How to be fair as a leader  

New leaders must demonstrate fairness in dealings with people. People are unhappy when they perceive unfair treatment. Such unhappiness can lead to disengagement with the team’s mission. Yet, fairness is not about pleasing people.

Roll with the punches. With rolling-wave planning.

Among the challenges that leaders new to the role face is planning and organizing work for success. Leaders must quickly grasp that planning is business of a different order as compared to delivering an assignment. Excellence in executing assignments provides no assurance of success in planning a team’s work. Leaders may spend too much time in planning leading to “paralysis … Continue reading

Chicken and egg (and omelette)

Growing people is like hatching eggs. Apply pressure from the outside. The egg cracks. You only get an omelette. Work off the pressure from the inside. Provide the right conditions on the outside. You give people wings.

Winds of change

If you have an untested person undertaking an unfamiliar challenge with new technology, you shall fail. Introduce a new technology for a familiar challenge with proven leadership. Assign a new leader familiar challenges with technologies that are proven to work. And finally, undertake any new and unfamiliar challenges with tested leadership and proven technologies. Violate any … Continue reading

Change Management – Find the Feeling

Experiences shape beliefs. Trying to change beliefs with logic and reason is like bringing a knife to a gun-fight. It often fails. So what does it take to change a belief? It often requires creating a whole new set of experiences. Or one “Type I” experience can bring about change. As Lois eloquently illustrates in this … Continue reading

Introduction to the Switch Framework


Change management – Find the feeling II

Continued from Change management – find the feeling here. Why is change hard, even when we agree with the logic? We all understand that a particular driving habit is dangerous and we should change it. The logic should be compelling on its own. Change initiatives fail because they rely excessively on the ANALYZE-THINK-CHANGE paradigm. We … Continue reading

Change management – Find the feeling

We spoke of the Switch Framework here. Why is it so difficult to motivate the elephant? The elephant is skittish. The elephant is a wuss. The elephant is easily scared. How many times have you felt like this protaganist in the Edvard Munch painting? This is the feeling that change induces. As a change agent, … Continue reading

The Elephant and the Rider

In their book, Switch, authors Dan and Chip Heath liken our emotional side to the elephant and the rational side to the rider. Influencing behavior means winning the heart and mind. Direct the rider and motivate the elephant.   The rider is persuaded by data and logic. The elephant is easily intimidated. The rider may … Continue reading

Leader as change agent who brings about cultural shifts

To drive change, a leader must make her vision accessible to people in simple terms. She must outline the broad areas of business impact. Next, she must flow the vision to the top 2-3 goals that the organization must deliver. And that’s just the beginning. The change initiative is likely to fall flat unless the … Continue reading