Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Gadhafi's influence upon Sierra Leone's war

Vaclav Havel, leader of the "Velvet Revolution," talks about the revolution going on in N. Africa. This video also details how Gadhafi influenced the brutality demonstrated in Sierra Leone's war.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Work from the Center Out

In this post I want to discuss a leadership concept we refer to as working from the center out.

When a leader is starting something new or is trying to extend his influence, often times he will personally spread his influence and message as far and wide as possible and as quickly as possible. Seems like the logical thing to do, doesn't it? But at a certain point, this approach actually begins to diminish a leader's effectiveness and influence. In taking such an approach, we can become so busy gaining and maintaining a multitude of relationships that we actually gain little traction with any of them. Spreading the vision too far too fast can also create the added difficulty of attracting so many voices that a leader's own voice is in danger of being drowned out.

A more focused approach is to work from the center out. Rather than spreading the message far and wide with many people, you go deep and long with a few like-minded individuals. You build relationships and trust with a select team of people. This is a more difficult route to take and it's also much slower. But the results are worth it.

Rather than one leader spreading her influence by herself, a team extends its influence with one voice. One person can only go so far. But a cohesive team of people who create a web of cohesive teams, who in turn create more teams, has no limits. Rather than the leader's vision getting drowned out, it is preserved and passed on through this web of relationships. The difference between the two styles of leadership is a flash-in-the-pan impact versus slow, steady and sustained growth. It's the mushroom verses the oak tree.
How do you know when your core team is ready to extend its influence? A team is ready when the leader can hear his own voice in his team.