Monday, August 31, 2009

The Altruistic Leader... Part III

In our past issues, we realize that without altruism, a Leader would
be next to infamous. Too bad? Well, we should then know that
Mom was right, learn to share your blessings with others. That even
a line from a superhero “movie” made sense, with great power
comes great responsibility.

All these are seriously a matter of putting words into action. Even
as the Holy Bible says…

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need
but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear
children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and
on truth.” - 1 John 3:17-18

Ok, some of you may not be Christians and it is with reference to
the Bible… but does that mean that you should not take pity and
do good to others? See, altruism is not about religion. We are
talking of values here. After all, we are all on earth together.

Let’s take a quick look at leadership and values. Note that the
original three-circles model (task, group, and individual) spoke only
about needs. But it is impossible to keep values out of the picture,
even if anyone wanted to do so. That is why the behavioural
sciences, which properly attempt to be value-free, can not cover the
whole ground. You have values as well as needs and they play
a vital part in your decisions.

Actually, the relationship of values and needs is very close… we
need what we value; we value what we need. But they are different.
Good and bad, truth and falsehood, right and wrong, profit and loss,
are not needs but they do affect conduct.

You may think this is a philosophical point, not a practical one; but
the “best” Leaders have something of the philosopher in them. So,
as a Leader, you will have to show awareness of the values of the
common enterprise and interpret them for people both inside the
group and outside it. That is why true leadership has an inescapable
moral, or even spiritual, dimension. Without it you can become a
good leader in the technical sense of the word… but not necessarily
be a leader for good.

Where does this leadership and values bring us then?
That efficiency in leadership greatly lies in understanding the
relationship between needs and values. That what you do in the
outside world is reflective of what you do in the inside. You can not
forever hide an elephant nor can you forever hide a good painting…
unless you destroy it, but really, you simply can not.

We reap what we sow.

If we are compassionate then we get compassion as well. Charity
is more effective if we teach one how to fish… not just give a fish.
It’s about giving the necessary assistance… not spoon-feeding.
It’s about understanding the situation… not judging the person.

If your connection needs a job, he is not giving you a burden…
but he is offering you his services… his expertise.

If you wish to be the Best Leader that you can be, then you should
be able to see beyond what your current situation is and how to fit
your connection’s expertise with your objectives. This means, you
should be able to see his application with Great Vision.

Leadership is a matter of opportunity. Opportunity is a chance to
show one’s ability. More than just strategizing and decision-making,
Leadership Ability speaks greatly of one’s people skills.
People skills is nothing without empathy.
Empathy is never a weakness, it is what gives you dedication
from your followers.

Can a Leader be without values?
Only if he is a tyrant.

Altruism echoes through time.

"Altruism is the common denominator of Jesus, Gandhi, King to name a few.”

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Altruistic Leader... Part II

Previously, we delved into what altruism is; and confirmed that
indeed, altruism is an essential trait of a True Leader. For as we
know, a Leader can not keep pushing his agenda instead of a vision
that is beneficial to all, while neglecting his people on the other end.

What will happen then? A leader would lose his men to sickness,
betrayal or rebellion that would affect shared objectives in the long

To lead is not only to know where you are going, but to be aware
of your back as well.

This calls for relationship building subtly incorporated in a Leader's
people skills.

Making Time To Lead
If I am to achieve a relationship with my colleagues which enables
us all to give our best, there needs to be a limit to the number which
directly report to me. A need to identify necessitates on both sides
the giving of time. Time to understand the other person, find out
what makes him tick, what are his strengths and weaknesses and
whether there are short cuts in getting through to that person for the
purpose of getting things done effectively. One of the great benefits
of a well established relationship is that it reduces the need for
lengthy dialogue although it does not and never should eliminate
regular briefing sessions.

Regrettably, we do not always have the time or, worse still, find the
time to get to know many of our colleagues well enough to exercise
this advantage. Leadership necessitates a two way acceptance of
a special relationship; it has to be built on mutual trust and respect
but it involves also a complex matrix of skills and sensitive
perceptions, perhaps the most important of all, listening and hearing;
the two are not necessarily synonymous. If I had to summarize what
leadership means to me, it would be the understanding and sharing
of a common purpose... without that, there can not be effective
leadership. (Ann Mansell, Texales Ltd. - CEO)

Mind you, we are dealing with people with feelings not robots. Yet,
a Leader does not necessarily have to drink with the gang. Getting
tipsy with anyone connected to his company is a sign of weakness.
It shows out of control.

Better still, treat all people as special. As Jeffrey J. Fox suggested,
excellent leaders make people feel that they...

... are asked, not questioned...
... are overpaid, not underpaid...
... are measured, not monitored...
... are people, not personnel...
... are sold on what to do, not told...
... are instrumental, not instruments...
... are workers, not worked...
... are contributors, not costs...
... are needed, and heeded.

See, people skills would not be as effective without sincerity. While
sincerity is seen in how naturally you practice altruism. And genuine
altruism echoes outside your organization onto your friends, business
associates and of course, your network connections.

Certainly, if you want to push your career or business to your
satisfaction... it would do well to apply generosity like rays of the sun.
As we call it in business... "word of mouth"; and this is how to build a
successful career or understanding. It all starts with genuine altruism.

Again, why did you network? For further collaboration?

That's fine... but then, the future starts now.

If you wait for the "perfect" time, for the "perfect" new product, for
conditions to be just right, you will never get started. Realize that
even the greatest of companies and products have been improved
since their beginning. Do not let "perfect" be the enemy of "better."

Procrastination ruins the path to success.

Your legacy begins with what you can do for others... NOW.

"Altruism builds trust. Trust ignites cooperation. Cooperation powers ACHIEVEMENT."

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Altruistic Leader...

As a Leader, you are generally expected to have supporters or
subordinates; but as Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General
of the United Nations said...

"Your position never gives you the right to command. It only
imposes on you the duty of so loving your life that others can
receive your orders without being humiliated."

This is what a Leader is all about empathy... Altruism.

Do you still remember how you became a Leader? The struggles
you had to go through and all before arriving at what you are now?
Or some of you might want to say, "but I have never struggled,
I was always on top."

Well, although it's quite unthinkable, good for you then.

"A man's success is made up of failures because he experiments
and ventures everyday, the more he falls he gets, moves faster
on... I have heard that in horsemanship, he is not the good rider
who never was thrown, but rather that a man will never be a good
rider until he is thrown; then he will not be haunted any longer
by the terror that he shall tumble, and will ride whether he is
bound." - Emerson

Thus, failure can be your best teacher. It can also give you the
priceless gift of humility. As the Vice President of an American
Company once said, "I have had enough success to keep me
from despair, and enough failure to keep me humble."

Why did failure come to the picture when the issue is
about Altruism?

For nobody knows what will exactly happen to the future? And
with that in mind, our security really depends on our dealings
with others. if we act with "altruism" now then one day when we
need help... help will come knocking.

We have to give in order to receive.

Empathy is expected of good Leaders within the organization.
However, a wise man knows that he should not put all the eggs
in one basket; otherwise, growth would be limited and even
failure looms what with the uncertainty of business.

Altruism should then be extended outside of your working
environment onto your business connections.

See, if you can not show care to your connections, don't you
think you are just indrectly deceiving them? Oh my, how? Why?

First, why did you connect with them when there really would not
be anything going between you? Second, you deceived your
connection in a way that all you wanted was to learn or get
something from them without compensating.

Wait a minute.

Compensating? Do we have to pay to make friends or connect?
Everything has a price... but it's not exactly what you think it is
between friends for this compensation comes in the form of a
mutually beneficial connection. Meaning, you help each other in
whatever way possible.

Realize that there is really no sincerity in connecting if all you want
is simply to fill up your database. Sincerity is present only when
you understand that both parties have wants or needs to be met...
and are willing to do something about it.

"Think of the poorest person you have ever seen and ask if
your next act will be of any use to him." - Mahatma Gandhi

If this article has succeeded, it should have given you at least
some glimpses of what that "subtle and unmistakable touch of
love" means within the context of Leadership.

"Altruism is exercising compassion to others and enhancing power to your future."

Monday, August 10, 2009

Job Hunting Leaders... Part III

"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow."
- Woodrow Wilson

We heard of luck. We heard of preparation. Now, let us deliberate
on the most vital ingredient a Leader needs to succeed...

When we say connections, what comes to your mind?
People, of course... but these are no ordinary people, these are
those who share at least some of your philosophies; therefore,
these are the people that could help you, in as much as, you could
help them.

"How come when I want a pair of hands
I get a human being as well?" - Henry Ford

People need people.

Remember we can not simply rely on luck. We got to create our
own luck through good planning. And we can only get cooperation
through sincere and open communication and having the integrity
to return the favor.

As we know, people are not in business to lose money, hence,
trust is key. Even good friends are good friends because of that trust.

Understand that having connections is power, but this power is
only made manifest again... through cooperation. Bill Gates would
have had a tougher time without Paul Allen. Business does not
even need to start big, Stanford engineers William Hewlett and
David Packard started HP in 1939 with only US$538 in a Palo Alto
garage. We just need to connect. No man is an island.

"Jack was out kissing babies while I was out passing bills.
Someone had to mind the store." - Lyndon B. Johnson

Think about this, if Jesus did not have disciples, Christianity would
not have grown to what it is today. We just need a partner, a friend...
a connection to help us turn the wheels, to get job opportunities or
to succeed in whatever endeavor.

We have heard of the famous saying...
"Attitude plus Aptitude determines your Altitude."

Nonetheless, preparation would be useless without opportunity
as performance is the result of this opportunity.

"Far and away, the best price that life offers is the chance to
work hard at work worth doing." - Theodore Roosevelt

However, opportunity more than timing, which is actually luck if
you really think about it, is highly dependent on connections.
Yet, how do we unlock the power of connections?

People skills.

People skills is not about sweet talking. Sweet talking is deceitful
and consumes one's integrity. And even with a good opportunity,
it can only make so many promises but one... to deliver.

"You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and
get all kinds of press... but if you don't deliver the goods,
people will eventually catch on." - Donald Trump

Promises are not made to be broken... Your future is at stake.

We do not sweet talk people, but use sincerity at all times...
it is the primary element of great people skills. Thus, realize that
people skills is a mix of your sweeping charisma, sound character
and empathic communication skills.

You want business? You want a job?

Unleash that power! Be sincere. Be unselfish. Be of service.
Consequently, the power of connections could only be unleashed
through great people skills.

Yes, it is a small world but you do not need to be greedy, worried or
sceptical. Greed is only for the insecure; scepticism is for the
incompetent; while worry will just wear down your ability to succeed.
Have Faith. There is something good for everybody.

This is not just your world, it's our world...

See, you maybe successful now, but who exactly knows the future?
We can only have that permanent security IF we act as how a Leader
should... with Altruism.

Job hunting should not just be the concern of seekers...
but specially the concern of those who sincerely care.
What are connections for?

The good you do will come back to you.
So, let's just join hands... together, WE WILL MAKE IT.

Remember... as that Job Hunting Leader...
"If you think you can or think you can't you're probably right." - Henry Ford

Monday, August 3, 2009

Job Hunting Leaders... Part II

In the first part of our job hunting leaders series, take note that a
major pillar of job hunting is good preparation.

"Chance favours only the prepared mind." - Louis Pasteur

Realize that to succeed as a Leader, you should have that burning
desire; as without that high degree of motivation, you will give up on
the first signs of difficulty. Mind you, this desire is partly a reflection
of your ability. Now, your motivation to succeed particularly in
Leadership can be best developed by finding a sphere of work
which you find absorbingly interesting and demandingly worthwhile.
Then you will show infectious dedication to the job in hand.

So, as we see, good preparation is knowing what you want and
dedicating yourself to it... as it is your decisions, not your conditions,
that determine your destiny.

Once you have chosen your field, however, you should aim to
develop maximum flexibility within it, so that you are the master at
reading the changes in situtations and responding with the
appropriate Leadership style. At the same time, as you grow in
Leadership, your technical knowledge and experience in that
working field should be widening and deepening as well.
Bear in mind, experience is simply exposure, so be creative.

Knowing Your Field Of Activity
Another quality common to leaders is their willingness to work hard,
to prepare themselves, to know their field of activity thoroughly.
I have often heard it said of some individual: "Oh, he'll get by on
personality." Well, he may get by for a time, but if a charming
personality is all he has, the day will come when he will find himself
looking for a job.

I never knew President Roosevelt as well as I did some of the other
leaders, but in the few conferences I had with him I was impressed,
not only by his inspirational qualities, but by his amazing grasp of
the whole complex war effort. He could discuss strategy on equal
terms with his generals and admirals. His knowledge of geography
of the war theaters was so encyclopedic that the most obscure
places in faraway countries were always accurately sited on his
mental map. President Roosevelt possessed personality, but as
his nation's leader in a global conflict, he also did his homework...
thoroughly. - Dwight D. Einsenhower

Do not then be afraid of taking bold initiatives, even risks, with your
career especially if you are aiming high. The good news is that
there is always more about Leadership to be learned. No one
person knows it all or does it all. What matters most is that you
are now moving steadily higher on the path of Leadership, setting
past failures or disappointments firmly behind you.

Do not simply rely on luck. Luck is when good preparation and
opportunity meet. Be that boy scout, always prepared.

Do not wait for the right attitudes to appear... that can take years.
Actions form Attitudes. If you form a picture of the person you would
like to be... drawing upon models or examples of great Leaders...
then all things will begin to work together to grow into that stature.

"Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never
the result of selfishness." - THE LAW OF SUCCESS

With effort, powerful connections will begin to notice you. Take note,
powerful connections, not "traditional" recruiters. As for "traditional"
recruiters, they are simply playing safe, "round pegs for round holes."
But for powerful connections, they know that round pegs for round
holes ignore the dimension of change and the need for creative
people and Leaders in the organization.

Job hunting should not be so tough, just be where the action is.

"Seize the small opportunities, and the big ones will find their way to you."