Category Archives: Leadership

DECISION MAKING INSIGHTS

DECISION MAKING INSIGHTS

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Optimal decision-making depends on a complex interaction between environmental forces, quality of thinking applied, best use of expertise, desired outcomes and a strong awareness and response to drag and enabling factors.

Whilst higher value outcomes are more likely to be generated from reliance on high quality qualitative and quantitative data there is no guarantee of data perfection over time.

Furthermore, how data is generated and used depends on the expertise, assumptions and awareness used to synthesise and translate findings into short and longer-term actions (tactics and strategy)

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EXTERNAL FACTORS – predicted and unpredicted

Political landscape

Economic issues

Sociological changes

Technological change

Legal impacts

Environmental issues

Competitive landscape  : current and transformational

 

Drag factors

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  • Unwarranted internal political interference /power plays/fiefdoms
  • The impact of PESTLE factors if not considered carefully
  • Poor competitor intelligence – known and unknown moves and plans
  • New entrants/ sudden shocks to the market
  • Lack of appropriate expertise to assemble, disseminate and translate data
  • Lack of agility and implementation expertise
  • Lack of cultural aims and dissemination throughout the organisation
  • Lack of continuous learning, creativity and innovation
  • Lack of stakeholder interaction and understanding
  • Lack of risk awareness
  • Poor ethical /moral stance

 

 Enabling factors 

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  • Best expertise in place with a mandate to act
  • Agile leadership and implementation
  • Organisation design to deliver
  • Optimal Stakeholder understanding and interaction
  • Critical and sensitive awareness/ response to PESTLE factors and competitor intent plus potential new entrants /market shocks
  • A culture based on the ability to learn, evolve, be creative and reinvent
  • A balance between evidence and intuition
  • Risk awareness and governance
  • Commercial and Market astuteness with value creation aims

 

 

SUMMARY – what makes it all work?

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  • Being well informed – excellent external and internal intelligence and feedback systems
  • Being well organized- to deliver through culture, people, processes and systems
  • Being agile, adaptable, creative and evolutionary – to embrace and lead on change
  • Being in control of the commercial context – to enable best returns and future investment

 

MODEL decision 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drag factors

 

  • Unwarranted internal political interference /power plays/fiefdoms
  • The impact of PESTLE factors if not considered carefully
  • Poor competitor intelligence – known and unknown moves and plans
  • New entrants/ sudden shocks to the market
  • Lack of appropriate expertise to assemble, disseminate and translate data
  • Lack of agility and implementation expertise
  • Lack of cultural aims and dissemination throughout the organisation
  • Lack of continuous learning, creativity and innovation
  • Lack of stakeholder interaction and understanding
  • Lack of risk awareness
  • Poor ethical stance

 

 

Enabling factors

 

  • Best expertise in place with a mandate to act
  • Agile leadership and implementation
  • Organisation design to deliver
  • Optimal Stakeholder understanding and interaction
  • Critical and sensitive awareness/ response to PESTLE factors and competitor intent plus potential new entrants /market shocks
  • A culture based on the ability to learn, evolve, be creative and reinvent
  • A balance between evidence and intuition
  • Risk awareness and governance
  • Commercial and Market astuteness with value creation aims

 

 

SUMMARY – what makes it all work?

 

  • Being well informed and sensitised to the environment – excellent external and internal intelligence and feedback systems
  • Being well organised and ethical  to deliver through culture, people, processes and systems
  • Being agile, adaptable, creative and evolutionary – to embrace and lead on change
  • Being in control of the commercial context – to enable best returns and future investment

LEADERSHIP AND SIGNATURE PRESENCE

SIGNATURE PRESENCE

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“The person who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” Chinese Proverb

View Peter Cobbe's profile on LinkedIn

SIGNATURE PRESENCE : A study suggests that top leaders have 7 attributes that make them outstanding in their field. They are…

  • Technical Competence. This is  business literacy and a grasp of one’s field. If you don’t know the ins and outs of your business, you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage when facing the competition. Become an obsessive student of your business field until you know intimately how it works.
  • Conceptual Skills. This is a faculty for abstract thinking. It includes what Jonathan Swift called “seeing the invisible” ie visualising where people can go and what they can achieve. Practise taking time out just to play with your thoughts of where you and your team can go.
  • Track Record. This is a history of achieving results. Your track record enhances your credibility and therefore your authority. Don’t let any kind of achievement go by without recording it and using it to let people know you’re a person who gets results.
  • People Skills. Of all the people skills that you need to have to get people working with you, the top 3 are the ability to communicate, motivate, and delegate.Make up your mind to develop these three skills until you are a master.
  • Taste. The idea of “taste” is an intuitive sense of where talent lies. The great leaders are those who spot the potential right under their nose. When others just see people as resources on a balance sheet, successful leaders see them as potential to be developed. Get a taste for the talent in your team.
  • Judgment. Few leaders today are able to operate in perfect conditions. More often than not, they have to take decisions in imperfect conditions. That’s when their judgment comes into play. When time is short, when the data is lacking, great leaders rely on intuition to get them through. Make that sixth sense your best friend.
  • Character. Character means the qualities that define who you are. Not personality. Personality is your outward public face. But character is based on the values inside that matter more than anything else. Decide what yours are and how important they are to you.This establishes ” signature presence”

BOOKS ON LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE

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LEADERSHIP QUOTES

  • “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” –Anonymous
  • “No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.” –W. H. Auden
  • “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” –Warren Bennis
  • “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie
  • “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” –Rosalynn Carter
  • “Perhaps the most central characteristic of authentic leadership is the relinquishing of the impulse to dominate others.” –David Cooper
  • “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” — Max DePree
  • “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.” –Russell H. Ewing
  • “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. ” — Harold Geneen
  • “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” –Arnold Glasow
  • “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. ” — John Kenneth Galbraith
  • “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” –Theodore Hesburgh
  • “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on… The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.” –Walter Lippmann
  • “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” –Tom Landry
  • “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” –John Maxwell
  • “The real leader has no need to lead– he is content to point the way.” — Henry Miller
  • “The leader must know, most know that he knows, and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows.” –Clarence B. Randall
  • “The person who know “how” will always have job. The person who knows “why” will always be his boss.” –Diane Ravitch
  • “A true leader is hated by most, and respected by all. A follower is liked by all, and respected by none.” –Scott Smigler
  • “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” –Brian Tracey
  • “You know what makes leadership? It is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” –Harry S. Truman
  • “Leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women. It is a process ordinary people use when they are bringing forth the best from themselves and others.” –Unknown
  • “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” –Thomas J. Watson
  • “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” –Sam Walton

View Peter Cobbe's profile on LinkedIn

THE GROW COACHING MODEL

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 The GROW Model 

The GROW acronym suggests that a coach using the GROW model is likely to start by asking the client to set goals, both for what they want to get out of the coaching sessions as a whole and for each individual session.

It is described in a number of coaching books, including John Whitmore’s excellent
book “Performance Coaching”.

Using the GROW Model, the coach will begin the discussion by asking the client to define the topic in order to understand what specifically the client wants to talk about, the scale of the challenges they face, the importance and emotional significance of the topic to the client and the client’s long-term vision or goal.

Most coaches will encourage clients to set goals which are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-framed) the idea being that this will assist the client in focusing their thoughts and will also enable them to measure whether they achieve what they are aiming for in the long-term.

In the ‘Reality’ stage of the GROW Model the coach will assist the client in assessing objectively where they currently are in relation to their goal and how they feel about their current situation. This process of discovery is designed to allow the help the client clarify their goals better and as they begin to understand them more deeply what is driving them and what their sources of dissatisfaction are. In summary both coach and client encourage self-assessment and offer explicit examples to demonstrate their points and paint the most accurate picture of the topic as possible.

In the ‘Options’ stage of the GROW Model the idea is not to find a solution immediately, but to generate as many alternative courses of action as possible. Once a number of options have been identified the next stage will be to decide which one the client wants to put into action to help move them towards their goals. In this final ‘Will’ stage of the GROW Model the coach/client relationship is moving from discussion to conclusion and achievement.

The coach’s ultimate aim is assist the client identify goals, options and actions for themselves, including:

* What the client is going to do
* When the client will do it
* Whether it will help them meet their goals
* What difficulties might be faced and how they may be dealt with
* Who the client will tell and what support they may try to get to help in their actions
* Overall the GROW Model provides a helpful practical framework to assist clients set goals and move towards them.

The GROW Model is deservedly one of the best known and widely used coaching
models.

It provides a simple yet powerful framework for navigating a route through
a coaching session, as well as providing a means of finding your way when lost.

See John Whitmore’s excellent
book “Performance Coaching”.

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CULTURE CHANGE AND TRANSFORMATION LEADERSHIP

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You cannot lead what you do not understand

CORPORATE CULTURE emerges in how and organisation conducts business ,treats employees,customers,stakeholders and the wider community.It also shows in aspects such as the extent there is  freedom in decision-making, focus on  innovation and new ideas, scope for personal expression and how power flows . An existing culture is based on shared philosophies,ideologies,values.assumptions,beliefs and attitudes. Transforming,sustaining and allowing for evolution of  a  culture is a complex process requiring a clearly  articulated strategic aim , underpinning objectives and long term programme coordination and mobilisation of resources.

 1. Define what you are going to do, why you will do it, what the benefits of change are, and what the dangers of not changing are.

“Our only security is our ability to change” – John Lily

  • Is a clarifying vision of the future articulated and widely accepted?
  • Is the rationale for change sensible and clear and sound? Are benefits well-defined?
  • Does the case for change balance crisis and opportunity?
  • Are the vision and rationale easy to communicate in less than  3 minutes AND easy to get a reaction from AND of interest to others besides those in the executive meetings?
  • Has a clear roadmap forward been developed and shopped around to gain support?

2. Create a sense of urgency and sustain it

“If you do not change direction you may end up where you are heading” – Lao Tzu

  • Is there a change champion calling others to action at very top?
  • Is the Guiding Coalition actively involved (not just hoping for wins) in generating legitimate short-term wins?
  • Are reward & recognition for wins happily made AND do they go beyond money?
  • Are leaders leveraging the positive energy created by short-term wins to go after bigger opportunities?

3.Put governance and management in place; Form a powerful guiding coalition for success

“Slowness to change usually means fear of the new”- Philip Crosby

  • Is a Change Sponsor selected and has a Governance Body/Guiding Coalition been established to oversee and refine execution of the transformation roadmap and to maintain urgency throughout the enterprise?
  • Is the effort inclusive of diverse, influential leaders throughout the organization, or are the ‘usual suspects’ once again involved in this effort?
  • Is a day-to-day leader in place to coordinate the program’s various work streams, manage the roadmap, identify needs, remove barriers and drive execution?
  • Are there sufficient resources with the right skills dedicated to the effort?

4. Engage key stakeholders – particularly managers – in making change happen

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence -it is to act with yesterdays logic” – Peter Drucker

  • Have stakeholders who are critical to transformation success been identified and their personal value drivers learned?
  • Is it clear how stakeholders will be proactively involved in making the transformation happen over time to build their support and maintain their engagement?
  • Has a cadre of top change agents been identified and rallied to be actively involved in all aspects of executing the transformation – planning, communications, engagement, execution, monitoring, training, local level readiness, piloting solutions, etc.? Is this cadre treated like the pioneering group of change agents and first-followers they are?

5. Over-communicate the vision & key messages 

“Paralyse resistance with persistence”  – Woody Hayes

  • Are executives across the impacted enterprise incorporating messages into their hour-by-hour activities?
  • Are ALL channels and roles being leveraged to deliver the right message ,to the right people , at the right time?
  • Are visible & influential leaders and managers walking the talk? Are change leadership coaching & 360 feedback tools being applied to change their behavior when needed?

Do the communications about this change strive for candid, cascading, interactive, face-to-face messaging?

6. Remove obstacles to transformation success, especially during implementation

“The path of least resistance is the path of the loser” – H.G.Wells

  • Have those impacted by the changes been asked about barriers to success?
  • Has fairness been included as a design principle in workforce reduction plans to avoid creating sense of injustice and disengagement?
  • Have local level change agents/leaders been identified and prepared to be involved?
  • Have rapid action barrier removal groups been formed on the ground to swiftly remove the biggest obstacles during implementation? Is feedback on barriers shared regularly with the Guiding Coalition to facilitate problem solving?

7. Enable real transformation by cultivating a new organisational culture and individual behaviours
“People don’t resist change. They resist being changed!”— Peter Senge

  • Are you actively and thoughtfully identifying and cultivating a desired culture that supports, not hinders, the new business strategy or change vision?
  • Are you actively and thoughtfully shifting underlying mindsets along with delivering new skills training?
  • Is there a focus on leaders modeling the desired behaviors as a key way to cultivate a new culture?

8. Realign operations and organisation to enable the new vision and support the transformation

“Those who resist change are the architects of decay’ – Harold Wilson

  • Have competencies and skills been assessed and upgraded across the impacted enterprise?
  • Are processes being assessed and modified to enable a new way of working?
  • Are you hiring for the future or for yesterday? Do new hires reflect desired or old culture?

9. Upgrade executives’ and leaders’ skills in change leadership

“Change before you have to” – Jack Welch

  • Is your leadership prepared to effectively lead people through change, or do they simply do things the same way they’ve been doing them in relatively stable times?
  • Are there key leaders and senior managers involved with the effort who are experienced in change or is there an assumption that it ‘can be figured out?’ Can you afford to assume that given what’s at stake for the company?

If you find yourself in charge of a highly visible, strategically critical change program, it is appealing to think of a list like this as a checklist – “if I do these things, we will succeed.” The power of understanding these success factors cannot be underestimated. The real power in this framework, however, is in its’ effective execution. And that’s where experience with big change comes into play – make sure you’ve got people supporting you who have done it before and who understand the nuances involved in each of these factors. While it won’t be as easy as clearing a checklist, understanding the framework and having the right change experience on board will get you far closer to the financial, business and customer outcomes your company must achieve

SEE FREE  FLIPBOARD STRATEGY MAGAZINE

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PETER COBBE – NOW ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS : Coaching and Consulting  via Skype / Facetime / 1 to 1 meetings

My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”

Specialties: Holistic / systemic approach to coaching

Business/HR Strategy ,Change Leadership
Communications strategy

Remote coaching via Skype and Apple Facetime
Coaching for Executive performance /High Potential including C level
First 100 days
Career Coaching/portfolio lifestyle
Coaching for powerful presentations
Life Coaching
Executive advice on staff insight surveys
Facilitating key meetings and C- level strategic retreats engaging around people decisions that flow from business choices

Psychometrics,NLP,Emotional Intelligence
Confidence&Self Esteem
Creativity coaching
Independent Consulting propositions coaching
Non Executive director coaching
Business Report/White Paper writing
Graduate career coaching
Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left?

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman

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CLOUD LIGHT WEB

5 KEY ATTRIBUTES OF TOP PERFORMING MANAGERS

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5 KEY ATTRIBUTES

Line managers have a key role in building trust and engagement in the organisation. In his article on The Power of Great Managers, Towers Watson’s Global Practice Leader Adam Zuckerman identified the five key attributes of top-performing managers:

Tower’s Watson’s five key attributes of top-performing managers:

  • Crafting jobsdeveloping roles that are challenging, fulfilling, energising and achievable
  • Developing people: crafting personalised plans focused on an individual’s long-term growth and development
  • Delivering the deal: ensuring employees are rewarded for their efforts using the entire portfolio of intrinsic rewards at their disposal
  • Energising change: building the organisation’s resilience to change by developing the individual’s understanding of and ability to cope with the entire spectrum of change
  • Authenticity and trustacting as a role model of humility, intellectual honesty, interpersonal sensitivity and behavioral consistency.

Looking across the model’s components, we can clearly see a common theme: Effective managers understand what each individual requires and leverage the organisational systems to deliver it.

This means paying attention to each person’s talents and interests, and customising their work, their development opportunities and their rewards accordingly.

The model predicts these actions will improve sustainable engagement and, therefore, business performance. Of course, it is always desirable to test these assertions and examine their unique aspects inside each company by incorporating questions like those found in the table below into your next engagement survey.

The Power of Great Managers

COMPASS

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  • NOW ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS : Coaching via Skype / Facetime / 1 to 1 meetings
  • My career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the CIPD and Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
    I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”Specialties: Holistic / systemic approach to coaching
    Remote coaching via Skype and Apple Facetime
    Coaching for Executive performance /High Potential including C level
    First 100 days
    Career Coaching/portfolio lifestyle
    Coaching for powerful presentations
    Life Coaching
    Executive advice on staff insight surveys
    Facilitating key meetings and C- level strategic retreats engaging around people decisions that flow from business choices
    Business/HR Strategy ,Change Leadership
    Communications strategy
    Psychometrics,NLP,Emotional Intelligence
    Confidence&Self Esteem
    Creativity coaching
    Independent Consulting propositions coaching
    Non Executive director coaching
    Business Report/White Paper writing
    Graduate career coaching

Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left? 

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman

For a free exploratory discussion on 1 to 1 or Group Session coaching contact me on:

cobbep@gmail.com

or

via  my Linked In Profile

LEADERSHIP & INNOVATION

COMPASS

PETER COBBE COACHING

AC_Logo_Main_LOW_ MEMBER

Leadership and Innovation / Change: Breaking the Rules

A point of view   by  Karim Jaude 

We often think of innovation as creativity, but as Harvard professor Theodore Levitt points out, the difference between innovation and creativity is the difference between thinking about getting things done in the world, and getting things done. Creativity thinks up new things, innovation does new things.

Innovation drives the heart of every exceptional business.

Innovation continually poses the question, What stands in the way of my customer getting what he wants from my business?

For the innovation to be meaningful, it must always take the customers point of view. At the same time, innovation focuses your business on its critical essentials. It should make things easier in the operation of your business; otherwise, it is not innovation, but complication. Innovation helps your business identify itself and establish its individuality. This skill, developed within your business and your people, constantly asks, How can we do this better/best?

In that regard, I think of innovation as the best way skill. It produces a high level of energy in every organization within which it is nurtured, fed and stimulated. This energy in turn feeds everyone the organization touches: its employees, customers, suppliers, lenders, and investors. In an innovative organization, everyone grows.

Peter Drucker defines innovation as change that creates a new dimension of performance. Leaders can create environments, give people the tools, and set the expectations to make innovation part of daily work. They should take the time to explain to their teams that they must abandon practices that no longer work.

While great leaders in the world might seem to have little in common, they all excel at turning every team members talent into palpable performance and they do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom.

Leaders know that the business climate is in permanent flux and that different approaches to lead people are necessary. They must be open to new opportunities, find ways to be innovative, and be willing to change..

As leaders release the power of innovation, they must also be constantly adapting policies, procedures, and even processes to make room for these dynamic changes. Here are seven ideas to consider when implementing innovation and change in your organization:

1. Vision and Goals The best way to predict the future is to create it. Do not hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. Develop goals and measurements that reinforce innovation and change.

2. Old vs. New Rules Eliminate rules and policies that hinder the change and create new ones that reinforce the desired way of operating. The old principle that states, if it is not broken, do not fix it, has never been effective. A visionary leader will break it and fix it by creating a new and better way to do it.

3. Training A great leader excels at turning each team members talent into performance. Replace training that reinforces the old way of doing things with new training.

4. Rewards and Recognition Find the right fit for each person, so that rewards and recognition are based on performance. Make rewards specific to the change goals that have been set. Recognize individual and team
contributions to making the changes work.

5. Communications Deliver communications in new ways to show commitment to innovation and change. Use multiple channels to deliver consistent messages to everyone in the organization, at all stages during the transition: before, during and after.

6. Environment Make sure the environment reflects the change. Create an atmosphere that fosters innovation and change. Leaders should allow the team to make lots of tries and consequently suffer some failure or the
organization won’t learn.

7. Organizational structure The structure should reinforce the operational changes. Define the right outcomes, rather than the right steps. Combine overlapping divisions, eliminate duplication, re-organize around customers
as opposed to functions.

Article Source: http://www.leadershiparticles.net

USEFUL RELATED LINKS :

EXCELLENT TED VIDEO TALK ON How Great Leaders Inspire Action  Simon Sinek

21 LAWS OF LEADERSHIP

GREAT LEADERSHIP BOOKS

MORE LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS:

Leadership Style

Putting “Development “back in Leadership Development

Improved business writing and report skills

Personal Brand insights

How to Really Understand Others

Think Trust

Team Curiosity

Seven elements of Leadership

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Blake Mouton Leadership Model

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Some leaders are very task-oriented; they simply want to get things done.

Others are very people-oriented; they want people to be happy.

And others are a combination of the two.

If you prefer to lead by setting and enforcing tight schedules, you tend to be more production-oriented (or task-oriented). If you make people your priority and try to accommodate employee needs, then you’re more people-oriented.

Neither preference is right or wrong, just as no one type of leadership style is best for all situations. However, it’s useful to understand what your natural leadership tendencies are, so that you can then working on developing skills that you may be missing.

 

A popular framework for thinking about a leader’s ‘task versus person’ orientation was developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton in the early 1960s. Called the Managerial Grid, or Leadership Grid, it plots the degree of task-centeredness versus person-centeredness and identifies five combinations as distinct leadership styles.

Understanding the Model The Managerial Grid is based on two behavioral dimensions:

* Concern for People This is the degree to which a leader considers the needs of team members, their interests, and areas of personal development when deciding how best to accomplish a task

* Concern for Production – This is the degree to which a leader emphasizes concrete objectives, organizational efficiency and high productivity when deciding how best to accomplish a task.

Using the axis to plot leadership ‘concerns for production’ versus ‘concerns for people’, Blake and Mouton defined the following five leadership styles:

Country Club Leadership – High People/Low Production This style of leader is most concerned about the needs and feelings of members of his/her team. These people operate under the assumption that as long as team members are happy and secure then they will work hard. What tends to result is a work environment that is very relaxed and fun but where production suffers due to lack of direction and control.

Produce or Perish Leadership – High Production/Low People Also known as Authoritarian or Compliance Leaders, people in this category believe that employees are simply a means to an end. Employee needs are always secondary to the need for efficient and productive workplaces. This type of leader is very autocratic, has strict work rules, policies, and procedures, and views punishment as the most effective means to motivate employees.

Impoverished Leadership – Low Production/Low People This leader is mostly ineffective. He/she has neither a high regard for creating systems for getting the job done, nor for creating a work environment that is satisfying and motivating. The result is a place of disorganization, dissatisfaction and disharmony.

Middle-of-the-Road Leadership – Medium Production/Medium People This style seems to be a balance of the two competing concerns. It may at first appear to be an ideal compromise. Therein lies the problem, though: When you compromise, you necessarily give away a bit of each concern so that neither production nor people needs are fully met. Leaders who use this style settle for average results and often believe that this is the most anyone can expect.

Team Leadership – High Production/High People According to the Blake Mouton model, this is the pinnacle of managerial style. These leaders stress production needs and the needs of the people equally highly. The premise here is that employees are involved in understanding organizational purpose and determining production needs. When employees are committed to, and have a stake in the organization’s success, their needs and production needs coincide.

This creates a team environment based on trust and respect, which leads to high satisfaction and motivation and, as a result, high production.

Applying the Blake Mouton Managerial Grid Being aware of the various approaches is the first step in understanding and improving how well you perform as a manager. It is important to understand how you currently operate, so that you can then identify ways of becoming competent in both realms.

Step One: Identify your leadership style.

* Think of some recent situations where you were the leader.

* For each of these situations, place yourself in the grid according to where you believe you fit.

Step Two: Identify areas of improvement and develop your leadership skills

* Look at your current leadership method and critically analyze its effectiveness.

* Look at ways you can improve. Are you settling for ‘middle of the road’ because it is easier than reaching for more?

* Identify ways to get the skills you need to reach the Team Leadership position. These may include involving others in problem solving or improving how you communicate with them, if you feel you are too task-oriented. Or it may mean becoming clearer about scheduling or monitoring project progress if you tend to focus too much on people.

* Continually monitor the way you work and watch for situations when you slip back into unhelpful habits. Step Three: Put the Grid in Context It is important to recognize that the Team Leadership style isn’t always the most effective approach in every situation. While the benefits of democratic and participative management are universally accepted, there are times that call for more attention in one area than another.

If your company is in the midst of a merger or some other significant change, it is often acceptable to place a higher emphasis on people than on production. Likewise, when faced with an economic hardship or physical risk, people concerns may be placed on the back burner, for the short-term at least, to achieve high productivity and efficiency.

Note: Theories of leadership have moved on a certain amount since the Blake Mouton Grid was originally proposed. In particular, the context in which leadership occurs is seen as an important driver of the leadership style used. And in many situations, the “Team Leader” as an ideal has moved to the ideal of the “Transformational Leader”:

Someone who, according to leadership researcher Bernard Bass:

* Is a model of integrity and fairness;

* Sets clear goals;

* Has high expectations;

* Encourages;

* Provides support and recognition;

* Stirs people’s emotions;

* Gets people to look beyond their self-interest; and

* Inspires people to reach for the improbable.

SUMMARY

The Blake Mouton Managerial Grid is a practical and useful framework that helps you think about your leadership style.

By plotting ‘concern for production’ against ‘concern for people’, the grid highlights how placing too much emphasis in one area at the expense of the other leads to low overall productivity.

The model proposes that when both people and production concerns are high, employee engagement and productivity increases accordingly. This is often true, and it follows the ideas of Theories X and Y, and other participative management theories.

While the grid does not entirely address the complexity of “Which leadership style is best?”, it certainly provides an excellent starting place to critically analyze your skills and improve your general leadership skills.

See also the LEADERSHIP AGILITY model

I provide excellent leadership coaching for managers and senior executives aiming to develop new levels of impact and enjoyment in their role . See my proposition and details here : Peter Cobbe Coaching

The approach is based on careful diagnostics and then a customised programme to suit very specific individual needs and current work challenges . The end result is evolution in leadership style and impact.

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Presenting to Executives – insights and ideas

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5 Tips for Presenting to Executives

Presenting to your peers is (relatively) easy. The stakes aren’t high. If you screw up, they’ll usually let it slip.

But executives are different. Executives get things done through delegating to other people. So, they are always looking for who they can trust – and who they can’t. Make a good impression and the exec is likely to give you more responsibility in the future. Make a bad impression and you earn a place on their “do-not-trust” list. Either way, it affects your career.

Executives are a special audience for presentations. And the stakes are high. Here are FIVE TIPS to keep in mind to ace your next executive presentation.

1. Get to the point in one minute
Executives exist in high-pressure environments. With 80 hour weeks, emergencies cropping up, high stress loads and demanding bosses and shareholders. TIME is one of their most precious commodities.

So don’t waste it by arriving late, fumbling with the projector (“why won’t it connect?”), making long rambling introductions and so on.Get to the point as quickly as you can. Within the first minute, if at all possible. There’s a good chance the exec is itching to interrupt you and barrage you with questions so get to your main point before the presentation is derailed.

2. Talk about problems winning in the marketplace
Executives don’t care about today’s problems. That’s someone else’s job. Executives have their minds focused on the next three years and what it will take to beat competitors, reach new customers, hold onto existing customers and increase margins. So, talk to them about the problems they will have winning in the marketplace, and how your ideas will help them. If you can’t talk to them about that, you’ll get bumped down to some department head – and well you should.

3. Sell a vision before discussing the details
This is especially true for sales people. Don’t walk into a meeting with an executive and start talking about your super-wonderful fully-guaranteed remote-controlled electronic bobbin. Execs will immediately focus on cost and product features, often ending the meeting with “We’ll get back to you” so they can have someone research prices.

Instead, focus on painting a vision of a better future – hopefully one that maps onto their three-year goals. Once they’re nodding at the vision – and ONLY after they’re nodding at the vision – should you talk about your product’s details. Cost is likely to be less of a concern now.

4. Lead with stories, not data
Executives respect data and making data-driven decisions. But they are also realistic about what data can – and cannot – tell you. They’ve seen many projects fail despite the glowing research results. And they’ve seen boot-strap projects succeed despite the lack of any data to back it up.

Executives often trust their guts more than they trust data. They consider customer stories, quotes from their largest channel partners and competitor moves just as valid as data. So use that. Come to executive presentations armed with lots of stories and introduce stories first, then the data to back it up.

5. Don’t be afraid of executives; be afraid FOR them
Because the stakes are high, and executives often shoot presenters for sport, people are naturally nervous presenting to executives. But this fear will only work against you and broadcast your lack of confidence. So, adopt a different mindset: be afraid FOR executives.

The Importance of Empathy

THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY

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The Importance of Empathy

What is Empathy?

Empathy is the ability to come alongside someone, and not only see a person’s point of view, but also experience the other person’s feelings and emotions. You go beyond , for example, feeling sorry for that person, since that would be sympathy. And go deeper, seeking to understand that person in greater depth. It is an ability that you can acquire if you make the effort

Empathy is the skill to understand the emotions of people and to treat them according to their emotional reaction. This skill is closely linked with emotional intelligence which is basically analysing, assessing and managing the emotion of oneself and others. So by developing and practicing this skill not only you resolve someone’s problems but also win their hearts.

What Does Empathy Do?

Empathy soothes. Empathy heals. Empathy fills the gap; empathy is like the “Super Glue” of good relationships. It can pull you tightly to others and keep you together in all kinds of trouble.

Imagine – Use your imagination in several ways to your advantage.

  1. One way is to imagine yourself in that person’s situation. Really take time to think through how you would feel if you were in that person’s shoes—especially regarding the feelings they are experiencing.
  2. Another way is to imagine the person as a child. If you have photos of the person as a child, use them to help you visualise. Often when we consider the person in the vulnerable stage of childhood, our defenses tend to lower and lessen.

Nurture the Relationship

Make a point to regularly practice caring behaviors with this person. When you act lovingly or caringly toward someone, it actually increases your feelings of love and care, as well as, your ability to empathise with that person.

Set Aside Your Beliefs, Concerns and Personal Agenda

When you are dealing directly with others, go into the conversation empty handed—with no personal expectations or goal of fixing them. Your only agenda is listening to their feelings and trying to understand their point of view.

Identify with Their Experiences

When someone begins to share, focus on the feelings and situations that you’ve experienced in the past that are similar. This will deepen your emotional insight into the other person’s issues or plight.

Gain Personal Perspective

This method involves working on your personal identity. In other words, you need to learn who you are separate from the other person. If you do not have a clear sense of identity, then you can become “enmeshed” (emotionally entangled and dependent upon the other person) and will tend to take things too personally. When you take things personally, you cannot separate yourself enough to feel the other person’s issues. Begin to practice emotionally detaching—not allowing the other person’s negative behavior to determine your mood or choices. In time, you will gain a greater sense of identity and separateness that will offer you the advantage of perspective.

INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE:

Habit 1: Cultivate curiosity about strangers

Highly empathic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers. They will talk to the person sitting next to them on the bus, having retained that natural inquisitiveness we all had as children, but which society is so good at beating out of us. They find other people more interesting than themselves but are not out to interrogate them, respecting the advice of the oral historian Studs Terkel: “Don’t be an examiner, be the interested inquirer.”

Curiosity expands our empathy when we talk to people outside our usual social circle, encountering lives and worldviews very different from our own. Curiosity is good for us too: Happiness guru Martin Seligman identifies it as a key character strength that can enhance life satisfaction.

Cultivating curiosity requires more than having a brief chat about the weather. Crucially, it tries to understand the world inside the head of the other person. We are confronted by strangers every day, like the heavily tattooed woman who delivers your mail or the new employee who always eats his lunch alone. Set yourself the challenge of having a conversation with one stranger every week. All it requires is courage.

Habit 2: Challenge prejudices and discover commonalities

We all have assumptions about others and use collective labels—e.g., “Muslim fundamentalist,” “welfare mom”—that prevent us from appreciating their individuality. HEPs challenge their own preconceptions and prejudices by searching for what they share with people rather than what divides them.

Habit 3: Try another person’s life

So you think ice climbing and hang-gliding are extreme sports? Then you need to try experiential empathy, the most challenging—and potentially rewarding—of them all. HEPs expand their empathy by gaining direct experience of other people’s lives, putting into practice the Native American proverb, “Walk a mile in another man’s moccasins before you criticise him.”

George Orwell is an inspiring model.  After several years as a colonial police officer in British Burma in the 1920s, Orwell returned to Britain determined to discover what life was like for those living on the social margins. “I wanted to submerge myself, to get right down among the oppressed,” he wrote. So he dressed up as a tramp with shabby shoes and coat, and lived on the streets of East London with beggars and vagabonds. The result, recorded in his book Down and Out in Paris and London, was a radical change in his beliefs, priorities, and relationships. He not only realized that homeless people are not “drunken scoundrels”—Orwell developed new friendships, shifted his views on inequality and gathered some superb literary material. It was the greatest travel experience of his life. He realised that empathy doesn’t just make you good—it’s good for you, too.

We can each conduct our own experiments. If you are religiously observant, try a “God Swap,” attending the services of faiths different from your own, including a meeting of Humanists. Or if you’re an atheist, try attending different churches! Spend your next vacation living and volunteering in a village in a developing country. Take the path favored by philosopher John Dewey, who said, “All genuine education comes about through experience.”

Habit 4: Listen hard—and open up

There are two traits required for being an empathic conversationalist.

One is to master the art of radical listening. “What is essential,” says Marshall Rosenberg, psychologist and founder of Non-Violent Communication (NVC), “is our ability to be present to what’s really going on within—to the unique feelings and needs a person is experiencing in that very moment.” HEPs listen hard to others and do all they can to grasp their emotional state and needs, whether it is a friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer or a spouse who is upset at them for working late yet again.

But listening is never enough. The second trait is to make ourselves vulnerable. Removing our masks and revealing our feelings to someone is vital for creating a strong empathic bond. Empathy is a two-way street that, at its best, is built upon mutual understanding—an exchange of our most important beliefs and experiences.

Habit 5: Inspire mass action and social change

We typically assume empathy happens at the level of individuals, but HEPs understand that empathy can also be a mass phenomenon that brings about fundamental social change.

Just think of the movements against slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries on both sides of the Atlantic. As journalist Adam Hochschild reminds us, “The abolitionists placed their hope not in sacred texts but human empathy,” doing all they could to get people to understand the very real suffering on the plantations and slave ships. Equally, the international trade union movement grew out of empathy between industrial workers united by their shared exploitation. The overwhelming public response to the Asian tsunami of 2004 emerged from a sense of empathic concern for the victims, whose plight was dramatically beamed into our homes on shaky video footage.
Beyond education, the big challenge is figuring out how social networking technology can harness the power of empathy to create mass political action. Twitter may have gotten people onto the streets for Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring, but can it convince us to care deeply about the suffering of distant strangers, whether they are drought-stricken farmers in Africa or future generations who will bear the brunt of our carbon-junkie lifestyles? This will only happen if social networks learn to spread not just information, but empathic connection.

Habit 6: Develop an ambitious imagination

A final trait of HEPs is that they do far more than empathize with the usual suspects. We tend to believe empathy should be reserved for those living on the social margins or who are suffering. This is necessary, but it is hardly enough.

We also need to empathize with people whose beliefs we don’t share or who may be “enemies” in some way. If you are a campaigner on  global warming for instance, it may be worth trying to step into the shoes of oil company executives—understanding their thinking and motivations—if you want to devise effective strategies to shift them towards developing renewable energy.

Empathising with adversaries is also a route to social tolerance. That was Gandhi’s thinking during the conflicts between Muslims and Hindus leading up to Indian independence in 1947, when he declared, “I am a Muslim!  And a Hindu, and a Christian and a Jew.”

Organisations, too, should be ambitious with their empathic thinking. Bill Drayton, the renowned “father of social entrepreneurship,” believes that in an era of rapid technological change, mastering empathy is the key business survival skill because it underpins successful teamwork and leadership.

The 20th century was the Age of Introspection, when self-help and therapy culture encouraged us to believe that the best way to understand who we are and how to live was to look inside ourselves. But it left us gazing at our own navels. The 21st century should become the Age of Empathy, when we discover ourselves not simply through self-reflection, but by becoming interested in the lives of others. We need empathy to create a new kind of revolution. Not an old-fashioned revolution built on new laws, institutions, or policies, but a radical revolution in human relationship

 SEE ALSO LISTENING SKILLS

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SIGNATURE PRESENCE and LEADERS

CLOUD LIGHT WEB

SIGNATURE PRESENCE : A study suggests that top leaders have 7 attributes that make them outstanding in their field.

They are…

  1. Technical Competence. This is  business literacy and a grasp of one’s field. If you don’t know the ins and outs of your business, you’re going to be at a serious disadvantage when facing the competition. Become an obsessive student of your business field until you know intimately how it works.
  2. Conceptual Skills. This is a faculty for abstract thinking. It includes what Jonathan Swift called“seeing the invisible” ie visualising where people can go and what they can achieve. Practise taking time out just to play with your thoughts of where you and your team can go.
  3. Track Record. This is a history of achieving results. Your track record enhances your credibility and therefore your authority. Don’t let any kind of achievement go by without recording it and using it to let people know you’re a person who gets results.
  4. People Skills. Of all the people skills that you need to have to get people working with you, the top 3 are the ability to communicate, motivate, and delegate.Make up your mind to develop these three skills until you are a master.
  5. Taste. The idea of “taste” is an intuitive sense of where talent lies. The great leaders are those who spot the potential right under their nose. When others just see people as resources on a balance sheet, successful leaders see them as potential to be developed. Get a taste for the talent in your team.
  6. Judgment. Few leaders today are able to operate in perfect conditions. More often than not, they have to take decisions in imperfect conditions. That’s when their judgment comes into play. When time is short, when the data is lacking, great leaders rely on intuition to get them through. Make that sixth sense your best friend.
  7. Character. Character means the qualities that define who you are. Not personality. Personality is your outward public face. But character is based on the values inside that matter more than anything else. Decide what yours are and how important they are to you.This establishes ” signature presence”

BOOKS ON LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE

LEADERSHIP QUOTES

  1. “A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” –Anonymous
  2. “No person can be a great leader unless he takes genuine joy in the successes of those under him.” –W. H. Auden
  3. “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.” –Warren Bennis
  4. “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie
  5. “A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” –Rosalynn Carter
  6. “Perhaps the most central characteristic of authentic leadership is the relinquishing of the impulse to dominate others.” –David Cooper
  7. “The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.” — Max DePree
  8. “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
  9. “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting. A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group.” –Russell H. Ewing
  10. “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions. ” — Harold Geneen
  11. “One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” –Arnold Glasow
  12. “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership. ” — John Kenneth Galbraith
  13. “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” –Theodore Hesburgh
  14. “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on… The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.” –Walter Lippmann
  15. “Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.” –Tom Landry
  16. “Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.” –John Maxwell
  17. “The real leader has no need to lead– he is content to point the way.” — Henry Miller
  18. “The leader must know, most know that he knows, and must be able to make it abundantly clear to those about him that he knows.” –Clarence B. Randall
  19. “The person who know “how” will always have job. The person who knows “why” will always be his boss.” –Diane Ravitch
  20. “A true leader is hated by most, and respected by all. A follower is liked by all, and respected by none.” –Scott Smigler
  21. “Integrity is the most valuable and respected quality of leadership. Always keep your word.” –Brian Tracey
  22. “You know what makes leadership? It is the ability to get men to do what they don’t want to do and like it.” –Harry S. Truman
  23. “Leadership is not the private reserve of a few charismatic men and women. It is a process ordinary people use when they are bringing forth the best from themselves and others.” –Unknown
  24. “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” –Thomas J. Watson
  25. “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” –Sam Walton