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March 15, 2016

"what makes you think you can teach us to lead?

"What makes you think you can teach us to lead?" must be the question that leaders sitting in a leadership course wondered or when leaders with high authorities dealing an external consultancy, however once the unspoken question being asked it might seem to be a thunder on a sunny day for people teaching leadership program to leaders. The situation is rather common in real world that most people teaching leadership program have basically never started, owned or managed a business, the experience rather focused more on acedamic side. It is rather sad when teachers estabilish their credentails by stressing on corporate experience or dropping out some famous CEOs they have met. Buy why they tend to behave in this way? I guess most students, in this case people occupying senior position, are not here to learn to lead, rather they are here to find a shortcut to climb up the corporate hiarachy.

It is a pity because such program is not intended to teach anything, it is about providing students with opportunities to learn it for themselve. But first thing, of course, is that they should recognized themselves as students and eager to learn to lead, not how to climb up. We are inclined to believe that leading ability can be learned from personal examples or advices, which is untrue. The correct way to learn to lead should be through the experice of leading and following. Even though our job title doesnt implicate a leader role, it doesnt affact us being an observative follower and learn from leading roles. When we move towards the managerial position, we might spend more time leading than learning with high pressure and little time and space to think and reflect, then selective leadership program or independent consultants can help to examine us from a distance way, improving how we lead by how we learn. Therefore, the qualifications and personal expereience of a coach do not matter that much, as it doesnt affect their ability to help you maximize your return on experience.

Now I regained my confidence and i shall continue to educate leaders from WaveRider.

February 17, 2016

"Leaders" AT LARGE

There is one particular kind of leaders we never talked about, which are the ones who lead by fear. This large group of people love to enjoy the positional power, to create power distance, to phenomenon the job uncertainty and let their people live in fear of the high possibility to lose their jobs. I don't really like to call them leaders because they are just a group of people who happen to be in position. They are authorities, but not leaders. They have violadated the very defination of leadership and the social contract. Truly, I wanted to ask "who made it happen and who promoted them", but today's seminar told me that never ask who did it, only ask what can we learn from it. It is no longer important to look back the past and judge the present, what we can do to change the future is what matters.

The truth is the whole system somehow goes into the wrong direction where business equals to money and people equals to cost. Highly intelligent but greedy wall street bankers created a system to sacriface others for their own gain and super fat bonus. Living in that environment, it is not hard to imagine what value people will have except for dollar sign. Even my friend as an investment banker said he had nothing but the money to buy a wife...I even felt sad when he became hard to please and full of hatred even though he is so much richer than me, that doesnt seem to matter anymore.

I believe great leaders will never sacriface their people to protect their interest. I believe they believe in heart count but not head count. When you care sincere and enough for your people, they will put sweat and heart and tear in you, and strive to be in the process to make your vision come true.

February 16, 2016

what makes GREAT leader?

Having talked so much about leadership qulities, traits and behaviors, such as ability to identify the right people for the right task, excellent communication skills, confidence and commitment as well as positive attitude or even being an emotional steady person, these are the essential points in order to equip oneself excel in leadership position, but what actually and truly makes a leader GREAT?

Two questioned should be addressed here:

1. Are you courageous enough to abandon the practices that have made you successful in the past?

As people in leadership position have the tendency to do what they are comfortable with and the practices that made them successful. Today's simulation game on Hotel Managment have absolutely reflected it. When our team passed the breakeven point and started to make profit, we were making decisions very carefully and conservatively in order to achieve stready growth without risking anything, until Q4 after a long discussion we decided to jump out of the comfort zone and make substantial investment without knowing what will bring in the future, of course with the analysis the worst situation, the result proved us right and yielded a great return on investment.

Great leaders dare to be different. They dont just talked about risk-taking, they do it. They carry themselves with a strong heart and emotional stability when acquiantances are saying that your ideas are naive and stupid. However most interesting phenomenoen might be the people joining you for the "stupid" ideas are not from usual aspects, but from people who think differently and believe in what you believe.

2. what is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network?

We all have a network of people we are comfortable with. But this question addresses the importance of leaders' capacity to develop a network that is very different from you, in terms of biological, physical, political, cultural exc. Great leaders treat the difference as a source of diversity and manage to successfully collaborate together towards the shared goals while most of people will be biased and uncomfortable, sometimes feel frustrated and overdefensive when someone is thinking differently than you are, therefore fail to work together efficiently.

Great leaders are not headdown, they see around cornors, shaping your future and not just reacting to it. GREAT LEADERS are not for the comfortable perdicability of yesterday, but for the reality of today and all of those unknown possibility and opportunities of tomorrow.

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