13 December 2016

15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership and Chinese Classics - Get a Better View

Heard about this "15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership" from a Awesomeoffice podcast. It was highly praised. I find it great too. But is it good enough? Is that all to leadership?

More information for the 15 Commitments to Conscious Leadership can be found here.

So I do a quick comparison with the teachings from Ancient Chinese Philosophies and Classics on this as well. I recalled learning about Stephen Covey's 7 Habits for effective people and his 8th habit. They are very good stuff too. So I added it to get a more complete picture. Here is the mind-map that show the main points.

On further thought, how can you judge whether a teaching of leadership is any good? Is it comprehensive? You must have a model of the situation first. Here is my leadership reference model:

From which we can derive the following key things to judge any leadership.

Leadership should cover three key things:
  1.  The Leader's character, qualities, and capabilities. This is covered well in the 15-Commitments, Stephen Covey's habits, and the teachings of Lao Zi, Confucius.
  2. The Group Dynamics. This is covered in my I-Ching model of leadership.
    For more see 4 Basic and 5 Orientation Principles of Leadership from I-Ching
  3. Situational and People Dependence:
    Sean Thye Peng Ng (see his comments below) pointed out Situational Leadership of Blanchard and even though it is covered in point 2, I just want to bring this point out for emphasis. Geoffrey Moore is his book "Escape Velocity" covers four modes of execution and leadership and includes a transitional phrase which is usually omitted in the typical S-curve growth model.
Of course, leadership is such a broad and important subject to be covered in such a small mind-map. But I hope it is useful to cover the same leadership subjects from the perspectives of East (namely Chinese) and West.

One more thing, here is Lao Zi's on levels of leadership and teaches us that the very best leaders lead invisibly! The people said they achieve success all by themselves and are not even aware of the necessary underlying resources and structures provided by their leaders.

Lim Liat (c) 13 Dec 2016

Comments from FaceBook on an earlier version of the post:
Sean Thye Peng Ng Check out the leaderful concept by joe raelin. I think the focus of all such "attributional" kind of leadership is still too focused on a certain single individual. Of course it is relevant still but the question is "is leadership the issue for some individuals who are give the hierarchical positions or is it really the responsibility of everyone in the group". There is also situational leadership as pioneered by Hersey and Blanchard. Much of the western leadership models had moved beyond the "elite" and attributional models and focus a lot more on the group (as u also highlighted under group dynamics). Perhaps it is good to do a piece to link the Chinese classics against these group based leadership model.
UnlikeReply116 hrs
Liat Lim Thanks for pointing out situation leadership model. It is closer to the Chinese model of situational and personality dependent.
LikeReply14 hrs
Liat Lim I read Joe Raelin leaderful as suggested. It is similar to the self-directed, self-management, organization that are getting popular. See for example http://www.holacracy.org/. Ancient Chinese I-Ching #1 Heaven, the last ideal stage, said 用九:见群龙无首,吉。 Dragons in a group without a chief, Good Fortune. I-Ching says no chief is good fortune. That's the leaderless or better leaderful organization stage.

The traditional hierarchy is reaching its limits, but “flat management” alternatives lack the rigor needed to run a business effectively. Holacracy is a third-way: it brings structure and discipline to a peer-to-peer workplace.
Sean Thye Peng Ng Yes, all these like the Holacracy is based on the concept of complex adaptive system (CAS) which draws largely on the basis of social constructionism. Self-organization is the characteristics of CAS and it is through SO that emergence and evolution can happen. SLM and Leaderful concepts will thrive in such CAS context usually - or rather more relevant. Traditional Organizational theory is now found limited in terms of how to derive more value from organizational actors, in particular the "normal and traditional" way of organizing, leading and managing may no long suffice the current state of organizations, most of which are knowledge based. As compared to since F.Taylor management science times when the gap (in knowledge, skill, attitude - KSA) between mgr and workers were much bigger, the KSA gap now is significantly reduced, hence, requiring a different paradigm of leadership, management and organizing. Leadership is too big a topic to study in isolation, and needs to be looked at from various angles. - 群龙无首吉也,群羊不可无首。need to be looked at in the proper and appropriate context.
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Liat Lim Like 群🐑不可无首。易经will say, 见群羊无首,凶。
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Liat Lim

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Liat Lim Sean Thye Peng Ng , you raised very good points. Can I copy your comments and post it on that blogspot post so that others can learn from it?
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Liat Lim thank you.
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