ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015 - (Page 65)
> BANKER RECOMMENDED READING
BY WILLIAM B. GRANT
AS A STUDENT of leadership, Herminia Ibarra's Act Like a Leader,
Think Like a Leader is as innovative as any book I have seen on the
subject. While thousands of books have been written about leadership,
few throw the reader so sharply out of their comfort zone.
The first surprise is Ibarra's "outsight"
principle, which holds that the "only
way to think like a leader is to first
act." She continues with the thought
that "introspection should follow
action and experimentation-not
vice-versa." Talk about innovation!
To harness the outsight principle,
she says, you must redefine your
job, your network and yourself.
The first outsight principle, redefining
your job, warns that success can
create competency traps. Repeatedly
doing the same thing can blind you to
what else may be possible and what
new skills you might learn. Instead
of always asking what you can do
better, the better question could be:
What should I be doing instead?
To move us from the comfort zone of
incremental progress, Ibarra suggests
four steps. The first is to become
the bridge between the team and
the external environment. Regular
contact with the outside will allow a
better understanding of the entire
organization and the external factors
which impact it. This enables the
second step: envision new possibilities
and all that is needed in "developing
and articulating an aspiration." The
third critical step is to engage people
in the vision and the attendant change.
It is more than placards and posters,
Ibarra writes. It is engagement and,
just as importantly, embodiment
of the change by you, the leader.
This fourth step, embodiment,
allows others to understand the
vision channeled through you.
One of the attractive features of Act
Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader is
the abundance of practical suggestions
and worksheets. Ibarra provides a
checklist of additional suggestions to
round out the process of redefining
the job through sensory development,
engagement in projects outside
customary areas and participation
in activities outside of the job.
The second outsight principle calls for
networking, across the organization
and outside of it. Ibarra tells us that
we are narcissistic and lazy in our
networks, tending to seek out those
like ourselves, who also happen to be
close by. The book provides a remedy
for this with step-by-step guidance on
how to develop generational, personal
and strategic networks. The networks
will function the best when they meet
the "BCD test" for breadth (multiple
layers of diversity), connectivity
(enabling connections that otherwise
would not occur) and dynamism
(which allows relationship ties to
strengthen over time). Ibarra includes
many practical aids to help with this
sometimes uncomfortable process.
Herminia Ibarra, Act Like a
Leader, Think Like a Leader
was the suggestion that we should
be more playful with ourselves,
experimenting with who we are,
rather than just working on it. Ibarra
challenges the notion of being "true
to one's self" by suggesting that this
could actually be holding you back.
Ibarra's advice can push you from
your comfort zones without letting
you become a fake-but it's a closer
line than you might imagine.
We all know that banking is in a
constant state of change. Success will
belong to those who innovate. Like a
Leader, Act Like a Leader provides us
with innovative and instructional ways
to develop as stronger leaders of our
banks in this transformational age.
WILLIAM B. GRANT is chairman
and CEO of First United Bank
& Trust, Oakland, Md.
I found the third principle of "outsight"
to be the most uncomfortable. It
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015
A Conversation With the Comptroller
Cover Story Doing the Right Thing
Big Data and Predictive Analytics: A Big Deal, Indeed
Stress Testing: Feeling the Pressure?
ABA Compliance Center Inbox
Cybersecurity Self-Assessment Tool Helps Combat Risk
Real Estate Lending
Banker Recommended Reading
From the States
Corporate Social Responsibility
Index of Advertisers
ABA Banking Journal - November/December 2015