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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 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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Colin Powell's 13 Rules

Colin Powell's 13 Rules | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Colin Powell has written a valuable memoir. It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership is a collection of lessons learned and anecdotes drawn from his life.

 

The 44 stand-alone chapters are an easy read and the stories make good points. The theme of the book is that it is all about people and relationships. 

The book begins with his 13 Rules and why he has hung on to them over the years. Here the are will some of his thoughts on each:

 

1. It ain't as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. This rule reflects an attitude and not a prediction. I have always tried to keep my confidence and optimism up, no matter how difficult the situation. Things will get better. You will make them better.

 

2. Get mad, then get over it. I’ve worked hard over the years to make sure that when I get mad, I get over it quickly and never lose control of myself....

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The Biggest Obstacle to Innovation? You.

The Biggest Obstacle to Innovation? You. | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
We aren't being critical with that headline. But the problem really is you. More specifically, it's the way you were taught to think. However, don't feel bad. First, of all you are not alone. All of us have the same problem.

 

Second, and much more important, there is a solution.

 

But first let's explain how the problem was created in the first place.

 

From even before kindergarten, we all were taught to reason in a way that works fantastically well in a predictable world: you establish a goal; you construct a number of plans to achieve that goal; you do tons of research to determine which is the best one; you gather the necessary resources to attain it; and you go out and execute on that superior plan.

 

We think of this as prediction reasoning, a way of thinking based on the assumption that the future is going to be pretty much like the past. And it is wonderful — in certain situations where we have tons of data and/or experience. Are you a supplier to restaurants and want to know how much your revenues are likely to fall if we go into a double dip recession? There are fairly easy way to find out. Want to know how a 1% increase in housing starts will affect refrigerator sales? That's predictable, too.

 

But when you are leading innovation, the world is anything but predictable. You are creating something that has never existed before and so you simply don't know how the world is going to react. By definition, innovation deals with the unknown.

 

And that's why you are the biggest problem when it comes to innovation. If you keep using prediction reasoning in situations that are simply not predictable, you're bound to be disappointed and frustrated.

 

You need a different way of thinking.


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5 Ways Young Professionals Want to Be Led

5 Ways Young Professionals Want to Be Led | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Recently, my organization facilitated a roundtable session with fifteen young professionals. Their main concern was how to advance in a multi-generational workplace. Several of these young professionals felt that they didn’t belong or fit in their workplace; they were uncertain about who to trust and didn’t respect the manner in which they were being led. These young professionals were eager to learn the best ways their generation could take control, influence their workplace culture and start performing at the highest levels. They wanted to get noticed, create impact and at the same time discover how to start generating more income and accelerate their advancement.

 

This three hour roundtable was intense, but we successfully identified what these young professionals were really looking for: how to most effectively teach their baby boomer bosses how they seek to be led. As one young professional said, “if my boss understands how I am wired to work, I will not only teach the organization’s old guard how to lead my generation, but my performance will help contribute to the organization’s success. I will make them more relevant.”

 

This confident perspective changed the conversation and helped to define the following top five ways young professionals want to be led by their baby boomer bosses.

 

1. Empower us; don’t micromanage our talent

 

2. Sponsor us; serve as role models

 

3. Allow us to manage our own brand; don’t define us

 

4. Trust us; don’t question our intentions

 

5. Challenge us; don’t marginalize us

 

More: http://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2012/03/12/5-ways-young-professionals-want-to-be-led/

 

 


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3 leadership rules for being authentically real without being rude

3 leadership rules for being authentically real without being rude | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Gene was upset with his new team’s quarterly business results, and his withering criticism of their performance during the staff meeting had brought a stunned hush to the room. Not one of the ten people sitting around the table had been exempt from having their deficiencies cruelly described and even mocked during the meeting. As he strode from the room, Gene mentally congratulated himself for telling it like it was. He prided himself on being authentic.

 

Have you ever worked for a boss like Gene? One who confused realness with rudeness?

 

The word authenticity has its roots in the Greek philosophy of to thine own self be true, and is one of the hallmarks of good leadership. Gene’s behaviors went awry, however, because he failed to consider that truly authentic leaders are “aware of the context in which they operate” (Avolio, Luthans and Walumbwa, 2004) because “authenticity is a quality that others must attribute to you” (Goffee and Jones, 2005).

 

Authenticity, like leadership, is relational. It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It begins with you, requiring self-awareness, self-regulation and self-discipline.

 

Under the guise of being genuine, one shouldn’t blurt out those first unfiltered thoughts.

 

Transparency can come with tact.


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Leadership Scoop! Persistence vs. Resistance

Leadership Scoop! Persistence vs. Resistance | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
Persistence is exalted as a success attribute. Yet seeing when it is really change resistance corrects the course of leaders, teams, & careers. Here's how.

 

Persistence is frequently touted as a critical success quality. Babe Ruth’s famous quote, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” is only one of many proclamations that has exalted persistence.

 

Yet deifying anything risks distorting it and that can thwart success.

 

When we lead teams through change, lead ourselves to business and career goals, or lead our own personal lives, persistence is a tremendous attribute unless it’s actually — distorted change resistance.

 

There are considerable benefits to seeing the difference. As leaders we are more likely to engage employees in innovation when we persist to a goal not resist new ideas. As business professionals, we need agility as well as focus to reach our vision.

 

In our personal lives, embracing change can lead to a joy filled life; resisting it can be disastrous.


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The Four I's of Leadership Communication

The Four I's of Leadership Communication | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
The June issue of Harvard Business Review discusses today's leadership communication, which includes intimacy, interactivity, inclusion, and intentionality.

 

Last week, I wrote about breaking down organizational silos in order to create a marketing round, or a team that works together in a circle instead of in a hierarchy. It’s the main theme in Marketing in the Round and it’s been debated (mostly on LinkedIn) about whether or not it’s even possible to break down silos.

 

Which means, of course, I’m drawn to any discussion about the topic and I’m pleased to see when others agree.

 

Working with clients on this very idea for nearly five years now, I know it’s possible to do it, but it’s not easy work.

 

HBR says: "One-way, top-down communication between leaders and their employees is no longer useful or even realistic."

No Longer Useful or Realistic

In “Leadership is a Conversation,” authors Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind discuss how the command and control approach to management has become less and less viable in recent years.

 

I’d argue it’s because technology is changing so quickly that organizations have to be nimble and flexible enough to react and adapt to new tools and platforms if they want to not only interact in real-time with customers, but also grow.

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How to Make a Decision

How to Make a Decision | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Last summer, I found myself in a dilemma to make a decision. Amidst my struggle to find fulfillment from the various jobs, I was offered a regular salary and benefits kind of job. Being offered any type of employment after a particularly long dry spell was fantastic, but I was hung up on the fact that it wasn’t how I pictured it — the pay wasn’t great and the industry was one I never thought I’d be in.

 

I was faced with an important decision: Do I accept the new position and a chance at a little security, or continue searching for something different, something that fit the long laundry list of must-haves I had concocted for my professional life?

 

Besides everything else, I was most terrified about accepting a position that I wouldn’t be happy in. In fact, a fear of not being happy was a place I operated from often, one I knew had succeeded in keeping me from trying new things.


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12 reasons why people resist change

12 reasons why people resist change | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Expecting resistance to change and planning for it from the start of your chnage management program will allow you to effectively manage objections. Understanding the most common reasons people object to change gives you the opportunity to plan your change stategy to address these factors.

 

It’s not possible to be aware of all sources of resistance to change. Expecting that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a proactive step.

 

Recognizing behaviors that indicate possible resistance will raise awareness of the need to address the concerns.

 


Via Shirley Williams (appearoo.com/ShirleyWilliams)
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Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology. (Always wanted to be a leader but not sure how?)

Leadership Is Like Tennis, Not Egyptology.  (Always wanted to be a leader but not sure how?) | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
The Four Essential Strokes You Need To Be A Great Player.

 

Back when I was a software entrepreneur, I used to run a daylong leadership development workshop for my employees.

 

My objective was to pull together all the insights about leadership I’d gained in my years of business into a hard-hitting, cohesive, and interactive day.

 

I was pointedly trying to transform the participants, and give them a framework for becoming the best leaders they could be—something they would really use, and not just put on their shelves like the last management seminar they attended.

 

A Definition That Really Works

 

I used to start the workshop by going around the room and asking each person to give me his/her definition of “leadership” and writing it down on a whiteboard. When we got done we’d have a whole bunch of words and phases associated with leadership, but no cohesive definition.

 

Then I would say, okay, none of these phrases are wrong, but let me give you my own definition of leadership—a definition that is deceptively simple, yet quite powerful (if fully understood) in helping one become a great leader. Here it is:

 

"A leader is someone who figures out the right things and makes them happen."

 

Why is this definition so powerful? Well, because:

 

It has nothing to do with position, title, or power.Anyone can be a leader in any job.

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The Red Hot Heart of Leadership

The Red Hot Heart of Leadership | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
All leaders share an absolute commitment to what they are doing, why they are doing it, and to the people helping them get there.

 

There are many traits that mark great leadership, but all great leaders share an absolute commitment to what they are doing, why they are doing it, and to the people that are helping them get there. It was not the words scrawled on an index card that were the secret to Claire’s success. It was her commitment to those words: her willingness to put her back against the wall, stick out her neck, go all in, and put everything on the line. While most of us live in the comforting and comfortable world of both/and, for Claire there was only the scorched earth of either/or.

 

Commitment has become unfashionable. Marriage without a “pre-nup” is the height of folly, and it is the rare women’s magazine that doesn’t have at least one article dedicated to “commitment phobia” among men. One wag recently opined that it is now easier to get out of your marriage than it is to get out of your car payment. We all want an “exit plan,” a “plan B,” a “fallback position,” and “options.”

 

We are all going to get rich while keeping our day jobs and “hedging your bets” is the new definition of prudence. I once heard someone say, “I never make a commitment I can’t get out of. I never want a problem so big I can’t run away from it.”


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Self-importance is self-destructive

Self-importance is self-destructive | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
A big ego can be a good thing -- when balanced by self-awareness...

 

I can make it rain just by washing my car, weeding, or hand-watering the plants that line my driveway. This weekend, I did all three. Monday, it rained. Not just a drizzle, either -- four hours of driving rain. Just so you know, it doesn't rain in California in June. Ever. 

 

No, I don't really think I'm a rainmaker. I'm not a lunatic. But if I said I never, ever -- not even a little -- believe that the things I do or desire can somehow affect the weather, the stock market, a poker hand, or whether the Yankees win or lose, I'd be lying.

 

We all have our own quirky little superstitions, obsessions, compulsions and all that. But as intelligent, logical, clear-thinking adults living in a modern world, we all know better, right? Well, not exactly. 

 

It's impressive how delusional people can be, and about matters of great import. Now, I'm not just talking about those who believe that if it's on the Internet, then it must be true. Or the millions of people who believe in ridiculous fads like colon cleansing, male enhancement, or man-made global warming.

 

I'm talking about people who run companies and nations.

 

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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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How Google's Marissa Mayer Prevents Burnout

How Google's Marissa Mayer Prevents Burnout | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

Many entrepreneurs don't even think twice when it comes to working around the clock. Marissa Mayer, Google's 20th employee and current vice president of location and local services, is no exception. When Google was a young company, she worked 130 hours per week and often slept at her desk.

 

"For my first five years at Google, I pulled an all-nighter every week," Mayer said in a recent talk at New York's 92Y cultural center. "It was a lot of hard work."

 

Hard work, she says, has been the key to Google's success, as well as her own.

 

For young companies that demand so much of their employees, hard work can spiral into burnout. Learning to prevent it--for yourself and your employees--is essential to your success as a business owner. Here are three steps to get started:

 

 


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Building Resilience

Building Resilience | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

In the moments when life is falling apart, when our best laid plans are dashed and lying in a heap of disappointment, that we have the opportunity to grow more resilient. This deep inner work is one of the highest forms of love.

 

"None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith." -- Paulo Coelho

 

It's easy to trust when life is giving us what we want, when our relationships are stable and communication flows. Leaning toward trust when our health is broken, our relationship connections are tattered and we can't find the words to express our own needs is where trust becomes our capacity for resilience. In the moments when life is falling apart, when our best laid plans are dashed and lying in a heap of disappointment, that we have the opportunity to grow more resilient.

 

This deep inner work is one of the highest forms of love. It is the work that transforms us into our most authentic and compassionate selves.

 

Read more: http://huff.to/Kki6Hm


Via Martin Gysler
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Slavica Bogdanov's comment, June 12, 2012 9:03 AM
Great article Martin! I hope many people read this and apply it. Love Paulo Coelho. Yes resilience is what a lot of people throw out from a relationship. Some people prefer to run, chose to flee instead of choosing to stay in through the good and the not so good. Resilience is a fantastic word, I actually had forgotten to use. Thank you.
Martin Gysler's comment, June 12, 2012 10:12 AM
Hi Slavica, great to hear that you like this post. Indeed, resilience is a fantastic and important word in our live.
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How To Win The Talent War

How To Win The Talent War | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
The formula for a successful startup is simple: create a product that people need, and hire ridiculously talented, highly motivated people to build it.

 

I once hired a developer who had more experience in his field than I did in mine. His resume touted roles at companies I one day hope to emulate, and his Rolodex read like a who’s who of tech startups. I was excited by the possibilities of having someone like this on our team, and I anticipated a long and rewarding career for him at our company.

 

No doubt he was talented--but the sad reality was that he had no genuine interest in building the company I envisioned. He stayed with us less than six months.

When hiring for roles like this at Betterment.com, the investing startup I founded two years ago, I soon learned the formula for a successful startup. It’s simple: create a product that people need, and hire ridiculously talented, highly motivated people to build it.

 

As I experienced then (and many times over), finding the ridiculously talented, highly motivated people is the more challenging side of this equation.

I don’t want to downplay the need for a great product--but a great product is rarely born on day one. Instead, it takes modifications, iterations, and adjustments based on user feedback. You need smart, thoughtful employees to imagine and implement these changes.

 

We break the pool of promising candidates into three buckets:...


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Ovecoming the Odds

Ovecoming the Odds | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
A disability has not stopped sr technical consultant, Peter Lee, from reaping success on the job. He develops effective IT solutions that benefit our customer's various shipping needs.
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YOU Are NOT Special .. Best 2012 Graduation Commencement Speech !

Wellesley High English teacher David McCullough Jr. told graduates "You are not special. You are not exceptional," quoting empirical evidence:

 

This is well worth taking the time to hear this entire speech in it's context.  An excellent presentation.  

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What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life

What Captures Your Attention Controls Your Life | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
A few years ago, DisneyWorld executives were wondering what most captured the attention of toddlers and infants at their theme park and hotels in Orlando, Florida.

 

A few years ago, DisneyWorld executives were wondering what most captured the attention of toddlers and infants at their theme park and hotels in Orlando, Florida.

 

So they hired me and a cultural anthropologist to observe them as they passed by all the costumed cast members, animated creatures, twirling rides, sweet-smelling snacks, and colorful toys. But after a couple of hours of close observation, we realized that what most captured the young children's attention wasn't Disney-conjured magic.

 

Instead it was their parents' cell phones, especially when the parents were using them.

 

Those kids clearly understood what held their parents' attention — and they wanted it too. Cell phones were enticing action centers of their world as they observed it. When parents were using their phones, they were not paying complete attention to their children.

 

Giving undivided attention is the first and most basic ingredient in any relationship. It is impossible to communicate, much less bond, with someone who can't or won't focus on you. At the same time, we often fail to realize how what we focus on comes to control our thoughts, our actions, and indeed, our very lives.

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Management Moment Leadership Services: What Meghan Vogel ...

Management Moment Leadership Services: What Meghan Vogel ... | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

The inspiration we draw from this remarkable story and the act of kindness by Meghan Vogel is a leadership lesson for all of us. What this young lady demonstrated at her track meet are transferable principles that will make ...

 

The inspiration we draw from this remarkable story and the act of kindness by Meghan Vogel is a leadership lesson for all of us. What this young lady demonstrated at her track meet are transferable principles that will make you a better leader. Here are a few take-away lessons from Meghan.

 

How you finish is more important than where you finish. At that point in the race it was already a foregone conclusion that neither of the girls was going to win the race. In the competitive marketplace that is all some are concerned with. Yet, as Vogel demonstrated, where you finish is not nearly as important as how.

 

How are you running your race? Do you notice when others around you stumble or fall? Are you ready to lend a hand?

 

Audrey Hepburn said, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” That’s wisdom worth practicing.

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I’m a leader?

I’m a leader? | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
The progression from student to first job, then applying experience to problem solving followed by increased responsibility then a leader...

 

The progression from student to first job, applying experience to problem solving followed by increased responsibility, then being somewhat relied upon in your department and the next thing…. You’re a junior manager – welcome to the early stages of leadership!


That transition where you go from reporting to everyone and then have someone report to you, it’s a big change and one most of us embrace.

 

We all have our struggles, yet solving and overcoming those struggles adds to our experience and allows us to grow and take on greater challenges with more responsibility.


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5 Tips to Prevent Digital Burnout and Maintain Good Mental Health

5 Tips to Prevent Digital Burnout and Maintain Good Mental Health | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it

The Internet's reach is so pervasive, it feels as though it has always been around. The reality is that the web is still in its infancy, and we don't really understand the risks it poses to our mental health. In fact, various experts, such as Larry D. Rosen, a psychologist and author of "iDisorder," believe that personal gadgets are making us mentally ill and are exacerbating other problems such as narcissism, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other mental health professionals have already identified disorders ranging from "Facebook depression" to "phantom vibration syndrome."

 

Realistically, most of us don't have the luxury of disconnecting from the Internet, particularly communication professionals whose work depends more and more on it.

 

However, there are various things you can do to curtail the negative effects it may have and prevent digital burnout.

 

Read more:

http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2012/06/5-tips-to-prevent-digital-burnout-and-maintain-good-mental-health-159.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+pbs/mediashift-blog+(mediashift-blog)&utm_content=Google+Reader

 


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When Leaders Don’t Lead

When Leaders Don’t Lead | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
“The senior leaders have no vision,” he said glumly, as an explanation for his company’s problems.

 

I had heard this many times during my interviews of key employees at the company.  It was the end of my last interview.  I set my pen down and asked the question I had wondered about all day.   “So what are you going to do about it?”

 

“Me?” he asked. “What can I do? I’m not in charge. I’m just the manager of shipping.”

I studied him for a moment before I replied.  I could see he was frustrated and felt powerless.

 

“I know you think you can’t have a vision because the senior leaders don’t have one, but the truth is that senior leaders aren’t as ‘in charge’ as you think.  And within your own sphere of influence, you have more control than you think.”

 

"Most people think of leadership as a position and therefore don’t see themselves as leaders." ~Stephen Covey

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The Data's In: Honesty Really Does Start at the Top

The Data's In: Honesty Really Does Start at the Top | Serving and Leadership | Scoop.it
It's hard to reach the 90th percentile in anything, of course, and honesty is no different.

 

So when we ran across one of those exceptional individuals, we wanted to have a word with him.

 

A global controller of a professional services firm of more than 40,000 employees, he'd just participated in a 360-feedback process where he'd been assessed by his manager, peers, and direct reports on 16 leadership competencies. And he'd hit that elusive 90th percentile mark on his ratings for honesty and integrity. Explaining just what a difficult feat it is to receive feedback marks that remarkably high, we asked him: "What is your secret?" After all, it's not like in his role he hadn't confronted his share of temptation or hard trade-offs.

 

"It all starts with my boss and his boss," he replied. "If there is a line for honesty and integrity, they don't want to be close to it. Instead, they insist there be nothing questionable with any transaction. If there is a liberal interpretation of an accounting principle, they will always take the conservative route. It's never hard for me to insist on unquestionable honesty, because they set the bar."


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