Single Point of Failure

Single Point of Failure

I am a director on a board of a not for profit organisation. Having just completed the Australian Institute’s Company Directors’ course, I was reminded of the enormous responsibility individual directors hold for the welfare of their organisation. They are individually, legally responsible for the health of the company.

Problem-based working – a key motivator

Problem-based working – a key motivator

A significant factor in work satisfaction is being in control of the work done. This satisfies our need to make autonomous decisions, be self-determining, and also our need to be valued as capable human beings.

And it doesn’t seem to matter if you are a highly qualified professional or someone working on a car assembly lines – if you have some capacity to make decisions about your work, then you will be more satisfied.

Amplifiers – The power of Motivational leaders

Amplifiers – The power of Motivational leaders

Why leaders must be motivational leaders I am reading a great book that sets out why leaders must be motivational leaders – and how they can become truly motivational.  Matt Church’s book, Amplifiers: The power of motivational leadership to inspire and influence, is a must read for any leader who is wondering what it takes to get their people on board.  This is especially the case for leaders of organisations that need to transform either because of a major market disruption, internal melt-downs or just morph into a bigger, better, more successful, organisation. Ramp up your influence: Your power comes from within This book is about how to ramp up your own influence powers as a leader and how you can inspire others to want to do more than they have ever done before.  And, it is about tapping into your essence as a leader and that’s why it resonates with me.  Your power comes from within – you just need to tap into it and let it flow out of you.  ‘Amplifiers’ shows leaders how to do this.  Check it...
Malcolm Gladwell on memes – how things go viral

Malcolm Gladwell on memes – how things go viral

Malcolm Gladwell has to be one of the most thought leading author I know.  His book, The Tipping Point, is well worth reading.  He yet again presents a wealth of evidence from a range of disparate sources to form a coherent argument about one idea.  In the case of “The Tipping Point” it is about why change happens when it does – what tips it over. What makes a fad, a product or even an idea go viral?  And for thought leaders – people who make their living to of developing, packaging and presenting their thoughts, this is an important idea indeed.  I find his take on ‘meme’ really interesting, particularly in relation to the Q & A on memes. Q:  Are you talking about the idea of memes, that has become so popular in academic circles recently? A: It’s very similar. A meme is a idea that behaves like a virus – that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects. I must say, though, that I don’t much like that term. The thing that bothers me about the discussion of memes is that no one ever tries to define exactly what they are, and what makes a meme so contagious. I mean, you can put a virus under a microscope and point to all the genes on its surface that are responsible for making it so dangerous. So what happens when you look at an infectious idea under a microscope? Check out his book – it goes into forensic details on this very...
Walk the talk – Be the leader you want to see in others

Walk the talk – Be the leader you want to see in others

Walk the Talk. Be the leader you want to see in others. Leadership can be demonstrated by anyone – we know this.  This idea is referred to as distributed leadership.  But when it is needed the most, it is often the hardest to find. If ever we need leadership it is from our managers.  They set the tone of the culture – the expectations of behaviour in their teams. I recently heard of a manager who watched on as one of her staff verbally attacked another.  It is the manager who staff bump into every day, and through the manager’s actions, or in this case, their inaction, they send powerful messages about what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour. So why did this manager not step into the fray and do something about this altercation?  This would have been a perfect opportunity to model the behaviour she expected from her staff.  There are two reasons that come to mind: 1.     She was not clear herself on what is acceptable behaviour.  If the manager is not clear, then the informal leaders will step up and fill the void – as may well have been the case in this incidence.  So, managers, get clear and make clear what you expect and stand by this.  Demonstrate conviction and congruence about the behaviour you expect. 2.     She may have been clear that the behaviour was not acceptable but was afraid to say anything.  I suspect fear of losing face, friends, approval approval, or not knowing how to manage a difficult conversation rules manager’s behaviour more than they admit.  The reality is that to...
Let go: Transitioning to Manager means Letting Go of Being the Expert

Let go: Transitioning to Manager means Letting Go of Being the Expert

The Health Leader (Vol 1, Issue 1)  Australian College of Health Service Managers  The Australian College of Health Service Managers released the first issue of their new journal – The Health Leader (Vol 1, Issue 1) this month (September 2014). One of the central themes of the issue was the transition from clinician to manager, which I am passionate about. I was particularly taken with the Andrew Jeffreys’ article. Being a surgeon, he presented the following 10 tips for clinicians transitioning to a clinical manager:  1.     Be a competent clinician2.     Develop your emotional intelligence3.     Recognise when you need to be leading versus managing 4.     Develop a vital workplace5.     Don’t let too many monkeys climb on your back!6.     Get qualified: It’s a learned skill like any other.7.     Avoid the myth of the complete leader8.     Save and spend your political capital wisely9.     Develop resilience10.  Don’t expect your job to satisfy all your psychological needs – get that balance right. The Challenge: Be a Competent Clinician The challenge is the need to be a competent clinician.  The one tip that I would challenge is the need to be a competent clinician.  I agree that this is considered important in building the manager’s credibility with their clinical staff.  I think the real driver behind this perspective is that clinical staff and the manager don’t really understand the role of management – so they default to the roles they do understand and that is clinical.   A manager doing their staff’s clinical work is unsustainable – eventually, they will have to raise their focus from the health of patients, to the health of their team and...