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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Positive Leadership: Upside Down Management

Toyota Motors is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. What is the reason behind Toyota’s traditonal success? Is it technology?
It has little to do with technology and everything to do with management DNA. Toyota reinvented the way management process works. The top-down management style is the relic of the past when it was effective in producing standardised products. The management structure today must allow more autonomy on the frontline enabling companies to respond more nimbly to shifting markets and customer preferences. Rather than telling the employees what to do, today’s management must learn how to lead, organise, educate and allocate resources utilising inputs from the front-line employees.

Given core business strategy and model, wealth creation today comes from companies that make innovation everybody’s job everyday and do not squander the creative imaginations of employees. A company can demand obedience and diligence, but can’t command creativity, initiative and passion.

The new management paradigm requires inverting the leadership model. Leadership is less and less about meeting company’s goals and more and more about meeting employees’ goals.

In the upside-down pyramid system, the CEO is at the very bottom of the organisation. Given core business strategy and model, the CEO’s job is to support the key employees by removing roadblocks in satisfying customers’ needs. Top managers’ responsibility is to support their direct reports so that they can do a better job and so on.

Toyota's success comes from its superior quality reputation. Its vehicles work right the first time and keep on working while other cars may work well when they are new, but spend a lot of time in the garage later on. The incredible performance of Toyota cars is the direct result of its operational excellence. Toyota’s continued success stems from a deep business philosophy based on the understanding of people and human motivation. The success has been based on its ability to cultivate leadership, teams and culture.

The former CEO of Toyota, Fujio Cho, said, “there are many things the management does not understand. Therefore we ask employees to go ahead and take action. You (the management) realise how little you know and you face your own failures.” He continued, “ By constant improvements based on action (by employees), one can rise to the higher level of practice and knowledge.”

But see now - http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/076f7700-167a-11df-bf44-00144feab49a.html ('How Toyota Engineered its Own Downfall')

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Positive Leadership: Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach, Hall of Fame former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys talks about the lessons he learned about leadership. In July 2008, The Staubach Company was sold to Jones Lang LaSalle for $613 million.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Positive Leadership: Listen, Learn ... Then Lead

General Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan. In this video, he shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military.

How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning -- and addressing the possibility of failure. 


Friday, May 27, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (10)


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (9)


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Positive Leadership: Sir Alex Ferguson, Talent Master

Sir Alex Ferguson may be cantankerous but he's a family man to his core. 

As the nurturing of his youth teams proves, he is an older man who believes in the next generation. His success springs from his love for his team and for the game they play – and his absolute loyalty both to them and to his principles. That makes him cantankerous and unbending. But it also makes him a model of the supportive parent. This probably reflects the fact that Ferguson himself is driven to succeed by his respect for his own father and his desire to please him.

Whether you believe that or not, the idea that those family values lie at the heart of what he has achieved, is surely worthy of applause – whatever team you support.


Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (8)


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (7)


Monday, May 23, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (6)


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (5)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (4)


Friday, May 20, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (3)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders (2)


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Positive Leadership: Why Women Make Strong Leaders


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Positive Leadership: What New CEO's Need to Remember

What do you wish you’d done differently when you first became CEO?  

When asked this question, most CEO's will answer, “I wish I’d moved faster on talent decisions.”

Why? Because often their instinct tells them that the people are not aligned properly with the needs of their roles, and that the roles are not aligned with the business needs that are driven by the organisation’s new vision.  But there may be fear about sending disruptive signals by making dramatic changes, and by making them quickly.

And yet, upon reflection, that is almost always what they wish they’d done.

We believe that by doing the following seven things it is possible for CEOs and other C-suite executives to address talent alignment issues in a proactive and positive way, so that the organisation is galvanised for forward movement toward its vision as quickly as possible:

Make managing and growing your talent a top priority.  This means making it one of the top three items in every staff meeting and every strategy discussion.

Communicate openly about the importance – and the benefit to everyone in the company – of having positions aligned with the vision and strategies of the company, and of having the right people in those positions. 

At the same time, be committed to finding roles for the current employees that best align with their strengths, and thus “set them up” for success.

Be open about your willingness to work with employees who may be in positions that are not a great fit – to help them via coaching or mentoring – so that both they and the company are better off because of the process.

Make sure that talent decisions align with the values of the company.  Top performers that disrespect others and play by their own rules – and may have been allowed to do so under previous leadership – must be dealt with because of their impact on the organisation’s culture.

Remember that everything communicates.  Not addressing talent issues of non-performance speaks volumes. 

And remember the power you have to communicate, through words and actions, a genuine desire to see everyone succeed – and to mean it.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Positive Leadership: Leading With Impact

Wondering how high powered women deal with risk, failure and, yes, success? Here are some thoughts:


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Positive Leadership: Avoiding the Ego Trap

Ego and insecurity are the two greatest land mines of leadership. 

Ego creeps in when you start not to value other people—when you begin to look at people as what can they do for you instead of what you can do for them. There are three characteristics needed to become a successful leader:

1. Build consensus. Abraham Lincoln was great at bringing together the people around him to help make up for his weaknesses. The fallacy of leadership is thinking if you can lead in one area, you can lead in all areas. Value the opinion of others before making a decision.

2. Practice humility. Instead of talking about their own accomplishments, leaders should look to give the team the credit.

3. Take risks. Leaders are not afraid to step out and say 'this is what needs to be done'. Winston Churchill, for example, stood alone against Parliament in his opposition to Nazism.  


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Positive Leadership: Rebecca Watson, Lady Vol Student Athlete

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the USA prides itself on developing 'student-athletes'. As their advertising says - 'most of us go pro in something other than sports'.

Today, I want to pay tribute to my older daughter, Rebecca, who graduated yesterday from the University of Tennessee. Rebecca is a Lady Vol; a two-time Academic All-American who graduated cum laude in business. Rebecca played on the  Lady Vol golf team for four years and is now returning to Scotland to begin a CA traineeship with Ernst & Young.

Rebecca embodies everything which the term 'student-athlete' stands for and we wish her every success in her future career. 


Friday, May 13, 2011

Positive Leadership: Because I Do


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Positive Leadership: Enemies Define Our Leadership


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Positive Leadership: Pass It On

The values we live by are best when we pass them on...Pass it on... (From the Foundation for a Better Life and Josh Groban) http://www.values.com/pass-it-on-sightings


Monday, May 09, 2011

Positive Leadership: How Can Teams Make Better Decisions?

Alan Mulally is president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company. Throughout his career, Mulally has been recognizsd for his contributions and industry leadership, including being named "Person of the Year" for 2006 by Aviation Week magazine and one of "The Best Leaders of 2005" by BusinessWeek magazine.


Sunday, May 08, 2011

Positive Leadership: Will Smith on Leadership and Other Inspiring Thoughts


Saturday, May 07, 2011

Positive Leadership: The Business Case for Leadership Development

One of the biggest challenges HR professionals face when they propose new leadership development initiatives is convincing CEOs of the financial impact of the proposed initiative.  Without a clear sense of the positive financial impact, it’s easy to write-off a new proposal as too expensive, or that now is not the right time.  The lack of urgency to improve performance is based on the idea that that the current level of leadership skill in the organisation is good enough.  But is it? A look at most companies has shown that the typical organisation is leaving considerable value in untapped potential lying on the table through less-than-optimal leadership practices.  

For example, in 2006 The Ken Blanchard Companies conducted a year-long study to identify the connections between leadership effectiveness, employee passion, customer devotion, and overall organisational vitality.  

They identified several correlations:
  • Effective operational leadership directly predicts positive employee passion
  • Positive employee passion directly predicts customer devotion
  • Customer devotion directly predicts organisational vitality.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Positive Leadership: Exercise and Leadership

Leaders who appear physically fit are viewed as better leaders. According to an article on weeklyleader.net:

“Fitness does so much more than just keep the extra weight off and prevent us from blaming the cleaners for shrinking our clothes. It increases mental stamina and endurance as well. It helps one weather stressful events with aplomb, and to keep one's head when all around them are losing theirs. The leader of the group, the one expected to make a good decision under stress and chart an effective course, should take advantage of the extra mental acuity and sharpness that comes with being physically fit.”

One study from the Centre for Creative Leadership found that individuals who exercise are significantly more effective leaders than those who don’t. According to the study, executives who exercise rate significantly higher on skills such as leading others (inter-personal savvy, inspiring commitment, and creating synergy), leading by personal example and results orientation than non-exercisers.

Probably one of the simplest and easiest exercises to do is to take a walk.  According to the Franklin Institute, walking is very beneficial to the brain because it “increases blood circulation and the oxygen and glucose that reach your brain.” As you walk, you effectively oxygenate your brain. Maybe this is why walking can “clear your head” and help you to think better.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Positive Leadership: Lessons from Adversity - Simon Cooper of Ritz Carlton


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Positive Leadership: The Power of Leadership Quotes

Leadership quotes are leadership tools that inspire us. Studies have shown that leadership quotes have made a positive impact in our day-to-day life. They are considered as one of the best leadership tools. These inspirational words awaken your potential. Leadership quotes are one-line statements but their meaning is vast and impact is immense. These words not only inspire but also promote personal development.

Leadership quotes are the right words that are delivered at right time and in a right way.  They can change your negative attitude and transform your problems into opportunities. Leadership quotes can give you strategy to solve your problems. These words help to stay focused in your work. Leadership quotes will encourage and inspire you to achieve higher goals. If you use leadership quotes in a speech, it will have a greater impact on the audience. Leadership quotes will help the speaker to effectively communicate with the audience. Strong leaders use leadership quotes for effective leadership. They use it as a tool to support their strategy, vision and mission. 

Leadership quotes are like pearls of wisdom. It is up to you, to find vision in leadership quotes. A leadership quote if implemented can transform your life positively. Leadership quotes can tell you how to be successful in life.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Positive Leadership: Defining Corporate Culture

Andy Friere, Co-founder and CEO of Axialent, argues that what leaders do--not what they say--defines the organisation's culture. Friere suggests that most leaders are not actually aware of how what they do is perceived and shapes culture. However, shaping a strong culture is one of the most important activities for any entrepreneur because it determines, in part, whether the company goes on to success after the founder leaves or whether it fails.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Positive Leadership: Building Team Spirit Together

Societe Generale recently launched a new communications campaign, with a new signature, around a message that is strong and engaging for its customers and its employees: "Building team spirit together".


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Positive Leadership: How Video Games Build Leaders

           Stanford professor Byron Reeves explains how online multiplayer games like 'World of Warcraft' are creating the next generation of leaders: