Leadership and Influence

Yesterday I met a friend for coffee that I have known for over 30 years. We worked together many years ago and as we reflected on our journey, we discussed people, specifically leaders we worked for, that had a positive impact on our lives. In our discussion we pointed out reasons we believed these leaders had a positive influence. We noted something specific and that was that they were all different yet had many of the same quality and characteristics. For example, they had a way of transforming or translating a crisis into a challenge for the team to meet. When we as employees thought there was a crisis, these leaders with influence helped us realize this was a growth opportunity.

Additionally, these influential leaders were competent in what they did and we felt comfortable following them. These leaders were able to make us want to become better performers. Although these individuals had risen through the ranks and were probably promoted for their technical skills, they had a way of transferring the confidence to the team members and providing coaching on how we could get better. We also noticed in our discussion, the leaders with influence would allow a certain amount of risk taking for employees and not hold us in too tight, but allowed us to make mistakes and grow.

As we reflected on organizational change, we realized the leaders we mentioned helped us realize the need for continuous change. In doing this we were all able to go past just team building and we were able to create a workplace community. I am not sure I see this anymore. Any thoughts? Do you have examples where leaders have went beyond teams and built workplace communities?

Organizational Culture, Productive or Dysfunctional

Organizational Culture and being the Best

I wanted to write this blog on organizational culture because of a terrible customer service experience I recently had while moving. I won’t mention the name of the company, what is important is what should shape organizational culture and as customers what should we expect. I mention this because all of my dealings in the past two years lead me to believe the organization has a dysfunctional culture.

Organizational leaders should be passing on and building a desire where employees want to be the best and provide customer service that builds loyalty. Pearce and Robinson (2011) tell us that some things that should shape a culture include “a belief in being the best, a belief in superior quality and service, a belief in people as individuals and a faith in their ability to make strong contributions and a belief in inspiring people to do their best. In addition, Drucker (1998) tells us “the spirit of the organization will be a direct reflection of leadership”. This leads me to believe the organization’s leadership my not be leaders, they may be only people in leadership positions.

Pearce and Robinson (2011) stated that poorly performing companies, whether financial or poor in providing customer service, have dysfunctional cultures. I am looking for thoughts today from my readers as to what your thoughts are on the cultures of many of today’s organizations. Don’t mention names, just experiences.

Einstein’s Definition of Insanity

There are those that have a tendency to get entrenched in a belief system and have difficulty moving to new belief systems or new ways of thinking. Kuhn (1996) stated that there are those that are closed minded in their thinking and belief systems. He stated that these same people have been trained in a certain field and approach problems and issues from a standpoint of having predetermined answers. They may take the approach of it has always worked like this; there is no reason to change. Similar to Kuhn’s view of decision-making and problem solving skills being based on experience, Drucker (1986) stated that managers, working within any organization, make decisions based on experience rather than analyzation. When belief systems are formed based on experience and training rather than analyzing the success of the organizational design it is easy to continue to do the same things and have the same results. Organizational leaders need to be able to recognize their design, analyze the design and make corrections as needed in order to be successful.

Albert Einstein once said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Think about this quote for a second and ask yourself, does this quote apply to the way you run your company?

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Take the chance – Live your Life

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”
― C. JoyBell C.