Friday, 22 January 2010

Newsletter Issue 178, January 2010

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 178, January 2010
Hi guys,
If you haven't heard about shared leadership before, check out Leadership - A Shared Model below.
Read about Canadian company, Global Points Exchange, which is acting as a trading floor for travel points. 
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

Leadership - a Shared Model

James MacGregor Burns said in his 1978 book Leadership that leadership was " of the most observed and least understood phenomena on earth”. We still watch leaders and try to work out their secrets; and often we still don't understand why or how good leaders do what they do.
What I find even more interesting is that there is a fashion in what we consider constitutes good leadership.
In the 1970s in New Zealand, and up to the 1940s in the rest of the world, we worshipped the Great Man leader - and some of us still do. This is the person who leads simply because of who they are; their personality traits. We can't emulate them because we can't be them. Great Man Leaders are unique and born to the job, people such as Ed Hillary, Colin Meads or Winston Churchill.
What is difficult about this model is that it holds no hope for those of us with less 'personality' being leaders. So along came a load of American Universities in the post-war period who were totally into leadership being about behaviour. The Behaviourists - Lewin, Likert, Fleishman, Blake & Mouton - thought that leadership was all about what behaviours we show, and all we had to do was behave in a certain way towards others for us to demonstrate leadership. Great idea, and meant that all of us could be leaders, but a very simplistic idea. We don't all behave the same way, and nor do good leaders - one size does not fit all.
So along came an idea whose time had come - Contingency Theory. House, Vroom, Jago, Fiedler, Hersey & Blanchard thought that we should act differently towards individuals; we develop a wardrobe of leadership styles and put one style on to suit the occasion. This made all sorts of consultancy firms lots of money in training, and personality profiling, but the rest of us felt a bit manipulated.
Today we are into Relational Leadership. This idea is that good leadership depends on creating positive relationships. Wheatley describes it as "Leadership is always dependent on the context, but the context is established by the relationships we value" (1992). This covers transformational leadership, servant leadership (Greenleaf), Level 5 leadership (Collins), authentic leadership and shared leadership.
It is shared leadership in particular that I want to talk about, and have taken so long to get to. I define shared leadership as "a dynamic, interactive influence group leadership process that achieves a common group vision and collaborative group goals" (Young, 2009, after Pearce & Conger, p. 1, 2003 and Allen, Morton & Li, p. 4, 2003). I find the shared leadership model really interesting, because it can put the power, equality, strong relationships, shared responsibility and shared fulfilment back into the group.
The idea with shared leadership is that you have a balance of power within the group (ie, you are all equal partners), have a clearly shared purpose, share the responsibility for success and failure, respect each other and are committed through both the tough & the good times to achieving your goals. One of the key differences with shared leadership is participative decision-making - it takes time, but everyone is heard. You have to be a very big CEO to be able to work well with this leadership style; there is no opportunity for ego or grandstanding. It sounds idealistic, but it has worked really well for many well-organised community organisations for decades, and is a new trend in commercial organisations, often sports businesses.
Tennis New Zealand (TNZ) is an organisation which has put shared leadership into practice. This organisation was suffering from falling performance. The governance function was disconnected from the grass roots. There was little trust between the national office, the 25 regional branches and the 477 Clubs - Head Office distrusted the regions, the regions thought that national office was a waste of their time and money. There was little or no sense of ownership at lower levels of the organisation, and a huge power struggle for resources.
However, TNZ recognised the need to change. They adopted a shared leadership model and simplified their governance structure. They centralised functions, clarified branch & national roles, with the national office focused on governing. They recognised that the sense of regional ownership was strong, and placed a high value on “engagement”, creating a good process for “engagement” of all stakeholders. They got collaboration, shared responsibility, a shared vision and goals, learned to respect each other and have been working steadily towards real participative decision-making.
James McGregor Burns would find the Shared Leadership model easier to both observe and understand - but still very difficult to implement. The transition that TNZ has been through was not an easy process. It is scary, difficult, slow, and full of roadblocks. But the result is immensely strong because success is not dependent on only one person.
Everyone at TNZ is the holder of the leadership flame.

Global Points Exchange

In this month's Springwise's newsletter there was a great little article about a Canadian company called Global Points Exchange (GPX) which is setting up a swap-site for airpoints. You can go with your own particular points system, seeking a top up or a swap away and get anonymously matched with someone who is seeking what you have or want.
You can manage your various points systems online, swap your points, buy in additional points to earn a desired reward, or earn more points through signing up for special offers.
Being able to use this website would have been fabulous for me a couple of months ago when I had $89 AirNZ airpoints dollars and couldn't do a damn thing with them - so they expired. I called AirNZ and asked to gift them to my husband but was told I was not allowed to do that - I had to purchase an entire flight for him and I didn't have enough for that... so the points went down the toilet.
I hope this little idea takes off in a big way. I will be keeping an eye on GPX for the day that Star Alliance gets added to the points which can be traded. If there is enough consumer demand to pull the companies in, and enough companies see they get good PR from being listed, it should fly (!).
Hopefully in future I won't be in the ridiculous position of having a "gift" as a "valued customer" from AirNZ that I can't use, which makes me more annoyed about AirNZ for having been "given" it, than if I had not ever received it at all. AirNZ have gained more bad PR about having made this gift to me because I have told all of you about it, I am still cross about it, and every time I contact them I remind them of it (which doesn't seem to worry them). If there was another airline I could use from my hometown in New Zealand, I would be using it (bring back Origin Pacific! But that's another story).

Search All Outlook Folders

Most of us put our email into folders and subfolders, using a structure that makes sense to us - usually with the most important folders at the top. That makes things easier to see, organise and manage.
But sometimes we need to search for an email from a specific person or company, but - if you are like me - you can’t remember where you put it. Outlook isn't so very helpful at showing us how to search all our messages in one hit.
However, you can create a special search folder, which will then search all your subfolders, like this:
  1. In the Mail window, select New from the File menu
  2. Select Search Folder (or press Ctrl & Shift & P)
  3. The "New Search Folder" dialogue box will open. In the Custom section (at the bottom of the list), double-click "Create A Custom Search Folder".
  4. Give your new search folder an appropriate name, such as "All Mail".
Just like that :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • WSD, White Space Device. A US FCC-certified wireless device that can be used without an exclusive broadcast license in the RF spectrum below 700 MHz.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we are looking at all the things you can do with Alt, Shift, Ctrl in Windows Media Player. This is our eighth section and the final in this series:
  • Windows Media Player "Select or clear contiguous check boxes" Shift & arrow keys, Spacebar
  • Windows Media Player "Select the previous area" Shift & Tab
  • Windows Media Player "Select or clear a check box" or "Play an item" or "Carry out the command for the selected item or button" or "Go to the selected link" Spacebar
  • Windows Media Player "Select the next area" Tab
  • Windows Media Player "Select the previous item in the list" Up Arrow
  • Windows Media Player "Hide the menu" Alt
  • Windows Media Player "Zoom to 50 percent" Alt & 1
  • Windows Media Player "Zoom to 100 percent" Alt & 2
  • Windows Media Player "Zoom to 200 percent" Alt & 3
  • Windows Media Player "Show or hide album information in the Copy from CD feature" Alt & A
  • Windows Media Player "Copy tracks in the Copy from CD feature" Alt & C
  • Windows Media Player "Show the Add button menu in the Media Library feature" Alt & D
  • Windows Media Player "Show video in full screen" Alt & Enter
  • Windows Media Player "Show the File menu" Alt & F

Hot Linx
For some brilliant & low impact advertising ideas, check out UK sustainable eco-advertising company, Curb. Find out about them at
If you want to consider the size of your eco-load on the planet, check out the recently released UK's 10:10 campaign. Go to and see what you can do to reduce your footprint.
If you are holidaying in New Zealand and want to take your pets with you, there is a holiday booking website specifically focused on pet-friendly places at Also search "pets" on
Those Terry Pratchett fans out there who have just read Unseen Academicals can read all about Shove in the Roundworld by heading over to

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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