Friday Five: The Philosophy of Management

Friday Five is a weekly series at QAspire where I curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets/visuals shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

This edition features insights on the softer aspects of leading others and why they are so important and on how streams are changing the way we lead and learn.

The Philosophy of Management

This note sums up the underlying philosophy of management and leadership. The key however is to know, how to earn these things. That, according to me, is the #1 challenge of leadership today.

What the world needs now… – John Wenger at Quantum Shift 

Being nice is not just about more effective teamwork; it’s related to doing what we can to establish what Margaret Wheatley has called “islands of sanity” in a world that may feel increasingly mean-spirited and ugly.  At the risk of sounding a bit of a little old-fashioned,  there is nothing wrong, and everything right, with bringing more kindness into our lives (that includes our working lives).

This brilliant piece by John Wenger talks about something we so badly need today in society, families and organizations – genuine compassion, care and love. A must read!

The Serendipity of Streams – Breaking Smart

If the three most desirable things in a world defined by organizations are location, location and location, in the networked world they are connections, connections and connections.

Our perception about reality is formed and altered by the streams we follow. This essay sheds light on how these social streams of updates, information and knowledge coupled with our own ways of consuming them are altering how we solve problems.

Culture, Careers Drive Employment Brand – Josh Bersin  

As IT and business leaders, CIOs bear responsibility for finding ways to offer their people opportunities for learning and continual reinvention. This means letting employees take developmental and stretch assignments, providing a great deal of project-based work, and rewarding managers not only for execution but also for coaching and development. A focus on culture, development, and leadership can pay off in more ways than one can imagine.

So much research we have proves that softer issues like culture, leadership and development are vital for getting and engaging the right talent and yet when we see around, we know we have a long way to go.

I See You – Squawk Point

Trust is the lubrication that allows organisations to tackle tough problems.  It helps them weather the storms of uncertainty.  It is also the glue that keeps a team from despair and fragmentation.  It keeps an organisation aligned when other forces are trying to pull it apart.

This excellent short post by Walter McIntyre outlines the essentials of “I See You” Management – a great way to build mindset of acceptance, understanding and trust!

Friday Five: The Art of Intentional Leadership

Friday Five is a new weekly series at QAspire where I curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets/visuals shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

This edition features insights on authentic leadership, change, rationality and transformation.

Quote Via Neil Walker

Consistently investigate what gives other people energy. Be the fan that fuels it. – Darren Rowse

Isn’t this the essence of being a good leader and hence a good human being in all spheres of our life?

You Can Only Get There From Here – The Art of Intentional Leadership by Scott Mabry

The hardest part of any change, personal or organizational is, of course, starting. We wonder if we’re ready. If the time is right. If we have what it takes. The answers will always be uncertain.  What is certain is that if we don’t act, nothing will change.

The key to leading in an uncertain times is not to aim for a perfect start, but starting – and then iterating, understanding, aligning to create a change.

Aligning the Organization for Its Digital Future – MIT Sloan

Conversely, cultural mindsets that relate closely to digitally maturing companies value experimentation and speed, embrace risk, and create distributed leadership structures. They also foster collaboration and are more likely to use data in decision making.

Responding to an uncertain future of work dominated by bots, AI and automation is really all about mindset change. This article provides a very detailed view on the mindset change within organizations to survive, thrive and grow in a digital world.

Ambiguity and Emergence – Sahana Chattopadhyay

A top down, hierarchical organization where information is filtered through the chain of command is especially ill-equipped to thrive in ambiguity. Only when the unspoken and tacit patters are seen, sense making happens, and emergence takes place. And emergence leads to those seemingly small but powerful innovations and practices that disrupt the established  order of things.

Sahana is one of my favorite bloggers and in this post, she throws the light on dealing with ambiguity in a way that leads to emergence, ideas and innovation.

Pure rationality is a myth we should not aspire to – Dionne Lew

The ability to think and act autonomously is at the heart of rationality, yet mind wandering suggests that much (not all) of what we think is involuntary.

I love it when I read strong argumentation that alters my own belief system and offers a contrarian perspective on things I already believed in. Dionne Lew did just that with this post!

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Special thanks to Jane Hart for including my post/sketch in her selection of posts from August 2016.

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Image Source: Someone I so admire – Hugh McLeod

Also Check Out: All Posts at QAspire with Visual Notes

Friday Five: Leadership, Learning and Intrinsic Motivation

 

Friday Five is a new weekly series at QAspire where I curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets/visuals shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

This edition features insights on motivation, leadership, future of work and the multidisciplinary mindset.

Is intrinsic motivation at work overrated? – Susan Fowler

“Perhaps no single phenomenon reflects the positive potential of human nature as much as intrinsic motivation, the inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise one’s capacities, to explore, and to learn. Developmentalists acknowledge that from the time of birth, children, in their healthiest states, are active, inquisitive, curious, and playful, even in the absence of specific rewards.”

Not all kind of work can feed intrinsic motivation. Good news is: There are more ways to create conditions for better engagement and motivation.

The Restless Multidisciplinarian – An Interview with Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin at e-180 Mag

“As big picture thinkers and why-seekers, neo-generalists shine light in unfamiliar places. We need that to solve interconnected and complex challenges. Neo-generalists are driven by a deep desire to understand how the dots connect and question the status quo relentlessly. By living in more than one world, they are exposed to a diverse set of interests, people and ideas. Their experiences as critical thinkers, shape shifters, constant learners and boundary crossers make them uniquely qualified to help shape tomorrow’s world by thinking the unimaginable, exploring the unknown and doing what seems impossible to others.”

This is one book I am really looking forward to read and review. I collaborated with Anupam Kundu to write an article titled “The Future of Work and Multipotentialites” – Do check it out!

Don’t Replace People. Augment Them – Tim O’Reilly

If we let machines put us out of work, it will be because of a failure of imagination and the will to make a better future!

The future of work is really about engaging people in a way that they can be more of who they really are – humans!

A Leadership Conundrum: Unexpected Sources of Leadership by Jesse Lyn Stoner

The conundrum is that although you can’t force leadership, leadership often emerges under unexpected circumstances. Sometimes unrecognized or unappreciated, it is leadership nonetheless.

It is a common misconception that a title precedes leadership. Leadership happens in unexpected places and this excellent article offers visibility into unexpected sources of Leadership. As an addition, here is a round up of chat on topic of Emergent Leadership at a Tweetchat (#IHRChat) where I had a privilege to be a guest along with Jesse Lyn Stoner.

On Best Practice – via @JessRuyter

‘Best practice makes a great starting point but a mediocre end game.’

This one is so true! If everyone else is doing it, best practices is the same thing as mediocrity.

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Image Source: Tom Fishburne

Friday Five: A Metaphor is Worth a Thousand Pictures!

Introducing a new series on this blog – Friday Five – where I will curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

Noam Chomsky on The Purpose of Education

“In the colleges, in the schools, do you train for passing tests, or do you train for creative inquiry?”

Such a relevant question for the anxious times we live in where success is not assured by what certificates/degrees you carry but by the value you are able to create out of what you know. A great read!

Quote by Dr Peter Fuda ‏on Twitter

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then a metaphor’s worth a thousand pictures.”

Finding right visual metaphors for the message has been a constant (and worthwhile) struggle when creating visual notes

The Untold Costs of Social Networking – Luis Suarez

That’s why blogging is so important nowadays for knowledge Web workers. It’s our home turf. It’s the only online space left out there where we get to set the rules and facilitate the conversations, as they happen, with your various different networks and communities, but without having an intermediary that you know the moment you make use of it is going to abuse your rights (whatever those may well be), whether you like it or not, because, after all, we are the product, remember?

There is always a hidden cost of mindlessly pursuing newer social network platforms when the value you and your community will derive out of it is not clear. For me, blogging has been a constant pursuit for last 10 years and Twitter is where I engage, interact and share.

Do You Need a Mentor or a Network? – Christy Tucker

In a networked world, our lifelong learning should take advantage of the availability of the network. In fact, you can probably learn more from a network than from a single person, even if you only learn a small amount from each individual in your network.

While I have had mentors in my life, I must say that I have learned the most from the communities that I engaged with. Your personal learning network keeps you updated with the latest thinking in your area of work, but the value of a good mentor cannot be undermined. I feel that we also need mentors to contextualize what we learn and enable us in delivering value to our organization/communities through our knowledge.

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful – Gabriel Weinberg

Around 2003 I came across Charlie Munger’s 1995 speech, The Psychology of Human Misjudgment, which introduced me to how behavioral economics can be applied in business and investing. More profoundly, though, it opened my mind to the power of seeking out and applying mental models across a wide array of disciplines.

This is an excellent list of mental models that I will refer very often. A must read if you are interested in how we think, judge and decide and what derails us.

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In the picture: Open Hand Monument, Chandigarh, India (Via my Flickr Photostream)

Change and Transformation – How Are They Related?

I have seen executives using the word “transformation” when they are really referring to “change”. Transformations are more deep rooted than change and it is critical to understand the difference between the two. Here are a few insightful resources that I found useful.

Earlier this year, Ron Ashkenas said, “We Still Don’t Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation” at Harvard Business Review. Here is a snippet from that post:

Transformation is another animal altogether. Unlike change management, it doesn’t focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly, the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change — but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future.

At Quality and Innovation blog, Nicole Radziwill also explored this critical difference between change and transformation. She says,

Change is required for transformation, and all transformation involves change, but not all change is transformational.

In many ways, change is a subset of transformation but change alone cannot lead to transformation.

Closer home, Harlina Sodhi, Sr. Vice President at Reliance Industries recently wrote an excellent post with examples of change and transformation and demystifies the perceptions about change and transformation with respect to the constantly changing world of work that we live in. She says two things in her post that are noteworthy:

“Change is the consequence of Transformation”

“Transformation prescribes vision and Change subscribes to vision”

I created a sketch note based on best ideas from these three posts for an easy reference.

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Also Visit: Sketch Note: 6 Rules of Change by Esther Derby

Organization Life: Insights from Michael Wade

There are a few bloggers who inspired my blogging journey that started in 2006 and Michael Wade tops that list. His blog Execupundit offers a daily dose of  provocations, ideas, inspiration and links to great content on leadership and life.

Here are a few insights on organization life extracted from posts that I loved reading.

“Technique alone will not suffice because there will be moments when strong character must intervene.” – from the post More Than Technique

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“Leaders can talk about goals and missions as well as plans and techniques but until a single version of reality is established, effectiveness will be hindered or thwarted.” – from the post Getting Real

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“When problems make you want to withdraw from the world, usually the best strategy is to engage.” – from the post Random Thoughts

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“There are few things more powerful within a group than that which is understood but never spoken.” – from the post Random Thoughts

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“Poor indeed is the organization where there is a widespread lack of: Honor, Knowledge, Wisdom, Courage, Ambition, Humility, Humor, Fairness, Opportunity, Energy, Loyalty, Initiative, Caring, Cooperation, Flexibility, Imagination, Objectivity, Toughness, Decisiveness.” – the post titled Lack

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“The savvy employee studies the organization, both the people and the beast itself, and pays closer attention to what is done than to what is said.” – from the post Informal Rules

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There are times when we get more productive ideas on the drive to the office than in the office. – from the post Get an Idea

These are very astute observations that generally come from a wide and deep experience in navigating through the organizational jungle.

Leadership Development Carnival: June 2014 Edition

 


Namaste!
Welcome to the June 02nd 2014 Carnival of Leadership Development.

I am thankful to carnival leader Dan McCarthy for allowing me to host this event -  a wonderful collection of very practical insights on Leadership Development. It is always a great privilege to host a Leadership Development Carnival because it allows us to explore so many different facets of leadership at one go. In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment where technology is constantly changing how people collaborate and work, the paradigms of leadership are changing.

In this edition of Carnival, we have a solid collection of posts that explores the changing face of leadership in the new world. Continuing the tradition, I have also included Twitter handles of the contributors.

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Beth Miller of Executive Velocity asks “Does Your Leadership Fear Transparency?” and says “With the increasing lack of transparency that Washington DC has displayed, it is more important than ever for business leaders to step up and adopt the characteristics of transparency. Your employees crave and want leaders they can trust.” (@SrExecAdvisor)

Dan Oestreich from Unfolding Leadership says, "We think of the system as ‘out there,’ but the most important system to change is the one within.”  You can read more in this his powerful post titled “Having Tea with the Dragon”. (@DanOestreich)

Jesse Lyn Stoner of the Seapoint Center emphasizes on the importance of creating a team charter through her post “Create a Team Charter to Go Faster and Smarter”. She says, “Taking the time to get clear agreements among team members can slow things down in the beginning, but will help you go faster in the long run. It’s a paradox: Go slow in order to go fast.” (@JesseLynStoner)

Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership presents an insightful post “10 Things Your Employees May Not be Telling You.” In this post at About.com, Dan writes, “In the absence of a solid foundation of trust and open two-way communication, here are ten things that you’re not going to hear from your employees.”  (@greatleadership)

Dr. Anne Perschel from Germane Insights shares “The Secret Ingredient of Great Leadership”. We have all read 10 tips, 5 steps, and 4 actions of successful leaders, but we have to look closer to find the secret ingredient of great leadership and outstanding results. (@bizshrink)

Julie Winkle Giulioni  asks “How Well-Populated is Your Pipeline?” She suggests, “Perhaps it’s time to evaluate leaders by the most crucial output for which they’re responsible: the quality of their followers.” (@Julie_WG)

Joel Garfinkle on his Career Advancement Blog shares “7 Competencies Successful HR Executive MUST Know” to be successful. (@workcoach4you)

Jim Taggart at Changing Winds blog submits his recent post “Why Arrogance Leads to Eventual Failure”. In this post he says, “I profile two very well-known companies, which happen to be Canadian (as I am) to illustrate how arrogance by top corporate leaders brought down one company (Nortel) and almost brought down the other (Blackberry), whose new CEO is working very hard to reposition the company to compete in the global telecom market.” (@72keys)

John Hunter of the Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog presents his post “A Good Management System is Robust and Continually Improving” and says, “An organization succeeds because of the efforts of many great people. But the management system has to be created for an organization to prosper as what we all know will happen, happens: people will leave and need to be replaced.”  (@curiouscat_com)

Karin Hurt of Let’s Grow Leaders says, “Micromanaging is a dysfunctional behavior that most leaders fall into from time to time. So how do you know if you’re slipping into the micro management trap?” and presents her post “The Insiders Guide to Micromanagement”. (@LetsGrowLeaders)

Jane Perdue of LeadBig presents “You know you’re not a leader when…” and says “Sometimes leaders need to take a moment, reflect on what they’re doing, and perhaps recalibrate if their actions are leadership material….or not.” (@thehrgoddess)

Mary Jo Asmus at Aspire-CS presents the post “Give them something of value” and says, “Relationships are foundational to great leadership, and value is the common currency that flows between healthy relationships.” (@mjasmus)

Nicholas Bate of Strategic Edge reflects on Leadership in his post “Leadership Reflections Seven”. In this crisp post, he provides useful reminders about fundamentals of great leadership.

S. Chris Edmonds of Driving Results Through Culture says, “GM’s recall delays indicate a corporate culture more concerned with profits than with people. These recall delays are a failure of internal systems, of engineering, and, most critically, a failure of the heart.” Read more in his post “GM’s Heart Failure” (@scedmonds)

Bruce Watt Ph.D of Development Dimensions International presents “Who Would Really Want to be a Leader?” and says, “Is negativity about leadership discouraging future generations from stepping up? In this post, I address our responsibility to select and prepare better leaders, hold them accountable and (very importantly) encourage future generations to pursue leadership.”

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference presents an interesting take on VUCA world through his post “VUCA Times Call for DURT Leaders”. He says, “We work in Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous times. To lead effectively through VUCA, we need to be Direct, Understandable, Reliable, and Trustworthy. Five leadership practices will enable our DURT approach.” (@ThinDifference)

Alan Robinson, Ph.D of The Idea Driven Blog shows how leaders can prepare for uncertainty by embracing flexibility through his post “A High-Performing System Helps You Face an Uncertain Future with More Confidence.” (@alangrobinson)

Wally Bock of Three Star Leadership blog presents “Looking for a leader?” and says, “If you’re looking for someone who will make a good leader, here are some things to look for.” A very interesting list. (@wallybock)

Frank Sonnenberg of Frank Sonnenberg Online suggests, “It’s better to learn from the mistakes that other companies make, than from your own.” and presents “50 Insane Mistakes Companies Make”. (@FSonnenberg)

Susan Mazza of Random Acts Of Leadership says, “Most "to do" lists are often more a compilation of "should do" lists rather than "must do" lists – and the difference between the two determines whether you are clear about your goals and able to achieve them.” Read more in her post “3 Steps to Transform Your To-Do List” (@SusanMazza)

Lisa Kohn of Chatsworth Consulting Group, presents Managing yourself out of the picture on The Thoughtful Leaders™ Blog where she shares why leaders should make themselves dispensable in order that their teams can survive without them. (@ThoughtfulLdrs)

Randy Conley of Leading With Trust presents “After Your Trust Has Been Broken – 5 Ways to Avoid a Victim Mentality” and says, “Suffering a breach of trust can be a traumatic experience that sends you into a tailspin of self-pity and victimization. This practical article offers five concrete steps you can take to avoid a victim mentality.”  (@RandyConley)

Neal Burgis, Ph.D. Practical Solutions presents “Can You Lead Through Your Discomfort?” and says, “When leaders normalize discomfort, you invite your work culture to embrace feedback and change.” (@Exec_Solutions)

Paul LaRue of The UPwards Leader shares "Leading Change-It’s Not about You" on The Lead Change Group blog and says, “This post serves as a great reminder of the humble leadership that ought to happen, where leaders are the first to admit to their employees that they don’t have all the answers, they don’t have all the ideas, and that they need everyone to be engaged and feel valued in order for there to be true success.” (@paul_larue)

John Stoker of DialogueWORKS Blog gives detailed, thoughtful instruction that will help all leaders develop more effective, productive, and meaningful relationships with their direct reports. Read more in this post “Do You Bail Your People Out? Rescue Management Diminishes Employee Accountability” (@DialogueWORKS)

Anna Farmery of The Engaging Brand says, “Stress is down to two things – control these two factors and you can conquer the world!” and shares the post “How The Best Leaders Deal With Stress” (@Engagingbrand)

Steve Roesler of All Things Workplace asks a question, “What does your CEO consider important when discussing talent?” The answer, in his post, “Tell The Truth About Talent” is thought-provoking.(@steveroesler)

Dana Theus of InPower Blog says, “Leadership is all about being able to see success, and help others see it and find their motivation to pursue it. But what happens when leaders see things differently? We don’t often take the time to think about the leadership gifts our gender gives us, but take a few moments to learn how others view success.” and shares the post “Do Men & Women Vision Success Differently?” (@DanaTheus)

Mary Ila Ward of The Point Blog shares “I’m spending a lot of money on this: Getting and Measuring Bang for your Buck through Leadership Coaching” and says, “Thinking about getting a leadership or executive coach or have one? Coaching has been cited to be both effective and efficient for certain organizations, but how do you know if coaching will pay off for your organization?  Read this post to learn how to measure for efficiency and effectiveness of coaching.” (@maryilaward)

Bill Bliss of Bills Blog breaks down the art of delegation into its value-added parts. Readers will never question the benefits (and bottom line impact) of delegation again after reading this post. Find more in the post “Delegation is the Killer App for Leaders” (@coachwmbliss)

Dr. Dean Schroeder of Dean M. Schroeder Blog demonstrates how leaders can realize a sustainable, substantial competitive advantage in the marketplace – and create a more engaged workforce in the process. Find out more in the post “Organizational Improvement: It’s Not a Sprint, It’s a Journey” (@deanmschroeder)

Miki Saxon of MAPping Company Success shares “Ducks in a Row: Robert Sutton—Scale Means People” and says, “It’s important to understand that a company has no existence beyond its people who are united in a shared vision and their efforts to reach a common goal—to scale a company you must scale its people.(@OptionSanity)

That’s it for this month’s edition. Thank you to all the bloggers who submitted their posts this month and I hope you enjoy reading/learning from these brilliant posts!

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Insights and Lessons on Critical Thinking, HR and Leadership Development

 

In American Management Association’s critical skills survey 2012, respondents emphasized on 4 C’s (Critical thinking and problem solving, Effective Communication, Collaboration and team building and Creativity and innovation) as their key priorities for employee development, talent development and succession planning.

I have been exploring the topic of critical thinking with respect to HR, Talent Acquisition, Leadership Development, Communication and Training via series of posts at Pearson’s TalentLens Blog (@ThinKritical on Twitter). The premise is simple – if we improve how we think, we will improve how we develop people, innovate, solve problems and grow as individuals and organizations.

Here is a round up of all posts (with excerpts) written on this important topic so far.

Why Hiring Critical Thinkers is Absolutely Critical for HR

With people being at the core of an organization’s greatness, it is extremely important for HR professionals to pay attention to two things – that existing people are trained to think critically and people are hired based on their ability to think critically.

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Problem Solving in Organizations: A Diamond or a Coin?

Leaders are expected to take right decisions after considering various facets of a given problem – just like an expert jeweler looks at a diamond. Logic looks at problems as a coin with just two sides where as critical thinking is all about looking at the same problem as a diamond with multiple facets.

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10 Most Important Traits of a Leader Who Thinks Critically

Ability to think rationally and critically is one of the most important leadership skills and for the leader, thinking objectively is not just a skill, but also an obligation to the people they lead.

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Training and Development: 4 Ideas to Build a Culture of Critical Thinking

The reality is that training middle managers on critical thinking skills is much like teaching an adult to ride a bicycle. It takes patience, training and practice to be able to master the art of critical thinking which, in turn, leads to good decision making.

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3 Ways Critical Thinking Improves Emotional Quotient of Your Leaders

The fact is that a leader needs a fine balance of emotion and rationality to succeed. They need to connect with their people using emotion and decide what is best for them using rational thought. Critical Thinking is the connecting link between emotions and intelligence.

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Critical Thinking – Leaders, Know Thy Biases

Critical thinking is an antidote to cognitive biases. When we think critically, we recognize our own assumptions, evaluate arguments and draw conclusions.

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How Critical Thinking Helps in Effective Conflict Resolution

The truth is that conflicts, if managed well, are an opportunity to understand better, get to the root causes, introspect, improve and learn. A well-managed conflict often leads to improved clarity, better relationships and win-win situations.

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Creativity and Critical Thinking: Friends, Not Foes!

There is a difference between creative thinking and creativity. Creative thinking is the process of ideation (thinking). Creativity is about bringing that idea to life (execution).

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Critical Thinking: The Soul of Effective Communication

If communication is defined as a meaningful exchange of information, thoughts and feelings between two living creatures, critical thinking is the engine that provides this meaning.

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BONUS: Don’t miss the guest post “Environment is Everything” written by Mr. Gurprriet Siingh, Director and Head, YSC India, an executive coach, blogger and a social media influencer. His Twitter handle is @JoyandLife.

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Collaborative Leadership at AIMA Blog

I was invited to write a series of articles on the topic “Indispensable Traits of a Collaborative Leader” for the blog of All India Management Association (AIMA). Since 1957, All India Management Association (AIMA) is functioning as an apex body of management with over 30,000 individual members, 3000 institutional members and 62 Local Management Association across India and overseas.

My first post in the series outlines the foundation of collaborative leadership. While you can check out the complete post at AIMA’s blog, here is a short excerpt:

“If trust is the currency of a collaborative team, communication is the way to build it. It is only when a team frequently communicates, provides clarity, clarifies vision, shares ideas, extends their lessons and outlines problems clearly that they can really collaborate. Leaders in a collaborative environment need to be transparent and conscious about cultural aspects of communication. They need to offer a compelling view of the future (vision) to engage the energies of people.”

One question that comes to my mind is, “In a knowledge world, can we really lead others without being collaborative?” The first response from the gut is “No”. In this series at AIMA blog, I look forward to dig into this question and think about key traits of a collaborative leader.

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Graceful Leadership 101 – in Gujarati language

In 2012, I wrote Graceful Leadership 101 (Free PDF Download) – a running list of simple (and common-sense) ideas that can help leaders become more graceful. Mr. Ashok Vaishnav, who is a regular reader of this blog and a blogger himself translated these ideas in Gujarati language and did a fantastic job at retaining the underlying emotion of each point. The translated version was published recently on a regional portal “Aksharnaad.com”. Please check it out if you are a Gujarati. Love the way how ideas spread!

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QAspire Blog 2012: Essential Posts Redux

2012 was a fantastic year.

Lot of writing, a few speaking engagements, many inspiring conversations some recognitions made this year a memorable one. This year, I contributed a 23 page chapter in “The ASTD Management Development Handbook” published by American Society for Training and Development. 2012 also bought me the recognition amongst “Top 20 Indian HR Influencers on Social Media (at #4)” by Society of Human Resources Management, SHRM India. Lot of good things happened on professional and personal front too. As I retrospect, I have a feeling of deep gratitude.

As I look back at 2012 in terms of blogging, here are some of my important lessons, one for each month along with a respective snippet. I hope you enjoy and revisit.

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January 2012 : What We Need The Most in 2012?

A new year is a time when most of us reflect on personal/organizational changes we seek in the coming year. My submission: when you think of a change, also think about making it happen. If you have ideas, give it a life. As Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Develop a discipline to execute your art regularly.That is the only way I know to achieve excellence.

February 2012: In Praise of Comprehension and Meaning

Comprehension is important. Understanding nuances of your work, its implications and clarity on overall context is as crucial in knowledge world as understanding others on the team. Style can enhance the presentation, but without substance, style itself cannot make you a better communicator.

March 2012: Great Story: Improvement and Tending the Garden

Improvement is not a product. It is process. On the journey to improve constantly, you can never announce that you have arrived because there isn’t a destination.

April 2012: Lifelong Learning: Lesson From A Cab Driver

That only pre-requisite to learn new things is to have an open, willing, receptive and curious frame of mind. That you learn the best when you learn it for yourself, not for a degree or an external certification.

May 2012: Team Performance: Keeping Ego at Bay

When you encounter an ego situation, quiz your goals. Ask yourself (and others) this question: “Am I (are you) focusing on ‘who’ is right, or doing ‘what’ is right?”. In teams and projects, doing what is right (and actually doing it) is more important than proving who is right.

June 2012: Leading Projects: Balancing Rational with Emotion

Every project we execute is a glorious opportunity to practice leadership, to make a difference in a customer’s business, to nurture the talents of our people. As a project manager, you can make that happen only when you focus on the emotional aspect as much as the rational one.

July 2012: Usman Riaz and Attitude of Self-Directed Learning

Learning starts with an intent, an inner force to know more, dig deeper and understand. It expands as we internalize what we learn and then do something about it. Learning is not one-time-4-year-degree-course, but a lifelong commitment.

August 2012: On Accountability: A Story and a Few Lessons

Never hold people accountable for following the steps and rules, but always hold them accountable for a goal – a big WHY.

September 2012: Comfortable With Chaos 15

One thing is clear: We need to get comfortable with chaos. Comfortable doesn’t mean that you let chaos happen around you and choose not to respond. Being comfortable with chaos means being more responsive to chaos and creative in spotting opportunities around.

October 2012: Agility in Process Improvement Initiatives

In an agile business environment where change is not only constant but rapid, we need agility in how we improve. We need to fail fast, learn fast and adapt quickly.

November 2012: The Promise of Gemba

Gemba allows leaders and improvement managers to appreciate what people really do on the floor and more importantly, how they do it. You cannot take any meaningful decisions about work unless you know how the work is actually performed.

December 2012: Project Management: Science? Art? Common Sense?

Understanding the science of project management is the “least common denominator” for anyone to get into project management. It is the art of understanding the context, dealing with people/situations and putting things in right perspective that make great project managers.

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More than anything else, I am grateful to YOU, the reader of this blog – without you, this blog cannot exist. Your comments, links and mentions only encourage me more to share my lessons. I will see you in 2013. Stay Tuned!  Wish you a Happy Holiday Season!

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Also Read: Bite-sized lessons, stories and parables in 100 Word Posts at QAspire Blog

Management Improvement Carnival: 2012 Edition

This is the third consecutive year when I am hosting the Annual Management Improvement Carnival organized by John Hunter. Hosting this carnival is an opportunity for me to thank a few generous folks who extended significant learning and influenced me through their writing.

This year, I review three blogs that I have loved reading.

Seth Godin’s Blog

If there is one person on blogosphere who has influenced me the most (through his words and deeds), that person is Seth Godin. I reviewed Seth’s blog last year as well apart from doing “one-question interview and review” for his books “Linchpin” and “Poke the Box”. This time around, I will point you to 5 best posts and snippets written by Seth in 2012:

  1. Who Cares?: Caring, it turns out, is a competitive advantage, and one that takes effort, not money.”
  2. Can I see your body of work?: “Are you leaving behind an easily found trail of accomplishment? Few people are interested in your resume any more. Plenty are interested in what you’ve done.”
  3. Perfect and Impossible: “If you are in love with the perfect, prepare to see it swept away. If you are able to dream of the impossible, it just might happen.”
  4. If your happiness is based on always getting a little more than you’ve got…: “An alternative is to be happy wherever you are, with whatever you’ve got, but always hungry for the thrill of creating art, of being missed if you’re gone and most of all, doing important work.”
  5. Don’t expect applause: “If your work is filled with the hope and longing for applause, it’s no longer your work–the dependence on approval has corrupted it, turned it into a process where you are striving for ever more approval.”

Jamie Flinchbaugh

Jamie Flinchbaugh writes on lean, transformational leadership and entrepreneurial excellence. His blog offers very useful perspectives and insights on leading an effective enterprise. Here are 3 posts and snippets that I enjoyed reading so far, and you will too:

  1. Standard work is not a replacement for skill and knowledge: Standard work is not a replacement for skill and knowledge, it’s purpose to enable skill and knowledge to be applied consistently and effectively. Most work cannot be done by robots; it is done by people. And so standard work must be designed for our needs, as an aid, not a crutch nor a hindrance.”
  2. 4 myths about the principle of “Respect for People”: “Conflict leads to resolution. Conflict leads to new understanding. Conflict, when managed properly, brings people together.”
  3. The failure of “Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions!”: “I believe one of the utmost hallmarks of a lean organization is that someone can talk very openly about the problems which they have no idea how to solve yet.”

Sharlyn Lauby’s HR Bartender

Sharlyn Lauby runs a very popular HR blog and loves to call herself “HR Bartender”. However, her blog focuses on topics that relate to the workplace, not just human resources. 3 posts and snippets from HR Bartender that I enjoyed reading the most are:

  1. Your Company’s Next Innovation Will Be the Result of Empathy: “Then comes the hard part. It’s tough to take the conversation and turn it into practice. We can talk about empathy but how many of us can really demonstrate it?”
  2. Projects Are the New Job Interview: The things we take on, the projects we agree to be a part of, define us. Because people are watching. They are paying attention to what we do. We may or may not even know it. And guess what? Maybe we’re being “interviewed” all along and don’t even realize it.”
  3. 5 Qualities of Professional People: “Part of gaining respect is being able to say “I don’t know.” Be the best you can at what you do and don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t know something.”

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Related Posts:

  1. People Focus – 2010 Management Improvement Carnival
  2. Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 1 (2011)
  3. Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 2 (2011)

Stay Tuned: Subscribe via RSS, Connect via Facebook or Follow us on Twitter. You can also subscribe to updates via email using the section at the bottom of the page. Looking forward to the conversations!

Food For Thought – April 2012

From a number of GREAT bloggers and authors I read, here are a few snippets of thought provoking insights – straight from my feed reader. Note: Important take-aways marked in bold+italics.

Michael Wade on “What Managers Can Learn from Novelists

Recognize that life is not a novel. At least, not in most cases. The most powerful characters in life are the quiet heroes who support families, meet obligations, hone skills, and fulfill civic duties. The same is true in the workplace. Your most important employees are not the charismatic home run hitters. They are your base hitters who, although devoid of drama, win ball games.”

Nicholas Bate suggests, “Spend Time With The Best

The best will remind you that nothing’s guaranteed but more is predictable when you take responsibility for you career rather than leaving it to your CEO, take responsibility for you life rather than leaving it to a smooth-talking politician and start reading every day. Hang out with the best. Listen to the best. Read the best.

Wally Bock knows “Where Greatness Lives

Like great companies, great business teams are excited about the work they do. Foster excitement in the work. Revel in it.”

Dan Pink shares “50 Centuries of Work = 5 Important Lessons”. One of them below:

“Choose a career for the intrinsic rewards, not the financial ones.

Chris Guillebeau thinks, “It’s Not the Process, It’s Not the End Result, It’s the Act of Making Things

No matter what, you’ll encounter setbacks and experience disappointments. But when you encounter them, your response is to keep creating. Use the setbacks for greater good. Write your 1,000 words, paint your painting, build your business, lead your team—whatever you do. Focus on the act of making things. The act of creation is where joy and effort intersect.

April 2012 Carnival of Leadership Development: Earth Day Edition

Namaste! Welcome to the April 1st 2012 Carnival of Leadership Development. I’d like to dedicate this edition of Carnival to Earth Day 2012, celebrated every year on 22nd April as a movement to protect the beautiful planet we all have inherited.

This month, we again have a great line up of posts on leadership, management and talent development. BIG Thanks to carnival leader Dan McCarthy from Great Leadership for allowing me to host this event. So here they go, in no particular order:

Dan McCarthy guides us on How to Discuss a Problem with Your Manager. Dan was recently reminded by a younger employee how intimidating it can be for an employee to bring up an issue with a manager. In this post, he explains why it’s important to be able to address a problem with your manager and how to do it.

Jesse Lyn Stoner outlines 5 Important Leadership Lessons You Learned in Kindergarten. Whether you are facing challenges as a result of changes in the economy, new opportunities because of advances in technology, or already have a good idea you want to implement, these five leadership lessons can make the difference between a successful outcome and a false start. The good news is: you already learned them in kindergarten. All you need to do is remember to use them.

Mary Jo Asmus tells us “Don’t Leave Your Heart at Home”. Many leaders feel they need to be serious and tough at work. This post is an argument for the importance of leading with your heart as well as your brain.

In her post titled “Of Money, Trust and ElephantsMiki Saxon points that focusing on profits doesn’t make a company more profitable, while focusing on customer service usually does. Great customer service rests solidly on a foundation of trust and its lack is the elephant many bosses choose to ignore.

Wally Bock has been training and coaching first-time bosses for more than a quarter century and has learned some things along the way. Wally shares this wisdom in his post “What I’ve learned from 25 years of working with first-time bosses

At Lead Change Group, Kate Nasser helps leaders question their values via her post “Leaders, Do Your Pet Peeves Disengage Employees?”. Pet peeves masquerade as values giving them hidden power over your leadership style.

Tim Milburn presents “Three Traits Of A Lifelong Leader

In his post “Leaders, Change What You Pay Attention To”, Blanchard’s culture guru S. Chris Edmonds outlines why leaders should apply time, attention, messaging, and reinforcement of BOTH performance expectations AND values demonstration.

David Burkus at LeaderLab presents “How Good Leaders Become Bad Bosses” outlining leadership burn out and entropy.

Bret Simmons takes a fresh look at leadership and management in his post “The Difference Between Management And Leadership

Leaders often think that enthusiasm alone will help them get their teams lined up behind a vision. Jennifer V. Miller, in her post “How To Gain Buy-In from Your Team” outlines why this isn’t true and describes two other key components needed to gain buy-in from team members.

Gwyn Teatro presents Leadership Lessons from Ernest Hemingway’s story “The Old Man and the Sea”.

Robyn McLeod at The Thoughtful Leaders Blog presents “Bucket filling as a leadership competency”. Bucket filling technique is used in schools to teach children the value of compassion, respect and kindness. This post looks at how leaders can be more effective by practicing “bucket filling” in the workplace.

Mary Ila Ward at Horizon Point Consulting presents a post titled “Queen Bee Syndrome” with an interesting take on women and leadership.

Flashing back to his days in the headquarters of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Michael Wade of Execupundit.com outlines 10 key qualities of effective staff officers (equally applies to great leaders)

Art Petty at Management Excellence presents “At Least 10 More Things to Stop Doing if You’re the Boss

Jane Perdue presents “7 Ways to Maintain Momentum”. The next time you’re cruising down the highway and see the road sign that reads “keep moving, change lanes later” – smile and follow these seven tips!

It is easy to feel victimized when your ideas are rejected by your Boss. Soon, you will be in a leadership position and people that are following you will start feeling the same. Rajesh Setty offers a fresh look at the problem in his post “Is Your Boss Killing Your Ideas?

Laura Schroeder’s post “Think Moneyball” emphasizes on important fact that the war for talent is won from within.

Lynn Dessert at Elephants at Work blog presents How to introduce an assessment to the team.

In his post, Sustainable Means More Than Recycling, Mark Bennet nudges us to think what can happen when leadership is focused on how they manage talent and shape behaviors to the same extent it is focused on strategy and structure.

In his post “The Truth About Your Time”, Kevin Eikenberry dispels the myth that leaders don’t have enough time and challenges us to have a proper perspective of time.

Utpal Vaishnav states that if we learn to look beyond what’s normal, if we learn to be unreasonable, we can enter into realm of new possibilities and make a difference. Check out his post: Want to Make a Difference? Be Unreasonable.

Linda Fisher Thornton writes about “The Adaptability Paradox” – difficulty we have as leaders staying current and “learning through” change.

Many leaders are afraid of change rather than seeing it as an opportunity to move forward and build a stronger organization. Are You Ready for Change? by Guy Farmer provides some signs to assess “change readiness” of your organization.

Kurt Harden in his post “On Reaching Out” suggests that we speak clearly in business world rather than succumb to the urge to fall in the herds of business men and women who speak jargon.

That’s it for this month’s edition. Thank you to all the bloggers who submitted their posts this month and I hope you enjoy reading/learning from these brilliant posts!

Gratitude 2011

Gratefulness fills me whenever a year ends. Each year brings along new hopes, some challenges, many opportunities. When the year ends, we look back and ruminate on how we did to seize those opportunities, to face those challenges and what we learned out of it all.

One of the things I am so grateful about is this blog, and everything it brings along – clarity in thinking, expansion of my world view, some fantastic (and often life changing) lessons and many encouraging friends. I meet these friends through the words they write – through their passion for sharing ideas and make a difference. Here is a partial list of such friends and mentors on blogosphere that I am so thankful for.

  1. Wally Bock and Michael Wade are two individuals that I respect a lot. They run very high quality blogs that are updated almost everyday. I feel honored whenever they feature my posts on their blogs. I am grateful for knowing such wonderful people.
  2. Kurt Harden runs Cultural Offering Blog and is a source of some great lessons on life and leadership. He appreciates my work as much as I appreciate his. I cannot thank him enough for his support and encouragement.
  3. Nicholas Bate is a genius. He is one of my virtual mentors who is also super-creative. He doodles, compiles lists and writes great books. His generosity in sharing his best work with me never fails to amaze me. I am so glad I know him. (Read his latest series: Strategies for Success)
  4. Utpal Vaishnav is a blogger and a cool friend. He reviews my work, validates my thoughts and adds value through his own experience. His blog is a treasure trove of useful insights on project management and self help. His punch line? “No Actions. No Results. Everything else is a commentary.
  5. Rajesh Setty is my guide, mentor and a friend who leads by example. He just does not show the way, but walks the way. He helped me write my first book and encouraged me through a number of conversations thereafter. He is super-generous, thoughtful and inspiring. I am grateful for our connection.
  6. I am thankful to Lisa Haneberg, Becky Robinson and Mary Jo Asmus for their support and encouragement to my work. At various points in 2011, they connected via Twitter, emails and blog to extend help, inspiration and opportunities.
  7. John Hunter is a passionate improvement expert who shares profound insight and research on his blog “Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog”. He also features great thinkers on quality, leadership and lean related topics via his Management Improvement Carnivals.
  8. I am grateful to have known Dan McCarthy and learned a great deal about leadership and people management via his blog “Great Leadership”. Dan is also known as a host of Carnival of Leadership Development.
  9. Seth Godin is my hero. He wrote a profound book “Linchpin” (reviewed here). This year, he wrote “Poke the Box” and released several other master pieces at The Domino Project. I reviewed Poke the Box this year (with a one question interview with Seth Godin). I am cannot end my “thank you” list without a mention of this generous human being who is on a mission to instigate people to do great work and make a difference.

A blog exists because people read it. I wrote last year, “This blog is a skeleton, a tool. Whatever I write here is flesh and blood. But readers, i.e. YOU are the soul.“ So, thank you for reading and supporting QAspire Blog. I have enjoyed all the interactions with you via my posts, comments and interactions through Twitter and QAspire Facebook page.

Merry Christmas!

Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 2

Here’s part-2 of the Management Improvement Carnival featuring the other two blogs that I love reading. The lot of people liked the first edition where I reviewed blogs of two masters – Seth Godin and Bob Sutton.

Great Leadership by Dan McCarthy

I (and blogosphere) knows Dan McCarthy as the host of “Carnival of Leadership Development” at his award winning blog “Great Leadership”. Dan McCarthy is an influential voice in social media has done a great service to the leadership community by sharing his experiences, guest posts, stories and lessons on Great Leadership. Here are a few posts to give you an idea about Dan’s writing:

  1. Without Integrity and Trust, Rewards and Recognition are Meaningless:At the end of the day, no perfect system of measurement, tracking, or scoring can overcome a culture that lacks integrity and trust. People can always figure out a way to beat a system. However, in a culture that’s built on a rock-solid foundation integrity and trust, the reaction when the winner is announced will always be “Well deserved, no surprise there, they really deserve it”.
  2. The Meaning of Respect: “I once heard of an organization that actually handed out small rewards when they saw a value being demonstrated and tickets if they saw a values “violation”. Corny? Maybe, but at least it’s a visible demonstration that values are part of an organizations operating rules, not just part of a recruiting brochure.”
  3. 10 Mistakes Every Leader Should Make (and learn from) before They Die: One of them, Not asking for help. Driving around lost for hours because you’ve got too much pride to ask for directions might make a funny beer commercial, but as a leader, it can have disastrous consequences. At a minimum, it’s incredibly annoying when a leader just can’t admit when they don’t know how to do something.”

Peter Bregman’s Harvard Business Review Blog

I started reading Peter’s blog early this year and I love Peter’s way of extending lessons through everyday stories. Peter Bregman is a strategic advisor to CEOs and their leadership teams and author of several books including “18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done”. The following posts provide a good sample of what you will find on his blog:

  1. A Simple Communication Mistake to Avoid: “The solution is simple: When you have a strong reaction to something, take a deep breath and ask yourself a single question: what’s going on for the other person? Then, based on your answer, ask yourself one more question: What can I do or say that will help them?
  2. The Right Way to Respond to Failure: “Thankfully, the expression of empathy is fairly simple. When someone has made a mistake or slipped up in some way, just listen to them. Don’t interrupt, don’t offer advice, don’t say that it will be all right. And don’t be afraid of silence. Just listen.”
  3. Solving Your Organization’s Open-Faced Sandwich: “It helps if leadership is explicit about the cross-silo outcomes that are most important in the organization. It helps if everyone who works at the restaurant is clear that satisfying customers is their number one priority and that everyone is collectively responsible for that outcome. It helps if each person is committed to a whole that is larger than their part and if leaders communicate, prioritize, and reward for that outcome.”

Annual Management Improvement Carnival: Edition 1

It is always a great privilege to participate in Annual Management Improvement Carnival organized by John Hunter. I am thrilled to play the host at QAspire and I will be featuring my “four favorite” blogs in two editions. From time to time, these blogs educate me, stir up my thinking, change/challenge me and help me grow.

In this first edition, lets look at the first two blogs that I *love* reading.

Seth Godin’s Blog

Seth Godin needs no introduction – he is the most amazing thinker, doer, initiator, instigator and change agent. He inspires me (and the world) through his words and deeds. Finding a few posts that I really liked over last few years is just like showing a small tip of a huge iceberg, but I will still attempt! Here are the ones that really touched me:

  1. Self directed effort is the best kind: “The thing I care the most about: what do you do when no one is looking, what do you make when it’s not an immediate part of your job… how many push ups do you do, just because you can?
  2. You matter: “When you touch the people in your life through your actions (and your words), you matter.”
  3. The paradox of expectations:it’s worth considering no expectations. Intense effort followed by an acceptance of what you get in return. It doesn’t make good TV, but it’s a discipline that can turn you into a professional.

Bonus Resources:

  1. Blogger J. D. Meier compiled one of the best posts titled “Lessons Learned From Seth Godin”. Some of the best insights, blog posts and ebooks from Seth Godin, all at one place.
  2. Fellow friend Ivana Sendecka compiled “15 Must Watch Videos Collection of Seth Godin’s Wisdom”. A wonderful mash-up of Seth Godin’s best videos.
  3. Reviews of Seth Godin’s books “Poke the Box” and “Linchpin” at QAspire (containing one question interview with Seth).

Work Matter (Bob Sutton’s Blog)

Robert Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. I have been a regular reader of Bob’s blog Work Matters where he writes about innovation, learning and leadership. His new book is Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best–and Learn from the Worst. Some of his best posts I like includes:

  1. New Research: We Are More Creative When We Help Others Than Ourselves:There is an interesting set of findings from psychological experiments that suggest we see others’ flaws and strengths more clearly than our own (I wrote about this in Good Boss, Bad Boss) and that, on average, human-beings make more rational decisions when make them for others rather than themselves.
  2. 17 Things I Believe: Updated and Expanded:Strive for simplicity and competence, but embrace the confusion and messiness along the way.
  3. 11 Signs You’re A Bad Boss: From AMEX OPEN Forum: One of them, “Implementation is for the little people. Your job is to develop and talk about big ideas, not to waste time thinking about all the little steps required to make them happen.”

Bonus Resources:

Can Leaders Be “Shipped”? The Debate Continues

I recently came across a company (somewhere on the social web) that claimed that they “shipped leaders”. It looked like they offered leadership training services. It took me back to the old debate of whether leaders are born or made. One thing is clear – leaders cannot be manufactured in a training factory and shipped. Had that been the case, there would be no dearth of great leaders in business and society.

This is an issue where I had some strong beliefs. But since it is not a new debate, I knocked the doors of some of my friends (via their blogs) to see what they thought about it. I wasn’t disappointed with what they offered.

I found a brilliant article written by Wally Bock on whether leaders are born or made. He thinks that leaders are “sort of born, but they are always made”. An excerpt:

It seems like there’s only one thing that a person needs to actually be born with in order to be a leader later in life. That’s intelligence.

Leadership is an apprentice trade. Leaders learn about 80 percent of their craft on the job.

They learn from watching other leaders and emulating their behavior. They choose role models and seek out mentors. They ask other leaders about how to handle situations.

Leaders improve by getting feedback and using it. The best leaders seek feedback from their boss, their peers and their subordinates. Then they modify their behavior so that they get better results.

Wally concludes by stating that a leader never stops growing. Tanveer Naseer’s post enlightened me on whether leadership is an art or science. An excerpt:

Maybe like most human functions, leadership is not something we can put into a nice little box and place on a shelf for easy reference and review. Instead, it would seem we’d be better off recognizing that like most human interactions, leadership is defined both by its complexities, as well as its simplicities, in how one guides others toward a common goal.

Finally, at Harvard Business Review, I read an old interview with Centurion Holdings CEO Joe Grano. In response to the question on whether leadership can be taught, he responded:

Good managers can be trained to be adequate leaders, but the great ones are forged by their environment and their DNA.

Key Take-aways:

  • Leadership is an applied science – the more you lead, more initiatives you take, more you fail – the more you learn.
  • Irrespective of whether leaders are born or made, it is important to ask a few critical questions: What are your gifts (and how can you be one with your gifts)? What are you willing to do to take your gifts to highest level you possibly can?

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Note:

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A Round Up of My Writing in February 2011

At QAspire Blog, January 2011 started with a post on “excellence”. Organizational excellence is not possible without balancing people, process and leadership aspects. In February 2011, we explored these areas a bit further.

In case you missed any of these posts in Feb, here is a quick round up of all my writing in February 2011. (Also check out the posts written in January 2011)

My Writing at QAspire Blog

Other Recognitions/Inclusions

Have a wonderful start into the week!

A Round Up of My Writing in January 2011

January 2011 – a new year that started with new energy, new hopes and new aspirations. A year to take our endeavors to the next level and relentlessly chase excellence. Perhaps a reason why I started my year with this post on Excellence.

In case you missed reading any of my posts, here is a quick round up of all my writing in January 2011.

My Writing at QAspire Blog:

Other Recognitions/Inclusions:

Have a wonderful start into the week!

Gratitude – 2010

I am filled with gratefulness as I think about 2010 coming to an end. The reason I love blogging is that while I express myself, I meet some very interesting people – meet them through the words we write and through our passion of sharing ideas to make a small difference in the world we all live in.

I am thankful to my friends Rajesh Setty (for being my guide and mentor), to Lisa Haneberg, Phil Gerbyshak and Utpal Vaishnav (for being such cool friends), ActiveGarage team (for hosting series of my posts on Quality), Nicholas Bate (for his profound insights), Kurt Harden (for his generous mentions) and Michael Wade (Nicholas, Michael and Kurt are awesome threesome).

I am very proud to be a part of a wonderful community of leadership bloggers and am grateful to Dan McCarthy (for his insights and for hosting Leadership Development Carnival), to Mary Jo Asmus, Becky Robinson (be sure to check out her new blog) and Wally Bock.

John Hunter is a passionate improvement expert who shares some profound lessons on management, leadership, lean and Deming. Ivana Sendecka is a remarkable individual who is working really hard shipping inspiration and making a difference. Her blog is an interesting collection of thoughtful questions, experiences and stories that inspire. Thanks to both of them for enlightening and inspiring.

I know that the list is incomplete. It will run into pages if I list everyone who interact/make a difference via their  tweets, blog posts and videos (Just a stat: I have more than 220 amazing blogs in my feed reader)

This blog is a skeleton, a tool. Whatever I write here is flesh and blood. But readers, i.e. you are the soul. So, a BIG THANKS TO YOU for being an ardent reader/supporter of QAspire Blog. I have enjoyed all the interactions with you via my posts, comments and interactions through QAspire Facebook page. You validate me, correct me, inspire me and above all, allow me to be myself.

I wish you all a REMARKABLE 2011!