Friday, September 5, 2008

Twitter About Leadership

I was recently discussing with a colleague the value of Twitter. Although we agreed their was little value in updating the world on our daily nonsense, she pointed out that Twitter could be an excellent tool for blogging... How many of us have created a blog with the intention of updating it frequently and find a year later, when visiting the blog, that it has been a year since we have updated it? I have done this a few times. But Twitter might be just the solution I am looking for to blog. Blogging takes time. Twittering does not. Twittering is one of those things you can do on the go, at the doctors, eating lunch, watching TV, etc. If you are like me, time is life's greatest commodity. I have found that although I think often about the nuances of leadership, I rarely have the time to articulate them. Additionally, I find it even harder to sit down and complete and string together thoughts about leadership. What I find in abundance are principles of leadership. So for the past few weeks I have been Twittering my thoughts on leadership. Twittering is quite simple. Sign-up. Save Twitter in your address book on your phone. Make sure you are signed up for unlimited text messaging with your service provider and Twitter away. Soon you will be competing with your son or daughter for the most Text Messages in a month. Seriously though, Jim and Barry have been talking a lot lately about practicing leadership. What a better way to keep leadership on your mind than journaling about it all day everyday. I look forward to seeing you on Twitter. Check me out on Twitter leadership101 Daren Blonski

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Are your mirror neurons and ocillators functioning properly?

In the recent Harvard Business Review article by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis discus the neuroscience behind leadership. They point out that great leaders are socially intelligent. Social intelligence is fundamentally "a set of interpersonal competencies built on specific neural circuits (and related endocrine systems) that inspire others to be effective." Recent research has identified "mirror neurons in widely dispersed areas of the brain. " These cells are peppered throughout the brain and are programed to mimic the emotions of others. Followers look for cues from their leaders and not only mimic their behaviors consciously, but also subconsciously. The discovery of mirror neurons further confirms the importance of maintaining a positive outlook as a leader. Model the Way, people are watching.

When interacting with others little neurons called Oscillators are guiding our physical interactions. Oscillators "coordinate people physically by regulating how and when their bodies move together." Leaders need to understand that upwards of 90% of communication is done so non-verbally. Not only should leaders be looking ways to align the words they say, but they should be finding ways to align their non-verbal communication with those who have chosen to follow them.

Leadership is not only a set of conscious behaviors but it is also based on a series of neural, bio-chemical, interactions in each of our brains.

Daren Blonski

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Are you bothered by the Millennial sterotypes?

I have been bothered more and more lately by the gross generalizations many business leaders/ especially HR/TD/OD professionals are making about the Millennial generation.

If there is one thing that we know for sure, Millennials are more diverse than any other generation previous. I can accept that as a fair generalization.

As a result any attempt by our profession to fit the Millennials into a box should be disregarded as an exercise in futility.

I have yet to see anyone effectively articulate a decent description of the Millennials.

Barry Posner presented some fascinating research recently at the 2008 Leadership Challenge Forum that essentially concluded that when it comes to work all generations want the same thing.

Most workers in their right mind want the same things...they want to come to work and contribute to something meaningful, be compensated fairly so they can pay the bills and enjoy life, enjoy the people they are working with, and be appreciated for their contributions at work.

This should not be considered rocket science.

The interesting thing about generational research is that it all focuses on the differences between generations rather than the similarities.

For every one difference one finds between the generations their are two similarities.

The generational discussion is in my mind not much more than a office fad.

As Barry Posner said during his talk at the 2008 Leadership Development Forum, "every generation has wondered and worried about whether or not the next generation will be ready and able to handle the demands, challenges, and opportunities they will be leaving behind."

Stop the fad at your desk.

The good news is that every generation will rise to the occasion.

Not to worry. When the opportunity presents itself ordinary people will step forward and rise to the challenge to become leaders. Regardless of the generation

A few months back I was talking to Carolyn Lawson, the Chief Information Officer for the California Public Utilities Commission, we were discussing the Millennials and stereotypes.

Carolyn's Key Point:

Millions of Millennials are now coming to work for you. Rather than spending your time trying to figure out why they are so different, spend time empowering them to utilize their many talents.

Your organization will live or die by it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Debates Geny Y Style!

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The Helicopter's Continue!

Check this article out!

Are Millennials Down with CEO Whip Crackers?

In the recent article by George Anders in the Wall Street Journal he highlights a study done by a Professors Steven Kaplan out of the University of Chicago Business School.

His major finding:

"We found that 'hard' skills which are all about getting things done, were paramount,"

"Soft skills centering on teamwork weren't as pivotal. That was a bit of a surpise to us."

You will have to read the article to get more information on this study. But I found it interesting that the CEO's who are being celebrated as effective are those that "get the job done" rather then those who include the team. I wonder how this is going to play out with Gen Y as they hit the workforce? Gen Y tends to want to work for organizations where they can collaborate with others and value immensly being involved in the process. If CEO's who are effective tend to lean more towards command and control to get the job done. I am not sure in the future they are going to be very good at retaining people. It would be interesting to take a look at these qoute on qoute effective CEO's and see what the retention is like at their companies.

The Most Important Skill in the 21st Century

"The most important skill in the 21st centruy is to learn to how to learn."
The World is Flat: Thomas Freidman