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Breaking the Leadership Mold: An Executive's Guide to Achieving Organizational Excellence

Book Description

Much has been written about leaders and leadership. Journal articles, blogs and books try to home in on the essence of an effective leader. While there is common agreement that a executive's performance can make or break company, defining that essence of effective leadership remains the Holy Grail for those who find themselves at the top, for those who are responsible for carrying out the strategies and dictates of their managers, and for the shareholders who want to see commitment, action and positive financial return.

Breaking the Leadership Mold is designed to help senior executives and managers respond to the challenges of today and shed the vestiges of days gone by. In so doing they will better lead and enable their staff, and create a work environment that is healthy, engaging, productive and sustainable. Based on the author's extensive research and 35 years' experience in working with local, national and international companies, Breaking the Leadership Mold offers 20 principles-such as Principle #10: Recognize How Executive Team Dynamics Promote Mediocrity and Principle #14: Get Other Executives On Board (or Out of the Way)—that when implemented will ensure that not only is there effective communication throughout the organization, from top to bottom and bottom to top, but also that employees and executives alike contribute to their full potential. The net result — the organization wins on every measure. The 20 principles are built on the pillars of case studies, experience and research.

Effective leadership is an absolute in any business environment, but becomes even more critical in times when businesses face unprecedented challenges and need to be nimble and responsive to change. Breaking the Mold has proven strategies to empower, unite and galvanize managers and employees — and their organization - to enable them to prosper and adapt in a swift-changing environment.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Preface
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  4. I. PART ONE
    1. 1. PRINCIPLE #1: FACE THE FACTS
      1. 1.1. THE LINK BETWEEN ENGAGEMENT AND THE BOTTOM LINE
      2. 1.2. TODAY'S ORGANIZATIONS: A FAILING GRADE
      3. 1.3. ORGANIZATIONAL EVOLUTION (OR LACK THEREOF)
      4. 1.4. CHANGING ORGANIZATIONS DEMANDS A CHANGE IN LEADERSHIP
    2. 2. PRINCIPLE #2: BREAK THE MOLD
      1. 2.1. WHAT IS LEADERSHIP?
      2. 2.2. TWO EXTREMES OF LEADERSHIP
      3. 2.3. THE RISE OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
      4. 2.4. THE CURRENT STATE OF LEADERSHIP AFFAIRS
      5. 2.5. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
        1. 2.5.1. Outmoded mental models and paradigms
        2. 2.5.2. Failure to see weaknesses as strengths
        3. 2.5.3. Going boldly where no one else has gone
        4. 2.5.4. Finding the balance
      6. 2.6. THE LEADERSHIP MOLD THAT MUST BE BROKEN
    3. 3. PRINCIPLE #3: DEFINE A BETTER WAY
      1. 3.1. LEADERSHIP BRAND
        1. 3.1.1. Personal leadership vision
        2. 3.1.2. Values
          1. 3.1.2.1. Are there two sides to your organizational coin?
        3. 3.1.3. Leadership competencies
        4. 3.1.4. Storytelling
    4. 4. PRINCIPLE #4: FIGURE OUT IF YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES
      1. 4.1. A DEVELOPMENTAL FRAMEWORK FOR LEADERS
      2. 4.2. ACTION LOGIC AND LEADERSHIP EFFECTIVENESS
      3. 4.3. GREAT ORGANIZATIONS NEED STRATEGISTS
      4. 4.4. THE STARTING POINT: DISCOVERING YOUR OWN ACTION LOGIC
        1. 4.4.1. Best guess
        2. 4.4.2. Simplified assessment
        3. 4.4.3. Leadership Development Profile (LDP)
        4. 4.4.4. Developing to later stages of action logic
  5. II. PART TWO
    1. 5. PRINCIPLE #5: GIVE YOURSELF A LEADERSHIP REALITY CHECK
      1. 5.1. WHAT IS SELF-AWARENESS?
        1. 5.1.1. Who am I?
        2. 5.1.2. How do I impact others?
        3. 5.1.3. How do I manage myself?
      2. 5.2. SENIOR LEADERSHIP AND SELF-AWARENESS
        1. 5.2.1. Personal reluctance
        2. 5.2.2. Others' reluctance and blindness
    2. 6. PRINCIPLE #6: CONDUCT A PERSONAL LEADERSHIP AUDIT
      1. 6.1. PASSIVE OPTIONS
        1. 6.1.1. Using a third party
        2. 6.1.2. Personal preferences assessment tools
        3. 6.1.3. A 360 assessment
      2. 6.2. ACTIVE OPTIONS
        1. 6.2.1. Have a leadership conversation
        2. 6.2.2. Self-reflection
    3. 7. PRINCIPLE #7: EMBARK ON A LEADERSHIP MAKEOVER
      1. 7.1. WHAT TO CHANGE
        1. 7.1.1. To change or not to change
        2. 7.1.2. Don't do the obvious
      2. 7.2. MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN
        1. 7.2.1. Senior leaders need support
        2. 7.2.2. Support options
    4. 8. PRINCIPLE #8: PUT YOURSELF FIRST
      1. 8.1. THE PROBLEMS OF ROLE OVERLOAD
      2. 8.2. ROLE OVERLOAD CAUSES SUCCESSFUL LEADERS TO FAIL
        1. 8.2.1. Overload is an adaptive problem
      3. 8.3. ENERGY MANAGEMENT
  6. III. PART THREE
    1. 9. PRINCIPLE #9: UNDERSTAND WHAT COULD BE AMISS WITH YOUR TOP TEAM
      1. 9.1. HOW EXECUTIVE TEAMS ARE PERFORMING
      2. 9.2. EXECUTIVE TEAM DEMOGRAPHICS
        1. 9.2.1. Gender mix on the top team
    2. 10. PRINCIPLE #10: RECOGNIZE HOW EXECUTIVE TEAM DYNAMICS PROMOTES MEDIOCRITY
      1. 10.1. BARRIERS TO TOP TEAM EFFECTIVENESS
        1. 10.1.1. Organization versus silo of responsibility
        2. 10.1.2. External versus internal
        3. 10.1.3. Divergent information
        4. 10.1.4. Divergent interests
        5. 10.1.5. Power centralization
      2. 10.2. THE CONTINUUM OF AUTHENTICITY
        1. 10.2.1. Individuality
        2. 10.2.2. Guarded politeness
        3. 10.2.3. Ineffective cohesiveness
        4. 10.2.4. Open and positive dialogue
    3. 11. PRINCIPLE #11: GET THE TOP TEAM WORKING
      1. 11.1. STEP ONE: ASSESS THE TEAM'S PERFORMANCE
        1. 11.1.1. The audit: look for the clues
        2. 11.1.2. Assessments
        3. 11.1.3. Third-party review
      2. 11.2. STEP TWO: GET THE RIGHT PEOPLE ON THE TEAM
      3. 11.3. STEP THREE: DEFINING A COMPELLING PURPOSE
      4. 11.4. STEP FOUR: CREATE A SENSE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY
      5. 11.5. STEP FIVE: HAVE THE RIGHT PROCESS
      6. 11.6. WHO'S RESPONSIBLE? DEVELOPING THE TEAM WHEN YOU'RE NOT THE CEO
    4. 12. PRINCIPLE #12: GET THE BOARD ON BOARD
      1. 12.1. AWARENESS OF EFFECTIVENESS
        1. 12.1.1. Board expertise
      2. 12.2. IS THE BOARD PAYING ATTENTION TO WHAT MATTERS?
      3. 12.3. BOARD ORGANIZATION
      4. 12.4. WHAT TO DO
        1. 12.4.1. Value the human side of the business
        2. 12.4.2. Focus on organizational engagement
        3. 12.4.3. Pay attention to the executive team dynamics
        4. 12.4.4. Focus on executive leadership behavior
        5. 12.4.5. Assessing performance
        6. 12.4.6. Insist on executive leadership development
        7. 12.4.7. Organize for effective leadership
  7. IV. PART FOUR
    1. 13. PRINCIPLE #13: DEVELOP EVERYONE'S LEADERSHIP
      1. 13.1. ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE
      2. 13.2. AN EXECUTIVE'S GUIDE TO LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
        1. 13.2.1. Who should be developed?
        2. 13.2.2. Development versus training
      3. 13.3. A FEW CRITICAL DESIGN FEATURES
        1. 13.3.1. Customization
        2. 13.3.2. Flexible and dynamic
        3. 13.3.3. Variety of different developmental experiences
        4. 13.3.4. Self-reflection
        5. 13.3.5. Cohort model
        6. 13.3.6. Rapid rollout
      4. 13.4. HOW IT WORKS: A CASE STUDY
        1. 13.4.1. The challenge
        2. 13.4.2. The solution
    2. 14. PRINCIPLE #14: GET OTHER EXECUTIVES ON BOARD (OR OUT OF THE WAY)*
      1. 14.1. EXECUTIVE ORGANIZATIONAL INFLUENCE
      2. 14.2. PURPOSE OF THE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTION
      3. 14.3. THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXECUTIVE SUPPORT
      4. 14.4. HOW IT WORKS—A REAL-LIFE EXAMPLE
    3. 15. PRINCIPLE #15: FIGURE OUT COMMUNICATION
      1. 15.1. WHAT IS IT AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?
      2. 15.2. ATTITUDE
      3. 15.3. AWARENESS
      4. 15.4. METHODOLOGY
    4. 16. PRINCIPLE #16: CREATE COMMUNITIES
      1. 16.1. COMMUNITIES IN THE ORGANIZATIONAL CONTEXT
      2. 16.2. HOW CAN COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE IMPACT ORGANIZATIONS?
      3. 16.3. CREATING EFFECTIVE COMMUNITIES—AN EXECUTIVE'S CHALLENGE
        1. 16.3.1. Provide and allow for opportunities in which members of the community can connect
        2. 16.3.2. Allow time and space for relationship building among individuals
        3. 16.3.3. Pay attention to the value and benefits of the community
      4. 16.4. WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE IN ACTION?
        1. 16.4.1. How a community changes cultural norms
          1. 16.4.1.1. What the examples tell us
  8. V. PART FIVE
    1. 17. PRINCIPLE #17: TELL PEOPLE HOW THEY'RE DOING
      1. 17.1. PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT'S WORKING
      2. 17.2. THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF FEEDBACK
      3. 17.3. RECOGNITION PROGRAMS
      4. 17.4. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS
    2. 18. PRINCIPLE #18: PROMOTE FOR THE FUTURE
      1. 18.1. SIZING UP YOUR TALENT: MISTAKES EXECUTIVES MAKE
      2. 18.2. A BETTER ASSESSMENT PROCESS
        1. 18.2.1. Use multiple data sources
        2. 18.2.2. Future orientation
        3. 18.2.3. Look for people's strengths
        4. 18.2.4. Assess their weaknesses
        5. 18.2.5. Make it a collaborative process
      3. 18.3. WHEN THE RUBBER HITS THE ROAD: TALKING ABOUT YOUR SUCCESSION DECISIONS
        1. 18.3.1. The A players
        2. 18.3.2. The B players
        3. 18.3.3. The C players
    3. 19. PRINCIPLE #19: INTEGRATE THE HARD AND THE SOFT
      1. 19.1. MANAGEMENT VERSUS LEADERSHIP
      2. 19.2. DECISION-MAKING
      3. 19.3. PLANNING STRATEGY
      4. 19.4. OTHER EVIDENCE OF THE HARD-SOFT SEPARATION
    4. 20. PRINCIPLE #20: NEVER STOP
    5. ENDNOTES
      1. 20.1. PREFACE
      2. 20.2. CHAPTER ONE
      3. 20.3. CHAPTER TWO
      4. 20.4. CHAPTER THREE
      5. 20.5. CHAPTER FOUR
      6. 20.6. CHAPTER FIVE
      7. 20.7. CHAPTER SIX
      8. 20.8. CHAPTER EIGHT
      9. 20.9. CHAPTER NINE
      10. 20.10. CHAPTER TEN
      11. 20.11. CHAPTER ELEVEN
      12. 20.12. CHAPTER TWELVE
      13. 20.13. CHAPTER THIRTEEN
      14. 20.14. CHAPTER FOURTEEN
      15. 20.15. CHAPTER FIFTEEN
      16. 20.16. CHAPTER SIXTEEN
      17. 20.17. CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
      18. 20.18. CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
      19. 20.19. CHAPTER NINETEEN
      20. 20.20. CHAPTER TWENTY
  9. BIBLIOGRAPHY