Category Archives: searching

Mindset of Leaders

I have been reading a book by Carol S. Dweck called “mindset: the new psychology of success.

Dweck differentiates between two types of mindset. 1. Fixed mindset and 2. Growth mindset.

Initially she suggests that depending on our early influences, birth, family, educators.

From a leadership point of view, I am intrigued that both of these group have within them people who have become identified as leaders. Yet the leadership that is given can differ quite dramatically.

One leader can believe that things all have a place and ought to be in their place. Many of these leaders are influenced majorly by fundamental belief systems that proclaim this is the way things are intended to be. This is the fixed mindset leader.

Their leadership is fairly dogmatic, though it could be very benevolent and caring. However, there is no room left for questioning or offering a different option.

Another can be a the growth mindset leader who is aware that today failures pave the way to tomorrows successes. There is an openness to new possibilities. This form of leadership is always open to doing things better.

Which of these is correct?

A fixed mindset leader I would be going all out to prove to you that I was correct, the growth mindset leader, in their wisdom, would not attempt to change a fixed mindset person. It appears unfortunately the there is a, “No correspondence will be entered into”, policy. The jury for the fixed mindset leader is not “Still out,” but rather has passed their verdict and gone home.

A growth mindset leader is one who does not believe they have all the answers and as such will be open to consider options, there is no need to prove they have all the answers as they don’t believe they have. The belief is that development can occur, growth is possible, new awareness’s and ideas will manifest.

There is a massive optimism for the growth mindset leader. There is always a better way and we will search for it.

The fixed mindset leader is a very limiting place to be as there is no room for change, growth, development and new ideas. it is a very negative place to be as in essence there is no chance of anything different occurring.

Personally, today’s climate in business, politics, relationships, religious faith would be a better place if the focus of our leaders was on what could be, on growth and development.

As I continue to listen to the political debate in Australia, the UK, Europe, New Guinea, the USA, throughout the world; as I listen to the religious debate similarly throughout the world, I hear so much fixed mindset leadership, all fighting to preserve the status quo.

My prayer is that people as a whole will search for growth mindset leaders. leaders who will listen, question, ask why this way, could it be that way? Open to rethinking ways to do all that we do, so that it is more relevant, more efficient, more humane, more in touch with truth, honesty and integrity.

We are getting better and more of these leaders are materialising, however, the more of us who get on board, the soon it will reach a tipping point.

Traits of a Great Leader- number 3

In the list of traits of great leaders that Facebook friends suggested another was “Unwavering Vision”.

I agree wholeheartedly with this suggestion, I will add a little rider later.

In conventional coaching language, Goals would come close to covering this. However, there is more to unwavering vision than just goal setting.

This is all about having such strong vision, such strong goals that the focus never strays from where one is going.

The image that pops into my head is that of a GPS system. You set the destination to which you are heading, then the GPS begins and continues to issue directives that are totally focused on getting you from where you are to where you want to go.

In fact it is so unwavering that if you err slightly the voice will let you know and begin issuing directives to bring you back on track.

A great Leader needs to be absolutely sure of where they want to go. This may require a large amount of interaction with all the key stakeholders, a large amount of research, checking out all the possibilities and options, fine tuning choices till finally a single choice has surfaced as the goal for which to strive.

Another issue which many overlook is the need to know where you are starting the journey from. Until that is known, there is no way of setting the GPS, of plotting the course. The two critical things that go hand in hand are where are you starting from and where are you heading to.

Unless you know both the GPS cannot be set, the journey cannot be defined and created step by step.

To have unwavering Vision it needs to be defined and there needs to be a surety that this is truly where you need and want to be heading. Unless there is that surety, that certainty, then there may definitely be a lack of commitment.

It is very hard to follow a leader who is forever changing their mind about where they are heading.

One comment I said I would come back to is the only downside about “unwavering”.

What happens if somewhere along the way their arises an awareness that this is not the correct direction, that the goal needs to be redefined.

It is useless putting time and effort into a goal, if it becomes obvious that it is no longer the correct goal.

Steven Covey’s “wrong forest” comment in his Seven Habits book illustrates this. If you are heading in the wrong direction them working harder, working longer will not get you there.

In my model there is a constant requirement of checking in to see that the direction we are going is truly still where we want to go.

Part of this is feedback, part is regular assessments, another part is truly listening to all comments and assessing their validity in relation to vision defined and actual vision required.

All effort was initially invested in defining the vision, however as new light is shone on the vision it is more than possible, after discussion and consideration, that the vision may need to be redefined.

As long as there is a proviso for revisiting the original vision, checking to be sure it truly represents where you want to go and being humble enough to admit you got it wrong and being willing to redefine it, then “Unwavering Vision” is truly a powerful trait of great leaders.

How well have you defined where you want your life, your business to head? How well have you assessed and defined exactly where you are at this moment?

Unless you have seriously worked on both of these equally, you may have issues of wasting a whole lot of time, energy and money heading down a dead end track.

If you haven’t then your leadership is being called into doubt. Be sure you have done what is needed so that you can lead with Unwavering vision.

 

Call me if you need to do some work on this. 61 (0 in Oz)419 701 608

 

Good Leaders Lead Themselves First

How well can you answer the question: “Who are you?”

Not: Who would you like to be?

Not: Who do you think you are?

Not: who do I want everyone to think I am?

No: Who are YOU?

Objectively — What are your strengths and weaknesses?

What is you “shown” side and your “shadow” side?

Each of my clients-before I see them for the first time is asked to do two personality assessment. DISC and Enneagram. The reason why these two and not the many others is another future post.

They give me an in depth awareness of how–through a series of questions that you answer– you are seeing the world at this moment.

They do not define you. All they do is tell me how things are at this moment. 12 months ago or in 12 months time the result could be different.

I then get you to look at the summary of awareness that your answers have suggested is you at this moment and ask you in what you have read:

How much do you recognize of you and are happy with?

How much do you recognize of you and are not happy with?

How much would you like to recognize but can’t?

How much do you not recognize and are glad that you can’t?

This is the process of getting to know “who you are”.

In “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves“, the queen had a magic mirror that she was able to ask about who was the most beautiful in the land. It usually answered that she was but once Snow White was old enough it gave her the honest answer. Her step daughter, Snow White was.

How willing are you to allow your mirror to talk back to you and give you an honest answer?

If you asked it: How good a listener am I? How caring am I? How open to ideas am I? How easily do I lose my temper? How arrogant am I?

Would you be open to the answer that the mirror would give you?

To be a good leader one needs to listen to the mirror.

All Leaders definitely need a mirror. Someone to help them to come to terms with what the rest of the world sees when it looks at them.

As a coach I facilitate, for leaders, this process, as the starting off point for learning truly how to be a good leader.

If I may be so blunt as to ask this question: “Do you truly know who YOU are?

If you can’t answer in all honesty yes, then we need to talk.

Drop me an email. Respond to this post. Don’t waste any time.

The rest of the world sees you as you are. You are the only one who may not.

Get some certainty that you are projecting to the world the message that you say you are projecting.

Make sure who you think you are is how others actually see you.

I once thought I knew what a Leader was!!

There was a time in my life when I truly believed that all I had to do as a leader was to have the answer to the questions I was being asked. What do I do here? Go and do such and such!. End of story. I even thought that as long as I kept people happy with directions as to how to do life then they would appreciate me.

I came unstuck early in life when at 12 years old, I attempted to tell the kids around my area, (I lived in a large block of  flats with a lot of open space and numerous families surrounding our flats), as they gathered to play cricket on our disused tennis court how they would do it, guess what, they all knew better, even though I knew my idea was better than theirs and it was their solution to their issue.

It was suddenly back to the drawing board. I had not even found out if they had a problem with how they would play their game. (I always volunteered to keep the score), So what is it that I could do to help? Maybe if I asked what was the issue.

So I did. They told me what was going on. I asked some questions around what I heard. They answered those questions, I thought and asked more questions.

Obviously I had thought I knew what their issue was and got it wrong. So I needed to find what their issue was and as I wasn’t able to second guess it, then I needed to put a far greater effort in having them define it for me.

That process was a lot slower and a lot more frustrating, however it was a lot more successful. It achieved what I had not been able to achieve.

I could work at giving people the answer to their problem, as I saw it, or I could seek to find just what the problem was that they had.

Funny, in so many case I have now been involved in, the answer was the same. What then was the difference?

I was a bit of a slow learner, however, I finally realised that the person who had the issue seemed to feel happier when they came up with the answer themselves. They also seemed far more committed to making it work whenthey believed it was their solution. So I learned to let them and in fact complemented them when the Ah ha moment arrived.

This was the beginning of my journey. When I realised that people responded better to their own contemplations of the problem that to my telling them what they needed to do.

Some 50 years later I found that this is the essence of coaching. The consultant and sometimes the therapist come in and tell one how to run the business, how to solve the problem, basically how my answers will deal with your issue, even though I have no idea what the real issues are.

Rather, the question asks, tell me about your issue? How is it truly an issue for you? It then goes on to ask questions about how else is it an issue for you, searching to find how this issue can truly cause you a problem.

It then searches for how, you may consider, the problem could be dealt with. Challenging the client to stretch at finding possible responses to the issue. looking at those responses and contemplating the value of each considered response.

By a process of elimination and brainstorming, somewhere, the real answer to the issue appears to turn up, out of nowhere.

It didn’t turn up out of nowhere really. I turned up within the process of searching ones own data base and being willing to be open to the searching process.

Rather than be driven by the fear of not knowing what to do. There was an openness, a vulnerability, to allow oneself to be in a searching role but not yet have an awareness of what the answer may look like.

This is the creative role, the leadership role. To be willing to sit within the space of not knowing. Not needing to answer any questions. Just being open to the realisation that the answer will arrive, as long as we are faithful to the process and to trust it, letting go of any desire to control the outcome.

Sometimes very hard to sit there and shut-up when others started solving the problem that I believed I was the one who had the answer to it.

My response. Let it happen, after checking if there were ways I might be able to be involved.

I had achieved the miracle. I now saw a Leader in a different light. A new role, to facilitate, empower, stretch people to come up with their own solutions.

Interesting when this happened, I could actually take a breather because I was no longer needed to be the person who had to have all the answers. I could delegate to others and forget about the issue until they reported in later.

One of the last businesses that I led was one where we were all leaders, sharing the roles, bouncing ideas off each other, all coming up with ideas, all taking responsibility for where we were heading. It was really quite fun.

The Leadership Journey

I have sat painfully observing so many Leaders both in business and government.

My observation is that they believe the process of Leadership is just being able to strongly claim that they have the answer and tell people to follow it.

There is little consideration as to what other peoples point of view may be, except to rubbish it because it is not like theirs.

The polarity style of Leadership appeared to work somewhere in the past. On deeper study of history it probably only worked because those who were pushing thier particular point of view, riding rough-shod over large numbers, were also writing the history.

As long as I tell the story about what happened, I can explain how those silly people who did not follow orders, ended up being removed.

In 1969, I was dismissed from my role as assistant priest in a Queensland Parish when I disagreed with the authority who told me I needed a haircut. I and numerous others did not believe I did, or that it was the authorities role to dictate that.

That is minor compared to the narrow minded and bigoted beliefs that influence so much of the leadership directions of government and business officials.

Here we are, in a time in history, where we consider that so many people are exhibiting enlighten behaviour, contemplating others best interests, working for the good of humanity. Whilst we are experiencing such incredibly strong influences of negative influence.

United States of America houses of government unable to work an intelligent response to the financial crisis that years of turning a blind eye, (on both sides), has created.

All sides so strongly claiming their perception is right and therefore any other perception must be wrong. No one seems willing to point out and no one seems to want to listen anyway, that a perception is just that, a perception. They are only individual subjective points of view, forged in the initial cradle in which we were nurtured, habits of history.

Yet we are seduced by the person who comes on strongest with their definitive belief in their perception. Somehow we are attracted to the one who speaks in a god-like manner with great surety.

With my study of Logic at high school I saw that when what were called the Logical fallacies were used in debates, somehow, people were able to be convinced of the rightness of a issue, even though on fuller examination the presentation was seen to be fallacious.

I have more recently seen presenters of the ilk of Tony Robbins and Christopher Howard, just to mention a couple amongst many, bring a whole room into rapport and then sell to the people in that room, things they may have not purchased when not in rapport. NLP can be used a tool for good, it can also be used a manipulative tool.

However, we a willing to sit mesmerised by the highly definitive leader who tells us exactly what we need and, interestingly enough, we will accept, without question in many instances, exactly what he tells us. Even we disagree, we will only express our disagreement to the TV or radio, not out in public.

I have just found an article on Wellbeing Magazine’s Web site entitled Narcissism . Rather interesting as it is looking at a similar area of interest.

My main focus, as a person who works with businesses and individuals who are searching for how they can grow their business through growing their Leadership, is to get these organisations or individuals to search just what is true Leadership.

Is it to get people to follow, along the lines of the “Pied Piper of Hamelin“, blindly in whatever direction we want them to go. Or is it more. Or could it be more.

I believe true leadership is to empower ownership of the project by all the key stakeholders in such a way that they are working as a team to produce whatever they are all involved in producing in a most effective and efficient way, gaining as much input from all players so that it is truly democratic, that is 100% acceptable, as opposed to political democratic which is 50.1% acceptable.

What kind of leaders are you? Do you manage to get all the ducks to line up and fit into the direction in which you want people to go? Or are you open to looking at a variety of options with an open mind, searching, working at finding the best possible action, at this moment, to go with, whilst keeping open the possibility that new awareness’s may arise.

Ask yourself the question. What kind of Leader am I? and the question that asks, can I do it better? How open are you to looking at your Leadership style?

Message me if you wish to go further in your search to be the best you can be in the Leadership arena.

As a Leader, are you on a Journey of Growth

As a culture are we total happy with where we are at this moment?

As Leaders: is the workplace, the community, the state, the country, the world working at its best? Or could it actually do things better?

Is where we are now perfect? Never ever to need reconsideration? Or is that just wishful thinking?

I keep hearing that the world is in trouble, and that we need Leaders who will lead us out of here. To a better place.

Through his research Claire Graves identified that discrete patterns of thinking, (psychological systems), emerge as our brains re – calibrate themselves, through a bio-chemical process, to meet the new needs brought about by changing life conditions.

To put that simply. We develop new ways to deal with new situations.

The challenge with this is that so many Leaders deny that the new situations exist. So no new ways are developed.

This creates new issues as the “New Situations” continue to present.

If one attempts to hold back the progress of time, sooner or later time will catch up with them and override them, swamping them and proving them wrong.

To really be a true Leader, there is a need to be constantly facing up to the question, “Is there a better way?” “Are we doing the best possible we can be doing at this moment?”

This is what being a true leader is. Always listening to the comments from all within the system we may be in, constantly asking the question, what is this question about? What can I learn from this question? how can we grow from what is being asked?

Leadership implies openness. On an expedition does the Leader really know where they are at any moment and do they really know where they are going? They have an ideal goal.

They have a perceived direction. But the question is that when a fork in the road appears, is the Leader aware of the challenge and are they ready to make a choice? How quickly can they reassess the goals they have set and set new ones to cater for the new awareness. Are they open to conversation and another way of thinking?

If there is no openness, no willingness to reconsider and make new choices, then probably the person is a manager. Whose role has a possible definition of maintaining the status quo. Managers tend to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

True Leaders work at building a new and better system that is not limited, but rather open to a variety of possibilities. That will not choose to do fear or blame. That will rather say, “Interesting Evolutionary Experience, so where to from here?”

Constantly open to searching, no matter what. Looking for the opportunities to grow and take their organisation, their group, their team, onto a new tomorrow.With new awareness’s, new challenges, new possibilities, ready to do the whole process over and over again.

So many of the models of Leadership that we are taught were great when they were penned. However, we need to be prepared for a more open, flamboyant, searching style of Leadership that does not know the answers, but is willing to get out there, get their hands dirty in the search for “Where too from here?”

Is your Leadership style moving you and your organisation forward, or is it holding you back?

It is the organisation that has the most flexible, open style of Leadership that will flourish in the years to come. The other style will lead their organisations to become dinosaurs.

We constantly hear that the only constant in life is change. True Leaders are open to that change, willing to consider, to ask why not, rather than why.

If you really wish for your organisation to flourish in the coming years, then the proactive, open, listening, querying way is the answer. Anything else leads to complaining and a swift demise.

Sometimes it is hard to assess where we are. There is a need for an objective outsider to ask us the right questions, to challenge us, to question what we are really attempting to do. That is what Leadership Coaching is all about.

Just how prepared or open are we to creating the new possibility. If the answer is yes we are, then you are a Leader: for the rest it is back to the drawing board, to be reprogrammed. To reconsider just what the changing conditions of life are and whether we can do something to workout how would be the best way to meet them?

Intriguing!! What’s going on with many Leaders?

As I observe the world perception of Leadership, I scratch my head.

Leadership appears to be perceived as, “I tell you what you ought to do”.

The response expected from people appears to be “yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir”.

I mentioned in my last post about the different levels of leadership as seen by Spiral Dynamics.

Over the last few days,my observation has been that from the political emphasis of our society, to the pharmaceutical/medical perception of society and on to the legal perception of society, leadership is either  “do it or else, for my words are law” . Or  “the system has this answer and we all agree with the system, because the system is right”.

These are Red and Blue tier is Spiral Dynamics click here to read more.

There does not see to yet be a majority perception that says “lets look at what has been suggested and see how we can learn and grow from what we are now experiencing.”

This awareness is where leadership is heading, it is the yellow tier in Spiral Dynamics. Yes, I have jumped a couple of levels in that system, however, I can see that this level is the one that is able to observe what is happening and be open to seeing all sides of the awareness. It seems a great place to aspire to as leaders.

This is the perception that does not see black or white. Rather it is able to see the nuances of what is in between, the greys.

It is no longer interested in exclusive definitions. Rather it is focused on inclusive understanding.

What are you actually attempting to communicate to me? Is the question.

The desire to be in a place where I totally get what you are telling me.

I am intrigued that people are so focused on achieving their agenda that they are not open to what the other person is really attempting to say.

Isn’t the listeners role to actually listen?

If this is so, how come we so easily move to interpreting what is being said from our own perspective? Surely we have now moved from hearing what others are saying, to hearing what we want to be heard.

To me Leadership is less in telling others how it is, and more on listening to how others perceive how it is. David Rock on the cover of his book “Quiet Leadership” says, “Help People Think Better–Don’t tell Them What to Do.”

As a Leader, how open am I, are you, in actually hearing what our staff are wanting to say to us.

In the 1990’s there was an awareness of what became called MBWA process. Which meant “Management By Walking About.”

That is, listening to what the staff are attempting to tell me about how I can improve on how I run my business.

The main issue is whether I, as the Leader, am open to these thoughts and awareness’s.

My intrigue is that so many times I find that the leader is caught up in their agenda, rather that the good of the team, the group, the organisation.

Question? What is going on? How open am I to getting to the bottom of the issue? Am I seriously involved in being open to the possibilities?

Leadership would do well to go back to the basics. Assess what its role is intended to be. Then reapply itself to future growth.

What is going on?  Either we are focused on growth and moving forward or we are caught up in maintaining the status quo, for no other reason than it is the status quo. Not a Leadership role.

The challenge to us all is to step outside our comfort zone and truly become Leaders who are seeking to make a difference, open to all possibilities and options.

There are many Leadership styles

The main challenge with the being many styles of Leadership is that so many of the styles categorically believe that there style is the only one.

I have been continuing my reading about Dr Claire Graves and “The Emergent Cyclical Levels of Existence Theory”. This has since been called Spiral Dynamics.

I have followed the Spiral Dynamics Integral leg of the development promoted by Don Beck and Ken Wilbur of Integral Theory.

The awareness that humanity has developed through an Eight-stage spiral of Development has enabled me to look at Leadership styles and observe the different styles that are out there in the marketplace.

By noting the difference in styles I am far better able to coach the business or the specific Leader of the business as i have an awareness of their specific driving Values.

I did a Values Profile some 10 years ago and found it a powerful tool to expose my Leadership style to me. Up till then I couldn’t work out easily why people did it differently.

I am going to be rather naughty and cut and paste from a document by Beck and Cowan picking out the Leadership traits of each level. Even though I know there is a lot to digest in this post, if you commit to reading it fully it will have value.

Here are the different levels of Leadership mentioned by Don Beck in the article i mentioned above.

BEIGE: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· People require subsistence needs to be met in order to remain alive.
· Workers need immediate compensation in the form of basic needs.

PURPLE: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:

· People are ‘married’ to their group – nepotism is a way to take care of our own.
· Workers owe their lives and souls to the parent-like organization.
· People follow their leaders willingly to honor their ancestors and the spirits.
· Anyone will sacrifice self without question if the group needs it to survive.
· Change requires the support of accepted ‘elders.’
· Change rituals should be emotional and full of symbols.
· This vMEME exists deep within each of us and tends to surface in times of
uncertainty.
· People are nurtured through observing seasonal rituals, honoring individual’s rites of
passage (weddings, graduations, funerals) and expressing a sense of enchantment and
magic in life’s mystery.

RED: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· People need to be dominated by stronger force that gives rewards and keeps their
lusts in check.
· Workers will put up with a lot if their basic needs are met regularly.
· The haves are owed their status and perks just because of who they are.
· Have-nots probably deserve their status and have no right to complain.
· Payoffs get results, nobody can be trusted, and everyone has their price.
· People need to hear firm change mandates from the powerful ones in straight, tough
talk.
· Workers need to know ‘what’s in it for them’ in order to accept change.
· People are nurtured by preserving the stories of company heroes, or by celebrating the
great feats of conquest when the company, figuratively at least, ‘slayed the dragon.’

BLUE: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· It is mankind’s lot to work for the glory of the one True Way and keep a job.
· People work the best when they are told how to do things the right way.
· Workers are cogs in a system, fulfilling roles they are destined to.
· Higher authority rules by rightful compliance, not by might or fear.
· Doing duty and being punished when failing to do so gives meaning to life.
· Workers owe the organization loyalty as it provides their well-being.
· In times of change workers need a new system to embrace, a new cause to espouse,
and a refreshed purpose.
· Change must be orderly, consistent with principles, sanctioned by those ‘in authority’
and honouring of the past.
· Attacks on the old order trigger resistance.
· People are reinforced through appeals to traditions, by respecting the past, by
honouring length of service and loyalty.
· Various forms of patriotic appeals and charitable sacrifice should accompany
observances of national, religious, or secular holidays and commemorative events.

ORANGE: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· People are motivated by the achievement of material rewards.
· Competition improves productivity and fosters growth through opposition.
· Tried-and-true is best, though it can always be improved upon.
· Workers want to get ahead and have more influence over others.
· Here-and-now success is evidence of rewards to come in the future.
· People are energized by displays of symbols of progress, success, growth, and
accomplishment.
· Individuals or groups who excel should be recognized for their achievements.
· People like a piece-of-the-action but also enjoy getting good things done.

GREEN: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· People want to get along and feel accepted by their peers.
· Sharing and participating lead to better results than competing.
· Emotions need attention, but hard feelings should be avoided.
· All members of an organization should have their say and be included.
· The organization is responsible for its community’s well-being.
· People are inspired by stressing the importance of human beings and the warmth that
exudes from a feeling of a caring community.
· Socially responsible activities should become tastefully visible as everyone in the
group contributes.

YELLOW: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· People enjoy doing things that fit who they are naturally.
· Workers need free access to information, tools, and materials.
· Organizations are only transitory states because change happens.
· Learning and understanding motivate people, not payoffs or punishments.
· People have different competencies and capacities, and most are OK.
· People are inspired through conveying a sense of personal freedom with emphasis on
getting an important job done without specifying how it must be done.
· Flex-time, alternative working hours, remote working, and job interchange are ways
to avoid over-managing.

TURQUOISE: Leadership Assumptions and Implications:
· Spiritual bonds pull people and organizations together.
· Work must be meaningful to the overall health of all life.
· The universe is a single entity of elegantly balanced, interlocking forces.
· Experiencing feelings and information together enhances both.

By looking specificallyat each style of Leadership it is possible to observe the different styles.

Where are you on the Leadership Style profile based on your Values at this point in time?

Would you like to rethink whether your style is adequate for the role you wish to fulfill?

Let me know and we can take it from there.

Next post I will look more on the awareness of styles of Leadership based on this perception.

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

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