Saturday, August 31, 2013

Crit of article on bad leadership

See the full article here.

[bracketed text is from the article. non-bracketed text is my replies.]

> Being a leader is perhaps the hardest challenge any of us will ever face.

?!?!  the first sentence, wow!  So he's saying basically that thinking
for oneself (first-handed thinking), is way harder than just adopting
what other people think (second-handed thinking). I disagree.

> 1. Not Giving Self-Confidence its Due.
> Self-confidence is the lifeblood of success. When people have it, they’re bold. They try new things, offer ideas, exude positive energy, and cooperate with their colleagues instead of surreptitiously attempting to bring them down.

if you have a non-zero-sum worldview, then you don't want to cheat
others -- because you believe that win/win situations are always

but if you have a zero-sum worldview, and if you don't mind stepping
all over people's preferences, then you do want to cheat others --
because you believe that win/win situations are NOT always possible,
and so you believe that the other guy must lose in order for you to

> When they lack self-confidence, it’s just the opposite. People cower. They plod. And they spread negativity with every word and gesture.

No. Some people with low self-confidence don't spread negativity.

> But all too often leaders ignore (or neglect) this very basic fact of the human condition. Why is anyone’s guess. Perhaps they just don’t understand that it is part of their job to instill self-confidence in their people. It may even be said that it’s their first job. You cannot unleash the creative power of individuals who doubt themselves.

I agree that leaders should want other people he's working with to act
like leaders. so ya a CEO wants his staff to be confident in their
work, in their ability to help the customer solve his problems. Staff
should be confident that their supervisor, and all the other people in
his company are going to be in unison when helping the customer.

> Fortunately, some people seem to be born with self-confidence.

that's wrong. at birth people don't seem confident. they are crying.
what seems confident about that?

> Others gain it from life and work experience and come to a company fully loaded.

No. All people that gain it do so by thinking for themselves (i.e.
first-handedly) -- not "from life and work experience".

> Regardless, leaders can never stop pouring self-confidence into their teams. The ways to do so are myriad. Make sure goals are challenging – but achievable. Give effusive positive feedback. Remind your direct reports of what they do right.

sounds pretty good as long as you're clearly explaining what it is
that is right. and what should also be discussed a lot, and this is
more important, is the flaws, so that they can be fixed. talking about
the good parts while ignoring the flawed parts is bad because it
prevents the flaws from being fixed.

> We’re not saying that leaders should blindly extol and exalt. People know when they’re being gamed. But good leaders work relentlessly to find ways to instill self-confidence in those around them. They know it’s the gift that never stops giving.

I agree that self-confidence is important. But I think the focus is
wrong here. The focus should be on quality criticism. If someone
appreciates quality criticism, then he's already self-confident.

"I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to
the thoughtless approval of the masses."  Johannes Kepler 1571-1630

> 2. Muzzling Voice.
> Perhaps the most frustrating way that leaders underperform is by over-talking. That is, they act like know-it-alls. They can tell you how the world works, what corporate is thinking, how it will backfire if you try this or that, and why you can’t possibly change the product one iota. Sometimes such blowhards get their swagger from a few positive experiences, but usually they’re just victims of their own destructive personalities.

So they are infallibilist. Those leaders are ignoring their staff's
criticism. And they aren't criticizing their staffs suggestions -- and
instead the leaders are just ignoring the suggestions, calling the
suggestions wrong without explaining any reasons for why they are
wrong. This is arrogance. Infallibilist thinking causes arrogance.

Its also stubbornness. And it means that flaws are being noticed (by
company staff) but are being ignored by the leader (of that company).

> Ultimately, the company ends up being a victim too, because know-it-alls aren’t just insufferable, they’re dangerous. They don’t listen, and that deafness makes it very hard for new ideas to get debated, expanded upon, or improved. No single person, no matter how smart, can take a business to its apex. For that, you need every voice to be heard.

ya that's what i just said

> 3. Acting Phony.
> Can you spot a phony? Of course you can – and so can your people. Indeed, if there is one widespread human capability, it is sniffing out someone who is putting on airs, pretending to be who they’re not, or just keeping their real self hidden. Yet too many leaders spend way too much time creating personas that put a wall between them and their employees. What a waste.

oh this is what the last article was talking about when the author
said that CEOs are merging their public lives with their private
lives. Merging means not having inconsistencies between the CEOs real
personality and his public persona. So that last article was saying to
be real instead of being fake. I agree.

> 4. Lacking the Guts to Differentiate.
> But leaders who don’t differentiate do the most damage when it comes to people. Unwilling to deliver candid, rigorous performance reviews, they give every employee the same kind of bland, mushy, “nice job” sign-off.

Fake positive reinforcement? Ya that's bad.

Honest feedback ftw.

> 5. Fixation on Results at the Expense of Values.
> Everyone knows that leaders deliver. Oratory and inspiration without results equal…well, a whole lot of nothing. But leaders are committing a real dereliction of duties if all they care about are the numbers. They also have to care about how those numbers came to be. Were the right behaviors practiced? Was the company’s culture of integrity honored? Were people taken care of properly? Was the law obeyed, in both letter and spirit?

Those things matter because they *do* affect "the numbers" in the long run.

> Values are a funny thing in business. Companies love to talk about them. They love to hang them up on plaques in the lobby and boast about them to potential hires and customers. But they’re meaningless if leaders don’t live and breathe them. Sometimes that can take courage. It can mean letting go of a top performer who’s a brute to his colleagues, or not promoting a star who doesn’t share her best ideas with the team. That’s hard.

No its not hard. If its a better decision, why would it be the hard
decision to make?

> 6. Skipping the Fun Part
> What is it about celebrating that makes managers so nervous? Maybe throwing a party doesn’t seem professional, or it makes people worry that they won’t look serious to the powers that be, or that, if things get too happy in the office, people will stop working their tails off.

lol is that what CEOs are afraid of? that's ridiculous. good work
doesn't need to be "working their tails off".

> Whatever the reason, too many leaders don’t celebrate enough. To be clear here, we do not define celebrating as conducting one of those stilted little company-orchestrated events that everyone hates, in which the whole team is marched out to a local restaurant for an evening of forced merriment when they’d rather be home. We’re talking about sending a team to Disney World with their families, or giving each team member tickets to a show or a movie, or handing each member of the team a new iPod.

or doing bolling night for whoever wants to come.

or doing a cookout at the bosses house (works for small companies).

> Work is too much a part of life not to recognize the moments of achievement. Grab as many as you can. Make a big deal out of them.

Yes notice every achievement, no matter how small.

> That’s part of a leader’s job too – the fun part.

everybody should do all of the things mentioned in this article. its
not just for leaders. or in other words, the world would be better if
all of us acted like leaders (i.e. if all of us thought for ourselves
-- first-handed thinking).

let us all act like leaders and followers, simultaneously, all the
time. if you have a better idea than mine, then i'll follow you -- so
I've adopted your idea. if i have a better idea than yours, then you
should follow me -- so you've adopted my idea.


Join the discussion group or email comments to

No comments:

Post a Comment