As a part of Fab Faber series here we are with few excerpts from another super book ‘Act like Leader, Think like Leader’ by Herminia Ibarra, one of the best business books of 2015.
Are you a leader in your life, at your work? You aspire to lead with greater impact. The problem is you’re busy executing on today’s demands. You know you have to carve out time from your day job to build your leadership skills, but it’s easy to let immediate problems and old mind-sets get in the way.
Herminia Ibarra–an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school–shows how managers and executives at all levels can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves. In “Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader,” she offers advice to help you: Redefine your job in order to make more strategic contributions; Diversify your network so that you connect to, and learn from, a bigger range of stakeholders; Become more playful with your self-concept, allowing your familiar–and possibly outdated–leadership style to evolve.
The way we think is a product of our past experience and so the best way of changing our mind-set is to act differently. Ibarra has three main central chapters each on a different aspect of how to act like a leader, and each involves redefinition — of your job, your network, and yourself.
Firstly, your jobs. We like to do what we already do well, and because of that, we get better at it. We allocate more time to what we are good at, and so devote less time to learning other things that are also important to our development. Overtime, we have to pay more to learn those new things, we feel like trapped. Consequently, we are in trouble and we don’t act like a leader!
Instead of acting like ‘a hub’, in your business you need to be ‘a bridge between your team and our external environment’ so that we gain the out-sight needed to develop the business.
The networking successfully disarms your standard objections to having anything to do with networking, firstly by pointing out that we tend to network with those closest to you and most resembling yourselves – which the author terms as being ‘lazy and narcissistic’.
Networking is the object, which allows your relations to do work spontaneously in case of urgency. It will benefit you and the others in form of perspective and knowledge explained.
Lastly, there is the challenge to change the way you act. In part, this is to stop using being ‘authentic’ as an excuse for poor behaviors.
‘The biggest problem with the true-to-self approach is that it defines authenticity according to the past and, by consequence, defines change as a loss.’ In place of this, imitate others, and by doing so, creating a new synthesis which combines your own qualities with the qualities you are hoping to assume.
Compiled by: Faber Khushbhoo Vyas