Posts Tagged 'Conversations'

Communities of the Like-Minded.

Here’s an inspiring video on TED. Love Elif and will look for her books.

So many ideas here for Trusted Advisors.

  1. The dangers of surrounding ourselves with like-minded individuals. Beware cultural ghettos! I think building diverse networks of relationships improves our thinking, creativity and perspectives. That leads to adding greater value to our clients.
  2. See how compelling someone is when she is talking passionately about something she believes. That’s living purposefully.
  3. I like to think that my little TA workshop somehow helps provide knowledge that takes participants beyond themselves. Any comments?
  4. The more we step outside the world we know, the more we discover about ourselves. That’s living consciously.
  5. Personal stories resonant and in my experience are a massively under-used resource for building trust and influencing others. My experience in coaching others to use personal stories in interviews, suggests that are very powerful. Have the courage to use them.

TED is a great site if you haven’t visited before.

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Opinion

I’m back at my Meisner acting class. Barbara likes to say:

an actor without an opinion is like an athlete without a game plan!

It’s a powerful idea. Actors who have strong opinions have presence. You can’t take your eyes off them! Their scenes are compelling.

Is it a powerful idea in business? An opinion could be a vision, mission, strategy or a value. But opinions sound like they are more personal, less corporate. Personal opinions have a stronger influence on behaviour – in acting, in business and in life.

Should leaders have stronger personal opinions?  Is this what makes them so effective? I often wonder if we are developing  a cohort of senior managers in leadership competency, only to find they don’t have a personal opinion on what leadership means to them. Their leadership understanding and knowledge doesn’t translate into compelling action. I think leadership should start with a strong personal opinion on life.

Perhaps also, it is easier to trust people with strong opinions?  You may not agree with their opinion.  But strong opinions make people more purposeful, have a stronger presence and more predictable in their behaviour.

Strong opinions may be powerful, but they may also be dangerous. It obviously depends on what the opinion is. But more dangerously, opinions start to define how you see and experience the world in ways that reinforce themselves. Always dangerous in a rapidly changing world.

Perhaps we can all have strong opinions that are loosely held? Is that possible?

Low tide

Lunch with a friend yesterday. Mentioned that it was interesting to observe the behaviours of some, when the tide goes out. He shared a personal experience of a public sector manager behaving unethically and probably illegally. Using power and position to disadvantage my friend. No doubt he rationalised it by thinking of the current economic situation.

It made me think of the character aspect of leadership. Some things illuminate character. Adversity for instance. It seems that many leaders stand out in times of adversity. Is it because they find their character? Is it because they have the opportunity to exercise their character? Is it that the character of others is exposed through negative behaviour (… and they stand out)?

Someone once said that you can judge a society by how it cares for it’s most vulnerable members. Ditto leaders. Judge leaders by how they behave towards others more vulnerable. When the times are tough. Anyone can look good on a rising tide, when things are going well. But for some, low tide is a different story.

Character boils down to behaviour. Having the courage of your convictions and treating others as you would be happy for them to treat you.

I believe that we all have a responsibility to robustly confront poor behavior by:

  • naming the specific behaviour
  • articulating the impact of that behaviour
  • telling the person how we feel about it.

Letting people get away with poor behaviour, only accepts and encourages it.