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Articles

The Articles written below explain and inform organisations of the Legitimate Leadership concepts and implementation.

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December 2018 – Question of the Month
What is the difference between a “carrot” and a “reward”?
     ANSWER:   The difference is not the money. In both instances, there is a handover of money. The difference lies in the reason WHY the money is handed over.
In the case of the “carrot”, the reason is to stimulate an improvement in performance. The motive is therefore a “getting” one. It is essentially “giving to get” – if you give me (more output/better quality/faster), I will give you X units of currency. It is a “giving to get” more in the future, which incites a haggle in which both parties seek to maximise their own interests in the exchange.
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December 2018 – Personal Significance And Where It Fits Into The Workplace
Some people understand personal significance; many do not. As part of our work, Legitimate Leadership consultants ask people to identify and reflect on the person they most admire. Let me ask you to do the same.
From the answer to this question, two observations emerge.
First, even in South Africa, Nelson Mandela does not emerge as the most often-cited hero. The person identified most often, our personal “Person Of My Lifetime”, is “My Mum” (sorry dads, collectively we’re just too frequently absent).
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December 2018 – Which Is Better, Rewards Or Punishments?
By Heather Turgeon, New York Times. Heather Turgeon is a psychotherapist and co-author, with Julie Wright, of the new book “Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma”.
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: What is referred to in this article as Rewards and Punishment are what Legitimate Leadership would see as “Sticks” and “Carrots”. Both Sticks and Carrots are conditional – they are a give-to-get and have inevitable consequences at work and at home. Sticks induce resistance while Carrots lead to counter-manipulation or retaliation. They get movement but not willingness.
Read our full summary of the article by clicking here 
Read the full article by clicking here 
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November 2018 – Question of the Month
I have a staff member who struggles to adapt to change. I ask her to do a process, but 3 weeks later the process is not complete and she is still working on it. Her inflexibility means tasks take a long time to finalise. Also, there are often errors that require re-work. Sometimes I sit with her and work through the requirements – but this means that my own big workload comes to a standstill. What should I do?
ANSWER:  A leader’s role has two parts. You should be empathetic in caring for your people and helping them navigate change.
Read more
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November 2018 – How Do Managers Know That Their Authority Is Accepted By Those They Exercise Authority Over?
The key issue for those in authority is to first gain, and then retain, acceptance of their authority by those they exercise authority over.
It is clearly naïve, however, for those in authority to believe that they will ever have total authority or power. Politicians know that their party may get the majority, but never 100%, of the votes. Managers know that in any organisation there will always be people who are anti-authority, who are disaffected and distrust those in charge.
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October 2018 – Question of the Month
Can a Legitimate Leadership intervention succeed in an organisation without the full commitment of its executive?
Answer:  To cascade Legitimate Leadership principles and practices rigorously down an organisation is the optimal situation. However, an intervention can succeed when this is not the case. Experience has shown that in a large organisation the commitment of senior management outweighs the importance of the commitment of the executive. Because legitimate leadership is a choice, the catalyst for change can be at any level.
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October 2018 – Five Determinants Of A Successful Legitimate Leadership Implementation
In the book Legitimate Leadership (2012) I argued that there are three critical characteristics necessary for a Legitimate Leadership implementation to succeed. They are INSIGHT, COURAGE and PERSEVERANCE.
More specifically, my experience in organisations over the last two decades suggests that to realise the full impact that a Legitimate Leadership intervention can make on an individual, team and organisational excellence necessitates five factors.
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September 2018 – Question of the Month
If I have very limited time available for leadership activities, what should I spend the time on?
ANSWER: You should focus on providing each of your direct reports with what will most enable him/her to contribute and grow. Consider each direct report in turn. Ask yourself what he/she NEEDS from you right now in terms of seven possibilities: care, means, ability, censure, discipline, praise and reward? Then ensure that you use the insight gained by asking yourself, “Should I translate this into a leadership action that I can take now or in the immediate future?”
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September 2018 – What Does Watching the Game Look Like?
 In the critical leadership activity of “watching the game”, the following standards (discussed below) apply: Do It With The Right Intent; Listen, Observe And Ask Questions; Watch The Game, Don’t Play It; Give Attention To The Person Playing The Game, Not The Outcome; Inform The Person That His/Her Game Is Being Watched; Spend Sufficient Time To Reach Some Conclusions About What Is Being Watched; and Give Feedback As Soon As Possible After Observation.
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August 2018 – Question of the Month
 Do Legitimate Leadership consultants find managers in client organisations who are simply not prepared to hold their people accountable. If so, what can be done about this?
ANSWER:  Unfortunately yes, we often find managers who lack the will or testicular fortitude to ultimately hold people accountable for deliberate malevolence.
 Read more
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August 2018 – What To Focus On For Organisational Excellence
 Sustainable organisational excellence is not about a focus on results OR a focus on people. It is about a focus on results AND a focus on people. Put another way, it is about a focus on people excellence.
Why the focus on people excellence? Simply because excellent results can only be achieved by excellent people.
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August 2018 –  The World Belongs to the Happily Discontented
Good leaders make it their business to continually raise the bar or reset and implement standards of excellence. In doing so, they are practising “tough love”. They are challenging their people not to remain in their comfort zone, not to let standards deteriorate or slip over time, nor to accept that the current is “good enough”.
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July 2018 – Question of the Month
 When is a Legitimate Leadership intervention not appropriate?
ANSWER:  I used to believe that there were four situations in which a Legitimate Leadership intervention was not appropriate. All four situations (see Legitimate Leadership (the book) p281-283) remain valid, but there is a fifth – namely, when the leadership of the enterprise is relentless in their avoidance of holding people accountable.
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July 2018 – Leaders; If You Were A Radio Station, Are People Tuning Into Or Out Of Your Frequency?
What do you think? Are you aware of the impact and influence you are having on the people around you?
Are you occupying a leadership position OR demonstrating leadership? Depending on where you are, there will either be a high demand for your radio frequency or people will be turning you off.
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July 2018 – Four Steps In Handling Mediocrity On Your Team
By Joseph Grenny, writing in Harvard Business Review. Joseph Grenny is a four-time New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and leading American social scientist for business performance. He is the co-founder of VitalSmarts, an innovator in corporate training and leadership development.
COMMENT BY WENDY LAMBOURNE OF LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP ON THIS ARTICLE:  Legitimate Leadership’s antidote to mediocrity is to cultivate an environment where people are happily discontented or where standards are continually enforced and raised.
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June 2018 – Question of the Month
What does the Legitimate Leadership Model say about dealing with “victims” in organisations?
ANSWER:  The Legitimate Leadership Model makes a few distinctions when it comes to victims:
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June 2018 –  The Anatomy Of Trust
According to Legitimate Leadership, commitment of employees to the leader is solely based on trust. Dr Brené Brown (author of the bestseller Daring Greatly and Rising Strong) speaks powerfully on the topic of trust in “The Anatomy of Trust” (http://www.oprah.com/own-supersoulsessions/brene-brown-the-anatomy-of-trust-video).
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June 2018 – If You Want To Make Dotted Line Reporting Work, You Need To Do 3 Things
Effective leadership is easier said than done at the best of times. Leading with legitimacy is not necessarily difficult (it’s a simple matter of choosing giving over taking really), but it is certainly hard. When it comes to leading, knowing and doing are not the same thing.
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Peter Jordan_2 B & W
May 2018 – Question of the Month
I understand that to gain and retain legitimacy as a leader I need be values-driven, but I also need my job to support my family. What if retaining my job and acting in accordance with values are in conflict?
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May 2018 – Assisting An Organisation In A Disempowered, ‘Family Business’ Mode
A “family atmosphere” in an organisation is generally regarded as being good for success. But it can also be somewhat disempowering. Legitimate Leadership had to show flexibility in assisting an organisation of this type.
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May  2018 –  Why Legitimate Leadership Comes From South Africa
The Legitimate Leadership Model, in essence, strives to increase trust between management and non-management in all kinds of organisations; it strives to decrease the fraction of the workforce which is disaffected and disengaged, and increase the fraction which is pro-establishment.
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Justin Bariso
May 2018 – Amazon Spent Years Learning What It Takes To Do Great Work. These 4 Steps Contributed Most To Its Success
 Amazon’s experience totally aligns with the Legitimate Leadership view on raising the bar or enforcing and raising standards.
Amazon’s 4 Steps and how they equate to Legitimate Leadership’s Raising the Bar are as follows:
 Read more
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April 2018 – Question of the Month
Do we need to totally change our performance management and rewards systems to successfully implement the Legitimate Leadership Model in our organisation?
ANSWER: There is an overall response as well as both a short-term and a longer-term answer to the question.
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April 2018 – Leading With The Aim of Employees Excelling
 Legitimate Leadership suggests that leaders should focus on the employee as the result – rather than the employee simply being the means toward achieving a business results. Business leaders tend to focus on the result because that is what they are measured on and shareholders generally care mostly about the returns on their investment.
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April 2018 – What Is Wrong with Sticks and Carrots – They Work, Don’t They?
Conventional managers the world over view their jobs as achieving a result(s) through others. There are of course many ways of getting people to do what needs to be done. Generally speaking though there are really only two options: ways which are hard (the “stick”), and ways which are soft (the “carrot”).
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March 2018 – Question of the Month
How do Legitimate Leadership principles help to drive initiative and innovation?
ANSWER:  The most direct link between Legitimate Leadership and innovation is through the core principles of empowerment. Empowerment is about incrementally handing over control, in the form of decision-making authority, to the next level in the organisation. What is required over time is a shift from directive to inclusive leadership – being clear on the expected contribution (including expectations of an innovative mindset) without telling people how to do their jobs.
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March 2018 –  What Makes Employees Willingly Go Above And Beyond In Pursuit Of The Organisation’s Objectives?
To understand what makes an employee go above and beyond in pursuit of an organisation’s objectives, we need to first figure out what accounts for people’s motivation or willingness at work.
At Legitimate Leadership we have come to believe that there are really only three reasons why employees will go the extra mile at work.
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March 2018 – What To Do About Leaders Driven By Self-Interest
In the world generally, it seems, the cycle of greed and fear is well entrenched – and so the level of discontent is at an all-time high. This calls leadership – or the lack thereof – under the spotlight. It would seem that leaders running countries and corporations are actually ruining them, with their singular focus on the “I”.
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February 2018 – Question of the Month
Dismissal is the organisational equivalent of the death sentence because once you’ve been dismissed you cannot be rehabilitated. So dismissal should not be done lightly. This ultimate sanction should be given when what the person has done is in contravention of the core values of the leadership of the organisation. For instance, if the core value is respect and the person has contravened that, there should be a parting of the ways.
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February 2018 –  The Issue of Legitimacy
With the change of presidency in South Africa, I have been fascinated with the number of people calling into radio stations about the question of “legitimacy” of leadership. This has generally been in the context of politics – but there have also been examples where this question of legitimacy was raised in relation to organisations.
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February 2018 –  Power by Permission
For command to happen, there has to be an acceptance of command. For authority to be exercised by those in authority, there has to be willing submission by those over whom the authorities is being exercised.
This is true of those who govern, at least in a mature democracy. As the saying goes “the queen rules by the grace of God but the president only leads by the grace of the people”.
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January 2018 – Unleashing Employee Engagement in the Organisation  
In 2015 Legitimate Leadership introduced the first Grow to Care workshops. These are intended for employees who do not have others reporting to them. Although the fundamental precepts of leadership are covered, the focus is not on leadership as such but rather on establishing the criteria for excellence in individual contribution and on gaining commitment to making a personal contribution in the workplace and beyond.
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January 2018 –  The Benevolent Entrepreneur’s Motivating Why
On the 10 January 2018 I facilitated a full-day workshop for the ABSA Enterprise Development (ED) Programme (ABSA is a South African bank) with the aim of aligning more than 60 entrepreneurs’ personal purpose to their business objectives, thus cultivating a deeper commitment to delivering on their 2018 goals.
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January 2018 –  Question of the Month
Why does Legitimate Leadership return to our company periodically (at approximately 7-year intervals)?
ANSWER:  It depends on the reasons for Legitimate Leadership returning. If it is to bring newly-appointed employees on board regarding the leadership ethos, this is perfectly understandable. If it is to conduct a refresher or expose the company to new Legitimate Leadership products, this is also perfectly in order.
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December 2017 –  The Responsibility of Legitimate Leaders to Establish Trust
Employees look to their leaders to be trustworthy and trusting. The employee’s perception of the leader’s intention towards them is influenced by whether the leader is perceived to be approachable, empathetic and trustworthy. The employee will trust his leader if the leader displays trust of the employee and a firm commitment to care for and grow the employee.
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December 2017 –  Want to Know How You Doing as a Leader?  Just Ask Your People!
Legitimate Leadership believes that if one truly wants to know how a leader is doing, the best judges are the very people who depend on that person for leadership.  We incorporate this principle into our approach to transforming leaders by conducting Leadership Surveys for each participant.
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November 2017 TakingvsGiving
November 2017 –  Effecting A Transformation from Being Here to Take to Being Here to Give at Work
The Legitimate Leadership intervention impacts on employee contribution in an organisation. It does not lay claim to improved business performance, since business results can improve for all sorts of reasons extraneous to a transformation of the human side of an enterprise. At the same time there is obviously a connection between people and results.
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November Cell Phones 2017
November 2017 –  The Real Value of Cell Phones, iPads and Other Mobile Devices
Let’s face it, we are not only VERY connected, we are also very hooked.  Like teenagers, we compare devices.  “Have you got Version 2 yet or are you still using Version 1?”  Or, “What apps have you got on yours?”
If we leave the devices at home for 24 hours, we feel that we have been excommunicated from society.
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October 2017 – Passing the Intent Test Is an Everyday Opportunity
In our introductory programmes one of the issues we work through is the idea of the Intent test.  Legitimate Leadership argues that the only real measure we have of whether we can trust someone is whether they are able to suspend their agenda for ours; whether they are able to set aside their self-interest, and act instead in ours.
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October 2017 –  Ability And Accountability And The Hard And Soft Mistakes
A central precept of legitimate leadership is that a leader gains the trust of his subordinates by the provision of care and growth. Care and growth is actualised by the leader giving people the means and ability to do the job and then holding them appropriately accountable for performance. Once this is consistently demonstrated over a period of time, the leadership of the manager becomes legitimate.
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September 2017 –  Cultivating Accountability in 2017
As managers, it is tempting to divide our employees into two groups; “givers” and “takers”, those who take accountability and ownership and those who do not. We thank our lucky stars for the “givers” while we tear our hair out and feel despair for the “takers”.
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August 2017 –  Organizational Decline Through Over-Control
Organizations continue to experience excessive red tape despite business thought leaders suggesting that bureaucracy damages business growth and profits. The symptoms of bureaucracy include too many management layers, greater growth in head office employees than frontline employees, more and more processes removing the autonomy of employees, increasing reporting demands and excessive time spent in meetings.
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August 2017 –  What We Learned About Bureaucracy From 7,000 HBR Readers
By Gary Hamel,visiting professor at London Business School and cofounder of The Management Innovation Exchange, and Michele Zanini, MD of the Management Lab and co-founder of the Management Innovation Exchange , which seeks to reinvent management by harnessing the power of open innovation.
COMMENT BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP:  Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini have provided a wonderful synopsis of the core problem facing big organisations today …
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Raising the bar
August 2017 –  Enabling Human Excellence by Raising the Bar
Leaders, unlike managers, focus not on the achievement of results but on enabling excellence in their people.  They do so because they know that sustainable organisational excellence is not possible with mediocre people.
One way to enable excellence in people is to deliberately and consistently ‘raise the bar’.  No one ever made it to the Olympics by jumping repeatedly, no matter how often, over a height of 1.50m or even 1.80m.  Olympic high jumpers need a coach who continually raises the bar; in the case of the high jump, literally.
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August 2017 –  Empowerment is Not the Same as Democracy
Democracy is when the people decide.  Furthermore, in a democratic system where there is ‘one person, one vote’ everyone is equal.
A precondition for empowerment, however, is inequality, not equality.  For those is in authority to give up authority they should have it in the first place.  Before power can empower and thus be legitimate, there should be inequality between those in authority and those they exercise authority over.
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July 2017 –  Results or People? Where to Focus If You’re Aiming for Excellence
“So, are you saying that in order to succeed we need to move from being results-driven to being people-driven?”
This was the question posed to me by a senior leader in a large multinational organisation. I wondered how long it had been since I had lost him. That wasn’t what I had been saying. It was, however, the inspiration for a talk I recently gave at a gala dinner event.
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Courage
July 2017 – Courage 101 for Leaders
The work of leading is not for the faint-hearted. To build an exceptional leadership team and lead that team in achieving the objectives of the organization requires hard work, dedication and courage.
Courage is defined by Legitimate Leadership as the giving of self, requiring the leader to suspend his self-interest in favour of the interests of the employee.
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July 2017 –  Should A CEO’s Bonus Be Based on Financial Performance Alone?
By Graham Kenny managing director of Strategic Factors, a Sydney, Australia consultancy that specializes in strategic planning and performance measurement, and the author of Crack Strategy’s Code and Strategic Performance Measurement.
COMMENT BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP:  Legitimate Leadership has long argued that organisations will only deliver on a stated intent to “serve” …
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June 2017 –  Legitimate Leadership Should Be Done, Not Just Talked About
Most managers who are introduced to the Legitimate Leadership Framework gain the following insights:
  • Only when managers are in the relationship to “give” to their people rather than “get” results out of them will their people willingly go above and beyond in pursuit of the company’s objectives.
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 June 2017 – Trust and Communication
At Legitimate Leadership we believe that the critical factor accounting for successful management-employee communication is the degree to which employees trust the source of the communication. Neither the content of the message (WHAT management says) nor the choice of medium (HOW they say it) is anywhere near as important as whether it is trusted in the first place.
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May 2017 – Coaching And The Legitimate Leadership Framework
I have been an executive coach since 2007 and I have loved working with people in this way. I believe it is a real gift when a person can hold up a clear, mostly-untainted mirror for someone so that she can come to terms with those places or areas where there are gaps or incoherence with authenticity. It has been a privilege to create this mirror and challenging space for others – and hugely meaningful to go through this journey myself.
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May 2017 –  What Projects Really Need Are Better Project Leaders, Not Better Project Managers
When you ask the average Project Manager what he or she is accountable for, the answer is usually: successful project results! In project-speak this means managing and controlling the constraints of time, cost and quality in delivering the scope of the project required by the customer.
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 May 2017 – Interview With Daniele Bolelli: Philosophy, Fighting, And Martial Arts Mythology
A Daily Stoic interview with Daniele Bolelli, Italian-born American author, professor, professional, martial artist and podcast host.
OUR SELECTED EXERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:
Q: You have written, “Victory or defeat are largely out of my control, but putting up a good fight … putting up the kind of fight that makes the earth shake and the gods blush … this I can do.”  
Read the full interview by clicking here 
GivevsTake
April 2017 – Leading Employees From Taking To Giving In A Call Centre
Every employer struggles with the issue of how to get employees to come to work every day and put in their best effort.
Imagine how much more time the leaders in the call centre would have if they didn’t have to monitor every employee every minute of the day and every step of the call centre process. And what time you would save if employees stayed in your organisation and you weren’t recruiting and training new employees repeatedly.
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March 2017 – Manager vs Leader Relationships With Their People
PEOPLE WALK THROUGH FIRE ONLY FOR PEOPLE WITH WHOM THEY HAVE A PERSONAL, NOT PROFESSIONAL, CONNECTION
One of the key differentiators between managers and leaders is the nature of the relationship that they have with their people. Good managers have “professional” relationships with their people such that there are reasonable levels of respect and trust between the parties. Leaders have something more.
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February 2017 – Setting Objectives – The Importance of Contribution AND Result
It’s that time of year again when we have to set people’s objectives! What is a good objective based on?  Results? Goals? Inputs? The answer is: a good performance objective should be about the contribution a person makes to a result.
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February 2017 – How Do You Measure and Set Contribution and Result?
Contribution is assessed against a standard by watching the game and can therefore be above, on or below standard. The standard is therefore critical in defining a good contribution and can only be set by the leader. The standard should be the highest possible that the individual is capable of at their stage of maturity and experience.
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February 2017 – Employee Engagement – Leaders Need to Step Up!
Businesses are fixated on the issue of Employee Engagement these days. They conduct multiple surveys and employ employee engagement managers. Research indicates that employees who are not sufficiently engaged damage the business.
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February 2017 -Legitimate Leadership In China – The Project Is You
Legitimate Leadership was honoured to be invited to address the MBA alumni of the University of Manchester (China) and Shanghai on the evening of 15 February 2017.
The speech, given by Wendy Lambourne, director of Legitimate Leadership, is inserted below. There were 30 MBA alumni present at the event. In addition, 1,200 people listened to the talk which was broadcast live from the University of Manchester China Centre.
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Ethics
January 2017 – Legitimate Leadership and Ethical Leadership
Legitimate Leadership is, first and foremost, an ethical framework which argues for values- rather than needs-driven behaviour by all those at work, but particularly by those in leadership roles.
Every time a leader acts appropriately, arising out of being values-driven, trust in the individual leader and the leadership collectively increases an increment. Every time the opposite happens, trust decreases commensurately.
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December 2016 – Interns will teach companies about GIVING and TAKING
So you have decided to participate in one of the growing number of internship programmes in South Africa. Whether your particular internship project is a success or a failure, you can be sure of one thing: it will clarify whether your organisation (or your part of it) is a “giving” or a “taking” one.
This is because in almost all internship projects, there will be more “give” by the employer than “take”.
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asbusiness
December 2016 –As business leaders, we don’t have to climb Everest
I’ve been to Mount Everest. I’m privileged to have stood in the Himalayas and viewed the spectacular highest mountain in the world. To see the sight of the jet stream wafting off the top. A truly grand experience in a country with beautiful culture and beautiful people.
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controls
November 2016 – What Legitimate Leadership Believes about Controls in an Organisation
In times of adversity, typically the number of rules and controls, particularly surrounding spending, increases in an attempt to meet tighter budgets – rather than setting cost reduction targets and giving local management the freedom to determine how to achieve them.
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November 2016 – Is it ever Appropriate to remove decision-making Authority or to take back Control?
In the Legitimate Leadership framework, empowerment requires a leader to go beyond asking people for their opinions, listening to them, and only then deciding. Empowerment means letting people decide and living with their decision even if it is contrary to the decision that the leader would have made.
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November 2016 – Legitimate Leadership gets honorable mention in British Parliamentary Publication
In a recent edition of Britain’s The Parliamentary Review, an annual publication released to coincide with the beginning of the British parliamentary year, Legitimate Leadership’s model was mentioned with approval.
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October 2016 – Trust, the Leadership currency
During the turbulent late 1980s in South Africa, research into trust in management in South Africa’s gold mines produced unexpected results. Contrary to expectations, trust in management was not consistently low – despite job segregation, apartheid, rising union and political militancy, and increasing violence generally.
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Opportunity Missed and Taken Green Road Sign and Clouds
September 2016 – Accountability is a Huge Opportunity which many Businesses are missing
When was the last time somebody said they would do something … and didn’t? When was the last time a service provider failed to meet a basic commitment? Perhaps it was a small thing. But perhaps also, it set off a bigger chain of events.
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September 2016 – Of Course the Result matters but the way to achieve the Result is not to focus on it
In my experience of corporations, middle and senior managers spend well over 50% of their time in setting, measuring and mincing about whether they and their subordinates are achieving the targeted results. In contrast, they spend far less of their time ensuring that their subordinates have the means, ability and accountability to achieve those results.
If the ratio was the other way round, better results would be achieved with much greater job satisfaction for all concerned.
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Opportunity Missed and Taken Green Road Sign and Clouds
September 2016 – Accountability is a Huge Opportunity which many Businesses are missing
When was the last time somebody said they would do something … and didn’t? When was the last time a service provider failed to meet a basic commitment? Perhaps it was a small thing. But perhaps also, it set off a bigger chain of events.
And although it might have been “inconsequential”, it probably means you won’t trust that person or organisation again – certainly not with something important.
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July 2016 – Is it not weird to Train for Values?
Obviously Legitimate Leadership is a strong advocate of the leadership of any organisation developing a set of values which provide everyone in the organisation with clarity about what is important and valued, both within the organisation and in the organisation’s dealings with external stakeholders. This is because Legitimate Leadership is definitively an ethical framework which argues for values- rather than needs-driven behaviour by all those at work, but particularly by those in leadership roles.
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May 2016 – Coaches for Freedom
On 27 April 2016, South Africa’s Freedom Day, something extraordinary happened: a group of coaches gave four hours of their time to coach fellow South Africans. And what has transpired since then is an illustration of what happens when we give unconditionally.
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workplace-behaviour
June 2016 – What are you tolerating in the interests of results?
A short while ago I was in a coaching session with a sales manager who was having some difficulty with two people in his sales team. These two sales people were the top performers, consistently out-selling the other members as well as consistently being above their monthly targets.
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accountability
April 2016 – The Accountability Thief
I have often asked managers in organisations why they do not hold their people accountable. They typically provide me with a list of reasons which fall neatly into the categories of Willing; Able; and Allowed. But the reason which is not given, and which I have come to believe is actually the primary reason why managers do not hold their people accountable, is that the managers have not clarified and agreed what each person is accountable for in the first place.
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March 2016 – Why Legitimate Leadership is emphasizing courage
Legitimate Leadership has held two events recently about the subject of courage at work – a one-day workshop in July 2015 and a breakfast with presentations and discussion in March 2016. Why is Legitimate Leadership emphasizing this subject so much; why does it regard courage at work as so important? After all, the workplace is (hopefully) not Okinawa and okay physical courage is not a premier requirement for success at work.
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initiative
February 2016 – Initiative, Fatigue, Overload and Anxiety – the New Corporate Disease
I once came across a seasoned and experienced operations manager called Rex who was tearing his hair out at the time because, in his words, “there is just no sense of urgency in this place … no one other than me has any get-up-and-go, any drive to change things and make them better.” In desperation, he spent the weekend in his garage making some signposts which he put up all over his plant. The words on each sign were the same: “SO WHAT’S WRONG WITH NOW?” Needless to say, the activity levels in his factory remain unchanged.
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storm-1024x640
January 2016 – Care and Growth in times of adversity
It’s 2016 and in world terms the oil price has dropped from over $100/barrel to less than $40/barrel. Chinese stock markets fall 5% in one week. Customers are extending the life of their products to maximum before replacement.
What does that mean for a normally-successful company?
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givetake
November 2015 – It all comes down to taking and giving at work
Over the last 13 months, I have been privileged to facilitate close to 30 one-day Legitimate Leadership workshops in two vastly different environments.
Some 430-plus non-managers attended these workshops – including factory operators, artisans, technicians, cleaners, gardeners, cooks, security guards, teachers, counsellors, fund-raisers, marketers, lobbyists, etc.
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enabling
November 2015 – Enabling Courage at Work
As part of a leadership programme at a Legitimate Leadership client in the manufacturing industry, I was afforded the opportunity to facilitate a conversation about the role of courage in leadership with a group of managers working in first line supervisory roles.
This was not a conversation about romantic notions of courage exercised in the pursuit of lofty ideals.
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womanboss2
October 2015 – The Legitimate Leadership Model – getting started
In my experience the number of people who enthusiastically and fearlessly take theory and translate it into action is small. I am convinced that this is the case when it comes to legitimate leadership. I am also convinced that this doesn’t have to be so.
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art-lowpay (1)
September 2015 – The twin motivators – purpose and gratitude
I introduced myself to someone in a client organisation the other day and asked him who he was. His response was, “I am just an operator”. For someone to see themselves as just an anything – a call centre agent, a supervisor, a mum, or even a CEO – is not only sad but has implications. A person who feels “just a …” is unlikely to be engaged, motivated or give of his/her best, no matter how much he/she is paid.
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action
July 2015 – Matching leadership action to employee contribution
Implementing the Legitimate Leadership Model requires nothing less than an inversion of the line of service from “up” to “down” the line. It necessitates cultivating relationships which are subordinate centred, where the primary concern for those in authority is what they can “give” to their people, rather than what they can “get” out of them.
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caregrowthpeople
July 2015 – You can grow people without them going anywhere
There is a notion prevalent in organisations today that in order to grow someone at work you need to promote her, move her to another job or give her new responsibilities. Clearly there are opportunities for a person to grow from all three of these. Yet there is no need to either move a person or reconfigure her role in order for her to grow. Leaders who are aligned to the Legitimate Leadership criteria enable their people to grow on an ongoing and continuous basis in the jobs that they are currently in. They grow people without them having to go anywhere.
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art-contract
June 2015 – Do not confuse contractual arrangements with the intent to “give” or “take” at work
Legitimate Leadership is often asked where we stand on the matter of subcontractors or temporary employees. This is especially the case in South Africa where the union movement continues to argue for decent full time jobs for all and the end of labour brokers or temporary employment agencies.
There is, either explicitly or implicitly, a view that temporary employment arrangements are a wholesale “take” by employers. This is because they allow employers to get the job done on the cheap. They also allow them to dispense with excess or troublesome people at will, because the labour broker does the “dirty work”.
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womanboss2
May 2015 – Five determinants of a successful Legitimate Leadership implementation
In the book Legitimate Leadership (2012) I argued that there are three critical characteristics necessary for a Legitimate Leadership implementation to succeed. They are INSIGHT, COURAGE and PERSEVERANCE.
More specifically, my experience in organisations over the last two decades suggests that to realise the full impact that a Legitimate Leadership intervention can make on an individual, team and organisational excellence necessitates five factors.
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art-bonus
March 2015 – I can’t do Legitimate Leadership, and it’s our bonus system’s fault!
In a previous article I discussed the idea, central to the Legitimate Leadership Model, that what one should hold people accountable for is their contribution. Not how hard they tried, not how long they spent our how much effort they put it, not even whether the result was achieved or not, but their actual contribution against an agreed standard.
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cambridge
April 2015 – Legitimate Leadership introduced in Cambridge
A group of Executive MBAs from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University recently participated in a 1-day programme introducing the Legitimate Leadership Model. The model itself is a significant challenge to conventional leadership thinking of the past century.
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art-results
November 2014 –  When we focus only on the result, it’s the result that suffers
What can Legitimate Leadership, and Agile learn from one another?
It seems sensible. If it’s results you want, then that is where your focus needs to be – on results. Further, the more you want the result, and the more important it is, the more single-minded your focus needs to be. In fact, this seems so sensible that it is literally the way which most people and organisations currently operate.
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