Tag Archives: 2011may

Investing in 4-year olds

To transform is to do things differently. 

Here is a transformative idea in the form of a question: What would happen in Michigan if we basically ended offering the senior year in high school and reinvested the savings so that every four-year-old in the state attended preschool? 

I know that sounds like an outrageously frivolous idea at first blush – and yet as you think about it the logic starts  to take hold.

 We can’t get dramatically different results by perpetuating the status quo.  Read more by clicking here.


Image by Kirsten Jennings



The Five Components of Emotional Intelligence At Work

Yesterday I posted about emotional intelligence and leadership.   According to Daniel Goleman, in his article What Makes a Leader? 1998, Harvard Business Review – leadership has a lot to do with a person’s emotional intelligence.  It is pretty obvious that emotional intelligence is a good thing for anyone to develop.  We all can benefit from intentionally focusing on our own growth and development in the following areas that Goleman has identified.

So here is some food for thought.  How might you increase your emotional intelligence by looking at each of these five areas as active ‘growth edges’ for you?

    DEFINITION of the Five Emotional Intelligences

     Self-Awareness – the ability to recognize and understand your moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others.

     Self-regulation – the ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods and the propensity to suspend judgment to think before acting.

     Motivation – a passion to work for reasons that go beyond money or status a propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence.

     Empathy – the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people and skill in treating people according to their emotional reactions.

     Social Skills – proficiency in managing relationships and building networks an ability to find common ground and build rapport.


    HALLMARKS of the Five Emotional Intelligences

     Self-Awareness – self-confidence, realistic self-assessment, self-deprecating sense of humor.

     Self-Regulation – trustworthiness and integrity, comfort with ambiguity, openness to change.

     Motivation – strong drive to achieve, optimism even in the face of failure, organizational commitment.

     Empathy – expertise in building and retaining talent, cross-cultural sensitivity, service to clients and customers.

     Social Skill – effectiveness in leading change, persuasiveness in building and leading teams.


If this concept of emotional intelligence interests you there are three wonderful books to consider by Goleman. In 1995 Daniel Goleman, a Harvard University–trained psychologist and writer for the New York Times, published Emotional Intelligence, in which he discussed the human ability “to manage our own emotions and inner potential for positive relationships.”  Working With Emotional Intelligence takes the concepts from Daniel Goleman’s bestseller, Emotional Intelligence into the workplace and allows all of us to see ourselves as ‘works in progress’ related to developing ourselves as it related to interpersonal relationships. In a later book he goes a step further. In Social Intelligence, he enlarges his scope to encompass our human abilities to connect with one another in general. “We are wired to connect,” Goleman says. “Neuroscience has discovered that our brain’s very design makes it sociable, inexorably drawn into an intimate brain-to-brain linkup whenever we engage with another person. That neural bridge lets us affect the brain—and so the body—of everyone we interact with, just as they do us.” Each encounter between people primes the emotions. 

This is a rich topic and one which may be worth some study.


Emotional Intelligence

What makes a leader?  According to Daniel Goleman, in his article What Makes a Leader? 1998, Harvard Business Reviewleadership has a lot to do with a person’s emotional intelligence.

Goleman reports:

    “I have found, however, that the most effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence.  It’s not that IQ and technical skills are irrelevant.  They do matter, but mainly as “threshold capabilities”; that is, they are the entry-level requirements for executive positions.  But my research, along with other recent studies, clearly shows that emotional intelligence is the sine qua no of leadership.  Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive, analytical mind and endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a good leader.

    And in recent years, I have analyzed competency models from 188 companies, most of which where large and global and included the likes of Lucent Technologies, British Airways, and Credit Suisse.

    I grouped capabilities into three categories: purely technical skills like accounting and business planning; cognitive abilities like analytical reasoning; and competencies demonstrating emotional intelligence such as the ability to work with others and effectiveness in leading change.

     Cognitive skills such as big-picture thinking and long-term vision were particularly important.  But when I calculated the ratio of technical skills, IQ, and emotional intelligence as ingredients of excellent performance, emotional intelligence proved twice as important as the others for jobs at all levels.

    Moreover, my analysis showed that emotional intelligence played an increasingly important role at the highest levels of the company, where differences in technical skills are of negligible importance.”

This information gets me thinking about the how important it is for us all to learn to be emotionally intelligent.  Not an easy thing to do, but clearly worth the effort. 







Nine minutes that will get and keep you smiling!!!! Promise!

Wow! You have to love it when a town comes together to make some magic.  Well, Grand Rapids has done just that.  Magic! Sit back and enjoy this amazing video and the fact that is was made in Michigan by Michiganders. 

So click on this link and then click on the video and enjoy!  http://www.mlive.com/entertainment/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2011/05/rob_bliss_grand_rapids_lip_dub_2.html



Havard professor makes a simple straight forward recommendation for responding in tense situations

Sometimes the direct simple approach is the wisest.  Rosabeth Moss Kanter in her blog post: Three Leadership Steps to Defuse Tense Situations makes a lot of sense. 

She recommends when talking to a teammate, subordinate and/or just about anyone that is frustrated to:  1) empathize, 2) offer support and then 3) invoke higher principles.  The listen, support and uplift approach makes a lot of sense to me.  

Click on the hyperlink above to read her full post.


Clearly, parents want their children???s teachers to be tech-savvy and well equipped.

What follows are excerpts from Learning in the 21st Century: Parents’ Perspectives, Parents Priorities from the Project Tomorrow project by Blackboard k-12.  So, yes – Blackboard k-12 would like to see more technology in schools.  And, yes – this eleven page report captures the thinking of a lot of parents regarding technology in schools.  Please read these selections I am sharing here.

As you read what follows – put on your ‘parent’ or ‘citizen of the world hat’ and consider your thoughts related to this issue.

While parents, principals, and teachers told us technology is important for success, parents’ levels of satisfaction with specific technology uses in schools painted another picture. Project Tomorrow asked parents how satisfied they were with the use of technology at their children’s school. Almost one-half were satisfied with Internet safety and privacy of personal information; however, nearly 80 percent did not think that students spent enough time using technology. Their responses uncovered a noticeable lack of enthusiasm or understanding about the ways in which technology was implemented in the classroom:

• Only 35 percent found the amount of technology available for student use to be acceptable and only 33 percent thought that the use of technology for academic purposes was acceptable;

• 26 percent rated the quality of hardware and software as acceptable;

• Just 25 percent thought that schools placed the appropriate priority on technology;

• When it comes to teachers’ skills in using technology and the technology skills students were learning,   approximately one-third of the parents found those to be acceptable;

    • 20 percent did not know what technology was available at their children’s school.

Parents were dissatisfied as reflected in the data above and their students were dissatisfied as well. Pa­rental perceptions may be influenced by what they hear from their children and thus, reflected in parents’ responses. Students in 6th-12th grades pinpointed these points of frustration:

• 31 percent of the students responded that not being able use their own computers or mobile devices was a barrier to learning;

• 11 percent stated that computers and other tech equipment simply was not available to them or the software is not good enough (14%);

• 35 percent stated that teachers were limiting their use of technology;

• 43 percent stated that school filters or firewalls blocked the websites they needed to use for assignments.

Parents Envision Improvement . . .

So if parents were less than enthusiastic about the ways schools are currently harnessing the power of technology, what did they think would improve the situation? Like their students, parents supported creat­ing technology-rich environments for students and their responses indicated that they believed that teacher training and appropriate tools for teachers are important parts of the equation. First and foremost, they wanted their children to receive training about how to use technology for schoolwork (42 percent). Next, parents thought that classroom teachers should receive training about how best to integrate technology into instruction (41 percent) and the tools should be integrated into daily instruction (34 percent). Then, parents wanted schools to have enough technology for all students to use (38 percent) and that the products are current and high quality (33 percent).

Please click here and scroll down to this report and click on it to read the full report.


Each of us may want more influence . . . Read to learn more about how you can intentionally go about become more influencial

ChangeIn the article: How to Have Influence from the MIT Sloan Management Review of Fall, 2008 – Vol. 50 N0. 1 Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield and Andrew Shimbery in seven pages share great  information about ‘influence’.  I personally hind their approach comprehensive and rational.  Notice I did say easy.

The next three paragraphs are meant to perk your interest.  They come from the MIT Sloan website by clicking on this link you will go to a site which has a link to a pdf of the seven page article.  Click on that link to gain access to the article.

“We live in a quick-fix world where people look for easy solutions to solve complex problems. This goes for both business and personal problems. We want one trick to get employees to adopt behavior that improves quality and causes customers to gush with appreciation, or one trick to help us shed 30 unwanted pounds. Unfortunately, most quick fixes don’t work because the problem is rarely fed by a single cause. Usually, there is a conspiracy of causes.

If you want to confront persistent problem behavior, you need to combine multiple influences into an overwhelming strategy. In management and in their personal lives, influencers succeed where others fail because they “overdetermine” success.1 Instead of looking for the minimum it will take to accomplish a change, they combine a critical mass of different kinds of influence strategies.

We have documented the success of this multipronged approach across organizational levels (from C-level managers to first-line supervisors) and across different problem domains (from entrenched cultural issues in companies to leader-led change initiatives to stubborn personal challenges like stopping smoking and getting fit). And while the results are impressive, they do not rely on an obscure calculus — if anything, they are built on simple arithmetic. Effective influencers drive change by relying on several different sources of influence strategies at the same time. Those who succeed predictably and repeatedly don’t differ from others by degrees. By combining multiple sources of influence, they are up to 10 times more successful at producing substantial and sustainable change.”