Newsletter No 10. July 2008

We were delighted by the response to our last newsletter on ‘Facilitation’. It clearly struck a chord with several people who had not thought about facilitation with this wider definition before, and were inspired to review their very concept of leadership and the process of change. This is what LASA is all about: making change happen! Thank you for your comments: keep them coming.

At LASA we have recently lost two dear friends; each of them was a leader, each of them left a different, but profound legacy behind. This loss has reminded us, once again, of how necessary leadership is in every walk of life, not just in organisations or at work.

Whatever you may think, you too, are a leader – if nothing else, you have to lead yourself! Think about the different places you are a leader (with your children, with a group of friends, in a club) and the different ways in which you lead. Take notice of good leadership whenever you find it and learn from it.

Think, too, of the legacy you want to leave behind; and share our memories in the article below of our lost friends; they each cast a long shadow by the way they embodied leadership.

In this issue:

The LASA Team

Latest thinking

Leadership and Legacy

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
- John Quincy Adams

Today more than ever, we all need to be leaders, no matter what our job title. And we need to lead in different ways – most of us are leading people who don’t ‘report’ directly to us in a line management sense. We need to influence people to join with us in order to achieve our goals. And the way you are ‘being’ a leader is going to be different to the way I am ‘being’ a leader. We might be doing different things, but even if we do the same things, it comes across differently because we are different people. We embody leadership differently.

Every one of us leaves a legacy behind, no matter how long (or short) our lives, no matter how many (or few) people we touch. There will always be the material aspects of our legacy, of course - charitable foundations, trusts, prizes, books, photos, paintings, poems etc. But our spiritual legacy, the essence of ourselves, our greater connectedness, is a true reflection of the way we lead our lives.

I’d like to give you two examples of leaders I look up to who have left an amazing legacy – a long shadow. They are Dr. Robert (Bob) A. Gregory and Guy Seaman.

Guy died in March and Bob in June. They knew each other; and many of our friends and colleagues were friends and colleagues of Guy and Bob as well. So many of the people we know are impacted by the void they leave behind.

Bob and Guy had more in common as leaders than they differed, even if they each embodied leadership differently:

  • They saw themselves as being first and foremost in service to others 
  • They knew themselves well
  • They were humble
  • They listened to others non-judgementally
  • They made each person they met feel special, capable and able to take that next (challenging) step
  • They took responsibility (didn’t wait for it) and got important things done.

I met both of them when I worked with BP. I met Bob on my first day when I was parachuted in to contribute to ‘OD Boot Camp’, an organisational development programme for colleagues in our team. Bob sat at the back -I think he liked to conduct from the back. After the day’s work was finished, he invited me over to chat. I remember his eyes – they looked deep. And this was his leadership style – to connect and to stay connected. Not just to connect to me, but also to connect me in to his network. And what an amazing network it was!

Bob was a man who touched people deeply. He was very intelligent and well read. He had high principles and integrity. And he clearly ‘got’ me.

He was learned, creative and a wonderful person to develop ideas with. He cared deeply about others. He was generous, warm, funny, courageous and human. He always knew someone who could help. He always stood up for what was right. He fought his disease courageously and went out fighting.

I also met Guy at BP, again through my work in leadership development when he and I ran a programme that Bob had helped to design for senior leaders.

Guy had a very large funny bone - always gently teasing people, taking the mickey out of himself and others and immediately putting them at ease. He too was passionate about developing others, but he did so in quite a different way to Bob. He came at leadership from having been a leader in corporate life. He was a story teller – wonderful stories, told to make a point. He loved his work and worked very hard – almost too hard sometimes. He always gave 110%.

Like Bob, he kept in contact with people. There wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t have an email or a telephone call, not always to do with our work together. Guy knew Bob, of course, and they were great friends.

Guy had a hip replacement at the end of the year, but was back at work as soon as possible, pushing himself as before. At the end of March, he died suddenly of a stroke. We were all shocked, no one more so than Bob, who wrote a letter to Guy’s wife, despite being very ill himself by that stage.

Often people will say ‘he made a difference’ about someone. With both Guy and Bob, people will tell you exactly how each of them made a difference. These were life defining moments. Both friends are sorely missed.

…. For the full version of this reflective appreciation click here

Leadership and Legacy In Memoriam: Dr. Robert (Bob) A. Gregory and Guy Seaman

©Patricia Lustig, 2008

Latest Books

Synchronicity: the Inner Path of Leadership

Joseph Jaworski

WOW! This book is amazing. Joseph Jaworski shares his journey of leadership and it is immensely compelling. Along the way he learns a lot, both about himself and about who he is as a leader. It is very approachable and easy to read.

His father, Leon Jaworski was the Watergate Special Prosecutor and his journey begins there. His father shared his findings with Joe (who was also a lawyer) and both of them were appalled at Nixon’s betrayal of the American people.

Eventually Joe decided that what was needed was Leadership and he quit his job as a lawyer (by that time he was working in London and had had several disasters in his own life) and decided to make his dream – The American Leadership Forum which develops servant leaders – happen. He didn’t know anything about leadership, he didn’t know how to do it and yet he did it.

The book follows his journey as he discovered how – when you are on track for your life’s purpose as a leader – everything just falls into place. And then it stops and gets difficult again – what are the traps you can fall into? How can you recognise when you’ve fallen into them and learn to find that flow again?

He found that his leadership journey echoed very closely The Hero’s Journey (Joseph Campbell) and incorporated that into the teaching of the programme the forum ran. Eventually he moved on and had several other adventures including writing the book Presence (with Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer and Betty Sue Flowers). It is a moving, rich book with which I connected deeply. I recommend it highly.

IT Corner

Saving grace – the IT Policy

Recently a big Finance Company was shocked to find that a temp had spent more than one third of the time they had paid her for on personal emails and social networking sites.

On returning from a conference the MD of a successful small business discovered that a senior manager had been negotiating an illegal export deal behind his back for a sizeable personal fee. The MD found a full trail of correspondence in deleted emails on the company PC.

In the first instance although the Finance Company had made it known that they had the right to monitor the system, they had not issued a specific IT policy, had not brought it to the attention of all users, and especially not temporary staff, so they were unable to take any follow up action. In the second case the MD had introduced a specific IT and Internet Policy that he had got all staff to sign, authorising him to monitor the company’s IT equipment, and stating that all information and emails - both business and personal - belonged to the Company.

In presenting the email evidence in his case against the manager the first question the MD was asked by the Solicitor was how had he obtained the emails? - had he infringed the employee’s rights to privacy? - to which he was able to answer ‘no’.

Now, with few exceptions, every company has IT equipment and in most cases it is linked to the web. Together they provide incredibly powerful tools and have lead to vast efficiency improvements and can provide an increased portfolio of services to customers. These powerful tools can also be misused in many ways and they will continue to evolve. This can vary from just excessive private use in work time, through the unsavoury to the downright illegal.

For these types of misuse you can get IT policies off the shelf and you need to get everybody to sign a copy. Remember you cannot discipline someone if you have not told them - and had their agreement about - what the rules are. You might need to actually change some of your IT procedures to make the policy enforceable, for example by increasing the archiving that you do.

Another aspect of an IT Policy is that it protects against the possibility of losing vital company data, disclosure of company confidential information and the disclosure of client data. These days a lot of staff get a laptop computer that they are allowed to take home and use for private purposes. The danger can be that they are carrying confidential data. For this you need to think through what could go wrong and the risk to the company and its clients. From that set the tone of your policy, particularly in regard to the risk to company data.

In both cases that is not the end to it, if you do not actually do some policing of the policy then it soon gets forgotten about by your employees. You cannot discipline one person for an infringement if lots of people have been doing it unchallenged.

Those of you running small companies are probably saying 'Oh this is just for big corporation', however, the laws on protecting an individual’s rights to privacy and on wrongful dismissal apply to your company just as much as to the big multinationals. And remember if your staff are doing illegal things on the web, its your IP address that gets found.

Interesting Links

A Summer Flower Photo © PMLustig July 2008

Latest News from LASA

  • Tricia is back up and working (more importantly, able to drive!) again after the operation on her foot in April. As good as new, minus one toe joint!
  • Nic is updating the LASA website which will soon be launched.
  • Tricia ran a workshop with the London Burough of Southwark on Scenario Planning.
  • Tricia continues to contribute to a working group within Henley Management College’s Knowledge Management Forum with the intriguing title of “Improving the Quality of Conversations Project”.

Quotes

Treat a person as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat him as he could be, and he will become what he should be.
- Jimmy Johnson

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
- William James

Look forward and say “I can”; don’t look backward and say “I should have”.

The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.
- Abigail van Buren

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.
- Moliere

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.
- Booker T. Washington

In times of change, learners inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
- Eric Hoffer

Time is neutral and does not change things. With courage and initiative, leaders change things.
- Jesse Jackson

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
- John Quincy Adams

Joke corner

A police recruit was asked during the exam, "What would you do if you had to arrest your own mother?" He answered, "Call for backup."

 

Management?

The understaffed hospital hired a group of cannibals to work as cleaners because it couldn't find any local people to do the job.

"You are part of our team now." said the HR Director during a welcome briefing. "You're free to use the staff canteen; you'll enjoy all the holiday and pension benefits, but please don't eat any of your fellow employees!"

The cannibals promised they would be good. Four weeks passed, then one morning the HR Director called them over, "You're working very hard and I'm extremely pleased with you. However, Linda, one of our secretaries has gone missing. I don't suppose any of you know what has happened to her?"

The cannibals shook their heads.

After the Director had walked off looking dubious, the Chief said to the others: "Which one of you idiots ate the secretary?"

A hand rose hesitantly.

"You fool!" hissed the Chief. "For four weeks we have been eating Managers and no one has noticed. But you had to go and eat someone who actually does something!"

LASA Website

If this interests you, there are other interesting resources on the LASA Insight website so why not take a look by going to www.lasa-insight.com

Comments and Feedback

If you have any comments or feedback on - or suggestions for - this newsletter then please email them to us  here

@Patricia Lustig 2008