Month: December 2011

How important are social skills


Image by glennharper via Flickr

In an on-line survey, the techno-hip readers of Fast Company magazine were asked, “Which is more essential to business success five years from now—skills in using the Internet, or social skills?”

Seventy-two percent selected social skills, compared to 28 percent for Internet skills.

Similar results were found in a study by Public Allies, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating young leaders who can strengthen their communities. Public Allies sought the opinions of 18- to 30-year-olds on the subject of leadership. Among the items was a question about the qualities that were important in a good leader.

Topping the young respondents’ list was “Being able to see a situation from someone else’s point of view.”
In second place was “Getting along well with other people.”

Young and old alike agree that success in leadership, success in business, and success in life has been, is now,and will be a function of how well we work and play together.

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Leadership is a relationship between those who aspire to lead and those who chose to follow. Sometimes the relationship is one-tomany.Sometimes it’s one-to-one. But regardless of whether the number is one or one thousand, leadership is a relationship.

A relationship that sees to it that you as a leader can follow.

Teaching the emotional way

Cover of "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"

Cover of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

There’s a scene in the film adaptation of Muriel Spark’s classic book,The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, during which headmistress McKay calls Miss Brodie to the office to chastise her for her somewhat unorthodox teaching methods.

Headmistress McKay comments on the precocity of Miss Brodie’s students.Miss Brodie accepts this remark as a compliment, not a criticism, and says:

“To me education is a leading out. The word education comes from the root ‘ex,’ meaning ‘out,’ and ‘duco,’ ‘I lead.’ To me education is simply a leading out of what is already there.”

To this, Headmistress McKay responds rather haughtily, saying:
“I had hoped there might also be a certain amount of putting in.”
Miss Brodie laughs at this notion and replies, “That would not be education, but intrusion.”

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The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership – Traits and Abilities for Effective Leaders

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership – Traits and Abilities for Effective Leaders.

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® resulted from an intensive research project to determine the leadership competencies that are essential to getting extraordinary things done in organizations. To conduct the research, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner collected thousands of “Personal Best” stories—the experiences people recalled when asked to think of a peak leadership experience.

Despite differences in people’s individual stories, their Personal-Best Leadership Experiences revealed similar patterns of behavior. The study found that when leaders are at their personal best, they:

Model the Way

Leaders establish principles concerning the way people (constituents, peers, colleagues, and customers alike) should be treated and the way goals should be pursued. They create standards of excellence and then set an example for others to follow. Because the prospect of complex change can overwhelm people and stifle action, they set interim goals so that people can achieve small wins as they work toward larger objectives. They unravel bureaucracy when it impedes action; they put up signposts when people are unsure of where to go or how to get there; and they create opportunities for victory.

Inspire a Shared Vision

Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future.

Challenge the Process

Leaders search for opportunities to change the status quo. They look for innovative ways to improve the organization. In doing so, they experiment and take risks. And because leaders know that risk taking involves mistakes and failures, they accept the inevitable disappointments as learning opportunities.

Enable Others to Act

Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others. Leaders understand that mutual respect is what sustains extraordinary efforts; they strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.

Encourage the Heart

Accomplishing extraordinary things in organizations is hard work. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders recognize contributions that individuals make. In every winning team, the members need to share in the rewards of their efforts, so leaders celebrate accomplishments. They make people feel like heroes.

Motivation: What Moves Us? | Psychology Today

Motivation: What Moves Us?

The brain science of drive and achievement