Managing people is a skill I’ve been a manager for over twenty years now, managing teams ranging in size from 2 to 263. One thing that I have learned is that if you want to do anything big then you need to work through other people to achieve at scale. And managing through other people to achieve goals is one of the biggest challenges when … Continue reading Critical conversations at work
“We measure a leader, not by the absence of problems, but how he or she confronts those problems and takes action.” – Rosabeth Moss Kanter There has been a long and largely unprofitable debate in management circles about the difference between management and leadership. Over the years I have come to a realisation that management and leadership are inextricably linked and that they are defined … Continue reading Leaders, problems, and action
“The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is conscientiousness.” via Business Insider In large companies personality tests and similar instruments are often deployed to provide people with better insight into their own and team performance. Over the years I have participated in many of these – for example, Myers Briggs, DISC, Belbin Team Roles, Hermann Brain Dominance, 16PF, Big Five Inventory, etc. Many people debate the … Continue reading Predicting success #startups
I came across an article in Wired Science by Jonah Lehrer titled Do Nice Guys Finish Last?. It had plenty to get me thinking. Apparently: “… levels of ‘agreeableness’ are negatively correlated with the earnings of men” Then: “There are six facets to agreeableness: trust, straightforwardness, compliance, altruism, modesty and tender-mindedness. “ Also: “Women were slightly less likely to get picked for promotion regardless of their … Continue reading Leadership, personality traits, and success: Do nice guys really finish last?
It is sad to hear of Steve Jobs’ passing. Not unsurprising news given his long battle with cancer. But the heartfelt responses to his death made me think. How many other leaders of big companies would elicit similar responses? Hardly any I suspect. His was a remarkable career, and the impact of his ideas brought to life will resonate for a long time. But must … Continue reading Vale Steve Jobs: a leader with great passion
There have been astonishing revelations in London about leaders in the News International group of companies and in the UK Parliament. Perhaps even more shocking is the disclosure of the deep and complex relationships between the two groups? It is a classic case study of power and the old-fashioned dispensation of favour. News International controlled the media, and thus they controlled politician’s access to the … Continue reading Why do bad leaders happen to good people? #notw #hackergate
The common thread between these items is the importance of communication. And it is the communication by leaders and managers within organisations that signifies to people what standards of thinking and behaviour are acceptable. This communication takes the form of spoken words, behaviours, gestures and also of absence, silence and looking away. Thus leaders communicate the way that it is acceptable to be within that … Continue reading Ethics, incompetence, and conspiracy
That heading was inspired by the well known saying regarding pornography by Justice Potter Stewart: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that. … Continue reading Leadership – it is hard to define but I know it when I see it
Had an interesting conversation with my friend @MaverickWoman about leadership over the weekend. Conversations with @MaverickWoman are always thought-starters and this was no different to usual – she got me thinking. The big question I started thinking about was: Is leadership only about leaders? At business school there was so much focus on the leader. There was: servant leadership; charismatic leadership; transactional leadership; transformational leadership; … Continue reading Is leadership only about leaders?
“Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy.” — Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf Continue reading Norman Schwarzkopf on leadership