October 20, 2017

Archives for June 2014

Can you find clarity in clear ambiguity?

Group talkingWe’re accustomed to wanting clarity. We’d like things to be clearly in focus. We’d like a single right answer.

But sometimes…

The best we’re going to get is clear sight of the inherently multi-faceted nature of the situation—the different considerations we need to keep in balance. For example, we might need to be both driving and consultative; we might need to work on both task and relationship; we might need both collaboration and competition.

Oddly enough…

Once we see ambiguity clearly, that brings a kind of clarity. We know what we need to balance. We can be good at both axes. The one does not need to be at the expense of the other.

Odder still, clarity is contained in clear ambiguity, like this…

CLeAR ambiguITY

Curious, don’t you think?

Looking for the right words? Maybe you don’t need to.

Three people around a computerWe all face these situations…

Something difficult needs to be tackled with another person. We think they’ll be sensitive about it—either because they won’t like what we have to say or because something upsetting has happened.

And so habitually we think about the right words.

That’s what we’re accustomed to doing, and good words certainly do help.

At least as important though is how we decide to be. Getting our presence right will have at least as much influence on what happens.

We perhaps don’t pay so much attention to this, but…

Consciously choosing, for example, a state of caring, or one of calm authority, whatever is appropriate, and allowing that to be reflected in our presence—our whole being—will make what we actually say much less important.

The right presence beats the right words every time. It’s so much more powerful. And because of that good enough words come anyway.

So…

Start with who you are, not what you’re going to say.

How nurturing should you be with members of a team?

Man thinkingWhere do you draw the line between helping team members step up to their role and not overdoing it so that they end up depending on you?

How do you decide where the right balance lies? Does it depend on the organisation? Some businesses are, by nature, very demanding and with little tolerance of people growing into a role. Other cultures are too tolerant of poor performance. Neither is likely to be viable in the long-term.

If you usually focus on task, maybe you need to pay a bit more attention to relationship.

If you’re relationship-minded, maybe you need to be a little bit more demanding.

It doesn’t have to be either-or; it can be both-and: Task and relationship. The issue is how you integrate these things. That is perhaps the true art of leadership.

What’s your personal blend?

Agile organisations need agile people

Group of people listeningMany leaders want their organisations to be more agile, to be more responsive to change and opportunity, to be lighter on their feet.

Part of that is to do with processes and systems—slimming them down probably—but as well that…

Agile organisations need agile people: People who’re ready to do tomorrow something different from what they did yesterday; people who are ready to learn; people who’re willing to take responsibility beyond their official role.

Worth pondering…

How agile are your people?

How agile are you?

Getting unstuck

Exhausted computer userA reminder of something simple and perhaps basic but really important, which has certainly helped me…

To succeed, yes, we need a vision and a purpose and goals and priorities and all that.

But when we’re stuck; when we’re down, we sometimes can’t do any of it.

Instead, we need to…

Do something—ANYTHING—that moves us even slightly in the direction we need to go, even if that’s just polishing our shoes or painting our nails.

Then we’ll gather momentum and be able to tackle something slightly bigger. Setting our direction can come later. “Ready, fire, aim” as Tom Peters and Robert Waterman put it in “In Search of Excellence.”

Sometimes we don’t have to be that smart, just determined.

At times…

It doesn’t matter a tiny bit which task we do, as long as we do something.

So much starts with managing our energy. They say 50% of winning is showing up.

What about you…

How do you get unstuck?

How nurturing should you be with members of a team?

Group of colleaguesWhere do you draw the line between helping team members step up to their role and not overdoing it so that they end up depending on you?

How do you decide where the right balance lies? Does it depend on the organisation? Some businesses are, by nature, very demanding and with little tolerance of people growing into a role. Other cultures are too tolerant of poor performance. Neither is likely to be viable in the long-term.

If you usually focus on task, maybe you need to pay a bit more attention to relationship.

If you’re relationship-minded, maybe you need to be a little bit more demanding.

It doesn’t have to be either-or; it can be both-and: Task and relationship. The issue is how you integrate these things. That is perhaps the true art of leadership.

What’s your personal blend?

Which comes first: Evidence or belief?

Woman reflectingWe’re probably programmed to need evidence before we’ll believe something. That’s the “benefit” of a Western education.

But is life really like that?

For many things, especially where we have some influence over the outcome, we may be more likely to discover the evidence if we have the belief.

If we believe something is possible, we might develop enough momentum to make it happen. If we don’t believe it’s possible, well, we probably won’t make it happen.

So maybe belief sometimes comes before evidence. Maybe you’ll see it when you believe it.

What’s your first thought about the day when you get up in the morning? Are you succeeding or failing?

If belief comes before evidence, your choice could be kind of important.