Leadership, Learning, Motivation, Practice, Purpose

The Role of Challenge in Learning…. and Leadership

My parents are about to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  In preparing to celebrate they are going through old pictures and other memories.  In this process, my mother stumbled upon an essay I wrote when I was 21 as part of my course work to complete and pass my Level IV certification with the Canadian Ski Instructor’s Alliance.  I decided to share it here because it holds some important lessons for leaders about how learning occurs and how challenge can be managed and unleashed in creating a learning and innovation culture in your organization.

What follows is the essay in full and its original, unedited form.  I hope you enjoy it and find it informative.

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Accountability, Action, Leadership, Learning, Management, Purpose

The Accountability Myth II – why it’s only sort of about the individual

Results, good or bad, are never attributable to one person. Therefore, holding 1 person accountable for them, either by heaping praise or launching scorn in their direction, will often result in behaviours you don’t expect. I have worked with too many leaders in the past who had a desire to get their measurement systems down to the individual contributor level so they could hold each person on their team accountable. While the intent is laudable, the reality is that organizational performance and accountability are a little more complicated than just the sum of what individuals do.

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Leadership, Learning, Practice

How to Become a Great Leader

Ever wonder what great leaders do to become so good at influencing others?

We hosted a Webinar today at MDL Leadership to explore that.

Because I don’t want the readers of my blog to feel left out, I recorded it and posted it here:  mdlleadership.wix.com/coachingservices

Click on the link to sign up and watch the webinar.  Go check it out now!!

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Accountability, Leadership, Management, Motivation, Vancouver

The Accountability Myth – if it really exists, how come there seems to be so little of it around here?

I was working with a leader on creating accountability within his organization when he asked me a great question.  “What is the difference between responsibility and accountability?” he asked.  “I get those two confused all the time.”

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Leadership, Learning, Management, Practice

Who is your leadership idol?

I was having coffee the other day with a friend.  We were talking about what I do and how I think leaders should be developed when she asked me a great question.  “Who do you look up to as a leader?  Who do you know who embodies these principles you are talking about?  Have you ever had a leader who does all those things?”

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Leadership, Management, Vancouver

Not all Leaders are managers…..

I was at a networking event the other night with some likeminded entrepreneurs.  I was talking to a young software developer about what I do.  When I told him that I help people develop their leadership skills, he asked me a very interesting and sincere question.

“What is the difference between management and leadership?” Continue reading

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Leadership, Motivation

Motivation: “There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.” ~ Daniel Pink

The funny thing about motivation is that once the bubble of intrinsic motivation has been burst, causing us to lose focus, it can be very difficult to regain.  This bubble can be burst for many reasons.  For me, it was surgery and the distraction of recovery.  For Daniel Pink, in his 2009 TED talk, the instrument that businesses use that bursts the bubble of intrinsic motivation is financial incentives.  In fact, what he actually alludes to is more than this.  It is all carrot and stick contingent consequences.  He shows us that by using  incentives to try to increase motivation, we often have either the opposite effect or no effect at all on motivation.  While this might be what people tell you they want in order to be motivated, what scientific research has revealed is that these tools have the opposite effect on the most powerful and effective forms of motivation.

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