Monthly Archives: April 2011

Watching Leadership Happening!

Our youngest granddaughter asked for the book “Tomorrow When The War Began” for Christmas.

She waxed lyrical about it. We bought it and gave it to her.

Last week I saw the DVD at the Video shop and thought it may be worthwhile seeing what she was so interested in. I brought it home.

Not knowing what i was about to watch I approached with an open and interested mind.

Suddenly I realised I was in a Leadership Development Arena.

Here were a group of young adults, each with their take on life so far showing through their behaviours.

Their beliefs were very definitely rather mundane. The kind of things people in ordinary, non challenging lives may focus on.

You could go as far as saying that they were living boring lives. A bit like Thoreau in “Walden” when he said that “Most men (People) lead lives of quiet desperation.”

This reminds me of so many of the people I observe today. So caught up in other peoples expectations or conforming to fit in, or disillusioned by those in charge that they have given up their ability to have a choice in what is going on.

Suddenly in the movie they become aware of a total change in their environment, things are no longer the same.

It is then that we begin to see a change in these people, as is normal, the change is different in each of them and happens at different speed and times.

The one consistent is that each of them moves into Leadership roles, albeit, one at a time, but they do, promptd by different circumstances as their differing personalities deal with the changing events.

I was actually quite glued to the television as I watched this DVD, intrigued by the lesson that was unfolding in front of me as to what Leadership truly is.

None of the people seemed right initially. Definitely no “born to the role” contenders.

Some definitely were painted as not having a ounce of leadership material in them.

Some changed quite dramatically and took on roles that were 180 degrees in the opposite direction to the earlier expectations described.

As with everything in life there are a variety of ways that leadership can pan out. Different members of the group responded in differing ways. Some more effectively than others.

My constant awareness was that if they had been better aware of what was going on within their own processing, what was making them tick, then they would have been in a far better position to choose the best way to respond to the challenges of leadership that were thrown up to them.

I know that it sounds like a broken record but each of the young adults in the movie beautifully represented differing personality profiles, different profile behaviours.

With a better understanding of the default that they were coming from as well as that of their friends, they would have been much better able to understand why they responded the way they did and better understand why their friends responded the way they did.

What is more they would have been able to intuit better ways that they could have responded. It is one thing to know why you have done something the way you have done it. It is another totally different thing to know better ways that you could respond whilst in that specific situation.

That is Leadership! The movie showed the differing ways that leadership played out in this particular story. With a far deeper nderstanding of their potential they could have been even better, more successful Leaders.

Do you know your leadership style? Would you like to better understand what your leadership style could be?

If so just make a note in the comments. It could be the beginning of your leadership style’s coming out and becoming obvious.

P.S. I note that this book is part of a long series. We will see how leadership plays out with them by reading or waiting till the next movies come out in the next few years.

Just what is Leadership?

So much of what I have read lately has been about Leadership of organisations, institutions, business, political parties.

In fact I now understand that I was beginning to perceive that there was only one leader in any organisation.

It was no one else’s responsibility to act out the leadership role. One person is the leader, everyone else is a follower.

As I thought about this perception of leadership and how I had experienced it in organisations I had worked in or managed, I began to understand that my beliefs and values about Leadership actually were different to those I was reading and hearing about.

The organisations that ran the best may have had a CEO, a General Manager, an owner, a boss, however, these people were not the only ones who fulfilled Leadership.

Leadership was or ought to be a part of everyone’s personal mission statement.

To everyone in the business, leadership meant:

  • acting as if you owned the business
  • working in the business with a focused sense of purpose.
  • being totally responsible for the roles you played within the organisation. “owning your actions”.
  • Accepting that as far as you were concerned you were where the buck stopped when a decision was made in your department.
  • No one else was ever blamed for decisions that you made.
  • Everyone cared for and supported one another. “mutual respect”.
  • exhibiting an intuitive or lateral awareness of what is needed.
  • the ability to think on your feet.

Interestingly enough these traits are all able to be grown in all of us.  Inheriting them is not the only method of acquisition.

I feel that we place far to much emphasis on it being in our genes. Family inheritance of beliefs, culture, behaviour, what we are capable of achieving and our station in life are not givens, they are all capable of change and growth.

As with everything, awareness is the first part of any change. We have to see what we are doing, see the repercussions of those actions and then ask is there another way that this can be done, a better way that satisfies different criteria, different ways we want the results to turn out.

It initially means standing back and observing ourselves in action.

Then questioning whether what I observed was the best way to do things.

We may need to have done some work identifying our actual values. If we believe that others are there for us to ripoff, then we have an issue. At least in my eyes. That work may need to identify the beliefs beneath the values. Where did the values come from?

Then we may choose which way we desire to go.

By beginning to take ownership for everything that happens in my life, I free myself up to do something about changing it. I have started the process that will create the changes necessary. This is the beginning of understanding  leadership.

Where are you on the journey to own the leadership in your life, relationships, job?

Are you into choosing how the role will be or are you still manipulated by your circumstances, your beliefs?

Leadership is every persons right. It is something that we are all capable of. However, if you are not comfortable in the role of leader, then you need to look and ask why not.

Let me know if your leadership is not what it ought to be, maybe I can assist you?.

Email me at  austin@austinparry.com

Do They Actually Listen to What They Say?

Can one get caught up in emotional, aggressive, Rude,insulting, potentially abusive, questionable and irrelevant comments and still claim to be honestly seeking the truth?

I have been observing our politicians over the last few weeks, from all major and minor Parties and Independents. Specifically in Australia, however, when I looked beyond this country out to the global community, I noticed a consistency with what I had observed here.

There appears to be a Mission statement among political leaders that proclaims, “For the good of the Country!” Was what was happening truly for the good of the country?  Was the proclaimed agenda the same as the actual agenda?

I was challenged with what I observed. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to ask, if the running of countries is done as a business. What kind of Business Leadership was I observing?

This led me to contemplate and then ask a couple of things, Could business, in general, run successfully, with this style of Leadership that I was observing? Also, were politicians’ throughout the world truly offering Leadership to their constituents in the best possible form? I won’t go there in this post, but it could lead to some interesting contemplation.

Can? Does? business run successfully with an overtly aggressive and abusive leadership.

Obviously it must still be able run, albeit, with challenges, when you note  organisations such as  “The Boss Whisperer” promoting their business.

I know that for myself, I do not work in an efficient manner when there is aggressive management roaring around. It brings out my doubt in my ability. Consequently I do not perform at my optimal level.

It strikes me that if we all had a better understanding of how we process, were willing to look at how that positioned us in our work environment, (or even our personal life),  and allow ourselves to ask the question, “Could we do this differently, better”? Then the world could be a better place!

Could it be that there are a variety of ways that different people could chose to see things? And all of them could be correct responses.

Could it be that there are a variety of responses to any one issue? And all of them could be correct responses.

Could it be that there are varieties of beliefs and values? And all of them are quite acceptable from an objective perspective?

I know from my perspective, the more I understand how I process, what motivates my beliefs and values, how I work more effectively with specific guidelines, the better able I am to create around me an environment where I can work more efficiently and effectively.

With my lack of in-depth awareness, I may be wrong, however, I could be forgiven for believing that the interchange we see amongst politicians in parliament and in the media is an unnecessary and irrelevant part of governing a country.

I am absolutely sure that it is unnecessary and irrelevant part of running a business.

Whether our ultimate goal is to run a country or run a successful business, improving its bottom line and increasing its productivity and efficiency, the ways to do it are consistent. When we focus on the goal rather than attacking people, we have a far greater chance of succeeding.

If you are interested in learning more about your way of processing. I am happy to do a complementary profile of your profile using the Enneagram Typing Instrument. This will give you an overview and general understanding of the possibility of how you process and what drives you.

Just mail me at austin@austinparry.com and I will arrange to forward the link to you. Once completed I will return the results to you. Where you choose, I can offer further support.

Self knowledge is the road to self mastery. The more i know who I am, the better I am at marketing me to the outside world. The better I am as assessing objectively what is going on in any given situation.

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