The leadership model of charisma, strength, and confidence is the picture postcard image of a great leader. But history shows us that it's not outstanding leadership but a bad case of hubris, pig-headedness, stubbornness and inability to listen.
It seems that the longer a leader is in a position of power, the more they emulate this model until it's too late.
A leader requires self-esteem, which means they have the competence and moral fibre to lead. But without the ability to listen, especially to the voices of doubt and disagreement, they seem to develop an arrogance that they find hard to set aside.
Churchill had learned the lessons by the time he was appointed PM and led Britain to victory over the Nazis. By his admission, he certainly did not show outstanding leadership in World War 1, especially at Gallipoli. He later wrote, "I seem to have been too ready to undertake tasks which were hazardous or even forlorn", acknowledging his pig-headedness, his stubborn attachment to his...
Attracting and Retaining the Best Talent.
Last Sunday I read a fascinating article in the Sunday Times by Jamie Nimmo titled “The War for Talent”.
It was a strange title and I am not sure who the combatants are. Companies in all industries need the best talent and the only way of getting them is through attraction. Maybe the war is between immoral tactics and moral tactics but in reality, it is between the old mindset and a new mindset.
The old mindset believes that pay is the ultimate weapon in a company's arsenal regarding recruitment. Yes, they also think about benefits and perks, but the old mindset thinks, “if I pay enough, people will do what I want them to”.
The new mindset has evolved from this old-fashioned command and control culture of paying more to get allegiance. They have learned that true allegiance is not bought but earned.
In reality, these two mindsets coexist in every organisation, which is the ‘war for talent’. The...
There is a lot of talk about leadership right now, and not just in political circles. Charismatic or celebrity leaders get much more press than great leaders. Why is that?
I think it is because when we are talking about great leaders they embody a set of characteristics that include:
None of these was newsworthy for today's clickbait media until Russia invaded Ukraine.
When these characteristics are applied by leaders, the outcomes are extraordinary because people around them respond with a like mind and...
Wherever you look there will be a social contract underpinning the culture that exists. The way people act, behave and even look is determined by it. We are all bound by a social contract either consciously or more commonly, unconsciously. Your relationship to the social contract you live in is determined by how far from the core you are. When you are close to the core, as with the Marines, everybody knows the conditions defined by the social contract. You literally live or die by them on the battlefield and the strength of the community is evidence of how committed all of the individuals are to that contract, In the Marines you “sign up” consciously.
But look for a moment at a different culture, one where it would seem that people are victims of society but actually are living within a different social contract. In every city, there are no-go areas for the police, or areas where the homeless gather or people sleep out on the street. Even though the people living...
If you have ever had that burning feeling in your gut for a change that needed to happen, then you might have had the urge to become a champion. And, for many, there is a reason why that was as far as it got. And it comes down to self-esteem, courage and culture.
For change to succeed, the conditions need to be supportive. That support is most easily seen and felt through the culture that we exist in. And we, as potential champions, need to have the self-esteem and courage to step up to the stage and be counted.
Every initiative starts with a champion, and what happens next depends on the culture that exists.
In the business world, we can consider three different existing cultures. The startup, the merger/acquisition and the reorganisation. In all three, the champion is for their new vision, which will lead to the emergence of a new culture. One barrier, if not the most significant barrier to a new culture emerging, is the attachment people have to the existing culture.