Discussion: LEAD 500

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Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:On rational persuasion.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, August 13, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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Jose says “If feel that may people who own company’s are white, older men who are set in their ways. They may feel the need to keep their company runned and owned by the people who are the same as them.”
Do you have any statistics studies or academic publication to reinforce that a majority of companies are owned by older, white men, or is this an assumption? What’s the source of your belief?
How would you begin to assess whether the [determined] statistical majority of older, white men business owners are ‘set in their ways’?
What is the implication of them being ‘set in their ways’?
Do you mean that they are confident?
Do you mean that they are steady?
Do you mean that they are resistant to change?
Do you mean that they are persistent?
Do you mean that they are mired in the Old Paradigm?
How could you justify your feeling?
Can you provide a study or other substantiation that links your stats for most companies being owned by older white men with those same companies employing a majority of older white men, “the people who are the same as them”?
Also – what else are they besides white and old? Are they primarily diverse in other ways too?
You are possibly, even probably, right about older white ownership, and you could prove or disprove it with legitimate stats or studies.
Your ‘set in their ways’ idea is harder to prove, but still possible. You could begin to argue for this with a published study on older white owners who have taken a study on hiring, if it agreed with your assumption that older white men are resistant to hire with diversity.
John.

Thread:Leading Change
Post:Re: Everyday Change
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 11, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel explained Daft’s description of everyday change as “creative self-expression, the right words, the right opportunities, and alliance building. Self-expression is a simple but effective strategy. This is leading by example. A leader would demonstrate the behaviors and attitude’s desired so that they will be emulated by others. With the right words leaders change negatives into positives for the organization. Choosing the right opportunities deals with capitalizing on things that would be beneficial to the organization. Finally alliance building has the leader working with others to complete this everyday changes.”
I’m wondering which of these Daniel and the rest of you chooses to use most often in his or her everyday change leadership?
The questions at the end of the chapter ask which of these are we most comfortable with and why, to which I responded ‘Right Opportunities’, because it involved making the changes in the places that you can most easily make the difference, your own area – in my case, Instructional Technology and Training.
I can more easily sway or help redefine the vision in everyday ways in the division I run easier than in other groups within OIT. Those everyday changes can then possibly be seen and reacted to by other groups.
I feel much less comfortable with alliance building, though it’s something I’m working hard to become more comfortable with, because I feel like it’s one of the most effective ways to implement everyday change.
John.

Thread:Leading a Major Change
Post:Re: Leading a Major Change
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 11, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel asks “What was a major change that you have been a part of in your career? Did the eight stages apply to your change? What did you find to be the most difficult step?”
I was a backstage part of the change to the Main Rider Web site that happened a few years back.
1. There was an urgency established.
2. There were several powerful guiding coalitions formed.
3. A compelling vision and strategy were formed, eventually.
4. The vision was communicated, but not as widely as necessary, and not to everyone who needed to hear it.
5. people were invited and (to a lesser extent) empowered to act on the vision, but in a very limited way. For instance, no one but the core initial group was given the opportunity to choose the design firm, and the design firm was given the directive to present three or four designs which were made available to the public, but not in such a way that everyone was informed or knew that it was an open process. Suggestions were made by the community, but the designs were fairly stable and unless major concensus or repeated complaints about the design were heard, there was little motivation to implement changes to the designs.
6. A design was chosen, and implemented into a small subset of sites and pages in a first phase of rollout.
7. The urgency was somewhat lost, and change moved at a regular pace, but the importance of the change began to be lost over time.
8. The changes did stick, and right now the process is going on again. I’m not nearly as involved this time around.
(Daft, 2008, pp. 456-459)
And it’s happening again. There’s a new design coming to the main Rider web site.
You can all answer whether or not you felt empowered to instigate changes in the latest design. As a student at Rider, did you know that changes where coming to the site? Did you know that you were being asked t give feedback? Do you feel that you have had a say in the new proposed look and feel of the site? Did you know that there was a new look and feel coming? Did you know that you can see what the changes will look like?
I’ll give you a hint – it’s two clicks in from the front page to see the new designs.
Thanks for the great questions, Daniel. It’s been fun learning with all of you, and I look forward to working with you all in other classes!
John.

Thread:Leading Change
Post:Re: Leading Change
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, August 10, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked us to “Describe one process or procedure that you would like to change in your workplace or in an organization you are involved in (community group; church). How would you go about making this change? Ask your peers to help you with any questions you have about how to implement the change.”
I would like to implement a cross training program in the Office of Information Technologies at Rider, so that when a specialist is out for a week, or when the guy who manages email suddenly gets a new job and quickly leaves, that there are several other people in place who know exactly what they do, could work in teams to carry the load effectively until the position is filled again, and so that we can help share the load of each other’s work and begin to think creatively and innovate in each other’s positions.
This would be a huge change which would have a lot of resistance, generally, because in OIT as it is, knowledge is king, and kingdoms exist, complete with castle and moat. If you want to know what someone else is doing in a deep way, there has to be a good reason because the feeling is generally that if you know what I know, then OIT might not need me anymore.
I know from my studies so far in leadership that this is an unreasonable assumption, and that the more that each of us knows about the entire organization, the better off we all are, but I did not always feel this way. I used to protect myself by keeping knowledge about Blackboard mine and mine alone, but that is an unsustainable solution. To be the only person who knows what you know is irresponsible and potentially deadly, in terms of organizational effectiveness.
But, convincing everyone else that cross training makes sense is a major undertaking.
If I follow Kotter’s eight-stage model of planned organizational change, I can begin to build a plan for how to achieve the change in a systematic way (Daft, 2008, pp. 456-459).
1. Let everyone in OIT know that we have a potential emergency by keeping our kingdoms separate, by sharing worst case scenarios, such as “What happens when the one guy with the password to system X gets hit by a bus?” question so that we all quickly grasp the problem.
2. Gather a core support group of supervisors, managers, subordinates and peers that agrees with the sensibility of cross training and cross functional teams with reciprocal interdependence in which we all build upon and benefit from everyone else’s knowledge, experience, and openness to sharing it (Daft, 2008, p. 382).
3. Share ideas about how cross training could happen to begin facilitating innovation. Ask everyone to determine visions in which the entire group is benefiting from strong cross training and cross functional experience. Bring together those visions into a single unified vision in which we all agree a better way exists. From that vision, build a strong strategy that we all participate in (Daft, 2008, p. 389).
4. Communicate the vision with everyone, make it known that this is a direction that we want to go in, and that great things can come about from a strong effort.
5. Allow everyone to have their say. Allow all of the employees to make the strategy their own, to participate in the development and execution of the strategy to meet the vision in an aligned but individualized way that everyone can call their own.
6. Start cross training in reasonable ways. As part of the strategy, start to build small working teams to share their work, duty, and ideas about what they’re doing. Allow knowledge-diverse workers to build support structures in each other. Meet short term goals and begin planning long term goals (Daft, 2008, pp. 345-346).
7. Remind everyone that islands of knowledge still exist, but share the successes of the short term goals that have been reached. Allow people to reflect and share what they’ve learned so far and allow the process to react and adapt to lessons and innovations. Start working towards the vision in more realistic ‘we’re almost there’ ways (Daft, 2008, p. 392).
8. Make the changes stick – celebrate the benefits of cross training, and begin to share those benefits with other groups who see the successes in OIT and want to have the same success. Make sure that cross training becomes a reinforced part of OIT’s culture, so that as people come in they are socialized to expect to share others’ knowledge and to share what they know (Daft, 2008, pp. 432-433).
Back at the beginning though, I’m thinking about the people who hold positional (directors) and personal (experts) leadership power who simply don’t want the change to occur because it means that they would need to share those powers, which they see as ‘losing’ those powers (Daft, 2008, pp. 363-364).
After the first step of sharing the urgency of the issue, short of getting them all into the Organizational Leadership Program, what can I do to win them over, and bring them into the second step of ‘forming a powerful guiding coalition’ with them (Daft, 2008, pp. 457-459)?

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Re: Ideas for Meeting Diversity Numbers
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna says “The problem that plagues many organizations is that many individuals are indeed closed minded in regards to organizational diversity. Why should individuals be given monetary or external rewards for assisting and cooperating in diversity initiatives that should be implemented to begin with? Leadership could follow the Evolution of Organizational Diversity Awareness and Action (Daft, 452) and begin the process of educating their employees and could evaluate their progress by using the Stages of Personal Diversity Awareness (Daft, 458) as a resource on how the organization’s employees are progressing. Being educated or trained on diversity is priceless and this is what most closed minded individuals lack in regards to diversity; further education”
I feel that this is a solid argument for an alternative to using rewards, but you’d agree that education is still an extrinsic motivator – the individual will have to be open to education in order to benefit from it.
Great point, regardless, Kieanna.
Will the closed minded individual buy into the education, though, or will they feel that they’re being asked to do ‘another touchy feely thing’ without getting paid for it? 😉
Maybe the process of education will be able to break through that closed mind barrier.
Great learning with you.
John.

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Re: Speaking the language versus living the life.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I said “would you gain a different insight from someone who had lived there for a good part of their lives, and knew the language, the culture, and the life itself?”
Tracy answered “I would think you would get a greater benefit from someone who not only spoke the language but lived in the particular country for part of their lives.”
In our chat we focused mostly on ‘people from other countries’ here, which may be a narrow discussion topic.
And of course, when we talk about ‘the language, the culture, and the life itself’ we could very well be talking about the various languages, cultures, and lives just within the diversities of American experience and heredity.
I would say that very often the ability to integrate diversity is defined not by one’s country of origin, (since when you are hiring in America for an American company, you may very well be talking mostly to Americans just because of the odds of the hiring pool) but by other primary dimensions of diversity aside from ethnic heritage, such as gender, race, mental and physical ability, age, and sexual orientation (Daft, 2008, p. 333).
Simply, this is to say that diversity of gender, race, and age may result in different languages, cultures, and lives which could benefit an organization as much as someone from somewhere else, because ethnic heritage is only one small part of diversity.
John.

Thread:Leaders Shape Culture and Values
Post:Re: Leaders Shape Culture and Values
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asks us to “describe either the best culture you ever worked in or the worst. Make sure you describe the culture, analyze it according to the material in the book, and tell us what kind of culture it was based on this analysis. Why was this a good culture or a bad culture to work in?”
The best culture I ever worked in was probably at a Michael’s Arts and Crafts retail store. I was a shipping and receiving associate, and just before I left for a much better paying job with an absolutely awful culture, I had started training as a floor manager.
It was an adaptive organizational culture, in that it reinforced the importance of the customer (Daft, 2008, p. 427). Michael’s had a strong culture of customer service, in which we were reminded to never just point in a direction to tell someone how to find something, but rather to take their arm and walk them over to the thing that they needed, for instance.
Continuing in the adaptive cultural vein, in which people’s willingness to take initiative is reinforced (Daft, 2008, p. 427), hard work was rewarded with new responsibility, organizational respect, and opportunity. When you did a job well, you were thanked and complimented, and asked to take on bigger, more difficult tasks.
Despite the adaptive culture in which associates were given some consideration and rewards for initiative, there were some unadaptive elements, in which trust was questioned (Daft, 2008, p. 427). As part of the socialization process (Daft, 2008, p.432) in which we learned what we were expected to do as part of the culture, we all had to be aware of and respect a code of conduct that was laid out in a booklet, which addressed everything from the degree to which we could choose the kinds of clothes we could wear, to the proper way to address and assist customers, which all helped to define the visible or superficial elements of the culture (Daft, 2008, p.423).
There was a time clock, which reinforced a certain kind of schedule, but it also gave everyone a reason to be on work at a certain time, and leave at a certain time, which allowed for a reasonable work life balance, but also said silently that we couldn’t be trusted to come and go as we pleased and simply report the times we were there. This spoke a little bit to the invisible elements of the culture, that Michael’s associates needed to be watched over (Daft, 2008, p.423).
Regarding internal integration, or the way that the culture allowed internal relationships to reinforce the culture, it worked very well(Daft, 2008, p.424). There was often a strong sense of play and friendship which was encouraged by the ways tasks were accomplished, and spontaneous groupings of workers called together for different tasks. Associates shared time together for coffee breaks and lunches in a shared space. Culture was well defined at Michael’s, and readily reinforced by peers, management, and owners. It was a strong culture, and when something was out of sync with the culture, it stood out (Daft, 2008, p. 426).
Regarding Cultural Leadership, there were not a lot of stories, symbols, specialized language, or ceremonies used to reinforce culture at Michael’s, so culture was typically defined verbally and visually in people’s actions and manner of speaking, or in social interactions and reactions (Daft, 2008, pp. 430-433).
John.

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Re: Ideas for Meeting Diversity Numbers
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna stated eloquently
“although that could possibly be a means of increasing diversity amongst the organization, would a ‘reward’ truly be an effective solution to increasing diversity within the organization? Why must an individual be rewarded for something that should take place?
I believe, to some degree that Daft was onto something when he states ‘when organizations support diversity, people feel valued for what they bring to the organization, which leads to higher morale.’ ”
I would agree with Kieanna and Daft that intrinsic rewards bring longer term, positive morale, higher need benefits, and have a stronger impact on the individual than any extrinsic reward.
However, due to individual perception, biases, mental models and other experiences that decrease an individual’s cultural intelligence and willingness to embrace diversity, sometimes increasing diversity does not bring an intrinsic reward to an individual.
If a closed minded individual could be engaged to participate in increasing diversity because of an external reward, they might eventually see the benefits from including diversity in the organization, which may develop the intrinsic reward.
I believe that open mindedness can be applied not only to hiring with diversity, but also to choosing motivational approaches. If using an extrinsic reward will work where an intrinsic motivation doesn’t yet exist, I would certainly, undoubtedly be open to it.
You asked “Why must an individual be rewarded for something that should take place?” and we might agree that people should work for a living.
As an experiment for anyone who has the mental model that extrinsic rewards don’t ever work to motivate, I suggest they try shredding their paycheck (especially after a technologically challenging day like I had yesterday) and see how far they get. 😉
Thanks for making me think about it, and making me challenge my own assumptions, Kieanna.
John.

Thread:Working without a Vision
Post:Re: Working without a Vision
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “Would anyone be willing to share a situation in which you were or are working without knowing the vision of your organization or without a clear connection to that vision?
What is that experience like from a follower’s perspective?”
I have had quite a few jobs, but the worst ones that come to mind were ones that had no real sense of future impact or importance attached to them, which speaks to vision and culture.
I have had jobs that were basically manual labor, but that were much more rewarding than other less vision driven jobs with the same kind of work.
In one rewarding job, I was working for a township parks and recreation department, in which we responded to calls for help from residents, made the township look beautiful, got thanked by people regularly, and were reminded regularly of what laid ahead as far as plans, direction, and vision.
We were one part of a plan that affected thousands of people, and when we did our job well, people felt better about their community. Our leaders would regularly remind us of the ways in which our work was important work, and reinforced the ways our strategies of maintenance, repairs, labor, and coordination were working towards our vision of a clean, healthy, beautiful place to live.
Other jobs I had required basically the same manual tasks, but had no real strong feedback about how the tasks related to the vision, no inspiring outlook, no strong cultural development or strategic leadership. As a result, they were much more difficult to stay at, because of the lack of vision. Teamwork suffered, strategy suffered, and the organization was weak and ineffective.
It felt like the work was being done just to get through the day, and that very often we as workers and followers were spinning our wheels, which made it very hard to keep going back day after day, shoveling dirt, and picking up trash. The pay was the only rewarding factor, and it wasn’t nearly enough.
The work was harder to do, because the goals were harder to see, because the vision wasn’t as clear.
John.

Thread:Chapters 15-16
Post:Re: Chapters 15-16
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Huzzah!
j.

Thread:The Importance of Vision
Post:Vision vs. Implementation Architecture for low level followers.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “does it really matter for most employees to have the vision and strategic direction influence their daily work?” and I answered that it did.
I wanted to add that it is beneficial for many of my co-workers to have it so deeply ingrained in their concrete goals and technology oriented everyday strategies, because in many of my co-workers, very often the strategic plan and vision are regarded as niceties, ways of putting a ‘happy face’ on work, or an optimistic, unrealistic, pie-in-the-sky wish list from the ‘guy in the suit’.
The vision is exactly that – optimistic – a way of looking into the future to determine our best outcomes, our best way of meeting and exceeding potential, and a inspirational end to our difficult means (Daft, 2008, p. 392) from our leader – as an effective vision, it shows the “journey as well as the destination”(Daft, 2008, p.397).
But very often, the workers who are dealing with the day-to-day work are so focused on the strategy – allowing the education of students, research, and scholarship to happen, that in my peers’ view, the vision is often seen as less practical than the mission, but I believe now that it’s critical. It’s the first step in getting there.
I would often join in the seemingly good-natured scoffing (it was actually organizationally damaging, of course) about the high mindedness and inspirational language of the vision, but now I know that without the future vision, there’s little direction for the mission, strategy, or architecture for implementation (Daft, 2008, p. 389).
Without the literal translation of vision, mission strategy into the goals, many workers in my group simply wouldn’t consider them as part of the implementation architecture, and so I’m very glad that those translations of Rider’s vision are made to develop agreed-upon goals between followers, managers, and leaders in OIT and throughout Rider.
John.

Thread:Chapters 15-16
Post:Re: Chapters 15-16
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I also have the new 4th edition (2008) and am missing the 16th chapter.

Thread:The Importance of Vision
Post:Re: The Importance of Vision
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, August 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “I work for a school district and there is no clear vision or mission I could find… I think it does matter for employees to have vision and strategic direction influence their daily work. Everyone should be operating on the terms of the organization. If people start to stray from the vision they could can away from what is trying to be accomplished.”
Thanks, Daniel. I have questions. 😉
With these two ideas – that 1. your organization does not publish a clear vision or mission, and 2. that lacking a central vision could lead to employees who are moving in different directions, do you rely more on a sub-organizational vision or strategy, so that at least locally, there is cohesion and collective directional movement?
I understand that you have the theme of Parents and Teachers Helping Students, but that seems more like a motto, byline, or a general guideline (for instance, I would generally like to assume that all schools have a universal mission where Parents And Teachers Help Students without question) than a vision that inspires with a noble purpose, “deals with change”, “encourages faith and hope”, or “defines the destination and the journey” (Daft, 2008, pp. 396-397).
Also, given the idea that you state you are not a teacher, may not be a parent, and are not a student (there), and so the theme seems to practically exclude you as an infrastructure/technology worker.
Do you have a clearer vision or strategy present within your closest hierarchical division, like the technology group? If so, how did your group achieve it without a larger overarching vision?
John.

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Re: Developing Diversity in Organizations
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy said “I would strongly recommend that XYZ company consider hiring the African American woman over the male because they will be tackling their diversity issues from a race and gender standpoint which would hopefully give them a better competitive edge.”
I wonder what XYZ’s diversity report says about the employee/customer ratio for women? This could be used in the same way as the ratio for African American customers to employees to inform the nod to women vs. men at XYZ to meet diversity needs.
John.

Thread:Power and Influence
Post:Re: Correlating transformational and democratic approaches.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I asked “Can anyone tell me using the power of “rational persuasion” (Daft, 2008, p. 374) whether choosing a transactional versus a transformational approach predetermines a democratic or autocratic approach? ”
Daniel may not have meant to answer me when he said “In this situation transformational leadership should be used to make a decision based on “personal values, beliefs, and qualities of the leader rather than on an exchange process between leaders and followers” (Daft, 2008, 356)” which gets right to the point.
I didn’t catch that transformational leadership specifically lessened follower exchange, but there it is, plain as day.
Thanks, Daniel!
John.

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Speaking the language versus living the life.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy said “I agree with you on this. I think diversity can also mean hiring an employee who is proficient in many languages but not of ethnic decent to those countries. So this could also fit into diversity as well.
“Tracy, Daniel and all, I think that there is likely an increase in cultural intelligence that results from learning a new language, but I would venture to say that it is an empathetic cultural intelligence rather than an experiential one, unless the secondary language speaker has walked in the shoes of the represented culture.
How does the “secondary language proficiency is diversity too” argument speak to the need of intra country diversity, like African American representation?
In the “Value of Organizational Diversity” discussed by Daft, the organization may gather the insights from an actual cultural representative in order to know more about what that part of their targeted customer base might think, want, and buy(Daft, 2008, p. 334).
Maybe if you were a telemarketing company, an operator with diverse language skills might be enough to get by on when doing business globally.
Let’s say instead that you are a food company, and you saw in Frozen Foods Management Weekly that there were outrageous trend increases in vegetarian style south Indian cuisine in the frozen foods market, statistically linked to Indian immigrant population growth in America, and you wanted to get into the minds of Indian-American customers to see what they were looking for next. You might also want to know what someone from India who cooked there (and knew others who cooked there) knew about their native food that Americans who were trying to recreate the flavors and feels of the foods simply did not. At least that’s how the taste testers felt.
Do you know the best way to infuse Ghee with pepper flakes? I wish I did. I mean, mmmmmmmm!
Would you still get the same benefit from someone who simply spoke the language, or would you gain a different insight from someone who had lived there for a good part of their lives, and knew the language, the culture, and the life itself?
John.

Thread:The Importance of Vision
Post:Rider University’s Vision and Strategic Plan.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked for us to “post [our company’s vision and strategic plan] to this disucssion board and tell us the following:
a) how do the the vision and strategic direction of your organization influence your work on a daily basis?
b) does it really matter for most employees to have the vision and strategic direction influence their daily work?”
Rider University’s Vision and Mission is at: http://www.rider.edu/139_3195.htm
Rider University’s Strategic Plan can be downloaded at:
http://www.rider.edu/139_3194.htm
Rider’s Vision: “Rider University will be a leader in American higher education celebrated for educating talented students for citizenship, life and career success in a diverse and interdependent world. Rider will achieve distinctiveness by focusing on students first, by cultivating leadership skills, by affirming teaching and learning that bridges the theoretical and the practical and by fostering a culture of academic excellence.”
Rider’s Vision and Strategic Plan influences my work everyday because it is considered in the development of my performance development plan goals. My goals are specifically and categorically linked to objectives in the strategic plan. Helping Rider to achieve its vision is a part of each day’s decision making processes. For instance, my office provides support for students for Blackboard, and I know that as a student centered university, that I need to make that service a priority. The leadership skills that I am learning about in these classes are specifically called for in the Vision, and I am helping Rider to attain the vision when I learn all that I can about leadership. My main job at Rider is development for faculty in instructional technology, which helps Rider achieve its vision in “affirming teaching and learning that bridges the theoretical and the practical”. When I help faculty to understand technology concepts that help them teach better and help them to get their hands onto the technology and apply the concepts in reality, I am helping Rider achieve it’s vision.
I think it absolutely matters for most employees to have the vision and strategic plan influence their daily work, but I can’t speak to whether the employees themselves generally agree with me. I think it is in workers’ best interest to care, because otherwise, we’re all driving along in different directions to different places with different hand drawn maps. With the benefit of the strategic plan and vision, we can begin to apply the principle of self-reference, in which we can begin to be more autonomous in meeting goals because we all know the overarching goals of the vision. In my view, less directive leadership results in more rewarding work.
In OIT, we all have technology specific strategic plan driven goals that are added on to our performance development plans. This makes it relatively easy for me to know what it is that I have to get done, so that I can spend the time that I might otherwise have to spend clarifying those things doing something creative, like building innovation on top of those set goals. My goals (CII, instructional technology, and training) are only a small part of this complete list of technology related strategic plan objectives:
1. Complete an organizational development assessment in order to identify department strengths and weaknesses and appropriate staffing levels. Share assessment findings with all OIT staff and develop a plan for addressing deficiencies and improving workplace health. (12/2007)
2. Successfully implement and support University, Academic Affairs, other division, & IT strategic plan goals and action plans. Action plans OIT will work on in FY08 are as follows: .
a) Select and begin implementation of new HR/Finance system.(6/2008).
b) Complete implementation of an alumni web portal (NetCommunity)(12/2007)
c) Complete implementation of email for life for alumni(NetCommunity)(12/2007)
d) Develop an internet and information security awareness training program for students.(6/2008)
e) Provide faculty with a choice of laptop or desktop as part of the faculty workstation program(7/2008).
f) Implement an electronic unified messaging solution to improve communication with students.(2/2008)
g) Start implementation of a Call Center to advance OneStop goals.(6/2007)
h) Implement centralized technology purchasing for staff workstations.(6/2008)
i) Consider expansion or replacement of our campus card system in order to offer more services.(4/2008).
j) Assess student satisfaction with current technology resources by reaching out to student government. Use feedback to assist in prioritizing upgrades and expansion of existing and new technology services(5/2008)
k) Implement personalized portal technology for student access to resources.
• Expand MyInfo portal to include an electronic payment option.(12/2007
• Expand MyInfo to include ability to order and pay for textbooks at the time of course selecton.(9/2007)
l) Participate in facility renovations and new construction projects.
• Participate in planning of academic facilities upgrades to accommodate Scenario D. Implement Phase 1 projects by 9/2007
• Participate in new residence hall planning committee. Begin construction of new residence building by 5/2008.
m) Continue to expand and upgrade the University’s technology infrastructure (voice, data, and video networks; Internet and Internet2 connections).
• Install a new Internet router and network firewall by 8/2007.
• Double internet bandwidth to 1000 Meg by 8/2007.
n) Expand the wireless network.
• Install secure wireless access in all residence hall buildings by 8/2007.
• Install secure wireless access in the Playhouse and Cottage to accommodate student and faculty requests.(by 9/2007)
o) Technology enable all classrooms.
• Equip at least 17 additional classrooms with technology by 9/2007.
• Equip 2 classrooms with Smartboard technology as a part of a faculty pilot program (by 9/2007).
p) Assist faculty in research assessment and implementation of instructional technology applications and resources.
• Coordinate Smartboard pilot program via CII to determine if this technology adds value in the classroom. Summarize pilot results and determine next steps based on faculty input(by 6/2008)
• Continue to support faculty video conferencing needs(Global Village, Performance Lab)(ongoing)
q) Continue to support and maintain the university website(enrollments, marketing, branding, services).
• Provide IT Support to the Enrollment Management Division as they launch a new look and feel for the university website. Tentative launch date is 8/2007.
• Work with the VP of Enrollment Management and the R25 implementation team to launch a new electronic events calendar for the university website. Target launch date is 7/23/2007.
r) Continue to offer technology training and specialized faculty and staff development programs.
• Reorganize OIT staff responsibilities so all training is the responsibility of the CII business unit.(by 8/2007)
• Develop and rollout a new training agenda and schedule for faculty and staff by 6/2008.
• Begin publication of an OIT newsletter to keep faculty, staff, and students informed about the universities technology priorities and to improve awareness of technology services.(by 6/2008)
s) Reengineer business processes to better utilize technology, eliminate redundancy, and improve information security, and improved quality and timeliness of service.
• Start implementation of a new technology help desk incident system(7/2008)
• Consider implement a new facilities work order system .(7/2008)
• Explore organizational changes in OIT to improve workplace morale, and end sure satisfaction(by 6/2008)
t) Strengthen disaster recovery, information security, and emergency notification services.
• Evaluate and implement a data encryption solution for all mobile and fixed devices where sensitive data is stored or utilized in order to comply with government legislation.(6/2008).
• Participate in university emergence response planning (6/2008)
• Implement an electronic emergency notification service .(9/2007)
• Evaluate costs and capabilities of offsite disaster recovery services. Summarize results and make recommendations.(6/2008)
u) Continue to enhance network and information security.
• Install new network firewall.(9/2007)
• Implement web-based VPN access for employs that need off campus access to sensitive or protected university data and electronic resources.(12/2007)
v) Implement E-commerce.
• Expand university e-commerce capabilities to include fee payments(12/2007)
• Consider implementation of online event registration and ticketing(6/2007)
• Support the Athletics Department in their implementation of XOSTECH to collect payments electronically for events and subscriptions.(9/2007)
w) Implement Resource25, class and event scheduling software.
• Implement electronic routing and approval of room requests.(6/2008)
x) Implement a data warehouse and web-based reporting tool for timely, consistent, accurate, and secure access to information.
• Work with the Enrollment Manage Division to expand their data warehouse and reporting capabilities as needed.(6/2008)
Please forgive the text flood.
John.

Thread:Communicating Your Leadership
Post:Nice post.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna said lots of great things like “The directors effective use of communication especially persuasion, proved to me that fine leadership must always be good at communicating to his/her audience.”
Kieanna – nothing to add – I just wanted to say that I thought that this was a well-written, well-argued, great post!
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:On ineffective leader-follower dyads.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “have you experienced examples of effective followers who may challenge leaders, and leaders who are open to be challenged?”
This comes from the other direction, but I can think of two counterexamples of effective followership and open leadership as a result of a lack of critical thinking and active challenges or a willingness to listen or be flexible.
I have a peer in my organization who has great technological ideas and a vision which he shares with me regularly, but which he has been trying to explain to his leader for several months. She returns that implementing his ideas just won’t work, and that there is no benefit for the organization.
My peer has been able to demonstrate that it would have a large impact, require low effort, and would enable the organization to do a few things very easily once the technology is in place. He feels that his leader’s resistance is a matter of pride rather than a matter of utility. He feels that she may be resisting because if the idea is implemented and is a great success that some people may believe that he is smarter than her, better at resolving problems, or might be viewed that way.
My peer has decided that despite the likely benefit to the organization, that it is not worth his challenging effort to pursue his vision for the university.
Within that same dyad is that leader’s unwillingness to see past her own point of view to consider the larger benefit – her unwillingness to be open and flexible and his unwillingness to act on his critical thoughts make them an especially ineffective leader-follower relationship.
I’m not an omniscient third party narrator – my assumptions are biased towards my peer’s ability to recognize and implement a useful, beneficial technology solution, but it’s quite possible that his leader is just right and somehow knows that she’s right, but if this is the case, she is not explaining why it wouldn’t work, just that it wouldn’t. In contrast, my peer can and does use rational persuasion to explain in what ways the new technology would benefit the university. Unfortunately, his leader’s not hearing it.
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: personalized leadership and locus of control continued
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna says “I have found myself in similar situations, but with different audiences, which have made me to have to lead differently. For example, at home, I may have to use a different style of communicating with my family than I would use at work and vice versa, but be just as effective with both. In both situations, I have to find what works best for me and the situation at that particular time. ”
Why is it important for you, as a leader, to include yourself in determining what is best? While there are many passages in Daft that prescribe finding what is best for the organization, such as avoiding using fear in leadership, since fear “can prevent [the organization] from doing their best, from taking risks, and from challenging and changing the status quo” (Daft, 2008, p. 152), what aspect of leadership theory prescribes “finding what is best for you”?
Kieanna, why is it important for your own needs to be considered as a leader?
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:personalized leadership and locus of control continued
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, August 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna says
“I have found through the readings of Daft that each individual leader must utilize skills and characteristics that work best for him/herself depending on the situation or organizations that he/she may be a leader within. ”
When you say “work best for him/herself” it sounds almost like you might be talking about a personalized leadership style, in which “leaders react to organizational problems in terms of their own needs rather than the needs of the whole” (Daft, 2008, p.361). I don’t imagine this is what you meant. Can you confirm?
Can you extend your statement to include some of the readings, concepts, or topics you’re referring to so that we can know which skills you are talking about? What is one of the situations that Daft suggests in which you use one of these skills, and what are the skills?
Kieanna says also that “Although Daft does speak on internal and external locus of control, I would have to believe that I am equally both at different times depending upon the situation.”
I find this interesting, since I gather from the reading (Daft, 2008, p. 103) that Locus of Control typically is highly internal or highly external, but you are either saying that you are a moderate, or that you navigate along a locus of control continuum based on contingency. I myself am an internal.
Do you mean that you believe in the generosity of customers when it comes to getting a new account at work (external), but believe in hard work and perseverance when it comes to getting a raise (internal)? Do you play the lottery? Can you elaborate for clarity?
Thanks, as always, Kieanna, for your patience with my questions and your willingness to share. Inquiring minds simply want to know.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jennifer says “Being able to effectivly read other people’s emotions as well as my own it helps me to make better judgement calls and also illustrates that I care about the organization and those whom I manage. In my field, a leader without emotional intelligence lacks the compassion to effectivley perform their duties.”
Jennifer, would you say that people in your profession are stronger or weaker in one of the four Components of Emotional Intelligence indicated in Daft’s 4th edition on pages 145-147? For instance, would veterinary workers who have high readiness in animal care be stronger in self-awareness or relationship management, generally speaking?
I know it’s dangerous to make generalizations, and maybe even rude of me to ask, but from your own experience, what is your own perceived mental model about this idea?
Nice talking with you.
John.

Thread:Power and Influence
Post:Correlating transformational and democratic approaches.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “In this situation I don’t think transactional leadership would be a good idea. Given the extreme nature of the changes the employees could become overcome with emotion and reject the change.”
This makes we wonder about the considerate nature of transactional vs. transformational approaches. Can anyone tell me using the power of “rational persuasion” (Daft, 2008, p. 374) whether choosing a transactional versus a transformational approach predetermines a democratic or autocratic approach?
In Daft’s view, there is clearly a correlation between personal based referent power and socialized, Charismatic leadership styles for instance (2008, pp. 361-365).
Simply restated, does approaching leadership with the intent of beneficial organizational change require follower consideration? Follower consideration and infusing worker democracy appear to be the base of Marie’s question.
Can you be autocratic (Daft, 2008, p. 44) and deliver a vision of change and transformation (Daft, 2008, p. 356) effectively?
John.

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Ideas for Meeting Diversity Numbers
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Dan asked “In order to increase the African American percentage to 12% would that mean an interview process would be conducted to hire only African American employees? I understand the fact that a global company should have a balance in leadership according to demographics but I’m not sure how you would get to this point. ”
It’s a great question. I pride myself on my sense of racial equality, and so this idea of meeting diversity numbers struck me as potentially reverse-racist. But, I’ve come around.
I don’t think that hiring “only African American employees”, for instance, is the way to go, or the issue at all, but I do feel that an extra consideration needs to be paid to that aspect of the employee’s ‘entire attractiveness package’.
In other words, let’s say that you have an HR report which states imbalances between customer base ethnographic data and employee base ethnographic data.
In order for there to be a match between them, let’s say employees of African descent will have to increase 10%, those of Latin descent may have to increase 4%, and women may have to increase 16%.
With this data in mind, incentives could be used by the organization as a part of hiring in order to reward increasing diversity by working towards those percentage goals in the same way the organization would work towards any other percentage goals.
By applying motivational techniques such as extrinsic rewards like ‘diversity awareness awards’ or budgetary percentage increases for departments who hire to meet the diversity numbers, managers hiring for positions would possibly be motivated to meet the organization’s diversity needs. I’ll get to the ‘how’ below.
Once those diversity numbers in that snapshot were met, perhaps the diversity balance report would show the need for an increase in white Caucasian males (!) – for each hiring, an “internal/external diversity differential snapshot” would be part of the hiring packet to consider, along with other needs for the job.
So for instance, let’s say you need a new programmer for a software project. You are looking to fill the last slot on a six person team that has two men and three women, two of which are Caucasian, two which are Latino-American, and one of which is Asian-American. The position also needs someone who is proficient in databases, C++, and interfacing with a legacy terminal system.
Your hiring packet “diversity differential snapshot” would inform you that Latino American and Asian American numbers were negatively out of sync between employees and customers. Also, the company is out of sync with 3% less women employees than women customers.
In a very simplistic example, if you had an two applicants who had all of the technical skills and expertise necessary and good references, and one of the few remaining differences was that one was an African American man and the other an Asian American woman, you might give the nod to the woman and be rewarded with the extrinsic budget increase and the intrinsic reward of increasing diversity.
You could also find a way to hire both of them, because, I mean, what are the odds? 🙂
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, August 4, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Very well stated, Jose.
You said, specifically that “If we keep people beneath us or feel that people are beneath us we have lost sight of what it is to learn from each other. In life every exchange is a learning experience.”
I feel like a part of good followership is resisting this sometimes overwhelming urge (at least for me) to hold off on making good organizational moves because of the flawed belief that you are beneath your leader or peers. It’s more effective to exchange support and service with them from the same eye level. The demand on the effective follower called the “courage to challenge” seems to speak to this in that effective followers “don’t sacrifice their personal integrity or the good of the organization in order to maintain harmony” (Daft, 2008, p. 199). Also the “courage to assume responsibility”, in which effective followers “do not presume that a leader or an organization will provide them with security, permission to act, or personal growth” (Daft, 2008, p. 199).
To borrow a line from your expertise, “it takes two to tango”. 😉
Good talking with you.
John.

Thread:Power and Influence
Post:Re: Power and Influence
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, August 3, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie proposes and asks “In order to save money they need to do two of the following three things a) lay off 10% of the workforce, b) stop funding retiree’s medical insurance, and/or c) reduce everyone’s work hours by 10%. The company’s shareholders are awaiting his decision.
Jim could just make the decision and announce the plan, but he is a smart leader and has read Daft’s The Leadership Experience. Using the material in Chapter 12 how would you help Jim analyze this situation and negotiate a solution that has the buy in of the many groups who will be affected.”
Jim would need to rely on his transformational leadership skills to help him to resolve the issue – he’d have to consider the change and how to bring it about while emphasizing the strategic outcomes of the organization in the process (Daft, 2008, pp. 356-357). This is probably a situation that would benefit from the personal aspects of charismatic leadership as well as transformational (Daft, 2008, pp. 356-361) since it may lead to a higher response of commitment (Daft, 2008, p. 365).
Because Jim is the President, he has the advantage of position based, legitimate leadership power. He could also consider the beneficiaries of the outcomes to be receiving a reward (keeping a job, or full pay, or benefits) which would give Jim rewards based leadership power, or coercive, if he decided to advertise the outcomes in terms of a form of punishment. These will likely lead to simple compliance or even resistance if handled poorly. If he wants the organization to commit to the decisions, he will need to engage in more personal power, such as referential or expert types of power, in which power is based on the leader’s level of expertise (expert) or in the ways that the leader treats the followers (referent) (Daft, 2008, p. 365).
For instance, if he were to appeal to the workers to vote on a solution to the issue, he would be engaging their sense of importance, and their self-respect which would allow Jim to gain influence due to referent power (Daft, 2008, p. 364).
He could use charismatic and expert based approaches to describe the issues, like using rational persuasion and reinforcing the facts of the situation to gain a common point of view. (Daft, 2008, p. 374)
Jim might appeal to workers’ empathy by explaining that the money must be saved or else the company may die altogether, and that while the 10% workforce layoff may be temporary, and the 10% pay reduction will allow most to keep their jobs, the loss of insurance for retirees may be seen as workers turning their backs on their future selves and the past cornerstones of the organization.
If Jim explains the situation in human terms, and with charisma, while searching for solutions that truly benefit the entire organization rather than Jim himself, he will be likely to get commitment to a very difficult decision, one that was agreed upon by a majority, and not merely complied with (Daft, 2008, p. 364).
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Luck, fate, and destiny.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, August 3, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jose says “So even though a leader must a follower, i would have to say that it would depend on what type of follower one is to become. Whether they are able to think on their own or be essentially stuck on depending on what another says will determine their fate.”
Jose, because you mention the determination of fate, (which I recognize may just be an “expression” for you,) I wonder whether your locus of control, which “defines whether a person places the primary responsibility for what happens to him or her within him/herself or on outside forces” (Daft, 2008, p. 103) is highly internal or highly external? I just asked the same question when Kieanna mentioned the significance of a shared birthday with Dr. King, because I think it is a fascinating insight into one’s sense of leadership. Would you be willing to share?
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 2, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna said “I have always grown up believing that since [King] and I shared the same birthdate, that I too may be destined to great leadership”
Kieanna, this sounds particularly interesting to me. Since you’ve been studying leadership, do you still feel that your shared birthdate is a sign of leadership destiny? It sounds like a remote form of Trait Theory, in which the inherited gift of leadership was your date of birth itself.
Do you feel that your locus of control (Daft, 2008, p. 103) highly internal or highly external, generally speaking? In other words, do you place the primary responsibility for what happens to you within yourself (internal) or on outside forces (external)?
John

Thread:Developing Diversity in Organizations
Post:Re: Developing Diversity in Organizations
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 2, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie proposes that “the VP of Human Resources offers a report that shows the organization’s employee demographics do not match the demographics of the regions where XYZ operates either domestically or abroad. For example, while the percentage of African Americans in the US population is about 12% overall, the percentage of African-Americans working for XYZ is 2%.
What should the executive do and why?”
Due to the HR report we can see that there is a mismatch between the customer base and the representative employee base. This is a potential problem in meeting customer needs, because due to primary and secondary diversity differences, the employee base may have different beliefs, expectations, experiences, and assumptions than their customer base (Daft, 2008, p.333).
If we agree that “Culture plays an important part in determining the goods, entertainment, social services, and household products that people use and buy, so organizations [engage diversity to] understand how diverse people live and what they want and need” (Daft, 2008, p.334) we see the problem.
This report of demographic mismatch may lead to an inability on the part of the employees to anticipate, interpret, and act upon the needs and wants of their customers.
Because of the need to understand the customer’s point of view, the executive should encourage the hiring manager to grow the workforce in a direction that more closely matches the diversity demographic information given in the report. At every new opportunity, for instance, African Americans who are looking for employment at XYZ in the US should be given extra consideration (possibly using a points program where points were given for attractive qualities, such as certifications, experience, and demographic percentage needs) in order to counter the effects of a potential Opportunity Gap, in which minorities may not have grown demographically in the company because culturally they were not given the same opportunity to succeed. (Daft, 2008, p. 331)
The hiring process would grow the percentage of the African American workforce diversity at XYZ from 2% to the targeted 12%, would ensure that the customer base was being properly matched in terms of diversity, and those customers would feel as though they were working with people more like themselves, which could grow customer relations, establish a stronger trust, and possibly introduce new ideas into the workflow that would more closely match customer needs.(Daft, 2008, p. 334).
Because of the need to engage creative and heterogeneous points of view so that new ideas have fertile ground to present themselves, team designers could consider employing diversity as part of their team building criteria (Daft, 2008, p. 300).
Diversity awareness programs, cultural intelligence development, and diversity hiring incentives would help the company as a whole to engage diversity as a source of creativity, demographic democratic equality, and a sign of commitment to global business growth. (Daft, 2008, p. 339) The executive could work to move the company towards the Integration level of Diversity awareness using these techniques, in which a “Multicultural attitude — enables on to integrate differences and adapt both cognitively and behaviorally” (Daft, 2008, p. 344).
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Apologies unnecessary
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, August 2, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Though it’s quite kind, I honestly don’t think apologies are called for regarding availability at all. It’s the very nature of our choice of learning style. It’s one of the reasons we choose distance learning.
In our organizational culture in this class, requirements of live presence and synchronous attendance of students is specifically given less importance. Compared to face to face classes, it is practically devalued, and that’s just right for our needs.
It’s what allows many of us to even consider taking on an education along with work, family, and life responsibilities.
According to rules indicated in the welcome, there was no obligation. Marie stated that “this is NOT a required part of the course” and she asked “as many of you as possible” to join in, with the keyword of “possible”.
I think we can still have impromptu synchronous chats and discussions via messaging systems and by phone, but I’m very glad that we don’t all have to gather at 8 pm next Wednesday. 😉
John. AIM lemasney

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

A quick note to Dan, who said “My question to everyone would be what are the advantages of Jack Welch’s approach and is it still used today?”
I think that according to McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory, someone who has acquired a Need for Achievement would likely thrive in this “Differentiation” environment, because the rewards posed by this motivational approach and the valenced outcomes of someone with this Need would likely be a good match. Someone who valued self-worth and longevity in a company might need to run the other way however.
I saw a video of Jack Welch talking in a dialogue at Stanford about his new book called “Winning” ( http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2660677898704654911&q=jack+welch&total=82&start=0&num=100&so=0&type=search&plindex=5 ) in which he says “You get the behaviors you reward” and when told he was ‘noted’ for this concept of differentiation (the name for the reward 20 /develop 70 / remove 10 phenomenon) he said “Noted is a kind word.” to laughter from the audience. (Welch, 2006, 4:12)
It’s an interesting video for anyone interested in seeing a certain kind of iconic leadership. I don’t mean that kindly, but I’m biased.
John.

Thread:Teams and Leadership
Post:Re: Teams and Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira, I thought this approach was detailed, and paid a lot of attention to the concepts in the chapter on teams. Is there anything you would do to build the team to be specifically effective in the task Marie suggested?
What team characteristics might you choose for a team working to be highly productive in child welfare? What diverse elements would you look for in your team members? What size might your team be in order for it to be effective in working with families on welfare?
Which level of interdependence would you suggest for your team? Is the work serial in nature, where sequential interdependence might be ideal? Would reciprocal interdependence cause workflow chaos?
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:The sound of one man chatting.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie had talked about a 15-20 minute session, and I’ve been here for 21. But no one else is here, and no one has been here. Did I miss the time or get the wrong day, somehow? (twilight zone music plays) I kept popping in and out to make sure there wasn’t something wonky with the chat client.
Mini, this is a problem I hadn’t considered with chat in a distance learning class: I made some special arrangements with my wife and son to be able to meet tonight, and I was the only one to show, as far as I can tell. 😦
What would equity theory say? 😉
I’m sorry it didn’t work out – I was looking forward to some collaborative, team driven, individualized, emotionally intelligent real-time screen-to-screen communication.
John.
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 7:59:32 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:00:22 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:01:08 PM EDT John LeMasney: hi all. Aug 1, 2007 8:01:59 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:02:35 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:03:07 PM EDT John LeMasney: Hmmm. Aug 1, 2007 8:03:20 PM EDT John LeMasney: Where is everyone, I wonder? Aug 1, 2007 8:04:50 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:05:56 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:06:02 PM EDT John LeMasney: .Wednesday, at 8 pm, right? Aug 1, 2007 8:07:39 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:07:53 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:07:58 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:08:52 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:09:09 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:09:46 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:11:42 PM EDT
[John LeMasney left the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:17:13 PM EDT
[John LeMasney joined the session] Aug 1, 2007 8:17:20 PM EDT
John LeMasney: Well, good night, all. Aug 1, 2007 8:21:34 PM EDT

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Live Chat Session Scheduled
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I’m in the Live Chat Session I, and I don’t see anyone. Are people there and I’m not seeing them, or is something else going on?
Hope to see you here!
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:A Community of Practice for Rider’s Distance Learning Students.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Mini says “…if the entire class throws out their available schedule to meet once a week online for just even 1/2 an hour it would be a good thing. Yes, we all post our views in response to what someone has posted, but I personally still feel a lack of contact. That is my personal opinion. After all as an online class members we all are a team.”
I’ve mentioned a few times here that we might be able to facilitate a sort of Community of Practice, “made up of individuals who are informally bound to one another through exposure to a similar set of problems and a common pursuit of solutions” (Daft, 2008, p. 215) through email, facebook, AOL Instant Messenger, and other tools so that we might be able to more easily facilitate offline meetings, quick clarification phone calls on course issues, etc.
If anyone is interested, we can move forward by sharing facebook accounts (lemasney on facebook), AOL IM screennames (IM lemasney now), and other social networking accounts.
It would be a step towards building a support structure that could follow you though out your courses at Rider, and possibly start building a network that we can use outside of classes. LinkedIn is another great service for this purpose http://www.linkedin.com/in/lemasney
I think sharing these kinds of accounts can lead to the finding of missing elements in Mini’s educational experience as constrained by a distance learning environment.
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:On target.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I see all of your posts, Tracy, and enjoy them greatly – You addressed me in the post, and I understood what was going on. You did great!
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Channels: Forums vs. Chat
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Mini says “Tracy, I too feel that a live chat discussion would enable us to respond in a speedy and timely fashion. I too sometimes get very confused reading and responding to some comments. I have read and reread some posts and respond very carefully just to make sure that my response makes sense adn does not confuse anyone else. I feel an online chat session is the closest to atleast getting the feeling that there is a live person from your class on the other side who is responding and participating with you at that moment versus a day or two later. Once again this becomes a personal choice”
Mini, the quickness and live interaction of a chat are definitely a richer communication channel than what we’ve seen here, and there are lots of possibilities for the mixture of discussions and live chat to balance out the pros and cons of the various channels along the continuum of Channel Richness(Daft, 2008, p. 275).
The fact that you are able to “read and reread some posts and respond very carefully” is a primary benefit to discussion boards. It speaks to the advantages of Low Channel Richness like “providing a record, being premediatated, and being easily disseminated” (Daft, 2008, p. 275).
You’ll see very quickly in the chat that “re-reading” messages at leisure and “responding carefully” or knowing exactly who’s talking becomes exceedingly difficult on a real-time synchronous live chat.
No communication channel is perfect, but I love discussion boards comparative to chat for our academic purposes, whereas I love chat for much less formal interactions, like asking friends if they saw a story on a new technology last night, etc. Tonight’s chat will likely be a less formal affair. If I wanted to take the time to discuss the finer points of the aforementioned technology with friends, I would want to use a discussion board, so I could work it out, and let someone read it at their leisure, then respond at their leisure.
I am very glad that you have decided to continue on with LEAD, and look forward to continue learning with you.
John

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy, amongst other ideas, said “I don’t think we have to have a live chat to facilitate discussion or dialogue. In my opinion we are doing that just fine now. However, I do think a live chat will speed the response time. If we are all logged on together, then we can actively respond to each other in a timely fashion. I admit I do get a little confused when I am responding to comments on Blackboard. I am especially careful that I am responding to the right person’s comments. I think a live chat would eliminate my confusion somewhat.”
Tracy, I really appreciate your input and insight, as well as everyone else here on the topic of discussion vs. dialogue. I feel much clearer on the issue now.
I agree with you that while the chat may not work for everyone, it’s a very nice additional possibility for collaboration and some sense of real time interaction. The more communication channels in richer ranges, the better. 😉
Regarding confusion and chatting, you may be surprised how quickly confusion can ensue in an active chat, especially compared to the pace of interaction on our discussions. regardless, I’m really looking forward to the possibilities of real time interaction. Hope to see many of you there at 8 pm!
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tom said most gracefully “John, in the long run, my personal opinion is that this class is a combination of the two items. We are taking a contingent approach to this course, meaning our answer will be based upon the type of question at hand.
I’m not sure if I planted new trees in the forest, or cut some down. I hope I helped in some way, because I, too, have had to look at this class with a different set of eyes and a new mindset. Let me know your thoughts John because I am always open to trying new things, especially if will benefit me in the long run. I think we’re all taking this course with an open mind and having to get used to the setup. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow together in this endeavor.”
I am now convinced by many of the fine responses in this thread that we are indeed participating in both a discussion and a dialogue, and that they both have benefits for our learning. I appreciate all of the responses and the opportunity to explore this idea, and I feel more confident in our ability to walk along the length of the continuum between discussion and dialogue.
I’m sure that we will continue to grow in this endeavor together, Tom, and I really appreciated your viewpoint and others. No trees were harmed in this discussion, but I feel like I’m back on the path. 😉
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Dr. King as a Leader and Follower
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna said “Dr. King was a great leader who no matter what the obstacle that was faced during the civil rights movement in the 50s, 60s etc., he continued to preservers. But, Dr. King did not just go out on a limb and take the lead as during the civil rights movement. Through documented research, Dr. King studied and followed those prior to his time such as Pastors of local churches, philosophical minds and teachings of Mohandas Gandhi which he effectively followed, thus preparing him for the role of a leader during the civil rights movement.”
Kieanna, can you share the ways that we can know that Dr. King was a great leader? I agree with you, have no doubt, but by what commonality can we both objectively know it? Something Dr. King did that made him a great leader-communicator, for instance, that Daft indicates is a common practice of effective leadership communicators was that he “Communicated a vision for the future” (Daft, 2008, p. 282)in his “I Have a Dream” speech, in the words:
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (King, August 28th, 1963, http://www.usconstitution.net/dream.html )
Can you tell me some other reasons that he was a great leader, with reference to what we’re learning?
When you say that “Through documented research, Dr. King studied and followed those prior to his time”, what exactly is the documented research? Did you learn this on a TV show? A magazine article? How would I be able to share in the resource that led you to this belief?
Kieanna says “However, one must also remember that out of the mouth of Dr. King, in 1965, he professed that he was much more than a civil rights leader. With so many options and choices to explore, if he would have lived, there could have been a dozen other paths that King would have probably explored and not because he was a mass leader but because he understood the importance of followership. ”
What came out of King’s mouth that “professed that he was more than a civil rights leader”? Do you have a quote so I could go on more than just your interpretation? What were his “options to explore?”
Finally, what aspects of followership did Dr. King practice, in terms of what we are learning? Was he an Effective Follower because of his “mindfulness and a willingness to act” (Daft, 2008, p. 198)? If this is the case, can you give me an example that exemplifies this?
I think that when we reinforce the ideas that we are sharing with cited examples, it allows us to have a discussion that is more rooted in common views, and less about how we feel on our own. I feel like it enables us to have some faith in what we are sharing. I don’t have a cite to back this up, however. 😉
John

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Marie’s question Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie proposes the question
“Does this mean all leadership styles would be equal in
a) producing the exact same outcomes
b) having the same impact on followers’ satisfaction and productivity?
c) creating a coherent team of followers?
d) being ethical/moral?”
Not all leadership styles produce the same outcomes or have the same impact on productivity. If an autocratic leader comes into an organization where democratic styles are the organizational cultural norm, and are valued by the highly skilled and high-readiness followers, and where followers expect to be able to have a say, but are suddenly stopped from doing so, the followers may quickly be discouraged by the new different leadership style, intrinsically demotivated, and performance may suffer (Daft, 2008, pp. 246-247).
Different leadership styles may be more or less effective in choosing coherent teams, too. For example, if an analytically oriented leader decides to approach team building from a research and theoretical application standpoint, paying attention to personality assessment, environmental fertility for team growth, cross-functional roles and responsibilities, (Daft, 2008, p. 298) etc., and another leader decides to take a gut-feeling and past-experience view because they believe that their leadership instincts are all that are necessary to build a great team, pulling people together due to their perceived leadership traits (Daft, 2008, p. 38), for instance, then they may very well end up with two decidedly different types of teams, with different levels of effectiveness (Daft, 2008, p. 302).
Reading that “good leaders help people feel that their work is meaningful and important” (Daft, 2008, p. 307) suggests that a leader with a less considerate style, or one that does not address the motivation of workers is not likely as effective. Leadership style affects outcomes, goals, effectiveness, organizational climate, and so many other aspects of the organizations.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “The in group experiences a good working relationship with the leader. They are active participants and are given encouragement from the leader. The out group is passive and their mistakes are often pointed out. I don’t think it’s healthy to have such a divide with your employees.”
It seems like Welch’s approach is flawed on so many levels. To Daniel’s observations, I would add that by Welch’s approach:
1. Welch relies on a Carrot and Stick approach, in which rewards are clearly given, and punishments are looming, which only focuses on extrinsic rewards and extinction (Daft, 2008, pp. 234-235).
2. Welch leads with fear – what greater fear than to be threatened to suddenly lose your job because you didn’t make the cut, and the cut happens regularly, no matter the level of performance of the company as a whole. Leading with love and assurance would likely build a stronger team on a long term basis (Daft, 2008, pp. 150-155).
3. Any intrinsic rewards that are being developed in the top 10% are surely being diminished by the extrinsic nature of the motivational approaches (Daft, 2008, p. 239).
4. This approach relies on an atmosphere of internal individualistic competition, which probably works against team cohesiveness (Daft, 2008, p. 303), cross training, and other benefits of cooperative leadership techniques. Team characteristics such as Interdependence, which is “the extent to which team members depend on each other for information, resources, or ideas to accomplish their tasks” (Daft, 2008, 301) would surely be diminished by competitive environments like Welch’s.
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:On the benefits of distance education
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna said “Although this class started out a little rocky, it will ultimately depend upon each individuals decision on how interactive or not interactive he/she will be. But again, this class had a unusual start so for me, it just has not exceeded the expectations that I came in with but that is no reason for me not to continue to explore Leadership and its origins with an online program. Not to go too far off topic but by taking courses online, you get to put together the look of the other person without ever possibly seeing him/her. You get to make them be, who you want them to be and their voice is what they write. It may sound weird but this has and continues to work for me. Just keep on posting your thoughts about the readings and discussions to further build dialogue.”
And I couldn’t agree more. It’s been very nice to start to hear your voice, Mini.
The book issue was a wrench in the works, but I think it’s a great example of the kind of crisis and change that we will encounter as leaders. The issue is not the problem we were dealt, it’s how we work, or lead, though that issue.
Was I the best follower I could have been, given the situation? Was there anything else I could have done to resolve the book crisis? I know Mini called me on the phone, using a rich communication channel, no less, to tell me that I could borrow her copy of the book – that’s leadership.
I know I myself went to the bookstore every day, in person, and visited quite a few local bookstores looking for Daft, and met only false hopes and shaky promises. That’s an Effective Follower, in my opinion.
As a leader, what else should I have done? As a follower, did I miss the mark?
Despite the book debacle, I’ve had a great time, and while this class was much different from my first class (with Kieanna and others in Summer 1) there’s no way you’d ever get me back into a classroom only class.
There’s something so very empowering about being able to hear everyone’s complete thought without interruption or distraction. Even if I am distracted, I can read your post 6 times. If I’m in class, and my mind wanders, unless someone has taken some precaution to record the class somehow, with a high qulaity recording that captures all of the visual and audio details, which is excruciatingly hard, I’ve lost that portion of the class.
This way, the course is encapsulated, recorded, and disseminated from start to finish, and if I want to go to class at 1:40 AM, then I can. I LOVE THAT!
I hope you stick it out, Mini – I think it’s a fantastic way to learn, if you give it a chance.
Thanks to Kieanna for some nice thoughts in her post too.
John.

Thread:Teams and Leadership
Post:Re: Teams and Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

If I were to build a team I’d take the following ideas into account:
1) I would consider that the teams have to be able to work together, so as part of the team creation process, I might incorporate Myers-Briggs style testing in order to get some feeling of how the personalities would mesh for the task at hand. For instance, in a group prepared for Child Welfare oriented tasks, I might want to make sure that my team was balanced between Sensing and Intuitive types, rather than all one or the other. (Daft, 2008, p. 118)
2) I would want to make a cross functional team that covered several areas of expertise – for instance, I might want someone who was familiar with counseling, someone who was familiar with family law, and someone who was a great accountant. (Daft, 2008, p.298) I would want these people to all be effective followers and be able to move towards self-management and evolve into self-directed teams(Daft, 2008, pp. 197-198), so that they could continue to function and grow on their own. (Daft, 2008, p.299)
3. I would want to make sure that the teams were of a reasonable size so that there was an open communication climate, and that the team was diverse enough to have differing points of view but not so diverse that different points of view kept children from getting the benefits that they needed waiting for the latest team quarrel to end (Daft, 2008, p.300). A common ground and collaborative environment should be planted and tended to quickly, so that diversity can enhance rather than divide the team.
4. I would want the team to engage in a workflow that was based on reciprocal interdependence, in which “members influence and affect one another in a reciprocal fashion” (Daft, 2008, p.302). In this way, there would not be a work stoppage due to a person on the team being out of the proverbial loop. For the same reason, I would also emphasize cross training and team rotation so that the team could still function at a high rate of performance if one member had to leave the team or the company.
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:individualized vs. systemwide rewards.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel said “As a leader I would prefer systemwide rewards. These are rewards that “apply the same to all people within an organization or within a specific category or department.” (Daft 227). I think these rewards are more fair to the group. I would use individual rewards but less often. Individuals rewards “may differ among people within the same organization or department” (Daft 227). An example may be a bonus check. These rewards would need to be awarded through a system with specific requirements to avoid conflict. ”
Daniel, at Rider, we have some of each, and most people wouldn’t even recognize my individualized rewards as rewards. For instance, we can all participate in TIAA CREF with a nice healthy match from Rider. That’s a extrinsic, systemwide reward. I also get to keep my own linux based server with it’s own domain name under my desk, which has lots of productivity benefits, but it’s one of those things that only means something very important to me, that whenever I’ve considered leaving Rider, I’ve thought to myself – yeah but will the new sysadmin at a new place recognize my need for a server with a static IP address?
My point is – the provost doesn’t care whether or not he gets his own domain name, but to me it’s an individualized reward of a high enough order that on very bad days, it keeps me from leaving. 😉
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “I had also never thought of being an “effective follower” which was an interesting concept. For most of a person’s leadership career, they will be reporting to someone. I think learning to be an effective follower is still important, even when you are a leader. ”
Thanks, Daniel.
I think that this aspect of followership, leader as follower, really speaks strongly to the idea of Servant Leadership too, “in which the leader transcends self-interest to serve the needs of others, help others grow, and provide opportunities for others to gain materially and emotionally (Daft, 2008, p.176).
It wasn’t until I realized that the people who were working for me were my equals, and that I was as much their follower as they were mine, and that everyone can share ideas and act on them, and that we all benefit from that exchange, that I understood the absolute importance of followership and Servant Leadership.
When you have bright, creative, energetic people ‘beneath you’ the quickest way to crush those qualities is to keep them ‘beneath you’.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna says “Although statistics may show that people tend to get bolder when they write things, many times it is by writing out how one will approach a situation only reinforces the thoughts and ultimately the behavior of an individual.”
Kieanna, I really love the idea of statistics about how writing informs and affects one’s persona. I’ve heard of this phenomenon, but never saw any study or record. Can you please share the statistics you’re referring to here in your first line?
Getting people to write in my organization in order to propose important changes is tougher than I expected, and being able to show that numbers say that writing can influence your persona would be pretty powerful.
Thanks!
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Effective Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “An effective leader will continue to learn throughout their career. Their capacity, which is the potential to be something more than we are now, will determine how far they will take their leadership skills (Daft 133). The development of a leader’s mind is a continuous process. An effective leader will learn to harness their own energy as well as the people surrounding them. Just like dancing the harder you work, the better you will become. ”
Daniel, I have nothing to say here except how much I truly appreciated your statement here. Thank you.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:On Capacity vs. Competence
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna says “An individual would also need to look beyond what capacity the leader worked in and instead judge whether or not the leader had possessed the characteristics that closely describe a leader.
I do believe there to be bad and good leadership but to judge the leader due to the capacity would be unfair.”
Kieanna, can you define capacity? I saw capacity in the text, but I think you’re using a more generalized meaning, like ‘situation’ or ‘role’.
Daft calls capacity “the potential each of us has to do more and be more than we are now” (2008, p. 132) which has the keyword ‘potential.’
Can you elaborate on your meaning of capacity?
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:A proposal for a leader effectiveness matrix
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel said “It is difficult to develop a specific framework to evaluate the effectiveness of leaders. It is even more difficult to measure ethics. There are so many qualities that leaders could potentially posses. The problem with developing a frame work is that all leaders don’t have the same qualities or styles. A good leader usually develops a unique style with a blend of leadership qualities. An ethical evaluation of a leader is more opinionated since ethics can sometimes be a gray area. I would lean more towards opninonated assessment of effectively due to the broad range of qualities a leader can potentially possess.”
I think that a framework to determine the effectiveness of leaders could be developed with the right statistical information and the right choice of criteria.
If we were to follow Daft’s advice in determining what is a good leader, and what is an effective leader, for instance, than couldn’t we essentially create a matrix or a continuum to determine a score of ideal effectiveness?
Let’s agree that leadership is “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes” (Daft, 2008, p. 4).
Even if we abandon an ‘ideal’ or ‘ethical’ leadership identity, we could focus on progress (changes and outcomes) and motivation (an influence relationship among leaders and followers), which I think could be considered cornerstones of most forms of effective leadership, including not so great examples.
Along one side or line would show the ability to achieve goals, and along another side or line would show the ability to motivate others.
Like so many of the graphs in Daft, (Exhibit 1.4, Exhibit 2.2, Exhibit 3.2, Exhibit 3.4, etc.) the upper right would be the place to be, and the lower left would be the negative area in the plot. It’s just a matter of taking real data and assessing it, then plotting points. Or is it? 😉

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: The Reyes-LeMasney Leadership Correctness Continuum
Author:Childs, Kieanna
Date:Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

An individual would also need to look beyond what capacity the leader worked in and instead judge whether or not the leader had possessed the characteristics that closely describe a leader.
I do believe there to be bad and good leadership but to judge the leader due to the capacity would be unfair.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Valence: Techniques for assessment
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 30, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie says
“when leaders try to be completely logical in their approach, they may be disappointed if they do not understand that followers may see things quite differently and may make decisions based on other values.
So be careful when you say ‘I will be completely fair to all my employees.’ You should certainly try. But your perception of ‘fair’ may not be perceived as ‘fair’ by others. As a leader you will need to learn to listen, to understand others’ perceptions, to come to common ground, if you intend to be effective.”
Marie, and class – I have been (benefically) knocked over the head with the potential for the concept of valence as a leadership tool (Daft, 2008, p. 236) – which I interpret to mean determining one’s individually perceived value of an outcome – since I’ve been studying leadership.
Valence seems like the most elusive thing to get from another person, since they may not know themselves what they truly value, they may feel like they should value A when they actually value B and they may report A as a result, they may not be willing to share it with you if they do know what it is, and it may change tomorrow based on new situations, revelations, etc.
With this in mind, what kinds of prompts can allow leaders to even get the opportunity to listen to what is of valence to followers?
Is it sensible to present a list of values such as the one on page 106, and to ask followers to complete and share it? Is it presumptuous to assume that a follower will feel comfortable being asked to share this, or that their answers will be more truthful than appearance altering? (choosing “honesty” over “ability to love” because it’s what I think my boss wants to see.)
Is it reasonable to consider a straightforward asking of the question “What do you value?” – In my experience, the answer is most often “I don’t know – which is when the valence sheet comes out, but that is a closed set of valued items, and there may be something else that they value more than anything on the sheet, but like a badly designed form, the thing they actually want to answer may not be there to choose.
Suggestions? Ideas? Examples? Have you determined follower valence successfully? If so, how? If not, have you determined what is of actual value to yourself? If so, how?
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 30, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hi, Mini,
It’s interesting to hear your viewpoint. It’s very considerate of you to share it.
Blackboard has the virtual classroom tool available, and now Marie is specifically choosing a time that we can make use of it, which is great [!] – I think that many people who are drawn to online courses, however, are likely here because they are driven by time and task constraints which may preclude them from coming on, for instance, at 8 pm on Wednesday night. During the normal school year, for example, I watch my two year old while my wife works on Wednesday evening, and so if we were doing this in September, it wouldn’t work for me, but during the summer, I’m usually sharing that responsibility, so I’ll make every effort to be there. I’m looking forward to it.
While Bb Virtual Classroom may help to gain some collective sense of inclusion, other more individualistic options are available. I personally think an Instant Messaging route may be able to help smaller teams to get more conversational value out of online classes without the constraints of getting a time everyone can agree to. If you and I were to speak over AOL Instant Messenger, for instance, at our convenience, when we were both signed on and available, we could add that real time conversational component.
We could even copy and paste the ‘finished’ log of a messaging conversation into this forum so that others could review and comment on the conversation. It would be a unique way to combine the powers of those two electronic communication channels into one much richer channel, and one that could be considered for grading, possibly, whereas the instant messaging on its own might never get to be seen by peer classmates or the teacher otherwise.
As I said in another post, my AIM account is lemasney – I propose that we all share our messaging usernames if we are willing to participate in this way. Maybe your account is on Gtalk or Y! Messenger or MSN Messenger or something else. Maybe you really like a particular IRC channel, like #leadership on freenode, perhaps.
What way do we all like to message with others? What kind of an account do you use?
I’m on most of the time and willing to discuss Daft and leadership with anyone who wants to, and we can even copy messaging transcripts back into this conversation as long as it is of value to the discussion here and on topic. Let’s talk about it. I would still reference Daft in our messaging discussions, but maybe I’d leave out the page numbers. 😉
I think your suggestion to allow for virtual classroom chats is a great idea, and we may be surprised by people’s availability. If you want to chat right now, maybe others do too. What are our accounts in messaging clients? Are we willing to share quick, spontaneous convenient messaging conversations on leadership?
I have an example of how this could possibly work: Many of the exercises at the ends of chapters and the leader’s self insights exercises in Daft ask for interactions with other students.
I would love someone to IM me, and ask “How do you feel about developing the emotional qualities of yourself and other people in the organization as a way to be an effective leader” (Daft, 2008, p. 156)? Or they could IM me to ask “Think about the class for which you are reading this text as a system. How might making changes without whole-systems thinking cause problems for students” (Daft, 2008, p. 156)?
Mixing the techniques of instant messaging and discussion forums has great potential. If we had a 2 or 3 minute discussion about the question and answer we gave, and then copied and pasted the discussion into a ‘messaging discussions forum’ on Blackboard in which we could all see the transaction of ideas, and comment appropriately, we might really have the best of most technology channeled worlds: synchronous and asynchronous, along with the advantages of both high channel richness and low channel richness: recording (IM, DB), personal interaction (IM, DB), two-way communication (IM, DB), spontaneous interaction (IM), group feedback (DB) and easy dissemination (IM, DB)(Daft, 2008, p. 275). The IM would make the conversation spontaneous rather than premeditated, but editing could be considered pre-posting on the discussion board to refine clarity – this seems dangerous though, almost like censorship or 1984 style historical alteration.
Just a thought.
John.

Thread:Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Post:Following one’s bliss: intrinsic rewards as prerequisite.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 30, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asks “can we motivate another person to change behaviors and attitudes if he or she is not internally motivated first? Depending on the model of human behavior you ascribe to the answer might be yes, no, or maybe or “both have to happen.”
I would say that I had some faith in the opposite conclusion, that if the task is not inherently valenced or actually self-rewarding, people must be extrinsically motivated first. A house mover who dislikes sweating comes to mind. Herzberg seems to indicate that after being motivated to a neutral satisfaction level by extrinsic rewards (Daft, 2008, p. 231), they may be able to gather some intrinsic reward from the work. If I understand the progression properly, this is also in step with Maslow’s Hierarchy, which says that my lower, more basic needs must be satisfied before higher needs, such as intrinsically rewarding needs, can be met. This seems simplistic, however.
The real question preceding the application of theory is a contingency issue: does the worker want to do the job at hand; Are they intrinsically motivated by the work itself? Is the house mover excited spiritually by lifting the box despite the dislike of sweat? If this is not the case, I would propose that you’d have to apply Path Goal theory to clarify the means and ends to valued individual rewards (Daft, 2008, p. 227) or Expectancy Theory in order to find what one loves, find out if she believes she can do the work, and explain exactly how she can get to that valenced end (Daft, 2008, p. 235). It’s a difficult question.
Marie says “research show[s] that if you reward certain behaviors, a pigeon or rat (and many humans) are likely to do those behaviors more often. We use Skinnerian tactics whenever we reward our dog with a biscuit for sitting, whenever we reward our kids with cash for good grades, and whenever we reward our employees with bonuses for working hard.”
This, of course, is purely extrinsically based motivation, or the carrot-and-stick approach, which is much less effective at long term lasting motivation, the kind made possible with intrinsic rewards (Daft, 2008, p. 239).
Marie asks “why do some people labor at something for years (writing a book or acting in small theatres) if no rewards are given to them? Theresa Amibile, a researcher at Harvard, demonstrates through her research that humans are often intrinsically rewarded when they are engaged in activities that provide them with self-rewards.”
I thought that self-rewards and intrinsic rewards were interchangable terms, but now I wonder. This makes perfect sense – some workers go the extra mile without being asked, despite knowing that they won’t necessarily gain anything extrinsically speaking, because they know the value of feeling proud of their effort, which may bring a long lasting and satisfying intrinsic reward, especially if they are what McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory would call a worker who has developed a “Need for Achievement” (Daft, 2008, p. 233). I believe Daniel and I are discussing this phenomenon in another thread in which I’m arguing that added responsibility can negate the need for increased income if the added responsibility is considered a reward in itself. (lemasney, 2007, discussion board)
Marie says “So when a six year old colors in her coloring book for hours she doesn’t need a reward of money or a trip to McDonald’s–she engages in this activity because she enjoys it. In fact, Amibile finds that when you reward someone for something they really like to do, they are less likely to do it! Why? Because they interpret that activity as “a task that must be unpleasant or else they wouldn’t need to give me something to keep doing it.”
Doing something you love may very well bring intrinsic rewards, but the original question is about someone who is perceived to not love what they do, and while we may be able to get Brenda something to do that she loves, she was hired to do ‘task X’. In light of this we have a hundred possible options, including: 1) motivate Brenda extrinsically in hopes that she will do ‘task X’ at an acceptable level and hope she gains an intrinsic value for the work. 2) Ask her to leave so that we can find someone who loves the work intrinsically. 3) Settle for her not being motivated and let her languish, slowly, painfully completing ‘task X’ 4) Find something that Brenda loves to do and set her to it, then hope that someone else loves ‘task X’ that she wasn’t interested in. These all seem flawed to me in one way or another.
Marie says “So the point is that when you find an activity your child or employee loves to do, the best thing you can do is to provide a situation that supports those activities (assuming the tasks are something important to the family or organization).”
That seems very valid and good advice. But Brenda loves something besides ‘task X’ so do we find a way for Brenda to do task X, or do we find a way for Brenda to be intrinsically rewarded? Is there a way to answer these both positively with the same solution?
Marie asks “can you motivate others, or is motivation an internal process only?”
That’s a tough question. I’m starting to think that it is purely an internal process, but I haven’t worked out the way that an unmotivated worker still works if they are not motivated intrinsically. I was of the mind set that extrinsic rewards can influence intrinsic rewards, but now I’m not so sure. I’m in a state of flux.
Great fun as always talking about the issues. Thanks, Marie!
John.

Thread:It All Depends…Contingency Approaches to Leadership
Post:Re: It All Depends…Contingency Approaches to Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Wow, Tashira – Congratulations! This proposal sounds like a solid leadership plan with great potential – I hope if you find some success with it that you share with us!
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel asked the class “How many times in your career have you be given added responsibility and not received compensation? It seems small at the time, but these responsibilities add up. You hope to be rewarded when evaluations and raises are given, but sometimes that doesn’t happen.”
This has happened to me quite a few times, but the rewards that I got from the added responsibility were intrinsic — someone trusted me to take on the new responsibility — when someone thinks of X they will now think of me — when my boss thought of all of the people she could have given this task to, she chose me because I’m the right person for the job — I know that this task adds value to the organization, and I’m considering the absence of monetary compensation for added responsibility as an investment in the bottom line of the organization.
Intrinsically added rewards like these are really hard to measure in comparison to monetary rewards, but if I m adequately compendsated in general, these additional responsibilities give me a much longer term benefit than the equivalent added money might have. Maslow considers the added responsibilities meeting your Esteem Needs and Self Actualization Needs as long as your other lower needs are met first (Daft, 2008, p. 230).
In terms of Two-Factor theory, I got the better of two rewards – the intrinsic one – the Motivator (Daft, 2008, p. 231). If I feel that I am adequately paid in the first place, an additional responsibility is a reward in and of itself.
If you look at it in another way – let’s say that a new responsibility made itself available in which 25% of your organization will need to interact with someone in order to get some organizational goal accomplished. Let’s also assume you feel adequately compensated before the announcement of the new responsibility. There is no additional compensation available, but it is an important responsibility with long term positive effects for the organization, and either you or a co-worker could get the responsibility – after a day or two of deliberation, your supervisor chooses your peer. How do you feel?
Thanks for the question, Daniel!
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asks “Does [Equity Theory] mean that a leader treats everyone fairly… [or is it about] each person looking at what they are giving and what they are getting and determining their own sense of where or not they are being treated fairly?”
In my understanding, Equity Theory is more about your second option. It’s about motivation as a result of a contingency set of inputs, outputs, perceptions and rewards (Daft, 2008, p. 237)
Marie continued “If it’s more the latter, then will employees always feel that they are being treated fairly even if the leader thinks he or she is treated everyone the same?”
Even if a leader gave everyone exactly the same pay, exactly the same uniforms, consideration, benefits, and cubicles, equity theory says that there is still a possibility for unmotivated followers, since the perception of equity by the different followers is the key.
An effective follower, sitting amongst a set of conformist followers, who made every effort to become whole and to push new ideas and carry forward change in the organization might become quickly demotivated in her efforts if benefits, consideration, and other motivators and demotivators remained the same between the effective worker and the conformist followers despite the uneven effort. (Daft, 2008, pp. 194-198)
There would be a perceived inequity between effort and outcomes between peers.
It might make her say to herself “Why do I do all the extra stuff I do – Jim and Mike and Jen do nothing extra at all, and we all get exactly the same check, uniforms, responsibility, and the rest.” The once effective follower might become an alienated follower (Daft, 2008, p. 195)
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Issues, values, assumptions and stereotypes.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jose says “After i found out what the reason was I would probably use behavior modifcation on page 304. i would start by giving positive feedback so that this cycle would be the ora surrounding the workforce. People like tofeel that they are appreciated for the job that they do; even something as small as good job really makes a difference in someone’s life.”
Determining issues sounds like a great approach. How would you determine what the real issues were? Would you do a paper survey, have meetings with key managers, send out an email, or do some Management By Walking Around (Daft, 2008, p.281)? If these weren’t available options, what else might you do?
Using Behavior Modification is one way you could begin to move your followers towards goals, but since this team is already demotivated, there is some danger in relying on motivational approaches that are based in extrinsic rewards (Daft, 2008, pp. 239-240). Is there any way you could focus on intrinsic rewards instead? Is there any effective way to use Behavior Modification to reinforce intrinsic needs?
Jose continues “Probablay next, I would establish some sort of incentive to make and motivated people to work. I’ve learned that must younger people like incentives that benefit them in the short term as opposed to long terms For example, have a Friday off for getting a project done before it had to be done or a pay increase for putting more hours in a week.”
Again, I would say that given the existing demotivated state, that relying on something you’re giving to motivate (Extrinsic rewards like pay increases or days off) might not be as effective as them finding something in themselves to reward the work they do (responsibility, pride, being part of a meaningful task, etc.)(Daft, 2008, p. 242-243).
I would also say that you are certainly aware of your own experience with younger workers and you have developed a perception and mental model about what motivates them. I would say that making a generalization or a stereotype about young workers is dangerous, (Daft, 2008, p. 111) in that it assumes that all young workers you encounter will be most moved by short term outcomes that are based in extrinsic needs (Daft, 2008, pp. 133-136).
I know that I myself was much more interested in intrinsic values than extrinsic ones as a teenager, and it drove my father crazy to no end, because he wondered when I was going to get a healthy respect for money. 😉
It came eventually, to his great relief.
I’m not saying that your perception isn’t accurate, or that all teenagers are alternatively intrinsically motivated – I’m saying that without some statistical evidence or large study outcomes, I’m suggesting it’s very dangerous to make a generalized assumption about an age group, and even with those studies or temporal outcomes, I think it’s healthy to consider workers individually (Daft, 2008, pp. 52-56).
Jose, thanks, as always, for your willingness to dialogue on the issues.
John.

Thread:Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Post:Re: Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira says “[Brenda] has been a conformist follower the entire time she has worked for this organization.”
It sounds as if she’s never encountered a leader who knew how to develop a path to goals (Daft, 2008, p. 75). If her end values (Daft, 2008, p. 105) were established, in other words, if Brenda was asked to define from a list of intrinsically or extrinsically valued outcomes what it was that she wanted the most, a leader might be able to use that to motivate Brenda to become more of an effective follower.
If these values were established (valence), a leader might be able to use expectancy theory to ask the right questions to find out if Brenda expected that she could do the job that was necessary to achieve acceptable performance (E > O), then assure Brenda that if she was to achieve that desired performance that she would get the things that she desired (P > O)(Daft, 2008, pp. 235-236).
Expectancy says that if one believes their effort will lead to the desired performance, and that achieving that performance will lead to desired outcomes, and those outcomes have real value for the worker, then the worker will be highly motivated. Everyone values something, and a leader who knows what that is has a key to motivating followers.
Tashira says “In order to help someone become an effective follower they also have to want more.”
Who is the ‘they’ in your statement? In order for me to help someone, there are things that I can do as a leader, rather than hoping that “they,” which I take to mean the follower, decide to want more. “Leadership is concerned… with communicating the vision and developing a shared culture and set of core values that can lead to the desired future state” (Daft, 2008, p. 17).
How could you, as a leader, motivate Brenda, or if you truly believe she is a lost cause, how could you motivate her to have “the courage to leave” for the benefit of the organization? (Daft, 2008, p. 200)
Tashira says “The problem with her is she was just trying to buy her time until she could retire. I do not think the reform will work for her.”
Suppose some of the benefits of retirement were tested for valence with Brenda, and if there was valence positively determined, then maybe early retirement could be offered in order to move on from a bad situation. Equity theory would have to be applied to make sure that all involved felt that it was a equitable solution, but it’s only one possible outcome (Daft, 2008, p. 237). What are some others?
Why is it that Brenda is a lost cause? Is there really nothing that a leader could do to motivate Brenda? If you were to empathize with Brenda, how do you think she feels (Daft, 2008, p. 147)? What does Brenda want her leader to do?
Let’s take another approach. If you had a twenty-something who was nowhere near retirement age, but was acting in the same manner, as a conformist follower, and you wanted to move them towards being an effective follower, how would you do it? Where would you start?
John.

Thread:Communicating Your Leadership
Post:Re: Communicating Your Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jose said “His communication skills were great because people understood what he wasy saying and they were very attentive and you could tell that they believed in what he was speaking about.”
Jose, what makes you believe that “people understood what he was saying”? What enabled your discernment that “they were attentive”? How could you “tell that they believed in what he was speaking about”? These all appear to be beliefs of yours, and I’m interested in what visual cues or other symbols gave you those impressions?
Jose said “He seemed to establish credibility amongst his followers, otherwise i don’t think that hundreds of people would be there.””
Jose, why might hundreds of people be gathered in the televised space other than the credibility of the speaker? Was there anything besides their presence that spoke to the credibility of the speaker to you? What reinforced his credibility specifically? Was it the way that he delived his words? Was it his storytelling ability? Was he using metaphor particularly effectively? Did he have a high Emotional Intelligence? If so, how do you know? Thanks for sharing!
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thank you for your understanding, Marie.
I’m enjoying the conversation so far and looking forward to hearing from others. I’m also looking forward to hearing your observations on the matter.
John.

Thread:Communicating Your Leadership
Post:Re: Communicating Your Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I saw a very interesting though potentially offensive video on youtube at

that depicts Mike Daisey performing a monologue that used some relatively graphic language and situations including use of the ‘f-word’ which prompts a protest and walk-out from a portion of the audience.
His initial reaction was one of awe and amazement, perhaps bewilderment, until he got shaken out of it by one of the departing protesters who decided to dump water on a sheet of paper in front of him, that as Daisey explains later, held some significance for him.
In terms of communication, Daisey had a lot of things going for him, including the richest of communication channels in the Continuum of Channel Richness, face-to-face verbal communication (Daft, 2008, p. 275). If this had been a one-way video conference, this protest might have been silent and invisible, and certainly would have not likely held the same significance for Daisey.
He was neither providing management nor leadership communication, per se, but was working towards entertaining and possibly enriching an audience, which one might see as an organizational goal. There was no vision, necessarily, in his monologue, for instance (Daft, 2008, p.261).
Daisey was probably risking his ability to be a unifying communicator when he chose to use what our society refers to as ‘foul language’ since it can be assumed some people may not feel comfortable listening to it, and therefore would not be willing to complete the loop necessary (decoding and feedback) for communication to take place (Daft, 2008, p. 260).
Daisey may have seen this as a way of making the story richer, more colorful, and therefore more engaging, but the risk did not pay off in terms of keeping his entire audience. Daft says that “some believe that the true impact of a leader depends primarily on the stories he or she tells and how followers receive them” (Daft, 2008, p. 280), which would suggest that in this case, with followers being moved to leave rather than to continue to listen, that Daisey’s impact as a leader was primarily flawed.
When the protest happened, Daisey asked the protesters to come back and talk about the issue. None returned. Due to some of his statements, it seemed like he wanted to have a Strategic Conversation with departing followers where he could “ask questions and actively listen to others to understand their attitudes and values and needs”(Daft, 2008, p. 262). He did not do this with the remaining audience members who were not moved to leave, and so he may have missed an opportunity. He clearly could use discernment to come to some conclusions on how his communication techniques were received by the protesting audience members, especially those who poured water on his notes (Daft, 2008, p. 269).
He got an opportunity to communicate in a crisis, of sorts, and to assess his use of the four skills for communicating in a crisis (Daft, 2008, p. 282), he did not stay calm, though he did stay visible, when he could have canceled the show and simply gone backstage to sulk. He did tell the truth, as far as anyone knows, and he did communicate some vision for the future in part to the leaving protesters in the statement “Hey, do any of the people who are leaving want to talk about this, or do you want to just walk out like cowards?” and “In the future find out what you’re going to see before you see it” and “I can’t believe that none of you would have the guts to talk to me.” He was able to talk a bit more about vision to the remaining audience, talking in part about “the future of live performance” and the fact that the protest event was “heartbreaking” and after deciding to continue, saying “I’ll endeavor to pull us back into it” (Daisey, 2007, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IeMtQ-SZtA ).
I think that given the situation, he had primarily two marks against him: not knowing the limits of his audience but using an unbound delivery, and letting his anger potentially get in the way of conflict resolution. However, I think that in most other ways that he could, he applied leadership communication principles, and best of all, continued with his show despite the crisis. He also seems to use great storytelling techniques and metaphors to reinforce his messages, which is a leadership communication cornerstone for persuasion and influence (Daft, 2008, p. 278).
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Re: Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 28, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thanks!
Jose, I agree that we are doing both, but I feel like because of the nature of the discourse, in which we’re looking to show that we are learning the “right” form of leadership, that showing how we feel, rather than showing what we know in terms of theory, might be interpreted as “wrong”. That in itself doesn’t concern me that much, as long as someone is there to help me be ‘right’ which isn’t called for in dialogue. In fact, being ‘correct’ is specifically removed as a goal of dialogue. I think this exchange is very much a dialogue compared to most of our postings here. I think.
I love the Daft text. It has already changed my life in terms of leadership, and I value its content greatly, as you can tell from my reliance on it in postings. You could say I trust it.
If there wasn’t a text that we were all using as a common source of information, I think that sharing unsourced opinions and feelings might be more legitimate and admissible, but since we are all reading Daft, I feel like it’s in our best interest to reinforce Daft when we can, and correct ideas that counter the theories we’re learning.
The only problem with that is that it appears to define discussion rather than dialogue. In other words, it’s hard for me to drop my guard and keep an open mind about leadership theory, when the ‘ideal’ of leadership is laid out for all of us in Daft.
In regards to your suggestions about synchronous communication tools like live chat versus asynchronous tools like a discussion board, I think that the same issues we encounter here would be the same issues we’d encounter there and possibly even in a classroom. We might be able to emote better and see more communication cues in richer communication channels, like face to face communication, video chats, or phone calls, but if we’re talking in person, and I say “I believe leadership is about power”, I think that your role as a good student and considerate classmate is to say “I can see why you might think that, but in the Daft text, that idea represents a Old Paradigm of leadership in which the leader and the followers were not equals. That inequality has proven to be counter productive in today’s organizations.”
I still believe that that’s the right thing to do, however, it’s not a dialogue — it’s discussion — it’s breaking down opposing views, and Daft tells us to avoid it in the interest of building a good team, common thinking, and long lasting bonds. Thus, our dilemma. Well, mine, anyway. 🙂
Incidentally – there are some great tools that could help us with some of those rich channel issues that are inherent in distance learning, such as digital audio recordings, third party messaging, audio or video conference tools like AIM, or Google Talk, and even Blackboard’s own Virtual Classroom tool. If anyone wants to say “hi”, I’m often on AIM with screenname “lemasney”. I’m also on Google Talk, Yahoo messenger, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, and other places. Friend requests are always welcome on social networking sites.
I often use open source tools like Audacity to make audio recordings and use them to represent myself in virtual spaces using communication channels other than text. For examples, please go to http://media.rider.edu and search on lemasney.
As distance learning students, these tools may be able to really allow us to overcome the perceived limitations of distance learning communication channels like discussion boards, but I think that’s a separate, important, very valid issue from the discussion/dialogue one, and I very much appreciate Jose talking about it.
John.

Thread:Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Post:Re: Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 28, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira says “Brenda has mastered this in the conformist followership style, her ability to just do even as she has seen for years by her leader has made her lazy, she does not utilize her thinking skills and she is total dependent on her supervisor does not properly manage her caseload even though she knows it is incorrect, she puts her entire team at risk due her lack of effect or by even cutting corners in order to complete a task.”
Tashira, as a leader, when and if Brenda returns from stress leave, or if someone else in your office were to have similar conformist issues that showed ineffective followership that negatively affected the organization, how might you proactively work to help them get back on track to being an Effective Follower? How might you motivate her to become a “critical, independent thinker,” “have the courage to initiate change…to serve the best interest of the organization”, and practice “self-management” like an Effective Follower (Daft, 2008, p.198)? If you were successful, and she was motivated to be transformed, how would your description of her change? Can you envision Brenda as an Effective Worker? If so, what would that sound like?
I hope things work out for her – it sounds like she’s in a bad place.
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel – thanks for your clarifications, specifications, and theoretical reinforcement. I feel like you have a solid plan with great potential outcomes for your team.
The emphasis on intrinsic rewards, reinforcement of communication, clear path and goal expectations, empowerment, freedom, cohesiveness, jump starts, introducing beneficial changes, voice, and instruction (Cumming, 2007) all seem to reflect sound reasonable leadership approaches that will likely motivate your team into an effective powerhouse.
You said “I meant to say socio emotional roles. Sorry about that. ” That makes much better sense to me. I haven’t gotten to page 401 yet, though I will ASAP, and so I’m not familiar with the term and it’s implications for leadership. I really appreciate your attention to the issues, and I’m sure your team does too!
John.

Thread:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Post:Discussions versus Dialogues.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie, and class.
I’m a little bit torn right now on some leadership communication issues, and I’m hoping we can have a ‘dialogue’ in order to help us come to some understanding on how to proceed.
I’m reading Daft in relation to the differences between Dialogue and Discussion, in which Dialogue asks participants to “reveal feelings, explore assumptions, suspend convictions, and build common ground” in order to have a result of “long-term, innovative solutions, unified groups, shared meaning, and transformed mind sets” (Daft, 2008, p.271). This all sounds great and seems like an effort towards leadership. However, I feel like this Blackboard “discussion board” is very appropriately named according to Daft, since I feel like I am committing mostly to discussions, which Schein says that one “states positions, advocates convictions, convinces others, and builds oppositions” with the results of “short term resolutions, agreement by logic, beating down opposition, and held mind-sets” (Daft, 2008, p.271).
I have an issue with my mental model on how these message boards should be used, and it just got forcibly shifted. My issue is that I feel like these discussion boards have been very effective in allowing me to participate in what’s defined in Daft as a discussion, but I feel like ‘revealing feelings and exploring assumptions,” in other words, performing dialogue, might be taken as an ignorance to the readings, the theories of leadership, and our collective LEAD ideals.
I’m wondering what the you all think? Am I correct in my interpretation of the definitions to say that for the most part what we have here in LEAD 500 OL is a discussion? If so, is that okay? Is that still an acceptable leadership approach? Does anyone see it the other way entirely, that most of the interactions here are part of a dialogue? If it is true that what we are doing is having a discussion, and we want to move to a dialogue, how can we do that? Are there ground rules we should be following? Are we in a discussion because we are not yet ready, in terms of Situational Theory, for a dialogue as a group, and therefore we must still be directive in our approach in order to get tasks accomplished? Is dialogue part of a 600 level course where follower readiness has advanced?
I feel like I have been walking down a brightly lit wooded path for a while, and that I’ve suddenly looked up to realize I’m off the path, in the middle of nowhere, and that’s okay, but I want to get back to the path. This chapter on Communication has shaken my convictions in my distance learning approach a bit.
Marie, please forgive the new thread – I wasn’t sure where this question should go, but I thought in the area regarding Communication was reasonable.
With all due respect,
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I think you’re on the right track with your son, and your empowering methods in our scenario, and I think Daft does too. I’ll explain.
Tashira says “I do not think the text directly addresses the fact that you should encourage the worker to stand up but it indirectly says that leaders should motivate and allow the workers to be independent.”
I’d like to know where even the indirect support is – it helps to strengthen my understanding of leadership theory’s support for your answer, and helps us both to agree that it’s the right thing to do, not just what feels right.
In searching for my own answer to my question, I think the text supports your idea.
Daft explains “Self-management leadership” as “leading others to lead themselves” and suggests that “all leaders can act in ways that encourage followers to think independently and be willing to take risks, challenge unproductive or unethical norms, and initiate change for the benefit of the organization” (Daft, 2008, p. 213). I think that leadership is about helping people to gain their own power, rather than relying on others to fight their battles for you. I agree with your approach, but it’s reassuring that leadership theory does too.
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “there were no internal or external rewards involved for the team members at all.”
It sounds like the only rewards you likely got were the few extrinsic rewards associated with the compensation you got and, hopefully, a safe environment to work in. (Daft, 2008, p. 226) Maslow and Herzberg would say that you were likely highly unmotivated as a result (Daft, 2008, pp. 229-231).
Tracy says “This particular boss delegated all tasks! He did absolutely nothing himself…He always sat in his office and gave orders.”
I don’t think that this is necessarily what Daft or Vroom or any contingency theorist would refer to as “delegation” which is where I likely developed a misunderstanding with you. “Delegation” involves “turning over responsibility for decisions and implementation” (Daft, 2008, p. 72). It sounds like you were just being given orders, without much flexibility, which is the antithesis of delegation in leadership theory — Hersey and Blanchard specifically refer to Delegation in their Situational Theory of Leadership, but on the other end of their scale is the Telling Style, in which there is a high concern for tasks, and a low concern for relationships with followers (Daft, 2008, p. 72). Your boss was a Telling style boss. The University of Michigan studies would call him Job-Centered (Daft, 2008, p. 48), and the University of Texas studies would refer to him as Concerned for Production (Daft, 2008, p. 50). According to the Ohio State Studies, you might say that this leader had an Initiating Structure style, and was relatively low on Consideration. (Daft, 2008, p. 46) It also sounds as if your boss was a High Task-Low Relationship leader, according to Fiedler’s Contingency Model (Daft, 2008, p. 66). We’ve got his number, figuratively speaking.
Tracy says “He never got involved with the processes of his team, but always took credit for everything we did. You may be thinking that he only took credit for good and held us accountable for the bad. If that’s what you’re thinking, you’re exactly right. And the consequences for things done wrong were not very good.”
Equity theory would say that you were on track to be unmotivated, since your team perceived that he did less work than you, likely got paid more, got the credit for your work, did not have to answer for your mistakes, since he sent complaints down the line, and to top it all, got to tell you what to do (Daft, 2008, p. 237). Also, it looks like his motivations were purely based on an extrinsic basis, and relied on reinforcement approaches. (Daft, 2008, p. 234) Two complaints with this application might be that “Extrinsic rewards diminish Intrinsic rewards” (Daft, 2008, p. 239), which you were already lacking (Durham, 2007), and “Carrot-and-Stick approaches destroy people’s motivation to work as a group” (Daft, 2008, p 240), which may have been one reason your team was so drastically unmotivated.
Tracy says “The leader controlled everything and no one had a chance or a say in the process at all.”
Please see above re: delegation. 😉
Tracy says “I would be providing my team members with an understanding of how their contributions to the development of this product is important to the team and the success of the company as a whole.”
This sounds like Path-Goal style job clarification, which is likely a great idea (Daft, 2008, p. 75) if your workers are unclear as to how to reach their goals. You might also apply Expectancy Theory to determine if they feel that they can do the job, if doing the job will get them the reward they want, and what it is, exactly, that they value as a reward (Daft, 2008, p. 235).
Thanks for the detailed responses, Tracy!
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Absolutely Rob – thanks! I think that encouraging independence and self management are empowering leadership and followership methods, and I think you’re wise to take this approach.
I believe that fighting someone’s battles for them is a sort of disability-reinforcement (enabling) behavior. Though I don’t have anything handy, theoretically, to support my statement. 😉
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Well said, Tracy!
j.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy, I thought that your responses and approaches made a lot of sense, and that your team will be in good shape soon.
Tracy says “It has been my experience that the basis for low morale and little initiative among teams is usually do to an authoritative leadership component. One who doesn’t give opportunity for ownership and delegates rather than involves themselves in the process to reach the team’s goals.”
Tracy, you align the ideas of “authoritative leadership” and a leader who “delegates rather than involves themselves” but I interpreted Daft to define these two ideas as opposing approaches, which leads me to ask: How can a authoritative leader can be delegative?
Daft says that authoritative, autocratic, or boss-centered leaders tend to “centralize authority and derive power from position, control of rewards, and coercion” (2008, p.44). This does not sound like your example.
In contrast, Daft says that a democratic leader “delegates authority to others, encourages participation, relies on subordinates’ knowledge for completion of tasks, and depends on subordinate respect for influence” (2008, p. 44). This sounds, at least in part, like your example.
Vroom says that delegation based decision styles “permit the group to make the decision within prescribed limits” and can be applied in situations where the contingencies, variables, and other factors allow for it (Daft, 2008, p. 80). Vroom’s Models for determining an Appropriate Decision-Making Style defines some of the contingent factors as Group Expertise, Team Competence, and the significance of the decision in question (Daft, 2008, p. 82). Given the right contingencies, delegation can be an effective leadership methodology.
Daft says that “empowering people to meet higher needs”, in other words, “providing people with the power, information, and authority that enables them to find greater intrinsic satisfaction with their work” (2008, pp. 242-243) can be the right leadership approach, motivationally speaking.
With this in mind, would you reconsider a delegative approach for this team?
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 26, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Robert said “If I was the leader I wouldn’t encourage the person being harassed to inform management. I would ask the person first if they’d like me to go to management for them because they may feel ashamed, hurt, scared, etc. depending on the level of the harassment. But I’d also encourage him/her to stand up to the person doing the harassment first then if it continues a higher level of action would have to follow.”
Robert, why? What aspect of leadership according to Daft would lead you to “ask the person first if they’d like me to go to management for them”? Why consider the feelings of the worker — what’s the benefit to the follower, or to you as the leader, according to the ideals of leadership?
What aspect of leadership suggests that you should “encourage them to stand up to the person” — why would it be better for them to perform the conflict resolution rather than you? Why is conflict resolution called for? Why not just let it go on and ignore it?
I agree with your suggestions, but I’m wondering: By what standard you could be considered justified in performing those acts of leadership?
In what ways could you motivate the harassed to act? What is the goal of the harassed? What do they value? What is their path? What is the beneficial outcome to the organization? To Followers? To the harasser?
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daniel says “It seems as though the team would benefit from the formal hierarchy of a functional team to get them started. From there the team could evolve into a more interactive and independent group.”
Daniel, how might you begin to help that team to evolve into a “network and systems” style group?
Daniel says “Building a more cohesive team would be an excellent start to improving the current situation. My support as a team leader would also be a positive influence.”
Daniel, how might you work to bring the team together in a more cohesive way? In what specific ways would you try to support them? Would you do workshops? Would you take them out to dinner? How do you align followers (Daft, 2008, p. 17) so that they work towards a common goal?
Daniel says “The satisfaction of the group would also be part of establishing a successful team. I would assign roles to the team members so they knew what behaviors were expected of them. ”
Daniel, it sounds like you are applying Path-Goal Theory (Daft, 2008, p. 75)in order to clarify the tasks necessary to achieve goals – what do you suppose the effect of Path-Goal will be on the motivation of these workers, and why? What leads you to believe that they are not clear on what is is they have to do?
Daniel says “There would be members assigned to task specialist roles and socio economical roles. This would help the team focus on specific tasks as well as the overall well being of the team.”
Daniel, can you visualize and explain how assignments of task specialty and socio-economic roles would benefit a project that is based in creating software? How does having a socio-economic role have any bearing on the success of this particular task?
I think you have great ideas, and I think your new software team may turn around and become very productive! I’m interested in how you see these theories being applied in reality, with real people and actual tasks.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Case study
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy, we’re agreed.
Imagine the power that one would behold if a leader in the cigarette industry were to suddenly do everything they could to make an effort to make a new product that would end or greatly diminish smoking, while making a new product available to help people quit without suffering. The research might lead to a cure for other addictions, like heroin addiction, if it were to find the key to programming the nervous pathways to addictive behavior and response. A leader like that would be an ethical one, would have a new industry that was doing research and making products solely to benefit mankind, and would likely still make billions upon billions of dollars, while saving millions of lives they were previously ending and possibly improving the lives of countless more.
The following is assumed, and simply my own belief. Maybe I’ll do research someday to prove the thesis. Given the record of health related research and development, cures are simply a matter of money, research, and commitment. Tobacco has the money, and they could develop the other two, in the interest of leadership, to cure addiction, and begin to repair the damage they’ve done to countless families.
John.

Thread:Daft text is now in at Rider Bookstore (07/23/2007)
Post:Re: Daft text is now in at Rider Bookstore (07/23/2007)
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Softcover – It was expensive, but I think it’s a fundamental text in our studies, and I’m glad to own it.
I was extra motivated – my xeroxed pages were starting to fall apart, so I thrilled to have anything in bound form. 😉
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas says “being in a situation where you should say something that could result in the loss of your employment. Is that necessarily the best situation of your family? Probably not.”
This mental model assumes that staying with the company is in the family’s best interest. It may only be beneficial monetarily for the worker to stay in employ, but incredibly harmful spiritually, motivationally, and in terms of other intrinsic rewards, which may all affect the family.
One could argue that it is not in the best interest of the employee’s family to have the employee working in a work environment where something unethical is going on, as it could affect the family, the nature of the worker, or the community the organization is in. Without knowing the situation, it’s hard to say how it might affect the whole system, but applying Systems Thinking (Daft, p. 141) would go beyond just the organizational ethics issue and its superficial, immediate consequences to the way that it affects everything that the organization touches. Leaving an unethical organization may be an act in support of the family in the long term, despite the short term consequences of whistleblowing or other conscientious objector actions (Daft, p. 184)).
Thomas says “This is where the individual’s moral and ethical fibers play a huge role. What kind of principles were you brought up to have, and have you continued to grow those initial thought processes, or generated those of your own. Personally, I would not be able to live with myself if I did not confront the situation.”
If we believe that we can actively develop leadership ideals and traits, rather than having to have been born with them, or having them installed passively by experience, we can look to the ideals of ethical and moral leadership, and take on the burden of “demands on effective followers”, in order to develop the “courage to assume responsibility”, “the courage to serve”, “the courage to challenge”, “the courage to participate in transformation”, and “the courage to leave” when necessary. (Daft, pp. 198-200)
That way, after developing those courages, when we see the need and the opportunity to act in order to right a wrong, we can.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira’s posts always get me thinking. Three observations:
Tashira says “If a leader comes to work late, takes long lunches, presents an arrogant attitude or even shows unethical behavior it is giving the employee the green light. Why would I do something positive if all I see is negative? ”
I would say that by the standards and ideals laid out in Daft, your leader in your example is practicing leadership badly, and might not be called a leader at all. If we accept the ideal of leadership laid out in Daft, tardiness or long lunches may demotivate workers due to equity theory, which “proposes that people are motivated to seek social equity in the rewards they expect for performance (Daft, p. 237)” since if the boss is getting more time for lunch or less time required to work than others, there may be a perceived inequity, resulting in demotivation. Daft reminds us that “part of a leader’s job is to channel followers’ motivation toward the accomplishment of the organization’s vision and goals. (p. 226)” Demotivating workers is antithetical to leadership.
Arrogance and Unethical behavior may also demotivate workers. If an arrogant boss decides that including the ideas of subordinates is unnecessary, the workers may feel individually, intrinsically unrewarded, meaning they might not generate the “internal satisfaction a person receives in the process of performing a particular action (Daft, p. 226)” and therefore might be less motivated.
Tashira says “As adults we are automatic leaders, if we follow the actions provided in exhibit 6.2, how to act like moral leaders than the children will follow and act the same”
Daft reminds us that “leadership is not automatic” (p. 23) and that “attempts to achieve collaboration, empowerment, and diversity in organizations may fail because the beliefs and thought processes of leaders as well as employees are stuck in an old paradigm that values control, stability, and homogeneity.” (p. 23) I personally know plenty of adults who are squarely stuck in the old paradigm of leadership, where control, stability, and homogeneity are tightly held on to as the abridged list of “leadership” tools. I myself was this kind of boss until very recently. I hear a very telling truth in the phrase “leadership is not automatic.”
Tashira says “Placing more emphasis on values and moral would elevate some of the problems we have with children today.”
This mental model seems to have a stereotype attached in which every child is having problems which can be solved by a reinforcement of values and morals. I wonder which values should be applied?
I think if we were to commit to any work with children to resolve problems, we would start by looking at a particular child as an individual, and then assessing needs for that child. We might even apply motivational theories in order to get a desired result.
Let’s say 10 year old Jimmy is sucking his thumb, and that by our own personalized standard as a parent, that that behavior is undesirable. If we were to apply Vroom’s Expectancy Theory to the situation, we might establish a motivational path for Jimmy to stop sucking his thumb for a week, and hopefully, forever. Expectancy Theory says that “motivation depends on individuals’ mental expectations about their ability to perform tasks and receive desired rewards” (Daft, p. 235) Expectancy Theory says that if Jimmy believes that he can perform the cessation of sucking his thumb for a week through effort (E > P expectancy), and that his cessation of thumb sucking for a week will result in the outcome of getting a new bike (P > O expectancy), and if Jimmy truly values the bike being offered as a reward (Valence), then it is safe to say that Jimmy will be highly motivated to stop sucking his thumb for a week or more.
Applying “morals” and “values” may or may not do anything in terms of affecting behavior or motivation, until valence is determined, and a clear path to valence is given by establishing the attainable effort required and the performance desired.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Rob says “…what would one do if it was harassment? What leadership approach should be taken? Should I get involved or leave it the person in the situation to deal with? These are questions that are unfortunately dealt with everyday and there seems to be no clear solution but to go with your instincts. ”
I think if part of your question is what should one do as a leader, the answer is clear. If you have checked and confirmed your perception (Daft, 1998, p. 111) that it is indeed harassment, action should be taken to stop the harassment.
The leadership approach to be taken would be to look at the potential for others to also be harassed, which one might see by using Systems Thinking, which Daft describes as “the ability to see the synergy of the whole rather than just the separate elements of a system and to learn to reinforce or change whole system patterns. (p. 141)” By considering the larger outcomes if the situation is ignored, a leader might consider that the harassment potentially disrupts productivity, hurts employee relations, affects the image of the organization and may instill fear and hatred in affected followers. It affects more than just that individual dyad, (though that is bad in and of itself,) and therefore becomes an organizational and human problem, not just an interpersonal one.
Using Empathy, or “the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes” (Daft, p. 147) might allow a leader to feel the harassed worker’s emotions of fear, anger, disgust, shame, and sadness (Daft, p. 145) resulting from the harassment, and use that as a source of courage in order to act as a leader should to stop the harassment.
Daft says that “…fears can prevent people from doing their best, from taking risks, and from challenging and changing the status quo. (p. 152)” If we agree that a good leaders and good followers work to make the organization the best it can be, we agree that it is the obligation of organizational members to work to stop the source of the fear – the harassment.
“Moral Leadership is about distinguishing right from wrong and doing right, seeking the just, the honest, the good, and the right conduct in its practice. (Daft, p. 170)” If we are to be moral leaders, we have to consider the whole, be empathetic, and work to stop the source of fear for this worker and the organization.
If we keep in mind that “opposing unethical conduct requires courage (Daft, p. 184)” and that “outrage over a perceived injustice can give a mild-mannered person the courage to confront the boss head-on (Daft, p. 186) we may be able to gather the courage necessary to confront this wrong. Empathy can provide this outrage.
It also takes courage to know when to leave. “If followers are faced a leader or an organization unwilling to make necessary changes, it is time to take their support elsewhere. (Daft, p. 200)”
If we are to look at the ideals of leadership to answer Rob’s questions “What leadership approach should be taken? Should I get involved or leave it the person in the situation to deal with?” I think the answers are clear.
John.

Thread:Daft text is now in at Rider Bookstore (07/23/2007)
Post:Daft text is now in at Rider Bookstore (07/23/2007)
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 23, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I now have my copy of the Daft text in my hands – it costs $136.75. The bookstore has a nice, healthy stack of them.
It’s a very nicely visually redesigned new edition, from first appearances.
John.

Thread:You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Post:Re: You Can Lead a Horse to Water…
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “Suppose you take a job as the leader of a work team that is assigned to design and develop a new product for a softward company. Morale is low and little initiative is taken to get things done.”
First, you would need to assess follower readiness as called for in Hersey & Blanchard’s Situational Theory.
After assessment, if you realize you are lucky enough to have begun leading highly skilled, independent thinkers who are ready to take on the task of developing the new product, you can engage a participative or delegating leadership style.
Engaging the workers in a shared management or self leadership approach may be just the right way to raise morale and increase initiative through an increase in intrinsic rewards from whole-worker incorporation. Asking not only for labor, but input, creativity, and innovation, can intrinsically reward skilled, independent thinkers.
Needs-based motivational theories, such as Herzberg’s Two-Factor Motivational Theory, which says that while hygiene needs, such as job safety and compensation, may be appropriately met, these met needs would not serve to “satisfy” the worker – Herzberg says that to have satisfied, truly motivated workers, you must meet motivational needs, including recognition, personal growth, and higher order needs. One can gather from Marie’s introduction to the case that these workers are unsatisfied.
Work should be done to determine the source of dissatisfaction, but we’ll assume that these workers are unmotivated due to a lack of inclusion or a highly aggressive autocracy in the new leader’s predecessor that caused relational damage in the team. We might present a survey of personal values in order to determine what is of valence to the workers, and why they are not getting it. We might use Path-Goal theory to clarify the values, paths and rewards for the workers to begin to build a framework for them to achieve their goals.
If inclusion and democracy were found to be highly valued but not granted to the team, we could begin to remedy this. We might use Vroom’s framework for determining an appropriate decision making style to know which aspects of which projects should be democratically approached, and which should be determined by the leader.
By engaging your new team of skilled software workers as equals, asking for directional assistance, including them in planning and executing tasks, and by sharing the rewards and accolades from the project, you may be able to raise morale and increase initiative.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Effective Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

You can quickly substitute ideas concerning leadership for ideas concerning dancing in your analogy to get a good idea of how your analogy relates. 😉
I’m playing with Marie’s analogy here with many direct quotes, and with all due respect.
Let’s say our whole class shows up at Marie’s Leadership Class for a discussion. Marie has us read a book about how to experience leadership. Then we all get up and start doing some leadership. Some of us are wildly running around the room shaking and gyrating, while others are barely moving. When Marie says “Hey, I need to teach you some better moves” half the class says “But this is my definition of Leadership and it works for me!”
Having your own definition of leadership is probably okay if you will only ever lead at home alone. But if you want to lead followers or practice leadership in an organization, wouldn’t you need to be effective (or at least not knock over other people)? Once you learn some leadership theory for real, you might have your own variation of it, but the differences would be minor–most people would watch you and say “Yeah, that’s leadership!
That was fun. 😉
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Case study
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jose says “Cigarettes are a personal choice for people to make, not eery smokes nor has to smoke. Thus people who smoke will not quit unless they want to quit. So just as there are as many advertisments for cigarettes there are probably an equal amount of anti-smoke ad’s and warning that go with it.”
Cigarette production is a choice for companies. Without product, there is no use. Without use, there is no death, addiction, or profits.
The ethical choice for the company would be to cease production. The business choice would be to determine an equally profitable but less deadly product.
Once someone is addicted to smoking, the smokers choice is of less influence than the addiction. The addiction is factual, and the tobacco companies choose to sell and addictive death inducing product.
The advertisements for smoking are reinforced by the addiction and paid for by profits of the addictions. The advertisements against smoking are not selling a profit inducing product at all. The anti smoking advertising campaign is a losing proposition, monetarily speaking. No sane investor would back it, and so it’s funded only by those who wish to see improvements in public health.
Without the industry’s existence, without the addiction factor, without the looking threat of death, the need for anti smoking advertisements would be non existent. In terms of ethics, there is no question of the need for the industry to work towards cessation. In the name of money, there’s no reason for them to stop.
Which is more important? Life or money? The tobacco industry says money – hands down. Which does an ethical leader say?
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Case study
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “What is the ethical path? Stop manufacturing cigarettes to save lives or keep manufacturing them, thus keeping the jobs? How would you go on “gut instinct” on this decision? Are there other frameworks you would need to use to determine the ethical path?”
One framework for direction is Daft’s. Daft’s ethical leadership principles (p. 219) would ask that one “maintains concern for the greater good”, “take responsibility”, “serve others”, and “show courage to stand up for what is right”. Saving lives is the right thing in most any standard of ethics.
The ethical path would be to quit and renounce the industry. The ethical path would be to ask the industry to stop manufacturing tobacco products in order to save lives.
The workers, leaders and followers alike, could take on new jobs in distribution, growing, advertising and research, but the smokers can’t take on new lives, so long as they continue to die from smoking.
Tobacco leaders and followers walking off the job would halt production. Smokers might face the choice of home grown tobacco, literally unaffordable prices, or quitting. I don’t know any smokers who started growing tobacco to keep up with their habit and save a few bucks, but if they did, their tobacco might not have the additives that most tobacco companies add. There might be some health benefit even there for the conscientious objectors to consider.
If the tobacco industry were to have a major revolt in which ethical workers asked their industry to cease harmful practices and take on a new crop, or else suffer the consequences of a worker walk-off, it might really (fully) consider the lives that they are taking.
My gut instinct tells me that the right thing for tobacco workers to do would be to walk away from taking part in the tobacco industry and force customers to find some new way to spend their spare moments in life, possibly forcing the tobacco industry to spend their millions on a new crop, perhaps one that does not cost lives – perhaps even one that improves lives. Maybe a new hybrid of spinach, or super tomatoes, or a new unknown cancer fighting algae. I hear there is a looming banana shortage – maybe they could spend their idle hours working on that.
This is also reinforced in the “Demands on Effective Followers”, specifically in “The Will to Leave”, in which a follower is “faced with a leader or an organization unwilling to make necessary changes” (Daft, p. 264) and chooses to leave the position in protest in the name of what’s ethically right in order to make the organization become better or suffer the loss in a vote of no confidence.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 21, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I think that one’s decision on how to act is based on their own understanding and choices about ethics and morality, which includes 1) their understanding of ethics (what they think is right and wrong) and 2) whether or not they choose to act in the positive or negative towards their understanding.
If I agree that stealing is wrong, and I choose to follow my moral code, I will not steal.
If I agree that stealing is wrong, and I choose to disobey my moral code, I will steal.
If I do not agree that stealing is wrong, and I choose to steal, it is in accordance with my moral code to steal.
In the same way that we recently devised that leadership has an ideal and an antithesis, we may be able to devise a similar ideal for leadership. I dare say that many might suggest the ten commandments as a basis, or the United States Federal Legal Code, but clearly there are some issues and deserved opposition to either of those solutions.
In the same way that someone who begins to understand the ideals in leadership can have a dialogue with other scholars of leadership using a common language and history, the same could be said for ethics and morality. The more one knows about what history, scholars, and theories have said about ethics and morality, the more one can speak with authority on the ideal of ethics and morality.
We know from Daft that ethics applied to Leadership means a leader who “possesses humility, maintains concern for the greater good, is honest and straightforward, fulfills commitments, strives for fairness, takes responsibility, shows respect for each individual, encourages and develops others, serves others, and shows courage to stand up for what is right” (p. 219)
By even this standard, several of these ideals of leadership ethics oppose the act of stealing, such as being “honest and straightforward” or “shows respect for each individual” and so the only question remaining is: Do I choose to follow my ethical code or disobey it?
Anyone who takes the ethical code laid out here as legitimate would be able to make many determinations about ethical choices facing a leader. Acting on their ethics is another matter.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Effective Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 21, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Some interesting theoretical ideas are apparent in what Jose is saying.
Jose says “It’s my job to make sure that what i am expecting and want is needed is to adapt my style of leadership.”
This sounds to me like you plan to use an Initiating Structure style of leadership, as described by the Ohio State Studies, where you’ll “direct subordinates’ work activities toward goal orientation” (Daft, p. 56)
Fiedler’s classification says that if we agree that you have good leader-member relations, which you likely do, a very structured task structure, like learning how to Samba, and a strong leader position of power, like many teachers, that a task oriented leader, rather than a relationship oriented leader, will command a higher performance, resulting in a very favorable situation. (Daft, p.87)
Jose says “Variations and personal style can be added on later once a mature understanding is attained.”
This sounds like you are applying Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory, which suggests that a follower with a higher readiness level (which you indicate in the phrase “a mature understanding”) calls for a more participative, or even delegative, style on the part of the leader (Daft, p. 91). In other words, Hersey and Blanchard would agree with you that as your dancers become more experienced in the basic steps and moves, they can graduate to more improvisation and stylistic interpretation. The will have become ready for personal interpretation and innovation.
Jose says “Also I would also communcate to the class that If you want to be successful at this particalar dance you must follow as i say. ”
This sounds like you are applying a decidedly autocratic style of the Path-Goal theory, which Daft describes as “a contingency approach to leadership in which the leader’s responsibility is to increase subordinates’ motivation by clarifying the behaviors necessary for task accomplishment and rewards” (p. 95) You’re saying in effect, if you want to get this, you have to do that, just like this. You’re making the path to success clear, and making it clear how to get there.
Jose says “So I would either have to make clarifications on what i expect or if I am doing something wrong as a leader, make adjustments so it does not happen again.”
This is again reinforcing your agreement with Path-Goal. It’s very interesting that you say, in particular, “…if I am doing something wrong as a leader…” because it shows that you have had a shift in your mental model of the certain nature of the definition of leadership. You went from saying in an earlier post that there is no right or wrong definition of leadership to seeing that one’s own leadership may be out of step with what we are collectively unearthing as the ideal of leadership.
Great job, Jose.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 20, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I respectfully disagree.
You and I may indeed define leadership differently. If so, it’s possibly because my definition of leadership may have been uninformed, and therefore, my definition of leadership may be ‘wrong’ in light of scholarly evidence. I may have only ever thought of leadership in terms of the Great Man theory, and I might not even know that it’s called that.
When we read Daft, or learn about Vroom, or Hersey or other leadership theorists, and we see that their studies and reports and research lead to a conclusive or leaning idea about a technique’s success in terms of leadership, we can begin to formulate an informed view of what leadership is.
If we all accept the leading leadership theories as legitimate steps towards a singular ‘correct’ definition of leadership, and we take into account how time, events, social movement, and other ideas have shaped what we call leadership over time, then we can begin to assess one’s leadership in contrast to the definition of leadership that has emerged as a result of those theories.
I think that you and I may define leadership in opposing terms if neither one of us, or only one of us has been informed by scholarly research. I think that anyone who looks at the articles, theories, and ideas of leadership over time and puts them into practice to resolve issues of leadership would quickly subscribe to the definition of leadership that Daft renders again and again in the book.
I also think that this might be applied to any educational path that one takes seriously – I had a friend who lamented my fine arts classes in college because he “really liked the way I drew before I went to art school” – part of the reason was because my unschooled style was approachable, simple, and easily consumed visually, but what he really disliked was that I was being influenced by the great masters – I began to think in terms of composition, color, and space rather than just about the visual message. I began to define art in an informed, scholarly way, and as that happened, my friend’s artistic point of view became less and less valid. My understanding of art is now a collegial, universal one – I can communicate with someone else who is informed on the topics – I don’t have to explain why Picasso is legitimate as a precursor to a conversation.
That’s one of the side effects of education. You learn the correct definition of your subject and the language to go with it. Leadership is no different.
John

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Comments on Leadership Definitions
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 20, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie asked “Are situations so complex that each one requires a different form of leadership? If that is true, how can we ever help leaders to get better?”
I think that leadership as Daft defines it is the singular form we are searching for. Throughout the book, leadership has many ‘correct definitions’, points of view, theories, explanations, examples, and suggestions to help us to define a singular ideal leadership today. It may be built upon, and different tomorrow, as it is built upon and different today than it was at the turn of the 20th century.
When we apply generalized leadership theories and assessments to organizations, we use them as a framework for building upon the unique and interpersonal differences in our particular organization.
The high concepts and ideals of leadership are defined in the Daft text. Making them apropos for our particular situations is a matter of a leader’s adaptability and creativity in applying those solutions in a meaningful way for the organization.
When I first saw Hersey-Blanchard’s Situational Theory, I began to realize mistakes I had made in choosing leadership styles for particular projects by incorrectly assessing technology readiness in followers. Because I chose a participative approach where I should have chosen a telling approach (according to the theory) I ended up presenting options and choices to followers who really needed me to just tell them what to do until they were at a higher readiness state. When they achieve a new level of readiness by practicing what they’ve been shown to do, they’ll be happy to get the chance to help design solutions, make decisions about the project, and have a more participative role. Until then, they want job clarification – not job enlargement.
Applying Daft’s ideal of leadership has been a great tool for me at work, but it is easily making its way into other organizations – family, school, and community. The transferability of the benefits of the theories and concepts shows me that situations are not “so complex that each one requires a different form of leadership.”
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: The Reyes-LeMasney Leadership Correctness Continuum
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 20, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy –
Jose and I may possibly both be saying something similiar – Jose implies leadership may not have a ‘correct’ definition, and an ‘incorrect’ definition, and I’m saying that leadership can be defined in better ways and worse ways.
He says there is no black and white, and I’m saying there are lighter shades of gray and darker shades of gray. Both can exist in the same scheme to some degree.
The infinite nature of his statement and the continuous nature of my statement may be two aspects of the same scale, but in our model, the scale goes in either direction towards infinity, which I find harder to believe. However, I’ve never been a very good abstract mathematician. 😉
I think that at some point, you may be able to describe two distinctly different definitions of leadership and compare them for relative ‘correctness’ or ‘rightness’ on our cooperative scale.
I think it’s also hard to call one definition right or wrong, but in some cases, it becomes painfully or gloriously obvious where on our correctness continuum one’s definition of leadership might score.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 20, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Mini asked “Now back to the topic, why only McDonalds.”
I want to be very clear here – the question was about whether leaders should always choose ethical and high moral routes. I was so much of a McDonald’s fan I was ready to die for their products.
However, McDonalds was only one part of my example – I also included alcohol, tobacco, and other vice based leaders in my example of ethics-eluding leadership. Let’s throw guns in there just for fun. There’s plenty of unethical behavior to go around.
It’s not that I personally think anyone should stop going to McDonalds, or stop having a beer if they wish, or stop smoking if they like it – it’s one’s own funeral, so to speak – I’m saying that these are prime examples of companies and leaderships that have built their leadership on deception and not making their customer the best that they can be. Unethical behavior has put them in the lead of their respective industries, and made them multinational companies with unquestionable power.
I know I should be citing sources here, but it’s very late. 😉
My answer was strictly about whether leaders should always choose the high ethical road, and my answer is dependent on the idea of the leader in question staying the course of their product in the interest of continued success. If McDonalds, or Budweiser, or Marlboro wants to keep their leadership role in their industry, they don’t likely want to introduce ethics – the minute they do, profits will take a hit or the products will have to change.
Maybe Budweiser will give up on beer and get into 100% fruit juice with added vitamins and fiber, but I doubt it. They may start adding vitamins to beer, which would be a buy-more strategy, but it wouldn’t greatly positively affect your health – it would just lead you to believe it was greatly positively affecting your health. This would, in a way, be unethical too. See also Diet Coke Plus.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t try more ethical methods – I’m not saying that McDonald’s couldn’t take a better ethical approach – I’m saying that doing so would affect their bottom line unless they also decide to alter their line of products to focus squarely on customer improvement or truth in advertising. A parent who is currently comfortable with giving McDonald’s fries to their 2 year old doesn’t really want to know what those fries might do the child physiologically, and McDonald’s knows this. Fries sales might be cut dramatically. McDonald’s would have to alter their products if they were to do full disclosure, and they’re simply not ready to do that. This includes their caloric disclosure and awareness, their ingredients, and the nature of their advertising which is designed solely to sell product, not to keep you from dying from heart disease. McDonald’s is actually doing quite a bit in the area of caloric awareness, in their defense, but there is still a lot of resistance to altering their products to be less deadly in terms of trans fats.
If I understand the question correctly, a parent’s choice is not at issue – it’s the ethical leadership of the product’s producer being questioned. That is why the focus is on McDonald’s. No other fast food company comes close to being in the lead, and they therefore have great influence in the industries they own, including beef, potatoes, chicken, and dairy. FOr anyone who is interested, please read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation.
However, I could argue for/against the other companies just as readily – it’s just easier to focus on one major international conglomerate supermegacorporation for the sake of clarity. You all have likely been to McDonald’s, but some of you may not smoke, drink, or shoot machine guns.
Did I mention I am playing devil’s advocate? 😉
John.

Thread:Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Post:Re: Followership: The Opposite Side of the Leadership Coin
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

There is a follower I know named Sean who fits very neatly into the effective Follower quadrant.
Daft defines an effective Follower as “a critical, independent thinker who actively participates in the organization. (p. 259)”
Sean offers critique of the existing system and offers ways to improve the system. He looks outside of his area of responsibility and sees opportunities for leaders to improve the organization. He works as a front line support technologist, but wants to know about how the systems (which he helps others with on the superficial level) work internally. He knows the risks he is taking and encounters conflicts with less transformational thinkers. He has had polite and effective arguments with managers about the flaws with their mental models. He has courage in the way that he defines and solves conflicts and problems. He attacks rather than ignores issues that affect the organization negatively. He is capable of self-management, though he interacts regularly and openly with his superiors to determine his path to goals. He knows withing his role that there is great power and that title has very little to do with influence to an effective follower. These are all identifying characteristics of an Effective Follower. (Daft, p. 259)
Sean has been acting on his Effective Follower instincts more regularly recently, and the organization has begun to take on some of his own Effective Follower qualities, bringing a more introspective and inquiry based undercurrent to the group. I’m proud to know Sean, and work regularly to help him to work towards his own ideal work environment.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas says “How do you do your job when to most people what you do may be unethical; yet at the same time, it would be unethical to not give your client the best possible defense? ”
I think this reinforces the answer “no” to Marie’s original question – “Leaders should always act ethically and morally–yes or no.”
In order for a defense lawyer to do her job to the best of her ability, morality and ethics, by some standard, must come second to the job at hand. Alternatively, the defense lawyer profession would crumble at its base the minute that it’s apparent to the lawyer that their client is, in fact, guilty.
Maybe that should be the new paradigm of defense law, but until a major change occurs in the way lawyers approach their clients and the facts, ethics by some standard must come second in order for them to do their jobs.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira says “Although I love McDonald’s french fries I am not being forced to eat them, I eat them because I chose to. Each parent and person know that these things are unhealthy but they make choices.”
No one is being forced to eat McDonald’s french fries, yet lots of people do. It’s a product of advertising, making you believe that it’s not that bad to eat a half pound of fries in a sitting. It’s a matter of low prices that entice someone who only has two dollars in their pocket to go to McDonalds rather than somewhere else because they know they’ll be able to get a meal, no matter how biologically damaging, for their two dollars. It is the influence of McDonalds that has people consuming a 32 oz soft drink in one meal.
If McDonald’s was introduced to ethics, McDonald’s would have to change. Drastically.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Jose says “I would other have a tape recorder or a video camera present. Then when they are caught your either threaten to expose them if they do not stop or choose to expose them.”
I wonder if this is ethical. Recording without knowledge is against the law in most if not all states, unless of course, you’re a part of our government, listening in to an international call, which blows my mind, but I digress. So, by at lease one standard, ethics is at risk of being lost.
When you say “threaten to expose them” I pause on the work threaten, which to me exemplifies the leading through fear mentality that Daft talks about.
It seems to me that these two acts – deception and threatening for one’s own gain – seem antithetical to the example of leadership we’re trying to attain and practice. Even with good intentions at the base.
What are some other ways this might be resolved without wearing a wire or practicing blackmail?
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 19, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I don’t agree.
If my definition of leadership is to force people to do my bidding, to applaud at my feet, to run people down and have them be run down at every opportunity, then my definition of leadership is not as good as other definitions of leadership.
If I think leadership is about getting things done at the cost of people’s spirits, then my definition needs work.
If I define leadership as the ability to have my way despite my way working against the organization’s best interests, then leadership is not being exemplified.
If my leadership is about power, about gaining accolades from the work of others, about being the highest paid or giving kudos to my in-group and disrespecting my out-group simply because I can in my position, my leadership needs to be redefined.
If anyone should think that these are ridiculous definitions for leadership, you should know that these are existing definitions of leadership for some leaders I know personally – in some cases these are my own former views of leadership – this may not be the verbal answer if these leaders were asked “What is leadership?” but it is their definition by action of what a leader does.
With all due respect to Jose and other people’s views on the topic, I feel like there are better and worse definitions for leadership.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira says “What if this manager goes forward with this plan and it backfires, who is left holding bag is it the followers who were just doing what they were told or is it the manager? Unethical practices trickle down and it is usually the lower end of the worker who gets the raw deal.”
I can’t imagine that more communication would somehow lead to the workers getting in trouble.
I can’t see how doing personality testing can be anything but potentially beneficial to the workers.
I don’t know how having a meeting with everyone in the organization could be seen as anything but good.
These things could happen naturally, but without leadership being applied, they won’t.
The titled person in charge doesn’t see the benefits – only the risks.
The manager knows that it is insubordination, but given the beneficial outcomes, and seeing how the only person potentially coming under fire for the insubordination is the manager himself, he does not see the deception as disbeneficial to the organization – only to the director.
The director’s mental model is possibly flawed, as is the manager’s. However, the Director’s mental model is supporting a failing effort.
Daft tells us something about courage. “Courage means accepting responsibility. Leaders make a real difference in the world when they are willing to step up and take personal responsibility. Some people just let life happen to them; leaders make things happen. Courageous leaders create opportunities to make a difference in their organizations and communities. ” (p. 235)
If we accept this as fact, who is more of a leader in my scenario: the manager or the director?
Daft continues “Courage often means nonconformity. Leadership courage means going against the grain, breaking traditions, reducing boundaries, and initiating change. Leaders are willing to take risks for a higher purpose, and they encourage others to do so…” (p. 236)
If this is the case, the director pursuing a failing status quo is ignoring the opportunity for leadership, and squelching the idea because of the risk. The director is not interested in owning the idea, nor having it happen at all. Her mental model simply does not support it. When leadership is missing, it has to appear elsewhere. If deception is necessary to the end, then I feel that this deception is truly in the best interest of the organization.
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira says “Although with some occupations the leaders promote unethically and immoral standards. In order to provide your customers with the feeling of trustworthiness and reliability ethics are a must.”
I would say that in order to be an effective leader in some occupations, unethical, immoral standards are almost necessary.
An executive of a tobacco company, for instance, must do everything they can to remind their customers of how much enjoyment and fun they have when they smoke, and play down the health effects and disastrous potential outcomes of using the products.
In order for a fast food company like McDonald’s to provide their “customers with the feeling of trustworthiness and reliability”, ethics is almost out of the question. If a fast food company starts to share that they need you to eat more so that you’ll be less healthy, so you’ll care less, so that you’ll eat more, so that they can sell more product, to lower prices, so that you’ll eat more, ethics has to come second to strategy.
Real ethics based leadership would, in my opinion, bring McDonald’s to a screeching, mooing halt.
They would have to stop advertising to children, which is a strategy to imprint young minds early, so that in 10 years, McDonald’s is a beloved childhood memory brand.
They would have to stop using trans fats immediately, since the use of trans fat has been shown to drastically, negatively affect health.
Ethics is counterproductive to McDonald’s restaurants, Phillip Morris, Coca Cola, Anheuser-Busch, and other companies that make wealth in whole or in part on the human condition of potential susceptibility to pleasure, even at one’s own health risk.
If leaders in these companies were to act with real ethics, their companies would have to change from their cornerstone inward, because to introduce ethics, but not alter the potentially harmful effects of the products being sold, would lead to company ruin. Good leadership does not equal company ruin.
Imagine if there was a surgeon general’s warning on hamburgers.
Imagine if $0.10 of each can of beer sold went to fund drinking and driving campaigns.
Imagine if every pack of cigarettes sold had a picture of a blackened lung due to smoking on it.
Imagine if every McDonald’s advertisement had a percentage of the time [10% of 1 minute = 6 seconds] devoted to more reasonable healthy alternatives.
What is there was a Food Czar, that was able to deny Arby’s ability to make a hamburger with 3000 Calories in it?
What about a monthly vice frequency tax? What if McDonald’s instituted a program by which it cost less for a sandwich if you spent more time between sandwiches? If you came twice in one week, the second visit’s sandwich would cost more than the first visit, but if you came in for your second visit in a month, the cost would be the same.
Introducing ethics that would benefit and build real trust in the consumer would require brand new ways of thinking about things. Staying where these companies are now requires a certain level of deception to remain profitable.
I lost over 100 pounds in the last year. I did it in part by reading several books that laid out what the fast food and other harmful industries are doing in order to keep us coming back, get bigger, and say “I’m loving it.” If they want to succeed, they can’t tell us what they’re up to. I would advise anyone interested in the topic to read “What to Eat” by Marion Nestle
John.

Thread:Leading with Courage
Post:Re: Leading with Courage
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I’ve seen that there’s a lean in the nod to always being ethical, so in the interest of debate, I thought I’d argue for the possibility for situations in which unethical behavior might be warranted.
Daft tells us that an unethical leader practices deception (p. 219). I would argue that there are some times when outright deception is called for in an individual dyad in order to make things better in terms of systems integration.
Let’s say that a manager sees the opportunity for several changes in his organization that could begin to transform it into a better organization. Interpersonal communications in the organization are lacking, managers are not asking questions with subordinates or peers, and the hierarchy of control is so deeply ingrained in the organization that people do not see themselves as peers or as having a voice – only as a obedient subordinate. They are stuck in the Control stage of the Leader-Follower Relationship Continuum. (Daft, p. 227)
This one manager sees a few ways to bring change to the organization, including having regular discussions as a group, having other managers commit to asking questions with their subordinates on a regular basis with the intent of installing changes that would improve the situation, and doing personality assessments so that the group can begin to understand why they sometimes have trouble communicating with other personality types.
Let’s say that this manager brings these ideas to the organizational director and is quickly shut down. The reasons include the potential for more upset, the idea that it might not work (and then where would we be), and the risks involved with sharing decision making power. The Director is providing some examples of unethical behavior with no real benefits other than to the status quo, including being “arrogant and self serving”, “neglecting follower development”, and “lacking the courage to confront unjust acts” (Daft, p. 219).
Since the manager still feels that the change needs to happen, and that they must take the role of a transformational leader despite the director’s shut down request, the manager decides to continue to develop the organization in secret, by continuing with the plan, working with other managers and creating mentoring relationships, and essentially doing what needs to be done to invoke real, good change, despite it being outright insubordination, through deception.
It’s deception with the best of intentions, though it is a struggle for the manager who doesn’t want to have to deceive just to have change occur.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy said “Sometimes I thought she was personally out to get me, to make my life miserable. There was no other explanation for this woman making me do all this work. ”
This reminded me of the way that Daft addressed the idea of perception and how this might have been a mental model that influenced every other interaction you had with this woman. I wonder if you had applied some conflict resolution tools, like inquiry, in order to find out if she was doing this as 1)a part of her master plan to get things done, or 2)as a personal attack on you, if you might have been surprised at why she was behaving this way. As things are, you only have your existing history of perception to go on.
Tracy also said “Now that I have examined these concepts, I can see were my old boss was set in her ways of doing things no matter what impact it had on the department as a whole. ”
I think that this speaks to Systems Integration, where a leader must see the way that the whole is affected, not just one (her) part. It seems like her mental model was simply set and hardened against moving to a paperless system. Maybe she had some stereotypes in her mind about digital media – that it was unstable, or that it could be lost in an effortless flash.
The paperless office has always been sort of a dream of mine, but I’m always interested to read about studies and editorials on why we haven’t moved as a society to purely electronic media, many of which focus on the McLuhanal heat of the printed, handled page, its portability, etc. Many of these authors might say that our mental model that sees a paperless system as better than a papery one is flawed, but I’m very biased towards using bits to share information like we’re all doing here.
There is an interesting and popular video on the comparative benefits of digital media which I think you might enjoy – available here:
YouTube: The Machine is Using Us
John

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thanks, Tracy!
I think I always had the want to be a leader with a heart and mind – I certainly feel much more comfortable caring about how my employees feel and interacting with them to gain their insights. Without knowing any better, and with some very bad leadership examples in my own employment history, I, as a new manager, simply took on a directive style because it seemed like the right thing to do. I know now that directive style has its place when (Hersey and Blanchard’s situational theory) follower readiness is very low, but that it is the leader’s job to move followers to a more ready state and move from a telling leadership style to a more empowered follower state. (Daft p. 227)
When I made the decision to change my style from a directive and controlling one to a person oriented and service based one, it seemed like many managerial issues I had been struggling with simply went away, and it wasn’t until I began studying leadership that the pieces came together for me in regards to why things became easier. This shift has been similar to the stages shown in the Leader-Follower Relationship Continuum (Daft, p. 227). I would say that it’s been a shift from Stage 1 (Control) to stage 3 (Empowerment), but I am striving to become a servant leader when it is possible.
Daft tells us that ethical leaders “show respect for each individual”, “serve others”, and “encourage and develop others” (p. 219). I feel like part of my shift was from an unethical leader to an ethical one, though I hadn’t seen it in this way, in terms of morality. Before my change, while I was losing people, I “neglected follower development”, “diminished others’ dignity”, and “promoted self-interest” (Daft, p. 219) which were, in retrospect, all very unethical acts, and clearly contributed to the turnover in my office.
When your employees feel like they are trusted, have a voice, get proper credit for their work, and have real partnership opportunities, they treat their work life with eagerness, investment, and dedication. I may lose employees in the future, but it won’t be because they didn’t have a voice or that they didn’t feel that they had worth.
Thanks again for your kind words, Tracy.
John.

Thread:FYI – Daft text still unavailable from Bookstore
Post:Re: FYI – Daft text still unavailable from Bookstore
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Another FYI:
Book still unavailable at Rider Bookstore as of 4 pm on Tuesday July 17th, but they now list the book as ‘in transit’ which could be interpreted as available in a day or two.
John.

Thread:FYI – Daft text still unavailable from Bookstore
Post:FYI – Daft text still unavailable from Bookstore
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 16, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Just FYI – I just figured I might save some of you a trip or phone call – the Bookstore does not yet have the Daft text in as of Noon on Monday the 16th of July.
John.

Thread:Leadership Hearts and Minds
Post:Re: Leadership Hearts and Minds
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 16, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

If one has slow changing or unadaptive mental models, which Daft defines as “theories people hold about specific systems in the world and their expected behavior,” (p. 179) it can cause a leadership style that is negatively affected by changes, or stagnant in the face of new opportunities.
In my business of instructional technology, a slow changing set of mental models can be stagnating to progress and improvement. If I’m not open and aware of changing communication tools and technologies, or if I feel that the existing technologies are probably sufficient without doing any surveys, research, or experimentation, I will almost surely fail as a technologist, and likely fail as a leader.
A specific example is Blackboard, which is my main responsibility at Rider. I am always looking at other ways to provide the solutions that Blackboard offers, so that I can be aware of what pros and cons exist in other solutions. To assume that Blackboard is doing everything that an instructor, student, or staff member at Rider needs for sharing information would be a bad assumption. In fact, perceiving the capabilities and innovations of some key competitors to Blackboard gives great insight into what else is possible, and has changed my own vision for the future of instructional technology at Rider.
For example, there is an open source competitor to Blackboard called Moodle [ http://moodle.com ] that provides discussion boards, announcements, email functionality, calendars and many other Blackboard functions, but it also provides things that Blackboard does not, such as blogs, rss feeds, and other useful communication tools for our constituents. It may be a bad assumption on my part that we at Rider would make use of these extra functions, but I’m trying it out just to make sure we’re aware of what else we could do.
Emotional Intelligence, which Daft explains as “a person’s abilities to perceive, identify, understand, and successfully manage emotions in self and others” (p. 191) and which can be described in four fundamental categories known as Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Self-Management, and Relationship Management (p. 193) can impact one’s leadership style by affecting how well they know themselves, manage their own emotions, empathize, and inspire others to commit to their work.
Through a high emotional intelligence, I may be able to communicate more effectively, recognize negative emotions in my peers and subordinates and work to improve emotions and potentially increase productivity.
If I lead through fear I may get great results, but at the cost of the spirit of the people who are working for me. If I don’t care about organizational history, team building, high turnover, or gaining trust or respect, fear may be an acceptable motivator. If I want to gain long term commitment, develop a set of systems and networks, and grant high valence intrinsic rewards and internal motivators, I have to use love and pleasure based leadership approaches.
In the past, I viewed my managerial position as one of directives, goals, and throughput assurances. I lost two people before I realized I had to take a new approach that was more about building people and relationships than building a production record.
Now, I make sure to ask questions at weekly meetings, such as “Do you know what your job is?”, “What do you value?”, “Do you feel properly challenged?”, “Do you feel properly rewarded?” in order to start conversations about where my people are in terms of their understanding of work, to reassure them that they have a voice, and to make sure that I am checking my assumptions with perceptions.
Glad to be discussing topics again!
John.

Thread:Keep Discussing Week 1?
Post:Re: Keep Discussing Week 1?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 12, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I’m also wondering about Kieanna’s thought – Now that the chapters are available in CCS, will the new questions be coming today? Should we be doing something else?
John.

Thread:Book update 07.10.07
Post:Chapters 5-9 now in hand.
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Mini,
It was a gracious and thoughtful idea. Whether it was due to your effort or someone else’s, I have copies of chapters 5-9 in hand which I just picked up from CCS.
Looking forward to discussing the concepts.
Thanks!
John.

Thread:Book update 07.10.07
Post:Book update 07.10.07
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I went to the Rider bookstore and to the CCS office today, Tuesday, July 10th, 2007.
The bookstore got a notice from the publisher saying the book is on backorder, and was only released on the 5th of July. Distribution is under way, but no one at the Bookstore can say when the book will be available. This has been the standard answer for the last 5 days.
I then stopped at CCS. CCS was only aware as of today of the latest time crisis regarding the book because the Dean of CCS, Boris, had just returned from vacation. Boris said he’d talk with the bookstore to see what could be done. CCS did not have the copies of the latest required chapters available, and so the schedule may have to be reset again. I think the chapter copies were a very effective solution, but it must be quite a burden on CCS.
Is there anything else we should be doing? Maybe we could contact previous students of the class and ‘rent’ the book until it is available for purchase? Could an email be sent to them asking for their willingness to help? Could one of their copies be made available at the Library reference desk, so that we might have an opportunity to copy chapters ourselves?
Just thoughts off the top of my head.
John.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

It seems like you know what’s best for your students.
I came to a major realization about the right time for directive leadership and the right time for shared management styles in the same employee.
Aside and separate from issues of age in followers, I just realized that I myself chose the wrong leadership style in a recent project.
I am trying to make one particular subordinate a relative copy of myself, in the spirit of transformational leadership. She has shown great growth and responsibility in many areas in the last year. Her skills are mostly focused in training, but our odffice also does a lot of system administration.
In one particular project, in which we are moving users from one server to another, I decided to give some structure and training to my employee in system administration, in which we went over the various commands and other responsibilities involved in this particular system’s administration.
I have been giving this employee this kind of training for a few months now over weekly meetings of an hour or more, where I show her what I do to maintain users on a system.
I had been using these sessions to prepare her for this major summer project in which she would be the responsible party. In my mind, this was empowering her, and giving her a voice, but in the last few weeks since I’ve transferred her into the actual hands on management of the project, she has become rather discouraged and somewhat visibly distressed.
In talking with her today I realized that in terms of Situational Theory Follower Readiness, she simply isn’t ready to take on the autonomous management of the project and still needs a much more directive style from me.
This was in direct conflict with my recent belief that everyone wants the ability to gain responsibility and take on new unknown or relatively unknown problems. I was applying a participative style, when I need to still adhere to a somewhat telling style for this particular project.
Theories are nice and fun, but when they are misapplied, there can be some negative upheaval. I’m now repairing my over-zealous application of democracy and shared management.
I feel like a mad scientist who just mixed an explosive compound by mistake. 😉
John.

Thread:The Leader as a Person
Post:Re: The Leader as a Person
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I will certainly do so – I’m thinking of whether the group is the team of directors or a larger group, and how to pose the question itself.
For instance, since many may not know about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I’m wondering how to make a quick one-page to get the people in the meeting up to speed. I’m also wondering how to state the question itself. Given the Decision Style of the Vroom-Jago Model, we would gather the stakeholders and ask something like:
“If we in this organization can learn more about the personality types in our group, we may begin to adapt to each others’ working styles in light of the personality types. A well known and highly effective way that other organizations have done this is by having a Myers-Briggs Type Assessment. Please see your handout for a brief overview of how MBTI can be used to help organizations assess and match personality types in project groups that are most likely to succeed according the MBTI expectations.
We have the opportunity to have a third party MBTI assessment of our organization to determine our types and begin to discover why some groups work well and others falter despite the best intentions.
MBTI does not allow for right or wrong answers. There is no pass or fail. It only assesses the type of personality you have as part of the MBTI standard 16 types, and gives some insight into how you may or may not work with other known personality types in a project or working group.
Would we be interested in doing a Myers-Briggs assessment in our organization? Feel free to give any feedback, ideas, or other answers you wish.”
Here’s to hoping that people would be open to learning more about who we are.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tom says “Personally, I think it’s a combination of the two, depending on what type of situation is currently at hand. I hate using this line because it sounds too general which I’m trying to avoid, but it’s almost as if the answer to this problem we face is “it depends.” It depends on the who, what, and why. ”
I think you’ve very cleanly reinforced the idea of Contingency theories in your line of “it depends”. The who are leaders and followers, and the what and why are environmental variables.
Depending on the who, what, and why, our placement on the leadership grid will likely change significantly. Depending on our individualist approaches, our placement on the leadership style continuum will vary.
I agree with Tom.
John.

Thread:The Leader as a Person
Post:Re: The Leader as a Person
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie says “What you usually find is an overall “aha” moment when people begin to understand how they function and why they find others either great to work with or annoying to work with. If the facilitator can point out the strengths of each type you can come away with a strgoner group, one that appeciates one another for the skills each one brings.”
I think this “aha” moment is waiting for our organization.
There are so many hard working and enthusiastic people with great ideas in my organization, and I am always surprised at the problems that are encountered and seldom addressed in terms of interpersonal communication.
If there was 25% of the effort that goes into technology research and problem solving put instead towards understanding the psychology and personalities of the people in the group, I think our organization could really soar.
I think I will be writing a proposal to my Associate VP regarding the potential beneficial outcomes of an organization wide MBTI assessment.
If we could manage the people related issues in our group nearly as well as the technology issues, we’d really have something. Sometimes I feel like most of the remaining technology issues that go unresolved are that way because of walls that have been built between departments, between people, and between responsibilities.
I’ve actually talked with a groups specialist who is very fond of MBTI and who I may be able to talk into doing a group assessment. The most important part would be getting buy in from the AVP, the directors, and the team members. I think it would have to be optional or confidential, at best, and perhaps test results could be known only to the individual. I don’t really know what the potential privacy issues might entail.
After doing a quick Vroom-Jago Development Driven Model of which decision making style to use to decide whether MBTI assessment should be given to the organization, I came up with the following:
Decision Significance? High. MBTI testing has the potential to resolve some of the long standing personality issues amongst members.
Importance of Commitment? High. It’s important that OIT buy into MBTI if it is to be used as a tool for team building.
Leader Expertise [Ignored as per model].
Likelihood of Commitment? High. It’s likely that OIT would do it if the decision were made unilaterally.
Group Support? High. OIT members are committed.
Group Expertise? Low. MBTI is relatively unknown in OIT.
Team Competence? [Ignored as per model.]
result: Consult (Group) which Vroom describes as “You present the problem to the group members in a meeting, get their suggestions, and then make the decision. (Daft, p. 101)”
Thanks!
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

That is definitely an interesting perspective. I guess you could look at it from a Hersey-Blanchard readiness perspective (Daft, p. 91) that a low follower readiness level demands a highly directive ‘Telling’ style.
If your teenagers are less likely to be able to take on independent responsibility and shared management responsibilities, I guess your hands are tied to an authoritative style.
I wonder if it’s the right fit for them though? I wonder if they are craving and positively responding to a top down leadership perspective. I wonder if the weight of open shared responsibility would be too much for them.
Thanks, Jose!
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 9, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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Jose said “In that situation we really cannot let them see us as peers becasue once they view us as a peer they lose as respect for us a their leader or mentor.”
Is this something that is specific to people who are younger than 13?
I would think that treating people like equals is a sort of leadership – one that embraces people oriented tactics.
j

Thread:The Leader as a Person
Post:Re: The Leader as a Person
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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I scored as an INTP – Daft’s modified characteristics for Briggs-Myers types says of the INTP type:
“Seeks to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.”
I think this is fairly accurate. I like logic. I like explanations. I like applying theories to situations. I prefer discussion boards to in-class interactions, thought I’m not sure if that is reflected in the idea of social interaction. It’s not that I’m not socially aware – it’s that I prefer quieter interactions. I like quiet. I have a very open mind. I like problem solving – I absolutely love questions. I am skeptical, highly critical, and analyze to a fault.
What I’m really interested in now is learning more about type interactions, group dynamics of MBTI types, and how to build successful teams using MBTI as one methodology for placement on projects.
What if everyone in my organization took a MBTI assessment once per year? Would patterns emerge?
What if we were taken out of our respective groups and replaced into groups that reflected MBTI based positive team interactions? Would our systemic and organizational issues would begin to dissolve?
What if no two people of the same MBTI types could be placed in any group? Would the benefits of psychological diversity begin to emerge? Would fights break out?
What if all of the people of certain like types were asked to go to lunch together once a month? Would mentoring flourish?
Would someone quit? Would everyone quit? This is dangerous stuff, but interesting.
John.

Thread:It All Depends…Contingency Approaches to Leadership
Post:Re: It All Depends…Contingency Approaches to Leadership
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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I would say that each of these might be able to be applied in certain situations, but if I had to choose one, I like the straightforward approach, visual aspects, and linear logical process of the Vroom-Jago decision making model.
Let’s say that there is a decision to be made. In a technology group, this decision might be a question of whether or not to incorporate a new system.
Without any model for deciding how to come to a decision, either democratically or autocratically, the leader may be guided by past experiences, gut feelings, or interpersonal relationships on whether or not to engage her people’s feelings on the issue.
However, with the Vroom-Jago Model, questions can be asked about the decision to determine whether it makes the most sense to decide on one’s own, delegate to the group, consult the group, facilitate a decision, or consult individuals about the decision.
One special benefit is that the model uses either a time driven set of questions or a development driven set of questions, depending on whether or not a quick answer is necessary, which in the quick paced world of technology management, is often a primary concern.
Applying the model takes the choice of decision making style out of the hands of the leader, and puts in into a programmatic approach that removes or lessens bias, and brings some sense to making the choice between simply making a decision for others, versus asking them to make it for you, and all of the possibilities between these two extremes.
Let’s say we’re choosing whether or not to adopt Active Directory as part of our global authentication system at Rider, called EasyPass. Let’s also say we need a decision right away.
This means we use the Time Driven Model, and begin asking questions to determine our level of democracy in the decision. As we answer questions, or possible outcomes change between that various levels of group inclusion in the decision making process.
1. Decision significance? High. This will affect thousands of people potentially.
2. Importance of Commitment? High. If the team isn’t behind it, it will fail.
3. Leader Expertise? Low. Our Associate VP does not know what Active Directory does aside from tthe fact that it helps with authentication.
4. Likelihood of Commitment? High. It is likely that the group will be committed to Active Directory if it is adopted.
5. Group Support? High. It is likely that the group will support Active Directory Adoption once they are aware of the benefits of it.
6. Group Expertise? High. While the VP is less likely to know about Active Directory, the various stakeholders are much more aware of the technology.
7. Team Competence? High. The team is, if nothing else, highly competent and literate in matters concerning this issue.
As a result of these questions and these answers, the Vroom-Jago model suggests that the leader facilitate a meeting in order to come to a conclusion amongst equal peers. Daft’s definition of Vroom-Jago’s facilitation is to “present the problem to the group in a meeting. (The Leader acts) as facilitator, defining the problem to be solved and the boundaries within which the decision must be made (p. 101).”
I think that this would be an effective approach to choosing a decision making style for lots of issues in our organization. I think that it would introduce democracy where it needs to be and allow sensible unilateral decisions when they are called for.
John.

Thread:Trait, Behavior or Relationship?
Post:Re: Trait, Behavior or Relationship?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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I think that any trait might be more or less effective depending on the contingent factors, an idea I think is reinforced in post-trait theory via Contingency approaches (Daft, p.78).
I would not argue that you can learn any trait, but I would argue that any trait might be part of your whole set of traits to make you an effective leader in some set of contingencies.
You can make efforts to be outgoing, and try and be less shy, but it’s also very possible that the contingencies of leader, followers, and situation call for a less outgoing leader. What leadership positions might call for a leader with a more introverted approach? A monastery, A think tank, a programming position, a meditation community group, a followership just burned by an outgoing, black-hatted, deceptive, charismatic leader (Daft, p.152). Think of any trait that is not part of the outcomes of the Stogdill 1948 study (Daft, p. 47) or in the Personal Characteristics of Leaders exhibit (Daft, p. 48) and then think of a set of contingencies in which it might come in very handy to a leader.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie’s original post says Jack Welch argues that a leader should “reward and pay special attention to the top 30% of employees who are outstanding and do a superior job, manage the next 60% who are solid workers (just not outstanding), and remove the bottom 10% on a regular basis.”
I think that this potentially leads to a win-lose situation, and I believe that leadership should embrace win-win outcomes at every opportunity.
Marie just now asked “is (there) any material in your book that could guide us to working differently with the middle 60% to make them more engaged and part of things?”
I think there are lots of ways outlined by Daft – I’ll mention two here.
The Leadership Grid (Daft, p. 60) shows that Jack Welch styled organizations, which throw out 10% of the workforce regularly, are high on result concerns and low on people concerns, and might be placed in the realm of Authority Compliance Management style.
This may get results, but at the cost of the human element. Jack might make strides to approach a 9,9 or Team Management style, which Daft says “often is considered the most effective style” by applying more balanced approaches between task-oriented styles and people oriented styles.
Path-Goal Theory (Daft, p. 96) could be applied in a few different ways to provide a more people oriented approach or to clarify what’s expected of them with more direct approaches.
Jack might use supportive leadership, where people in the 60% would be treated more as equals and are given consideration.
Jack might already be using Directive Leadership, where the 60% might be told exactly, precisely what they’re supposed to be doing.
Jack might use Participative leadership, where subordinates within the 60% might be given participative decision making opportunities.
Although it seems that just staying in the organization is a sort of goal for Welchian organizations, Jack might use Achievement oriented leadership in order to clarify what people in the 60% truly value, aside from keeping their job, and then show in a very clear way how to meet goals in order to get those rewards.
I think that if Jack were to treat his people more as humans than statistical groups, he might be able to engage them a little bit more, build some positive enthusiasm, and possibly modify his 30-60-10 to an 80-15-5 where his Darwinist approach could still be fulfilled, but it would be harder and harder to collect an Out-group.
That was fun!
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

This idea of ‘doing it all yourself’ was one I shared until the last year or two. My subordinates and other parts of my Systems and Networks (Daft, p. 68) are happy that I had a change of heart.
I find that in cases where my subordinates, superiors and peers have a certain level of what Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory would call ‘high readiness’ (Daft, p. 91) that I can do a lot of delegation.
If it is something I can do myself, it’s not usually enough reason for me to do so anymore – if I find that someone else can do it, either with training or with new permissions, or with the motivated acceptance of responsibility, I will usually try to share or delegate that task.
For me, as part of my transformational leadership (Daft, pp. 153-154) strategies, and as a part of my support of Theory Y ideas, (Daft, p. 140) emphasizing delegation and other shared management styles means empowering others, enlarging another’s position, giving someone who appreciates and finds some valence in new responsibilities the opportunity to grow.
If the others aren’t ready or motivated to take on a task, they may be able to be trained or Path-Goal (Daft, p. 99) assessed in order to be motivated or ready. If they are unlikely to end up being proficient after training, permissions, etc., or if they generally rebuke the opportunity because of a genuine disinterest in the task, I will usually take on the task myself, since I like opportunity too.
In my own experience, I have found that sharing responsibility and knowledge with others is a short term low return investment, sometimes painfully so, but in the long term, it pays back a hundredfold in productivity, duplication of team ability, and general organizational competence.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:Farquharson, Thomas
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

It’s definitely something that needs to be worked on over time.  I definitely can’t just flip the switch and get accustomed to allowing people to assist me with whatever task is at hand.
It’s pretty much like anything else in life where you do it piece by piece, starting small and working your way up to bigger things.  It’s gotten easier for me to allow people to assist me with smaller tasks, but I’m trying to expand my horizons.  In the long run, it’s only going to make my life easier if I can allow myself to enable people to assist me.  In addition, the more you enable people to assist you, the more experienced they will become.  In turn, they will become a bigger assest, and you’ll feel more comfortable allowing assistance from them.
Like I said, we benefit in the long run if we’re able to overcome this.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:York-Funchers, Tashira
Date:Saturday, July 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas and Kieanna, I also have the do it myself mode. When there is something that needs to be done, instead of delegating the responsibility to someone else I often just do it. The problem with that is now I am making everyone accountable for their work and they think that I am putting to much pressure on them to get the job done. The duties I am asking them to do are their duties but they have gotten used to me doing them.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Daft’s “Action Memo” on page 67 suggests building individualized leadership Dyads rather than In-Groups and Out-Groups, and I tend to agree.
I think that the Welch percentages system reinforces the idea of In-groups and Out-groups, however, I imagine that Welch in many ways exemplifies the old Paradigm of Leadership, where competition is values more than collaboration (Daft, p. 11), whereas if we are looking to the New Paradigm of leadership (Daft, p.8), in-groups and out-groups fundamentally oppose the idea of strong individualized leadership style, in which each group member is given their own individual relationship continuum with the leader. I see individualized leadership styles (Daft, p.63) as more New Paradigm than Old, and may show that Welch’s approach may be part of an outgoing mode of leadership that embraces top down management, centralized control, and leader-as-hero. Jack doesn’t seem especially humble to me, but I’ve nothing to prove it. 😉
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
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I would agree that Vertical Dyad Linkages, where individual relationships strengthen leader follower communication and bond (Daft, p. 64) would potentially improve the likelihood of management and leadership taking place, since motivation and valence are possibly much harder to assess from a group than from the individual.
If you stand in front of your team of ten employees, and ask the general question “What do you value?” there are lots of environmental, personal, and other reasons why the ‘real’ answer might not come about. For instance, one worker may feel like the act of telling the group what they truly value could change team perceptions of them. If I’m on a team of die-hard, hard core 12 hour shift welders, whose organizational culture reinforces hard work and stiff upper lip, and I utter than it’s important that I get vacation time, it may appear that I am weak to my peers. I might say instead that “hard work” and “overtime” are valued in earshot of my peers, to my own peril.
Also, if I speak up, and someone else does not, it may appear than the whole team similarly values what I value, which is possible, but should be assessed individually.
However, if I am asked the same question “What do you value, John?” in an individualized, safe, closed door conversation with a leader who can provide what I find valence in, and who can assure me of the ways to reach those rewards, then I am more likely to share what I value. This idea is exemplified in Path-Goal Theory (Daft, p.95) where it is assumed that the leader’s role is to clarify the path to a performance goal and assess and assure the return of valued rewards to the worker for the sake of motivation.
Individualized inquiry may be better in assessing valued rewards than group inquiry.
One could argue that once individualized assessment happens that there could be great value in sharing the outcomes of those assessments, since it may be just as useful or valuable for your peers to know what you value as your supervisor.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Saturday, July 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy – I really, truly appreciate you being so thorough and thoughtful with your answers. It seems like you have a great understanding of your organizational roles at home.
You said “There are some areas you may be stronger in than your wife, some things you may have more knowledge about than she does. It is at these time that you would take the lead in the visionary process and she would step back and let you do that, and visa versa.”
You also said “When it comes to my relationship with my co-partner :-), I fall somewhere in the middle of the Leadership Continuum. Now when it comes to my relationship with my children,ages 17, 16, 12 and 5, I fall more towards the Boss-Centered side. I do use my authority quite often with them. Especially with my 5 year old :-),and those teenagers!! if I don’t I’d find myself following way too much!”
I think both of these statements talk, too, about the legitimacy of Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory’s idea of follower state of readiness (Daft, p. 91), and using the appropriate leadership style to go with it: telling, selling, participating or delegating. Naturally, until your children are ready to be delegated to in choosing their own paths to goals, you have to be a more autocratic, boss oriented, task oriented leader. As they gain insight, experience, and reinforcement from your leadership team, you get to delegate, participate and sell them more on ideas, rather than telling.
It’s like young adulthood is a promotion and an increase in democratic voice.
Thanks again for your generosity in sharing.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:Childs, Kieanna
Date:Saturday, July 7, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas, I too am sometimes in the “I will do it myself mode” because I feel as though I dont do it it will not get done. This is something that I am working very hard on and allowing myself to work within groups and also allow others to take lead roles. It is truly a struggle but looks like everyday it is getting easier. ~Kieanna

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie, Robert, and class,
If people are following us, we are leading, but that’s not necessarily ideal leadership. It might be coercion. What might be better is determining what motivates potential followers.
To lead people, we might focus on allowing potential followers to want to follow by finding out what they truly want, and then assuring them that doing what we want them to will get them what they really want.
If we were to apply the path-goal theory, for example,
we might motivate an employee to do what we want to get what they want.
If we determine the outcomes that we wish a follower to attain, and if we find out what the follower finds valence (valued rewards) in, we can arrange the valued reward in exchange for an achieved outcome, and facilitate the achievement of the outcome (instrument) through training, support, or other allowances.
A simple example might be that if the employee values a democratic approach in decision making, we might arrange to give them a vote in a major decision in which they are a stakeholder in exchange for meeting a production goal in a given time period. If the employee is given assurances, believes that they can achieve the production goal, and believes that it will result in a voting voice, they will likely follow the lead. You also potentially benefit as a leader from developing your employee’s democratic voice.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I think of management as a particular form of leadership – It seems like a more task oriented leadership, as opposed to people oriented leadership. The main objective of a manager would be to focus on goals, and reinforce well placed rules.
I think managers use less democratic methods and focus more on autocracy. I think a manager works to get results and reinforce the standards, rather than to develop potential counter-managers.
I think management would be generally more transactional than transformational, meaning less focused on organizational change and more focused on organizational stability.
I don’t think we’re splitting hairs at all – I think that managers can be leaders, and that leaders can be managers, but that manager-leaders are more comfortable with the old paradigm of leadership discussed in chapter one, emphasizing hierarchy, results, and a top down view.
John.

Thread:leadership experience
Post:Re: leadership experience
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

That may be an overzealous webmaster – the book is not on the shelves. 😉
j.

Thread:leadership experience
Post:Re: leadership experience
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas,
I stopped in today at 11 am – no book, no ETA.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Kieanna,
I can’t say without applying the model to each of the decisions whether it would have been more democratic or more autocratic, but since it was 100% democratic in our actual execution, it would likely be at least somewhat more autocratic. It’s all in the percentages. 😉
Given another chance as leader, I would have definitely used the Time-driven Model for determining an appropriate decision making style — group problems matrix (Daft, p. 104) in order to determine when it was appropriate to decide, delegate, facilitate or consult the group or individuals. What a useful tool.
As it was, we made several democratically arrived at decisions including who was leader, which organization we would model, which tools we would use to collaborate, which tools we would use to communicate, and who would do which part of the paper.
In retrospect, allowing everyone to have a say in each of these decisions was probably needlessly time consuming in the very constrictive time crunch. Since I had some leadership expertise on technology, and others were less technically literate, and group support was likely, I might have arrived at a different decision making style than “Delegate” for technology oriented decisions, for instance.
The Time driven model would have helped us to come to quicker decisions, and the appropriate decision making styles would have been applied, so that I might have decided autocratically which collaboration and communication tools we’d use, but consult individually on which organization we would model.
I think the process would have remained generally democratic, but in many cases, I would have simply presented an idea and dealt with suggestions and other feedback, rather than assuming, for instance, that everyone had a strong feeling or an idea for which technology tools to use, which was not the case.
John.

Thread:leadership experience
Post:Re: leadership experience
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I called today at 5 pm, and they told me they didn’t have it and that they might not have it until next week.
How did you hear they had it? Did you get it?
Thanks!
John.

Thread:Trait, Behavior or Relationship?
Post:Re: Trait, Behavior or Relationship?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tashira said “All of the two dimensional and seven leadership styles appeal to my sense of leadership. Exhibit 2.3 (Draft, pg 60) effectively shows how I currently operate. Team management is the highest concern right now for society based on a customer service industry which is also related to the country club management. The lower three of middle of the road, impoverished management and authority-compliance are just as important but do no show this on the chart.”
If you had to choose one of these as being most like the leadership style in your workplace, which would it be? Is the leadership style where you work better described by Team Management or one of the others? What is an example of why you chose what you chose?
I would say that Rider’s OIT is a 7,3 – there is a great concern for results, but very little concern for people. People are asked to work long hours, have extensive knowledge, and get very little in the way of intrinsic value or support. It’s a crisis that’s being actively addressed.
In my particular office, though, I would say it’s more of a 5,7, where there is an average concern for results, and a high concern for people. We don’t have the same pressures that other departments do for results – ours is more of a support and maintenance role, and there is a lot of individual dyadic attention paid to workers.
It would be likely ideal for both of these to be at an 8,8 or a 8,7. We need a reasonable emphasis on people, and a strong concern for results. Some assessment may be needed in my office to be able to follow performance trends.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, July 6, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy said “I answered them with my household role in mind. According to my results, I am both a leader and a manager right now. I think this is pretty accurate because as I stated before, I do have to do a lot of the planning and organizing in my household once my husband puts ideas and thoughts on the table.”
Tracy – I love applying leadership models and theories to home life. It so often contrasts to the answers I come up with when applying exercises to my work life roles.
I feel that I am a leader and manager and follower in my household. I most often play a managerial role to my wife’s leadership role. I am quite often a follower to my 2 year old son’s goals and objectives. He’s a regular autocrat. We all switch off from time to time. 😉
I’m very interested in the way that you referred to your husband’s lead in your household leadership model, and how that balances with your own leadership style.
Do you feel that you are co-managing co-leading and co-following with your husband in this role? Do you feel like you switch off and on in the leadership role? Can you both be leaders at the same time? In the case of the other members of your household, do they ever take the leadership reins? Where is your household leadership style defined in the Leadership Grid (Daft, p. 60)? Where along the Leadership Continuum (Daft, p. 55) are you right now in your household?
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Of course, there are lots of instances aside from a theme park where autocratic leadership styles might be effectively applied – the Daft text tells us that many theories state contingencies in which democracy is neither warranted nor beneficial as a leadership style.
Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory promotes the Telling leadership style for workers with low “readiness” levels (Daft, p. 91). In cases where mostly unskilled workers or workers who are skilled, but in which the work is strictly by the manual, like many factory positions, autocratic leadership styles might be preferable. In cases where the factory workers are being actively developed by leadership as freer, more creative thinkers they might be given some voice to determine better procedural methods or new designs of products they handle everyday. This might instill some intrinsic satisfaction in workers, which may substitute for a more people oriented leadership approach, which might be rejected if attempted in a task oriented environment (Daft p. 108).
The Vroom-Jago model for time driven or development driven decision-making style group problems (Daft, pp. 104-105) has a multi-part inquiry based method for determining when it makes the most sense for a leader to engage followers in the decision making process for a particular problem and to what degree participation by followers should occur, ranging from a directive decided upon by the leader to a full blown delegation of the decision to workers within parameters set by the leader. It also allows for a separate set of determining factors based on whether there is a time crunch in making the decision, or if there is more time and development of worker decision making skills is more important than a quick decision.
I’ve only had one other class in the Organizational Leadership program at Rider, and the group project had many decisions to be made, ranging from what collaborative writing tool to use [Google Docs and Spreadsheets] to how to go about structuring the paper itself [the outline and major points and assignments]. I was elected ‘leader’ — a management role, but I was democratic in approaching most decisions regarding the paper, to my own peril. Sometimes, a decision simply needed to be made and proposed, but I thought that would be autocratic, which I saw as only ‘negative’ at the time.
The Vroom-Jago model would have been a great way to know when to engage the team members with questions or decision tasks and when to simply make a decision and ask for acceptance or feedback.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:Cini, Marie
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tom wrote: “John, I think a combination of our skills would be awesome.  You have the goals and the visions, which I definitely need to improve upon, mainly looking “outside the box.”  I will admit that I mainly look at how to get from A to Z and the best way to accomplish those goals.”
This is an important point to remember when we get to the material on teams…
Marie

Thread:Trait, Behavior or Relationship?
Post:Re: Trait, Behavior or Relationship? – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I would say that “6. Individualized leadership: Vertical Dyad Linkage model with later research on Leader-member exchange and partnership building” was most applicable in my current position.
Daft says that the Vertical Dyad Linkage Model is “a model of individualized leadership that argues for the importance of the dyad formed by a leader with each member of the group”
Vertical Dyad Linkages are one-to-one leader follower exchanges used to strengthen leader-follower relationships. Leader member exchange and partnership building further blur the hierarchical leadership direction and allow leadership to occur from both the manager and the follower.
Why do I prefer this theory/model? I work amongst skilled professionals who often need to communicate individual goals and direction both upwards and downwards, hierarchically. When generalizations are applied by leadership to the group, I feel that it is a subtle form of autocracy, or at the very least leads to a diminished individual voice.
Since without the benefit of a one-on-one dyad, your voice is less likely to be heard, and since I myself very much value the opportunity to have my voice heard in a organizational relationship, non-dyadic leadership styles are less effective for me in the role of either a leader, a manager, or a follower.
I would say that I feel very strongly about the success potential for other approaches, such as the Leadership grid and democratic approaches in general.
Daft says that the Great Man Approach is “a leadership perspective that sought to identify the inherited traits leaders possessed that distinguished them from people who were not leaders”
I think the Great Man theory is least plausible – in my opinion it is a holdover of an age that assumed that a male was more powerful than a female, that a light skinned person was more legitimate than a dark skinned person, and that a leader was born into leadership and that if the traits that the Great Man theory associated with Leadership were not present in the womb, that there was little chance of leadership being attained by some external methodology, such as a graduate program on Organizational Leadership.
The Great Man theory seems to reinforce the idea that the blood line of the royal crown of England is a great indicator of leadership potential, which I think is unlikely, and due to physical characteristics associated with early trait theory, dismisses the likelihood that Stephen Hawking is a great leader.
If Sir Stephen was born into a different age, he might have been pushed into serving out his life in a very different way, perhaps in a quiet corner, which would be an unforgivable travesty, in my opinion.
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas,
Until I read the Daft text, I’d been struggling with the idea of why anything but a democratic, people oriented leadership approach. I figured – why would anyone want to be in either the leadership side or the follower side of an autocratic leadership style? For the leader it means trying to motivate people who are likely to be inherently unsatisfied with the work, and for the followers, it might be mindless, unrewarding, and rife with injustices.
Oh yeah. Sesame Place. 😉
Imagine if democracy broke out amongst the yellow shirted teens in their first jobs there, and all of a sudden, the rules for greeting, taking money, lifeguarding, dress code, etc. were all up to the individual teenager. Sesame Place would be closed the very next day. The Cookie Monster shoving incident immediately comes to mind. 😉
It just doesn’t make sense for the Big Birds at that park to engage in a lot of shared management. Hard fast rules have to be posted and printed everywhere, associate manuals of behavior have to be read and signed, and group thought is likely reinforced. At least amongst the 16 year old set. It keeps the throngs of families happy, moving, and coming back.
However, small outbursts of shared management might be used as a motivational tool, where if you execute your exacting tasks very well, you get the opportunity to have a voice in how things are run.
Ah, Sesame Place. As a native of Bensalem and Levittown, I have plenty of nephews who cut their job teeth there. Thanks for the memories!
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:Farquharson, Thomas
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

John, I’m right there with you in terms of combining efforts of others to help overcome ones own flaws.  I will admit that I do have trouble sometimes allowing help from others.  It’s not a conceited point of view, but it’s more or less that if I want something done, I feel that I have to do it myself.  Whether right or wrong, I’ll deal with the consequences.  Working with others can only help, which is something that I try to work on daily.  This combination can only broaden one’s horizons and give results that may never be achieved by one’s self.
I also look forward to working with you in the future – thanks for your insight!

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas – I definitely agree. I’ve found that one of the best ways to counter my own flaws is to strengthen them with other people who do well that which I don’t.
I feel like this idea expands on the New Leadership Paradigm aspect of moving from uniformity to diversity.
Although that section talks specifically about diversity in terms of race, sex, age, background, etc., I think that a diverse set of management and leadership styles can help an organization to change course more frequently and efficiently.
Having only one leadership style [people oriented, task oriented or managerial] or a uniform organizational ability (all highly skilled professionals, all unskilled workers) across the board makes it harder to stop or alter the directional inertia of an organization that was great last month, but flawed today.
Although it sounds like Marie has canceled the group project, I have a feeling you and I will have a lot of opportunities to work together. I’m looking forward to it.
You might even say we’re combining our efforts right now to help ourselves and everyone else here grapple with issues of leadership. 😉
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thomas said “Thanks to the help of Exhibit 1.3 on page 18, I see myself as a better manager at work, and a better leader on the basketball or volleyball courts.”
In introducing contingency theories, Daft says that “for a leader to be effective there must be an appropriate fit between the leader’s behavior and style and the conditions in the situation. ”
I think that many of the situational theories or contingency models would agree that not only does your leadership style change to more people oriented or task oriented depending on the various environmental, staff, and task issues at one particular position in one job, but as you move from leadership or management role to role in life [community organizations, sports teams, family life, graduate classes] that your place along the leadership/management and people oriented/task oriented continuuae may vary greatly.
I would think, for instance, that as a member of a team you would want to strive to be less of a manager and more of a leader, or possibly shift entirely to being a great follower, but in a management or directorial role in a business, you may be asked to be a phenomenal manager, a less forward leader, and a follower least of all.
Thomas said “from the “Leader’s Self-Insight 1.1” on page 17, I “tested” as more of a manager, but I felt that I only thought about the workplace when I went through the questions.”
If you were to do this insight exercise again for every job you ever had, what would be the outcome? Would you always test as a better manager, or would it vary based on the particular job?
John.

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:Farquharson, Thomas
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

John, I think a combination of our skills would be awesome.  You have the goals and the visions, which I definitely need to improve upon, mainly looking “outside the box.”  I will admit that I mainly look at how to get from A to Z and the best way to accomplish those goals.
I have difficulty looking at the larger picture, and am certainly a more analytical type person, which lends me to trouble when I’m looking at all of the smaller details longer than I should.  However, this does enable me to be a better director and controller, especially in terms of time and finances.  This is a result of being a finance major, but I think it’s part of my intrinsic makeup as well.
Now if we could just combine our powers!!!

Thread:Leadership versus management
Post:Re: Leadership versus management – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, July 5, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

I personally have realized only recently that I am likely a better leader than a manager right now, though like many, I’m flawed at both, and working on both.
Daft defines leadership as “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes and outcomes that reflect their shared purposes.”
I feel that as a leader, I wield some influence amongst my subordinates, peers, and directors. I know how to apply motivational suggestion to move others towards shared goals. I have goals and a vision in mind for how I want my organization and everything that it touches to improve, and some plans for attaining those goals. I often have an easier time with large picture issues and outcomes than the minute specifics of management. I am much more goal and people oriented than task and time oriented. I have less trouble dealing with issues of leadership than with issues of management.
Daft describes management as “the attainment of organizational goals in an effective and efficient manner through planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling organizational resources.”
I do some of the tasks of management well, according to this definition. I am a thorough planner and an efficient organizer. I have had some recent success with staffing appropriately for certain positions. Directing and controlling are two aspects that cause me some trouble, especially in terms of time management and financial resource management. The various models and theories presented in the Daft text are beginning to clarify how I might approach these issues of direction and control, such as applying the Vroom-Jago time/development matrix models to key decision making processes to determine when to apply full on democracy versus autocratic directives. Tools like these are invaluable for managers as well as leaders.
Daft describes the new paradigm in leadership as a set of differences in approaches to “direction”, “alignment”, “relationships”, “personal qualities”, and “outcomes” resulting in a new emphasis on “change and crisis management”, “empowerment”, “collaboration”, “diversity”, “higher purpose”, and “humility”.
I would say that I am excited about the possibilities and intentions of this new paradigm of leadership
I understand that both management and leadership must both be present and work together, and that both very much depend on each other.
John

Thread:Questions on Syllabus
Post:Re: 5 topics – lemasney
Author:Cini, Marie
Date:Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

John and all:
Yes, change as a process and transformational leadership as an approach are two distinct concepts. This is a good lesson–knowing and defining a concept can help us apply it well.
Marie

Thread:Questions on Syllabus
Post:Re: 5 topics – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, July 2, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thanks, Marie,
Your answers give me (and others, I’m sure) a lot of insight into the assignments.
I feel a lot more comfortable now.
Just for clarification, I meant change as in leadership’s potential effect on how an organization works through changes. Changes could be environmental, systemic, technological, or might take a thousand other forms.
I meant transformation as in how a leader might potentially transform an organization by her leadership style, behavior, traits, dyads, and other factors.
In defining them, I think they became more separate and distinct. 😉
I’m really looking forward to the discussions and assignments!
John.

Thread:Questions on Syllabus
Post:Re: 5 topics – lemasney
Author:Cini, Marie
Date:Sunday, July 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

John: Don’t apologize. These are good questions. I’m sure your asking will help others as well. My answers are within:
In the Concept Integration Papers, both options make use of 5 topics, as in “at least five different major topics you have studied in this course.” Can you give three examples of the topics you are looking for specifically? I’m wondering if you are accepting broader or more concise interpretations of what a topic is.
Examples could be theories (great man, contingency), concepts and topics (organizational change, vision). The level (broad or specific) isn’t as important as its appropriate use for your case. You should be able to explain it in your words and apply it to the situation.
Would change, transformation, followership, vision, and empowerment all be acceptable and separate major topics? Are these too broad? Would change and transformation be too similar?
These are fine. I can’t tell if change and transformation are too similar unless you provide more details of what you mean by both.
Is the list of acceptable topics defined somewhere, such as in the Daft text? Since most of the Daft text focuses on Leadership Theory, are you looking for these theories within these topics?
There is no list anywhere, but if you stick to chapter subtitles, you should be in good shape. Using theories is great–but I am not specifically looking for them. If they are appropriate and useful (as they might be in the topic for the leadership development program for your organization) then please use them. I am looking for your analysis and good judgement. If you aren’t sure, please ask me–I’ll be glad to give you a reading on your topics.
Would this set of acceptable topics be more obvious after some discussion takes place?
This will get easier when we start the discussion.
Sorry for the barrage of questions. 😉
John.

Thread:Questions on Syllabus
Post:Re: 5 topics – lemasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Sunday, July 1, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hi, Marie,
In the Concept Integration Papers, both options make use of 5 topics, as in “at least five different major topics you have studied in this course.” Can you give three examples of the topics you are looking for specifically? I’m wondering if you are accepting broader or more concise interpretations of what a topic is.
Would change, transformation, followership, vision, and empowerment all be acceptable and separate major topics? Are these too broad? Would change and transformation be too similar?
Is the list of acceptable topics defined somewhere, such as in the Daft text? Since most of the Daft text focuses on Leadership Theory, are you looking for these theories within these topics?
Would this set of acceptable topics be more obvious after some discussion takes place?
Sorry for the barrage of questions. 😉
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, June 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

You must have spoken with Angel – she’s the best.
If you need anything, I’ll be happy to help, but it sounds like you are in good hands.
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Friday, June 29, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hi, Tracy
If you want help sooner, email me a number and a good time to call – maybe we can resolve it sooner rather than later.
lemasney@rider.edu
aim: lemasney
gtalk: lemasney@gmail.com

Thread:Thursday morning guidance on books
Post:Re: Thursday morning guidance on books
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Thursday, June 28, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie,
Great temporary solution – I have the first four chapters in hand and am enjoying the reading.
Thanks so much for acting so quickly on this!
John.

Thread:Confusion RE: Books and Dates
Post:Daft text is out of print?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Wow – efollet has some potentially bad news – it says that Daft’s Leadership Experience is out of print.
The Leadership Experience
, 2nd Edition
by Daft, Richard L.
Paperback
ISBN-13 = 9780030335723
ISBN-10 = 0030335728
This item is out of print.
See for yourself

Thread:Confusion RE: Books and Dates
Post:Re: Confusion RE: Books and Dates
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Marie –
What the bookstore said was that they simply never received the order for the book, but that the moment they received the order that they could have a turnaround of as little as 3 days. I’m sure it’s just a mixup somewhere with CCS or the bookstore, but regardless, we could just be one step away from resolving the issue quickly, instead of all finding alternate individual solutions.
After visiting Rider’s bookstore twice today, I spent this evening at 3 local bookstores: borders, barnes and noble, and princeton university bookstore. No one said the Daft text would be available in three days or anything close except for Rider.
I don’t know if we want to pursue getting books from Amazon or another reseller that might take weeks [1-6 weeks indicated on borders.com] if the RU bookstore could have it in such a short time. I guess there’s always efollet.com too.
Here’s to hoping there’s a simple fix. 😉
John.

Thread:Book unavailable in Bookstore?
Post:Re: Book unavailable in Bookstore?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

It is not in the stacks at Rider’s Libraries, it is not available at any local Borders or Barnes and Noble stores, and Borders indicates a potential 6 week wait.
This may be an issue. 😉
John.

Thread:Book unavailable in Bookstore?
Post:Book unavailable in Bookstore?
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hi, Marie,
I just stopped by the Rider bookstore to get cracking on my reading, only to find out that they did not have a record for your book order.
The APA Manual was there (a stack of them were available used at a very good price,) but ‘Daft, Richard L. (2005). The leadership experience (3rd edition.). Mason, OH: South-Western.’ [isbn: 0324261276] was not present, and they do not have any plans for it to arrive.
Did you intend for it to be available at the bookstore? If not, can anyone guide me as to the best place to pick it up ASAP?
Thanks in advance!
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Tracy says “I realized that I ‘am’ in fact a leader. As a matter of fact I am an exceptional one. I lead and motivate my family, friends, co-workers and church affiliates on a daily basis. ”
It’s so great that you realize that leadership is not necessarily a titled role – until I was in this program, that was exactly, precisely what I thought.
I saw your email – I’m glad to see that you were able to work out your posting issue – let me know if you run into any other problems with Blackboard.
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction – LeMasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Thanks for the kind welcome, Marie!
I’m always very glad to provide technology help wherever I can, but Blackboard really is a big part of what I do all day, so consider yourself officially covered in that area.
I agree about the importance of leadership in technology, and see how the absence of the knowledge of leadership and motivation can really deeply hurt a technology group, especially when those positions are in some cases highky specialized and in others very disposable – leading to a certain sense of inequality in the technology workforce. Leadership must be applied to keep people motivated, developed, and working as a team.
The lonely male geek IT stereotype isn’t dead, but it is certainly dying. The wallflower geeks who do all their work in the dark end up just being puppets, and the ones who refuse to work on a team are being slowly removed. The IT workforce is being selectively transformed, and it is changing the dynamic of those groups.
It may be surprising and reassuring to you that Rider’s OIT has more women workers than men, and that of the 6 people in the leadership roles, 4 are women.
I’m looking forward to continuing my education in your class – my first class in Summer I opened doors I just didn’t know were there.
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Just finished up my last posts to Tim. Let’s start all over again. 😉
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction – LeMasney
Author:Cini, Marie
Date:Monday, June 25, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hello John:
First, I’m glad that our Blackboard guru is in the class! We can always use some help in that realm.
Second, leadership is very important for technology professionals. More than every before, you must lead organizations because you have the knowledge of a topic most of us don’t. It used to be that the “IT guys” (they were always male back then) worked alone and separate from others. Not anymore. Now, you must be strategic thinkers and partners in our processes.
I welcome your perspective in this class.
Marie

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, June 25, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

Hi, Kieanna!
John.

Thread:My introduction
Post:Re: My introduction – LeMasney
Author:LeMasney, John
Date:Monday, June 25, 2007
Status:PUBLISHED
Overall rating: Not rated

My name is John LeMasney. I’m currently the manager of Instructional Technology at Rider University, and the love of technology and its practical applications is what drives me.
One point of business up front – I’m responsible for the Blackboard system at Rider, and if anyone needs anything regarding Blackboard, you can certainly fire me off an email, make a mention of an issue here, or call me at 609-896-5000 x7145. For me, being in this class is one more way to gain student experience and insights about how our services are used, or not.
Pursuing the MA in Organizational Leadership is one of my efforts towards improving my organizations. My path to this program was not linear.
I have a BFA in Sculpture from University of the Arts, where I put an emphasis in the study of media and communications, and have always been interested in how media and communications, including art, can be used as leadership tools to influence, change minds, and do deeds for the common good if applied properly.
However, as an instructional technologist, I’ve learned that technology can be used in the same way – to work towards a common goal, to move people, and to potentially benefit those who use it.
The common possibilities of these two realms have led me to the idea that the leadership is the thing that interested me all along, and so I decided to pursue leadership as an educational topic when the opportunity presented itself.
This is my second class at Rider, and my second distance learning course anywhere, though I have been working here since September of 1998. The first class was challenging and rewarding, and I’m sure this one will be too.
John LeMasney.

2 Responses to Discussion: LEAD 500

  1. Hey John–

    Happened to see this online and wanted to just say hi to you. Keep up the good work and keep in touch.

    ~Kieanna

  2. lemasney says:

    Hi, Kieanna! Thanks for stopping by! 😉

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