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The Leadership Challenge: Building Capability in Organisations “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you.

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Presentation on theme: "The Leadership Challenge: Building Capability in Organisations “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Leadership Challenge: Building Capability in Organisations “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams (1767 – 1948)

2 Disclaimer Learner leader!  Supervision by a licensed leader.  Scan constantly for unexpected hazards.  Lack confidence to overtake or merge with other leaders.  Can’t lead while under the influence of alcohol.  People travelling with me are always relieved to arrive safely! L

3 Getting Started What might leadership look like? Thinking of a leader Leadership characteristics

4 Characteristics of Admired Leaders 1.Honest 2.Forward-looking 3.Inspiring 4.Competent 5.Intelligent

5 Martin Luther King Jnr

6 Dame Whina Cooper

7 Leadership


9 Leadership


11 A Different Definition of Leadership “The capacity of a human community to shape its future, and specifically to sustain the significant processes of change required to do so.” Senge, Kleiner, Roberts, Ross, Roth & Smith (1999) p. 16

12 Leadership in Mumbai

13 “Taj Mahal hotel staff displayed leadership and great courage”, Rhys Blakely, Sunday Star Times, 30/11/08

14 Quick Exercise If something as catastrophic as Mumbai 2008 happened in your organisation, do you think: 1.You’d be prepared to lead? - rate your readiness on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high) 2.That enough people in your organisation would be prepared to lead? – rate from 1 (low) to 10 (high)

15 Hero-Leader v. Leaderful Focus on: o Leadership positions at senior level o Top down approaches o Leadership characteristics & personalities o Controlling power o Processes & systems o Skills through training o Generating compliance o Leaders are responsible  Leadership capability throughout organisation  Collaborative approaches  Leadership activities & behaviours  Distributing power  Mindsets & values  Learning culture  Generating commitment  We are all responsible

16 Organisations are products of the way people in them think and interact... To change organisations for the better you must give people the opportunity to change the way they think and interact. Senge et al. 1999

17 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership Model the way  Clarify values: find your voice, affirm shared ideals  Set the example by aligning actions & shared values Inspire a shared vision  Envision the future: imagine exciting possibilities  Enlist others: appeal to shared aspirations Challenge the process  Search for opportunities: seize the initiative, look outward for innovative ways to improve  Experiment & take risks: constantly generate small wins & learn from experience Enable others to act  Foster collaboration: build trust & facilitate relationships  Strengthen others: increase their self-determination & competence Encourage the heart  Recognise contributions: show appreciation for individual excellence  Celebrate values & victories: create a spirit of community Kouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z. (2007) The Leadership Challenge

18 Leadership as Partnership Exchange of purpose Every employee at every level is responsible for defining vision & values, the leader helps articulate a widely accepted vision. A right to say no A person can lose an argument but never a voice. Joint accountability Each person is responsible for outcomes & the current situation. Absolute honesty When power is distributed, people are more likely to tell the truth because they feel less vulnerable. DuBrin, A.J. (2007) Leadership: Research, findings, practice, and skills.

19 3 Types of Leaders 1.Local line leaders : accountable for results at the “coal-face” and test the practical implications of new ideas 2.Internal networkers/community builders: carry new ideas, support and stories through informal networks to build commitment 3.Executive leaders: enable an environment focussed on ongoing innovation and knowledge generation Senge et al. 1999

20 “In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)

21 Learning Organisations Build trust & organisational self-awareness New governing ideas & management methods Learning rather training and teaching Experiments and small wins On-the-job training, simulations, post-activity reviews, asking questions, talking about problems openly & without penalty Team interaction & communication is key

22 Creating Uplift

23 “Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach.” Rosabeth Moss Kantor

24 Friedman’s Total Leadership … “Leadership in business isn’t just about business. It’s about life” Friedman, S.D. (2008). Total Leadership. Boston: Harvard Business Press. 24

25 Four domains - four-way wins community self home work 25

26 Leadership: redefining work & life Act with authenticity: clarify what’s important; take the four-way view Act with integrity: respect the whole person; talk to stakeholders Act with creativity: design experiments; bring others along with you Reflect and grow 26

27 Experimenting Tracking & reflecting Appreciating & caring Focusing & concentrating Revealing & engaging Delegating & developing Time-shifting & re-placing Result metrics Action metrics Self-awareness Fun & building trust Being present Sharing & listening Working smarter Flexibility & efficiency 27

28 Communicating to Lead “ No one, not even the CEO, owns the entire truth, because no one can be in all places at all times”. “Our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time”. Scott, S. (2002). Fierce conversations: Achieving success at work and in life, one conversation at a time. 28

29 Susan Scott’s advice “Life is curly. Don’t try to straighten it out” “No plan survives its collision with reality” “If you know something must change, then know that it is you who must change it” ! ! !

30 “The answers are in the room” Master the courage to interrogate reality Real thinking only occurs when everyone is engaged in exploring differing viewpoints Are my truths in the way? Don’t defend your ideas – ask questions Allow for multiple realities - remove “buts” use “and”....

31 Starters for 10...  Do we understand our purpose?  Use “we” for inclusion; “I” for ownership  Get reality on the table for discussion  Confess preconceptions & assumptions  “ground truth” v official truth  Ask the right questions  Story-telling can be powerful

32 Things to try...  Start with yourself – keep a leadership journal  Involve your teams – check for shared values  A revolving chair for meetings, practice interrogating reality in a safe environment  Bring your whole self to work and encourage your teams to do the same  Prompt your staff to call problem-sharing forums  KPI related to a team learning culture

33 Exemplary leadership requires authenticity and daily acts of personal courage

34 Questions? Thank you!

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