make these goals happen?

 

Because I write about time management frequently, I’ve gotten to see hundreds of calendars and schedules over the years. From studying people’s morning habits, I’ve learned that getting the most out of this time is a five-part process.

 

Follow these steps, though, and you’re on your way to building morning habits that stick.

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How Misinterpretations of Dishonesty Can Destroy Team Alignment

How Misinterpretations of Dishonesty Can Destroy Team Alignment | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

When leading change, for instance in post merger integrations, leadership teams are very often confronted with cross-cultural differences. These can be corporate or national culture differences. 

 

Honesty and dishonesty are clearly very important to us. The feeling of being confronted with dishonesty blocks our openness and decreases our level of trust. But what if our perception of another person’s dishonesty is based on misinterpretation?

 

What if the other person is not trying to harm us at all, but simply has a different perspective on the situation? Unfortunately misinterpretations occur rather often! They can hamper leadership teams in such a way that the negative effects spread out over the whole organization.

 

How to avoid these false interpretations? How do they start and how can you stop them in time? Apparently they grow in a subtle way, sometimes unconsciousness. Two real life examples I witnessed:


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Increasing Capacity to Lead in a Complex World

Increasing Capacity to Lead in a Complex World | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
How to increase a leader's capacity to lead in a complex world.

 

Are leaders ‘in over their heads’ in this increasingly complex world?

 

It is common knowledge that most organisations currently have to deal high levels of complexity and uncertainty due to the unprecedented economic, technical, political, environmental and social change and volatility people are experiencing around the world.

 

To survive and succeed organisations need greater agility which requires leaders, throughout all levels, to become more engaged in strategic thinking. Do organisations have sufficient leaders with the capacity to succeed in this new world or are many leaders now literally ‘in over their heads’?

 

As nature of work becomes more complex, uncertain and ambiguous, successful strategic thinking depends on:...


Via Kenneth Mikkelsen, Barry Deutsch, Roger Francis
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How Many Goals Are You Chasing Right Now (And Do You Have Too Many)?

How Many Goals Are You Chasing Right Now (And Do You Have Too Many)? | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Are you going after too many different goals right now?

 

Do you have a long list of projects that you rarely make any progress on?


There’s no “perfect” number of goals … but, generally, the fewer goals you have, the higher your chances of succeeding with each.


Two Approaches to Goal-Setting


Imagine two people, Alice and Bob. They’re a couple; they have two kids, and they both have day jobs....


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