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jerryking : contextual_intelligence   6

Warren G. Bennis, Scholar on Leadership, Dies at 89 - NYTimes.com
By GLENN RIFKIN
AUGUST 1, 2014

Professor Bennis believed in the adage that great leaders are not born but made, insisting that “the process of becoming a leader is similar, if not identical, to becoming a fully integrated human being,” he said in an interview in 2009. Both, he said, were grounded in self-discovery.

Leadership requires the communication of passion that gives hope and inspiration to other people. Integrity is imperative, and so too, are curiosity and daring.

The experience of his father being summarily fired taught him about the power of organizations and their impact on lives. “That will never happen to me,” he recalled thinking. “I will never lose my power to affect my own life.”...He saw signs that business leaders in the decades to come, inheriting a diverse and complex global environment, would have a better understanding of the territory in which they lead — what he called “contextual intelligence.”
Warren_Bennis  leadership  scholars  gurus  obituaries  WWII  veterans  academia  contextual_intelligence  integrity  curiosity  daring 
august 2014 by jerryking
Baseball or Soccer? - NYTimes.com
JULY 10, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks
Is life more like baseball, or is it more like soccer?

Baseball is a team sport, but it is basically an accumulation of individual activities. Throwing a strike, hitting a line drive or fielding a grounder is primarily an individual achievement. The team that performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game.

Soccer is not like that. In soccer, almost no task, except the penalty kick and a few others, is intrinsically individual. Soccer, as Simon Critchley pointed out recently in The New York Review of Books, is a game about occupying and controlling space. If you get the ball and your teammates have run the right formations, and structured the space around you, you’ll have three or four options on where to distribute it. If the defenders have structured their formations to control the space, then you will have no options. Even the act of touching the ball is not primarily defined by the man who is touching it; it is defined by the context created by all the other players.
“Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” Brazil wasn’t clobbered by Germany this week because the quality of the individual players was so much worse. They got slaughtered because they did a pathetic job of controlling space. A German player would touch the ball, even close to the Brazilian goal, and he had ample room to make the kill....Most of us spend our days thinking we are playing baseball, but we are really playing soccer. We think we individually choose what career path to take, whom to socialize with, what views to hold. But, in fact, those decisions are shaped by the networks of people around us more than we dare recognize.

This influence happens through at least three avenues. First there is contagion. People absorb memes, ideas and behaviors from each other the way they catch a cold....Then there is the structure of your network. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. People with vast numbers of acquaintances have more job opportunities than people with fewer but deeper friendships. Most organizations have structural holes, gaps between two departments or disciplines. If you happen to be in an undeveloped structural hole where you can link two departments, your career is likely to take off.

Innovation is hugely shaped by the structure of an industry at any moment. ...Finally, there is the power of the extended mind....our very consciousness is shaped by the people around us. Let me simplify it with a classic observation: Each close friend you have brings out a version of yourself that you could not bring out on your own. When your close friend dies, you are not only losing the friend, you are losing the version of your personality that he or she elicited....Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning.

Second, predictive models will be less useful. Baseball is wonderful for sabermetricians. In each at bat there is a limited range of possible outcomes. Activities like soccer are not as easily renderable statistically, because the relevant spatial structures are harder to quantify.
David_Brooks  baseball  bridging  career_paths  Communicating_&_Connecting  soccer  social_networking  strategy  spatial_awareness  fingerspitzengefühl  innovation  negative_space  predictive_modeling  job_opportunities  job_search  competitive_landscape  think_threes  large_companies  opportunities  contextual_intelligence  wisdom 
july 2014 by jerryking
In Search of the Next Big Thing
May 2013 | HBR | Adi Ignatius interviews Marc Andreessen.

Tries to find CEOs who are product innovators, have bandwidth and discipline to become CEO. It is hard to pair those skills if they do not reside in one person. It is easier to train an innovator to become CEO than to train a CEO to become an innovator. Andreessen is counter-intuitive: he went into venture capital precisely because the prior decade to his launch had been the worst decade in the industry's history. He believes in cycles and so thought that 2009 was a good time to launch Andreessen Horowitz... Take/Understand a long view....Build "fortresses"--a company so big, so powerful , so well defended that it can withstand the pressures of going public. Focus on the substance of what your company is all about. Be about the substance....companies that are built to be independent are the most attractive...generally companies need to have at least two years' worth of cash on the balance sheet in case your revenue goes to zero....takes sales and marketing seriously--lots of products are being sold and you need a way to get the word about your company into the public space...companies are worth investing in (it's value)only if its going to be an innovation factory for years to come....We are in the early phases of Andreessen's "Software is Eating the World" thesis....best of companies AH is looking at today are unbelievably good at analytics. Good at the feedback loop created by analyzing data and feeding those number sback into the process in real time, running a continuous improvement loop....The best founders are artists in their domain. They operate instinctively in their industry because they are in touch with every relevant data point. They‘re able to synthesize in their gut a tremendous amount of data—pulling together technology trends, their companies’ capabilities, their competitor's’ activities, market psychology, every conceivable aspect of how you run a company.
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  venture_capital  start_ups  vc  HBR  hedge_funds  SOX  IPOs  lean  analytics  lessons_learned  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  counterintuitive  specificity  long-term  software  virtuous_cycles  software_is_eating_the_world  pairs  skills  founders  product-orientated 
december 2013 by jerryking
Corner Office - The 5 Habits of Highly Effective C.E.O.’s
April 16, 2011|NYT|ADAM BRYANT
* Passionate Curiosity.
Share stories re. failures, doubts & mistakes. Ask big-picture
questions re. why things work the way they do & can they be improved
upon? Know people’s back stories, and what they do. Relentless
questioning can lead to spotting new opportunities, or helping
understand subordinates, and how to get them to work together
effectively.
* Battle-Hardened Confidence
The best predictor of behavior is past performance, & that’s why so
many CEOs interview job candidates about how they've dealt with failure.

* Team Smarts
* A Simple Mind-Set
Be concise, get to the point, make it simple. ...There was a time when
simply having certain information was a competitive advantage. Now, in
the Internet era, most people have easy access to the same information.
That puts a greater premium on the ability to synthesize, to connect
dots in new ways and to ask simple, smart questions that lead to
untapped opportunities.
* Fearlessness - Not status quo!
CEOs  commoditization_of_information  concision  confidence  connecting_the_dots  contextual_intelligence  critical_thinking  curiosity  executive_management  fearlessness  interpretation  ksfs  leadership  Managing_Your_Career  mindsets  overlooked_opportunities  questions  subordinates  teams  the_big_picture 
april 2011 by jerryking
Wealth and Fitness Secret – Ratios - Rich Karlgaard - Innovation Rules -
Dec. 21 2010 | Forbes | Rich Karlgaard. Success is often a
matter of getting the ratios right. Business and investing success is
hardly possible without understanding ratios. Knowing the numbers is
important. But knowing the numbers in relation to other numbers will
make you a millionaire. You will see anomalies that others miss. I’ll
never forget a comment made by George Soros in July 2008, when oil was
$147.50 a barrel. A Goldman Sachs analyst had predicted oil was headed
to $200, but Soros knew better. Why? Because oil was already too
expensive compared to gold. At $147.50, oil was 1:6 the price of gold.
The normal ratio band is 1:10 to 1:15, said Soros. Either gold had to
rise, or oil had to fall. Because Soros could not see any inflation that
might drive gold higher, oil had to fall.
anomalies  base_rates  contextual_intelligence  fingerspitzengefühl  George_Soros  insights  jck  ksfs  lessons_learned  life_skills  metrics  moguls  pattern_recognition  proportionality  ratios  Rich_Karlgaard 
december 2010 by jerryking
Letters - How to Build a Successful CEO - NYTimes.com
May 20, 2009 | NYT |

Successful chief executives combine four abilities:

¶The ability to allocate cash flow for growth. Without growth, little else matters.

¶The ability to pick the right managers for the operating jobs. C.E.O. “vision” is largely realized through the people in the critical posts.

¶The ability to inspire the troops. Charisma comes in many colors; getting others to be excited about the mission is one of them.

¶The ability to be aware of and understand all the moving parts. Chief executives don’t need in-depth knowledge of every discipline — accounting, marketing, sales, benefits, taxes and so on — but they need to know enough about each one to ask the right questions.

None of these four are easy, and in combination, they are very hard to find.
letters_to_the_editor  CEOs  howto  ksfs  fingerspitzengefühl  contextual_intelligence  growth  hiring  executive_management  charisma  cash_flows  capital_allocation  hard_to_find  asking_the_right_questions  talent_acquisition  the_right_people 
may 2009 by jerryking

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