Tag Archives: 4 Star Book

Book Notes: The Four

The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google by Scott Galloway
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book looks at the bussiness model for:

  • Amazon where it is all about investing in removing barriers so that you can get products quicker triggering gratification,
    • Story telling -> Cheap Capital -> 100x risks (loop infinitely…)
    • Amazon is destroying the significance of brands
  • Apple which is all about people wanting to make themselves feel good
    • Wealthy people are surprisingly homogenous in their buying habits
    • Apple are premium products and price with mass production costs
    • Selling the products as an experience in their stores not just a product
  • Facebook having such a large network of people thus being so valuable as a result
    • An average of an hour a day is spent on Facebook’s digital “properties”
    • Data on billions of identities allows micro targeting
    • Polarised opinions are better views and click bait
    • It claims to be a platform, not media, abdicating responsibility for content
  • Google which is a god in the sense that it gives bussiness and it takes it away
    • Huge amounts of trust by users
    • A change in their algorithm can spell the end for a company (e.g. about.com)
    • Search -> pages -> advertising revenue can be bed for publishers

T Algorithm

  • Product Differentiation
    • Great products break through the clutter
    • Don’t just think about adding, think about what you can remove/simplify
  • Visionary Capital
    • Storytelling is key
    • A bold vision gives you cheap capital
  • Global Reach
  • Likability
  • Vertical Integration
    • Own the whole experience
  • AI
  • Accelerant
    • Attracting talent is key to succeeding
  • Geography
    • You need to be based near the tallent, they won’t come to you

You

It’s never been easier to be a billionaire and harder to be a millionaire

You have to be great, it’s now a global world and there are so many average people. Emotional maturity is key – self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills are not optional but essential.

One thing which was quite interesting in this book was the suggestion to go to a university and transfer to the best university you can after the first year when people drop out meaning it is easier to get into than in the first year.

You can’t win without stepping on the field. Hire A people because they hire As, Bs hire Cs.

Go to a city, the network effect is key, remote working will not give the advantages co-location will. Get equity in the companies you work for a live within your means. Stay loyal to people, not organisations. Don’t follow your passion follow your talent. When you leave, leave graciously as you never know when you might meet these people again. We regress to the mean sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down – if you are up don’t expect to stay there if you are down look up. Ask for and Give Help.

The author presents a company like an alphabet, when it starts it is at A –

  • Entrepreneurs here you need people who have high tolerance for risk, can sell, and are too stupid to know they are going to fail.
  • Once the company is rolling and access to capital it is better served by a visionary individual who can scale the company.
  • Later in the alphabet there is the operator who keeps the company going with job security important and low risk.
  • After this there is the pragmatist has no romance for the glory days and helps the company through a managed decline cutting costs, selling bussiness off.

It is rare for a CEO to cover more than two stages.

Book Notes: The Unicorn Project

The Unicorn Project: A Novel about Digital Disruption, Redshirts, and Overthrowing the Ancient Powerful Order by Gene Kim
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For full disclosure I received a free copy of The Unicorn Project in advance of publication in exchange for a review. The content of the review are still my own independent thoughts.

The Unicorn Project is the second book about Parts Unlimited set at the same time as The Phoenix Project, whereas the initial book looked more at Devops this book looks from the perspective of a developer. As with the first book it is written in a very engaging manner.

Near the start of the book we are welcomed to The Phoenix Project by Maxine with one of her first challenges of getting the project to run on her machine, having been in a place where it’s taken a week to get projects to run I immediately empathised with the challenge. From there the book presents a few concepts throughout the story. In the first part of the book it focuses on the Five Ideals :

  1. Local and Simplicity – things should be easy to understand and pickup
  2. Focus, Flow and Joy – people should be able to actually get on with the job
  3. Improvement of Daily Work – always striving to remove process bottlenecks
  4. Psychological Safety – innovation is risky so people must be safe to take risks
  5. Customer Focus – a focus on value for the customer

The book briefly talks about the functional practice of immutability, the importance of data as “the new oil” and it makes two other points and cross functional teams.

From Zone to Win they look at ways the business can innovate by looking at “Horizon 3” projects (more speculative R&D) in addition to their core bussiness i.e. “Horizon 1” (bussiness as normal). For completeness here “Horizon 2” is the transformation where the core bussiness might need to be shaken to be able to cope with the new innovations.

The other concept which is worth mentioning is the idea of Core vs Context. “Core” is something which is core and unique to your bussiness, “Context” are things which you bussiness needs to operate but would likely be better to buy in as a service rather than run & maintain or develop in house. One tool which I found quite interesting on this was the Wardley map plotting Commodity vs Value to identify which you should develop and which just to buy.

Book Notes: The Trusted Advisor

The Trusted Advisor by David H. Maister, Charles H. Green, Robert M. Galford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is quite focused on the bussiness service of being an advisor however, I feel, that in companies we are all advisors to other people and as such there are a few key points that are relevant to nearly everyone. For an advisor to be effective it means that they have to be listened to – as such this is much more about the personal relationship rather than simply technical understanding.

Build Trust and a Relationship

Advising is very personal, there needs to be a high level of trust for it to be effective. The book proposes that Trustworthiness contains

  • Credibility – context expertise through accuracy and completeness over time. By:
    • Being truthful
    • Never exaggerating, even things like “our best people”
    • Show you have energy and care about their topic
    • Network people/bring others together to talk directly
    • When you don’t know say so quickly
    • Provide some examples of your work in advance
    • Relax, you know more than you think you do if not then don’t be there
    • Do your homework
    • Don’t show off
  • Reliability – be dependable and consistent. By:
    • Make specific commitments on small things and deliver quick
    • Send materials over in advance for review to save time
    • Ensure meetings have clear goals, not just agendas, and complete the goal
    • Match the clients fit and feel over terminology, format etc will save them time
    • Review agendas with the client to ensure they feel their time is well spent
    • Reconfirm scheduled events and notify of rescheduling as soon as possible
  • Intimacy – with someone you can talk about difficult topic and feel they care
    • Take courage and show trust first
    • Show candor as well, don’t be afraid to debate actively
    • Find fun and fascination by getting to the emotions of the decisions
    • Take care how you push – right topic, right time, right phrasing of questions.
    • Practice in advance to feel how you think things will land
    • To reduce bussiness risk you have to take a personal risk to grow intimacy.
    • One of you has to move first and it’s going to be you.

and is reduced by

  • Self focus – there is nothing worse than feeling the advisor cares about themselves more than the customer
Don’tDo
Have a tendency to relate our stories to ourselves
A need to too quickly finish their sentences
A need to fill empty spaces in conversations
A need to appear clever, bright, whitty, etc
An inability to provide a direct answer to a direct question
An unwillingness to say I don’t know
Name-dropping of other clients
A recitation of qualifications
A tendency to give answers too quickly
A tendency to want to have the last word
Closed-ended questions too early
Putting forward hypothesis or problem statements before the client has had chance to
Passive listening/watching the client like a TV set
Let the client fill in empty spaces
Ask the client to provide what is behind issues
Use open-ended questions
Not giving answers until given the right to do so
Focus on defining the problem not the solution
Reflect, listen, summarise
Say you don’t know when you don’t know
Acknowledge feelings
Listen without distractions
Resist requests to provide solutions too early
Trust in adding value after listening not during
Take responsibility for failed communication

Provide Advice

The key part with providing advice is to think from the client perspective – not just to provide advice but to provide options in a way that it is clear to them from which they can choose a direction based on your recommendation, shows a deep understanding of the bussiness and political world they are in and addresses any concerns so that the advice can be adopted.

  • Engage
    • Where there ideas worth talking about and an advisor worth talking to
    • Engagement is not a one time thing but regular to check in with old clients
  • Listen
    • Listening for what is said and unsaid to fully understand the client and problem
  • Frame
    • The advisor helps the client crystalise the problem and clarifying the many problems
    • Consists of formulating problem statements, hypothesis and points of view built around what is valuable for the client
  • Envision
    • Understanding what are we really aiming for?
    • What will it look like when we get there?
    • How will we know when we are there?
  • Commit
    • To understand what it will take to get to the vision
    • For the client to buy into the change

Book Notes: It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is specifically about the way their start up is run, which is great but if you have external shareholders etc then some of the tips may be harder to do. If you are trying to carve out your own corner of calm there are still items in the list of tips can still be useful.

Your company is a product. Yes, the things you make are products (or services), but your company is the thing that makes those things. That’s why your company should be your best product.

  • Curb Your Ambition
    • Bury the hustle – busy should not be the badge of honor you have to enjoy life
    • Happy pacifists – work is not about big fights, be content with your own world
    • Our goal: No goals -you don’t need fake goals to achieve something great
    • Don’t change the world – set out to do good work in a fair way
    • Make it up as you go – don’t try to plan out too much, let things evolve
    • Comfy’s cool – discomforts not the aim, delivering productively is
  • Defend Your Time
    • 8’s enough, 40’s plenty – cut out what’s unnecessary then you have time
    • Protectionism – protect what matters, your employees time and attention
    • The quality of an hour – make quality time, like long 3-4 hours of concentration
    • Effective > Productive – when you’ve finished stop, don’t fill time unnecessarily
    • The outwork myth – don’t try to out work others by working longer its a myth
    • Work doesn’t happen at work – make a way to let work happen at work
    • Office hours – set aside time to help people on a schedule, not 24/7
    • Calendar Tetris – make booking meeting tough so only key meetings happen
    • The presence prison – stop keeping people updates where you are just work
    • I’ll get back to you whenever – don’t expect immediate responses
    • Fomo? Jomo! – keep informed in a condensed form not continuously
  • Feed Your Culture
    • We’re not family – the best companies support your time with your family
    • They’ll do as you do – workaholism is a contagious disease, lead by example
    • The trust battery – build the trust battery it’s key to work relations
    • Don’t be the last to know – be proactive finding small issues before they grow
    • The owner’s word weighs a ton – realise the weight of your words on people
    • Low-hanging fruit can still be out of reach – thing appearing easy might not be
    • Don’t cheat sleep – nearly everything can wait until morning
    • Out of whack – allow people to balance, as in give and take not just give
    • Hire the work, not the résumé – see what people have done not just their CV
    • Nobody hits the ground running – everyone takes time, there are no quick wins
    • Ignore the talent war – grow and nurture your own tallent
    • Don’t negotiate salaries – pay the same for the same work, pay market rate
    • Benefits who? – give benefits to get people out the office not stuck in it
    • Library rules – around working areas treat them like libraries to get things done
    • No fakecations – actual disconnection to revitalise
    • Calm goodbyes – explain why people leave so people don’t fear they are next
  • Dissect Your Process
    • The wrong time for real-time – real-time sometimes, asynchronous most times
    • Dreadlines – dates are fine but allow scope to be cut rather than over working
    • Don’t be a knee-jerk – don’t meet, write. Don’t react, consider.
    • Watch out for 12-day weeks – watch for weekend working
    • The new normal – things become the norm quickly, don’t “just this time”
    • Bad habits beat good intentions – start as you want the culture to be
    • Independencies – don’t wait for web & iOS.. to be ready release independently
    • Commitment, not consensus – “disagree & commit”. Decide, explain, go
    • Compromise on quality – not everything need to be “airworthy” but “fine”
    • Narrow as you go – as you progress narrow the scope of what you are doing
    • Why not nothing? – doing nothing can be the hardest choice but worth it
    • It’s enough – don’t flog yourself, what is good enough that people are happy
    • Worst practices – there is no single best way so don’t just adopt best practice
    • Whatever it doesn’t take – “what will it take?” not “whatever it takes”
    • Have less to do – if it does not add value then stop doing it
    • Three’s company – three is the perfect number for meetings, not more or less
    • Stick with it – get things finished or take a break but don’t move on till it done
    • Know no – you can change your mind, but if you say yes then you can’t
  • Mind Your Business
    • Risk without putting yourself at risk – measure risk and gamble with care
    • Season’s greetings – work with the seasons, shorter in summer etc
    • Calm’s in the black – don’t push too hard, enjoy the calm and grow with it
    • Priced to lose – don’t become dependent on a key account think product
    • Launch and learn – don’t use focus groups get your product in use
    • Promise not to promise – it ties your hands and reduces your options
    • Copycats – that’s life move on, your direction not a snapshot in time is key
    • Change control – don’t force everyone to upgrade, they can stay comfy
    • Startups are easy, stayups are hard – don’t burn out, slow and steady wins
    • “No big deal” or “the end of the world”? – one for you one for the customer
    • The good old days – you don’t have to grow, if you happy stay there

Book Notes: Nine Lies About Work

Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World by Marcus Buckingham, Ashley Goodall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lie #1 People care which company they work for

Truth #1 People care which team they’re on

Statistically there is a bigger range of differences between teams which are at the same companies than the average between companies. As such the team you are in and how you feel there is key to your feeling about the company you work for. ADP present eight questions (similar to the ones below) which identify how an employee feels about the team they are in.

  1. I am very enthusiastic about the mission of my company.
  2. At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me.
  3. In my team, I am surrounded by people who share my values.
  4. I have the chance to use my strengths every day at work.
  5. My teammates have my back.
  6. I know I will be recognized when I do excellent work.
  7. I have great confidence in my company’s future.
  8. In my work, I am always challenged to grow further.

Lie #2 The best plan wins

Truth #2 The best intelligence wins

Planning gives a false sense of security – there is no way that the plan can cover all eventualities and fully reduce risk. The solution is to boost intelligence within the teams by

  • Liberating as much information as you possibly can, as fast as possible
  • Watch carefully to see which data your people find useful and improve it
  • Trust your people to make sense of the data

You should catch up with all of your employees once per week to understand their priorities and how you can help. This should limit the number of people you have working for you – the number you can catch up with weekly.

Lie #3 The best companies cascade goals

Truth #3 The best companies cascade meaning

An example is a sales person – giving them a quota does not mean they will sell any more, instead if they reach their quota they will slow or stop selling so they have more orders for next year. For those who can’t get to their quota they face pressure and fear which can turn to inappropriate and sometimes illegal tactics to meet their goals.

Another challenge is that progress towards a goal is not linear – the example used is you can’t be 68% complete on a marathon as you still might not actually finish in which case you achieved 0 marathons.

Finally it’s impossible to compare people not doing the same task as there is no way to calibrate against each of them or understand their own local markets

Instead cascading meaning is more successful through the expression of values, rituals and stories.

Lie #4 The best people are well-rounded

Truth #4 The best people are spiky

Competencies are impossible to measure, and as such it is impossible to prove or disprove that people who excel in a role have particular skills or competencies. These well rounded people are fictitious – in the real world high performers are unique, distinct and outperform exactly because of their differences.

If you think of a range of top singers – they are a range of diversity and that is why some of them can perform some songs better than others. No footballer is equally good with both feet.

Lie #5 People need feedback

Truth #5 People need attention

Giving negative feedback is 40 times more effective than ignoring people, however positive feedback is 120 times more effective than ignoring people – it helps people be more engaged and more productive.

Negative feedback triggers the flight or flight behaviour, as such negative feedback inhibits learning.

Lie #6 People can reliably rate other people

Truth #6 People can reliably rate their own experience

When rating people the ratings people give are more related to the rater than the recipient (Idiosyncratic Rater Effect). The more complex the rating system the more we revert to our own natural rating pattern. Given that the rating system is more about the rater than the recipient it makes it very concerning that we then use this performance measure to significantly impact the recipient in terms of pay, opportunities etc.

Secondly the rating rate tends to come from a small number of people and they are not all well-informed sufficiently to be able to provide valid data so we have data insufficiency.

  • Human beings can never be trained to reliably rate other human beings
  • Rating data derived in this way is contaminated because it reveals far more about the rater than it does of the person being rated
  • The contaminated data can not be removed by adding more contaminated data

Although we are not reliable to rate other people, people can reliably rate their experience. As such questions like “Do you turn to this team member when you want extraordinary results? this is a question where you look inside yourself – you can’t be right or wrong as this is a feeling the data is humbler and at the same time more reliable (does not fluctuate randomly, does not mean accurate).

Lie #7 People have potential

Truth #7 People have momentum

Potential is a very binary differentiator – in reality individuals are unique and they have a momentum in their own unique direction at their own speed. If we start speaking to people to understand them better then we can also both work with them better, give them more appropriate opportunities, they will enjoy themselves more and ultimately give more.

Lie #8 Work-life balance matters most

Truth #8 Love-in-work matters most

We seem to split work and life from each other – meaning we need to balance them. Research has shown that if you spend more than 20% of your time on activities you love then you feel stronger, perform better and bounce back faster.

Lie #9 Leadership is a thing

Truth #9 We follow spikes

Leading id defined by whether anyone else is following – it is a question of human relationships, namely why would anyone choose to devote his or her energies to and take risk on behalf of someone else. Missing this misses the entire point of leadership.

We follow people who we believe in, it is a feeling we have and no two people can cause us to have the same feeling. So leaders should embrace their own idiosyncrasies and use these as part of their own unique leadership style.

We follow leaders who connect us to a mission we believe in, who clarify what’s expected of us, who surround us with people who define excellence the same way we do, who value us for our strengths, who show us that our teammates will always be there for us, who diligently replay our winning plays, who challenge us to keep getting better, and who give us confidence in the future.

Book Notes: Get to the Point!

Get to the Point!: Sharpen Your Message and Make Your Words Matter by Joel Schwartzberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What is the point? Can your point fit into this phrase to form a complete sentence? “I believe that _______________.” For it to be compelling it needs to pass…

The “So What” Test roots out points that pass the “I Believe That” test but may be too shallow to serve as the foundation of a meaningful presentation. You can tell if your point is too shallow or a truism by asking two questions: “Is there a reasonable counterpoint?” and “Can I spend more than a minute defending this point?”

Ask “Why?” to avoid badjectives which make your point vague e.g. “is important”, why is it important? join the two to form a point.

Two ways to Enhance your point

  • Have a single, if there are two points pick your strongest.
  • What’s the greatest impact your idea will effect? If your idea can save lives, protect the peace, or make tons of money, why not use those magic words to sell your point?

Sell your point, don’t share it.You are here to sell your ideas.

A sharer will often say:
“Today, I want to talk a little about X.”
Compare that to the seller:
“Today, I’m going to explain why doing X will lead to Y.”

Making the leap from sharing to selling doesn’t require another college degree, just sharp awareness of your strongest point and its highest value proposition.

Sell with:
I propose . . .
I recommend . . .
I suggest . . .

Knowing what your audience wants from you. e.g. Information, Insight, News or updates, Inspiration, Appreciation, Empathy, Explanation or Comfort.

“power periods” end sentences with a . not (what sounds like) a ?

Present strongly. Remove anything which can get in the way and speak loudly. Pause to help points as you can speak quicker than the audience can understand. End with your point and give it some space.

Five enemies of your point:

  • and – keep your point short and succinct
  • Nonsense words – umm, ah, so
  • All apologies – never apologize or even say “excuse me.”
  • Speed – speak slowly, with greater volume, and with simpler language
  • ignore your inner saboteur –
    • Know your point. Anyone who doesn’t know his or her point should be nervous.
    • Know that the moment is not about you, or even your speech; it’s about your point. All you have to do is deliver it.
    • Practice out loud (not in your head or by mumbling). The key training is having your mouth and your brain collaborate on the conception and conveyance of a point. That can only happen if you’re actually using your mouth.

Tips for presenting

  • Don’t write a speech, it locks you in too tightly.
  • Don’t treat your point like a climax or spoiler
  • Notes should be just your main point and detail you might forget, nothing more
  • Practice out loud
  • Did you tell a story? one that proves, clarifies, or illustrates your point. Explain how the point is relevant to the story
  • Does each slide contribute to the point?
  • Am I prepared to explain the relevance of each slide?
  • Remove or shorten complete sentences
  • Five-and-five – a slide should have no more than five bulleted lines and no more than five words per line.
  • Are your slides readable from the back of the room?
  • Are my slides supporting me or am I supporting my slides? Good presenters don’t let their tech toys make points on their behalf. They stand in the centre of the speaking area, fully in the light, conveying points supported by the slides behind them.

Tips for EMail

  • Put your point in the Subject line
  • Use more bullet points
  • Paragraphs should be no more than three sentence
  • Are the facts correct?
  • Is it grammatically correct?
  • Did I end with a suggestion, a recommendation, or a proposal?

Executive comms

  • Don’t bury your point
  • Keep it tight
  • Did I end with aspiration?
  • Did I remember to say thanks?

Tips for Meetings

  • Know your point.
  • Prepare in advance.
  • Be loud.
  • Use pauses for precision.
  • Say “I recommend” and “I propose.”
  • Mind your word economy.
  • Remember your #1 job: deliver your point.

Tips for Performance reviews

  • Did I start with a general overview?
  • Did I clearly communicate my employee’s challenges and offer examples?
  • Did I offer recommendations for improvement?

Tips for Conference Panel

  • Did I prepare my points in advance?
  • Do I know who I answer to?
  • Do I know everyone’s names?
  • Do I have supporting data in my head?
  • Am I ready to jump in?
  • Did I bring a strategic story?
  • Am I conveying my points or rebutting theirs? As I mentioned earlier, if the conversation takes a wrong turn, don’t follow it down that rabbit hole.
  • Am I showing the audience respect?
  • Am I speaking in complete sentences?
  • Am I responding or reacting? A response is a point formulated to fill a knowledge gap with targeted insight: “Here’s what I believe.” A reaction is a more spontaneous reply, sometimes emotionally driven and defensive: “No, that’s not true at all!”
  • Am I aware of myself? Remember, the audience is always watching you (and cameras may be as well), so for as long as you’re in that seat, look interested, nod at others’ good points, and don’t do anything that would embarrass your mother if she were in the audience. Speak up. Sit up straight. Don’t talk when others are talking. Don’t touch your face.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

Book Notes : The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, George Spafford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is in a story form following someone who has just been promoted and he is trying to deal with a whole lot of different problem but the biggest in The Phoenix Project.  Ignoring the plot the book looks at the following:

The four different types of work

  1. Business projects
  2. Internal projects
  3. Operational changes
  4. Unplanned work (the silent killer which is usually very urgent and very important displacing planned work)

The three ways

The First Way : System Thinking

Here it is about looking at the system as a whole and realising that value does not exist until something is available to the customer.  Thinking at the whole level it is important not to pass known defects downstream, not to let local optimisations make the whole system worse, allows you to look at increasing flow and achieve a full understand of the system as a whole value chain.

The Second Way : Amplified Feedback Loops

Here the aim is to produce learning and build up knowledge, by shortening and amplifying the feedback loops as well as understanding and being able to respond to customers both internal and external.  Realising that value is only delivered when they get to the customer.

The Third Way : Culture of Continuous Experimentation and Learning

This is to build an organisation which is able to take risks and thus experiment.  This learning can build a more resilient and dynamic organisation.  This allows time for the improvement of daily work, creating rituals that reward the team for taking risks and introducing faults into the system to increase resilience.

Theory of Constraints – The Five Focusing Steps

  1. Identify the current constraint
  2. Exploit, make quick improvements to the throughput of the constraint using existing resources.
  3. Subordinate, review all other activities in the process to ensure that they are aligned with and truly support the needs of the constraint.
  4. Elevate consider what further actions can be taken to eliminate it from being the constraint.
  5. Repeat, once one constraint/bottleneck has been removed then another point will start being the bottleneck.

If a task does not add any of the following benefits why is it being done? Improvements to:

  • Capacity of a constraint
  • Scalability
  • Availability
  • Survivability
  • Sustainability
  • Security
  • Supportability
  • Defensibility

Work centres consists of 

  1. Machine
  2. Operator
  3. Method
  4. Measure

Book Notes : Primal Leadership

Primal Leadership: Unleashing the power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Leaders have the highest power to sway our emotions, this can be maximised when their leadership resonates with the people who they lead. This is because there is an open loop between leaders and the people who follow them, this results in a mirroring of the leaders because people pay more attention to what they say and importantly what they do – their emotional reaction has a huge impact. These leaders don’t need to be the formal leaders, but could be the teams emotional leader. This emotional watching results in a contagion of whatever the leader says or does. An emotionally positive mood has significant impact on the group and on results, and because of the impact a leader has this is generally stems from them.

Emotional Intelligence Domains and Associated Competencies

  • Personal
    • Self-Awareness
      • Emotional self-awareness: Reading one’s own emotions and recognising their impact; using “gut feel” to guide decisions
      • Accurate self-assessment: Knowing one’s strengths and limits
      • Self-confidence: A sound sense of one’s self-worth and capabilities.
    • Self-Management
      • Emotional self-control: Keeping disruptive emotions and impulses under control
      • Transparency: Displaying honest and integrity; trustworthiness
      • Adaptability: Flexibility in adapting to changing situations or overcoming obstacles
      • Achievement: The drive to improve performance to meet inner standards of excellence
      • Initiative: Readiness to act and seize opportunities
      • Optimism: Seeing the upside in events
  • Social
    • Social-Awareness
      • Empathy: Sensing others’ emotions, understanding their perspective and taking active interest in their concerns
      • Organisational awareness: Reading the current, decision networks and politics at the organisational level
      • Service: Recognising and meeting follower, client or customer needs
    • Relationship-Management
      • Inspirational leadership: Guiding and motivating with a compelling vision
      • Influence: Wielding a range of tactics for persuasion
      • Developing others: Bolstering others’ abilities through feedback and guidance
      • Change catalyst: Initiating, managing and leading in a new direction
      • Conflict management: Resolving disagreements
      • Building bonds: Cultivating and maintaining a web of relationships
      • Teamwork and collaboration: Cooperation and team building

These result in the following leadership styles

  • Visionary
    • How it builds resonance: Moves people towards shared dreams
    • Impact on climate: Most strongly positive
    • When appropriate: When changes require a new vision or when a clear direction is needed
  • Coaching
    • How it builds resonance: Connects what a person wants with the organisation’s goals
    • Impact on climate: Highly positive
    • When appropriate: To help an employee improve performance by building long-term capabilities
  • Affiliative (relationship building)
    • How it builds resonance: Creates harmony by connecting people to each other
    • Impact on climate: Positive
    • When appropriate: To heal rifts in a team, motivate during stressful times, or strengthen connections
  • Democratic
    • How it builds resonance: Values people’s input and gets commitment through participation
    • Impact on climate: Positive
    • When appropriate: To build buy-in or consensus or to get valuable input for employees
  • Pacesetting
    • How it builds resonance: Meets challenging and exciting goals
    • Impact on climate: Because too frequently poorly executed, often highly negative
    • When appropriate: To get high-quality results from a motivated and competent team
  • Commanding
    • How it builds resonance: Soothes fears by giving clear direction in an emergency
    • Impact on climate: Because so often misused, highly negative
    • When appropriate: In a crisis, to kick start a turnaround or with problem employees

Jumping between all four resonant leadership styles Visionary, Coaching, Affiliative & Democratic can prove a great mix for a leader.  If a leader constantly uses the Pacesetting or Commanding style this can have very negative impacts on the team and can cause toxic organisations.

CEO Disease : The information vacuum around a leader when people withhold important and sometimes unpleasant information.

Self-directed learning through the five discoveries:

  1. My ideal self: Who do I want to be?
  2. My real self: Who am I?
    1. My strengths: Where my ideals and real self overlap
    2. My gaps: Where my ideal and real self differ
  3. My learning agenda: Building on my strengths while reducing gaps
  4. Experimenting with new behavior, thoughts and feelings
    1. Practicing the new behavior, building new neural pathways through to mastery.  Bring bad habits into awareness, consciously practice a better way and rehearse that new behavior at every opportunity
  5. Developing trust and relationships that help, support and encourage each step

Listening to peoples feelings people tend to come to a consensus and paint a picture of an organisation.

When looking to spread a new culture it has to be championed widely, else the people who are evangelised the new culture first could be shot down by other parts of the orgsanisation who have not been informed about the new direction.

Book Notes : Great Boss Dead Boss

Great Boss, Dead Boss: How to exact the very best performance from your company and not get crucified in the process by Edgar H. Schein
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This is a book written in a story style which presents the idea of tribes and how these are how people in a business operate.

The book presents tribal dimensions:

  1. Individuals are socially, emotionally, and psychologically defined by their tribal membership.
  2. Individual Security (IS): Individuals act to reinforce their security when under threat.
  3. Individual Value (IV): Individuals act to reinforce their self-worth when their security is not under threat.
  4. Tribal Security (TS): Tribes act to secure their self-preservation if their security is under threat.
  5. Tribal Value (TV): Tribes act to reinforce their self-worth when their security is not under threat.

Though the book various things happen which are then evaluated against the dimensions in a positive or negative way.  Initially the idea of positive tribal and individual security is presented as a bad thing resulting in complacency, process focus, rules and regulations, in fighting and backstabbing, taking no risk or innovation however during the rest of the book TS+ and IS+ are presented as good things – to me security is more nuanced than positive or negative.

The book presents a continuum from corporate failure at TS-IS- up to TV+IV+, as follows, with actions to progress to the next stage.

Status Action
TV+ IV+ Maintain the status quo.  Set new just cause.
TV- IV+ Work to improve TV+. Reinforce super tribe.  Emphasis just cause.
TV- IV- Reaffirm individual’s capability.  Define common enemy.
TV+ IV- Identify source of IV-, create new source of IV+
TS+ IS+ Define and create new source of TV+ Create new superordinate tribe.  Create source of IV+
TS- IS+ Reinforce the rite of passage.  Reinforce common enemy.  Reinforce just cause.
TS- IS- Redefine source of power, just cause, common enemy.  Replace leadership.
TS+ IS- Reaffirm IV+, beware of sub-tribes, seeing others as common enemy.  Replace leadership or reeducate leaders.

The book presents tribal attributes:

  1. A strong tribe must have a common enemy.
  2. A strong tribe has clearly defined symbols.
  3. A strong tribe offers a super ordinate identity to all sub-tribes.
  4. A strong tribe has a credible, just cause for its continued existence.
  5. A strong tribe has an accepted rite of passage.
  6. A strong tribe has clear external measures of success.
  7. A strong tribe understands and protects its source of power.
  8. A strong tribe knows how it compares to the “untouchables.”
  9. The criteria for tribal membership are clear and credible.
  10. Tribes communicate in a non-traditional, subjective, and intuitive manner.
  11. A strong tribe develops its own unique language.
  12. Tribal roles are fundamentally different from accepted functional roles.
  13. Strong tribes record and celebrate significant events that reinforce their identity and value.
  14. A strong tribe has a clearly defined and well-known justice mechanism.
  15. A strong tribe has a clearly defined icon that embodies the tribal value.
  16. A strong tribe has a walled city–a place of refuge where things of value to the tribe are kept.
  17. A strong tribe possesses objects of value that embody the tribe’s value.
  18. A strong tribe has a revered figurehead.
  19. A strong tribe celebrates and cares for the skills, tools, and implements required for its prosperity.
  20. A strong tribe expects unquestioning loyalty.
  21. A strong tribe has clearly defined roles, responsibilities, values, authority, power structure, and chain of command.
  22. A strong tribe has a leader dedicated to the tribe’s success.
  23. Strong leaders have capable mentors whose psychological limits exceed their own.

The book provides a grid detailing communication between tribes and individuals and their impact.

Communication Result
Enemy Tribe to Tribe Potential to harm or destroy the tribe, creates TV- or TS-
Ally Tribe to Tribe Has potential to strengthen the tribe. Creates TV+ or TS+.
Enemy Tribe to Individual Expulsion, eviction, discipline, creates IV- or IS-
Ally Tribe to Individual Promotion, join inner circle, seat on the board creates IV+ or IS+
Enemy Individual to Tribe Company sabotage, leak secrets, spread rumours, creates TV- or TS-
Ally Individual to Tribe Supports the just cause, attack common enemy, creates TV+ or TS+
Enemy Individual to Individual Dislike one another, threats and accusations. Creates IV- or IS-
Ally Individual to Individual Good friends, supportive creates IV+ or IS+

The book presents a list of tribal and organisational roles, this is not very well explained and magically the book restructures the organisation by magic.

Tribal Role Traditional Organisational Role
Hunter Sales person
Farmer Manufacturing
Care giver Human resources
Cheif CEO
Elder Board member
Herder Accountant
Story Teller Advertising
Witch doctor Financial analyst
Spy Public relations
Builder Maintenance