The Penn State scandal has people calling for board oversight reforms. Changes only are as effective as the character of the people they involve. Character results from the values that motivate behaviors. The Peter Principle results when people get promoted but fail to learn new values and skills to handle the new responsibilities.
Power Drunk People
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context, asks: “What is the difference between someone who is intoxicated on power and someone who is on drugs or alcohol? You get erratic behaviors from both, including loss of mission focus, lying and mismanagement.”
Success Stimulated the Peter Principle
Perhaps leaders at Penn State became drunk on success, which blinded them to holding accountable convicted child molester, Jerry Sandusky, who was perceived as contributing to and perpetuating it. Thus Joe Paterno, and three other former top university officials failed to report a 2001 incident, which could have halted Sandusky’s abusive activities.
Character Cultivates Culture
Culture is at the core of these types of challenges that Penn State and other organizations face. The Three-Dimensional Leader notes:
The quality of leadership determines the quality of followership. For the members of an organization to attain the collective achievement for which they have been gathered together ... requires them to be led at all stratums by leaders ... who understand the corporate mission, appreciate the complexity of their human resources, and know how to negotiate the context so the resources effectively are positioned to achieve their goals. Because people only can do what they know, it is essential ... [they] be learners ... of [III-D] managerial leadership.
Three-Dimensional Leadership provides a system of values that guides people to understand how to negotiate the context of what makes the organization great by doing their specific, individual parts to contribute to what supports its overall objectives.
This cultivates human capital with the cultural fit to contribute consistent conduct from the boardroom to the mailroom, thus securing the organization’s long term effectiveness.
One-Dimensional’s are All About “Me” - Not the Mission!
A boss insisted I’d “be a team player” by signing a time sheet for a person I knew was not at work for all the hours claimed. I politely declined, and then my boss tried controlling me with anger, and pounded on his desk, and said his job title meant he could do what he “damn well pleased!” I respectfully replied, “That may be so, but not above my signature.” Two-Dimensional’s Ruin Resources with “Us vs. Them” Dynamics
I advised him, “It’s going to be very challenging for me to maintain discipline among the twenty people I supervised, in more than a dozen offices, if people know that others have special relationships to not be at work while getting paid for it.” The Three-Dimensional Leader
contains tips for how to deal with bosses who care little about the organization’s mission. One strategy is to report as high above your bad boss as possible. This, however, is risky for three reasons:
- People assume that integrity accompanies bigger job titles, so they will tend to believe your boss over you.
- The boss usually has a stronger relationship with the people above you both, and has more access and opportunity to “spin” the story to suit his/her preferences.
- Your boss can charge you with insubordination, so you had better document conversations and prepare to present as much evidence as possible, because you may need them to defend yourself.
The Three-Dimensional Context of “We” All Are In This Together
MRC focused leaders make teams tick, vs. ticking them off! They avoid letting others leverage relationships to cloud objective judgment and obtain special favors. Three-dimensional leaders treat all with the same standards, and thus overcome and avoid these dysfunctions and foibles.
Leading Corporate Culture
As we know, leadership is a key factor in the establishment of a corporate culture. For those familiar with the DC change leadership model ,“Environmental Leadership” or have read “Lessons from the Monkey King – Leading Change to get Gorilla Sized Results”,
have an understanding of the psychology of leading and changing corporate culture. BUT, is that all there is? Three-Dimensional Leadership Psychology
I personally believe that the psychology of leadership is foundational to organizational change. That being said, there is another dimension to leadership that augments the psychological strategies. Or perhaps I should say three dimensions. I had the privilege of reading “The Three Dimensional Leader”
by Earl C. Wallace and I personally believe it provides additional depth to the creation and sustainability of great leadership that will affect organizational culture. Delegation Enriches Corporate Culture
One of Mr Wallace’s philosophies of delegation ring so true for the foundation of a Leadership Enriched Corporate Culture. He states “III-Dimensional Leaders master the art of delegation with accountability absent of micromanagement”
and provides the practical strategies to attain this. Get Gorilla Sized Results in 3-D
The book is rich in wisdom and nuggets of practical application. If you are interested in organizational change, I highly recommend the “The Three Dimensional Leader”
by Earl C. Wallace. And if you haven’t already read “Lessons from the Monkey King”
well, you know what to do.
Arthur F. Carmazzi Directive Communication International (Asia) Using psychology to cultivate productive work environments www.carmazzi.net
The “We Factor”
The “X Factor” features coaches who give people and groups chances to advance their singing careers. Football coaches Tom Coughlin (New York Giants) and Bill Belichick (New England Patriots) build winning teams that have the cohesive “We Factor.” The Three-Dimensional Leader: http://bit.ly/3DLeaderBk
profiles these coaches and categorizes leaders by how well they succeed at leading groups to achieve their missions.
Organizations often fail to realize their potential because of leadership focus:
One-dimensional leadership is all about “me.”
Two-dimensional leadership needlessly sets up “us vs. them” dynamics.
Three-dimensional leadership is all about “we.” Overcoming “Me”
Coaches Coughlin and Belichick resist being enamored with their superstars in favor of coordinating those strengths into the team system. This consistently accomplishes far more than any loose association of talented individuals with little or no team focus ever can. Rising Above “Us vs. Them”
Both coaches realize that catering only to one player’s strengths ends up weakening the team system of combined abilities required for victory. The Synergy of “We”
Great leaders must adapt their style to obtain synergy from team members. Giants Coach Coughlin made appropriate adjustments between his 2006 - 2007 seasons to overcome his previous inflexibility. He grew to consider what was going on within a player’s head and heart that might contribute to underperformance. This coalesced the team dynamics that won Super Bowl XLII. Hall of Famers?
Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin maintain high standards, energize players to do their jobs “we, the team’s way,” and they work game plans fluidly to negotiate the context. This 3-D focus has made them winners, with Coughlin 19th on the all-time victory list with 142 victories, and Belichick tied with Mike Shanahan at 175 wins. Thus, we’ll see both in the Super Bowl.
Delegation is the formal transfer of authority. Many of us know that we do not delegate as often nor as well as we should. Here are three reasons why, and what to do about them:
We don’t delegate because
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context,
- We are too busy to figure out what part of tasks, functions or processes we should delegate.
- We don’t trust others to do a good enough job.
- Our egos get in the way of delegating, because we are insecure about someone else either getting credit or doing something better than we could do it.
lays out the process of Training, Timing and Trusting to overcome these issues to achieve delegation. Training Achieves Synergy
Productivity at first declines when you take time to organize and train others, who also must go around a learning curve before they fully are productive. Doing so, however, later achieves synergy and far greater output. Timing Builds Experience
Training should include structured time on the job that delegates experiences that progressively increases one’s responsibilities. Appropriate feedback builds trust that learning is taking place. Trusting Is Based on Values
Training must include values, because they generate behaviors. Values motivate actions. Once people demonstrate they have your values, you can trust them to handle your processes with appropriate behaviors. Delegation Requires Submitting Ego to the Mission
Great leaders do not have to posture and pretend they are the smartest person in the room, but must be able to ask the right questions of those who are the brightest in their areas, and then empower them to do what is decided upon. Nothing happens unless a leader authorizes and empowers activity. Are you a leader who can submit ego to the mission to train, time and trust to delegate effectively?
The word used most about Steve Jobs is VISION. His vision that the Apple computer be an extension of what people do was amazingly fulfilled during his life. The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context, says, “Steve Jobs has a vision that the Apple computer is an extension of what people do. He wants every kid in school to have access to one. Mission fulfillment starts with someone in leadership envisioning what can be.”
Steve Jobs envisioned that the medium of the computer would capture, store and carry our messages, whether they be medical research, literary analysis, art or music. He also inspired and led others to achieve the development, design and marketing of the medium. The medium resonates with us because it enables us to capture and express so much of who we are, and what we want others to know about us. In many ways Steve Jobs’ devices help me be me, and they help you be you.
Mission fulfillment requires that vision be negotiated into a set of circumstances that are favorable for a company to succeed at innovating goods and services that others are willing to pay for to benefit from and enjoy. Arguably, Steve Jobs did this better than any person in the world. Apple computers and products are functional, portable, reliable and because of these features they also are fairly ubiquitous.
Steve Jobs legacy includes leaving us a medium that assists us to do what we want to do. It enables each of us to extend our intellectual and creative capacities, and whether those messages are entertaining or enlightening, today because of Steve Jobs, they are more accessible and perhaps more relevant. That is a legacy that is incalculably beneficial, and for which I Salute Steve Jobs.
To get teams to perform well requires leadership to obtain synergy from the members’ diversity, so they work together to achieve “collective competence” as a team. Consider football teams. A football team needs people whose physical nature and psychology make them excellent offensive linemen. It also needs some people whose bodies and mental chemistry make them good defensive linemen. Teams need quarterbacks that are good at throwing, and tight ends and wide receivers whose bodies have longer limbs and arms that are great for running swiftly and catching things coming at them from various angles. Football teams also need running backs who bodies are powerful and agile to dart in and out of tight spots to outmaneuver others. There are other smaller, skinny people on football teams who are good at kicking. Without this diversity, a football team cannot be successful.
The challenge for a team getting synergy from its diversity is that each of the different players approaches the mission from varying psychological viewpoints. An offensive lineman is wired to protect. The running back is wired to avoid others and run over those who can’t be avoided. The mind-set of a defensive lineman is to catch and tackle others aggressively. The mental focus of a quarterback is to hang tough and do whatever it takes to deliver the ball to another player. A kicker is focused on accurately placing the ball onto various sections of the field or through the goal posts.
A leader must understand the gifts, perspectives and roles individuals can contribute, and must motivate and inspire them to participate as effective team members. to achieve the mission that matters most. Are you the type of leader who can coach your team’s diverse perspectives and viewpoints so they achieve cooperative synergy to win for the organization?
Three-dimensional leaders have these capacities:
- to focus long term on the mission the organization is relying upon them to achieve, while avoiding distractions;
- to rally resources so people reach their collective potential, and
- to convert within the context by strategically guiding the organization to adjust to the ever-changing relevant variables that impacts how the business must operate. It is this mission, resources, and context (MRC) focus that provides tremendous outcomes for organizations.
Two-dimensional leaders only perceive just one or two of the MRC operational elements. One-dimensional leaders do not focus on their organizations’ missions, but are enticed by distractions, overwhelmed by insecurities and/or consumed with name recognition, and the perks of power and control. One-dimensional leadership is all about “me” – not the mission!
Great leaders demonstrate the character and competence to achieve the MRC three-dimensional capacity. Leadership character means
- resisting temptations to move the organization in directions that detract from its mission and purpose for existing;
- knowing how to work with others in open, honest, and selfless ways to motivate what makes the organization successful; and
- objectively analyzing variables to know which are relevant, and pursuing effective courses of action in relation to them.
To achieve this three-dimensional leadership capacity requires the ability to “Submit Ego to the Mission” (SEM).
Many people talk mission, but few keep the best interest of the organization at heart and walk out processes that are consistent with that day in and day out. Many people say they make the best use of organizational resources, yet they mistreat people, who are the most valuable resource. Many say they are objective, yet they allow others to leverage relationships to undermine what is best for the organization. Are you a SEM master?
3-D MRC Values
The Three-Dimensional Leader: Negotiating Your Mission, Resources and Context (MRC) is a value system designed to motivate a focus on three essentials. The most effective leaders
- stay focused on the mission the organization wants accomplished;
- inspire, train, motivate and support people as the chief organizational resource necessary to achieve it, and
- understand the context of relevant variables the organization continually must adjust to amend operations to fulfill its goals.
While the “mission, resources and context” model seems simple, sustaining an MRC focus is challenging and rare. This is because people either fail to fully realize their organization’s mission, or they lose sight of it very quickly in the heat of the moment and when faced with the numerous temptations that distract us to pursue private interests or initiatives.
Three-dimensional Leaders keeps a long range view of the organization’s MRC’s. Two-dimensional leaders only see one or two of the MRC elements. One-dimensional leaders do not care about their organization’s mission, and instead use their positions to pursue personal agendas. One-dimensional leadership is all about “me,” not the mission. What Kind of Leader Are You?
Even though you may be amazingly talented and charismatic, if you can’t get groups of people to achieve the mission, you are not a 3-D leader. Two-dimensional leaders also fail to treat all the people in the organization objectively. As they play favorites, they set up “us vs. them” dynamics, pitting members of the organization against each other. See In 3-D
Three-Dimensional Leaders discern the context and encourage others to use their gifts, talents and abilities to solve problems that accomplish organizational goals. The 3-D MRC management system improves, oversight, workplaces and organizational performance by promoting better leadership and goal-focused employee behaviors.