Leadership with tolerance for ambiguity

By Janice Hunt,2014-06-19 07:07
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Leadership with tolerance for ambiguity

Leadership with tolerance for ambiguity

     Emergent ambiguities

     Transformation Error learning

    embrace avoid

    Transactional Error monitoring



    Lo Hi

    70% 10% hi Pissed off & Passed Talented & promoted over Behaviour 10% 10% Going - Gone Promoted anyhow Lo

    Consensus = vacillating If you make ‘certain’ decisions – you haven’t looked hard enough yet It’s now like ‘working without a net

    Desirable leader attributes.

    ; Learning agility

    ; Ambiguity

    ; Leadership versatility

    ; EI self other

    ; Tacit knowledge

    ; Optimism

Becoming a leader

    SKA learning

    70% on the job

    20% errors

    10% courses and workshops

Ambiguity = multiple right answers

    Winners embrace learning and ambiguity

    Command & control there is a time & place know what know how

    Empowerment = know what use teams to learn how

    Adapted from: Joyce and Showers 1981 (Transfer of training: the contributions of coaching.

    Journal of Education 163(2): 163172)

    Leadership training doesn’t include how to handle people with Mental Health challenges even though a significant part of the workforce suffers such challenges. Only rarely does

    preparation for leadership positions include training in interpersonal effectiveness with


    Some % will be suffering anxiety / depression Some % suffer workplace relevant phobias

    Some % suffer PTSD or general psych complaints Some % are anti social or narcissistic

    Some % suffer serious psychotic or neurotic disorders

    Cascio - foundation skills for leadership

    ; EI

    ; Adaptability

    ; Conscientiousness

    ; Personal initiative

    ; Communication

    ; Entrepreneur

Selection should be based on

    ; Attitude suitable & stable for leadership role

    ; Skills can developp & train

    Management Dilemma when two options are equally unfavourable, or mutually exclusive

    ; Fairness vs duty of care to org (expectations of org?) ; Privacy vs genetic access

    ; Diversity vs specificity

Life expectancy in Vietnam

    1931 = 63

    1971 = 71

    2011 = 82

Leadership skills scope broadening:

     1930 1980 2010

    Leader selected on: IQ ; + EQ ; + Community

    Leader skills Intelligence ; + Interpersonal ; + Social responsibility

    Employees must Compliance ; + Commitment ; + Participation

    Decision making History + FADs + Future-think

    Disengaged people interfered to a state of ‘don’t care’ – unequal psychological contracts ; disengaged. They started out at three years old as ‘my do it’ or ‘I do it

    myself’ etc.

    As teams develop, they do not ‘come together’ and instead the individual differences have a bigger influence. A high performing team works out way to exploit these

    differences. A low performing team disintegrates into poor performance

It is argued that MBT, Beilbin, TMS etc team systems have no empirical support, and

    that espoused research is highly flawed:

    ; Ignores Hawthorn effect

    ; Ignores alternative explanations

    ; Does not identify the active components

    ; Rarely based on a theoretical model

    ; Does not include control groups

Some research suggests that for many teams, it’s merely a matter of having about 20%

    extroverts, and an agreed purpose.


    Too many models. They all work to some extent depending on…

    What is it that always works?

    1. Trust employees it’s infectious

    ; Transparency

    ; SPIN smells

    2. Visibility

    ; Face to face communication (the daily thing includes feedback)

    ; Face to group communication (the weekly thing)

    ; Communication is two-way

    ; Fewer policies, notices and emails. These get used to ‘cover my back’

    rather than to guide productive work. They have a negative impact.

    3. Common identity

    ; It’s ‘we’ and ‘us’

    ; We like what we do

    4. Fairness

    ; Discussions

    ; Appraisals (summarises feedback new plans)

    ; Dignity

    5. Support

    ; Technical (if you don’t give them the tools they need, you’re paying for it


    ; Developmental (It’s not the risk of training them and they leave. The risk

    is more about not training them and they stay)

    ; Personal

    ; Psychological

    ; Accept mistakes that is when learning occurs. Learning is progress.

    There can be only limited progress without learning, and therefore without


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