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Archive for June, 2010

The Most Important Leadership Quality for CEOs? Creativity

Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010


The 2010 Global IBM CEO Study was recently published. 1 541 CEOs, general managers and senior public sector leaders from 60 countries and across 33 industries are surveyed by one-on-one interviews. The four primary findings of survey are as follows:

  • Today’s complexity is only expected to rise and more than half of CEOs doubt their ability to manage it.
  • Creativity is the most important leadership quality, according to CEOs.
  • The most successful organisations co-create products and services with customers, and integrate customers into core processes.
  • Better performers manage complexity on behalf of their organisations, customers and partners. 

Globalization and technology are major factors contributing to growing complexity. Leaders world-wide are experiencing high levels of complexity and uncertainty, which creates an urgent need for leadership. Given this, the survey explored what CEOs consider to be the most important leadership qualities that would be required over the next five years, the results are illustrated below.

Creativity is now the most important leadership quality for success in business, outweighing even integrity and global thinking. Creative leaders expect to make deeper business model changes to realize their strategies. To succeed, they take more calculated risks, find new ideas and keep innovating in how they lead and communicate. The more successful leaders are, when they acknowledge, are comfortable with and welcome the disruptive innovations all around them, instead of fighting these changes.
Creativity is essential when uncertainty is high and where the future is expected to be a significant departure from what we’ve known in the past. When uncertainty is high you cannot just repeat the successful practices of the past and expect similar results. You will need to find new ways of thinking, new ways of operating and new ways of behaving.





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Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010


Listening underlies all leadership skills. and is the key to developing and maintaining relationships, decision making and problem solving.  All of us like talking and interrupting while somebody else is talking, It’s in our nature, we should admit that we have listening problems. Often, we plan what we are going to say instead of listening. Unfortunately, communication doesn’t take place.

Mike Myatt argues in his post that great leaders are great listeners. Wisdom is gained not by talking, but by listening, so a leader should talk less and listen more. However, people are in a rush to speak out their thoughts and dont realize the value of meeting new minds. Mike Myatt also says that the smartest person in a meeting is the one who does all the listening ans asks questions to get more information, not talking whole the time. 

Effective leaders listen what others have to say, empathize with their points of view and recognize people have a need to be listened. A Turkish proverb summarizes my post excellent: “If speaking is silver, then listening is gold.”

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Importance of EI in Leadership Performance

Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010



Emotional intelligence refers to the abilities to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and in others. According to Daniel Goleman there are four domains of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.

Daniel Goleman developed the argument that non-cognitive skills can matter as much as IQ for workplace success. Several decades of research in EI has demonstrated that EI differentiates outstanding performers from average performers. When you click at this link, you will find an interesting article about leadership and EI. http://www.ideashape.com/documents/what-makes-a-successful-leader-report.pdf In the article its mentioned that after conducting an explora tory research in which 265 leaders were asked to choose the five most and least important leadership attributes from a list of twenty, , the results yielded that vision, strategic thinking, relationship building, execution and people development are the five most important leadership attributes. Vision, relationship building and people development are part of relationship management (one of EI’s domain), so people attach importance to EI. 

In my opinion, a leader’s EI creates a certain culture or work environment and the leader must create a positiveemotional environment that frees the best in people. Furthermore, I think  that interpersonal leadership is a result of emphasis on the EI.  


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Nurturing and Leadership

Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010




Responses to women and men in leadership roles are conditioned by a social structure traditionally dominated by men. However recent studies have shown that the types of leaders in this new global economy must possess a specific set of qualities. In fact, the changing business environment favors women because many of the characteristics and behaviors needed for leadership today are those that come more naturally to women (Noble 2006).

The characteristics such as self-confidence, the need for achievement, the drive to carry out an action, and self-monitoring are associated with masculine traits, while women’s inherent qualities were classified as caring and nurturing. According to our textbook Daft, interactive leadership has been found to be common among female leaders. Interactive leadership is characterized by values such as inclusion, collaboration, relationship building and caring rather than position power and formal authority. Actually by many people, this nurturing is viewed as “weak” and “soft”. On the other hand, I argue that leadership is not only about creating a great vision. It is about creating conditions under which all followers can perform independently and effectively toward a common objective. In other words, leadership is an interac tive, dynamic and mutually interrelated process.

The significant changes in women’s access to leadership roles over the past few decades are remarkable, but still insufficient. Prelude to a society in which women and men can claim a fair share of the challenges and opportunities is needed. To transform society, all humans must revise the gender stereotypes and their way of thinking and perceiving the world, business and leadership.




Daft, R. L.(2008).New Era of Management (2nd ed.). China: Thomson South-Western





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Boss vs Leader

Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010



When people  think of a leader in business, they think of the boss, but being a leader doesn’t require a fancy title, official recognition. Leading people is a privilege and being a leader makes you special, but you aren’t special because you are a leader. A leader is just a part of a team which works towards a goal. It is not about you, your status, recognition, or the fancy title. It’s about making things happen. But, if you make things happen, then your status will rise, you will gain recognition. In reality, leadership simple requires one individual to stand up, assert authority, and enable the team to achieve a goal.


The quote of H. Gordon Selfridge explains the difference between boss and leader very nice:


“The boss drives people; the leader coaches them. The boss depends on authority; the leader on good will. The boss inspires fear; the leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says “I”; The leader says “WE”. The boss fixes the blame for the breakdown; the leader fixes the breakdown. The boss says, “GO”; the leader says lets, “GO!”



People follow their boss because they have to and want to keep their jobs. People follow leaders because of who they are. To sum up, just having a title doesn’t make you a leader, leadership is about influence.

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Three Major Leadership Styles

Posted by alevkoza on June 22, 2010


Do you want to discover your leadership style? Then I suggest you to take this18 question quiz. http://psychology.about.com/library/quiz/bl-leadershipquiz.htm According to psychologist Kurt Lewin there are 3 major leadership styles as I have already mentioned in my previous post.

Authoritarian Leadership (Autocratic)                

Authoritarian leaders provide clear expectations for what needs to be done, when and how it should be done. There is also a clear division between the leader and the followers. Authoritarian leaders make decisions independently with little or no input from the rest of the group

Participative Leadership (Democratic)

Participative leaders encourage group members to participate, but retain the final say over the decision-making process. Group members feel engaged in the process and are more motivated and creative. Lewin’s study found that participative (democratic) leadership is generally the most effective leadership style.

Delegative (Laissez-Faire)

Delegative leaders offer little or no guidance to group members and leave decision-making up to group members. While this style can be effective in situations where group members are highly qualified in an area of expertise, it often leads to poorly defined roles and a lack of motivation

Eventually, great leaders need to adapt and change based upon the objectives, needs of group members, and situational factors

  • Use an authoritative style if a group member lacks knowledge about a certain procedure.
  • Use a participative style with group members who understand the objectives and their role in the task.
  • Use a delegative style if the group member knows more than you do about the task.

Are you curious about my result for quiz? My results indicate that my leadership style is predominately: Participative

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Hayward and Leadership

Posted by timliew1 on June 21, 2010

I have wanted to write this article for the longest time but I just have not had the time to pen down my thoughts earlier, until now. Let’s take a look at the BP oil spill. Yes another look but before you say “not again”, let’s not look at it from the usual media angle but rather from a leadership point of view of Tony Hayward, CEO of BP.

Joked one comedian, the only person who still admires Tony Hayward is Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman cause Hayward took over his spot as most hated man in America. Let’s find out why.

Hayward was unprepared in responding to the disaster in his first public interview after the incident. He was unclear about the magnitude of the disaster and the company’s cleanup plan. He began minimizing the illness of cleanup workers and the environmental cost of the spill and denied there were any underwater oil plumes. Hayward, initially downplayed the spill, stating on 17 May 2010 that the environmental impact of the Gulf spill would likely be “very very modest” and calling the spill “relatively tiny” in comparison with the size of the ocean. (We now know that this is the biggest spill in U.S. history, dwarfing the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.) Apparently this didn’t sit well with observers and he was blasted on the internet. Clearly taken aback by the growing furore with him stuck in the middle, Hayward apologized on Facebook yesterday for saying that he wanted his life back. This caused some more media uproar with cartoons appearing of the animals affected by the oil spill saying they also want their life back. In response he replied, “I made a hurtful and thoughtless comment, when I read that recently, I was appalled. I apologize, especially to the families of the 11 men who lost their lives.” Recently asked by reporters if he would step down, he said, “It would be ridiculous to resign at this point.”

Hayward has always been known as a good boss and as a hands-on-guy by his employees so how did he managed to mess up this badly when handling this crisis? I think that although he might have been a good boss when the good times were rolling, he has not been exposed to any form of crisis before. He is by training a scientist and thus always follows the facts. It is true that the oil spill is minute as compared to the whole ocean but does the media/public really want to hear that? Does the public want to hear how Hayward wants his life back or do they want to hear how hard he is working to seal the leak? I think that Hayward is doing all that he can to seal this leak and clean up the beaches but he is just not connecting well enough with the public. In today’s society people are looking for charismatic leaders as evident from the recent presidential elections. People are not interested so much in the facts “the spill relatively tiny in comparison with the size of the ocean.” But they are looking for leaders who can inspire and bring about change. Hayward should have instilled confidence in the public by taking responsibility for the spill and giving a time frame in which the spill in be cleaned up in. He should have focused on the efforts of BP to clean up the mess and not on himself getting his life back.

It is evident that being a good CEO doesn’t mean that you’ll be good at damage control or public relations. This brings me to my next question, should CEOs only handle the problems that arise from everyday operations and leave the huge problems to the professionals? What do you think?


Doble, Anna (8 June 2010). BP oil spill: who knows Tony Hayward? http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/business_money/bp+oil+spill+who+knows+tony+hayward/3673227

Kennedy, Helen (2 June 2010). “BP’s CEO Tony Hayward: The most hated — and most clueless — man in America” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2010/06/03/2010-06-03_bp_boss_under_fire_some_are_now_calling_him_most_hated_man_in_america.html#ixzz0qAjqPlnW

Webb, Tim (13 May 2010). “BP boss admits job on the line over Gulf oil spill”. London: guardian.co.uk. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/may/13/bp-boss-admits-mistakes-gulf-oil-spill

“BP resumes pumping mud in attempt to cap oil well”. CNN. May 28, 2010. http://amfix.blogs.cnn.com/2010/05/28/ceo-of-bp-calls-oil-spill-environmental-catastrophe/.

Edwards, Tim (7 June 2010) “Svanberg’s not the only one: BA’s Broughton has also become invisible” http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/64183,business,bp-oil-spill-embattled-tony-hayward-let-down-by-chairman-carl-henric-svanberg#ixzz0qAowEkex

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Leadership Styles

Posted by iyagizuysal on June 14, 2010

Leadership Styles Overview

When developing your leadership skills, one must soon confront an important practical question, “What leadership styles work best for me and my organization?” To answer this question, it’s best to understand that there are many from which to choose and as part of your leadership development effort, you should consider developing as many leadership styles as possible.

Three Classic Leadership Styles

One dimension of has to do with control and one’s perception of how much control one should give to people. The laissez faire style implies low control, the autocratic style high control and the participative lies somewhere in between.

The Laissez Faire Leadership Style

The style is largely a “hands off” view that tends to minimize the amount of direction and face time required. Works well if you have highly trained and highly motivated direct reports.

The Autocratic Leadership Style

The autocratic style has its advocates, but it is falling out of favor in many countries. Some people have argued that the style is popular with today’s CEO’s, who have much in common with feudal lords in Medieval Europe.

The Participative Leadership Style

It’s hard to order and demand someone to be creative, perform as a team, solve complex problems, improve quality, and provide outstanding customer service. The style presents a happy medium between over controlling (micromanaging) and not being engaged and tends to be seen in organizations that must innovate to prosper.

Situational Leadership.

In the 1950s, management theorists from Ohio State University and the University of Michigan published a series of studies to determine whether leaders should be more task or relationship (people) oriented. The importance of the research cannot be over estimated since leaders tend to have a dominant style; a leadership style they use in a wide variety of situations.

Surprisingly, the research discovered that there is no one best style: leaders must adjust their leadership style to the situation as well as to the people being led.

The Emergent Leadership Style

Contrary to the belief of many, groups do not automatically accept a new “boss” as leader. We see a number of ineffective managers who didn’t know the behaviors to use when one taking over a new group.

The Transactional Leadership Style

The approach emphasizes getting things done within the umbrella of the status quo; almost in opposition to the goals of the transformational leadership. It’s considered to be a “by the book” approach in which the person works within the rules. As such, it’s commonly seen in large, bureaucratic organizations.

The Transformational Leadership Style

The primary focus of this leadership style is to make change happen in:

  • Our Self,
  • Others,
  • Groups, and
  • Organizations


is a special leadership style commonly associated with transformational leadership. While extremely powerful, it is extremely hard to teach.

Visionary Leadership

The leadership style focuses on how the leader defines the future for followers and moves them toward it.

Strategic Leadership

This is practiced by the military services such as the US ArmyUS Air Force, and many large corporations. It stresses the competitive nature of running an organization and being able to out fox and out wit the competition.

Team Leadership

A few years ago, a large corporation decided that supervisors were no longer needed and those in charge were suddenly made “team leaders.” Today, companies have gotten smarter about teams, but it still takes leadership to transition a group into a team.

Facilitative Leadership

This is a special style that anyone who runs a meeting can employ. Rather than being directive, one uses a number of indirect communication patterns to help the group reach consensus.















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Transformational Leadership

Posted by alevkoza on June 10, 2010


Click to view large


Transformational leadership is the best modern style of leadership. It combines the best of relationship-oriented leadership, laissaz-faire leadership and charismatic leadership styles.

Transformational leadership all begins with a vision. From this vision comes strategy, and then action. Vision and the ability to pass that vision onto others in a way that empowers them to become motivated to achieve that vision is the key. I acknowledge that this definition is much easier said than done. However, if executed rightly, transformational leadership is the most effective.

There is little doubt that being able to inspire people, stimulate them to think and being attentive to their needs are characteristics of a good leader. Being inspirational is most useful in situations where a new problem presents itself and the facts are unclear. In current times, knowing what you are talking about has become just as important as how you say it. The leader does not always have the best ideas, thus motivating followers to think and share their ideas in line with the common vision is extremely beneficial in problem solving. People who are motivated are also more effective and thus will bring more profitability to any company.







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Participative Leadership

Posted by alevkoza on June 10, 2010


As you have already noticed in my previous posts, I’m a participative leader according to leadership styles quiz. Lewin’s study found that the most effective leadership style is participative one also known as democratic leadership. Besides it is the most common form of leadership practiced in the corporate world and political scene.

They say that being participative might make leaders seem weak or indecisive. I totally disagree with this statement. Today many people have an advanced education, so employees are intelligent and highly skilled professionals. In participative leadership, the leader becomes a facilitator and encourages the team to produce solutions. So employees are involved in the decision making from the start and contribute their ideas and suggestions. Michael Watkins explained it as consult-and-decide method, in which the leader consults his subordinates and seeks their opinion and has the final say.

In addition, much of today’s work has a high knowledge component that requires people to think and solve problems. Management has often been described as getting work done through others. In this way, employees feel valued, and knowledge, creativity and experience are maximized for sake of the entire organization.





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