There are informal leaders in every organization. These are the people in the organization who, without formal title or authority, get things done, and done well, show others how to do them, and have a large network interconnecting many people in a variety of teams and organizations across the entire organization. Often we do not even know who these people are nor recognize their importance in our organization’s success or understand the breadth of their networks.
Earlier this summer we introduced the idea (in a series of Tuesday Readings, as referenced below) that if we understand how our brain works, we can better understand why we react the way we do. I wrote, then, that the individual’s brain, in the days of our early ancestors, had one key goal – survival, avoiding threats and seeking food (rewards). And, avoiding threats had a much higher priority with five times more neural networks devoted to threat detection than to identifying rewards.
So, what do I do now?
Keep that “elevator speech” fresh!
Sue Workman, Vice President Information Technology Services and Chief Information Officer, Case Western Reserve University, keynote video for the 2016 MOR Leaders Conference.
Today’s Tuesday Reading, Who I think about as “My Leader,” is an essay by Paula Torres, Senior Educational Design Technologist, Global Learning and Innovation, NYU Information Technology. Her essay first appeared as a program reflection last year.
The one person I think of when I think of leadership was not my manager, supervisor, or even coworker. She was an adjunct professor whose class I took at Teachers College.
The important thing is not to stop questioning… Never lose a holy curiosity. – Albert Einstein
During World War II when I was a young boy, we lived with my mother’s parents while my father worked about 100 miles away in an oil refinery and commuted back to our small town on weekends. I think that I must have been a real question box back then, asking my grandmother more questions than she wanted to answer. I don’t remember what I asked, or her answers. What I do remember is that when she tired of my questions she always responded with the old parable “Curiosity killed the cat.”
Every one of us has, at one time or another, disappointed a colleague or friend. No matter how hard you try, sometimes a deadline will be missed or a commitment not met. Many of these misses don’t carry huge consequences – almost always some disappointment, sometimes inconvenience, and perhaps some loss of credibility. And, some have huge consequences – real deep disappointment, loss of trust and credibility. Liann Davey says that it is inevitable that you won’t be able to live up to everyone’s expectations, neither small ones or large significant ones. There are simply too many priori
Overcoming a Bad One
The very first exercise we do in the MOR Leaders Programs is one on first impressions. Sit or stand in a circle, take notes on the first impression you have of the individuals in your circle, add some notes about the first impression that you think you create, and share. For most individuals, this can be a scary moment since most people have never considered what impression they make on others or the impact it has on building a future relationship with that individual.