The Importance of Action

I am the kind of person who lacks the motivation to do things. In an article called “You Don’t Need More Information–You Need More Action”, Daniel Decker states that he often finds himself putting off work because he cannot find the motivation to get started. I think that this is a problem for all types of leaders.

After reading this article, I now know more ways to turn my ideas into actions. The first item that I found interesting is that usually we already have enough information but are simply lacking the action. I think this is true in most cases.

When we want to do things, we always want to find more information and do more research. We forget to make the idea a reality. I think we already have enough information; just do it! This is a great way to encourage ourselves to do things. The worst part about looking for more information is that we sometimes wait for months or years to do the things we want to do that are not yet started.

Decker stated that, “Small actions over time create big results”. This is a tiny reminder from the author. Taking myself for example, sometimes I want to clean my room and it takes around one hour. In the future, if I want to clean my room, maybe I can start with something small, like tossing all of my papers in the trash.

Decker also said that he has worked with many stressful people. When those people want to do something, they always said that the information they gathered is not 100 percent. I found the idea that “perfection is a myth” quite interesting. To be honest, I was shocked by the 4 words. Too many times I have said to myself that it is not the perfect time right now. The idea that perfection is a myth solves that.

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Tips to Reach High-Level Leading

I think to some extent we are all leaders. For example, in a study group the instructor may randomly pick leaders. Also, in our ordinary life, sometimes we teach and help our friends to do things. These are all leadership experiences. So the question is how do you become a better leader? And how do you improve your leadership skills?

The best leader are insatiable learners. I found an article from Harvard Business Review that related to this idea. This article said: “Gardner, who died in 2002 at the age of 89, was a legendary public intellectual and civic reformer…Gardner was so serious about this learning imperative, so determined that the message would get through, that he wrote the speech out in advance because he wanted ‘every sentence to hit its target'”.

In Taylor’s opinion, people out there in today’s society are more stale than what they know and more bored than they would care to admit. People in large-scale organizations always ask “how can I be so bored when I’m so busy?”. People that are young are trapped in fixed attitudes and habits. His solution was that we should keep learning, growing and changing.

An important word he mentioned was “ambition”. “After all, ambition eventually wears out and probably should. But you can keep your zest until the day you die,” he stated.

Keep learning and changing. I think that is easy to understand, but hard to act upon. As a leader, we should always remember this.

In another article, there were some tips to be a great leader. “Remember, just because someone is offended doesn’t mean you are wrong”. This happens a lot, that we push ourselves back to the beginning position in a negotiation, because someone was offended. This tip reminded me to be critical and to be confident with myself.

“Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.” – Dale Partridge

There are two things that define a leader. When they have nothing, their consistence, and the patient that they practice define their success. When they have everything, their attitude toward learning challenging things will define whether they can or cannot be a successful leader.

“The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins

This is a very important element of defining the success of a leader. As a leader, we should take massive actions sometimes, and not think and gather too much information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Influence

One of the primary tasks for leaders is to influence people. In ordinary life, most of us want to have influence. After reading this short article, I have a better idea of how to make a difference.

First, influence comes with agreement. In your career, “[if] you want to persuade someone to take a particular course of action, you need some agreements about what needs to be done and who will do it”. This truly happened in my life. Once I had a group project, and I was the group leader. I assigned the group works to each of my group members, including myself. Through negotiation and discussion, we came to an agreement on what each member should do. This is a simple example of how the leadership can influence work.

Second, the term “positional bargaining” was introduced in the article. “Positional bargaining happens when one person lays out a case and the other counters with an argument in favor of his or her own position”. The winner would be the side wielding the most power, and the loser would resent the loss. To be honest, that is not a situation that I would like to encounter. I am that type of person that does not want to have conflict with others. I will do my best to avoid this situation in the future.

 

Coaching

As we know, coaching is essential to leadership situations. We all have experience with either coaching people or being coached. The question is: what is effective coaching?  In a blog from All Things Workplace, the author has 4 elements to help leaders better coach followers.

Clarity

“Ultimately, nothing will happen until you gain laser-like clarity on the issue or goal”. I think clarity should happen before beginning. In the very first stage, the opinion and ideas should be clear of what you want to express to people. That is very important. For example, teachers to some extent, are coaching students. In a lecture, I can sit in the class for over one hour, but in the end not know what the teacher was talking about. I think in some cases, it is related to clarity. I do not know what the teacher want to express due to a lack of clarity.

Confirmation

“When I repeated the phrase and asked him if that’s where he wanted to go he smiled and his energy level went up noticeably. As a coach or client, ask the question: Is the excitement increasing because you’ve hit upon the real thing or an exciting thing?”.  I think it’s important to confirm the goal setting. It’s also important to confirm that you are doing things correctly.

Communication

“When we keep a goal or an issue to ourselves, there’s no accountability for action. Once we state our desires or intentions to other people, we have a much greater chance of success.”(Steve) It is really important in human relationship, not only coaching and leadership. What I mean is not normal communications. But communicate with effectiveness. To effectively communicate and negotiate with others is a significant way to help better understand each other’s and share opinions. Also, effective communication can help you can avoid the further dilemma sometimes. For example, after many communication I did with my parents, they will understand what I was thinking about, and to be better decide how to coaching me in a better way.

Commitment

“Create an immediate action–something that will happen today”. This emphasizes the importance of action. “Without a commitment and follow-up, it’s easy to feel good about the session and still have nothing happen. (I hate when nothing happens!)”. Without commitment, action will not happen.

 

Boundaries

This article is full of advice on how to “experience less stress, enhanced relationships, improved health, and better time management, then you must learn to set boundaries” in business careers. And I think this is suitable for all leaders.  I personally found many of the ideas quite interesting.

First, to help when dealing with an angry person say something like, “‘You are a valued customer, but I will not tolerate this type of verbal abuse. If this is how you are going to treat me, I need to hang up the phone'”. I think this is very interesting, because most of the time we were told to be humble and polite. This gave me the option to stand up for myself. I am thinking that sometimes I faced a dilemma because I did not set boundaries. That will be a very useful tactic to release stress.

If you are busy and people ask you to do extra work, you could say “’While this organization and the people in it are very important to me, I can’t make any new commitments until I fulfill my current list of responsibilities'”. I don’t think that is a way of avoiding responsibility. It shows your dedication to the organization, and helps you to have more time to focus on your own tasks.

If you business partner is deciding things without you, you could say, “‘I admire your ability to quickly make decisions; however, when those decisions impact me, I would appreciate being included in the decision-making process. Is that fair enough?’”. What impact me in this situation is that the author emphasized the importance of me as an identity in the organization. This advice will be useful in the future.

According to the article, the first step to set boundaries is self-awareness. For example, when you feel exhausted or feel stress or guilt, you should identity things that bother you. I think most people realize when things bother them, when they have those feelings, but the problem is how to solve those issues.

The second step is to be respectful, control self-emotions, and use a respectful tone with co-workers. I think that is reasonable, because even you feel bad in an organization. That is not a reason to be rude.

Being consistent with boundaries is important. Once you give in, people will open the door for future abuse.

Those are really some useful tactics that I think most people will encounter in their careers. So, as a result, setting boundaries becomes extremely important.

 

How to Have a Great Company

In an article called “Let Go of What Made Your Company Great”, Vijay Govindarajan gave suggestions based on his research of successful past companies.

The first term I learned was exploiting and exploring business. This is a very hard decision that is made by the company, and there are several reasons for this. First, there would be a huge shift in the further business systems, structures, processes, and cultures, after the manager or leaders decided to do that. “It’s hard for managers, especially those who excel in the current system, to explore new unchartered terrain. And even harder for them to notice that many entrenched mindsets have lost relevance in changing circumstances that require exploring for new businesses”. This suggest that leaders forget the old ways before moving on to new ones. To be honest, I have little experience in this area.  In my senior year of high school, I had to decide whether to stay in China, or learn English and study abroad. I have to say that it is an extremely difficult process to learn and use a brand new language well.

The solution for letting go depends on what challenges the firm has that shape it. The example illustrated in the article said, “When the Willow Creek Association saw its once-popular nondenominational conferences and training decline in attendance and revenues, the organization made the difficult and painful but necessary decision to eliminate two-thirds of its 150-person workforce in order to rid itself of obsolete knowledge to prepare the organization for new sources of growth”.

There were 2 types of small challenges that the author mentioned. The first was “a smaller challenge for only part of the organization”. The solution for this challenge is the simplest one, and the leader can decide what to do with this challenge. They can choose to solve locally to change the behaviors, systems, or processes that are no longer as relevant to where the company is going in the future. They just have to make sure this won’t grow into a bigger problem in the future.

“A smaller challenge for the entire organization” is the second type of small challenge. A technique for challenge is to practice portfolio reconfiguration.

From this article, I have learned how hard it can be for a leader to give up old ways. I also learned two different types of challenges that can occur and ways to solve those.

I am hoping to prevent these types of changes. Because the article mentioned that, in the past, those companies who did exploit and explore new areas went through a very hard time. But I think in the end, there were companies who made it and were successful in different business areas. On the other hand, many companies declared bankruptcy because of this process. I am considering ways to prevent this from happening. And after happening, I am considering how to solve the problems.

Good Management Matters

“Good management matters…If you’re reading this you probably don’t need convincing, but one of the most significant milestones in economic research over the last several years was documenting empirically that it really is true.”

After reading that in an article by Walter Frick, I was wondering how significant it really is and what kind of evidence the author has to prove that.

Reading on, I found the evidence that proves the hypothesis of how management matters to a firm. Businesses were surveyed, and those with better management showed 23% greater productivity.  “Variation in management accounts for nearly a quarter of the roughly 30% productivity gap between the U.S. and Europe”.

After reading this, I learned the importance of having good managers at the start of my career. Also I have to be a good leader when I rise to that level in a firm.

I do have some questions for the author. First is how do you define the good or bad management in a firm or company? Because the statistics provided by the author stated that firm with good management had 23% greater productivity. The article did not really illustrate how they compared with other firms. Second, what about other factors? Because it did not say how they evaluate the manager either.

So, in summary, this article shows some elements of good management that are required. However, I’d like to see more evidence.

Millennial Leaders

What Kind of Leaders Are Millennials?

In today’s society, many companies are growing to immense sizes in a very short of time. Companies such as Google, Facebook, and Instagram are impacting today’s society and economy in many aspects. Millennial leaders are our future leaders. And their choices will impact our lives in different ways.

A blog called “What Kind of Leaders Are Millennials?” by Hannah Morgan spoke about the indispensable elements of millennial leaders.  In previous blogs I have mentioned the Millennial leaders. These blog ideas are based on a survey conducted by a professional organization. This article more specifically defined the term millennial leaders.

One interesting thing I found is that around 91 percent of Millennials are seeking leadership responsibilities, and more than half are women. I think that is interesting because in today’s society more than half the leaders in work places are men. So, that probably means that the population of leaders will become more equally distributed between the two genders. Hopefully then, we might have better world.

The first element of Millennial Leaders is “leading with the heart”. The survey showed that over 50% defined leadership as “empowering others to succeed”. Only 5 percent said money and 1 percent claimed to want power. So, it could be treat as a trend, that Millennial leader wants to help others. If you help others succeed, the business will grow and the firm can stand more social responsibilities.

The second element is “leading with purpose”. “More than 60 percent of aspiring millennial leaders ‘want to challenge and inspire their followers with a sense of purpose and excitement,’ according to the study, which termed this leadership style as transformational.” This leadership style is transformational because they want their work to give back to society.

The third element is “making leadership fit”.  As we know, Millennials value flexibility. “28 percent of millennials are concerned that being a leader may disrupt their treasured work-life balance”. Some Millennials would rather pass the opportunity for being a leader. So, the task that Millennials should accomplish with is to find an equivalent way to balance that.

In the end, the term for millennials is “filling the gaps”.  The gaps between the new leaders and the old. Because the millennials are relatively young and inexperienced. Most of them realize that they are lacking experience. Research found “that 53 percent are eager to learn from mentors”. Some companies already provide mentoring programs which work “to foster a two-way transfer of knowledge and have started to implement reverse mentoring programs that enable senior or more seasoned employees and leaders to learn from tech-savvy millennials”. After reading this, I feel that we are a generation that are very lucky because there are so many programs that tell us how to do better in the workplace. What millennials need to do is to ask and search for help when they have problems with their current work or study. Also, the way of self-study cannot be lacking. Without the action and movement to search and find the information, the leadership cannot be built by others.

 

Keys to Living Courageously

10 Keys to Living Courageously

Surprisedly, I found a short article on the N2 Growth Leadership blog. I think the 10 keys posted by the author for leadership are very helpful and significant, and I wanted to share them. 

  1. “You are born with the seeds of greatness within you”

“Embrace the your inner you”.

I think short words sometimes give a leader power and confidence. The reason I say this is because on the road of career or study, we always encounter problems or questions. Sometimes, for me as an example, I will lack confidence and begin questioning myself. That is very common, and sometimes when I question myself, I conclude that my failure is a personal problem. However, it is very important to remember who I am and what my strengths are. To accept and embrace the core of who you are, it just sounds easy for us, but most of the time we cannot do this.

  1. “There is only one authentic you”

“You are the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Without you the world doesn’t quite fit together”.

I think these words have two types of meaning. First, I am what I am. Sometimes, I question and imitate others. Probably because others are more successful than me in the current situation. I think a lot of the time people will get lost because they forget who they are. Second, sometimes we feel useless and lack confidence in some situations. We must remember the talent and ability we can bring to organizations which are unique.  

  1. “You are an integral part of the whole universe”

I think this key has a similar meaning to the second one.

  1. “You are committed to something bigger than yourself”

I learned from this that sometime I have responsibility for others.  

  1. “The future is yours to create”

I think from this, I learned that I have an imagination and dreams for my future. As leaders should consider what will happen in the next 2 or 20 years. 

  1. “There are no limits”

People like to set limitation and termination for their goals. This happens often. I think that as a leader we should assume that there are no limitations with reasonable condition. Sometimes as we close the goals, we push the goals back a little. Then we could do it better.

  1. “You are free to choose to stand for what you care about?

I think this is a way to help leaders set direction. The true freedom is to do what we care about with our own values.

  1. “All life is sacred and connected”

This is also a very interesting idea in my opinion. This remind us not to be conceited, at first. Sometimes decisions should be made after negotiation and communication in a team or organization. Also, it reminds leaders that sometimes you can ask for others help, because all the members in a team are connected.

  1. “You are committed to being extraordinary”

I think those are simple and useful words to encourage leaders.

  1. “You belong”

“You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. You don’t have to be or do anything to belong — you already are.”

I think this also has a similar meaning to “embrace the inner you”.

Millennial Leadership

The article “Thinking Ahead–Millennial Leadership” by Brody Clemmer discusses the requirements and conditions that relate to a millennial leader. Millennials are a generation that reach adulthood in the 21st century.  As a result, millennial leadership technically means the leaders of today’s society.

So, there were couple of question that came to mind when I read this. How is a millennial leader or leadership different from the past?, and how do you become a successful millennial leader?

A quote from the blog stated: “Currently, many of the millennial leaders that we see are not leaders at all, they are entrepreneurs and creators”. So, how can entrepreneurs or creators be leaders? The answer from the article is that “if they were able to take over the firm to be a 50 years+ old organization”, then they probably could count as a leader.

Personally, I think that is a way to define the Millennial Leadership. Also, he mentioned by this to set an eco-system business. So that the business can grow 50+ years old. By looking down the article, I found ways of how millennial leadership be settled.

Now, let me introduce the opinions from the article I learned about “Millennial Leadership”. There were 4 elements to be a qualified millennial leader. First is “Adaptive Communication”. In short, the adaptive communication is not singular messages pushed to the masses, bur negotiate the messages or information effectively. Plus, in today’s society the global economy and market are connected more and more intense. So, the communication way must change.

Second factor connect with “Millennial Leadership” is “A Switch from Collaboration to Open Education”.  The author opinion toward this is “ a land filled with empty promises of menainful collaboration”(Brody). And in order to improve this  we need to make the “collaboration more structured and opportunistic.

Third, it comes to term of “Social Responsibility”. I think that term have been mention many times in business lectures. What I found by the author opinion is quite thankful. First, he mention that “Millennials have been notoriously associated with ‘do well by doing good’ movement”. As a solution by him is to set “doing well by doing good both from a social and financial impact aspect” ( Brody). As my opinion to this view, I think that is very important to a business organization. In today’s business, many of company did not do well in social responsibility. Many firms are greedy and only think of their current business and income. This is really important for business growth.

Finally, the author mention about the salary. In short, the author opinion toward this is in order to get most talent people, the leader have to pay and treat them well. Also he think, in order to get loyal and grateful workers, the leader have to loyal and grateful to his employee or team members. I think the opinion toward the salary is very good. However, one thing the author did not mention is what if the worker or employee is not the most talent people; or in other words, they just have normal skills that can finishes their work on the normal level. So my question is how to treat them, and what kind of salary to give those people. Also, I think many of companies want the most talent people, and promise to give with top salary. As a solution with that, I think that is something related to the social responsibility. The leader have to give their enough salary related to their skill or talent level, also give promise or sign contract with not fire those people easily.