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ENGAGEMENT HAS BECOME the Holy Grail of business—highly desired but hard to get. There are a number of moving parts, and it’s hard to get them all aligned. Mark Miller says that “for many organizations, engagement is the final battle to becoming a high-performance organization.”

In Win the Heart, Mark Miller lays out the four cornerstones that engagement is built on. In this business fable, CEO Blake Brown senses his company has an engagement problem. He turns to an old mentor, Debbie Brewster for help. This leads him, and his wife on an international hunt for lessons concerning engagement Blake’s Dad had put together from people and places in history.

Blake and his team define engagement as “a condition of the heart reflecting an individual’s level of genuine care for their work, coworkers, and the organization. And if the level of care is high enough, it will result in energy, effort, enthusiasm, and initiative” or more simply:

Engagement = Level of Care

Traveling to Selma, Alabama, Florence, Italy, Pella, Greece, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and finally, West Texas to complete the picture, they discover the four cornerstones of engagement.

Connection

Conversation is the primary driver. “You might even say we—me and my fellow employees—do life together. We talk about triumphs and tragedies, fears, failures, and struggles. We talk about how to help each other.” “Real conversations are the bridge to real connections.” And this includes conversations with all stakeholders.

Affirmation

“Their secret sauce was thank you. Loosely translated they are creating a culture of affirmation when they express genuine appreciation to their employees. They affirm people multiple times a day.”

Responsibility

“Leaders must be willing to actually give people responsibility! Create a culture in which sharing responsibility is the norm, not the exception. Give people real responsibility for goals, methods, and decisions, whenever it makes sense.”

Environment

“The how is simply to look at what people really need to win both physically and emotionally, and provide it. The coaches just equipped the team for success.”

From an old friend of Blake’s Dad in West Texas, they learn that “If you just hire a man’s hands, you miss the opportunity to win his heart.

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Leadership Now Blog by Michael Mckinney - 4d ago


FAKE NEWS is not a new phenomenon. From the beginning of time, people have played loose with the truth in order to get what they want. Trust too, has waxed and waned over the millennia. It’s not new. People have always had to be on the lookout for fake news. And much has gotten through our filters over the centuries and has negatively impacted the assumptions we take for granted today.

Perhaps what if different today is our ability to so quickly and persuasively disseminate it through technology. It makes the task of discerning fact from fiction so much harder. So much information is coming at us about things we know very little about and in our rush to form an opinion we easily become susceptible to misinformation and other people’s agendas. As Jonathan Swift wrote in 1710, “Falsehood flies and the truth comes limping after.” We believe what we want to believe.

This is the subject of Savvy: Navigating Fake Companies, Fake Leaders, and Fake News in the Post-Truth Era by the husband and wife team Shiv B. Singh and Rohini Luthra.
The stark reality is that we have entered ... a new post-trust era, in which telling truth from opinion, and separating fact from outright fabrications, requires us to be on guard, intensely aware of the ways in which we are being played, and how we are unwittingly contributing to the problem. Fakery has not only pervaded politics, it has made deeper inroads into business and our personal lives.

Fake news works because it sells. It grabs our attention. And when it resonates, we buy into it and pass it along. It as Walt Kelly pointed out in his Pogo comic strip, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” We really can’t blame our institutions, our media, our leaders, or our neighbors. They are us.

“Savvy is about understanding the role we (as consumers of information) play in succumbing to and propagating fakeness. Just as we have technology glitches so too do we have human glitches in the way we process information.” So the authors catalog some of the ways we readily deceive ourselves and play into fake news. These “glitches” are well presented and deal with the problem of fake news at its source.

Repetition Make the Truth

If we hear a lie enough times, we begin to believe it. “We all know perfectly well that simply hearing something over and over again doesn’t mean it is truth, but we fall for this persuasive tactic anyway. Why?” We move toward things that are familiar to us because they are comfortable. “The more often we her something, the more familiar it becomes, and familiarity breeds trust.”

We Want to Belong

The desire to belong is strong. Not only does this foster groupthink, but it most often creates a toxic us versus them mentality “often leading to the demonization of the ‘other’ and contributing to discrimination and sometimes violence.” They encourage us to welcome dissenting opinions. Respect those with different viewpoints.

We Want to Be Right

“We want to be right, and we look for information that supports our existing beliefs.” This is known as confirmation bias. Because of this bias, when we try to convince others of the truth, they most often become more convinced of their own position. The more you try to convince someone else of your view the more entrenched they become of their own. The best approach is to find some common ground on which to build a basis for trust. Humility is in order. Overconfidence in our own opinion can cloud our judgment and lead us to marginalize others.

We Bow to Authority

We tend to trust people in authority. In my view, we should always respect those in authority because of our own self-respect. While respect is a choice, leaders must also know that they need to behave in a way that is deserving of respect. That said, we shouldn’t blindly follow leaders. “Assess a leader’s credibility, expertise, experience, and integrity.”

We Blindly Trust Artificial Intelligence

Perhaps that is an overstatement, but the authors are right in saying, “Rapidly advancing innovations are providing new capabilities that require us to give serious thought to the degree of trust we should place in the companies and governmental bodies that will be deploying them, and in the technologies themselves.” Again, it’s not the technologies, it the people who use them. Some will use them to greatly enhance the quality of our life and others will use them to control others. We need to discern the difference. And we should never blame the computer or use it as an excuse for the disrespect of human beings. Computers are programmed no matter how human they seem.

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THE INNOVATION WE PRIZE at successful start-ups is a mindset that is brought into the start-up and not necessarily the inherent quality of every start-up. Innovation isn’t something that just happens; we create the conditions for it. Big organizations can innovate like small start-ups.

In Creative Construction, Gary Pisano says that when big organizations fail to innovate, the root cause is often related to “management practice and leadership than with organizational scale per se.” While organizational size complicates innovation, “scale if properly exploited could actually be an advantage, not a liability, for innovation.” But here’s the thing:
Simply breaking up a large organization into smaller units or creating autonomous teams is not sufficient to replicate a start-up culture. Urgency, accountability, and risk tolerance in start-ups are mindsets. Re-creating these mindsets inside an established company is challenging because they result partly from the unique pressures and circumstances under which start-ups operate.

Creative Construction is the process of sustaining and rejuvenating an existing organization’s innovative capabilities. “Creative construction requires a delicate balance of exploiting existing resources and capabilities without becoming imprisoned by them.”

Creative construction requires three essential leadership tasks: creating an innovation strategy, designing an innovation system, and building an innovation culture. Pisano carefully details how companies should do each of them.

Creating an Innovation Strategy

A good strategy helps a company clarify the tradeoffs that will be needed to make between short-term improvements and long-term opportunities. It also aligns a company around common priorities.

An innovation strategy has to be based on what kind of innovation is needed. He describes four types: Routine, Disruptive, Architectural, and Radical. Each requires a different system in place to execute on it. Whatever the innovation, “the right way to judge the merits of any innovation (and innovation strategy) is value created and captured.”

When faced with a potential threat of technology or business model disruption, you need to consider two things. First is the nature of the threat. How certain are you of the threat and is it imminent or distant? And second, what is the impact on your profitability. If you adopt the technology or business model, will you achieve a reasonable profit? He produced a chart that helps to clarify these opportunities.



For example, if the threat is highly likely (imminent) and the profits from it are at least as good as your current business, then jumping on the opportunity is the thing to do. He calls this scenario A New Day is Dawning. On the other hand, is the threat is imminent, but you can’t respond profitably, then The Party is Ending. In this case, you can either find new markets where you might compete or try to defend and extend the ultimate conclusion to give you time to create a better ending.

The other possibilities are Intriguing Possibilities and Dark Clouds on the Horizon. In these scenarios, you are not sure the threat will materialize or if it will disrupt your profitability. “The best strategy when facing high degrees of uncertainty is to hedge and build options for the future.”
Too often, innovation leadership Is posed as a test of “guts”—are you willing to make the big bets? Such “all-in” bets make for great business headlines, but they are actually pretty foolish if you face high levels of uncertainty. Making smaller bets, experimenting, learning, and adapting are survival-enhancing behaviors in highly uncertain environments.


Designing the Innovation System

The next essential leadership task he covers is designing a system that will give you the capability to execute on the type of innovation you need. One size does not fit all. There is no best practice. What works for Apple and Google may not work for you.

Designing innovation systems begins with getting out and discovering novel problems and solutions. “Innovation in general, and the search for innovative ideas particular is an intensely human activity. What we see, what we experience, whom we listen to, whom we speak to, and whom we observe all shape our perceptions about problems worth solving and solutions worth pursuing.”

Pisano says to find, develop and retain the synthesizers in your organization. Those people who are good at seeing connections across fields.

Which projects should you work on and which should you kill? Build learning into your system as part of the selection process. Innovation means tradeoffs. “Every dollar that goes into exploring a new space means one less dollar for making an important refinement to a new product.” Use analytics to drive questions not answers.

Building the Culture

We have all heard the characteristics of an innovative culture. But leaders are not always quick to embrace them. Perhaps though, these characteristics alone are not enough. Pisano modifies each this way:

Tolerance for Failure but No Tolerance for Incompetence
Competent people will fail, but performance standards should be high. No sloppy execution.

Willingness to Experiment but Highly Disciplined
Having a clear idea of what you are doing and why. Kill bad ideas quickly and keep moving.

Psychologically Safe but Brutally Candid
Critical feedback needs to go both ways. Don’t confuse politeness with respect. “There is nothing inconsistent about being frank and highly respectful of individuals.”

Collaborative but Individually Accountable
Innovative cultures blend both. “In high-individual-accountability environments, decisions can be traced back to specific individuals.”

Flat but with Strong Leadership
“Paradoxically, flat organizations require stronger leadership than hierarchical ones.” (If you take hierarchical to mean command and control.)

Leaders must manifest these values in their behavior. An innovative culture is a mindset. Creative Constructive Leader take ownership of that mindset and the related strategic, system, and cultural challenges

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Capitalism in America by Alan Greenspan and Adrian Wooldridge is an accessible history of America’s capitalist traditions and entrepreneurial culture.

In this chronological account beginning with the American Revolution, the genius of America’s innovative success is not only its tolerance of but also its penchant for creative destruction. Though sometimes painful, it is the driving force of economic progress.

The authors talk not only of the familiar product innovation but also America’s process innovation—innovation in management and organizing production.

Entrepreneurs drawn from every level of society are the primary drivers of this creative destruction. Associated with openness and opportunity, America produces and draws in more entrepreneurs than anywhere else.
Entrepreneurs are the heroes of creative destruction—the people with the ability to feel the future in their bones and bring it into being through sheer force of will and intellect. Entrepreneurs drive long-term growth in productivity by pursuing their dreams of building a business, launching a product, or, human nature being what it is, making a fortune. But they are seldom the easiest of heroes, or the nicest. They are almost always guilty of what might be termed imperialism of the soul: they will sacrifice anything, from their own peace of mind to the lives of those around them, to build a business empire and then protect that business empire from destruction. Great entrepreneurs are never at rest; they must keep building and innovating in order to survive. They are also prone to what Norwegians call Stormannsgalskap, or the “madness of great men.”

One of the reasons America has been so successful is that it possesses a genius for mass-producing these flawed heroes. Charles Goodyear was so obsessed with vulcanizing rubber that he condemned his family to a life of poverty and squalor, with three of his children dying in infancy. Isaac Singer was guilty of cheating his partner out of his business and choking one of his wives into unconsciousness as well as polygamy and child neglect. John Henry Patterson, the founder of National Cash Register Company, was a food faddist and exercise fanatic who bathed five times a day and once fasted for thirty-seven days. Henry Ford launched a succession of ambitious schemes for improving the world, including eliminating cow, which he couldn’t abide. In 1915, he took a ship of leading businesspeople and peace activists to Europe to try to end the First World War and “get those boys out of the trenches.” “Great War to End Christmas Day,” read a New York Times headline; “Ford to Stop It.” Thomas Watson turned IBM into a personality cult, complete with company songs about “our friend and guiding hand,” a man whose “courage none can stem.”

The ugly side of these entrepreneurs is often just as important to their success as their admirable side, just as the destruction is as important as the creation. You cannot reshape entire industries and build companies from nothing without overdoing things. These negative qualities often end up undermining the empire that they helped to create, particularly if they get worse with age. They very stubbornness that led Henry Ford to mass-produce cars before there were many roads for people to drive them on also led him to ignore the fact that American consumers craved variety. Henry Ford’s failures prepared the way for the rise of General Motors.

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HORST SCHULZE knew from the time he was eleven years old that he wanted to work in a hotel. It was at the end of his first apprenticeship in an assigned essay he coined the phrase that would guide him the rest of his life: “Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen.”

This guiding principle—Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen—is the bedrock of everything Schulze does and teaches. It has a wide application because it is about having enough self-respect to treat all others with respect.

Schultz, the co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. and Capella Hotels & Resorts, has captured his philosophy in Excellence Wins: A No-Nonsense Guide to Becoming the Best in a World of Compromise. Throughout the book, he shares the practical application of respect and how it shapes people, workplaces, and the customer experience. Here are a few of the lessons from his experience that stood out:
Real knowledge of the customer is absolutely essential.

Sometimes a customer service problem—or any defect, for that matter—is rooted a much as five steps away from where it shows itself. One solitary person at a counter somewhere can’t solve it alone. It needs the best thinking of everyone connected to the process, because they are fully connected to the process, because they are fully committed to giving the customer every reason to keep coming back—again and again.

Elegance is warmth without arrogance.

When we look at any employee, or even at an applicant, we need to stop and recognize; This is the kid I used to be. He wants to be inspired by a dream.

When t comes right down to it, the vast majority of people in this world want to excel at something. They just need a context in which to do so. They look to us as leaders to provide that setting.

Schultz says leadership is about a lot of conscious decision-making. “It is about making up your mind that certain things are going to happen because you’re going to pursue them relentlessly.” There are four decisions every leader must make:

Decision #1: Strive to Inspire
Because employees are important, I will create an environment where people want to do a good job. I will invite, not dictate. I will get results by inspiring, not by controlling or dictating.

Decision #2: Don’t Settle for Less
I won’t settle for less than the vision. No excuses allowed, either from myself or those who work with me. There is no beauty in the excuse or “explanation.” No forward motion comes from it. I don’t pay people to think up “explanations”; I pay them to find answers.

How can I serve? Not “it can’t be done.”

Decision #3: Let Nothing Cloud Your Vision
I will not let my company’s growth and complexity cloud my vision. The bigger an organization becomes, the more people you hire, the more departments you set up—and as all this evolves, the easier it is to neglect the vision. Something negative happens on any given day, and managers write a policy to keep that from happening again. The next month, something else happens, and another policy gets written. Soon the policy manual is four hundred pages thick.

This is what is called a bureaucracy. People are afraid to get outside of the rules and regulations. Growth is stunted. So is creativity.

Decision #4: Always Look to Improve
I will always keep looking for new ways to improve, to be more efficient. True leaders never stop asking, “How can we improve this process? Who should I ask to help me think of a better approach? Am I willing to hear things that don’t fit my preconceptions?

You can build a life and business around the principles found in Excellence Wins. Here is one more thought worth contemplating. It directly relates to his mantra: Ladies and Gentlemen Serving Ladies and Gentlemen.
Someone said to me,”Well not every guest acts like a lady or a gentleman. Some of them can be very obnoxious.”

“Yes, I know,” I replied, “but it’s not up to us to judge or categorize. They may have made their decision to be cantankerous, but we’ve made our decision to respect them regardless. This is our value; this is our identity. It’s who we are, regardless.”

Always stick to the vision.

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NONE OF US would readily admit to being a bad leader. We see ourselves as pretty good or at least well-intentioned. But people don’t experience our intentions; they experience what we actually do.

When we struggle to get along with others or simply get things done, we would be wise to look at our assumptions and behaviors. Even just focusing on improving in one area can do wonders for your leadership and have a huge impact on those who follow you.

No matter how good we are as leaders, we all do a little harm along the way. So it’s good to look at the ways bad leadership shows up so we can minimize the bad and amplify good leadership.

You might be a bad leader if you are motivated by power and status. This motivation invariably leads to corruption and unethical behavior. It’s most often why otherwise effective leaders go bad. It opens the door for every other kind of mindset we associate with bad leaders. Our leadership must be about something bigger than us. Power is something to be shared.

You might be a bad leader if you are easily overwhelmed. It is the nature of leadership to function in uncertainty. What makes it possible is a clarity of purpose about why we are doing what we are doing. Leaders must continuously communicate that purpose to lead others an often volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world.

You might be a bad leader if you are too rigid. This is a failure to stay relevant. Staying the course is admirable, but a leader must know the times they are in. They must be effective in their current reality. Barbara Tuchman noted that a bad leader is not “deflected by the facts.”

You might be a bad leader if you lack self-control. Leaders are not a superset of human beings. Leaders have impulses, desires, and needs, just like everyone else, but when we fail to control our impulses, we most often get in our own way and derail our leadership. We lose credibility as followers expect—and rightly so—leaders to put the needs of the group above their own. Of course, there are impulses that are merely a distraction for others, and then there are impulses that destroy us and hurt those around us. We must exhibit self-control for the sake of ourselves and others. Leaders who lack self-control take themselves down.

You might be a bad leader if you think the ends justify the means. By crossing one too many lines, we put ourselves on the road to unethical and even evil behavior. This failure of leadership is based in self-interest. It’s self-serving. Leaders are rightfully judged by their results but not at any cost. This toxic mindset is most often gradual, and when tolerated in an organization it begins to infect all decisions and diminishes everyone involved.

You might be a bad leader if you lead by fear. This kind of leader exerts a high degree of control. It also leads to incompetency as the organization can never rise above the leader themselves. In the end, the whole organization is incompetent. Good leaders must know what they don’t know. As Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

You might be a bad leader if you have a lack of respect for others—for just being people. A lack of respect manifests itself in being unkind, dismissive of the opinions and needs of others, controlling others, or showing partiality because of status or importance. We respect others when we are curious about them and listen to them.

You might be a bad leader if you fail to see beyond ourselves. As leaders, we are responsible not only to the people we lead but to all of those affected by our leadership. It is a failure to do the right thing—to not do right when it is in our power to do right.

You might be a bad leader if you lack the competency for our job. This doesn’t mean stupid. It’s about skills. Do we have to skills to move forward in the areas we have been tasked to lead?

You might be a bad leader if you lack emotional intelligence. Leaders must be aware and sensitive to others and importantly, how their leadership is experienced by others. This implies the need for honest and candid feedback and daily reflection. Our ego creates blind spots, so we must always keep our ego in check. This is where humility comes in. A good leader leads themselves first.

We must be able to recognize the signs of bad leadership so we can deal with it before it undermines us. These mindsets come up time and time again because they are common to humankind. We can’t change that. None of us are immune. Sticking our heads in the sand won’t help. Only by recognizing them when we see them in our own leadership we can effectively deal with them.

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AFTER 18 YEARS on the MIT faculty, I thought I knew a thing or two about leadership. After all, I was tenured and had supervised dozens of students seeking undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. But in 1999, at the height of the Internet boom, I took a two-year leave of absence to serve as director of system architecture at Akamai Technologies, an MIT start-up located here in Cambridge. That position humbled me and taught me lessons about leadership that I still use today, some 20 years later.

Back then, the vast majority of Akamai’s 100 engineering staff had been recruited directly from MIT and other top universities. Like me, most had only worked in academia up to that point, and we assumed our corporate roles and responsibilities with anticipation and a healthy dose of swagger. What could possibly stop this juggernaut of collective brilliance?

Well, one collective deficit could, and did: The lack of effective leadership.

You see, despite their immense talent, our teams were completely dysfunctional. Within weeks, people started to feel disgruntled, and then even worse—angry, jealous, vindictive. Morale sunk, and our productivity did, too.

Fortunately, Akamai’s VP of Human Resources, Steve Heinrich, recognized what was happening and brought in Chuck McVinney, a management consultant with expertise in teamwork and leadership training. Chuck began teaching the engineering leaders about topics we had never been exposed to before: situational leadership, dealing with diversity and conflict, providing effective feedback, fostering creativity, and how to build a motivated team that leverages individual talents. Remarkably, after only two off-site workshops, our teams started to function better. We were able to focus and work collaboratively toward our goals.

The workshop content wasn’t complicated, but if you’re currently running a research lab, odds are, you’ve never seen it. That’s because academia and other research organizations rarely offer leadership and management training—and as a result, far too many engineers and scientists waste their time and resources dealing with unproductive interpersonal issues and unnecessary conflict. To help right that wrong, here are five the most important lessons I learned while at Akamai, all of which I continue to use in my lab today:

Research is a human endeavor
There’s no sense in denying, or ignoring, it: Human nature plays a role in everyday technical work. As a researcher, you simply must value and respect the interpersonal relationships that form the foundation of teamwork.

Know thyself
Senior researchers become better leaders once they understand how they perceive situations and why they react the way they do. Self-assessment exercises, interactive activities, and other tools can help you gain these insights and leverage your strengths.

Mental diversity strengthens teams
If you want your work to have the widest possible impact and be the most meaningful, you need to draft teams of diverse thinkers and then ensure everyone can contribute in a complementary way. This is the best way to pressure test and improve ideas. Of course, as a team leader, you will need to be equipped with strategies to manage such a variety of styles and temperaments.

Communication is key—and it involves effort
It’s too easy for senior researchers to become isolated from more junior colleagues. Make it a point to keep the lines of communication open, so that team members feel free to speak to you about day-to-day operations. Regularly checking in with one another keeps everyone on the same page and enables you to handle small issues before they evolve into bigger problems.

To keep leading, keep learning
Good leaders continue to learn and grow into their roles. Becoming a tenured professor or otherwise moving up the organizational ladder without participating in management training along the way can reinforce ineffective habits and create blind spots regarding performance.

It’s been about 20 years since I returned to MIT from Akamai, and businesses now routinely spend billions of dollars per year teaching employees “soft” leadership skills like the ones I just listed. If universities and other research organizations would invest even a fraction of that, their labs would be a more enjoyable place to work and their teams would be more creative and productive.

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This post is by Charles Leiserson. He is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at MIT. He is lead instructor of the annual MIT Professional Education course, “Leadership Skills for Engineering and Science Faculty,” which has educated hundreds of faculty at MIT and around the world in the human issues involved in leading technical teams in academia. He was formerly Director of Research and Director of System Architecture for Akamai Technologies and was the Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Cilk Arts, Inc., a start-up that was acquired by Intel in 2009. He is currently a Fellow of four professional societies: ACM, AAAS, SIAM, and IEEE.

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THE 10th annual Global Peter Drucker Forum was held in November 2018 in Drucker's home town of Vienna, Austria. This year’s theme was Management: The Human Dimension. The following are 35 quotes from the two-day event that are worth reflecting on:

► Innovation doesn’t happen by one person having an aha moment.
—Linda Hill, Harvard Business School

► It is the age of the employees. Trust them and they will create magic.
—Vineet Nayar, Sampark Foundation

► The most important person is not the CEO, but the person facing a challenge.
—Isaac Getz, ESCP Europe Business School

► You can consume time or you can harvest time. When you meet people you harvest time.
—Charles Édouard Bouée, Roland Berger

► You can outsource your work, but you cannot outsource your responsibility.
—Paul Polman, Unilever

► We need to stay in touch with people. Go out to society and find out what are the feelings of people towards your business.
—Isabelle Kocher, Engie

► Executives need to get out of the building and get into the streets where the hustle is. Leadership should shift from hierarchy to hustle.
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

► Move to the next step. Try some new things and get out of the robotic way. Try getting a little foolish.
—Herminia Ibarra, London Business School

► CEOs should spend some time on a retreat and reflect, read Plato, think more of philosophy.
—Adrian Wooldridge, The Economist

► We must be careful that our humanity is not swamped by the digital revolution.
—Charles Handy, Social Philosopher

► We spend a lot of time with leaders telling them what to do, but we don’t tell them what to stop.
—Marshall Goldsmith, Business Educator & Executive Coach

► A leader today is someone who creates an environment that other people choose to join and do their best in.
—Tamara Erickson, London Business School

► Think of yourself as an artist. It gives you the ability to love, learn and lose it! We need a story that moves us and a space that holds us.
—Gianpiero Petriglieri, INSEAD

► Today, businesses are in permanent crisis mode. The CEO needs to take up the leadership challenge to help others respond to that.
—Constantijn Van Oranje, Special Envoy Startup Delta

► Management has maybe become too machine smitten.
—Julia Kirby, Senior Editor, Harvard University Press

► Many managers mix up formulating a strategy and developing a plan.
—Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO

► Busyness means that you are not in control of your time.
—Dorie Clark, Adjunct Professor Duke University

► Capitalism is on the way to destroying itself unless it starts taking responsibility for its effect on society.
—Philip Kotler, Professor, Kellogg School of Management

► Activism is good if it fits your company’s values. Otherwise: Keep your ego under control.
—Peter Oswald, CEO, Mondi Group

► It’s not about fixing capitalism. It’s about fixing society.
—Henry Mintzberg, Professor, McGill University

► If you push solutions onto a problem effects may be temporary and short-lived. The power of pull uses internal capabilities and create long-lasting impact.
—Efosa Ojomo, Research Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute

► Leadership is a distributed capability throughout the organization.
—David Ulrich, Professor, University of Michigan

► The three keys of successful transformation are leadership, talent and culture. Talent works at the speed of culture.
—Renata Lerch, VP, Scrum Alliance

► If you want to create a movement, you need two things: a sense of ownership and a sense of community.
—Ricardo Vargas, Executive Director, Brightline Initiative

► Institutions change when we change. When we trade resignation for indignation.
—Gary Hamel, Consultant and Professor London Business School

► Companies and workers win from fundamentally redefining work: for the first time workers are doing work that human beings should be doing.
—John Hagel, Co-Chairman Deloitte Center for the Edge

► Define a purpose and then create the culture that drives that purpose.
—Paul Kasimu, Director of Resources, Safaricom

► Productivity and efficiency are challenges of the 20th century. Iconic companies of the future move on to the next challenge now: Mobilizing intelligence. Basically: Thinking!
—Tammy Erickson, Adjunct Professor, London Business School

► You can hire great people and turn them into mediocre or extraordinary performers. It depends on the choices leaders make and the eco-systems they create.
—Professor Bill Fischer, Professor of Innovation Management IMD

► If you want better performance: 1. Adopt mindfulness; 2. Get enough sleep; 3. Stop multi-tasking.
—Rasmus Hougaard, Managing Director, Potential Project

► The great question of our age is: How do we rebuild trust in the state, trust in authority?
—Andrew Keen, Entrepreneur and Author

► What could be a more human endeavor than management? And yet we often approach it with an engineering mindset.
—Julia Kirby, Senior Editor, Harvard University Press

► Power is not given to you by hierarchy. Power is yours when you take the initiative.
—Xavier Huillard, Chairman and CEO, VINCI Group

► You don’t get innovation without diversity and conflict.
—Linda Hill, Professor Harvard Business School

► Surely there are things that can’t be measured; that can’t be digitized. At my best I have imagination and vision. I have dreams. I have hope. I have trust and empathy. I have commitment. I have possibilities. I have all these things that make me interesting. That make life worth living. And work worth doing. So aren’t we lucky that these can’t be measured because otherwise if the organization were purely digitized, purely went through numbers, it would be a very dreary place—a prison for the human soul.
—Charles Handy, Social Philosopher

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TO GET FROM where we are to where we want to be requires a shift in our thinking. When our thinking shifts in an area, our perspective changes, and new opportunities become visible. We serve people differently.

In Leadershift, John Maxwell states, “every advance you make as a leader will require a Leadershift that changes the way you think, act, and lead.”

Shifts in thinking require that you see a bigger picture, rethink your perspective, and understand your context. Your leadership potential depends on these shifts.

It’s is unlikely that you would make all of these shifts at once. Some will happen gradually. Some will happen almost overnight. Some will come naturally to you and others will seem counterintuitive. We’re all different but we all need to make these shifts. Essentially they all boil down to making the shift from me to we.

Maxwell suggests eleven leadershifts that have helped him grow as a leader. Here are a few ideas from each of the leadershifts he describes:

Leadershift #1 Soloist to Conductor – The Focus Shift

You can’t do it alone. Leadership is not a solo practice. Of course, working with others has its challenges. A big part of this shift is changing your focus from receiving to giving. Adding value every day without keeping score. “As leaders, we must stop wishing and start working. Instead of looking for the ‘secret sauce’ of success, we must start sowing seeds of success.”

Leadershift #2 Goals to Growth – The Personal Development Shift

Rather than focusing on goals, focus on growth. “Goals helped me do better, but growth helped me become better.” Begin on the inside. “Growth on the inside fuels growth on the outside.” You can’t do everything, so focus on four areas: attitude, developing strong relationships, your leadership, and equipping others to carry on without you. To become more growth-oriented, you need to embrace change, be teachable (humble), learn from failure, connect with other growth-minded people, believe in yourself, and understand that real wisdom is acquired and applied over time.

Leadershift #3 Perks to Price – The Cost Shift

Great leadership isn’t about control, the income or the corner office. It’s about sacrifice. Great leadership costs us something. American missionary Adoniram Judson is rumored to have said, “There is no success without sacrifice. If you succeed without sacrifice, it is because someone has suffered before you. If you sacrifice without success, it is because someone will succeed after you.” Great leaders go first. “What sets great leaders apart from all other leaders is this: they act before others, and they do more than others. Great leaders face their uncertainty and doubt, and they move through it to pave the way for others.”

Leadershift #4 Pleasing People to Challenging People – The Relational Shift

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time. But if you want the best out of people, you have to challenge them. “You have to put doing what’s right for your people and organization ahead of what feels right for you.” This means keeping your eye on the big picture. Sometimes you have to have tough conversations, but you must balance care with candor.

Leadershift #5 Maintaining to Creating – The Abundance Shift

Maintaining isn’t always easy, but it is the easiest mindset to slip into. It’s not about change for change sake, but it’s about “can we do better?” Create a creative environment where people gather ideas and value multiple perspectives. “Being inflexible and sticking to my plan put a lid on me and my organization.” Larry Stockstill said, “I live on the other side of ‘yes.’ That’s where I find abundance and opportunity. It’s where I become a better and bigger self. The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity. So I try to say ‘yes’ whenever I can.”

Leadershift #6 Ladder Climbing to Ladder Building – The Reproduction Shift

This shift is about equipping others. We being with ladder climbing (How high can I go?), then we shift to ladder holding (How high will others go with a little help?), then ladder extending (How high will others go with a lot of help?) to finally, ladder building (Can I help them build their own ladder?). “If you want learners to follow directions, you only need to provide the what. If you want them to lead others and give directions, they must also have the why.”

Leadershift #7 Directing to Connecting – The Communication Shift

You must learn to connect with people to be the best leader you can be. To move from directing people—talking, ready answers, your way—to connecting—listening, asking, empowering. Be a person people can trust. Lift others up. “When you interact with others as a leader, what is your mindset? Is your intention to correct them or connect with them?”

Leadershift #8 Team Uniformity to Team Diversity – The Improvement Shift

If everyone around you thinks like you, you need to expand your network. A diverse team will fill in gaps in knowledge, perspective, and experience. “Malcolm Forbes said diversity is the art of thinking independently together.”

Leadershift #9 Positional Authority to Moral Authority – The Influence Shift

Moral authority is not about position it’s about who you are. People follow moral authority before they follow positional authority. Maxwell lists four areas a leader needs to develop to have moral authority: competence, courage, consistency, and character. “Every leader who possesses moral authority has had to stand alone at some point in time. Such moments make leaders.”

Leadershift #10 Trained Leaders to Transformational Leaders – The Impact Shift

Maxwell believes that if you only make one shift in your leadership, this is the one because it “will bring the greatest change to your life and the lives of those around you.” Transformational leaders inspire others to become more. But that’s because they have worked to become more themselves. “If you want to see positive changes in your world, the first person you must change is you. As leaders, you and I have to be changed to bring change. We teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are.”

Leadershift #11 Career to Calling – The Passion Shift

This is the shift from just doing a job to do what you are gifted to do. Aristotle wrote, “Where our talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies our vocation.” Your calling is not about you. “A calling moves us from the center of everything in our world to becoming the channel through which good things come to others.”

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Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in March 2019. Don't miss out on other great new and future releases.

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