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June 2010 | Volume 3, Issue #12

In This Issue
The Jazz Insight of the Month
Consider Training as a Professional Coach
Invite Jazz to Help You Build Community
The Cellar Jazz Club
Quick Links
How you express your 'being' will determine the positive or negative impact of your management/leadership and the quality of your teams.  Influence, good or bad, arises from how you show up, how you 'be', in any circumstance.  And it is you, and only you, who ultimately chooses the soulset, since the soul is the integrating centre of all your energy, from which your influence is expressed.  
Book Robert Sutton
On May 28, Robert I Sutton wrote a short article on the Harvard Business Review Blog outlining his views on the mindset (think soulset) of good managers/leaders.  Sutton teaches at Stanford and is a leading thinker in the field of evidence-based management.  He identifies 12 attitudes that mix and mingle in the souls of those who help others think better, decide better, and act better.  Here they are: 
  1. I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it is like to work for me.
  2. My success - and that of my people - depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things, not on magical, obscure, or breakthrough ideas or methods. 
  3. Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much. My job is to focus on the small wins that enable my people to make a little progress every day.
  4. One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
  5. My job is to serve as a human shield, to protect my people from external intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe - and to avoid imposing my own idiocy on them as well. 
  6. I strive to be confident enough to convince people that I am in charge, but humble enough to realize that I am often going to be wrong.
  7. I aim to fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong - and to teach my people to do the same thing.
  8.  One of the best tests of my leadership - and my organization - is "what happens after people make a mistake?"
  9. Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage my people to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help them kill off all the bad ideas we generate, and most of the good ideas, too.
  10. Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the positive.
  11. How I do things is as important as what I do.
  12. Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk - and not realizing it.
I see three crucial themes running through Sutton's list. 
First, your influence as a manager/leader depends on how you are with others.  It's not primarily about what you do, or what you have, but how you are.  Your 'being' is the quality over which you have the most control and how you practice and exercise that self-control is the key indicator of how good a manager/leader you will be. 
Second, how you are with others shows up most clearly in the ordinary, day-to-day interactions with your colleagues.  It's how you sound one conversation after another.  It's the vibe you create and invite when you are in the room.  Your 'being' leaves a wake.  Does it overwhelm, underwhelm, or inspire?
Third, Sutton thinks the negative is more powerful than the positive.  This is my one disagreement with him and it's a major one.  I'm convinced that you flourish and help others do the same when you achieve at least a 3:1 ratio of positive to negative input about the contributions of your colleagues.  I think you eliminate the negative more effectively by accentuating the positive.  Manage/lead to strengths, not weaknesses.  Manage/lead to possibilities, not deficits.
And one more thing to note.  All 12 of these attitudes show up most clearly in your conversations at work.  Words, tone, and body language express your 'being' in the workplace.  Jazz musicians spend a lifetime honing their sound and their ability to use it with their whole beings in the service of beautiful performance.  Managers/leaders can do the same with the sound of their voice and its impact, if they choose to do so consciously and intentionally.  I fervently hope you take up that challenge as soon as your next conversation. 

The Jazz Insight of the Month
"Our desire to testify through some type of art is unstoppable. A palpable energy is released when inspiration and dedication come together in a creative art. The energy is transformative in an individual who is innovative, but it is transcendent when manifested by a group. There are no words for the dynamic thrill of participating in a mutual mosaic of creativity."
                                                  - Wynton Marsalis
Book Wynton MarsalisJazz is a team endeavour.  Whatever individual genius or core essence is there to express, it finds its true space for performance in the company of others who are impelled by similar hope and energy for possibility.  Remember, you are all jazz musicians.  Your next opportunity for transcendence is in your next conversation!
Click here to watch a conversation about the book between Marsalis and his co-author, Geoffrey C. Ward, on Musicians@Google.
Demers Group logo  
Consider Training as a Professional Coach
I just finished teaching for a week with a remarkable community of 5 women and Lori-anne Demers in the first Vancouver cohort of the Core Alignment Coach Training program.  I am privileged to be a faculty member is this powerful experience that grounds you well in the principles, processes, and practices of professional coaching.  You will learn to coach from and to the core essence of you and your client, learn from sage and seasoned coaches who have pioneered the profession in Canada, and develop the competence and confidence to build a flourishing coaching practice, perhaps as a complement to what you are already doing. This 9-month program is ICF-accredited and designed to enable you to achieve your ACC (Associate Certified Coach) designation from the ICF by the time of completion.  The next Calgary cohort (meeting in Banff, where we have a formal relationship with the leadership development program at the Banff Centre) starts on July 18, 2010.  The next Vancouver cohort begins on February 27, 2011.  Click here to get more details.
Invite Jazz to Help You Build Community
Jazzthink Logo Jazzthink can help you convene the kinds of conversations that will inspire flourishing teams and organizations. Click here to download our one-pager on getting REAL about your leadership and teamwork. Please pass it along to those in your organization who plan events and learning sessions.  We'd love to be part of provoking your brilliance. Many thanks for doing this." 

Enjoy Great Jazz in Vancouver 

The Cellar Logo

 "Vancouver's answer to the Village Vanguard, this small (70-seat) club/restaurant presents the best local jazz, as well as some touring acts.  Great sound, which has been used to enhance the club's record label, Cellar Live."
The Cellar Jazz Club
- Down Beat magazine's list of 100 best jazz clubs in the February 2009 issue