Friday, January 30, 2009
respected – worthy of emulation? To help his organization and
people thrive? To be at the top of his game? To be THAT Leader?
“He that gives good advise builds with one hand. He that gives
good counsel and example builds with both. But he that gives
good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and
pulls down with another.” - Francis Bacon
We have seen and heard various opinions and polls of what’s
required to be such a Leader. But many were just touching on
traits more than anything else. Yes, Emotional Intelligence is
certainly the cornerstone in one’s leadership arsenal; however,
to move forward, we need to know the “How To’s.”
“Chance favours the prepared mind.” - Louis Pasteur
Remember, while “experience” is simply repetition brought about
by exposure; Leadership is just a matter of guts and opportunity.
Here now are the seven (7) fundamentals or things that you
“must” to do To Be THAT Leader…
1. Nurture Your Image.
2. Build Relationships.
3. Invest On Talents.
4. Cultivate Teamwork.
5. Create Wealth.
6. Steer The Company.
7. Shape The Future.
Some other aspects which you may be looking for may have been
incorporated into either one of the seven factors, so stay tuned;
As to better absorb the ACTIONs called for in developing these
components, we will break them down into pieces and serve them
in a series for you.
NURTURE YOUR IMAGE
People like winners. People wants to be associated with “giants.”
Thus, when you possess the qualities they envision in a leader, it
would be a lot easier for them to accept you as their superior; to
change what needs to be changed in their methods; and to
follow you as their guide.
Nurturing your image is like “self-promotion.” Nevertheless, doing
so is more than just looking sharp, it’s being sharp. This is projecting
a snappy and dignified yet approachable disposition.
It’s more than just wearing fine clothing; it’s keeping fit, clean, and
attractive. This means you got to exercise. Eat healthy. Have a
nice hair cut. Brush your teeth and get it fixed if necessary. Keep
your hair, hands and fingernails clean. Get an annual physical.
Take vitamins. Polish your shoes regularly. Avoid heavy cologne.
Have a good carriage. And don’t forget to “smile.”
It’s more than just having “executive” manners, it’s being sensitive
and considerate. Practice empathic listening. Be gentle yet firm.
It’s more than just owning a nice education, it’s about exhibiting
good decision-making and problem-solving skills. Join socio-civic
organizations. Serve your community. Assist during calamities
and help in the planning for crisis management.
It’s more than just experience, it’s having good work ethics and
creativity. Go the extra mile and trust your intuition. Keep in mind,
“imagination” is the mother of willpower, the key to achievement.
More so, nurturing your image would never be complete if you
can not grow your knowledge… and mind you, “leadership
knowledge” is more than just technical; it’s socio-economic,
cultural, environmental, linguistic, and updating your leadership
skills among others.
So, do research. Read. Study. Attend workshops. Practice.
Network. Be where the “action” is, if not in person, at least on
the web. Open your eyes and ears. Increase your awareness
around you and across the globe. Be of help.
And since we deal with people, harness your communication,
presentation, and public speaking skills. Grab every opportunity
to utilize it, if not, find ways. Teach in schools or even Sunday
schools. Coach. Train. Join clubs. And soon, you’ll be a “force”
to reckon with.
“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon
way, you’ll command the attention of the world.”
- George Washington Carver
Finally, nurturing your image requires you to regularly monitor
yourself; to adjust what needs to be adjusted; and to make sure
you never stop at a standstill.
See, Leaders never stop learning instead they continuously seek
ways to improve themselves. They are never a sitting duck.
“I wasn't satisfied just to earn a good living.
I was looking to make a statement.” - Donald Trump
Your Image determines your potential as THAT Leader.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
many books and articles written about it. So, many of us would
innocently ask, “Why do we have to keep writing about it? Haven’t
we mastered the art of handling conflicts yet?”
“The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for
which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual
power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Well, on deeper thought, I believe people don’t or never read those
books or articles… while those who have read it, never applied it;
others, point to change. And so, they never learned how to deal
with conflicts. On the other hand, those who applied it have already
passed away... or, the book has simply been forgotten or damaged
by time. With that, books and articles not just about “conflict” but
almost everything continue to be written to date, even rehashed,
to remind us all that…
COOPERATION is a vital cog to success… people needs people.
Good relationships are key in and out of the corporate world…
without it, we can not achieve success and happiness. We are all
aware of this, after all, “no man is an island.” Yet also because of
these interactions, we run into a gamut of cobwebs… and some,
sadly end up in broken ties.
And so, we now come to “conflict resolution”… again.
Let’s dig into the roots of the matter…
Why do discords happen? How does it start? What are the signs
of such? Is it always destructive? When is it destructive and when
is it constructive? What are the conditions fostering conflict? How
do we minimize, divert, manage, control, avoid and resolve it?
And finally, how do we then strengthen relationships?
Understand, there’s many reasons to why discords happen.
Nevertheless, some of the causes of conflict are when individuals
or groups do not get what they need or want… sometimes due to
differences in values or lack of knowledge… varying expectations,
responsibility issues, or just being judgmental… competition, power
struggles or simply seeking their own interests… sometimes they just
unconsciously speak or act out their own desires… sometimes it’s
sectoral in nature… and sometimes, it merely stems from one’s
feeling of superiority for whatever reason.
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find
disorder and every evil practice… Peacemakers who sow in
peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” -James 3:16, 18
A Leader can maintain a low-conflict setting within the organization
by being aware of the elements of conflict and the conditions
fostering it. Let’s examine.
Factors that predispose individuals to engage in unnecessary conflicts:
· Poorly defined jobs, tasks responsibilities and range of authorities.
· Prior history of conflict between two or more people of groups.
· Interdepartmental relationships that frequently place members at cross purposes; traditional adversary relationships.
· Unreasonable levels of pressure and pace in the organization.
· Severe economic downturn that jeopardizes the job security of organization members.
· Overly competitive climate fostered by top management and managers at various levels.
· Favoritism shown by managers.
· Primitive, accusative, or threatening style.
Now, conflict between people usually follows a series of stages, let’s see:
· People want something but run into someone who disagrees them or obstructs their progress.
· Both parties feel frustrated because they can’t do or get what they want.
· They explain their frustration by blaming each other.
· They feel angry and do or say things based on how they have come to interpret what happened.
· Both parties react, and the conflict escalates.
· Someone perceives that the conflict could get out of hand and initiates a way to manage it. Here’s where conflict management skills is needed. And several techniques may be used. (National Press Publications)
Here, Kenneth Thompson identified five COMMON methods for
managing a conflict situation; then asked CEOs which approach
they used. He found that they used all five, but each under
different circumstances. Following are the methods and when to
use them. When a conflict arises, use the approach that best fits
1. Insist upon your preference – be dominating and forceful:
· In an emergency when quick, decisive action is vital.
· On important issues – when unpopular actions need implementing, when cutting costs, or when enforcing strict rules or disciplinary measures.
· On issues vital to the organization’s welfare when you are very sure that you’re right.
· With people who take advantage of others’ consideration.
2. Giving in and accommodating the other person:
· When you may be wrong, to give way to a better position or to show how reasonable you are.
· When issues are much more important to others than to you to satisfy them and to maintain cooperation.
· To build up social credit so you can request reciprocation in the future.
· To minimize loss when you are out-matched and losing.
· When harmony and goodwill are especially important.
· To help team members grow by permitting them to go ahead and make a mistake and learn from it.
3. Create a trade-off or suggest a mutual compromise:
· When your opponent has equal power and you both are committed to mutually exclusive goals.
· To achieve temporary settlements to complex issues.
· To arrive at an expedient solution when you’re under time pressure.
· When your goal is important but not worth the effort of being more assertive with the resistant person.
4. Just avoid or postpone a conflict:
· When an issue is trivial or more important issues are pressing.
· When you see no chance of things going your way.
· When potential disruption outweighs the benefits of pursuing the matter.
· To let people cool down and gain perspective.
· When someone else is in a better position to resolve the conflict.
· When the issue is minor or symptomatic of deeper problems.
5. Generally, the best method for managing conflict is to collaborate, to create a “win-win” or an integrative solution that satisfies both parties:
· When both sets of concerns are too important to be compromised.
· To merge insights of people with different perspectives.
· To gain long-term commitment by reaching genuine consensus among everyone involved.
· When feelings that have built up during the conflict need to be worked through before a satisfactory agreement can be reached.
Building a successful and effective working team is not without its
challenges and failures, but the effort will reap many rewards for
your company. We have to learn, apply and pass on to the next
generation our “genuine” desire for harmony. Yes, so many pages
have already been written…
Still, in the end, if we really get to the roots of disagreements, the
solution is really “simple”… COMMUNICATION. We have to open
the lines and express ourselves. Just trust your intuition this time.
Any relationship problem, any, professional or “personal”, can be
fixed and strengthened through “sincere” interaction. Therefore,
speak respectfully and listen empathically… be “selfless” not Selfish.
Always use the team’s goal as your guide. And compromise if it’s
the best way.
“Every line a man writes, and every act in which he indulges, and
every word he utters serves as unescapable evidence of the
nature of that which is deeply imbedded in his own heart, a
confession that he can not disavow.” – Napoleon Hill
With this, Leaders should encourage their people to personally
do their share towards attaining and maintaining a harmonious
environment, full of cooperation and brotherly love. One should
be reminded to acquire everything he needs in the fulfillment of
his main purposes in life, without violating the rights of his fellow
men. This then would minimize, if not, avoid disharmony but
Consider a spiritual transformation. Inspire by walking where the
Great men have walked. More than the known corporate
guidelines for settling conflicts, use the following instead:
· HUMILITY… To divert or minimize discords.
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.” - Proverbs 11:2
“Congratulate yourself when you reach that degree of
wisdom which prompts you to see less of the weaknesses
of others and more of your own. For you will then be
walking in the company of the really great.”
~ Napoleon Hill
· TRUTHFULNESS… To anticipate or avoid disputes.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you
free.” - John 8:32
Remember, conflicts could only be settled if we Speak the
TRUTH about our needs, etc… and learn to listen as well.
· GOLDEN RULE… To control or avoid differences.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have
them do to you…” - Matthew 7:12
Here, it’s all about consideration of others which is crucial
to cooperation, the underlying element to a “win-win”
· LOVE... To manage and solve disagreements.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace
with everyone… if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he
is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you
will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome
by evil, but overcome evil with good.” - Rom. 12:18, 20-21
And keep in mind, Love isn’t complete if we can’t forgive.
Let’s listen before we speak… and look before we act. Be Helpful.
What we sow is what we reap, ultimately, we get what we deserve.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
If we look at the title alone, some may think that this is about religion… or that we're mixing religion with business… and then would begin to ask themselves, “What does God have to do with leading?”
or… “Isn’t it ‘weakness’ to associate God with human endeavour?”
“If one man gains spiritually, the whole world gains with him,
and if one man fails, the whole world fails to that extent.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Now, we are here not to make a sermon; but notice, there has been
no end to scientific studies to prove one thing or another… but only
to start again. It’s not simply about evolution but it’s one proof that
a Supreme Being exists… and Who is the source of everything.
Hence, to associate God with human endeavour is not a “weakness”
but strength in the form of Humility. This is accepting that in spite of
our intelligence… in spite of our experience… in spite of our skills and
abilities… we can not control everything. This is accepting that we
need help to overcome and guidance to do what is right…not just
for ourselves, but for others and for those whom we lead.
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without the Bible.”
~ George Washington
However, to many, “humility” may seem an odd word because it
implies a cringing self-abasement quite at odds with self-confidence,
even egoism, which marks many leaders. Yet not so, when you
translate it into terms of task, team, and individual.
Think about this…
Humility is equated with “Love,” the most powerful emotion in the
universe. And “love” can be a motivator, an inspiration. So we see,
“humility” in Leadership is a quality only Great leaders possess.
See, “power” corrupts and tends to create greedy, prideful, and
impatient people. This is why leaders need to earn their followers
trust and cooperation.
As in all of history, leaders who were selfish… who worked only for
their personal agenda… who never really cared for others, never
really attained “true” greatness.
We must realize that Leadership is about sharing our vision and
getting the cooperation of others; not by dragging them, but by
pointing at the “star”… that’s what would make one Great.
“No man can become a Great Leader of men unless he has the milk
of kindness in his own heart, and lead by suggestion and kindness
rather than by force.” - Napoleon Hill
Followers need to know that by following, they would stand to benefit.
As in karma, “what we plant is what we harvest.”
Followers need to know that they are following a Leader who can be
“trusted,” who would listen to them empathically; that they are
following a Leader who upholds justice and integrity; and that they
are following a Leader who would stand up for them specially in
times of need.
“…I have a dream… will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
tyrants yet they have the courage to say “no” when matters would
affect the team’s welfare and goals. Such Leaders are concerned
with the growth of their members and gives them credit for it.
S/he is not afraid of responsibility, failure or criticism, but looks
forward to changing the harsh desert into a habitable tundra.
“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant
of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made
it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining
years of my life in your hands.” - Nelson Mandela
Some leaders might argue, if selfless service is a key strand, are we
then “giving away” our authority?
My charge is… didn’t Nelson Mandela even affirmed his authority by
becoming the next South African president after the elections?
Well, not all leaders deserve their authority as most are either
unjust, self-seeking, or simply scared to use it. Nonetheless, many
acquire their authority by appointment, though Greater power comes
from having the confidence of your people through your vision…
fuelled by your uprightness, resolution, and compassion.
“Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.
Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against
love.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
While different cultures view and accept Leadership and Authority
differently, Adaptability, again through humility and wisdom, would
serve you well.
“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles
himself will be exalted.” - Matthew 23:12
at any given time. It’s about considering others in your journey while
not losing sight of that “star.” Don’t force your way, but understand
the heart before asking for the hand.
“Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask if your
next act will be of any use to him.” - Mahatma Gandhi
Understand, we are all brothers on earth… and we are all in this
together, with hopes and aspirations. So, don’t cut off that hope,
instead help each other to succeed.
Their success is your success, too. WE WILL MAKE IT.
“The Greatest among you will be your Servant.” - Matthew 23:11
Friday, January 2, 2009
Do you think your present organizational structure is enough in your
drive towards the future? Have you ever thought of opening
positions for Leaders who could give your organizations a “futuristic”
perspective? And what could be their skills and attributes?
Let us first explore these necessities…
While we all know that we can not possibly know everything about
the future, one of the main guides to the future are “trends”; or
anticipating what comes NEXT after the NEXT one comes along.
Like IQ, it’s like sequencing. How far one could see gives an
impression on one’s potential for creating the future.
This is one reason why Great Leadership and High IQ correlate well
as even pointed out in the book, “Executive Intelligence.”
Still, IQ alone is not enough.
Leaders need a great degree of Emotional Intelligence, specially
in times of economic instability to overcome any kind of difficulty.
As the saying goes…
“Adversity does not create Leaders, it reveals them.”
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out,
how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in a safe country,
how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan.” - Jeremiah 12.5
What about Education?
Well, what is “education” anyway?
“Education is that which remains,
if one has forgotten everything one learned in school.” - Albert Einstein
Come to think of it then, “education” can be offset by IQ.
“The difference between great and ordinary leaders is rarely formal
intellect but insight. The great man understands the essence of the
problem – the ordinary leader grasps only the symptoms.
The great man focuses on the relationship of events to each other –
the ordinary leader sees only a series of seemingly disconnected events.
The great man has a vision of the future which enables him to place
obstacles into perspective: the ordinary leader turns pebbles in the
road into boulders.” - Henry Kissinger
How about Experience?
And what about “experience”?
“Experience is as to intensity not duration.” - Thomas Hardy
See, for those who have not realized, Experience is simply repetition.
Kindly see my blog “Secrets To Mastering YOUR Field” (10.22.08).
As we can see, all “experience” does is make a habit out of one’s
engagement… it’s good ONLY when “everything” is certain.
Therefore, it would be potentially disastrous to take “experience”
on face value.
As Deming says, “Experience teaches nothing without theory.”
Yet the growing of knowledge in this case can quickly fill up the “jar”
and turn to mediocrity IF NOT applied with Creative Thinking.
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my Imagination.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” - Albert Einstein
With these qualifications taken into account, we now come up with
the Executives of Tomorrow and their “basic” job descriptions.
CRITICAL EXECUTIVE OFFICER (C2)
- Could be an “outsider” or chosen from among the board of directors.
- Would act as a “direct” adviser to the CEO with a fixed term of 3 years before returning to the board; if s/he is an “outsider”, s/he would be given a special seat at the board after a satisfactory tenure.
- Would make sure the organization is on track by doing the unpopular for productivity; fact-based decision making in favor of “getting along”; and if spotted, declaring that there IS an elephant in the room (Al Henry) without worry of being “fired” (or humiliated) unless proven irresponsibly using his/her position.
- Would take the lead in “Leadership Building”… includes identifying, hiring, investing, developing or retaining Leaders; as well as organizational conflict/crisis management and the promotion of synergy.
VP – GLOBAL AFFAIRS
- Could be an “outsider” or chosen from within the organization.
- Would be responsible for the socio-economic, environmental, political, and cultural affairs of the organization, internationally.
- Would take the lead in “Relationship Building”... among various organizations and internationally.
VP – INNOVATION
- Could be an “outsider” or chosen from within the organization.
- Would be responsible for long-term, new product and/or service development… for inventing new appropriate business models to meet changing customer scenarios (Jayashree Patnaik) for the long-term… and for advancing creativity.
- Would take the lead in “Talent Pooling”… being unconventional, s/he is expected to recognize REAL talent, leaders or creative thinkers (regardless of age, education, nationality, experience, etc.) better than anyone in the organization; therefore, would identify, hire, train, retain or recommend Talents for better positions.
All three Executives would be “status quo free”, options to succeed
a replaceable CEO, and would have a hand in Corporate Strategy,
giving the organization different futuristic angles to work on.
“Sustainable, profitable growth will not be the product of a deal…
it will be the product of foresight and foresight will not be the product
of perspicuity… but unconventional, out-of-the-box thinking.
Leaders will need to build themselves and their organizations to
develop innovation, foresight, and out-of-the-box thinking.
If we had this skill today, we perhaps would not have gotten into
this financial crisis at all.” - Nitin Kumar
Courage, confidence… are signs of Strong Leadership; and
that would do well for the future.
And again, as Nitin Kumar logically suggests in my LinkedIn question,
“Who Are The Leaders Of Tomorrow?”
Leaders will need to build a belief that the best way to win is to re-write
the rules, be unafraid to challenge orthodoxy, be more inclined to
build than cut, be more concerned with making a difference, be
absolutely committed to shaking out the future first and execute on
these beliefs and values. There will be no room for people who want
to follow the status quo and this is going to be a paradigm shift from
the traditional leadership which is set to follow set rules.
This transformation in itself is going to be a much more complex
change management and will be painful, but organizations will build
resilience and adaptability as some of this unfolds.
"You can not manage change;
you can only be ahead of it." - Peter Drucker
Tomorrow's Executives won’t just sit at the office but CREATES THE FUTURE.