The Greater Fool

Posts for Tag: leadership

Clever individuals don't make the group smarter

Their analysis, published on 30 September in Science, found several characteristics linked to group performance -- and none involved individual intelligence. What mattered instead was the social sensitivity of individual members, the proportion of women (who tend to be more sensitive) in each group, and a balanced participation of conversation.

Gender and social sensitivity are linked, said Woolley, making emotional intelligence and conversation balance the most important factors in group performance. Not only was individual intelligence irrelevant, but group cohesion mattered little. Neither did motivation or happiness -- a finding that most workers would find disconcerting.

I suspect being able to mine and measure that "conversation balance" will be the true value of leadership. I work in an industry dominated by males (Software Engineering) and find the teamwork quality abysmal more often than not. What is the best way to build social sensitivity within a team? Can it be trained effectively?

Empirically, it makes a lot of sense. The better the ability of a team to coax the best ideas out of its constituents, particularly those quiet but brilliant ones, the better it will perform. Their other conclusion also makes a lot of empirical sense; that individual intelligence matters little in the context of a team. Often that individual brainpower comes at the cost of teamwork-destructive egos.

Four leadership personalities, which one is your team missing?

in any great leadership team, you find at least four personalities, and you never find all four of those personalities in a single person.

You need to have somebody who is a strategist or visionary, who sets the goals for where the organization needs to go.

You need to have somebody who is the classic manager — somebody who takes care of the organization, in terms of making sure that everybody knows what they need to do and making sure that tasks are broken up into manageable actions and how they’re going to be measured.

You need a champion for the customer, because you are trying to translate your product into something that customers are going to pay for. So it’s important to have somebody who empathizes and understands how customers will see it. I’ve seen many endeavors fail because people weren’t able to connect the strategy to the way the customers would see the issue.

Then, lastly, you need the enforcer. You need somebody who says: “We’ve stared at this issue long enough. We’re not going to stare at it anymore. We’re going to do something about it. We’re going to make a decision. We’re going to deal with whatever conflict we have.”

VMWare's Paul Maritz, formerly of Microsoft in its heyday, describes the four types of personalities required for a successful leadership team. In my experience, the "enforcer" is the rarest trait. In today's corporate taxonomy, that's the guy that gets sacked for making the wrong call. Make sure whatever project you're working on, the "enforcer" is present and accounted for.

Personally speaking, I fall into a strategist category as I can't help but feel longer term effects of short-sighted decisions. I have grown in leaps in being the enforcer as I realize hate the analysis paralysis. Where do you find yourself on this measurement?

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

originally buzzed by @Andrew Maxwell

There are leaders and then there are those who lead.

One of the best orators I've seen at the TED talks, Simon Sinek lets us in on the secret of success for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Apple. He describes his golden circle of Why, How, and What and proposes that everyone is doing it wrong except for the select few who believe in why they do it. A very good and inspiring message. It definitely blew my mind the first time I watched it.