Archives For Public Leadership

“Our problems today cannot be solved with the same level of thinking with which they were created” - Albert Einstein

Taking Albert Einstein’s advice it seems we have to make a shift in our thinking as leaders to come up with solutions to the pressing problems we face today.

This means as leaders, we have to put in a fair measure of intellectual effort to raise the level of our thinking to meet the demands of the world we live in.  We unfortunately very often become lazy in our thinking.  We get comfortable thinking on a certain level where we had success, previously coming up with a solution to a previous problem.

The risk in stagnating in your level of thinking lies in the sacrifice of creativity you make.  Creative thinking thrives on energy and new thoughts.  It presupposes a different and higher level of thinking. Creativity and solution orientated thinking goes hand in hand.

Solution thinking therefore requires you to elevate your level of thought.  While drawing on creativity to find solutions, leaders has to think on a higher level. Leaders practising solution thinking do not find themselves blinded by the problem or challenge they face. Continue Reading…

As I am driving to the office, the radio is chattering away, getting my attention whenever there is an updated traffic report.  I have to concentrate on the traffic around me, since it seems half the people only wake up in their cars mid-way to their destination.  In between all this the news reader grabs my attention with an interesting story.

I walk into my office, followed almost immediately by my project manager.  There is a problem with the project she is working on.  She turned to me to assist with some guidance on how to solve the problem.

I am drawing a blank.  I find it momentarily difficult to focus my thoughts on the issue at hand and to start brainstorming possible solutions with the project manager.

I realized the outside noise on my way to the office, cluttered my thoughts.  In my thinking I reacted to the stimulus bombarding me and when I needed to focus my thoughts, there was just too much clutter. Continue Reading…

We can never get to a place where we think we have mastered all leadership skills.  There is always room for improvement.  In this article by Matthew Beamont, once again highlights some of the basic leadership skills we so often neglect.

Over to you Matthew…

Being a leader may sound like an attractive role to most, however, it can be a little more difficult than many realize. A team leader’s role can be an incredibly stressful one, and one only a handful of people will have the skills to do. For you to become a good leader it is necessary to cultivate the following 6 leadership skills.

A Good Leader Communicate Effectively

As a leader, you are communicating with many different people on a daily basis.  Above average communication skills are therefore essential for a good leader.  If you do not communicate clearly, your team members will misunderstand your message.  This will lead to problems further down the line. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leaders, Leader

Leadership style is a topic attracting a lot of interest from leadership practitioners and thinkers. Although leadership is something practical, it is good to regularly remind ourselves of the theory behind leadership.  With this in mind I chose to give a brief overview of three thought leaders’ leadership theory.  My aim is not an exhaustive discussion of each one’s theory, but rather to kick-start for your own thoughts in your daily practice of leadership.  Let me know in the comments which one of the three you most associate with.  I would also like to know if you have other examples of thought leaders on leadership to expand our thinking on the subject.

Leadership Style is Adjustable

Leadership Style is not uniform across all situations.  The circumstances within a situation will often determine the relevant leadership style.   It is therefore not only possible, but necessary to adjust your leadership style to best align with the situation and the outcome you want to achieve.  This can only be done when you have a good understanding of the application of various leadership theories. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Leadership Ability, Leadership Style

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a leadership playbook, laying out the rules of the game?

Although maybe not a complete leadership playbook, the fifteen rules of leadership from Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, helps us along the road in mastering the art and skill of leadership.

Colin Powell’s Leadership Rules

1.  It Ain’t As Bad As You Think, It Will Look Better In The Morning

When you are in the situation you are often so close to what is happening, your perception of the event gets skewed.  Give yourself some room and often some time to get distance from the situation.  In the morning it won’t look so bad. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Ability

Do you trust people?

Do you think people trust you?

If you are a leader and your answer to the second question is no, or you are not sure, you have a big problem.  A leader without the trust of the people he/she leads is doomed to failure.

Breaking Trust in Your Leadership Ability

The scary truth is we often damage and even break the trust people put in us as leaders.  We break trust by making mistakes, being inconsiderate and well, just being human.  If you think you never or seldom make serious leadership mistakes, damaging and breaking trust in your leadership ability, you are making a serious mistake. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Ability

She walks past your office.  Upon noticing her you get a heavy feeling in the pit of your stomach.  You know you have to address the situation.  It’s been dragging on for weeks now and at times it feels as if it is all you can think about.

You’ve been putting it off and coming up with excuses and delaying the process.  But you know, at some stage you will have to bite the bullet, call her in, sit her down and address the issue head on.  The difficult leadership conversation you have been putting off will have to happen.

I am sure we have all had this experience.  You know, the one where you need to have the difficult leadership conversation with an employee, but just cannot get yourself to call him or her in.  It drains you and as the time passes your stress levels start to rise, you feel frustrated with yourself and soon it is all you can think of. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Difficult Conversation, Leadership

What is your effect on the people you lead?  Do you leave them better of or are they relieved when you leave.  Asking the question about the net effect of your Leadership and Management is Shawn Murphy from Switch and Shift, articleing on the Leadership Connexion this week.

I recall reading recently a point made by a journalist that organizations are over-led and under-managed. The point connected of course to the countless problems companies face as a result of the global financial crises. What annoyed me about the comment was the flawed assumption that the two must be at odds with each other. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Leadership, Management

“A conductor’s happiness does not come from only his own story and his joy of the music. The joy is about enabling other people’s stories to be heard at the same time.” Itay Talgam

Short Bio of Itay Talgam

Itay Talgam debuted as an international conductor in 1987, when he was chosen by Leonard Bernstein to appear in a special concert with the Orchestre de Paris. Bernstein conducted the second half of the concert. Since then, he has conducted many orchestras in Europe. He was the first Israeli conductor to perform with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Leipzig Opera house. In Israel, he has conducted and recorded with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Israeli Opera, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Leaders, Symphony Orchestra

You remember our very involved leader Gary?  He is the leader from last week, making his people dependent on him.

Not only is Gary’s leadership style making the people in his organization dependent, it also conditions the people to stop thinking.  Instead of coming up with solutions to their own problems, people in his organization wait for the leader to solve the problems for them.  Therefore there is no reason for them to think and come up with creative ideas to problem solving.

If you get involved in the day-to-day problem solving, attempting to find answers to problems facing your people, you train them not to think.  However, you have to train people in your organization to think. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leadership, Leader

Meet Gary.  He is the leader of a small organization and a very “hands on” guy.  He makes a point of knowing about every single detail in the organization and gets involved in the detail 90% of the time.

Gary prides himself in his problem solving abilities. If someone got a problem, he is the “go to guy”.  Gary finds it very satisfying when people look up to him for assistance in solving a problem they might have.

He not only solves people’s problems, he also gets involved in all the decision-making processes in the organization.  In his mind he plays a vital role in solving problems and making important decisions.  Gary is convinced he is a very effective leader and his contribution plays an important role in the success of the organization. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leaders, Leader

Everybody seems to be talking about character based leadership.  Amidst the buzz around character based leadership, I often still find myself wondering;

“What does it really mean in practical terms?”

Don’t you?

Character Based Leadership Definition

Trying to clarify the matter for myself I came up with the following definition and I like to test it with you, so let me know in the comments what you think. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Audit, Character Based Leadership

So you’ve read last week’s post on cultivating the 5 leadership qualities of effective leaders and I can hear you ask:

“So what?”

“What is the payoff for me to cultivate these qualities, when it seems like it will need a lot of personal change on my side?”

And you would be right.  It would be pointless to spent large amounts of time and energy on something making a lot of philosophical sense, but no real world benefit.  I surely will not make the effort if there is not a definite payoff in it for me.

Then I think back to my rough day I told you about last week.  On that particular day my leadership framework failed me.  I had no real point of reference against which I could measure my performance or the lack thereof.  Effective leadership seemed like a mystery to me. Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leaders, Effective Leadership, Leaders

It’s the end of the day and I pull my office door close behind me.  It’s been a rough day.  I wonder about my leadership during the situation with John today.  The difficult conversation was something I could not postpone any longer, without causing further damage.  As I leave the building I replay the day’s events in my mind, trying to find a framework against which I can measure whether I am an effective leader or not.

I am sure you have had days like this.  On these days you doubt yourself and your effectiveness as a leader.  You grope around, trying to find some kind of framework to give some structure to your thoughts.

I hope I am not the only one experiencing this!

Becoming an Effective Leader is Not Magic Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leaders, Effective Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Style

You feel stuck in your leadership role.  You know it is time to move on, but you cannot with a clear conscience leave your position.  What about the people, the organization?  Who will fill your place?

You know leadership succession planning is a vital part of your role, but you just can’t seem to engage your possible successor and start developing the next generation of leadership.

I guess many of you feel or have felt this way.

The good news is Continue Reading…

In Public Leadership Effective Leaders, Leadership Succession Planning

Recent Posts