Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Samuel Scott, Elizabeth White, Gregor Petri

News Feed Item

The Advice I'm Giving CEOs This Year

Evaluating What's Working - and What Isn't - in Their Leadership Styles

NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "The best CEOs I work with are always learning," says Stephen Miles, founder and chief executive of The Miles Group. "The certainties of today – whether it's relying on a particular business model or banking on a 'category killer' or operating under a particular regulatory framework – can be up-ended and disrupted tomorrow. Corporate chiefs who internalize this reality are best equipped to steer their companies through disruption."

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20121114/NY12516LOGO )

As a coach to CEOs and boards worldwide, Mr. Miles asks executives and directors to regularly examine their own leadership style – to see what is working and what is not. Four questions for leaders to consider this year are:

1.   Are you enrolling your employees – or conscripting them? "The command-and-control leadership framework has tremendous strengths, which is why the military has employed it forever. In particular, it can deliver outstanding results in high stress situations. But outside of those situations, leaders need to go beyond this 'conscription' model to 'enroll' their teams and organizations.

"Effective enrollment – through engagement, clarity of strategy, and communication – is a powerful retention tool. Compensation will always matter, but feeling sufficiently enrolled in the mission of an organization leads employees to go the extra mile and do the additional work needed to achieve the mission."

Tips:

  • Connect company strategy with individual tasks: "Having a clear and simple strategy that is unifying and translates into something that employees throughout the organization can buy in to, understand and repeat day-in and day-out will create a multiplying effect on productivity and results."
  • Bring in the "power brokers" within the team or organization: "Engaging both the formal and informal influencers early will have a multiplying effect as these people can act as disciples and 'preach' your mission."
  • Ensure that you are using all of the communication channels available to you: "Make sure that you are reaching employees at all of the effective touchpoints – including through newer communications and appropriate social media tools. A multi-channel approach is required to reach all generations working inside companies today."

2.   Is your role mastery leading to complacency? "When a CEO enters the top role for the first time or joins a new company (or both), the discomfort with being new causes the CEO to ask more questions, double check and triangulate information, and seek out others' opinions. For the vast majority of people, discomfort creates an accelerated learning environment. Over time, the CEO finds his feet and gradually gains greater confidence. This, combined with a natural inclination to become efficient (and the resulting lack of 'diligence and inspection') means that leaders tend to start asking fewer questions, verifying less, and making more assumptions. This is the paradox of 'role mastery.' As one's confidence level goes up, one's discomfort in the role goes down – until that 'oh sh*t!' moment when a negative surprise leads back to being uncomfortable again."

Tips:

  • Assemble the "uncomfortable team": "Building a team around you that is excellent and diverse will increase the likelihood of debate and avoid a rubber-stamp and group-think mentality on issues. Make sure the team has a safe and supportive environment for discussion and debate, and, if you are not getting it, jump in and play devil's advocate."
  • Listen for content: "Have the patience to listen for content versus confirmation, and continue to triangulate multiple data sources. This means you are asking questions and engaging on the topic instead of trying to win the interaction and move on."

3.   Are you tolerating mediocrity? "The disease of 'generalized mediocrity' is rampant in companies today. Mediocrity is insidious and tends to be tolerated a long time because it is not extreme in any way – it becomes hard to pinpoint exactly what the issue is. Too many executives tolerate unprepared people, poor work products, and anecdotal information, which all lead to wasted time and unnecessary meetings and follow-up. This is just not acceptable.

"Eliminating mediocrity requires high levels of engagement, discipline, follow-through, and openness to tension. It can also call for CEOs to diagnose in themselves when they are compensating or not asking for things because that just becomes easier. Setting very high standards, not just for oneself, but for every single person the CEO engages with, is the important first step (CEOs spend the majority of their time in meetings so they need to be highly productive). If the CEO is leading a meeting, assigning project work, or reviewing a business, the preparation and the quality of the thinking and work that goes into the pre-reads, and then the engagement, needs to be high.

"Leaders must set and communicate the standard – and then be disciplined enough to hold to it, even if it means stopping a presentation because the inputs are not high enough quality or the presenter has not adequately prepared, or canceling a meeting if the preparatory materials came in too late and substandard. In order to ferret out habitually average people, CEOs need to use a set of processes and tools that they are relentless and uncompromising on."

Tips:

  • Set expectations high for preparation: "Make it mandatory that 'pre-reads' for meetings be well thought-out and data-driven (vs. anecdotal) X number of days before a meeting. Jeff Bezos at Amazon is famous for having executives write a well-constructed and thought-out white paper (no more than six pages) that the entire executive team sits and reads together and then discusses and debates. The white paper helps eliminate any 'presentation bias' so form never wins over substance."
  • Demand accountability during and after meetings: "Set the expectation that everyone is expected to contribute, and train your executives to build on a point and be additive, versus simply restating points that have already been made. Always ensure minutes are taken, complete with assigned accountabilities for follow-up. Ensure that you assign the 'Directly Responsible Person' for each action item – and then manage your 'DRPs.'"

4.   Do you know when to be a "field general" vs. a "Pentagon general"? "2013, just like the year before it, will demand flexibility from CEOs. No matter what the size of your business, different situations call for different styles of leadership, and each has its time and place:

"A 'field general' role teaches someone to lead from the front, often in very operational situations that require ruthless focus and prioritization. This style is about strong decision-making abilities 'in the field' and being willing and able to make decisions with speed and imperfect information. A field general typically utilizes more of a directive approach involving smaller, but very focused teams. There is often a clean 'mission,' and these leaders reach down and touch a lot of the organization.

"Being a 'Pentagon general' is when you are making the strategic decisions that often are less reversible – you have to think through the second- and third- order effects." It is about slowing down and managing to an outcome – even if the route to get there is a zigzag versus drawing the straightest line between point A and point B. It's about understanding your direct and indirect constituencies and what is in it for them. What are the trade-offs you are willing to make – and what are you not willing to give up on? It is also about dealing with higher levels of ambiguity. Are you able to formulate a point of view when there is no right or wrong answer? A Pentagon general utilizes those around him/her as true advisors who can help shape their thought process, and they triangulate this information for the purpose of making more informed decisions and having a generally broader perspective.

"Many CEOs excel at one leadership style, but the trick is to be able to integrate both into one's leadership process."

Tips:

  • Recognize the way you tend to lead: "Reflecting on your own leadership style can explain a great deal about how you are motivating people in different situations, and where there might be room for improvement."
  • Push your comfort level with a leadership style that isn't 'yours': "If you tend to lead at a 'field general' level, consider a more strategic, long-term approach for steering the company into the future. If you are more of a 'Pentagon general,' be sure to step into a more operational, 'field general' approach when the situation calls for it, as your hands-on leadership will be required. The key is to understand your own foundational approach and then have cues to identify when you are in a field versus a Pentagon decision so that you can 'go to manual' and use the most effective approach for that situation."

Named by Bloomberg Businessweek as "the rising star of CEO consulting," Stephen A. Miles is the founder and CEO of The Miles Group, which develops talent strategies for organizations, cultivates high-performing individuals and teams, and ensures effective leadership transitions through readiness coaching and succession.

To speak with Stephen Miles, please contact Suzanne Oaks or Davia Temin of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or [email protected].

SOURCE The Miles Group

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the data to create additional revenue streams, such as improved warranties or premium features. Or slash...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...
WebRTC services have already permeated corporate communications in the form of videoconferencing solutions. However, WebRTC has the potential of going beyond and catalyzing a new class of services providing more than calls with capabilities such as mass-scale real-time media broadcasting, enriched and augmented video, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine communications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Luis Lopez, CEO of Kurento, will introduce the technologies required for implementing these ideas and some early experiments performed in the Kurento open source software community in areas ...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
SYS-CON Events announced today that Micron Technology, Inc., a global leader in advanced semiconductor systems, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Micron’s broad portfolio of high-performance memory technologies – including DRAM, NAND and NOR Flash – is the basis for solid state drives, modules, multichip packages and other system solutions. Backed by more than 35 years of technology leadership, Micron's memory solutions enable the world's most innovative computing, consumer,...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "Second Containers & Microservices Expo" will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Akana has announced the availability of the new Akana Healthcare Solution. The API-driven solution helps healthcare organizations accelerate their transition to being secure, digitally interoperable businesses. It leverages the Health Level Seven International Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (HL7 FHIR) standard to enable broader business use of medical data. Akana developed the Healthcare Solution in response to healthcare businesses that want to increase electronic, multi-device access to health records while reducing operating costs and complying with government regulations.