Archives For North Dakota Leadership Training

Attitude Axiom’s

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A great nation rules by placing itself in a lowly position like the rivers that flow into the low regions of ocean.

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Human Factor in Management – Management is about human beings.

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Act without personal desire.
Manage without intentional concern.
Taste without desire of the flavor.
Hold the same regard for big or small, abundant or little and reward the unkind with kindness.
Plan for the difficult while it is easy.
Act upon the great from the beginning of the minute.
All difficult affairs must be taken care of when they are easy.
All great accomplishments must be performed from the small tasks.
Hence, a saint does not strive to do something great.
And as a result he is able to accomplish the great.
He who makes promises easily seldom keeps his words.
He who constantly regards things as easy shall result in difficulty.
Therefore, the saint is aware of the difficulties ahead and hence is cautious in managing affairs while they are still easy and small to prevent resulting into problems.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Organization Design and Structure.  

As I have observed executive groups in action, particular first generation groups led by their founder, I have noticed that the design of the organization – how product lines, market areas, functional responsibilities, and so on are divided up – elicits high degrees of passion but not too much clear logic. The requirements of the primary task – how to organize in order to survive in the external environment – seem to get mixed up with powerful assumptions about internal relationships and with theories of how to get things done that derive more from the founder’s background than from current analysis. If it is a family members or trusted colleagues, cofounders, and friends. Even in the first-generation publicly held company, the organization’s design is often built around the talents of the individual managers rather than the external task requirements.

Founders often have strong theories about how to organize for maximum effectiveness. Some assume that only they can ultimately determine what is correct; therefore, they build a tight hierarchy and highly centralized controls. Others assume that the strength of their organization is in their people and therefore build a highly decentralized organization that pushes authority down as low as possible. Still others believe that their strength is in negotiated solutions; therefore, they hire strong people but then create a structure that forces such people to negotiate their solutions with each other. Some leaders believe in minimizing interdependence in order to free the unit of the organization; others believe in creating checks and balances so that no one unit can ever function autonomously.

~ Edgar H. Schein, Organizational Culture and Leadership

Acquisition of Thought Power by Moral Purity. 

A man who speaks the truth and has moral purity has always powerful thoughts. One who has controlled anger by long practice has tremendous thought power.

If a Yogi whose thought is very powerful speaks one word, it will produce tremendous impression on the minds of others.

Virtues like truthfulness, earnestness and industry are the best sources of mental power.Purity leads to wisdom and immortality. Purity is of two kinds, internal or mental and external or physical.

Mental purity is more important. Physical purity is also needed. With the establishment of internal mental purity, cheerfulness of mind, one-pointed mind, conquest of Indriyas and fitness for the realization of the Self are obtained.

~ Sri Swami Sivananda, Thought Power

It is important that an aim never be defined in terms of activity or methods. It must always relate directly to how life is better for everyone … The aim of the system must be clear to everyone in the system. The aim must include plans for the future. The aim is a value judgement.

~ W. Edwards Deming

Modifying Employee Behavior

Essentially, it is difficult (if not impossible) to change the behavior of some employees.   Generally speaking, the only way you can hope to modify or change someone’s behavior is by:

  1. Making them aware of their behavior;
  2. Advising them of the impact of their behavior on others;
  3. Creating an environment which requires the person to change, and providing them with the skills/training needed to modify their behavior;
  4. Clearly defining the expected changes and reinforcing the changes in behavior when they are observed;
  5. Confronting the employee each time the employee responds inappropriately. Over time they may realize that you will no longer tolerate their inappropriate behavior;
  6. Clearly defining the consequences for failure to change and invoking the consequences if they fail to change;
  7. Documenting your interview(s).

Communicating Change

To communicate your required behavioral changes, a six part message format can be used. It is designed to get the employees attention, to focus on their behavior, and inform them of the consequences for failure to change.

  1. Describe their behavior.
  2. Describe how their behavior affects the group.
  3. Describe how their behavior affects the coworker who is the recipient of their behavior (if appropriate).
  4. Describe how you feel about their behavior.
  5. Describe your future performance expectations.
  6. Describe the sanctions for failure to change.

And of course, DOCUMENT the conversation and have the employee agree on the behavior changes.

~ This is an excerpt from Working With Difficult Employee Problems, a Mastering Leadership Skills seminar.

Look To Your External Team. 

To avoid the pitfalls of carrying the world on your shoulders, you also need support from people outside the company to get through it. Your external support team cares about you personally and is far less inclined to judge your actions in the company. Although they lack detailed facts, people you know will can provide insights and advice you don’t get from insiders.

By the time you are facing a crisis, it is too late to form your support team. The time to do so is when things are going smoothly. These people can then know you well, and you feel confident you can count on them when the going gets rough.

Your support team starts with having one person in your life with whom you can be completely open, honest, and vulnerable.

~ Bill George, 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis


Thoughts Form the Physical Body

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