Monday, October 11, 2010

Slow Leadership? Maybe…

I’ve not posted here in some time, but lately, my thinking about leadership has been rekindled by an odd subject, the Slow Food Movement.  I’ve been reading about Slow Food and the movement that bears its name.  What we eat has so much to do with the quality of our lives, the quality of our communities, and the quality of the world.  However, embracing the realities of the Slow Food Movement is a difficult challenge.  While reflecting on the challenges of following a Slow Food lifestyle, I came to appreciate the up-hill battle all movements face: people would follow, if only it weren’t so difficult.

However, movements have a way of spawning ideas that, while not necessarily of the movement, carry a piece of the message.  I’ve found my piece of the movement, the piece I can follow in Michael Pollan’s, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.  His advice,

 

“Eat Food.

 

Not Too Much.

 

Mainly Plants.”

 

I have been living with this advice for the past month.  Not a long time, and not a great leap, but a step, even if just a small step, in doing what I can to move toward live by my ideals.

And this started me thinking…

I hope Mr. Pollan doesn’t mind if I borrow a taste of his advice for overcoming the challenges of eating in a fast food world, and apply it to the challenges of leading during a Leadership Epidemic. 

 

“Lead People.

 

Not Too Many.

 

Take Your Time.”

 

It may not be Slow Leadership, but it is the phrase that has brought me back to posting and I intend to investigate why.

What are your thoughts?

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Take care and enjoy...

JWM

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Missing Pieces...

When I started writing The Leadership Epidemic, I believed the reason most leadership sucked was because most leaders relied on the skills, technical skills, that got them promoted rather than developing new leadership skills.

I also believed when leaders did develop new skills, they focused on the wrong skills--personality skills rather than character skills; cheer leading rather than legitimate culture building skills.

When this deficit was coupled with a failure to Know the Machine, the result was leadership that sucks. I still believe that is true. However, I have come to believe the challenge is deeper than that. While poor skills do lead to leadership that sucks, pieces of the model are missing.

It appears that good skills and knowledge don't guarantee good leadership. Lately, I've been thinking about the missing pieces. What are your thoughts? Are good skills and knowledge enough or does good leadership take more?

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Take care and enjoy...

JWM