Monday, 29 November 2010

Reading Club 8: Self-leadership and the one minute manager (Ken Blanchard)

What I've learned from this book:

Empowerment is something someone gives you. Self-leadership is what you
do to make it work. Sounds good but this is exactly what's missing. People give me work but they don't give me the empowerment to see it through. Somehow control and power are two things closely related. If you are so used to having power ('position power' according to Ken), I suppose it's difficult to let go. How can I develop professionally  if I have self-leadership but no empowerment and trust to make decisions? Yes I can use my 'knowledge power', 'personal power','relationship power'  and 'task power' as suggested in the book but unfortunately in schools, EVERYTHING is  'position power' and long live the system!. Power is what people want and enjoy but I'm the dreamy one who still hopes for empowerment and flexibility :) Having said all that, I'm thankful am a Gc without position power because it can lead to abuse if you are not careful.

Diagnose Yourself - love this one! I learned to diagnose myself using the 'development continuum'.  There are four levels

    D1: Enthusiastic beginner (low competence, high commitment)
    D2: Disillusioned Learner (low to some competence, low commitment)
    D3: Capable but Cautions Performer (moderate to high competence
           variable commitment)
    D4: High Achiever (high competence, high commitment)
I don't have to be a D4 in all situations. It can be a mix but  what it teaches me is to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses and to do something about them. To quote Ken, "When your competence is low, you need direction: when your commitment is low, you need support.'

Assumed Constraints and Elephant Thinking     
I never thought of this one! An assumed constraint is a believe you have, based on past experience,    that limits you current and future experiences. Hmmm... I have too many of these I think. What  I need to do is challenge assumed constraints. I need to convince myself that 'position power' is not the only power that works.

I will share what I learn from the next book am reading now later...ta


    1. I sense your feelin of helplessness when you said," ...unfortunately in schools, EVERYTHING is 'position power'..." ; and I do not blame you for that.

      However, if a group of teacherscan sit bainstorming and arrive at the questions: 'What are we here for (apart from makan gaji)?', 'what are we accountable for?' and what our responsibilties are; and 'who are we accountable to?', they can get somewhere.

      Then act and speak up. No 'power' will dare to unjustly mete out punishment. One thing the 'power' fears most is the power of media. Even the PM himself is. Have the gut to do that, TOGETHER.
      I am afraid I do not subscribe totally to the theory of 'empowerment'. a western thinker has not got the Islamic elements in it. I may accept such theory as that of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
      It is good to be forwarding different views. I wish more of your learned visitors from among the educationists would come forwards to express their views. .

    2. Salam Puan. I'm Fattah, a former student of SMSJ (SPM 2003). I stumbled upon your blog by accident, really. Glad to know you're still teaching, though in a different school now ;-)

    3. dear pakcik,

      1)helpless indeed :) thank you for your opinion. the book certainly opened my mind to the different powers that one can use. to be honest, i'm so used to a democratic set up than the current situation, i sometimes struggle to understand that things are different in my present situation. i will email u further on this matter, insyaAllah.

      2)indeed teachers must ask those pertinent questions. accountability is not just a buzzword, it must be embraced by teachers. it's a good idea to extend a teacher's tenure through annual evaluation and not automatic tenure as is the practice now. or else teachers will become complacent and will not want to improve because whether he or she performs or not, there is still the yearly increment! underlying all this is what i strongly believe pakcik- INTEGRITY. if u have integrity, all will be well.

      3) well, i think empowerment is better than delegation although as u said it lacks 'Islamic elements'. if u empower me i will be participating in decision-making process. i need to read more on Islamic principles of management!

      yes, i wish more would interact but perhaps they are shy pakcik :) tx for being a regular visitor. u keep my mind alert!

      ~the thinking teacher~

    4. wassallam Fattah,
      i remember u! how time flies. 5 set 1 right? good to fnd u here. how are doing? if u have fb, we can connect.

    5. Minta laluan cikgu. Saya tujukan kepada:


      I am pleased to see you leaving comments for your old teacher. You re,member her and you have chosen to acknowledge her. You see, Puan Rahmah remembers her pupils.

      By now you have probably begun your higher education. That you remeber an old teacher is a sign of a well brought up individual. You have what it needs to hold a high position in life, above all, to be a good mother one day. Good luck to you.

    6. well-meaning pakcik but just one correction! Fattah is male :)


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