News Reality

In Defense of Doers

by www.huffingtonpost.com

Photo: Jozef Polc/Depositphotos.com

By: Chris White, Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan Leadership experts make it sound easy: "Follow these simple steps and you will have amazing results!" The typical format is somewhat formulaic. With poise and pithy quotes, we deliver our sticky stories. We boil down thousands of hours of research and experience into a set of snazzy slides and talking points. When they go well, our sessions help people make sense of the chaos around them. At our best, we provide practical tools and approaches that may make people more effective or happier at work. I say this with some basis in experience: I could probably be perceived as one of these "leadership experts." I run a research center with a mountain of relevant content. I teach an MBA class at a top business school. I blog regularly through mainstream media outlets. I give dozens of external talks and workshops a year. I have written a book through a prestigious publishing house. The resume adds up to the picture of a "leadership expert." Yet I have also been leading teams and organizations for the last eighteen years. This allows me to say unequivocally: leading and managing people is much, much harder than talking about it. The reality of organizational life is messy. It doesn't fit neatly into the two-by-two frameworks, or three step processes that make for compelling 700 word blog articles. The people we work with on a day to day basis have their own baggage from previous jobs. Maybe their previous boss was a tyrant, always looking for what was being done "wrong." The people we work with have their own lives outside of work. Maybe he or she is exhausted from working a second job, or going to evening classes, or has young children who are not yet sleeping through the night. The people we work with have diverse strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Maybe a struggling team member could be a superstar in a slightly adjusted role or working environment. The complexity is mind-boggling. And you know what? The same goes for me. I have my own baggage from previous jobs. I have had a controlling boss. I have experienced a sense of betrayed trust in the workplace. I too have my own life outside of work. I am spending much of my time excitedly preparing for a wedding next year, with all the new challenges and opportunities and growth that weddings and married life bring. I have my own strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Connecting dots in strategy and networks comes naturally to me; defining and implementing consistent processes does not. I am far from perfect. So what advice might I share with someone brave enough to show up every day, trying to build a positive organization in the messy, complex real world of work? Be humble. When you are wrong, or fall short of what you expect of yourself, admit it. Admit it quickly and unreservedly, to yourself and others. Apologize. Being humble will both manage expectations, and build trust. And try again. Be gentle with yourself. Accept, right now, that things will rarely go exactly as planned. Some things you try will not work the way you hoped. You will find some people harder to work with than others. Just do your best, and be kind to yourself about the emotional bumps and bruises along the way. These psychological knocks are simply the cost you pay for caring about your team. Being gentle with yourself will help you sustain yourself and gather up the energy needed to make your organizational change efforts successful. And try again. Keep learning and improving. Never fall into the trap of believing that the formulas proposed from most "leadership experts" will work perfectly in your organizations. They will require skilled adaptation. You will need to become comfortable using the tools that they recommend. Ask for feedback often. Look for subtle feedback in what you are told and not told by those around you. Continually learning and improving will make you better and inspire those around you to want to partner with you. And try again. What is the best advice you have for someone trying to build a positive organization? Chris White (@leadpositively, leadpositively.com) is managing director of the Center for Positive Organizations (@PositiveOrg) at the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.


Read Full Article On www.huffingtonpost.com
Latest
This year is set to be a major one for Apple due to a variety of reasons, most notably being the 10th anniversary of the iPhone.
It is vital Ireland secures a strong role in Brexit trade talks, writes John Whelan.
Nama has defended its performance in light of a new report suggesting it has missed out on generating €18bn for the State by selling assets too quickly.
The Public Sector Pay Commission has been warned not to “make matters worse” by ignoring external economic factors in its upcoming salary agreement deliberations.
Former dual Dublin GAA star Conal Keaney has set similar high standards in business as he had on the field, as he tells Pádraig Hoare
Trish Dromey talks to Dublin-based entrepreneur Aidan Duff, a pioneer of carbon fibre bikes
Economic pragmatism played a huge part in Martin McGuinness’ transformation from IRA leader to peace-seeking statesman, writes Kyran Fitzgerald.
nhdfm
Diversified agricultural activities firm Sasini Company wants to invest more than Sh600 million in avocado, macadamia and dairy sub-sectors to strengthen its returns.
Diversified agricultural activities firm Sasini Company wants to invest more than Sh600 million in avocado, macadamia and dairy sub-sectors to strengthen its returns.
Insurance companies in the life cover business saw their net profits triple in 2016 to Sh5.9 billion. The growth was driven by a jump in premiums, which grew from Sh61 billion in 2015 to Sh73 billion
Insurance companies in the life cover business saw their net profits triple in 2016 to Sh5.9 billion. The growth was driven by a jump in premiums, which grew from Sh61 billion in 2015 to Sh73 billion
Visa has partnered with Nest Africa to start a boot camp that will power collaboration opportunities between early stage technology companies, Visa and financial institutions from across Africa.
Visa has partnered with Nest Africa to start a boot camp that will power collaboration opportunities between early stage technology companies, Visa and financial institutions from across Africa.
Unlicensed video and film dealers will be shut down after 14 days.
Unlicensed video and film dealers will be shut down after 14 days.
A man described by police as notorious for raiding M-Pesa shops was shot dead in a botched robbery in Kamukunji, Nairobi.
A man described by police as notorious for raiding M-Pesa shops was shot dead in a botched robbery in Kamukunji, Nairobi.
The government is giving high speed broadband to 15 rural towns in Ireland to help grow business.
You may soon have to pay a TV licence fee, if you own a computer.
Shares of Reliance Industries fell by over 2 percent on Monday after Sebi banned the company and 12 others from equity derivatives trading for one year.
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's Hyundai Motor on Monday said it had suspended production at one of its Chinese factories for a week, fuelling concern that a diplomatic standoff may be hurting sales i
A lot has been made about Sinopec’s acquisition of its first African refinery after it bought 75 percent of Chevron’s South African assets.
PARIS (AP) — French Guiana is facing a nationwide strike amid mounting protests over crime and economic difficulty that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rock
MTR will run one of the UK's biggest franchises along with First Group.
The world of work as we know it is poised to change beyond recognition. And it will be fuelled by the next era of mobile technology.
The deputy PM Daniel Constantin, who is also the minister of environment, could leave the government after ALDE, the party he co-chairs, decided to withdraw the political support in his case. The Alli
Diamonds have played an important role in Namibia’s history, and after 27 years of independence, it has regained control of this natural resource.
Starting April 1, several rules will change from Railways, to SBI to vehicles norms – newer rules will be implemented which can impact your life.
Old Mutual has sold a 25 percent stake in its US fund management arm to China’s HNA for $446 million.
Clearing confusion over its action against slaughter houses in the state, the Uttar Pradesh government today said it was acting only against the illegal abattoirs. "We are acting only against ille
Twelve trucks laden with sand were seized and the drivers arrested during a drive against illegal mining on the Yamuna riverbed in Shamli district of Uttar Pradesh. Officials, led by sub-divisional m
Cottonseed oilcake prices were lower by Rs 17 to Rs 2,167 per quintal in futures trading today after speculators trimmed their bets, triggered by a weak trend at the physical markets. Marketmen attri
Rajya Sabha proceedings were disrupted today after Congress-led opposition created uproar over delay in filling up of vacancies in statutory commissions for minorities, SCs, STs and OBCs. Soon af

Recent News

Proposal for mandatory webcasts of council meetings in Wales

Council webcasting could become compulsory under Welsh Government plans.
Read Full Article

Northern Ireland power-sharing deadline set to expire

The deadline to form of a new power-sharing executive is approaching with no prospect of agreement.
Read Full Article

All Salomon Ski Boots Are Made In Romania

Finland’s Amer, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sporting goods, works with five plants in Romania that generated more than 250 million lei (EUR55 million) revenue in 2015, according to t
Read Full Article

BT fined record 42 million pounds for business-line installation errors

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's BT has been fined a record 42 million pounds ($53 million) by the regulator for failing to install high-speed lines for businesses fast enough, in an error that is likely
Read Full Article

It’s about time, says Marchionne after Ferrari win

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne hailed their winning start to the Formula One season on Sunday by saying it was “about time”, and reminded the team that they still had a long way to go
Read Full Article

How AP tallied the cost of North Carolina’s “bathroom bill”

The Associated Press used dozens of interviews and multiple public records requests to determine that North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” will cost the state more than $3.76 billion in lost business over
Read Full Article

Self-driving Uber crashes in Tempe, Arizona

One of Uber's self-driving cars was involved in an apparent high impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, on Friday evening. A photo shows an Uber Volvo rolled onto its side next to a smashed up Ford car.
Read Full Article

Scientists turn spinach leaf into working human heart

Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute used a spinach leaf to grow some heart tissue. Researchers were able to culture beating human heart cells on the leaf.
Read Full Article

Stunning images show angles of the Artic Circle melting

An environmental photographer has revealed the extraordinary journey she embarked on to capture dozens of stunning images showing the various angles of the Arctic melting.
Read Full Article

Popular Finance

 

The painful price of the new pound

Already, £1.5 billion worth of the new coins have been distributed to secret points around the country. Each coin will have an expected lifespan of 25 years.
Read Full Article
 

Can parents and grandparents open Lifetime Isas for teens

The older generations of my family are thinking about whether we can or should open Lifetime Isas to help teens start saving early for homes or retirement.
Read Full Article
 

First Utility now offers broadband - should you switch?

It will offer deals at three speeds, 17Mbps, 38Mbps and 76Mbps, priced between £18.99 and £34.99-a-month.
Read Full Article
 

I need to sell my house in a fortnight - what can I do? 

From firms that will buy your home at a discount, to insurance contracts that stop buyer dropping out at the last minute - you do have options, even if they cost a bit of cash.
Read Full Article
 

MARKETS LIVE: London shares dip at the bell  

The slow start comes after President Donald Trump was forced last week to scrap plans for his healthcare plan on Friday after it became clear he would not have enough backers.
Read Full Article

Arun Jaitley introduces CGST, GST Compensation Bills in Lok Sabha

Also, amendments to the excise and Customs Act to abolish various cess as well as furnishing Bills for exports and imports under the new GST regime will be placed before the House.
Read Full Article

Jaitley introduces four bills on Goods and Services Tax in parliament

The bills introduced are the Central GST Bill, the Integrated GST Bill, the Union Territory GST Bill, and the GST (Compensation to States) Bill.
Read Full Article

Reps. Devin Nunes and Adam Schiff couldn't be less alike — just like the two Californias they come from

Two congressmen from the state President Trump seems to despise most are leading an investigation into whether his campaign team conspired with the Russians. And the two lawmakers couldn’t be more
Read Full Article

Trump's day in tweets: Sunday, March 26

Everything President Trump has tweeted (and what it was about) March 26, 2017, 9:51 p.m. His tweets have the power to shape international relations, send stock prices up - or down - and galvanize
Read Full Article