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09.30.22

LeadershipNow 140: September 2022 Compilation

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twitter Here are a selection of tweets from September 2022 that you don't want to miss:

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Podcast Ruben Gonzales Podcast Karl Moore

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09.29.22

Leading Thoughts for September 29, 2022

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Paul Magnone, Christopher Frank and Oded Netzer on how we consider data in decision-making without taking the time to ask for context:

“Humans tend to claim they know the absolute truth about something without appreciating the whole picture. They rely heavily on their own subjective experience to draw generalized conclusions, and they ignore other people’s limited subjective experience, even though combining their own experience with that of others would produce the most comprehensive and objectively accurate picture of something.”

Source: Decisions Over Decimals: Striking the Balance between Intuition and Information

 

II.

Saj-Nicole Joni and Damon Beyer on the need for leaders to create a certain amount of healthy struggle and positive change by fighting the right fights … right:

“You cannot win with a team that is badly aligned. The problem is, it’s not sufficient. Achieving perfect or near-perfect alignment is not the end of the road. It’s merely the beginning

In an environment where alignment is the only goal, alignment robs us of necessary dissent, of the checks and balances that mitigate risk, and of the tensions that create innovation and sustainable value. People and organizations perform optimally when they are under the right kinds and amounts of stress.”

Source: The Right Fight: How Great Leaders Use Healthy Conflict to Drive Performance, Innovation, and Value

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

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09.23.22

Leadership Truisms: Road-Tested Lessons for Leading During Complicated Times

Bill Treasurer Truisms

THESE are exceptionally complicated times to be a leader. The world is fraught with touchy political divisions, economic disparities, generational tensions, and racial disharmonies. Magnifying the challenges are the ever-shifting dynamics of today’s workplace. More leaders are leading remote teams across larger geographic distances, presenting unique challenges in terms of onboarding new employees, giving performance feedback, building esprit de corps, and nurturing healthy relationships.

The traditional stability of consistently applied practices and processes has been upended. Now individual exceptions and customized deals are common, tailored to flexibly accommodate each person’s extenuating life realities. It’s a struggle to treat everyone fairly yet individually. Letting one person work from home three days a week to care for an immuno-compromised parent will look like good leadership to that person, but it will smack of favoritism to the healthy single person required to be onsite every day. Leaders will simultaneously be seen as exceedingly fair or unfair, depending on who benefits from policy exceptions that today’s realities require leaders to allow.

Despite being a particularly challenging time to lead, leaders can use some road-tested tactics to navigate through today’s choppy waters. Leadership fitness is a function of three disciplines: leading yourself, leading others, and leading work.

Leading Yourself

Leadership starts with self-awareness and self-discipline. You’ve got to know what your good at, and what you’d be wise to hand off to others. You’ve got to have a deep value system that can help you weather tough people and situations. You’ve got to manage and prioritize your time. If you can’t lead yourself, what qualifies you to lead others? Here are some two-word truisms that will help you lead yourself well:

Know Thyself: Leadership starts with self-awareness. Identify the formative experiences that helped shape your beliefs about leadership. Who were your earliest leadership role models? What did you learn by watching them? Also identify your sunshine and shadows: your strengths and the shadows those strengths cast when you overuse them. For example, are you a persuasive communicator? But does that cause you to often hog the limelight?

Model Principles: Having deeply held values leads to inner strength. Leadership is hard and having strong inner character will help you withstand inevitable headwinds. Be clear about what you stand for — and against. List your deepest held values. Which ones do you embody? Which ones do you need to improve on?

Aspire Higher: Leadership has everything to do with elevating performance — your own and others. In big ways and in small, you should be improving every day. Doing that means setting stretch goals, investing in your own development, and actively seeking out feedback from those impacted by your leadership.

Practice Humility: People want to be led by leaders who are confident and humble. Always remember that you’re no better than the people you’re privileged to lead. Never be arrogant. Practice humility by asking people for their input and then listening to, and heeding, their advice.

Cultivate Composure: Leaders bear a heavy burden of responsibility, which is stressful. Often that stress gets externalized in the form of anger. Don’t be a hothead. When you freak out, people lose confidence in you. Start your day with some quiet reflection. Ask yourself, what good do I want to do in the world today with my leadership influence?

Leading Others

Leaders can’t, and shouldn’t, do everything themselves. Your success as a leader is contingent upon how successful you help others become. Focus your leadership influence on helping each individual you work with to add more value — literally help them become more valuable. That requires investing time in their development, giving them your focused attention, and drawing out the leader in them through your coaching and feedback. Here’s how:

Trust First: Trust bonds followers to leaders. Yet too many leaders fold their arms waiting for people to first prove that they can be trusted. They start from a place of skepticism and guardedness. Switch the equation. Focus first on being worthy of the trust of others. Never shade or couch the truth. Keep people updated and informed. Deliver on your commitments.

Create Safety: Innovation is the lifeblood of business. People will extend themselves, experiment, and take risks if you make it safe to do so. Don’t bite people’s heads off when they make forward-falling mistakes. Don’t intimidate or stoke people’s fears. Invite feedback and thank people when they give it to you. Psychological safety is just as important as physical safety.

Nurture Talent: Developing your people is a prime responsibility. Invest at least 15 minutes every two weeks with each person who reports to you. Don’t focus on the status of projects and tasks. Instead, check in with them, asking how they’re doing, how things are on the home front, and what you can do for them. The 15 minutes will dramatically strengthen the relationship and build mutual respect and loyalty.

Promote Inclusion: If you care about great results, you’ll promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Your job is to foster an environment where every person can bring their full selves to work and be totally engaged. Welcome, encourage, and foster diversity in all its expressions.

Leading Work

Leading yourself and others will help you ensure the final area of leadership fitness: leading work. Leaders are judged by the results they get. The whole point of leadership is to produce positive outcomes that didn’t exist before. You and your team need to deliver effectively and consistently. Leadership has everything to do with results. Here’s how to get them:

Love Business: Business can be intimidating. The more experience you gain, the more business-minded you’ll become, and the less intimidating business will be. Talk to leaders you admire. Have them share the big decisions they faced and the factors they considered when facing them. Join a professional association and broaden your network. Keep an ongoing journal to document your leadership lessons.

Master Management: Great managers make for great leaders. The more you master management fundamentals, the more equipped you’ll be to face complex situations. Set clear plans, goals, and milestones. Intently review progress. Equip people with the tools and resources they need. Provide coaching and feedback. Reward stellar performance. Be fiscally disciplined.

Lead Up: Support your bosses’ success. Earn their respect by being candid, keeping them updated, and giving them helpful feedback. Look for stuff that they might be missing. When they give you an assignment, overdeliver. You don’t have to be a kiss-up or yes-person. You can be loyal to your boss and loyal to yourself at the same time.

Despite being a particularly challenging time to be in a role that has always been challenging, if you’re disciplined about leading yourself, if you honor the responsibilities that come with leading others, and if you consistently produce great results by leading work, you’ll not only enjoy leading, but you’ll be fully fit to lead!

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Leading Forum
Bill Treasurer is the Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting, Inc., a courage-building consulting firm. Bill is the author of six leadership books, including his newest, Leadership Two Words at a Time. For over three decades, Bill has designed, developed, and delivered comprehensive leadership programs for such renowned organizations as NASA, Accenture, eBay, Lenovo, UBS Bank, Southern Company, and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to founding Giant Leap, Bill served as Accenture’s first full-time internal executive coach. He is also a former captain of the US High Diving Team and performed over 1500 dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet. Learn more at giantleapconsulting.com

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Leaders Greatest Return Sponsor Effect

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09.22.22

Leading Thoughts for September 22, 2022

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Richard Feynman on regret:

“If you want to live a regret-free life, you need to stop thinking about what others think about you and your life. We spend our entire lives thinking, and in fact overthinking about people, society, teachers, and others think, who do not know our paths, our struggles, our good and bad, and unfortunately, we allow them to control our lives. It’s you who has to decide what makes you happy and pursue it accordingly. It would be stupid of you to try and stand by someone else’s expectations. Do what you feel is good for you, and right for you, In doing so, it is very obvious that you will come across failures and disappointments, but that will teach you a great deal and the best part would you, it would you and only you responsible for that.. Prof. Feynman”

Source: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!

 

II.

Journalist Ferris Jabr on why walking helps us think:

“Perhaps the most profound relationship between walking, thinking, and writing reveals itself at the end of a stroll, back at the desk. There, it becomes apparent that writing and walking are extremely similar feats, equal parts physical and mental. When we choose a path through a city or forest, our brain must survey the surrounding environment, construct a mental map of the world, settle on a way forward, and translate that plan into a series of footsteps. Likewise, writing forces the brain to review its own landscape, plot a course through that mental terrain, and transcribe the resulting trail of thoughts by guiding the hands. Walking organizes the world around us; writing organizes our thoughts. Ultimately, maps like the one that Nabokov drew are recursive: they are maps of maps.”

Source: Why Walking Helps Us Think, The New Yorker, September 3, 2014

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

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09.20.22

Henry Kissinger on Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy

Henry Kissinger Leadership

IN A SOCIETY’S transition between the past and the future, leadership is indispensable. “For strategies to inspire the society, leaders must serve as educators—communicating objectives, assuaging doubts and rallying support,” writes Henry Kissinger in Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy.

Leaders are subject to the constraints of their time, but they are also architects of the future. “Strategy arises from these constraints and uncertainty. “Strategy describes the conclusion a leader reaches under these conditions of scarcity, temporality, competition, and fluidity. In finding the way ahead, strategic leadership may be likened to traversing a tightrope: just as an acrobat will fall if either too timid or too audacious, a leader is obliged to navigate within a narrow margin, suspended between the relative certainties of the past and the ambiguities of the future.”

Churchill captured these ambiguities and the need for a leader’s judgment when he wrote in The Gathering Storm; “Statesmen are not called upon only to settle easy questions. These often settle themselves. It is where the balance quivers, and the proportions are veiled in midst, that the opportunity for world-saving decisions presents itself.”

Leadership is most essential during periods of transition, when values and institutions are losing their relevance, and the outlines of a worthy future are in controversy. In such times, leaders are called upon to think creatively and diagnostically.

Kissinger offers an interesting discussion of transformational leaders and categorizes them into two types: the statesman and the prophet. The statesman has two tasks. First, “is to preserve their society by manipulating circumstances rather than being overwhelmed by them,” and second “is to temper vision with wariness, entertaining a sense of limits.”

The prophet “treats prevailing institutions less from the perspective of the possible than from a vision of the imperative. The virtue of the prophets is that they define what appears possible. Believing in ultimate solutions, prophetic leaders tend to distrust gradualism as an unnecessary concession to time and circumstance; their goal is to transcend, rather than manage, the status quo.”

All of the six of the leaders he profiles were a bit of both, but they all leaned toward the statesmanlike.

He then asks if the individual makes a difference. Do they matter? He concludes yes. “They mattered because they transcended the circumstances they inherited and thereby carried their societies to the frontiers of the possible.

The six leaders, all of whom he knew personally, profiled here are:

Kissinger Leaders

Konrad Adenauer: The Strategy of Humility

Adenauer was the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany after World War II and the first leader of the Christian Democratic Union. His strategy of humility is evidenced by the fact that he acknowledged Germany’s great crimes in a way that was compatible with Germany’s unconditional surrender. He said that “the Germans could find their way toward a better future only by coming to terms with their past. His views were not always popular, but they paved the way for their full integration into Europe. “He was determined to turn submission into a virtue, and he saw that a temporary inequality of conditions was the precondition to equality of status.”

Charles de Gaulle: The Strategy of Will

Despite France’s humiliating defeat at the beginning of World War II, de Gaulle believed they still deserved a prominent seat at the table of world leaders. “De Gaulle presented himself as the emissary of destiny, whose task it was to reclaim France’s national greatness.” His “vision outpaced his nation’s understanding,” but his will and his “commanding, aloof, passionate, committed, visionary, ineffably patriotic” personality forged the destiny of France.

Richard Nixon: The Strategy of Equilibrium

Nixon “adjusted America’s role from faltering dominance to creative leadership,” and that approach guided much of the U.S. approach in the post-Cold War period. He adopted a strategy of equilibrium—a balance of power as a prerequisite for peace—to get America out of Vietnam, open relations with China, and began a peace process that would transform the Middle East. “Nixon’s strengths as a statesman resided at the two ends of geopolitical strategy: analytical rigor in design and great boldness in execution.” He was able to adjust America’s role in the world “from faltering dominance to creative leadership.” Kissinger explains, “A Nixonian flexibility, at once realistic and creative, is needed for American foreign policy” today.

Anwar Sadat: The Strategy of Transcendence

Sadat “inoculated himself against the conventional wisdom of his time and thus transcended ideologies that, for decades, had contorted the Middle East and bled Egypt dry.” Sadat was able to demonstrate that it was possible to transcend the pattern of recent history. “His triumphs were mainly conceptual in nature, and their mentation was truncated by his assassination,” Kissinger observes. “Sadat’s overall vision was too out of joint with that of his colleagues and contemporaries to be sustained. What survived him were the practical elements that he considered ephemeral.”

Lee Kuan Yew: The Strategy of Excellence

Any discussion of Lee Kuan Yew’s leadership is worth a read. He was the founder and long-time prime minister of the city-state of Singapore between 1959 and 1990. Lee’s strategy of excellence was to permeate not just government but every level of society. That excellence would knit together his society despite their differences. “Lee’s ultimate gift to his multi-ethnic people was his unremitting faith that they were their own greatest resource, that they had the capacity to unlock possibilities in themselves that they had not known existed.” The development of Singapore is a remarkable success story. Speaking of governmental policies, Lee said, “I was never a prisoner of any theory. What guided me were reason and reality. The acid test I applied to every theory or science was, would it work?” Kissinger concludes:

Most significantly, Lee’s statesmanship illustrates that the best determinants of a society’s fate are neither its material wealth nor other conventional measures of power but rather the quality of its people and the vision of its leaders.

Margaret Thatcher: The Strategy of Conviction

Thatcher, prime minister of Britain between 1979 and 1990, defined the era in which she governed. She “labored to cast off the shackles that had limited her predecessors—particularly the nostalgia for lost imperial glories and the abiding regret of national decline. The Britain that emerged as a result of her leadership was, to the world, a newly confident nation, and to America, a valued partner in the late Cold War.” Kissinger states that “At the heart of her successes lay personal fortitude.” Fortitude in that she departed “so dramatically from the received wisdom of the time,” and she had the character to stay the “course consistently as her tough medicine drew sharp complaint from the patient.”

All of the leaders profiled came from humble origins, which gave them a long-term perspective. “Their origins and experiences far from power lent them perspective, allowing them to articulate the national interest and transcend the conventional wisdom of their day.” They were steeped from their childhood in values like “personal discipline, self-improvement, charity, patriotism and self-belief.”

We have let down future leaders. Our secondary schools and universities shortchange them. They offer little in the way of history or philosophy, which are the “traditional wellsprings of the statesman’s imagination.” Kissinger sadly notes that while our schools “remain very good at educating activists and technicians, they have wandered from their mission of forming citizens.”

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Anwar Sadat on Leadership Kissinger on Vision

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09.16.22

The 6 Types of Working Genius

Working Genius

WORK is a process, and we all contribute in different ways. When the work we do is aligned with our gifts, we perform to our potential.

The 6 Types of Working Genius by Patrick Lencioni is a business fable that goes behind the scenes of a team working out the frustrations they are having at work. We struggle when we are called upon to perform in ways that not consistent with what we do best. Naturally, we all have to take on tasks in ways that drain us, and that’s not a problem unless it is something we have to do all the time. If that’s the case, it leads to burnout.

Judgement is similar, except that it’s what we do when we see a colleague struggle in some kind of work and incorrectly attribute their struggle to their lack of effort, intelligence, or virtue. “I don’t know why he can’t get that done. I think he just doesn’t care. Or maybe he’s just not as smart as we thought he was. Or is it possible that he just isn’t committed to the team?” We’ve all done this, and it’s dangerous and destructive. It causes people to feel hurt and rejected, and it adversely impacts teams, organizations, even families.

This is a critically important issue. We should first begin by looking at the three phases of work as it forms the framework for the 6 Types.

The first phase is Ideation and this is where we identify needs and propose solutions. This is the first step in any kind of work.

The second phase is Activation and is about evaluating the merits of the ideas or solutions proposed during Ideation.

The third phase is Implementation and this is all about getting things done—bringing it home.

The 6 Types of Work Genius

 

Working Genius

 

Within the first phase, Ideation, we have the Genius of Wonder and the Genius of Invention.

The Genius of Wonder identifies the need to improve of change. “Involves the ability to ponder and speculate and question the state of things, asking the questions that provoke answers and action. People with this genius are naturally inclined to do these things.”

The Genius of Invention confirms the importance of that need and generate an idea or solution. “It is all about coming up with new ideas and solutions. People with this genius are drawn toward origination, creativity, and ingenuity in the truest sense of those words, even with little direction and context.”

Moving to the second phase, Activation, we have the Genius of Discernment and the Genius of Galvanizing.

The Genius of Discernment assesses the merit and workability of the idea or solution. It “is related to instinct, intuition, and uncanny judgment. People with this genius have a natural ability to assess an idea or situation, even without a lot of data or expertise. Using pattern recognition and gut feel, they are able to provide valuable advice and feedback around most subjects in a way that transcends their levels of specific knowledge or information.”

The Genius of Galvanizing generates enthusiasm and action around the idea or solution. These people rally, motivate, and provoke people to take action around an idea or an initiative. “People with this genius are naturally inclined to inspire and enlist others to get involved in an endeavor.”

In the last phase, Implementation, are the Genius of Enablement and the Genius of Tenacity.

The Genius of Enablement initiates support and assists in the implementation of the idea or solution. This “Involves providing people with support and assistance in the way that it is needed. People with this genius are adept at responding to the needs of others without conditions or restrictions. They are naturally inclined to help others accomplish their goals and often can anticipate what people might need before they even ask.”

The Genius of Tenacity commits to ensuring that the idea or solution gets completed and that results are achieved. “It is about the satisfaction of pushing things across the finish line to completion. People with this genius are not only capable of, but naturally inclined to, finish projects and ensure that they are completed according to specification.”

It is helpful to see where each of the Geniuses enter the work process as it gives insight into their thinking. As depicted in the chart below, the Wonder Genius comes in at the 30,000-foot level. As we move through the work process, the focus becomes narrower down to 1000 feet for the Tenacity Genius.

After testing thousands of people for their genius, The Table Group has found that we have two geniuses, two areas of competency, and two areas of frustration. Areas of competency are activities that don’t do much for us one way or the other, and we may be quite good at them. But if we engage in them too long, we are drained if we are not also working in the areas of our genius. We need to be aware of our areas of frustration, so we don’t spend too much time engaged in them.

To find out your genius take the assessment at WorkingGenius.com. There are 42 questions, and it takes about ten minutes to complete.

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Being Smart is Not Enough Four Disciplines of Organizational Health

Posted by Michael McKinney at 07:10 AM
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09.15.22

Leading Thoughts for September 15, 2022

Leading Thoughts

IDEAS shared have the power to expand perspectives, change thinking, and move lives. Here are two ideas for the curious mind to engage with:

I.

Military strategist Sun Tzu on preparation:

“The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

Source: The Art of War

 

II.

American novelist Mary Flannery O’Connor on growth:

“Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.”

Source: The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

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Leading Thoughts Whats New in Leadership Books

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09.13.22

The Team Lead Model of Self-Leadership

TEAM LEAD Model

EVERY organization needs leadership. Whether you work in small enterprising entrepreneurship or a Fortune 500 conglomerate, sound leadership is required for progress. Experts will agree that effective leaders must have superior qualities, skills, and talents that influence the workforce to complete the organization’s mission efficiently and effectively. Regardless of the organization’s vision and mission statement, leadership is a fundamental requirement.

The TEAM LEAD Model of Self Leadership by Joe Wolemonwu offers an eight-step model that gives every leader the tools to move their agency forward.

TEAM LEAD Model

T.E.A.M. L.E.A.D. is an acronym for Training, Enterprising, Authenticity, Mindfulness, Listening, Empathizing, Accountability, Delegation. This model identifies eight leadership requirements, accomplishments, and skills a leader must have to be effective. In essence, this model offers a quicker rate of acceleration in all quadrants of the organization by the consistency of the leader’s conviction and commitment to excellence.

A leader must possess all of the eight core T.E.A.M. L.E.A.D. attributes to be more effective. The Team Lead concept is a self-leadership approach to leading a team. Four attributes with the acronym T.E.A.M. and internal attributes the leader must possess, while the remaining four L.E.A.D. show external attributes that enable the leader to lead the team effectively.

Training enhances performance, grows knowledge, makes a leader Competent, and boots productivity through learned skills.

Enterprising develops a leader’s capacity to generate ideas and skills that make them creatively Resourceful. A resourceful leader always finds a way to take advantage of a situation.

Authenticity gives a leader Credibility and makes people appreciate your leadership.

Mindfulness creates Resilience and happiness and increases productivity. It helps regulate your emotions. It enables you to have a greater level of emotional intelligence.

The second part begins with Listening. Listening helps a leader Communicate effectively and makes them more charismatic by keeping them engaged and makes them more charismatic by keeping them engaged in a conversation. It helps improve the leader’s relationships with others.

Empathizing with others helps build Trust and encourages open communication and effective feedback.

Accountability helps to improve Performance and enables people to be in control of their actions.

Delegation helps promote Teamwork by creating a mentorship environment that supports learning and development with credible skills to grow and work effectively as a team.

T.E.A.M. L.E.A.D. focuses on growing the leader internally first and having those qualities exhibited and passed on to the entire organization as a fundamental recipe for success and progress. As organizations are constantly evolving and transforming as it progresses, the same applies to the leader, who must acquire new knowledge to remain relevant and effective in leading the organization. When an organization stagnates, it dies, consequently failing to produce the goals of its mission. A leader must also intellectually grow while constantly adopting some personal attributes and skills which accentuate goodness and effective leadership.

The most common measurement of a leader’s effectiveness is assessing group performance and the scope to which the goals and objectives of the group are met. The degree to which this can be measured is a strong indicator that leaders can influence their subordinates and lead them to achieve the organization’s strategic objectives. The questions that should be asked to measure a leader’s competency in accountability, for example, are as follows:

Measure

The TEAM LEAD Model of Self-Leadership serves as both a workbook and reference manual. Again, the book shares a reflection leadership concept that most leaders overlook.

Reflective practice accelerates improvement in your leadership skills and enables you to better understand yourself and others. Leadership reflection makes a leader gain a better understanding of themselves (value principles, knowledge, ability, and skills), learn from past experiences, and adapt and respond to new leadership challenges. The Team Lead Model of Self-Leadership is simple to apply but requires a commitment from you to grow yourself. If leaders want to bring out the best in their team, they must first bring out the best in themselves.

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Leading Forum
Dr. Joe Wolemonwu currently serves as a Program Manager - Knowledge Management (KM) in Industrial Security with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, where he supports various portfolios, programs, and project management for Strategic Operations. Dr. Wolemonwu is an Adjunct Professor of Business at Liberty University & UoPeople, and a published author of Knowledge Management and Leadership books. He is the Executive Director/Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association of Certified Knowledge Management Professionals (ACKMP). He has established successful leadership models and Knowledge Management programs and processes, designed, and developed critical KM software, and was a guest speaker at multiple leadership summits and Information Technology Expos throughout Virginia. You can find out more at his website.

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The Edge Manage Yourself

Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:53 AM
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