Mothers Rule: Leadership Skills You Can Learn From Mom

Good leaders aren’t born–they’re made. Who makes them? Mothers, of course. It is often the case when it comes to handling positions of leadership, people usually look for role models. We can look to established political leaders or even those that lead our religious congregations. However, if you want to tap into leadership that you’ve experienced hands on, there’s no other place to look to but home.

Mothers are the queens of the household. Even in chess, the Queen is able to do more than the king. So it’s a fairly good bet that anyone would be able to pick up solid leadership skills from their matriarch. Today, we list a few:

Mothers listen intently

In order to grasp the whole situation, good leaders need to listen well. Leaders will need to take in various accounts from different people. Then, they’ll need to be sift through the information and make a decision. It can be intimidating but you can probably remember how your mother did it. Remember times when she had to sit through fights between siblings. She had to take in often contrary accounts and discern which is truth.

She also had to come up with a decision on what to do afterwards. A mother would not be able to do that if she did not listen intently at the start. Being listened to also helps diffuse frustration in any person. When your team members feel that they are being heard, they are less inclined to falsify accounts. This is good for overall team synergy.

Mothers make sacrifices

Despite what old Stepford type movies would have you believe, life does not end when motherhood starts. When a woman becomes a mother, this does not mean that her own wishes and ambitions disappear. However, when a woman becomes a mother she makes the active decision to sacrifice her own needs and place the needs of her family first.

It doesn’t just stop there. In a mother’s daily life, little sacrifices are to be had. After putting the baby to bed, does she nap or will she take the chance to catch up on chores? When ordering her favorite pizza, will she get the last slice or will she allow her child to get it? It’s in the little things that people often overlook.

Leaders often need to make tough decisions. Sometimes, these decisions require the leader sacrificing their time or a made plan. It could be something as simple as not being able to go for a coffee break because a member needs a bit more support. When a leader shows their members that they are willing to take sacrifices for the betterment of all, this ultimately inspires and empowers them.

Mothers are meticulous

When you started going to school, there was a pretty big chance that your mother knew your schedule better than you did. A mother often has to have an iron grip on everyone’s schedules: dad’s office hours or business trips, PTA meetings, dentist schedules, etc. It wasn’t just limited to that as well. Mothers often have a strong mental list on the current state of the pantry and other household items.

This constant mental exercise helps them stay on top of things and keep incidents to a minimum. This is a skill that leaders can really benefit from. Keeping a strong mental grasp of the state of things, schedules, and events–leaders can be generally on top of things. The less area for surprises, the better a team performs.

These are just some of the few leadership skills that mothers display. So the next time you seem stuck and not quite sure how to address a situation, take a page out of your mom’s playbook. You may be pleasantly surprised that the answer what there all along.

Good Leaders Do These 4 Small Things

When in the presence of a good leader, it’s easy to spot how they stand apart from average ones. Good leaders are usually good public speakers. They are engaging and interesting. However, when put under a discerning eye, what are the small things that good leaders do that average leaders don’t? This is what we’ll be elaborating on in today’s discussion.

They use “we” instead of “I”

Good leaders replace the self-centered ‘I’ and make use of the inclusive “we” in their vocabulary. They understand that including their members in tasks and plans has a greater impact on cultivating their willingness and productivity. Take these two sentences for example:

Average leaders will say: “I will still have time to fix any confusion by the next developmental meeting.”
Good leaders will say: “We still have time to fix any confusion by the next developmental meeting.”

The first sentence implies that the leader is a one-man show; while, the second showcases that the leader and his team will be working together to address the issue. This makes it a good motivational point for the members to pitch in their own ideas to tackle the problem.

They remain calm in emergencies

In the middle of a crisis, it is easy to note who the control goes to–and it isn’t the person yelling their head off. It’ll be the person who remains calm while analyzing the situation. Good leaders keep a sturdy head upon their shoulders and think things through thoroughly before addressing it.

Who are employees more likely to have faith in: the person panicking or the person calmly surveying the issue? Good leaders carve out respect and trustworthiness in situations that would shake average leaders to their core. Even if they aren’t as calm on the inside, good leaders will always have presence of mind to be stronger than everyone else. No one wants a captain that falters at the first sight of a problem.

They adapt to situations quickly

On the same vein as the one above, should issues or emergencies arise, good leaders are able to take it in stride and adjust their plans of action accordingly. This isn’t only restricted to emergencies, too. It can apply to everyday situations.

Let’s say there’s one team member that’s a little slow on the response time when it comes to emails. Average leaders will more than likely send a reminder, pull the team member aside for a verbal reminder, and when it doesn’t change anything, a memo. Good leaders will, instead of sending a reminder, adjust their communication method with this team member by stopping by their desk and getting the response they need then and there.

Instead of letting an issue persist until it may turn toxic, good leaders adjust their strategies and come up with the smoothest course of action at the soonest opportunity available.

They make their presence felt

The last thing any employee would want is a disinterested boss or leader. Average leaders will give one ear and the rest goes to whatever task needs to be done. Good leaders will give you their full attention.

When team members see and feel that they aren’t disregarded, they be more inclined to do more for the team and their leader. It is also the more productive course of action–instead of giving only half their attention and doing a shoddy job at both tasks, taking care of a member’s concern and then finishing their own task will ensure better quality overall.

 

The Three Commonplace Leadership Styles

Leadership style, by definition, is the way or manner in which a person in charge wields power or authority over a group or a party of people. When you’re part of an organization or even if it’s just an informal group of people, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of the different leadership styles that have already been identified. This enables anyone to determine which leadership style would best fit the organizational situation or even how to meet challenges head on.

Being able to change and adapt to what the situation requires is one of the core capabilities expected of a leader. While there are other leadership styles that have been observed and studied, let’s take a look at three particular leadership styles: Strategic, Autocratic, and Democratic.

Strategic

Strategic leadership is primarily seen in a scenario wherein the leader is essentially the head of an organization but not necessary limited to it. This style showcases the ability of the leader to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that improve the projections for the group or organization’s long-term success all the while keeping a solid grip on the maintenance of long-term financial stability.

In other words, strategic leadership is used when the leader gets the people under them to make their own decisions with the company in mind. This does not make use of threats or force to get their people to follow. Having the vision and foresight to determine what words, activities, or actions to illicit such a response from their followers is indicative of strategic leadership. At the helm of most large companies, strategic leadership is truly required and the market can be volatile and will need a stern captain to weather through the storms effectively.

Autocratic

Autocratic leadership is all about the boss. The person in the position of leadership holds all the authority and the responsibility in the decision making. An autocratic style of leadership does not consult subordinates or other members of the team on what will be done regarding an issue or an event. Autocratic leaders determine actions, relay it to their subordinates, and expect immediate implementation. There is very little room for flexibility in the work environment of an autocratic leader.

A good example of this style of leadership is Donald Trump. While he has people under him to work on various details, all in the end, are turned over for his executive decision. Statistically speaking, there are a rather small percentage of organizations that last under such a leadership style.

Democratic

The democratic leadership style is aimed at eliciting contributions from the subordinates and members in a group. Unlike the autocratic leadership style, democratic style involves others in the decision making process. While all the responsibility is in the hands of the leader, delegation of authority is often done to others that have been known to exceed expectations in terms of performance.

In a way, an environment wherein democratic leadership is utilized has a better chance of developing other leaders that also use the democratic style of leadership. Statistically speaking, democratic leadership style is the most preferred in working environments. This preference stems from the platitudes commonly linked to a democratic style of leadership which are fairness, honesty, and competence.

Tips for Motivating Employees

Tips for Motivating Employees

A motivated employee will have an inherent enthusiasm in the workplace. People tend to have some sense of motivation about something in their life and work. Employers should have several tips for motivating employees to help fulfill their staff’s needs and expectations at the workplace. Here are a few tips that business should consider using.

  • Understand That Motivation Is A Process

More often than not, managers are task oriented quickly jumping to the next task after one is completed.  Those tasked with the various duties are subject to change with new employees coming in yet the management often going unscathed. The measures put in place to motive one group of employees will need to be reevaluated and changed to suit the new group of employees.  As such, any employee motivation processes in place need constant updates and consistent adaptation by the management.

  • Take A Look At Yourself

As a manager, you should understand that employee motivation starts with you. Traits such as enthusiasm, focus, honesty, and resilience are contagious and can be passed on to the employees. If the manager has and exudes such traits then he or she becomes an inspiration for the subordinate, a role model to emulate.

  • Get To Know Your Employees

While good working conditions and a nice salary are considered as employee motivators, they tend to fall short of expectations. Statistics show that most employees are inclines to perform better when given favorable working terms (that include a show or care and concern of their welfare by the management). This starts with learning several things about the staff, from a personal level, without having to ask; things such as their children’s names, their favorite food, or their hobbies. The manager can then use this information to connect with the staff.

  • Work From Individual Moving Up To Team Work

Businesses often view employee motivation from a “team” perspective forgetting that it is the employees that individually form the team. Therefore, motivation should start at an individual level as opposed to focusing on a team and it starts by learning what makes each employee tick while focusing on how to make each understand the benefits of working as an individual but as a part of a uniform team.

  • Build Trust In Them

While the management is in place to direct employees on what to do, how, and when, it also is important to build some level of trust in them. A vote of confidence is a show of faith that they can be trusted to deliver excellence with minimal guidance and supervision. If they are shown the bigger picture and taught how to take a leadership position in executing their duties, the employee will be more efficient in the workplace.

  • Radiate Positivity In The Workplace

A workplace with energy (zeal to work) flowing through the office always has a high output. Such energy should start from the top flowing down to the subordinates. As a manager, you should have an enthusiastic demeanor towards work and find a way to build the same in your employees.

As you exercise the above tips for motivation employees, keep in mind that too much work and no play makes jack a dull boy”, so find ways to incorporate some bit of fun in the work place. Joke around with your employees, find time to play games, or even play some music in the work place.

Top 5 Coaches in Sports

Top 5 Coaches in Sports

We have a guest post this week from Prakash, located in India.  Have a read:

Sports are very important in life. We have grown up while playing the sports, and some kids choose sports their career while others move towards some other professions. The professionals, as well as the non-professional people both, enjoy the sports. They are connected to it. People have chosen their favorite games that they follow constantly.

The professionals who have chosen sports as their careers need coaches in their life. The coaching is very important. Whatever the field is, the people require coaches to learn and increase their expertise. When a person learns through a mentor or a particular coach, his chances of gaining the abilities increase because he has been trained by a particular person who is an expert in the field and has served his whole life watching, playing and observing the game.

There are different coaches around the world; some played to become the coach, and some were famous players who were taken as the coaches later. The coaches have a huge responsibility to fulfill. They have to build career other than just training a person. The focus and the goals of the coaches are bigger that is why they can create stars out of their teams. There are various famous coaches in the world that have served their countries and the sports teams as well as the players while training them for better.

Scotty Bowman

The most inspirational coaches of all the times include the name of Scotty Bowman. He was a man of actions. He coached various players and helped them to get the best of best from life. He was a National Hockey League’s all-time coaching leader. He has been nominated for various awards for his services, and he won two of the Jack Adam’s Award as the League’s Best Coach. He is known for his performances. Not even a single coach of today’s time can be compared to him because he had put his all effort in his work. He has earned the name because he had about 1467 games that were successful and the results were winning. The coach of all times had 1244 wins in the regular seasons. He was the person who achieved about 13 Stanley Cup wins regarding four teams. He held a record of NHL that he had coached in 2141 contests in his lifetime. He was a man of actions who made the things work.

Pat Summitt

Pat Summit has been the world’s best women coach. She has been associated with the Tennessee’s women basketball team for about 38 years. It is a very long time in which she remained competent and aggressive towards the game. She has gathered about 1099 career victories in her life. She had eight national level champion wins that made her famous across the globe. Her team was never on a losing streak in a season while the winning and losing is the part of the game. She has been considered the second only to the John Wooden. When the world was looking forward to the games, this lady has been continuously marking the positions that she won.

Paul Bryant

Paul Bryant is nicknamed as Bear, and he was usually found to be wearing the houndstooth hat. He has been the coach of the college football for about 38 years. He had a ratio of about 323 wins in all the games while only 85 losses. He has a record of about 37 overall winning seasons, 29 post season bowl games, 14 conference championships and about five associated press nation championships. He died just after 28 days when he coached his last game.

Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi, whose name has been used to pronounce the super bowl trophy as The Vince Lombardi Trophy, was a man of success. He has about 96 wins in the games while just 34 losses. His ten year tenure of coaching the football, he never had a losing season. He coached the Green Bay Packers to their first 2 Super Bowls in the years of 1966and 1967. He has a record of 5 NFL championship wins from 1961-1967. His last act of coaching made the LED Washington team to win their first game in the 13 years.

John Wooden

John Wooden used to be the coach of college basketball at UCLA. He is considered to be the top among all the famous and successful coaches in the world. His career overview gives us the record of about 885 wins in his career in contrast to 203 losses ever. He has been famous for making the UCLA win t88 games consecutively from 1971-1974. He had four teams that had a flawless 30-0 record. Since he got retirement in the year 1975, he was the only person who has such successful career while others do not have a record of more than four winnings. He has been able to make his team win about 10 National Championships in 12 seasons that were from the year 1964 to 1975.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – A True Leader

In the textbook The Leadership Experience, Richard L. Daft describes a charismatic leader as a person having “the ability to inspire and motivate people to do more than they would normally do, despite obstacles and personal sacrifice” (359).  He characterizes a transformational leader as having “the ability to bring about significant change in followers…” (356)  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a multi-faceted leadership style that incorporated elements of both charismatic and transformational leadership as well as ethicality; these elements played a key role in his success as an advocate for civil rights during the 1950s and 1960s.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born into a highly religious family on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta Georgia (“Martin Luther King Jr.” 1).  His father was the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, just like his grandfather had been.  King attended a segregated public high school, and left part way through his time there in order to enroll at Morehouse College, where he would receive a degree in sociology (Downing 150).  During his time at Morehouse College, King was greatly influenced by the mentorship of a man named Howard Thurman.  Thurman helped King to see the inequality and social injustice that ran rampant in American society, and he also sparked King’s interest in the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi (Thurman 254).  King was so inspired by Gandhi that he flew to India to meet him.  While he was there, Gandhi taught King about non-violent resistance.  King later used his newly acquired knowledge in protests as he began working towards equality in society.

In 1955, segregation was very prominent in society because of the creation of the Jim Crow Laws.  These laws stated that blacks and whites had to use separate public facilities; they also created an unspoken law regarding the segregation of public transportation (Carter 1).  In March of 1955, a young woman named Rosa Parks stepped onto a bus and sat in the front row.  When asked by the driver to move to the back of the bus in order to accommodate a white passenger, she refused.  Parks was then placed under arrest (Kennedy 1017).  This sparked Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s idea of a bus boycott, which would play a key role in the Civil Rights Movement.

At the time, King was President of the Montgomery Improvement Association.  On the night that Rosa Parks was to be tried, he gave a powerful speech urging all people to boycott the public transportation system (Kennedy 1021).  This was an ethical solution because it did not involve violence.  By not using public transportation, such as buses, people would have to find other ways to get to work or wherever else they needed to go.  King suggested other options of transportation, like walking, running, biking, or carpooling.  This demonstrated King’s ability to be a charismatic leader.  In spite of the difficulty his suggestion would cause the members of the black community, King was able to persuade the majority of them to boycott the system anyway, in the hope of making progress towards changing the laws on segregation.

King’s strong influence on the members of the community was greatly helped by his oratory skills.  Although he was not able to transform the thoughts of the community, he was able to gain mass support for the cause through his enthusiasm; many blacks had believed that the boycott would not last, but it continued to do so (Carson 449).  The Montgomery Bus Boycott lasted from December 5, 1955 to December 21, 1956, a total of 382 days (Kennedy 1022).  This was far more effective than even King could have hoped because it created a bond within the black community and instilled the belief that change was possible.

The success of the boycott can also be attributed to King’s understanding and wide-spread use of the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi.  Gandhi advocated for what he called non-violent resistance.  This ethical method of resistance involved peaceful protest, and closely aligned with King’s religious beliefs (Huggins 480).  King was raised by a very religious Christian family, which had a tremendous influence on his upbringing and values.  He was taught through the Christian faith that violence was never the answer to a problem; there was always another solution.  King’s idea of boycotting the public transportation system in Montgomery worked well because of the fact that it was non-violent.  In taking part in this protest, the members of the black community were not committing a crime, and therefore, could not be arrested.  They were simply making a statement that if they continued to be treated poorly, they would find other means of transportation.

The most famous example of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership style came on August 28, 1963 when he marched on Washington, D.C. with 300,000 supporters, and delivered his “I Have a Dream” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial (Alvarez 337).  King spoke about racial inequality and his hope that one day racial discrimination would end.  He brilliantly incorporated phrases and ideas from the United States Constitution, the National Anthem, Shakespeare, and even the Holy Bible (Alvarez 342).  For example, King stated, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”  This is a direct quote from the United States Constitution.  King used this statement to prove a point, just as he did with all of his references.  King portrayed that upon the foundation of America, the Constitution was created in order to establish the fundamental rights of every human being and to ensure that everyone would be seen as an equal.  No one person would be treated any differently from another.  Though this is written in the Constitution, the United States government of the 1960s did not abide by it.  King explained that black men and white men should both be treated equally, and he shared his dream that one day his children would live in a land where everyone would enjoy freedom and would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character (Alvarez 355).

King’s “I Have a Dream” speech revealed in him clear transformational leadership qualities and ethical character.  His speech exposed the many flaws of American society and suggested that drastic changes needed to be made in order to achieve the social justice and personal liberty that America’s founders intended for our country with the drafting of the Constitution (King 6).  King’s speech also addressed the flawed economic system of the United States, stating that it advocated materialism and wrongly placed the focus on property instead of people.  King was trying to transform the beliefs of the general population and inspire people to take action on their own.  The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 following King’s “I Have a Dream” speech serves as proof that King was effective in promoting the ideals that he envisioned for society.  If nothing else, he made people think and question why things were the way they were.

Two more examples of King’s leadership are his protest speeches in opposition of the Vietnam War.  The war had begun in 1959 under President Lyndon B. Johnson (Fairclough 1).  Although King was opposed to the war, he waited until April 4, 1967 to publicly express his views; on this date, King gave his “Beyond Vietnam” speech (Darby, Rowley 43-44).  King’s biggest criticism of the war was the fact that the United States was “fighting for freedom” in Vietnam, when blacks were not free at home.  He stated that money currently being used for the war in Vietnam could be better used to fight poverty at home, which he believed to be one of the many causes of racism and social inequality.

King gave his second protest speech, “The Casualties of the War in Vietnam” on February 25, 1967 (King 12).  He began by stating that the United States was in violation of a United Nations’ charter because of the war against the Viet Cong.  He continued by stating, “In 1967, only 31 percent of eligible whites were inducted compared to 67 percent of eligible blacks” (Darby, Rowley 44).  For this reason, more blacks than whites were being killed in the Vietnam War.  King believed this to be evidence of the “manipulation of the poor.”  Black soldiers were being added to the draft more frequently than white soldiers, which was unethical.

These two speeches by King were very ambitious due to the scale and nature of the issue he was combating.  During times of war, people usually have adamant positions either for or against the war.  This makes it very difficult to influence peoples’ opinions on the subject.  King was able to slightly shift public opinion, but the majority of people still favored the war; this was a small victory for King.  He was successful because he created an emotional impact by appealing to the hearts and minds of the people, especially with his speech on the casualties of the war.  Speaking about the safety of soldiers brings emotions to the surface very easily.   King was widely criticized as having gone too far with these speeches; critics believed that King did not have the right to speak out against the war.

The final example of King’s leadership occurred in New York on April 15, 1967, when King attended and supported the largest peace demonstration in the history of the United States (Darby, Rowley 46).  King estimated that a crowd of 450,000 people showed up to the rally.  Its purpose was to stop the fighting in Vietnam.  At the rally, King revealed the hypocrisy of the American government, which advocated for democracy, yet supported a dictator in the Vietnam War (King 14). He also portrayed his personal belief that violence would not solve the problems in Vietnam.  King then outlined what needed to be changed in order for the war to end.

Again, King’s efforts were somewhat futile because he was in opposition of an issue that people had strong opinions on.  King did his best to sway public opinion against the war by showing how hypocritical the government’s actions were.  King most strongly exhibited aspects of transformational leadership when he voiced a list of changes that he believed could end the war; this proposed solution gave people hope and supported the idea that the war could end without any more violence.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 (King 17).  He had envisioned a utopian society where everyone was equal, and he had worked toward that goal for the entirety of his adult life.  King’s leadership style contained elements of charismatic, transformational, and ethical leadership, which were deeply rooted in his values as a Christian.  Many of the societal changes that occurred during his lifetime cannot be attributed directly to him because he was only one of many civil rights activists, but we know for sure that he had a strong influence on the people and helped to push America in the right direction.

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Example of a Leader

Here’s a beautiful example of a leader that was submitted to us this past week.  It’s from a nursing supervisor in a prominent hospital:

As the Nursing Supervisor in the Community Hospital, I have decided to invest money in new technology.

The new system, Care Web, holds patients medical records and can bring up any part of a person’s health history in a few seconds.  At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, the technology has proved both effective and efficient.  The Care Web system saves Beth Israel over $1 million each year it is used, reduces errors in patient care by more than 90%, and reduces prescription errors and possible drug conflicts by more than half.  Also, patient histories are available in seconds.  Best of all, patients have been consistently discharged over 30 minutes faster than in the past.

The biggest obstacle in implementing the technology change is employee resistance to introducing the new technology.  Employee resistance is when employees resist a change in an organization.  The resistance of change by these employees stems from fear of the unknown, fear of losing something of value, and the belief that change is not good for the organization.  Since I am the Nursing Supervisor, I must assume the responsibility of being the change agent.

With the aim of lessening employee resistance to the technology change, I need to first educate the employees on the benefits of the new technology in order to help them see the logic behind the change effort.  If the employees resisting the change can help the change along in some way, I will need to increase their involvement and participation; I also will need to allow them to express their feelings, thoughts, and ideas.  Hopefully, this will persuade the resistant employees to be more accepting of the imminent change.  Because this change involves technology alone, it will modify the way the patients are evaluated and it will change some of the equipment used in the hospital.

Even if there is great resistance, I will not back down.  People’s lives are at stake.  This new technology is extremely beneficial and can result in more saved lives.  Not only will our hospital save money each year, but the new Care Web system should help us to become more efficient and effective.


We admire this woman’s tenacity and desire to fight for what she believes in.  That never-give-up trait and willingness to help others will take her far, in addition to getting her buy-in from the key stakeholders that she’ll need to get on board to make her case.

It’s important to remember that true leaders are followed because people want to follow them, not because they are simply in a position of power.  As mentioned in the last post, Mao Zedong was given power, but he did not use it wisely and lost much of his following because of that.  He failed as a leader.  He was able to provide an idea, but could not gather the support of his people due to his method of ruling.

Poor Leadership: Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was born to a peasant family on December 26, 1893.  He grew up loving classic Chinese literature and culture.  During his college years, he became very interested in Marxism, which was a political philosophy and economic practice based upon a materialistic interpretation of society.  Marxism is composed of three main beliefs.  First, society’s history results from its internal conflicts between social classes and the forces of production, such as technology and labor.  Second, in a capitalistic society, the bourgeoisie (upper class) exploit the proletariat (working class).  Third, in a capitalist economy, the workers are alienated from society because they do not control their labor.

mao zedong

On July 23, 1921, Zedong attended the first session of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Shanghai.   After only two years, Zedong was elected as one of the five commissars of the party; his position as a commissar was roughly equal to that of a military commander or a government minister.

On October 1, 1949, the Communist party took power in China and established the People’s Republic of China.  Mao Zedong was made the Chairman of the PRC.  In 1953, he launched the first Five-Year Plan, in an attempt to end China’s dependence on agriculture and transform China into a world power.  This plan did not work, so in May of 1958, Zedong implemented the Great Leap Forward.  Zedong hoped to surpass both Great Britain and the United States economically by modernizing China.  This program led to a failure in food production and the starvation of many people in China.  Mao died in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping took over as the new ruler of China.

Mao was an example of a poor leader.  He correctly used his influence to secure a position of leadership, but he did not seek council from the other leaders that are there to support him.  By ignoring their advice, he chose a path that only he believed would work, and it failed.

What could Mao have done differently?

Influence

influence and power

Leadership involves influence, intention, followers, shared purpose, change, and personal responsibility and integrity.  The easiest thing for most people is definitely personal responsibility and integrity.  I believe in taking responsibility for all of my actions no matter what effect they have on others.  That is the way I was brought up, and because of that, I have no problem admitting that I have made a mistake.   It is challenging nonetheless to exert influence.  If a person is given a position of power, others must obey.  They don’t have much of a choice because not doing so can mean termination.  People do not have to follow a leader, but they choose to because the leader has influence over them.  It could be the way the leader speaks or acts, the belief the leader emanates, etc.  Some people are more easily influenced than others.  The amount of influence we have depends partly on the personality of the individuals that we are attempting to influence.  It’s hard to influence people who have a dominant personality, while it’s much easier to influence the go-with-the-flow type individual.

Leadership and Management: Everything You Need

Leadership and Management: Everything You Need

Moral Leadership Today:

  • CBS Poll – 79% believe questionable business practices are widespread.
  • Less than 33% believe CEOS are honest

Unethical vs. Ethical Leadership:

Unethical Leader Ethical Leader
Arrogant and self-serving Possesses humility
Always promotes self-interest Concern for the greater good
Practices deception Honest and straightforward
Breeches agreements Fulfills commitments
Deals unfairly Strives for fairness
Shifts blame to others Takes responsibility
Diminishes others’ dignity Shows respect for individuals
Neglects follower development Encourages and develops others
Withholds help and support Serves others
Lacks courage to confront unjust acts Shows courage to stand up for what is right

Acting Like a Moral Leader:

  • Don’t neglect profit and loss
  • Must lead by example and encourage others to develop and use moral values in workplace

5 Common Ethical Traps:

  • False Necessity Trap – convince yourself that no other options exist. You have no choice, but really your just picking the easiest choice
  • Doctrine-of-Relative-Filth Trap – compare your behavior with someone that is worse.
  • Rationalization Trap – justify actions with excuses (company hasn’t been far so…)
  • SelfDeception Trap – convince yourself that a lie isn’t really a lie
  • EndsJustify-the-Means Trap – use unethical means to accomplish what you think is a good goal

 Tools for Doing the Right Thing:

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Can you see others’ point of view?
  3. Have you considered all alternatives?
  4. Can you talk about this?
  5. How would you feel if your family or friends found out?

How to Act Like a Moral Leader:

  1. Set the example you want others to live by
  2. Drive out fear and eliminate undiscussables
  3. Develop a backbone – show 0 tolerance for ethical violations
  4. Treat everyone with fairness, dignity, and respect.
  5. Do the right thing in both your private and professional life – EVEN WHEN NOBODY IS LOOKING!

Moral Leadership – distinguishing right from wrong and doing right. Seeking the just, honest, and good in the practice of leadership.

Moral Leaders Create Ethical Support Systems:

  • Support open-door policies that encourage employees to talk without fear of reprisal.
  • Establish clear code of ethics
  • Reward ethical conduct
  • Show 0 tolerance for violations
  • Protect whistle blowers

Levels of Moral Development:

  • Preconventional Level – individuals are egocentric, want rewards and want to avoid punishment. Acts in own interest.  Has blind obedience to authority.
  • Conventional Level – will adhere to norms of larger social system. Fulfills duties and obligations of social system.  Upholds the law.  MOST PEOPLE ARE HERE
  • Postconventional Level (Principled level) – guided by internalized principles.  Leader is a visionary, empowering and committed to serving others.  Balances concern for self with concern for others.  Acts in an independent manner regardless of others’ expectations.
  • Courage – ability to step forward through fear. You can reach deep within yourself to stand up for something or make choices that you might be ridiculed for.
    • Acting IN SPITE of fear.
    • Accept responsibility
    • Nonconformity
    • Push beyond comfort zone
    • Saying what you think
    • Fighting for what you believe (as long as its not just for your benefit)

Opposing Unethical Conduct:

  • Whistle Blowing – employee disclosure of illegal, immoral, or unethical practices in the organization
  • Finding Personal Courage:
    • Believe in higher purpose
    • Draw strength from others
    • Welcome failure
    • Harness frustration and anger
  • Role of Followers:
    • Everyone is a follower at some point
    • Followers’ influence on leader can enhance the leader or underscore shortcomings
    • Desirable qualities held by leader are often the same as those held by an effective follower.
    • Leaders develop effective followers and vice versa.
  • Critical Thinking – thinking INDEPENDENTLY and being mindful of the effects of your behavior on achieving the organization’s vision.
  • Uncritical Thinking – failing to consider possibilities beyond what you are told. Accepting the leader’s ideas without thinking.  PASSIVE and DEPENDENT.  Doesn’t contribute to culture of organization.  (9 to 5ers).

Styles of Followers:

  • Alienated Follower – passive, yet an independent, critical thinker. Can often be very useful because they are usually very bright people.  They may have experienced a personal set back and feel that a promise was unfulfilled for them.
  • Conformist – active participant but does not utilize critical thinking skills.
  • Pragmatic Survivor – one who can cover all extremes depending on which style fits the situation best. Problem is that your style might not fit the one they want.
  • Passive Follower – does not exhibit critical thinking, independent thinking, nor active participation.
  • Effective Follower – both a critical independent thinker and active in the organization. They are advocates of change and team players.  Not very confrontational but wont avoid necessary conflict.

 Demands on the Effective Follower:

  1. Will to assume responsibility
  2. Will to serve
  3. Will to challenge
  4. Will to help transform
  5. Will to leave

Developing Personal Potential:

  • Dependent – people expect others to take care of them, blame others.
  • Independent – people have developed a sense of self-worth and an attitude of self-reliance.
  • Interdependent – people realize it is better to work cooperatively, one experiences the richness of close interpersonal relationships.

Success with Teams:

  • Increased productivity
  • Quality improvement
  • Greater innovation (as long as there is diversity)
  • Higher employee satisfaction

Team – unit of 2 or more people who interact and coordinate their work to accomplish a shared goal or purpose. (size 5-12 is associated with most success and diversity is important!!)

 

Groups vs. Teams:

GROUPS TEAMS
Designated, strong leader Shares / rotates leadership roles
Performance goals set by others Performance goals set by team
Works within organizational boundaries Not inhibited by organizational boundaries
Individual work products Collective work products

Stages of Team Development:

  1. Forming – orientation, breaking the ice and getting people acquainted. High uncertainty!  Leaders should facilitate social interchanges
  2. Storming – conflict and disagreement. Good conflict is cognitive and intellectually driven.  Bad conflict is affective and personality driven.  Leaders should encourage participation and surface differences.
  3. Norming – establishment of order and cohesion. Leaders should help clarify team roles, norms, and values.
  4. Performing – cooperation and problem solving. Leaders should facilitate task accomplishment.

 Types of Teams:

  • Functional Teams (Vertical Teams) – made up of leader and subordinates in formal chain of command.
  • Cross-Functional Teams – made up of members from different departments. Usually have specific team leader.
  • SelfDirected Teams – work together without direction of managers. They are member centered.
  • Interdependence – extent to which team members depend on each other for information, resources, or ideas to accomplish tasks.
    • Pooled Interdependence – lowest form of team interdependence. Members are relatively independent of one another in completing their work. (Ex: share same machine but use it for different work)
    • Sequential Interdependence – serial form of interdependence in which the output of 1 member becomes input of another member (ex: assembly line)
    • Reciprocal Interdependence – highest form of interdependence. Members influence and affect one another in reciprocal fashion.  (ex: trauma team)

 

Team Effectiveness – extent to which a team achieves 4 performance outcomes:

  1. innovation / adaptation – how well team responds to change
  2. efficiency – how well team uses available resources
  3. quality – have minimal defects
  4. employee satisfaction – how happy workers are with benefits.

 

Team Cohesiveness – extent to which members stick together and remain united in pursuit of common goal.

  1. how often you meet
  2. shared mission / goals
  3. competition
  4. team success

Team Leadership Roles: (doing both generally results in better leadership)

  • Task Specialist Role – initiates new ideas, evaluates effectiveness, seeks to clarify tasks and responsibilities, stimulates others, and summarizes the facts.
  • SocioEmotional Role – facilitates others’ participation, smoothes conflicts, shows concern for team members’ needs, serves as role model.
  • Virtual Team – made up of geographically or organizationally dispersed members who share a common purpose and are linked primarily through advanced info technologies.
  • Global Teams – made up of culturally diverse members who live and work in different countries and coordinate some part of their activities on global basis.

Differences Between Teams:

Type of Team Spatial Distance Communications Member Cultures Leader Challenge
Conventional Collocated Face to face Same High
Virtual Scattered Mediated Same Higher
Global Widely scattered Mediated Different Very high

 

Planning & Strategy:

  • Planning – identifying and selecting appropriate goals and courses of action for an organization. Details the goals and specifies how managers will attain goals.  CANT TAKE ACTION WITHOUT PLANNING ß FATAL
  • Strategy – cluster of decisions that managers take to help an organization reach its goals.
  • Mission – board declaration of an organization’s purpose that identifies products and customers, and distinguishes the organization from its competitors.
  • Vision – ambitious view of the future

Planning Process:

  • Determine Organization’s Mission and Goals – define overriding purpose and goals.
    • Define who customers are, what needs are being satisfied, and how we satisfy those needs.
    • Provide organization with sense of direction. Goals must be challenging but realistic with a definite period in which they are to be achieved.
  • Formulate Strategy – analyze current situation and develop strategies to achieve mission
    • SWOT Analysis
  • Implement Strategy – decide how to allocate resources between groups to ensure strategy is achieved.

 Levels of Planning:

  • Corporate Level Plan – top management’s decisions pertaining to organization’s mission, overall strategy, and structure. FRAMEWORK for all other planning
  • Corporate Level Strategy – plan that indicates in which industries and national markets an organization intends to compete
  • Business Level Plan – divisional managers’ decisions pertaining to divisions’ long term goals, overall strategy and structure. How business will meet corporate goals.
  • Business Level Strategy – indicates how a division intends to compete against rivals.
  • Functional Level Plan – functional managers’ decisions pertaining to the goals that they will pursue to help division attain its business-level goals.
  • Functional Level Strategy – indicates how a department intends to achieve its goals.

 

Time Horizons of Plans – intended duration

  • Long Term – usually 5 + years   (Corporate and Business Level)
  • Intermediate – usually 1-5 years (All)
  • Short Term – usually less than 1 year (Functional Level)

Most companies have a ROLLING PLANNING CYCLE to amend plans constantly

Types of Plans:

  • Standing Plans – use in programmed decision situations. Policies are general guidelines, rules are formal and written, standard operating procedures specify an exact series of actions to follow.  (ex: ethical plans in an organization)
  • Single Use Plans – developed for 1 time, non-programmed decisions. Usually very complex and a big deal. (ex: announcing we are putting a man on the moon)

Importance of Planning:

  • Participation – all managers are involved in setting future goals
  • Sense of Direction and Purpose – sets goals and strategies for all managers
  • Coordination – provide all parts of the firm with understanding of how they fit into the whole
  • Control – specify who is responsible for accomplishing particular goal.

Scenario (Contingency) Planning – generation of many forecasts of future conditions followed by an analysis of how to effectively respond to those conditions.  Helps managers to become better at strategic planning.  Allows you to see how your plans might work and prepare for all possible outcomes.

 

Corporate Level Strategies:

  • Concentration in Single Business – can become a strong competitor, but very risky.
  • Diversification:
    • Related Diversification – move into similar market areas to build upon existing             competencies.  Ex: Pepsi bought Frito Lay
    • Unrelated Diversification – entry into industries unrelated to current business. Ex:        GE bought NBC

Vertical Integration – allows an organization to create value by producing its own inputs or distributing its own product.

  • Backward Vertical Integration – occurs when a firm seeks to reduce its input costs by producing its own inputs. Ex: McDonalds purchasing potato farm to make their fries
  • Forward Vertical Integration – occurs when a firm distributes its own products to lower distribution costs and ensure quality of service. Ex: Pepsi owns Taco Bell and distributes there

 

Business-Level Strategies:

  • Low Cost Strategy – driving total costs down below total costs of rivals. Reducing waste, selling for less and being profitable.  Ex: Dell Computers
  • Differentiation – offering products different from those of competitors. Customers must value the differentiation.  Ex: Rolex watches

4 Leader Frames of Reference:

  Structural Human Resource Political Symbolic
Mind-Set: Sees organization as a machine, economics, plans Sees organization as family, belonging clan Sees organization as jungle, power, schemes Sees organization as a theatre, spiritual, meaning, dreams
Emphasis: Goals, systems, efficiency, formal authority People, support, empowerment Resource allocation, negotiation, coalition building Vision, culture & values, inspiration
Dangers: Rigidity and tyranny Lack of content or substance Power plays for purpose or self-interest “Messiah” complex

 

  • Black Hat of Charismatic Leaders – might use charisma to do harm.
  • Power- ability of 1 person or department to influence other people to bring about desired outcome
  • Influence – effect a person’s actions have on the attitudes, values, beliefs, or actions of others.

Types of Power:

  • Legitimate – authority a manager has by virtue of his/her position in hierarchy
  • Reward – ability to give or withhold tangible rewards and intangible rewards
  • Coercive – ability of manager to punish others. May require documentation for dismissals.
  • Expert – based on special knowledge, skills, and expertise
  • Referent – more informal. Comes from co-worker respect and personal characteristics (such as being a person of your word).
  • Position Power – includes Legitimate, Reward, and Coercive
  • Personal Power – includes Expert and Referent

Responses to Use of Power:

  • Position Power – appropriate use results in compliance. Excessive use results in resistance.
  • Personal Power – results in commitment

Low Dependency In Organizations – when leader has control over unimportant, widely available resources that have substitutes.

High Dependency In Organizations – when leader has control over important, scarce resources that have no substitutes.

  • Strategic Contingencies That Cause Increased Leader Power:
    • Interdepartmental Dependency
    • Control over Information
    • Organizational Centrality
    • Coping with Uncertainty

Politics – activities to acquire, develop, and use power and other resources to obtain desired future outcomes when there is uncertainty or disagreement about choices.

7 Principles for Asserting Leader Influence:

  1. Use rational persuasion
  2. Make people like you
  3. Rely on the rule of reciprocity (Win / Win)
  4. Develop allies (quid pro quo – “this for that”)
  5. Ask for what you want
  6. Remember the principle of scarcity (people want more of what they cant have…so share)
  7. Extend authority with expertise and credibility (be knowledgeable, credible, trustworthy)

Guidelines for Ethical Action:

  • Is action consistent with organization’s goals
  • Does action respect rights of individuals
  • Does action meet standards of fairness and equity
  • Would you wish others to behave the same way to you

8 Stage Model of Planned Organizational Change:

  1. Establish Sense of Urgency – crises may thaw resistance
  2. Establish a Coalition – gain alliance of different groups
  3. Develop a Vision and Strategy – leader must guide
  4. Communicate Vision and Strategy – must communication about change 10 times more than you thought necessary
  5. Empower Employees – revise procedures and do things differently
  6. Generate ShortTerm Wins – celebrate and praise
  7. Consolidate Gains – create greater change and tackle bigger problems
  8. Institutionalize Change into Organizational Culture – what your doing becomes expected and establishes direction for future.
  • Creativity – generation of new ideas that result in improved efficiency and effectiveness of the organization.
  • Idea Incubator – safe harbor where ideas from employees throughout the organization can be developed without interference from company bureaucracy or politics.
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship – internal entrepreneurial spirit that includes values of exploration, experimentation, and risk taking.
  • Idea Champions – people who passionately believe in a new idea and actively work to overcome obstacles and resistance.

Characteristics of Innovative Organizations:

  • Alignment
  • Creative values
  • Unofficial activity
  • Diverse stimuli
  • Within company communication

Characteristics of Creative Individuals:

  • Commitment – Self Confidence – Loves people
  • Focused approach – Nonconformity
  • Interdependence – Curiosity
  • Persistence – Open-mindedness
  • Energy – Conceptual fluency
  • Enjoys variety – Emotionally expressive

Personal Compact – reciprocal obligations and commitments that define the relationship between employees and the organization.

Why People Resist Change:

  • Self Interest (fear of personal lose)
  • Uncertainty (fear of unknown)
  • Different Assessment of Situation and Goals

Overcoming Resistance:

  • Communication and Training
  • Participation and Involvement
  • Coercion

Downsizing – intentionally reducing the size of a company’s workforce

 

Examples of Companies:

Seattle’s Famous Pike Place Fish Market:

  • John Yokoyama – Market Owner
  • Changed from strong Theory X to strong Theory Y.
    • At first his management style was one of “you did what I would you, or else.” He was a very tyrant boss.
    • Now he believes you need to stay out of the way and allow workers to use their creativity to contribute to the organization.
  • Waterfront in Seattle. Opened in 1907.  By 1940s more than 2/3rds of stalls were owned by Japanese Americans.
  • Executive Order 9066 – forced all Japanese Americans into internment camps after Pearl Harbor during WWII.
  • To be on Pike’s team, you have to be committed whole-heartedly to the purpose. John does not treat people like numbers, rather he knows all of their names and has a close relationship with them.
  • Each worker has the ability to “coach” others and empower them to create a result.

Working for the Best: The Container Store:

  • Kip Tindell – President / CEO
  • Garrett Boone – Chairman / Founder
  • Voted # 1 and # 2 Twice on the Top 100 Companies to Work For.
  • 15% – 20% turnover with employees. Overall, this type of business usually has 90% turnover.
  • They want the best employees so they are willing to pay for them (pay 50% – 150% higher than industry average)
  • The main goal of company is to EXCEED customer expectations and they go out of their way to achieve this.
  • Part time employees are treated like full time employees.
  • Company embodies Dwight Eisenhower’s quote “get people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”
  • Company creates family-like atmosphere where employees are recognized with letters, calls, etc.
  • Cross training and job rotation create a very Theory Y environment with empowered workers.

Milgram Studies Video:

  • Stanley Milgram – Harvard Graduate
  • Study done in 1962 at Yale University.
  • Told participants the study looked at effects of punishment on learning.
  • Teacher and learner involved. Teacher supposed to give learner electric shock for wrong answers.  NO SHOCK WAS EVER REALLY USED
  • Authority figure becomes key!!! People gave more and more shocks especially when they could pass responsibility off on the study administrator.
  • It was predicted that 10 out of 100 subjects would go all the way.
    • 70% of subjects carried through with punishment and delivered maximum shock, EVEN IF THEY SEEMED RELUCTANT.
  • Study can’t be done today because it is considered deceptive.
    • 14 of 40 teachers exhibited nervous laughter
    • A lot of people felt remorse after study