SERVANT LEADERSHIP & Presidential Historian Says Forming a Guiding Coalition & Having Empathy Make For Great Leadership.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: When undertaking change the second step is to form a guiding coalition which includes people who are not in favor of the change. This guiding coalition will therefore be able to craft a plan that is amicable to both those pushing for change and those who are part of the status quo. This strategy (from Harvard professor John Kotter), is supported in a new book by noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Studying presidential history, she found the best presidential leaders had people who disagreed with them on their Cabinets, which gave the president a fuller perspective.

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Empathy Makes For Great Leadership

by John Baldoni, Forbes Magazine, 3/15/19.

In discussing her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin has said that empathy is one of, if the not the best, attribute for leaders. Goodwin, a noted presidential historian, defines empathy as an ability to understand another’s point of view. That definition is correct as far as it goes, but when you dive more deeply empathy as defined by the psychological community is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another.

…When a leader can see beyond his own point of view, she demonstrates a more rounded worldview. Such leaders know that their opinion is not the only opinion. Empathetic leaders seek out alternate views. They push their staffs not to respond in the affirmative, but to be open to debate on critical issues.

So how can a leader demonstrate empathy?

Think of yourself as part of the community, not THE entire community. The leaders Kearns profiles were self-absorbed. They understood that people opposed them. None more than Abraham Lincoln. Not only did he govern when the nation was split, but he also peopled his Cabinet with individuals who opposed him. Why? Because he knew he needed their perspective as well as their ideas to help him restore the Union.

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2019/03/15/doris-kearns-goodwin-empathy-makes-for-great-leadership/#714081605747

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & An Introduction by Carley Sime: The Secret To Transformational Leadership

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Among the many leadership approaches there are a few that rise above the rest. One is transformational leadership. Below is one of the best introductions to this style of leadership. The article also includes one of its major aspects, which Carly Sime calls it’s secret. Read and be introduced.

Carley Sime, Forbes Magazine, 2/5/19.

Of the many styles of leadership transformational is perhaps the most coveted. Transformational leaders enhance morale and motivation among followers, they are able to encourage them towards working for a collective good and beyond working solely out of self-interest. The effects of transformational leadership are highly desirable for the followers and the organization itself. Transformational leadership has a high payout as it positively impacts innovation, the heart of success and growth within an organization. It also increases organizational performance as well as job performance and satisfaction too. This could easily be seen as the holy grail of leadership, especially when compared to the transactional kind we have all probably known. Transactional leaders tend to over-rely on their authority as a means to get followers to perform. They’ll tell you what to do and use reward and punishment as their main leadership tools.

Transformational leaders, on the other hand, tend to lead with inspiration as opposed to authority.  Extraversion and agreeableness are two of the big five personality traits that positively predict transformational leadership. Extraversion appears to be linked to transformational leadership because it lends itself to charismatic expressiveness which is highly influential, persuasive and mobilizing. It also leads to individuals being sociable and dominant. Agreeable individuals find ease in showing consideration for others and in the case of transformational leaders, they have idealized influence over their followers. This means they behave in a way that gains the admiration and respect of those around them and sets them apart as trustworthy and a role model.

When we pair agreeableness with extraversion we can see why these traits are positive predictors of transformational leaders. However, there is something else that sits below any traits, actions or behaviors that predict this kind of leadership. That something is self-esteem and it often doesn’t get the airtime it deserves considering it sits underneath the things transformational leadership is built upon.

There is a strong and significant relationship between self-esteem and transformational leadership. In order to adopt transformational leadership behaviors, it appears that an individual first needs to have high levels of self-esteem. Transformational leadership behaviors will be more difficult and less natural to adopt without this. Self-esteem in this context refers to a person believing in themselves as a significant, worthy and also capable member of a team or organization. A person with high self-esteem has self-respect and can accurately assess strengths and weaknesses. A person with low self-esteem is the opposite, they see themselves as inadequate and unworthy and are also unable to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders with high self-esteem may find transmitting enthusiasm and positivity to their followers more natural too.

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/carleysime/2019/02/05/the-secret-to-transformational-leadership/#644bcd771846

OUTLOOK & How to Move Beyond a Victim Mindset

by Terina Allen, Forbes Magazine, 10/1/18.

… A victim mindset is formed over time and determined by the aggregate of what we regularly think, how we speak, where we focus our attention and the language we choose to use. Avoid allowing your mind to obsess over all the wrong that may have been done to you and channel that energy into more effectively overcoming obstacles and removing barriers.

Just as you can find many people who have had it better than you, if you look objectively, you will also find many people who have had it worse than you. While your feelings and thinking about the wrongdoing may be valid, dwelling on it too much will surely prevent you from realizing your potential. You can spend so much time lamenting the horrible things in your past that it prevents you from taking the steps you need to create a better future and advance your career.

Before you advance your life and career, you will need to change your mindset. Here are some things that can help you do that.

    Surround yourself with uplifting and supportive people who will offer a listening ear. Turn to these friends from time to time for your pity party (we all need these sometime) but then allow them to nudge you through it so you don’t get stuck.
    Intentionally choose to use more positive and forward-thinking language in your communications.
    Adopt a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset tend to better prepare for and respond to change. They also tend to be better equipped to overcome challenges and persevere through them.
    Read inspirational material and resist the temptation to wallow in regret. Regret can cause you to inadvertently become trapped in a cycle of negative thinking and speaking that holds you back.
    Utilize any employment assistance programs or services your organization may offer, or reach out for professional advice and counseling as necessary – especially if you just can’t move beyond the negative thinking or forces in your life.

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/terinaallen/2018/10/01/4-unmistakable-signs-you-have-a-victim-mindset-and-how-you-can-move-beyond-it/#64663fe3e0f0

FREE WILL & How To Run an Organization With (Almost) No Rules & Avoid “Boarding School Aspects” of Leadership

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’ve analyzed/advised mega-churches to micro-churches.  Among the recurring themes in healthy churches is the leader’s ability to encourage the Holy Spirit to develop in volunteers, staff and congregants.  This doesn’t mean an organization devoid of rules, but rather an environment where the Holy Spirit is encouraged to direct Christians rather than the organization directing them.

For example, I worked for an organization that dictated (but eventually only strongly urged) its employees to dress up when at work. While the outside world saw a nicely dressed and united workforce, among the employees there was almost universal contempt and disconnection with the administration.  Semler points out such policies reflect “boarding schools aspects” of leadership rather than.  Watch this insightful TED talk to understand why and then consider a more Spirit-led alternative.

Ricardo Semler, “How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules” (by , Forbes Magazine, 6/30/18).

  • Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler doesn’t believe in rules. At least, he doesn’t believe companies need to impose a host of strict guidelines in order to run efficiently. In fact, he thinks employees will work better if they don’t have to report their vacation days or be told what to wear. He wants to dissolve what he calls the “boarding school aspects” of business, just to see what happens. In his TED talk, Semler dives into what a company with fewer rules would look like, and how it would affect corporate and employee success.

Watch more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/06/30/7-ted-talks-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-a-better-leader

TED TALKS & 7 Short Videos That Will Help You Be A Better Leader

by , Forbes Magazine, 6/30/18.

 

1. John Clarkson, “How Should A CEO Lead? A Musical Exploration”

  • In this TED talk, John Clarkson, former CEO of The Boston Consulting Group, creates various musical analogies for strong leadership…

2. Simon Sinek, “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe”

  • Management theorist Simon Sinek affirms that building and creating trust is the foundation of any good leader, but requires a lot of responsibility… after all, trust and accountability are the cornerstones of strong leadership.

3. Dan Ariely, “What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?”

  • All of us have, at one point, wondered what exactly it is that’s so fulfilling about our work. Luckily, we have Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, to break it down for us. He understands that no one is purely motivated by a paycheck alone, and things such as pride and creativity are as motivating…

4. Shawn Achor, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”

  • In the same vein as Ariely, psychologist Shawn Achor explores what it means to be happy in your job. Surprisingly, he discusses how it isn’t our work that affects our happiness, but the other way around…

5. Charlene Li, “Efficient Leadership in the Digital Era”

  • …Charlene Li uses her knowledge as a CEO and Principal Analyst at the Altimeter Group to explore how we can be better leaders in this new, digital era. She recognizes that innovation and quick decisions have become more crucial to successful businesses than ever before, and in her speech breaks down how empowering employees can help foster better decision making.

6. Ricardo Semler, “How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules”

  • Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler doesn’t believe in rules. At least, he doesn’t believe companies need to impose a host of strict guidelines in order to run efficiently. In fact, he thinks employees will work better if they don’t have to report their vacation days or be told what to wear. He wants to dissolve what he calls the “boarding school aspects” of business, just to see what happens. In his TED talk, Semler dives into what a company with fewer rules would look like, and how it would affect corporate and employee success.

7. Roselinde Torres, “What It Takes to be A Great Leader”

  • Roselinde Torres has spent nearly three decades observing great leaders doing what they do best, and she’s come up with three questions she believes are crucial for CEOs to ask in order to be successful. Torres is focused on what makes a great leader, and though the answer isn’t black and white, she spends her TED talk breaking down what does and doesn’t work for leaders in the 21st century.

Read and watch more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/06/30/7-ted-talks-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-a-better-leader/

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & Lead Like A Gardener, Not A Commander

by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 6/17/18. 

In Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal and his colleagues (2015, Penguin Publishing Group), McChrystal explains had to unlearn what it means to be a leader. A great deal of what he thought he knew about how the world worked and his role as a commander had to be discarded.

I began to view effective leadership in the new environment as more akin to gardening than chess,” he writes. “The move-by-move control that seemed natural to military operations proved less effective than nurturing the organization— its structure, processes, and culture— to enable the subordinate components to function with ‘smart autonomy.’ It wasn’t total autonomy, because the efforts of every part of the team were tightly linked to a common concept for the fight, but it allowed those forces to be enabled with a constant flow of ‘shared consciousness’ from across the force, and it freed them to execute actions in pursuit of the overall strategy as best they saw fit. Within our Task Force, as in a garden, the outcome was less dependent on the initial planting than on consistent maintenance. Watering, weeding, and protecting plants from rabbits and disease are essential for success. The gardener cannot actually ‘grow’ tomatoes, squash, or beans— she can only foster an environment in which the plants do so.”

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/06/17/ten-agile-axioms-that-make-managers-anxious/#51ae8abc4619

#DMin

AGILE ORGANIZATION & Talent Drives Strategy, Not Vice Versa in the Agile Organization.

by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 6/17/1.

Talent Drives Strategy, Not Vice Versa

“The central premise of a talent-driven company is that talent drives strategy, as opposed to strategy being dictated to talent.,” says the book, Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First (HBRP, 2018) by Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, and his colleagues Dennis Carey and Ram Charan, “The wrong talent inevitably produces the wrong strategy, and fails to deliver. Numbers like sales and earnings are the result of placing the right people in the right jobs where their talents flourish and they can create value that ultimately shows up in the numbers.”

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/06/17/ten-agile-axioms-that-make-managers-anxious/#51ae8abc4619