Tag Archives: leadership

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Quarantine Day 4

Last month, I read Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything by Alexandra Carter. I was pretty proud of myself for finishing that book in a month. I mean I started the book last year, but still. The majority of the book was completed this January. It goes to show when we dedicate ourselves to do something or commit our time to focus on doing something, we will achieve results.

I’m currently reading The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company by Robert Iger. My friend, Leo, recommended this book to me last year. We were talking about having patience in our jobs and persevering for opportunities. Leo said I have to read this one.

I read the Prologue today. The book started out a bit slow with tragedies like the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and the alligator attack at the Grand Floridian Hotel. Both incidents brought my mood down as lives were lost, including a two-year old boy. Iger picked things up as he concluded the chapter. Below are some highlights from the end of the Prologue:

“As I near the end of all of that and think back on what I’ve learned, these are the ten principles that strike me as necessary to true leadership. I hope they’ll serve you as well as they’ve served me.

Optimism. One of the most important qualities of a good leader is optimism, a pragmatic enthusiasm for what can be achieved.

Courage. The foundation of risk-taking is courage, and in ever-changing, disrupted businesses, risk-taking is essential, innovation is vital, and true innovation occurs only when people have courage. … Fear of failure destroys innovation.

Focus. Allocating time, energy, and resources to the strategies, problems, and projects that are of highest importance and value is extremely important, and it’s imperative to communicate your priorities clearly and often.

Decisiveness. Leaders must encourage a diversity of opinions balanced with the need to make and implement decisions.

Curiosity. The path to innovation begins with curiosity.

Fairness. Strong leadership embodies the fair and decent treatment of people. Empathy is essential, as is accessibility. … Nothing is worse to an organization than a culture of fear.

Thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness is one of the most underrated elements of good leadership. … It’s simply about taking the time to develop informed opinions.

Authenticity. Truth and authenticity breed respect and trust.

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection. This doesn’t mean perfectionism at all costs, but it does mean a refusal to accept mediocrity or make excuses for something being “good enough.” If you believe that something can be made better, put in the effort to do it. If you’re in the business of making things, be in the business of making things great.

Integrity. Nothing is more important than the quality and integrity of an organization’s people and its product. … The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”

I’m looking forward to reading this book.

Quarantine Day 2

Today went by with some meaningful activities:

  • I finished the Ask for More book.
  • Mom and I cooked brunch and dinner together. Brunch was noodles with beef and dry beans, and dinner was a three-dish meal: fried ling cod, spinach, and beef, snap peas and red pepper stir fry.
  • A full body workout, followed with a Tai Chi lesson from Mom.

Tai Chi was fun. I’m hoping to keep that up throughout the quarantine.

Below are some of the good lines I enjoyed from the Ask for More book from Alexandra Carter:

  • We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers. – Carl Sagan
  • When you ask the right questions, of yourself and others, you open a window to create value far beyond what you can imagine. Leading your negotiation with questions not only helps your bottom line, but it helps you connect to people in a way that can transform relationships, personally and professionally.
  • When you change your questions, you change the conversation.
  • The first negotiation in any situation is the one you have with yourself.
  • In my work, I teach that negotiation is any conversation in which you are steering a relationship.
  • Everything you see, hear, and feel helps you steer with accuracy toward your goal.
  • So what happens when you treat negotiation like steering a kayak? First, it means you don’t wait until the contract comes up to negotiate with your boss or client. You don’t wait until your relationship feels like it is in crisis to have a conversation. Instead, you are continuously piloting those relationships in every conversation you have. And second, you take in the right information to help you steer toward your goal. You ask great questions. You use advanced listening skills to get information that helps you shape your deals. In sum, you approach those conversations intentionally. You treat them all as part of your negotiation of that relationship.
  • “Tell me” is a magic question that opens up an entire world to your view.
  • The best negotiations, relationships, or client interactions start with you – a process of self-discovery that helps you get clarity on who you are and what you want to achieve.

The above are some of the highlights from the Introduction chapter. It’d be impossible to share everything I liked from the book. There are too many! Though I do want to share the last two sentences of the book:

  • When you stay curious in your negotiations and relationships, you’ll see that other people start looking to you as a model, and do the same. In this way, good negotiators become leaders – at home, at work, and in the world.

Here is a handy checklist of the 10 questions to negotiate anything by Alexandra Carter:

The Mirror

  • My definition of the problem/goal (What’s the problem I want to solve?)
  • My needs/what those look like (What do I need?)
  • My feelings/concerns (What do I feel?)
  • My previous success (How have I handled this successfully in the past?)
  • My first steps (What’s the first step?)

The Window

  • Their definition of the problem/goal (Tell me…)
  • Their needs/what those look like (What do you need?)
  • Their feelings/concerns (What are your concerns?)
  • Their previous success (How have you handled this successfully in the past?)
  • Their first steps (What’s the first step?)

Great book! Highly recommended.

President

I returned to my Toastmasters club in April.  My goal was to complete the four remaining speeches in my Competent Communicator manual.  I don’t like unfinished projects.  My plan was to stop attending Toastmasters when that manual is done.

My club, the Belmont Babblers, is facing a low membership problem.  Every year, the first week of May is election week to elect a team of executives to run the club.  We barely have enough members to meet the minimum, which is having three executive positions filled.  Instead of having an election this year, we opted to have members volunteer for positions.

In Year 2010/2011, Leo and I shared the President role.  It was a bit challenging, but I enjoyed it.  Since I’ve been on and off from the club and I did benefit from attending, I decided that this was a calling for me to pay back and contribute to the club.  I volunteered to be the next President, pending club members’ approval.  This afternoon I received an email saying that it has been approved that I’ll be the next President from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  Below are the members of the executive team:

  • President: Will
  • Vice President of Education: Carol and Amir
  • VP of Membership: Amanda
  • VP of Public Relations: Bart
  • Treasurer: Lyn
  • Secretary: Dalia
  • Sergeant at Arms: Jay

It will be a good year to improve our communication and leadership skills.

Attributes of Leadership

According to Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich (1937), there are 11 attributes of leadership:

  1. Unwavering courage.  No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage.  No intelligent follower will be dominated by such a leader very long.
  2. Self-control.  The man who cannot control himself can never control others.  Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers, which the more intelligent will emulate.
  3. A keen sense of justice.  Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers.
  4. Definiteness of decision.  The man who wavers in his decisions, shows that he is not sure of himself, cannot lead others successfully.
  5. Definiteness of plans.  The successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan.
  6. The habit of doing more than paid for.  One of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers.
  7. A pleasing personality.  Leadership calls for respect.  No slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader.
  8. Sympathy and understanding.  The successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers and understand them as well as their problems.
  9. Mastery of detail.  Successful leadership calls for mastery of the details of the leader’s position.
  10. Willingness to assume full responsibility.  The successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers.  If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed.
  11. Cooperation.  Leadership calls for power, and power calls for cooperation.

Furthermore, there are two forms of leadership.  The first, and by far the most effective, is leadership by consent of, and with the sympathy of the followers.  The second is leadership by force, without the consent and sympathy of the followers.  History is filled with evidences that leadership by force cannot endure: Napoleon, Mussolini, and Hitler.  Leadership-by-consent of the followers is the only brand which can endure.

Note to self: how many of the 11 attributes of leadership do you already possess and are actively practicing, and which form of leadership are you aspired to adapt?

Leadership

L – Loyalty
E – Enthusiasm
A – Attitude
D – Discipline
E – Example
R – Respect
S – Scholarliness
H – Honest
I – Integrity
P – Pride

— Warren Buffet’s Management Secrets

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