Sunday, October 28, 2007

Keep it balanced, in 3D

The concept of Quiet Leadership includes the the notion of "balance." My vision of balance is multifaceted where balance applies to many elements of life, work and leadership. This includes, for example, the balance of work and personal life, the balance between individual needs and organizational needs, the balance of opinions that needs to occur within teams, the balance required to moderate disagreement. A quiet leader strives to keep it balanced.

Jim Bolt recently wrote about balance on the Fast Company site. The article, Developing The 3-Dimensional Leader, describes the common absence of balance in leaders and the need for three dimensional leaders. As he writes, "Too many leaders today are one-dimensional, narrowly focused on business results."

Bolt's three dimensional leadership implores leaders to strike a balance between business needs, leadership, and personal needs. Here is his description of the three dimensions:

The three-dimensional framework calls for the development of an individual’s business, leadership, and personal effectiveness skills:

  • Business Dimension: Mind-sets and capabilities needed to identify and address critical business challenges
  • Leadership Dimension: Fully developed leadership capacity needed to lead the organization confidently into the future
  • Personal Dimension: Personal effectiveness skills needed to achieve excellence, balance and ongoing renewal

This three dimensional framework perfectly depicts the balance required of quiet leaders. Please read Bolt's article.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Building Community with Giving

One of the principles of quiet leadership focuses on the need for leaders to build community. I've suggested in an earlier post that community building can start simply, with thanks, and smiles. One of my favorite Tom Peters pleadings, "It begets it." Smiles begets smiles, thanks begets thanks.

What follows after the simple start? I'd propose giving and service.

Consultant Michelle Kunz writes extensively about giving in her Power Energy Leadership blog. In Excellence is Giving she talks about the benefits of giving and quotes the creed of BNI, the global business networking group that "Givers Gain."

Consider these returns cited by Kunz in her post:
  • Trust -- people trust those who have their interests truly at the center of all they do
  • Admiration -- people admire those who commit their energies to advancing the common good
  • Respect -- people respect those who dedicate their time to helping others win
  • Wisdom -- when we listen deeply to what others need we learn more about ourselves and the world around us
  • Humility -- giving to others shines a mirror back on all that we have and helps us feel grateful
  • Authenticity -- giving deeply of ourselves removes the filters we keep in place when we withhold, requiring our true selves to come into focus
  • Integrity -- aligning our values with principles which do not change greatly simplifies the challenge of walking our talk
This represents huge returns for the simple act of giving and serving. Maybe building community doesn't have to be hard. Start with smiles, thanks, and add a little giving.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Leadership in 60 Seconds or less

Don't have enough time to study leadership?

Leadership consultant Phil Dourado author of The 60 Second Leader: Everything You Need to Know About Leadership, in 60 Second Bites has posted an even shorter ebook available on his blog.

I've embedded the slideshow here:

Among these gems there were numerous highlights. Here are a couple of my favorites:

“Leadership, like swimming, cannot be learned by reading about it.”
Henry Mintzberg

Make people feel an essential part of the story through the work they do every day…Remember this mythical JFK anecdote?
The president was visiting NASA headquarters and stopped to talk to a man who was holding a mop. “And what do you do?” he asked. The man, a janitor, replied, “I’m helping to put a man on the moon, sir.”
Phil Dourado

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Learning to Use the Full Brain

I wrote in September about my development experiment Improve Your Brain Power - Use your right brain. In this post, I wrote about the suggestion that you could develop your brain by the simple act of moving your mouse to the opposite hand.

I continue to be fascinated with left brain/right brain differences.

This week, after a couple of weeks of pretty intense day-job work with no time for blogging or reading, my discretionary reading took me to the Freakonomics blog where I discovered the The Right Brain vs Left Brain test.

Try it. It's fascinating.

I can switch directions with a different focus. What does this mean? When you read the Freakonomics blog comments, it seems that most people get a single direction.

Thanks for reading. Please lead quietly.