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Pygmalion and leadership

13 Aug

Some years ago G. B. Shaw wrote a play entitled Pygmalion about a flower girl on the streets of London who is transformed into a lady by learning how to speak, act and dress.  Eliza Doolittle falls for Henry Higgins and near the end of the play says to Colonel Pickering,  “Colonel, you think of me as a lady, treat me like a lady and around you I behave like a lady.  But Henry Higgins thinks of me as a flower girl, treats me like a flower girl and around him I behave like a flower girl.”

Behavioral researchers call this the Pygmalion Effect. This is a powerful management and leadership principle and it works two ways.  It can enhance or reduce performance and is driven by self-fulfilling prophecies.  In many ways we communicate either our high or low expectations to others and these influence their behavior.  Ask yourself, what expectations am I communicating to those around me?

For an excellent in-depth review of this important leadership process go to the Harvard Business Review.

 

 

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Optimism #4: The Small Kindness vs. the Micro-Insult

9 Jul

“In life, it’s not the elephants that get you, it’s the ants.” – Yolande L. (my mom)

“Optimism is the tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation, defined by how we self-talk to frame events.”     – Martin Seligman (paraphrase)

Now that you know how to improve your “outlook” by altering how you talk with yourself, consider the results of these behavior changes on you.

As we cruise through our lives, occasional small kindnesses and micro-insults happen.

There is accumulating evidence these small events have a disproportionate effect on our mood and thus on our performance.  In an earlier blog I mentioned firing a client because working with him left me exhausted and dispirited.

In general, optimists not only think in a positive manner, they speak and act in a positive fashion.  These behaviors give us an emotional boost.  They also shape our expectations.  I love to work with people I look forward to seeing.

Working with the pessimist: Negative overt talk, a micro-insult, unhappy body language, always expects the worst, the absence of those kind words such as thank you, I appreciate, etc. etc. etc.

Consider this: We create the environment around us.  Who do you want to be interacting with?  Who do you want to be?

TAKE NOTE: Last weeks blog had an incorrect address to Beyond IQ 

The correct address is: amzn.to/1bOYMke

Why Likeability Matters IN…….

2 Apr

 

 

This a powerful and practical WSJ article about how “likability” has a large influence in how your workplace colleagues rate and interact with you. This article is a home-run of practical advice.

 

So, my question is HOW do you get to likability and WHY? Here is one of the most watched TED videos (16,000,000+) hits and one of the top-four rated in the psychology category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three Rules for Leaders

26 Mar

A Fast Company conversation with Anne Sweeney and Ken Robinson explores each one’s set of three rules for being a great leader.

 

Anne Sweeney’s 3 Rules for Being a Great Leader:

1. Show up”Walk around the halls. Eat in the cafeteria. When you show up, it means you are paying attention. It means you want to make sure people know how their world connects to the bigger whole.”

2. Hold everyone accountable for each other”We are stapled together. We live and die by each other’s successes and failures.”

3. Communicate as a person, not simply as a boss”Have a conversation. Don’t have it be a reporting relationship.”

Sir Ken Robinson’s 3 Rules for Being a Great Leader

1. Adopt a growth mind-set”If you’re always thinking about possibility, you’ll find it. You’ll keep creating the future.”

2. Create your own life

“The ‘element’ is where natural aptitude meets personal passion. It’s great if you’re in your element at work, because you get energy from that. But for people who aren’t, finding this elsewhere is important.”

3. Unlock others

“People get locked into their job descriptions. If you create a culture where they feel encouraged to unleash their various talents, they’re more engaged.

 

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

Community Leadership

11 Sep

This week the Greater Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce kicks off its Community Leadership Program.  Beginning in September and continuing through June, the program is a process that invites 24 people to have an inside view of key facets of the communities and provides the time for reflection on leadership.

Leadership is easy to identify but difficult to define.  The most recent and compelling work on leadership suggests that leadership is not a “What” but rather a “How.”  Leadership is a lifelong process of self-development that is largely values driven.

Leaders are people who have a firm ethical base, a keen understanding of themselves and their world and deploy their talents to improve the quality of others’ lives.

To these ends the program is designed to give its participants access to a wide variety of community leaders, a deeper understanding of the key assets of the community, a network of trusted colleagues and a set of experiences that will guide their development as leaders.

For an introduction to Iowa go to:

http://www.corridorbusiness.com/consulting/celebrating-the-land-between-two-rivers/

And some considerations for leadership development:

http://www.corridorbusiness.com/consulting/maintaining-balance-in-your-life/

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

10 Life Long Leadership Questions

28 Aug

 

 

There is are two compelling and closely related bodies information about success:  How to have a great life and How to become a leader.  Both drive from this basic axiom:  To have a great life you must work on it life long.  It is pretty clear that successful people are principle or values driven.  They operate from a small set of powerful ideas that they use to guide their lives.  Some of these principles are immutable; others change as we live our lives.  What is essential to this process is asking ourselves some hard questions from time-to-time.

 

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal suggest s list of ten such questions.

 

 

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

 

Leadership Contrasts: Cynicism vs. Respect

14 Aug

 

Check out this New York Times article entitled “The dangers of cynicism at the office.”  Kathy Savitt compares cynicism with four characteristics of leadership: Courage, Respect, Wit and Optimism.  Try it on  – an excellent read.  Also an interesting section about asking good questions to assure that you don’t hire jerks.  She also introduces a management tool called “stump a chump.”  This article is effective because of its use of dramatic contrasts.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.