Monthly Archives: September 2015

Guten Tag

The Designing Leaders team may be offline, or otherwise slow to respond, until next week. We are currently in Vienna, Austria, exploring modern leadership methods in cafes (which is code for “we are getting all the coffee and pastries we can get this week”). Back soon!!

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Fooling Your Body

When you start to feel overwhelmed, or that things are moving out of your control, it’s common to get some physical reactions. You get that all-too-familiar tingling sensation, or rapid breathing, or general nervousness, or whatever is normal for you. That can often lead you to take an action that might not be best, simply […]

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Born or Made?

Are leaders born, or are they made? The Designing Leaders crew had this discussion last month over dinner, and we have been thinking about it a lot since then. It’s an old question that we have all asked ourselves before, and plenty of people have offered up an answer, but nothing that seems to really […]

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The Military-to-Civilian Transition

Last week, Designing Leaders hosted a small discussion session in Singapore on the issue of hiring leaders and managers who have just left the military (looking here at the regular Singapore Armed Forces, not the National Service that is compulsory for males). Singapore has a long history of integrating retired and other long-term military personnel […]

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Be Open to Bad News

The idea of “shooting the messenger” was first expressed by Shakespeare, or so says Wikipedia. But in a nutshell, the leader who lashes out at the poor subordinate who got tagged to report bad news is wasting time, and wasting messengers. Don’t be that leader. Many leaders say they want open communication in their workplace, […]

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Turbulent Thailand

In the last few weeks, when people ask us about Thailand, the questions have usually been about the recent bombing. As horrible as that event was, it is but one piece of the turbulent times in Thailand today. We wanted to share a few thoughts on what we are seeing in that country. This is […]

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Do More, Not Less

Businesses are getting nervous in Asia. China, the biggest customer in the region, is facing a cooling economy. Political and economic uncertainty in Malaysia and Thailand are making people unsure where to place their bets. Firms that want to stay profitable, or at least stay in business, have important decisions to make. Profit, of course, […]

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You Don’t Have to Be the Star

When you go into a leadership role, the world does not have to revolve around you. And if you are a really good leader, it won’t. Earlier styles of leadership tended to focus on one strong leader at the top, often a charismatic figure, but certainly a commanding one. Today’s leadership, especially in knowledge-based industries, […]

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An MNC is an MNC

Early this morning I met up with a former client who was in town, just to catch up and see how things are going for them. As we talked about the challenges they are facing around Asia and the opportunities they are seeing for growth, it occurred to me that it did not matter if […]

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Toxic Environments

“How’s it going?” “Oh, I’m getting by.” “What’s up?” “Well, I’m hanging in there.” “So how’s your day?” “Let me tell you what that no-good dirtbag in Accounting did…” These people (the second ones in each example, not the first, in case you missed that) have got very negative attitudes. They subscribe to the “ain’t […]

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