Posts tagged ‘authentic leadership’

May 19, 2014

Geloso

It’s the Italian word for jealous. There’s something much more appealing about a jealous Italian love story than the nasty everyday variety. Or may be it’s the disconnection from such an event that makes it sound softer.

I was reading a blog over the weekend on being grateful. It’s a great topic to explore and then to remind ourselves about being grateful for what we have, as opposed to being anxious about what we don’t have, or geloso of others’ things or situations.

If you read the comments on a New Zealand on-line news article, there’s a good chance that the vast majority of contributors have something to complain about. And maybe they do. But I’m sure, like all of us, they also have plenty to be grateful for, despite injustices and unfairness.

So why the complaining? Why the geloso (on occasion)? I’m not sure I know the answer to this any more than anyone else does. But in watching leaders and others I know, those who don’t complain and who aren’t jealous appear more content, more at peace, and happier.

You might say that those that display these characteristics don’t have so much to complain about, and you could be right.

But you could be wrong for yourself. Being grateful in my experience requires less energy, doesn’t require justification, can disarm, and give that most important of gifts to yourself. The freedom to move on without holding something that you most likely can’t change.

Many of the respondents to the blog I read “accused” the author of living a life without challenges. They could be right.

I suggest you try out being grateful next time you’re confronted with something which brings up the unfairness or jealousy gene. Just try it. Even to yourself, but even better out loud to others.

The weekend is a great place to start trying it out. It’s only 4 days away. Now that’s something to be thankful for!

Stephen

March 15, 2014

In the mood for a cyclone

Apparently there’s a cyclone here, or is that an ex-cyclone?  So far not much bar some gusts and welcome rain.  Running from Titirangi up to Arataki this morning, it only took 500 metres, then I didn’t get any wetter.  One good thing about running in the rain is that once you’re wet, that’s it, you don’t get any wetter.

Image

If it’s cold that can matter, but this morning it was not too bad at all.  

For some reason it reminded me of being in Paris a year ago next month. Suddenly, the trip was fresh in my mind again and Hotel Coste was playing in the (now infrequently used) car. I feel a re-play of Midnight in Paris coming on.

It’s been exceptionally busy lately at work, with hardly a moment to reflect or for that matter, write a blog. And I’ve missed it. There’s something about writing down thoughts that is both therapeutic and insightful to me. A change in weather is like a change a pace, a chance to do something new, or in this case old, again.

So the outdoor umbrellas are down, the windows all closed but frankly, the cyclone hasn’t really (so far!) come to much that matches all the preparation and anticipation. But what it did do is makefor a change of pace, a chance to change direction, even for a day.

Thanks to a cyclone that put me in the mood. To write a blog.

Stephen

 

March 24, 2013

Run while you can

If the definition of a leader is followers then you’d have to say that in the 1970s that’s what David Bowie certainly was. He led a generation of followers in music and culture, and continues to do so even today, at 67. Reading in The Guardian an article by John Savage this month he talks of Bowie “Bowie had become a leader but, as he had written, the leader is always deserted by his followers. The trick was to withdraw before they deserted you.

Having a coffee with my friend Jas Singh the other day we talked of different people we knew who had had an influence on us, for better or for worse. What drives a person to promise much but deliver so little was the theme of our talk. What are the drivers for those leaders who, in the end, only want the temporary thrill of having followers.

Now, I’m certainly not implying this about Bowie! How could I?

Wishing Steps at Blarney Castle, Ireland

We can wish what we like of a leader, but reality might be quite different – Wishing Steps at Blarney Castle, Ireland

I’ve been following his music for almost 40 years and his “abandonment” as it were, has always been for one sub-style to another and us fans have always followed.  And he has never disappointed or let us down!

Do we need the security of a leader who promises us much? At a time and place, probably. In the end, we’re better off searching out our own promises and making them happen.

A true leader won’t be leading you up the path just for their own gratification, but rather for a true realisation of something for all. And there’s a good chance that such a genuine leader won’t tell you all that stuff, the candy, that makes you want to follow.

What is your leadership goal? As leader for yourself, or really as leader of others for a bigger purpose?

And what is your followship goal?  For someone to do what you aren’t brave enough to do for yourself? Run while you can is my advice.

In the end the fake leader who’s only there for themselves is just like the needy follower. Despite what we might be told about leadership, actually finding the genuine leader will be difficult and we can all expect to be let down at times. There’s unfortunately plenty of fake leaders out there.

Stephen

October 7, 2012

Five hours of authentic leadership

I’m back at Waitakere Estate running the Authentic Leadership Course. It’s great to be back here as always and although it’s hard work it’s a kind of a refresher for a short time for me too. Away from the busyness and pressures, there’s another kind of pressure here – making sure our leaders on the programme get what they want from their time here – but it’s great work and fulfilling.

Nothing shows this more than how after five hours on the programme we have built the kind of trust that most would say just isn’t possible in the workplace. That’s the workplace with politics, pre-conceptions and internal competition for resources.

We have a shared vision and values here on the Authentic Leadership Course in 2012. Not something decided by us, but rather from the group. I’m certain that the participants will live by those things during their time here and odds on they’ll take it back to work with them, and challenge those around them to embrace authentic leadership that’s about real leaders setting a tone and working with others to achieve success for them and their organisations.

So what if you have five hours only to focus on leadership? What could you do between 8.30am and 1.30pm? Could you develop a draft vision, values and way of interacting that would sustain your team going forward? Could you learn about each other’s preferences for working together? I helped two groups in Mt Maunganui on Friday with that in three and a half hour workshops – they wanted more – but it’s a great start and left us all wanting that five hours.

Imagine. By 1.30 having so much underway about how we will work together that we’ve made a difference as a leader. Might make the doing stuff for the other hours in the week go better. You never know. I’d be bold enough to say we do know.

And for us here on the Authentic Leadership Course, we’ve done five hours, and three full days to go!

Stephen

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