Showing posts from July, 2014

LeadYoung Monterey Pioneer

Elisa Tacconi is the Principal of a charter school in Monterey, CA.  She just got trained as a LeadYoung Trainer, bringing LeadNow for preteens to her school, beginning this fall.  I always get excited when I meet people like Elisa, because she possess a treasure chest of experience and wisdom, but is open to new ideas.  Plus, as a leader herself, she sees the benefit of being the lead trainer of the student leaders in her school.  If I had elementary-aged kids, I'd want them at her school.  I've said it before, but I'm dumbfounded that so many teachers aren't learners.  They stick to what they know and they teach it over and over, suspicious of new thinking and embracing ideas that lie outside of the way they've always done things.  People like Elisa get it, realizing that if we always do what we've always done, we won't get ahead.  So it doesn't matter whether you're in a high end private school or struggling in the 'hood, being a leader in

Needed New Business Schools

Last week, I began teaching two more classes at the Naval Postgraduate School; one on organizational behavior and the other on communication for managers, both part of the MBA program.   Our students include up and coming US military officers and from other countries. I'm truly honored to be associated with NPS, which has graduated more military officers (and astronauts) than any other.  At the same time, I constantly wonder about the size of gap between academia and the real world, which is the essence behind our work with KidLead, identifying and developing leaders from the ground up, who can skillfully change the orgs where they lead. Following is an HBR blog that talks about the current condition of business schools and suggests ideas for transformation.  It's especially impressive, because it is written by a dean of two B-schools.  Kudos also to Harvard for publishing it on its blog.  Strong leaders are open to critique and getting better.  Enjoy:

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

Okay, I know I'm on a roll, but during my immersion into the world of SheLead and young female leadership development, I've been reading dozens of books and research articles, like Dr. Frankel's book. My wife and I both read it and were a bit surprised at the number of subtle and even subliminal ways that women tend to sabotage their own leadership, without realizing it.  (BTW, the idea of "Nice Girls" refers to women acting out stereotyped roles from childhood, as opposed to you can't be "nice" and be an effective leader.) While the list of 101 things did get a bit long at times, most of these are helpful for women leaders to understand how they can better impact society and make a difference in the organizations they serve. Obviously, a list this long implies only certain ones may apply to you, but focus on "your" half dozen that you want to avoid. As a male leader, reading this list, I found myself a bit embarrassed at the way societ

Women Lead the Way

Another great book for women who want to expand their leadership influence and for men who want to help them, is "Women Lead the Way."  One of the basic goals of the author, based also on a United Nations declaration, is to see leadership in organizations that consist of 30% women.  Obviously, this is still a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) for many organizations and cultures, but it would likely creating a tipping point, when people began to recognize the quality leadership that women can bring to society. Naturally, just being a woman doesn't make you bad or good.  There will continue to be effective and ineffective, ethical and unethical leaders, regardless of gender, age or culture.  What this book helps people like me understand, is the unique strengths that women leaders bring to society and, as I've been stating in this blog recently, why 21st century society needs these now more than ever.  That's why we need to equip women with tools and resources to

21st Century Skills YOUR Kids Need

Imagine using a car, phone, or pretty much any machine that was designed in the early 1900s.  Yet, the typical school in America has changed little in terms of deliverables, since it's emergence last century.  Yet, so much in society has changed... such as digital information, internet, global village, and the proliferation of technology.  That means we need to be equipping our students with skill sets that weren't a necessity, 10-50 years ago.  These include critical thinking, collaboration, communication (that's been around forever), creativity and leadership.  That's the 6-sentence summary of this book, "21st Century Skills." What is exciting about the otherwise depressing scenario of modern education, is that a growing number of schools are getting it and cutting edge programs like KidLead are addressing these issues.  LeadYoung Training Systems, active-learning curricula, are designed to offer 21st century skills to the social influencers who'll b

Closing the Leadership Gap

I just read a great book, "Closing the Leadership Gap," by Marie C. Wilson, who founded "The White House Project," a non-profit that tried to help women in leadership with the ultimate goal of seeing one in the White House.  Although the org is now defunct, the contents of the book are not.  I was aghast as I read, with my male leader eyes, the numerous times we've minimized the role of women leaders. What I'm enjoying about my immersion into the world of books and research on gender differences in leadership is that most are truly focused on elevating the role of women as opposed to bashing men or alienating those of us who understand the assets women leaders bring... as women.  Someday, we won't use "woman" as an adjective to denote a leader who's a female; simply good or bad, effective or ineffective, ethical or unethical.  Until then, I'm a fan of what women bring to the realm of leadership in the 21st century and if the number