Welcome. I want to provide for you a few introductory resources to explore the topic of leadership. My hope is that they provide you a stimulating mirror to your current model of leadership. You might not be entirely aware of your model but I can assure you that you already have one.
You make decisions on how to influence people around you everyday. If we define for the time being leadership as the process of influencing people to achieve a common group goal then the choices you make to use certain ways of action (and also your choices against certain actions) outline your present model. In essence we all hold a notion of what ‘good’ and ‘bad’ leaders do. And we compare our own actions against this model.

Have a look through these videos and articles in any order you like. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your own notion of good leadership?
  • Where do you think you need to develop yourself and people around you?

kenrobinson-150x150Have you ever thought of leaders as teachers? Well give it a thought; research on Generation Y suggest that what motivates them tremendously is to learn and therefore the desire to do a variety of things. To what extent to you create an environment of learning in your teams? I invite you to have a look at a video of Sir Ken Robinson. He has produced some of the highest viewed TED talks (click here if you are unfamiliar with TED; it’s a great resource of ideas and inspiration in your local language or transcript). Sir Ken is an educator. School systems throughout the world are undergoing massive change and are in urgent need for leaders to guide this change; hence his TED talk. Give particular attention after the 13th minute: here he introduces two ways of leading, command-and-control vs. climate control. Which is your conception of what leaders should do?

SBS Profile ShotsWhat does it actually mean to lead via climate control? If this question interests you listen to Prof. Alex Haslam as he presents at a Feb.2014 conference in Istanbul about the old and new theories of leadership (you need to register for free to the webpage; then click on Alex Haslam; feel free to explore other presenters on leadership such as Nigel Nicholson or Haridimos Tsoukas and Adam Kahane if you feel like it). His old and new align well with command-and-control vs. climate control.

How does what Alex shares about the old and new way of thinking about leadership compare with what you thought you needed to do as a leader? What new things do you need to start doing? What do you need to do less of in order to influence the climate in which your people work?

simonsinekWhy lead? For what purpose? Speaker and author Simon Sinek discusses a simple framework in the first 10 minutes of his immensely popular TED talk. What is your ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘What’ of leadership?

whatwedo-mbtiDo you know how you like to work? Well if you like to find out how to express these preferences in a language that you can share with others and inquire into their preferences use the free MBTI self-assessment (click here to read more). Knowing your preference type (one of 16; neither being better or worse than the other) and knowing the preference type of another person can allow both of you to have an empathic conversation how your preferences can conflict without either one of you having a bad intention. Once you have your type you can read about your profile here. On this webpage you can find an impressive map of the MBTI characteristics. Another funny way to understand your type is through the characters of a well-known movie.

Let’s finish with a way to summarise what you know about yourself. The Johari Window is a framework to think about the degrees of action you have in your life. You can influence this space by one of three activities: 1. Disclosure of information about yourself (e.g. your MBTI preferences of working), 2. Asking for feedback about yourself to reduce your blind spots, 3. By purposefully stepping outside your usual area of work, out of your comfort zone to find out something new about your potential. Here also a video that explains more detail. What are your hidden areas? What do you suspect might be your blind spots; what would you be curious to ask about? What new experiences could help you step outside of your comfort zone?

johari-window2
Lastly some people ask me for books on leadership because there are infinitely many around. So here are three that seem to me good overall frames for leadership.

tlc5e-232x300The Leadership Challenge, 5th edition
This book by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner provide one possible way to lead your people. It focuses strongly on what leaders should do; I put this book into the “Doing-group”. It has been around for 25 years, which is a lot by many standards and is widely read. It also has developed an large set of assisting tools to help you put the knowledge into practice (self-assessments, workbooks with implementation ideas etc.). This book has at its st
It is available in its original English, Turkish, German (4th edition), and many other local languages.

conscious-businessConscious Business
This book by Fred Kofman provides another perspective on leadership. The reason why a lot of people like it is because it doesn’t just propose ‘just follow these things to do and become a great leader’; it sets out fundamental principles of how to achieve success. It then asks what leaders do to achieve this success, then asks how leaders think to explain why they do what they do and then asks what personal values drives such thinking and action. Because of this comprehensive approach down to the level of who you are I put this book into the “Being-group”.
It is available in English, Turkish, French, and many other local languages. (In German only a predecessor book is available).

7habitsThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
This old-time classic is one of the earliest books on personal leadership. It proposes 7 habits, 4 which deal with leading yourself, and 3 which deal with leading others to joint success. Its recently deceased author Steven Covey balances in this book Doing with Being, i.e. he derives what he proposes as actions from deeply held principles. It all reads very practical and you are likely to end up doing something different as a result of this highly inspirational and practically-oriented writing.
It is available in English, Turkish, German, and many other local languages.