Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Fresh Idea for Executive Training

As part of my own professional development, I joined a LinkedIn discussion group on heartfelt leadership. Their core belief is the wise leader strives to balance the three sorts of accomplishment: profits, people, and planet.

To this point, the discussion group has shared atomistic ideas whereas my sense is that they need a major initiative. I'm writing this blog post to develop a proposal for what it might be.

I like the model of a TED conference: luminaries sharing their best ideas concisely, using visuals as appropriate. But perhaps it could be taken a step further. I'm wondering if it would be best if presenters give only a few-minute mini-lecture supplemented by a potentially transformative activity. Presenters thus would be selected on their ability to do both at a high level and that their content is crucial yet not obvious. 

A useful target audience might be the many executives who have been laid off or fired and are disheartened. Perhaps adding heartfeltness to their skill set might reinvigorate them as well as make them more marketable, at least marketable to the kinds of organizations that a heartfelt leader might want to work for.

I can picture the Heartfelt Leadership Intensive being a one-day event, perhaps on a Saturday, which would consist of the following:

An introductory talk by luminary executive, an exemplar of a heartfelt leader. He or she would explain how s/he incorporated heartfelt leadership into every aspect of work: hiring and firing, budgeting, goal setting, managing, etc.

Then there would be four one-hour blocks, each commandeered by one of the aforementioned presenters.  For the group activities, participants would be divided at random or using the results of a personality inventory such as the SCID-II executive personality inventory. 

The final two hours would be a job-search bootcamp for executives, in which each participant walked away with an individualized action plan for landing a job as an executive, ideally a position that valued heartfelt leadership.

Participants would be invited to, after the Intensive, continue conversations with attendees and/or sign up for ongoing coaching with a top executive coach.


Doris Finnius said...

It would be wonderful if you could give a TED talk someday! That's part of my dream. I first saw you in a video with John Stossel in it. Then, I saw you in "Inside Academia." The videos on your YouTube page are very helpful! Thank you so much for your help.

-Internet Surfer 2012

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you, Doris. I would, indeed, love to give a TED talk. It would be on reinventing education. At the risk of hubris, I believe it would be far more potent in its ideas than the very popular, glitzy TED talk by Sir Robinson on that topic.

Doris Finnius said...

You're welcome. Sir Ken Robinson gave a wonderful speech. Multiple choice tests kill creativity because the answers are always infront of the students. They only have to pick from "a," "b," "c," or "d." When students are in doubt, they pick "c."

Marty Nemko said...

Doris, I have much more potent ideas than Sir Ken presented. See my articles on the no-school high school, dream-team taught classes, and my overall articles with titles like Education Reinvented, New General Education, etc.

Doris Finnius said...

Thanks! I agree with you. Schools need to have classes that focus on entrepreneurship, so students can learn about how to start a company. Writing a business plan can be challenging.

I love the YouTube video that you made about the college report card. Colleges and universities need to be held accountable. Furthermore, I liked the article called "Utopia College." There is a quota on how many people can attend a school. I like the parts about limiting how many professors have Ph. Ds and getting rid of tenure. Research shouldn't be the main focus. Teaching the students should be! Professors tend to do studies on trivial things that have contradictory results. For example, drinking a glass of wine everyday is good for your heart. Another study might say the opposite. Tenure is easy to get. Students are too afraid to complain about something because they don't want their grade to be effected.

Marty Nemko said...

Doris, I agree with all you said except perhaps tenure. You have to be quite productive---yes, often on trivial research--but productive nevertheless. Of course, sadly, teaching gets little weight in the decision to tenure someone. And ironically, the more prestigious the institution, the less teaching matters.

Anonymous said...

Is it really that difficult to be a good manager? Isn't it mostly just common sense? I don't understand how bad managers thrive. I have several friends, including myself who are miserable in their jobs specifically because of their managers. I mean, these are very smart, extrememly hard working people who just want to contribute in an important way. But their managers suck the lives out of them because of incompetence, not giving space to contribute, or an insecurity and feeling threated. These are people who would go in on weekends and stay late into the evening. But because they're so miserable they put in the minimum and then leave so they can get the courage to go in the next day. The job market is so bad that it's not possible to move at will.

I'm really surprised in the performance reviews direct reports aren't asked to anonymously review their managers.

A bad manager can cause so much damage. It seems that's not well understood given the ad hoc way in which one person is promoted over another.

Marty Nemko said...

I've seen both sides. Of course, some people get promoted to manager unfairly but most get there on merit. Managers have to deal with pressure from above and SOME workers from below who try to get away with doing as little work as possible and invoking, unfairly, the Family Leave Act, ADA, discrimination, harassment, workers comp and all sorts of other worker "protections. Add on top of that that managers usually need technical expertise, budgeting skills, etc., and are NOT paid overtime, unlike worker bees, and believe me, net, it is managers and leaders who, as a group, get an unfairly bad rap.