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THE 5 MOST IMPORTANT LEADERSHIP QUOTES OF ALL TIME – WITH PERSONAL AFFIRMATIONS

Dan Rockwell.

Alan Alda:

“Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.” Alan Alda

  1. I will enter conversations open to learning and willing to adapt (if it suit my behavior?).
  2. The way I see things is ONE way of seeing them (A single way, with option to retract in the other direction?).
  3. I’m willing to change my perspective (Not matching the Silent Majority “common sense”?).
  4. My need to be right makes me stupid (As long as you are doing the right thing?).

Daniel Kahneman:

“Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it” Daniel Kahneman (For how long to think about it to make it Not that important?)

  1. I will overcome the distraction of urgencies by reconnecting with the big picture (Beyond the Big Bang?).
  2. I will maintain curiosity with calmness when stress increases. (Curiosity is the key to feel alive, calmly or angrily)
  3. I will rest, enjoy family and friends, and take time for self-development, even during a pandemic (Because of Covid-19).
  4. I won’t belittle the important concerns of others. And I won’t try to solve everyone’s concerns. (As if we ever cared to resolving other people concerns)

Peter Drucker:

“It is more productive to convert an opportunity into results than to solve a problem – which only restores the equilibrium of yesterday.” Peter Drucker (An opportunity that does Not require solving anything?)

  1. I see a negativity bias in myself that requires adjusting (How much effort to recognize the various kinds of biases?).
  2. I will view situations and interactions through the lens of opportunity. (How about the lens of experimental minded designs?)
  3. I will maintain a positive attitude. (Not in the face of injustices and unfair practices and elite laws)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“When we take people merely as they are, we make them worse; when we treat them as if they were what they should be, we improve them as far as they can be improved.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Review the practices of all those missionaries who ruined ethnic civilizations and culture)

  1. I will view people through the lens of who they might become. (But Not try to intervene)
  2. I will maintain optimism while working to develop myself and others. (As if we can achieve anything when depressed)
  3. I will acknowledge the limitations of myself and others. (Just focus on your limitations and spare us judging others)

Warren Bennis:

“Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple and it is also that difficult.” Warren Bennis (Too convoluted to make sense of this quote)

  1. I will spend time in self-reflection today. (And tomorrow?)
  2. I have the capacity for self-deception. I will seek feedback. (Feedback from whom?)
  3. I will bring my best self in service to others. (what if the others consider your “best self” as one of your limitations?)

What quote might you add to the list of most important leadership quotes of all time? (Forget about this horrendous leadership mind-fix. Learn to confront injustices)

Gratitude makes many bad emotions impossible to be sustained. Given that we recognize what gratitude is and how it is acquired.

Have you ever told anyone you know that you are grateful for how he behaved toward you?

Probably you thanked a stranger who came forward to aid you in your time of distress, without you demanding help. Or most probably, you avoided uttering any thanks, as if it is normal to rescue a fellow man?

Maybe if you get the habit of voicing gratitude to nature surrounding you, for waking up healthy and cheerful, of welcoming a gorgeous day, of encountering a smiling fellow on the street, of hearing a “good morning” as you pass by hurriedly…

Maybe this habit will catch up and become a trend to say “thank you” to other fellow men, and even offer details on how you are grateful to the person and learn to extend compliments that are frank and deserving.

Dan Rockwell posted on November 19, 2020

The 7 impossibilities of gratitude.

#1. Worry.

You can’t worry and be grateful in the same moment. Don’t worry about overcoming worry. Just notice and acknowledge benefit or advantage every day.

#2. Complaining.

You can’t complain and practice gratitude with the same breath.

Tip: Breathe in deeply and breathe out ‘thank you’ like a silent meditation.

#3. Anger.

You can’t be grateful and angry at the same time. The next time you see red, look around for something to be grateful for.

#4. Bitterness.

You can’t be bitter and grateful at the same time. How have painful relationships expanded your ability to contribute?

#5. Hate.

Hate can’t co-habit with healthy gratitude. (Gratitude can be unhealthy.)

If you hate your job, team, or boss, find something in each to be grateful for. Maybe you’re grateful your boss is out of town.

#6. Helplessness.

Helplessness runs horrified from gratitude: Gratitude in turbulence is power.

#7. Pessimism.

Pessimism cowers before gratitude.

I dare you to be pessimistic in the same moment you’re practicing gratitude.

Michael J. Fox on optimism, gratitude, and misery:

“Optimism is really rooted in gratitude,” Fox said. “Optimism is sustainable when you keep coming back to gratitude, and what follows from that is acceptance.

Accepting that this thing has happened, and you accept it for what it is. It doesn’t mean that you can’t endeavor to change. … Then see how much the rest of your life you have to thrive in, and then you can move on.” Michael Fox

Misery.

“I discovered that it was (misery) that I wasn’t recognizing the people around me and what they were doing and how they were behaving toward me and each other. And how grateful I was for them and how grateful they were for me. And it just opened my eyes.” Michael Fox

Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0e90IiapIZw

Beyond Pros and Cons in decision making? I am curious to know what else we should expect

Decision-Making for Leaders: Beyond Pros and Cons

You believe in the conclusion, and then you create supporting arguments.” Daniel Kahneman

Or you think your hard and focused research give you the confidence to proclaim your biased tendency as the truth of your subject matter?

You weigh options based on the decision you’ve already made, while pretending to be open minded.

The pros and cons method doesn’t work because you discount options that don’t support the decision you’ve already made.

Leaders make decisions and then find ways to look smart for making them.

Problems:

It helps to know the problem you’re trying to solve before you try solving it.

  1. What problem are you really solving?
  2. Why does the problem matter?
  3. What if you do nothing?

Process:

Explain the process when you include others.

Don’t delegate decision-making responsibility if the decision is yours. Explain that you’re exploring options.

How will team decisions be made? Consensus? 100% agreement?

Emotion:

Bad moods produce self-defeating behaviors.

How do you feel? Happy, worried, angry, afraid, fatigued, disgusted?

How might your emotional state impact the option that seems most desirable?

Sadness makes you willing to pay more but charge less.

Angry people tend to take more risks.

  1. What or who are you protecting? People hate losing more than they enjoy winning.
  2. What does your current emotional state suggest you are trying to achieve?
  3. How might you delay decision-making when emotional states are suboptimal?

(And anxious people tend to resolve a tough problem that initially was expected to be easy?)

Options:

  1. Create multiple options and narrow them to three. (Why Not just 2?)
  2. Bombard your options with questions.
  3. Include others in the process. Involve Doers and Dreamers.

Bragging:

  1. This decision makes me proud because….
  2. Imagine bragging about your decision to your children, spouse, or parents. What would you say?

Relationships:

  1. How do these options impact relationships with customers? Team members?
  2. How do these options strengthen or weaken relationships?

Customers:

How do these options serve customers?

Mission:

Which of these options best fulfills our mission?

Authenticity:

How do these options reflect who you aspire to become?

Values:

How do these options express what really matters to me?

How might leaders go beyond pros and cons when it comes to decision-making?

What are dumb ways to make decisions?

Skillful manipulators of Rebels, Fools, and Backstabbers… What are these techniques?

Let others do the dirty jobs?

If you refrain from doing your due diligence to know what you want and who are you, others will decide for you. And they know how to manipulate you successfully through your entire life.

12 Manipulations of Rebels, Fools, and Backstabbers

Novice manipulators are obvious.

Skillful manipulators come off as kind and helpful.

Avoid being manipulated by spotting the strategies used by manipulators.

Strategic manipulation:

#1. Pretend you agree when you disagree.

#2. Pretend to help when you intend to harm.

#3. Make self-service look generous.

12 specific manipulations:

  1. Use questions as resistance. If you don’t want to take on a task, question it to death. Pretend you want to help but you need greater clarity or instruction.
  2. Feign weakness to avoid undesirable tasks. “I’m not sure how to do that.” After feigning weakness, ask lots of questions.
  3. Create tension between others to avoid responsibility. Skillful manipulators drive wedges between people. “He doesn’t like you.” “She’s after your job.”
  4. Question motives to undermine management. “They’re doing this to make their own lives easier.” A questioned motive attacks another’s character and intention.
  5. Use compassion to gain compliance. Have you been manipulated into doing something because a manipulator spoke softly or expressed hurt feelings? A backstabber might say, “I’m so sorry they took advantage of you.”
  6. Raise your voice so others will lower theirs. Rebels love to rage to silence opposition.
  7. Use the compassion of the tenderhearted against them. “Don’t you care for me?”
  8. Talk about what you plan to do when you’re asked what you’ve done.
  9. Use aspiration to hold people back. “If you hang in there, the next promotion is yours.”
  10. Use flattery to hold back others. “You’re so talented I can’t afford to lose you right now.”
  11. Affirm and then attack suggestions and new ideas quickly so you don’t have to change. “This is a great idea, but…”
  12. Seek advice from people who confirm your decisions. (Foolish self-manipulation)

What manipulations have you seen?

How might leaders deal with manipulators?

Bonus material:

Simple Sabotage (Book)

10 Ways to Deal with Two-Faced Backstabbers (Leadership Freak)

 

Beware of total confidence in your “expert intuition”

EXPERT INTUITION? Kind of confident in your conjecture?

Posted  on: November 19, 2018

DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Nobel Prize in psychology, ON EXPERT INTUITION

You can always find reasons to support your decisions.

Call it plain luck when your intuitions are right while the situation is volatile.

The challenge of intuition is you think it’s right before it’s examined. When you have an intuition, you don’t have other intuitions. You have confidence.

The danger of going with your gut is it feels right without reason.

Dangerous intuition:

“In general, confidence is a very poor cue to accuracy. Intuitions come to your mind with considerable confidence and there is no guarantee that they’re right. Intuitions that are completely wrong also come to mind with great confidence.” Daniel Kahneman – World Business Forum 2018 (Kahneman is a psychology researcher who received a Nobel Prize)

The development of expert intuitions:

When the following conditions are present, people develop expert intuition.

#1. There must be some regularity in the world.

You might feel that the numbers you picked will win the lottery, but lottery-intuition is useless.

People who pick stocks work in a volatile unpredictable world. Their intuitions are useless. The stock market is not sufficiently regular to support the development of expert intuition.

Chess players and married people have high regularity.

#2. Lots of practice.

Novices may have a feeling about a decision, but you need lots of practice before you should trust your gut. Many events that are right feel wrong to novices.

Remember that #1 above must also be true. Lots of practice in a highly volatile environment doesn’t develop expert intuition.

#3. Immediate feedback.

You need to quickly see the result of decisions or actions in order to develop expert intuition. Did your decision turn out as anticipated, not months, but hours or days later?

Generally, confidence and accuracy of intuition are at best loosely related.

The danger of intuition is a premature decision.

Kahneman’s tips on intuition:

  1. Delay intuition.
  2. Be systematic about collecting data.

What suggestions do you have for developing expert intuition?

How can leaders learn to examine their intuitions?

This post is based on Daniel Kahneman’s presentation at the World Business Forum in New York City 2018.

Note: I read many research articles of Kahneman when taking graduate courses in experimental psychology around 1988.

 

THE TWO BIGGEST LIES LEADERS BELIEVE

Dan Rockwell. November 29, 2019

Teams suffer when leaders believe lies.

Most people won’t speak up when you’re convinced lies are truths.

The worst lies leaders believe are the ones they tell themselves.

The two biggest lies leaders believe:

Lie #1. I am a good listener.

Any leader who always needs to be right gets dumber as time passes.

Listening to learn includes willingness to change.

But having authority makes learning and changing a challenge. People in authority tend to believe that position elevates IQ.

Alan Alda put it best, “Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.”

5 commitments:

#1. Choose to show respect. Few acts show respect better than real listening. Respect the talent and perspective of people who live in the trenches.

#2. Adopt a learner’s posture. Listening to learn is real listening. Listening to persuade is  manipulation.

Ask yourself, “What can I learn?”

Accountability question: What did you learn today?

#3. Explore what is right, before proving what is wrong.

Leadership is adversarial when the goal of listening is to prove someone wrong and convince them you are right.

#4. Dedicate yourself to curiosity.

Plan your next question, not your next statement.

#5. Devote yourself to the practice of empathy. You haven’t listened until people feel understood.

Leaders often listen to solve, refute, or explain. But when you listen to make people feel understood, everything changes. You explain less and take another’s perspective more.

Lie #2. I don’t have a problem with arrogance.

Humility is pursued, but never attained.

The second lie is at the root of the first. Arrogance doesn’t listen.

Arrogance crouches at the door waiting to:

  1. Encourage a closed mind.
  2. Preach self-sufficiency.
  3. Bolster superiority.

Any leader who doesn’t grapple with arrogance is self-deceived.

If you’d like to experience the power of humility, make the five commitments of a listener.

What lies do leaders believe?

How might leaders navigate the challenge of self-deception?

 

HOW can NEGATIVE IMPULSE (anger, isolation…) TRIGGERS POSITIVE RESPONSE?

Negative impulses are useful when they produce positive results. Redirect negative impulses toward positive actions. (Easy saying, hard to change behavior?)

#1. Anger – Openness: Stop resisting anger. Use it for good.

Angry people think they’re right. You know the embarrassment of being angry and discovering you’re wrong. Redirect anger to openness.

Redirect anger from your mouth to your ears. What do you need to hear, not what do you need to say.

Angry people have caveman IQs. Curiosity, openness, and creativity sit on the sidelines until you chill out.

Use anger as a trigger to take a fifteen minute walk around the block.

Angry people want others to change. Use anger to explore how you might change.

Angry people want something to stop. What should YOU start?

Angry people know what they don’t like. What do you want and why does it matter?

Angry people want control. What might you let go?

#2. Bragging – Honoring:

Take all the credit if your goal is to deflate and de-energize. Every time you feel like bragging, honor someone.

Instead of taking all the credit, give all the credit. Never bask. Always reflect.

Would you give your best energy to a leader who takes credit or gives credit?

#3. Complaining – Responsibility.

Complainers are good at three things.

  1. Explaining what they don’t like.
  2. Describing what others should do. “You should.”
  3. Avoiding personal responsibility. “It’s not my fault.” Complainers never complain about the stupid things they do.

The difference between complaining and responsibility is solution. Redirect complaint-making to solution-finding.

#4. Isolation – Courage.

Use isolation as a trigger for courage. Step toward things you want to avoid.

The difference between isolation and courage is purpose.

Isolation is self-serving. Purpose provides a reason to step out.

What negative temptation might become a trigger that produces positive results?

Bonus re-directions:

  1. Worry – Preparation.
  2. Nitpicking last time – Reaching higher next time.
  3. Isolation – Connection.
  4. Solving FOR – Solving WITH.

Bonus material:

How Negative Leaders Become Positive Today (Leadership Freak)

What are Negative Emotions and How to Control Them? (PPP)

Why Negative Emotions Aren’t That Bad (And How to Handle Them) (Life Hack)

Can’t advise on quickness of providing “solutions” devoid of the context of the job

Dan Rockwell wrote this piece opting for slowly solving problems.

REJECT FAST SOLUTIONS – SOLVE PROBLEMS SLOWLY

Reject first solutions unless the barn is on fire.

Fast-solution leaders:

#1. Fast solution done over working on creative solutions.

Choosing the fast solution restores the status quo.

Creativity is the ability to reject first answers and endure the awkwardness of ignorance.

Rise above, “Just get it done.” Embrace the frustration caused by pursuing creative solutions.

#2. Complain that people don’t think for themselves.

Leaders who solve problems FOR people are the ones ending up doing all the thinking.

#3. Have low ownership teams. Make room for teams to own their problems.

“When a team takes ownership of its problems, the problem gets solved.” Jocko Willink

#4. Slow progress. Everyone learns to wait for your solution when you’re the solution-giving leader.

“A lot of people never use their initiative because no-one told them to.” Bansky

Teach your team to beg forgiveness, rather than ask permission by:

  1. Embedding organizational values in everyone’s head and heart.
  2. Honoring responsible failure.
  3. Taking responsibility when higher ups complain.
  4. Discussing and establishing boundaries to freedom.
  5. Ask, “What would you do?” And say, “Go do that.” (Unless it will cause damage.)

The more problems you solve, the more frequently people come to you for solutions.

Before you become a leader, solve every problem YOU can. After you become a leader, help others solve every problem THEY can.

4 ways to solve problems slowly:

  1. Enter conversations as a curious learner, not a closed knower.
  2. Realize the pain point might be a symptom, not the problem.
  3. Explore origins. When did this problem begin? What have we been doing or not doing that brought us to this situation?
  4. Develop three possible solutions before making decisions. “And what else might we try?”

“Be quick but don’t hurry.” John Wooden

What benefits might result from solving problems slowly?

 

SURGERY WITHOUT ANESTHESIA

Can “Feeling good day” justify incompetence?

“My husband says a conversation with Dan is like surgery without anesthesia.” (During a birthday party for a long-time coaching client.)

People don’t tell leaders the truth. They imagine what you want to hear and tell you that. They want to:

  1. Protect feelings. Feeling good justifies incompetence – when feelings rule the day.
  2. Shield status, both yours and theirs. You don’t bring up the frailties of the queen to her face, especially if she signs your paycheck.
  3. Ingratiate themselves. Power invites groveling from those who seek personal advantage.
  4. Avoid conflict.

Conflict avoidance people:

#1. Change the subject.

When you ask a question, people answer a different question. You might ask, “Do you think I’m too blunt?” The answer, “I think you’re kind.”

#2. Ignore issues.

It’s easier to turn your head than to bring up a tough issue.

When was the last time a team member brought up YOUR poor performance?

#3. Withdraw.

The people you need to hear – front-line employees – are avoiding you.

The person with high position is responsible to move first. You go to them. They won’t come to you.

Self-surgery:

What are you NOT doing that might have negative consequences? Stop blaming and take responsibility.

What are you doing that makes it difficult for people to speak hard truths?

How might you seek input and feedback?

How has input from others caused you to adapt the way you think about yourself?

Illustration:

A coaching client shared what he planned to say to his board. When he was done, I said, “You’re better than that. Let’s try again.”

People rise to challenges.

Encouragement matters. But you go further if you occasionally hear hard truths.

What might leaders do to better hear the truth about themselves?

Bonus material:

The more people prepare for your visit, the more lies you hear. Everyone’s office is clean. The ‘little people’ smile and bow until you leave.

9 Things You Should Know About Liars (Science of People)

How to Tell if Someone is Lying to You, According to Body Language Experts (Time)

What having Heart has to do with potential success?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

Failing is easy: You are chasing urgency and neglecting priorities.

By Dan Rockwell?

Success is found by passionately doing what matters most. The thing that matters most for leaders is building other leaders.

Who:

  1. Avoid Model T’s. Before driving a Model T you crank it to get it started. If you have to convince, cajole, or constantly crank someone to get them going, that’s all you’ll ever do. You’ll crank them – they’ll sputter – you’ll crank them again the next time. Failing is easy – spend your time cranking.
  2. Passion first. Find the most passionate people available and throw gas on their fire.
  3. Potential second. Potential seduces leaders who are dedicated to developing leaders. You see someone with talent, skills, and/or education and you start drooling like a dog at a dish. Potential apart from passion is constant frustration and ultimate disappointment.
  4. Respect matters. The more they respect you the more impact you’ll have.
  5. Practice trumps theory. Talking is useful but action matters most.Go with people prone to act.
  6. The sandbox principle. How well do they play with others?

The rule of the needle:

When it comes to people, there’s never perfect clarity regarding who to coach, mentor, and/or teach.

Ask yourself, “Are they passionate?” If the needle tips to yes, ask, “Do they have potential in this area?” If the answer is yes, ask, “Are they prone to action?” etc.

The needle determines what or who matters most. It doesn’t point to perfection or create certainty.

Waiting for certainty and perfection wastes time and stalls progress. The needle indicates likelihood of success.

How do you determine what matters most?

How do you identify people you plan to develop?

The difference between average and extraordinary isn’t power or money – its heart.”

“You’re a man with heart. I’m glad to know you.”

Heart means:

  1. Tender heart compassion. When I want to help someone in the community, Doug says, “How much do you need, Dan?”
  2. Truthful transparency. It takes confidence, self-awareness, and honesty to share true feelings.
  3. Profound commitment to service. Every person who fills out a customer complaint, and there aren’t many, gets a call from Doug.
  4. Dedication to people. He enjoys pointing out how long “his people” have been with him.
  5. High standards.
  6. Curiosity. It’s not unusual for Doug to say, “Dan, tell me about your blog.”
  7. Weaknesses. Doug doesn’t pretend he has it all together.

I’ve seen childlike enthusiasm twinkle in his eyes and heard flashes of frustration in his voice. It’s all heart.

People with heart: (From the LF facebook page).

  1. Admit their mistakes.
  2. Understand feelings.
  3. Laugh at themselves.
  4. Protect relationships.

More at: Leadership Freak Coffee Shop.

Losing you:

Losing you is dangerously easy. Leaders who’ve lost themselves:

  1. Are controlled by others. If you don’t know who you are someone else controls you.
  2. Feel pushed around by pressure.
  3. Pursue success rather than significance.
  4. Follow trends rather than principles.
  5. End up crushed by criticism or crushing their critics.

Finding a heartbeat:

  1. Take a walk and think your own thoughts; forget what others think.
  2. Explore your joys. What makes you deeply happy?
  3. Examine your anger. Values often drive anger.
  4. Love deeply.
  5. Serve wholeheartedly.
Richness of life and leadership depend on finding and living with heart.

 How can leaders find heart?

How have you found heart?


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April 2021
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