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Always Wear A Positive Attitude

AttitudeA leader will face many trying situations during any leadership journey. A leader does not have everything under the sun in his/ her circle of influence. Things can go wrong. There will be some failures along the way. It always makes sense to look at outcomes positively and move forward. Some people even see opportunities in problem situations. This is all about seeing a partly filled glass "Half Full or Half Empty". It does not come naturally to everyone. We need to spend effort. That is why we say one has to wear such attitude. The following popular Birbal story is a great example.

One morning, when training with his sword Akbar accidentally damaged his little finger. The tip of his little finger was permanently damaged.

My Journey To Improve Articulation

WritingAs a leader, have you ever come out of a meeting feeling that your articulation of a point did not reach all the audience?  Did you find it hard to get alignment? I have. Most of us do. If leadership is all about changing the way people think, feel and act, then powerful articulation is an important skill. People need to follow what you are saying before they can decide to follow your thinking and vision for change. When you have authority along with leadership position, people learn to tolerate you and will be nice to you even if they don't follow you.

My ability to articulate my thoughts improved when I changed my approach as below.

If.. A Poem By Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard KiplingToday I read this poem for the first time and I am thoroughly inspired by its simplicity and clarity.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

Leadership, Stewardship, Rulership, Lemmingship

Walk The WalkThe book titled Walk the Walk written by Alan Deutschman defines leadership as the act of changing the way people think, feel and act. A leader does this with two simple tools. One is talking his/her thoughts out to others - i.e., what they say. By 'talking' we really mean what a leader articulates as virtues that are of highest priority to the leader. Other is acting out those virtues even during most trying times - which is referred as walking the walk.

The author says everybody who takes a leadership position or thinks he is leading other people may not necessarily be practicing leadership in it's real sense. People who really focus too much on words and very little on action that matches those words are not real leaders.

Strategies For Well-Being

WellbeingHere are 5 ways to wellbeing:

  1. Connecting with family, friends and colleagues

  2. Being physically active and eating healthily

  3. Taking notice of the world around you

  4. Learning a new skill

  5. Doing voluntary work

I read this from a handout distributed by BT. Simple and powerful.

Power And Leadership Effectiveness

PowerThe usual leadership training material talks about two continuum when discussing leadership effectiveness. These are namely the leader's care for results and care for people. A leader should of course be balanced on these two continuum to be effective. Most of the published material are usually silent about the leader's ability to gain more power. I think this forms the third and very important continuum in a leader's journey to peak performance. Research says that only people who acquired power became more effective leaders in the long run.

Expectations Drive Accountability

In A ShellA team walks into trouble with eyes open. The team is full of well meaning people. The key questions to ask are 'How to navigate back to course?', 'What are some leadership traits that will accelerate course correction?', 'How to sustain the accountability of the team?'

Unexpected failures happen only because of mindless risktakes. Such a failure usually results in immediate loss of credibility. A sense of urgency to get back to course as soon as possible builds up and intensifies.

When Movement Does Not Equal Action

ActionAll actions need co-ordinated movement(s). However all co-ordinated movement do not necessarily mean action. Confusing? Here is an example.

When I was a school going kid, I used to hate the compulsory study time at home, especially on subjects that I did not like. I used to fake that study time. A text book was in my hand. For those people who were watching, I appeared like a diligent student seeking knowledge and wisdom. However, my mind was elsewhere. See! Movement did not mean action.

Mistakes Are Always In The Past

RafikiFirst of all we are talking about well meaning leaders in this blog and not about villains and criminals. So we can boldly make the statement that forms the title of the post. Mistakes are different from villainous mischief and intentional crime.

I want to quote a recent Calvin and Hobbes strip I enjoyed (and learnt from it as well). Calvin steals Susie's most loved doll (intentional mischief). Susie is aghast. Calvin sends a ransom note that is properly signed (childish mistake). Susie takes revenge, She takes Hobbes away. Calvin realizes his mistake of underestimating Susie's potential to retaliate.

Rhythm Of Life And Resistance To Change

ResistanceWhen a human transitions into any socially and/or emotionally acceptable situation from a position of discomfort, for some time he or she goes through a period of enjoying that perceivably stable state of equilibirium. This is the honeymooning period of enjoying a success. The success of having escaped from some previous discomfort or an unstable state of equilibirium in life. However, humans also tend to get bored quickly with new position and comforts. The honeymoon eventually ends. Natural tendency after this honeymoon is to aspire for further improvement of quality of life. This aspiration soon builds up into discomfort with the current environment that was once enjoyable. We move back into an unstable state of equilibirium. During this rhythm of life, stimulus to change appears in one of the following forms