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Dean Smith Leadership Principle 1 July 12, 2006

Posted by humairah in Activities, Learning from personalities, Management, Skills Development.
1 comment so far

The Reciprocal Law of Loyalty

“If you ever need me, call!”


Thought for the Day: If you are loyal to people, they will be loyal to you.

Game Plan

  • Put people first
  • Accept others unconditionally
  • Care for them over a lifetime
  • Be honest with everyone
  • Have empathy for all
  • Care for people who produce the profit

Team Practice

  • What does loyalty mean to you?
  • How do you demonstrate loyalty in your personal life?
  • How do you demonstrate loyalty @ work?
  • What can your organisation do to foster loyalty among customers, shareholders, and employees?

Coach Smith said, ‘I loved to win, and hated to lose. Yet for years I struggled with something internally. We would play poorly and win, and I’d feel great. We’d play well and lose, and I’d feel terrible. That didn’t make sense to me’.’If two of your children were playing tennis against each other, would you really care who won? Is winning all that important in the scheme of things? No. That’s why I’ve placed compassion above competition. I want to win, but caring for people is much more important to me’.

Putting people first
Everything meaningful in life flows out of relationships. Coach Smith would not let even the dean or chancellor interrupt him when he was in a meeting with one of his players. He made them feel very important. That’s the reciprocal law of loyalty- If you are loyal to people, they will be loyal to you.

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Synergy- Why do geese fly in a V formation? June 10, 2006

Posted by humairah in General, Laws of nature, Management.
226 comments

As the geese take flight from the Canadian shoreline, they lift off from the water in squawking discourse. Yet, in a matter of seconds, a line begins to emerge from the mass of brown feathers. This line straightens, arches slightly, and then, as on cue, bends sharply to form a perfect V shape. Canada geese fly in V formation for a very pragmatic reason: a flock of geese flying in formation can move faster and maintain flight longer than any one goose flying alone. Synergy is a law of nature.

What is synergy? How does it relate to leadership?

We have a lot to learn from these geese.

  • By flying in "V " formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
    =>People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
  • Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
    =>If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same as we are.
  • When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
    => It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.
  • These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. 
    => We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.
  • Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group. 
    => If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.

Synergy is best explained as, 'One plus one equals more than two'. Today's world requires a critical mass of transformational leaders who will commit to creating a synergy of energy within their circle of influence so new level of social, economic, organizational and spiritual success can be reached. Synergy helps you realise the value of others, and secondly, encourages you to find the right people. Synergy is a dynamic form of leverage. Avoid using it, and end up working four times as hard for half the results. Use it and watch the results expand exponentially!

In an upcoming article, I will talk about the 7 principles of transformational leadership.

Strategic Intent May 29, 2006

Posted by humairah in Definitions & References, Management, You.
4 comments

Gary Hamel and C K Prahalad have written a book, Competing for the future, where they define, 'Strategic Intent'. This was first introduced in 1989, in the Harvard Business Review.

It's an interesting concept in management, and I think it's important because of the importance of having the right intentions in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, 'Innamal 'amaalu bin niyyaat'- Actions are indeed by intentions.

So, extending this concept (and it's a huge extension!) to the company level,  strategic intent is:

"an ambitious and compelling … dream that energizes … that provides the emotional and intellectual energy for the journey … to the future."

If strategic architecture (a high-level blueprint for the deployment of new functionalities, the acquisition of new competencies or the migration of existing competencies, and the reconfiguring of the interface with customers) is the brain, strategic intent is the heart.

What a company has currently- resources, labour, capability, are not enough. Strategic intent should give a sense of stretch, and this sense of stretch has 3 attributes:

  1. Direction: You have a particular point of view about the competitiveness of your firm. This foresightedness should convey a clear direction in the future.
  2. Discovery: Encourage employees to open up new venues, exploration, ideas, creativity, new territories that are unique.
  3. Destiny: Beginning with the end in mind. Where are you going? What's in your hands? What can you change? What are your takes? How do you feel? (more…)