Archive for 2009

Resources December 2009

December 28th 2009

I have another collection of cool resources for you to browse…  These first ones are some random articles I’ve really like over the last month or so…

Here is an article I wrote for my company’s new product website (just recently started) about Exceptional Customer Service.

Armen of Timeless Information included my response on some questions about competition along with 7 other bloggers.  Quite an interesting set of responses that I found well worth reading.

Farouk of 2KnowThyself.com sent me details about his site.  He’s got some amazing quantity of content on many topics.  I browsed the topic of motivation and the articles look pretty decent.  Definitely worth a look and I’m sure you’ll be stunned like I was at how much this one man has written!!

Fetching Fridays at Kikolani- Fridays have an excellent collection of resources week after week (among the site’s articles themselves)

The 100 Lists Continued:

Posted by Mike King under Learning | 7 Comments »

Giving ALL you have…

December 23rd 2009

Whenever you talk about giving in today’s modern and mostly selfish society, people immediately think of their possessions and physical belongings and gifts to give. Well those are not what I mean by this title at all. In fact, this article is in response to a wonderful list of gifts from the article, The True Essence of Giving by a regular reader, Jonathan at Advanced Life Skills.  Please go take a look at his article right now which gives some perspective to why I felt this story has some relevance.

A Friend that Gave it All

My story is of a friend I had that was always giving everything he had.  It didn’t matter what kind of circumstance he was in, he always seemed to bring so many great things to a situation, a conversation or a friendship.  I got together with him and other friends from time to time for some discussions, games or a meal and he always stood out to me in that he lived with no desire for all the stuff, possessions and things that are so desirable by today’s standards.  He led what seemed to be a simple life but I now think it was far from it, which I’ll explain below.  He just didn’t care about all that stuff the rest of us have.  He had a run down car that barely got him around, a simple house and very basic possessions.  He never had new ‘things’ to talk about and really just never seemed interested in any of that.  What I see now is how much of these other things in life and our possessions really PREVENT us from giving all we have.  I could see that he was always fully engaged in conversation, laughter and communicating with people because nothing else caught his eye and distracted him.  I’ve met no one like that before and that particular trait stood out to all who knew him.  You might say if was his charisma or his magnetic personality but really I think it was because he was always giving you everything he had in that moment.  All the things from Jonathan’s list linked above…

Anyway, he traveled a lot for missions giving his time and energy to those in much more need than him around the world.  His love for others and to serve God enabled him to give so deeply and passionately.  I never understood giving in this way until hearing his stories of giving in shattered 3rd worlds where there seems to be little hope.  The beautiful thing with giving from the heart, and especially in 3rd worlds, is that any gift from the heart is immediately recognized and valued sincerely.  People (and especially children) who don’t experience much joy in life get a little piece of happiness and hope when someone gives them their attention, a smile, or some time to play with them.  These are gifts from the heart and they are the most valuable gifts you can give.  Looking at how to love someone else and provide them something on the spot and in the moment is the greatest gift and I’m afraid loosing its perceived value against our society of stuff.

So, let me explain my comment about living simply from above.  Our high standards society in 1st world nations has a different definition of simple if you ask me.  It would state that simple life is less stuff and this is really only partially true.  I also see simple in the WAY we react to everything around us.  A simple life is actually more complex and more difficult because there is a far deeper understanding of oneself and one’s awareness and present moment in order to keep our interactions simple. This is especially true in a complex and distracting environment.   There are literally thousands of advertisements and distractions every single day that train us to think all those things will make our lives simpler when in reality they just mess it up more.  Its easiest to just go with the flow and experience all those distractions every single day.  To avoid all that is tough, and its certainly not simple. In fact, its more acceptable to be distant and distracted every moment of our lives and we willingly join in competition to express how busy we are all the time.  None of this helps learn to give though, for that, we need to eliminate distractions and look at the things we have to give others from our heart.  We must enhance our ability to focus on people instead of stuff, to be fully present with others regardless of the distractions.  This will generate a more fulfilling life and it enables a person to give more from the heart.

A journey into the unknown… . I don’t really know where or when I will end up, and it doesn’t really matter. It will be an adventure, an epic journey, a time of soul-searching and of praying, of exploring and learning and sharing – a time of drinking Life to the fullest.
–Quoted from his blog

OK, back to the story. Well, my friend decided to ride his bicycle across west Africa to experience his favorite place on Earth to its absolute fullest and he headed out to do so.  He wrote about his journey about how he was impacting people daily with his incredible giving spirit and how much joy he was experiencing as a result.  He literally created hundreds of smiles from strangers every day and great friendships with the people he’s met and stayed with along his way.  Before he was able to complete his bicycle journey, however, he was struck and killed by a vehicle on one of the highways.  His Earthly years may have been short, but his impact and influence left behind is great.  I always remember his giving spirit and he’s one of those people you think of that is just larger than life.  All of those fond memories are memories that are tied to the authentic giving he was always able to do from his heart.

What kind of gifts do you think of when you hear about a gift from the heart?  Who have you learned the essence of giving from?  How do you come across to others in your giving?  Spend some time thinking of your own stories and memories about giving this Christmas and do what you are meant to do at Christmas, give from the heart!

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 10 Comments »

How to Free Yourself From Gossip

December 21st 2009

The Dangers of Gossip

Gossip is one of the most common problems in the workplace as well as in relationships.  The biggest problem with it is that most people don’t even realize when a discussing takes a turn towards gossip and even worse is that they don’t realize the impact of gossip. Well gossip is a relationship killer and it happens much more frequently than you might want to believe.  Gossip is basically anything that could be seen as a negative spoken about one person to another when they are not there to hear it first hand.  It could be something very simple with zero intent to harm them and it could be as harsh as an intentional slander of someone’s character.

There is nothing good about gossip and it usually hurts the person under gossip and the people involved in sharing the gossip.  There are risks in having the person find out about a person sharing gossip (gossips) as well as the pain and hurt to that person of whatever negative information is spread.  There are many additional dangers of gossip:

  • stress to those involved
  • hurt feelings
  • destroys teamwork
  • destroys the desire for people to share any meaningful vulnerabilities
  • prevents communication that requires trust by encouraging people to keep their mouth shut
  • creates undeserved reputations

Your Own Choices Around Gossip

All of these dangers should be enough to convince anyone to avoid gossip, unfortunately, they are not.  Gossip is temping and often encouraged by the behaviors of people.  Gossips welcome all new gossip and they often turn those who don’t participate in their gossip into their own victims of new gossip. Its often easier to participate than to risk becoming a victim and for many there is also an attraction (for a multitude of reason) to participate for their own reasons.  Gossip is selfish and usually malicious in that it downplays or attacks someone else (whether subtle or obvious) to make the gossips look better in comparison.  This is exactly why its so destructive because it destroys so much in oneself, let alone the victims of gossip.  It destroys your character and puts you into a position where you can’t be trusted.  The power that gossip gives is very temporary and usually short sided which ends up coming back negatively to the gossips.  The most common of these methods is when gossip turns around and the people involved in gossip then become victims of gossip themselves, often within the same group destroying any bonds the gossip might be falsely or temporarily created anyway.  Other consequences of gossip are getting caught, building mistrust, false relationships, spreading untrue rumors and many hurt feelings and people left in the wake of gossip.

The great thing about gossip is that it really is very easy to free yourself from it if you can chose to avoid it and learn a few techniques to help identify it, handle it and stay clear of the problems caused by it.  So how is that done?

Identify Gossip

Many times gossip is quite obvious and undisguised.  It could be as simple as people asking questions about what you heard or know or thought about someone else or their actions.  It could sound like the following:

  • Did you hear what Frank said to Sally?
  • You wouldn’t believe what I heard John did this weekend?
  • I heard that Gerry…
  • Did you see Lisa’s new boyfriend?

All these do not necessarily lead to negative gossip but they are obvious conversations about other people and should be very easy to identify in a conversation or start of one.  Not all gossip is as easy to recognize as this, unfortunately, and sometimes it is much more disguised.  It might even happen when talking with a friend or colleague when the conversation started about simple facts or positives about someone else and shifted to negatives or problems about that person.  If you are not talking about how to help that person, support them to resolve their problems or some other positive action when discussing others, its quite likely its turning into gossip.  Basically, if you are talking about someone else, you need to really stop and think if you are doing it to help them or not.  If your not, its gossip and there is no need for it.

Influencing Gossip

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21

Since gossip is so powerful it has a great influence on others and so it must be battled through positive influence in response.  There are a number of actions you can take against gossip.

Ignore it:

  • Avoid people who talk gossip and don’t give any opportunities for them to spread it
  • Simply leave the room or conversation when gossip starts
  • Don’t respond to questions about opinions on others or other gossip traps
  • Ignore gossip and don’t engage in any gossip based conversations

Prevent it:

  • Never start any of your own gossip
  • Change the topic whenever a conversation leads to gossip
  • Refuse to listen or respond to any gossip you are faced with
  • Hide any hurt feelings or dramatic reaction to gossip.  This fuels the gossips to continue as its often what gossips want to generate.

Confront it:

  • Politely say that you would prefer to talk about that person when they are present
  • If you know the source of gossip, go and confront them immediately and calmly tell them you do not appreciate them talking about you and that it causes hurt feelings whether intentional or not.
  • If you hear someone start some gossip, offer to go to that victimized person with the gossiper right away to discuss it.
  • Simply respond to gossip, “Would you like to have someone share that about you without you knowing?” and walk away.
  • State I don’t like talking about other people because I don’t like them talking about me.
  • State that you don’t talk about others unless its to help them or support them
  • State that you don’t want to talk about others negatively unless they are involved in the discussion
  • State that you don’t want to talk about others negatively unless they are involved in the discussion

Posted by Mike King under Relationships | 32 Comments »

The Greatest Book of All Time! Part 2 of 2

December 15th 2009

Yesterday in Part 1 of this review, I outlined briefly my experience with reading the Bible as well as the many heroes written in it to learn from.  This second part explores a few more areas I particularly valued.

Great Teaching Through Stories

I love storytelling and I know its a powerful way to teach and convey a message. This is definitely one of the reasons the Bible has as much impact on so many as it does, its full of hundreds of incredible short stories all weaved together in the greatest Love story of all time. That is of God sending his only Son to suffer and die on the Cross to pay for sins of all people through all of time. So of course that over arching story has deep meaning for me as a Christian, but most people will likely connect more with individual stories from the bible and what is taught in them.

When it comes to story telling, Jesus used stories and parables more than any other teacher and He did so with such a deep understanding, sometimes the message He sends with each story cannot be fully comprehended simply hearing it once. Some of Jesus’ stories and the messages He shared can really take years of study to fully understand. In fact, there are scholars and teachers still dissecting the meaning of each story today, 2000 years after the stories were originally told. Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m able to ever tell a story profound enough that even one person retells it I’ll be ecstatic, let alone millions of people teaching it 2 millenium later.

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death; there is no discharge in that war.
Ecclesiastes, 8. 8

What Matters in Life

Another significant thing the Bible does like no other book is trigger many, many reflective questions about the things that matter most in life. Contemplating some of the stories and instructions from God does much to activate these questions in a hope to understand more of what mattes in our own lives in comparison to some of the heroes, villains and variety of people from the Bible. The example of how Jesus lived his live with servant hood and perfect obedience to God forces one to ponder if any of those same things matter in your own life. Are material possessions and temporary things on Earth getting in the way of you knowing and living the life you truly desire? What about the effort put into your relationships and serving others? Do you have a purpose and what is getting in the way of living it?

Personally, those questions really matter to me and so does the context of them. Of course its still a daily struggle to escape the undesirable and temptations I face, yet I find myself continually spiraling closer and closer to what always seems like a more defined purpose. Yet with each loop of this spiral it seems to morph into more of a funnel and I find the questions taking me deeper and deeper into the funnel. I’ve deepened my beliefs and faith in serving greatly by reflecting on all the stories and examples and by learning so much more through study. There are so many great references, teachings, messages and stories to ponder you can’t help but look at where applying that in your own life is valuable. Also, the moral foundation is so easy to apply to great relationships, true honesty, continual integrity and love for others.

Connections To Personal Development

All these beautiful ways to learn present a huge opportunity to improve oneself and that is where it connects deeply to most areas of personal development in today’s writings, teachings and courses. Many of the books, quotes and role models in personal development today have moral foundations, beliefs and a servant attitude that stems from the Bible. Whether its an intentional connection or not, much of what we study in personal development is a result of both old testament teachings and Jesus’ life here on Earth.

Whether your looking for examples of moral leadership, trust, integrity or friendships, its all here. From the beginning to the end (pun intended), its the Word of God. You’ll find nearly every area of personal development and a challenge to explore your own character to a level beyond what most would ever dare to start. Beautiful examples of the golden rule, servant hood, obedience, purpose and true faith are here in the one book nearly everyone has but seldom reads. It’s by far the best book I’ve ever read and is so profound I could put all other books away and just continue to learn by rereading this; the greatest book of all time.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Mark 12: 31-32

Posted by Mike King under Book Reviews | 20 Comments »

The Greatest Book of All Time! Part 1 of 2

December 14th 2009

HolyBibleI read a lot of books and I write a lot of book reviews here at LearnThis.ca.  Nearly all of them are focused on areas I have interests and about things I want to learn more about.  As well, many of you know about my Christian faith and foundation and while I had continually been explorer deeper into many areas of personal development through books, I’ve only just started to explore more books about Christianity and faith.  So, I decided to challenge myself and so I embarked on reading the greatest book of all time.  The number one best seller every year with nearly 6 billion sold overall through time.  That’s right, I decided to read the bible start to finish within 6 months.

Reading The Entire Bible

So I started by picking a few books (of which there are 66 by the way) from the old Testament.  I’ve read all the gospels and the first few books of the bible many times before but never consistently read through many of the inner books except story by story or bit by bit.  I decided to start part way through and wrap back to the old testament to finish it so I started with Ecclesiastes.  It’s a wonderful book and actually one of my favorites now.  So many words of wisdom and things to think about I could likely read it 100 times and not understand half of what is said in it.  This is the thing that amazed me the further and further I read.  I understood far more than I ever have in reading individual stories and chapters or bible books before, but at the same time, I realized there is so much more depth and wisdom that I just barely scratched the surface of what can be learned.  There are countless passages of wisdom and things to learn from that other books really just don’t compare any more for me.  One man’s book on a subject couldn’t possibly come close to the sheer volume of things to learn in the Bible.  This is not to say I’m going to stop reading other books or value them less as they have their place as well, it just really demonstrated to me that most of the content I really love learning about in personal development roots back to the Bible and especially to Jesus by example in so many ways.  I’ve always known that but never read it first hand over and over like I did reading through in the past 8 months.  I started reading in March and finished 8 months later in October which I’m quite happy about.  I read a number of other books in between as well, especially through the summer with more vacation time and time spent out at the lake.

So I want to explore as with any book I read, some of the things to learned.  In this case, I can only begin to mention the things I learned and really its more about the general methods that I learned from, not specific elements since there is just so much content to take in.  I know I will be reading this incredible book many times over after such a great experience this time.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1–2

Learning from Heroes

Everyone loves heroes and there are no shortage of them in the Bible.  There are a significant number of them in fact and they have so much to teach through their actions.  Everything from great acts of faith, fantastic leadership, servant hood to acts of desperation from suffering, despair and heartache.  These heroes aren’t like your everyday Pixar movie heroes though, they’re real with real scenarios, struggles and in most cases quite an amazing journey.

One of my favorite heroes is Jeremiah.  The depth of his character, his integrity and emotion portrayed is simply wonderful.  Jeremiah faced delivering a message of despair to the people of Judah due to their lack of faith in God and distance the commands of the Lord.  Of course he was rejected by the people of the land and expressed deep emotion to the pain and hardship that was brought upon him, yet all the while, he obeyed every command from God.  He was imprisoned, beaten, tossed aside, hated and wanted dead by many who knew him.  His faith kept him alive despite the harsh emotions and laments he expressed in his time of solitude. Jeremiah’s strength showed by him being completely real and expressive about his emotions and relationships.  He expressed his disappointments, his questions, his burdens.  He was authentic.  Genuine.  We don’t live an honest life like Jeremiah did, we fake our feelings, we tell little white lies to hide our true feelings and expressions.  Why can’t we be genuine like Jeremiah while still holding onto a faith in God, a hope that cannot die regardless of the suffering and despair we come across on this short earth life?  We ought to learn from Jeremiah to remember God’s compassion, seek him and wait for his grace and love.  Anyone who can exult the Lord and follow God in spite of these great grievances heart ache is a hero if you ask me.

Click here if you want to listen to a 32 min sermon and story about Jeremiah.

I’ll finish up with Part 2 tomorrow looking specifically at how The Bible teaches through storytelling, makes you look at what really matters in life and then how this relates to personal development.

Posted by Mike King under Book Reviews | 17 Comments »

The Problem with Leadership

December 8th 2009

Why it is so hard for companies to find great leaders?

A guest post by By Dan MacDonald

GreatLeaders

When leaders are chosen, the decision is often based on the wrong criteria. Many look to people with strong, charismatic personalities, or passion for personal achievement. They may also look to people who are commanding or who manage the efforts of others well. Some people even look to physical attributes as an indication of leadership ability.

The misconceptions of what makes a person a good leader are not limited to these factors, nor a particular field of business, they can apply to everything from educational leadership to business administration. They also include our choices of personality characteristics. Some see great leaders as people who can mesmerize a crowd with their stage performance, who can make those around them relax with their confidence, or who can think circles around other senior people in the organization. In reality, these traits and characteristics are not indicators of great leaders. Rather, great leaders are characterized by their focus on integrity over stage performance, passion for what is best for the company over self-importance, humility and passing forward credit over ego, and empowering their people over making decisions on their behalf. There have been numerous books written, researches conducted, and data compiled that point to these findings; however, even extraordinary companies with insightful, intelligent, and experienced boards of directors and senior executives have erroneously chosen leaders based on their perception of leadership capabilities.

Leadership Development at HP

Take Hewlett Packard for instance. In January of 1999, Hewlett Packard’s board of directors met in the Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto, California to discuss, among other things, the rapid changes in business caused by the unsubstantiated growth of internet IPOs. There was concern among the board that changing times may call for a leader better suited to lead the company into the future. In his book, How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins summarizes this concern best, stating that, “HP’s stalling growth and languishing stock price relative to the skyrocketing technology sector lend credence to a growing worry that HP needed an entirely new type of leader”. At the meeting, Lewis Platt, then CEO of HP, suggested he retire early to make room for an appropriate leader. The board accepted and replaced him with Carly Fiorina, announcing in July of that year, that she would become the next CEO of Hewlett Packard.

Lewis Platt and the board of directors believed that a new CEO with a fresh perspective would help mobilize the company towards the rapidly-changing landscape of the technology industry. Fiorina, who once held Forbes magazine’s ‘Most Powerful Woman in Business’ title and had an impressive sales lead background as Executive VP at AT&T, was just the type of executive HP was looking for. In retrospect, it seems as though the board of directors may have erred in its judgment; during Fiorina’s tenure HP realized its first loss, its stock price fell from $45.36 to $20.14 and heavy job losses were incurred. In comparison, Platt, the Ford Taurus-driving down-to-earth former CEO, grew HP’s annual sales from $16.2 to $42 billion and earned Chief Executive Magazine’s distinction as the 11th highest wealth creator of all time.

After closely examining HP, it becomes evident that leadership plays an important role in the rise or fall of an organization. Leaders can either drive organizations to market capitalization of hundreds of millions dollars or to losses as equally great. It is hard to dispute that leadership does not play a vital role in the success of a company, yet many organizations do not have systems in place to identify and develop potential future leaders.

Leadership Development at Wal-Mart

Consider Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart. From a young age, Walton displayed a natural ability to lead. In high school, he was the starting quarterback of the football team and never lost a game. He was Vice President of the student body in his junior year and President his senior year. He was voted ‘Permanent President’ of his graduating class in university. But Walton didn’t fit the standard description of a leader. He was not an Ivy League school graduate and did not hold an MBA. Walton was a humble, scrappy, pick-up driving country boy. Another nice example is highdefoptometry.com.

Walton went to work as a manager trainee at JC Penney three days after graduating university, marking the beginning of a passionate love affair with the retail industry that would help shape the remainder of his life and affect the lives of millions of people. At JC Penney, Walton embraced the customer centric JC Penney approach to retailing – especially JC Penney Ideas #2 and #3, guiding principles related to giving the customer the most value for their money. But Walton was not the most thorough employee; he hated making the customer wait while he completed paperwork, so his books were a mess. His boss often threatened to fire him, saying he was not cut out for the retail business. Walton managed to keep his position due to his ability as a salesman. After only eighteen months with the company, Walton resigned.

If JC Penney had systems in place to identify the leadership potential in Walton, they may have been able to entice him to stay and develop him into their future leader. Instead, he started his own department store which would rival and eventually surpass JC Penney in the quest for retail dominance. As many companies begin to adopt the ‘promote from within’ mindset, leadership development systems are becoming more and more common. The problem remains that many companies base their criteria for identifying future leaders on misconceptions of what makes a great leader.

Identifying Leaders

So the question remains—how do we create a system for identifying great leaders in the early stages of their development? Do we use psychometrics profiles to identify the leaders with the best traits and fast track them on a path to more senior roles? Do we let people inside or outside of the organization decide who will be the next leader?

Many experts have spent countless hours researching enduringly successful companies in order to develop a list of traits that might be an indicator of an individual’s leadership potential. These experts paid close attention to key characteristics commonly held by the leaders of these organizations. Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, and Jason Jennings, in his book Think Big, Act Small, discuss the patterns that emerged in their research.

The patterns that emerged were often surprising even to the researchers. The researchers determined that great leaders were passionate about doing what was best for their companies. This drive for the advancement of the company took precedence over their drive for personal advancement and recognition. The leaders of these companies also exercised personal humility by passing forward credit and accepting blame. Additionally, they asked questions as often, if not more often, than they gave answers. This empowered their people to make important decisions which increased their confidence, skills, and commitment to the organization. These leaders also exhibited commonalities within their personal lives. Many of the leaders studied were extremely modest. They often preferred domestic cars or pick-up trucks over exotic sports cars. They also had a tendency to live in moderate houses instead of sprawling mansions or estates. Though humble and modest, these leaders were not meek. They tended to be stoic when it came to important business decisions. They would make tough decisions without great emotion and fanfare but rather with quiet resolve and determination. In short, great leaders are defined by their humility, integrity, determination, and strength of character, not by their stage presence and strength of personality.

The characteristics described above help in the development of a personality profile which can be used to identify strong leaders. Companies need to work to determine which other qualities are required for their particular company or industry. Once the leadership profile is complete, a company can begin building systems that identify these characteristics in its employees. There are many effective tools available to assist in this process including psychometric testing, 360 degree feedback, personnel assessments, and employee surveys. To achieve the best results, it’s important to combine a variety of these tools. As Shane Sabatino, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for The Brick LP Group said, when it comes to identifying potential leaders, “There really is no silver bullet”. Sabatino recommends incorporating a variety of assessment tools into the hiring and strategic planning processes. These processes should continuously evolve, however, they should continue to focus on identifying and developing leaders who possess the required traits.

Lasting Leadership

The question remains, “How do I know the right combination of assessment tools to implement?” To answer this question, it may be useful to examine companies which have experienced enduring success regardless of changes in their leadership. The Fortune 500 list is a great place to being your research. This annual ranking of America’s largest corporations has chronicled the spectacular rise and fall of hundreds of companies. If you compare the first Fortune 500 list published in 1955 to the most recent edition, you will find only 68 companies appear on both lists. Some of these companies have even appeared on this list every year. The exclusive list of companies who have achieved this continued success year after year include General Electric, Procter & Gamble, and Marathon Oil. It is no surprise to learn that each of these companies invests heavily in leadership development.

General Electric is world renown when it comes to leadership development. It is considered to be one of the greatest leadership development schools in the world, which is impressive for an organization that is not an educational institute. General Electric invests hundreds of millions of dollars in the continual development of their potential leaders and even has a school in Crotonville, New York, that is dedicated to achieving this objective. As part of their employment, senior leaders in the organization must dedicate time to teaching or learning at this school.

A.G. Lafley, former CEO and President and current Chairman of the Board of Procter & Gamble, takes leadership development seriously. He views leadership development as a source of competitive advantage for P&G. This makes it easy to understand why he spends over thirty percent of his time on leadership development. Lafley views effective leadership development as one of the most important components for the future success of Proctor and Gamble therefore, he is supporting a full leadership evaluation program that assesses how people lead and manage within the P&G organization.

Marathon Oil in another Fortune 500 company which invests heavily in partnerships with leadership and management training companies to help develop their executive team. They constantly conduct 360 degree evaluations and provide classroom training and online support to their management and leadership teams in efforts to help them develop.

Unfortunately, many organizations do not invest in leadership development until there is a pressing requirement for it. This is a poor and often ill-fated approach. A company cannot afford to be partially engaged in the development and identification of its future leaders. As JC Penney learned, great potential leaders can be overlooked by failing to fully engage in this process.

Dan MacDonald is President of Business Improvement Solutions (BIS), an Alberta based training and development company. He is the co-author of three books: Leadership, Management, and Success. To find out more about BIS visit www.bisconsulting.ca

 

Sources:

CNNMoney. (2009). Fortune. CNNMoney. Retrieved September 19, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2009/full_list/401_500.html

Collins, J. (2009). How the Mighty Fall. USA: Harpercollins.

Entrepreneur. (2009). Sam Walton. Entrepreneur. Retrieved September 8, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www.entrepreneur.com/growyourbusiness/radicalsandvisionaries/article197560.html

HP. (2009). Executive Team. HP. Retrieved September 8, 2009 from the World Wide Web:

http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/execteam/bios/fiorina.html

May, R. (2005, November 15). Leadership Development as a Competitive Advantage. Business Pundit. Retrieved September 19, 2009 from the World Wide Web: http://www.businesspundit.com/leadership-development-as-a-competitive- advantage

Siegel, B. (2009). A.G. Lafley P&G. Siegel Innovations. Retrieved September 19.2009 from the World Wide Web: http://siegelinnovations.blogspot.com/2007/10/leadership-ag-lafley-procter-and-gamble.html

Walton, S. (1992). Sam Walton: Made in America. USA/Canada: Bantam Books.

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Posted by Mike King under Learning | 18 Comments »

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