"So let’s get beneath the cloud of leadership theory, to the ground of management practice. Maybe then more so-called leaders will do the right thing, namely cease leading by remote control, disconnected from everything except the “big picture.” In fact, how are they to create even that? Big pictures have to be painted with the brushstrokes of grounded experience.
It has also become fashionable to complain that we are being over-managed and under-led. The opposite is now a greater problem: we have too much heroic leadership and not enough engaging management. We need to recognize that some of the best leadership is management practiced well, also that anyone with ideas and initiative can exercise leadership"
"What is the basis of great leadership?
From an in-depth look at employee networks, various leader types are identified…
I trust Luis to walk me through this career decision
I trust Karl's technical advice on this algorithm
I trust Anne's political take on this marketing decision
I trust Rita's grasp of what our key customer wants
I trust Pat to guide this organization through troubled times
Notice the key word in each sentence -- trust. We follow those we trust.
No trust, no follower-ship. No follower-ship, no leadership.
We follow others for various reasons, some because of their knowledge, some because of their vision, some because of their inspiration, and all for the confidence we place in them."
"The eight Orpheus principles are:
Put power in the hands of the people doing the work. An organization’s creative potential can only be fully realized when its members are given the authority to make decisions that have impact.
Encourage individual responsibility. With authority comes responsibility. Instead of waiting for a supervisor, individuals take the initiative to resolve issues as expeditiously as possible.
Create clarity of roles. Unclear roles can lead to conflict, wasted effort, poor morale, and poor quality. Clarity of roles minimizes confusion and ensures that each individual’s energies are effectively focused.
Share and rotate leadership. Encourage everyone to lead at some point. By sharing and rotating leadership, organizations can benefit from the unique skills and experience of each individual.
Foster horizontal teamwork. Cross-organizational teams have wide-ranging individual expertise. Teams with individual and group authority reduce the time it takes to make informed decisions and ensure that everyone works together to achieve goals.
Learn to listen, learn to talk. Everyone is expected to listen actively and intently, and to speak directly and honestly. Successful work requires a constant flow of two-way communication.
Seek consensus (and build creative structures that favor consensus). The group cannot move forward unless its members agree to move together in the same direction at the same time. Seeking-and finding consensus is a vital element in how to get things done. Put clear and effective mechanisms in place to resolve deadlock.
Dedicate passionately to your mission. Passion drives the decision-making. The mission isn’t imposed from above, but is determined—and constantly refined—by the members themselves."
"The following 20 items point out some of the main differences between training and development:
1. Training blends to a norm - Development occurs beyond the norm.
2. Training focuses on technique/content/curriculum - Development focuses on people.
3. Training tests patience - Development tests courage.
4. Training focuses on the present - Development focuses on the future.
5. Training adheres to standards - Development focuses on maximizing potential.
6. Training is transactional - Development is transformational.
7. Training focuses on maintenance - Development focuses on growth.
8. Training focuses on the role - Development focuses on the person.
9. Training indoctrinates - Development educates.
10. Training maintains status quo - Development catalyzes innovation.
11. Training stifles culture - Development enriches culture.
12. Training encourages compliance - Development emphasizes performance.
13. Training focuses on efficiency - Development focuses on effectiveness.
14. Training focuses on problems - Development focuses on solutions.
15. Training focuses on reporting lines - Development expands influence.
16. Training places people in a box - Development frees them from the box.
17. Training is mechanical - Development is intellectual.
18. Training focuses on the knowns - Development explores the unknowns.
19. Training places people in a comfort zone - Development moves people beyond their comfort zones.
20. Training is finite - Development is infinite."
"Building one’s own toolkit | The variety of helpful tools and approaches available today is large and growing, and system leaders should be knowledgeable about what is available. In our work, tools we use regularly come from a variety of places, including a few mentioned here: the “five disciplines” approach to systems thinking and organizational learning, Theory U and Presencing, Appreciative Inquiry, Immunity to Change, Roca’s peacekeeping circles, and the Change Labs and scenario planning of Reos Partners.16 Recently, several of us have started a process of organizing these tools to provide an integrated tool kit for systemic change.17 But it is important to remember that building a tool kit is more than just putting arrows in your quiver. It is about learning, over time, through disciplined practice, how to become an archer."
"Comfort and competence with the latest advances in virtual technology: It is necessary for leaders to be fluent in the use of virtual technologies in their daily work lives. Yet, while 54 percent of those surveyed admitted this competency is important, it is absent from their global leadership development programs.
Comfort and competence with social network technology: This appeared on the list of missing competencies for the first time in 2012, and 46 percent of respondents overall included it again in 2013. There was a time when a social media presence was a new concept for an organization, but even if leaders aren’t tweeting, their organizations likely are. The unprecedented growth of social networking applications, platforms and tools underscores the importance of this competency. Absent a formal learning program, organizations may consider tapping into their multigenerational workforce and reverse mentoring to develop social media fluency in their global leaders."
1. The leader is no longer able to control
2. Employees control, customers control
3. The leader creates the conditions for others to control
4. Leaders should stop thinking about their leadership. They shouldn't think of their talents or of the list of trendy virtues
5. The obligation of a leader is to be him/herself and not imitate others. This is a purpose as a human being and not just as a leader
6. Leadership is a process. Leadership is relationship
7. Leadership is reciprocity. If a leader wants to be able to influence he/she must accept being influenced
8. Leadership is a service: to customers, to employees , to the community. For this reason its guiding values are: honesty, power sharing, transparency
9. In open systems trust is the engine of relationships, both within companies and on markets, by means of collaborative consumption
10.The leader builds relationships based on respect
11.The leader knows how to play the role of catalyst. He/she is not the only protagonist. He/she performs an inspirational, alignment and support function for colleagues
12.Leaders must not think of their employees as parents think of their children (in a top/down relationship)
13.Leaders should not think of their managers as children think of their parents (in a bottom/up relationship)
14.In contemporary enterprises leadership is not just based on asymmetrical relations (top/down, bottom/up) but also on peer relations
15.Leadership accepts ambiguity and turns it into generative conflict
16.Conflicts can be dealt with through negotiation and mediation. Contemporary leadership must negotiate rather than control
17.Leaders work in an agile way . They need to adapt to a constantly changing environment. They promote simplicity, flexibility, the production of real value for customers
18.The leader supports co-workers in the development of self-organization processes. This support is expressed 1) as definition of guidelines in the planning stage 2) as self- restraint in later stages
19.The engagement of employees is fundamental
20.The engagement of employees is possible if the leader is interested in their work, if he/she is accessible, if he/she enables, if he/she encourages questioning
21.The leader values his/her own passion
22.Reputation is the capital of credibility and consistency available to the leader
23.The leader builds social capital by sharing a common vision
24.Social capital is the set of behaviour rules of a system that minimizes transaction costs and maximizes cooperation between subjects. It's not located in individuals or in physical production structures
25.The leader encourages the development of bonding and bridging social capital. The bonding social capital reinforces the organization identity. The bridging social capital builds a bridge between different entities, in the name of diversity integration.
26.Social capital is pivotal for innovation. Innovations are developed by connecting worlds that have different sets of knowledge
27.Keeping boundaries open and getting in touch with new know-how increases the company's potential for innovation. Innovation can be open, in the sense that it doesn't originate from the R&D function only
28.Real innovation goes through the innovation of the company's culture. The responsibility of leadership is to foster cultural transformation
29.Tolerance of mistakes is the mindset that allows the development of innovation
30.A structured vision, cohesive groups and clear responsibilities can result in a difficulty to learn from mistakes
31.Leadership promotes collective intelligence
32.Collective Intelligence is the process whereby groups take charge of their challenges and future evolution, by using the resources of all members in such a way that a new level emerges, with new added qualities
33. Collective intelligence is possible because human beings know how to be cooperative
34.In the long run cooperation increases the chances of survival of a system
35.Competitiveness is not always opposed to cooperation. The main feature of open systems is that they often are coo-petitive (cooperation and competition coexist)
36.Different approaches to task performance and to problem-solving can coexist (not hampering one another), and learn from each other. Diversity increases the chances to successfully achieve goals and to develop new practices
37.The leader should not assume that people understand the meaning of what is happening
38.The leader is a sense maker: together with co-workers, he/she strives to give sense to the past and to imagine future scenarios
39.Leadership deals with the generation and development of knowledge because intangible elements are pivotal for the creation of the value of products and services
40.The knowledge produced by an organization, including its internal debates and lessons learned, should be recorded and saved in archives that are accessible to everyone. In compliance with intellectual property, the sharing of knowledge inside and outside the organization generates benefits for individuals and for the community
41.Leadership pays attention to the organization of the invisible part of knowledge
42.The model of vertical leadership is inadequate for situations where knowledge is fundamental. In teams with very diverse skills shared leaderships works better
43.In order to favour the development of knowledge the leader can undertake the role of mentor or coach
44.Learning is possible as a result of continuous improvement
45.Leadership works at increasing well-being because organizations were people feel good have superior performance
46.The leader takes a critical position towards contemporary value production models, perceives their contradictions and seeks sustainable solutions for him-/herself and for the group he belongs to
47.The leader is committed to the success of the enterprise at the present time, but by investing on intangibles he/she improves the overall quality of the system
48.Open leadership means to develop antifragile systems, i.e. able to improve as the result of a crisis
An excerpt from Gedalof (1998):
Quescussion is a type of discussion that is conducted entirely in the form of questions. It was developed by Professor Paul Bidwell of the English Department at the University of Saskatchewan where he has used it with great success in the teaching of poetry. It has proved to be very useful in handling a variety of subjects even, or perhaps especially, very controversial ones, and works across a wide range of class sizes. In large classes it is particularly useful because it allows many students to make brief contributions without interventions by the professor, and because the exercise can be put to several uses. It works like this.
First, the professor explains the rules of quescussion, which are:
Everything said must be in the form of a question.
Participants must wait until four (this number can vary with the size of the class) other people have spoken before they can speak again.
Statements in the form of questions are not allowed (e.g. “All professors wear polyester, don’t they?”).
If someone makes a statement, the rest of the class is to shout “Statement." (The exercise is self-policing.)
No nasty or ad hominen questions are to be directed to other speakers (e.g. Isn’t that the kind of question that a megalomaniacal fascist would ask?”) Typically these turn out to be disguised statements and are inadmissible on those grounds, too. The rule is often unnecessary, but will come into play if the subjects discussed are ones that people might have strong feelings about such as politics, abortion, euthanasia, or religion.
Next the instructor sets out the subject for quescussion. This can be a problem to be solved or confronted (relatively complex ones are best, but obviously this has to be suited to the class). Problems can be ethical, philosophical, social, psychological, literary, mathematical, or scientific. The subject could also be in the form of a carefully formulated provocative question or statement, or a text of appropriate length and difficulty to be analyzed or discussed.
Then comes the quescussion itself, the length of which will vary with the task that has been set, but which will rarely last beyond 10 minutes and is more often in the five-minute range. Classes have to learn how to do quescussion well, and you can expect some silences between questions when you first use this exercise. Don’t worry: they are thinking hard. One of the impressive things about this exercise is how quickly it climbs up Bloom’s taxonomy and encourages quite difficult questions. Furthermore, people will try out ideas they would hesitate to express under other circumstances, largely I think because everything is tentative and provisional when it is expressed in the form of a question. It also helps that a heated exchange between two class members cannot develop because of the rule calling for intervening speakers.
How you choose to follow up this exercise can vary, from doing nothing to doing a great deal. If you choose to do nothing, and sometimes that will be the right thing, you have at least introduced your class to a range of questions on this subject. However, if you want to address some or all of the issues raised, you can follow Professor Bidwell’s practice of tape recording or videotaping the quescussion, transcribing all of the questions, and presenting them to the class as the focus for future discussion. Alternatively, you or your designate can record the questions on the board or overhead, grouping them if desired, and use them as a springboard to a traditional type of discussion or lecture. (p. 37-38)
3. Management is a skill, it's not a career path. Everybody is a mixture of individual and group contribution. There's a set of tasks related to project organization and keeping things going. And usually, people refuse to do it twice in a row, on back-to-back projects, because it's very much a service job. "My job is to entirely define myself in terms of the productivity that I enable in other people. That's a very stressful job and it's hard to measure your own productivity. People say, hey, Jay, you should do it again, and Jay says 'screw you guys!'." So we look for some younger sucker to give the job to, who thinks it's authority within a hierarchy related to decision-making, and then finds out that it's, oh, working really really hard to make other people more productive.
Self-awareness. Leadership development needs to be an inside-out process that focuses less on competencies and skill acquisition and more on increasing your self-awareness and understanding how your behaviour impacts others;
Emotional self-mastery. Again, a superficial program of increasing emotional intelligence through techniques and tips of such things as listening skills or facilitation skills avoids or neglects the more important requirement to understand, manage and master your emotions and understand and respond appropriately to the emotions of others;
A personal stake in self-development. Leadership development is frequently seen as the responsibility of the organization rather than a shared responsibility with potential and current leaders. Rarely have I heard a leader say he wants to take personal responsibility to become the best person he can be and take charge of his personal growth;
Recruit potential leaders that are humble; not those driven by hubris or ego. Organizations continue to recruit leaders who fit the stereotype of a charismatic, narcissistic with little humility and a big ego.
How Whole Systems Leadership Differs from Conventional Views of Leadership
“Most of the time we use leadership as a synonym for boss or boss-ship. We confuse leadership with leadership position. Leadership is a capacity of a human community to shape its future. Leadership is a collective. Leadership is everywhere.” ~ Peter Senge, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization
Seven tips for co-operative leadership
1. Be knowledgeable about your partners, their structures, strategies, needs and decision making systems
2. Be flexible adjusting your individual strategies or objectives to meet the overall aim of the partnership
3. Develop clear lines of communication and decision-making between all the partners
4. Share the power equally between the parties in the partnership
5. Get agreement on the operation and benefits of the partnership
6. Consider your role in the partnership and your motives for engaging with it
7. Most important – create trust between the partners
Drawing on the work of Mourkogiannis and Menkes, it is my belief that the best leaders “discover” the purpose of their organisations through discussion and observation. Yes they can shape it – but not in isolation of the people who make up the organisation, and key stakeholders on the outside. Leaders emerge because they make sense and are able to capture and articulate what an organisation, and its people, needs to do to live its purpose.
Leaders will do stuff with others, embracing the mess of it all, frame topics that matter, share progress in little snippets, interacting with people (even those we don’t like), embrace the discomfort of real people in real context, show up as we are (as ready as we are at this moment). And remaining faithful that what each of us do may not be the fix for everything, but we work on our little patch in life.
"What that means for leadership is simple but profound: the essential relationships are no longer the vertical relationships contained within corporate silos, but the horizontal ones that link people across organizational boundaries. The New Leadership isn’t vertical, it’s horizontal.
This forces us to do a better job of defining leadership. It never was about getting people to follow; it was about getting things done. It still is. Except now you get things done less by lining up the troops, and more by generating movement around a common goal. Horizontal leadership might be defined as “persuading others over whom you have absolutely no direct control to join you in a common cause.”
The “skills” of old and new leadership certainly overlap. You can’t lead horizontally or vertically if people think you’re dull, or an ass-kisser, or hopelessly insecure. But there are differences. The skills of horizontal leadership rhyme with influence, persuasion, and trust. Particularly trust.
Because the biggest difference between vertical and horizontal leadership is reciprocity. To be a vertical leader, you don’t have to be a good follower. But to be a good horizontal leader, you must know how to be trusted – and how to trust. It is not enough to be trustworthy; you must also be a risk-taker, and know how to be vulnerable, two prerequisites of the ability to trust.
Vertical leadership, like command and control, largely goes one way – from top down. But horizontal leadership is best practiced through trust, and trust is bi-lateral; you have to be good at trusting, and at being trusted. “Leader” is not a permanent attribute – it is a mindset/skill-set/role that is played at a given time by a given person, who the next day must play, equally well, the role of follower.
Which means, in today’s world, we each have to behave as leaders, or we simply don’t succeed. This is not New Age pablum-talk; it is a meaningful statement. In a networked, connected world, the skills of playing nicely together in the sandbox – horizontal leadership – cannot be squandered on an elite “high-potential” group; they have to be broadly taught. The concept of leadership development needs democratizing.
The future of leadership is horizontal, not vertical; and the future of horizontal leadership is learning the ways of trust. That means teaching trusting, and being trusted. And it means an approach to teaching leadership that is far more broadly-based than it has been.
At work, we’re using these 6 sources as a checklist. As we try to help thousands of people work out loud (or print less, or use their own mobile phone, or contribute to any of the collective efficiency programs we have underway), we keep asking ourselves if we’re tapping into all 6 sources of influence.
☐ Personal motivation: If people don’t find the behavior appealing, how can we get them to try it (or at least have them experience the benefits vicariously) and connect it to other things they value? If someone likes doing it, how can we reinforce the behavior by recognizing their accomplishments and encouraging them to do more?
☐ Personal Ability: How can we make it simpler to start? And how can we provide people with opportunities to practice the behavior and attain achievable goals while giving them immediate feedback on ways to get even better?
☐ Social motivation: Who are influential leaders who can model the vital behavior? And can we identify relevant peer groups who are already behaving in the desired way?
☐ Social ability: How can we develop social ties – e.g., buddy systems, peer support groups, advocate programs - that can help an individual get better at the vital behavior?
☐ Structural motivation: What are extrinsic rewards we can put in place that are immediate, gratifying, and clearly tied to the vital behavior? (Only consider these rewards after intrinsic motivators and social support are in place.)
☐ Structural ability: How can we change the physical environment to make the vital behavior easier or to eliminate the things that pose a risk to that behavior?"
"Don’t spend millions of dollars to try and change your culture. Corporate culture is a natural thing that cannot be manufactured. No amount of posters, incentive programs, PowerPoint presentations or slogans on websites will affect the hearts and minds of your employees. If you want to see things change immediately, stop acting like an asshole. If you see one of your senior managers acting like an asshole, ask him to stop. If he doesn’t stop, fire him. You will be amazed at how fast the culture shifts."
"They improved their communication effectiveness. This was the most common skill that these people improved. Communication skills are highly malleable. For many of these leaders, improvement here was less about learning new skills than about using the skills they already had more often and with more people. (When we talk to groups of leaders and ask, "Who here communicates too much?" we see very few hands rise.) We have also found that when struggling leaders spend time improving presentation skills, the effort can produce an immediately payoff.
They made an effort to share their knowledge and expertise more widely. Poor leaders tend to be stingy with information and know-how. By sharing their knowledge more frequently and teaching people what they know how to do they can simultaneously impress and develop their direct reports.
They began to encourage others to do more and to be better. Some leaders believe that if they minimize challenges to their team and expect less of their people, subordinates will see them as better leaders. This is wrong! Fewer challenges is the opposite of what a work group or organization needs. When leaders challenge their direct reports to do more and be better they thought they could be, the leaders are actually perceived to be better themselves.
They developed a broader perspective. It's easy for leaders to become preoccupied with work demands and internal politics and become oblivious to what's happening in the outside world. Getting leaders to stop and look at the bigger picture can help them see potential problems sooner and focus more on strategic and less on tactical issues. This leads to constructive change and innovation.
They recognized that they were role models and needed to set a good example. It frequently happens that leaders unintentionally (or unknowingly) ask others to do things they don't do themselves. This never works. Many of our 71 leaders were surprised to discover that they were perceived as hypocritical. They learned to walk their talk (or at least to "stumble the mumble").
They began to champion their team's new ideas. Many of our 71 leaders were also surprised to learn that their teams considered them to be the "Abominable NO man (or woman)." When they shifted from discouraging new proposals to encouraging and supporting innovative ideas and thinking, positive changes occurred.
They learned to recognize when change was needed. More generally, our successful leaders were those who learned to willingly support and embrace change, and encourage others to do so, as well. How? Essentially, by becoming more proactive — that is, by doing a better job of spotting new trends, opportunities, and potential problems early.
They improved their ability to inspire and motivate others. Practically all of the actions we've already mentioned create a more inspirational environment. In addition, there were two notable things these leaders did to inspire others. First, they did a better job keeping people focused on the highest priority goals and objectives. Second, they made a special effort to stay in touch with the concerns and problems of their teams. When a leader is the last to know that an employee is having difficulties, others interpret that as a lack of concern. Providing support and assistance to an employee in difficult circumstances not only helps that employee, but also reassures others they can expect to receive the same treatment.
They began to encourage cooperation rather than competition. Many leaders come out of school believing that work is a zero-sum game that creates winners and losers, and so they compete, in an effort to get ahead. Battles are costly and consume a great deal of resources. In the long run, internal competition causes every participant to lose. When leaders look for ways to encourage cooperation and generate common goals, they become more successful."
"These elements, to a great or lesser degree, are present in the informal interaction among people doing the same work, as we saw in the copy repair example. But in a world where the community of practitioners is spread across the globe, and many practitioners work at locations out of the office, the development of judgment cannot not be left to chance and proximity. It must be designed and supported by the organization including: 1) experimentation that leads to learning, 2) treating failure as an opportunity for learning, 3) establishing a systematic process through which reflective conversation occurs about both team and individual actions, 4) and promoting communities of practice."
"To get an idea of how that “becoming” works and what it means to be “in perpetual beta” you have to look at several posts on the same general topic. I’ve selected four for you to illustrate that idea. Here are four posts on “learning in the workplace” (that’s my term, not Harold’s). The posts are listed in chronological order, with the date of each post in parenthesis after the title."
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