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Posts from the ‘Rob’s Blog Posts’ Category

11
Oct

Get Tools In Your Toolbelt: The 8th Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the eighth in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 8th Key: Get Tools In Your Toolbelt

Balancing authority and collaboration is easier said than done. Every leader needs as many tools as he or she can get to manage the unconscious habits we each have that trigger people’s habitual resistance to authority. This relates to not the least among Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “Sharpen the saw.”

These essential tools include technical methodologies, organizational tools, planning processes, communication and negotiation techniques, and habits to balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle. Effective leadership involves a lifetime of continuous learning. We need all the help we can get.

Articles in the expanded leadership series present various decision-making models and communication techniques for improving one-to-one communication and for facilitating respectful, collaborative behavior in groups. Woven throughout the series is a unique perspective on the relationship between respect and understanding, and how these relate to basic principles of gaining leverage in the martial arts and in communication.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.

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19
Sep

Engage Leaders At All Levels: The 6th Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the sixth in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 6th Key: Engage Leaders At All Levels

Leaders are not necessarily people who hold a position of authority, they are people who make such an impact that others choose to respond to them. A strategy or an initiative may be well planned out on paper, but if these natural leaders are not engaged they are the very people who could inhibit success.

Leaders exist at all levels of the organization. Leaders who are on the front lines “excel at seeing things through fresh eyes and at challenging the status quo. They are energetic and seem able to run through, or around, obstacles” (John Kotter*). If these potential leaders are not given the opportunity to invest their energy in contributing, they may invest their energy in leading a resistance movement simply because they feel that their concerns are not understood and respected.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.

12
Sep

Communicate The 4P’s Of Transition: The 5th Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the fifth in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 5th Key: Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”

Earlier in this series we explored how resistance to authority inhibits collaboration, and why it is important to address employee’s concerns without relinquishing authority by asking permission. The 4 P’s of Transition is a valuable model in this balancing act when communicating about strategic changes.

People will be more motivated to work toward a strategic objective or contribute to a project if they understand

(1) The Purpose; why we have to do this,

(2) The Picture: What it will look and feel like when we reach our goal,

(3) The Plan: Step-by-step, how we will get there,

(4) The Part: What you can (and need to) do to help us move forward. (Bridges)

The CEO, President, or highest Executive Sponsor is the best person to communicate messages that influence control over the direction of the business (Purpose, Picture, Plan), while the Direct Supervisor is most appropriate for messages that influence control over the direction of daily activities (Part). The most important messages to impacted employees fall into two categories.

  1. Messages about things: (from the CEO or President)
    1. Current situation and rationale for the change (Purpose).
    2. Vision of organization after change takes place (Picture).
    3. The basics of what is changing, how it will change, and when it will change (Plan).
    4. The expectation that change will happen and is not a choice.
    5. Status updates on the implementations of the change, including success stories.
  2. Messages about how the change impacts the employee:  (from the Supervisor) (Part).
    1. Impact of change on the day-to-day activities (WIIFM).
    2. Implications of change on job security (will I have a job?).
    3. Specific behaviors and activities expected from the employee, including support of the change.
    4. Procedures for getting help and assistance during the change.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Leadership Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.

2
Apr

Don’t Ask Permission: The 4th Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the fourth in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 4th Key: Don’t Ask Permission
The first three keys in this series focused on how the inevitable resistance to authority inhibits collaboration, and that it is important to address employee’s concerns for the tasks they are expected to do, the positive impact to expect, and how any changes will affect the employees themselves. But this should not be a process of asking permission.

Don’t let the process of understanding concerns turn into a series of gripe sessions. When preparing a mission the United States Marines follow the principle, “Decide, and then invite dissent.”* Officers don’t ask the soldiers for permission, but once the mission is defined they do expect heated debate about the best way to execute the mission plan. Every possible challenge should be confronted, all possible risks mitigated. As a result, by the time the troops engage everyone is on board because their concerns were addressed in the planning stages.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Leadership Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.

14
Mar

Address Levels Of Concern: The 3rd Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the third in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 3rd Key: Address Levels Of Concern
The first two keys in this series focused on how a leader’s position (authority) can actually get in the way of gaining trust and positive influence with others (collaboration), and that no matter how experienced or effective you are as a leader, you should expect some resistance to your authority.

Don’t assume that just by telling someone what needs to be done that they will be motivated to do it well. According to John Kotter, professor at Harvard Business School and author of 15 books on leadership, “People change their behavior when they are (internally) motivated to do so, and that happens when you speak to their feelings. You don’t have to spend a million dollars and six months to prepare for a change effort. You do have to make sure that you touch people emotionally.” (Kotter)

The Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM)* hypothesizes a predictable hierarchy of concerns that individuals experience when adopting any new innovation: Concerns for Self, Task, and Impact. Most companies only give attention to employees’ Concern for Task, whatever the employee needs to know to do the work. Kotter also wrote, “Employees need to understand that the changes are not oddball ideas being pushed by the bosses. They need to see short-term wins that demonstrate the validity of the change vision (concerns about impact). If the win is not ambiguous, is visible (concerns about task), and is of value to people (concerns about self), then people will say, “yes, I get it” and be more likely to help make change happen.” (Kotter)

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Leadership Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.


8
Mar

Expect Resistance To Authority: The 2nd Leadership Key To Balance Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the second in an eight part series on Balancing Authority and Collaboration

The 2nd Key: Expect Resistance To Authority
The 1st Key in this series focused on how a leader’s position (authority) can actually get in the way of gaining trust and positive influence with others (collaboration). But no matter how experienced or effective you are as a leader, you should expect some resistance to your authority.

Executives are responsible for executing strategic and financial goals. Supervisors are responsible for delivering projects and initiatives on time and on budget in support of those strategic and financial goals. To accomplish these things they need to manage the employees to get the work done.
All too often a goal is established or a problem is identified, management pulls together the best and brightest to craft a plan or a solution and the system or process is set in motion. But employees resist, ignore, and find work-arounds, and as a result the objectives are not achieved.

Some leaders think that by merely telling employees what needs to be that they should simply do their jobs and not complain. These leaders perceive resistance as inappropriate; evidence that a person is not “a team player” and not doing their job. It is an unfortunate reality that managers, supervisors, and leaders at any level will have to deal with resistance that employees have to authority. But managers need to focus on reducing the resistance first, before trying to get their point across.

The ultimate objective of using these techniques is to establish a work environment in which everyone feels safe to disagree so that communication is more open and work is more productive.

The 8 Keys To Balance Leadership Authority & Collaboration

  1. Position Power & Personal Power
  2. Expect resistance to authority
  3. Address levels of concern
  4. Don’t ask permission
  5. Communicate “The 4 P’s of Transition”
  6. Engage leaders at all levels
  7. Demonstrate respect to build trust and commitment
  8. Get tools in your tool belt

* Resources

Leadership Development: How to Get the Results You Need by Haslam and Pennington.

Reducing Resistance to Change and Conflict: A Key to Successful Leadership by Haslam and Pennington.

Kotter, John P. (2003).  The Power of Feelings, An Interview with John P. Kotter, Leader to Leader, No. 27, Winter 2003.

Bridges, W., & Mitchell, S. (2000).  Leading Transition: A New Model for Change.  Leader to Leader, No. 16, Spring 2000.

Hall, G. E., Wallace, R. C., & Dossett, W. A. (1973).  A developmental conceptualization of the adoption process within educational institutions (Rep. No. 3006). Austin, Texas: The University of Texas at Austin, The Research and Development Center for Teacher Education. (ERIC Document Reproduction No. ED 095 126).

Rob Pennington and Stephen Haslam work with leaders and managers.  Find out more at Resource International, www.resource-i.com.


27
Feb

Position and Personal Power: The 1st of 8 Keys to Balancing Leadership Authority & Collaboration

By Stephen Haslam and Robert Pennington, Ph.D., Resource International

This is the first in an eight part series on Balancing Leadership Authority and Collaboration

The 1st Key: Position Power & Personal Power

“It is a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead and find no one there.”  –  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Every leader is challenged to balance the responsibility for making decisions and the need to collaborate with others to produce desired results. Unfortunately most leaders have unconscious habits that trigger resistance, turning collaboration into competition and sabotage. Before long, employees are competing more with each other than they are working together to beat their company’s competition.

Read more »

8
Feb

5 Steps That Turn Asking for Help Into A Sign of Strength

In chapter 6 in my autobiographical self-help book, Find the Upside of the Down Times, I describe my experience of being audited by the IRS and my fears about not having enough money.  Anybody else ever had that fear, especially in these challenging economic times? Through that experience I learned a most important lesson, namely that,

Asking for help is an act of strength & confidence, not an act of weakness.

This is not an easy lesson to learn. Asking for help requires facing the need for help. Many of us would rather not, for many reasons, but mainly because even the thought of asking for help can be uncomfortable, much less the actual asking. Asking for help is like openly and publicly admitting a mistake or weakness, a flaw or inadequacy. For anyone who grew up being criticized

Read more »

30
Nov

3 Steps To Move From The Darkness To The Dawn… Quicker

“It is always darkest just before the day dawneth.” 
Thomas Fuller, English Theologian and Historian (1608-1661)

    In the middle of the darkness it doesn’t look like I’m about to awaken to a greater dawn. But at such times I have discovered that I have a power I didn’t know I had; a power to shed light into my own darkness. Sometimes I find this power this by calling on a “Higher Power” to light my way. Sometimes it is just sitting down and answering the question, “What one step could I take today that will take me one step closer to my goal?” Sometimes I need to do both.
   My first step in the difficult task of bringing light into the darkness is to remember that I still have power to act constructively, even in the dark, down times. When I remember this, my world opens to more opportunities than the darkness allowed me to see. But it amazes me how often I forget. Hopefully you will be quicker at remembering this than I have been!  Here are three helpful reminders…
Read more »
19
Nov

Radio Interviews with Dr Rob

You can listen to the following entertaining, insightful Radio Interviews conducted around the country with Dr. Rob Pennington.


NPR’s Lisa Davis on  It’sYourHealthNetwork.com (Boston)

CLICK PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR AUDIO.

CBS Radio Saturday Night with Esme Murphy (Minneapolis) “Emotional Intelligence: Being Nice is More Successful Than Being Smart!”

CLICK PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR AUDIO.

Kacey on the Radio  Let the Light In! on WHUD-AM (New York).
CLICK PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR AUDIO.

KQ Morning Show on KQRS-FM (Minneapolis).

CLICK PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR AUDIO.

Everyday Wisdom For Families‘ Josh Peterson on Blog Talk Radio: “4 Steps to Transfer Responsibility to Your Children”  CLICK PLAY BUTTON TO HEAR AUDIO.

If you would like to interview Dr. Pennington on your program, please contact Stephen Haslam at 713-305-1812.