Brief Summary of Scaling Leadership

In a world that is becoming increasingly complex,  organizations need leaders who are both effective and conscious, capable of scaling innovation, adaptability, sustainability, agility and engagement.

It is not enough to cope with the volatility and unpredictability in our markets – we must develop a new level of leadership literacy, mastery and agility. Scaling leadership is about how senior leaders develop conscious leadership at scale in their organizations. Leadership that worked well when organizations were small, no longer serves the organization. We either rise to meet the challenge or get swamped.

Scaling Leadership by Bob Andersen and Bill Adams is a wonderful book about how leaders successfully transform themselves to the next level of effectiveness and then scale as they transform the organizations.

Here is a brief summary of the book –> Brief Summary of Scaling Leadership

Brief Summary of Creating Intelligent Teams

Creating Intelligent Teams by Anne Rod and Marita Fridjhon, is great read on how to   manage and lead effective and positive change for teams and organisations. Unlike books on Coaching which focus on one to one, the focus here is on teams, relationships and Relational System Intelligence (RSI)

The 5 principles of RSI

  • Each relationship system has its own unique identify
  • Every member of a relationship system is a Voice of the System (VOS)
  • Relationship Systems are naturally intelligent, generative and creative
  • Relationship systems rely on roles for their organization and execution of its functions. Roles belong to the system not to the individuals who inhabit the system
  • Relationship systems are in a constant state of emergence, always in the process of expressing their potential

It  goes on explain ways and means to enhance team performance and skills needed increase productivity and build intelligent teams.

Here is a brief summary of the book –> Brief Summary of Creating Intelligent Teams

Brief Summary of Measure What Matters

In his book, Measure what Matters, John Doerr, goes into detail about Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), which is all about goal setting and how they have been successful in companies such as Intel, Google, Amazon, Gates Foundation etc.
An Objective is simply “WHAT” is to be achieved – they are, by definition, significant, concrete, action oriented and inspirational.  Key Results benchmark and monitor HOW we get to the objective
The four OKR Superpowers, as per John Doer, are
  • Focus and Commit to Priorities – High performance organizations know what work is important and what is not – hence leaders have to make hard choices and provide the necessary focus.
  •  Align and Connect for Team work – With the transparency in OKR, everyone’s goals from the CEO down are openly shared – individuals link their objectives to the company’s overall objectives, identify cross dependencies and coordinate with other teams.  
  • Track for Accountability – OKRs are driven by data – hence requires periodic check ins, objective grading and assessment
  • Stretch for Amazing – OKRs motivate us to excel by doing more than we thought possible – unleashing our creative and ambitious selves
John also talks of replacing the old annual performance management system with by Continuous Performance Management implemented through Conversations, Feedback and Recognition (CFRs in short)

Here is a TED talk by John Doerr – 
Here is a brief summary of the book –>Brief Summary of Measure What Matters

Brief Summary of “Leadership is Language”

“Leadership is Language” by David Marquet, is a follow up to his earlier book “Turn the Ship Around”.  In this book he talks about how as a leader, he changed the way he talked to people and the words that were used and the impact it had on others. According to Marquet, the language changed in three ways

  • from a reactive language of “Convince, Coerce, Comply and Conform” to a proactive language of “Intent and Commitment” to action
  • from a language of “Prove and Perform” to a language of “Improve and Learn”
  • from a language of Invulnerability and Certainty to a language of Vulnerability and Curiosity.

David bases his new leadership playbook on an incident in 2015 , when a container ship, El Faro, with all the modern radios and navigation equipment sailed directly into a hurricane and sank. With the transcripts available of all the conversations on board the ship, he came to a conclusion that had the captain acted differently or played a different leadership playbook, the ship could have been saved.

The new Leadership playbook which consists of 6 plays – based on a specific use of language, forms the core of the book. They are

  • Control the clock instead of obeying the clock
  • Collaborate instead of coercing
  • Commitment rather than compliance
  • Complete defined goals instead of continued work indefinitely
  • Improve outcomes rather than prove ability
  • Connect with people instead of conforming to your role

Here is a brief summary of the book –>Brief Summary of Leadership is Language

Brief Summary of “How to Lead in Product Management”

I have been following books by Roman Pichler – having read his two earlier books Agile Product Management with Scrum and Strategize.  I feel his latest book “How to Lead in Product Management”  is more about coaching the Product Management – where he talks about the various challenges that the Product Leadership faces, and how to deal with them. And then goes into details into the Interations that the Product management needs to get into, the goals that he needs to set, the conversations he should have, managing conflicts, making effective decisions and self leadership.

I love the way he has weaved in a lot of aspects of coaching – active listening, empathy, mindfulness, non violent communication,  negotiation etc. into the book.

I found it an excellent read – here is a brief summary of the book –> Brief Summary of How to Lead in Product Management


Brief Summary of “The Fearless Organization”

Amy Edmondson defines psychological safety as “the shared belief among team members that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking” and explains that “team psychological safety involves but goes beyond interpersonal trust; it describes a team climate characterised by interpersonal trust and mutual respect in which people are comfortable being themselves”

Psychologically safe teams share the belief that within the team, they will not be exposed to interpersonal or social threats, such as being branded negatively on an individual basis, when engaging in learning behaviours such as asking for help, seeking feedback, admitting errors or lack of knowledge, trying something new or voicing work-related dissenting views.

Research has shown that the absence of such threats is strongly associated with team members bringing their whole self to work, expressing their creativity, talents and skills without self-censoring and self-silencing and learning actively on the job developing their capabilities and those of their team.

This is a brief summary of the book “The Fearless Organization – Creating Psychological Safety in the workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth” by Amy Edmondson. This also includes links to articles and videos on Psychological safety –> The Fearless Organization


Brief Summary of Business Model Generation

Business Model generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur revolves round the Business Model canvas and how one could come out with creating or relooking at business models. Through lots of examples, the authors amplify the use of the canvas. A must read for those into new product development and want to revisit their business models.

This is a brief summary of the book  -> Brief Summary of Business Model Generation

Brief Summary of 7 Rules for Positive Productive Change: Micro Shifts, Macro Results

Esther Derby, in her book, 7 Rules for Positive, Productive Change : Micro Shifts, Macro results, comes out with seven practical rules for organizational change. The 7 Rules are

1. Strive for Congruence
2. Honor the past, present and people
3. Assess what is
4. Attend to networks
5. Experiment
6. Guide and allow for variation
7. Use your self

Esther Derby provides a lot of examples which provides clarity to these rules. Easy to read book – great book to have on Change Management on your bookshelf.
Here is a link to the summary –> Brief Summary of 7 Rules for Positive Productive Change

Brief Summary of “The Bottleneck Rules”

This is a brief summary of the book “Bottleneck Rules” by Clarke Ching.  Thanks to Andy Carmichael, in our conversations during the Lean Kanban India Conference in Bangalore – we were discussing on Theory of Constraints  and Systems Thinking where he recommended reading this book and the FOCCCUS formula for the Theory of Constraints. 
A short read – but for those who are  confused with the terms Exploit the Constraints, Subordinate the Constraints, Elevate the Constraints – the FOCCCUS formula for the Theory of Constraints is fairly straight forward.
Here is the summary of the book  –>  Brief Summary of Bottleneck rules

Brief Summary of “Atomic Habits”

This is a brief summary of Atomic Habits – An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones by James Clear.  An engrossing book as to how we build good habits – through the habit loop of Cue, Craving, Response and Reward.  The 4 Laws of Good habits are – Make it Obvious, Make it Attractive, Make it Easy and Make it Satisfying and how to break bad habits – by Making it Invisible, Making it Unattractive, Making it Difficult and  Making it Unsatisfying.  Also gives a lot of examples to illustrate these laws.  The book is an easy read and good one to have on your bookshelf.

Here is a brief summary of the book –>  Brief Summary of Atomic Habits