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February Leadership Development Carnival – Carnevale di Venezia Edition

Posted by Mark Bennett on February 7, 2010

Last year about this time, our colleague Jon Ingham hosted the HR Carnival and pointed out that it was during Carnevale in Venice. We’re continuing that tradition for this month’s Leadership Development Carnival.*

Carnevale is perhaps best known for the wide variety of masks that participants wear. The role of a mask in leadership has also been recognized throughout history, particularly in the context of politics and war. We tend to associate masks with “hiding” and “being fake”, but one can argue that even authentic leadership sometimes entails keeping a calm demeanor while chaos swirls around.

One thing is clear: just as the changes in technology and society over time have required changes in the kind of mask those historical leaders showed to their followers, so too have technological and societal changes impacted leadership in our organizations. For instance, employees are demanding more transparency and more voice in how decisions are made that affect our work, often via discussions taking place on collaborative technologies. Leaders must decide how to respond to that. The core principles of leadership still remain, but the conditions are rapidly evolving as to the way in which it is most effectively practiced.

It’s through efforts like the Leadership Development Carnival that challenges like this can be discussed, ideas shared, and understanding enhanced. We’d like to thank Dan McCarthy of Great Leadership for allowing us to host this month’s Leadership Development Carnival as well as for the great work he does to support this community. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the superb entries this month’s carnival holds:

Dan McCarthy presents What Prevents Leaders from “Connecting the Dots”?, posted at Great Leadership, explaining how in addition to the multitude of external factors that impact our ability to connect the dots, there is also something inside each of us that needs attention too.

Bret L. Simmons presents I Am Responsible For My Success and Failures And For Continuing To Learn From Them, posted at Bret L. Simmons, discussing an important principle in leading a truly empowered life.

Art Petty presents Team Stuck in the Creativity Deep Freeze? Try “Why Not?” to Start the Thaw posted at Management Excellence, providing suggestions for “waking the creative giant hiding inside your people and your teams.”

Becky Robinson presents Todd Pittinsky and Intergroup Leadership posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk, describing intriguing ways to “increase positive interactions between different subgroups in your organization.”

Miki Saxon presents When Realities Collide posted at MAPping Company Success, which considers the difficulties in engaging the ‘just in time workforce’ to which many companies are moving and asks “how do you get people to care when they know without a doubt that the company doesn’t care about them?”

Coaching Category –

Shawn M. Driscoll presents 4 Simple Steps to Go Signature posted at Shawn Driscoll, providing tips to coaches for reaching a broader audience.

Executive Development Category –

Wally Bock presents Becoming a Great Leader is Up to You posted at Three Star Leadership Blog, saying, “If you want to become a great leader, you have to take responsibility for your own development. Here are some tools you can use.”

Mike King presents 100 Ways to Serve Others posted at Learn This, saying, “Leadership development requires an attitude of service to others. There are 100 ways to serve.”

Leadership Category –

John Agno presents Top 10 Leadership Tips of the Last Decade posted at Coaching Tip: The Leadership Blog, saying, “Here are ten popular leadership lessons learned over the last several years and recommended by John Agno at CoachingTip.com”

Dean L. Forbes presents How to Achieve Your Goals posted at Dean L. Forbes – Powerful Principles of Personal Growth, providing tips for what to do once you’ve set your goals.

Bob Lieberman presents Our Debt To Adolescents posted at Cultivating Creativity – Developing Leaders for the Creative Economy, discussing some interesting coping strategies tapped from younger folks.

Jane Perdue presents Perfectly Matched Or Delightfully Oddball? posted at Life, Love & Leadership, challenging the assumption that all the people in your personal and work circles must be a perfect fit.

Aaron Windeler presents Why a leader with a bad mood can be good for business posted at Scientific Management, discussing evidence that shows us we should consider how our moods affect our followers.

Tom Glover presents Should Leaders Focus on Each Individual Follower? posted at Reflection Leadership, whether leaders should move followers in and out of their “in-group.”

Mike Henry Sr. presents Sources of Leadership posted at Lead Change Group Blog, asking, “What is the source of your leadership authority?”

Anne Perschel presents Why We Love Twitter – What Leaders Should Know posted at Germane Insights, recommending we “create a company-wide private Twitter to achieve desired actions and attitudes.”

Tanmay Vora presents On Leadership, Opening Up and Being Prepared posted at QAspire – Quality, Management, Leadership & Life!, urging us to “stay current, open and receptive to new insights.”

Nick McCormick presents Fill Your Pack posted at Joe and Wanda – on Management, providing a ten-minute Management Tips Podcast with Tim Clark, author of “The Leadership Test.”

Nissim Ziv presents What is the Difference between Management and Leadership posted at Job Interview Guide, saying, “There are many models that depict leadership and management in the business world. In reality management and leadership have very different meanings: a manager is a title and leader is a function. Management is a position and leadership is a skill.”

David Burkus presents Book Review: Leadership & The One Minute Manager posted at davidburkus.com, reviewing a classic book that teaches situational leadership theory.

Erin Schreyer presents To Be or Not to Be? posted at Authentic Leadership, talking about the benefits of being intentional.

Ralph Jean-Paul presents The Persuasion Experiment: 5 Effective Persuasion Techniques Tested posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, “We are constantly trying to persuade others in one direction or another. Whether it is trying to convince your friends to eat at one restaurant instead of another, or getting your boss to give you a raise, being able to persuade other people is important. Leaders must have this skill! In this post, I test 5 persuasion techniques to see if they really work.”

Jennifer V. Miller presents Stepping Into the Abyss posted at Jennifer V. Miller, describing the key factors necessary for employees to feel comfortable giving feedback to their bosses.

William Matthies presents Change: The New You posted at Business Wisdom: Words to Manage By, saying, “If you can’t lead change, it will lead you.”

Eric Pennington presents One Question For Your CEO posted at Epic Living – Leadership Development Career Management Training Executive Life Coaching Author, discussing “maybe the most important question for the CEO, and those who follow him or her.”

Erik Samdahl presents 20 Years and Counting: Leadership Development Once Again the Most Critical Issue Facing Organizations in 2010 posted at Productivity Blog, saying, “Based on a study of over 40 issues, leadership development is the most critical issue: what companies see as important but not effective.”

Lisa Rosendahl presents Have You Checked Your Credibility Lately? posted at Lisa Rosendahl, saying, “You have credibility currency. You trade in it and on it regularly, whether you are aware of it or not. Have you checked your credibility lately?”

Alice Snell presents Seats at Executive Tables posted at Taleo Blog – Talent Management Solutions, saying, “HR needs more Seats at Executive Tables”

Steve Roesler presents How To Get Your Good Ideas Heard posted at All Things Workplace, saying, “Leaders are always looking for other leaders. One way they find them is by watching people who know the importance of getting their ideas heard. Here are some ways to do just that.”

Jon Ingham presents Work sucks, play games! posted at Management 2.0 developing social capital, discussing ideas from a book which suggests using games and virtual worlds to change the way we work.

Tom Magness presents Spider-Senses posted at Leader Business, saying, “Good leaders need ‘Spider-senses.’ The power that comes from listening to that inner voice, from following up on intuition, can save a reputation, a project, or even a life. Take a few lessons from the world’s greatest ‘Webslinger!'”

Management Category –

Barry Zweibel presents The Heart of Effective Personal Management posted at GottaGettaBLOG!, a primer on Stephen Covey’s “Time Management Matrix” from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

Laura, a.k.a. working girl presents Working Girls posted at Working Girl, discussing an increasing source of frustration for working women who want to work more effectively.

Sharlyn Lauby presents Anonymous Comments posted at hr bartender, saying, “Managers should ask questions to get better answers and build trust.”

Jim Stroup presents The Management Uncertainty Principle posted at Managing Leadership, saying, “Uncertainty operates not just in physics but in management as well. How can you use it to gain greater control over your work?”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of leadership development carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.


*   Carnevale takes place during the two weeks prior to Mardi Gras, so the dates are not fixed. This year, it officially goes from February 6th through the 16th. So today’s Leadership Development Carnival (unofficially) kicks off the event.

Interesting Note: Americans might think that their electoral system is convoluted, but Venice had a truly remarkable voting system for electing its leadership. Here is a ‘brief’ description from Wikipedia

The Venetians’ system for electing the Doge was a particularly convoluted process, consisting of five rounds of drawing lots (sortition) and five rounds of approval voting. By drawing lots, a body of 30 electors was chosen, which was further reduced to nine electors by drawing lots again. An electoral college of nine members elected 40 people by approval voting; those 40 were reduced to form a second electoral college of 12 members by drawing lots again. The second electoral college elected 25 people by approval voting, which were reduced to form a third electoral college of nine members by drawing lots. The third electoral college elected 45 people, which were reduced to form a fourth electoral college of 11 by drawing lots. They in turn elected a final electoral body of 41 members, who ultimately elected the Doge. Despite its complexity, the system had certain desirable properties such as being hard to game and ensuring that the winner reflected the opinions of both majority and minority factions. This process was used with little modification from 1268 until the end of the Republic of Venice in 1797, and was one of the factors contributing to the durability of the republic.

Photo by Mark Bennett

19 Responses to “February Leadership Development Carnival – Carnevale di Venezia Edition”

  1. Mark,

    What a unique way to look at leadership– via the masks of Carnevale. Thanks for including me!


    • Thanks, Jennifer! I’m glad you found it…unique 😉 Thank you for your post!

      • Paul Gupta said

        I recall way back in a design course at Stanford, our professor had a guest lecturer on Improv (from the Drama Department) come for one session.

        She talked to us about masks. We wore masks (!) and went about our (product) design exercies for that evening.

        Whenever folks would feel the effect to wear off or start to feel foolish, we would have mirrors that would get passed around so we could re-establish the mask’s hold over us.

        It was quite remarkable how this simple act allowed some of us to break out of the boundaries we had defined for ourselves and operated within.

      • That is a very interesting exercise! I like how that simple act could have such an impact. It demonstrates the incredible power, which could be used for both good and evil (think of the masked/uniformed mobs throughout history and the recent additional impact of mass media pointing back onto those mobs), that alternate (or null) self-identities can have on our individual realities and behavior. Thanks, Paul.

  2. […] My post “On Leadership, Opening Up and Being Prepared” is featured in February Leadership Development Carnival, along with a number of fantastic posts from Leadership community and friends. Check it […]

  3. […] February Leadership Development Carnival by Miki Saxon My thanks to Mark Bennett over at TalentedApps for hosting the February Leadership Carnival. […]

  4. […] I’ve been featured in the February issue of the Leadership Development Blog Carnival. My post is one of many discussing leadership, management and coaching. You can find the full list of featured blog posts here. […]

  5. […] more insight into nearly every aspect of leadership, check out the just-released February Leadership Carnival hosted by Talented Apps’ Mark […]

  6. I am so humbled to be included in such talented company. There are some very insightful articles here. I love “To Be or Not To Be” by Erin Schreyer. Nicely done sir.

    • A great thing about the Leadership Development Carnival, by seeing all these posts together, is that it reminds us of how many terrific, talented folks are out there who care to take the time to share their thinking on as critical a topic as this. Your post fits nicely in that company, Dean. It provided clear guidance and concrete advice on a topic that is near and dear to our hearts. Just look at the number of posts Meg has written on it!


  7. […] stop by this month’s Leadership Carnival, which takes a very unique look at leadership “masks” using the Venetian Carnevale as its […]

  8. […] tired of talking football and ready for a new adventure, visit the Talent Apps blog for the latest Leadership Development Carnival.  There’s an awesome collection of management and leadership reading along with some fun […]

  9. […] reading? Mark Bennett hosts the Leadership Development Carnival this month over at his blog, Talented Apps where three dozen posts eagerly await your viewing. […]

  10. Mark –
    A belated thanks for hosting this month’s carnival. Nice job!!

  11. […] The Leadership Development Carnival […]

  12. […] February 2010 edition of the Leadership Development Carnival has been published by Talented Apps. Included is a link to The Heart of Effective Personal […]

  13. Isaak Estes said

    Great post! Looking forward for the next Leadership Development Carnival…

    Isaak Estes
    Leadership Coaching

  14. […] February 2010 edition of the Leadership Development Carnival has been published by Talented Apps. Included is a link to The Heart of Effective Personal […]

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