Monday, June 17, 2013

Know yourself to know others! Try the Kolbe A profile.

This museum overlooking Los Angeles is aligned with both the mountains and the highway, deliberately. This wall and Hwy 405 in LA are laid parallel.  This structure was designed to complement the surroundings. As leaders, do we complement or work against our environment?

Learning about people never returns empty but always adds understanding and insights to their actions.  As workers in an organization, we should learn how our boss responds and how his motivation drives him.  We learn what he values, prioritized and could let go by the wayside.  We learn to try to make him happy with our efforts and productive.  To accomplish this, we pay attention to what he says and does.  If it the same as what we might do, there may be alignment .   If it is different, it may mean we have different Kolbe A Scales and extra attention is necessary for us to align with his perspective. It is not for us to change him, but for us as subordinates to understand his motivation.

Similarly, we learn about ourselves. We may discover hidden or unrecognized talents that need extra nurturing. These may have been areas of personal frustration but reveal themselves as areas of great potential. Understanding these qualities may require extra attention as well as the realization that we may not perform as proficiently as others is a huge relief.  The realization that we should focus where we are more inclined to  succeed may lead to greater success.  By delegating to others bent to the task fosters synergy, collaboration and larger influence.  Therefore, by acknowledging the differences, we are able focus on individual strengths, both in ourselves and others.

This focusing on others strengths allows us as leaders to build a better culture and climate for success.  Others that are continuously assigned tasks that go against their grain will struggle and burn out long before one operating in an area of power.  As leaders, the better we know our team, the better we can align the tasks.  The better we align tasks, the greater the contentment.  The greater the contentment, the greater the effort which leads to greater productivity, effectiveness and success.  Just as a tennis player gains advantage by hitting to the opponents weak side, a leadership concept is to serve to others areas of strength, not weakness.  Even if the leader can do the task better, quicker and more effectively, synergy and greater success happens when others grow and develop and are able to noticeably contribute to the final project!

All this stems from a better understanding of myself.  Sharing or redirecting the credit and taking the blame and responsibility become the driving MO of the leader.  It becomes the leaders responsibility to ensure success by ensuring the success of those around him, delegating, motivating and driving them to their highest levels, not by doing it for them.  Just as an effective parent relinquishes control to allow the child to gain confidence, the leader looks for ways to help others succeed.

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