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Thursday, May 13, 2010

There is No 'Off Switch' for Leaders

Leaders are wise to behave with a consciousness of how other people might view what they do — and the awareness that people probably will view it. That requires truly authentic leaders whose characters are not mental constructions developed for the job but run deeply in their hearts and souls.

In the age of social media, instant video feeds via cell phones, and hidden surveillance cameras, this advice about authenticity increasingly applies to everyone who aspires to leadership.


Team Spirit

Team Spirit is one of the values of Positive Leadership.

This means:


To illustrate the point, see this story of a team that went from 'worst to first'  - http://www.avp.com/News/2010/05/Stanford.aspx#


Leadership - Building Capacity

Leadership - Building Capacity  

Wednesday, 2 June 2010, Crutherland House Hotel, East Kilbride, Scotland
School Leaders Scotland and Positive Leadership Limited have teamed up to help you tackle the challenges of A Curriculum for Excellence 2010/2013.

The introduction of ACfE in August 2010 will present school leaders with a range of challenges. Leading and managing change requires a whole set of skills which have been well rehearsed within Scottish education over the years. For this seminar SLS has looked outside the education community  for fresh ideas and proven strategies relating to leadership in the context of our challenges over the next three years. The team from Positive Leadership Limited, Gavin Hastings, Lee Torbet and Graham Watson, bring leadership skills and strategies from the worlds of sport and business. They have developed a propriety leadership strategy which optimises both the performance of leaders throughout an organisation and the results of the organisation.

‘A strategy begins and ends with values – a prioritised listing of what is important to you. Once you know what you value as a leader, you can set goals to help you bring about end results that are aligned with your values. This is Positive Leadership.’

Such an approach also sits well with School Leaders Scotland's own view of a values driven leadership approach.

This seminar will help develop YOU as a leader. It will provide you with the opportunity to hear about this innovative approach to building a high performing school and how it can help you as a leader. You will have an opportunity to reflect on your current practice and clarify your thinking.  You will be able to focus on where you are going, what you are trying to achieve and what your purpose is. You will be given opportunities to discuss and debate with fellow participants the values that are important to you.   You should leave at the end of the day with a positive outlook on the way ahead and a plan of action to take back to your school. 

A Curriculum for Excellence – Kick negativity into touch with the help of Gavin Hastings!


Bono at 50: The Leader We Need

Earlier this week, Bono, the U2 singer, global activist and one of the most powerful leaders on the world stage, turned 50. At this important milestone, it is worth briefly taking stock of his journey thus far--a journey of purpose, impact, passion, and humour. It is a path with lessons for leaders from all walks of life.

So what has Bono been up to that accounts for his enormous influence--influence that extends from the 100,000-seat stadiums that U2 plays to the White House, Vatican, and Downing Street to debt forgiveness and medical aid to Africa? After all, he was not born with cash or connections.

Bono's leadership journey has its roots in U2, the Irish band that he and several schoolmates, including Larry Mullen, Jr., David Evans (who later became known as "The Edge"), and Adam Clayton, founded in 1976. The story of U2's success is one of commerce as much as art. At its centre is the creation and stewardship of a very powerful brand, a brand that, in the midst of an ongoing perfect storm of turbulence in the music distribution business, is still going strong around the world.

Leading this enterprise has meant keeping the key team members motivated, engaged and growing--as human beings as well as music makers--for almost 34 years. Growing the organization four gangly teenagers - who in 1979 had to sell one of their instruments in order to buy passage home after a short London tour--to one of the most successful rock bands in history has demanded abiding faith, a steady stream of courage, huge reserves of personal energy, and a disciplined openness to the world as he continues to meet it.

From this solid foundation, Bono has acquired great agency. Not only money for himself and sway with his customers--music fans of all ages, shapes and sizes--but also extraordinary access to other movers and shakers as well as influence on a wide range of issues outside rock music. One of the most compelling aspects of Bono's leadership is how he has chosen to use the authority that has accompanied business success. He has decided, over and over again, to put his artistic, political, strategic, and spiritual muscle to work to alleviate suffering in the world's poorest countries.

Amidst all this activity, Bono keeps turning his energy to making and distributing music. His work as a musician is as central to his humanitarian efforts as the money he helps raise or the politicians he wins over for debt relief. At the same time, his activism has become part of the U2 brand, animating the way that millions of people think about the group and their offerings.

Herein lie several lessons. First, all successful organisational leaders wield power, often in excess of that granted them by their office. How such individuals decide, explicitly or not, to use this control is a question of grave importance for the world today.

The most important problems confronting us now, including a precarious global financial system and an equally vulnerable environmental system, do not come in separate buckets labelled "business" and "public policy." These are challenges that are smashing through older boundaries and helping redefine organisational place and mission.

Second, as Bono seems to understand, these issues demand a new kind of leadership, one based not in aging hierarchies and status systems but in humility, an ardent desire to learn and a respect for the individuals that organisations serve.

Third, individual leaders have to keep getting right with themselves about their own path and impact.

Finally, effective leadership today demands a willingness to stay open, not only to one's own enterprise but also to the teeming global village around it.

Bono, like Abraham Lincoln 150 years ago, has not let himself become isolated in an elite atmosphere. He has used his touring and travels as classrooms to help him understand the hopes, dreams and tribulations of his fellow citizens, whom he often calls his brothers and sisters. And he has used this knowledge to light his way, his music and his leadership.

Happy Birthday, Bono!