Thursday, December 18, 2014

Authentic leadership

Servant leadershipIn the post ‘Servant leadership I touched the meaning of added attribute(s) to the word ‘leadership’. Let me continue the subject with another example.

‘Authentic leadership’ puts an important stress on building leader’s legitimacy through honest relationships with followers (their input is appreciated) and is built on the ethical foundation thusly being able to improve individual and team performance (from: Wiki).

Authentic leadershipAuthenticity has been explored throughout history, already in times of Greek philosophers. The ‘Authentic Leadership’ book written by Bill George in 2003 got the highest level of acceptance as part of a modern management science.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Multicultural environment and leadership

cultural differencesIn situations when you have to introduce yourself where do you usually place your family name: in front of a given one or behind it? Do you call other people by their first name? Koreans for example remain largely as ‘people with no given names’. We often say ‘my’ school or ‘my’ office or ‘my’ country; the Japanese people say ‘our’ school or ‘our’ office or ‘our’ country and even ‘our husband’? In Western culture we use ‘Hi,’ ‘Thank you,’ ‘You’re welcome,’ or ‘I’m sorry’. In China the same is preferably expressed by eye contacts or body gestures. When eating with friends do you share dishes or does each of you have your own plate just for yourself?

cultural impact onAbove are just some cultural differences that you may see when visiting the countries around the globe. For a short visit some mistakes are not significant but if you are in the position to lead a multicultural team also these mistakes may influence the job outcome.

For me the most important is that you “understand” the differences. Next important issue is that you have to ‘be aware of’ your ‘cultural background noise’ as I’ve talked about in my TEDx talk. A cultural background noise may be blocking your vision on others’ cultural issues. If you surpass it you are prepared to accept and change.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Hundred posts

Jaro BerceWOW – when I started to write this blog hundred seemed a long time away. I even haven’t had a clue what topics to write about in first few posts. And now, this one reaches the number one hundred!

It took me a year and a half. It was not an easy time. Sometimes the day of posting was approaching and my mind was still not set on a topic, sometimes I had a topic but the thoughts could not be formulated to my satisfaction. There were “technical” problems, too, when I was spending time in places with no internet connection. How to write and not repeat myself too much? Sometimes other engagements took precedence. Other times the stuffiness of writing was taking over. But in all this time a lot of experience was gathered which helped me to overcome all the obstacles and arrive at this point.

At the beginning I set my mind to follow the path of “being different” in approach to leadership: I structured the blog posts in five categories which  are not arbitrary but rather serve the purpose of the content I was writing about.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Change leadership

Leo TolstoyLeo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, said “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

In the business consultancy everybody talks about managing change and change management. Consultants are offering a set of processes, tools and mechanisms or structures intend to perform and keep whichever change effort under control. But if we look at all of those tools, they’re trying to push through these changes, we get plethora techniques to minimize disruptions, i.e., keep things under control during and after changes have been implemented. Thusly the legitimate question is “Do these tools work as they should?” The answer to that is in my post: Management practices and tools that just “don’t work” and until today I haven’t changed it yet.

But what about “change leadership”?

Change leadership has its own demands. It requires a different mindset than change management and focuses mainly on an extra set of capabilities in order to lead an organization to a new place. It’s more about having a big vision. It’s more about empowering employees and not introducing new management techniques.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Yin & Yang in Leadership

Yin and Yang is a brilliant symbol and a superb allegory approach to describe excellence in leadership. Let me point out some of the possible applications already posted in my blogs. In the post “IQ & EQ for Leaders” I've written about the importance of “intelligence and emotional quotients” to the leadership. For a leader it is crucial to find a proper mixture of EQ and IQ substances to achieve correct methods/processes that deliver desired results. It is not enough to possess one or the other, the same as in Yin and Yang concept. Another blog “Virtue – Morality – Ethics and leadership” I claimed that virtue motivates, morals and ethics constrain. The last two represent an ego which could be one of the biggest barriers for people to work together effectively (EGO and Leadership?) in multicultural organizations that are spread around the globe. Again here we have two opposite things in leadership that “conflict” with each other.

But Yin and Yang is much more than mere opposites.