Two-day training course of “Leadership”

I always wonder what’s the difference between Leadership and Management? This course helped me to learn it.

What is leadership?

This video explains Leadership through an easy example. To lead is to have the ability to get people to follow. To influence people, we need to do:

  • Start from simple easy movement, which is easy for people to start
  • Be prepare you are alone, people won’t follow
  • Keep doing
  • Keep encouraging
  • Transform

Actually, I quite like Jack Ma’s talk which shows that he is an effective leader.

What is effective leadership and what is effective management?

Leadership and management are not either-or options. They work together as a blended approach. If management is about the procedure, then leadership is about people.

What are leadership styles?

The first approach is to use the Tannenbaum and Schmidt Continuum to see how we can balance between the level of freedom that a manager chooses to give to a team, and the level of authority used by the manager.

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The second approach is to use the Situational leadership model to understand different circumstances. Effective leadership is actually  working from high management towards low management. Trust and Believe people can do will make us spend less time on managing people. (e.g., displayed in the diagram below: S1 -> S2 -> S3 -> S4, sometimes it works another way around S4 -> S3 -> S2 -> S1)

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Understand motivation

Motivation is a drive to satisfaction. It makes people make work forward positively, responsibly, and happily. We can motivate people in many ways, however it all depends on individuals. From Howthorne effect, we can see that more resources do not always make better outcomes and performance.

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So how do we know what motive the person and how can we motivate them? The approach is:

  • Talk to people and find out what’s important for them (their motivators)
  • Open your eyes/ears (try new ways; look opportunities for them)
  • Motivate them using their motivators daily

What are transformational leaders?

Transformational leadership is social skills that get the best of you and people. It creates real, fair, honest interpersonal connections. It creates valuable and positive change in the followers which develop followers into transformational leaders.

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So how can we develop transformational leadership skills? One crucial approach is to develop Emotional Intelligence, which fits in transformational skills well. According to Dr Goleman’s study, we know that it’s important, we can develop our EQ, we can learn it. It brings out the real self.

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Then, we need to learn how we make the team work together. Here is an example of developing plans. It’s not a very good one. And it is not a single direction process. No7, actually linked back to Step 4, 5, 6.

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Understand objectives

Objectives are difference from aims/goals. Objectives are short-term, highly specific and achievable new state of outcome. It’s never “ongoing”!  As a leader, you need to know your team objectives that you are able to governance.

Objectives can bring the team: motivation, focus on reality/priority, and measurable performace/sucess.

I quite like one of the skills the trainer used. When we state an objective, we should define the output like:

“By xxx (specific deadline), I will have + verb-ed (action) + noun (a new state).”

We can use the SMART checklist when we write objectives.

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Deal with tricky cases and conflict 

This is too complicate to discuss here. I have seen many examples, but they were manageable and not exceptional. I was joking with a colleague and said, “The more different-characteristic people you work with, the more you learn.”

A few reminders for myself:

  • It’s a conversation aims to resolve a problem. You don’t solve people’s problems, you offer support and input you can.
  • Always deal with what presents!
  • Don’t mention the individual’s name when bring up a complaint from the person.
  • Bring the issue by saying something like “I notice…”
  • If people ask you a complaint they had, say something like “I will deal with it.”; “I am working on it.”
  • If the person respond silently, you can go back to your expectations for them and say something like “I can suggest… If you notice anything that I can do to support you, tell me.” Then you two need to set a reasonable agreed timescale to resolve it.
  • Divisive conflict needs to be dealt with at the time it happens.
  • Using verbal warning means a formal process starts.

The English Language history and its use

I enjoyed reading the book A History of the English Language in 100 Places written by Prof. Bill Lucas and Prof. Christopher Mulvey. This is the English Project website.

It displays the history of English and its impact:

  • Pamphlet for Grammar by William Bullokar in 1586 was the first grammar of the English Language. (p.71)
  • The scientific journal Philosophical Transactions, first published in 1665, was probably the first international science journal written in English. (p.86)
  • The term “Badminton” originates a game with shuttlecocks invented in southwest England. (p.92)
  • The term “Bungalow” is from a corruption of ‘Bengal’, describing the kind of cottages built by European settlers in that par of India. (p.92)
  • Carl Linnaeus, a Swede, rationalized the ‘binomial nomenclature’ that is the foundation of the modern scientific naming of all living things (animals and plants). Linnaeus insisted that every species should have two names: the first would identify the genus to which it belonged; the second would identify the species within the genus. (p.107)
  • Louis Braille’s six-dot grid provided exactly what was wanted to transcribe writing for the eye into writing for the fingertip. (pp.117-118) Yes. it is still in use today, I found them on the packages of medicines.
  • In 1825, George Stephenson built a steam engine that he called Locomotion to haul a train from Stockton to Darlington. Locomotion was not the first self-moving stream engine, but it was the first passenger locomotive. (p.123)
  • Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch means ‘St Mary’s Church in the Hollow of the White Hazel near the Rapid Whirlpool of St Tysilio of the Red Cave.’ (p.148) I went to see this longest name station last year, didn’t know it was closed in 1968. I think it’s open at present.
  • The shortest place name in the British Isles is Ae, a village in Dumfries and Galloway. ‘Ae’ is Celtic for river, as are Avon, Ouse and Wey. Many place names owe something to the Romans, particularly those ending in ‘- chester’. That comes from the Latin word castrum – fort. Those are places where Roman armies set up camps that later became cities. Places ending in ‘-by’, ‘-thorp’, ‘-beck’, ‘-dale’ and ‘-thwaite’ were originally Danish settlements and are usually found on the east coast and in the north. (p.150)
  • On 10 March 1876, the world’s first telephone message was sent/received between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas A. Watson at Exeter Place, Boston. (p.150)
  • It was The Times of London that developed the technology to print on both sides of the page using high-speed press in the 1820s. (p.166)
  • Arthur Wynne created ‘word-cross’ puzzle. first included in the New York World on 21 December 1913. (p.168)
  • The tarting point of BBC English is an accent that became known as ‘Received English’, or RP. It was a new name for a speech pattern developed in English public schools in the nineteenth century. Its intention was to ensure that it was not possible to detect the birthplace of a speaker. (p.175)
  • In 2000, the Oxford English Dictionary went online, and it is in the process of a complete rewriting. Some 4,000 words are being added every year. What will be called OED3 is promised for 2037; meanwhile, the digital OED lists over 600,000 headwords. (p.178)
  • website dedicates to the use of effective communication by the federal government starting in the United States and has wide acceptance across the world. (p.185)
  • On page 221, it said over 100 countries speak English as their major language, including the Philippines and Pakistan. I didn’t realise it. Indeed English is their official language.

Borrowed Words in English

On this morning BBC radio Wales, they were talking about the English value and words that other languages have had effects on English.

Interesting to know Cardiff earns 12milliom pounds from teaching English from overseas:

  • booze – alcoholic drink, to drink (alcohol); from Dutch.
  • zombie – a person who is or appears to be lifeless, a corpse brought to life in this manner; from Kikongo. the Bantu language of the Kongo people, used as a lingua franca in the lower Congo River basin.
  • dollar – U.S. currency; from Low German daler,  from German Taler, Thaler,  short for Joachimsthaler  coin made from metal mined in Joachimsthal  Jachymov, town now in the Czech Republic.
  • corgi – small dog; from Welsh corgi, from cor “dwarf” + ci “dog”.
  • penguin – origin uncertain, perhaps in Welsh “pen gwyn” literally, white head (referring to the great auk in its winter plumage); later misapplied to the Spheniscidae.
  • bungalow – “Bengalese,” used elliptically for “house in the Bengal style.” Hindi bangla “low, thatched house”.

check #EnglishEffect on twitter.

It’s the culture thing

By watching the BBC “Apprentice”, Susan’s languages and ideas being joked, I can see once again that Western philosphy is so different from Eastern philosphy, especially in the way of using language to express one’s opinion.

The way somehow Susan speaks is related to how she naturally translates her thinking and expressing it in English. I can see her English is excellent and she grew up in a western culture environment. However, for me, she pretty much has the effects from Chinese culture. Her way of thinking and talking is in a Chinese way, to some extent, it’s easy to be understood by Chinese and a Chinese will not really think what she asked “Does French drive?” type of question is because she is lack of common sense and stupid. In a Chinese conversion, this type of expression is everywhere. The question is positive, French people do drive! Susan knows that, the question is just a way to express it. In normal Chinese coversations, the question contains an answer already.

If Susan does not avoid the way of expressing her ideas by translating her Chinese way of thinking, she will be collected more silly questions in the show. I know it’s not easy for her, but I am sure Chinese people, who watch this show, have realised this issue.

I like this young girl, her business sense is good and she is young enough to learn, to grow. Gook luck.


In communication, it is easy to be misunderstood, especially not by face-to-face. That’s why as a ESL speaker, I’d like to double check that I understand others.

There is a clear example from Stephen Covey’s book “The 8th Habit: from Effectiveness to Greatness” (pp.200-201) 

A farmer went into his attorney’s office wanting to file for divorce from his wife. The attorney asked, “may I help you?” to which the farmer replied, “Yeah, I want to get one of those dayvorces.”

The attorney said, “Well, do you have any grounds?” and the farmer said, “Yeah, I got about 140 acres.”

The attorney said, “No, you don’t understand,. Do you have a case?” and the farmer replied, “No, I don’t have a Case, but I have a John Deere.”

And the attorney said, “No, you really don’t understand. I mean do you have a grudge?” And the farmer replied to that, “Yeah, I got a grudge. That’s where I park my John Deere.”

The attorney, still trying, asked, “No, sir, I mean do you have a suit?” The farmer replied, “Yes, sir, I got a suit. I wear it to church on Sunday.”

The exasperated and frustrated attorney said, “Well, sir, does your wife beat you up or anything?” The farmer replied, “No, sir. We both get up about 4:30.”

Finally, the attorney says, “Okay. Let me put it this way. WHY DO YOU WANT A DIVORCE?” And the farmer says, “Well, I can never have a meaningful conversation with her.”