|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.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
Apr. 29, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,575
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.
Apr. 29, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,637
As you respond to increasing requests for new analytics, you need fast and flexible technology in your arsenal so that you can deploy the right workload to the right platform for the need at hand. Do you need self-service and fast time to value? Do you have data and application control and privacy needs, along with strict SLAs to meet? IBM dashDB™ is data warehouse technology powered by in-memory computing and in-database analytics that are designed for fast results, scalability and more.
Apr. 29, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,513
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Apr. 29, 2016 03:07 PM EDT Reads: 110
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Apr. 29, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 798
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
Apr. 29, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 783
Up until last year, enterprises that were looking into cloud services usually undertook a long-term pilot with one of the large cloud providers, running test and dev workloads in the cloud. With cloud’s transition to mainstream adoption in 2015, and with enterprises migrating more and more workloads into the cloud and in between public and private environments, the single-provider approach must be revisited. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Yoav Mor, multi-cloud solution evangelist at Cloudy...
Apr. 29, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,376
IoT device adoption is growing at staggering rates, and with it comes opportunity for developers to meet consumer demand for an ever more connected world. Wireless communication is the key part of the encompassing components of any IoT device. Wireless connectivity enhances the device utility at the expense of ease of use and deployment challenges. Since connectivity is fundamental for IoT device development, engineers must understand how to overcome the hurdles inherent in incorporating multipl...
Apr. 29, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,387
The paradigm has shifted. A Gartner survey shows that 43% of organizations are using or plan to implement the Internet of Things in 2016. However, not just a handful of companies are still using the old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways, unaware of the critical barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can you become a winner? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan will present a methodical approach to guide the holistic adoption and enablement of IoT implementations. This ov...
Apr. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,521
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
Apr. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 962
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
Apr. 29, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 813
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Sagi Brody, Chief Technology Officer at Webair Internet Development Inc., will focus on real world deployments of DDoS mitigation strategies in every layer of the network. He will give an overview of methods to prevent these attacks and best practices on how to provide protection in complex cloud platforms. He will also outline what we have found in our experience managing and running thousands of Linux and Unix managed service platforms and what specifically c...
Apr. 29, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,049
In the world of DevOps there are ‘known good practices’ – aka ‘patterns’ – and ‘known bad practices’ – aka ‘anti-patterns.' Many of these patterns and anti-patterns have been developed from real world experience, especially by the early adopters of DevOps theory; but many are more feasible in theory than in practice, especially for more recent entrants to the DevOps scene. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Chair Andi Mann, panelists will dis...
Apr. 29, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 454
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
Apr. 29, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 790
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
Apr. 29, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 763