The cry of my heart -(We need real men and leaders!)

Kids are precious

Kids are precious

Herbert Mtowo
I am a part of what I have classified as the sandwich Generation. The sandwich generation is the bridge between the dying fathers and the rising sons. It is our Generation that is establishing trends, carrying leaders/politicians, church and business leaders forward and beginning to birth sons of our own. It is also our generation that has been raised with a bastard mentality because of a lack of true spiritual, true and solid fathering. We were the first technologically advanced generation that could use technology as a spring board to display the anointing on our lives. We have not been able to be hindered by propaganda, useless rhetoric or out dated political and religious principles. We were told things such as in order to be validated as leaders we needed leadership succession. The issue was that many of the leaders telling us this did not have leadership succession themselves, that is why they are what they are today, reckless, heartless and careless leader. Our generation was the first to truly question the authenticity of our leader’s credentials, be they church leaders, politicians and business leaders alike. This is not being done out of rebellion but it is being done out of necessity to survive.

I am thankful for leaders that we have who attempt to share wisdom and insight with emerging leaders who will become the next leaders of this decaying generation. A set of leaders who are tech savvy and connected to a global community is exactly what this generation is looking for. A set of leaders who understand what it means to be a prince in the politics, business and also churches and use their title to restore prominence to society instead of holding new leaders hostage to outdated political and business thoughts. Who shall mentor the rising leaders of our times and tomorrow, and how will they be prepared when those in office kick them far away from being apprenticed into greatness.

Now we need mentor to mentor not just in an institutional setting but in life and societies in general. It is time that our leaders reach out and extend help to emerging leaders instead of judging them for their lack of regard for the good old boys club. We are not asking to be accepted we are attempting to do the work of mankind worldwide. I am not silly enough to believe that the rise in titles are simply a response to the call of life, but for many that is simply what is happening.

INFLUENCE-THE MASTER KEY IN LEADERSHIP

leading

Have you ever wondered why some leaders make success more rapidly than others? It is not purely because they are more talented, better looking, have better ideas or have the best strategic plans. Some of these things impact the outcome, but the defining difference is in their ability to influence.

Leadership author and speaker John Maxwell puts it very simply.

“Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”

The ability to influence others is a key quality of a leader. Leaders must embrace the mastery of this skill, as it determines your success or failure. It is your ability to influence that allows you to drive change, build cohesive, high performing teams and successfully carry out strategic plans. To be an effective leader, it is necessary to influence others to support and action your vision, ideas and day-to-day decisions.

Let me be clear… when I speak of influence I am not referring to manipulation. Manipulation may get you what you want in the short-term but the long-term damage to your reputation and your leadership will not be worth it. Your role as a leader is to mobilize people to believe in a compelling vision and act towards meeting a common goal. You are there to show them what is possible and to influence desired actions in an effort to deliver excellence in everything they set out to do. Great leaders lead and influence by modelling a winning attitude and encouraging others to continue to stretch and grow their skills and abilities. Influence, like leadership can be learnt.

Your influence is built on a foundation of:

1. Trust. People follow, believe in and work harder for people who they trust. Without trust there is an absolute limit to your ability to create lasting influence. Trust is built over time out of genuine relationships, care and consistency of behavior. You will notice when people trust you, they will believe in your vision, be more willing to stretch beyond their comfort zone and go the “extra mile” to get the job done.

2. Like ability. Amy Cuddy, of Harvard Business School, found that projecting “warmth” is the key to having influence. Research has shown that leaders who are rated low on likability have about a one in 2,000 chance of being regarded as effective. WOW! So it is important to make sure that you are approachable, positive, genuine, caring and warm if you wish to succeed as a leader.

3. Genuine Relationships. Those with the greatest amount of influence are almost always those with the strongest relationships. Think about the people whom you have solid relationships with. Are you more likely to go out of your way to help them, support them and champion their success? Of course you are. The same goes for your relationships at work.

4. And while building genuine relationships with your team, customers and others at work, you will build and strengthen your trust and likability reason, thus further strengthening the degree of your influence.

The bottom line is that your leadership influence is more to do with your character and who you are being each day when your show up at work than anything else. Take a sincere interest in others, work on your likability and strengthen the relationships with those around you and sit back and watch your influence and so your impact and results flourish. What can you do today to take steps to build even more trust, elevate your likeability score and your strengthen relationships?

Leaders can learn lessons from Ferguson

A  legend Sir Alex

A legend Sir Alex

By Shelina Begum

Leaders in all walks of life can learn a lot from Sir Alex’s legacy. Focus, determination, attention to detail and the ability to adapt and bounce back from setbacks are all key qualities that make the very best leaders stand out from the crowd. And there can be few better examples of that than Sir Alex in this region, if not the country.

Professor Chris Bones, of Manchester Business School, said the three key lessons leaders can learn from Sir Alex are:
1. Set the highest possible standards for yourself and for others’
2. Appoint good people around you and delegate responsibility as well as accountability
3. Learn from setbacks and mistakes and use them to make you better.

Prof Bones said it is rare for leaders in any walk of life to enjoy the longevity Sir Alex did – even if he did nearly get the sack back in 1989. Ironically one of the unique aspects of Manchester’s civic leadership is that there has been a continuity not seen in other cities. At the same time, however, even Manchester council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein took the reins more than 12 years after Sir Alex did.

Prof Bones said: “In a world where leaders in all walks of life have increasingly short shelf-lives Sir Alex is the exception. “He is also the exception in knowing when to call it a day. “There’s always the temptation to hang on for one more ‘success’ and when what beckons is a future where whatever power and influence you have is exercised at home, many successful leaders stay on past their sell-by dates. Going at the top, when no-one is asking tough questions, is a great call.”

According to Prof Bones, fans need not worry that United will falter under a new boss. He added: “Great organisations where a team has delivered the results under the direction of great leader manage leadership transitions very well. “Sir Alex’s successor should not try to replicate his approach but be confident in their own style, abilities and decisions. MUFC will only suffer from this decision if its owners expect exactly the same approach. “Sir Alex, like any other great leader, cannot be imitated or replicated: but he can be followed by an equally effective person.”

There is something about that comeback against Bayern Munich that sums up Ferguson’s indomitable spirit. Such in his longevity even the bit-part players attract attention. The guy who held aloft a banner “Three years of excuses and it’s still crap – tara fergie” during a particularly painful home defeat to Crystal Palace in 1989, the man who raced onto the golf course four years later to tell the Scot he was a league champion.

Yet there is more to this complex character. Every day, he honours a long-standing commitment to let a couple of older chaps who used to attend training at the Cliff, to watch his squad go through their paces. The biggest club in the world, opening doors to two of their most devoted fans. Ferguson makes that happen.

When friends or acquaintances are ill or in need, he makes it his business to offer support when most others would not bother. He has offered advice to countless young managers trying to make their way in the game. Ferguson is not perfect, far from it. But who is? How could anyone be when they have been at the top of their profession for so long?

But it is impossible to remain unmoved by such a huge personality and such a complex character. Last Friday, it wasn’t enough for bottles of champagne to be left waiting for the media to use to toast United’s latest triumph; Ferguson had to pour them all out. Every last one.

My old boss was right. United may keep on winning. But it will never be the same.

DEVINE CONNECTIONS IN YOUR LIFE !

Barack  and Michelle Obama

Barack and Michelle Obama

One night President Obama and his wife Michelle decided to do something out of routine and go for a casual dinner at a restaurant that wasn’t too luxurious. When they were seated, the owner of the restaurant asked the president’s secret service if he could please speak to the First Lady in private.

They obliged and Michelle had a conversation with the owner. Following this conversation President Obama asked Michelle,

“Why was he so interested in talking to you.?”

She mentioned that in her teenage years, he had been madly in love with her. President Obama then said,

“So if you had married him, you would now be the owner of this lovely restaurant?,”

Michelle responded, “No. If I had married him, he would now be the President.”

*My people, believe it or not, sometimes its a woman that makes a man who he is…. for the men that are still searching for a wife, may God help you to find that help mate that will turn you from ” A Nobody” to “A Somebody”

For that single lady that is reading this, may you be that blessing no man can do without.

Traits of Wise Leaders

Are leaders becoming more intelligent and stupid at the same time?

It has been found that peoples IQ’s are rising by an average 9 points per generation across many countries in the world. This has been termed the Flynn Effect, after James R Flynn who did much to promote this phenomenon. So, as a global society, what do we have to show for this increase in intelligence? Solutions to many of the world’s problems, such as economic volatility, food shortages, poverty and environmental degradation still elude us.

It is often argued that many of the practices currently being demonstrated by our leaders are contributing to rather than solving these problems. Heifetz, Grashow and Linsky describe this as ‘Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis’ (Harvard Business Review, July 2009). To use their growing intelligence effectively, this article argues that leaders also need to develop their inherent wisdom.

Psychologist Robert Sternberg has defined wisdom as the use of one’s own intelligence and experience, mediated by values, toward the achievement of a common good. Without wisdom Sternberg argues that smart people are especially susceptible to fallacies such as egocentrism, omniscience, omnipotence, and invulnerability. Wise leaders have the ability, developed through openness to experience, together with insight and reflection, to discern truth and exercise good judgment. This requires clarity, authenticity, and agility.

Clarity

Many leaders genuinely believe that they are able to perceive situations with absolute clarity. In reality our perceptions are distorted by a fog emanating from our own values, personality, emotions, and experiences. We in effect become conditioned to see the world not as it is but as we are. So how can we lift the fog? Through developing higher levels of awareness:

•Self Awareness- The leader becoming aware of their habitual ways of thinking, feeling and acting, often gained through the use of 1st generation psychometrics which generate a profile of their personality traits.
•Reflective Awareness- The leader reflects on their behaviour after engaging with different situations to determine if their perceptions were distorted and actions governed by their habits.
•Reflexive Awareness (Meta-awareness)- The leader is able to witness their own perception, thoughts, emotions and behaviour in the present moment.

Each stage of awareness lays the foundations for the next. Progress through the stages enables the leader to realise higher levels of consciousness and perceive situations with a higher level of clarity.
Authenticity

When leaders become aware of the biases of their own personality and gain greater agility they often become anxious about losing their authenticity. This is a natural emotion during the transition process where the leader begins to realise that to a large extent their personality at work as been constructed from their strengths and experiences, which have enabled them to be successful in the past. They realise that they have constructed a persona to protect their ego, which is wedding them to the past and is constraining their agility as they try to address the volatility, complexity and uncertainty of today’s work environment. Upon realising that their personality is just a construct, the leader seeks to find a deeper authenticity within. As leaders witness and take ownership of their values, thoughts, emotions, actions, and beliefs, they ask – which part of me is doing the witnessing? This witness consciousness is often described using terms such as True Self or Being. It is at this point that the leader is able to hold their personality with a light touch and has little need to defend their ego. Abraham Maslow (1962) in his book ‘Toward a Psychology of Being’ has famously described this point in adult development as ‘self actualisation’. For further information on gaining deeper authenticity please refer to our article ‘Becoming an Authentic Leader’.

Agility

Through gaining higher levels of clarity and deeper levels of authenticity a leader is now in a better position to discern the truth. The next stage in uncovering the leader’s inherent wisdom is to exercise good judgement. This requires agility in thinking, feeling and acting.

•Thinking- Most IQ tests predominantly measure ‘crystallised intelligence’ which draws on peoples past knowledge and experience. To exercise good judgement in today’s complex, volatile and uncertain world requires a high level of ‘fluid intelligence’. This type of intelligence draws on peoples’ capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations, independent of acquired knowledge. We use the Cognitive Process Profile to measure and develop a leader’s fluid intelligence.
•Feeling- Much of what constrains a leader’s use of their fluid intelligence is their emotion. Often they become so anxious in complex and unfamiliar situations, where their crystallized intelligence is of little value, that they lose confidence in their own judgment. Leaders need to be mindful of their emotions and manage them according to the situation. This ability is often termed ’emotional Intelligence’. We use the Bar-On EQ-i to profile a leader’s level of emotional intelligence.
•Acting- When 1st generation psychometrics are overused leaders tend to hold on to their personality too tightly and subsequently become a rigid caricature of themselves. To develop greater behavioural agility leaders need to be able to transcend the constraints of their personality and contact a deeper place of authenticity associated with their core being. Self awareness beyond personality can be gained by using, what we call 2nd Generation psychometrics such as the Motivational Profile, and Value Orientations.

Leaders develop their wisdom through transcending the constraints of their personality and moving beyond their habitual, and often unconscious, behaviour. They become fully aware, agile, and grounded by their authenticity. A leader’s development of wisdom can very effectively be described as a journey. To accelerate their progress and increase the likelihood of success the leader needs to have a map of the terrain and to plan their route.
Wisdom is inherent within all leaders, they just need to uncover it. Otherwise are we all destined to be led by highly intelligent stupid people?

Leadership Thought #201 – Leaders Are Still Being Cultivated Every Day (via Ed Robinson’s Blog)

Great article this is Ed. thank you so much.

I finished teaching my MBA 501 class last night and as with many things closure is bittersweet.  You just start to get to know a group of students and then the experience is over.  It never ceases to amaze me how diverse and interesting a classroom full of graduate students can be.  I also admire their ambition and willingness to make the sacrifice to sit in a classroom at night after working all day.   It also can’t be easy completing the assign … Read More

via Ed Robinson's Blog