A Great Leader – The Goldsmith Way

This morning on the way to work, as usual, I tuned into BFM 89.9 for their Breakfast Grille programme. Today they interviewed Marshall Goldsmith over the phone. He’s an Executive Coach, meaning he trains CEOs to become even better CEOs.

During the interview (which normally my brains would wander somewhere else half the time), something he said caught my ears, which I thought was very interesting indeed.

When asked what is the biggest challenge that leaders face today, he said it’s their ego. He said that a great achiever is all about ‘me’…but a great leader is all about ‘them’.

See, when someone just starts out in his career, he would work hard to achieve his targets, exceed his expectations and learn all the technical skills in order to get himself noticed & move upwards. But when he moves up to become a leader, he needs to understand that it’s no longer about him anymore…his success now lies in the people that he leads. And it is at this transition period that most leaders fail (to become good leaders) because they can’t let go of the ‘me’ factor.

A good leader is one that is his people can learn from & is able to guide them to achieve their own successes.

I thought this is so true. A high achiever in a company may not always be a good leader. And I can honestly say there are so few good leaders out there nowadays…and I can also honestly say that I’m far from it myself. Hehe. But it’s OK, one doesn’t necessarily need to be a leader to be successful.

Then he talks about success…that it has nothing to do with earning lots of money.

Anyway I thought it was a good interview. Check out the podcast here.

He also displays some of his work on his website. You can check out his website here.


Keirsey’s Personality Test

I read Rachel’s blog and saw this personality test she was blogging about. So I tried it. And taa daa…..

Custom Keirsey Temperament Report for: WD

Your Keirsey Temperament Sorter Results indicates that your personality type is that of the

Rationals are the problem solving temperament, particularly if the problem has to do with the many complex systems that make up the world around us. Rationals might tackle problems in organic systems such as plants and animals, or in mechanical systems such as railroads and computers, or in social systems such as families and companies and governments. But whatever systems fire their curiosity, Rationals will analyze them to understand how they work, so they can figure out how to make them work better.

In working with problems, Rationals try to find solutions that have application in the real world, but they are even more interested in the abstract concepts involved, the fundamental principles or natural laws that underlie the particular case. And they are completely pragmatic about their ways and means of achieving their ends. Rationals don’t care about being politically correct. They are interested in the most efficient solutions possible, and will listen to anyone who has something useful to teach them, while disregarding any authority or customary procedure that wastes time and resources.

Rationals have an insatiable hunger to accomplish their goals and will work tirelessly on any project they have set their mind to. They are rigorously logical and fiercely independent in their thinking — are indeed skeptical of all ideas, even their own — and they believe they can overcome any obstacle with their will power. Often they are seen as cold and distant, but this is really the absorbed concentration they give to whatever problem they’re working on. Whether designing a skyscraper or an experiment, developing a theory or a prototype technology, building an aircraft, a corporation, or a strategic alliance, Rationals value intelligence, in themselves and others, and they pride themselves on the ingenuity they bring to their problem solving.

Rationals are very scarce, comprising as little as 7 to 10 percent of the population. But because of their drive to unlock the secrets of nature, and to develop new technologies, they have done much to shape our world.

Rationals at Work
As a Rational, you seek to acquire and apply expertise. You thrive in an autonomous and intellectually stimulating workplace, working alongside other competent people, pursuing knowledge or creating systems. Your core need to follow the driving force of your own intelligence leads to particular career challenges. For example, recognition of your expertise may lead to your being put “in charge” of other people, as a manager, when you might prefer to remain immersed in projects of your own.

Curious and imaginative, you are happy when you have the opportunity to explore the universe of ideas. You do not usually seek leadership positions and prefer independent work to teamwork. In your ideal job, your superiors create a structure, provide you with resources, set some general expectations, and let you loose. Inasmuch as you are not particularly goal oriented, your ideal job situation provides you a sort of private enclave where you can work autonomously. Like other “creatives” (scientists, computer engineers and even writers and designers), you work best when you can deliver your work products–rather than yourself or your process–to others.

Verdict: Hmm…quite true, actually. Amazing. 😛

Are You a Sucker to Your Own Lifestyle?

Got this from Awwwong today. Interesting article.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I know of many friends who have quit (or intending to quit) their jobs lately without another offer in hand. It’s like a trend these days…a ‘modern’ dilemma. They call it the ‘quarter-life crisis’. You’ve come to a block in your life. Your career life. You don’t enjoy your work anymore. You don’t know where it’s heading to. Most of all, you don’t even know what you want to do.

Given a choice, everybody wants to do what they enjoy doing. To find their passions. To fulfill their dreams. The question is, how badly do you want that to happen? How far are you willing to go to grasp that dream & make it come true to you? Would you do it if it’s at the expense of your comfortable & luxurious lifestyle now? No more monthly overseas trips. No more new LV/Hermes/Ferragamo bags. No more Manolo Blahniks shoes. No more weekly winings & dinings at Lafite. No more privilege of flying Business Class on business trips. And possibly, no more Blackberrys too. Sigh.

But in return you’ll get a much more meaningful & fulfilling life.

I read somewhere, “Happy people are happy rich or poor. Unhappy people are unhappy rich or poor.”

Simple but so so true.

I heard over (another) interview in BFM…this big time financial writer-cum-investor was saying that if his daughter doesn’t turn out to be financially inclined like him but instead wants to be a musician when she grows up, he will give her his full support to do so. “You need to be doing your passion, only then will you actually find success.”

Food for thought….

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