Tag: leadership

How to Intrinsically Motivate Great Leadership With the Right Incentives

How to Intrinsically Motivate Great Leadership With the Right Incentives

Short-term incentives are an essential management tool serving the purpose of incentivizing people to achieve their short-term objectives. However, when people are too focused on these, short-term incentives can undermine leadership. Leadership is about finding ways to change the status quo, and this requires taking a moderate degree of calculated risk. To secure both their objectives and their short-term rewards, managers will minimize risk by following and incrementally improving the conventional means found within the status quo. This is exactly what managers are supposed to do. However, leadership is different than management. Where managers optimize the status quo, leaders change the status quo. To encourage leadership, don’t just reward people for achieving their objectives; reward them for taking the initiative to change the status quo. Since leadership initiatives come to fruition in the long term, providing stock options is a great means of encouraging it. Unfortunately, this aspect of these long-term incentives seems to have been forgotten by many businesses who use them primarily as “golden handcuffs” intended for employee retention. Thus, many managers receive these without providing the leadership that might contribute to the option’s upside.

Protect Your Business from the Einstellung Effect

Protect Your Business from the Einstellung Effect

The Einstellung Effect (EE) explains how repeated practice and prior knowledge can hinder finding new solutions. Through habit, people tend to robotically rely on existing thought patterns, also known as paradigms, even when these are no longer useful or relevant. When it comes to strategy, dependence on paradigms is risky. Leaders must protect their businesses from EE.One source of the Einstellung Effect is inductive reasoning. When we learn something through repeated experience, we generalize that it is true. But there may be exceptions to the rule of which we are unaware. For example, if you have only seen white swans, the inference that “all swans are white” might hold until you encounter a black swan. Any of us might be vulnerable to EE as a result of complacency. It is easier to stick with what works than it is to proactively create better ways. You or your colleagues might have reinforced the Einstellung Effect by saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But our paradigms can become a Frankenstein of our own creation. Late to their party, Kodak declared bankruptcy in 2010. Its executives might have relied on the paradigm that cameras will continue to use film since they always have.With introverted sensing in their personality type, the ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, and ESFJ might be more susceptible to EE. These types use introverted sensing to call upon their paradigms to deliver reliable and trustworthy solutions. Anything new must have tangible proof. If told about black swans, introverted sensing types might be skeptical. For these types, seeing is believing, and black swans might remain an abstract concept until they see one for themselves. Henry Ford (ISTJ) might not have invented the assembly line had he only been told of a mechanical production line in a meat processing plant. Fortunately, once he saws it for himself, it became tangibly real. Any of us might be vulnerable to EE as a result of complacency. It is easier to stick with what works than it is to proactively create better ways. You or your colleagues might have reinforced the Einstellung Effect by repeating the mantra, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Stress also induces the Einstellung effect. The more pressure we are under, the more we seek the imagined certainty of our paradigms. When EE results in a crisis, companies turn to consultants. Experts are notoriously susceptible to the Einstellung Effect, so don’t expect any creative solutions. Instead, you will be advised to reduce costs, clean up the balance sheet, divest assets, or consider a merger or acquisition. In a crisis, these tactical approaches are usually appropriate but far from optimal for the owners of the business. The key to safeguarding your business from the Einstellung Effect is proactively challenging the status quo by creating insightful ideas for strategic change. Make these ideas tangible by turning them into detailed concepts. Then analyze, debate, and decide on these. Prevent your business from having its own “Kodak moment” by changing your paradigms before they become irrelevant.

Truly Strategic Ideas Can’t Be Brainstormed

Truly Strategic Ideas Can’t Be Brainstormed

The many well-documented problems with group brainstorming limit its creative potential. These include social loafing, inhibition, production blocking, and regression to the mean. Even if these difficulties could be overcome, strategic ideas cannot be created in a brainstorming session since they are too complex.

Having a strategically insightful idea requires setting an ambiguous goal that is neither too constrained nor too loose. A properly configured goal facilitates the divergent exploration for new information. This information must be consolidated into long-term memory so that the mind can unconsciously incubate ideas. This iterative process can take weeks or months, and insights are likely to come when least expected. Have you ever been awakened by an insightful idea in the middle of the night?

To ensure that you have insightful ideas to propose, begin your strategy quest months before the proposal deadline.  Ideas are abstract, so make sure that you leave sufficient time to develop your insights into a tangible and understandable concept.

My New Insight Quest Course

My New Insight Quest Course

Check out my new course on Udemy. It’s the only course of its kind to teach people how to have insightful ideas – also known as Eureka moments, A-Ha moments, Epiphanies, Revelations, or illuminations. It is based on the author’s capability and supported by creative psychology and neuroscience.  Everyone can learn how to have insightful ideas using my Prophetic Insight Method to tap into your creative intuition.

How can I learn to think like a visionary?

How can I learn to think like a visionary?

How can I learn to think like a visionary? 

Question: A future leader, I want to inspire change in this world. I imagine that any visionary thinks out-of-the-box, is objective about life, and continually thinks about bettering society. What steps can I take to reach this state?

Answer by Paul Sacco:

You are on the right track. I call this Prophetic Leadership and I am writing a book about this. To be Prophetic you need to want to make a difference and recognize that there must be a better way to fulfill a need. It sounds like the only thing you are missing is a cause and some creative thinking’s skills.

To be prophetic means to see something that others do not yet see, but would value once enlightened. To get there you must be passionate enough about the subject that you are willing to spent a lot of time exploring it and thinking about it….What I call spending time in the wilderness.

And you are right, objectivity is important because you want to understand and challenge your own paradigms so that you can create something new and unique. In your journey, when confronted with a different opinion, try to understand it, even if it upsets you. Also, try to relate seemingly unrelated topics to your cause. Finding analogies can promote creative thinking.

You must learn how put your subconscious mind to work…take your mind off the cause and one day you will have that epiphany or vision you seek. Also, you have to have a clear mind, meaning avoiding alcohol and drugs and getting enough sleep.

To find that cause you must combine your passion and values. By passion, I mean finding what motivates you intrinsically in addition to wanting to make a difference. Keep a diary about what interest you and what captures your imagination….ask yourself what need is being fulfilled and what this says about your values.

Good luck with your journey.