Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Decision Outliers- Their Impact on Team and Organizational Effectiveness

Here's another guest post from Beth Armknecht Miller:

In the book Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, many of the stories focus on those outliers who were successful, often due to circumstances and luck. What if you have an outlying preference that holds you back? A behavior that if modified, moves you closer to the norm and makes you more effective?

Let’s take a look at Decision Outliers. We’ve all experienced someone who either makes decisions too quickly or too slowly and for some of us we actually may have one of these tendencies ourselves.

Some of us are quick to decide while others take a much longer time to decide. In either case, our personality preferences and past experiences have a strong influence on how we make decisions. If we tend to be an outlier on either side of the bell curve, decision making can be holding us back from being successful and getting to the next level of leadership. Do you know if you’re a Decision Outlier? And if you are one, how is your decision making style impacting your relationships and job performance?

Slow Decision Outliers

Those who are slow decision makers often need a lot more data and information than others, before making a decision. Making a decision without all the data creates too much risk for the slow decision outlier. The data needed can come in the form of hard and soft data. Hard data being metrics, facts, and measurements and soft data being feelings and the impact a decision will have on others. Slow decision makers who are driven by how others will feel about the decision, look for and desire a consensus decision making process. They want all in agreement before making a decision.

And in the extreme, Slow Decision Outliers can become No Decision

Outliers, stuck and unwilling to make a decision based often in fear of change and letting go of what is known and fully understood.

How does slow decision making impact you and your performance?

In this rapidly changing world, slow decision makers can be at a huge disadvantage. New information is coming at them faster than ever before and without self imposed time limits, opportunities will pass them by-both personally and professionally. If they are working in a team environment, they are probably frustrating their team members who want to move forward with the project.

If you consistently meet the description above then here are some tips to move out of the outlier range of decision making. Thoroughly explore all the benefits of making the decision which would create change. And realize that not making a decision brings its own set of risks. Identify these risks of maintaining the status quo.

Fast Decision Outliers

Fast Decision Outliers can find themselves making decisions with not enough data. These decision makers don’t like lots of detail; they are often driven by the end result. And if the decision is about something that doesn’t have a big impact on them, details get in the way.

Change is not stressful for them, yet they often are oblivious of the impact that change has to others around them. They can be creating stress with other tema members

These decision outliers can be viewed as autocratic if they aren’t willing to listen to others ideas and information that would be helpful to the decision making process.

Outliers’ Impact on Team and Organizational Effectiveness

Slow Decision Outliers can slow down progress and create frustration with other team members. If a leader is a Slow Decision Outlier, miss market opportunities, slow to change, will often want to decide using consensus-can’t please everyone

Are you a Decision Outlier? And if so what changes can you make to be a more effective leader?

So for those of you who are outliers in decision making, when do you need to adjust and adapt your decision making preferences and move into the mainstream? When the decisions being made are having a direct impact on someone’s job, including your own! And on the personal side, ask your friends and family how the way you make decisions impacts them. If there are little or no signs of being a decision outlier, then you be confident that you possess an effective decision-making process!

Beth Armknecht Miller, of Atlanta, Georgia, is Founder and President of Executive Velocity, a leadership development advisory firm accelerating the leadership success of CEOs and business leaders. She is also a Vistage Chair and Executive Coach. She is certified in Myers Briggs and Hogan leadership assessment tools and is a Certified Managerial Coach by Kennesaw State University. Visit  or or follow her on twitter at SrExecAdvisor.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Don’t Be “That Guy” as a Manager

I’m noticing a lot of references to “that guy” these days. Maybe because I work at a college campus? There’s no shortage of that guy references, including references to all kinds of things you shouldn’t do in bars, on college campuses, in dating, in social media, in fantasy football, and on and on.

That guy is usually described as basically full on himself, socially clueless, arrogant, a jerk, completely lacking self-awareness, and gets drunk a lot. That guy references always include a list of specific examples of behaviors, in an effort to hopefully educate that guy readers (because there are so damn many of them).

The behaviors are usually not blatantly obvious - the idea is to point out common behaviors that not everyone is aware are obnoxious.

Although men tend to dominate the that guy market, “that girl” references are popping up as well. Let’s hear it for equal opportunity.

Google “don’t be that guy” or “don’t be that girl”, and see for yourself.

What about that guy managers?

It’s easy to spot the obvious that guy managers when it’s someone else – it’s the Michael Scotts, the Pointy Haired Bosses from Dilbert, and the stars of the recent movie “Horrible Bosses”. However, given our general lack of behavioral self-awareness, it’s a lot harder to see it in ourselves. But have no fear – take the following Great Leadership “Are you that guy manager” quiz to find out if you have any of the tell-tale signs:

1. Do you often show up late to your own team meetings or one-on-ones, and then offer a half-hearted “sorry, but it’s been a crazy day”?

2. Do you think you’re funnier than any of your employees because your jokes always get the most laughs? If you answer yes to this one, then you’ll probably also answer yes to…..

3. Do you think your ideas are always the best ones because your employees always agree to them and never question them?

4. Do you complain about members of your team in front of other members of your team?

5. Do you frequently complain about your manager, “the company”, your peers, your suppliers, or your customers?

6. Do you make suggestive comments, swear, tell crude jokes, or frequently pick on your employees?

7. Do requests for information sit in your inbox for days, and then, when it’s close to the due date, you ask one of your employees to respond with minimal notice?

8. Do you practice “management by walking around” at 4:45pm when you’re employees are getting ready to go home, or during their peak workload hours?

9. In your one on ones or at meetings, do you find yourself doing most of the talking?

10. Do you have trouble remembering little details about your employee’s personal lives? Like they names of their children? If they have children? Or your employee’s own names?

If you answered “yes” to five or more of these questions, then you are definitely “that guy”. There may be help for you, but you first need to admit there’s a problem.

If you only answered “yes” to a few of these, then you’re probably just slightly flawed, just as we all are. With a little self-awareness, desire and coaching, any of these little annoying behaviors can easily be fixed.

How about you? What “that guy” manager behaviors would you add to the list?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Living in Pursuit of the OS!M

Here's a guest post by Steve Farber. Check out the contest at the end of the post for a chance to win a copy of Steve's latest book.

When was the last time you modeled your behavior after something you saw on the X Games? Well, as leaders, we can all learn from these crazy athletes because they each experience what I like to call the OS!M.

Imagine yourself on a street luge, lying flat on your back on a long wheeled sled, like a skateboard. You’re about to drop down an incredibly steep asphalt hill lined on both sides by parked cars, the board about two inches off the ground. At the bottom of the hill a quarter mile away is a major intersection, and the traffic light down there is your finish line. Your friend pats you on the helmet, gives you a mighty thrust toward Main Street and-whoosh-you are gravity’s love slave. The asphalt is blazing under your back, parked cars are screaming past your head and you can’t stop or turn back. What is running through your mind?

“Oh, shit!” That is an OS!M, or Oh Shit! Moment.

That is the moment of complete fear right before you take a huge risk to do something potentially great. The OS!M is the natural built-in indicator that we have as human beings that what we are doing, or are about to do, has extraordinary potential.

We have been conditioned to think that fear is bad. However, fear is a natural part of growth, and since growth, change, and evolution are all on the Extreme Leader’s agenda, fear comes with the territory. Fear can lead us to do something great or learn something new by pushing our boundaries past our typical comfort level.

Think back to the street lugers: do you think champion lugers won because they were comfortable flinging themselves down a hill at extreme speeds on a tiny board? They accomplished something great in their field because they pushed their limits and tried something new.

Leaders should be pursuing these OS!Ms. But leaders live under a microscope. People watch everything the leader does. Therefore, the most powerful tool a leader has is him or herself, and they must lead by example. They must pursue OS!Ms in the public eye for everyone to see. Sure, everyone might see you screw up, but that’s the point. By displaying your OS!Ms for all your employees to see, you’re sending a message that we should all be pushing the boundaries of our comfort level in order to achieve the best results.

Most businesspeople are skeptical of showing their failures. We’re conditioned to want to show the best possible image to our colleagues. The fact is we’re not perfect and leaders’ employees already know it. By saying to them, “I screwed up. Here’s how and why,” the leader is connecting with the employees on a more human level. The result is that the employees are more likely to follow real, actual humans with flaws rather than idealized facades of perfection. Plus, this empowers employees to pursue their own OS!Ms.

There’s no such thing as personal growth or living up to a commitment without the OS!M. Ultimately, you’re not being a real, effective and inspired leader—an Extreme Leader—without your own, frequent, OS!Ms.

Can you share a significant OS!M from your leadership journey?

A free, signed copy of The Radical Leap Re-Energized to the contributor of the most inspiring story! (you'll need to leave an email for someone from Steve's team to contact you)

Steve Farber ( is the president of Extreme Leadership, Incorporated, an organization devoted to the cultivation and development of Extreme Leaders in the business community. His latest book, Greater Than Yourself: The Ultimate Lesson In Leadership, was a Wall Street Journal® and USA Today® bestseller. His second book, The Radical Edge: Stoke Your Business, Amp Your Life, and Change the World, was hailed as “a playbook for harnessing the power of the human spirit.”  And his first book, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership, is already considered a classic in the leadership field. It received Fast Company magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award and was recently named one of the 100 Best Business Books of All Time. His fourth book, The Radical Leap Re-Energized, will be released in 2011.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Developing a Leadership Training Program for High Potentials: A Case Study

Here's a guest post by Gina Abudi, who I've had the pleasure of meeting a couple times here in New England. Gina's also hosting a guest post from me over at her blog.

Developing a Leadership Training Program for High Potentials: A Case Study

Given the number of baby boomers expected to retire between now and 2030 (the last group of baby boomers reach of the age of 65 in 2030, and, of course, some may choose to work past age 65) organizations need to prepare others to take over leadership roles. Some organizations will likely source externally to fulfill leadership roles within the organization; however, many other organizations realize that it may be better to move individuals into these roles who already understand the business and have already been working in the organization. And, certainly, a combination may occur where organizations promote from within and look to fill some roles from external. These organizations who are interested in recruiting from within will look to identify “high potentials” already working within the organization in a variety of roles.

High potentials are often identified as those individuals who have the potential to grow into leadership roles within the organization. They are hard working individuals who have the potential to be leaders based on their knowledge, skills, and the behaviors and attitudes they display. They are high achievers within the organization – willing to do what is necessary to get the job done. They are eager to learn new skills and take on additional responsibilities and bigger challenges.

There are many examples of companies that have successful leadership training programs in place, such as Bank of America, General Electric, Microsoft, Philip Morris, Novartis International, and Marriott International to name just a few. These organizations have seen the value of ensuring that their high potential employees are groomed for future leadership roles. (Yes, I do realize that given the current economic environment and cost cutting – especially around training unfortunately – some of these companies may have their programs on hold or scaled back to fewer numbers of attendees.)

Successful organizations know what skills are required for a leader to be effective for the organization to meet its long term strategic goals and grow and prosper. For example, many effective leaders have the following strengths:

•Coaching others
•Influencing skills
•Collaborative decision making and problem solving
•Team leadership
•Long term vision/goal setting and the ability to communicate that to the organization
•Financial management
•Strategic planning
•Strategic thinking
•Creative thinking
•Risk taking
•Business acumen
•Change management

I’m sure you can name many more than just what’s on this list. This is certainly not an exhaustive list. Think of the leaders you know who are great at what they do. What skills and behaviors do they have? What makes them good at their job? Why do you, or would you, follow them? Please provide your thoughts in the Comments field below.

Organizations may choose to look at their best leaders and use those competencies they have identified in those specific individuals to determine what they expect/need from their high potential employees in order to develop a leadership training program that meets their professional and personal needs and helps the company meet its long term objectives, which includes having individuals in place and ready to take on senior leadership roles within the organization. An assessment should be done of the high potential employees to determine their current strengths and development needs.

Any skills that are not needed or used now by the senior leadership team, but may be used at a later time, should be considered when developing the leadership training program. For an example, let’s assume that the organization is currently doing business throughout the United States; however, the Board of Directors would like to see the organization grow and do business internationally. Your upcoming leaders will need to understand how to do business internationally – international laws and regulations for doing business in various countries, cultural differences, the ability to gauge the market overseas including identifying market for product or services and the competition, developing overseas offices, leading virtually, etc. These additional needed skills and abilities should be part of any effective training program for the high potentials and should be part of any assessment to determine if an individual has the potential to be a senior leader within the organization given these future needs.

Let’s look at a case study of a manufacturing company that saw the need for a leadership development program for their high potential employees. We’ll look at how they determined what competencies were needed for future leaders and what comprised the program that was developed. We’ll also look at how additional individuals were selected to attend the program.

In a future post, we will look at how the results of the program were measured.

Case Study: XYZ Widget Manufacturing Corporation

Background Information

XYZ Widget Manufacturing Corporation has been in business since the early 1980′s manufacturing widgets for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales. The following functional areas exist within XYZ Widget: Finance, HR/Admin, Sales, Customer Service, Planning & Procurement, Materials Management, Manufacturing, and Quality Control. Of those 8 functional areas, 5 of them are led by senior executives who are in their 60s and expected to retire within the next 3 – 5 years. The other 3 are led by senior executives in their mid-50s. There is no planned retirement date for them, but the Board of Directors for XYZ Widget wants to be prepared.

To that end, the Board of Directors has asked the company to start thinking about succession planning. How will they fill the leadership roles at each of the functional areas?

Determining Competencies

The learning and development group at XYZ Widget interviewed each of the current members of the leadership time (across all functions) to determine what skills they believed were required to be effective in their roles. These interviews were done in person, one-on-one.

The group also met with the Board of Directors to understand their vision for the company and their expectations of the next group of leaders. This meeting was done with all of the Board of Directors in small groups.

Additionally, they surveyed, on-line and anonymously, other individuals in management roles to get their perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the current leadership team and what they believed were needed for future leaders given the direction the company was heading.

All interviews were confidential. The data gathered was used to determine what competencies (skills and behaviors) were required for future leaders.

Additionally, external research was gathered/conducted about a variety of companies in the same and similar industries to determine what were generally considered as key skills and knowledge for executives.

The learning and development group also interviewed in depth each of the individuals initially identified as high potentials in the company. They also interviewed the co-workers of the high potentials (anonymously via an online survey), their direct managers, and members of the senior leadership team to get their perspective of the strengths and weaknesses of these individuals. They gathered data from performance reviews, past projects they worked on, and looked at the roles and responsibilities they had within the organization. They also reviewed in detail areas where the high potentials took the initiative to make improvements and/or get things accomplished – in other words, opportunities they found to take a leadership role.

Let me step back a moment, these individuals who had been identified as high potentials had worked for the organization for a minimum of 8 years and some as long as 15 years. There were individuals who had developed an understanding of the workings of the company as a whole. They were those individuals you would find pitching in to help out regardless of the project in order to ensure the company reached its goals. They were all strong problem solvers and were driven individuals. And, they were passionate learners – learning all they can – frequently on their own – to understand the company.

The Leadership Development Training Program

XYZ Widget, based on their research and the data they gathered, determined that there would be courses that every high potential individual would attend together as a group and then they would branch off to attend training specific to a particular function area. The leadership program would run over approximately a two year time period and was comprised of the following sessions:

Prior to the start of the program, preparation work was required. This included what the individual expected to achieve from the program (their goals and objectives), how they intended to use their new skills and knowledge and some required reading.

Throughout the program, and in between sessions, participants were assigned projects to lead and had to complete required readings. Additionally, they were required to put together strategic plans as to how the specific functional area they were assigned to might develop and grow in the future. Assessments were done throughout the two year program to gauge increases in skills and knowledge.

All graduates of the program were assigned mentors from their specific functional area. These mentors were executives in those areas and had agreed to participate in a formal mentoring program to groom junior high potential employees to take on executives roles in the future. Mentoring was a required component of the executive’s role and formal mentoring plans were submitted to learning and development and monitored regularly for progress.

How Additional Participants Were Selected

In addition to the already-identified high potential employees, the learning and development group held a nomination to include others in the training program with long-term potential. The nomination process included:

•A nomination form for managers and executives to nominate individuals within the organization to participate in the training program, including answering:
    ◦Why the individual is a good candidate for the program (examples required)
    ◦What the individual will achieve from the program and how the indiviual’s attendance will benefit XYZ Widget
•A process for review of the nomination forms by a variety of managers, leaders, and directors within XYZ Widget, from across all functional areas
•An interview process for candidates who were selected from the nominations
•A selection process based on the results of interviews of the candidates

A total of 30 individuals went through the initial pilot program – 20 considered high potentials and 10 others who were selected from nominations (of 35 total nominated). Two programs were run simultaneously – with 15 participants per program.

Wrap Up

The program ended up taking almost 3 years to complete due to scheduling issues (trying to get everyone together was more difficult than expected!).

25 of the 30 participants completed the program in its entirety, some of those were assigned mentors during the program (rather than at the end as planned) to provide them additional support in getting through the program. The company determined that some of the individuals who were not considered part of the high potential group but rather were nominated and selected might actually be a better fit for an executive leadership role over the previously identified high potential employee. Of the 5 who did not complete the program, 1 of them quit for other jobs, and 2 of them dropped out of their own volition as they decided that the workload was more than they wanted to commit to at this point. The other 2 were released from the program because they did not complete required assignments and had very limited participation.

The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership-Powered Company, Authors: Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel; Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 2001
Succession: Are You Ready?, Author: Marshall Goldsmith; Publisher: Harvard Business Press, 2009

Gina Abudi is President of Abudi Consulting Group, LLC. She provides clients of all sizes strategic direction and implementation of programs and strategies around projects, process, people and technology. Gina was honored as one of the Power 50 from PMI® - one of the 50 most influential executives in project management, working to move the profession forward and has served on PMI®’s Global Corporate Council as Chair of the Leadership Team. She is currently President of the PMI® Mass Bay Chapter Board of Directors (2011 – 2013).

Gina presents frequently at conferences, industry events, and corporate events on a variety of leadership, project and process-focused topics.

Gina received her MBA from Simmons Graduate School of Management. She served on the Simmons Graduate School of Management Alumnae Association Board from 2007 – 2009. Gina can be reached via her website:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Leader Onboarding: Stakeholder Interviews

An effective new leader onboarding process can greatly reduce the time it takes a new leader to get up to speed, improve teamwork, and improve retention.

Most organizations do a pretty decent job at the basics, i.e., a meeting with the boss, the team, and a few key stakeholders, directions to the rest room and cafeteria, etc….

Although, I’ve heard my share of horror stories, as I’m sure many of you have. One of my favorites was the newly hired executive that had to sit in a conference room for his first 30 days on the job waiting for his terminated predecessor to clear out of his office. Awwwkward.

Some organizations, with the help of HR, OD, or training will offer to facilitate a new leader integration meeting, where the new leader gets together with the new team and discusses expectations of each other. If you’re a new leader, take advantage of the offer, or ask for help. It’s a great way to accelerate the team building and trust between a new leader and his/her team.

There’s one more piece of the new leader onboarding process I’d recommend, especially for newly hired or promoted executives: stakeholder interviews.

Like all good processes, it’s simple, yet effective:

Someone from HR, OD, or training works with the new leader’s manager and the new leader to identify a list of key stakeholders the new leader is going to need to work with to ensure success.

The “interviewer” then has meetings with each key stakeholder and asks the following questions (or make up your own):

1. What are your expectations and primary focuses of this role?

2. What land mines, sensitive situations exist that (the new leader) should be aware of?

3. If we had to prioritize (the new leader’s) focus according to timelines, what should (the new leader) focus on first in 30 Days, then 90 Days and in 6 Months?

4. What relationships must (the new leader) develop (both internal & external) to ensure the success of their role?

5. How would you describe the culture that (the new leader) will be working in? Where do you see the gaps?

6. What will be the key measures of (the new leader’s) success in this role?

7. What concerns do you have regarding (the new leader) taking on this role?

8. What advice would you give (the new leader) to ensure there’s a successful transition?

9. How will you support (the new leader)?

The interviewer then produces a confidential report for the new leader to help in their transition. It's like a secret decoder ring for success as a new leader!

Are there any other questions you’d want to ask a new leader’s stakeholders?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Four-wheel-drive Diamond in the Rough Leadership Model

One of the cool perks of making the switch to university-based executive education is that I get to work with and learn from a lot of awesome business school professors. At the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, we often use our own faculty; however, I do have the flexibility to partner with external instructors when appropriate.

The following guest post is from James Clawson, one of those external instructors we partner with in a program we’re doing for a global, Fortune 500 client called “Change Leadership”. See bio at end of post.

In fact, I’m thrilled to introduce a series of posts from Professor Clawson on the topics of change, which has been kind of a recent theme on Great Leadership.

I think you’ll really love Jim’s stuff – he’s one of the preeminent thinkers in the world when it comes to leadership and change, he’s insightful, inspirational, and funny, his models and advice are practical and effective, and he’s an all-around great person to work with.

A Four-wheel-drive Diamond in the Rough
Theories of leadership abound to the point of confusion. What practitioners want and need, in my experience, is a practical framework that will allow them to influence in a variety of settings and incorporate new insights and various theoretical perspectives easily. I offer such a framework below. I call it a “four-wheel-drive” model because over the past three decades it has proven to be flexible, adaptable, and easily fitted to a variety of professional and personal situations. It represents a mental map of leadership that can traverse almost any kind of leadership terrain.

Given the shape of the model, let's call this the “diamond model of leadership.” Beginning at the top, 12 o'clock position, the first four elements are Yourself, Task at three o’clock, Others at nine o’clock, and Organization at six o’clock. See Figure 1.

Historical studies of leadership have often focused on the importance of an individual's characteristics. No doubt how one stands, speaks, responds to others, thinks, and so forth will all contribute to one's ability to lead others. All of these and other personal characteristics fit into the northern element of our diagram, the SELF. But personal characteristics are not the end of the leadership story. It takes more than good looks, good oration and charisma to be an effective leader.

Each of us in our variety of roles can choose to focus on virtually anything we wish. Our choices about where to focus our time, talent and energy says much about our ability to think strategically and to create objectives that others will find compelling. Or not. The Tasks ball represents all of the possible issues topics and initiatives that one might focus on. The axis connecting the Self to the Task represents “strategic thinking.” We may or may not be good at strategic thinking, and we may or may not have developed a story which we can convey to others in the hopes of leading them in a particular direction. If we have, however, done our homework and have developed a story about where we think we should be going, then one can say that the northeast axis has “formed.” In the absence of a strategic story to tell, one has little basis for attempting to lead others.

Then the challenge is, “Can I sell my story to others?” The northwest axis and the Others ball represent this issue. The Others ball represents all the characteristics of the others we are trying to convince. Like the personal characteristics of the leader, each of the others has a style, a thought process, a set of habits, and so forth. The quality of our relationship with those people, that is our ability to influence them, is represented by the northwest axis. This influence comes from a variety of sources and can be effective or ineffective.

Now, if we have learned to manage our selves and how we present ourselves, and if we have a strategic story to tell, and if we are able to sell that story to others, this is still not enough. The southern ball, Organization, represents all of the aspects of an organization. These will include hundreds and hundreds of systems including hiring systems, training systems, control systems, information systems, promotion systems, performance evaluation, and so forth. It will also include the important element of culture which some have noted will “eat strategy for breakfast.” The north-south axis then represents the ability of the leader to design organizations that will help rather than hinder one's ability to implement the strategic story. In other words, effective leaders are also organizational architects.

The southwest axis represents the relationship between members of the organization and the organization itself. The southwest axis includes the glue that binds people to an organization. This glue is comprised of feelings of attachment between the characteristics of other individuals and the various systems that make up the organization. Sometimes this relationship will be strong and committed; other times it will be more mercenary in which the commitment is based on an exchange of pay for time and talent.

All the while the leader is learning to be more effective as an individual, developing and refining his or her strategic story, working to convince others of its efficacy and correctness, and designing the proper organizational framework in which those people can work, the world continues to change. So the southeast axis represents a connection between the organization and the array of challenges, problems, initiatives, and problems that the world presents. This southeast axis we can call “managing change.”

All of these elements, the four balls and their connective axes, comprise what I have come to believe are the essential elements of leadership. All of these take place within an environmental context that includes the financial markets, the economy, competition, labor markets, regulatory environments, and other environmental factors.

All of these elements combined them should produce results. These results can be, in my experience, best conceived as a progression of outcomes moving from intangible assets to tangible outcomes. So, for example, we can think about how our leadership impacts the people in our organization, our development of core capabilities within our organization, the satisfaction of our customers, who in turn pay us for our efforts. Clearly some of these activities (e.g. investing in our human capital) will take place within the organizational ball, yet it's useful here to think of them also as results which create a cause-and-effect chain linking our intangible human capital to our intangible organizational capabilities to intangible customer satisfaction to tangible financial profitability.

All of these elements are outlined in the diagram in Figure 1. In future blogs, I will break down the various pieces of this diagram and explain how they work together and what the key elements are in each. In the meantime, I invite the interested reader to note that whatever theoretical perspective you may be gleaning from science, business, history or current events, the odds are you can easily find a way to connect those insights to the various pieces of this diamond model. That has certainly been the case for me over the last 30 years.

So, I offer the “Diamond Model of Leadership” to you as a broad framework which you can use to organize your learning about the nature of leadership. In the end when we speak of “leadership,” we must ask, “Leadership for what?” This question implies the issue of strategic thinking. And if we then ask ourselves, “How are we going to get from today to our strategic vision?”, then we must consider the issue of leading change. Hence, any conversation about leadership is really a conversation about “leading strategic change.” I will have more to say in future installments about key elements of leading self, strategic thinking, selling your story to others, organizational architecture, the linkages between each of these, and the cause-and-effect chain that appears in our results box. I hope you will look forward to that.

Jim Clawson Bio:
James Clawson has been a professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia since 1981. He has consulted with dozens of large and very large corporations in various parts of the globe on issues of leadership, career management, leadership development, human resource management, organizational development, and related topics.

Author of Level Three Leadership, Dr. Clawson has helped executives and managers at all levels learn how to be more effective leaders in today’s rapidly changing environment.

Dr. Clawson received degrees from Stanford University (Japanese Language and Literature with great distinction), Brigham Young University (MBA in marketing), and Harvard University Graduate School of Business (DBA Organizational Behavior). He taught for three years at the Harvard Business School before joining the Darden School. He also taught as a visiting professor at the International University of Japan in 1991.

If you’d like to discuss having Jim work with your company, please contact Dan McCarthy, at daniel dot mccarthy at unh dot edu.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The September 2011 Leadership Development Carnival - Back to School Sale

Welcome to the September, 2011 Leadership Development Carnival - Back to School Sale!

Yes, it's back to school shopping time, and this month's Carnival gives leaders and aspiring leaders a shopping cart full of leadership development supplies.  All are deeply discounted (free)  and offer incredible value to the discriminating leadership shopper.

So stock up, and enjoy your reading!

BTW, if you're wondering why your submission was not included - pay attention to the guidelines. They need to be recent (last 2 weeks), relevant, and I need the submitter's full name. And yes, I do favor the the regular contributors that help promote the Carnival. (-:

Aisle One: Pens and Pencils 
Mark Bennett, from the Oracle team, starts us off with Uncertainty, Fear, and Our Response posted at TalentedApps, saying, "How leaders respond to uncertainty shows whether they think they even have a choice and how their choices can seriously affect the future."
If you have an Ipad or access to one, check out the new Ipad version of this blog. Very cool! But no fair - after are, they're Oracle. (-:

Anne Perschel presents Leaders Stand When It's Easier to Sit posted at Germane Insights. Great post on leaders taking a stand. I had the pleasure of having lunch with Anne this month - she's as awesome in person as she is with her blog. I'm looking forward to some new research Anne and Jane Perdue are about to publish on woman and power.

Tanveer Naseer presents 4 Lessons On Team-Building I Learned From My Garden |  posted at Great lessons! I'm actually going to try them on my garden first - it's looking like it needs a little TLC and inspiration.

Lynn Dessert presents How to handle anger in the workplace  posted at Elephants at Work. Lynn is another blogger I had the pleasure meeting when I lived in Rochester, NY, and will be hosting her first Leadership Development Carnival next month. Some good tips on how to keep your cool at work.


Mary Jo Asmus presents There is an “I” in Conflict posted at Mary Jo Asmus. While you at at Mary Jo's blog, check out the results of the August Leadership Development Challange. Not than anyone is keeping score.

Wally Bock presents Theory X in Sheep's Clothing posted at Three Star Leadership, saying "Artificial fun at work programs are the latest manifestation of DouglasMcGregor's famous theory. The bad one." Thanks, Wally, you were right, this one did indeed warm my heart.

Aisle Two: Paper Supplies:

Tanmay Vora presents Change: From Vision to Execution posted at QAspire. "Leaders establish a lofty vision for a large scale change initiative and then strategize to align the team. Sometimes, the team gets over-excited by this grand vision and get stuck. They cannot define a strategy or a plan of action that takes them closer to that grand vision." Agree!

Bret L. Simmons presents Five Beliefs Employees Hold About Leaders That Cause Silence  posted at Bret L. Simmons. Interesting research from Dr. Bret on why employees don't speak up - required reading assignment for leaders.

Anna Farmery presents The Confused Employee posted at The Engaging Brand. Are you confusing your team? Find out.

Gwyn Teatro presents Six Ways To Make Collaboration Work posted at You're Not the Boss of Me. Check out the cute Pixar film at the end.

Kevin Eikenberry presents Five Leadership Milestones to Set and Reach posted at Leadership and Learning with Kevin Eikenberry, saying, "This post outlines five leadership milestones to set, reach, and celebrate. Where are you on your leadership journey? Where would you like to be?" Good questions, Kevin - Thanks!

Aisle Three: Backpacks:

Guy Harris presents One Way to Head Off a Conflict: Manage Expectations posted at Guy Harris: The Recovering Engineer, saying, "As leaders, we can decrease the emotional reaction people may have in uncomfortable situations by giving them information and clarifying expectations." Love the name of this blog.

Jesse Lyn Stoner presents Five Easy Ways To Tell If An Organization Is Really Values-Driven posted at Jesse lyn Stoner Blog, saying, "Lots of organizations claim they are values-driven. Not all use values to guide decisions and behaviors on a daily basis company-wide. Here are 5 easy ways to tell is an organization is really values-driven." I like easy ways - thanks, Jesse. Lot's of good comments on this one too.

Mike Henry Sr. presents 10 Management Lessons from Harry Potter posted at Lead Change Group Blog, saying, "Post by Leigh Steere of Managing People Better about the lessons she learned from the Harry Potter series." Mike runs one of the best leadership LinkedIn groups out there and never fails to submit a great post to the Carnival.

Miki Saxon presents Entrepreneur: Solving People Problems posted at MAPping Company Success, saying, "Although this post is focused on entrepreneurs, it applies to anyone who believes that welding a group of individuals into a powerful team requires them to only be leaders and not managers." Read all about tool, fools and lost souls.

Guy Farmer presents Leadership Is Not Touchy-Feely posted at Unconventional Training. "What will you do to make your workplace more touchy-feely?"

Aisle Four: Electronics:

Art Petty presents Leadership Caffeine: Fun at the Cousin's Reunion with Luck, Hope and Hard Work posted at Management Excellence. More great stuff from Art, perhaps inspired by his own recent family reunion?

Eric Pennington presents The Idea and Reality of Self-Employment posted at Epic Living - Leadership Development Career Management Training Executive Life Coaching Author. Eric gives you an intimate look at his own experience with entrepreneurism and its impact.

Jane Perdue presents 10 Rules for Saying 'I' posted at Get Your Leadership BIG On!. Great rules to live by - thanks, Jane!


Sharlyn Lauby presents Get Buy-In When Creating Change posted at hr bartender, saying, "It might seem like a big waste of time but getting buy-in is an essential part of the change process." Great answer to a reader's question  - couldn't agree more!

David Burkus presents Is GSK taking the Sales out of Sales Rep? posted at LeaderLab, saying, "Is GSK taking the sales out of Sales Representative?""

Aisle Five: Snacks:

Michael Cardus presents Evidence; Unicorns; Bullshit: 3 Areas Of Team Building and Leadership Effectiveness posted at Create-Learning Team Building & Leadership Blog, saying, "Within the team building and managerial leadership world there is so much information and Jargon Monoxide that everyone feels overwhelmed. The challenge is determining what works within organizations is complex. Beliefs, false ideas, reinforced negative theories of work, personal fallacies about competence, improper systems in place for promotions, onboarding and hiring."

Nick McCormick presents Managers, Who Would You Re-hire? posted at Joe and Wanda - on Management, saying, "Kevin Oakes is our guest for this Management Tips podcast. Kevin is CEO of i4cp. He also just published a book called, The Executive Guide to Integrated Talent Management. Kevin advises managers to do an audit of their direct reports to see if they’d be eligible for re-hire. Listen in to find out more."

Alicia Arnold presents Meetings…How many people does it take to solve a problem? posted at Daily Creativity.

Heather Stagl presents Behind the Mask of Resistance posted at Enclaria LLC.

Jim Taggart presents Are Your Paws Sticky? Leadership Lessons from a Lab posted at ChangingWinds, saying, "Think about work situations where management broke the trust. What took months – years – to build was destroyed in a matter of minutes. It may have been a reorg, downsizing, merger, change of policy. Whatever. It doesn’t matter the reason. The point is that employees – PEOPLE – were hurt, or there was perceived hurt." OK, any posts about labs are automatically included.


Aisle Six: Textbooks:

Linda Fisher Thornton presents Ethical Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us posted at Leading in Context LLC.

Jonathan Milligan presents 4 Tips on How to Improve Communication Tools posted at Simple Life Habits, saying, "One of the biggest challenges for an influential leader is communication. here are 4 ways to improve your communication skills."

Robyn McLeod presents Eating peas and other lessons in change posted at The Thoughtful Leaders Blog.

S. Chris Edmonds presents Power, Profit, or Purpose: What Drives Your Company? posted at Driving Results Through Culture, saying, "I pose somewhat provocative questions about whether your company is power driven, profit driven, or purpose driven."

That's it for this month's edition! When you're done, you can have some playground time and a snack.