Leader's Digest #47 (January 2021)

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LEADERS ISSUE 47

JANUARY 2021

DIGEST

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed.


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Publication Team EDITORIAL

Editor-in-Chief Ismail Said Assistant Editor Diana Marie Capel Graphic Designer Awang Ismail bin Awang Hambali Abdul Rani Haji Adenan

* Read our online version to access the hyperlinks to other reference articles made by the author.

Contents

ISSUE 47 I JANUARY 2021

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REFLECTIONS FROM 2020 TO PREPARE FOR THE NEW YEAR

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HOW WE CAN BOUNCE BACK BETTER, STRONGER, TOGETHER

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4 LESSONS I LEARNT ALONG MY COACHING JOURNEY

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ARE YOU HYPER-AWARE?

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A MICRO APPROACH TO GOAL SETTING AND PLANNING

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DISTRIBUTED LEADERSHIP: IS IT SOMETHING NEW OR SOMETHING BORROWED?

Read this issue and past issues online at leadinstitute.com.my/ leaders-digest Scan the QR code below for quicker access:

LET US KNOW If you are encouraged or provoked by any item in the LEADERS DIGEST, we would appreciate if you share your thoughts with us. Here’s how to reach us: Email: diana@leadinstitute.com.my Content Partners:

Leader’s Digest is a monthly publication by the Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service, dedicated to advancing civil service leadership and to inspire our Sarawak Civil Service (SCS) leaders with contemporary leadership principles. It features a range of content contributed by our strategic partners and panel of advisors from renowned global institutions as well as established corporations that we are affiliated with. Occasionally, we have guest contributions from our pool of subject matter experts as well as from our own employees. The views expressed in the articles published are not necessarily those of Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service Sdn. Bhd. (292980-T). No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the publisher’s permission in writing.

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From the

Editorial Desk

Who makes the difference, anyway? Perspective drives perception. Whatever we look at, anything we think about, each personal and professional relationship we have, and will have, is not one-dimensional, unless we define it that way. Changing perspective adds insight, expands our horizon and deepens emotional connections. Leadership’s most attractive and decisive characteristic is about constantly taking another point of view, another point of reference, another aspect of a person, a tool and a process. It is about taking what is labelled as ‘old’, ‘borrowed’ and/or ‘new’ and replace its label for the sake of curiosity at first. If it is ‘old’, to do something with it and about it, so that its meaning and purpose, becomes ‘new’. Innovative thinking, focused attention and a no-judgment approach drives transformation. This is the essence of novelty. It is the realignment of something towards something else. It is disciplined efficiency as it bypasses the typical need to always replace what was considered ‘old’ by something that others consider ‘new’. The magic is to bring a new life, new outcomes without having to discard something or sideline a person. And as we move from the perceived usefulness of a tool, towards the re-aligned value from effortful talent spotting, capability development and timely coaching interventions, we should borrow ideas, tool and processes from others, too. Borrowing is harder then owning. Borrowing creates a much stronger sense of care. Not only do we need to ensure that what was borrowed is returned – hopefully in a better state – but that it shows how what was borrowed made a positive difference.

Ownership sparks and gives more power to the ego. Borrowing a sign of humbleness and openness. While ownership may denote power and strength – “This is mine!”, borrowing incorporates indirect teamwork, even team spirit. The act of borrowing has a more intrinsic value than ownership. Borrowing disarms the ego of the owner as much as it can boost it. It reflects a power beyond the need for control. If a child says: “That toy is mine!” as you want to borrow it from them, you diffuse the fear of losing the sense of ownership by the child by you saying “It is yours and will remain yours. I just want to borrow what is yours and if anybody asks me, I will tell them that you are the owner”. As we clearly state that we don’t want ownership, we will have access to the toy, enjoy it and, knowing that it will go back to its owner, cherish it. As we have limited access to it, the owner, seeing how we create ‘new’ uses for the ‘old’ toy, it is very likely that the owner will have learned to lend as she will learn innovative ways of playing with the toy. We will have inspired. We will have done leadership. We may have converted the old to the new, borrow the new to merge with the old and reached our objectives in a more inclusive way than just limiting ourselves to only one possibility. You can only receive if there is somebody who gives. Lend what you own, and you will only benefit from the act. Yes, more than from what you own.

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Reflections From 2020 To Prepare For The New Year What can we learn from 2020 to make 2021 a more meaningful year? BY CAROLYNE NJOGU

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BLINK AND YOU MISSED IT

2. INNOVATION | SOLUTIONS-FOCUSED

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower 2020 was an interesting year, to be sure. Perhaps it will go down in history as the year that ushered in the Fourth Industrial Revolution as many in the World Economic Forum asserts. For now though, it remains to be seen if the world is ready to embrace a ‘global reset’, forgetting the past to espouse the new normal. Change is unpredictable, and often brings about challenges that are not only unprecedented but those that require adept leadership to steer a seamless and swift transformation. As the wise would urge, before moving forward; it’s best to look back for there are lessons to be drawn from our recent past for a more strategic move beyond 2020. To this end, here are three main leadership lessons that are critical in determining the efficacy of those caught in the leadership crucibles of 2020.

1. EMPATHY | PEOPLE-FOCUSED Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. No one likes to follow anyone who is insensitive to his or her particular circumstances, insignificant or not. When the pandemic hit, many leaders had to think out of the box. Some like Marriot Hotel CEO, Arne Sorenson found strength and courage in sharing their vulnerabilities with their team. In his video address to his global employees, he shared that he was facing his own health challenge in the form of cancer.

Crises, though unwelcome, can lead to new breakthroughs in medicine, technological advances or improve ways of being among those self-aware and ready to seize emerging opportunities. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Some Americans felt pandemic or not, this was the best time to strike on their business ownership.” Others had to pivot and/or form new collaborations, mergers and acquisitions to remain sustainable.

2020 demands that everyone reflect and examine whether we are capable of leading our lives, and the collective global citizenry with this first-rate intelligence. Still some stepped out to leverage their resources across various ecosystems in hopes of finding effective solutions to address pent-up demands as well as mitigate revenue drops– and at the same time creating sustainable meaningful work for their employees. According to Mckinsey, “Some automotive companies are shifting production to manufacture ventilators, for example, General Motors partnered with a US-based medical device company to produce respiratory care products. Additionally, new service partnerships that would otherwise not exist are now a reality. Meditation and mindfulness providers like Headspace app provide free subscriptions to healthcare professionals and have unlocked free content for consumers.

3. RETHINK PURPOSE | LEADERSHIPFOCUSED

By taking to the camera to address his global staff about how his organisation was handling the crisis, and sharing his personal health status, many perceived him as real, authentic and resonated with his struggle.

Whether you are a student, a parent, an employee, a founder, CEO of a for or non-profit, a community leader, a clergy or a nation’s leader–you must know why you’re in that role if your leadership is to translate to a positive impact to those you lead.

No doubt this kind of transparency is rare from the C-Suite, but for those able to communicate with candor and courage, this can be a huge gain to their leadership and influence in the long haul.

The best leaders are those that have versatility. Able to keep their eyes on the long haul–why their entity exists, and at the same time focus on the current needs at hand.

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Consider how China handled the COVID-19 outbreak, or how the US handled the George Floyd murder. Clearly, hindsight is 20/20 and only by reflecting on what happened can we learn of what went wrong, how well we handled the crisis, and how to best improve for future unseen virus outbreaks and social upheaval respectively. Inherently, leaders understand that change is daunting and at best inevitable. Purpose, and in particular purpose that inspires, thus becomes the best means by which to implement effective change. One, because purpose compels a buy-in if your stakeholders believe in your cause, and two, because if well-communicated, purpose inspires your followers to enlist themselves and their resources as well as serve meaning for their lives because they believe in your vision. It’s undeniable that the world as a collective is at a crossroads. With the need for a vaccine to address COVID-19 and any future pandemic, we the global citizenry need to rethink purpose on critical issues such as who gets the vaccine first. Beforehand, we must collectively gain an understanding of what’s to be expected in event of future outbreaks, and how to best communicate and coordinate for containment.

CONCLUSION Leader or not, none of us can predict the future. However, we know and anticipate that things beyond our control are inevitable. Therefore, an understanding that to lead one must be human first – showing empathy to those they lead while still leading in courage to make tough decisions – is an imperative. Decisions like collaborating with unlikely partners for innovative solutions is possible when a leader is versatile, purpose-driven and capable of open-mindedness. To lead, after all, requires intelligence, the kind echoed by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Evidently, 2020 demands that everyone reflect and examine whether we are capable of leading our lives, families, communities, organisations, businesses, nations and the collective global citizenry with this first-rate intelligence. What are your thoughts? How did you navigate 2020? Besides the disruption, what unique challenges did you face? Otherwise, what surprises did you unravel in terms of hidden successes? Please share in the comments below. Happy New Year.

CAROLYNE NJOGU Carolyne is the founding principal at VPF Strategies and helps professional and organizational brands gain clarity for better results—productivity, performance and profitability. She is a speaker, the author of Being Grounded: 21 Days To Come Alive and Love Your Life, and a contributing writer for various publications.

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Coaching, done correctly, and with patience and respect, is meant to get your clients to see what they need to do without the coach’s ‘brilliant’ advice. At the core of every great coach (which I strive to be) lies a big heart with no attachment to being right.

Most coachees are highly capable leaders, consistent and proven high performers, but some still face issues with their peers and higher-ups. In essence, coaching is a partnership with the client to explore a new perspective, get unstuck from a situation, look beyond one’s fears, spread one’s wings, and encourage one to take actions that translate into solutions they had previously avoided. Ultimately, the client becomes committed to long-term behavioural changes more often than they thought they were capable of. My progress, thankfully, has been great thus far and that’s good news! Here are my four main takeaways.

4 Lessons I Learnt Along My Coaching Journey BY KHAIRUL ANWAR

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1. Practice integrity and build trust

4. Build self esteem and remove roadblocks

In the beginning of every coaching engagement, the stakeholders and the client will share a lot of stories and moments. Usually, these are inputs to speed up the direction of the relationship. In confidence, independently with all the stakeholders I make it clear that none of the stories would be shared without consent.

Self esteem has a huge impact on our growth. Some coachees are at their career peak and have settles into a routine. Their life is already stable with family sorted out, so why trouble themselves with overtime for the sake of a job promotion? Why rock the boat? This is a common reflection. Yes?

This confidentiality practice builds higher integrity in the relationship and also deeper trust with all the stakeholders. Naturally the coaching results will get better when this is adhered. The best part is that the coachee’s trust increases once this is established and grounded.

2. Avoid judgemental and preachy questions I have a practice where I keep a log of moments that need some hacking during our coaching conversation. For example, when a coachee and I were discussing how their Head of IT was being pushy, bossy and apprehensive. I didn’t interrupt him during the conversatio, but instead made a mental note to bring it up later.

Interestingly the coachee didn’t realise his approach was undesired. He thought he was just ‘being himself’. In our coaching, I asked them, “What could you have said better to your IT Head to get the desired outcome?” Interestingly the coachee didn’t realise his approach was undesired. He thought he was just ‘being himself’. Had I interrupted, judged and given him direct advice, the coaching conversation would not be as revealing. Listen more than you tell, hence the old adage about having two ears and one mouth.

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Establish goal ownership and commitment

Most coachees are highly capable leaders, consistent and proven high performers, but some still face issues with their peers and higher-ups. That’s normal and tolerable. Who doesn’t? Because of that, we need to create a goal plan to support the coachee to advance in his or her progress.

I will prepare two logs – Success Log & Blocks Log. In the Success Log, each entry has a beautiful story on how the coachee overcome previous roadblocks and achieved successs. On the other hand, the Blocks Log is for the coachee to list down current and future roadblocks in relation to the coaching objectives. It helps them reconnect with their former glories and seeing their face light up from that joy is a humbling moment.

Conclusion Great leaders are built in trying times. As a coach, I am very fortunate to have worked with some truly progressive coachees, hands-on sponsors, and thriving organisations. They are great examples of readiness to bring oneself higher. I cannot help but be inspired myself and am glad that I don’t have to be right all the time. Thank you.

Initially, some coachees will want to avoid this conversation and some even felt upset over this objective. They felt as though they had to lower their standards to be respectful of others. This thoughtless projection limits their growth and ironically end up jeopardising their career. As a coach, we need to build a goal plan specifically to put more emphasis on addressing this issue as the relationship progresses. Remarkable things happen when people are strongly driven to take action as a result of setting an effective goal that they own and committed to.

KHAIRUL ANWAR Khairul Anwar leads Malaysian homegrown training and coaching company DT Leadership to help organisations advance at innovation & leadership through structured capability development. He enjoys seeing leaders and managers able to develop new ideas, explore unwanted and unseen opportunities, and build stunning yet simple prototypes to validate serious ideas. Issue 47 I January 2021

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A MICRO APPROACH TO GOAL SETTING AND PLANNING BY JULIET FUNT

Goal setting is important, but with a simple framework and an avoidance of certain pitfalls. A line I used to say onstage in keynotes was, “Goals are things you write down so you can feel bad about yourself later.” I used this facetious comment for comedy, but it was grounded in truth. The way we commonly create goals is a setup for selfflagellation and disappointment. Goals are meant to make our dreams hold still, so we can grab them with both hands. And specificity in any goal or request is always a positive, but some version of the old adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” holds true. Setting specific measures of success can backfire.

If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

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I have good company in this caution around goal setting. Jason Fried, author of Rework, said in a Glassdoor podcast, “The reason I don’t set goals is because they’re mostly artificial, and you either hit the goal and you’re happy, or you don’t hit it, and you’re upset. And if you hit it, then you just set up another one. It’s kind of like, what’s the point?” Goal setting is important, but I’d like you to plan with an educated avoidance of certain pitfalls and with a simple framework to do it better.

WHY TRADITIONAL GOAL SETTING FAILS 1. Control Factors beyond our influence sabotage goals. The economy, leadership decisions, and global pandemics take the wheel from our hands, though we feel responsible for reaching our destination. We then blame ourselves for failing at an impossible task.


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2. Reactivity

2. Strategy

Many of our goals (usually the ones we choose in January) are formed from reflexive guilt – responses to underachieving or indulgence in our past. These knee-jerk attempts at reformation rarely stick and continue the self-esteem-killing cycle of promises repeatedly made and abandoned.

Choose a handful of your generated dreams (and, importantly, take off your list any for which you lack current passion). Then spell out the steps to take you toward them. Notice I did not say to them but toward. David Allen, founder of Getting Things Done®, suggests many times we start toward a goal only to realize we need to take a right turn. Our goal got us started but then shifted. And there is nothing wrong with that. Write the steps you need to take in the direction of each desire, planning your behavior, not the results.

3. BHAG The goal conversation always encourages us to think big – the bigger the better. The classic direction to set Big Hairy and Audacious Goals (from the book Built to Last) can be valuable but ignores the beauty of incremental and gentle gains. As James Clear teaches in Atomic Habits, tiny targets hit with regularity cannot help but add up to big changes.

4. Quantifiability

3. Footwork Focused, dedicated doing is the next step. Whether committing to a certain daily routine, such as making fifty sales calls per day or following a punch list down a project plan, keep moving forward through your strategic design, and you will arrive somewhere new and better.

Numbers from the future are difficult to guess. And that’s precisely what we end up doing so often in numerical goals – guessing. Sales projections, market share goals, or future salary targets are often pulled almost out of thin air – because they are required, not because they are real.

DREAM HARD, WORK HARD, AND WAIT FOR SOMETHING GOOD Instead of hitching your dreams to so many uncontrollable and emotionally precarious factors, try letting go of knowing what the future will hold. I suggest taking a micro-approach to planning and goal setting containing three layers of action: • Vision • Strategy • Footwork

1. Vision Setting aside numbers, dates, and competitive markers, it’s critical to take dedicated time to purposefully dream about what we want to create. Seeing the future requires us to get quiet, be brave, and dream without the constraint of logic. Take some white space (pausing to be reflective or creative), and invite a movie into your mind of what you would like the future to hold. Mind mapping, journaling, or team brainstorming can all lead to a clearer vision of what we want.

This plan is fascinatingly absent of any specific destinations. It does not say, “x will get me to y.” It says, “I’ll begin at x, work as hard as I can in a smart and efficient way, and I’m sure these steps will give rise to somewhere wonderful – perhaps y.” Do these steps – over and over again – and they will lead you to a grander, larger life and better business.

JULIET FUNT Juliet Funt is the founder and CEO of WhiteSpace At Work, which helps some of the world’s biggest companies claw back thousands of hours in lost productivity, liberate their talent from low-value work, and find more time to think.

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How We Can Bounce Back Better, Stronger, Together BY ROSHAN THIRAN

Over a decade later... When Leaderonomics began in 2008, my fellow co-founders and I wanted to create a specific kind of sustainable difference. We wanted to empower people so that, come what may, they would grow as great leaders and become builders of thriving communities, in good times and in bad. And this was the dream that started Leaderonomics. Throughout the world, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year for so many of us. In the face of a pandemic, we have been shown just how fragile life’s ‘certainties’ can be – but we’ve also been shown the resilience of the human spirit and how we can adapt to any situation that presents itself.

people in these tough times. With the help of some wonderful world-renowned speakers, businesspeople, and leaders, we pieced together the Bounce Back Summit, which will be launching on November 10th/11th (depending on where you are in the world).

In times like these, we need connection more than ever and, from many recent conversations I’ve had, there’s also a deep desire to reappraise our own situation.

The global Bounce Back Summit is a weekly series of motivational, inspirational and moving sessions by top global leaders, speakers and achievers designed to drive personal transformation and inspire you to take charge of your potential and make a real difference to your life and the lives of others. Essentially, its a long-term development programme specially customised to you (with the aid of technology like necole)

Of course, there are very few certainties in life, but we do look at our jobs, our organisations – our ability to move around freely – as though these are forever fixed and accessible to us. And yet, sadly we have seen countless businesses closing their doors globally, and countless more people losing their jobs, while we continue to come to terms with a virus that necessitates our restricted movement.

Some of our amazing speakers include Chester Elton, Author of ‘Leading with Gratitude’, executive coach, leadership development and an inspirational keynote speaker; Immaculée Ilibagiza, Rwandan-American author, motivational speaker, and a survivor of the Rwandan genocide; and W. Mitchell, Hall of Fame keynote speaker, author, business leader, and a Triumphant Victor.

In times like these, we need connection more than ever and, from many recent conversations I’ve had, there’s also a deep desire to reappraise our own situation to become more agile, more versatile, knowledgeable, and skilled in an effort to adapt swiftly to challenges and new environments.

These are just some of the incredible presenters who’ll not only be sharing their astonishing personal stories with you, but also practical insights into how you can make sense of and overcome adversity in your own life and use that momentum to succeed in ways you never thought possible.

Time to Bounce Back

What’s more, people who register for the summit will be added into the Necole Bounce Back Learning Community (worth $147) and receive special, personalised learning and growth through necole, a state of the art learning resource that caters to your own style and pace of learning.

Earlier this year, I teamed up with Scott Friedman – co-founder of Together We Can Change the World – to think about how we can bring learning, connection, community, and growth to

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We rise up together On top of that, 100 per cent of the proceeds from the Bounce Back Summit will be donated to charities and community initiatives across Southeast Asia, which means that everyone involved in this one-of-a-kind series will literally be making a difference to the lives of those who are in great need of support through these difficult and uncertain times. All in, the summit will be delivering 12 world-class speakers to you from the comfort of your own home and a special development programme with coaches and facilitators, as you learn from some of the best in the business who overcame some of the greatest adversities imaginable. Not only is it sure to be an inspirational and moving summit, but it will also equip you with valuable insights into your own struggles and provide you with the tools needed to face any challenge that comes your way, now or in the future. As Viktor E. Frankl - the author Man’s Search for Meaning observed:

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

We are all facing one of the most testing times of recent history, and the challenges we each confront test us in different ways. For those of us fortunate enough to help, we are called on to roll up our sleeves and do what we can to empower others to rise above their adversity. For those who are facing the loss of a job, or find themselves facing great uncertainty within their current employment, there are opportunities to be found in every great difficulty, and the Bounce Back Summit can bring us all together as we connect and learn from each other.

It just wouldn’t be complete without you, I’m looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible, and please do spread the word with your friends, colleagues, contacts and connections. Scott and I, along with the wonderful people who have helped organise this summit, are committed to helping as many as we can to make the best of their potential in the midst of an uncertain period. We might not know for sure what’s going to happen next year and beyond, but in the spirit of fellowship and solidarity, we can all learn and grow together and bounce back better, stronger, than ever before. See you at the Bounce Back Summit!

ROSHAN THIRAN Roshan is the Founder and CEO of the Leaderonomics Group. He believes that everyone can be a leader and “make a dent in the universe”, in their own special ways. For more insights into business, personal development and leadership.

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Are you

Hyper-Aware? BY ROSHAN THIRAN

This 2021, start the year well by connecting the dots

If you want to know your past, look into your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look into your present actions.

A few years ago, I wrote about Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee book Primal Leadership which references “CEO disease” as a major cause of organisational issues and confusion. Basically, the CEO disease is “the information vacuum around a leader created when people withhold important (and sometimes unpleasant) information.” Lately, we see numerous instances of “CEO Disease” in many organizations, especially in this COVID-19 era, where so many things seem uncertain and unclear. The CEO disease happens when the CEO is in denial of the real state of the business and is not open to criticism or bad news. In the past, this was a norm, where many boards were filled with directors who are never critical of the CEOs performance (and focused more on keeping their board seat). Today, many CEOs and leaders have significant blind spots and have no clue to them having this disease. But there is a vaccine for this disease. The antidote for this disease: Hyper-awareness

Hyperawareness, not Self-Awareness “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them,” declared retired 4-star general and former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell. “They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care.” No one welcomes bad news about themselves, but self-aware leaders not only accept feedback, they even seek it out. They do so because they want to keep learning and growing. Without awareness there is no growth. But that is not hyper-awareness. It’s just the starting point.

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As we start 2021, a key for us, if we want to succeed and survive the bad economic state and confused world, is to have clarity of the various issues and challenge around us with deep understanding of our strengths, opportunities and the various threats (both real and potential) that surround us. I call this hyperawareness. The deeper the hyper-awareness obtained, the greater the leader will have options and possibilities to lead forward. Yet most leaders have no time for reflection, observation, and to take stock of the issues and challenges there are being faced with. Hyper-awareness can only happen when we understand what the “dots” are and start connecting them one by one. You can only do this when you have deep organisational self-awareness first. Organisational self-awareness is simply being conscious of your strengths and understanding what the real issues, challenges and innovations that are happening in our industry, space and community. xxxx

Constant Hyper-Awareness Is Key Constant hyper-awareness is critical because your strengths, which may have gotten you to where you are in the past, may become an issue area today. Years ago, we promoted a high performing individual contributor to a managerial role. He was great in details, executed well and had strong process skills. Once promoted, he had significant problems with his team. His strength in process rigour and execution became his weakness as he micro-managed instead of empowering his team. Neither could his strength of individual execution be translated to the team environment. We all saw these weaknesses playing out but he just could not see why he was not succeeding. Hyper-awareness is extremely challenging as it is difficult to see in you what others see so easily. So how do we get started in this journey of awareness?


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The Johari Window Recently, I was helping a senior leader gain more insights into his leadership. I explained the Johari window, which is has 4 major quadrants:

We are all going to struggle with negative feedback, but if we are unaware of how people view us, we will never be effective. More importantly, if we are unaware of the strategic changes happening in the market, our business is doomed to failure.

• Open Self – What others know about you and which you know too • Blind Self – What others can see about you, which you can’t see. • Hidden Self – What others don’t know about you, but you do -- Your secrets. • Unknown Self – What others don’t know about you and neither do you.

Being An Authentic Leader

We all have blind spots and if we can learn what they are, we become better leaders. The Johari Window encourages us to enlarge our Open Self while shrinking our Blind and Unknown Self, enabling you to be in control of yourself. Not knowing your blind spots is the reason ‘CEO Disease’ continues to proliferate.

Kevin Sharer, CEO of Amgen, worked with Jack Welch in the 80’s and saw many Jack copycats, “Everyone wanted to be like Jack, but leadership has many voices. You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else.” The reality, as Bill George puts it “is that no one can be authentic by trying to be like someone else. There is no doubt that you can learn from the experiences of others, but there is no way you can be successful trying to be like them. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not an imitation.” And you can only be an authentic leader by building your leadership from who you are – your distinct personality, traits and preferences make your leadership unique.

The best way to shrink your Blind Self is to get constant feedback and there are numerous tools including the 360 multi-rater assessments, ABA Traits or even using some of the assessments in necole. It may take a lifetime to gain complete awareness of yourself, but it can be accelerated by honest feedback from others. Leaders need to periodically re-examine expectations set versus actual results achieved. Many businesses collapse because they fail to be hyperaware. A new game begins in a new field somewhere, but the business continues to play the same old game they are used to playing, thinking that the market will somehow correct back to what it was. The dots are all out there indicating the ‘old business model’ used is obsolete, but because the leaders continue to not be hyper-aware, they feel to see this market transition and they fail to move to this ‘new game’ on the ‘new field’ being played. Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, said “I needed to be a better listener coming out of the crisis... I should have done more to anticipate the radical changes that occurred.” Unfortunately for Jeff, this realisation came too late. He was replaced as CEO a few years ago, when he failed to help GE transition in this new world. The dots are all out there, are we finding this dots and making sense of them? Just as being able to see your reflection in the mirror helps you to fix your hair, feedback on your behaviour helps you to be a better leader, improving your judgment. Many of us have large Johari Window blind spots and need to rectify them quickly.

Andrea Jung, CEO of Avon Products, took time reflecting and becoming hyper-aware before she transformed Avon and its mission from selling cosmetics to the empowerment of women. Howard Schultz created Starbucks from a hyperawareness moment early in his childhood where he vowed to fix a wrong suffered by his father.

Focus on Understanding the World The world is changing in an unrelenting pace. Many of us cannot quite fathom the dimensions of change taking place. Our role, as leaders, is to be aware, as best as possible, what these changes are and make sense of it. It starts by being clear about who we are (our vision, mission, legacy, strengths and goals for our lives and businesses). This can only come through self-awareness and reflection. We next need to understand the world around us and the different dots that are being reflected. Once we make sense of the world and combine that with a deep understanding of ourself, we have the opportunity to build the future, leveraging who we are in the process of crafting the future. It will not be an easy journey, but it will be one that will have a huge probability of success. Wishing you and your organisation all the best in 2021. May 2021 be an awesome year of greatness and success! ROSHAN THIRAN Roshan is the Founder and CEO of the Leaderonomics Group. He believes that everyone can be a leader and “make a dent in the universe”, in their own special ways. For more insights into business, personal development and leadership.

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Distributed Leadership Is it Something New or Something Borrowed? BY DIANA MARIE

Great leaders do not create followers, they create more leaders

- Tom Peters

DIANA MARIE Diana Marie is a team member at the Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service attached with Corporate Affairs who found love in reading and writing whilst discovering inspiration in Leadership that Makes a Difference.

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Did you ever imagine that we would one day have electric cars? I did, but surely didn’t imagine that it would happen in my lifetime, but IT DID! Elon Musk was labelled an ‘idiotic square’ when he first came up with the idea, but that didn’t stop him. How did this person become this out of the box leader? Guess what? Elon Musk attributes much of his work culture to his upbringing. I AM NOT surprised. The Musk siblings say that they were taught at a young age the importance of creating their own opportunities. “Children don’t need to be protected from the reality of responsibility,” their mother Maye Musk wrote for CNBC. Teri Talan, the Director of Research and Public Policy for the Mc Cormick Centre for Early Childhood Leadership defines the distributed approach to leadership as a practice that widens the lens to focus attention equally on leaders, followers, and specific situations. What’s exciting about Distributed Leadership is that it puts “leadership practice” in the front, and centre of an organisation. In simple words, when leadership is understood as distributed, it describes the leadership practice that is stretched over leaders and the ‘leader plus’ which are the followers, and a particular situation (Spillane & Diamond, 2007).

LEADERS

In a distributed approach to leadership, there is always more than one leader. Leadership is distributed among individuals who may or may not have role authority. In the volatile nature of the pandemic, administrative supports may have been greatly reduced or even eliminated. In the current economy there is likely to be only one administrator at the helm to supervise, train, and support staff; build partnerships and oversee fiscal management and operations. The obvious advantage of this ‘leader plus’ component of distributed leadership is that a team leader gets support; no one leader has to do it all.

FOLLOWERS

In distributed leadership, followers are a critical component. Sometimes the immediate superior is the leader, and he/ she is sometimes the follower. Who leads and who follows depends entirely on the leadership activity being carried out, giving opportunities for leaders to influence followers and followers to influence leaders. Leadership is not something that is done to followers, but rather, leadership is done with followers interacting within the situation.

SITUATIONS

In a distributed leadership approach, the situation is defined as the routines practiced and the specific tools and structures used to carry out leadership functions, to create a unity of purpose or achieve identified goals (Solly, B.,2018).

What’s new about Distributed Leadership? Research say that it seems that many managers struggle to share their power and influence (Bossert et al. 1982; Murphy 1991). When this was further explored, they found that the resistance to sharing power or delegating authority sometimes emerges based on a fear about the quality of the work delegated. In another note leaders express concern about overloading their employees. Good news is, James P. Spillane, a Professor of Education and Social Policy, and a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University says that when sharing their power, leaders are more likely to improve staff morale, build collaborative teams, and retain effective employees. Paula Jorde Bloom a professor at the National Louis University describes three assumptions about collaboration that apply to an organisation demonstrating Distributed Leadership: 1) The whole is greater than the sum of its parts; 2) People have a right to be involved in making decisions that affect their lives; and 3) People involved in making decisions have a greater stake in carrying out those decisions than do individuals who are not involved (Bloom, 2000). With leadership practice it is about the relationship between leaders, followers, and the particular situation. When staff members participate meaningfully in making a decision, they more fully understand the decision, they are more likely to work for successful implementation of the decision. Taking a distributed approach to leadership begins with identifying the key leadership functions helping the organisation clarify and affirm values, set goals, articulate a vision, chart a course of action to achieve that vision, and meet adaptive challenges and then recognizing how staff (leaders and followers) engage in this leadership work depending on the situation. What I have come to realize is that in an increasingly complex, ambiguous culture of change impacted by the pandemic, it is important to increase our leadership capacity. Understanding leadership from a distributed perspective, with its focus on leadership practice, enhances the possibility for those with role authority and those without role authority to function as leaders.

Issue 47 I January 2021

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LEADERS

DIGEST

Why COVID-19 is Spreading Fast? 3 Major Reasons

They are my colleagues. So I can speak without Mask.

They are my close friends. So I can speak without Mask.

They are my relations. So I can speak without Mask.

Don’t Do Above 3 Mistakes. Wear your mask properly always. Save yourself & society

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Issue 47 I January 2021


LEADERS

DIGEST

UNDERSTANDING

MOVEMENT CONTROL ORDER

SARAWAK DISASTER MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

During this difficult period, please held uphold the Movement Control Order by keeping these steps in mind:

1

Stay home and do not go out unless needed.

2

Make sure your children remain at home.

3

Arrange with your employer to work from home.

4

Wear a mask when you absolutely have to go out.

5

Thoroughly wash your hands when you get home.

6

Allow authorities time to assess and strategies.

ACT NOW! #FIGHTCOVID19

Issue 47 I January 2021

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Building Leaders of Excellence Leadership Institute of Sarawak Civil Service KM20, Jalan Kuching Serian, Semenggok, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak. Telephone : +6082-625166 Fax : +6082-625966 E-mail : info@leadinstitute.com.my leadershipinstitute_scs

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