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Friday, March 12, 2010

On Leadership: Giuliani's 9/11 'defiance'

The former NYC mayor's fresh insights on how 9/11 changed him and where he found the will to fight:


Being a Great Coach

Did you watch the Winter Olympics recently? The most successful athletes seemed to share a common experience: the positive personal impact of one to one leadership with their coaches. These relationships are designed to guide athletes to the pinnacle of success. Olympic coach Michelle Leigh says, "Ultimately being a great coach is all about helping people to become more." 

The coach/athlete relationship illustrates dominant themes in successful one to one leader/follower relationships: mutual trust, authentic concern for others, and self awareness.

Although we may not aspire to Olympic fame, we can’t escape the one to one leadership relationship because it occurs naturally in family, work, school—it is inherent in life. When we interact with individuals, we may be leading or following. How do we measure up? Do we have the other person’s interest in mind when we lead? Are we gracious followers when someone else takes the lead?

Leadership author John Maxwell asserts that leadership is “influence—nothing more and nothing less.” This may appear over simplified; however, it highlights the crucial element of personal relationship in one to one leadership. In relationships, whether in the leader or follower role, we exert influence—on thoughts, attitudes and actions; good or bad—and we either build trust or tear it down. This influence has potential to unite people in purpose around common goals to culminate in great results. Even in one-time exchanges, for example in a check-out line, there is the opportunity to lead someone through the influence of a patient, kind attitude, honesty, and humble service.

Retreat from life’s business and look at your own one to one leadership relationships. Are they “gold medal” quality? Consider anew your influence through relating to others in your many roles in life. Wherever you are today—helping out at home, putting in a long day at work, or completing coursework for school—remember that one to one leadership is a skill worth honing. 

Your influence on another can be the catalyst to positive results. Be trustworthy, authentic, and aware of your personal challenges. As organisational consultant Don Brawley says, “To the world you are just somebody, but to somebody you are the world!”


Building Consistent Leadership Competencies Throughout the Organisation

The overriding theme of what we have been hearing from clients recently is that they are surprised at how the leadership development programmes they had in place were not able to meet the needs of their business as we have gone through these tremendously disruptive economic changes over the past few years.

Companies faced with the prospect of reinventing their business or adapting to a radically changed environment -- as in the financial sector, for example, where government regulators are now playing a much greater role -- are finding themselves with a shortage of executives who are up to the task. Companies are now being forced to rethink what it means to have a comprehensive leadership development programme.

At least two recent surveys present concurring views. A survey of 1,313 US employers released late last year by Aon Consulting found that, while 84 percent ranked the ability to meet talent and skill needs for leadership roles as a top priority, only 38 percent said their organisations are very or extremely effective at meeting those needs. Meanwhile, the 2009/2010 Trends in Executive Development study, released late last year by Pearson and Executive Development Associates, found that many of the 70 leaders from the US’s largest private, non-profit and government organisations who were surveyed expressed concern that their organisations' up-and-comers were lacking in areas such as the ability to think strategically and manage change effectively.

Having a common set of leadership competencies that are shared throughout the organisation is the hallmark of companies that are good at producing leaders who can think strategically and manage change. Positive Leadership™ provides a basis for developing such leaders.