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

Leadership – Nature vs Nurture

Nature vs Nurture Balance (0)Leadership, like any human attribute, comes down to DNA and culture – Nature versus Nurture.

I am firmly convinced that every skill necessary to be a great leader can, unequivocally, be learned and mastered by anyone.  Full stop.

That is the “Nurture” part.

The skills and the theory represent a limited field of knowledge.  With the proper structuring and the opportunity to develop experience, any person can become a leader.  Many often are, if not in their work place.

Here’s where “Nature” kicks in…

If you ever saw me play basketball, you’d watch with your eyes wide open as your jaw dropped in wonder… you’d be wondering “is he really that bad or is he just clowning around?”  No matter how much nurture I get, I’ll ever overcome my terrible basketball DNA.

There are two kinds of people who will never be good leaders regardless of the training or nurturing.  The ones who shun the responsibility of leadership and the ones who believe that a leadership development class is a confirmation of their greatness and is their first step toward…


Continue reading

Terrible Leaders and Recognition

DSC07285bTerrible Leaders and Recognition

I seem to be on a recognition binge.  So… one more thought.

In as much as I believe leadership skills are important, there are an unfortunate number of people in leadership positions that are inexperienced, uneducated in, or actively ignore the “soft skills” of leadership.

What can you do when you encounter these creatures in the wild?  Do you have recourse? Continue reading

Turnaround Tools – Cash Flow and Prioritizing Payables

The term “turnaround management” may bring to mind the corporate white knight who rides in to save the day and get a business back on track.  An element of truth gives it a certain romantic appeal.

But the term more accurately refers to that point after a company has filed for bankruptcy and has entered receivership.  In other words… creek… no paddle.

Cash flow and prioritizing payables
Cash is King (thank you Luis Pereiro).  You can have an unprofitable company, so long as you are able to meet your cash obligations.  You can have the best company in the world with high profits, but if you cannot meet your payments the company will fail. Continue reading

For Want of a Nail…

The Nail (2)It isn’t always the “Big Ideas” that are the most satisfying, but the simple ideas with the big impact.

Idea Aikido so to speak.

One of my favorite examples was with a startup company in Barcelona Spain.

For Want of a Nail
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
– anonymous proverb

Continue reading