Emotional Intelligence Part 2

Have just re-visited some videos on emotional intelligence:

The Art of Managing Emotions

You would find some of my previous posts on Emotional Intelligence: here and here.

Whilst emotional intelligence is critical to success in managing emotions in personal life, managing customer service and organisation leadership, I think we need more empirical evidence and researches to support those claims relating to Emotional Intelligence and its impact on individuals and organisation.

Refer to this presentation by Peter Salovey on Emotional Intelligence.

Some papers on Emotional Intelligence (EI): here on EI and here on the measurement of EI.

My reflection of Leadership in a networked world

If people haven’t heard a word from the leader and could still achieve the goals, then he/she could be the greatest leader. Why? Because, his or her actions speak out what he or she wants to communicate, not by words. It’s what people act (and serve) in the community/network that makes good leadership. And great leadership must come from people who shared the vision, when everyone becomes a leader, and at the end of the journey said: “We did it ourselves” (a quote from Lao Tze on leaders). The greatest leaders do not seek for fame or honor, like Jesus, but do require people to think, reflect and act, so we live our lives in full, despite obstacles and challenges.

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond Management and Leadership Part 2

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management versus Leadership is well explained here.

In times of change, transformational leadership seems to provide a superior solution in leading the group or team.  Transformational leaders seek to transform.  Transformational leadership could also be used in peer mentoring.

Another form of leadership is distributed leadership.  It involves forming small teams with distributed leadership.

In the case of networks, what would leadership look like?

In this Applying Design Thinking and Complexity Theory in Agile Organization by Jean Tabaka, the focus of leadership in networks would be based on emergence and resilience.  To this end, I reckon distributed cognition, with distributed and emergent leadership would be a way to go.  This leadership characteristics may be based on the Cynefin Model as developed by Dave Snowden.

Picture: Google image

The sort of leadership style that likely makes sense in networking would then be based on an emergent practice.  This requires an emergent and resilient leadership style to steer the networks.  Action by leaders in such networks include probe, sense and respond in complex networks.

How to move beyond management and leadership in networks?

The most effective sort of leadership in networks may emerge out of a blend of peer leadership and servant leadership.

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond management and leadership Part 1

Here I ponder how one could move beyond the management and leadership concept of learning in a non-hierarchical organisational setting such as networks or MOOC.  John Spencer says in this post I don’t want to manage my class:

Leadership is messy. It takes longer. It is often more confusing, more painful and more counterintuitive than management.

I shared John’s belief, and that leadership relates principally to relationship, and how one could influence the others through a combination of powers, affection, touch of feelings and understanding of emotions, through empathy and resonance.

I have posted the following quotes with comments in the post:

1. Leaders must exemplify the expected standards of behavior – wow, that is the tribal approach, sure! The tribal leader would determine what standards of behavior would be praised, rewarded, amplified, or show as an exemplary to all followers, or would declare such behaviors as the heroic action in the tribal manifestation.  Magnificent motto!

2. We must engage emotionally with students in their world – wow! Are leaders emotional counselors or “manipulators” of their students?  Of course students are emotional humans, just like their teachers.  So what is the role of the teacher in their students’ emotional journey?

3. Teachers and principals themselves are sometimes actors.  What sort of actors?  Why? How to act?

To me, the whole of education leadership lies with the building and sustaining of relationship in between agents, actors, entities, networks and communities.  This would take connections and connectivity to new dimensions – which would relate to people psychologically, mentally, and may be spiritually.  This stems from ideas shared among the agents (leader – followers, or everyone being a leader and follower), where information and knowledge are remixed and shaped by each individual to make sense of the interaction and ideas shared.

Leadership in essence is coming into understanding or co-forming of certain beliefs that would reinforce one’s existing experience (both leaders and followers), or leading each others to new and novel experiences in life.

This sort of leadership is emergent in nature, in that it evolves out of the interaction, based on deep reflection of one’s rooted beliefs, and challenges one to re-think about the philosophy often adopted towards certain fundamental concepts.  Jenny’s post discussing about the philosophy of MOOC is a great example illustrating the importance of emergent leadership, when open educational practice is practiced by the “leaders” in a course of network.

I will continue to explore this in Part 2 of a series on management and leadership.

Stephen provides a wonderfully crafted post where I would like to re-post it below:

Management Leadership That something else better that isn’t management or leadership
Attitude Compliance Humility Service
Authority Based upon title Based upon earned trust None; offers an example which may be followed or not
Questions Questions are viewed as a threat to authority Encourages questions to develop an ethical understanding Asked frequently
The Framework Procedural Relational Engaged and connected
Rules / Boundaries Based upon conformity Based upon an ethical, philosophical concept Based on respect for others
Procedures Standardized Personalized Adapted as needed
Innovation Discouraged if it challenges the status quo Provides a vision that inspires others Secondary to creativity, freedom and exploration
Submission Forced: based upon a fear Voluntarily: submitting to another’s strengths to protect one’s weaknesses There is no submission; exchanges are mutual and of mutual value
Motivation Extrinsic Intrinsic Not necessary
The Results Behave externally but rebel internally (or when no one is looking) Empathetic, ethical thinkers who want to do what is right Cooperative environment populated by creative and expressive individuals who see respect for and service to others as the highest good

#Change11 #CCK12 Power and Leadership

One of the most interesting topics that I found in MOOC is leadership, as I have shared in my previous posts – here, here and here.  This also relates to Power and authority in CCK12.

Photo: Google Image

See this video on power – “Why some people have power and others don’t” presented by Professor Pfeffer.

Steve posts in video: How does true leadership relate to the accumulation of personal and organizational power? A reaction to the writings of Jeffrey Pfeffer on the subject, in preparation for a Twitter chat (#LeadershipChat)

In the video, Steve quoted Professor Pfeffer’s assertion that:

“The notion of a non-hierarchical workplace is nonsense.  What you need to succeed in the workplace is above all, power.  He goes on to talk about the need to cultivate  those who are in power above you, so you can move forward in the organization.

There are certain valid points made by Professor Pfeffer, Steve says:

  • The need to network with influencers in the organization
  • Ask for help
  • Seek to be in high visibility positions
  • Essentially play the game of moving up the ladder in the hierarchy

There are 2 questions posted by Steve.

1. Is it necessarily leadership, when you attain a position of power and influence through these means?  Is this a display of genuine ability to create value and empower others and break new ground and make the pie bigger?  Or does it mean that you are simply very good at navigating through zero-sum game and beating others up to the top?

My response to Q1:

The leadership practiced with the mere holding of power may be based on individual achievement, rather than collaborative achievement.  So I wonder if such leadership practice would really help and support others in organisation in developing and growing into “truly ethical” leaders with a goodwill for the team and organisation in mind.  In the long run, such culture of competing in order to beat the colleagues and others to get to the top would likely set up a “role modelling” of getting power by whatever means, in order to succeed.  Is this the best way to develop personally and add value to the organization, through this means?

2. Is the giving of our energy, time and attention to this game really the best use of our leadership ability?  Do we really want to give ourselves to the building up of these types of hierarchical organizations?  Or do we want to give all of our skills, our will, our characteristics, traits and abilities to building bigger pies that enable other people may be in non-hierarchical organizations.

My response to Q2:

I think we need to reflect on the significance of giving our energy, time and attention at work, and how that would relate to our achievement of personal goals and organisational goals.  Leadership is a means to an end, rather than an end by itself.  Our question could be: To what extent would a hierarchical organisation, especially in this time of flux, be responsive to the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders?  The  sort of leadership styles and culture for an organization would likely be context driven, but should be aimed to provide values to the organisation, the leaders and those working within the organisation.   The building of bigger pies would likely benefit the organisation in the long run, as more people are empowered to make decision and respond to the customers needs and satisfying the customers.

There are however, many assumptions behind this building of bigger pies, as there are implications when people are still trying to compete and beat others in order to get promoted.

“Let’s discuss this role of personal and corporate power and how it relates to true leadership.” Steve says.

In a hierarchical organisation, it is undeniable that power and leadership is positively correlated and in most cases, the top leader would have the most power.

It seems to me that such power game has evolved throughout history, and I don’t think there would be any significant changes in the case of a typical hierarchical organisation in the near future.

The question is: When an “organization” is re-structured in a networked organisational structure, where social networking and learning networks are fused into the system, would this power game work?

Is empowerment a reality, or a rhetoric or Utopian concept when it comes to power in leadership?

How does power and leadership play out in networks?

#Change11 #CCK12 Leadership in Networks Part 3

This is a re-posting of my previous post on Thought Leadership, and the responses to comments here.

What is Thought leadership? Thought leadership is based on the power of ideas to transform the way we think.  It is also based on the natural dispositions to challenge to the status quo.  Thought leadership can range from small suggestions about a minor working practice to revolutionary changes in strategic direction.

Thought leadership is an activity measure that examines whether current papers are building on the more recent discoveries or on the older discoveries in a field.

An agent is considered a thought leader if it is building on the more recent discoveries in its field.

Vanessa writes in this post on thought leadership:

But it is not their joining patterns which are most interesting; it is what they do and what they value while engaging online that really matters. The overwhelming majority of respondents (95%) told us that the primary reason they participate in online communities is to gain access to thought leadership they could not find otherwise.

Professionals understand and are acting on the core value propositions of an online community: a 24X7 platform to exchange ideas, learn from thought leaders and connect with peers, rather than simply watching and comparing notes. Professional networks and online communities support the age-old traditions of thought leadership, intellectual debate and the pursuit of both practical and theoretical knowledge to help make us more skilled in our work, illuminate our thinking and shape us into better men and women.

Is emotional intelligence essential for thought leadership? In accordance to the argument presented here on Thought leadership, EI is not essential for thought leadership.  There has been research indicating that more managers value emotional intelligence over IQ in organisations.

Is emotional intelligence important in the cultivation of thought leadership?  I would argue that certain degree of emotional intelligence is necessary for individuals, as any ideas or thoughts once conceived and developed would still need to be spread and propagated through certain media, networks in order for them to “live a life of its own”.  A sense of self awareness, confidence and control is necessary not only in the conception of ideas and development of knowledge, but also in the communication and “broadcast” of ideas in the network or community.  It is also important to understand the relationship betweenleadership and emotional intelligence, where managing one’s emotion and understanding others’ emotions are closely linked to effective leadership.

I found thought leadership useful in networked learning, in particular when applying this concept in the case of networked organisation and community leadership.  Thought leadership has none of the managerial overtones of organising action, executing tasks, making decisions or coordinating effort toward achieving joint goals.  In fact, there might not even be joint goals in the small groups or communities.  Instead, the emphasis could be the creation of new knowledge and development of innovative ideas through builds and bounds of ideas, conversation and dialogues.  In this context, thought leaders are not empowered, not given authority to make decisions.  They are, rather, what Hamel (2001) calls revolutionaries, employees who challenge the status quo and press for change. (see Thought leadership)

It is further noteworthy to contrast such thought leadership with the elements of effective leadership as summarized in  leadership and emotional intelligence – development of collective goals and objectives; instilling in others an appreciation of the importance of work activities; generating and maintaining enthusiasm, confidence, optimism, cooperation, and trust; encouraging flexibility in decision making and change; and establishing and maintaining a meaningful identity for an organization.

Would thought leadership in networks require some or all of the 5 elements as mentioned above?  Would there be collective goals and objectives in networks or communities?  I don’t think that is the case.  Rather, there may be connective goals and objectives in small groups, though such goals and objectives may be different from that in organisations.  Thought leadership does not necessarily lead to decision making, but I would argue that encouraging flexibility in decision making and change is a core concept in thought leadership, since a thought leader could also be a formal leader in an organisation setting.

Does thought leadership require the establishment and maintenance of a meaningful identity for an organisation, a community, or a network?  This is where I think more researches are needed to explore.

Photo credit: Flickr

#Change11 #CCK12 Leadership in Networks Part 2

Here is a follow up of my post on Emotional Intelligence and Leadership.  I would like to create more posts on it, as it deserves more reflections on how those concepts are applied in different contexts, and how the theories evolve over different periods of time.

The authoritarian approach seems to be highly applicable in the early half of the 20th century, followed by the democratization and a more people centred supportive approach towards leading in a team setting in the 1970s till 2000s. The Theory X, Y and then Z seems to provide a good set of assumptions about human behavior, and thus leadership styles that are appropriate in matching those assumptions. There seems to be a trend, in that there are still a traditional belief that human are inherently behaving as depicted in Theory X, that is they dislike work, and are motivated only by incentives or money, and need to be disciplined and coerced to follow the directions laid out by the leaders.

I think there are still many questions and assumptions about leadership, especially in an online and network environment, where such leadership is different from that of organisational leadership significantly. For, instance, how would power and influence be exercised in networks, when there is no “formal authority” and “roles and responsibility” associated with “leaders” and “followers”? Also, would network leaders be able to “direct” others who are their fellow weak ties? I think evolutionary leadership could be interesting to observe and analyse under the existing era and climate, where formal and informal leadership meets in networks, and where leadership might be defined in very different ways when the power, status and influence are distributed, and that leaders might need to practice as servant leaders (under servant leadership, as shared  here and here) and negotiate in order to exercise their influence in the networks.

Here I have also reflected on leadership and the principles involved in it.

In this transformational versus servant leadership:

“The transformational leader’s focus is directed toward the organization, and his or her behavior builds follower commitment toward organizational objectives, while the servant leader’s  focus is on the followers, and the achievement of organizational objectives is a subordinate outcome.  The extent to which the leader is able to shift the primary focus of leadership from the organization to the follower is the distinguishing factor in classifying leaders as either transformational or servant leaders.”

Leadership is then an emergent practice where cooperation and collaboration are shared among the peers, leading the network forward in achieving the goals or vision, rather than a “leader’s” practice in the networks. This is where every one would become a leader, when practising his or her PLE/PLN in learning alone or with others.