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matrix vision newsletter
Leadership Issue
February, 2010 - Vol 3, Issue 2
In This Issue
Leadership - What?
The Extraordinary Leader
Leadership Thoughts
Leadership Development
Quick Links
Join Mailing List
Story of the Month

The story goes: upon completing a highly dangerous tightrope walk over Niagara Falls in appalling wind and rain, 'The Great Zumbrati' was met by an enthusiastic supporter, who urged him to make a return trip, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the spectator had thoughtfully brought along.


The Great Zumbrati was reluctant, given the terrible conditions, but the supporter pressed him, "You can do it - I know you can," he urged.


"You really believe I can do it?" asked Zumbrati.


"Yes - definitely - you can do it." the supporter gushed.


"Okay," said Zumbrati, "Get in the wheelbarrow..."


Leadership Quotes
"Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes."
Peter Drucker
" A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.
James Crook
"When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'.
Lao Tsu
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.
George Patton

 "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.
Andrew Carnegie

"Remember that it is far better to follow well, than to lead indifferently."
John G Vance
"The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it."
Elaine Agather

"Due to a shortage of devoted followers, the production of great leaders has been discontinued."
Ashleigh Brilliant

Welcome to the matrix vision newsletter for February.  This month's newsletter is focussed on Leadership.    
This newsletter presents some tips and tools on how to improve your Leadershipskills.  We have articles including:
  • a review of how many books have been written about leadership 
  • an outline of the leadership competencies identified by Zenger and Folkman,
  • Peter Drucker's thoughts on leadership
  • The 11 Paradoxes of Leadership
  • what followers expect from leaders, and
  • developing leadersip skills .

Enjoy your reading and as always your feedback would be welcome!

If any of the information interests you and if you would like to find out how it can help you please contact us.  We would love to talk with you.
Leadership - What?
LeadershipI was recently asked to the be the master of ceremonies and facilitate a panel discussion on the topic of "Leadership" at the Sydney Hills Business Chamber.
To research the topic and put some perspective on the extent to which authors had attempted to share their thoughts on "leadership" I decided to search on the topic in Amazon.
In only the "books" section of Amazon a search of the term "leadership" revealed 388.238 entries.

It became obvious that Leadership is an enormous topic and seems to be a topic popular with authors trying to make their name by producing a definitive book on the topic.


As I ventured further in to my search for the truth, I was astounded at the plethora of titles that attempted to differentiate the authors view of leadership.  These book titles were typically "??????" Leadership.


The first few pages of results yielded the following "types" of leadership:

"Primal", "Principle-Centred", "Servant", "Spiritual", "New", "Clear", "Adaptive", "Fearless", "Heroic", "Courageous", "Fierce", "Tribal", "Quiet", "Ethical", "Quantum", "Authentic", "Presidential", "Level 3", "Organic", "Positive", "Emotionally Intelligent", "Transformational", "Creative", "Incarnate", "Sustainable", "Global", "Project", "Situational", "Culturally Proficient", "Distributed", "No Excuse", "High Altitude", "Moral", "Collaborative", "Values-Driven", "Energy", "Motion", Monday Morning", "Everyday", "Connective", "Crisis", "Muddy Boots", "Just Ask," "Enlightened", "Team", "Love", "Intuitive", "Visionary", "Results-Based", "Real", "Outdoor" and "Out of the Box"

Further research revealed titles that attempted to describe "Leadership". Authors saw leadership as a science, an art, a challenge, a discipline, a journey, a dance,  a spirit, a revolution, a cycle, an investment, an advantage, a legacy, an equation, an illusion,a  joy, a gap, a wheel and a labyrinth. There was also a "leadership pill".

Being a simple soul, I was drawn to those titles that attempted to quantify the elements of "Leadership". These titles were typically expressed as "The '?????' of Leadership".  The titles that I came across that were numerically based were: 

"3 Tasks", "4 Powers", "4 Obsessions", "4 V's" (Vision, Values, Value-added, Vitality), "5 Rules", "5 Lessons", "5 Steps", "6 Practices", "6 Dimensions", "7 Pillars", "7 Fundamentals", "7 Seeds", "7 Generations", "7 Secrets", "7 Zones", "8 Qualities", "10 Truths", "10 Simple Secrets", "21 Irrefutable Laws", "21 Indispensable Qualities" and "100 Ways".

Other authors tried to get their answers to what Leadership is all about by exploring the biographies of famous "leaders".  These titles typically started with - "The Leadership Secrets of '?????'" or "The Leadership Wisdom of '?????'". 
In these books authors had included almost all US Presidents from Washington to Obama including the seemingly hyperbolic title - "The Leadership Genius of George W Bush".
Other titles explored the Leadership of military leaders from Sun Tzu to Colin Powell and including Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun and even the 300 Spartans. 
Some authors looked at religious Leaders and writings for inspiration. Jesus, King David and Saint Paul had their own titles.  Both the Bible and the Koran were explored for leadership secrets.  Socio-religious leaders such as Billy Graham and Martin Luther King have their leadership secrets.
In comparison very few Leadership titles focussed on the leadership success of business leaders. Stand-outs are Jack Welch and Richard Branson.
So what does this mean?  Someone trying to come to grips with how to improve their leadership can become horribly confused by the enormous amount of material available.

If you would like some help in building your leadership skills look at matrix vision's management and leadership development programs "Leaders of the Future" and "Exceptional Leaders" programs




Alternatively, give us a call.

The Extraordinary Leader
The Extraordinary Leader
One of the best books on leadership that I have read recently is The Extraordinary Leader by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman.  The authors outline the 5 key areas of extraordinary leadership - Character, Personal Capability, Focus on Results, Interpersonal Skills and Leading Organisational Change.  The following is a summary of the competencies in each of the areas as displayed by high performers.
Displaying high integrity and honesty:
  • Avoid saying one thing and doing another (i.e., "walk the talk")
  • Act consistently with their words
  • Follow through on promises and commitments
  • Model the core values
  • Lead by example
Personal Capability 
Technical and professional expertise
  • Are sought out by others for advice and counsel
  • Use technical knowledge to help team members troubleshoot problems
  • Have credibility because of their in-depth knowledge of issues or problems
Solving problems and analysing issues
  • Exercise a high level of professional judgement
  • Make good decisions based on a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience, and judgment
  • Encourage alternative approaches and new ideas 
  • Encourage alternative approaches and new ideas
  • Consistently generate creative, resourceful solutions to prob­lems
  • Constructively challenge the usual approach of doing things and find new and better ways to do the job
  • Create a culture of learning that drives individual development
  • Work to improve new ideas rather than discourage them
  • Encourage people to find innovative ways to accomplish their goals
Practicing self-development
  • Make constructive efforts to change and improve based on feedback from others
  • Seek feedback from others to improve and develop themselves
  • Constantly look for developmental opportunities (they are excited to learn)
Focus on Results 
Focus on results
  • Aggressively pursue all assignments and projects until com­pletion
  • Do everything possible to meet goals or deadlines
Establish stretch goals
  • Maintain high standards of performance
  • Set measurable standards of excellence for themselves and others in the work group
  • Promote a spirit of continuous improvement 
Take responsibility for outcomes/initiative
  • Take personal responsibility for outcomes
  • Can be counted on to follow through on commitment
  • Go above and beyond what needs to be done without being told
Interpersonal Skills
Communicating powerfully and prolifically
  • Are skillful at communicating
  • Provide the work group with a definite sense of direction and purpose
  • Help people understand how their work contributes to broader business objectives
Inspiring and motivating others to high performance
  • Energise people to go the extra mile
  • Have the ability to get people to stretch and reach goals beyond what they originally thought possible
Building relationships
  • Are trusted by work group members
  • Balance concern for productivity and results with sensitivity for employees' needs/problems
  • Are approachable and friendly
  • Handle difficult situations constructively and tactfully
Developing others
  • Are genuinely concerned about the development of others' careers
  • Give individuals an appropriate balance of positive and corrective performance feedback
  • Give honest feedback
  • Take interest in the work of others
  • Support others' growth and success
Collaboration and teamwork
  • Have developed cooperative working relationships with others in the company
  • Promote a spirit of cooperation with other members of the work group
  • Ensure that the work unit works well with other groups and departments
Leading Organisational Change 
Developing strategic perspectives
  • Know how work relates to the organisation's business strategy (line-of-sight connection)
  • Translate the organisation's vision and objectives into challenging and meaningful goals for others
  • Can take the long view; can be trusted to balance short-term and long-term needs of the organisation
Championing change
  • Become champions for projects or programs, presenting them so that others support them
  • Are effective marketers for work groups' projects, programs, or products
Connect internal groups with the outside world
  • Have demonstrated ability to represent the work group to key groups outside the group/department
  • Help people understand how meeting customers' needs is central to the mission and goals of the organisation
The Extraordinary Leader - John Zenger & Joseph Folkman 

We can help you improve your organisation through the on-going leadership development of your people. Give us a call.
Leadership Thoughts
Peter DruckerDrucker on Leadership
Over the past fifty years, Peter F. Drucker has discussed with hundreds of leaders their roles, goals, and performance. He's come to some strong conclusions. First, while there may be born leaders, there are far too few of them to depend on. Leadership, therefore, can and must be learned.
No Leadership 'Personality'
Second, there is no "leadership personality." And "leadership traits" do not exist. Says Drucker, "Among the most effective leaders I have encountered and worked with in a half century, some locked themselves into their offices, and others were ultragregarious. Some (though not many) were 'nice guys' and others were stern disciplinarians."
Some were quick and impulsive, while others studied the situation and took forever to come to a decision. Some were warm, others aloof; some were vain, others self-effacing. Some, finally, were good listeners, while others were loners who listened to nothing but their own inner counsel.
The leaders did have something in common. Not one had much - or any - "charisma."
The most effective leaders know four simple things:
  1. The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.
  2. An effective leader is not someone who is loved or admired. Popularity isn't leadership; results are.
  3. Leaders are highly visible. They set examples.
  4. Leadership is not rank, privileges, or money. It is responsibility.
Doers, Not Preachers
When Peter Drucker was in high school in the mid-1920s, his history teacher assigned a number of books on World War I campaigns. When discussing the books, one student said, "Every one of these books says that the Great War was a war of total military incompetence. Why was it?"
The teacher, who had been badly wounded in the war, shot back without hesitation: "Because not enough generals were killed; they stayed way behind the lines and let others do the fighting and dying."
Effective leaders are doers, not preachers. While they may delegate many things, they don't delegate the one thing only they can do with excellence, the one thing that makes a difference, the one thing that will set the standards, or the one thing they want to be remembered for. They do it.
The Leader of the Future - Goldsmith et. al.
The 11 Paradoxes of Leadership
  • To be able to build a close relationship with one's staff ..... and to keep a suitable distance
  • To be able to lead ... and to hold oneself in the background
  • To trust one's staff ... and to keep an eye on what is happening
  • To be tolerant ... and to know how you want things to function
  • To keep the goals of one's own department in mind ... and at the same time to be loyal to the whole firm
  • To do a good job of planning your own time ... and to be flexible with your schedule
  • To freely express your own views ... and to be diplomatic
  • To be visionary ... and to keep one's feet on the ground
  • To try to win consensus ... and to be able to cut through
  • To be dynamic ... and to be reflective
  • To be sure of oneself ... and to be humble
Management 21C, Subir Chowdhury
According to an opinion survey of 5,000 workers, employees look for the following characteristics in an effective leader:  
  1. Has the ability to give clear direction.
  2. Practices candid, honest, and open communication; encourages two-way communication and creates a climate of trust.
  3. Is willing to coach and support people.
  4. Relates rewards to performance.
  5. Gives feedback on important actions.
  6. Selects the right people for the organisation.
  7. Understands the financial implications of decisions.
  8. Encourages new ideas.
  9. Gives employees a voice in decisions.
  10. Displays consistent high integrity.
Remember, employees want to work for leaders they can respect.
B Strickland - Strategies Unlimited
Leadership Development
20/20 Logo 
Matrix Vision is a value added reseller and a user of the most powerful and versatile feedback software tool available today.
People need an efficient, confidential and anonymous vehicle for giving feedback to each other. State-of-the-art software can simplify the process of collecting multi-source (360) feedback for anyone in your organisation.
20/20 Insight GOLD is the world's most versatile feedback tool. With this system, we can set up surveys to collect virtually any type of feedback-ideas, opinions, impressions, ratings - from any number of people about the performance of an individual, a team or even your organisation as a whole.organisation.
Leadership Development
One of the keys to successful development of leadership competence is to receive feedback from others about how they perceive your abilities against the competencies.  However the key is using that feedback effectively to improve leadership.
20/20 Insight has several resources for learners that set it apart from other feedback approaches.
Extensive development or recommendations are included for all three of our leadership surveys. 
  • Personal leadership,
  • Team leadership and
  • Executive leadership. 
 And, we can customise the report to include any and all of three sections from the recommendations:
  • An explanation of what a low rating might mean,  
  • several specific suggestions for improving the behaviour and
  • a list of books that focus on the behaviour.
The self development tool kit is given at no additional charge to every feedback recipient .
This valuable resource contains ten practical strategies and ten tools to help people as they work to improve their performance.
Included with this 31 page e-book is an interactive on-line performance analysis tool that helps learners discover the why's behind the ratings they received.

2020 Movie 
Watch a short movie about how to change employee behaviour and measure improvements in their performance:
We can work with you to incorporate feedback into your leadership development to ensure you get a greater return on your investment.
To learn more about the power of 20/20 Insight Gold click on the image.
20/20 Logo 
To talk with us about how you can use feedback to help improve your leadership development, please  contact us 
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In March the theme of the newsletter will be "Decision Making".
All the Best,
Barry Signature
Barry McMaster
Matrix Vision Pty Limited