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Taking it personally: small 'l' leadership

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A presentation given as part of the Leaders Cafe Foundation leadership webinar marathon on World Day of Interconnectness 090909.

A presentation given as part of the Leaders Cafe Foundation leadership webinar marathon on World Day of Interconnectness 090909.

Published in Business , Education
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  • 1. Heather Davis Australia TAKING IT PERSONALLY: SMALL ‘l’ LEADERSHIP www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 1 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 2. Today’s agenda  Speaker introduction  Leading in a (super)complex environment  The knowledge-era  Small ‘l’ leadership  Interconnectness  Interaction and Q&A session www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 2 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 3. Heather Davis  Holds a Bachelor of Business, Master of Professional Education and Training  Is currently enrolled in a PhD program at RMIT, Australia. Longheld professional and research interest in leadership development for the knowledge era.  Actively associated with the Centre for Leadership Excellence, LeadCap and Leaders Café Foundation  Management and Leadership experience in the higher education sector in Australia and an Assoc of Tertiary Education Management executive committee member. Professional Memberships include: Catch Heather’s PhD blog • British Academy of Management at leadershipliteracies. • Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) wordpress.com • International Leadership Association www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 3 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 4. Spoilt for choice in a complex world… www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 4 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 5. How Volatile? How Uncertain? How Complex? How Ambiguous? www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 5 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 6. Example Workplace diversity  Generations  Gender  Religions  Nationalities  Cultures  Mindsets  Etc... www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 6 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 7. Values as a mediator of VUCA Perhaps the most important role of values is that they help us interpret and act on the oceans of information that we process every day. They serve as central organizing principles that help us to decide how to address complex situations and problems as they bombard us. O'Brien, W. J. 1998. The soul of corporate leadership: guidelines for values-centred governance, Pegasus Communications, p. 5 www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 7 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 8. Defining Leadership  Leadership is one of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth (Burns, 1978)  Lead people and manage things  Leaders are in the business of energy management (ket de Vries) www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 8 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 9. Energy Management Leaders are in the business of energy management - Manfred kets de Vries www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 9 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 10. Leadership today... www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 10 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 11. Typical Thinking Patterns… From Machine-Centric To Eco-Centric Industrial Era Knowledge-Intensive Era www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 11 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 12. Eras… Staron, M. et al 2006. Life based learning: a strength based approach for capability development in vocational and technical education: a report on the research project "Designing professional development for the knowledge era". Sydney, TAFE NSW ICVET, p. 23 www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 12 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 13. The knowledge era The knowledge era is characterised by impermanence, turbulence, multiple competing agendas and priorities, diversity in ideologies, ambiguity, multiple roles, irritations, uncertainty and contradictions and a great amount of energy and creativity. It is also the ‘intangible era’, where instead of goods and services the growing economic commodity is knowledge itself. Staron, et al.,(2006). Life based learning: a report on the research project "Designing professional development for the knowledge era". Sydney: TAFE NSW. www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 13 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 14. The Conceptual Age Pink, D. H. 2005. A whole new mind : moving from the information age to the conceptual age, Allen & Unwin. (Graphically depicted by Garr Reynolds) www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 14 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 15. It is personal! Small ‘l’ leadership  Leadership is a verb  Moving from a deficit model to a strengths based approach to leadership, learning and life  Locus of responsibility is now with the individual  Self referential logic www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 15 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 16. Leadership is a verb Leaders have a bias for action Executives execute Barriers to action: • Uncertainty • Fear • Dissonance www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 16 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 17. Moving to a strengths based approach • Focusing on what is working well and investing in that • Enabling individuals and organisations to be the best they can be • From an ecological perspective, does not displace what works www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 17 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 18. Removing Mental Blocks to Action • The Right Answer • That’s Not My Area • That’s Not Logical • Don’t Be Foolish • Follow The Rules • Avoid Ambiguity • Be Practical • To Err Is Wrong • Play Is Frivolous • I’m Not Creative von Oech R. (1998). A Whack on the Side of the Head www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 18 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 19. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 19 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 20. Maslow's Self-Actualising characteristics • creative, inventive and original • accepting others as they are • keen sense of reality • comfortable with oneself • see problems in terms of • a few close intimate friends rather challenges and situations requiring than many surface relationships solutions • sense of humour directed at • need for privacy and comfortable oneself or the human condition, being alone rather than at the expense of others • reliant on own experiences and • spontaneous and natural - true to judgement oneself, rather than being how • not susceptible to social pressures others want • democratic, fair and • excited and interested in non-discriminating everything, even ordinary things • socially compassionate - • seek peak experiences that leave a possessing humanity lasting impression www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 20 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 21. Argyris’s Ladder of Inference www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 21 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 22. ‘Working’ the Ladder I take actions based on my beliefs I adopt beliefs I draw conclusions I make Assumptions I add meanings I select “data” Observable “Data” & experiences www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 22 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 23. Assumptions and our ladder of inference As a mediator against self-referential logic… “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.” Albert Einstein “It may surprise people, but I have found that we all have a strong propensity to hold inconsistent thoughts and actions, and that we aren’t very effective observers of our own behaviour: we tend to judge our behaviour by our intentions, while we judge other people’s behaviour by its outcomes” Chris Argyris interview, 2008. www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 23 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 24. Leadership literacies for the knowledge era  Leaders are in the business of energy management  Leadership as stewardship  Living asset stewardship  Leaders as teachers, stewards, mentors  Locus of responsibility has shifted to the individual  Shift to other-centredness  Holistic worldview – interconnectness  Triple bottom line governance  Sustainability  Transparency  Focus on ‘soft’ skills – e.g. values, empathy  Relationships  Leadership/Followership  Learning Metabolism  Making Thinking Visible  Creativity  Apperception www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 24 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 25. Interconnectness People want to be connected and to feel that their livelihoods and professions matter. Serving and enhancing life matter to them because they know their lives depend on other living assets, including the health of their neighbourhoods, their market systems, Earth’s ecosystems, and the biospheric web of life. When people feel so connected, they are more likely to reach their full potential in terms of their intelligence, adaptability, family life, self motivation, creativity and energy. Bragdon, J. H. 2006. Profit for life, how capitalism excels: case studies in Living Asset Management. Cambridge, MA, Society for Organization Learning Inc. www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 25 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 26. Relationships You and I are the same thing. I cannot hurt you without harming myself. - Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) NESTA model Then Then Conversations First Relationships Transactions Harwood, R. 2008. Connecting Dots and Valuing Networks, NESTA Connect Blog. UK, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 26 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 27. Creative Capital  Human Creativity is multi-faceted and multi- dimensional. - It requires a supportive environment that provides social, cultural and economic stimuli.  Creative process is not just individual but social. - Forms of organisation are necessary but elements of organisation can and frequently stifle creativity. www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 27 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 28. Creativity and Change The idea that change is a transitional phase between two stable states is ridiculed by everyday experiences in our globalized world. Constant change is the actual state of our living world. We should seek to comprehend, incorporate and develop that which makes life worth living through change, not against it. Jascha Rohr www.participatory-design.com www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 28 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 29. Leadership as Stewardship Caring for persons, the more able and the less able serving each other, is the rock upon which a good society is built. Whereas, until recently, caring was largely person to person, now most of it is mediated through institutions - often large, complex, powerful, impersonal; not always competent; sometimes corrupt. If a better society is to be built, one that is more just and more loving, one that provides greater creative opportunity for its people, then the most open course is to raise both the capacity to serve and the very performance as servant of existing major institutions by new regenerative forces operating within them. Robert K. Greenleaf, The Institution as Servant www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 29 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 30. Making Thinking Visible The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. Alvin Toffler www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 30 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 31. Making Thinking Visible Visible Thinking has a double goal:  to cultivate students' thinking skills and dispositions  to deepen content learning. Cultivating thinking dispositions means strengthening thinking skills associated with curiosity, concern for truth and understanding, a creative mindset, not just being skilled but also alert to thinking and learning opportunities and eager to take them. Making Thinking Visible Research Team, Harvard http://www.pz.harvard.edu/vt/VisibleThinking_html_files/VisibleThinking1.html www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 31 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 32. VUCA  Volatility yields to vision Uncertain yields to understanding Complexity yields to clarity Ambiguity yields to agility Johansen, B. (2009) Leaders make the future: 10 new leadership skills for an uncertain world www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 32 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com
  • 33. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams, 6th US President www.leadershipexcellence.com Slide 33 www.leaderscafefoundation.webs.com