All entries for February 2010

February 23, 2010

Psychological theories of leadership

Whilst reading the theories in the intranet, I found one theory which is particularly of my personal interest. Cognitive differences, wherein they talk about the two distinct brain hemispheres that have been associated with different types of thinking. It is said that everyone uses both side to a certain extent, and good leaders should balance these characteristics if they have a greater inclination for an specific side. The concept mentions Herrmann's whole brain model which divides the way a person thinks in four quadrants, as explained in the website. This completely called my attention as I have taken this test before when I was receiving training at work. The results for this test showed that my thinking style belongs to the quadrant C, followed by Quadrant D. In simple words, these boths sides of the brain defines a person whose feelings are more important than tasks and enjoys working with others and likes change and risk, also allowing followers freedom.

I remembered comparing my results with a co-worker who got "A" as the highest quadrant for the way of thinking, he was very analytical, factual and never take opinions and feelings as a priority (his personality and even looks perfectly matched his results). I compare these results with our job positions, my friend was a financial analyst, he was a very analytical person, very organized, planning his agenda all the time, a bright guy with clear ideas, based on facts 100%, on the other hand, I was supervising desginated customers and had to deal with people in the microfinance sector everyday, I was not organized, not analytical, my personality and way of thinking was based more on intuition, I am a very expressive person, empathetic, spontaneous and friendly guy. We both loved our jobs, we both were the best at them, and our results perfectly matched our positions. After a while I quit my job because of a "better" offer and started to work as a financial auditor, where I had to deal with financial reports and loads of numbers and analysis, and I literally hated my job, to the point that I regreted leaving the previous company.

My point in all this is, you need to analyse yourself, identify your strenghts, what you are good at, what makes you feel a better person, and try to find something that matches your personality, where you can feel confident about yourself. otherwise you might turn your work into a living hell. If you find a place like this, be sure that you will experience an increasing career progression and your leadership skills will develop in time (a situational variable).

February 02, 2010

Corporate Social Responsibility

There are many definitions for CSR, but all of them coincide that it is a way to manage a business not purely focus on economic objectives, but trying to integrate the social and environmental impact with them, considering values and ethic principles. This means that the company produces benefits for both the business itself and for the community as well.

This topic is not only about doing social work for the passion of doing it, most companies take it as self-marketing, or part of a sales strategy, by improving the company's image, so it can be treated as one more business case.

I personally believe that CSR has a lot to do with social preassure, especially in recognised brands where they probably have no other option than directing an specific budget on it.

I once went to this International conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, and found it interesting the fact that they were talking about how to incoporate a fifth financial statement called CSR, where companies should measure the impact of the investment in CSR and identify how profitable it is for the business. Then I realised it is more than purely values and principles.

I do believe in CSR, but as a way to make profits out of it.....because even if I am trying to boost my sales, the help is still there (whatever my intentions are) you make profits by helping the community.

February 2010

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