Thursday, July 30, 2015

Steps to: People are energetic when …

… interested and motivated - a well-known approach!

In the posts Can Obedience nurture Trust? and Disciplines of execution the question was whether command/control could bring results and if obedience could bring the trust. My opinion remains the same as explained in How to (not) energize the team: a positive energy energizes a person or a team.

So that’s it! Well, not exactly. My life lessons from bringing up my sons teach me that I have to use different approach to energize one or another.

Energy drainEnergyTo further it, I believe we mostly come across two types of personality: one gives us strength and energy while the other drains it. Within the first group are people (or even places and things) that make us feel like we are building up our own energy stores, rejuvenate us and help to do our best. The latter group leaves us exhausted, makes us feel as though we have wasted our time and energy without getting anything useful done. They do this to fuel their relentless hunger for negativity, leaving us drained and unhappy.

So how should we help people to function in their zone?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

How leader decide

I have read that there are many people who think and plan in organizations, but very few who have the ability to move cognitive processes into executable phases (Marino).

We all have experience in making some thoughtful decisions. Making a good (right?) decision in different, sometimes difficult, situations is no small coup.

But why is it still in a lot of normal situations so difficult to make the right and good decision?

Probably the main problem lays in variables and outcomes that are often so uncertain and we are discomforted and paralyzed by analysis. I’ve read that all our decisions are made with a help of our emotions. And when we get into the emotional part of our brain, our inborn reaction is to protect ourselves. More hard it is to decide more adrenaline rushes in and we get flight-or-fight response. Our short-term survival is the (only) immediate goal.

Therefore, in such circumstances it is important to figure out when what you don’t know is actually important to know. So the first and most important component of decision-making is self- confidence. It helps us to go about gathering the necessary information to resolve the uncertainty and seize a decision.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Employee Engagement

I’ve read a lot of articles stating and arguing that the engaged workforce can create competitive advantage. The prime question here is how to engage people?

An engaged employee is ‘a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work’.

Now, try to find out from a truthful top executive how many engaged people work in his company and you would probably get an answer ‘about half of them or less’.

Should top executives be concerned about that?

disengaged employeeIn my post Leadership and “happy” organization I wrote: there is a Gallup-poll of a 1.5 million sampling, and the result is: 30% of employees are happy with their managers, 20% are not, and 50% have disengaged themselves in having any feelings at all. This is when employees show up for work, did what they are told to do, and, at the end of their shift, go home; the same routine would be repeated the next day.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Competition or Collaboration?

There is always a dilemma how to get better results: by fostering competition or collaboration between employees for the executions of organizational tasks.

The humanity from the dawn had to collaborate in order to have bigger chance for survival, so I would (always) vote for collaboration. Our basic communication tool (language) provided two main issues for the success: learning and passing the knowledge and the second is explaining or danger warning to other members of the pack.

CompetitionOn the other hand competition was, throughout our history, a driving force that continued moving humanity forward. It is most evident from the conflicts between tribes or societies. Imperialism, known from ancient times, is about economic expansion by grabbing defenseless countries (like Alexander the Great or/and Genghis Khan). Looting the countries for raw materials by forcing the labor to later force them to buy expensive manufactured goods is also accompanying humanity from dawns. But this competing attitude helped in driving developments that improved many aspects of life, and is continuing to do so. What else is globalization?

Definitely, conflicts were and are still part of our environment. And for them you need collaboration (again): to start or to solve them. But, on the smaller scale, could scientists in e.g. CERN compete with each other and still produce the same results as they do – or do they collaborate?

CollaborationContinuing the struggle of thinking which one – collaboration or competition – yields better results, I would again like to say that it is collaboration: compare teamwork against solo or egocentric behavior of a player on the football terrain. Unfortunately, today we are often forgetting team play and are only competing with each other, against countries, environment… and not really understanding that there is no win for us while doing so. I think that for the progress towards a better world we should principally collaborate with one another and not compete against one another. Could this then be the ultimate goal?

No way!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Practicing “Tai Chun”

There is no martial art with the name Tai Chun. I just melted names of two arts to form a new expression:  the first word from Tai Chi (Tai chi in the leadership world -1) and the other from Wing Chun (Wing chun in Leadership; Wing Chun basics 4 Leadership). So, why did I combine those two arts?

For several decades now I have been practicing different martial arts and came to conclusion that at the top level of any martial art there is a very similar if not the same knowledge and performance.

Why is it so?

PersonPeople like to think we are different. But, what I like to point out is that as people we are all the same. We have almost identical “hardware” (two legs and hands, one body, head …) that moves in the same way. Well, one is taller and the other is heavier etc. but there is no big difference when it comes to how we sit down, walk, eat or fight. We use the same musculatures, joints or/and bones. Our “software” is pretty similar as well (we have fears, we are happy, we are angry …). Our brains work through the ‘same’ neurons and have same regions for processing vision, thoughts, and emotions. Therefore, our thoughts are produced, stored and retrieved in the same manner. And the same goes for our  cerebellum system where our reactions are ‘memorized’ and fired from.