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December 06, 2006

Leader or Manager

Thought’s

Develop Leader or Hire Manager?

From a statement in seminar, “Organization needs both leader and manger”, I got some different view about this. First of all, about leader: Leader should have skills combine Management and Leadership, but the combination proportion of these two skills is different from each leader in different position. And also, the detailed skill in both leadership and management will combine in different proportion as well.

For example, leader at top: CEO will require a more percentage leadership . And inside leadership skill, it may require a high percentage of vision / insight skill. CEO’s management skill may have a little less percentage. And inside management skill, it may require a high percentage of mange human resource rather than technology.

For the example of leader at lower level of organization: Leaders are exist in shop floor, that leader may have a higher proportion of management skill then leadership . Inside his management skill, the technology and time management may occupy a bigger percentage. Inside his leadership skill, the influence and inspire skill may have a larger percent than vision skill.

From above example, I am try to demonstrate a possibility to eliminate manger inside an organization, instead, there should be full of leader to filling the position, leader with different skill proportion. With vision, effective influence skill and efficient management skill, leader from different position will able to leading followers toward the goals. (leader know when to lead or follow, leader knowing the shared vision and goals.) Organizations should focus more on employee re-education and training; try to developing leaders within the company.


December 03, 2006

Leader or Dictator

Today’s Thoughts

Thin line between (strong) leader and dictator

First Impression: Strong leader and dictator both have clearly vision and skills of influence people, such as effective communication skill. But there are is a big difference from the feeling of the follows. Leader achieves shared goals with collaboration with followers, work together toward the success. But dictator set order to followers and achieve the “shared goals” by using followers. At the end followers will no longer feel benefits from it; the feeling of “work for” instead of “work with” will destroy the followers’ effort and finally end this leader-follower relationship.

Can this feeling to be used to separate strong leader and dictator? There are certainly many cases that a good leader make decisions that upset the follower, such as tell you to re-do your work or you have to leave the team. That leader surely hurt your feeling, and asks you doing something you don’t want to do. Is that making him a dictator?

One interest example is Paul’s experience, about the only two people he took out from his team in 21 years of military service. The way Paul handle this incident is quite different from my assumption (consider what military normally does :) Although these two guys are really a waste of space, but Paul did not get rid them as soon as the problem occurred. Instead, he still keep working with them until the very end, when there is no choice but remove them from the team.

It actually shown one clearly difference, the attitude. Good leader have an attitude that involve, patience, tolerance, comprehension, and all his/her decisions and actions are made clearly to followers, they know what the leader is doing and why do it, they understand leader made this decision under specified situation and with sufficient reasons. When in the situation such as remove people from the team, leader’s attitude shown clearly to all followers that “this is what I have to do, not wish to do”. Effective and efficient propagate/communicate will minimum the misleading information.

In a business situation, when manager set work for employees, so many manager just don’t want to take some time to think how to communicate with employees. Instead, they pick the easy way, “You do what I say,” it totally destroyed the employee??s motivation, environment of performance beyond expectation, enthusiasm of jobs.


December 01, 2006

Performance Appraisal System – First Impression

Today’s Thought

Pay by Effort? Pay by Result?

Focus on effort, ignore the result? No way. Business is not charity
Focus on result, ignore the effort? Too much variation inside, can hardly say it is fair. Result by itself means inaccurate information and even completely misleading.

Performance Appraisal System

Like people say, it is hard to measure individual??s performance. But we still have to measure it, otherwise how much we are going to pay for our employees? In my opinion, here comes the second best solution. Performance Appraisal System. It may have mainly two negative aspects:

1 This system is naturally faulty:

Because just can’t measure individual??s performance with so much variance inside. And also, there is no standard method exists to measure individual’s performance, one method may apply well say 70% on one person, but due to different condition, same method may only be 30% good on another person. Human are very different from each other.

Such system creates an environment allure people not to do it properly. Once set the target, people will always pass it. And it also encourages competition inside the team but not collaboration.

2 The people inside system create problem:

Data collect from employee may just worthless, completely random figures. Poor Income Poor Outcome. The result is misleading and not very helpful. The people who handle the data, say outside auditor for example, may lack knowledge on our organizational system, not understand the existence of unique variation, the result will surely misleading.

Consider the boss who decides to apply such PA system, from Nelly’s example, set a loose control on the results, give average mark to everyone, what is the purpose to have PA system in the first place?

From four aspects: Knowledge, System, Variation and Psychology. If the leader or manager don’t understand any of these, they will not able to make correct decision on how to judge people’s performance from the results of PA system.

Sharing Same Philosophy

Things exist for purpose, it continuous due to demand (not always positive…). In this case, PA exist because it is the most feasible approach, not the best one, but the available one. Like CV, exam, all those measurement tools, none is actually good (perfect) at measuring. From ancient time until now, because (most^^) people are not mind reader, we need some kind of method to measure.

When team3 had the meeting this noon (plus guest speaker Ray O_o... ...), we discussed quite a lot on the positive and negative elements of PA system. I think, this method got positive element because it fulfill people’s (basic) requirement. But the negative element is not just about the straight results from this approach, such as give someone incorrect salary or upset few employees. The major negative part is, this system bring (or at least give space for) competition inside the team, therefore teamwork will be destroyed. This long term effect is the worst.


November 30, 2006

Debut of LLL

- L’s Learning Log -

Finally~~ got time to start, actually just survive from a month full of accident and surprise, exhausted, but feel my capacity is expanding.

I got this plan of record learning from EEE course, since the first day of PPE module. From the first week, there are three major concepts I find very interest and need further consideration.

  1. Performance related pay / Reward to individual
  2. Give “space” for people to perform
  3. Can you take you daughter to work

These three concepts actually got a very close relationship with leadership, they reflect issues include: How to motivate people, Level of leading and what is influence, personality requirement of leader.

Today’s Learning

Not Abuse Positional Power and Headship

Sounds simple but hard to achieve, hypothesize on reason?
1. Personal power is hard to cultivate;
2. You may remember this now, but when you start at lowest level of manager and suffered from promoted and finally climbed to become boss, can you still remember this virtue?

“Absolute power lead to absolute corrupt” but it’s not the power that causes the problem, as always, the enemy is us. People chase freedom and also dream for power, when you finally “empowered”, Can you hold your desire? Can you keep a normal heart? Since the majority can not do that, it creates an environment that entices you to abuse power in hand.

Also:
Make a great teamwork – team 3.

Since we really enjoy work together in “team one”, sometime I just casually talk a lot about last GREAT team experience, unwittingly. But this really affects the growth of current team. Experience is good, it helps, guide you through, but it also annoying new team member sometime, especially at the beginning of collaboration in teamwork. What should be done is find the balance. Let’s make another legendry teamwork :)

Today’s Thought

How to become a LeaderSource of Power?

I didn’t start this discussion during the group exercise when Paul mention about related topic, we just got too much different idea on several topics, really not helpful to intro a new one…

I use to think about this topic, where is the true source of power in human world. First of all, not consider too much for the existence of super power individuals – superman…...(I hope there is, bring hope to human at least :), physically strong, he got power because he is the strongest one. We can assumer human are all physically equal, no one can survive from one gun shot at head. We are in a equal situation.

Under this situation, what is leader’s power? I think it is the follower, People. Not just people inside, but also include the people in this world. In the case of great empires, they fail due to lack of power, people no longer following/believe/trust them. One man alone is nothing. In the case of company, when boss shout at employees, he is actually shout at his the “source of power”, without them, that boss will be nobody.

In china, there is a very old adage: ?¨°¡À?, these four words actually means, Human-Heart-become(not that accurate…)-Oppose, basically it used to describe the fall of empires and leaders. It starts with people following you, it ends due to people leaving you. One great emperor use to saying: people are like water (ocean), it can float you (his empire), it can flood you. Words like this have been passed from one generation to next generation, so popular and well know, but it’s amazing how many “leaders”(in government, company etc) are ignoring it. (Part of reasons can refer back to Deming, wisdom like this become slogan :)

In here I didn’t mention position power or personal power etc, because these terms are focus more on why people following a leader. Sure we need to consider about money, but this one is not the essence behind.

I just got too many questions and assumptions. So I really want to use this learning log, as a place sharing thoughts and ideas, so please make comment and start discussion on anything in here that you feel interest. We will learn more from discussion and argument; refer back to an old story, How can you keep a water drop not vaporized? Put it into ocean. One man’s thought is not useful/enough, lets unite our knowledge and learn from it.


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  • Hey Li, Not the best time of day to write a reply, so I'll be short :) I really liked the way you th… by on this entry
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  • A great discussion to which I would just like to add that much leadership is not done in isolation t… by Paul Roberts on this entry
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