|By Michael Nir||
|March 3, 2014 02:39 PM EST||
When I facilitate leadership workshops, usually before lunch break of the first day of three, there always appears this question. It emerges from the table on the farther right corner of the room. They have been quiet until now at that table, listening attentively but refraining from questions. They participated during the morning ice breakers, but have receded to the comfort of the corner. During my occasional strolls, I urge them to comment and question, and it is partially fruitful. And then - Bang!!! The question is asked. Almost blurted in a half apologetic tone, the person is almost sorry for asking. He didn't intend to cut my line of reasoning and the progress of the workshop, but he just had to ask. We are discussing leadership concepts and the great man theory of leadership; and it seems proper to ask. This question can be phrased in many ways - however it usually looks like this: "Can leadership be learnt at all? Aren't leaders natural - either you have it or you don't?..."
The ramifications of the question are dire indeed. It is probably one of the toughest to tackle in leadership workshops. Since, if the answer is a resounding yes: leadership is a genetic trait! Why are we spending the time on leadership training? Heck - if the answer is yes - why should we have human resource departments? What is the use of coaching and mentoring? Why are we reading all the leadership books? And why the heck am I sitting in a leadership training sessions?
And it seems so right - the Yes answer - it seems so correct - if we look around it appears to be the true answer. If someone is a leader, to the observer, his/her leadership seems natural and inborn. Often, it is very comforting to perceive leadership as an inborn trait - since it gives people an excuse to step down from leading in complex business environments. This way, we can let someone else, someone more suitable who has the correct DNA to lead.
Yes seems to be the right answer until you stop and reflect. What do you think? Is leadership a capability that can be learnt or is it inborn?
If leadership is inborn, how would you explain the familiar situation that I am positive you have witnessed: great leaders who had been able to turn around a business unit, are transferred to revamp another business unit. In the new environment they are not so great. They aren't able to perform as they have before. Their reports resent them, their manager evaluates them poorly their colleagues shun them.
How is it possible that someone who was an incredible leader in one business setting is mediocre in another? If we believe in the inborn leadership theory (also known as the great man theory) this doesn't make sense. A leader remains great regardless of the situation.
Are you experiencing now an ‘Aha' moment? Leadership can't be all inborn - there are actually leadership elements that are learnable, especially in the present ever-changing global environment.
Contemporary approaches in leadership have abandoned the concept that leadership is an inborn trait. Rather, the concept of situational leadership has emerged. Situational leadership articulates that effective leaders are the ones able to change their behavior according to the situation at hand. It identifies leadership styles relevant to specific situations. According to research, the enablers of situational leadership are empathy, active listening and a propensity to understand complex human and team interactions.
The challenge in leadership is all about applying the proper situational behavior. We have to analyze the situation and shift from our incumbent approach towards a situation, to the style which the situation warrants and which leads to the optimal outcome. By integrating and implementing ideas of situational leadership in our work place we can become better leaders. However, transforming the leadership style to a situation requires awareness, and practice. In Sweden, for example, participative-collaborative leadership styles rules, even when the situation necessitates other leadership styles. At times when a forceful dictating style is essential, such as at a crisis scenario, business leaders who aren't trained in situational leadership fail to adapt. I often witness it when conducting a thrilling exercise in which a team has to reach an agreement that provides individual and team scoring in a limited time. The contemporary collaborative leadership style that is so common nowadays, fails to deliver an acceptable solution which also provides the team with a maximum score. Without altering the leadership pattern the participants are stuck in their limiting styles. Understanding that different situations require different styles is key in effective leadership and YES it can be learnt.
Want to learn more about leadership - read Michael's Influence and Leadership Building Rapport in Teams where he further discusses the concepts of situational leadership and presents two models.
Michael facilities powerful and exciting leadership workshops - invite him to keynote on the topic and lead a two day leadership development workshop.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Aug. 25, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 332
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Aug. 25, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,480
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Aug. 25, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,194
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Aug. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,543
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
Aug. 25, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,355
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
Aug. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,590
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Aug. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,885
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Aug. 25, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 569
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
Aug. 25, 2016 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 577
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Aug. 25, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,382
Fact: storage performance problems have only gotten more complicated, as applications not only have become largely virtualized, but also have moved to cloud-based infrastructures. Storage performance in virtualized environments isn’t just about IOPS anymore. Instead, you need to guarantee performance for individual VMs, helping applications maintain performance as the number of VMs continues to go up in real time. In his session at Cloud Expo, Dhiraj Sehgal, Product and Marketing at Tintri, wil...
Aug. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 534
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
Aug. 25, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,826
StarNet Communications Corp has announced the addition of three Secure Remote Desktop modules to its flagship X-Win32 PC X server. The new modules enable X-Win32 to safely tunnel the remote desktops from Linux and Unix servers to the user’s PC over encrypted SSH. Traditionally, users of PC X servers deploy the XDMCP protocol to display remote desktop environments such as the Gnome and KDE desktops on Linux servers and the CDE environment on Solaris Unix machines. XDMCP is used primarily on comp...
Aug. 25, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 486
SYS-CON Events announced today that StarNet Communications will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. StarNet Communications’ FastX is the industry first cloud-based remote X Windows emulator. Using standard Web browsers (FireFox, Chrome, Safari, etc.) users from around the world gain highly secure access to applications and data hosted on Linux-based servers in a central data center. ...
Aug. 25, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 600
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Aug. 25, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 496