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Leadership Principles

Posted on April 3, 2010. Filed under: 1, expectations, Leadership and teams | Tags: |

What a month March has been! So busy that blogging has slipped off the activity list – it remained a priority yet there were so many other pressing items on my time that I haven’t been blogging. And isn’t that something that we’re all familiar with?
So many demands on our time and energy that “something gives”. Well what happens when the thing or things that are dropped even if temporarily from our activity or focus are essential to the harmony or rapport of our team?

Malcolm Gladwell wrote The Tipping Point some time ago and makes some excellent points in there about the context and seemingly small things that can be a tipping point. Others may call them the hygiene factors – the small yet significant details that give a quick and clear view of how healthy a community or a relationship is. For many of us at work it is the niceties that really count, especially after a hard day or week. The things like the boss saying hello or thanking us for a small piece of work. Being able to stop in for a 60 or 90 second chat about the weekend. Having the mental and emotional space to recognise that someone in the team needs a hand or an ear and being able to offer it.

Now are any of those things the things that tend to slip or reduce when you are busy and flat chat?

They are for me. And if the leader of the team is busy it’s a pretty sure bet that the whole team will also be busy – and perhaps more in need of those small yet significant touches.

“The Courageous Follower” by Ira Challeff raises some excellent points about the nature of teamwork being a two way activity and contribution – I hope that I have courageous followers who will challenge me if I have become withdrawn from the team and remind me that my team needs me, or that they will challenge themselves to contribute to the small things that help us as a team hold our identity and value to each other.

A busy month is great in many respects as long as the things that are not done are not the things that will undermine past work and create longer term damage.

A short post before I attend a conference and finish reading a couple of new books that are all contributing to this line of thinking.

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Leadership and Values

Posted on March 3, 2010. Filed under: 1 | Tags: |

Now the theme of this blog is leadership and it seems that there has been a theme of recent posts:

they have been about value driven or value centred leadership.

Is this consistent with what you have seen and heard recently in other areas? In books you have read? Conversations you have heard and/or been having?

Michael Boyatzis wrote “Becoming a Resonant Leader”, Stephen Covey has written “Principle Centred Leadership”, and many books such as “Synchronicity” discuss the principles behind leadership. And that is just to name a (very) few that I am aware of. So is this a trend or just an area I am interested in and am therefore finding all around me. (just like when you buy a red car you suddenly seem to notice more red cars on the road)

So what does this mean for us as leaders?

Well, it gives an indication that our peers and teams are looking for more than technical or situational leadership.

We are looked to as leaders for guidance on doing what is right. Do you remember the phrase about doing things right or doing the right thing?

That is probably a good way of differentiating between value driven leadership (doing the right thing) and efficient management (doing things right). Once again effectiveness and efficiency seem to be head to head.

The question is about which values to follow: our personal ones or those of the company?

If good leadership is about personal values how can we ensure that teams and individuals see and experience consistent values and principles?

Surely if we all lead by our individual values that could become confusing and possibly conflicting for members of our teams. And imagine a leadership team of people with very diverse value sets – and it may not necessarily be a bad thing depending on how transparent those values are and how we identify and address any conflicts.

What do you think? My analysis is that value centred leadership is a key approach to leadership as it can provide a sound basis or touch point to resolve leadership challenges and dilemmas. My view is that it needs to be nested in the values of the company and assumes a set of values within each of us as individuals that is relatively consistent and compatible.

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