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

Author

Inger Lise E Greger, MSc in Change Management

https://inger-lise.net/page/2/

 

 

 

 

 

 





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

Writer,

Inger Lise E Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

https://inger-lise.net/page/2/





Understanding Moral Intelligence and Values.

16 01 2014

In our lives we have chosen our own moral compass.

In our world we meet with people from different cultures and values.

In organizations people with different needs and values has to work and relate to each other. Organizations will not survive the test of time without strong values.

Leaders who actively apply moral values to achieve enduring success, makes their companies great. “For today’s leaders, it is even more clear that moral competence is not a nice to have , it is a must have”.

Compassion is the basis of morality.     Arthur Schopenhauer.

Through my reading of the book; Moral Intelligence, my eyes opened towards the importance of a leaders responsibility and understanding of the people in the organizations. However, we should not take for granted that every leader is capable of understanding moral intelligence, but those who do and involves has a passion for their people show’s their ability of being moral intelligent.

About the authors of this important book; Doug Lennick, works as CEO of Lennick Aberman Group, in addition he works directly with the CEO of Ameriprise Financial, retaining the EVP title and focusing on workforce culture and performance.

Fred Kiel, PH.D; often called ‘father of executive coaching’ because of his pioneering work is cofounder of KRW, International, Inc. He has 30 year’s experience with Fortune 500 executives on building organizational effectiveness through leadership excellence.

The third contributing author; Kathy Jordan who is a psychologist, coach, writer, editor and consultant highly regarded for her inventive and practical approaches to managing strategic change and enhancing business performance.

Moral intelligence is the key-element through this book and the authors show how greater moral intelligence can lead to higher trust and engagement, but also retention and innovation.

Author’s; “The best leaders think we, not I “. They are quite simply, good people who consistently  tap into their inborn disposition to be moral. They follow a moral compass – even when it’s tempting not to”. Also they believe in honesty and see themselves and others. These great leaders are capable of sharing common moral values. ” They show compassion for their fellow humans and know how to forgive others – and just as important – themselves”.

When the author’s are talking about moral intelligence, they describe it as new for the playing field. “Just as emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence are different from one another, moral intelligence is another distinct intelligence”. Moral intelligence describes our personal values, goals, and actions.

Leaders need to be aware of what the author’s call differentiating competencies. Moral intelligence and emotional intelligence are two types of intelligence. The challenge to many corporate leaders is to understand these ‘soft skills’ and see the differentiating.

Daniel Goleman’s books on emotional intelligence, makes us aware of the importance of emotional skills to corporate leaders.

From his book; Focus, The Hidden Driver of  Excellence, Goleman say; ” Empathy in its many forms from simple listening to reading the paths of influence in an organization, shows up more often in leadership competence studies. Most of the competencies for high – performing leaders fall into a more visible category that builds on empathy: relationship strengths like influence and persuasion, teamwork and cooperation, and the like”.

Goleman makes us aware of the importance on managing ourselves and sensing how what we do affects others.

The authors from the book; Moral Intelligence, makes us aware of four principles they think are important and vital for sustained personal and organizational success: integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness.

Integrity.

The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.   Zig Ziglar

Integrity is a key-element of a morally intelligent person, on the other hand, if we lack integrity we lack moral intelligence by definition. We are focused on doing what we know is right.

The integrity competencies include; acting consistently with principles, values, and beliefs. Telling the truth.  Standing up for what is right, and keeping promises.

Telling the truth and leading with openness and honesty in organizations, includes defining reality under challenging circumstances. “When times are tough, leaders need to tell the truth while providing people with real reasons for hope and optimism”.

To be open and honest includes also, performance, the painful truth and standing up for what is right, and keeping promises is of huge importance and proves that we can be trusted to do what we tell to do. Author’s;” Keeping promises usually requires assistance from a few emotional competencies – the self-awareness to recognize the inconsistency between our intentions and actions and the self-control to adopt disciplined work habits that enable us to keep our promises”.

Another important key-element in trust is to honore confidence. The privacy of others is confident and the leader has a big responsibility to keep it that way. Author’s;”When leaders betray confidences, they lose more than the respect of their work associates. They also dry up valuable sources of information because their employees and colleagues learn to withhold sensitive information from a loose-lipped leader”.

Responsibility.

The difficulty we have in accepting responsibility for our behavior lies in the desire to avoid the pain of the consequences of that behavior.    M. Scott Peck

Responsibility includes; taking responsibility for personal choices, admitting mistakes and failures, and embracing responsibility for serving others.

Glenn Lopis, is a contributor for Forbes and writes about leadership, he say; “Leaders that are self-aware, are clear about their identity and expectations, have the backs of others and can be trusted – they are the ones we instinctively gravitate towards”.

Leaders need to take responsibility for their personal choices and accept that they are accountable for the results of the choices they make. Author’s; “Responsibility is a radical competency because it requires that we accept personal responsibility for everything that we do, even though we each live in a complicated world where bosses, family members and friends all exert pressure on us to act in certain ways”.

If you want to be respected as a leader it includes the willingness to take responsibility when things go wrong. An organization that does not tolerate mistakes, are not showing responsibility. Author’s; “First, admitting personal mistakes helps an organization be healthier in several ways. If you admit you screwed up, this will prevent someone else from being blamed for your mistake . Second,  admitting mistakes creates a bond with other employees who feel that you are more approachable by virtue of your admission of fallibility. Third, if you can admit mistakes, it gives a strong signal of tolerance to the organization,  we all make mistakes”.

Embracing responsibility for serving others.

Glenn Lopis; “The most memorable leaders give you the time that they don’t always have. They recognize that their employees need attention and will find a way to make the time to listen to their concerns and provide insights to the situation at hand”.

If you want employees to be happy and give their knowledge to the organization, leaders need to serve them. Author’s; “Imagine how your employees will respond  if you consistently demonstrate that your primary leadership job is to help employees accomplish their own goals”.

Compassion and Forgiveness.

Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.    Confucius

A leader who cares about their employees makes them grow and are helping them achieving their goals. Glenn Lopis; “The leaders that are most grateful for your hard work and efforts will be the most memorable”.

The forgiveness competencies includes, letting go of one’s own mistakes, and letting go of other’s mistakes. Here, the author’s makes us aware of these two forgiveness competencies frequently considered “mirror competencies”, because they are clearly closely related. Author’s; “Some of us are much better at forgiving ourselves than others and vice versa. Many of us are hard on ourselves because of perfectionism. We can let go of other’s mistakes but hold on to our own, sometimes we are our own worst critics”.

Here the author’s makes it clear that effective leaders know that letting go of mistakes – their own and others – clears the way for better future performance.

If we cannot forgive it is impossible to relate to the people in organizations as well as in the private zone.

The moral leader are able to see the good things in people. Author’s; “Even though people are not perfect, and even though they make mistakes, most people have good intentions”.

Moral leaders are good motivators. “Moral leaders accelerate and enhance high performance by actively encouraging everyone in the organization to apply their moral principles to their individual actions while also creating organization – wide policies practices, and reward systems based on moral values”.

About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.      Ernest Hemingway

Author, Inger Lise E Greger/Master of Science in Change Management

https://inger-lise.net/page/2/








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