Posts Tagged 'Leadership'

Slideshare: Being an excellent but quirky boss means you need to get opinions from the “straight men” on your team

It’s hard for one not to like a show that demonstrates spot on storytelling and character development despite its 30 minute format. It’s hard not to like a show that not only makes you excited about music but inspires you to see connections between art and the realities we live in. This show was just plain fun to watch and it re-affirmed to me the importance of passion and commitment as leadership qualities I admire. Maestro Rodrigo embodied these characteristics, and I spent time examining how and why.

Continue reading ‘Slideshare: Being an excellent but quirky boss means you need to get opinions from the “straight men” on your team’

A deeper look at collaborative leadership

Previously I mentioned that I’d like to delve into what leaders can do to develop a more collaborative and innovative culture, but before I do that I thought I should better define “Collaborative Leadership.” I did previously write a brief post on this earlier inspired by a blog post on the topic.

In an effort to rapid prototype my work I’m putting a rough-cut of a presentation here as a start. This is based off of the infographic from Innocentive. This was my effort to paint a picture of what collaborative leadership looks like vs. the traditional leadership many of us are used to. You can view the draft slides by clicking the image or link below.

As I mentioned previously here, collaborative leaders are more likely to focus on leveraging the collective strengths of their teams (engaging all members). I suspect leaders in cultures that are hierarchical in the traditional sense will have to learn or un-learn a few things when it comes to leading this way.

But there is a demand for building those collaborative leadership muscles that come from the need to flex and adapt to a market that requires change at a break-neck pace.

Slide set front page view

Click to view the a quick examination of what it means to be a collaborative leader


This guy is my hero right now

I first learned of Patrick Awuah via the TED talks.

Here is Patrick Awuah’s talk at TED: /patrick_awuah_on_educating_leaders.html

The man left a prestigious corporate job to found a university in his home country of Ghana. And it wasn’t just any university where you had a major and a minor or a major and two minors… it’s a Liberal Arts college aimed at developing good leaders.  I often joke with friends that Liberal Arts colleges are like dinosaurs that we really need right now. You hardly see them any more, but we are, in my opinion, in dire need of them.

I will not argue that a liberal arts education is necessary or applicable for everyone, but somehow we may have a great many people (depending on who to talk to) who are technically educated or understand their fields, but we don’t have a lot of people who can really ‘think’ strategically and creatively. Good liberal arts ed when executed properly helps young people make connections with what they learn, and it develops people who are skilled at analyzing life and it’s events and experiences and connecting them with literature, philosophy and the past.

I’ve suspected that the death of Liberal Arts in this country came when we decided that it was more important to rely on higher education to get specialized and technical training for a specific careers.  That pesky major in “communication” is a good example of this. While I see it’s important to learn what you’re going to apply in a job, isn’t it also important to learn why or even ask why you’re learning it? Perhaps we wouldn’t be facing some of the economic or political problems today if we had more people asking “why” questions, specifically, “Why are we doing that?” Or even better, “Is that right?”

I think you need people who are educated via liberal arts and technical education, to execute successful endeavors in many fields.

Can they truly change?

Strange this morning… I work up with a rhyme from my childhood in my head.

I’ll stay here not budging,

I can and I will… if make you and me and the whole world stand still.

Well, of course,  the world didn’t stand still…

The world grew.

Recently, I watched a Frontline episode online. There was an interview with a spokesperson from GM. The interviewer asked her why GM didn’t act earlier on developing hybrid technology. The woman admitted that the company didn’t see and immediate investment return for such an effort. Now, GM’s fate is in the balance and they expect the American tax payer to bail them out of the woes that stem from their inability to think and build towards the future.

PLEASE! This is an example conservative and unimaginative thinking worthy only of those executives who only want to ‘hang in there’ until they can cash their retirement and haul their golf-shoed feet to Scottsdale, AZ or some other place where they put ineffective executives out to pasture.

The American auto industry, if any should be the ones who take advantage of this leadership position in helping the world handle the threat of climate change. I’ll be very blunt. I don’t think there’s any place in this world anymore for leaders who think the ‘old way.’ Caring only about immediate profit margins isn’t going to cut it when we have to think about 10, 20, even 50 year plans for turning the effects of Global Warming around.  We’re about to find out how much so much complacency and lack of imagination can cost.  I’m placing my faith in the younger generations of corporate leaders. Hopefully, they haven’t taken their cues from the old guard.

Here’s what they have going for them:

  • For them it’s not always about self-achievement and individual rewards.
  • They are beginning to understand that there is such thing as a bigger picture.
  • They can see the world and it’s environment changing (and not necessarily for the better).
  • They have children who will inherit this world.


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