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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

A True Leadership Story of a “Damned Fool”

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on February 10th, 2014    No Comments

President Abraham Lincoln amazingly kept his former Republican rivals on his cabinet, an extraordinarily rare move of an American President. But what is utterly extraordinary was Lincoln’s reaction to a congressman’s report that Lincoln’s Secretary of War had not only defied a direct order from Lincoln but publicly called him a damned fool. Lincoln’s response? “If Stanton said I was a damned fool, then I must be one, for he is nearly always right, and generally says what he means. I will step over and see him.” Humility is that often times misunderstood leadership trait. The opposite of humility is “ego,” defined by the need to be right, which tends to interfere with the best solution because it eclipses others’ contributing ideas. What we need are more ego-less leaders like Lincoln. Referencing the psychological law of polarities, I see Lincoln’s response to Stanton as a great example of the power of humility. Amazing stuff.

[Source:  The Intelligent Optimist, Volume 11, Issue 6, December, 2013]



The Act of Leadership

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on January 21st, 2014    No Comments

For the sake of alliteration, I use the example of wanting to know Peter the Person more so than Peter the Professional when it comes to how important inspirational leadership is contingent upon one’s authenticity.  It’s not unusual to see young, first-time  managers use their voice and body language in an exaggerated way to appear “bigger than life” or what they believe may exude “enviable confidence”.  The seasoned manager or executive with strong leadership skills can see through this act of leadership – this unintended façade – and may even invest in their leadership development so they can ultimately help create a collaborative team that grows the organization according to its mission and vision.

Experiencing ourselves through others’ eyes is a fast trip to self-awareness, and that’s what can enable us to tweak as needed. The by-product of this enlightening path is authenticity, and because it’s effortless being our natural selves, it takes much less energy as we go about performing our job role. Many people who have traveled this path describe it as real freedom; not all that different from kids who haven’t encountered the debilitation of self-consciousness. It’s what I call a persistent sense of relief.

Part III: Getting at Root Cause in Leadership Development: Symptoms of 360s Represent Only the Tip of the Iceberg

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on July 24th, 2013    No Comments

We ended with the statement Some people have worked very hard to create an act of leadership, but it still is experienced as an act, and it takes a LOT of energy to maintain an act. So how do you get to that authentic place? What methodology connects your head with your heart? The methodology is grounded in right brain experiences…

A right brain experience is one in which you get to experience sensations, emotions, creativity, intuition, and love, among other non-verbal, non-numerical aspects of life and living. People have opportunities pretty much every day but short circuit themselves with behaviors whose root-cause underpinnings go unrecognized despite their interference with highly effective leadership qualities. This kind of unawareness has nothing to do with intelligence (see blog regarding research on how intelligence interferes with leadership). If you want to have a new experience in growth, either put out a new behavior in response to a stressful conversation or simply retire whatever you would have done before (e.g., disengage or perhaps use offense as a defense). You likely will have an unpleasant emotion, which is exactly why people tend not to do this but rather operate on automaticity. If you decide to sit with that unpleasant feeling/emotion and simply pay attention to what your mind generates to explain the unpleasantness, you will learn a lot about what is sabotaging you at your very best. Part IV will share what was “my stuff” within this context that was holding me back from releasing my full human potential. As said in an earlier blog, you just can’t go to the next higher level without going to the next deeper level.

Zen Leadership

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on June 24th, 2013    No Comments

This is not a promotion I’m sharing here but an experience for which I welcome discussion. Last month I attended a program in Spring Green, Wisconsin facilitated by the author of The Zen Leader, Dr. Ginny Whitelaw.  I knew this would be a growth experience, given my intellectual knowledge of Zen through my co-founder the late Dr. Jim Farr. It was a complete immersion in Zen and I took away a physical discipline that wasn’t there before. Although I meditate – and pray as a big part of my faith, I was a neophyte at the physical aspects of Zen and decided to continue this path upon my return. I can now sit still for a full hour without twitching regardless of distractions.  The gift is well beyond the physical in that it allows the psyche to surface and release whatever energy may be interfering with wholeness. Dr. Whitelaw even has an assessment that is huge in practicality regarding how we manage our energy –FEBI® or Focus Energy Balance Indicator. The accompanying report offered me specific behaviors to practice to be in holistic balance.  There are so many excellent programs out there and many facilitated by scores of professionals who have membership in The Leadership Trust LinkedIn Group, but not all programs in this world inspire the participant to fully embrace that which it takes to create a breakthrough. I suggest doing a search to see what may be geographically close that can offer that which I’ve described if indeed it has any sense of calling to you, then explore places “far and wide” if necessary. Everything we do towards growth rewards the remaining time we have left on planet Earth. Nothing can replace the actuality of experiencing.

Self-awareness and Office Renovations Part 2

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on January 30th, 2013    No Comments

Last month we said we’d report back to you regarding our last post on the role of communication/self-awareness as we went about some major renovations in our office kitchen and bathroom areas.  It was a bit of a rocky start given the right hand (electricians) wasn’t always aware of what the left hand (plumbers) was doing and vice versa, which of course was the job of project management.  How did it correct itself so quickly? Well, it didn’t correct itself, which is why communication is so pivotal. It was simply a matter of the office owner (yours truly here) taking the initiative to ask questions regarding her shared observations of the aforementioned. I first plead ignorance with the project manager when it comes to the construction industry, which seemed to remove any sense of threat. I broached the topic in an information-gathering mode (“Hey, educate me here.”) while allowing everyone to hear my concerns out of possible ignorance. It’s a communication tactic that has its place in certain situations. And there are variations of this as well. For example, anybody remember the TV series Colombo back in the olden days? He was “dumb as a fox” while taking care of business. You could say all this is related to the value of humility in effective leadership.

Revisiting the Law of Polarities: My Blunders in Sales

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on October 19th, 2012    No Comments

My biggest blunder in sales during my earlier years was related to when “more is less”. I would oversell. I honestly just couldn’t see how someone would NOT want our hallmark PLDP, so I figured I must be leaving out something. Or maybe they needed more proof. I finally resorted to another version of the law of polarities, a positive one that goes like this:

When you give up control, you get it. I abandoned the need to control the outcome of the sale and found I could live with “just ask the basic questions, give the basic facts, and answer any and all questions.” Funny thing, sales went up when my “efforts” went down.



“Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss?”

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on August 21st, 2012    No Comments

Drawing upon a submission to The Leadership Trust® LinkedIn Group from Michelle Poche Flaherty  (Founder & President, City on a Hill Consulting, Inc.), I find fascinating this recent HBR article by Zenger and Folkman on “Are You Sure You’re Not a Bad Boss?”. Sometimes when I present to audiences interested in leadership topics, I ask them if they’ve ever known a leader who ____________.  Regardless of the negative behavior I throw out there, the hands are certain to shoot up, but when I ask if anyone out there might do this stuff, there is inevitably some nervous laughter. It’s so easy to see in others what we may miss in ourselves. I’m collecting observations from your own experiences regarding damaging SUBTLE behaviors. Here’s the link to stimulate your thoughts:



A Compelling Lesson from Hummingbirds: Attracting Abundance in Business

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on August 14th, 2012    No Comments

Unbelievable! I just replenished a bottle of a nectar concoction for my backyard hummingbirds. Five can easily feed from this bottle and could feed nonstop for an indefinite period of time (thanks to my watchful eye to provide such abundance). Despite all this, the aggression I witness among these birds eliminates any from enjoying this non-stop fountain of fulfillment.  Why this self-defeating ritual that usurps their limited energy to maintain up to 90 flaps of their wings PER SECOND! Because like some self-defeating humans,  they see their world from the perspective of scarcity. Isn’t it amazing this “law of polarities” that ensures it is in giving that we receive! That’s effective leadership. It’s also effective love-ship. When we take care of others, we vicariously take care of ourselves.