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Leadership Style

Don’t recall if I ever stated about the courses I followed recently.

One of them was based on Ethics&Leadership. And as amazing as it may sound to me, the professor literally scored, according to his values system, whether I would do the right or the wrong thing in 25 scenarios. Same for the others in the course, not just me. The result was that, from his point of view, I am too soft, I don’t see my interests and so on. It left me so puzzled, as since when being kind equals not being a leader any more?

One colleague mentioned about this Harvard test (link at the end of the post), so I opened a new tab and raised the questions to a machine. You also tell me, what do you see?

Your go-to leadership style: PROVIDER

You are motivated by two different yet equally strong desires: to lead from the front and to take care of people around you. You are confident in your abilities, deeply loyal and committed to your colleagues, and filled with a sense of conviction — all characteristics that may be very appealing to followers. You are also likely to believe that your approach is the right one, and you are highly motivated to share it with those you are close to so that they will succeed. But your conviction can also lead to insular thinking, and others may find you intellectually distant or overly focused on your own perspective. Your team may see you as deeply caring and thoughtful, but also inflexible and convinced that your way is the only path forward.

Potential blind spots:

• Integrating differing viewpoints. Your compassion and listening skills have the effect of making your colleagues feel heard. Yet they may see that your actions don’t change in response to their suggestions. Try implementing a few of their ideas.

• Operating day-to-day. Your focus on higher-level strategy and relationship building probably overshadows your interest in the details of execution. Build processes and support systems (perhaps with the aid of a Harmonizer or a Producer) that keep you accountable.

• Forging personal relationships and remaining accessible. While you care deeply about providing for others, your colleagues may see your relationships as somewhat one-dimensional — that is, more student-to-teacher than peer-to-peer. Find opportunities to share more of yourself (your background and your thinking) so they can get to know you as a person.

While you can improve in each of these areas, your natural or default style will resonate in certain work environments and fit less well in others. So you may want to seek out settings that play to your strengths, even as you work on areas for development to thrive in a broader range of contexts.

You’re likely to thrive if:

• Others in your organization feel a strong need to belong — for instance, a relatively young workforce who would benefit from your mentoring and guidance.

• You work in an environment that expects and values a clearly defined, strongly held point of view.

• Your team needs a leader who can set a clear, deliberate path forward.

• Your organization specializes in a narrow market or field that can benefit from your way of doing things.

You may struggle if:

• Your personal vision and perspective will be regularly challenged — for instance, if you join a group of established veterans who will test you as a rite of passage.

• The situation requires a diverse group of individuals who can build on one another’s ideas to be successful.

• You are asked to adopt a methodology or approach that is unfamiliar or substantially different from your preferred way.


Supplemental style: COMPOSER

You have the ability to blend creativity with logic to solve problems. You trust your intuition when generating ideas, and you are good at establishing clear boundaries for how and when to work with colleagues. Still, you are most comfortable when operating independently, never more so than when pursuing your own ideas and plans. Indeed, collaboration is challenging for you, and you may have difficulty “letting go” and relying on colleagues to contribute. These tendencies can make it more challenging for you to navigate your organization effectively. For example, you may struggle to get buy-in or otherwise advance the projects you’re working on.

Potential blind spots:

• Remaining open and flexible. You trust your gut so much that you may inadvertently crowd out others’ ideas with your own. Be deliberate about soliciting input — the additional brainpower can help you make your good ideas even better.

• Gaining buy-in. Your tendency to go at it alone comes with the risk that people around you won’t fully understand your ideas. By sharing your thinking as it develops (with your bosses and subordinates), you’ll be more likely to gain their support, particularly if your ideas reflect and incorporate their perspectives.

• Communicating with patience and clarity. Because much of your thinking and reasoning is internal, what is obvious to you (because you’ve already worked it out) may be brand-new or confusing to others. So you may need to backtrack and guide others through your thought process as you convey your ideas. Try to be patient and openly field questions; being abrupt might convey to others that you doubt their intelligence if they don’t immediately get what you’re saying.

• Team-building. You tend to focus on ideas and place a high value on independent thinking. Consequently, some of the more relational or emotional aspects of team building that others value highly may strike you as unnecessary or distracting. Partnering with a more relationally focused leader (such as a Collaborator or an Energizer) from time to time could help you improve the overall productivity and satisfaction of your team members.

• Being mindful of the grand scheme. Your independent streak could mask the fact that you have taken a narrow view of the problem at hand. Step back and look at the whole picture to better anticipate the short- and long-term consequences of your solutions or interventions.

While you can improve in each of these areas, your natural or default style will resonate in certain work environments and fit less well in others. So you may want to seek out settings that play to your strengths, even as you work on areas for development to thrive in a broader range of contexts.

You’re likely to thrive if:

• You have direct control over projects and timetables.

• Your circumstances require speedy and agile — yet thoughtful and decisive — problem solving, such as analyzing and responding quickly to new market data or research.

• Independence is valued in your organization, as it is in many research, legal, and creative settings.

• Building relationships isn’t central to your work (this is sometimes the case in IT, R&D, or engineering).

You may struggle if:

• You’re in an environment that calls for significant collaboration (for example, a cross-functional product team that relies on group problem solving).

• People in your company are typically influenced more by relationships and emotions than by ideas.

• Projects need extensive legal or medical review, and a lot of iteration, as they do in compliance and other “high-touch” environments.


Supplemental style: PRODUCER

You have a strong temperament and work ethic, and you value consistency, hard work, paying one’s dues, and (perhaps above all) tangible results. You appreciate pragmatism, tradition, and efficiency, and you tend to model these characteristics when working with teams. Though you may be skilled at building efficient structures and processes that enable reliable execution, you also have a bias toward proven approaches — you know what works and you expect others to “get on with it.” This tendency can make it challenging for you to incorporate new perspectives. Consequently, you may seem closed-minded and difficult to connect with emotionally, particularly to people you don’t work with intimately. You may appear realistic and grounded, but also rigid and fervent in your beliefs.

Potential blind spots:

• Inspiring and engaging others. Because you don’t tend to draw energy from your interactions with colleagues, you may be perceived as uninspiring or detached from others’ emotional reactions. Look for opportunities to provide positive feedback to colleagues when project milestones are met. Remember, the absence of criticism doesn’t constitute praise.

• Being open to new ways of doing things. Your loyalty to tradition and preference for the tried and true may prevent you from considering new approaches, even in the face of evidence that you should try them. Seek out fresh sources of information and venture outside your comfort zone — even trying a new type of cuisine or reading something you wouldn’t normally choose can broaden your perspective. One executive we know visited modern art museums to challenge his thinking.

• Connecting with people who aren’t like you. Because of your strong focus on execution and results, you may struggle to relate well with people who focus more on high-level strategy or relationship building. (Energizers, in particular, may irritate you because they merge their strategic and relational orientations.) You may never completely overcome this tension, but taking the time to appreciate different approaches will allow you to get more from your interactions with others.

• Giving others a chance to show their potential. One of the most important ways that employees learn and develop new leadership skills is by taking on stretch assignments. While your preference may be to keep people in positions where you can reliably count on them to deliver, recognize that this may stunt their professional growth. If you want to retain talented folks on your team or in your organization, challenge yourself to periodically find them new and stimulating assignments.

While you can improve in each of these areas, your natural or default style will resonate in certain work environments and fit less well in others. So you may want to seek out settings that play to your strengths, even as you work on areas for development to thrive in a broader range of contexts.

You’re likely to thrive if:

• You’re in an established or tight-knit environment, such as a traditional industrial or manufacturing setting, or the military, where proven methods prevail and results speak for themselves.

• The work you do requires clear structures and processes, or benefits from top-down oversight.

• You don’t need a lot of buy-in from others to get things done.

• Your organization has undergone significant (perhaps unsettling) change and requires a leader who can tune out the external noise to keep things running smoothly.

You may struggle if:

• Your organization is in the midst of substantial change.

• Subtle influence is needed or flexibility is at a premium.

• Your workforce consists of established, independent contributors who would reject a high degree of control.

• Your company has a strong culture of creativity and innovation.

Click here to take this assessment yourself.

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2.9

I’ve not really been myself lately.

Tremendous changes have been through my life, and I’ve felt like I’ve reached my limits of how much I can cope with. I have alienated people putting my finger on what is “wrong” and “why” from their very own misery. And I’ve come to this, where alone doesn’t feel alone and being with somebody is not really being with that somebody, an in-between ground where nothing is the way it used to, not things you liked, nor the ones you disliked. I wish I could take a day off just to cry it off myself, but it doesn’t work like that. Numbers on paper look good versus the middle age pursued wish, but who am I to kid, I am emptier than I ever let myself feel.

What is our purpose in life? How can we play so undecided and just go on until it ends?

Indeed, the burden weights always heavier in the winter time. But how do I solve this this time?

How long will I be able to keep running after 5 rabbits, hoping that one of them would be the one to stick with.

I feel guilty of keeping a loved one I do not love nearby. I wouldn’t want to entirely set him free either out of the fear there is no better out there. I’d rather just put my cards on the table and play it fair, I say, but how fair is it, in the end? I feel like bursting into tears at every wedding and baptism knowing that I am so far of where I wish I would be.

I feel like bursting into tears even when I have a good idea at work, because I just let go of everything that was good in me and I think I just lost myself on the way.

What have I done in all these years?

Where is the me that used to joke and laugh all the time?

Where is the me that wanted to try new things everyday, spend time with people, hear stories, read and enjoy?

What happened to me that wanted people over and living moments together and now I don’t even want to wash the dishes or put the laundry in. How hard can it be?

What have I come to and why?

Why am I so dissatisfied with myself?

I came to the age of 29. And like my parents would have asked me long time ago, it would be “And what have you done up to it?”.

Honestly, I’ve been carried away and damned myself to a miserable life of work and mediocre stuff, living the amazement of other people’s off my work-stories and dreaming about holidays that would come too late. Just too late to change or refill anything.

And it’s hard to let go, it’s hard to carry on.

Who am I?

Timpuri

De câteva zile mă apasă o stare de care nu pot să scap. Începută de la tot felul de procese despre oamenii care mă înconjoară și lipsa mea de posibilitate sau mai degrabă de a vrea să îi înțeleg în repetate mișcări deloc strategice, ci mai degrabă oarbe sau impulsive, animalice, ale unor oameni de la care chiar aveam așteptări și știu că pot mai mult de atât.

Cumva tind să observ că aceste așteptări ale mele fie ridică, fie anihilează oameni de pe lista mea în mod consecvent. Sau ridică și părăsește când se plafonează. O fi oare un pattern?

Îmi amintesc de perioada când povesteam cu non-șalanță despre cum asta este selecția naturală a zilelor noastre și cum, in the end, dacă nu suporți un reality check și lucrurile spuse în față, you don’t really deserve to be there or call yourself a friend.

Îmi amintesc și discuțiile cu Andres care îmi spunea că I keep on running and whoever doesn’t run with me, gets left behind.

Am întrebat atunci, întreb și acum – running towards what?

Azi am primit oferta de job refăcută conform cererilor mele și, uitându-mă la dată, am realizat că se împlinește un an de CIM la ABC fix în ziua dinaintea începerii job-ului meu la ei. Au trecut 6 ani de când fac asta. Aș minți dacă aș spune că în ăștia 6 ani nu am avut gânduri repetate de a mă reprofila. Dimpotrivă, am tot căutat. Și simt că acum e același lucru, încă mai caut.

În drum spre casă, mă gândeam că în stilul ăsta o să fac un an și de când locuiesc singură. Dar de fapt nici nu am avut timp să simt asta. Mailuri, telefoane, mereu încă ceva de lucru și adormim, și o luăm de la capăt.

E ceva ce nu mai vreau. M-am trezit realizând că fac 30 ani curând și în toți anii ăștia, de fapt, nu am făcut mai nimic. Da, am muncit super mult, mi-am făcut o reputație, ba chiar am început să pun și ceva bani deoparte. Dar dacă mâine aș avea din nou acel accident de mașină, aș simți același lucru. It ain’t worth it.

Nothing ain’t worth it din câte am încercat până acum.

Puțini știu că motivul pentru care am aplicat la ei in the first place este din cauza testelor pe care ți le dau înainte de interviuri. Mi se pare că este o metodă super sănătoasă de a nu îți pierde timpul cu nimeni. Și evident aici se adaugă așteptările mele ca oamenii de acolo să fie smart peste medie. Și implicit să simt că am găsit oameni de un alt nivel. Revăd aici similitudinea cu Academia… Dacă nu aș fi rațională, poate aș și crede până la capăt, dar realizez că wishful thinking e ca oamenii lor să nu fie sub medie… It feels nice când ești înconjurat de oameni ok. Actually, that’s what I miss. Oameni ok și echipă cu adevărat, nesabotată din interior, curată. Kind of feels like the lonely fighter în ăștia 6 ani. Time will tell, sunt sigură. Dacă nici asta nu e, we keep on going.

Apropo de întrebarea de mai sus despre alergarea asta continuă, Yalom ar răspunde foarte simplu – running towards death.

 

You and time

You can’t ignore your own needs, nor should you even try. Sometimes you get so caught up in being a better person that you forget what it’s like to be a person, period. Relationships are about love, not struggle.

If you’ve been weighing the pros and cons of something about your relationship, maybe it’s time to get both of you in on it. You might be surprised by their perspective — and what you can come up with together.

 

Lifeline

Back to RO. Romanian text follows.

Aseara am fost la botezul Oanei/Dan/Mati. 6 mai 2017.

Este acea perioada din viata de ceva timp – cand toata lumea se casatoreste, face copii, pot sa numar pe degete prietenii care nu au facut unul dintre cei doi pasi. Si intr-un mod bizar cand ma uit la viata mea nu pare ca voi avea prea curand o directie inspre asta.

Citeam azi un articol despre burn-out si cum interpretarea lui psihanalitica ar fi ca nu poti sa te accepti facand nimic, therefore wasting life. Always on the rush towards the next thing. Mi se pare ca si eu am trait asa destul de mult timp. Insa, nu stiu de unde sau de ce, s-a schimbat ceva in mine. Am inceput sa crave dupa vacante, dupa timp liber, dupa timp cu prieteni, dupa timp sa citesc o carte, o baie lunga si efectiv timp pentru mine. Catre prieteni spun ca am inceput sa imi doresc o viata. Cam asta e perspectiva.

Si am tot revazut filmul asta aseara. Am revazut oameni si felul in care si-au legat familiile, franturi din viata lor, oftat, nemultumiri, parca mai mult decat niciodata.

In mod surprinzator, oameni ale caror cupluri mi se pareau ideale s-au dovedit a fi oameni, pana la urma, si nu exista nimic mereu fericit nici la ei. Tristetea unei masti de “asa trebuie sa fie”, care de multe ori vine cu pachetul destul de judgmental ca ai 29 si lipsa perspectivei unei familii.

Probabil eu, Raluca a lui Adi si Ralu, eram cele mai independente figuri de acolo, fiecare dintre noi cu o alta poveste, si m-a lasat cu o serie de intrebari, pana la urma. Eu nu ma simt lasata in urma. Chiar cred ca mi-am jucat cartile foarte frumos pana acum. Si, indeed, chiar vreau sa schimb ceva, ma raportez din ce in ce mai diferit la work decat pana acum.

Cand Dan a luat microfonul si s-a pierdut, multumind de cel putin 5 ori ca suntem acolo, in interval de un minut, a tinut sa isi salute copiii din copilarie de la bloc si sa le spuna “nu vom pune manele”. So it got me wondering. M-am gandit la Josian, m-am gandit la articolul cu “why you should date a jerk”, si da – Josian intra la jerk, chiar daca nu in sensul de baza, ci profilul pe care si l-a facut prin toate problemele pe care si le-a creat mergand prin viata si creandu-si juniori fara sa isi doreasca o familie. So poate ca relatiile nefericite sunt acolo doar ca sa intelegem care este limita noastra de toleranta. Si da, in prezent cineva este nemultumit ca jumatatea actuala fumeaza, sau ca uita sa se spele pe dinti dupa ce fumeaza, ca nu spala vase, nu duce gunoiul, lasa haine imprastiate prin casa sau nu are timp suficient pentru lucrurile pe care ti le-ai dori sa le faceti impreuna. Sau este un jerk si inca nu ti-ai umplut paharelul ca sa move on. Cine mai stie. Doar ca aseara am inteles de ce Oana pentru Dan e un inger. Si am inteles si de ce pentru Oana Dan este acela. Pentru ca in fond conteaza doar sa zambiti impreuna si sa stii ca te poti baza pe omul de langa tine. Nimic mai mult nu este necesar pentru o relatie fericita.

Si pe atat de simplu, pe atat de complicat.

 

Decisions, decisions

Another great coaching article from Rob today.

Everything takes less time when you know what to do. Knowing allows us to move through our days more effectively and end them with a level of confidence that we did what we should have. On the other hand, anything we let linger in the back of our minds distracts us.

Any decision we fail to make adds to the collection of crowded what ifs and what shoulds. We stand in a perpetual state of not knowing. Even the smallest decisions cause us tension.

Having a clear mind makes us peaceful.

Just think about it. It isn’t always about business. The decisions we make in our personal life are just as critical. One of the ways to look at your relationship with decisions is to look at your weekends.

Are you someone who, on a Saturday morning, would turn to your significant other and ask “What do you want to do today?” Of course, neither of you really knows or wants to commit. So you pretend to relax and scroll through your phone, emails, TV, whatever. Eventually though, the day slips away. You never decided to do anything. You feel guilty for wasting it rather than relaxed. But the real loss is this, if you had DECIDED to relax and have a lazy day, you wouldn’t feel guilty at all.

Isn’t it amazing?

Past

My dear reader,

I wonder how often do we cheat on ourselves. Today I had a recurrent thought from the past, reminding me of the myself I was a couple of years ago, when I used to describe myself as running while the other just have a walk. It has been indeed true for long, even after my car accident I continued to keep myself running, and I slowed down.

I said it earlier in my life and my present experience comes to confirm it again – If it’s not a YES feeling from the beginning, it’s NOT a MAYBE, it’s a NO. The rest are just hopes, imagination, wishes, investments.

With all my rationale, I believe more and more that emotions are the ones that keep us going. But how is it when you conclude it’s a bad investment and you keep on going. Just as gambling and hoping the next experience will be so positive that it will make it all worth it But it’s not. And it keeps on going. Loving and caring. I believe it is called cheating. And it hurts more than it’s hurting outside.

I feel more alone with you this way than I feel alone. My solitude is more pleasant and, mostly, more sane. It may sound odd, I am sorry, but it is sincere from the bottom of my heart.

And my question is, it’s not all about the financials and commitments and hopes and beliefs, the person continues to be a small-paced, and hurtful, what do you do?

I tell you – pack your things and move on. Replay your cards right, as time never stands free.

Don’t cheat on yourself and don’t cheat others either.

The moment you become aware you shouldn’t be able to pause it any more. Take it further and re-become an action taker.

Let tomorrow get back into its pace and open a new chapter. No matter what follows, it will be better than wondering what if.

My biggest hugs to you, my dear.
Happy birthday.