Actions of a serving leader

July 30, 2018

By Marcel Schwantes via  Article

Want to Be a Successful Leader? Stop Reading About What They Do and Start Applying These 5 Success Habits Instead

“I admire the work of Dr. John Stahl-Wert … Through many years of observing great leaders, Stahl-Wert has documented five actionable practices …

1. Run to Great Purpose

Stahl-Wert found that serving leaders define a compelling vision and connect every person to the vision. This powerful foundation of high performance teams is what inspires and motivates them to bring their very best and run to great purpose throughout the employee lifecycle.

2. Raise the Bar

Serving leaders raise the bar by ensuring that core values are embedded and demonstrated at every level of the organization. They will identify and define those values that describe how a team will operate, and teach others how to align and hold their own teams accountable to them.

3. Blaze the Trail

Serving leaders blaze the trail by clarifying what it is that their teams do that customers value most, and then remove any barriers that keep their teams from delivering what their customers value most.

4. Build on Strength

Stahl-Wert writes, ‘One of the most important areas of knowledge about a person is knowledge about that person’s strengths.’ He adds, ‘When people love what they are doing, they naturally give it their full energy and passion.’ In essence, the serving leader builds on strength by finding ways to match the work with the people who love doing it, and who do it very well.

5. Upend the Pyramid

By flipping the traditional top-down pyramid upside down, serving leaders are uniquely positioned to empower others from the bottom-up, through effective delegation so their teams reach full potential. In upending the pyramid, unhealthy dependency on individual leaders is removed — allowing for the organization to foster a leader-leader culture, rather than a leader-follower culture.”

Burst the illusion

July 30, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

How To Burst The Illusion Of Perceived Knowledge And Help People Grow

“Those who don’t do – believe they know. It’s easy to feel you know how-to-do something you’re not doing. The things you aren’t doing seem easier than the things you are doing. Head-knowledge creates the illusion of perceived knowledge. In other words, being told how to do something makes you feel you know how to do it, even if you haven’t done it.

KNOWING ABOUT differs radically from KNOWING HOW.

Burst the bubble:

You can burst the illusion of perceived knowledge by saying, ‘Ok, now you do it.’  It doesn’t take long for the illusion of competence to become the reality of confusion. Trying on new behaviors reveals that you don’t know as much as you think. … Over-helpful leaders prolong ignorance in others. But confusion opens minds.

How to create confusion:

  1. Ask people to do things they haven’t done before.
  2. Give guidance.
  3. Stay available.
  4. Let them struggle without your intervention.
  5. Intervene if frustration escalates. ‘How can I help?’
  6. Promote educational failure. ‘What are you learning?’
  7. Protect from danger or damage. ‘I need to warn you about a problem you haven’t considered.’ …

Too much confusion:

#1. Don’t allow people to wallow in confusion. Moderate levels of confusion open minds and fuel passion. Too much confusion causes people to shut down.

#2. Organizational culture must embrace a positive posture toward failure that educates.

#3. Not every situation is a teachable moment. Fail fast. Fail cheap.”

Candy clash

July 30, 2018

Via The Hustle <> email subscription

Musk v. Buffett: Candy clash exposes differences in investment philosophy

“After Elon Musk badmouthed Warren Buffett’s investment theory of ‘moats,’ the babbling billionaires exchanged remote jabs in a public fight about candy this past week.

The playground boxing match showcased two big egos in opposite corners of the ring — and their fundamental differences in investment style.

WTF is a moat and why does Elon think it’s lame?

An economic moat is the competitive advantage that separates a particular business from the pack, a term popularized by Buffett — and a requirement for any business that wants his investment.

‘Moats are lame,’ Elon told investors on an earnings call last week, ‘What matters is the pace of innovation.’

Warren B — owner of See’s Candies — wouldn’t take Musk’s mockery, saying ‘Elon may turn things upside down in certain areas [but] I don’t think he’d want to take us on in candy.’

Musk later unleashed a Tweet-storm sarcastically describing plans to ‘build a moat & fill it w candy… Berkshire Hathaway kryptonite.’

Two billionaires, polar opposite investment strategies

Buffett invests in stable, near-monopolies over decades (4, in the case of See’s) — stark contrast to Musk’s investment in rapid-fire innovation to disrupt established industries.

The bickering between the Obi-Wan-like Berkshire Hathaway investor and the upstart Tesla founder highlights a broader debate about the merits of risky short-term innovation vs. oligopolistic long-term competitive advantage.”

Idiots and blockheads

July 30, 2018

By Dan Rockwell via  Article

How Experts Become Idiots And Leaders Become Blockheads

“The trouble with ignorance is it’s easy to spot in others. I can predict your future with one question, ‘What are you learning?’ If you’re a blockhead, buckle up for more of the same. If you’re learning, the future will be different from the past.  We flounder in the blindness of perceived knowledge.

Idiots and blockheads:

Experts and leaders who stop learning eventually become idiots and blockheads.

The expert pilot, Captain ‘Sully’ Sullenberger, who successfully landed US Airways flight 1509 in the Hudson River views expertise, ‘not as something to achieve, but as a process that must be kept alive.’ Francesca Gino in Rebel Talent

The burden of fools is eagerness to TELL and reluctance to ASK. Show up to learn.

Curious leaders choose to:

  1. Ask two questions before making one statement.
  2. Wonder what they might not know.
  3. Pretend they’re ignorant, especially if they’re certain they aren’t.
  4. Explore multiple perspective[s].

Knowing too much and learning too little is the danger ‘experts’ face.

‘Wisdom means rejecting the feeling of knowing.’ Francesca Gino

The seduction of knowledge is the belief that you’ve arrived. But learning is the foundation of success, especially in uncertainty and turbulence.

5 qualities of curious leaders:

  1. Calmness. The number one emotion that enables curiosity is calm. Hot emotion reflects agenda driven conversations. The hotter you feel, the more you’re advocating or defending a position.
  2. Compassion. Open minds emerge from open hearts. Curiosity feels like compassion to others. It says they matter.
  3. Patience. Blockheaded leaders latch on to first answers. A decision is the end of thought and the beginning of justification. But curiosity takes time.
  4. Confidence. It takes courage to ‘not know”’ Everyone who waits for insight sits comfortably with ignorance and uncertainty.
  5. Trust. Curiosity trusts itself. You may not know where the journey ends but it’s worth the effort.”

What you say yes to

July 23, 2018

Via Article

New Leaders, Be Thoughtful About What Tasks You Say Yes To

“New managers are often tempted to hold onto the work that keeps them close to their team’s everyday operations. But now that you have a wider set of responsibilities, you need to be discerning about your time and selective about the tasks you take on.

Carefully assess every demand that comes your way, and ask whether it aligns with your highest-value contributions. To those requests that draw on your particular talents, say yes and carve out the necessary time and attention.

To those that don’t align but are important, identify other people on your team who can take them on: ‘Yes, we can do that, but Tomoko on my team will be the main contact.’

You can still consult on, motivate, and lead your team’s work — but you should be a catalyst, not the one doing the heavy lifting.

Adapted from ‘To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well,’ by Jesse Sostrin”

Accepting excuses

July 23, 2018

“In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s, we do not accept them easily enough.” – C.S. Lewis



Advantage China

July 23, 2018