Chairman, Leader, Manager and the Blame Game

Chairman, Leader, Manager and the Blame Game

You can’t avoid reading about leadership, or more likely these days,  the lack of it.

If you read about business, current affairs, politics, sport – the list goes on and on – you’ll read about leaders failing.  And, of course, you will read endless opinions  about exactly how they have failed.  But we are all pretty certain that it is leadership that has failed.

The team didn’t win, the team played  poorly, or more likely right now, the team behaved very badly indeed and broke lots of rules. But is it down to leadership?  Has the leader let us down?

To answer that question you have first to be clear about what it is that a leader is supposed to do.

Well, in the crudest terms, the leader determines what it is you should win. A leader creates and shares a vision for what it is you are to win and sets a direction for winning it. But the leader isn’t concerned with how you win, that is the role of management.

Mangers work out just how we are going to get to the winning post and they pick up the pieces to make sure we get there, intact.

What then do we mean by a failure of leadership? Has the leader not created and shared a vision? Have we set off on the wrong path? Or is it that no one sorted out how we would get there properly and no one put in those boring old systems to get us there within the bounds of ethics and legality. Or perhaps those systems were put in place but they are just no longer fit for purpose?

So, perhaps we mean a failure of management after all. And it really does matter you know, because the chairman of the board doesn’t manage the organization. Some else does. Now I don’t know if they (the management) have committed sins of omission or sins of commission. But if they have sinned, just for once, please could someone brave enough to make a confession and clear the air for us all.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.

Chairmen, Leaders, Managers and the Blame Game.

You can’t avoid reading about leadership, or more likely these days,  the lack of it.

If you read about business, current affairs, politics, sport – the list goes on and on – you’ll read about leaders failing.  And, of course, you will read endless opinions  about exactly how they have failed.  But we are all pretty certain that it is leadership that has failed.

The team didn’t win, the team played  poorly, or more likely right now, the team behaved very badly indeed and broke lots of rules. But is it down to leadership?  Has the leader let us down?

To answer that question you have first to be clear about what it is that a leader is supposed to do.

Well, in the crudest terms, the leader determines what it is you should win. A leader creates and shares a vision for what it is you are to win and sets a direction for winning it. But the leader isn’t concerned with how you win, that is the role of management.

Mangers work out just how we are going to get to the winning post and they pick up the pieces to make sure we get there, intact. 

What then do we mean by a failure of leadership? Has the leader not created and shared a vision? Have we set off on the wrong path? Or is it that no one sorted out how we would get there properly and no one put in those boring old systems to get us there within the bounds of ethics and legality. Or perhaps those systems were put in place but they are just no longer fit for purpose? 

So, perhaps we mean a failure of management after all. And it really does matter you know, because the chairman of the board doesn’t manage the organization. Some else does. Now I don’t know if they (the management) have committed sins of omission or sins of commission. But if they have sinned, just for once, please could someone brave enough to make a confession and clear the air for us all.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

  • How Many Leadership Styles Do You Need – Life Cycle Leadership

  • Leadership and Management; Acting With Integrity

  • Leadership, Management and Openness – Confidence and the Personal Development Mindset

Acting with integrity at work

Acting with integrity at work

Acting with integrity at work – here is a dictionary definition of integrity

1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.

3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

“I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.” – Lee Iacocca


The most effective way to behave in work and business (including large banks), as in life, is to act with integrity.  Note the definitions above which talk about wholeness, soundness and completeness – this is a definition of health?

That means being as honest as you can and being fair.  As Lee Iacocca says, tell your team the truth and tell them what you are doing about it.  Be a model for honesty, openness and fairness and show that you expect all in your team to follow

Be as realistic as you can about the risks    When you can, help your staff prepare for bad news.  But combine all of this with being scrupulously fair.  They will know if you play the favorites game or, for example, take the opportunity to pay off old scores if you have to  lay people off or reduce hours.  You will lose good will and that extra contribution you need from those who stay.

In the good times share bonuses fairly and for good reasons – nothing is more de-motivating than seeing a colleague who doesn’t really deserve it, getting a bonus. If the bonuses you pay will not stand up to public scrutiny – don’t pay them.

There are major advantages in acting with integrity in all parts of the business in  terms of competitive advantage.

  • The public, and that means your customers, are increasingly concerned about ethical standards
  • Customers and good staff are more like to be attracted and retained
  • Shareholders are more likely to invest in those they trust, now more than ever
  • Staff and your own morale will be higher
  • Your reputation will be something you can be proud of
  • (At its crudest) You stay out of jail and believe me in old age, the money will not make up for the shame.

Here are some ideas for acting with integrity! If you can’t get your head round it, hire someone to advise you on good governance – there are plenty of us around and it isn’t hard to put it in place.

Some principles for making decisions with integrity!

  1. Make sure those in management know how to step back from every critical decision before they make it and look at it objectively.
  2. Understand the risks in your own culture.  Monitor those likely to get swept along by excitement or urgency to the point where they lose judgment .   Personal power, ‘winning’, strategic plotting, high drama, etc. feel good – they are exciting – but they rarely lead to real long-term business advantage
  3. Strive for fairness and the long-term, and not short-term polarized ‘winner takes all’ outcomes that threaten the organization’s long-term survival.
  4. Learn from history and earlier situations. Reviewing how previous situations were handled, reduces the risks of making daft mistakes:  Also history is a superb store of already invented wheels, which can often save you the time and agonies of trying unsuccessfully to invent a new one.
  5. Understand the long-term consequences.  You need to build in time, and structures, to think through what these might be. Try to make sure there are no unforeseen consequences which work to your, and other people’s,  detriment. Ask;
    1.  What do I get out of this? If you directly address how you benefit it’s easier to spot biases and blind spots.
    2. If we do this, what will happen? Play out the effects of the  decision. Be alert to the impact on stakeholders you may not have considered.
  6. Make sure what you do is legal, but think about the spirit of the law as well as the words.  No one really respects or trusts someone who is known to “bend” the law and that includes your customers and share holders
  7. Consult widely –  not just your staff, but your customers, if you can,
  8. Above all, resist the delusion and arrogance that power and authority tends to foster. This is especially important to guard against if you live and work in a protected, insulated or isolated situation, as many large-scale leaders and decision-makers tend to do. Being a leader for a long time, or for any duration in a culture of arrogance, privilege and advantage, provides great nourishment for personal delusion. Many unethical decisions come from arrogance and delusion. Guard against becoming so dangerous.

Acting with integrity doesn’t just help you to sleep at nights but you also stand a chance of leaving a real legacy – someone who is remembered and respected in your community and beyond for a very long time!

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT; ACTING WITH INTEGRITY

Integrity

Integrity

Dictionary Definition;

1. Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.

2. The state of being unimpaired; soundness.

3. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness.

“I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’re willing to sacrifice to accomplish it.” – Lee Iacocca


The most effective way to behave in work and business (including large banks), as in life, is to act with integrity.  Note the definitions above which talk about wholeness, soundness and completeness – this is a definition of health?

That means being as honest as you can and being fair.  As Lee Iacocca says, tell your team the truth and tell them what you are doing about it.  Be a model for honesty, openness and fairness and show that you expect all in your team to follow

Be as realistic as you can about the risks    When you can, help your staff prepare for bad news.  But combine all of this with being scrupulously fair.  They will know if you play the favorites game or, for example, take the opportunity to pay off old scores if you have to  lay people off or reduce hours.  You will lose good will and that extra contribution you need from those who stay.

In the good times share bonuses fairly and for good reasons – nothing is more de-motivating than seeing a colleague who doesn’t really deserve it, getting a bonus. If the bonuses you pay will not stand up to public scrutiny – don’t pay them.

There are major advantages in acting with integrity in all parts of the business in  terms of competitive advantage.

  • The public, and that means your customers, are increasingly concerned about ethical standards
  • Customers and good staff are more like to be attracted and retained
  • Shareholders are more likely to invest in those they trust, now more than ever
  • Staff and your own morale will be higher
  • Your reputation will be something you can be proud of
  • (At its crudest) You stay out of jail and believe me in old age, the money will not make up for the shame.

Here are some ideas for acting with integrity! If you can’t get your head round it, hire someone to advise you on good governance – there are plenty of us around and it isn’t hard to put it in place.

Some principles for making decisions with integrity!

  1. Make sure those in management know how to step back from every critical decision before they make it and look at it objectively.
  2. Understand the risks in your own culture.  Monitor those likely to get swept along by excitement or urgency to the point where they lose judgment .   Personal power, ‘winning’, strategic plotting, high drama, etc. feel good – they are exciting – but they rarely lead to real long-term business advantage
  3. Strive for fairness and the long-term, and not short-term polarized ‘winner takes all’ outcomes that threaten the organization’s long-term survival.
  4. Learn from history and earlier situations. Reviewing how previous situations were handled, reduces the risks of making daft mistakes:  Also history is a superb store of already invented wheels, which can often save you the time and agonies of trying unsuccessfully to invent a new one.
  5. Understand the long-term consequences.  You need to build in time, and structures, to think through what these might be. Try to make sure there are no unforeseen consequences which work to your, and other people’s,  detriment. Ask;
    1.  What do I get out of this? If you directly address how you benefit it’s easier to spot biases and blind spots.
    2. If we do this, what will happen? Play out the effects of the  decision. Be alert to the impact on stakeholders you may not have considered.
  6. Make sure what you do is legal, but think about the spirit of the law as well as the words.  No one really respects or trusts someone who is known to “bend” the law and that includes your customers and share holders
  7. Consult widely –  not just your staff, but your customers, if you can,
  8. Above all, resist the delusion and arrogance that power and authority tends to foster. This is especially important to guard against if you live and work in a protected, insulated or isolated situation, as many large-scale leaders and decision-makers tend to do. Being a leader for a long time, or for any duration in a culture of arrogance, privilege and advantage, provides great nourishment for personal delusion. Many unethical decisions come from arrogance and delusion. Guard against becoming so dangerous.

Acting with integrity doesn’t just help you to sleep at nights but you also stand a chance of leaving a real legacy – someone who is remembered and respected in your community and beyond for a very long time!

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

The Leader's Way: Business, Buddhism and Happiness in an Interconnected World – Leadership Lessons from the Dalai Lama

Effective leadership is an underlying theme throughout the teachings of the Dalai Lama.

Cover of "The Leader's Way: Business, Bud...

International managerial consultant Laurens van den Muyzenberg identified the business leadership undercurrent in the 1990s after he was hired to advise the Dalai Lama.

Realizing the great potential in combining their respective expertise, van den Muyzenberg and the Dalai Lama co-authored The Leader’s Way, applying Buddhism to business practices.

“Most of my clients do face difficult ethical problems,” says van den Muyzenberg, who consults leaders. “It’s hard to find somebody with the kind of ethical prestige that [the Dalai Lama] has.”

Professor  C.O. Herkströter, former CEO of Shell and Chairman of the Board of ING wrote this when reviewing the book.

“This book examines capitalism and Buddhism in a fascinating way. Everybody in business who is seriously interested in responsible entrepreneurship will recognise the issues. The book adds a valuable dimension to the values and ethical standards that form the basis for responsible leadership in business.”

The approach represents the synthesis of East and West and provides an inspiring manifesto for business change. The first part of The Leader’s Way two-part message is this: in order to lead, you must understand the reasons for our actions then you can act to  solve problems through integrity, respect and sensitivity toward others.

The World Needs You! There has never been a better time to be a Transformational Leader

Transformational and ethical leadership, together with emotional intelligence, are the key factors in emerging leadership culture.

The father of Transformational Leadership was Bernard Bass.

When Bass died in 2007 he was a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Management at Binghamton University. He was also the founding director of the Centre for Leadership Studies at Binghamton and founding editor of The Leadership Quarterly journal.

As well as being an academic, Bass was exposed frequently to the realities of corporate life. He worked as a consultant and in executive development for many Fortune 500 firms. He lectured and conducted workshops pro bono in a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations. These included religious organizations, hospitals, government agencies and universities.

Bass believed Transformational Leadership occurred when a leader transformed or changed his followers in three important ways.

The Transformational Leader;

  • Increased awareness of the importance of tasks and the need to perform them well
  • Made people aware of their need for personal growth, development and accomplishment
  • Motivated them to work for the good of the organisation, rather than personal gain.

These changes lead to trust, motivation to perform and a commitment to achieve the leader’s goals.

His work was taken forward by Noel M Tichy and Mary Anne Devanna.

They found that Transformational Leaders;

  • Identify themselves as agents of change
  • Are courageous
  • Believe in people
  • Are value driven
  • Are lifelong learners
  • Can deal with complexity
  • Are visionaries

With the advent of social media (Twitter, Facebook etc), corporate behaviour is now more transparent than ever!

Injustice anywhere in the world is becoming more and more visible! People are no longer prepared to accept exploitation, dishonesty and oppression in their national leaders. Nor are they prepared to accept them in their corporate leaders. In corporate life, the behaviour of the banks in particular has changed public opinion and probably forever!  It has unleashed a re-shaping of expectations and standards.

There are now real incentives for doing the right thing and real penalties for doing the wrong one.

This, together with the emergence and recognition of the Transformational Leader, means more and more organisations have woken up to reality.  They are beginning to come to terms with social responsibility and the need for ethics!

As never before, there are huge advantages from behaving

  • ethically,
  • with humanity
  • with compassion
  • with consideration for employees
  • with consideration for the world outside the organisation

There has never been a better time to be a Transformational Leader! The world has never needed them more!

Wendy Mason is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439