Group Dynamic

Alan Feirer's thoughts on leadership issues

Archive for the ‘Biographical’ Category

Crunch-time Management for Leaders: Permission to Delay

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wtf samLeaders are always fairly busy. That’s okay – if we really truly finished our entire to-do list by the end of the day, we probably aren’t stretching enough.

In previous posts, we’ve explored some time/task management ideas for busy leaders in normally busy times, and in overly busy times.

In a personal post that I sometimes recycle, I shared my priorities when things get hectic; you may have even noticed I didn’t blog last week.  (That’s only the 3rd time in the last 3 years, I think, that I’ve skipped a week.)

It’s true that Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

March 5th, 2014 at 8:21 am

Being easy to work with! When your leader is an “Influence” type!!! :)

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So, you’ve read your leader as an “I!” And, you want them to read this post!  Of course you do!!!

But – things go better when we work to adapt ourselves, rather than trying to force others to change!  In fact, our adaptation can inspire others to change. (Have you read Leadership and Self-Deception yet?)

[Are you getting tired of all the exclamation marks yet?  Sorry – just trying to condition you!!!!!!!]

Consider this as a goal: Be easy to work with.  More opportunities come along that way.  Something we’ve seen is that the world seems to work better for people who are punctual, deliver on time, respond to communication quickly, are pleasant, and exceed expectations.

So — how to do that with your “Influence” leader, who cares about action, results, and ENTHUSIASM!!!! Match their style and their needs.  (Which, frankly, can sometimes be exhausting, I know. I am an “I” and I’ve seen it in your faces.)

Consider keeping these things in mind:

-We like to have fun and explore interesting tangents.  It doesn’t mean we’re not thoughtful or serious about things.

-Move fast – maybe a little faster than comfortable, so plan ahead.

-In fact, the “i” might predict what you’re about to say and interrupt you.

-Steel yourself for enthusiasm, positivity, smiles, and energy, especially if you seem “down” – the “i” might take it upon themselves to cheer you up.

-Emails may contain emoticons or exclamation marks!  ;)

-The “i” cares about the level of influence they have, so if you can subtly find a way to help them understand that such intense energy might hurt their influence, you may have an impact.

While it is probably true that we need to work on slowing down and listening more and staying on topic and focusing on details, it isn’t your task today to change and develop us.  But, you can give us room to do that work on their own when you stay easy to work with. And fire up!

Everything DiSC Workplace Map

Written by Alan Feirer

January 29th, 2014 at 6:08 pm

What you focus on, expands…

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Matt and Alan talk about the danger of dwelling on things.


Written by Alan Feirer

October 2nd, 2013 at 8:24 am

Leaders stay sensitive this time of year

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This is a “rerun” from last year; some events of the last month have convinced me to share it anew:

We’re just a couple weeks from the Winter Solstice, the shortest darkest day of the year. A contrast to the holiday season, it can exacerbate hidden internal sadness in those around us.

I love Christmas music.  But not all of it at the same level of love.  I prefer minor keys, obscure pieces, and bleak moods that reflect peace and/or sadness.  “God Rest Ye Merry” is a good one, as is “‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime.”  There’s a lot of good stuff in the French, Celtic, and British choir traditions traditions that are haunting.

Two favorite Christmas music albums are “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “If on a Winter’s Night…”  The latter comes from Sting, who hits on a major theme of this time of year in the liner notes:

…I have an ambivalent attitude towards the celebration of Christmas.  For many, it is a period of intense loneliness and alienation… Winter is a time of darkness and introspection… [and] the gravitational pull of home that Christmas exerts on the traveller.

Walking amid the snows of Winter, or sitting entranced in a darkened room gazing at the firelight, usually evokes in me a mood of reflection, a mood that can be at times philosophical, at other wildly irrational; I find myself haunted by memories.

This can be a joyful and jolly time of year; so many lights and happy music and gatherings. But many folks are like Sting; haunted by memories of sadness exacerbated by the short dark days and the contrast with the flaunting of joy.

Enjoy the season – the lights, music, gatherings, festivities – but please stay sensitive. And allow yourself to feel the melancholy, too.  That can add to the beauty.

Happy New Year.

Written by Alan Feirer

December 12th, 2012 at 8:06 am

Group Dynamic Primer Conclusion: Art’s Triangle and the Handwritten Matrix

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WARNING:  This post is nothing but a story, though you will find usable content at the end.  Also, it’s over 700 words.  If you’re a long-time loyal reader, though, it’s required reading.  (If you’re new to this blog, this is really the last thing you ought to read. I suggest starting here.)

As mentioned at the outset of this series, many Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

November 7th, 2012 at 10:09 am

The Group Dynamic Primer. Chapter Zero: Rock-Bottom

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I was despondent. Poor me. “My people” weren’t engaged.  They didn’t get me; they weren’t loyal, they weren’t receptive, they were leaving me, and it wasn’t my fault.  They just needed to give me more time, to get to know me…

Except… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

September 5th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

What’s your space program?

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We’ve always heard that the space program has done more for us than explore space, the moon, and Mars– but that we have NASA to thank for some other, “accidental,” by-products: Teflon and Velcro come to mind — and I use those daily, I think.

What’s your space program?

In other words, what crazy big projects Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

August 15th, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Do leaders “pick on the people they really like”?

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When I was in 6th grade, my music teacher, Mr. Jones, played us some “Switched-On Bach” – Bach performed on synthesizer. That was pretty cool back in 1980. If you’re over 40, I bet you know what I’m talking about. It actually got me really interested in “real” Bach music; I’m a fan to this day.

Mr. Jones was a real advocate, and fed me more to listen to, and encouraged my unusual (for a 6th-grade boy) passion for Baroque music. Until one day… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

May 23rd, 2012 at 7:17 am

Blog rerun, plus…

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It’s Wednesday – blog day – two tidbits for you:

This rerun.

This appearance in the witty and whimsical blog of eigthsevencentral.

(It explains a bit about why I’ve been pretty busy this week…)

Written by Alan Feirer

April 11th, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Biographical

Frame! (kind of a book report)

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The brilliant folks at Manager Tools–specifically, Mark–have recommended this book highly for years.  I read much of it a while ago, and recently picked it up to re-read it.

In 300 words, here’s why it’s Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

March 21st, 2012 at 12:53 pm

“Where do you get that energy?!”

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Frequently, people ask me that question.  Those who ask are usually witnessing me in a professional situation; if they saw me after the alarm goes off, there’s no way they’d ask that!

But it’s true- if we lead, we have an Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

March 14th, 2012 at 11:31 am

Leaders share, abundantly

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In an earlier post, I wrote of the value of picking up the phone to ask for help, information, or other assistance from fellow professionals.

What do you do when you get that call?

Share.  Abundantly.

In my former Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Alan Feirer

January 25th, 2012 at 1:03 pm