Blogs of Note for the Week Ending October 25, 2013
Continuing in my new tradition, here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:
Living in More than One World
This year’s Berrrett-Koehler Authors Cooperative Retreat was another compelling event, on both individual and communal levels. It was held October 10-13 at the Riverwood Inn and Conference Center, in Otsego, Mn., not far from Minneapolis. A short walk downhill from the retreat buildings leads to the banks of the Mississippi River, making this an appropriate setting for free-flowing ideas and inspiration. This was my fifth BK retreat, and as I have written previously, all have been terrific, powerful experiences.
The theme of this year’s retreat was “Going Deeper: A World of Possibilities.” I have also identified the following keywords that particularly resonated with me during those four days:
1. Variety: Besides the always-fun talent show and Saturday night informal unwinding, this year had a new twist: an auction to raise money for scholarships to next year’s retreat and marketing workshop. Items were donated by various BK authors, and the magnificent auctioneer was BK author Rob Jolles.
Creating an Innovative Culture
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs
There’s lots of conversation in the current media about being innovative and the need for companies to innovate. Many of these articles talk suggest that companies should give employees the ability to innovate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for innovation. But the more I hear about the imperative of innovation, the more I’m convinced that people don’t know what innovation means.
Merriam-Webster defines innovation as the act of introducing something new (i.e. a new idea, method or device).
The key word for me is “new”. Notice the definition doesn’t include the word “better” or “more efficient” or “cheaper”. It only says “new”. The way I see it is, if a department streamlines a process and makes it quicker and less costly to the company … that’s innovation. It’s a new process.
Preventing a Leadership Crash from Overcorrecting
Often when I read a book I find myself thinking, “Some of that was strong food for thought and some of it was a little too much for me.” When that happens, I try focusing on what is relevant so there is still a meaningful take-away rather than disregarding the entire book. Authors write to their personal extreme passion, and it’s good to remember that you do not have to agree with everything that is being said to learn something.
Leaders are very similar. We lead out of our own personal passions and values. Whether or not we are always conscious of them, they are present in our leadership. These passions and values are very close cousins to our “hot buttons.”
Move Your Career Ahead…by Putting Others First
“You have to give, to get.”
This short phrase will take you far in your job search. Simply put, this means that to succeed, your focus shouldn’t be on your own wants and needs. Instead, emphasize others’ needs, problems, concerns, and interests.
Most important, show how you are the solution.
It is sometimes difficult to follow this advice, though, because we are always trying to “sell” ourselves. However, being overly intent on pushing our own message that we fail to create a connection with the other person.
To get their attention, you have to give someone a reason to want to listen to you first…
6 Ways Leaders Diminish Their Team’s Performance (and how to fix it)
Good leaders often unknowingly diminish the performance of their team. In an effort to set a good example, be a high performer, or protect their people from failure, these leaders think they’re acting in ways that help their team, but in reality they are lowering the performance of their staff.
Liz Wiseman, author of Multipliers – How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, spoke at Blanchard’s annual Client Summit the past two days. She shared the following six ways leaders diminish the performance of their team and offered strategies to combat these tendencies. Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions?
1. The Idea Guy – You know this kind of leader…He never came up with an idea he didn’t like! Every new business book he reads is a reason to redesign the organization. Every wild idea about a new product or service results in changing business strategies.
Hugh Ballou The Transformational Leadership Strategist