36 participants from all types of libraries – academic, public, school, and military 2 facilitators: Maureen Sullivan and Kathryn Deiss
See full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owU5aTNPJbs (17 minutes)
360 (multi source) assessment
Important to have a personal vision. To have values – know when to draw the line. Values are essential in helping us make the most difficult decisions. To have balance – satisfaction in your life both at work and outside of work. And self-awareness – an absolutely essential piece of this. Understand your mental models, be reflective. When things aren’t going well, take time for reflection and learning. Be forthcoming in how you work best as well as expectations of others that you work with.
Came out of an article in Harvard Business Review, “the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive. It is a daily opportunity to mobilize the resources of people to thrive in a changing and challenging world.
What to do in a crisis – libraries and higher ed are facing huge challenges. Important components to this:
Let Go of the Perfect
Be good at first instead of better at last.
The best ideas come out of willingness to express disagreements.
Speak our minds – be respectful. Listen. Create a culture of courageous conversations.
Empower staff at all levels and mobilize everyone to generate solutions to our biggest problems. Create a diverse and inclusive organization where every individual brings gifts and challenges.
Research shows that to be a successful leader, your emotional and social intelligence is TWICE as important as your IQ (successful = happy and effective).
Self-awareness: tuned in to what you’re feeling and why you are feeling it. Strong self-concept about who you are. Related to accurate self-assessment as well as self-confidence.
Social awareness: empathy, awareness of the organization, and you are in the service of the organization.
Relationship management: Confronting conflict, rather than sweeping it under the rug. Coaching/mentoring of others, inspirational leadership, and teamwork/collaborative spirit.
Self-management: willingness to recognize your own achievements, to adapt, to have self-control, to take initiative, and to be optimistic.
This is a piece of self-management and is absolutely crucial. About not letting passion get the best of you. It can be one of the hardest things to learn as a professional. Don’t overreact to things, don’t get angry or overemotional, don’t get passive aggressive, don’t gossip. This is where emotional intelligence is absolutely crucial.
Let’s talk about communication – good interpersonal communication skills are necessary for effective leadership.
The ladder of inference can get us in trouble and is a primary cause communication problems. We all start out with the same facts – date from the real world. Then we select the data to focus on, “My facts,” then we add meaning by interpreting the data, then we make assumptions, and then we draw conclusions. So conclusions are based on assumptions and adopted beliefs, not purely facts.
We’re not on the same ladder as one another – “walk me down your ladder.” Voice your own assumptions and ask others to do the same. Find out what assumptions others are running on to better understand one another.
We often misconstrue intention of others Need to express & clarify our assumptions
“What I think I said may not be what you think you heard.” “What I intended is not what you experienced.”
The only way to really know another’s intentions is to learn what they are from the person – “What was your intention?”
Intentions aren’t usually bad. In fact, the vast majority of the time, intentions are good – they are to help, teach, advise, improve. Careful to not misconstrue as to criticize, discipline, or anger you – the other person probably didn’t intend to make you angry or upset. Keep in mind that individuals have different styles of communication and levels of skill.
By keeping this in mind, you can help others around you with their own self-control, when they are getting angry at a given situation, often helpful to step back and consider the intentions of the person causing the situation.
Active listening skills & abilities. Leaders need to be open to questioning of what they are saying. Focus on clarity of expression. Practice self-disclosure. Check your assumptions.
Don’t ever talk in absolutes about other’s behavior – well, Michael is always X. Chestalene never Y. No! It’s not fair and it discourages growth, development, and a positive organizational climate.
Watch out for the “defensive cycle” – when individuals feel others are out to get them (often based on flawed assumptions) and are constantly in defensive mode. This can cause a lot of harm to organizational culture.
The LHC as a tool was devised by the Harvard Professor, Chris Argyris, in the 1970’s. Imagine you have a conversation with a peer and it doesn’t go very well. After the conversation, you could take a piece of paper and create a 2 column table. In the right hand column you record what was said in a conversation, ideally word for word (or your best recollection). In the LHC, you write your thoughts and feelings during the conversation. This is a reflective tool designed to help you learn how you might approach a similar conversation, or the next conversation with the person, differently.The purpose of the LHC is to become more aware of the assumptions, thoughts and feelings that govern our conversations and contribute to blocking us. Our aim is to develop a way of talking about what is in our LHC in a way that improves the chances of having a successful conversation. We can also use inquiry to try and uncover what’s in the other person’s LHC. Remember, it’s important to think about what you say. It’s good to be honest, but constructive. Saying “you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about” is unlikely to get a positive reaction. However, saying something like “I’m having difficulty following your reasoning. Could you explain a little more about what has lead you to that conclusion” is likely to move the conversation forward and increase your understanding of where the other person is coming from.
The “Open,” known self, or “public self” is something you want to enlarge. This is things we know about ourselves and that others know about us. By enlarging your public self, other people can better understand you. Practice saying things like, “I am the kind of person who…”
The blind spot is where you need to find out more about yourself in order to enlarge the public self. How to do this – seek feedback!
Raise your awareness of the top blind spots. This Executive White Paper shows the 10 blind spots that are most risky to personal and organizational success. The top three are: under-communicating strategic direction and priorities, poorly communicating expectations, and waiting for poor performance to improve.
Understand your habits. Blind spots are not necessarily weaknesses—they can also be habits or instinctive reactions to situations. For example, do your workload and stress cause you to interrupt people in meetings in order to speed up things? As Tom Peters shows in this video, most managers are 18-second listeners. If this describes you, work on developing more patience. It will enhance your interpersonal skills and improve your leadership effectiveness.
Read p. 12The importance of here-and-now humility – “this is how I feel when I am dependent on you. My status is inferior to yours at this moment because you know something or can do something that I need in order to accomplish some task or goal that I have chosen. You have the power to help or hinder me in the achievement of goals that I have chosen and have committed to. I have to be humble because I am temporarily dependent on you. Here I also have a choice. I can either not commit to tasks that make me dependent on others, or I can deny the dependency, avoid feeling humble, fail to get what I need, and, thereby, fail to accomplish the task or unwittingly sabotage it. Unfortunately people often would rather fail than to admit their dependency on someone else. “
Mentioned trust earlier: “Humble inquiry is the skill and the art of drawing someone out, or asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, or building a relationship based on curiosity and interest in the other person. It is an attitude reflected in a variety of behaviors. .. Ultimately the purpose of humble inquiry is to build relationships that lead to trust, which, in turn, leads to better communication and collaboration.”
In a raw debate, someone wins and someone loses. In polite discussion, somewhat superficial – often circular, and people aren’t really saying what they mean. In skillful discussion – it is structure, decision-making, base don deep understanding. Encouraging dissenting viewpoints.
Dialogue is exploratory for the purpose of understanding (not decision-making).
Not about innovation, but about innovative thinking and fostering a culture of innovative thinking (Perhaps this could be part of our Synergy-related strategic planning?)
Creativity exercises and creative thinking tools: http://creativethinking.net/DE14_TheGreenDot.htm?Entry=Good (freaks me out!)
Need to build a structure that supports innovative thinking. Encourage new ideas –have idea generation meetings.
Clarify values that will support creativity and innovation; identify existing barrier to innovation; specify behavioral norms that suppor innovation and set them as performance expectations; engage staff at all levels; link innovation to learning and the learning organization. Expect experimentation and risk-taking and provide incentives and rewards; ensure resources are available for support. Tell stories of experiences, success, and failures. Foster collaboration.
Relevancy is a requirement of innovation. Without it, it’s just creativity.
(longer version at 8 minutes) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrSmYv4MHSE (shorter, lower quality version at 4 minutes)
Ideo.com – innovative company in Silicon Valley that has created hundreds of new products based on design thinking.
What did you notice about this? No one is the box or in charge Everyone contributes, no one is the expert Fun! Diversity of backgrounds & ideas Talk to the experts and learn from them Go out in the field - observe what people are doing – you will learn a lot about problems that need to be solved Encourage wild ideas! Focused chaos. “Enlightened trial & error succeeds over the lonely genius.”
Observe user behavior to anticipate needed change – be proactive, not just reactive.
Use foresight and forecast. This is not predicting the future, which assumed we live in a mechanically precise world, the future is an extension of the past, and that we can know the future. Foresight and forecasting requires looking for patterns and new signals, and it maps to the chaotic reality of the current time.
We don’t decide what is innovative. Start noticing what our users/customers are doing, what is being re-purposed, where people are making workarounds – what are people doing in our environment – what are they telling us? (Ethnographic studies).
What we do is very difficult, the current situation is hard to understand and the future is uncertain. Mistakes are an inevitable consequence of attempting to get the right stuff done. Unless we can make mistake visible both individually and collectively we will be doomed to mediocrity.
When change is coming, you often here the same sorts of things: “we don’t have enough time/money/resources/people”, it is a “bad time to take a rist,” it may cause disruption in other areas, “they” won’t let us do that, or “this isn’t our job.” Or what about the old favorite: “We tried that before and it didn’t work.”
These types of comments are often based on fear (often irrational fear) and they restrict strategic thinking.
Celebrate people who bring out the best in other people in the organization. Celebrate success and failures – celebrate innovative and strategic thinking. Rather than speaking about a “culture of innovation,” speak about how we want to encourage people to engage in innovative thinking more broadly and across everything that we do.
Intentional Leadership at All Levels: Takeaways from the ALA Leadership Institute
at All Levels
September 10th, 2014
Leadership and Self
So, you think you can lead?
Strengths of a leader
• Is trustworthy
• Puts trust in others
• Gives other
• Recognizes others
• Is humble
• Is self-aware
• Is always learning
• Is always teaching
• Has fun!
• Listens well
• Addresses problems
• Motivates/supports staff
• Has vision
• Demonstrates values
• Practices what s/he
• Keeps an open mind
• Is genuine
• Is compassionate
6 Keys to Leading Positive Change
1. Show up
2. Speak up
3. Look up
4. Team up
5. Don’t give up
6. Lift others up
Costs and benefits of leadership
• Higher expectations
• Need to make tough decisions
• Demands on time
• Distance from your peers
• Mental energy drained
• You have a hand on the
• Have a say in making things
• More autonomy/freedom
• Can fix big problems
• Can build something new
• See the big picture and
impact of your work
But, only 1/3
of the time are
Multi source assessment
for identifying areas of strength &
areas of development
Left hand column (LHC)
Thoughts and Feelings Actual Conversation
I was just trying to be friendly, didn’t ask
for your whole life story.
Did Bill go out drinking last night or
something? That’s unprofessional.
Why doesn’t Bill like me? Was it that
email I sent yesterday?
Me: Good morning, how are you, Bill?
Bill: Fine, still waking up, need my
Me: Ok I’ll leave you alone then.
• True North by Bill George and Peter Sims
• Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
• Overcoming Organizational Defenses by Chris Argyris
• Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arginger Institute
• Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein
• Becoming a Strategic Leader by Richard Hughes and
• The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
• The Working Leader by Leonard Sayles