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Blindspots and Fenderbenders

Blind Spots and Fenderbenders

Jennifer Freeland - Guest Blogger -

 The back cover page of the New York Times Magazine, April 4, 2010, displayed an advertisement for the Acura MDX Advance. Normally, I wouldn’t pay any attention to a car ad because I’m not in the market.  This ad was different. The small black dot on the upper left center of the page looked out of place. I wondered why it was there.

Thumb Prints - Hand Prints - Foot Prints

I was on a panel discussing the most important features of leadership at The Hague, Netherlands a few years ago when I heard the most profound story of the importance of coherence and shared vision and the role competition, cooperation and collaboration play in it. 

It seems that after the fall of the Berlin Wall emancipated countries and cities across the Soviet bloc became a beehive of activity to create a new vision.  It seems that in one such city, the newly elected Mayor commissioned an artist to do a rendering of the city that captures its essence.  His hope was to create a mural that would be on display in the lobby of City Hall that displayed the energy and goodness of the city in an image.  

Run To Daylight!

jjIn my book, The Strategic Leader: New Tactics for a Globalizing World, I present the tactic of Running for Daylight.  Basically it means to know where the goal line is, preplan, run in place for a while, and when an opening occurs pounce on it vigorously. In the book, I identified the tactic by observing that the same people were always first to receive the incentives being offered by the organization.  Basically they knew what was happening, where they were going, and were ready with a plan when the door opened. 

The One Big Thing!

thingDo you remember the movie, City Slickers?  Jack Palance played the sometimes scary cowboy named Curly, and Billy Crystal as the city slicker [Mitch] looking for perspective on a dude ranch vacation.  At one point, Curly asks Mitch - Do you know what the secret of life is?  Seeing that Mitch is puzzled, Curly holds up one FINGER and says THIS!  The incredulous Mitch says, “Your finger is the secret to life?” Curly responds, “One thing; just one thing!  You stick with that and the rest just don’t matter.” The inquisitive Mitch asks, “But what is the one thing?”  Curly smiles and responds, “That is what you have to find out.”

Blinking and Thinking

22A clear majority of us live in a quicksilver world – a world of fluidity – sometimes fickleness - where sudden and unpredictable change can and does occur. In a quicksilver world, things are uncertain. This uncertainty creates a web of tensions that challenge us to meet new demands in the face of local constraints.  It’s a world where there is no clear path toward success.What is known is that a quicksilver world rewards leaders who are creative rather than compliant, practice from analytic and integrative mindsets, use a multi-dimensional set of leader actions, connect their organizations to major environmental themes, and connect with the minds and spirit of followers. 

I Can’t Hear the Trains Anymore!

O00ne of the most difficult things to overcome in an organization is complacency. This point was brought home to me on a trip to Argentina.  I was a consultant at an American school in a well to do Buenos Aries neighborhood. The school which served about 2,000 students was framed by the “River of Silver” on one side and the railroad tracks on the other, literally 50 yards from the administrative and classroom buildings.
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