San Antonio Leadership

Principled Leadership: "Come, follow me, and leave the world to its babblings." Dante, The Divine Comedy

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Remember words mean something...

"Manage" comes from the Latin word, manus, for hand. This applies to machine, systems, etc.

Lead is an action given to a person or people.

If a person manages people, this person will not be their leader for long. If a person leads people, they will follow.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Trait Theory

Stogdill is one the main scholars of trait theory appraoch to leadership. Two of Stogdill's surveys established certain traits which were consistent of leaders.

The first survey concluded: intelligence, alertness, insight, responsibility, initiative, persistence, self-confidence, and sociability were traits found among leaders. These traits did not automatically make a person a leader. The person also needed the right situation (a leadership opportunity) and work with others.

The second survey added more traits which included: drive, vigor and persistence inpursuit of goals, venturesomeness and originality in problem-solving, personal identity, willingness to accept consequence for actions and decisions, ability to influence another person's behavior.

These surveys took place from the 1930s-1950s.

Other scolars of the trait approach were: Mann, Lord, and Kirkpatrick and Locke.

There are five traits in the contemporary studies of leadership: intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability. The traits have not changed much over the decades of trait research. Of course, this is one approach to leadership. There are more and these will be written about in days to come.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

New VP of Marketing receives kind welcome on blog

Randy Tinseth earned VP of Marketing for Boeing in April. Part in parcel of the job is keeping up the blog. His May 3rd entry received kind words as he takes the new reigns.

Just an example of an executive using a blog and people taking notice. Good luck Randy Tinseth, share your leadership thoughts at Boeing.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"Isn't ironic..."

Just a thought. The Communist regime in Poland fell inpart of Lech Walesa's solidarity movement. A word that means union and fellowship. Here is a definition.

Communnism would seem to mean a similar definition in governmental terms. History's ironies are interesting.

Anyways, leaders should think about the principles of solidarity. Basically, although a leader may be in a higher position, she should realize that she is not worth more in the sense of human value. This recognition should lead the leader to see the needs, desires, likes, strengths, and most importantly talents of her followers and assign roles consistent with those. Ego will need to step out the door so that the leader will be able to help others in a genuine way.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Makes no cents

Wally Bock at Three Star Leadership has a good piece up on a problem that faces many front line managers and supervisors: lack of skill development. As he mentions, a Gallup study showed that people leave managers, not companies and work production and job satisfaction are linked to the skill of a manager to find a role that fits an employees talent. These can be taught, should be taught, and are not being taught.

I think it may be a problem because training is often seen as a benefit for working at a company. Training and development are not really benefits. Vacation, insurance coverage for an employees family, and season tickets to the Spurs are benefits. Training is really for the success of the company. Maybe this is why many trainers and OD practioners have a problem with ROI. It is seen as a benefit, an add on, extra. If seen as a way to enhance the skills of a manager, supervisor, or lead then the ROI would be much more evident. People transferring from front line into manager roles probably do not have the training to lead and read people.

ROI for training: More spending for training = Huge profits. This is assuming that the training team is good.

Example: Rackspace does a good job training. Mr. Henry Sauer, dean of Rackspace University, has written a good article on setting up a training department. One of his points is very good, "Professional development training encompasses courses that improve employees' ability to perform their jobs including managerial training, teamwork training, business presentation skills, etc." Rackspace was a small managed hosting company only five years ago and has increased in size to 1400 Rackers, offices internationally, and still holds the company culture it is branded by: fanatical customer support, results first, embracing change, passion for work, promise keeping, treating others as friends and family. These are not easy to train, but Rackspace has been successful in the past. Hats off to Mr. Sauer, Ms. Staci Marshall, and the Rack U team!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

List your leadership book recommendations!

I am searching for leadership books that have impressed you and made a difference in the way you view your organization, co-workers, followers, etc.

Blogging CEO mentions family

I really enjoy reading a leader's blog when he mentions family. It really adds a personal touch, a human side, a face of sorts to the leader. Plus, I may get some tips on raising my own children. Mark Cuban, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks does this here.