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Viewing entries tagged with 'leadership'

Leading diversity...

Posted by Philip on 20 July 2013, 5:26 pm in ,

...is a bit of a misnomer, really.

If you're trying to increase, manage or change the diversity in your organisation, community or society in general, you're probably doing the opposite.

Diversity thrives on its own. Diversity doesn't need to be led. If anything, when allowed, diversity leads.

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How to be authentic and congruent

Posted by Philip on 8 July 2013, 2:00 pm in , , , ,

Authenticity and congruency are important in all relationships of trust, but are crucial in roles of leadership. They allow you to be transparent because what you think and say are aligned.

Without good self-awareness it's hard to be sure that you are congruent on the inside and and coming across as authentic on the outside. Here is a quick and simple exercise I used in the weekend that effectively allows you to assess whether your inner and outer worlds are matching up.

  1. Divide a sheet of paper into four (two rows, two columns).
  2. Number the top two spaces 1 and 2 from left to right.
  3. Number the bottom two spaces 3 and 4 from left to right.
  4. Label Space 1: "Conversations I have with myself about myself".
  5. Label Space 2: "Conversations I have with myself about the world".
  6. Label Space 3: "Conversations I have with the world about myself".
  7. Label Space 4: "Conversations I have with the world about the world".

The top spaces represent your internal world or self-talk. This is where your reflection takes place.

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Negative feedback: when things go bad

Posted by Philip on 16 May 2013, 12:46 pm in , , , , ,

A commenter on my last post rightly pointed out that, in some situations, "confrontation is likely to result in ... someone vulnerable, usually the person offering the critique, however justifiable, getting a knuckle sandwich." Hopefully, things will rarely get that physical but, it's true, negative feedback, however carefully prepared for and framed, isn't always taken positively.

As I replied, I had planned a follow-up post about things going wrong for sometime in the future, but given the comment I thought I'd write it sooner than later.

First up, I failed to clarify that, for the last post and this one, I am writing from a leadership perspective. I am assuming that, as someone in a leadership role, I am giving feedback to a subordinate (excuse the authoritarian term), a colleague or someone senior to me but who respects me in my role.

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School encourages leadership diversity in students

Posted by Philip on 25 January 2013, 1:53 pm in , , ,

At Papatoetoe High School they have a diverse range of wonderful student leaders each with their own unique approach. To help challenge assumptions students have around leadership, support the growth of new leaders, and provide valuable evidence for the students’ 3.8 Achievement Standard, Physical Education Teacher Alexandra asked the 2012 Leadership NZ Alumni to take a couple of minutes to respond to the following questions on leadership.

Here are my answers:

Do you think there is a difference between a leader and a manager?

Yes definitely. A leader is someone who has a strong idea about how the future could be, an understanding of how that change could be made, an ability to communicate the vision and to inspire others to go along for the journey. A manager is someone who ensures people, processes and systems work in order to make sure the journey is as smooth as possible and the end point is reached or, if it can't be, to inform the leader of why not. In most effective enterprises, there is a strong relationship and feedback loop between those in leadership and management. I think it's important to note as well that leadership and management are roles people play. For example, in different parts of my work I may swap between leadership and management roles, depending on the circumstances.

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Charlotte's Web: a tale of superb leadership

Posted by Philip on 24 September 2012, 12:57 pm in , , , , , ,

"Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen." (IMDb)

I read Charlotte's Web when I was just a kid, but it has always stuck in my mind as a great story. Watching the 2006 version of the movie, I realised why: it's a great story of leadership.

Charlotte, the retiring spider who seeks no recognition for her part in saving Wilbur from his fate, epiomises the architypical servant leader. "This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. [She] leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of her team..." (VectorStudy.com)

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Leading with Hope

Posted by Philip on 8 September 2012, 8:13 am in , , , ,

Lesley Slade, with whom I have the absolute pleasure of leading Be. Leadership (and even more fun prepping and debriefing), used to be the CEO of Leadership New Zealand. She wrote the following article in LNZ's July 2008 magazine, "Leaders".

I think it still has tremendous relevance four years later, perhaps more so, and she has kindly allowed me to reproduce it.

Throughout the course of the last three and a half years there have been several consistent messages from leaders who have shared their thinking, leadership experience and their stories with programme participants on the LNZ leadership programme. One recurring message that I have thought about a great deal is that New Zealanders are innovative and creative people but do not have a shared vision for the future. Just recently David Skilling, outgoing CEO of the New Zealand Institute, was quoted in the NZ Herald as saying, "My view increasingly over the last several years is that the real challenge facing New Zealand is that we don’t know what we want as a country."

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Interested in Leadership Development?

Posted by Philip on 20 August 2012, 1:34 pm in , , ,

Leadership New Zealand is a not-for-profit trust set up to focus on developing and enhancing the quality of our future leaders. Leadership New Zealand identifies, nurtures and develops leaders, from whatever corner of society they emerge.

I am doing the programme this year.

Information sessions are being held in main centres for those who are interested in applying for the programme next year:

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Racism - fact not judgement

Posted by Philip on 2 August 2012, 8:28 pm in , , , ,

I find it interesting how defensive white middle-class men — and some women — get when racism is named (all generalisations are lies). I witnessed it recently.

Defensiveness reveals guilt and shame, or self blame, which will not create change. 

Leaders, in particular, need to grasp that racism is a fact, not a judgement. We are born into a racist social structure.

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Keeping it in perspective

Posted by Philip on 18 July 2012, 6:32 pm in , , , , ,

I don't know how you are feeling right now, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by stress and pressure. In particular, I'm having issues with bureaucracy and health.

I'm noticing that bureacracy seems to be collapsing around us; in particular, non-communication seems to be a strategy to avoid accountability. I'm also witnessing many people struggling with illness and pain.

But wait. Let's put some perspective around it.

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When technology goes bad

Posted by Philip on 17 April 2012, 6:26 pm in , ,

I arrived home at 5pm today to two phone calls from people saying they couldn't apply to our self-employment programme because the form was not working.

There were three possible reasons:

  1. User error (user's resposibility)
  2. Browser error (web developers' responsibility)
  3. Form error (my responsibiity)

As it turned out it was a form error, and therefore my responsibility to resolve. But because I had received three applications successfully, I had to rule out the first two possibilities before I could take responsibility.

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