During your Leading on 2 Wheels Adventure Retreat we explore many counter-intuitive leadership topics and then connect them to riding skills and attitudes. Below are some of the core concepts we leverage.
Why is it important to use language which describes observable behaviors?
When leaders want to see changes in their people or organizations, ambiguity in their language causes problems. Clarity around explicit behaviors trumps generalized requests that may lack common context or understanding. Phrases like..."you need to step up" or "we want to see more leadership...you have our support" are not as effective as "I expect to see you take a lead role in 2-3 high profile projects per year" or "I'd like to see you push the board a little harder by asking for less permission and more forgiveness...direct them to me if they have an issue."
Many leaders get caught in the trap of..."At this level, he should know what I mean by leadership". Unless leadership examples are explicit and transparent w/in an organization, the definition of good leadership are fluid and likey not calibrated across leadership / ownership teams.
There are challenges above and below the surface of a person or an org. How do you identify these, anticipate and plan a response.
We are smart creatures, but sometimes our big brains can play tricks on us.
Out of control?
Do these terms sound at all familiar? We are fundamentally controlled by our emotions but we don't need to wear them on our sleeves. Here we will talk about how to stay calm when those around you are loosing their heads.
Where do you go when you are stressed?
Your riding buddies can tell you.
No, we are not talking about tweaking your 1911.
Here we're talking about things that set us off and how to manage them for ourselves and others.
Many recurring problems that appear to "need a fix" are actually challenges to be managed over time. The Polarity Management framework provides a model to show us how.
The most basic message of polarity management is: there is no one “right” answer. There is no simple solution. You may see the old woman, but that doesn’t mean that perspective is “right” or somehow more legitimate. It just means that is what your mind sees.
In many, if not most, cases, if you believe something, the opposite is equally true. You may see extremely clearly how desperately your organization must embrace change and adaptability. But your colleague may see the need for stability just as vividly and be just as “right.”
The deepest wisdom – and your potentially greatest contribution to your organization – is in embracing both those truths at the same time.
Together, these seemingly conflicting truths are polarities. These polarities represent some of the fundamental tensions that come up in our organizations and beyond.
Some common examples of pairs of polarities include:
- Leading AND empowering
- Advocating AND being curious
- Structure AND flexibility
- Confidence AND humility
- Supporting AND challenging
We tend to think that one end of the spectrum must ultimately win out over the other. We choose either to lead or to empower, to support or challenge. But often the most effective way forward is in honoring and embracing both at the same time.
Summary by Peter Schulte on the Triple Pundit
What you think I heard you say is not what I thought you said. Is that what you meant?
How simple "fly-byes" in our daily communication wreck havoc on us all.
Sometimes there is to much of a good thing.
Often, our desire to add additional value when it is unnecessary works against us. By doing so we run the risk of alienating those we are trying to help and potentially projecting a heightened level of insecurity.
You can probably think of examples in your own life where a 1 sentence answer was sufficient but the "helper" believed you needed 3 paragraphs.
Many of our modern challenges require adaptive techniques where the old rules don't apply.
Adaptive leadership is a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organisations to adapt to changing environments and effectively respond to recurring problems. Research by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky at Harvard University formed the basis for Adaptive Leadership.
Mulder, P. (2017). Adaptive Leadership. You can learn more at toolshero: Adaptive Leadership
Do you assume those around you share the same context. Probably!
Forget the BHAGs. (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
At the end of the day, it is the countless little advances that make the difference.