Win Mind-Bending Leadership Book

Mita survey equips leader brains to win! The 268 page book’s  so new it’s still in draft form – and yet already  getting rave reviews for winning approaches. Comment below to confirm! Responses and what they hold for leaders – will follow in a few days.

Win Mind-bending Leader Tools

Complete each survey item below to show 10 for high or yes, and 1 for low or no.

For example: Number each item from 1 – 10 – with 10 being high and 1 being low.

1 – Do you support mentoring so that experts teach or coach novices to lead? _____

2 – Do you champion hero-leaders at the helm of your initiatives? _____

3 – Do you envision clearly defined goals for distinctive departments? _____

4 – Is following best practices central to your workday? _____

5 – Would you do whatever it takes to ratchet up your bottom line? _____

6 – Would more control turn boring meetings into productive sessions? _____

7 – Do you gain by venting workplace stressors to a trusted colleague? _____

8 – Do organizations move ahead by beating competitors to a punch? _____

9 – Do you use performance reviews to address workplace weaknesses? _____

10 – Do you agree to a need for more hard skills evident at work? _____

Two commenters will win copies of the new book – Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind, by completing survey above and then commenting at this site on your results.

Deadline for entries is September 15th, 2011, when two names will be selected randomly by independent leader. Good luck and we’ll be back to name survey winners.

Update: Congratulations to two winners Alice Mac Gillvray and Whitney Johnson, randomly drawn. Thanks all for the great discussion. More to follow later, thanks to your leadership insights.

31 Comments

  1. Skip Bieber says:

    1 – 10 (can I give 20?)
    2 – 5
    3 – 7
    4 – 10+
    5 – 5
    6 – 7
    7 – 3
    8 – 7
    9 – n/a to me – sorry
    10 –10 – YES always!!!!

    Question 5 always sounds double-edge. what is “whatever” and typically
    only top managers/owners focus on bottom lines. rest of working in the “middle” tend to focus more on getting it done right the first time :)

  2. 1- 8 if they are capable (not all are, but they an sometimes be observed or debriefed)
    2- 10 someone has to be the final decision maker or it’s anarchy (and no one makes guitar picks in anarchy)
    3- 10 yes – but how is mostly up to them
    4- 10 unless innovation is called for
    5- 2 not just anything at all costs – it’s a balance – and sometimes there are negatives down the road to short term gains
    6- 5 of the process not the content
    7- 2 should get on the treadmill instead and listen to some heavy music (Led Zeppelin or Bach)
    8- 5 sometimes, depends
    9- 10 often/routinely
    10- 10 and soft skills too (which are the hardest to learn/teach)

  3. Jason Seiden says:

    1-8 Mentoring is critical. True mentoring, though… not mentoring like “let’s talk about your goals,” but mentoring like, “let’s have a conversation and talk about anything. and if you can’t draw a connection between this discussion and your career goals, I’ll knock you upside the head and we’ll try again.”
    2-5 Hero leaders? Servant leaders? Turn around leaders? You champion the right leader for the situation.
    3-10 sounds like a good place to start.
    4-5 best practices is one of those things that sounds good, until you realize that people often hide behind them as an excuse not to try new things. if this said “using best practices as a starting point for determining processes,” then I would have fully agreed. I object to the idea of “following” anything other than what’s right today, for the situation we’re in now
    5-6 this question can be taken two ways. am I willing to do anything as in violate my mission? not so much. but let’s assume you and your organization are principled well led in the extreme. you don’t accept any business you’re not eminently qualified for. you never deviate from your mission. and as such, you develop a large strategic advantage over the competition. are you going to exploit it? this is the other form of “do anything.” in this case, I hope you’ll do it!
    7-9 the key here is trusted. I take that to mean that the gripe session will end on a positive note, with the trusted colleague turning things around for you and helping you internalize the solution. which btw, could be considered “mentorship” in certain cases. certainly many “friendships” look like this. and the research shows that friendships drive loyalty!
    8-4 companies win by executing better. first mover advantage—sustainable 1st mover advantage—generally comes as a result of great execution
    9-2 I hope you’d be addressing issues day-to-day, and using performance reviews to *review* the action taken, as opposed to decide on action to take.
    10-8 soft skills don’t count until the hard skills are in place. I’m assuming we’re talking hard skills like engineering and accounting here, btw.

  4. Eric Hansen says:

    I am, basically, a one-person business, so my answers are all pretty theoretical.

    1 – Do you support mentoring so that experts teach or coach novices to lead? _____. No. Mentoring should be a give and take process in which both parties learn, not experts coaching novices.
    2 – Do you champion hero-leaders at the helm of your initiatives? _____ No. I would much prefer high-functioning teams or people who (in Jim Collins terms) have humility about themselves, deflect credit to others, and have the will for the success of the organization.
    3 – Do you envision clearly defined goals for distinctive departments? _____ No. Both clear goals and distinctive departments are barriers to innovation and collaboration.
    4 – Is following best practices central to your workday? _____. No, but this may the one answer where I wish I had a different answer, if by best practices you mean practices that encourage dialogue, personal discipline, and shared accountability.
    5 – Would you do whatever it takes to ratchet up your bottom line? _____ No. Ethics and integrity matter.
    6 – Would more control turn boring meetings into productive sessions? _____ No. Way, way no. I’ve learned that less control makes meetings more productive and more interesting.
    7 – Do you gain by venting workplace stressors to a trusted colleague? _____ No. Even though I’ve done it, venting doesn’t help solve anything. Complaining has no power except to can point you in the direction of what you really care about.
    8 – Do organizations move ahead by beating competitors to a punch? _____. To tell you the truth, I don’t know for sure, but it seems like sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes then answer is no.
    9 – Do you use performance reviews to address workplace weaknesses?_____. No, and I would not. There is way to much research that says performance reviews are not very effective – and neither is trying to address weakness.
    10 – Do you agree to a need for more hard skills evident at work? _____. No. There is a much higher need for collaboration and communication skills, which are much harder to learn and put into practice.

  5. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Skip and for the interesting take on leadership!

    Cannot wait to share overview from a brainpowered perspective in a few days, and yet reading your thoughtful responses reminds us all to learn from others daily! Kind of cool if you love learning!

    I just wrote an invited chapter for a leadership book that focused on managers and in that chapter I addressed the issue of workers who focus on bottom line results for their work, as a way to move along their leadership path. Would you agree that middle managers and department heads also focus on bottom line results in their regular progress reports?

  6. eweber says:

    Love your notion of treadmill and music Guy.

    You’d likely be interested in the way music literally changes brain waves http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/multiple-intelligences/musical/the-brain-on-music/

    Or you’d enjoy the affirmation of your notion that exercise acts as an antidote to stress. http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ellen-weber/stress-masks-as-savior-to-strike-as-killer/

    Was curious and would love to hear a bit more about your #8 response. Can you elaborate a bit more about what it depends on? Thanks for the informative responses Guy.

  7. eweber says:

    Thanks Jason, I was wondering if there was a reason you omitted #6? I laughed when I read number 6 as it sould like you’ve been to a few doozer meetings.

    On that note, I once worked with a guy who turned both hearing aids off at the start of meetings and slept with his eyes open. The rest of us all envied his ability escape while we had to slog through the mire for hours weekly:-).

    An interesting observation on #9 and that issue will be addressed in the follow up comments related to the survey results and brainpowered tools for innovation leadership. Stay tuned, and thanks for tossing wisdom into the mix.

    Your response reminds us of another fact. It’s cool to see that leaders differ – as it should be — and that we need many kinds of leaders if we are to move out of current broken systems!

  8. Sandy Maxey says:

    1. 7
    2.9
    3. 5
    4. 2
    5. 2
    6. 1
    7. 1
    8. 4
    9. 1
    10. 1

  9. Q1 – 10: When I managed people this was a requirement – and many times it would be with people outside our organization but who were either ‘customers’ or ‘suppliers’ to our organization or who were related or who had tremendous experience in areas the employee needed. I was mentored throughout my career at Bell Labs & AT&T so I had great role models. Since I’m no longer in a corporation I do this on my own with clients, entrepreneurs and students – I think it’s actually more rewarding for me than for them ☺

    Q2 – 3: If by hero-leader you mean someone like a knight on a white horse riding in to save the day, then rarely – only in dire circumstances where there aren’t other options. I prefer Enabler-Leaders – leaders who help their people overcome the obstacles (or get rid of them if possible) and give their people the resources to do their job excellently;

    Q3 – 5: It depends – I think in today’s world, unless you’re talking about some specific manufacturing production application (e.g., working the machines on a line), many goals need to be oblique, not explicit (to quote Julien Birkinshaw in Reinventing Management) but there are cases where explicit goals make sense. It’s not an either/or, it’s an AND – in the increasingly turbulent and volatile world, I think a combination is best – Julien really puts it well in his book

    Q4 – 4: Not really – I think following best practices is a trap on several fronts. First of all, too many companies take others’ best practices and adopt them instead of adapting them to their own culture and situation. This is dangerous because the reason it was a best practice in company A is because it was developed for that company at that point in time, perhaps even in that geography, for that culture – too many variables that may or may apply. Secondly, adapting best practices (vs. adopting), can be a lazy way (path of least resistance?) to ‘solving’ a problem or process that is really a bandaid vs. a solution. It’s like just taking a pill that has worked for others to work for you vs. really understanding the root causes and addressing them, holistically. It’s like popping a bunch of Ibuprofen so you can play tennis instead of identifying and (hopefully) fixing an injured ACL.

    Q5 – 1: No – whatever I would do to improve my bottom line would have to be totally, completely, entirely aligned with 1) my core values as a person and company of integrity & virtue; 2) my vision & mission as it pertains to the customer needs I try to address and the impact I want to have on my customers, at many levels; and 3) the long-term, not short-term, sustainability of the business. If it can’t align with that, it won’t happen.

    Q6 – 1: No – More control would turn boring meetings into unbearable meetings! Less control would make more productive meetings – there does need to be some ‘control’ – e.g., where, when, etc., and an agenda as a guideline with the things that really have to be addressed addressed (because of timelines, dependencies etc.) but I would call this structure, not control. When a meeting has a controlling setting, you’ll get much less transparency, clear and innovative thinking and just more yes-men.

    Q7 – 8: but I mean this personally because I had wonderful trustworthy, wise, mature people to share with and I quickly learned to be very selective in whom I trusted and only to vent to someone who could guide me as well. I wouldn’t recommend doing this lightly – so for others, it may well need to be a #1 or #2 – it all depends on the culture of the workplace and the person to whom you entrust yourself!

    Q8 – 5: Some do, but temporarily, not in the long-term. Long-term organizations move ahead by anticipating customer needs, even those that cannot be articulated (e.g., iPad, car) and meeting/exceeding them – most competitive gains are very temporary and short-term – now one could say yes to this by changing the intent with the outcome. If the intent is to beat the competition, then it is temporary and fleeting; if beating the competition is a result – like Apple, Southwest, Morton’s Steak House, than it is sustainable because it is a result of vs. the reason for, thereby implying an underlying cultural predisposition to customers vs. self (e.g., me vs. the competition)

    Q9 – 8: Yes, but not in the usual fashion. For instance, I used performance reviews to show trends and patterns – e.g., if I started to see several of the same issues in a group of people in the same organization or with the same leadership, then perhaps it wasn’t a ‘person’ issue but a leadership/management issue. So, on the 1 hand, I used it as a way to see what areas the person needed/wanted development and growth because of their passion for that area, where a person was mis-matched to their job (e.g., the key measures were things they hated to do or just didn’t view the world that way). On the other hand, I used it as a way to assess the health of the organization’s culture – similarities, differences in aggregate reviews by function, management, project, etc.

    Q10 –5: Yes & No depending on the skills required – there are some skills that need very clear instructions and guidelines, such as manufacturing, healthcare etc. And if you are talking about basic skills – like the ability to read, write, add, subtract, etc., then yes, we need those basic skills. However, I think many skills are soft skills – which are harder to assess, measure and develop…which means people have to be more comfortable with ‘margins of error’ in measuring skills. The hard skills are much easier to train & assess; softer ones are more challenging which is why I think they’ve been neglected over the years.

  10. eweber says:

    Hey Eric, a one-person business, and theoretical insights can be very helpful when envisioned or expressed as practices just as you’ve done here. Thanks!

    An interesting notion of mentoring as a give and take process in which both parties learn, not experts coaching novices. Seems that would allow brilliant novices to also teach and coach stodgy stagnates at times:-).

    Would love to hear more about the incentives and outcomes of the high-functioning teams that come to the table with humility,, deflect credit to others, and have the will for the success of the organization. My son-in-law, Neal, a philosophy professor in IA does that so well, that I could see it in action when I read your comments. Makes it a joy to think and create together!

    That seems to go hand-in hand with notions of control here too:-) and I was intrigued by your observation: “I’ve learned that less control makes meetings more productive and more interesting.” Would have love to hear even more.

    Great stuff to ponder here, Eric! The broken world craves great leaders and many are looking past what we’ve cultivated for past era, and forward to many of the insights expressed by the amazing community at Brain Leaders and Learners! So glad you stopped by and you’ll enjoy the results in a few days.

  11. 1 – 4 Do you support mentoring so that experts teach or coach novices to lead? Leadership is both highly contextual and individual. Coaching can help, but I don’t think leadership development lends itself primarily to a 1:1 format.

    2 – 1 Do you champion hero-leaders at the helm of your initiatives? Hero leaders are dangerous. Even if they are effective in short term, they leave un-empowered, rudderless employees in their wake.

    3 – 5 Do you envision clearly defined goals for distinctive departments? Sometimes these can be great (10) especially for relatively mechanical, stable work that is easily measured and which benefits from efficiency. However, in most work clear goals can also act as blinders which inhibit creativity, vigilance and critical thinking (1).

    4 – 5 Is following best practices central to your workday? Again, my answer is very similar to #3. I try to work with best practices for mechanical things, but find there are no best practices for more complex work. You need to develop a diverse workplace, diverse individual skills, capacity and judgement. Then individuals and the organization can pivot more quickly to find and develop practices that work for the context.

    5 – 1 Would you do whatever it takes to ratchet up your bottom line? No

    6 – 1 Would more control turn boring meetings into productive sessions? My experience is just the opposite

    7 – 3 Do you gain by venting workplace stressors to a trusted colleague? There can be some short term benefit, but negativity doesn’t pay in long term. This can lead to some healthy problem-solving.

    8 – 8 Do organizations move ahead by beating competitors to a punch? Not fond of the word “punch” but definitely. Don’t let that mindset close off options for collaborations, though.

    9 – 9 Do you use performance reviews to address workplace weaknesses? Yes, making them dialogue-based where possible.

    10 – 5 Do you agree to a need for more hard skills evident at work? Depends on the work. Hopefully the hard skill-centric organizations already have–and work to maintain–a hard skill base. We privilege terms like hard skills and automatically marginalize what we call soft skills in the process. And that is often where organizations flounder.

  12. Wow — I think think with some of the comments like Deb’s you could actually write another great post.

    Here are my answers:

    1. 7
    2. 7
    3. 7
    4. 7
    5. 5
    6. 5
    7. 7
    8. 6
    9. 5
    10. 9

  13. eweber says:

    Hey Sandy – thanks for sharing results! Care to elaborate a bit on any lows or highs?

    Would value any gems that unpack your thoughts:-) Ellen

  14. eweber says:

    Deb, I was interested in your notion of mentors that add value and some really do. Have you found that mentoring practices tend to replicate outmoded routines in some occasions, and limit a novice’s opportunity to share forward thinking at times?

    Love you notion of Enabler-Leaders who help folks overcome obstacles and give people resources to do their job excellently. Imagine the world we’d create!

    Thanks for tossing Julien Birkinshaw’s book – Reinventing Management into the mix, Deb. Intrigued by your notion of combination of goal types. Who’d decide which to be made explicit?

    Great metaphor for best practices – like popping a bunch of Ibuprofen so you can play tennis instead of identifying and fixing an injured ACL.

    Core values are always refreshing as expressed by your corner, Deb, and I was curious about your insights on workplace culture as determiner for actions.

    Great idea to transform performance reviews into tools and gages to show trends and patterns to assess the health of the organization’s culture. That would work so well! Thanks Deb I will continue to mull over these and hope you’ll pop back to see the brainpowered take on each survey item:-).

  15. Ellen, Skip, Guy, Jason, Eric, Sandy, Alice and Whitney give us a lot to consider. Each of us brings our past experiences to the survey and so we interpret the statements just a bit differently and provide very thoughtful insights. Like you I value all the wisdom that people took time to share so generously.

  16. eweber says:

    Yes, I agree Robyn, and even more methinks — it takes a new kind of leadership to move into a new kind of workplace arena. Few deny we need both.

    In a few days, we’ll post Mita’s brainpowered approach to move each of these topics into a new arena where new neuro discoveries will add new lights to consider.

    Imagine what a circle of innovative leaders – who cared about people, and understood innovative growth – could accomplish together!

    It’s amazed me how people see innovation in unique places that can be harnessed by a new era of leaders!

  17. eweber says:

    Alice, sounds like you and a few others here have come face to face with dangerous hero leaders who leave the workforce un-empowered, and rudderless employees in their wake.

    From your thoughtful comments here, I’d be interested to hear what you think of others barriers to the same advancement. For instance, how we used “conventional idols” such as these 10 http://www.brainleadersandlearners.com/ellen-weber/10-popular-idols-kill-innovation/ to lull the workforce?

    From what you wrote here I think it would be both fun and highly productive to attend meetings or circles you facilitated. Thanks for your cool offering, Alice, and please do check back to see the brainpowered take on each survey item – in a few days.

  18. eweber says:

    Thanks for adding your views Whitney. You are so right about the pool of leader potential here, and I think you’ll enjoy the brainpowered take on each item in a few days.

    It’s exciting to see top leaders show here what works and sketch detailed leadership changes that could shift organizations from stuck or stangnant – into prototypes that lead even the stocks into new meadows where success finds broader wealth for entire communities.

  19. Eric Hansen says:

    Dr. Weber (and everyone else): First of all, just thanks for having this blog. I love the insights I find here.

    I’ve been working for a long time, and I’ve only had a few glimpses of groups and situations where principles based on humility and collaboration lead to a kind of leadership that flows to the right person at the right time. But those few times have been very, very powerful for me, so I keep trying to replicate them. From my experience, groups that work well together are fragile — like bubbles, I guess — and are easily broken.

    I also think I’ve learned is that they can’t be replicated exactly. Every group and every meeting is different. Be present in the moment.

    Groups and meetings where there is less control are best in those situations, as Alice McGillivrary noted, where something other than a mechanical solution is needed.

    For example, I have been part of workshop design teams where we used an approach called Six Conversations we learned by attending and facilitating Peter Block’s A Small Group gatherings in Cincinnati (For more information, go here; http://www.asmallgroup.net/) Rather than having a leader or leaders who have a vision and are looking for buy-in for the workshop and workshop activities, we come together as a team. We begin with connection rather than content.

    One premise of this approach is that leaders are conveners who craft the invitation, ask powerful questions, and hold the space.

    We don’t use an agenda, as such. We have a basic idea of the structure and what we need to do to create and hold a safe space but beyond that, not much in mind. And we do give ourselves a two-hour time limit. So yes, there is some structure and control, but we try to make it as minimal as possible.

    I think you probably have to experience it to really “grok” (I can’t really believe I pulled out that word, but there it is) how it works.

    I’ve also found Harrison Owen’s principles for Open Space to be powerful.

    http://www.openspaceworld.com/users_guide.htm

    One final thought: I do believe that a new kind of leadership is emerging, and it’s been helped along by those who come here.

    Eric

  20. Hi Ellen, Thank you for the opportunity to comment on these questions.

    1 – Do you support mentoring so that experts teach or coach novices to lead? I absolutely do! This is mission critical. Without mentors leading novices in the workplace, the continuation of workplace goals will become impossibility. Now this said, I am someone who believes that direction needs to flow up and down the chain of command. Novices in the workplace see things in a fresh, new way and it behooves us to listen to them as much as they need to take advice and direction from their mentors. (10)

    2 – Do you champion hero-leaders at the helm of your initiatives? I certainly do. These people are internal ambassadors for the organization and their positive mind-set helps set the stage for getting things done and for exhibiting to others, how being a shining example in the workplace pays off for everyone. (10)

    3 – Do you envision clearly defined goals for distinctive departments? I think it’s important for every company to have a defined mission, vision and value system in place. This is the overarching message and from this message, each department within an organization needs to identify their contributions, determine how to best apply a high-level strategy, as well as tactical approach for addressing how to accomplish the department’s goals, and then identify the appropriate people based on their strengths and weaknesses to help tackle the work to sustain the department. (9)

    4 – Is following best practices central to your workday? Yes, but admittedly, that is not always possible. I do make every attempt to stay on course with the six sigma approach my organization is ruled by, but there are times when timing, the situation or the speed at which something must be addressed alters the path, and flexibility to work outside the scope will come into play. (8)

    5 – Would you do whatever it takes to ratchet up your bottom line? Well, that all depends. If this question means would I do something under-handed or totally against my organization’s protocol, absolutely not. If it means I have been called upon to take a different POV than I am accustomed to doing, or adjusting to a new requirement, then yes. (3)

    6 – Would more control turn boring meetings into productive sessions? I believe that productive meetings are the best meetings. This means that there is a clearly defined purpose for the meeting, someone is acting as MC and everyone’s voice has a place. Meetings need to be organized with an agenda and also have the correct mix of people at the meeting so the proper stakeholders are in attendance and can make the best contributions towards accomplishing the end-result. (10)

    7 – Do you gain by venting workplace stressors to a trusted colleague? Absolutely! It is actually counterproductive to restrain your stress or better titled distress. The trusted colleague can serve as a sounding board and should be considered a safe haven and someone who can conversely vent back when needed to the venting partner. (8)

    8 – Do organizations move ahead by beating competitors to a punch? Not necessarily. When I think about the speed at which companies unleash a new product or service to the public and how that product/service was not properly tested, it does not bode well for that organization. We do live in a very competitive world today with companies vying for consumer dollars, and often times at the price of diminishing the organization’s reputation. Research, development, testing are all critical steps in the process. Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at any Speed” comes to mind as a glaring example of how a poorly executed strategy went wrong. (2)

    9 – Do you use performance reviews to address workplace weaknesses? NO. Performance reviews are often times handled quite poorly. People should be receiving feedback throughout the year and often. Managers who wait to discuss performance for the annual review are certainly missing the boat. We have all read how Gen Y wants and demands continuous feedback, but I challenge this. Everyone, regardless of the generation, wants continuous feedback. I know this happens, but why would any manager allow a poorly performing subordinate to continue underperforming for an entire year before giving feedback? I believe people want to do good work and feel a sense of accomplishment in what they do. By denying them continuous feedback, we are robbing them of this sense which I believe is one of the factors in the disengaged employee. (1)

    10 – Do you agree to a need for more hard skills evident at work? Hard skills are those needed to do the work and of course need to be in place, but I see a tremendous opportunity for a honing of soft skills in the workplace. Soft skills are not something really addressed in academia. There are companies that recognize the need for team building and better interpersonal communications in the workplace and I applaud them, however it almost seems like if people came into the workplace already armed with better people-understanding skills, the workplace would be a more pleasant and productive environment. There are very few jobs where someone works exclusively in a single-person silo. Actually when considering your previous question about meetings, I see where honed soft skills can actually make a nice difference. (6)

  21. eweber says:

    Thanks for your kind words Eric and for the way you lead! The Mita approach came together over 30 years of working across cultures all over the world and it’s based on the amazing equipment brains offer that benefit leadership.

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful experiences you have had with teams and the times you observed opposite approaches that work less well. Love your metaphors! Mita brainpowered tools simply help the bubbles to become shared innovations rather than break mid-air. A brainpowered process can be replicated as it questions possibilities through surveys, targets improvements through brainpowered tools, expects quality through visual benchmarks, moves progress through multiple intelligences into doable practices, and reflects where to from here through a celebration of innovation.

    I know Peter Block and served on a PhD committee with him – his work on community building is delightful. Loved your notion of “grok.” – A winning term for what you described, Eric!

    The brainpowered approach simply draws more on what brains hold to help us past broken systems and into an approach that equips brains for turnarounds that win.

    I agree with you when you suggest: … “a new kind of leadership is emerging, and it’s been helped along by those who come here. “ Thanks for being one of the leaders at the helm of growth! That inspires the rest of us!

  22. 1 – 10
    2 – 10 Although not with that terminology.
    3 – 10 Yes, but interrelated since departments typically rely on each other.
    4 – 7 A definition problem here. In some workplaces ‘best practices’ becomes ‘the way we do things.’ Tend to break that on purpose. Past best practice sometimes traps…
    5 – 1 “whatever it takes” lacks ethical or long-term strategic components
    6 – 7 Depends a bit on what you mean. Usually – but danger of stifling tendencies.
    7 – 6 Venting is only useful if combined with solution type thinking
    8 – 5 Depends on what you mean here. If thinking is driven entirely by competitive pressure then this can be a destructive thought process.
    9 – 3 Weaknesses are dealt with as they occur. If a weakness (or strength) comes as a surprise in a review then it is a management failure.
    10 – 5 I may be misinterpreting what you mean here. ‘Hard Skills’ are critical but getting things done often requires developing above and beyond the ability to simply do the work in front of you. When I hire a graphic artist it is important that they are proficient in a number of software programs and yet what often defines the most promising candidate is their ability to interpret and work with clients.

  23. eweber says:

    Thanks Fred when I read your amazing integrated insights here between areas such as graphic arts and conventional hard technology skills – I was reminded of how the new era will bring together arts and sciences in just the ways you do so well. You’d love the brainpowered tools for each of these items:-)

    I was especially interested in the notion of weaknesses and strengths – as you compared and contrasted them here.

    If each come to work with multiple intelligences and all are in different mixes, how would you see fostering far more strengths in the workplace to free folks up for innovative leading? Would love to see you elaborate a bit more on that notion. What do you think?

  24. 1. 10 Yes, absolutely. To do is to know, then you can lead. Incidentally, when you lead, you learn MORE while teaching than you did as a student.
    2. 8 Yes, they can be great examples. A “10” if I was astute enough to do it more!
    3. 5 This is difficult to do but should be the goal. I think people are often afraid they don’t know enough about the other departments to champion their goals.
    4. 6 Yes, but unfortunately we can get caught up with “immediate” tasks rather than “important” tasks.
    5. 2 No, not if safety or ethics are involved.
    6. 4 It depends on who takes control and why!
    7. 7 Yes, if the colleague can listen patiently or redirect your energy. But the important thing is that we need to talk about our issues with someone.
    8. 5 Yes if being first to market is your product’s value… No if your product’s value is quality.
    9. 7 Weakness (and strength!) should be addressed daily. The performance review is just that- a review. There should be no surprises.
    10. 8 Yes, even in creative industries. Excellent managers have already mastered (and continue to work on) their technical competencies.
    Great survey! Really makes you think about business and leadership motivations. Sometimes we have to step back to see the big picture.

  25. eweber says:

    Many thanks for this thoughtful discussion that really adds to the exchanges here Cyndy! I plan to reread and get back again, after a bit more reflection.

    What an interesting view you hold of fostering growth through novices and experts in the workforce – beyond the up and down chains of command that can hold back innovation. I’d love to hear more about your notion of her-leaders, and on the strengths and weaknesses that present challenges and possibilities at work.

    Your approach to “continuous feedback,” looks like it would lead to ongoing growth and we’ll be sharing later the Mita Brrainpowered tools to do that in a way that motivates higher performance with mutual dividends.

  26. eweber says:

    So glad you joined us, Bethany, and I was wondering if you agree that novelty (or surprise) in all areas at work can be beneficial?

    Bethany, your notion of redirecting energy would win an entirely new fuel for workplaces better equipped in an innovation era! Thanks for the suggestion for more collaboration on these issues with results that take the work community to a finer place.

    In a few days we’ll be adding the brainpowered tools that address that area, and good luck with winning the book.

  27. Question 1. – 10
    Question 2. – 8
    Question 3. – 10
    Question 4. – 10
    Question 5. – 8
    Question 6. – 2 (Sometimes “control” squashes creativity… I guess it depends on the type of meeting.)
    Question 7. – 10
    Question 8. – 5
    Question 9. – N/A
    Question 10. – 8

    Thanks! This survey gave me a lot to think about and consider!
    Best,
    Kathy Magrino

  28. eweber says:

    Thanks for stopping by Kathy — Agree with you on the squashing syndrom. Why does “control” so often enter leader camps – as you see it? What might replace control to foster innovative outcomes? Ellen

  29. Marian says:

    My answer to each of these, except for #5–which is a strong no–is “It depends”.

    Alice’s responses are very much in line with my thinking, with two nuances: on #6–this one is one that is really situation, group and outcome dependent, but I find that there are meetings that are boring because there’s not enough structure to the conversation–or people haven’t arrived to the table prepared. In those cases, defining parameters–sometimes in advance–can help to spark creativity and idea generation.

    And on #8, I’d veer towards no, if innovation is what’s desired. It seems to me the best innovation comes from thinking in a completely new and different way about a problem or a product. In that case, benchmarking against a competitor isn’t so relevant–it’s a totally new and different perspective that’s needed. And often looking to different products, industries, mediums catalyzes that thinking more effectively than looking to peers.

  30. eweber says:

    Marian, thanks for your leadership wisdom – and especially for weighing in on the survey. Would like to have heard a bit more about the responses for “no”–or “It depends”.

    Also was intrigued by your notion that “ there’s not enough structure to the conversation–or people haven’t arrived to the table prepared.”

    Would you agree that in those cases, and in addition to “defining parameters–sometimes in advance–can help to spark creativity and idea generation,” there are ways to motivate active participation.
    Loved your statement – “… the best innovation comes from thinking in a completely new and different way about a problem or a product.”

    You’ll be interested in the brainpowered approach to each of these survey items – that relate to new neuro discoveries These will appear soon! Ellen

  31. Nick Duchene says:

    Pulitzer prize stuff in attendance.

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