Leader as Teacher


Leader as teacher does not mean leader as authoritarian expert whose job it is to teach people the ‘correct’ view of reality. Rather, it is about helping everyone in the organization, oneself included, to gain more insightful views of current reality. This is in line with a popular emerging view of leaders as coaches, guides, or facilitators. In learning organizations, this teaching role is developed further by virtue of explicit attention to people’s mental models and by the influence of the systems perspective.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

The Ideal Dream Seed


Success would be simple if we could go to a store and tell the merchant, “Sell me a dream that is guaranteed to make me happy and wealthy.” But we can’t. dream seeds are not for sale. Nor can they be inherited, borrowed, or otherwise transferred. Friends, parents and teachers may suggest goals, but only you can answer, “What dream is best for me?”

You may often ask, “Where can I make a lot of money?” in a way, that question is like asking on a bright day, “Where is the sunlight?” or, asking aboard a ship on the ocean, “Where is the water?”

The answer to “Where is the money?” is: “Everyhere.” Jobs have great economic potential. Most musicians earn small incomes. But a few earn millions every year. Typically, ministers are poorly paid. But some are richly rewarded financially. Many small business owners earn little. But some prosper and reap fantastic rewards.

In terms of economic opportunity, it is not the occupation that makes a person prosper. It is the person who makes the person prosper.

The best dream seed is the one you can’t get out of your mind – an idea that never leaves you, a cause or a purpose that absorbs you, an obsession. That one thing you must do is your ideal dream seed.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

Avoiding Uncertainty


How do people deal with conflict, particularly aggression and the expression of feelings? High uncertainty avoidance favors precise rules, teachers who are always right and superiors who should be obeyed without question. Low uncertainty avoidance leads to flexibility, and a situation in which arguing with superiors is acceptable and students are happy with teachers who do not claim to know everything.

In weak uncertainty avoidance cultures, managers and non-managers alike feel definitely uncomfortable with systems of rigid rules, especially if it is evident that many of these were never followed. In strong uncertainty avoidance cultures people feel equally uncomfortable without the structure of a system of rules, even if many of these are impractical and impracticable.

The choice of structure is strongly influenced by the prevalent culture. A culture with high power distance and strong uncertainty avoidance prefers a functional ‘pyramid of people’ hierarchy. Lower power distance but high uncertainty avoidance encourages a ‘well-oiled machine’: an organization with a clear structure, rules and procedures.

The control process also helps managers deal with problems arising outside the firm. If the firm is the subject of negative publicity, for example, management should use the control process to determine why and to guide the firm’s response.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

 

The New Work of Leaders


Our traditional view of leaders—as special people who set the direction, make key decisions, and energize the troops—is deeply rooted in an individualistic and nonsystematic worldview. Especially in the West, leaders are heroes—great men (and occasionally women) who rise to the fore in times of crisis. So long as such myths prevail, they reinforce a focus on short-term events and charismatic heroes rather than on systematic forces and collective learning.

Leadership in learning organizations centers on subtler and ultimately more important work. In a learning organization, leaders’ roles differ dramatically from that of the charismatic decision-maker. Leaders are designers, teachers, and stewards. These roles require new skills: the ability to build shared vision, to bring to the surface and challenge prevailing mental models, and to foster more systematic patterns of thinking. Leaders are responsible for building organizations where people are continually expanding their capabilities to shape their future—that is, leaders are responsible for learning.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, and my Lectures.

The Androgynous Manager


Clearly, the corporate world is still a man’s world. Under this male-bastion model, corporations, for a number of reasons, are losing out as much as women. Every corporation wants the most competent people woking on their side. But companies which permit themselves the luxury of unconsciously sexist attitudes lose out on a wealth of talent which resides equally in men and women. That is simply bad for business.

 When women and men are segregated in the workplace, formulating stereotype of each other’s behavior, they can become blind to genuine abilities each possesses. Women, for example, are rarely considered great-deal-makers.

 But women are actually more flexible, less deceptive, more emphatic, and more likely to reach agreement, while men are just the opposite. When a man visualizes a negotiating situation, he sees it as a one-shot deal to win or lose, like a sport or a game. A woman sees it as part of a long-term relationship. Since most business situations involve long-term relationships, the female approach is more productive.

 But in the information society, as the manager’s role shifts to that of the teacher, mentor, and nurturer of human potential, there is even more reason for corporations to take advantage of women’s managerial abilities, because these people-oriented traits are the ones women are socialized to possess.

 The problem is that most women feel that they must be more like men if they are too succeed in a male-dominated corporate environment and that is a mistake both for women and for companies.

 The appropriate style for the manager of the 80s was an androgynous blend, one that combined the best of traditional male and female traits.

 Men and women should learn from one another without abandoning successful traits they already possess. Men can learn to be more collaborative and intuitive, yet remain result-oriented. Women need not give up being nurturing in order to learn to be comfortable with power and conflict. Women can transform the workplace by expressing, not by giving up their personal values.

 My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Business writing


All organizations need people who can write well. In a world which depends so much on information and technology, organizations need people who can present information and ideas clearly. When you are on this job, you’re no longer writing for a teacher but for a living.

 

A written message …

  • Gives you time to think about, organize, and edit what you want to say.
  • Communicates a specific message that doesn’t wander like a phone conversation or informal dialogue.
  • Provides both the sender and the receiver with the copy of important details—why the message was sent and what action should be taken. The result: official record.
  • Generally carries more weight—is taken more seriously—than the spoken word.
  • Can be sent to many people conveniently.

 

All business writing—no matter if you are writing a letter, a resume, or a memo—share the following characteristics:

Starting Point: Business writing begins when you have a need to make contact with another person to conduct some form of commerce.

Purpose: The purpose is to discuss, announce, clarify, or confirm a specific business-related matter. On another level, the purpose is to begin or continue some action pertaining to the matter.

Form: In business writing, it’s important to follow the basic standards of form and style. People in the workplace don’t have time for surprises. They want letters and memos to be presented in recognizable formats so they are easy to follow. Writing in the business world is a highly structured and functional form of communication.

Audience: In most cases, you are speaking to one specific individuals (or groups) about one particular form of business. Always provide your audience with the necessary information to act upon your request, concern, or announcement.

Voice: Speak clearly, concisely, and courteously in business writing. Think of your writing as one part of a direct and sincere conversation with your reader.

Point of view:  Use the first person (1) point of view in person-to-person communication and the third person in most general messages and memos.

 

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact www.asifjmir.com, Line of Sight

Warping Higher Customer Satisfaction


You can improve your management of others to enable you to deliver higher customer satisfaction:

  1. Listen to other people around you,  no matter what their experience or lack of it and listen without judgment–every opinion is a valid one. If you hear two or three ideas together they can often spark a fourth, which you wouldn’t have arrived at if you’d heard them with a judgment.
  2. Use praise. Use praise more frequently and more sincerely than you’ve ever done in the past. Every night when you go home, if you’re a manager or even if you are not, ask yourself have I said thank you? to three people for three different things today? If you haven’t, it either means one of two things: that no body that you work with, or for, has actually done anything which is worth saying thank you for , or that they have done things of note but you haven’t noticed.
  3. If you can’t say something positive, don’t say anything. If you went into a meeting with your manager and they ran through a list of 20 things that they were pleased with and just as you were leaving they delivered one negative criticism, the chances are that this is the one thought that would stay with you, the other 20 would disappear in the length and shadow of the negative criticism. Negative criticism has virtually no practical application. If you have to say something then think it through and put it into a positive context. Remember that people will normally do the best they can with what they have. If they are not doing the best that they can, then you need to help them to see what can be done and what talents, resources, or alternatives exist for the.
  4. Always be seen to be fair and honest. If there’s one thing that can demotivate staff and people around you quicker than almost anything, it is people having favorites.
  5. Share your concerns. Managing a customer service team, an organization, or being an entrepreneur is not an easy job. Whilst you need to be decisive and have confidence and courage that inspires people, there is much to be gained from being open and sharing your own hopes, dreams and concerns.  One of the things that people often like in working in a small business, perhaps one which has an entrepreneurial flair to it, is the enthusiaism and the sheer energy that those people can put into theirday and they do, every signle day. Remind people what you’re doing, where you’re going and why you do what you do.
  6. Become a teacher. Instead of finding fault, managing by exception, and pointing out where people are going wrong, become obsessed with helping people become twice as good as they are now. If you manage people, or you aspire to manage or lead people, then your goal should be to make sure thatas quickly as possible they can do their job twice as well as they’re doing it now, even if it means them being promoting or leaving. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing other people around you do well, especially if you know you’ve contributed to that. Don’t ask yourself what can I do for myself?  Instead, ask yourself, how can I help my team become a better team?  Take a few minutes at regular intervals, at random times during the day if necessary, and teach people different ways of doing things–upgrade their skills, explain different aspects of the business, formalize it–put together different training programs so that people, over a period of time, will really move forward in both their skills, their knowledge and their habits.
  7. Kiesin is a Japanese word that has no equivalent in the English language. It roughly translates as constant and never ending improvement.  The Japanese philosophy is to do a thousand things one percent better not one thing a thousand percent better. This means that everybody that you work with–every supplier, every employee, and every manager, everybody in the customer satisfaction value chain–should be constantly required to innovate, to improve and suggest ideas. Coming up with ways to improve how things are done, should  almost become a mandatory part of any job.
  8. Develop yourself. If there’s one way that you can get other people to become more interested and more focused on improving themselves, it is to lead by example. Take time out to go on training courses, even though you masy be too busy. Take time to read useful information, not just novels, books or newspapers but actual up-to-date books and tesxts from the experts within your industry. Practise your skills, use them and make sure that they’re developed as far as they possibly can be. If it means learning a new language or learning a skill that you don’t have then take on the challenge. It is very difficult to manage people well if you have low self esteem but if you feel good about yourself and you have that feeling of progress and achievement, then it is very hard for this not to rub off on other people.
  9. Only do the most important things. Ask yourself that question or a version of it every single minute of the day:Is what I’m doing now helping directly or indirectly to increase the number and quality of the customers our organization has? Because if it doesn’t affect the customer, it shouldn’t be done.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transformserorganizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please contact Asif J. Mir