The Intuitive Leader

23 01 2013

It is through science that we prove, but through intuition that we discover.   Henri Poincare

Intuition is a powerful key-element to use in leading people. We are all people with feelings, when things are going well or wrong our body will tell us. Intuition is a talent we need to nurture every day.

In todays world, people are used to think in linear, logical, obvious ways about problems and possible solutions. Intuitive intelligence  opens up for new ways to think and understand, and may lead to enhance our capacity to achieve innovative solutions.

Through his book:”The Intuitive Compass”, Francis P. Cholle illustrates how we can develop intuitive intelligence to navigate the natural tension that exists between reason and instinct.

Cholle describes the four tenets of intuitive intelligence: , thinking holistically, thinking paradoxically, noticing the unusual and leading by influence. “ By engaging in each, we can enrich our experience and understanding of personal and business issues that arise, and when we use all four, our capacity for innovation can grow tremendously”.

If we want to succeed in todays business world, leaders need to innovate, be open to embrace change and create new business approaches. Cholle; “Creativity is not linear. To get to what is new and revelatory, we have to tap into the wisdom of our subconscious, be present, pay attention to clues, and then react”.

The author makes us aware the need to feel and listen to what the body try to tell us based on our instinct, reason and playfulness.

Let us take a closer look on how Cholle describes the four tenets of intuitive intelligence.

Thinking holistically can lead us to gain new perspectives and gives us the opportunity to learn new things from this approach. “Holistic means that the totality of a system is more important then the sum of its parts”.

Thinking paradoxically, leads us to think out of the box by embracing new situations, and new ideas, the attitude is both open and critical, as candid as it is discriminating, which is the only way to enter uncharted territories and conceptualize new ideas. Cholle;”So we need to open our minds to the paradoxical logic of the unconscious to reach beyond common ideas and beliefs, which is exactly the meaning of the word paradox”.

Instead of using our logical understanding of a situation it requires our other form of intelligence at work, like insights from dreams or myths.

Noticing the unusual is the third tenet and includes paying attention and use our senses. Cholle explains; “We can pay attention outwardly by seeing what’s around us or we can pay attention inwardly by feeling what’s inside us. We can choose to receive information in two ways, one of them is what makes logical sense, the other one is paying attention beyond the logical sense of what we can contemplate.

The last and fourth tenet is, leading by influence. This is about letting go of control and instead allow the creative process to blossom. Cholle; “Although conventional wisdom regarding leadership is about aligning objectives, strategies, and people, leadership by  influence recognizes that dissonance and tension, ambiguity and complexity, chaos and the unknown are equally important and necessary aspects of business. This is why this type of leadership cannot seek control: chaos cannot be controlled, and complexity makes it hard to determine the outcome of one’s strategy, so influence is more effective than control”.

Because creativity is an high rated business skill in a complex global economy, a key element of this new way of leadership is mandatory to innovate, motivate, change, reinvent and make an organization successful. Cholle makes us aware that if you want people to be receptive, agile, autonomous, proactive and creative in their approach, you need to influence them more than trying to control them.

Creativity can be a challenge but most of all an important tool to make success in todays world of business.

A research done by neuroscience has revealed three key facts that may trigger and change the way we think about and approach creativity:

– Instinct plays a leading role in complex decision making.

– Eighty percent of our grey matter is dedicated to non conscious  thought.

– Imaginative play is one of the most direct means of activating our creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Cholle explain’s us that these three discoveries opens up opportunities for creativity, progress and efficiency, but it depends up on embracing the instinctual and unconscious aspects of our mind and the randomness and chaos of life.

Life is like a piano. What you get out of it depends on how you play it.  Tom Lehrer

This quote makes us aware of all the possibilities people in all kind of situations are capable off doing. It just depends up on how far we would like to go. Play is magical and is a channel for innovation and ideas in organizations.

The National Institute for Play defines play as; “a state of being that is intensely pleasurable. It energizes and enlivens us. It eases our burdens, renews a natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities”.

When using play as a key component in companies, it opens up new doors for positive thinking and creative imagination.

Let’s dig a little deeper and find out more about play and what’s in it. Cholle tells us that the key ingredient in play is engagement; “engagement within your own mind, with another person, or with an object”.

He say that people loose track of time when they are truly and deeply engaged in play. People stop thinking about whether their paycheck is bigger today then yesterday. You also form close and near relationship with your playmates, “they withstand discomfort and inconvenience, and more often than you might imagine, they create magic”.

Because of the importance of play and the positive outcome organizations can gain from it, CEO’s across a range of industries has opened their doors to creativity and see it as a key driver for their company to succeed and grow.

Cholle makes us aware that play enables us to develop our cognitive abilities, and it also gives us balance into our lives: “playing fosters the agility and creativity that are key to our business success”. Play let us discover and enable us to influence the very powerful part of ourselves.

What’s better, a poetic intuition or an intellectual work ? I think they complement each other”   Manuel Puig

Written by Inger Lise E Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

Winning Leaders Transform Organisation’s To Success

5 03 2016

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.    Benjamin Franklin

Winning organisations has strong leaders who sees the potential in their peoples strength. A key-element is teaching. “The ultimate test of success for an organisation is not whether it can win today but whether it can keep winning tomorrow and the day after. Therefore, the ultimate test for a leader is not whether he or she makes smart decisions and takes decisive action, but whether he or she teaches others to be leaders and and builds an organisation that can sustain its success even when he or she is not around”. (Noel M. Tichy, The Leadership Engine, 2007)

Tichy, learns us how to practise our knowledge and share it with our colleagues to make them shine and become wise leaders. He tells us that that teaching and learning are inextricably interwoven aspects of leadership. Leaders who are eager to motivate employees are capable of getting things done through others by changing peoples mindsets which will lead and energise them to action. Tichy; “Successful leadership must accomplish this through ideas and values, not through coercion or Machiavellian manipulation.”

Winning organisations offer lots of management training programs as well as career development. However, the programs doesn’t cover the more critical leadership skills. Tichy, makes us aware that the essence of real leadership is to handle changing situations and to motivate others to act in an appropriate way. “Leadership reflects a persons mindset and his or her approach to the world. Even though these intangible qualities are extremely difficult to teach, winning organisations are remarkably successful at it. And that is because their most senior executives, their most proficient and talented leaders, as well as all of their front-line subordinates, are personally involved in the teaching “.

“Teaching is at the heart of leading.” Leading is not about commanding compliance and dictating people, and giving orders. The main goal for the leader is to make people see situations as they really are. People need to be aware of what kind of responsibility they need to take. When people know how to take responsibility, they will act in ways that lead to the best for the organisation. Tichy; “Whether it is teaching something as simple as what concrete tasks need to take precedence over others this week, or something complex as how to make good decisions, teaching is how ideas and values get transmitted. Therefore, in order to be a leader at any level of an organisation, a person must be a teacher. Simply put, if you aren’t teaching, you aren’t leading”.

In this interesting article: The Best Leaders Are Constant Learners (Harvard Business Review, author Kenneth Mikkelsen and Harold Jarche, 2015) makes us aware of the importance of being learners. Authors; “We live in a world that increasingly requires what psychologist Howard Gardner calls searchlight intelligence. That is, the ability to connect the dots between people and ideas, where others see no possible connection. An informed perspective is more important than ever in order to anticipate what comes next and succeed in emerging futures”. There are many digital tools today which makes it possible to help people to learn as well as share knowledge. “Tools are important, but mastery in a digital age is only achieved if you know how to establish trust, respect, and relevance in human networks”.

Mikkelsen and Jarche also talks about the importance of learning in changing society’s; “Reinvention and relevance in the 21st century instead draw on our ability to adjust our way of thinking, learning, doing and being. Leaders that stay on top of society’s changes do so by being receptive and able to learn. In a time where the half-life of any skill is about five years, leaders bear a responsibility to renew their perspective in order to secure the relevance of their organisation”. The authors say that we need leaders who offers learning as well as master fast learning themselves. “If work is learning and learning is the work, then leadership should be all about enabling learning”.

What is leadership?  It is a particular kind of decision-making-decisions a leader makes in guiding and motivating a group of people in responding to a group of people in responding to a particular set of circumstances. The circumstances may be immediate or they may be something the leader foresees in the future, but in either cases, there are choices to be made. ( My blog, What has the “Renewed Darwinian Theory” and The Four Drive Theory” to do with leadership ?)

Back to Mikkelsen and Jarche and their view on sensing; “Sense is how we personalise information and use it. Sensing includes reflection and putting into practise what we learn”. The authors makes us aware that this process is based on critical thinking based on weaving together our thoughts, experiences as well as impressions and feelings  where we make meaning of them. They suggest that by writing a blog post or writing down ideas we contextualize and reinforce our learning.

Francis P. Cholle has written the book; The Intuitive Compass. He illustrates how we can develop intuitive intelligence to navigate the natural tension that exists between reason and instinct. Cholle, describes four tenets of intuitive intelligence; thinking holistically, thinking paradoxically, noticing the unusual and leading by influence. Cholle; “By engaging in each, we can enrich our experience and understanding of personal and business issues that arise, and when we use all four, our capacity for innovation can grow tremendously”. (My blog, The intuitive leader)

Cholle, tells us that if we want to succeed in todays business world, leaders need to innovate, be open to embrace change and create new business approaches.

Noticing the unusual is one of the tenets and includes paying attention outwardly by seeing whats around us or we can pay attention inwardly by feeling whats inside us. We can choose to receive information in two ways, one of them is what makes logical sense, the other one is paying attention beyond the logical sense of what we can contemplate. (My blog, The intuitive leader)

In this article; 4 Ways to Become a Better Learner (Harvard Business Review by Monique Valcour,2015) the author talks about learning agility; “learning agility is the capacity for rapid, continuous learning from experiences. Agile learners are good at making connections across experiences and they’re able to let go of perspectives or approaches that are no longer useful- in other words, they can unlearn things when novel solutions are required. People with this mindset tend to be oriented toward learning goals and open to new experiences. They experiment, seek feedback, and reflect systematically”.

Many leaders are afraid of moving out of their comfort zone as well as missing out on key learning opportunities. In her article, Valcour talks about a research done by David Peterson (Director of executive coaching and leadership at Google)  which is based on steps to take to enhance your learning agility:

Ask for feedback. “Think of one or more people who interacted with you or observed your performance on a given task”. Make them aware of your interest in knowing how you did, and what you could improve for your next task.

Experiment with new approaches or behaviors. “To identify new behaviors for testing, Peterson recommends reflecting on a challenge you’re facing and asking yourself questions such as ‘What’s one thing I could do to change the outcome of the situation? And what will I do differently in the future’?

Look for connections across seemingly unrelated areas.

Peterson, suggest that we choose a domain we are good at and have expertise in, this domain has to be unrelated to your work. The key- element is to apply that knowledge to your current challenge. “Borrowing these principles, Peterson realized that he could extend his mastery of leadership development by seeking out a wide variety of leaders to coach, comparing leaders to each other on various qualities, and discussing leaders with other experts”.

Make time for reflection.

Reflecting on your work is important and boosts your learning significantly. Valcour; “To ensure continuous progress, get into the habit of asking yourself questions like ‘What have I learned from this experience’? and ‘What  turned out differently than I expected’?

Valcour, makes us aware that practicing these steps will help us to extract full learning from our experiences.

Let us take a look at Tichy’s thoughts about learning from experiences; “Winning leaders consciously think about their experiences . They roll them over in their minds, analyze them and draw lessons from them”. He makes us aware of how constantly leaders updates and refine their views as they get new knowledge and experiences. Tichy; “And they store them in the form of stories that they use not only to guide their own decisions and actions, but also to teach and lead others. When you hear leaders talk about their lives, you learn their teachable points of view”.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.           John C. Maxwell


Inger Lise E Greger, MSc in Change Management







Leaders Will To Simplify.

19 02 2015

Simplicity, simplicity ———        Henry David Thoreau

Complexity makes us confused, but simplicity makes us released.

We are all in the same boat and has a need to understand things without complications; a job, a paper, a loan, colleagues, a leader, communication and so on. The question is why we complicate things.

Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn has written the book; Simple, and conquering the crisis of complexity.

Authors; “A crisis of complexity has escalated to a critical point where a decision must be made. We either relinquish the power to understand and control what affects us, or we fight for a better, simpler way to conduct our daily affairs and our commercial transactions”.

Simplicity and clarity goes hand-in-hand, and has a clear intent that easily and quickly conveys its purpose of use.  Authors; ” With even greater magnification, you find that it’s about essence – cutting to what matters, delivering substantive content that seems to speak to an audience of one”.

The authors make us aware of the importance of removing barriers, both inside the company as well as removing barriers that separates the company from the outside world. This form of simplification requires breaking down walls inside the company.

A culture of simplicity seems to blossom in open cultures. People are able to communicate openly, both with insiders as well as those outside the company.

Authors; “Something has changed recently, however. People have begun to fight as never before for clarity, transparency, and fairness in their dealings with business and government. More and more are becoming simplicity warriors – without the need for a Nader-like leader. They’re doing it themselves, armed only with social media and a healthy sense of outrage”.

Those of us who has been in situations of receiving too much confusion for too long, are ready for a simplicity movement. Authors; “One of the great misconceptions about the complexity crisis is the belief that the people who made things so complicated – the bureaucrats, the technocrats, the lawyers – are the only ones who can get us out of this mess. But if we wait for help from those who’ve developed and fostered the confusion, we may be waiting a long time”.

Here the authors makes us aware of some important key-elements to use in simplifying:

-we can transform the way we do business

-we can reinvent the everyday practices and process plagued by complexity.

From his book; “On becoming a Leader”, Warren Bennis, has some interesting views on simplicity; “The universe may not be very complex, but it is, nevertheless, complex. And as I mentioned earlier, the social laws are more complex and less certain than the natural ones. But despite the complexity, we cannot stand still. We must continue to swing from tree to tree, although the trees may be ideas, and we may be using axons instead of arms to make the connections. We might want to take Alfred North Whitehead’s advice here; “Seek simplicity, then distrust it”.

Bennis is also saying that our culture is in need of more right-brain qualities like the needs to be more intuitive, conceptual, synthesizing and artistic.

Bennis; “In any corporation, managers serve as the left brain and the research and development staff serves as the right brain, but the CEO must combine both, must have both administrative and imaginative gifts. One of the reasons that so few corporate executives have successfully made the leap from capable manager to successful leader is that the corporate culture, along with society as a whole, recognizes and rewards left brain accomplishments and tends to discount right-brain achievements. Bottom – line thinking is a manifestation of left-brain dominance. Habits are born in the left brain and unmade in the right”.

When we connect with people, we have to speak their languages. Jargons are often used in companies and government where they speak in a language they understand and you don’t.

Siegel and Etzkorn; “This isn’t necessarily intentional, organizations get accustomed to using a kind of insider shorthand to communicate among themselves – no harm there. The problem occurs when internal jargon finds its way into external communication, which it inevitably and increasingly does. When this happens, companies are in effect talking to themselves in public”.

Here the authors makes us aware that the use of jargon is an important example of lack of empathy in cases when you fail to consider the frame of reference in how your message will be received.

Authors; “As a result, important messages can become lost in translation, making it impossible to reach across lines, connect, and collaborate”.

The authors, is questioning if a company is capable of transforming itself so that simplicity becomes part of its DNA. “The mission statement is only the beginning. Companies that embrace simplification must make sure that all of their communications and processes measure up to the highest standards of clarity”.

Here, the authors includes internal communication as well as the importance of external communication.

Back to Bennis; No leader sets out to be a leader. People set out to live their lives, expressing themselves fully. When that expression is of value, they become leaders”.

Bennis, makes us aware of how important it is to become yourself, to use yourself completely including your skills, gifts and energies if you want to make your vision manifest.

“So strike hard, try everything, do everything, render everything, and become the person you are capable of being”.

Hope is a waking dream——–-Aristotle

Written by

Inger Lise E Greger/MSc Change Management

Recommending ‘The Leader’s Workbook’

21 06 2011

Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals and values are in balance”.  Brian Tracy, US author

“Being a leader requires you to be continually on the alert for new opportunities, knowledge, and inspiration. People turn to you for these things, and you need to look for them, too”. Kai Roer

I got to know Kai through networking but has until today never met him in person even if it feels like I know him. When he asked me to do a review of his book, I was honored.

‘The Leaders Workbook’ catches the key – elements a leader need to be aware of in a simple an elegant way. Roer’s purpose of the book is to give you inspiration, ideas and to act as a catalyst to help you grow and develop as a leader. His book is structured in three parts: Lead yourself, Lead others and Lead organizations. Each part contains seven topics related to leadership.

Lead Yourself.

A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives”.  Henry Thoreau

In the part of leading yourself, the writer includes these seven topics as important: expectations, creating an impact with your presentations, networking for success, dare to make mistakes, find a mentor, develop your knowledge and physical and mental strength.

Expectations remains important, both for you as a leader and of course for your colleagues. Roer add: “As a leader, you are expected to motivate your team to reach the organizational goals defined”. The follow – up process to both your team and to your own progress is of importance. If you fail on your understanding of the various kinds of expectations from you as a leader, you may be a candidate of failure in your profession. “Knowing each others expectations removes tension from the group, and makes it so much easier to work together”.  For sure we all have expectations in different areas, and the challenge lies in how to handle them to ourselves and towards our colleagues.

William A. Cohen has written the book; ‘Drucker on Leadership’. Here is what Drucker meant about expectations: “Each manager from ‘big boss’ down to the production foreman or the chief clerk, needs clearly spelled out objectives……A statement of his own objectives based on those of the company and of the manufacturing department should be demanded even of the foreman on the assembly line”.

“Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information”. Peter Drucker

Creating an impact with your presentations. Our communication style and skills differs from person to person. In Roer’s view, many leaders dread public presentations and seem to forget that most of their job remains upon communication. Leaders who possesses good communication skills know how to use them wisely.

Networking to gain success. If you need help or are looking for advice in any way, a network may be a solution. The purpose of expanding our horizon is to gain knowledge, contacts and trust. Roer add: ” The more people you know, the more likely is it that you are the one who will know vital information before others. And the more diverse your network is, the more likely it will be that the information you get will create a more complete picture”.

Dare to make mistakes. We all make mistakes, that makes us grow. Mistakes are often related to being stupid or weak. Roer add: ” All the products we surround ourselves with are the results of innovation. Many are the results of a series of mistakes, until the inventor finally got it right”. He continue: ” And imagine how your organization is being held back if do not allow or accept – or do make room for – mistakes and errors”.

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way – unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from”  Alan Franken, US political commentator.

Find a mentor. We all need to develop and grow. A mentor is a resource and someone you can consult and trust with questions and challenges.

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be, tomorrow, where your thoughts take you”.  James Allen US author

Roer mention two kinds of mentors, long – term and short – term mentors. The long – term mentors makes you grow as a leader and person over time. When you have a particular challenge you use the mentor for short – term. “The moment one realizes the great value of these advisors, one starts to look for them”.

Develop your knowledge. Knowledge is of course the essence for any organization. You need to learn and share your knowledge. This is how Roer approaches knowledge: “No matter what kind of leadership you are conducting, you need fresh input, and you need new ideas to challenge your existing paradigms”.

Drucker was passionate about the importance of the use of knowledge. Cohen refers Drucker: “Todays top executives will increasingly work with different ideas and different cultures, speaking different languages, who have different ways of operating”. Drucker also meant that leaders needed to develop expertise in a totally new discipline,  something you are passionate about. He explain why he saw several advantages in this matter:

“Leaders would develop self – confidence in their ability to succeed in an entirely different field. Acquiring expertise simultaneously also offers a mental break from the pressure of concentrating on a single profession. The biggest breakthroughs frequently come not from inside a profession, but by applying something true in one profession but unknown in another”. By following his own advice, Drucker became an expert in Japanese art.

Physical and mental strength. Stress can be harmful for your body and soul, and we all know that being a leader can be a stressful task. You need to find ways in how to tackle the pressure. Roer add:”One of the most important methods to migrate stress is to take care of your main asset – you”.

Lead others.

Roer includes these seven topics: powerful questions, enthusiasm makes the day, motivate your team, celebrate your wins, handling conflicts, be a role model and be a mentor. Every topic is important but I have to chosen to talk of some.

Enthusiasm. Enthusiastic people has the ability to engage others. Why do these people stand out ? Roer add: “What sets these people apart is their passion. Passion for the topic, for their job, for everything they do. When you talk to them, they seem to be present – in the moment, focusing only on you and the conversation. It seems like they are able to connect with you somehow”.

Motivation. In our daily life we need food to survive, and as a leader you need to feed your colleagues with motivation if you want the organization to achieve its goals.

“Leaders have three ways to use emotions to address motivation in team members. By making our people feel that we understand their emotional issues, we can unlock seemingly hopeless situations. By actively contributing, we can fire up useful emotions in our people. And by developing our own authenticity as leaders, tearing off our emotional masks, we can help people engage with us”. Ref: Sebastien Henry,EQ and leadership in Asia.

Roer add: “As the leader, your focus is on creating as much motivation as possible from each one of your employees”. We are well aware of that criticism  kills motivation. “Research has shown that criticism removes motivation. Just remember the last time you got a negative comment – how did that make you feel ? The secret of motivation lies neither in being negative, nor overly positive – but in matching the tasks with the right skills”.

How do leaders motivate workers to achieve peak performance ? Cohen add: “Drucker said a leader must create a responsible worker, and suggested four ways to accomplish this task”

All of these four must be used to achieve the desired result:

Placing workers carefully. Putting people in the right jobs was a prerequisite to high motivation.

Demanding high standard of performance. This means work that engages and challenges their abilities and motivates them with high standards. “The idea that placing easier demands de – motivate workers and placing heavier demands motivates them seems counterintuitive, but it is how thing work”.

-Providing the worker with information needed. The worker should be given the information they need, whether they ask for it or not – to help them reach peak performance.

Encouraging managerial vision. “Drucker’s main reason for encouraging managerial vision had to do with workers seeing their work as contributing to the survival or success of the enterprise”.

Handling conflicts. Roer add: “If in a conflict situation, you have choices. And each choice you make can either intensify the conflict, or contribute to finding a solution”. Conflicts involves feelings and can lead to someone getting hurt.

“Conflicts is the perfect ground for emotions to grow and prosper. Emotional outbreaks in conflicts tend to fuel them in turn. It is easy to see emotions as troublemakers in a conflict. However, they can also be the keys for a way out that is satisfying for all parties”.  Ref: Sebastien Henry.

Here is what Roer say when approach emotional traps:”Avoid emotional traps, and try to understand the underlying causes of the conflict – is it simply a misunderstanding; is it a lack of information; is it a cultural clash ?” To handle and reduce conflicts, you have to surge for some keys. Roer add: “Use trust and respect as building blocks. Listen – instead of focusing only on making your own points. Another tip is to look for similarities and common grounds, instead of differences and gaps”.

How to be a role model. Leaders need to show their best if they want a healthy team. Roer add:”As a leader, your team and your organization is looking at you. They look at you, and to you, for advice on how to solve their everyday issues. They look at you even if they do not ask your opinions. And most importantly – they tend to look at you more than they listen to you”.

Drucker had very high ethical standards for all leaders. In his mind leaders were special people enrusted with special organizational and societal responsibilities. Still Drucker was aware leaders were human and sometimes erred and could not live up to the high standards expected from them. Some leaders failed their profession, organizations and the people they led, and society. Cohen add: “Some lost sight of the real goals expected of them and the reason they were in their positions of responsibilities. Other didn’t understand the implications of the responsibilities they had accepted, and put their own interests above those they led. Others were seduced by the power and the privileges that leadership brings”. To be open and transparent can also be a solution to avoid or reduce misunderstandings and conflicts. You don’t need to agree with the other person, but you can accept their different view on things.

Lead organizations. In Roer’s last part he includes these topics: Best practice  – for whom ?, measuring for good and for bad, what is your strategy ?, efficient production and mentor program to the rescue. All important and interesting and my focus is on best practice – for whom ? and mentor program.

 Best Practice – for whom ? It’s easy to be trapped into the same pattern. However if your organization want’s to move on, some changes are required. Roer add:”This is the very world in which we learn, teach and experience that if we want to succeed, we need to be innovative up in front and do things in new ways”.

“You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you”.  Brian Tracy, US author

Mentor program to the rescue. Mentor programs and the purpose, is to harvest the great knowledge in your organization. Roer add:”Using mentor programs can create a fluid learning organization where the employees tap into the knowledge and experiences that resides in their colleagues”.

This book’s intention is meant to inspire leaders to reflect on their leadership and their role, and by answering questions after each topic it gives you even more time to reflect and practice and to develop your leadership skills.

In my mind reading this book is well spent time and worth the effort. In addition – by buying this book you also support a great cause – to fight malaria.

The Leaders Workbook, Kai Roer

Inger Lise E. Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

The Challenge About Trust.

7 01 2015

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live —-Johan Wolfgang Goethe

“Can you trust a virtual avatar ? A Robot ?An unknown person on Facebook ? How trust works in a world of rapid technological advancement and virtual interaction — a world where the science of trust can be manipulated and used for good or ill”.

Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust —-James Cash Penney

‘The Truth About Trust’, is an interesting book about how we think about trust, but also how we understand, communicate and make decisions in every area of our life. Psychologist David De Steno, makes us aware of how trust influences us at every level and at every stage of life.

We all have the need to trust and be trusted. The writer makes us aware that the need to trust implies the fundamental fact, that we are all vulnerable. “The ability to satisfy your needs or obtain the outcomes you desire is not entirely under your control. Whether a business partner embezzles profits that doom your corporation, a spouse has an affair that wrecks your marriage, or a supposed confidant tweets a personal factoid that ruins your reputation, your well-being, like it or not, often depends on the cooperation of others”.

In trust we have great benefits and great risks. “We rely on it to find a path to success – a path that, for humans, often necessitates the cooperation, of others”.

De Steno, makes us aware that if we place trust the right way, it engenders success in learning, in intimate relationships , in building social networks, and, in reality, in most every interpersonal endeavour that requires joint action. However, placed incorrectly, failure awaits.

In communication, both verbal and nonverbal, the purpose is to pass information to someone else. “To understand why trust is different, consider the following. Imagine you possessed an easily detectable and unambiguous signal that indicated you were trustworthy – say a giant letter T on your forehead. What would happen ? Everyone, and I mean everyone, would want you as a partner. But with this popularity would come one big problem: many of those desiring to partner with you might not be trustworthy themselves. They’d know you’d be easy to exploit; unlike them, you’d always hold up your end of the deal. In the end, you’d lose everything you had, you’d be popular but poor”.

Body language is not always giving the signals we think it is. The author gives us an example of a person leaning away which indicates a hidden desire to avoid or otherwise distance oneself from an interaction partner. De Steno;”That may well be true at times. But if you’re looking to identify untrustworthy individuals based solely on body orientations, lots of people with bad backs are going to be labeled as threats”.

Good examples on how wrong we may perceive peoples body language. “A man feeling its leg thinks the elephant is a pillar. Another feeling its tail thinks it’s a rope. A third feeling it’s tusk thinks the elephant is a pipe. You get the idea”. Let us take a closer look on how the author explain; “If we’re not looking at cues as sets in a specific context, we’re likely to miss the forest for the trees. If we’re looking for trust in single micro-expressions or out of context, we won’t see it at all”.

The nonverbal behaviour mostly occurs outside our awareness which according to the  author, means that people are almost constantly emitting cues without knowing it. “And if they’re not aware they’re doing something, how in the world are we going to make them control it ? Training them to be aware doesn’t really work”.

Leaders who show trust to their people are in return trusted by them.

Through his book; On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis, makes us aware of the importance of trust between leaders and co-workers. “Leadership without mutual trust is a contradiction in terms. Trust resides squarely between faith and doubt”.

Bennis, tells us that leaders always have faith in themselves, their co-workers, their abilities as well as their mutual possibilities. “But leaders also have sufficient doubt to question, challenge, probe, and thereby progress. Bennis;”In the same way, his or her co-workers must believe in the leader, themselves, and their combined strength, but they must feel sufficiently confident to question, challenge, probe, and test too”. A primary task for every leader is to maintain that vital balance between faith and doubt, preserving that mutual trust.

De Steno, tells us that when we are being trustworthy, it is not only about being fair and honest when dealing with other people who is depending on you, it also involves being competent. Meaning from an evolutionary perspective, have the ability to know whether other people is capable of helping you, is as important as knowing whether or not they’ll choose to actually do it.

“Unlike signals related to fairness and loyalty, however, subtlety isn’t quite as important for signals of competence. Although broad casting a willingness to cooperate might be risky before you know whether a potential partner is similarly inclined, signalling competency poses no similar peril. To the contrary, the only purpose it serves is to demonstrate one’s desirability as a partner or leader upon whom others can rely”.

The question here is not about the pride and feelings of competence is doing for the people experiencing them, according to De Steno, it is about how these feelings send signals of trustworthiness to other people. “Wisdom comes from knowing when and why to rely on reason or intuition – from knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each. The case of trust is no different”.

True intuitive expertise is learned from prolonged experience with good feedback on mistakes —-Daniel Kahneman


Inger Lise E Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

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