Thursday, June 30, 2011

Special Edition: Understanding leadership and evidence-based practices

When discussing leader behavior, it is essential to understand the importance of evidence-based practices in daily lives of the leader. Evidence-based practice means engaging in behaviors that have been tested, analyzed and supported by research. Whether the research looks to study theoretical depths or applications that are associated with current leadership issues, any evidence-based practices is better than engaging in behaviors that have not been through a similar rigorous process. There are several aspects of evidence-based practices that one can examine; however evidence-based educational methods and evidence-based management are the two types that can be associated with leadership development. When discussing leadership development, human resource development is quintessential to the growth of the leader as well as the organization. A link to a survey is included in this post to assist in the development of the leader’s effectiveness through evidence-based practices and human resource development. The data collected will be analyzed and reported online in which it will provide a level of substance for aspiring leaders or those who already hold leadership positions and looking to growth personally as well as professionally. To complete the survey please click here or below:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Everything in leadership is an opportunity

Everything in life is an opportunity. If we learn to ignore them, then we could ignore opportunities that are very significant in our life. Is it possible to accept every opportunity given to us? No, but it is possible to respond to them. Exploring opportunities that you have or want to have is very important in succeeding. Many do not want to see or take the chance on an opportunity. Many may think that an opportunity is a guarantee ‘shoe in’ for success. However, opportunities can turn out to be bad for the person. What are the different types of opportunities? Some types of opportunities can be seen as good, bad, risky, guaranteed, safe, dangerous, important, non-important, believable and non-believable. There are probably more categories of opportunities than these, but this seems to be a solid foundation for further probing. These opportunities suggest that they come in pairs. This model can be accepted based on the premise that are different type of opportunities, meaning that if there one specific type of opportunity, there can be a direct opposite.  This blog looks to explore the different types of opportunities as well as the integration of them within the study of leadership.

Good and bad opportunities can be defined as occasions where a person has the option to participate in a choice that is morally good or bad. How does one define good or bad? This may be a question for a theologian or philosopher. In general, one can define an opportunity as bad based on their personal belief. The most important issue here is that whether that belief impedes on another’s. As the world becomes more globally conscious, it is necessary for people in different nations to accept and respect others’ belief. More importantly, accepting one’s belief can assist in the determining of one’s good and bad opportunities within the realm of leadership. Understanding morally bad and good opportunities can determine the future of company as well as the perception of it. 

Opportunities, in regards to levels of risk, are essential to leadership development. There are times when leaders need to make decision based on the opportunities’ risk levels. However, some decisions that are made have little to no risk and profit the organization as a whole anything. One of the main reasons for leaders being paid large amounts of money is because of the amount of risk one takes with their personal life, family well-being, and personal security. 

As a leader, making decisions that have different levels of safety concerns can have various effects on the organization. Nevertheless, many decisions are not based on this aspect alone. Numerous manufacturing companies have employees that work in conditions that provide more chances of bodily harm. Does this mean that leaders should shut down operation? No, it means that leaders have to take certain precautions before deciding whether the company should engage in greater levels of safety behaviors. 

Next, opportunities of importance and non-importance are noticed daily. Moreover, leaders make decisions that have different levels of importance every day. How does one engage in these opportunities? Obviously, leaders have to deal with important opportunities primarily. This is necessary when discussing opportunities in leadership because many may be bogged down with opportunities that are of lower importance and make little to no engagement of opportunities of significance for themselves or the organization. 

Believable and non-believable opportunities are something that people are faced with on a daily basis as well. For example, infomercials about making millions of dollars over night or Rich Dad, Poor Dad teachings can be seen as different levels of believability. As leaders, it is important to realize the level of believability and act on it accordingly. It may take research and meetings to determine if one should act on an opportunity, but one should not dismiss an opportunity based on this factor alone. 

All in all, opportunities are a part of leadership. Understanding the type of opportunity that one has is important in the success of the company, regardless of the business size or position within the body. Knowing that there are good, bad, risky, safe, dangerous, important, and believable opportunities may assist in the development of leaders as well organizations.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leadership: Money, poverty, or wealth

Can one be poor and be a great leader? Many may assume that the general definition of leadership could apply to anyone regardless of their financial status. However, let’s take this question a further. Would you follow someone who is poor? Many may respond, undoubtedly yes from a moral standpoint. However, how many individuals actually follow individuals who are not as successful or financially well-known such as Donald Trump, Oprah, and Tiger Woods? To get a better understanding of wealth and leadership, it is essential to probe the relationship between follower’s perception of wealth as well as each person’s operational definition of wealth. The definition of wealth can include time, spirituality, health, intellect, or profession. An individual’s perception of wealth is important when discussing its relationship with leadership because of follower’s potential behavior. For example, if one perceives a person to be poor and they are not, but decides to not follow that person because of the follower’s perception, it may prove to be a hindrance to the overall goal of an organization or individual’s personal growth. Even though, many may think it is immoral and incorrect to follow someone based on the financial or wealth status, based on the fundamental laws of learning and memory, individuals associate certain aspects of life with a person’s perceived accomplishments. This in turn presumes that many associate wealth with effective leadership.

Furthermore, it is important to understand that being poor may mean more than financial constraints.  These components can include academic, health and emotional constraints. So does one financial status represent the type of leader they are? Some companies would argue that it does. Many large corporations perform credit checks as well as assess a person’s assets before considering them for a position within their organization. 

Basically, when one thinks of leadership and wealth, a few images may come to mind: a high powered executives; a leader within the c-suite (chief executive officers, chief operational officers, etc.); or a political and social representative. Is there a relationship between wealth and leadership? It seems that there is. Some leaders of present day society portray an image of wealth whether it is small or large. The leadership and wealth relationship can be presented by arguing that a person who exhibits greater behavioral leadership qualities will have a higher amount of wealth than a person who exhibits lower levels of leadership qualities. Wealth is not limited to financial abundance, but knowledge, education, experience, professional networks, and legal aptitudes. Leadership and wealth can be seen as being interrelated, meaning that one can assist in the other whether it is negatively or positively.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Leadership and technology: Can’t have one without the other - Frank Sinatra 1955

In present day society, it is becoming extremely difficult to be an effective leader and have little to no technological skills. These skills go far beyond the Microsoft Office student/ professional edition or Windows 7. As hacking within companies’ databases increases, it is important that individuals in leadership roles understand the integration of leadership behavior and an organization’s technological structure. Beginning with WikiLeaks and others, it is easier to see that without technology, it is hard to lead and vice versa.

There are several ways that leadership is integrated with technology: information technology department within organizations; senior level executives; technology within crisis situations; and technology within a country’s military leadership. Using these components, one can increase their productivity and protect their company from technological attacks. With a well knowledgeable team in the technology field, organizations can survive more environmental changes and threats.

Information technology (IT) department and having someone to lead the division is essential to the argument proposed. For many years, IT has been seen as separate entity from the rest of the organization and/or more of a support division. Today, it is important for the functionality and efficiency of the organization as a whole for a leader to well verse in advanced technological programming, design and logistics.  

Another component of integration of leadership and technology is having senior level executives that understand the effects of great and poor technologically, sound individuals within an organization as well as resources such as software, computers, web sites, usability, etc. within their companies. Being well educated in the latest technological advancements doesn’t certify a person as being an effective leader. Knowing the reason and operations behind the integration of technology within an organization from a leader’s perspective may help one become a more effective leader.

 It is important to have a liaison for the technology department and senior leadership in crisis situation. Events such as the hacking of Citi Financial Group’s user information and the leaking of governmental documents that have been classified to the general public are prime examples of potential threats to companies through the portal of technology. In this situation, it is important to have senior level leaders that know the inner workings of technology and has the ability to respond in a manner that is acceptable to the consumer.

The war on terrorism is another avenue in which leadership integrates into technology. How one uses the technology to defend their country and initiate battles with strategic leadership may determine direction of the battle. Technology, leadership and military power goes hand in hand. To ensure the safety of a country and soldiers, the use of technology from a leader standpoint may prove a catalyst.
Essentially, technology in leadership is essential to leaders in various organizations. The integration of both technology and leadership may determine the future of a nation or organization. By reviewing the integration of leadership and technology one can understand information technology department within organizations; senior level executives’ understanding of technology; technology within crisis situations; and technology within a country’s military leadership.