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Reflecting on pride…

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment

examine the difference between “the source of pride” and “the need for pride”
2 related but quite different feelings that satisfy different needs?
do they arise from different places from within?
we can’t choose our feelings but we can work on breaking the automatic linkage between feelings and action through mindful effort
we can learn to notice the onset of feelings and disengage from the routine. robotic, instinctive follow-on action
we can learn to simply notice the arrival of the feeling and wait for our centered, calm state to re-establish itself and then decide on how to respond with our intentional mind
how can we learn to let the feelings run their course?
How does that compare to a strategy of “controlling” or “preventing emotions”?
How might that skill benefit us as professional consultants?
Victor Frankl has important, timeless things to say on this, as does the Buddha, to name just a couple sages 🙂

LUSC U13G victory in the Challenger Cup


really proud of this group of girls.  Tough as nails and very good sportsmen

 

 

Categories: family, leadership, Soccer

Family support on the doctoral journey

March 4, 2012 Leave a comment

I formally began my journey to the doctorate of management four years ago when I finally had a chance to achieve lifelong goal of earning a terminal degree. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to start at age 50, but there were a number of personal and professional goals that I finally had an opportunity to address after a full career as an Army officer.
On a professional basis, I wanted the doctorate in order to improve the scope and depth of my thinking, to earn a credential that would open more doors for me, and which would increase my influence in policy matters within the military college where I teach now that I’ve retired from active duty.
On a personal basis the doctoral journey satisfied a lifelong goal of seeing how far I could go academically. I also wanted to improve my own thinking by taking it apart to its most fundamental level and rebuilding it intentionally and with accountability.
The most important personal goal was for me to demonstrate to my three kids that when I said education was important that it wasn’t just words, but that I actually believed in committing to a lifelong journey of learning. I discovered that this goal was one of the most important factors in helping me get through the program of work, because I wanted my kids to be proud of their father and I wanted them to see the payoff for all my hard work and long hours.
What surprised me a little bit was just how interested they were in the things I was studying and how important it was for me to be able to translate the dry academic topics into interesting discussions with them. This help me make my work come alive and helps me describe specifically just what I found to be so interesting and exciting about my research into critical thinking and education from a management perspective.
With my eldest son entering college in the middle of my program and my middle daughter approaching her senior year in high school, the role of education in creating a rich and full life as well as developing career options came to be a very important dinnertable discussion for us all.
In the dark hours of late-night research, and overlong weekends of digging into the books I found their emotional support to be inspirational and instrumental in me achieving my final goal.
Completing the doctoral journey may be one of the hardest things you ever do but I found it to be richly rewarding for more reasons than I even knew existed when I started the program. I encourage you to share your journey with your family without whose support it may not be possible.
Dr. Ken Long D.M.
March 3, 2012
Leavenworth, KS
longke@yahoo.com
Categories: education, family

Making the Invisible Visible: Understanding Leadership Contributions of Asian Minorities in the Workplace

January 24, 2012 Leave a comment

leadership

Image by Ed Gaillard via Flickr

This small quiet book on leadership deserves to become visible so that its message of quiet leadership can be absorbed into our business and political organizations worldwide.

Who are the invisible leaders? How do we make them visible?

Back up for a moment: SHOULD we MAKE them visible, or is our understanding of leadership in the Western mode, with the “Individual as Hero”, not all there is to the story?

The authors tackle the problems and opportunities of global leadership from an angle that would be seen as nontraditional by Western leaders but which addresses the reality of leadership in daily life as experienced by millions of people around the world.

Coming from a Western in military background, I’ve grown up in a leadership culture that prizes individual heroic approaches to direct action leadership. I’ve never felt like that reflected everything that needs to be said about leadership and that’s the central message of this powerful book.

Thatchenkery and Sugiyama conducted a multi-year study to examine what they call the invisible leadership style that they experienced as members of various Asian communities. What they call invisible leadership can be thought of as a cultural worldview built on the ideas that showmanship is the opposite of leadership, that what matters is teamwork and results in long time horizons that favor growth and development from the inside of the organization and that performance is examined and valued on the basis of what’s good for the team. Invisible leaders get the job done and trust that the results will speak for themselves. They value team performance, and dont expect leaders to be constantly self-promoting and trumpeting from the front.

The authors proceed to explore their sense of this phenomenon by conducting a thoroughly grounded research effort that incorporates quantitative and qualitative data and analysis using surveys, focus groups, interviews and case studies to develop their argument. It is a model of scholarly work that carefully identifies assumptions, limitations and constraints while pointing to areas of consensus and opportunities to apply their insights in the last chapter.

They’ve incorporated scholarship on the impact of culture, motivation theory, multiple models of leadership and globalization in their efforts. They examine the impacts of leadership style and philosophy on promotions, training, recognition and reward systems and considered how invisible leadership is affected by current management practices in developing metrics, management practices and counseling programs.

They carefully examined the very notion of the utility of categorizing leadership under the broad concept of “Asian”, which on the surface seems like it could be useful but which masks the very real richness and diversity that can be found in various communities of practice and social groups populated by people from India, China, Japan, Thailand, Korea etc who are living and working in the United States, United Kingdom and Canada and whose generational demographics and further complexity to the rich mélange that is their personal experience.

The study takes a cross-section of all of these personal demographic factors and adds a further dimension based on work factors like public versus private versus nonprofit institutions. No simple leadership model can do justice to such a complex sociological mixture, despite the loud proclamations of best-selling leadership book titles, and the promises of quick fix, simple formula leadership solutions. The authors findings resonate with Heifetz’s “Leadership Without Easy Answers “, and Deming’s advice to “eliminate slogans”.

The book begins what should be a long and continuing conversation to understand the real-life complexities of modern organizations and to find ways to unleash the power and quality of all our people. It suggests that organizations can begin to apply the insights of invisible leadership by asking the right questions, considering organizational policies about visible leadership, and the payoffs of supporting invisible leaders from both pragmatic and philosophical perspectives.

They carefully examine and debunk three common mental models that have plagued Asians in the United States, the UK and Canada. Asians have been variously seen as a model minority that has supposedly “made it” and shown the way for other ethnicities; as a “middle minority” without the social problems inherent in newly emerging groups but who are not quite yet co-equal with the majority and the experience of Asians as a group that is forever foreign. According to the study, these mental models are broadly perceived by Asians to affect them personally and professionally and get in the way of Asians being seen as individuals with rich personal narratives and unique circumstances.

The study examines the realities of glass ceilings in professional promotion patterns in a broad spectrum of typical organizations, relying on insights from personal interviews and government statistics to make the case. It avoids simplistic formulations and superficial conclusions and does a fantastic job of providing a rich background of context that suggests many avenues of research needed in the future.

The authors suggest that organizing around affinity groups rather than simple ethnic and social groupings can add real value to organizational dynamics. Considering the impacts of quiet leadership at all levels of the organization: strategic, operational and tactical can have powerful implications for policy and vision. They recommend organizations consider breaking with tradition of hiring outside leaders and rather concentrate more on growing their own from the inside as a way to acknowledge the power of tacit, long-term values based growth.

The authors don’t recommend a simple exchange of philosophies (“either-or”) but rather suggest that broader integration of multiple modes and perspectives on leadership will add value and robustness to organizational DNA.

I give this fine book my highest personal and professional recommendation, because it resonates for me on a personal and a professional level. It describes a style and philosophy of leadership that has gotten little to no attention in the scholarly or popular press and which I have witnessed to be enduringly effective. It treats a serious subject seriously and respects the broad diversity of opinion and scholarship that has been conducted in this area and yet finds many points of contention and new sources of information and inspiration. It’s offered in the spirit of scholarship and understanding and suggests new ways in which our global communities and people can be respected and make progress together.

2x every single dollar Penn State football made in the last 25 yrs into a trust fund for victims

November 11, 2011 Leave a comment

it is the height of hypocrisy and worship of the almighty football dollar that the NCAA and new regime at Penn State is allowing a football game to be played tomorrow.

Disgusting. Can you even listen to their protestations about restorng their reputation?

they should forfeit twice every precious dollar they “earned” in the last 25 years, which should go into a trust fund Superfund for the victims of Sandusky and for victims across the nation

House divided and class warfare: end of what’s left of the republic?

September 6, 2011 1 comment

the mkt cant wait to hear Obama say something.  yeah.
meanwhile the dems are loading up their muskets for some good old class warfare with the middle class, as if the workers and the middle class ought to be on opposite sides of social issues.  that’s just a win for pundits and media, and politicians. neither party is ready to provide adult leadership yet unfortunately
where’s the “House divided” speech when you need it?

Soccer champions

August 26, 2011 1 comment

Leavenworth United Soccer Club U13G team: champions of the Challenger Classic soccer tournament in Kansas City 9-2 Aug

record: 3-0-1.  scored 13 goals and gave up 1.

 

 

 

Categories: family, Soccer