Friday, 11 June 2010

Newsletter Issue 185, June 2010

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 185, June 2010
Hi guys,
How do you view leadership? Check out The Lenses of Leadership and find out.
Who would have thought that we indulged in Reasoning by Profession
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.

The Lenses of Leadership

We human beings all think differently. To my mind, that's a good thing, because that means that no one of us has all the answers.
I recently read an article by Kenn Butler where he related that when he first expected to encounter leadership, he encountered it embodied in a person, not in a position (go to to read Kenn's original article).
Kenn's article sparked a line of thought. I feel that we, as individuals, often think of leadership as being embodied one dimensionally; and, depending on who we are and what our experiences are, will depend on what that single dimension is that we tend to associate with our own leadership view.
However, we can - and should - learn and get into the habit of applying the other ways of viewing leadership.
Keith Grint, a UK Academic who writes on Leadership, has a great leadership model whereby he encourages us to view leadership through four different lenses. Those lenses are "Person", "Position", "Process" and "Results".
The idea is that when we think about:
  • A person - we tend to think of the "who" leadership - our identity. Leadership being about the qualities of personality, traits, characteristics, personal qualities, charisma, heroes and villains, expert knowledge and scape-goats.
  • A position - we think of the "where" of leadership - leadership being about the position, the organisational or social level, the hierarchy, having authority, being in charge, decision-making, at the top, holding power.
  • A process -  we think of the "how" of leadership - our organisational tactics. Moments, interactions, patterns, networks, spaces, objects, language, policies, practices, systems, events, myths, societies, cultures, politics, ideologies, knowledge, power and norms.
  • The results - we think of the "what" of leadership - our organisational achievements, vision, strategies, outcomes, products, successes, losses, failures, winning, losing, performance, accountabilities and measurables.
I feel that if we think about leadership being embodied in different characteristics, we will develop a more balanced view of what leadership is now. This will open up our ideas of what leadership can be in the future, and enable us to challenge our ideas of what, who, where and how leadership happens.
Grint's model has a wonderful flexibility in it, as it frees us from the straight-jacketed view that leadership was ever a one-dimensional thing.

Reasoning by Profession

Recently I was reading an article in the Higher Education Academy in the UK's Academy Exchange ezine, which was outlining a research case study, where some researchers were trying to determine where undergraduate students learned their reasoning from (see One of the points that struck me most forcibly - and unexpectedly - was that there was a career bias in HOW we reasoned.
Science students tend to argue deductively, testing science laws and theories produced over time, against observable evidence. English students tend to argue inductively, from the text, generating a proposition on the basis of evidence, then testing their idea. No wonder there is a lack of understanding between science and literature; they think differently!
Deductive reasoning from the general to the specific, starting with a premise which we accept it to be true for the known circumstances. From that rule, we can make a conclusion about something specific. All dogs bark, this animal is barking, therefore this animal is a dog. Reaching a conclusion using deductive reasoning is logically sound, airtight, and, providing the premise is true, convincing and certain.
But deductive reasoning has a weakness; it adds no new information. If, in actual fact, the animal is a fox, it doesn't matter whether it barks or not, it stubbornly remains non-canine.
Inductive reasoning goes from the specific to general. Inductive reasoning is the making of a conclusion based on a set of observed data. If we observe that something is true many times, by inductive reasoning, we may conclude that it will be true in all instances. However, we can't prove what we induce without deductive reasoning. We need deduction to prove what we induce.
The really interesting thing is that most scientific or mathematical discoveries are made with inductive reasoning; observation. Just remember that the key word is "discovery." Without deduction an idea may well be discovered, but it remains unproven.
Ah, it looks like all those BAs and BScs need each other after all :-)

Turning Off Word's Auto-Border Function

If you enter the three hyphens directly under text, Word will attach a border to the text as a paragraph format:
  1. Type a line of text and key Enter
  2. Type three hyphen characters (- - -) and key Enter twice.
  3. Now you have an underline, to the width of your page margins, or indentation (if you are indenting).
However, if you want to delete this 'line', it proves a bit tricky. You can't backspace over it, and if you try to cut and paste the text, the line goes with it. That's because this line isn’t a line at all. It’s a border, assigned to your text.
To get rid of it, treat it like a border. Put the cursor anywhere in your text and choose "No Border" from the Borders tool on the Formatting menu. And if you don’t want to create hyphen auto-borders, choose AutoCorrect Options from the Tools menu | click the AutoFormat As You Type tab and uncheck the Border Lines option in the Apply As You Type section.

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • RFP, Request for Proposals. A document/invitation at the early stages in the procurement process, which structures the procurement decision, outlines the nature of the request, to suppliers to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or service.
  • QED, Quod Erat Demonstrandum. From the Latin, "there it is proven", meaning that a person has satisfactorily demonstrated that their hypothesis is correct.

Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
Over the next few newsletters, we are going to look at all you can do with Function keys. This time it is F11:
  • Access "Bring the Database window to the front" F11
  • Access "Toggle between a custom menu bar and a built-in menu bar" Ctrl & F11
  • Access, FrontPage, Word "Display Microsoft Visual Studio code (Microsoft Script Editor)" Alt & Shift & F11
  • Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Word "Display the Visual Basic Editor " Alt & F11
  • Excel "Create a chart" F11
  • Excel "Insert a Microsoft Excel 4.0 macro sheet" Ctrl & F11
  • Excel "Insert a new worksheet into a workbook" Shift & F11
  • Explorer, IE "Toggle between Full Screen and regular view of the browser window " F11
  • Outlook "Enter a name in the Quick Find box" F11
  • Word "Go to the next field" F11
  • Word "Go to the previous field" Shift & F11
  • Word "Lock a field or fields" Ctrl & F11
  • Word "Unlock field or fields" Ctrl & Shift & F11

Hot Linx
To get a global focus on people management, head over to the McKinsey Quarterly site at and register for their newsletters. They are very informative.
Need to buy underwear and hate doing the department store trawl? Check out - a great selection, good prices and delivery to your door.
Google has yet another VERY handy ap for translation; paste in the URL of a website in another language, and Google Translate will turn it into a vaguely understandable site; at least enough for you to get the gist, at
When you are trying to illustrate something with words, try using word pictures at A very snazzy way to turn a thousand words into a picture!

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

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