My goal in studying journalism and pursuing a journalism career has always centered on the question: how can I make the most impact? For me, the answer seems to be to focus on something that combines my skills with my passions.
My passions lie in making the world a better place. In my opinion, we have to protect the planet because, in the words of documentary filmmaker Rob Stewart, “Conservation is the preservation of human life on earth.” The environment is something I deeply care about, and it is what I would like to focus on as a journalist. Beyond that, there is a great need for environmental journalists nowadays, especially ones that are well informed and accurate.
My skills have become very clear to me in my years at the Cronkite School. I am a very technologically savvy person. My creativity is present in execution, rather than ideation. I have honed my skills in videography, video editing, graphic design, web design and photography. I enjoy all of these things fairly equally, so it seems to be logical to combine them. I have therefore decided on pursuing a career of investigative reporting for the web, striving toward creating visually stunning projects such as the New York Times’ “Snowfall” or the Seattle Times’ “Sea Change”. I look to these projects as examples for what I would like to do in the future, but specifically focused on the environment.
I have found in researching this topic more thoroughly that there is a conflict between reporting solely information and inappropriate advocacy. To become a leader in environmental journalism I think the best way to make impact is by finding a middle ground between the two. It is the middle ground that will allow for enough information to make an accurate point and enough declaration to make a clear point. It is the middle ground where I’ll be able to make the most impact.
To me, accuracy is the most important thing in, not just environmental, but all kinds of journalism. Maintaining accuracy is something to have in our minds as we strive to become better leaders in our fields.
My purpose is not to add up on the overwhelming information flowing across the world on Madiba death or Legacy. I just can’t help expressing my pain and sharing two points I could hopefully recall in my life from him, and what I believe, is very important for people who seek a right leadership style, who want to let their inner character ethics radiate on people around them.
Fighting against the apartheid regime in a deeply divided South Africa at first Nelson Mandela sought conversations in vain with the white and racial regime led by people like Peter Botha.
Already leading the African National Congress, and followed by countless people won by his charisma Madiba Lacked interlocutors willing to talk about the racism and find out a solution, and seeing his people getting more and more massacred for no reasons he broke out in an army battle to sabotage the functioning of the regime and influence the with people mind until he got captured and jailed for 27 years. He lacked liberty to move out of the prison and go where he wanted but truly felt in his head more free than his prison guards.
-Dr Stephen R. Covey recalled in his famous book: The 7 habits of highly effective people the inner force of personality like Nelson Mandela whose charisma shined even on his prisoner’s mates and on his prison guards as well. He relied himself on his trust, his confidence, mentality of steel, the inviolability of his spirit, Madiba did not let circumstances and outside actions affect him. All of those strengths allowed Mandela to refuse in February 1985 a first string-attached freeing offer from President Botha in exchange to get Madiba end the struggle against apartheid.
That constantly renewing energy will allow Madiba to fight for the reconciliation among Black and White people extremely fascinated by his humility and that incredible absence of bitterness from him. It is just because Madiba whose actions come from his soul, was deeply a man of non-violence, a man of peace, receiving the Nobel Prize together with his vis-à-vis and former last white president of South Africa Frederick De Klerk who reacted on CNN –in the Situation Room-soon after the death announcement, saying Mandela revealed a great sense of listening, always willing to understand his interlocutor, and that really fascinated him.
What to retain from him and his fight for his people freedom against the deadly apartheid system is: humility, courage, generosity, self-confidence, truth, honesty, and understanding, Independence of mind, hard work and integrity.
Nelson Rolihalahla <<Madiba>> Mandela lessons will remain forever to teach us out to be a right person, the man, him, has already went down in history
Bye bye Madiba!
By Ivana Braga
“It is a shame that so many leaders spend their time pondering their rights as leaders instead of their awesome responsibilities as leaders.” — James C. Hunter, The Servant
I used a Internet quiz based in Psychology to give some clues of my leadership style. Please, don’t laugh. Actually, it was quite accurate. You see, according to the system I have characteristics of participative and delegative leadership. It’s not bad at all. I made some progress. I experienced a process like that before in my country, Brazil, personally with human resource and headhunter professionals. The evaluation concluded that I do was participative, but not delegative. I like concentrate things in my hands.
No, I didn’t limited myself to take tests. How you can see on other post, I’m overdosed by American leadership. I’ve attend to seminars, read books and discussed in groups. As result, I found out about Servant Leadership. I identify myself on that pathway, and I know it a long journey. “Being others-focused instead of self-focused changes your worldview. Living in a selfless manner and seeking to help others enriches our very existence on a daily basis. Get your hands dirty once in a while by serving in a capacity that is lower than your position or station in life. This keeps you tethered to the real world and grounded to reality, which should make it harder to be prideful and forget where you came from.” Miles Anthony Smith, Why Leadership Sucks: Fundamentals of Level 5 Leadership and Servant Leadership
I asked Raquel Gutierrez, associate director at St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, to tell us about leadership skill. She highlighted three essential characteristics of successful and authentic leaders: Empathy, curiosity, and vulnerability. And she explains why listed vulnerability. “My experience with impactful leaders is that when they can easily admit they do not know or share an emotion that might not be valued in public/professional arenas, such as sadness, grief, abundant joy it creates a connection with others because these are core human emotions that everyone experiences at one time or another. I happily think this is changing because more case studies are being written on how these characteristics have benefitted well known leaders (Oprah, Brene Brown, President Obama, Sheryl Sandberg). Empathy is about being able to see one’s self in another – this is the cornerstone of being in touch with your humanity.”
Sandy Bahr, Chapter Director of Sierra Club Grand Canyon, also shared her thoughts. “I think my leadership style is to try to inform people and inspire them to act. I try to make sure each person understands that they are powerful and can make a difference, and that by working together, we can make an enormous difference. I think that you really need to like people and also be able to connect with them to work effectively in the non-profit world. I enjoy meeting new people, hearing various perspectives, learning about issues, and generally working with people to try and effect change.I suppose one of the most important qualities in my work is persistence. Giving up is not an option – it is just too important.”
After all, I have to agree with Heissebein leadership is question of to be. Reflecting on my leadership style also reminds my childhood, learning by example. So, let’ me finish talking about part of my day. Today, December 5, 2013, Nelson Mandela passed way. I knew when I got school. I was late for a meeting. I’ve a mix of weird feelings. It was not a surprise, in somehow the world expected it because he was sick for long. That day, I cried, but not for him, for myself. At the night, I refused read news about his death. I preferred to see some pictures Madiba young and old, in the prison, traveling abroad, in South Africa, along politicians, activists, children, family members. I read quotes and historicalfacts. Mandela did what he could, was persecuted and put in jail, suffered to establish another system and changed mindset of million of people about racism. After all, I was still too quiet. Then, I examined why. Of course I was sorry for us, for him, for our cause. I found out that doesn’t matter which leadership style we have. At the end the day or the life what really matters is to rest in peace. It depends what we are, do and which examples we let as legacy. Hail, Madiba!
“I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die” - at the Rivonia treason trial in April 1964, when he faced the possibility of a death sentence.
By Ivana Braga
The importance of Native Americans for U.S. history is not questionable, but the little space they have in media is. To minimize this situation Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication goes to the high schools located in reservations to explain the relevance of Native American’s voices in the news media. So, my mentor Anita Luera, director of Cronkite Institute for High School Journalism Institute of ASU, invited me to go along in a trip that started the afternoon of September 23 and finished late night on the 27, 2013. Since there, I’m more passionate for the Arizona landscape and I’m interested in understanding issues of race, education and media in America.
The 2011 US census bureau estimated that the population of Arizona is 6,482,505. The data about ethnicity from 2010 shows that 73% of people in Arizona are white, 4.1% are black or African American, and 4.8% are Native American or Indian. In fact, Arizona has 22 federally recognized tribes, communities and nations. It is the third largest population of Native Americans in the country. Here, more than 85,000 people are able to speak Navajo and 10,000 speak Apache. Despite these numbers, Native Americans are misrepresented in mainstream media.
Coming back to the trip. At the first stop in Hopi Junior Senior High School, I had my first shock. The Native American school reservation didn’t remind me of anything the Brazilian schools, which Native people attend. Here, the schools I visited have good structures and staff, they are just the way all educational institutions should be, but that is not common in my country. In the teacher Stan Bindell’s classes, Anita Luera instigated a reflection about media and Native American stories. Then, a student, Lacey Tewanema, expressed how some news stories reinforce stereotypes: “Still today many people think that Native American lives in tepees, don’t have electricity, dress traditional clothes all the time and have others ideas like that. But, we are not. Here in our school reservation we learning from modern technology, we try keeping our culture, but also become border towns,” she said. How the media would look if we had diversity on it?
Anita Luera talks about news media career, Cronkite School, advice students to look in advanced for the school they want to attend, compare price, see the scholarship opportunities and other information. But, the part I like the most is to see how the students react when she shows the possibilities of a smartphone and tablet, put a professional camera in front of them, and teach them how to play with these machines. At the St. Michael Indian School, I observed how the position of a student change when she goes from the listener to author. How proud American society would be if more Native Americans could be author of their stories?
I found out more about Native American diversity listening to local radio stations and talked with students who produce and present programs. Indeed, the role of school radio stations in Arizona reservations is crucial for these communities. “The outside radio stations are important for people keep themselves updated about what happens in the world, but our radio helps us to take care of each other,” the student, Hertasha Begaye, told me with her three-year participation at radio school. It is the same to a volunteer D.J. Agnes Setalla, “our radio station has value because it is the only one that talks about our community calendar, cares about our issues, and speaks in both languages, Navajo and English,” she explained.
At Red Mesa High School, a senior high school student Allen Hongouti has traveled with his family since he was child. They periodically go to Canada and stop in a couple of states such as North Dakota and Montana to meet other tribes. “We travel to celebrate for three days with different tribes. In these occasions we usually dance five different kinds of dances. My uncle initiated me in dancing when I was younger. Now I compete, and I already have won once.” So, why is he taking radio classes in high school? “I can make a voice for my people and myself as well,” he replied. How the media would look if we knew more about Native American celebrations?
Thank you to all the teachers and students that I met, and my mentor for the extraordinary experience. I hope more Native Americans join the media, tell us their history and help to understand that diversity is one of the most important treasures that a nation could have.
Published for the first time in 1989, “On Becoming a Leader” is a classical and well-known leadership book by Warren Bennis. The book is a combination of Bennis’s own insights and experience on leadership, case studies and interviews with leaders and top executives from different backgrounds both from for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
From an editorial perspective, the book is not very well structured. The author refers to same arguments in almost every section of the book with many repetitions. The several lists of leaders “must-do”s or “must-be”s create confusion as there are so many of them and there is no explanation about how they are compiled.
Bennis starts his book by underlining that there is a need and lack of leadership. It is crucial for our lives since our quality of life depends on leaders. He puts an emphasis on especially national leaders. According to him, national leaders are important because they are responsible for effectiveness, they inspire and restore hope and they provide integrity to institutions. He also answers a very much-debated question in the nonprofit sector by saying that no matter how collaborative the organization is, there is still a need for a leader to coordinate members and make final decisions. The main characteristics of leaders are being visionary, innovative, and original.
Bennis gives a list of ingredients of leadership: guiding vision, passion, integrity, trust, curiosity and daring. A leader give inspiration and hope to other people, a leader is honest, dedicated, authentic and capable of working with others and learning with others. Leader embrace errors, experiment and take risks. He stresses that vision and character cannot be thought, the leaders should invent themselves. To become a leader, we need to know what we are made of and what we want to make of it. One of the ways of doing that is to speak or write your thoughts to be able to develop a sense of yourself and your role in the world. Trying new things, testing yourself, beliefs and principles, being a good explorer and a good listener, applauding yourself for the small successes are some of the tips that may help people to discover themselves. Therefore, self-knowledge is crucial and there are 4 lessons to increase it:
1- You are your own teacher.
2- Accept responsibility. Blame no one.
3- You can learn anything you want to learn.
4- True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience.
From a semantic perspective, if the term “leader” or “good leader” is defined according to the lists provided in the book, there is a missing explanation about how the author classifies a good leader and a bad leader. The leader is presented as an ethical person with high morality and character, in other words as a good person, yet the book does not discuss whether all successful leaders should fit into that criteria or not. Thus, all the good leader or good leadership examples remain purely subjective and argumentative such as the assessment of presidents. The assessment remains superficial and confusing and not enough explanatory.
A leader should be dedicated to continuous learning and should see mistakes as learning opportunities. The writer argues that learning at school is important but it is not enough itself. Education should be combined with practical experience and enriched through families, travelling, private life, friends and mentors. Overall, leaders learn how to learn from experience and how to analyze them in a constructive way. Leaders consciously seek the kinds of experience that will improve them.
The writer’s observation is that American organizational life is a left-brain culture: logical, analytical, technical, controlled, conservative and administrative. His suggestion is that American culture needs more right-brain qualities and leaders must combine administrative and imaginative skills such as empathy and encouraging diversity of opinion. The role of the leader is to figure out how you make diverse people and elements together. From an international perspective, the book mainly focuses on leadership and organizational culture in the USA. All the leaders interviewed are Americans and they succeeded in the USA therefore it is not entirely relevant for global audience.
Bennis states that leaders learn by leading in the face of obstacles. The obstacles may vary: working with a bad boss, crisis, adversity, etc. Facing with those obstacles and even failing can be a way for leaders to “invent themselves”.
Throughout the book, Bennis emphasizes that a leader should have character. The section titled “getting people on your side” gives a formula for leaders who want to make people follow them without the feeling of fear, obligation, and dependence. The four ingredients are constancy, congruity, reliability, and integrity. According to the author, if the members of a team believe in the mission of the organization or feel they also develop personally through the development of the organization, it is easier to work collaboratively.
It is important for individuals to have a willingness to “invent themselves”, but is that enough? Shouldn’t organizations enable people to develop their leadership capacities as well? As a response to that question, Bennis explains how “organizations can help-or hinder” in the ninth section of the book. There are three major forces working on the world today—technology, global interdependence, and demographics and values. The succeeding organizations have similar characteristics according to the Tom Peters’ Thriving in Chaos: less hierarchical structure, more autonomous units, an orientation toward high-value-added goods and service, quality controls, service controls, responsiveness, innovative speed, flexibility, highly trained workers and leaders at all levels rather than managers. Organizations should provide opportunities, invest in its employees, create mechanisms that will avoid burnout, and measure their effectiveness.
The book’s final section “forging for the future” summarizes the factors for the future:
-Leaders manage the dream.
-Leaders embrace error.
-Leaders encourage reflective backtalk.
-Leaders encourage dissent.
-Leaders possess the Nobel factor: optimism, faith, and hope.
-Leaders understand the Pygmalion effect in management.
-Leaders have a certain “touch.”
-Leaders see the long view.
-Leaders understand stakeholder symmetry.
-Leaders create strategic alliances.
The book is a good combination of leadership qualities and gives some tips about how to foster these qualities. It is not the best book though if you are not fond of self-help books.
by Derya Kaya
In fact two majors points sustains his powerful message to make people be successful in their life:
-The Paradigms shift: having the capacity to change in order to understand the differences we could have with people, because we might not see something on the same way. Being able to shift our way to see things may greatly help us to adjust our selves to the objective reality regarding our sense of values, our strong beliefs.
-Being principle centered: make decisions and set up things based on character ethics, the courage, integrity, honesty, guidance, and wisdom, which are inside you.
In the meanwhile being careful to 2 things: a focus on your circle of influence (things upon which you are on control) rather than your circle of influence (full of the others weakness, behaviors) upon which you have no control. The second thing is to well balance your relation to the 3 assets that we found: physical, human and financial. To picture with the story of the poor farmer and his goose: by impatience and selfishness don’t kill the goose, which gives you golden eggs. When you want to enjoy in a lasting manner the desired product (Production) take care of what enables that production (Production Capability). That leads to Stephen Covey’s rule of Balance between P and PC.
Dr Covey’s message is the following: you are different from the animals because you can reflect, make your mind, choose, and take your responsibility with an independent will. Don’t let circumstances, feelings or environment disturb your inner sense of values. Be proactive because you are your programmer.
Now that you are aware of your capability to act, you can do so. But as we know that every decision made as his consequences on which we have no control, we have to think at the end before any decision-making. To strengthen our abilities to choose and to make, we must set up a personal mission statement. This kind of road map must be follow with discipline even if some adjustments could be further made to meet new ideas. Be scheduling your priorities so will not be overwhelmed by what you have to do, between urgent and important activities. Always seek a third solution when you are blocked in two positions while interacting with someone, it is so better when you compromise, beyond your differences. After revealing your capability to lean on yourself for effective interactions with people in an interdependent reality, you have to think every t a medium, or 3td solution when your interlocutor and you have two2 opposites. For lasting deals in business for example, think win-win. Each of you may benefit from your common deal. Leaving in an interdependent area means you have to struggle every day to provide the better environment possible to people in order to win their trust, confidence before coming up with their insight instead of polite or defensive communication. Creating a synergy among a gathering of people for a purpose is the basis or wonderful ideas to reach success out. And one of the more important point to notice in Dr Covey message is to be taking care of one of the most great assets we have: ourselves through four dimensions. Physical with exercises and wealthy nutrition, social by keeping our character ethics in our daily interaction with people, mental by seeking more knowledge been opened to new ideas, spiritual by clarifying and keeping our commitments through factors like meditation or prayers so that we never lose the track. I can’t end this review without hammering that quote from Stephen Covey and that I hope will make sense to people seeking effectiveness through their character ethics: “Achieving unity-oneness-with our self, with our loved ones, with our friends and working associates, is the highest and most delicious fruit of the Seven Habits”.
To me Stephen Covey touched at the hurting point, since many people like so much “quick fixes”, how to quickly handle relentless difficulties, to get the success in a fast way, to suddenly go from Rag to rich. Anyway we can find out why many business, many family lives were shining just went downs from one day to another; the response is upon what they have been built, and how they have been handled (PC/P balance). That is why I value very much the fact that Dr Covey insisted on the fact that we have to be principle-centered: that suggest us to work on our character ethic, because anything can take some one to the top, but nothing more than what character can maintain you there, since there are in you, since they are you.
For the assignment to select a leadership book for a book report I sought out reviews of the top books of all time on the topic of leadership. John Maxwell was a name that appeared consistently on the lists compiled by the likes of the Washington Post, Amazon, Business Insider, just to name a few. So I knew I wanted to read one of his books. In the “About the Writer” section of its summary, Amazon describes Maxwell as an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has also trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. I was drawn to him on several planes. The first being the fact that he was described as a leadership expert and “one of the globe’s most trusted leadership mentors.” Secondly, his leadership experience straddled the private sector as well as the non-profit and volunteer sectors and so offered a diverse perspective. But most intriguing of all was his Christian faith. I wanted to learn from a Christian leader. Strangely though, I didn’t choose Developing The Leader Within You which made the “top 5″ on almost every list I reviewed. Instead, I decided on the 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence From Anywhere in the Organization, authored in 2005 and reprinted in 2011. Why this choice? I was swayed (or maybe “influenced” is a better word) by Amazon’s description of the book, where it proposed to answer a question that I have oftentimes asked myself. That is: Is it possible to lead and influence others when you’re not the top leader? The call was directed at me –“If you have found yourself trying to lead from the middle of the organization… then you need Maxwell’s insights. You have a unique opportunity to exercise influence in all directions – up (to the boss), across (among your peers), and down (to those you lead).” I had to answer the call and read this book. A secondary reason for my choice was that my home institution recently introduced the 360 Degree Leadership tool for evaluation of its senior and mid-level leaders, and I was curious to learn more about the 360 Degree leader philosophy.
SUMMARY OF MAIN IDEAS & KEY TAKEAWAYS:
Essentially Maxwell distinguishes three major principles to help leaders at every level of the organization to bring value and influence. These are summarized as:
- Leading up: the process of influencing a leader above you.
- Leading across: the process of helping peers.
- Leading down: the process of helping your direct reports.
The book is divided into six main sections, with a bonus “special section” and 360 Degree Leader workbook at the back. Maxwell also provides each reader with an assessment of their leadership skills on his website www.360-DegreeLeader.com.
In section 1, Maxwell debunks seven myths about leadership:
- The position myth: “I can’t lead if I am not at the top”.
- The destination myth: “When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead”.
- The influence myth: “If I were on top, then people would follow me”.
- The inexperience myth: “When I get to the top, I’ll be in control”.
- The freedom myth: “When I get to the top, I’ll no longer be limited”.
- The potential myth: “I can’t reach my potential if I’m not the top leader”.
- The All-or-Nothing myth: “If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead”.
He also introduces a leadership development identification tool, which I found to be particularly useful. Called “The Five Levels of Leadership,” it captures what Maxwell refers to as “the dynamics of leadership.” Maxwell uses the analogy of a staircase to explain the levels of leadership:
- Level 1: the Position level: it is hinged on rights, i.e. people will follow only because they have to.
- Level 2: the Permission level: it is hinged on relationships, i.e. people will follow because they want to.
- Level 3: the Production level: it is hinged on results, i.e. people will follow because of what the leader has done for the organization.
- Level 4: the People development level: it is hinged on reproduction, i.e. people will follow because of what the leader has done for them.
- Level 5: the Personhood level: it is hinged on respect, i.e. people follow because of who the leader is and what he/she represents. It is important to note that reaching to this level is usually outside of the leader’s control. It is position endowed upon the leader by others and based on the leader’s excellence in leading people from the first four levels for a long period of time.
Section 2 confronts some of the challenges that leaders in the middle face and provides keys to overcome them:
- The tension challenge: The pressure of being caught in the middle. The key to this challenge is learning to lead, despite the restrictions others have placed on you.
- The frustration challenge: Following an ineffective leader. The key is to remind yourself that your job isn’t to fix the leader; it is to add value. If the leader won’t change, then the alternatives are to change your attitude or your work address.
- The multi-hat challenge: One head…many hats. The key is knowing what hat to put on and then enjoying the challenge ahead of you.
- The ego challenge: You’re often hidden in the middle. The key is to remember that consistently good leadership eventually does get noticed.
- The fulfillment challenge: Leaders like the front more than the middle. The key is to keep in mind that leadership is more disposition than position, and so you can influence others from where you are.
- The vision challenge: Championing the vision is more difficult when you didn’t create it. The key is investing. The more you invest in the vision, the more it becomes your own.
- The influence challenge: Leading others beyond your position is not easy. The key is to think influence, not position.
The heart of the book, sections 3, 4 and 5 discuss in depth each of the 360 Degree leader principles – leading up, leading across and leading down.
Leading up, Maxwell suggests, might be the 360 Degree leader’s greatest challenge. He offers nine tips on how to become a “Leader of leaders”:
- Lead yourself exceptionally well.
- Lighten your leader’s load.
- Be willing to do what others won’t.
- Do more than manage – lead.
- Invest in relational chemistry with your leader.
- Be prepared every time you take your leader’s time.
- Know when to push and when to back off.
- Become a go-to player.
- Be better tomorrow than you are today.
Competent leaders are usually assessed by their effectiveness in leading their followers. But in section 4, Maxwell makes an interesting point, that in order to rise to a higher level of leadership; a leader must in fact be able to lead across. For success at peer-to-peer leadership, the 360 Degree leader has to give colleagues reason to respect and follow them:
- Understand, practice and complete the leadership loop: caring(taking an interest in people)->learning(getting to know people)->appreciating (respecting people)->contributing(adding value to people)->verbalizing(affirming people)->leading (influencing people)->succeeding(winning with people).
- Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them.
- Be a friend.
- Avoid office politics.
- Expand your circle of acquaintances.
- Let the best idea win.
- Don’t pretend you’re perfect.
Traditionally, leadership is thought of as a “top-down activity.” In section 5 which focuses on leading down, Maxwell underscores how 360 Degree leaders are non-positional, i.e. leading through influence vs. position, power or leverage. Here is how:
- Walk slowly through the halls: show you care.
- See everyone as a “10″: see people as who they can become.
- Develop each team member as a person: lead everyone differently.
- Place people in their strength zones: by discovering their true strengths, giving them the right job, identifying the skills they need and providing the training.
- Model the behavior you desire.
- Transfer the vision.
- Reward for results: Recognize that whatever actions leaders reward will be repeated.
In section 6, Maxwell reiterates the value of 360 degree leaders. The most influential element of this section for me however, was Maxwell’s characterization of the qualities of the 360 Degree leader:
- Adaptability: quickly adjusts to change.
- Discernment: understands the real issues.
- Perspective: sees beyond their own vantage point.
- Communication: links to all levels in the organization.
- Security: finds identity in self not position.
- Servanthood: does whatever it takes.
- Resourcefulness: finds creative ways to make things happen.
- Maturity: puts team before self.
- Endurance: remains consistent in character and competence over the long haul.
- Countability: can be counted on when it counts.
In the final section, called the special section, Maxwell speaks about how to create an environment that unleashes 360 Degree leaders. He advocates adopting “the leader’s daily dozen” every morning:
- Place a high value on people
- Commit resources to develop people
- Place a high value on leadership
- Look for potential leaders
- Know and respect your people
- Provide people with leadership experiences
- Reward leadership initiative
- Provide safe environment where people ask questions, share ideas and take risks
- Grow with your people
- Draw people with high potential into your inner circle
- Commit yourself to developing a leadership team
- Unleash your leaders to lead
EVALUATION & RECOMMENDATION:
Maxwell certainly did not disappoint. I came away from this 320-page book with a clear understanding and appreciation of how a 360 Degree leader influences others regardless of where they are situated in the organization, regardless of title or position, regardless of the type of people they work with. It helped me to embrace and respect my role as a leader in the middle. I think the 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence From Anywhere in the Organization is a must read for every leader and aspiring leader at every level of the institution.
Maxwell, J.C. (2005). The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence From Anywhere in the Organization. Thomas Nelson, Inc. ISBN: 0-7852-6092-7.
The Leadership challenge-How to make extraordinary things happen in organization is the fifth edition after 25 years, when it was firstly published. In that period it was sold in more than 20 million copies and translated to 22 languages. The book has been considered to be one of the most trusted source on becoming a better leader and held the first position on list of must-read leadership books for years.
The authors, Jim Kouzes, Dean’s Executive Fellow of Leadership at Santa Clara University, and Barry Posner, Accolti Professor of Leadership and former Dean of Santa Clara University, have been working together for past 30 years in examining leadership topic. By now, they have wrote five books and developed highly recognized Leadership Practice Inventory (LDI), a 360-degree instrument assessing how frequently leaders engage in The Five Practices (the core leadership competencies that emerged from their analysis of thousands of Personal-Best Leadership Experience cases).
After I have read the book, I can say that it has become my personal bible in finding my leadership path. In below lines, I will try to explain why and what I find inspiring in it.
What I found the most interesting thing is the main idea of the book, that leaders are everywhere: it is not about who they are but what they do. They are exemplary leaders, and can be found in profit and nonprofit organizations, agriculture, banking, health care, education, government etc. Leaderships knows no age, race, gender, family, religious or cultural background.
In past 25 years Kouzes & Posner made in depth analysis around the world in order to understand what makes leader “at their best”, when making extraordinary things happen in organizations. Based on thorough and long analysis they developed The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership, as follows:
- Model the way
- Inspire a shared vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable Others to Act
- Encourage the Heart
These five practices are available to anyone who accepts the challenge to lead people and organizations to the level they have not been before, or in other words moving to extraordinary things happen in organizations.
In sum, leadership is everyone’s business. Leadership is not about title or position, power or wealth. It’s not about background, being a president or CEO. It is about relationships, credibility, and what you do, based on one thing: what you do should matter.
As Kouzes&Posner conclude:”The domain of leaders is future. The leader’s unique legacy is the creation of valued institutions that survive over time. The most significant contribution leaders make is not simply to today’s bottom line; it is to the long term development of people and institutions so they can adapt, change, prosper, and grow. We need more exemplary leaders, and we need them more than ever. We need leaders who can unite us and ignite us.”
I would strongly suggest to read the book if you are interested to become a better leader, and if you are ready to devote time and practice for development of leaderships skills and abilities, which can be learned.
By Maja Cakarun
In an article published in The Last Days Newsletter in 1986 a story is told by Leonard Ravenhill that a group of tourists visiting a picturesque village saw an old man sitting by a fence. In a rather
patronizing way, one of the visitors asked, “Were any great men born in this village?” Without looking up the old man replied, “No, only babies.”
Isn’t that true? The greatest men were once babies. The greatest leaders were once toddlers. But the question is how does one develop into a great leader? What steps should one take? Are their special traits or principles that once acquired and practiced can make one move from being a mere follower to a great leader?
John Maxwell’s book Developing a Leader Within You answers these questions with a resounding yes. The book focuses on helping the reader learn how to lead. John says everyone can become a leader. He defines leadership as influence. It is the ability to obtain followers. He writes:
“He who thinketh he leadeth and hath no one following him is only taking a walk
Five levels of leadership
Great leaders take their influence from the basic level based on position or rank to the highest influence of personal-hood. If your power to influence is derived from appointed position or authority only, then you are at the foot of leadership. You are at the door to leadership because you cannot influence people beyond your stated position. John emphasizes:
“Real leadership is being the person others will gladly and confidently follow”
If you have developed relationship with your followers and you are able to discover and addressed their needs, you have moved to the second level of leadership called permission. Here your followers work for you gladly without being obligated. John repeates:
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership begins with the heart, not the head”
The third level of leadership is called production. This is the level where you and your team are producing results and everyone is motivated to achieve more. Everyone is result oriented.
The fourth level is people development. Leaders who have achieved this level spend a great of time developing their followers. Here the people follow the leader because of loyalty. Why? You win people’s hearts by helping them grow personally. How much time are you spending on empowering your followers? John reminds us:
“A leader is great, not because of his or her power, but because of his or her ability to empower others. Success without a successor is failure”
The highest level of leadership is personhood. Here people follow you because of what you are and what you represent. It is not easily attained and those who achieve this level are large than life.
What leadership level you are now? Position, Permission, Production, People development or personhood? I would like to know.
In the next post, we will discuss John Maxwell’s nine principles of leadership? Here are the top five questions we will answer?
• What is the key to leadership?
• What is the most important ingredient of leadership?
• What is the ultimate test of leadership?
• What is the quickest way to gain leadership
• What is the price tag of leadership
By Rhonda Jaipaul-O’Garro, Steven Kapoloma, Jaime Killin and Issa Napon
On October 1, 2013, the new fiscal year for the United States began, but Congress couldn’t agree on a spending deal in time. There was a huge divide between the Republican-led House of Representatives and the Democratic-led Senate. House Republicans wanted a bill that included anti-Obamacare amendments, while Senate Democrats want a spending bill with no amendments attached. Thus a 16-day shutdown of the federal government ensued, which brought several major leadership concerns to the forefront.
Communication and Conflict Management:
During the government shutdown politicians became stuck in their own ideas and refused to take feedback or listen to any ideas contrary of their own or their party lines. This had a polarizing effect on the two political parties, making a compromise nearly impossible. Instead, both sides should have been more open to listening to the ideas of others.
Trust and Integrity:
Perhaps before the previous lesson can be put into practice the politicians should have learned to simply listen to one another without prejudice (believing anything said by a member of the other party was a lie). This also led to finger pointing just to save face, an attempt to blame others in order to avoid responsibility. Decisions are best made by a group of people that have a level of trust and respect toward each other, allowing collaboration and open discussion. This is clearly lacking in Washington.
There was a large amount of apathy and indecision, because many politicians feared an incorrect decision on their or their parties’ part would be frowned upon by constituents they chose instead to do nothing at all, which in some ways placed the blame on everyone instead of a select few. Though the politicians needed to be cautious about how they proceeded they also needed to make a decision.
Solution Mindedness vs. Finger-Pointing/ Blame Game Philosophy:
Instead of working as individuals to come up with creative solutions, Congress largely just worked as two divided groups. It is likely that individuals from parties on both sides who could have made suggestions that would have allowed for a compromise did not speak up because of the strong party lines separating the two groups.
Fairness and Modeling Behaviors:
One of the major media criticisms of Congress following the shutdown was that while Congress failed to meet their goals and do their job they were affecting the livelihood of many people who would not be able to work while congress was still getting paid. This was a definite hit to congress’ credibility.
The government shutdown and the lack of fairness that surrounded it made it clear that government officials were focused on the wrong things. It gave the American people the impression that politicians were putting party loyalty and their ambitions for re-election before the very constituents that elected them. This is a situation where leaders made the situation about themselves, and refused to consider the people they were elected to lead. When elected to their positions, they were expected to put their individual interests aside and act as a leader and they were unable to do so. They placed self-serving interests above the interest of the people and the result was to plunge the nation into a state of instability, unproductivity and low morale.
John Maxwell proposes a theory of the 360 Degree leader, who must be proficient in:
- Leading down: interacting with subordinates, observing, listening and transferring vision and modeling behavior.
- Leading up: stepping up and being a go-to player, influencing another leader, being willing to do what others won’t, while knowing when to push forward and when to back off.
- Leading across: helping peers achieve positive results, letting the best idea win, and garnering mutual respect, developing and maintaining credibility, and continually exerting influence.
In the case of the recent government shutdown, there was a critical need for leaders in the Capitol to “lead up”, “lead across” and “lead down” in response to the looming impasse challenge facing them. The evaluation of their individual and collective actions show a phenomenal failure to meet their leadership obligations on four major planes: being aware of the potential crisis, being proactive in planning, decision making and crisis mitigation through effective communication and collaboration across the aisles, recognizing their accountability and being responsible stewards of the national interest instead of personal and party interests. This led to a 16 day government shutdown that furloughed many government employees and shut down multiple government agencies.
Some key players in the “Calamity in the Capitol”
Quotable Shutdown Quote: “We fought the good fight, we just didn’t win”
“The Buffalo”: Sen. Ted Cruz – Republican
Quotable Shutdown Quote: “And the reason we had a government shutdown is President Obama and the Democrats said ‘we will not negotiate and we will not compromise.’”
“The Realistic”: Sen Mitch McConnell – Republican
Quotable Shutdown Quote: “The American people expect us to come together and figure out how to solve this problem and sooner or later, we’re going to do that.”
Quotable Shutdown Quote: “You know with a bully you cannot let them slap you around, because they slap you around today, they slap you five or six times tomorrow. We are not going to be bullied.”
Quotable Shutdown Quote: “We’re not going to do this under the threat of blowing up the entire economy. I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills that have already been racked up. Voting for the Treasury to pay America’s bills is not a concession to me. That’s not doing me a favor, that’s simply carrying out the solemn responsibilities that come with holding office.”
Edward Snowden, a young man of 29 who worked for a company hired by the NSA and CIA. He used to receive a salary of $200,000 a year and lived in Hawaii.
According to NSA Director General Keith Alexander, Snowden divulged as many as 200,000 classified documents to the press. According to Alexander,the data was leaked in such a way that it did the ‘maximum damage’ to the NSA and the USA.
Alexander shed light on the amount of classified files stolen by Snowden at a question-and-answer session on October 31 in Baltimore. The transcript of the speech was made public by the NSA, and part of what Alexander said was:
“I wish there was a way to prevent it. Snowden has shared somewhere between 50 [thousand] and 200,000 documents with reporters. These will continue to come out.”
It was the first “betrayal” which came to the fore when the U.S. daily Washington Post and Britain’s The Guardian, got the scoop that defected from Hong Kong Snowden carrying around confidential information of the state security agencies, many of which reveal that the U.S. government developed the PRISM project, aimed at espionage on servers from Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other major companies in the information technology and communication sector.
Edward Snowden was quoted in an article at the Washington Postsaying “You can’t wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.” He also mentioned his fear that “nothing will change,’ he was speaking in terms of the impact of his action.
Snowden also commented that “what I’m doing is self-interested: I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.” This leads to think that he applies Transformational Leadership in his life. As defined by Bernard Bass in the book Leadership and Performace Beyond Expectations, “Transformational leaders attempt and succeed in raising colleagues, subordinates, followers, clients or constituencies to a greater level of awareness about issues of conscience.”
It is clear that with Snowden’s actions, the people of the United States and the world had a vision of what the American Government had been doing in terms of surveillance, just to cite one example.
Jena McGregor, columnist for On Leadership at the Washington Post, said about him in an article she wrote: “Leadership involves taking risks and bravely standing by one’s principles. It involves putting the needs of the greater good ahead of personal goals. But leadership also typically involves followers. Even if they are not official leaders of an organization, a group or a country, leaders typically provoke others, too, to take some kind of action, whether the world sees that action as something good or something bad. Perhaps the greatest test of how history will define Snowden will be whether he prompts more people to also come forward with information, or inspires people who have the authority to do so to enact change.”
The issue that we chose to discuss was the various WikiLeaks cases published by journalist Julian Assange. Assange was given the choice whether or not to publish information.
The name “WikiLeaks” has become extremely prevalent in the last seven years- it’s a case that deals with transparency in the government and media and one that published top secret information about the government and large corporations. Assange received and published this information in order to maintain a free press and the stay true to our rights as the First Amendment covers them.
The WikiLeaks domain was registered on October 4th of 2006, and since then the volunteer-based website has published between 35-40 secret documents unavailable to the general public across the world.
Assange describes himself as, “the heart and soul of this organization, its founder, philosopher, spokesperson, original coder, organizer, financier, and all the rest.”
The most popular movie about the cases, The 5th Estate, was written by one of Assange’s first partners in the project Daniel Bruhl, but Assange, despite his numerous titles, refused to associate with the production in any way.
WikiLeaks posted its first document in December of 2006 called: “Inside Somalia and Union of Islamic Courts,” which provided insight information of plausible assassinations of a government official, signed by the Somali rebel leader for the Islamic Courts Union Hassan, Dahir Aweys.
Supposedly, the leak came from Chinese sources and was signed by Aweys.
In detail, the WikiLeaks authors are asking: “Is Somalia the next Iran?… While the West sleeps and celebrates the king of peace (referring to Christmas), the US’s man on the ground, Ethiopia, has launched into a covert invasion which may draw the entire horn of Africa into conflict…”
The document itself ends with, “Whosoever leaks this information and is found guilty should be shot.” This calls into question whether or not the leak is genuine, whether there were links to Bin Laden, or- and this is additionally alarming- whether this is a “clever smear by US intelligence, designed to discredit the Union, fracture Somali alliances and manipulate China…”
Though WikiLeaks never claimed the document was authentic, making it public was hope that it could be verified. Unfortunately, that has not happened although it was the first event that created a stir for the site.
On July 16th of 2009, news agencies in Iran reported that the Iranian Politician and President for Atomic Energy Gholam Reza Aghazadeh had resigned abruptly.
Some believed that his resignation was due to the controversial 2009 presidential elections and the resulting public protests. Soon after, however, WikiLeaks reported that there had been a “serious nuclear accident” at the Natanz nuclear facility in Esfahan.
According to stats from the Federation of American Scientists, the number of enriched centrifuges that were operational in Iran inexplicable declined by about 800 centrifuges around the same time of the report by WikiLeaks. Many media outlets reported that the accident could have been a result of a cyber attack on Iran’s nuclear program using the Stuxnet computer worm- created by US and Israeli agencies.
It’s important to note that Assange posted on the site: “WikiLeaks would not normally mention such an incident without additional confirmation, however, according to Iranian Media and the BBC, today the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization… has resigned under mysterious circumstances.”
Obviously Assange was presented with an ethical dilemma in this case in particular and chose to err on the side of information rather than restraint.
On November 28th in 2013 WikiLeaks rocked the diplomatic world by publishing two hundred and fifty one thousand, two hundred and eighty seven confidential communications of 274 US embassies across the world. They expose secrets from 1996 to February of 2010. The leaked cables were knows as “Cablegate.”
The cables illuminated that the relationships and interests between the US and other countries are muddled by exposing cases of: human rights violations, secret war actions, lobbying, spying, and other similar scandals.
The site says: “this document release reveals the contradictions between the US’s public persona and what is says behind closed doors- and shows that if citizens in a democracy want their governments to reflect their wishes, they should ask to see what’s going on behind the scene’s”
Naturally, this was an embarrassment to the US governments, its representatives and the Department of Defense, as well as create poor relations with international allies and enemies.
Assange has many supporters. For example, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism wrote to President Barack Obama: “we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables WikiLeaks is engaging in journalist activity protected by the First Amendment.”
The Editor of El Pais, Javier Moreno, who has released leaks in Spain wrote, “I believe that the global interest sparked by the WikiLeaks papers is mainly due to the simple facts that they conclusively reveal the extent to which politicians in the West have been lying to their citizens.
After Cablegate and numerous threats by the US government, many people began to donate money to WikiLeaks.
Australian-born Assange has been recognized as one of the world’s most visible human rights activists. He has received numerous awards such as: the Amnesty International UK Media Award in 2009, the person of the year by TIME Magazine in 2010, and was listed among the 100 most influential people.
On the other hand, he was the target of multiple legal prosecutions including one of sexual assault in Sweden in 2010.
At some point WikiLeaks leaked parts of Sarah Palin’s personal Yahoo account and as a result, she is not a fan. She said on Facebook, “The Wikileaks directed Julian Assange should be hunted down like Osama Bin Laden.” Seems excessive.
Bob Schieffer isn’t a fan either, saying that the publishing of the documents was irresponsible, not journalism.
And Fox news commentator Bob Beckel even publicly called people to kill Assange!
However, it’s not difficult to conclude that the WikiLeaks cases are the height of what it means to have free speech protected by the First Amendment. By exposing over-confidentialized information Assange is protecting the people’s right to know, and their ability to check the power and actions of their government- a value that is fundamental to our function as a democratic society.
Some agree with this, but others, specifically those close to the events that have been leaked, disagree. The US State Department said that the Cablegate leak posed a threat to the safety of those involved.
WikiLeaks was not the first time something like this had been done. The most obvious example is from 1971 when a US military analyst released the documents that discussed the US’s relations with Vietnam during the war. Ellsberg was accused of conspiracy, espionage and theft of government property. The Nixon administration then put into place the “White House Plumbers” plan- a plan to “plug” the leak.
WikiLeaks has opened the door to mobilization for improved governmental and corporate transparency in many countries. According to author of WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency, Micah L. Sifreid WikiLeaks is a symptom of society that mixes older systems with an open Internet culture. “When you combine connectivity with transparency,” he says, “the result is a huge increase in social energy, which is being channeled in all kinds of directions.” Despite Assange’s arrest, the publication continues to run and sites like it have sprung up in Indonesia, Russia, and the EU among others.
In the end, we might never know the exact validity of each and every document. However, the value of the First Amendment and our ability as citizens and as journalists to exercise that Amendment is the pinnacle of importance to our healthy democracy. What’s most important to keep in mind is that if we keep this marketplace of ideas open, flourishing, and un-chilled the truth will always prevail.
The bombing shocked the world in general and American nation in particular. There were many reasons – it came as a highly unlikely attach since security agencies just swept the areas and announced that everything was safe; it happened at the most photographed spot at that time in the entire world and the bombers clearly expected to get away with it without even having a solid escape plan.
All these things coupled with real time updates on twitter in particular and media in general kept people glued to their TV screens and gadgets.
It was a time when social media’s ability to transmit information entered a new territory but for television the rules remained the same especially the rule of breaking the right news.
The bombing happened on Monday, April 15 2013 by Wednesday, April 17 the law enforcement officials started looking for possible suspects. CNN broke the storyofa man identified and arrested as a suspect. It later reported that the suspect was dark skinned male.
The news turned out to be false. CNN corroborated the facts and corrected the story after almost an hour. But an hour was enough to make CNN’s standing, as a leader in news business, questionable. CNN and the news anchor – John King – who broke the story, had to face a huge criticism from various media organizations and audiences.
New York Times ran an article, ‘The Pressure to Be the TV News Leader Tarnishes a Big Brand,’about viewer’s disappointment and repercussions (for CNN) of the story.
“Still, when big news breaks, we instinctively look to CNN. We want CNN to be good, to be worthy of its moment. That impulse took a beating last week. On Wednesday at 1:45 p.m., the correspondent John King reported that a suspect had been arrested. It was a big scoop that turned out to be false.
Mr. King, a good reporter in possession of a bad set of facts, was joined by The Associated Press, Fox News, The Boston Globe and others, but the stumble could not have come at a worse time for CNN. When viewers arrived in droves — the audience tripled to 1.05 million, from 365,000 the week before, according to Nielsen ratings supplied by Horizon Media — CNN failed in its core mission.”
TRANSCRIPTION OF THE STORY
“I have been told that there has been a breakthrough in identification of a suspect. I am told, I will be very careful about this because people get very sensitive when you say these things. I was told by one of these sources, law enforcement officials that this was a dark skinned male. The official usedsome other words. I am not going to repeat them until we get more information because of the sensitivities. There are some people who would take offense even in saying that. I am saying that this is relayed to me by a reputable law enforcement source…”
It is clear by King’s words that he is trying to show some kind of restrain; he has withheld some information but what information? CNN or John King did not disclose it. A bigger question is ‘why he did not opt to hold back the part of ‘black skinned male’ with other information that he opted not to including in his breaking news?
It is clear in the video that King is not comfortable but as an experienced reporter showing this kind of discomfort while also choosing to use racially inflammatory categorization, which also happens to be unhelpful in every possible way.Why King did not wait until having access to visuals of the suspect? Although John King in the following week responded to the criticism, details in the following passages, he did not address this particular part of the issue.
According to Aaron Brown – former CNN presenter who covered 9/11 – thinks live news gathering and live reporting are human endeavours and human beings tend to make mistakes.
CNN is an inherently cautious organization because it enjoys certain credibility and reputation; it is seen as a leader in the news business. This report puts a big question mark not just on the chain of command inside CNN’s newsroom, John King and their news sources but also on CNN’s overly cautious policy.
Brown explains that reporters more than often collect news from sources who are not journalists and in situations like Boston Bombing they tend to get emotional or excited or even panic. This is the reason why most first reports are almost always wrong.
This is the inherent nature of breaking news no presenters/reporters can claim that they have always been right or they never broke a wrong story, everyone at least once in their career goes through this kind of unfortunate situation. It can be a humbling experience.
In the following week, John King reacted to the criticism in an interview with a radio station based in Washington DC. He said:
“Well I was involved in that. It’s not walking back, it’s correcting it. You have to do that, and it’s embarrassing,” King said. “I’ve been at this for nearly 30 years gentlemen. I’ve covered a couple wars and a lot of breaking news and a lot of cops-and-robbers situations. I’ve got a pretty good track record, but when you do something like this it’s embarrassing.
The bigger part, beyond being personally embarrassing, is it’s tough for your viewers, who you want to trust you,” he continued. “So the one thing you do have to do is look in the camera and say, ‘We were wrong,’ and try to explain why we were wrong. In this case we had two reputable sources — one of mine, one of a colleague’s of mine — who have been reliable in the past, who simply had bad information. We had two — you never do that with one — and we went with it, and we had to correct it.”
Brown thinks that some people will always remember this story. More people will remember CNN for breaking it and few people will remember John King doing it.
Hina Ali @uzaam
During my class presentation this week I explained leadership in my own way as having a clear destination, creating a path, inspiring and helping others to walk the same path with you and reach the destination. I was perfectly pleased with it. It was like discovering a formula. Clear destination represented a clear and common vision of what is to be achieved in the minds of both the leader and the followers. Creating a path stands for coming up with a mission and strategy on how to achieve the vision. And inspiring and helping others connotes working together as a team. I was happy and satisfied.
The so called formula, however, was put to test two days later when my eight year old daughter, Eunice, asked me ‘what is leadership?’. The conversation started with me asking her what she had learned in class on that day. In return, she asked me what I was learning in my class. I told her I am learning leadership. That is when the question ‘what is leadership?’ came and suddenly the conception of leadership in terms of destinations and a path did not sound simple to preach to my eight year old daughter. I spent a moment or two looking for a simple way to answer the question.
As I was pondering for a better response, I quickly remembered the famous quote attributed to Albert Einstein
If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.
Yet here I was failing to explain the concept of leadership to my eight year old daughter.
I figured out that it will be easier to explain to her what leadership is not. I wanted to tell her that leadership is not a position, rank or title. I wanted to tell her that being a leader is more than being a class prefect, a class teacher or a headmaster. But these are leaders at my school she would have asked me. Then I would have to explain to her that there are five levels of leadership and being chosen a class prefect, head girl or appointed a headmaster is just the first step. It is a door to leadership but not the bedroom of leadership. It is not real leadership. So what is real leadership? If she was an adult I would have explained ‘real leadership’ by expounding John Maxwell’s five levels of leadership namely position, permission, production, people and personhood. She is not.
I wanted to tell her that leaders are not born. I wanted to tell her that leaders are developed. I wanted to tell her that anybody can be leader. I wanted to tell her that “Leadership is not an exclusive club for those who were “born with it.” I wanted to tell her that she can be whatever she wants to be in life. But I remember a famous quote from the book Strength Finder 2.0:
You cannot be anything you want to be – but you can be a lot more of who you already are.
I wanted to tell her to work hard in class to be a leader. But I reckon she is already one. She is a class prefect.
“My daughter that is an excellent question,” I said buying some more seconds to compose my feverish response.
“Leadership mean influence. It is the ability to get followers,” I spoke with exaggerated confidence.
“As a class prefect you are able to influence some of your classmates to be quiet in class. The headmaster at your school influences you and some students to wear uniform everyday. I am learning how to better influence people to follow what I want them to do,” I said.
My daughter just laughed. I laughed too. I don’t know why I laughed.
At this juncture I remembered that I am not good at accurately picking emotions in other people and get what is really going on. This is according to a test I took on Emotional Intelligence.
What is your definition of leadership? Remember, I want to answer my daughter.
I wrote this post on my personal blog, few months ago, when I came to the US. I am about to write a post about leadership, JFK and my mentor.
As a Humphrey Fellow we get to use almost all resources of our the Cronkite School and ASU.
But there are certain things that surpass the value of the rest of the resources, like having a faculty member as a mentor.
At the Cronkite School the faculty members are no ordinary people. They are leaders and they are great at what they do. Three weeks ago I was informed that I will be assigned a mentor. Ever since then I have been wondering what it is like to have a person in your life whose only purpose is to be your mentor. Why would someone agree to be a mentor of a complete stranger, an alien?
I already have lots of mentors in my life but they never came as mentors, they were my teachers, my colleagues or bosses and they saw my talent and began guiding me, helping me, motivating me and even appreciating me, they didn’t do it for my just for me, they did it because it helped them or it was their job.
Humphrey Fellows and their mentors are matched through field of work, areas of interests, etc. Fellows come from all over the world, in most cases English is not their first language, so there is always a possibility of facing a language barrier. They are not students, who could be mould, they are professionals in fact leaders who already have certain vision of the world, convictions, religious/political views, certain work ethics, goals, expertise, personal likes and dislikes, etc.
What if I don’t like my mentor? What if he or she doesn’t like me? What if we don’t have similar views about work, politics, religion, America or my home country (Pakistan)? Is he or she going to be like a teacher or a friend or a parent? There was a ceaseless stream of questions.
I asked my coordinator, ‘Why the faculty members agree to be our mentors?’
She replied, ‘Well, they don’t get paid if that’s what you mean. They choose to do it. It is not an obligation.’
Now I am even more curious and then I met my mentor – Aaron Brown.
After meeting him I told myself, ‘There are gazillion things I want to do but I will definitely mentor younger people. Having a mentor is like having your own personal cloud in the blazing heat of Arizona.
Adaptive leadership is a response to adaptive challenges which are complex, not very well analyzed or -for several reasons- ignored challenges. The adaptive leadership requires a very honest elaboration of the challenge by questioning how each individual affected by the problem plays a part in its creation and existence.
Both servant leadership and adaptive leadership emerge to deal with a critical need or problem. On the other hand, the servant leader does not need to mobilize and engage people as much as an adaptive leader. The solution to the problem is most of the time more obvious for servant leaders while adaptive leadership demands a completely brand-new approach to the challenge. The adaptive leader aims to develop people’s capacity to solve their problem instead of dealing with the symptoms of the problem.
Adaptive leadership suggests that conventional leadership styles only works for technical problems which can be identified and solved in a short time. An in-depth analysis is an important step of the adaptive leadership as “challenges are typically grounded in the complexity of values, beliefs and loyalties rather than technical complexity and stir up intensive emotions rather than dispassionate analysis”.* The method of the leader is to make people question their own roles, interests, and stakes in the problem which is not possible without an active participation and willingness of the related community. Adoptive leadership suggests that “the problem lies in people, solution lies in them too”.** In that sense, the adaptive leader may not be as popular as a servant leader by encouraging people to face with their cultural, social and political dogma. The courageous, participatory and challenging way of the adaptive leadership means asking the right questions and creating an environment where everyone is able to express their ideas that otherwise they would keep to themselves.
The adaptive leader may not be as popular as the servant leader, however to be able to effectively address an adaptive challenge every leader must use some techniques of the adaptive leadership: not to direct or lead people but to facilitate and encourage people to turn to themselves, to be honest enough to see their own stake in the problems. As such, every adaptive leader needs to have some elements of servant leadership, a leadership style which highlights commitment and the pursuit of common goals versus personal goals.
by Derya Kaya
*The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky
** The Theory Behind the Practice: A Brief Introduction to the Adaptive Leadership Framework by Ronald Heifetz, Alexander Grashow, and Marty Linsky
To begin, I will say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and found it to be full of sound and logical advice. I would recommend it to anyone because I feel that no matter how great a leader or person, nearly anyone could find something to to take away any apply to their lives from this book. The book is based on the idea that many people seek to improve their lives by changing their personality or by changing their approach to communicating with others but the book’s author, Stephen R. Covey states that these changes will not be effective if a person does not have a good character.
The first three habits outlined focus solely on individual growth and change. The first habit encourages the reader to embrace self awareness and take responsibility for their own life. The second habit emphasizes the need for personal values and a direction in life to base everyday decisions off of. Covey argues that these values need to be the center of an individual’s life, not family, money, religion or anything else. The third habit takes the second a step further by encouraging the reader to schedule what relates to their values into their week, prioritizing what’s really important instead of just handling crisis after crisis. He believes that by prioritizing what matters fewer and fewer emergency situations will arise.
The next three habits are geared toward relations with others. The fourth habit is to think “win /win” when making decisions by others. This means that instead of seeing a situation as one person wins, one person loses to think creatively until a solution arises where both parties benefit. Covey encourages the reader to not make a deal at all if the deal isn’t a “win /win.” This concept applies to family, friends, and business relationships. The fifth habit is to listen empathically and to attempt to understand others before expressing your own views. This requires real listening and a desire to understand, instead of just a desire to be understood. Once the previous habits are mastered Covey states that the final habit, synergizing, is possible. Synergy, according to Covey is the highest form of communication that yields the greatest results through an open exchange of ideas and respect among individuals. The final habit is renewal, which requires preservation of the individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Overall, this book presents suggestions that have the ability to positively impact an individual’s personal and professional life. The content is straight forward and interesting to read as Covey not only shares philosophies and scientific fast but also his own personal experiences, both successes and failures.
By Jamie Killin
Before arriving in the US to participate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, I kept hearing that this is such a highly prestigious fellowship. I keep wondering why, until I heard from Aaron Brown during a presentation on 4 November to the Murrow Fellows. “It is no simple matter to be a Humphrey fellow,” said Brown.
It was amazing to listen from Humphrey’s niece Ann Howard Tristani on how he was in personal life, how compassionate and caring he was for his family during our visit to the Global Leadership Forum in October.
But it was even more amazing to listen and learn the fact from Brown that during his childhood he had the privileged to listen to Humphrey at a regular basis as he was his neighbor. Humphrey used to speak about policy and politics with a group boy from his neighborhood of whose age was between eight to eleven years. Only a leader with such a vision and mind can think of speaking to a group of boys in such a manner. Who rather than a leader like Hubert Humphrey to think of motivating at an early age so that they become high achievers and great leaders in their life.
What brown respects most about is Humphrey’s fighting spirit. ‘He is a politician treated most badly in the history of American politics,” said Brown, “yet he stood up each time. You are a fighter you are not afraid of a fight as a Humphrey fellow.”
Since I arrived at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communication, so many people in different settings said to me “Oh you must meet Aaron Brown,” that it compelled me to “Google” him. And though I had every intention to find a way, I didn’t get the chance to “meet” Brown till last Monday, when he spoke at a combined seminar attended by visiting Murrow Fellows, Humphreys and attachés.
It seemed a fitting occasion to finally be introduced to the award-winning journalist (whose awards include the Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of the Sept 11th attacks).
Every minute of his presentation was powerful. It covered snippets of his life, aspirations at an early age to be a great journalist and the journey to his goal, his relationship with his mentor Walter Cronkite (btw, Brown is also ASU’s inaugural Walter Cronkite Professor of Journalism), and his interactions with Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, who lived “down the block and around the corner”.
So much of what he said left an indelible impression on me. To summarize, the three golden nuggets I took away:
- The power of hard work. In describing himself, Brown says: “I’m not talented, but I outworked everybody else.” The evidence is clear how that paid off in his career.
- Everyone has a defining moment. Recalling a conversation he shared with the legendary Cronkite just after his epic Sept 11 reporting, where Cronkite tells him: “This was your Kennedy moment.”
- Get up and make a change. He spoke at length of “The Happy Warrior”, Vice President Hubert Humphrey and the fact that no matter how much he got beat up, he had the resilience to get back up again; and how that indomitable spirit led him to “take on big issues, care about big things” and “change the destiny of his party and his country.”
I appreciated the wealth of knowledge and advice that Brown had to share. I was also totally impressed by his presentation style. It was one of the few times that I’d witnessed a dynamic presenter, without a presentation or keynote. (As he spoke, his assistant called up relevant multi-media clips or images from the internet to support his points.) He was funny, insightful and corroborated what everyone had said to me.
I left that seminar more enthused about my Humphrey Year of Transformation. I guess it’s like everyone said. You really must meet Aaron Brown to understand.
Unfortunately for me I can’t find the direct quotes I took during Aaron Brown’s visit to our class this past week. Fortunately for me, Aaron’s lecture was unforgettable. I really enjoyed Brown’s personal tales about Walter Cronkite and I was once again reminded the invaluable worth of hard work and perseverance.
I felt lucky to gain a little insight on the namesake of our school, Walter Cronkite. Sadly, he passed away before I entered the school and all I knew about him was the little professional background we students get in our introduction to journalism courses. I was intrigued by the way he humanized Walter- joking about how cheap he was and explaining that his anchoring voice was the same as his day-to-day voice. However, no matter how much he poked at Cronkite it was obvious that Brown held him in the highest of regards saying even that talking to Cronkite was akin to talking to God. It was comforting to know that the man after which we named our school and thusly, modeled our education after was someone who was both loved and respected.
I was also glad to hear the account of what Brown called his “Kennedy moment”- likening his coverage of 9/11 for CNN to Walter Cronkite’s reporting of Kennedy’s assassination. I know Brown personally, and though I had heard from him many times that his success was based on sheer determination I wasn’t really aware of the weight of that claim until I learned about his experiences in journalism in detail. Brown explained that when he was a boy he told his mother that he wanted “Walter Cronkite’s job” and from that moment on he never doubted it for a second. He worked the hardest, did the most, told us that “everyone hated [him] because they knew he’d be the one to stay an hour later”, to make the one last call that put him on top. And then it happened. Aaron Brown did what Aaron Brown does and seized the moment. I can’t quote him directly due to the absence of my notes but one of the last things he told us what he believed about tragedy and journalism: a journalist never hopes for a disaster, but when calamity strikes opportunity for greatness arrives and should be welcomed.
I greatly enjoyed hearing Aaron speak about his life in the field of journalism and look forward to the possibility of achieving my own greatness.
Don’t we all wish that there was a magical recipe or an operating manual for managing relationships? We have so many different kinds of relationships and each of them is unique: different foundation, mechanism, and conditionality.
Some relationships are more complicated and baffling such as the ones we have with our colleagues since they are closer to the line between your professional and personal life. In my experience, I had friends who became just my colleagues and colleagues who became my good friends.
There are so many traps in establishing good relationships in professional life: competition, disagreements, conflicts of interests and any other inter-personal, inner-team issues. It is always said that we need to find a balance our personal and professional life, but in practice it is not easy at all.
Why? Let’s start with cultural issues. In my country (Turkey), almost every professional relationship is personal. We tend to work with people like us, people that we can relate to. In general, the qualifications play a secondary role in the decision-making when an employee is hired.
Therefore, we consider every criticism, disagreement and conflict as personal even in professional life. A real life example: If someone provides feedback about the job we are doing, the initial instinct is to take it personal. Before questioning the work, we question the emotions of that person toward us. Or if we have a good relationship with someone we avoid expressing our criticism and dissatisfaction.
It is hard to completely separate your personal and professional life. It is not fun either. If you are more than colleagues at work, it is more likely that you are better motivated and better teammates. It is also perfectly OK if you choose just to stay colleagues. On the other hand; it is a very tricky balance to keep. We need to have awareness about the intersections of personal and professional life and communicate openly.
by Derya Kaya
As part of the Humphrey Seminar we, Humphrey Fellows, received the visit of Aaron Brown, a very well known broadcast journalist who talked to us about his personal experiences as a journalist. One of the ideas that got my attention was that news were born as a stepchild of the entertainment business. I believe this thought is accurate in a certain context: most of the news media that is provided to us and that we consume, has become a spectacle.
This is definitely not new, paradoxically. the french author Guy Debord, for example, was very aware of how media plays a significant role in modeling societies thru news or entertainment in his book La Société Du Spectacle (The Society of the Spectacle). Another author we can rely on is the american Noam Chomsky, considered by many as the ”father of modern linguistics”. The bewildered herd, term Chomsky uses to exemplify the premise that many people are in need of being told what to do and what where to go, is a concept that comes from his analysis of the societies around the world based on how mass communication works.
What we have is certain groups of power persuading the majority to act or live in a certain way. Some people are in “need” of certain expectations or believe in something, to have a feeling that they belong to whatever they believe in. This is truly legitimate, but we must analyze where these thoughts come from, and how is it that they think the way they think.
News and entertainment media have a certain degree of influence in our societies. Obviously there are degrees of pesuation, but it is true that the entertainment industry is what prevails, rather than investigative work that sometimes is supressed by authorities. Our task is to provide perspectives about what happens and these perspectives are enriched (or sometimes biased) by our experiences, thoughts, feelings and, ultimately, our own vision of life.
By Fernando Aguilar @fjaguilarr
I really appreciated Aaron Brown’s dynamic presentation today, especially his talk on Walter Cronkite, which was especially fitting, as today is Walter Cronkite’s birthday. I think that he was absolutely right that a lot of the time we see Walter Cronkite as a lost historical figure that has been placed on a pedestal. It was a nice change to hear some personal stories about Cronkite and hear about how he influenced Brown’s career. I especially liked how Brown described the first time he met Walter and how he said hearing his voice was “just one step down from hearing God talk to you.” I think it’s interesting that Cronkite’s voice has become so iconic and it was fun to learn that as Brown said, “Walter always talked like Walter.”
I also appreciated how Brown shared his views of Walter growing up and how when Cronkite delivered the news of John F. Kennedy’s assassination he told his mother that Cronkite’s job was the one he wanted. I was also inspired by his determination and how he said it never occurred to him that he wouldn’t have Cronkite’s job, even when other people didn’t necessarily see things the same way. That determination did him well as he did achieve his goals and had his own “Kenndy moment,” as Cronkite described it to him after he covered the 9/11 tragedy successful and established himself as a great journalist, in the same way Cronkite had when he delivered the news to America that Kennedy had been assassinated. Despite his influence on Brown’s career I appreciate his humility when he said he did not want to be compared to Cronkite and that Walter is in a class of his own.
By Jamie Killin
By Alex Lancial
I wasn’t sure what to expect upon meeting Bob Schieffer, but I definitely got more than I bargained for during his talk. He was truly an inspiration to me as a young, aspiring journalist.
He talked about the revolution of the digital age and how that put an importance, now more than ever, on doing great reporting. It means we have a duty to be as accurate and original as possible. I wholeheartedly agree.
While talking about CBS, Schieffer said, “What we do best is when we concentrate on hard news and original reporting. It’s when we go off in these other directions that we don’t seem to do as well.”
The Internet has given so many people the power to publish that we have to sift through so much noise to get to factual and decent reporting. Now more than ever, original and investigative reporting is what separates journalists from your every day blogger.
“Journalism is not about scratching the surface; it’s about getting beneath the surface and finding the truth,” Schieffer said.
As someone who wants to focus on investigative reporting in a specific area, I found this comforting. As long as we make a commitment to finding the truth and being as accurate as possible, we will still have a very crucial role in society.
In fact, the political sphere is so polarized right now, Schieffer made a point that journalism is more important than ever. It’s something that needs to show the light to people in the darkest of times.
Schieffer left us with the notion that we have a great responsibility to the citizenry: “We cannot let journalism die. And it won’t.”