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Slide Notes

A huge thanks to everyone who commented and contributed both on & off the blog:
Simon Heath
Mike Burnett
Steve Browne
Ben Simonton
Gemma Reucroft
Peter Russian
Mike Kitson
Perry Timms
Meg Peppin
Donna Willis
Ian perry
David James
Kandy Woodfield
Kev Wyke
Doug Lester
Ben Morton
Rachel Weiss
Duncan Brodie
Alastair Wylie
Jon Bartlett
Bev Holden


Leadership is dead.. Long Live Leadership

Published on Nov 19, 2015

Crowd-sourced talk to L&D students, Glasgow, 2014

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

Leadership is dead.. Long Live Leadership

Julie Drybrough - fuchsia blue ltd
A huge thanks to everyone who commented and contributed both on & off the blog:
Simon Heath
Mike Burnett
Steve Browne
Ben Simonton
Gemma Reucroft
Peter Russian
Mike Kitson
Perry Timms
Meg Peppin
Donna Willis
Ian perry
David James
Kandy Woodfield
Kev Wyke
Doug Lester
Ben Morton
Rachel Weiss
Duncan Brodie
Alastair Wylie
Jon Bartlett
Bev Holden


The Starting Point….

Asked to talk about leadership -
Yeah.. I know about leadership…

And As I sit down to draft what I want to "say" - i start to realise, I want to say that I find it complicated…

That I don't want to tell anyone that Leadership is definitively THIS -

That I want to Explore the complexity a little

That I don't want to pretend I have all the answers or a Magic Wand (shame, though!) or a single way of "doing leadership'

That I think I might be more interesting and believable to listen to if I say what I experience.

I think I'd like to talk to you about My Leadership, because that is what I know best.

That this is my starting point…..
Photo by vl8189

Hunting Leadership

The Hunt for Leadership began - as so often is the case - by a Google search (About 446,000,000 results on Sunday night)

and a quick squizz on Amazon to see what I ought to be reading: (91,260 results for "leadership" - I rather enjoyed that the search was for "Leadership in all Departments" - that stuff just tickles me.

THen there is my own 15 years or so working in the field - my knowledge, experience, the training course I've been on and run, the folk I've worked with and seen take the lead in all aspects of life….

Blimey…. I'm a bit overwhelmed now.
Photo by sffubs

Going Social

A fundamental part of the way I work and the way fuchsia blue works with organisations is to encourage dialogue, discussion, debate…

an inherent belief is that it is through modes of conversation and talking to people that you / teams/ systems - get a better handle on what is "true" as opposed to what is thought to be true.

So rather than hunt for leadership alone, I went out to a vast network of smart, expert, experienced people and asked them if they would share their thoughts:

Leadership is Dead – Discuss.
What do you think, know or believe?
How do you think know or believe that?
What evidence do we have that Leadership is dead ( or alive?)
Photo by JD Hancock

"If I have seen further,
it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants".
Sir Isaac Newton

I went out to my network to ask their views.


Now for some people this might be super-wierd.
You are being asked to speak about something - YOU SHOULD KNOW

Sure - and I have opinions, experiences and views…

And I believe these can be honed, improved and articulated better by bringing others' in.

It's the whole: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants thing. My views can be lifted and enabled by talking to people

My leadership is grounded in my own values, beliefs and life knowledge, but my performance is improved when I ask for help, to bring in others' opinions, expertise and work collaboratively - I'll talk more about this later.
Photo by Valentina_A

Leadership is not dead
it's sleeping

Many of the blog comments chimed with my own views and experiences - NO. it is not dead. how can leadership be dead?

Leadership as a concept, however, seems to be seen a sluggish, lacking realism.
The way we teach leadership, talk about it - lacks relevance and reality at times.

"It’s too important to die. But desperately needs constant rebirth and regeneration.
Leadership is dead. Long live BETTER leadership."
Perry Timms

I'm not into ditching thinking for some faddy new idea,
but new technology, the way we seek to interact with each other through social media, through a growing awareness of the need for wellbeing to be right at the heart of our organisational and social life means that more traditional ways of defining leadership are open to question.

There are rote responses to The Great Leader Question - can you name some? Why do we ask about great leaders?
What can I guarantee they have in common?
Photo by geezaweezer

If they ain't following… you ain't leading

Followership is key.

You cannot lead without followers -
if you are not "in relation" to the people you work and inspire and ask and tell to do stuff... if you don't get them, see them, feel them…?

You are leading alone.

without that relationship, without trust, belief, passion and a creation amount of good will - nothing gets done well.

I'm not talking about some woolly "come on please. Like me please".
Good leadership sometimes has to include tough decisions, conversations and approaches.

Followership requires people to respect you, to trust you.
Put simply- if you believe there is something right to do, say you are going to do it and then. Do . It.
Even if it likely to cause disruption. You can be kind, but you will also need to be determined.

Derek Silver's How to start a movement
Photo by Gidzy

Context is Everything

And the way to understand the followership & your relationship to them?

Understand your context.

Who are you working with? in what circumstance?

My understanding of organisations is a systemic one - to me, an organisation, a team is complicated system - with rules and rituals and stories and emotions.
If I want to affect the system? I need to talk to it first, understand it, know it pretty well - what works in one context resolutely will not work in another - to pretend otherwise is an interesting choice.

Followership, bringing people with you, galvanising the energy of the many to GET STUFF DONE - it is not to be taken lightly.

You want to lead well? Understand your context.
Pay attention to it carefully.
Photo by rishibando

Models vs Reality

I like a good leadership model.

I really do.

They help make the complexity of the system seem linear and smooth and easy to grasp.

I can put leadership into Situational boxes.
Daniel Goleman says there are 6 (based on emotional intelligence)
Hershey Blanchard go for 4
Kurt Lewin's original thinking was 3

You will be told many things on leadership courses. Offered many lenses to look at leadership - the better amongst us say that this is ONE WAY of looking at leadership and if it helps clarify something - hallelujah.
Others among us will say: this is leadership.
Beware. Find the models, the ideas, the knowing that works for you, in your context, and work with that.

All else is folly.
Honestly.
Photo by kevin dooley

The Human Stuff

A Title does not make you a Leader

Supervisor
Manager
Director
Prime Minister
President
Chair
Global Head of stuff
Team Captain

I refer you to previous comments about followership….

You can call yourself, or be called whatever you like….
If you behave with no integrity, with no clarity or heart, your title has no substance.



Photo by VinothChandar

A Title does not make you a Leader

Supervisor
Manager
Director
Prime Minister
President
Chair
Global Head of stuff
Team Captain

I refer you to previous comments about followership….

You can call yourself, or be called whatever you like….
If you behave with no integrity, with no clarity or heart, your title has no substance.



Photo by VinothChandar

The Ego Issue

The ego issue is potentially a whole other talk -

but broadly it goes like this:
You will meet people who believe they are "in charge" they will throw their title, their car, their office, their knowledge about as if this is somehow significant. They believe they are leading.

Here's the news as I know it: you are NOT in charge or in control of people or circumstance. You can influence. All else is contextual.

The best leaders I know have enough ego to have a sense of self - of knowing who they are, but also knowing who they are NOT and working with that.

You need and ego, chutzpah, self assurance etc to compete.

But if your self worth or value is bound up wholly in being "in charge", clever or having a nice title, at some point, you will get a huge shock.

GET OVER YOURSELF. You are one part of a bigger picture.



Photo by john curley

Leadership comes from
"in here"
not "out there"

Who you are as a person has an effect on who you are as a leader. The way you. Understand and interact with the world, how chatty you are, how thoughtful you are....

The good news is this means anyone can lead, take a lead, learn to lead.... The way to learn how to lead and influence what is "out there" - the follows, the context, is my paying close attention to what is going on "in here".

There will be times as a leader when you will be visible. When people will be looking at you, to you. You may need to be tenacious, determined. You may need to compete to win.
If these things are Uncomfortable for you and to you, you have choices 1) run away from what is uncomfortable and make everything better/safer/ more comfortable.
2) face into the discomfort and accept the learning that comes
3) fake that you are fine. Hope no-one asks. Possibly fall over, possibly start to believe you are fine...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you will need to be self supporting. I don't mean alone, I mean you have to build your own support networks and methods of sustaining. Yourself. Because it will get tough sometimes.

I have a notion about crunches for the soul - strengthening your core.
Photo by @Doug88888

The difference that makes a difference

You appreciate the red apples more, perhaps, because of the green.
Leadership is about role modelling, but hold up a different narrative - I see it this way.

It's tough, at times to be different. It is also rewarding.

Try it. Hold to your different view one time, or share it... See what happens around you... You on might be surprised..
Photo by Rachid Lamzah

Simon Heath's 25

  • Listen. Include. Ask them.
  • Be Clear. Get out of the way
  • Stay out of the way
  • Follow through. Trust them
  • Have their backs. Be Present
For me, Simon Heath, Artist, graphic facilitator, deep thinker and all round good person, summarises it beautifully.
Photo by _vagionni_

Over to you….

Discussions in groups & 3s about context, followership and whole person leadership

What are the key messages from the talk that resonate for you?

If you are going to role model "difference that makes a difference" - what do you disagree with?
Photo by Ravages

Conclusions & experiments?

Photo by Just Us 3

Julie Drybrough
@fuchsia_blue
www.fuchsiablue.com