Are you ready to be a lonely leader?

Among the several leadership styles we tend to characterize leaders as autocrats or democrats (it is actually the easiest to do) forgetting that neither extreme is always good for the team, the company or the state.  Being authoriatarian means to treat people as functionaries rather than as thinking individual beings.  According to Alan Axelrod in his wonderful work on Gandhi, this is a bad bargain for management because it fails to make full use of the company’s constly human assets, as authoritarian leaders greatly damage their people’s morale.

On the other hand, democratic leaders (CEOs or politicians)  make a different mistake as they might believe that the majority should prevail.  Is their objective to please as many of their employees beneficial to the company?  Is it even a valid goal to please one’s employees?  More valid goals include creating customer satisfaction, providing excellent service, produce a worthwile product, increase shareholders value because it is this way that the company will survive and succeed in the long run.  It is only through creating a successful and robust country that a state leader will please all the inhabitants of a country, among which are the citizens, whose life and wellbeing depends on the success of the country.  

However, sometimes leaders  in order to achieve sustainability need to make decisions that are contrary to the expressed will or beliefs of their people.  Is that bad? Who said that the leader always has to please the majority? Who says that the majority is always right?  Listening to many in order to have them pleased  and not to the experts is not always the right thing to do. 

«Leadership is often said can feel very lonely, as leadership is lonely!  The final decision is made by a single, solitary human being.  Every other attitude, belief or policy relating to leadership is either subordinate to this truth or is an instance of self-delusion»  Passive Resistance, Hind Swaraj by Mohandas Gandhi, 1909

I have to shout it louder so that it reaches to the top as decision is prior to any action: ARE YOU READY TO BE A LONELY LEADER?

The Cost of Ego

Ego is a good «thing» but is can also become  a cost if it becomes too big!

HUMILITY, CURIOSITY AND VERACITY are the three keys to a Healthy Ego.

Approaching the year end and just before a new decade I think it is the appropriate time for all of us to check ourselves and be honest with the degree of our ego.

Brushman identified 10 signs of Ego and I mention some of them hereunder:

Hearing but not Listening.

Meetings go longer than necessary.

Fear of making mistakes or admitting them.

I totally agree with him that it is up to us to manage our egos: conversation by conversation, project by project, meeting by meeting.

2010 is in front of us let’s start with the correct amount of ego. It will be good for all of us.

The Challenge of Hiring and Retaining Women

According to many economists in many OECD countries there is an increasing socio-economic crisis that affects heavily the middle class; in other words  we face the end of the «American dream» . However, this dream still holds for most emerging markets. Amid this stagnation women’s full entry into the workforce has rescued family incomes. 

In this era of keen competition for talent, companies that can have strategies to attract and retain a diverse workforce  (eg older work force, women, etc) are more likely to succeed. of course, it is not easy for companies to define how diversity links to their business results.

As far as women are concerned definitely more (in numbers) are in the world of work.  However, the glass ceiling founded as a term about 20 years ago still exists, because companies need to find a way to create more successful women leaders. But is the glass which prevents them or is it a sticky floor ?

There are difficulties in attracting and retaining women;  however, there are successful strategies and HR can become a strategic partner with businesses (in condition that it will attract business-minded professionals).

Mentoring to face 21st century challenges

Mentoring is a relationship that is created to share knowledge and experience for learning in a purposeful way.

To share knowledge and experience you do not need any more to be old and with hundreds of years of experience. The traditional form of mentoring has given way to more «egalitarian» forms.

The fact that the first mentor in the global history was Mentor (Μέντωρ in Greek) Ulissys best friend clearly shows that the relationship needs to be based on confidentiality, trust and mutual respect.