Leadership Reflections Part 4 – December 28, 2001

Posted by Gerry on August 15th, 2009

Gerry La Londe-Berg, December 28, 2001

Here are several lessons I’ve learned about leadership, supervision and management (three distinct things).

The very first lesson I recall learning about management came from a camp director when I was a sophomore in high school.  Steve Noceti told me, “If you want to be a manager, you have to be willing to sweep the floor.”  By this he meant, and I took, that if you want to lead people you have to be right there with them in their work. And the manager has to be the one who follows up and assures that everything is done, even the little details.  I don’t still sweep the floors, but I have.  I personally add, in my own thinking, that this should be done with humility and never with chagrin.  I usually don’t even let people know that I was the one who looked out for the little details.  Having them done just makes a nicer workplace.

A second key thought: I believe that the secret to success in a bureaucracy is “Hold Onto your Discretion.”  I learned this from Robert Pruger at Berkeley.  His description of life in the bureaucracy was very helpful.  Each of us has a great deal of discretion and choice in our daily activity.  Even within any set of rules and regulations, individuals perform the implementation, hence there is inherent discretion.  Any good manager or supervisor values the quality of what we perform as individuals.  If the individual produces quality, as it is defined in that setting, then the people leading the system (if they are smart) let the individual continue to perform with minimal interference.  Therefore, by producing quality we increase our range of discretion.

In a well run bureaucracy, those who produce a quality product are promoted and/or listened to; our inputs into policy development are also respected (thus providing leadership in a sense).  Adding our input into policy yet again increases our discretion by letting us shape our work environment.

In contrast, someone who is not doing well is questioned.  They are monitored.  Their range of discretion is limited.  The poorer someone performs, then the more their supervisor tries to guide and direct them.  They have lost discretion.  As a supervisor, I explicitly described this to the people I supervised.  I tried to let them know that I would allow them the maximum discretion it was in my authority to offer them as long as they performed well and attended to quality.

In our human services settings the quality is defined both by competence in our tasks as well as by compassion in performing them.  I have found that clearly discussing goals, parameters and transgressions in an empathetic way has helped those I supervised bring out the best they could provide.  I also think that respect and honesty play a huge role in all this.  People respond well to high expectations.  They also appreciate if someone helps them, and shows them, the areas that could be improved.  The strategic use of both Individual Employee Conferences and group Staff Meetings allow multiple opportunities to create shared positive expectations.

For me a third key element I use is data.  Empirical facts, gathered from the actual work processes and products stands up well to scrutiny.  I track the things that are important, and, I share his data to those above me and to those below me in the system.  Surprisingly, neither those above me, nor those below me ever gave me much feedback about the value of the data (this is as true in 2009 as it was in 2001).  Maybe it’s just my way of looking at the world, but I like to know what is going on, and I like to be able to prove it.  As a supervisor, I have found that I have to explain the data and put it in context for those around me.  By doing so I am demonstrating leadership.  I can also measure whether a particular strategy has borne results.  I do rely on the data the system develops, but I study it carefully.  I also keep my own set of data (cases carried, cases closed, outcomes, types of cases, etc) to track what I am interested in and capture some things that aren’t asked for.

Some summary points:

  • Remember, a supervisor is a teacher.
  • A supervisor needs to be very discreet and hold confidences.
  • A supervisor needs to use their own supervisor as a guide, mentor and advisor.
  • A person promoted to supervisor still keeps their friends, but the relationship has changed.
  • In most workplaces the good will and mutual respect are there between line staff and supervisors.  Some people try to test you though.
  • Maybe I’m somewhat dense, but there were also a variety of things which people don’t tell you, as the supervisor.  If it’s not related to the quality of the work and how we serve our clients/patients then sometimes it’s best to just let that stuff go.

Leadership Reflections Part 3 – Leadership Management and Supervision

Posted by Gerry on August 15th, 2009

Leadership descriptions and configurations of the roles of leadership, management and supervision vary widely.  I have come to the conclusion that there can never be a final answer because no one can understand and implement their understanding in their lifetime.  What we can do is accept that there are many fine people who would lead us to gain for ourselves a better understanding of the issues and we can act on this understanding in whatever role we have.

I had a twitter dialogue 08/15/09 with Scott Derrick http://twitter.com/kscottderrick about the distinction between these words/roles.  This is my response.

A critical consideration of our understanding the interplay of these three roles is to have a sense of how change happens in organizations.  This means more than how the organization’s leadership thinks they want things to change, it is related to how change really happens.

Change can be generated from the top down or from the bottom up or from the outside, or from unidentified sources.  How the people in an organization fair under these variable conditions, most of which are always active, shapes how the change occurs and if it lasts.   A wise manager, acting in the leadership role, would do well to listen to the internal constituencies in the organization and let them influence, or even shape, what changes and what gets preserved.

My contention is that anyone in an organization can be a leader and that people vested with titles and roles must be leaders.

My contention is that everyone in organizations has to manage their own activities to fulfill their own role.  A thoughtful person will understand that everyone around them, especially those above them are managing larger configurations of people and resources. A person who has the role of director or manager (especially in government or non-profits) has to have the mind set, leadership abilities, and business savvy to pull together more things than everybody else.  They have to manage, but they don’t do it alone.

My contention about supervision is that the activity of supervising someone else includes both guiding them in their tasks and managing the environment so that the person being supervised has what they need to be successful.  I remember reading somewhere that Deming said that 85% of all the problems in a system are created by the system rather than the people who work in the system (Dobyns & Crawford-Mason Thinking About Quality, 1994).  The supervisor acts through other people (up and down) to assure that other people succeed.

Consider what these three terms have in common.  All three rely on the ability to influence the behavior of others so the goals of the organization are achieved.  Leaving aside the fact that many government entities may have multiple and even conflicting goals, we can say that leadership, management, and supervision are successful if by their action the goals are achieved over the long term.  What enables people to do their job is a configuration of internal motivation (values, pay, goals, strengths) and external factors delivered via the organization as manifested by directors, managers, and supervisors (as well as peers).

I am most familiar with government and non-profit organizations.  Leadership and management in these bureaucracies is fraught with complexity (oh, but aren’t they all?).  The complexity can be adequately demonstrated simply by listing the numerous constituencies. Consider Child Welfare Services in the United States, it is governed by:

  • Federal law
  • Federal Policy and several different federal departments’ expectations
  • State statutes required by federal law
  • State statutes
  • County law, rules, policy
  • Court precedent & practices in Dependency
  • Court factors related to criminal, family law, & probate guardianship law
  • Social Work Values and ethics
  • County department policies, procedures, guidelines and informal practices
  • State and local demographic and economic factors
  • The local human services delivery system of state county and non-profit providers
  • History, research, and attitudes concerning child abuse and neglect
  • The elements that go into abuse and neglect, and
  • The children and families who are served.

A good manager, supervisor, leader or worker has learned how to work successfully in this environment.

No single person stays in such a complex system for long before they realize that this is a cooperative venture.  In fact, how people progress up as workers, supervisors, managers and directors is very closely related to their ability to cooperate and navigate and facilitate other people’s progress, and hence the organization’s goals.

Managers don’t manage by themselves.  For example, managers are expected to lie out and approve the framework of activities but they rely on others to actually plan the specifics of activities both before and after they set the framework.

Managers are ultimately responsible for bringing together resources and setting priority for using resources, but the ongoing use, diminishment, and replenishment of resources is achieved by many people at all levels of the organization.  Good managers know how to integrate these things, especially as all of this relates to inherent ambiguity (prediction, probability, data, life, etc.)

Directors (as managers) and managers are expected to act as supervisors of the Supervisors, who in turn supervise others.  One of the better pieces of advise my brother-in-law gave me was that the only job harder than being a supervisor is to have to supervise supervisors.

Managers are nominally responsible for controlling costs and quality; however, they achieve this by having other people organize the monitoring of costs and carrying out decisions (which are often group decisions).   In modern times (and probably olden times) we’ve seen that managers aren’t particularly successful at controlling costs sometimes.  As to quality, managers do have a primary role in assuring quality, and they do this by helping create a culture of quality, or fostering a culture if it already exists.  Many others have written far more eloquently than I about this.  A key observation I would make, however, is that you, the reader, know what quality is in what you do, so you can achieve it if you act like a leader.

Leaders can have titles and roles.  Leaders can also have integrity and skills which generates influence without a high title.  For the past year or so I participated in a work group in our county entitled Leadership Enhancement and Development (LEAD).  It started out in the context of succession planning and evolved into several components designed to nurture our staff to be ready to promote, but also to act as leaders in their present roles.  The significant thing about this as a leadership task is that our organization’s executive committee delegated to a group of middle managers and supervisors the task of developing the program to assure we will have better leaders in the future.  This seems one simple example of how leadership is both title and action based.

If you carefully read the list of goals we developed below you’ll recognize that most of the goals could be understood as fostering leading, managing, and/or supervising.

Goals for Leadership Development

*        Grow people to move up in organization

*        Preparing people to advance

*        Exposure to “next” job

*        Expose employees to career path management

*        Help people to move to positions they are suited for which are challenging and stimulating

*        Help employees self assess

*        Help employees set goals

*        Career awareness

*        Increase political savvy

*        Be in synch with Human Resources – take advantage of what they are offering (in positions and training)

*        Develop an internal talent pool to fill jobs – multiple candidates

*        Create culture of mentoring – not just top – down – atmosphere of learning

*        Retain staff – attract staff

*        Increase understanding of Department mission and their role

*        Supports our guiding principles – employee satisfaction leads to others

*        Increase manager knowledge of employees goals and interests

*        Talk to employees before interviews

*        Better promotional interviews by candidates

The role of the supervisor is always two fold; we must achieve the mission and build the capacity of the supervisee to achieve the mission in their role.  I’ve added a Part 4 blog post to cover some of my older thoughts, which haven’t changed much, however there are some summary points:

  • Remember, a supervisor is a teacher.
  • A supervisor needs to be very discreet and hold confidences.
  • A supervisor needs to use their own supervisor as a guide, mentor and advisor.
  • A person promoted to supervisor still keeps their friends, but the relationship has changed.
  • In most workplaces the good will and mutual respect are there between line staff and supervisors.  Some people try to test you though.
  • A supervisor focuses on outcomes and people.


Other factors which bear more discussion and perhaps guidance from people in the know include how to lead, manage and supervise when you are multiple steps removed from the actual client, such as state and federal participants, regulators, etc.    I also reference, how change happens, but this too is a topic for another day.

Post script:

Three of the well known names who have great perspectives include Warren Bennis and Jim Collins and John Kotter.

Bennis with Burt Nanus gave me some early perspectives in Leaders, The Strategies for Taking Charge (1985).  The many further works of Warren Bennis hold a depth of knowledge.  Jim Collins definition of Level Five Leaders in Good to Great (2001) defines success in financial terms.  In brief, Level 5 leaders have a type of drive and discipline overlaid with personal humility – It’s about the goal, not about the individual leader. I have met many leaders who gravitated to government and private non-profit roles who truly exemplify this definition.  Kotter in Leading Change (1996) offers an extremely useful framework for leadership and change management.

There are many more fine folks thinking about this.  I hope this part 3 was useful.

Coming soon – Some leading web sites, think tanks and blogs to pay attention to if you want to be a leader.

Leadership reflections – Part II – Bibliography of a variety of other books on organizations and leadership.

Posted by Gerry on August 9th, 2009

I like all of these writers for a variety of reasons. The full bibliography gives details on these recommended ones and others.

The ones I would recommend the most include:

Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus, Leaders, The Strategies for Taking Charge presents four key principles every manager should know: Attention Through Vision, Meaning Through Communication, Trust Through Positioning, and The Deployment of Self.

Collins, Jim, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t
If there was any way to apply this rigorous assessment to the government or non-profit sector then we could get some valuable insights. The six (6) key insights in this book already have something to guide all of us.

[then came]

Collins, Jim, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer Jim Collins, November 2005 A monograph to accompany “Good to Great”

Cross, Jay, Informal Learning – Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance = The premise – People learn how to do their jobs informally – talking, observing others, trial-and-error, and simply working with people in the know. Formal training and workshops account for only 10% to 20% of what people learn at work. Learning is that which enables you to participate successfully in life, at work, and in the groups that matter to you. Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way people learn to do their jobs.

Lloyd Dobyns & Clare Crawford-Mason, Thinking About Quality – Progress, Wisdom, and the Deming Philosophy = A great book on systems. It’s biggest insight, among many, is that it explains clearly that the structure of systems, rather than the individual occupants of positions, create most problems.

Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone, Success through a Positive Mental Attitude = A classic, not on management, on life.

Kotter, John P., Leading Change = In Leading Change, John Kotter identifies an eight-step process to overcome the obstacles and carry out the firm’s agenda: establishing a greater sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering others to act, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing even more change, and institutionalizing new approaches in the future.

Moxley, Russ S., Leadership & Spirit – Breathing new vitality and energy into individuals and organizations = This is a really beautiful and thought provoking book


Leadership Bibliography sans Strengthfinders materials which are in a separate list.

Prepared by Gerry La Londe-Berg

Warren Bennis & Burt Nanus
Leaders, The Strategies for Taking Charge
Harper & Row Publishers, NY, 1985

My first all time favorite. This is now tied with a couple others….

In this illuminating study of corporate America’s most critical issue — leadership — world-renowned leadership guru Warren Bennis and his co-author Burt Nanus reveal the four key principles every manager should know: Attention Through Vision, Meaning Through Communication, Trust Through Positioning, and The Deployment of Self.

In this age of “process”, with downsizing and restructuring affecting many workplaces, companies have fallen trap to lack of communication and distrust, and vision and leadership are needed more than ever before. The wisdom and insight in Leaders addresses this need. It is an indispensable source of guidance all readers will appreciate, whether they’re running a small department or in charge of an entire corporation.

Bennis, Warren
Managing the Dream – Reflections on Leadership and Change
Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, Mass., 2000
By Max More on Amazon = The venerable leadership master, Warren Bennis, puts his life’s work in perspective in this very personal collection. Bennis’s work on leadership remains highly relevant in the new economy. His view is that this is an era “in which the very pace of change is accelerating with each new day”, and that “change is the only constant”. His most durable advice to leaders is to stay nimble, but this book — part meditation, part how-to manual — goes much deeper than these quotes can convey.

Kenneth Blanchard & Norman Vincent Peale
The Power of Ethical Management
William Morrow & Company,1988

Always a top priority to think about.

Peter Block
The Empowered Manager, positive Political Skills At Work
Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1987

Another view on effectiveness

Collins, Jim
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t
New York: Harper Business, 2001.

Based on a five-year research project, Good to Great answers the question: “Can a good company become a great company, and, if so, how?” True to the rigorous research methodology and invigorating teaching style of Jim Collins, Good to Great teaches how even the dowdiest of companies can make the leap to outperform market leaders the likes of Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck

I heard Jim Collins speak on the Charlie Rose TV interview program. If there was any way to apply this rigorous assessment to the government or non-profit sector then we could get some valuable insights. The six (6) key insights in this book already have something to guide all of us.
[then came]

Collins, Jim
Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer
Jim Collins, November 2005

A monograph to accompany “Good to Great”
Short excerpts from the monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer. The full monograph can be obtained from many local bookstores and major online booksellers. (In addition, you might like to visit the Lecture Hall section of this Web site, where you can find audio excerpts from the monograph.)

Jay Conger et al
Charismatic Leadership, The Elusive Factor in Organizational Effectiveness
Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco, CA, 1988

A scholastic treatment of an under studied attribute

Robert Cooper & Ayman Sawaf
Executive EQ, Emotional Intelligence In Leadership and Organizations
A Perigee Book, The Berkley Publishing Group, New York, NY, 1997

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power. In ” and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.

A Tibetan Elder said, “Two things no one can take away: First, what I value and believe – what I feel, beneath everything else, is true in my heart, even when my mind can’t prove it or explain it. And second, short of killing me, they could not take away how I express who I am on the path to my destiny. These are the things that make me real and give me hope.”

The Tibetan Elder said, “In Tibet we call it authentic presence. It means literally “Field of power”. When we live from here, from the inside, we can talk openly and honestly with each other, and say the things we deeply feel, even when it’s hard to say them. We hold ourselves, and each other, accountable to our best effort in all things. We search for our calling, for the path we are born to take. Every person has this, and can face hardships and problems but not live inside them. This is a very difficult thing to do, but we can do it, we can set them aside. They do not go away, but we must not miss the chance to keep learning from whatever is here now.”

Emotional Intelligence requires and activating energy that enlivens what we feel and value. We express this in many ways, such as being open, honest, of integrity, courageous, and creative – committing ourselves to transforming even the most daunting circumstances into something meaningful, and valuable, as we shape a new future.
By and large, what we are searching for in business and in life isn’t out there, in the latest trends and technology; it’s in here, inside ourselves. It has been there all along, but we have not valued it, or respected it, or used it as brilliantly as we are capable of. At its essence, a meaningful and successful life requires being attuned to what is on the inside, beneath the mental analysis, the appearances and control, beneath the rhetoric and skin. In the human heart.

The hallmarks of EQ – to learn, and teach, through feelings linked to reasoning instead of abstract ideas and analysis, relationship instead of rote, authenticity instead of reaction, deep discernment instead of habit, and through essence instead of surface.

What are your life stories? What is your sense of personal calling, your deepest feelings about the reason you are alive? What makes you real and worth knowing?
There is more in human life, and work, than our rigid time-worn theories allow. There’s more depth and wisdom in what we feel, in how the heart holds an image of our unique potential, our destiny, and calls us to it.

Cross, Jay
Informal Learning – Rediscovering the natural pathways that inspire innovation and performance
Pfeiffer, A Wiley Imprint, John Wiley and Sons, San Francisco, 2007

By the author = Informal Learning begins with a discussion of how the passage of time is accelerating. The 21st century will see the experience of 20,000 old 20th century years. That said, I’m hardly surprised to find this book on Amazon, eight months before it will be published. (I’m still editing the copy.)

As long as you’re here, I’ll share what the book is going to be about. People learn how to do their jobs informally – talking, observing others, trial-and-error, and simply working with people in the know. Formal training and workshops account for only 10% to 20% of what people learn at work. Most corporations over-invest in formal training while neglecting more natural, simple ways to learn.

Learning is that which enables you to participate successfully in life, at work, and in the groups that matter to you. Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way people learn to do their jobs.

Learning is adaptation. Taking advantage of the double meaning of the word network, to learn is to optimize the quality of one’s networks.

Executives don’t want learning; they want execution. They want performance. Informal learning is a profit strategy. Companies are using informal learning to:

* Improve knowledge worker productivity 20% – 30%
* Increase sales by Google-izing product knowledge
* Generate fresh ideas and increase innovation
* Transform an organization from disaster to record profits
* Reduce stress, absenteeism, and healthcare costs
* Invest development resources for maximum impact impact
* Increase professionalism and professional growth
* Cut costs and improve responsiveness with self-service learning

Training is something that’s pushed on you; learning is something you choose to do. Many a knowledge worker will tell you, “I love to learn but I hate to be trained.” Knowledge workers thrive when given the freedom to decide how they will do what they’re asked to do. They rise or fall to meet expectations.

Informal Learning is about challenging workers (and executives) to be all they can be.
10 Things I Like About This Book, December 16, 2006 BY William Veltrop on Amazon
First, a bit of context: I’m a seasoned (30+ years) practitioner in the field of leadership development, organizational learning, design and change. I’ve come to see that the work of transforming our organizations to new levels of consciousness, effectiveness and sustainability rests on our skill as practitioners and leaders in achieving a breakthrough an organization’s capacity to learn how to learn–to be responsive to ever-increasing challenges and ever-increasing rates of change.

I’ve long been aware of the high cost and relative ineffectiveness of conventional “butts-in-seats” approaches to individual and organizational learning. The accelerating emergence of relevant learning strategies, methods, technologies and tools over the past decade has been encouraging–necessary but not sufficient. Jay Cross’ wonderfully crafted Informal Learning constitutes a major breakthrough for all who care about transforming the organizations they serve.


1. It does a magnificent job of explaining how we actually learn. It turns much “conventional wisdom” on its head. It provides us a cornucopia of innovative ideas for how to stimulate a culture of learning and innovation throughout an organization.

2. It’s clear, clean and creatively written/formatted. I was pulled into and through the book by Jay’s open, straight-talking, conversational style. His use of a variety of illustrations and juicy sidebar tidbits kept luring me to go just a bit further. The accessibility of information is superb.

3. It’s alive. It’s up-to-the minute and it anticipates a future where organizations are becoming increasingly alive and conscious because they’ve mastered the art of encouraging and nurturing informal learning.

4. Jay has distilled hard-earned wisdom from a rich collection of experts and pioneers–transformation-minded innovators and practitioner-theorists who I deeply respect–infinite players such as John Seely Brown, Etienne Wenger, David Cooperrider, Juanita Brown, David Sibbet, Verna Allee, Bruce Cryer and George Leonard.

5. Informal Learning is extraordinarily comprehensive and discerning. Jay has cast a wide net and presented us with only that which is value-adding. He has separated the wheat from the chaff.

6. It’s an out-of-the-box paradigm-shifting book. He shakes up our traditional ways of thinking about learning, training and education in organizations. Informal Learning provides a variety of cures for “hardening of the categories.”

7. It challenges and supports HR and Training departments to multiply their effectiveness in promoting and sustaining a vibrant informal learning culture. It provides pragmatic guidance in creative ways of weaving the work of people development throughout the fabric of an organization’s operations.

8. It both challenges all organizational leaders to take direct responsibility for creating and maintaining an environment–a “learnscape”–where informal learning will naturally take root and flourish. It then provides a plethora of ideas for how to make that a reality.

9. I can easily visualize a number of generative ways of planting this book in organizations–ways that will cause relevant ideas to germinate, take root, grow and spread.

10. Best of all, Jay has built a strong case for treating an organization’s approach to learning as a potential core business strategy. As we move into an era of ever-increasing change, an organization’s capacity to learn and to innovate will become increasingly crucial to it’s sustainability.

So — Thank you, Jay Cross! Your book is a great piece of work–a major contribution to the world of organizations, leadership development, organizational design, learning and change. Leaders and practitioners everywhere will gain much by accessing and experimenting with the many ideas and insights you have provided us in this book.

Damasio, Antonio R
Descartes’ Error – Emotion, Reason, and the human brain
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, NY, 1994

One of the more often quoted scholars in writings about the new research on human thought.

Deci, Edward L. with Richard Flaste
Why We Do What We Do – The dynamics of personal autonomy
G.P. Putnam’s Sns, NY 1995

Edward L. Deci (University of Rochester) in his text, Why We Do What We Do: The Dynamics of Personal Autonomy (1995) explores the heart of the all important internal motivation that really supports long-lasting behavior?
Take a moment to consider the conditions that go into your own motivation. When are you motivated to do something and why? Now consider the effects on your own motivation when you are asked to do something by someone in authority. What qualities need to be present to illicit a motivated and/or interested response from you? How is this situation similar to what workers face?
Deci writes that allowing for personal autonomy can play a key role in developing internal motivation. Having a sense of personal autonomy, or self-determination, means that a person feels that their behavior is self-chosen and not imposed by an external power. Research has shown that people have an internal need (much like the needs of the body) for this sense of personal autonomy. http://www.personal.psu.edu/scs15/idweb/motivation.htm

Lloyd Dobbins & Clare Crawford-Mason
Thinking About Quality – Progress, Wisdom, and the Deming Philosophy
Times Books, Random House, New York, NY 1994

A great book on systems. It’s biggest insight, among many, is that it explains clearly that the structure of systems, rather than the individual occupants of positions, create most problems. Therefore, managers must redesign what they have done before they blame it on someone else. Better yet, they must free people to succeed, because people truly want to succeed. (see also Deming’s 14 points)

Fisher, Roger and Daniel Shapiro
Beyond Reason – Using Emotions as you negotiate
Viking – the Penguin Group, NY, 2005

Emotions matter. In Beyond Reason, you will discover how to use emotions to turn a disagreement – big or small, professional or personal – into an opportunity for mutual gain.
Practical advice. Beyond Reason offers straightforward, powerful advice for dealing with emotions in even your toughest negotiations, whether with a difficult colleague or your angry spouse.
Five keys to unlock the power of emotions. You will discover five “core concerns” that lie at the heart of most emotional challenges. And more importantly, you will learn how to address these concerns to improve your relationships and get the results you want. The advice builds on previous work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, the group that brought you the groundbreaking Getting to YES. World-renowned negotiator Roger Fisher teams with psychologist Daniel Shapiro, an expert on the emotional dimension of negotiation, to bring you this indispensable bestseller.


Gladwell, Malcolm
Blink – The power of thinking without thinking
Little Brown and Company, NY, 2005

From Amazon = Gladwell’s conclusion, after studying how people make instant decisions in a wide range of fields from psychology to police work, is that we can make better instant judgments by training our mind and senses to focus on the most relevant facts—and that less input (as long as it’s the right input) is better than more. But if one sets aside Gladwell’s dazzle, some questions and apparent inconsistencies emerge.

Daniel Goleman
Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence (Paperback)
Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass. 2002

Business leaders who maintain that emotions are best kept out of the work environment do so at their organization’s peril. Bestselling author Daniel Goleman’s theories on emotional intelligence (EI) have radically altered common understanding of what “being smart” entails, and in Primal Leadership, he and his coauthors present the case for cultivating emotionally intelligent leaders. Since the actions of the leader apparently account for up to 70 percent of employees’ perception of the climate of their organization, Goleman and his team emphasize the importance of developing what they term “resonant leadership.” Focusing on the four domains of emotional intelligence–self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management–they explore what contributes to and detracts from resonant leadership, and how the development of these four EI competencies spawns different leadership styles.

Daniel Goleman
Working With Emotional Intelligence
Bantam Books, NY, October 1998

Business leaders and outstanding performers are not defined by their IQs or even their job skills, but by their “emotional intelligence”: a set of competencies that distinguishes how people manage feelings, interact, and communicate. Analyses done by dozens of experts in 500 corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide conclude that emotional intelligence is the barometer of excellence on virtually any job. This book explains what emotional intelligence is and why it counts more than IQ or expertise for excelling on the job. It details 12 personal competencies based on self-mastery (such as accurate self-assessment, self-control, initiative, and optimism) and 13 key relationship skills (such as service orientation, developing others, conflict management, and building bonds). Goleman includes many examples and anecdotes–from Fortune 500 companies to a nonprofit preschool–that show how these competencies lead to or thwart success.

Greenleaf, Robert K.
Servant Leadership – A journey into the Nature of legitimate power and greatness, 25th anniversary edition
Paulist Press, NY, 1977

Servant-leadership emphasizes the leader’s role as steward of the resources (human, financial and otherwise) provided by the organization. It encourages leaders to serve others while staying focused on achieving results in line with the organization’s values and integrity.


Harari, Oren
The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell
McGraw-Hill, NY, 2002

From Amazon = The Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell is the first in-depth exploration of Colin Powell’s goal-driven approach to leadership. Whether you are currently a business leader or one who aspires to leadership, it provides a blueprint for inspiring anyone¬¬ including yourself ¬¬to achieve extraordinary levels of performance. “This book is about leadership ¬¬the kind of practical, mission- and people-based leadership that Colin Powell has practiced, and which throughout his career has translated into performance excellence and competitive success.


Colin Powell’s principles of leadership described in the book include the following:
• Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.
• The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership.
• Don’t be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce hemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.
• Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
• Never neglect details. When everyone’s mind is dulled or distracted the leader must be doubly vigilant.
• You don’t know what you can get away with until you try.
• Keep looking below surface appearances. Don’t shrink from doing so (just) because you might not like what you find.
• Organization doesn’t really accomplish anything. Plans don’t accomplish anything, either. Theories of management don’t much matter. Endeavors succeed or fall because of the people involved. Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.
• Organization charts and fancy titles count for next to nothing.
• Never let your ego get so close to your position that when your position goes, your ego goes with it.
• Fit no stereotypes. Don’t chase the latest management fads. The situation dictates which approach best accomplishes the team’s mission.
• Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.
• Powell’s Rules for Picking People: Look for intelligence and judgment, and most critically, a capacity to anticipate, to see around corners. Also look for loyalty, integrity, a high energy drive, a balanced ego, and the drive to get things done.
• Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.
• Part I: Use the formula P=40 to 70, in which P stands for the probability of success and the numbers indicate the percentage of information acquired. Part II: “Once the information is in the 40 to 70 range, go with your gut.
• The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong, unless proved otherwise.
• Have fun in your command. Don’t always run at a breakneck pace. Take leave when you’ve earned it: Spend time with your families. Corollary: surround yourself with people who take their work seriously, but not themselves, those who work hard and play hard.
• Command is lonely.

Paul Hersey & Ken Blanchard
Management of Organizational Behavior, Utilizing Human Resources, 6th Edition
Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1993

Ken Blanchard, before the “One Minute Manager” fame.

Napoleon Hill & W. Clement Stone
Success through a Positive Mental Attitude
Pocket Books, New York, NY, 1960.1977

A classic, not on management, on life.

Kotter, John P.
Leading Change
Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Mass. 1996

In Leading Change, John Kotter examines the efforts of more than 100 companies to remake themselves into better competitors. He identifies the most common mistakes leaders and managers make in attempting to create change and offers an eight-step process to overcome the obstacles and carry out the firm’s agenda: establishing a greater sense of urgency, creating the guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the change vision, empowering others to act, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing even more change, and institutionalizing new approaches in the future. This highly personal book reveals what John Kotter has seen, heard, experienced, and concluded in 25 years of working with companies to create lasting transformation.

Kouzes, James M. & Barry Z. Posner
Leadership, the Challenge, 4th edition
Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA , August 2007

This leadership classic continues to be a bestseller after three editions and 20 years in print. It is the gold standard for research-based leadership, and the premier resource on becoming a leader. This new edition, with streamlined text, more international and business examples, and a graphic redesign, is more readable and accessible to business readers than ever before, and will prove to be the best edition yet.

Lewis, Thomas, Fari Amini, & Richard Lannon
A General Theory of Love
Vintage Books, a diviiosn of Random House, NY, 2000, paperback

There are insights to be had here about our clients while the current state of neuroscience is presented in a very artistically sensitive way.

Rob Lightner on Amazon = A General Theory of Love, by San Francisco psychiatrists Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon, is a powerfully humanistic look at the natural history of our deepest feelings, and why a simple hug is often more important than a portfolio full of stock options. Their grasp of neural science is topnotch, but the book is more about humans as social animals and how we relate to others–for once, the brain plays second fiddle to the heart.
Though some of their social analysis is less than fully thought out — surely e-mail isn’t a truly unique form of communication, as they suggest — the work as a whole is strong and merits attention. Science, it turns out, does have much to say about our messy feelings and relationships. While much of it could be filed under “common sense,” it’s nice to know that common sense is replicable. Hard-science types will probably be exasperated with the constant shifts between data and appeals to emotional truths, but the rest of us will see in A General Theory of Love a new synthesis of research and poetry.

Mark McCormack
What They don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School
Bantam Books, Toronto, Canada 1984

Good Cross training from the business way of thinking.

Lynne Joy McFarland, Larry Senn & John Childress
21st Century Leadership, Dialogues with 100 Top Leaders
The Leadership Press, New York, NY 1994

There are a lot of these survey books. They ask how the top people do stuff. Interesting reading and some occasional insights.

Moxley, Russ S.
Leadership & Spirit – Breathing new vitality and energy into individuals and organizations
Jossey-Bass, a Wiley Company, San Francisco, 2000

This is a really beautiful and thought provoking book. It talks about purpose, commitment and fulfillment. The Center for Creative Leadership is on the Web. They produce some of the best material, which has validity and reliability, concerning large organizational effectiveness.
In a world where individuals too often feel spent and uninspired on the job, leadership that fails to incorporate the invigorating power of spirit is nothing short of incomplete. Leadership & Spirit gives all of us the perspective and guidance we need to invest ourselves, our fellow workers, and our entire organizations with an essential sense of purpose, commitment, and fulfillment.

Shulman, Lawrence
Interactional Supervision
NASW Press, Washington D.C. 1993

Interactional Supervision offers practical strategies for formal and informal supervision and helps human services supervisors develop skills for working with staff individually and in groups. Shulman’s real-life strategies identify and explain management skills needed in every phase of supervisory work. Based on his extensive research, Shulman presents solutions to problems that supervisors face on a day-to-day basis.

Stephanie Winston
The Organized Executive
Warner Books, New York, NY 1994

Nuts and bolts on how to be organized. I’m sure there’s more since then, but this is what I have.

Leadership reflections – Part I – Gallup publications

Posted by Gerry on August 9th, 2009

8/9/2009 2:45 PM
Leadership – Introduction
For many years I’ve paid attention to issues of leadership development. I have some posts which are specific to Child Welfare and Social Work, but these I will post on a different web site I am developing. The posts I have here at Sonomabuzz are for a broader audience. I hope that they will suggest resources that will improve your organization.

Leadership part I – The Gallup materials.

The following summary of books developed by Gallup represent to me a series of data based meta research that informs both individual and group performance.

For myself, I used “First, Break All the Rules” when I organized and supervised the Family Court Evaluations Unit in Riverside County. I used it to develop the recruitment questions and to shape how I conducted business. I still have a strong strengths focus.

The strengths profile I got from “Now, Develop Your Strengths” (see below) informed both my personal and professional life. For example, I had lots of books, some half read. I realized that the “learner” element of my strengths was why I was so comfortable keeping all those books around. Similarly, the “achiever” strength helped me to understand that when I am upset I often work it out by becoming busy and getting things done, despite a foul mood. Finally, this also helped me be a better parent because I came to understand that our children have different strengths than mine; I can’t force my strengths onto them. One day one of our sons said to me, “Dad, if you’ll just stop bugging us about getting things done NOW, we’ll get to it.” And you know he was right.

My profile =

M A X I M I Z E R: People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.

S T R A T E G I C: People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

I N P U T: People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

L E A R N E R: People strong in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want to continuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.

A C H I E V E R: People strong in the Achiever theme have a great deal of stamina and work hard. They take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.

The premise of all these works is that by paying more attention to strengths and complementary strengths then greater success is achieved.  Each of the other books has lessons I can recommend.


Gallup Stengthbuilder’s Bibliography

Prepared by Gerry La Londe-Berg although both the Gallup Web site and Amazon.com were quoted or utilized.

I read all these books as they came out. I have come to think that if more people and organizations had a working knowledge of this research it could prove very helpful.

Tom Rath and Barry Conchie
Strengths Based Leadership
Gallup Press, NY, December 2009
(based on Gallup’s description of this book. I would read this first, if you are new to this since it gives access to all the previous works. Ironically, the second book I’d recommend is the first in the series, First, Break All the Rules.)

Strengths Based Leadership, is the next logical step in the strengths dialogue. The book reveals three key findings about leadership; offers readers access to a leadership version of the StrengthsFinder program to help them lead with their top five strengths; and gives the reader on-line access to a variety of Strengthfinders’ tools and previous materials.

The Myth of the Well-Rounded Leader – One of the most startling conclusions of Gallup’s research is that there is no one strength that all good leaders possess. What’s more, the most effective leaders are not well-rounded at all, but instead are acutely aware of their talents and use them to their best advantage. The late Donald O. Clifton, the Father of Strengths Psychology, was asked a few months before his death in 2003 what he considered to be the greatest discovery in more than 30 years of leadership research. Clifton responded, “A leader needs to know his strengths as a carpenter knows his tools, or as a physician knows the instruments at her disposal. What great leaders have in common is that each truly knows his or her strengths — and can call on the right strength at the right time. This explains why there is no definitive list of characteristics that describes all leaders.”

Gallup found:
• The most effective leaders are always investing in strengths. In the workplace, when an organization’s leadership fails to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of an employee being engaged are a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when an organization’s leadership focuses on the strengths of its employees, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%). When leaders focus on and invest in their employees’ strengths, the odds of each person being engaged goes up eightfold.
• The most effective leaders surround themselves with the right people and then maximize their team. While the best leaders are not well-rounded, the best teams are.
• The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs. Followers were able to describe exactly what they need from a leader with remarkable clarity: trust, compassion, stability, and hope.
• While the findings don’t reveal a universal skill set for leaders, they do point to four domains of leadership strength:
• executing,
• influencing,
• relationship building, and
• strategic thinking.
• While the leader himself need not exhibit all of these skills, he should build his team so that all four domains are represented. The most effective leaders remain true to who they are, are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and surround themselves with the right people to maximize their teams.

Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently
Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1999

At first I called this, “My new all time favorite.” I’d read this first. Very practical and applicable

Amazon.com Review = Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman expose the fallacies of standard management thinking in First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. In seven chapters, the two consultants for the Gallup Organization debunk some dearly held notions about management, such as “treat people as you like to be treated”; “people are capable of almost anything”; and “a manager’s role is diminishing in today’s economy.” “Great managers are revolutionaries,” the authors write. “This book will take you inside the minds of these managers to explain why they have toppled conventional wisdom and reveal the new truths they have forged in its place.”
The authors have culled their observations from more than 80,000 interviews conducted by Gallup during the past 25 years. Quoting leaders such as basketball coach Phil Jackson, Buckingham and Coffman outline “four keys” to becoming an excellent manager: Finding the right fit for employees, focusing on strengths of employees, defining the right results, and selecting staff for talent–not just knowledge and skills. First, Break All the Rules offers specific techniques for helping people perform better on the job. For instance, the authors show ways to structure a trial period for a new worker and how to create a pay plan that rewards people for their expertise instead of how fast they climb the company ladder. “The point is to focus people toward performance,” they write. “The manager is, and should be, totally responsible for this.” Written in plain English and well organized, this book tells you exactly how to improve as a supervisor. –Dan Ring

Marcus Buckingham & Clifton Donald
Now, Discover Your Strengths
The Free Press, New York, NY, 2001

Amazon.com Best of 2001
Effectively managing personnel–as well as one’s own behavior–is an extraordinarily complex task that, not surprisingly, has been the subject of countless books touting what each claims is the true path to success. That said, Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton’s Now, Discover Your Strengths does indeed propose a unique approach: focusing on enhancing people’s strengths rather than eliminating their weaknesses. Following up on the coauthors’ popular previous book, First, Break All the Rules, it fully describes 34 positive personality themes the two have formulated (such as Achiever, Developer, Learner, and Maximizer) and explains how to build a “strengths-based organization” by capitalizing on the fact that such traits are already present among those within it.

Most original and potentially most revealing, however, is a Web-based interactive component that allows readers to complete a questionnaire developed by the Gallup Organization and instantly discover their own top-five inborn talents. This device provides a personalized window into the authors’ management philosophy which, coupled with subsequent advice, places their suggestions into the kind of practical context that’s missing from most similar tomes. “You can’t lead a strengths revolution if you don’t know how to find, name and develop your own,” write Buckingham and Clifton. Their book encourages such introspection while providing knowledgeable guidance for applying its lessons. –Howard Rothman

Marcus Buckingham
The One Thing You Need to Know: About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success
Free Press, NY, 2005

Great managing, leading, and career success—Buckingham draws on a wealth of applicable examples to reveal that a controlling insight lies at the heart of the three. Lose sight of this “one thing” and even the best efforts will be diminished or compromised. Readers will be eager to discover the surprisingly different answers to each of these rich and complex subjects. Each could be explained endlessly to detail their many facets, but Buckingham’s great gift is his ability to cut through the mass of often-conflicting agendas and zero in on what matters most, without ever oversimplifying. As he observes, success comes to those who remain mindful of the core insight, understand all of its ramifications, and orient their decisions around it. Buckingham backs his arguments with authoritative research from a wide variety of sources, including his own research data and in-depth interviews with individuals at every level of an organization, from CEO’s to hotel maids and stockboys.

Buckingham, Marcus
Go Put Your Strengths to Work – 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance
Free Press, NY, 2007

How can you actually apply your strengths for maximum success at work?
Research data show that most people do not come close to making full use of their assets at work — in fact, only 17 percent of the workforce believe they use all of their strengths on the job. Go Put Your Strengths to Work aims to change that through a six-step, six-week experience that will reveal the hidden dimensions of your strengths. Buckingham shows you how to seize control of your assets and rewrite your job description under the nose of your boss. You will learn:
• Why your strengths aren’t “what you are good at” and your weaknesses aren’t “what you are bad at.”
• How to use the four telltale signs to identify your strengths.
• The simple steps you can take each week to push your time at work toward those activities that strengthen you and away from those that don’t.
• How to talk to your boss and your colleagues about your strengths without sounding like you’re bragging and about your weaknesses without sounding like you’re whining.
• The fifteen-minute weekly ritual that will keep you on your strengths path your entire career.

With structured exercises that will become part of your regular workweek and proven tactics from people who have successfully applied the book’s lessons, Go Put Your Strengths to Work will arm you with a radically different approach to your work life. As part of the book’s program you’ll take an online Strengths Engagement Track, a focused and powerful gauge that has proven to be the best way to measure the level of engagement of your strengths or your team’s strengths. You can also download the first two segments of the renowned companion film series Trombone Player Wanted.
Go Put Your Strengths to Work will open up exciting uncharted territory for you and your organization. Join the strengths movement and thrive.

Fleming, John H. & Jim Asplund
Human Sigma – Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter
Gallup Press, NY, October 2007

Six Sigma changed the face of manufacturing quality, creating excellence by reducing variance in finished goods, revolutionizing businesses, and boosting profits. Now, Human Sigma is poised to do the same for sales and service organizations.
This book offers an innovative, research-based approach to one of the toughest challenges facing business today: how to drive success by effectively managing the moments where employees interact with customers. Based on research spanning 10 million employees and 10 million customers around the globe, the Human Sigma approach combines a proven method for assessing the health of the employee-customer encounter with a disciplined process for improving it.
Human Sigma is based on five new rules to bring excellence to the way employees engage and interact with customers:
RULE #1: E Pluribus Unum. Employee and customer experiences must be managed together – not as separate entities.
RULE #2: Feelings Are Facts. Emotions drive and shape the employee-customer encounter.
RULE #3: Think Globally, Measure and Act Locally. The employee-customer encounter must be measured and managed at the local level.
RULE #4: There Is One Number You Need to Know. Employee and customer engagement interact to drive enhanced financial performance. And this interaction can be quantified and summarized with a single performance metric.
RULE #5: If You Pray for Potatoes, You Better Grab a Hoe. This means that good intentions alone do not constitute a plan of action.

Sustainable improvement in the employee-customer encounter requires disciplined local action coupled with a companywide commitment to changing how employees are recruited, positioned in roles, rewarded and recognized, and importantly, how they are managed.

Tom Rath
StrengthsFinder 2.0
Gallup Press, NY, February 2007

To help people uncover their talents, Gallup introduced the first version of its online assessment, StrengthsFinder, in the 2001 management book Now, Discover Your Strengths. The book spent more than five years on the bestseller lists and ignited a global conversation, while StrengthsFinder helped millions to discover their Top 5 talents.
In StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself – and the world around you – forever.
In my opinion the text of Now, Discover Your Strengths was more helpful to me, although the research model of this book was based on a higher number of responses.

Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.
HOW FULL IS YOUR BUCKET?: Positive Strategies for Work and Life
Gallup Press, NY, Fall 2004

Organized around a simple metaphor of a dipper and a bucket, How Full Is Your Bucket? shows how even the smallest interactions we have with others every day profoundly affect our relationships, productivity, health, and longevity.

Rodd Wagner & James K. Harter
12: The Elements of Great Managing
Gallup Press, NY, December 2006

The long-awaited sequel to the 1999 runaway bestseller First, Break All the Rules. Grounded in Gallup’s 10 million employee and manager interviews spanning 114 countries, 12 follows great managers as they harness employee engagement to turn around a failing call center, save a struggling hotel, improve patient care in a hospital, maintain production through power outages, and successfully face a host of other challenges in settings around the world.

Authors Rodd Wagner and James K. Harter weave the latest Gallup insights with recent discoveries in the fields of neuroscience, game theory, psychology, sociology, and economics. Written for managers and employees of companies large and small, 12 explains what every company needs to know about creating and sustaining employee engagement.