Monday, September 15, 2008

The Connected and Committed Leader receives review from The Tall Poppy

The Connected and Committed Leader is written by Laura Lopez, a former vice president of marketing at The Coca-Cola Company. It is a book that argues that leadership style in our large corporations is devoid of heart and true human connection.

I think many of us have had experience with the people in power in large organisations. Who hasn't had to negotiate with the bank or the power company at some stage? You know how lacking in compassion they are, all tied up with regulations and browbeaten by someone even more senior than themselves. As a parent our loyalties are divided between the needs of our families and those of a usually heartless workplace, especially in larger organisations. There is little human connection showing at all.

Laura says that for organisations to remain viable into the future they need to change their attitude towards leadership. She believes that people will need to lead rather than manage though traditional management has been the other way around. She defines a leader as "a person followed voluntarily by others". This conflicts with many management theories, which tend to promote directing and controlling behaviours rather than guiding and encouraging. She argues that these theories are outdated and that because the expectations of this new generation of employees has changed, the skills required to lead them need to be changed too.

To read review, click here...>

Monday, September 1, 2008

Can you become a leader by chance?

I was in Europe a couple of weeks ago as the Olympics started. Headlines ran in Spain saying "Leaders by Chance?" refering to Olympic athletes.

We are quick to answer that question by saying "no...it takes a great deal of practice and dedication to become an olympic athlete." These folks are leaders because they play to their strengths and know how to work and rework this strength to perfection. Chance has little to do with it.

And yet, people step into leadership roles with little focus on perfecting their craft.

I believe that too many people leave their leadership skills up to chance. I know I did at times. You get busy tending to the "work" and you don't see how perfecting the craft of leadership can enhance your ability to get the job done, regardless of the role you are in.

Leadership isn't something outside of the work....it is the work. Just like Olympic athletes see their daily practice as THE game, we have to see that the daily interactions that comprise our work is where leadership happens. Now this is something you would leave up to chance, is it?

Are you perfecting your leadership game? click here to see