Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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"..Leader presumes follower. Follower presumes choice...A vital question is how to insure that those who lead are constructive, ethical, open, and honest. The answer is to follow those who behave in that manner. It comes down to both individual and collective sense of where and how people choose to be led. In a very real sense, followers lead by choosing where to be led. Where an organizational community will be led is inseparable from the shared values and beliefs of its members..." * Dee Hock founder & CEO, VISA -  Birth of the Chaordic Age

" Life always reacts to directives, it never obeys them. It never matters how clear or visionary or important the message is. It can only elicit reactions, not straightforward compliance. If we recognize that this principle is at work all the time in all organizations, it changes the expectations of what can be accomplished anytime we communicate. We can expect reactions that will be as varied as the individuals who hear it. Therefore, anything we say or write is only an invitation to others to become involved with us, to think with us. If we offer our work as an invitation to react, this changes our relationships with associates, subordinates, and superiors. It opens us to the partnering relationships that life craves. Life accepts only partners, not bosses. This principle especially affects leader behaviors. Instead of searching for the disloyal ones, or repeating and repeating the directions, she or he realizes that there is a great deal to be learned from the reactions. Each reaction reflects a different perception of what's important, and if that diversity is explored, the organization develops a richer, wiser understanding of what's going on. The capacity for learning and growth expands as concerns about loyalty or compliance recede." - Margaret Wheatley

Peter Block - Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-interest
Peter Block - The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting On What Matters  

"Modern culture�s worship of "how-to" pragmatism has turned us into instruments of efficiency and commerce�but we�re doing more and more about things that mean less and less. We constantly ask how? but rarely why? We use how as a defense�instead of acting on what we know to be of importance, we wait until we�ve attended one more workshop, read one more book, gotten one more degree. Asking how keeps us safe�instead of being led by our hearts into uncharted territory, we keep our heads down and stick to the map. But we are gaining the world and losing our souls..."

Larry Bossidy, et al - Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done  
Ram Charan, Noel M. Tichy - Every Business is a Growth Business: How Your Company Can Prosper Year After Year  
Clayton M. Christensen - The Innovator's Dilemma  
Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras - Built to Last : Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

 ".......Instead of being oppressed by the 'Tyranny of the OR', highly visionary companies (and organisations)  liberate themselves with the 'Genius of the AND' - the ability to embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A OR B, they figure out a way to have both A AND B..."

 Jim Collins - Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

 "...A key psychology for leading from good to great is the Stockdale Paradox. Retain absolute faith that you can and will prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be... Create a culture wherein people have a tremendous opportunity to be heard and, ultimately, for the truth to be heard. Creating a climate where truth is heard involves four basic practices: 1 Lead with questions, not answers. 2 Engage in dialogue, not coercion. 3. Conduct autopsies without blame. and 4. Build red flag mechanisms that turn information into information that cannot be ignored. Leadership does not begin just with vision. It begins with getting people to confront the brutal facts and to act on the implications..."

*Stephen R. Covey -  Principle-Centered Leadership 

"...Principle-centered people are constantly educated by their experiences. They read, they seek training, they take classes, they listen to others, they learn through both their ears and their eyes. They are curious, always asking questions. They continually expand their competence, their ability to do things...Synergy is the state in which the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Principle-centred people are synergistic. They are change catalysts. They improve almost any situation they get into..." [** alternate link to amazon.co.uk]

*Gary Hamel - Leading the Revolution, Harvard Business School Press, August 2000

"...Watch a flock of geese turning and swooping in flight, undeterred by wind, obstacles, and distance. There is no grand vizier goose, no chairman of the gaggle. They can't call ahead for a weather report. They can't predict what obstacles they will meet. They don't know which of their number will expire in flight. Yet their course is true. And they are a flock. Complexity theorists describe this, and the many other examples of spontaneous harmony in the world around us, as order  without careful crafting or orderforfree. The intricate play of the many markets that make up the global economy, the vibrant diversity of the Internet, the behavior of a colony of ants, that winged arrow of geese - these are just a few instances in which order seems to have emerged in the absence of any central authority. All of them have something to teach us about how revolutionary strategies should emerge in a chaotic and ever-changing world. Complexity theorists have demonstrated that by creating the right set of preconditions, one can provoke the emergence of highly ordered things..." [** alternate link to amazon.co.uk]

*Dee Hock, founder & CEO, VISA -  Birth of the Chaordic Age [see also Chaordic Commons ]

Birth of the Chaordic Age is a compelling manifesto for the future, embedded within the intriguing story of a personal odyssey. An engaging narrator, Dee Hock is the man who first conceived of a global system for the electronic exchange of value, becoming the founder and CEO of VISA International. He looks critically at today's environment of command-and-control institutions and sees organizations that are falling apart, failing to achieve their own purposes let alone addressing the diversity and complexity of society as a whole. The solution, Hock claims, lies in transforming our notion of organization; in embracing the belief that the chaos of competition and the order of cooperation can and do coexist, succeed, even thrive; and in welcoming in the chaordic age...

"...When it became necessary to develop a new perception of things, a new internal model of reality, the problem is never to get new ideas in, the problem is to get the old ideas out. Every mind is filled with old furniture. It is familiar. It is comfortable. We hate to throw it out. The old maxim so often applies to the physical world, "Nature abhors a Vacuum" is much more applicable to the mental world. Clear any room in your mind of old perspectives, and new perspectives will rush in. Yet, there is nothing we fear more... Money motivates neither the best people nor the best in people. It can move the body and influence the mind, but it cannot touch the heart or move the spirit..."

"Leader presumes follower. Follower presumes choice. One who is coerced to the purposes, objectives, or preferences of another is not a follower in any true sense of the word, but an object of manipulation. Nor is the relationship materially altered if both parties voluntarily accept the dominance of one by the other. A true leader cannot be bound to lead. A true follower cannot be bound to follow. The moment they are bound they are no longer leader or follower. If the behavior of either is compelled, whether by force, economic necessity, or contractual arrangement, the relationship is altered to one of superior/subordinate, manager/employee, master/servant, or owner/slave. All such relationships are materially different from leader/follower.

Induced behavior is the essence of leader/follower. Compelled behavior is the essence of all the other relational concepts. Where behavior is compelled, there you will find tyranny, however benign. Where behavior is induced, there you will find leadership, however powerful. Leadership does not necessarily imply constructive, ethical, open conduct. It is entirely possible to induce destructive, malign, devious behavior, and to do so by corrupt means. Therefore, a clear, constructive purpose and compelling ethical principles evoked from and shared by all participants should be the essence of every relationship in every institution.

A vital question is how to insure that those who lead are constructive, ethical, open, and honest. The answer is to follow those who behave in that manner. It comes down to both individual and collective sense of where and how people choose to be led. In a very real sense, followers lead by choosing where to be led. Where an organizational community will be led is inseparable from the shared values and beliefs of its members.

True leaders are those who epitomize the general sense of the community -- who symbolize, legitimize and strengthen behavior in accordance with the sense of the community -- who enable its shared purpose, values and beliefs to emerge and be transmitted. A true leader's behavior is induced by the behavior of every individual choosing where to be led.

The important thing to remember is that true leadership and induced behavior have an inherent tendency to the good, while tyranny (dominator management) and compelled behavior have an inherent tendency to evil."

*Dee Hock, Peter Renaday (Narrator) - Birth of the Chaordic Age [Abridged] Audio Cassette
Roger Fisher, et al - Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In  
Gary Hamel, C.K. Prahalad - Competing for the Future
Daniel Goleman - Emotional Intelligence : Why It Can Matter More Than IQ  
Robert K. Greenleaf, et al - Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness  
Charles Handy - The Elephant and the Flea
Jon R Katzenbach & Douglas K Smith - Wisdom of Teams  
*Jon R. Katzenbach et al  Real Change Leaders, Paperback / Published 1997

Synopsis:A team at McKinsey & Company set out to discover why some companies were able to change and go on to higher performance levels while most others got bogged down. Their research came to the following conclusion: the make-or-break factor is not top management, but a new breed in the middle - real change leaders. "...Once committed, Real Change Leaders have to work at building the ongoing conviction and credibility they will need as change leaders. Credibility comes from over preparedness on facts, knowledge about the issues, and personal relationships developed with those whom they must influence. The harder that Real Change Leaders work at these three things, the stronger their personal convictions become - and the greater their credibility becomes with those they must convince and lead. Change leaders know they cannot simply push others aside and rush forward to proclaim truth, no matter what their levels of personal conviction and courage may be. Instead, they understand that credibility comes from walking the talk, understanding the signals their actions give, and trying to learn from their people as well as helping them understand..." [**alternate link to Amazon.co.uk bookshop]

James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner * The Leadership Challenge : How to Keep Getting Extraordinary Things Done in Organizations 1996

"Jim Kouzes and I wrote 'The Leadership Challenge'  because we realized that leadership is everyone's business, it's not about being in a leadership position but about having the courage and spirit to move from whatever place you're in to make a significant difference.

This book isn't about leaders per se. It's about leadership and how ordinary people exercise it -- and in the process become leaders who get extra-ordinary things accomplished. The leaders we've worked with and learned from have asked and been asked many questions, such as: What are my strengths and weaknesses as a leader? Where do I need to improve my leadership ability? What's required to recognize opportunities and put risk in perspective? How can I inspire and motivate others toward a common purpose? What skills are needed to build a cohesive and spirited team? What's the source of the self-confidence required to lead others? How can I put more joy and celebration into our efforts?

This book is designed to help anyone to answer these questions. The principles and practices described are based solidly on research, and the examples, illustrations, and applications have been field-tested by real people. ... There are five fundamental practices of leaders -- Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act, Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart -- and the book introduces you to each practice, chapter by chapter, with a motivating example of a person thoroughly engaged in this leadership behavior.... The Leadership Challenge needn't be read in its entirety, nor in any particular order, to be useful. Start with any chapter, or topic, or application that interests you. Remember that ultimately leadership development is a process of self-development..."

Stephen C. Lundin - Fish!
Jonas Ridderstrale, et al - Funky Business: Talent Makes Capital Dance  
Mark C Scott - Reinspiring the Corporation : The Seven Seminal Paths to Corporate Greatness  "If the human soul buys into an idea with a passion, with total commitment, the bounds of what we are collectively capable are quite simply astounding. What would it be like for a company if fifty thousand souls were as single-mindedly driven.."
Peter M Senge - The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization   

"From a very early age, we are taught to break apart problems, to fragment the world. This apparently makes complex tasks and subjects more manageable, but we pay a hidden, enormous price. We can no longer see the consequences of our actions; we lose our intrinsic sense of connection to a larger whole. When we then try to 'see the bigger picture', we try to reassemble the fragments in our minds, to list and organise all the pieces. But as physicist David Bohm says, the task is futile - similar to trying to reassemble the fragments of a broken mirror to see a true reflection. Thus, after a while we give up trying to see the whole altogether.

....When we give up this illusion (that the world is created of separate, unrelated forces) - we can then build 'learning organisations,' organisations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together."

Sam Walton - Sam Walton: Made in America : My Story
Margaret J. Wheatley - Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World  
Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander - The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life  
*James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner  Achieving Credibility : The Key to Effective Leadership Audio Cassette, 1995

"...Kouzes explains the six disciplines of leadership: discovering oneself; appreciating others and their diversity; affirming shared values; developing capacity; serving a purpose; and sustaining hope. He also presents his definition of leadership, which is fundamentally rooted in trustworthiness..."

* James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner Credibility : How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It 1995

- Based on surveys of more than 15,000 people, 400 case studies, and 40 in-depth interviews, Credibility shows why leadership is above all a relationship - with credibility as the cornerstone -

* James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner Encouraging the Heart : A Leader's Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others , 1999

"..All too often, simple acts of human kindness are often overlooked and under utilized by people in leadership roles. Advising mutual respect and recognition of accomplishments, Encouraging the Heart shows us how true leaders encourage and motivate those they work with by helping them find their voice and making them feel like heroes..."

* James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership : When Leaders Are at Their Best, 2000

"How do you get others to follow you to places they've never been before? How do you get others, by free will and through free choice, to move forward together on a common purpose? Just how do you get others to want to do things that matter and make a difference? The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership are: Challenging the Process, Inspiring a Shared Vision, Enabling Others to Act , Modeling the Way, and Encouraging the Heart "

*Barbara Minto The Minto Pyramid Principle : Logic in Writing, Thinking, & Problem Solving

"The myth that businessmen don't read is nonsense. They read a lot. But what they read is illiterate. For the average business or professional writer, producing more literate memos or reports does not mean writing shorter sentences or better words. Rather, it means formally separating the thinking process from the writing process, so that you can complete your thinking before you begin to write."[**alternate link to Amazon.co.uk bookshop]

maxdepree*Max De Pree - Leading Without Power : Finding Hope in Serving Community

"...Trust grows when people see leaders translate their personal integrity into organisational fidelity. At the heart of fidelity lies truth telling and promise keeping. In organisations truth is not, as some like to think, power. Truth sets us free....Without truth, trust becomes overshadowed and stunted by the undergrowth of partial lies and outright falsehoods..."

*Max De Pree - Leadership Jazz, /Paperback/ Published 1993

"...A vision of what an organisation can become has room for all contributions.... leaders are people large enough to contain multitudes. 'Leader' is not always a position. Whatever one's position, the amount of ambiguity involved is directly proportional to the amount of leadership required. Healthy organisations exhibit a degree of chaos. A leader will make some sense of it. The more comfortable that you can make yourself with ambiguity, the better a leader you will be. Organisations always delegate the job of constructively dealing with ambiguity to their leaders..."

*Max De Pree, et al - Leadership Is an Art / Paperback / Published 1990
*Jean Jacques Rousseau - Emile - Everyman Paperback Classics

"...Domination itself is servile when beholden to opinion; for you depend upon the prejudices of those you govern, by means of their prejudices..."

Peter Senge - The Fifth Discipline : The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization

"...The irony is that to do things faster, you often have to go slower. You have to be more reflective. You have to develop real trust. You have to develop the abilities of people to think together. Why? Because it requires you to go through basic redesigns. You need to build a shared understanding of how the present system works.... People must trust one another through difficult systemic changes..."

*Gene Zelazny - Say It with Presentations: How to Design and Deliver Successful Business Presentations

"If you have only 2 minutes to spare, turn your attention to the 'Audience Bill of Rights' that follows. You may also want to review it whenever you have to prepare a presentation. When you have more time, review the rest of the book to learn how to safeguard your audience's rights. Study the 3 chapters for how to 'Define the Situation,' 'Design the Presentation' and 'Deliver the Presentation.' [**alternate link to Amazon.co.uk bookshop]


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