jerryking + leaders   150

Dyson and the art of making quick decisions
October 16, 2019 | Financial Times | by John Gapper.

Article is arguing for enforcing a “shot clock” on lingering decisions and to put plans into action faster and regain competitive footing in your industry/business.

Entrepreneur, James Dyson, unceremoniously abandoned a Dyson initiative to build an electric car.  It demonstrated how unsentimental he was about unsuccessful experiments.....Better to acknowledge defeat as early as possible rather than after having thrown away hundreds of millions...For any business to thrive, difficult decisions need to be made, from new projects to corporate strategy. “The job of the CEO, everyone knows, is to make decisions,” wrote Ram Charan, a veteran strategy adviser. This is especially true when entire industries are facing disruption to their business models......Indecision is common in companies facing myriad possibilities, when executives are struggling to assess alternatives for future strategy. Many managers become frustrated by the glacial pace of corporate decision-making. McKinsey, the consultancy, surveyed executives who complained of “over-reliance on consensus and death by committee”, among other irritations....It is not always the chief executive’s fault. Some managers are comfortable with making simple decisions but struggle when they are promoted to a level where they are exposed to ambiguity and uncertainty. They need to employ their judgment, rather than consulting the data like an oracle. Their indecision can also infect the CEO. But your business is not a democracy....Some executives promote a “five second rule” to prompt executives who report to them to reach decisions (i.e. summarise the alternatives and options for any strategy, pause and pick one).....Being forced to use intuition after considering the evidence helps to avoid being paralysed by a question when there is no easy answer......Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist, observed that “managers think of themselves as captains of a ship on a stormy sea” who respond skilfully to the elements around them. It feels better to pick a destination and sail in that direction than to wallow around.....But Prof Kahneman won his economics Nobel for research on the cognitive biases that affect human choices. Making quick decisions, even informed by experience and expertise, is valuable but not foolproof. As he noted, “intuition feels just the same when it’s wrong and when it’s right, that’s the problem.”....Those who consider a challenge from all angles and act prudently and decisively may still be wrong. “Even highly experienced, superbly competent and well-intentioned managers are fallible,” Prof Kahneman wrote. Among the traps is the “halo effect” of believing that an executive who has succeeded before will make any project work. It follows that leaders should not be trapped by their decisions, or the confirmation bias of believing that the chosen path must be correct...... It is difficult when a leader place the entire company on another course, only to discover the pitfalls. It may take a successor to come along and reverse those choices. But decisions will at least prove right some of the time; indecision is always mistaken.
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  CEOs  clock_speed  confirmation_bias  decision_making  Daniel_Kahneman  Dyson  halo_effects  hard_choices  HBR  humility  indecision  intuition  leaders  James_Dyson  judgment  mistakes  Ram_Charan  shot_clock  speed  tough-mindedness  uncertainty  unsentimental 
5 days ago by jerryking
Where Power Stops, by David Runciman
September 2, 2019 | Financial Times Review by Giles Wilkes.

Where Power Stops: The Making and Unmaking of Presidents and Prime Ministers, by David Runciman, Profile, £14.99
biographies  books  book_reviews  character_traits  iconoclastic  impotence  leaders  political_biographies  political_power 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
What would Plato make of Boris Johnson?
June 22nd 2019 | the Economist | by Bagehot.

Classics (Literae Humaniores) is a wide-ranging degree devoted to the study of the literature, history, philosophy, languages and archaeology of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. It is one of the most interdisciplinary of all degrees, and offers the opportunity to study these two foundational ancient civilisations and their reception in modern times. The degree also permits students to take extensive options in modern philosophy......

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Mr Johnson’s failure to get a first continues to annoy him intensely—and to delight many of his rivals. But in truth it doesn’t matter a jot: the world is full of failures who got firsts, and successes who missed out. The really interesting question is not whether Mr Johnson’s results reveal some great intellectual weakness. It is what light the subject of his studies can throw on his qualifications to be prime minister. The classics corpus is full of meditations on the qualities that make for a good leader. And no classical author thought more profoundly about the subject than Plato, the philosopher who was put at the heart of Oxford’s classics syllabus by Balliol’s greatest master, Benjamin Jowett. What would Plato have made of the classicist who appears destined to be Balliol’s fourth prime minister since 1900?.....In “The Republic”, Plato argued that the most important qualities in a statesman were truthfulness and expertise. A good statesman will “never willingly tolerate an untruth”. (“Is it possible to combine in the same character a love of wisdom and a love of falsehood?” one of Plato’s characters asks. “Quite impossible,” comes the reply.) He will spend his life studying everything that he needs to make him a good captain of the ship of state—“the seasons of the year, the sky, the stars, the winds and other professional subjects”. .......By contrast, Plato argued, the surest signs of a bad leader are narcissism and self-indulgence. The poor statesman is an eloquent flatterer, who relies on his ability to entertain the masses with speeches and comic turns, but doesn’t bother to develop a coherent view of the world. Plato was particularly vitriolic about the scions of the upper classes who are offered the opportunity to study philosophy while young but don’t apply themselves, because they think they are so talented that they needn’t earn their place at the top table.......“The Republic” is haunted by the fear that democracies eventually degenerate into tyrannies. Democracy is the most alluring form of government: “the diversity of its characters, like the different colours in a patterned dress, make it look very attractive.” But it is inherently unstable. Citizens are so consumed by pleasure-seeking that they beggar the economy; so hostile to authority that they ignore the advice of experts; and so committed to liberty that they lose any common purpose......As democracies collapse under the pressure of their contradictions, panicked citizens look for salvation in a demagogue. These are men who love power, but cannot control their own desires for “holidays and dinners and parties and girlfriends and so on”. Plato calls them the “most wretched of men because of the disorder raging within them”. Citizens are so consumed by fear that they think these wretches have magical abilities to solve the country’s problems and restore proper order. Demagogues get their start by “taking over a particularly obedient mob”, before seizing control of the country. But the more power they acquire the worse things become, “for the doctor removes the poison and leaves the healthy elements in the body, while the tyrant does the opposite.”

The shadow on the wall
Democracies have proved more durable than Plato imagined. And his cure for the problems of democracy—the rule of philosopher-kings, who are expected to hold their wives and children in common—is eccentric to put it mildly. But he is right that character matters. Politicians can change their advisers or their policies, but character is sticky. He is also right that democracies can suddenly give way to populist authoritarianism...... The best way to prepare for a Johnson premiership is to re-read “The Republic”, hoping Plato is wrong but preparing for the fact that he may be right
Boris_Johnson  character_traits  contradictions  demagoguery  democracies  Greek  humanities  leaders  leadership  liberal_arts  opposing_actions  Oxford  pairs  philosophers  Plato  politicians  Romans  statesmen  truth-telling  United_Kingdom 
july 2019 by jerryking
To Be a Better Leader, Ask Better Questions
May 9, 2019 | WSJ | By Hal Gregersen. Dr. Gregersen is executive director of the MIT Leadership Center, a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of “Questions Are the Answer.”

1. Understand what kinds of questions spark creative thinking. The best questions really knock down barriers to creative thinking and channel energy down new, more productive pathways. A question that does has five traits. It reframes the problem. It intrigues the imagination. It invites others’ thinking. It opens up space for different answers. And it’s nonaggressive—not posed to embarrass, humiliate or assert power over the other party. Ask employees: “What are you wrestling with and how can I help?” Ask customers and supply-chain partners: “If you were in my shoes, what would you be doing differently than what you see us doing today?”
2. Create the habit of asking questions. in the early stages of building your questioning capacity, it’s helpful to start by copying other people’s questions. It’s the equivalent of practicing your scales. Once you’ve got the scales down, you can start to improvise..... management thinker Peter Drucker, liked to jump-start strategic thinking by asking: “What changes have recently happened that don’t fit ‘what everyone knows’ ”?

Another example: A leader in a consumer packaged-goods company constantly asks: “What more can we do to delight the customer at the point of purchase? And what more to delight them at the point of consumption?”......builds the habit of thinking in questions, which, in turn, leads to daily inquiry about matters large and small, and an organization that keeps pushing its competitive advantages forward.
3. Fuel that habit by making yourself generate new questions...... generate new and better questions, not to cap your questioning career at the level of playing flawless scales.
4. Respond with the power of the pause. When someone comes to you with a problem, don’t immediately respond with an answer. ........Instead, make it your habit to respond with a question—ideally one that reframes the problem, but at least one that draws out more of your colleague’s thoughts on the matter. ....not talking about the cop-out rejoinder of, “Well, what do YOU think we should do?” Help the person think through how the decision should be made, with questions like: “What are we optimizing for?” “What’s the most important thing we have to achieve with whatever direction we take?” Or: “What makes this decision so hard? What problem felt like this in the past?” You'll be teaching your colleagues the value of pausing to get the question right before rushing to the answer. And nine times out of 10, you’re going to wind up with a better answer than the one you would have blurted out with less deliberation.
5. Brainstorm for questions. Whenever you/ your team finds itself at an impasse, or there is a sense that some insight is eluding you regarding a problem or opportunity, just stop and spend four minutes generating nothing but questions about it--question bursts. Don’t spend a second answering the questions, or explaining why you posed a certain one. As in brainstorming, go for high volume and do no editing in progress. See if you can generate at least 15-20.
6. Reward your questioners. Bosses should reconceive what their primary job is. They aren’t there to come up with today’s best answers, or even just to get their teams to come up with them. Their job is to build their organization’s capacity for constant innovation.
Their enterprise’s future—and their own career trajectory—depends on their resolve to ask better questions.
books  brainstorming  creativity  creative_thinking  follow-up_questions  habits  imagination  innovation  leaders  nonaggressive  organizational_capacity  Peter_Drucker  Philip_Mudd  power_of_the_pause  problem_definition  problem_framing  questions  strategic_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
How to keep creative geniuses in check and in profit
March 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Andrew Hill.

The story of how Eastman Kodak invented a digital camera in 1975 but failed to develop it is one of the most notorious misses in the annals of innovation. (It’s more complicated than that, but never mind.)

Polaroid, the instant-photo pioneer, took a slower path to the technology: its first digital camera appeared only in 1996. It filed for bankruptcy in 2001, 11 years before Kodak.
Polaroid’s founding genius, Edwin Land, could, though, have been first to the digital party. In 1971, as part of a secret panel advising the US president, he advocated digital photography, which the US eventually adopted for its spy satellites.
But Land was blind to the promise of digital cameras for the consumer.

This tale of failures of leadership, innovation and organisation is well told by Safi Bahcall, a physicist, former consultant and biotech entrepreneur, in Loonshots. There are four types of failure:
(1) Leadership failure. Edwin Land was guilty of leading his company into a common trap: only ideas approved by an all-powerful leader advance until at last a costly mis-step trips up the whole company.
(2) Innovation failure. Bahcall distinguishes between product-type and strategy-type innovation. Classic P-type innovators are the folks at innovation conferences conversing about new gadgets with less attention being paid to the analysis of innovative business models. Indeed, at some forums, P-type innovations also crowd the lobby. Delegates line up to try the latest shiny robot, electric car, or 3D printer.

(3) Organizational failure. Loonshots is based, refreshingly, on the idea culture does not necessarily eat strategy for breakfast. In fact, bad structure eats culture. Bahcall gives this a scientific foundation, explaining that successful teams and companies stagnate in the same way water turns to ice. A perfectly balanced innovative company must try to keep the temperature at the point where free-flowing bright ideas are not suddenly frozen by bureaucracy. How? Since the success of Bell Labs, companies have been told they should set up “a department of loonshots run by loons, free to explore the bizarre” separately from the parent. The key, though, is to ensure chief executives and their managers encourage the transfer of ideas between the mad creatives in the lab and the people in the field, and (the culture part) ensure both groups feel equally loved.

As for the assumption companies always ossify as they get larger, that risk can be mitigated by adjusting incentives, curbing office politics, and matching skills to projects, for which Loonshots offers a detailed formula.

Success also requires a special type of leader — not a visionary innovator but a “careful gardener”, who nurtures the existing franchise and the new projects. Though not himself an inventor, Steve Jobs, in his second phase at Apple, arguably achieved the right balance. He also spotted the S-type potential of iTunes. Even if Tesla’s Elon Musk is not losing that balance, in his headlong, top-down pursuit of loonshot after loonshot, he does not strike me as a born gardener.

Persuading charismatic geniuses to give up their role as leaders of organisations built on their inventions is hard. Typically, such people figure out themselves how to garden, as Jobs did; or they are coached by the board, which may install veteran executives to help; or they may be handed the title of “chief innovator” or “chief scientist” and nudged aside for a new CEO.

(4) They may find themselves peddling a fatally flawed product.
Bell_Labs  books  breakthroughs  business_models  creativity  digital_cameras  Edwin_Land  Elobooks  Elon_Musk  failure  genius  howto  incentives  innovation  inventors  Kodak  leaders  moonshots  office_politics  organizational_failure  organizational_innovation  Polaroid  product-orientated  Steve_Jobs 
march 2019 by jerryking
Former finance minister, ambassador and businessman Michael Wilson dies at 81 - The Globe and Mail
TIM KILADZE AND ERIC ANDREW-GEE
PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 10, 2019

Michael Wilson, a former federal finance minister and stalwart of Canadian business who overcame personal tragedy in later life to become an advocate for mental-health support, has died at 81.

Under prime minister Brian Mulroney, Mr. Wilson helped negotiate the North American free-trade agreement and brought in the federal goods and services tax, initiatives that were controversial at the time, but have survived to become pillars of federal policy......Mr. Wilson went on to have a laurelled career after politics as Canadian ambassador to the United States in the late 2000s and then chancellor of the University of Toronto from 2012 until 2018....He was also a veteran investment banker with a career in finance that spanned more than half a century and included senior roles at UBS Canada, Royal Bank of Canada and, most recently, Barclays Capital Canada.

But, of late, he was perhaps best known for his dedication to raising awareness of mental-health issues after his son Cameron died by suicide in 1995, at the age of 29​. That work included serving as chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada for the past four years......Anthony Fell was Mr. Wilson’s boss as CEO of RBC Dominion Securities when Mr. Wilson was a partner in the investment bank, before entering federal politics. The two stayed close friends.

“It’s been said that one of the best thing you can leave behind is a sterling reputation for integrity and for making a positive difference in peoples’ lives, and this Michael Wilson has done throughout his life, in very full measure,” Mr. Fell said on Sunday.
Canada  Canadian  crossborder  Bay_Street  FTA  GST  investment_banking  leaders  mental_health  Michael_Wilson  NAFTA  obituaries  politicians  Progressive_Conservatives  RBC  UBS  UCC  uToronto  public_service  Tim_Kiladze 
february 2019 by jerryking
What the lessons of 1918 can teach today’s world leaders
NOVEMBER 1, 2018 | Financial Times | Simon Kuper.

The Armistice of 1918 is a model for how not to treat other countries. The historian Margaret MacMillan points out that Germany’s humiliation didn’t mechanically cause the second world war: there were 20 years in-between. Still, visiting Compiègne, you inevitably think of contemporary parallels. Here are some lessons for world leaders gathering in Paris next week to commemorate 1918:

• In international relations, treat even your opponents like long-term business partners.
• Nationalist passions are easy to excite and hard to put back in the bottle.
• A humiliated country will look for scapegoats — and some people will jump from angry words to violence.
• Prosperity is fragile.
• Wars beget wars. Foch helped beget Hitler; the Middle Eastern borders drawn at Versailles helped beget today’s conflicts in the region; the Korean war isn’t dead yet either, and the American civil war lives on as a north-south culture clash....Still, peace in the region cannot remain the EU’s selling point. Precisely because Europeans have come to take peace for granted, they now (rightly) ask: “What have you done for me lately?”
• Absence of war is always a political achievement.
anniversaries  Armistice  Brexit  fragility  humiliations  leaders  lessons_learned  Margaret_McMillian  Simon_Kuper  WWI 
november 2018 by jerryking
Taking the helm: why asset management bosses are getting the top jobs
September 1, 2018 | Financial Times | by Owen Walker.

The journey to the top of a global finance company is straightforward if recent hires are anything to go by: simply take over the asset management division, launch profitable products, open up new markets and wait for the chief executive role to become available.
asset_management  finance  financial_services  investment_management  leaders  money_management 
september 2018 by jerryking
Exploring the dark side of leadership - The Globe and Mail
JUSTIN WEINHARDT
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED JANUARY 14, 2015
UPDATED MAY 12, 2018

The first three characteristics of this dark side are commonly referred to as the Dark Triad. ....overconfidence can be the fourth characteristic, leading to a dark square of leadership.

Machiavellianism - characterized by manipulative tactics, a pessimistic view of humanity and an emphasis on efficiency over moral principles.... individuals who exhibit Machiavellianism will lie, manipulate and exploit others to get their way.

Psychopathy - not just a characteristic of serial killers. Individuals high on psychopathy have poor impulse control, show little remorse for others, including individuals they harm, and lack concern for the morality of their actions. They use threats and hard tactics in the workplace to gain status and get ahead.

Narcissism - have extremely inflated views of themselves, with grandiose plans for their future.

Overconfidence - "Act as if you have unmatched confidence and then people will surely have confidence in you," says Jordan Belfort in his book The Wolf of Wall Street. This is sad but true. Individuals who exemplify overconfidence are better able to influence others and gain their trust.

So, what is an organization to do about the dark side of leadership? Those who are passionate about leadership must shine a light on the dark side.

The bright side of leadership: Humility -- "an interpersonal characteristic that emerges in social contexts that connotes (a) a manifested willingness to view oneself accurately, (b) displayed appreciation of others' strengths and contributions, and (c) teachability." Leaders with greater humility are better able to deal with the realities of the modern economy such as shocks, rapid technological advances and uncertain demand. On the strategic side, humble leaders will be less overconfident and risky.
leadership  dark_side  humility  leaders  ethical  Niccolo_Machiavelli 
june 2018 by jerryking
Arjay Miller, Who Led a Resurgence at Ford, Dies at 101 - The New York Times
By SAM ROBERTSNOV. 8, 2017
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Stanford  deanships  business_schools  obituaries  Ford  leaders 
november 2017 by jerryking
Robert Bundy: Powerful bureaucrat helped shape Toronto - The Globe and Mail
OLIVER MOORE
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 08, 2017

Robert Bundy, the powerful Toronto civil servant who oversaw the expansion of the city’s parking system and parks, eventually meeting his match in the stubborn residents of the harbour islands, died of heart failure on May 8 in Toronto. He was 94.

A property developer who had served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War and was decorated twice by Russia for his role in the Murmansk Run supply convoys, Mr. Bundy moved into public service at a time when city bureaucrats enjoyed substantial clout......Early in their marriage, Mr. Bundy joined the city bureaucracy. His construction business had been successful and “he didn’t have to worry about finances,” his son Brock said. “He really truly believed he was doing something to make everyone’s life better, and you can see that all the way through.”

The elder Mr. Bundy became general manager of Toronto’s parking authority in 1958, a time when creating plentiful and cheap parking was seen as crucial to helping the city compete with the suburbs. A 1968 annual report for the agency shows that in his first 10 years in the role the number of municipal off-street parking spaces nearly doubled to 14,440.

In the late 1950s, he also chaired a committee trying to ensure that sufficient development followed the route of Toronto’s east-west subway line. And he pioneered the concept of a business improvement area, which recruits local merchants to help make their surroundings more attractive and marketable.

The importance of abundant parking, however, remained a passion for years. He was co-founder of what would become the International Parking Institute and travelled to learn from his peers across the continent. Decades later, when he was part of a pitch to redevelop Toronto’s Greenwood Raceway, the proposal was built around extensive new parking.

However, he was cognizant of the needs of non-drivers as well. As Metro’s parks commissioner, he oversaw great swaths of new green space. His family said he was particularly proud of Rosetta McClain Gardens in Scarborough, a park specifically designed around the needs of people with disabilities.

During his tenure, the city created bicycle trails in some of its green spaces, routes that proved so popular they led to friction between cyclists and other users
Toronto  cities  parking  WWII  bureaucrats  parks  obituaries  city_hall  property_development  veterans  leaders  Royal_Navy  BIAs  public_spaces  city_builders  civil_servants  redevelopments  green_spaces 
june 2017 by jerryking
Wall Street to CEOs: Disrupt Your Industry, or Else
May 26, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims

Investors and boards are hunting for corporate leaders who can move quickly to fend off upstarts and place big bets on disruptive tech.......For pretty much any industry you can name—not just autos but manufacturing, logistics, finance, media and of course retail—there are tech startups purporting to have better ideas, ones they say they don’t need decades to make into realities. It isn’t as if all these industries will see massive CEO turnover, but it does mean established companies need to consider drastic measures. They must be willing to tell their stakeholders they may have to lose money and cannibalize existing products and services, while scaling up new technologies and methods.

“Ten years ago, innovation was based on features and functions,”. “Now it’s about your business model and transforming your industry.”

Before, companies could innovate by acquiring tech startups. But the top disrupters now grow so quickly and capture so much market share, they become too valuable to buy or are unwilling to sell.....Act faster to satisfy shareholders.....Mickey Drexler, CEO of beleaguered J. Crew, admitted that if he could go back 10 years, he might have done things differently, to cope with the rapid transformation of retail by e-commerce. Who then would have predicted that in 2017, the No. 1 online retailer of clothing to millennials would be Amazon?....CEO turnover isn’t necessarily the only solution on the table....Companies also have to incubate potentially disruptive startups within their own corporate structures. This means protecting them as they develop, and being willing to absorb their losses for as long as their competitors do. Consider, for example, that Amazon made almost no profit for its first 20 years..... Wal-Mart’s e-commerce division increased sales 29% from a year earlier. Many analysts thought the company overpaid for Jet.com, which cost it $3.3 billion in August 2016. But the acquisition brought e-commerce veteran Marc Lore, who became chief executive of Wal-Mart’s online operations and quickly replaced existing executives with members of his own team.
analog  business_models  CEOs  Christopher_Mims  disruption  e-commerce  leaders  LVMH  operational_tempo  risk-taking  transformational  turnover  Jet  Wal-Mart  Wall_Street 
may 2017 by jerryking
Rick Levin on Moving From the Ivy League to Silicon Valley
APRIL 14, 2017 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

One skill that I improved on gradually was listening. If you want to understand people, you need to hear them. If you have to say “no” to people, it’s helpful to be able to explain authentically that I understood you, but here’s my decision. You have to see the nonverbal cues, too, and think a little deeper about what the person is saying. Often that’s situational or contextual, and sometimes it’s deeply psychological.

Humility is also important, and it has to be really genuine. You see a lot of C.E.O.s who are very egocentric, domineering people who succeed just because they have a great idea. But people who put the organization and mission first are more likely to succeed than people who put themselves first. People admire that kind of person and they resonate with them because they share a belief.

A good leader has to have some vision, too — ambitious goals to lift the organization up and everybody with it. Setting goals that are ambitious but also achievable is an important skill.
CEOs  Coursera  Yale  Silicon_Valley  nonverbal  say_"no"  leaders  listening  humility  mission-driven 
april 2017 by jerryking
Book Pins Corporate Greed on a Lust Bred at Harvard - The New York Times
Andrew Ross Sorkin
DEALBOOK APRIL 10, 2017

the Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Mass... produces a disproportionate number of the nation’s business leaders.

“The Golden Passport,” by the veteran business journalist Duff McDonald, is a richly reported indictment of the school as a leading reason that corporate America is disdained by much of the country.

“The Harvard Business School became (and remains) so intoxicated with its own importance that it blithely assumed away one of the most important questions it could ask, which was whether the capitalist system it was uniquely positioned to help improve was designed properly for the long term,”
HBS  capitalism  greed  Andrew_Sorkin  books  mission-driven  leaders  leadership_development 
april 2017 by jerryking
No Racial Barrier Left to Break (Except All of Them) - The New York Times
JAN. 14, 2017 | NYT | By KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD.

The future is no longer about “firsts.” It is instead about the content of the character of the institutions our new leaders will help us rebuild....The U.S. can’t create a more just nation simply by dressing up institutions in more shades of brown. Now there must be an effort to confront structural racism.....for African-Americans, Obama's travails are proof positive that MLK's contention that the content of one’s character would be the perfect antidote to racism is necessary but--by itself--insufficient to heal the gaping wounds of racial injustice in America.....in a post-assimilation America where there is no racial [occupational] barrier left to break, [African] Americans must turn to confronting structural racism and the values of our institutions....Obama's pedigree and character couldn’t protect/save him from the Tea Party revolution, Republican obstructionism, police brutality, voter suppression and Islamophobia.... individuals, no matter how singular, cannot bend the moral arc of the universe....In a post-assimilation America, recognize that institutions are far more powerful than individuals, no matter how many people of color can be counted in leadership. Structural racism is immune to identity politics....history matters. Black people in charge of, or embedded in, institutions that have not atoned for their history of racism can make it easier for those institutions to ignore or dismiss present-day claims of racial bias. That’s because the path to leadership has often meant accepting institutions as they are, not disrupting them.....people of color can inherit or perpetuate structures of inequality. Many institutions of government, finance and higher education were built on the backs of enslaved African-Americans and remain haunted by that history. Diversity and inclusion policies, therefore, should grow out of truth and reconciliation practices as well as strategic hiring plans. Intentional transformation, even reparations, one government agency, one company, one college at a time moves us past the denial and the empty promises....In post-assimilation America, people of color must continue to pursue leadership roles as the demographics of the nation inexorably change. But they must also reject their personal achievement as the core measure of progress and instead use history as a tool to measure systemic change.
Obama  legacies  institutions  farewells  history  obstructionism  GOP  Tea_Party  MLK  leaders  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  institutional_change  identity_politics  structural_change  African-Americans  Georgetown_University  assimilation  institutional_path_dependency 
january 2017 by jerryking
Hero, Criminal or Both: Huey P. Newton Pushed Black Americans to Fight Back
Expressing a willingness to defend oneself with weapons was hardly revolutionary. When Frederick Douglass was asked in 1850 what he believed to be the best response to the Fugitive Slave Act, he replied, “A good revolver.” And Malcolm X advocated the same.

The Black Panthers, which never grew beyond a few thousand members, tried to combine socialism and black nationalism. Its charter called for full employment, decent housing, and the end of police brutality.

Unlike black separatists, the Panthers welcomed all races and found wealthy liberals willing to give them money. But the group’s social programs — like a breakfast program for schoolchildren and clothing and food drives — came undone partly by the corruption of the leadership.
African-Americans  Black_Panthers  self-defense  black_nationalism  '60s  leaders 
august 2016 by jerryking
At Carnegie Hall, a New Leader With a Son Named Hendrix - The New York Times
By MICHAEL COOPER and DAVID GELLESJUNE 2, 2016
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Robert_Smith  private_equity  African-Americans  New_York_City  philanthropy  leaders 
august 2016 by jerryking
Daniel S. Glaser: The Challenge of Keeping It Simple
JULY 15, 2016 | The New York Times | By ADAM BRYANT.

When I joined Marsh more than 30 years ago, he said to me, “Danny, all I can tell you is that there’s going to be a lot of people who don’t think like an owner, and you should always be thinking like you are the owner of the business, and make your decisions like that.”..Empathy is more important as he matured: "Now I have a basic belief that almost everyone wants to contribute and do well. Some people, for a whole variety of reasons, have difficulty doing that, and at least an attempt or two should be made to try to help them."...I’ve always felt that the world is filled with smart people who love complicating stuff. Working to simplify, to try to get down to that first principle, is really important.....My feeling is that companies that do well for long stretches of time have a tendency to become either complacent or arrogant, and both of those are bad paths. So how do you prevent that? To me, you do that by trying to create this striving, challenging, questioning culture, where there’s always a smarter way of doing something, and you feel a permanent dissatisfaction with obtained results.
bonuses  empathy  CEOs  leadership  leaders  complacency  arrogance  hubris  hiring  organizational_culture  forward_looking  simplicity  Marsh_&_McLennan  owners  dissatisfaction  first_principle  restlessness 
july 2016 by jerryking
The Power of ‘Why?’ and ‘What If?’ - The New York Times
JULY 2, 2016 | New York Times | By WARREN BERGER.

business leaders want the people working around them to be more curious, more cognizant of what they don’t know, and more inquisitive — about everything, including “Why am I doing my job the way I do it?” and “How might our company find new opportunities?”....Companies in many industries today must contend with rapid change and rising uncertainty. In such conditions, even a well-established company cannot rest on its expertise; there is pressure to keep learning what’s new and anticipating what’s next. It’s hard to do any of that without asking questions.

Steve Quatrano, a member of the Right Question Institute, a nonprofit research group, explains that the act of formulating questions enables us “to organize our thinking around what we don’t know.” This makes questioning a good skill to hone in dynamic times.....So how can companies encourage people to ask more questions? There are simple ways to train people to become more comfortable and proficient at it. For example, question formulation exercises can be used as a substitute for conventional brainstorming sessions. The idea is to put a problem or challenge in front of a group of people and instead of asking for ideas, instruct participants to generate as many relevant questions as they can.......Getting employees to ask more questions is the easy part; getting management to respond well to those questions can be harder.......think of “what if” and “how might we” questions about the company’s goals and plans........Leaders can also encourage companywide questioning by being more curious and inquisitive themselves.
asking_the_right_questions  questions  curiosity  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  unknowns  leadership  innovation  idea_generation  ideas  information_gaps  cost_of_inaction  expertise  anticipating  brainstorming  dynamic  change  uncertainty  rapid_change  inquisitiveness  Dr.Alexander's_Question  incisiveness  leaders  companywide 
july 2016 by jerryking
Decisions, decisions ... the five most critical for a leader - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 26, 2015 | Special to The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING

How do you spend your decision-making time? There are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where others will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

....Decide on these five strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

(1) The strategic game plan for the organization
(2) The values that shape culture
(3) The talent that gets recruited
(4) The “customer moment” architecture
(5) Aligning activities to the game plan

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
On a basic level, a “customer moment” is any interaction between an employee and a customer. Needless to say, customer moments can occur at any time, and with this in mind, businesses are employing strategies to make sure every customer moment is a positive one. With the world becoming more and more connected, via the internet and social media, the potential for customer moments increases exponentially. When you factor in other recent innovations, such as the rise of smart phones and tablets, the sheer amount of potential customer moments becomes astronomical. This has led to the rise of self-service portals, where customers can receive help on many common customer service issues, such as troubleshooting. Businesses have opened up other channels for customer service as well, such as email and chat support.
leaders  decision_making  priorities  focus  serving_others  payback  talent  strategies  values  customer_experience  CEOs  value_creation  moments  organizational_culture  value_added  ROI  criteria  Roy_Osing 
may 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
Confederation: Canada’s early lesson in tolerance - The Globe and Mail
MOIRA DANN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 12, 2015

It wasn’t dissimilar in 1864 Quebec. Many of those top-hatted, suit-coated fellows could do little more than tolerate each other because of political differences and ancient slights. But they had gathered in Quebec a little more than a month after an initial meeting in Charlottetown that had sketched an outline of what a new Canada might look like. They were following up to colour it in.

John A. Macdonald and George Brown of Canada West (Ontario) and George-Étienne Cartier of Canada East (Quebec) were the primary instigators of the Confederation discussions; now they had to make sure all the goodwill flowing from September’s conference in Charlottetown would be shaped into a document. They had never been anything like friends but they had shelved their partisan, political and personal rancour when they took part in what’s known as the Great Coalition and then approached Maritime leaders about uniting British North America.
anniversaries  Canadian  Confederation  George_Brown  George-Étienne_Cartier  history  leaders  nation_builders  politicians  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  tolerance 
october 2015 by jerryking
It’s not too late for Harper to play the statesman - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Sep. 08, 2015

Why doesn’t Mr. Harper show some of the spirit of the Mandela occasion and appoint a blue-ribbon panel of former prime ministers to advise him on the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis? Given their experience, they could offer sound counsel. It would be an effective way of depoliticizing the issue. That’s what Canadians want. They’ve had their fill of overbearing political partisanship. In the face of a humanitarian crisis, they don’t need more of it.

For the Conservatives, a non-partisan approach makes perfect sense. Humanitarian issues are hardly their forte. They connote soft power. They fit the progressives’ playbook. The Liberals and New Democrats stand to gain.

But thus far, the government has reacted with its customary combative mentality.
Stephen_Harper  Lawrence_Martin  partisanship  Federal_Election_2015  leaders  leadership  statesmen  political_polarization  partisan_warfare  Syrian  refugee  crisis  playbooks 
september 2015 by jerryking
Do effective companies like Amazon really require bad bosses? - The Globe and Mail
DENISE BALKISSOON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015
leaders  leadership  Amazon  restauranteurs 
august 2015 by jerryking
Let’s give R.B. Bennett his due - The Globe and Mail
ARTHUR MILNES, FRANCES LANKIN, STEVE PAIKIN, DAVID LOCKHART AND ZACH PAIKIN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 20, 201
history  leaders  politicians  Canadian  far-sightedness  nation_builders  anniversaries 
august 2015 by jerryking
The enduring leadership of Charleston’s mayor - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jul. 01, 2015
Marcus_Gee  leaders  leadership  mayoral  Charleston_shootings  Charleston  South_Carolina 
july 2015 by jerryking
The test of true political leadership is to risk change - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 28 2015

The most essential ingredient for any “Big Idea,” however, is leadership.

Leadership that not only anticipates the need for change but is determined to implement change. Not in pursuit of popularity but to serve the national interest.

The test of true leadership hinges on judgments between risk and reward.

Change of any kind requires risk, political risk. It can and will generate unpopularity from those who oppose change. The choice for Canada or the United Kingdom in a fast-changing global environment is either to adapt quickly and take advantage of the changes happening or watch from the sidelines....As Reinhold Niebuhr reminded us: “Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing fine or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith.”(jk: the importance of having a long-term vision & exhibiting faith in pursuing it).

It is in this perspective that great and controversial questions of public policy must be considered.

History tends to focus on the builders, the deciders, the leaders – because they are the men and women whose contributions have shaped the destiny of their nations, here and around the world.

From the bloodied sands of Afghanistan to the snows and waters of the High Arctic, the Canada of 50 years from now will be defined by the leadership we are given today.
Brian_Mulroney  speeches  Oxford  leadership  politicians  Cold_War  9/11  NAFTA  '80s  history  leaders  risks  transformational  courage  political_risk  fast-changing  free-trade  public_policy 
may 2015 by jerryking
Real leadership is about transformation - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May. 04 2015

In his seminal work on leadership, James MacGregor Burns segregates “transactional” from “transforming” leadership. He writes that it is the transforming leader who “raises the level of human conduct of both leader and led … who responds to fundamental hopes and expectations and who may transcend and even seek to reconstruct the political system rather than simply operate within it.”

Time is the ally of leaders who placed the defence of principle ahead of the pursuit of popularity. And history has little time for the marginal roles played by the carpers and complainers and less for their opinions. History tends to focus on the builders, the deciders, the leaders – in education, health care, science, business, the arts as well as politics – because they are the men and women whose contributions have shaped the destiny of their nations.

Theodore Roosevelt had courageous leaders in mind when he spoke at La Sorbonne and said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood ... who spends himself in a worthy cause, and who, at the best, knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

In fact, “transforming leadership” – leadership that makes a significant difference in the life of a nation – recognizes that political capital is acquired to be spent in great causes for one’s country.
St._FX  convocation  Brian_Mulroney  leaders  leadership  speeches  commencement  Theodore_Roosevelt  Communicating_&_Connecting  transformational  courage  political_capital  Great_Man_Theory_of_History  doers 
may 2015 by jerryking
A fighter for immigration, inclusion and diversity - The Globe and Mail
RICHARD BLACKWELL
TORONTO — The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 17 2015,

After years of running the poverty-fighting Maytree Foundation, last fall Ratna Omidvar was named head of the new Global Diversity Exchange housed at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto’s Ryerson University. The GDX, as she calls it, will do research and exchange information about diversity and the inclusion of immigrants and visible minorities – not just in Canada but all over the world.

It is essentially a “think-and-do tank,”...the GDX will tap into the great minds who have studied immigration and settlement, while sharing concrete strategies and experiences that have worked effectively.

While national governments function as the gatekeepers for immigration – letting people in or keeping them out – it is local efforts, usually at the city level, that make the difference in getting immigrants to prosper, she said.
immigration  women  diversity  Ryerson  leaders  immigrants  leadership  networking  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Maytree  talent_pipelines  under-representation  Ratna_Omidvar  Toronto  cities  think_tanks 
april 2015 by jerryking
Let’s train our leaders to be ethical - The Globe and Mail
PRESTON MANNING
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Apr. 06 2015

How about establishing an Institute of Political Managers and Directors, along the same lines as the Institute of Corporate Directors, with a similar commitment to ethical training and conduct? Such an institute would need to be cross-partisan, not non-partisan, since it would be providing ethical training for participants in the real political world, which is intensely partisan, whether we like it or not.

Its training emphasis should be heavily focused on ethics – promoting truth in communications and knowing where the lines are drawn among truth, spin and lies; advancing guidelines as to what constitutes ethical behaviour in an adversarial system and defining the limits to partisanship; demanding unwavering adherence to the rule of law by those who make laws; and inculcating a trusteeship ethic among those responsible for the handling of public money.

For training resources, the institute could draw in part upon business schools with well-developed courses in ethics, as well as Carleton University’s graduate program in political management. Carleton already includes an ethical component in each of its political management courses.
Preston_Manning  training  leaders  boards_&_directors_&_governance  Carleton  political_infrastructure  institutions  politicians  institution-building  ethics 
april 2015 by jerryking
Can-Do Lee Kuan Yew - NYTimes.com
MARCH 23, 2015
Continue reading the main story

Roger Cohen

The measure of that achievement is that the ingredients of disaster abounded in Singapore, a country that is “not supposed to exist and cannot exist,” as Lee said in a 2007 interview with The New York Times. “We don’t have the ingredients of a nation,” he noted, “the elementary factors: a homogeneous population, common language, common culture and common destiny.” Instead, it had a combustible ethnic and religious hodgepodge of Chinese, Malays and Indians gathered in a city-state of no natural resources....The fact that the elements for cataclysm exist does not mean that cataclysm is inevitable. Lee demonstrated this in an age where the general cacophony, and the need to manage and spin every political minute, makes statesmanship ever more elusive. The determining factor is leadership. What defines leadership above all is conviction, discipline in the pursuit of a goal, adaptability in the interest of the general good, and far-sightedness.

Lee’s only religion was pragmatism, of which religion (as generally understood) is the enemy, because, to some adherents, it offers revealed truths that are fact-resistant. Any ideology that abhors facts is problematic. (If you believe land is yours because it was deeded to you in the Bible, for example, but other people live there and have for centuries, you have an issue pregnant with violence.) Lee had one basic yardstick for policy: Does it work? It was the criterion of a forward-looking man for whom history was instructive but not imprisoning. He abhorred victimhood (an excuse for sloppy thinking and nationalist delusion) and corruption. He prized opportunity, meritocracy, the work ethic of the immigrant and education.
authoritarianism  city-states  far-sightedness  leaders  leadership  Lee_Kuan_Yew  nation_builders  obituaries  Roger_Cohen  Singapore  Southeast_Asia  statesmen  tributes  victimhood  work_ethic 
march 2015 by jerryking
Take a page from Hemingway for your next meeting - The Globe and Mail
SHIRLEE SHARKEY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Feb. 16 2015
Do it. Creating great art or innovative business solutions is about discipline and hard work. Effort and commitment are needed to cultivate the environment for that magic beanstalk to take root.
Work with your team to schedule creative time and stick to it.
Clock it. Similar to routines, specific time constraints can also allow creativity to blossom. Ernest Hemingway set aside each day, from 7 a.m. until noon, to write between 500 and 1000 words. Even with such a creative and vivacious personality, he knew discipline was a key element of artistic expression.
Be it. bringing that kind of energy into your organization takes commitment and devotion to the outcome. I am certainly not suggesting crash diets or extreme behaviour, but I think we can learn from these techniques to foster a better focus.

Be creative.Change the environment and embrace new situations. Take your team on a field trip to meet a competitor; go to a movie together; have your meeting in a fast food restaurant – or a gallery.
Blow it. Actors who don’t perform well on auditions; writers who can’t find a publisher; artists who can’t sell their work – failure, followed by the long crawl back to the drawing board – is a vital step to creating great things.
inspiration  meetings  leaders  failure  creative_renewal  art  discipline  creativity  Pablo_Picasso  routines  focus  hard_work 
february 2015 by jerryking
The Age of Bibi
JAN. 1, 2015 | NYT |David Brooks.

Netanyahu sees himself in world historical terms, and admires Theodor Herzl and Winston Churchill — two men who saw dangers ahead of other people....Like Churchill, he is wisest when things are going wrong. He has been a pessimist about the Arab world. As the Arab Spring has deteriorated, as Palestinian democracy led to Hamas, as run of the mill extremists have lost ground to the Islamic State, Bibi’s instincts have basically been proved correct....I asked a couple of smart Israelis what their coming elections are about. They said that the elections are about one thing: What do you think of Netanyahu?...he has been a defensive leader. He seems to understand that, in his country’s situation, the lows are lower than the highs are high. The costs of a mistake are bigger than the benefits of an accomplishment. So he is loath to take risks. He doesn’t do some smart things, like improve life for Palestinians on the West Bank, but he doesn’t do unpredictable dumb things, like prematurely bomb Iran. He talks everything through, and his decisions shift and flip as the discussions evolve.
David_Brooks  Benjamin_Netanyahu  Israel  Mideast_Peace  Winston_Churchill  pessimism  leaders 
january 2015 by jerryking
2014’s lessons for leaders: Don’t make assumptions, do make hard decisions - The Globe and Mail
BOB RAE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 26 2014,

Life has a way of lifting you by the lapels and giving you a good shake. Stuff happens, and when it does, it can throw all the steady paths predicted by pundits, pollsters and economic forecasters into the trash heap....Canadians are fixated on who the winners and losers of the "where will oil prices head" game ...but we need to lift our heads a bit. Russia’s falling ruble and the debt crisis of its elites and their companies have rightly grabbed headlines. But a couple of countries, notably Nigeria and Venezuela, are now in political crisis, and their very stability is at risk in the days ahead.

One of the implications of the 2008 world economic crisis is that regional and world institutions have much less room to manoeuvre and help sort things out. it will be harder for those agencies (EU, IMF) to do as much as is required. Stability doesn’t come cheap....a healthy dose of reality and skepticism is always a good idea. In a useful piece of advice, Rudyard Kipling reminded us that triumph and disaster are both imposters. People draw too many conclusions from current trends. They fail to understand that those trends can change. And that above all, they forget that events can get in the way....One clear lesson is for leaders everywhere to learn the importance of listening and engagement. The path to resolution of even the thorniest of problems...involves less rhetoric and bluster and a greater capacity to understand underlying interests and grievances. ... Engagement should never mean appeasement.
Bob_Rae  pundits  decision_making  leaders  unintended_consequences  predictions  WWI  humility  Toronto  traffic_congestion  crisis  instability  listening  engagement  unpredictability  Rudyard_Kipling  petro-politics  imposters  short-sightedness  amnesia_bias  interests  grievances  appeasement  hard_choices 
december 2014 by jerryking
Why women shouldn’t avoid centre stage - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
The Globe and Mail (includes correction)
Published Sunday, Nov. 30 2014
women  leadership  howto  leaders  Harvey_Schachter 
december 2014 by jerryking
Three tough conversations every leader must face - The Globe and Mail
SUMI KRISHNAN
Young Entrepreneur Council
Published Monday, Dec. 01 2014,

Difficult discussion No. 1: Addressing opposition from your team As your company grows and adapts to new challenges, you’ll inevitably need to pivot your business strategy. But with change can come opposition.

Difficult discussion No. 2: Warning slacking virtual or part-time employees Despite the many benefits of working with virtual employees, falling into the trap of “out of sight, out of mind” can make it difficult to manage them effectively.

When employees aren’t accomplishing their tasks, it’s important that you don’t wait for them to self-correct. It’s easy to let too much time go by and suddenly find yourself buried beneath a mountain of issues. Instead, approach each challenge immediately. It will save you months of headaches.

Difficult discussion No. 3: Telling an employee and friend that she’s slacking It’s hard to work with family, but it’s just as hard to work with friends. When your employees become your good friends, oftentimes they’ll start to take your requirements or expectations for granted.
leaders  CEOs  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  candour  stressful  think_threes  dissension  difficult_conversations 
december 2014 by jerryking
The Unifying Leader - NYTimes.com
NOV. 24, 2014
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
RECENT COMMENTS

Richard A. Petro 4 minutes ago
Dear Mr. Brooks,You might have started your column with a quote, "I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him." Shakespeare.Okay, so Mr. Obama...
Carl 7 minutes ago
If Mr. Brooks wants us to believe that the current political environment invites collaboration and calls for a collaborative leader, he...
kll 9 minutes ago
Mr. Brooks - Your column would make rather more sense if you were more specific, i.e. name names (who has been such a leader and in what...
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David Brooks
David_Brooks  leaders  leadership  Obama 
november 2014 by jerryking
What TD Bank’s Ed Clark learned on the job - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 19 2014 | G&M | LEAH EICHLER.

1. Listen.

2. Learn on the job.

3. Hire people smarter than you.

4. People and culture are everything.

5. Give employees opportunities to stretch themselves.
TD_Bank  banking  banks  CEOs  leaders  lessons_learned  listening  hiring  organizational_culture  Leah_Eichler  Ed_Clark  smart_people 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Reluctant Leader - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 11, 2014
Continue reading the main story

David Brooks
David_Brooks  leaders  leadership  Obama 
september 2014 by jerryking
Joseph Epstein: What's Missing in Ferguson, Mo. - WSJ
Aug. 12, 2014 | WSJ | By JOSEPH EPSTEIN.

The black family—the absence of fathers—is the problem. The old dead analyses, the pretty panaceas, are paraded. Yet nothing new is up for discussion. Discussion itself is off the table. Except when Bill Cosby, Thomas Sowell or Shelby Steele and a few others have dared to speak about the pathologies at work—and for doing so, these black figures are castigated.

President Obama, as leader of all the people, is not well positioned for the job of leading the black population that finds itself mired in despond. Someone is needed who commands the respect of his or her people, and the admiration of that vast—I would argue preponderate—number of middle-class whites who understand that progress for blacks means progress for the entire country.

The older generation of civil-rights leaders proved its mettle through physical and moral courage. The enemy was plain—rear-guard segregationists of the old South—and the target was clear: wrongful laws that had to be, and were, rescinded. The morality of the matter was all on these leaders' side. In Little Rock, in Montgomery, in Selma and elsewhere, they put their lives on the line. And they won.

The situation today for a civil-rights leader is not so clear, and in many ways more complex. After the victories half a century ago, civil rights may be a misnomer. Economics and politics and above all culture are now at the heart of the problem. Blacks largely, and inexplicably, remain pledged to a political party whose worn-out ideas have done little for them while claiming much. Slipping off the too-comfortable robes of victimhood is essential, as is discouraging everything in ghetto culture that has dead-end marked all over it.
Ferguson  African-Americans  leaders  leadership  Michael_Brown  '60s  '50s  NAACP  MLK  civil_rights  fatherhood  dysfunction  victimhood  thug_code  family_breakdown 
august 2014 by jerryking
There Are Many Things That Are Missing in Ferguson — Letters to the Editor - WSJ
Aug. 21, 2014 | WSJ | Letter to the editor by Richard Klitzberg
Joseph Epstein's poignant comments in "What's Missing in Ferguson, Mo." (op-ed, Aug. 13) compare and contrast today's absence of black leadership with the '50s and '60s when great and historic black leaders rose to give the civil rights era its direction. The real question from Mr. Epstein should not concern riots in Missouri or what and how much blacks have been given by government, or what their current leaders have accomplished for them, but why they need "leaders" in the first place. ...The black community doesn't need today's leaders who are completely self-absorbed. It needs values and standards, goals and objectives—all of which are within their personal control. And they need to aim high. Doing that, even if one doesn't quite make it, leaves one a long way above where he was.
Ferguson  Michael_Brown  leadership  leaders  African-Americans  ethnic_communities  personal_control  self-absorbed  values  standards  goals  objectives  '60s  '50s  civil_rights 
august 2014 by jerryking
How to leave your company better off than you found it - The Globe and Mail
VINCE MOLINARO

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jan. 02 2014

How can you ensure that you are leaving your organization in better shape than when you took the reins? True leaders typically take the following steps:

1. Commit to making things better every single day – in ways that position your organization for both short- and long-term success. Don’t be a bystander and watch problems fester; have the courage to tackle them head on.

2. Guard the interests of the whole organization. Don’t just focus on your own department or self-interests.

3. Try to anticipate threats that can put your organization at risk. Stay plugged into what you hear from customers or employees close to customers. This is often where the early warning signs exist.
4. Build strong relationships both inside and outside your organization.
5. Develop an unyielding commitment to building a strong culture that drives high employee engagement.
6. Develop leaders for the future.
legacies  leadership  RBC  Gord_Nixon  stewardship  companywide  leaders  CEOs  employee_engagement  organizational_culture  leadership_development  relationships  anticipating  threats  thinking_holistically  long-term  short-term  incrementalism  nobystanders  warning_signs 
january 2014 by jerryking
Staying Focused
December 2013 | Harvard Business Review | by Adi Ignatius.

In “The Focused Leader” Daniel Goleman posits that a primary task for leaders is to “direct attention” toward what matters—so it’s imperative that they stay focused themselves. Building on neuroscience research, he argues that “focus” isn’t about filtering out distractions as much as it is about cultivating awareness of what truly matters. The executive’s goal should be to develop three things: an inward focus, a focus on others, and a focus on the wider world. The first two help to build emotional intelligence, while the third can help in devising strategy, innovating, and managing.
attention  distractions  editorials  emotional_intelligence  filtering  focus  HBR  incisiveness  inward-looking  leaders  people_skills  self-awareness  serving_others  strategy  the_big_picture  think_threes  what_really_matters 
december 2013 by jerryking
Why Machiavelli Still Matters - NYTimes.com
By JOHN SCOTT and ROBERT ZARETSKY
Published: December 9, 2013

“The Prince” is a manual for those who wish to win and keep power. The Renaissance was awash in such how-to guides, but Machiavelli’s was different. To be sure, he counsels a prince on how to act toward his enemies, using force and fraud in war. But his true novelty resides in how we should think about our friends. It is at the book’s heart, in the chapter devoted to this issue, that Machiavelli proclaims his originality.

Set aside what you would like to imagine about politics, Machiavelli writes, and instead go straight to the truth of how things really work, or what he calls the “effectual truth.” [Effectual truth means not only that the truth will have an effect, a consequence, but also that its effect will show. Those who try to live by a profession of good will fail and be shown to fail. ] You will see that allies in politics, whether at home or abroad, are not friends....Machiavelli teaches that in a world where so many are not good, you must learn to be able to not be good. The virtues taught in our secular and religious schools are incompatible with the virtues one must practice to safeguard those same institutions. The power of the lion and the cleverness of the fox: These are the qualities a leader must harness to preserve the republic.

For such a leader, allies are friends when it is in their interest to be. (We can, with difficulty, accept this lesson when embodied by a Charles de Gaulle; we have even greater difficulty when it is taught by, say, Hamid Karzai.) What’s more, Machiavelli says, leaders must at times inspire fear not only in their foes but even in their allies — and even in their own ministers.
cynicism  Niccolò_Machiavelli  Medici  indispensable  advice  friendships  politics  power  virtues  interests  consigliere  leaders  self-interest  fear  adaptability  political_power  self-preservation  effectiveness  Charles_de_Gaulle  negative_space  primers 
december 2013 by jerryking
Kenney’s confident enough to speak his mind - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 29 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Jeffrey Simpson.

Three times – once privately and twice publicly – Mr. Kenney has deviated from the line established by his boss. This just isn’t done in a government where there is little love for the Prime Minister, but plenty of respect and a whole lot of fear.

It is widely assumed in Conservative circles (and beyond) that Mr. Kenney will seek the party leadership when that time comes....as the government’s multicultural point man, he has collected a database of just about every person who has attended the hundreds and hundreds of ethnic events where he’s appeared. If there’s a Polish hall or a Chinese banquet room he hasn’t visited, just wait – he’ll soon be there enough.

Moreover, he’s gotten things done as minister. Big changes to the country’s immigration and refugee laws took place under his watch. Civil servants who have worked with, or watched him, admire his political smarts, drive and sense of where he wants to go, even if they disagree with him. His French is passable.
Jeffrey_Simpson  Conservative_Party  Jason_Kenney  leaders  leadership 
december 2013 by jerryking
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