Maybe I’m just old fashioned…

Maybe I’m just old fashioned…Exec number 1 (0)

But…

If you are a 1/3 owner in a business and you are claiming a tax loss of about $1 billion, the math implies that you had to destroy $3+ billion in corporate value to use that write-off.

Everyone associated with the company lost their jobs and a liquidation process probably recovered only pennies on the dollar for the debtors and other investors.

I’m pretty sure that is not considered a good business model.

But hey…
I might just be a bit old-fashioned.

Three Fallacies of Leadership

To paraphrase the old saying, “LeadershipFalse 1 2 3 is like the weather – everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it.” People seem to accept leadership, good or bad, as a cosmic fate that simply happens. If we benefit, great. If we suffer from inadequate leadership, it is perceived as bad fortune and unavoidable.

I do not accept those premises.  Unlike the weather, we can do something about leadership

Leadership development is one of the single most important strategic activities undertaken by business entities throughout the world. To ignore the need for excellent leadership practices is an invitation to catastrophe.

Here is what the science says:

  • Studies show that 50% of all businesses that fail, fail due to bad leadership
  • Effective leadership can increase net margins 1% – 3%

I think there are three main fallacies that directly contribute to poor leadership development:

Fallacy one – “Real” leaders have charisma. Continue reading

I was Interview by Jonathan Pritchard (ALWD)

ALWD 008: Leadership Interview with Ken Wrede

I had a podcast interview with Jonathan Pritchard over at A Life Well Designed. Jonathan uses design principles to analyze challenges in life and business, then applies design techniques to find elegant, effective solutions.
(For some reason I had a tough time enunciating, but I hope the messages were clear.)

I enjoyed the interview immensely, thanks Jonathan!

EOM,

Kenneth Wrede

(http://www.alifewelldesigned.com/podcast/alwd-008-leadership-with-ken-wrede/)

Why are We Assessing Leadership Roles and Styles?

Personality (0)What is the point of all of it?

Millions of dollars are spent each year on personality assessment tests.  But, nobody can express a clear reason why.

“Two and a half million Americans a year take the Myers-Briggs. Eighty-nine companies out of the US Fortune 100 make use of it, for recruitment and selection or to help employees understand themselves or their co-workers.”[1]

Almost 90% of Fortune 100 companies perform these tests.  This is amazing to me.

I have taken these assessments.  After receiving my results, my first thought always is: interesting, but so what?

I see a lot of commentary and articles on how to assess leadership styles and roles.

  • Are you a democratic leader, authoritarian, or somewhere in between (here)?
  • What is your personality type (FIRO-B, MBTI)?
  • What is your role as a team member (Belbin)?

Are these useful tools?  Can we use them to predict behaviors or successes? Continue reading

Is the NSA Really Your Biggest Problem?

Why do we fear the NSA?Bed Shark (0)

Why do we fear sharks?

Why do we fear anything?

Here’s some context:

  • Shark attacks in 2014: 72 unprovoked attacks with 3 fatalities.[1]
  • A 2006 Time article stated that more than 600 people die annually in the US alone by falling out of bed.[2]

Which should you fear more, the creature whose main potential for attack is within swimming distance of shore in salt water or the item that is the featured item in every single bedroom? Continue reading

Chris Hadfield’s Guitar

Guitar, Martin DX1 (0a)I, like everyone else, was vastly entertained and totally engaged by Chris Hadfield during his missions assigned to the International Space Station (ISS).

It was a great piece of public outreach that I think captured the world’s attention on science and space.

So, why does this topic show up here? 

Think of it as a thought experiment.

A way to exercise critical thinking skills and follow a line of research.

As I watched Chris’ videos I thought to myself “where the hell did he find a guitar?”
“Did NASA waste money just to get the instrument up there just for Hadfield?”

This is nothing more than an example of following a simple thread of thought that I found interesting.  An example of posing a question (or two) and trying to find reasonable answers. Continue reading

Leadership Programs – The Autopsy

City Morgue (0)“Cause of death?”

“The heart stopped.”

If you are a CSI fan, a fan of the spinoffs, forensic or crime documentaries, or any other show or movie of the genre, you’ve probably watched hundreds of hours of forensic science.

You’re practically a coroner!

Forget all of the testing, the gruesome details of each case, the motives, or the means; the cause of all deaths come down to one final outcome…

The heart stopped.

I can’t say that I have seen hundreds of leadership programs, but I can say that I have been responsible for sponsoring and building, maybe, ten programs from scratch.  I’ve been exposed to others (maybe 30) in an advisory role or as a participant.

In each case, the success or effectiveness of leadership training came down to the question “was the heart still beating?” Continue reading