The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.

This quote from Alvin Toffler, noted author (remember Future Shock?) and futurologist is a great way to put us in the mindset of this month’s topic: Dealing with Change. Aside from being one of my favorite topics to teach and facilitate, it is in my mind, one of the crucial core attributes of successful leadership in today’s dynamic business, political and service environment. To further set the stage, consider the results of a recent survey by McKinsey & Company of more than 1,600 executives, senior managers and mid-level managers worldwide where they were asked, among other things, about how well they have responded to the current economic crisis. No one doubts the economic crisis represents disruptive change but a significant test of leadership (RPC edition 10/08) as well. In the survey, respondents were asked to rate their level of satisfaction as a business leader in various areas. What caught my eye...
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To Be or Not To Be Aye There’s The Point

These famous and very recognizable words are from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Act III, Scene I. I chose them to introduce this month’s topic and did so in what many consider the original, or in our case, authentic form. Authenticity in a crucial element in what I call Real Leadership defined as setting goals and achieving desired results. I also like the way Bill George, former CEO at Medtronic, stated in a Fall 2006 article for U.S. News & World Report titled Truly Authentic Leadership when he stated “The only valid test of a leader is his or her ability to bring people together to achieve sustainable results over time. There is no such thing as the “One-Minute Leader” because real leadership requires years of development and hard work.”So what makes a person an authentic leader? We all know everyone has the ability to lead and we know we all carry some...
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You Cannot Control The Wind But You Can Adjust The Sails.

These words to the Ricky Skaggs song Can’t Control The Wind are a great entrée into understanding the Total Leadership Process. These particular words came to mind as I read a Fortune article about Larry Ellison and the BMW Oracle Racing Team returning the America’s Cup Trophy back to the United States after a fifteen-year absence. His thoughts on the victory centered on the right combination of technology, sailing skills and strategy. Strategy forms the foundation of the Total Leadership Process and reflects the Purpose of the organization. In actuality, the organizational Purpose is a combination of Vision, Values, Mission and Strategy but it is the Strategy that determines how the organization will compete in its current market and industry. Understanding the importance of this definition is crucial as the competitive landscape and assumptions in every industry are changing. What strategic assumptions worked when economic and industry growth rates were 10%...
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Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Look on any bottle of shampoo and you will see some variation of these three words. In addition to its application for improved hair care, the concept of repetition is also at the heart of successful and sustainable leadership development. Leadership development must be a continuous process for every leader in every organization regardless of circumstances. Organizations, large or small, for-profit or non-profit benefit from the investment in leadership development and the effective use of repetition to embed the new attitudes and behaviors that contribute to achieving desired results. This month, we will explore three reasons why continuous leadership development must be based on creating new repetitive habits of thought (attitudes) of success. A quick note on our use of the term development as it sometimes gets used synonymously with training. In the context of this discussion, training would refer to the process of helping leaders learn new skills. Development is...
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It is Choice not Chance, that Determines Your Destiny

Integrity-copy-2
"It is Choice not Chance, that Determines Your Destiny" ~ Jean NidetchI recently came across two separate events in the last several months promoting this month’s topic on Choice. The first was several conversations with people who were talking about how they had let chance govern their career choices and how they now were struggling to make their own choices about where their careers would go from here. The second was several graduate students caught turning in papers as their own when they had, in fact, purchased them online. The first group had the opportunity to choose, but couldn’t. The second group had the opportunity to choose and chose poorly. It had me thinking, why are these choices so difficult?Alfred Montepart once said, “Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” Being an effective leader in today’s global business environment requires a multitude of daily choices and every...
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