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March 31, 2012

….who is authentic ??


funny,... when I read about authentic leadership, it sounded so cliche,..authentic
Does that mean the rest of leadership theories are not so authentic? lol

Though it does make sense that leader should lead with vision or something that they believe in,
authentic leadership suggests leaders should examine themselves looking for true value they have been holding on to,
..... leader must truly believe in it from the inside not just having a created value or vision.

By that definition, people who are real and believe in something but what they believe is not worth following or worth making it come true do not stand a chance to be authentic leader?

Can authenticity be developed? if it has to be developed then it is not authentic?

Leader that has vision and that vision happend to be what he really believes then he could be authentic leader,
so authentic leadership can be a subset of many other leadership theories then?
say,... transformational leadership?


…you have to let me do my job


If a leader is to make a big change in an organization, he has to be able to handle the resistance from the unhappy faces who are likely to be worsen-off by the change.

Thai Airways, the national air carrier of Thailand kept losing money years after years until they appointed Mr. Piyasvasti Amranand as the company president.

The major changes he made was limiting the authorities previously given to the board of directors whom used to make decision and implement things instead of the management. Mr. Amaranand said
"You can't run the company that way. That's why when I came in, one of the conditions was that the management must be allowed to manage the company and the board should only make decision on strategy, policy, and not interupt the day-to-day management of the company, or appointment of key staff."

To me, this was a very big change (for Thai organisation), the change which might have stimulated the management to work differently as they were allowed flexibility and freedom to run the company without having to worry about the board while Mr. Amaranad did a good job handling the board whom presumably not too happy about this as their clear passage for self-benefit were shut down and I don't think that was easy for him as there should be an enormous force from the board to oust him from being the leading man.

but he dares to make a demand, to go against the board, and determined to overhaul the organisation.

It took only a year for Thai Airways to make profit, that's a very quick turnaround.


…bend and break


My close friend wanted to come visit during December last year, the problem was that, she'd already run out of her vacation. So, she tried negotiating with her boss, to use the vacation quota of this year in advance.
The boss said no; the policy stated that vacation days cannot be carried over to nor taken in advanced from the next year.

She was a hard working woman, several occasions she had to come to work for a coulple of hours on weekends,
not because she wasn't able to complete her works on time, but to handle some urgent situations.

Again, she asked her boss for a compensation for working on weekend and the boss said no because the policy stated that
in order to receive a compensation, she had to work for more than four hours ( 3 and a half does not count).

Many times, the assignment given to her were excessive, she had to stay late to finish them off. One day, she had to leave early to take care of some family urgent, the boss questioned.
"Are you leaving now, not sure if you've been working for 8 hours today?"
The policy said an employee is to work 8 hours a day, meaning she has to work at least 8 hours a day,
those extra late working hours do not count.

In summary, the boss is strictly by-the-book; to me, she has done nothing wrong because she is an emplyee and should follow the company policy.

But as a boss? as a leader?


So the question is,...would it be ok for a leader to bend the rule (or even break it) sometimes to maintain team's morale?


.


March 30, 2012

…tipping point



tipping point, theory for change,...

happens when new energy and belief are engaged by a mass of people,
that believe will be spread like epidemic and bring about change very quickly.

  • breakthrough the cognitive hurdle
  • sidestep the resource hurdle
  • jump over motivayional hurdle
  • knock over the political hurdle

it is an model that is proven by impressive result from William Bratton.
A guy to turnaround NYPD and made NY one of the safest city in the states.

very suitable for big organisation that sticks to bad working culture and has politics going on.
however, to pull this off, one might need to have good connection and a daredevil quality.



March 29, 2012

…parallel universe


Multiple Choices...

Please select one of the fictional dictated worlds below where you most prefer to to live in.

A. living on a planet, under the rule of Galactic Empire, led by the dictated emperor and his apprentice named Darth Vader.
If your planet is doing something against the empire's law and order,
the entire planet can be wiped out of the galactic map by the Death Star's super laser cannon.

B. living in the Wonderland, where the Red Queen rules her kingdom through fear and intimidation;
her solution to all problems is chopping off the head of the one doing anything opposing her thoughts,
no exception, even for the king (her late husband).

C. living in the Far far Away Land, ruled by ruthless Lord Farquaad who captures and exiles fairy tale creatures
to Shrek's swamp.


......sometimes people turn into dictators becuase they are prepared to do anything for what they believe as greater good,
the mean justifies the end

All the chioces represent leaders who're drunk with power, there is only who actually has a vision...guess who?


…stupid inequality



One of my friend is working in a global orgainization, meaning that people under one department are located in several cities (in this case, Bangkok, Budapest and Curitiba).
A while ago, each location was given a budget, equally in amount, to organize team-building activitiy.
My friend was appointed into the team-building committee, organizing a two day and one night trip to the beach near by, staying at a decent 3 stars hotel instead of having everything done in one day as it used to be.

However, the proposal was not approved by the big boss. As she was told, the reason behind the rejection was because in the same budget, the colleagues in Hungary and Brazil were not able to pull off an overnight team-building.
Thus, Bangkok employees were only allowed to have a one-day teambuilding activity.

Did the boss show a good quality of leadership by not approving Bangkok employees from having an overnight event in order not to create any inequal feelings to the employees based in another two locations?

To me, he (the boss) limited the employee's good initiatives; when his subsidiaries were able to come up with something creatives, out of the box and likely to promote the team unity (amoung Bangkok employees), I don't think using the term 'creating unequal working atmosphere' is really applicable under this circumstance.

Yes, my friend went berserk over the decision....lol


March 28, 2012

…puppet


A talk with my good friend yesterday was purely about her boss; she continuously ranted for alomost 15 minutes.

It's been almost 6 months since the boss was transferred from another department and it's been 7 months since the last monthly team meeting. The boss doesn't do much, besides attending meetings in which she was occasionally spotted sleeping and randomly distributes incoming works to team members. She (the boss, yes, it's a she) has no clue of what her team are up to and only follows up the assigned works when she was asked by her boss (the bigger boss).
My friend basically has no clue of what she going to do next after completing the current assignment and hasn't been informed of any plan even after several attempts demamding a future plan.

Nevertheless, the team was doing great, all the works have been delivered in good qualities with many praises from the collegues outside the team.

Then I asked my friend if she and the team member want a new boss. Surprisingly the answer is "no" because they are more recognised and able to demonstrate their potential that there're still doing pretty good individually and as a team despite having a bad leader. In term of overall performance, the team is actually doing better than when under guidance of the old well -respected boss.

Not sure where does leadership fit in here?
not even sure if it is laissez-faire,
Perhaps, a bad leader could bring out the best from the followers? lol
Then the boss isn't such a bad leader then?


March 27, 2012

…UN, more like a US



I came across a Foreign Policy article suggesting that Ban Ki-Moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, hasn't done much for a man in his position when the global leadership is urgently needed.
The author also mentioned that Ban "frittering away any influence he might command, become a kind of accidental tourist, a dilettante on the international stage", when people in one coutries were being slaughtered, for example.

I'm not sure whether I am to agree or disagree with the comment as I don't know much about what he has done and what he didn't do, but I don't think Ban can just order a nation leader to stop doing something, or order another nation to send in a troop to stop the killing.

At this point, I tend to disagre with the article as at least, Ban showed a quality of a good leader.

To me, he knows who he is leading and foresee the consequences (not being used by UN or US). Think about how much climate change/politics he has to handle, his job is to negotiate, develop understanding, bridge the gap between developed and developing countries, bring balance to the UN and to the world.
And it's not like he is managing his followers, because those people in the world forum are all leaders.

Leading leaders,....that must be tough. What would be a compliment quality to those who have to lead leaders?

The art of manipulation?


…Saving Private Ryan


For some mysterious reason, I was thinking of when was the first time I heard the name 'Vin Diesel'?
(as much as I like him, this blog is not about Vin Diesel though)

...And if not mistaken, from a movie called 'Saving Private Ryan'. After a bit of a research to confirm my thought, indeed, Diesel was in this movie in which a big part of the plot was about the 'D-Day landings' during the World War II.

Dwight Eisenhower, the U.S. general in charged of the Allied back then eventually drafted a short message on a day prior to the event which would had become public if the landing became disastrous that he would be the only one taking all responsibilities and blames. To me, that's a true leadership; a leader with accountibility.

In the present days, if an U.S. attack in Afghanistan turned out to be a mistake with many civilian casualities, I doubt that the press secretary of the U.S. Commander in Chief would tell the press this was due to the presdient's poor decision.

Blame it on the bad intel.

P.S. The actual text message read "Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone."
(http://www.eisenhowermemorial.org/stories/Ike-accepts-responsibility.htm)


March 05, 2012

Due diligence

Robust decision making and Leadership

This is sort of what I was looking for to answer my question in Leadership module,...
I was always wondering when I heard good leader must make good decision,
and I was thinking how?....

what could leader possibly do the ensure good outcome,
what's a guarantee for that,
how would a leader make good decision everytime?
and is it about making a decision or managing the situation after that.....

then Jeff said,....good decision doesn't always lead to good outcome, but good decision is one that's best for that time being, and it's made based on information/facts/ appropriate tools, .........brilliant !!

Due diligence..... I think it is safe to say that leaders who did their job in the process of decision making but faced horrible outcome due to uncontrollable factors are considered better leaders than ones that made decision by their hunch or instinctively.

That's exactly leader's responsibility,...making sure that every decision is best made, thorough, and based on facts.
...next is to take into account contingency,....make it robust.


February 19, 2012

…But I could show my prowess, be a lion not a mou–ess… If I only had the nerve.



One thing that people who's born without trait in leadership needs is courage....

It is very hard to stand up for what you believe when everyone else is against you.
Not only courage, passion, vision, character, and being a good decision maker are also keys.

If you want things to happen or change, you have to take a lead.
And I'm pretty sure that majority of people feel more comfortable to stay in the norm. Even if they disagree with something, they conform, because they do not have the courage to act/think different.

Therefore, to develop leadership in an organisation, one must be given an opportunity to lead to be engaged in something big. One must be empowered to think to make a change.
Safe environment is crucial to this initiation. Leader/manager ought to make sure that everyone feel comfortable to express their ideas, has involvement in decision making process and has been pushed to take a lead.

When Bonnie finally had to take a role of leader in Black Swan, the opportunity had given her a new thought about herself.
She never wanted to be a leader, more or less about lacking confidence in herself, but right then she knew she could do it and that is the first step.

The first step to developing leadership in an organisation.

Practice makes perfect, the more you get exposed to this, the more you become good at it.

If you have enough passion, courage will follow......take the lead, that's taken directly from the word "leader".





Coaching, not an easy business



Coaching?

It never occurred to me that coaching is actually challenging and tough at the same time.
When coaching is all about "not giving answer" and all I want to do is panning out options to coachee.

Understanding and helping someone is so much different than implanting seed so that they can think for themselves, because everyone knows the answer to their problem. The tricky part is how to make them draw it out on their own, and imposing on someone else's problem does not make it easier to solve.

Sometimes it is not about experiences, some problems only requird simple solution.
Sometimes the more we know, the less likely we find the answer.

Well, I just came across this thing......


 simple answer

...Coaching is a very good and necessary practice for leader/manager in order to manage the entire business without having to go into detail of every single thing that runs the organisation.

It is best to empower people and enable them think on their own. Just like Paul said, manager's job is not fixing everyone's problem, let them come to you with a solution.

I believe people will be proud if they think they own the answer, the solution, and that'll motivate them to higher performance level.


We want you,...Jose..!!!!


My Chelsea is breaking apart,....

and Andre Villas Boas, the manager, does not seems to have a tube of super glue neither side of his hand. Based on the recent results and the given interview conceding that several senior players have turned against him, I'm convinced Mr. Villas Boas is lacking the leadership qualities required to manage the group of these high ego millionaire celebrities. It's no surprise the fans were chantting for their former dictator, the one whom was sadly overthrown when the team was in a much better condition a few years back.

And Jose Mourinho is his name, ladies and gentleman.

When Manchester United battled back for a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge earlier this month, many people were saying that such phenomenon would never happened during Jose's regime and I couldn't help agreeing; not purely due to the tactic in which Jose would have dictated his players, but I don't believe the referee would have dared to award United two penalty kicks if Jose was still in charged; somehow the referee must have thought about listening to Jose's dark art of giving out after-the-game comments. His leadership style, dictatorship, is more or less proven powerful and set course of Chelsea's succcesses.

The tactical knowledges, this is another thing Villas Boas does not seem to be posessing and that's crucial to running a team. Villas Boas might have been successful with Porto, collecting three trophies last term, but how to handle bigger fishes and a much bigger pond seems to be too large for Villas Boas, in comparison to Jose, who out power Man United and Arsenal to the top of the league at his first attempt.

As a manager, a leader that manages the team and is responsible for game planning, Villas Boas miserably failed to understand the strengths of each player and is unable to manage this resource efficiently.

I have no clue of how the training sessions were conducted or how the tactics were instructed to the players, but the main difference between Jose and Villas Boas besides the results, is that Jose could deliver a result even when some of his players were not happy with him (of course not everyone want to comform to dictator, leader is not always liked but respected) while more and more players are turning their back away from Villas Boas. Jose was able to stop cancer from spreading all over the body and coordinate the other organs to function well together while Villas Boas will have to cut down more and more body parts.

Jose had become a leader not only to the team but also to millions of chelsea fans,......in Jose we trust :D

Failure after failure will eventually discredits the leader, for Villas Boas,...his chance to lead are numbered now.


.


February 18, 2012

…you, leader, can't be too emotional


One most difficult thing leader might have to face is handling failure.

Making a decision has a lot to do with risk analysis.

It is not so wholesome as a leader if he can only lead and make decision without ability to analyse and taking into account risk.

.....

For me, leading people to a wrong way that results in failure is too much to bear.
How disappointed the team would be? how much impact would this failure has on team's morale?
How would leader handle the guilt?

I am not saying that leader should always (100%) make a right decision to be deemed a good leader, uncertainty is out there everywhere in the world, every situation, ....that's just the way it is.

"Anything that can go wrong will go wrong" - Murphy's law

However, what would help leader minimise the chance of being wrong?
If something goes wrong, is it solely because of decision making?
or is it also about what leader does, how leader manage after he had made that decision?

.....

Failure is not as bad as letting your team down....
Keeping team's morale and momentum, learning from mistake and restoring confidence after that failure are vital.
If the team still has spirit and stick together, failure is just a bump, and success will be on a way.



.


…Dear Mr.Welch


Dear Mr.Welch,


This is my 9th year of service at GE, that amount of time is more than high school life and it was enough to build 4 Eiffle towers. And if an average lifespan of human is 80, I've already dedicated over one-eighth of it to this company.

I used to be in a very cheerful and happy mood on Monday, because I found my work very challenging and I like how the company creates such a dynamic environment. However, this workplace has turned into a battlefield and competitiveness has become new culture around here.
Lately, I work under stress, and sense of insecurity has taken over me knowing every year 2 people in our department will be fired. For the last four years, in order to get a good ranking, most people here have been trying to propose short-term project that shows quick result, and come up with poor solutions to the problem just for the sake of fixing it. Not many people dedicate their time to find the root cause and properly deliver what should have been done. Innovation and creativity has dramatically decreased and suppressed by this fear of losing the job.

I have never doubt my performance nor has my manager. I have many times proven my skill by delivering many successful projects and constantly achieving my targets resulting in two promotions during my tenure.

Unfortunately, this year has not been good, I had been hit by life crisis, which are medical condition and a divorce. Although I am mentally and physically weaker, somehow I am still a responsible person and manage to get to work everyday with minimum sick day (as required by doctor).
Rumor has it, I might end up at the bottom of the ranking, I am aware that my performance has been affected by crisis, but I am recovering. Nevetheless, two people in my department has to be let go this year according to your firing policy.

My question to you Mr.Welch......If I were one of the bottom two on ranking this year, and If you were me, will you fire you?


Sincerely,
C.Z.


February 07, 2012

….no more egg from you !



It seems to me that majority of people still believe in goodness, otherwise CSR concept wouldn't have been this successful.

However, I bet there are only few companies among all that adopt CSR, has genuine interest, and truely cares about society, environment and emplyee welfare.
The rest are just too afraid to lose market share to its competitors or being sued (by NGO, employee as such).

Anyhow, I am very happy that at least the trend has made it almost mandatory right now to compete in business world.
what else could be better than maketing tool that benefits both company and other stakeholders....

I like what Zoe said that "use what you're good at" "dont just throw the money at them", it is a clever way to exploit CSR as a marketing tool. CSR benefits most when it is not simply a charity, CSR consumes certain amount of budget like other department, we might as well manage it in a way like we would do in other business function.

The more we get out of CSR, the bigger we can do with CSR in the future, and that is just a good sense.

In Thailand, there is a big brand that I stopped buying eggs (and other meat products) from because I learned about the company and I have some friends working for them, and to me they are horrible. Honestly, I have not heard anything good about them at all. If only I heard even a slightest news about their CSR, or other good aspects of their business conduct, I might have inclined to be their customer again.

It could be that their CSR is not working, or they do not have one at all, this part I couldn't be bothered to find out.


ahhhh CSR is a new face of the company.... invest wisely.


February 01, 2012

….scattered brain…, what is leadership man!


Today's class discussion about leadership was getting deeper and deeper to the point when a fine line between leader and idol, and direct and indirect leadership is blurred (to me).

Leadership has a lot to do with communication to followers in any mean.
Supposed two persons on a different side of the world do the same thing (e.g. silent protest like fasting) for a purpose, one is lucky enough that his action is propagated by media and the news has reached every corner, it captures people's attention, and they agree to his purpose (maybe just because they share similar belief) and automatically he become a leader. While the other person did not become a leader because no one knows what he did.

I think sometimes people are just determined enough to react to something, or strongly believe in something that they just want to stand for what they believe, it's not like they possess any quality to be a leader or want to be a leader. But situation and outside factors make it happen that way.

What I really believe is that charisma is very important for leadership.
To get someone to share your goal and vision and to gain their trust, so they follow you no matter what happen or whatever way you may lead them is similar to putting a spell on them.

I can say that leadership is an innate quality, people with leadership are those that always have an urge to lead (in almost any situation they find themselves in).

Well, that does not mean leadership cannot be developed, people with strong determination, belief and vision, and people that set their heart on something already have potential to be leaders to pursue what they wanted.

Natuarally, leaders always want to lead someone to accomplish something.


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