Leadership & Teams #01

The Head And Heart Of Leadership

Agility, Threats & Opportunities

The ability to react quickly is called agility. Best leaders use their skills to make organization agile.

Managers rely on their authority to get others to obey, while leaders use their influence to get others to want to do what the organization needs them to do.

Two things can happen quickly in the business: Threats & Opportunities

Threats offer the promise of making an organization worse off if not dealt with, opportunities offer to make it better off if the advantage is taken.

Technology has changed the need for organizational agility. Business no longer can stay regional, national because of perspective suppliers and customers and competitors.

Head & Heart of Leadership

Leaders face two tasks in dealing with threats or opportunities i.e. making & implementing decisions.

Leader has two levers available to accomplish the core tasks i.e. the management of information (head) & the management of motivation (heart).

Quality of decision is always limited by ability to implement it. Therefore decisions should always be made with one eye on implementation.


Leaders often overestimate their ability to make high quality decisions without input from others. They also underestimate importance of fostering enthusiasm for implementation.

Inclusiveness (getting others involved) is a key leadership skill that helps manage both information (head) and motivation (heart).

It helps make more informed decisions by learning information we don’t know or might miss.

It also helps in more informed implementation as others understand the decision better and are more committed and enthusiastic.

Representative Inclusiveness include some individuals, not everyone, and makes the process manageable. With proper representation even those not involved may still feel a sense of ownership.

Leadership in virtual world

What works in face to face environment may not work in virtual environment so leadership becomes more challenging.

Potential issues include: Quality of information exchange (a head issue) & hard to build relationships as well as motivation (a heart issue).

Solutions include e.g. building a relationship by working together before setting up virtual environment, offering a transition time from physical to virtual environment and/or getting team together frequently during kickoff and other milestones etc.  

Reference: Lectures by Prof. Gregory Northcraft


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