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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Cause of the Present Recession

'The economic calamity of 2008-2009 was not caused by subprime mortgages, credit default swaps, or even excessive greed. These are only symptoms of the real problem. The root cause of the problem was failed leadership.....We need new leadership [now]: authentic leaders, people of the highest integrity, committed to building enduring organisations...leaders who have the courage to build their companies to meet the needs of all their stakeholders, and who recognise the importance of their service to society.'

Professor Bill George, Harvard University

Becoming a Successful Leader

For years we’ve heard about leadership techniques that can bring substantial results to the workplace, to teams in sports, non-profit organisations and community groups, and just about any other entity in society.

The Dwight Eisenhower quote “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he (or she) wants to do it.” is a favourite. It crystallises the essence of leadership. However it also leaves us asking the question, “What techniques and skills does one have to have in order to achieve those lofty results?”

What does it take? Well - laughter, humour and fun all play a foundational role leadership.

Too often leaders take themselves so seriously that they create an underlying angst within their organisations. People either become anxious and learn to deal with the situation (antacids and a glass of wine at lunch may be part of the solution), play “How do we avoid the boss?” or quit. You see…leadership isn’t always positive. A leader can lead his or her company right into bankruptcy, dissolution, or chaos.

The most important element in any organisation is its people; even in this virtual world…someone has to be behind the screen.

So what’s the secret in being an effective leader, a leader who people line up to work for? Of course focus; planning, understanding the market, knowing yourself and your team members’ behaviours, attitudes, motivators and information processing styles are important elements. As are a complete knowledge of the goals and objectives of the organisation, as well as trust, keeping your word, respect, integrity, and being able to make productive decisions.

However the real secret is making people want to work for and with you because you are light, bring lightness to their lives, and create an enlightened workplace. And that means laughter, humour, and fun, which coincidently translate into lower turnover, an easier means of attracting new people, and more creativity.

Laughing your way to the bank is not some abstract term. Laughter, humour, and fun are fundamental ingredients to a successful business and life.