Fabian Hirose |  Management Consulting
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Business, Industry & Capability Insights

Ideas that generate results

Posts tagged leadership
On Fashion & Another Commodity Systems

A blog discussing the amalgamation of boundaries including international law, global economy, geographical positions and communities needs and desires into which the fashion industry is placed.

- A brief reflective enquiry process to support personal and professional development - 

After my 17 years of learning, unlearning and relearning about myself, my relationship with the fashion industry and my place within the system, I can’t start talking about fashion without naming the external elements that allow this industry to exist. Just like any other business, fashion companies provide solutions to specified sectors of global communities answering their needs based on the individual and collective life continuum that the community requires to coexist.

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The Pursuit of Money: A Cautionary Tale

Distorted beliefs about money often have their roots in childhood.

“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” - Jonathan Swift

Paulo came from very humble beginnings. Through hard work and luck, he became a fabulously rich executive. Unfortunately, his new wealth changed him, but not for the better. Money seemed to illuminate a kind of arrogant and abusive behaviour that had not surfaced before. Paulo started believing that his wealth gave him the right to do whatever he wanted, which resulted in questionable ethical behaviour.

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The Fine Line Between Stubbornness and Stupidity

One pathway to greatness is the ability to change one’s mind when proven wrong.

Stubbornness isn’t necessarily bad and can in fact be a virtue. Sometimes, as history has shown, people do the right thing by remaining steadfast to their beliefs. Take the Charles de Gaulle. General de Gaulle refused to admit defeat after France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II. Against overwhelming odds, he persuaded the French that they would ultimately prevail. His unwavering belief in the greatness of his country helped him turn his vision into reality. After the war,  then President de Gaulle managed to secure a permanent seat for France on the United Nations Security Council. His determination earnt France respect on the global stage.


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Chip Conley of Airbnb: The advice I wish I’d been given at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50

This summer, I spent a week in Mexico with my two young sons who, on occasion, want to tap into my wisdom. While there, I received an email from a new friend, a generation younger than me, who asked this 57-year-old to give him the kind of advice I wish I’d heard as a 42-year-old. Knowing my advice might be valuable gave me a renewed sense of purpose. But, unfortunately, many of us in our fifties or older feel increasingly invisible as if we don’t have much to offer the world.

When I surveyed nearly 200 middle-aged people about their life and career in preparation for writing my new book, Wisdom@Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, my number one surprise was how often the word “irrelevant” came up in conversations. One person described feeling like an old carton of milk, with an expiration date stamped on their wrinkled forehead. Others felt obsolescent, like an old rusting machine. One paradox of our time is that we enjoy better health than ever later into life, remain vibrant, and stay in the workplace longer.

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Don’t Try to Be the “Fun Boss” — and Other Lessons in Ethical Leadership

Just becoming a leader is enough to exacerbate some people’s unethical tendencies. But power does not corrupt everyone. Our research suggests that key personality characteristics predict unethical leadership behavior.

We collected personality data and supervisor ratings of ethical behavior (e.g., integrity, accountability) on 3,500 leaders across 30 organizations we had worked with. The organizations included in our study were largely multinational, represented several industries, and varied in size from medium to large. We combined data across these 30 independent studies to examine the relationship between personality and ethical leadership across a range of different settings and situations.

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Are you an inclusive leader?

Traditional concepts of leadership are fast becoming out-moded in today’s complex world.  In diverse global environments, where technology is breaking down barriers and revolutionizing the way we work, a new breed of leader is needed.

If organizations are to be able to innovate at speed and keep ahead of the competition, they need leaders who accept that they cannot possibly know all the answers themselves.  Succeeding against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, where customer expectations are greater than ever before, calls for humility, empathy and a high level of self-awareness.


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From dark to light: Managing the dark side of personality for effective leadership performance

Report by Dr Nadine,  Dr Sabine Bergner and Stefan Wills for Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School. 

The impact of personality characteristics in the workplace is of great interest to leaders and followers and has thus been studied extensively for many years. Until recently, the focus of this work has been on ‘bright’ personality traits and how these impact organisational behaviour.

Recent incidents, such as the financial crises, however, have led to a change in focus and greater interest in the darker side of personality and its influence on workplace behaviour. Questions such as ‘if the bright traits positively impact leadership performance do the dark traits result in poorer leadership performance?’ or ‘does the dark side of personality accelerate career advancement?’ have become interesting.

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How Leaders Can Make Their Dark Side Brighter

There can’t be many of us who haven’t at some point in our working lives come across leaders who have a ‘dark’ side. Maybe in the past, you’ve worked for a manager who’s a bit of a narcissist – someone who truly believes they are head and shoulders above everyone else, is arrogant in the extreme and only happy when they are basking in the glow of admiration from others.

Or perhaps you’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter someone with Machiavellian tendencies.  A calculating, master manipulator, who has no morals and will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals.    You might even have come across a psychopath – a cold, unstable and aggressive leader who appears to be completely lacking in empathy and behaves in unpredictable ways.

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Neutralise Your Toxic Boss

Toxic bosses. We have all seen them. They’re screamers, stressed-out micromanagers, volatile, untrustworthy, insecure nightmares to work with. They’re everywhere, and they do tremendous harm to the people around them and their organisations. And it seems that bad behaviour is on the rise. Why? Because people are freaking out about the economy. Our economic systems are careening wildly, not following the rules anymore, and it’s touching all of us, at home, in the grocery store, and at work. It could get a lot worse, and soon. It’s just plain scary.

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3 Ways Leaders & Managers Create a Toxic Culture

Whether presiding over the entire company, a function, a region, or a business unit, the people at the top of an organisation have a disproportionate level of influence over those they lead. Those further down in the organisation look to their leaders for cues on what’s acceptable (and what isn’t), and the team’s habits — both good and bad — will be emulated. Having your actions play out publicly as if on a Jumbotron, is a huge responsibility, and unfortunately, too many teams don’t take this responsibility as seriously as they should. The consequences can be farther reaching than most leadership teams realise.

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Wizarding wisdom: A lesson in leadership from Professor Dumbledore

In today’s complex world of uncertainty and change, what lessons can we take from the preeminent Professor Dumbledore about leadership, ethical decision-making, and integrity?

For many parents, one of the joys of having young children is being able to read aloud to them. And many of today’s parents must have read the wonderful Harry Potter series from start to finish, and then revelled in the glorious films. So, it is perhaps no surprise that many adults swear by the wisdom of the great modern-day philosopher, Professor Albus Dumbledore.

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A three-step formula for rejuvenating family business in the age of complexity

Six decades of living for many individuals used to spur thoughts of applying the brakes to the speed of life, particularly working life. But recently, many who have completed what statistics would say is two-thirds of a hopeful lifespan are eager to launch their “third thirty.”

The intention is to forge on, to create anew, to own big change—to, well, continue. They pursue the third slice of life. The same pivotal juncture holds true for the lifespan of family businesses, as it does for today’s determined individual prolongers. They both share a deep desire to continue.


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Leading in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) World

To operate successfully in today’s fast-moving, complex climate, leaders must often feel that they have to run just to keep still.

New technology comes in and disrupts markets almost overnight.  Competitors emerge from unexpected corners.  Political and economic situations shift rapidly, exposing organisations to unprecedented levels of risk and vulnerability.

We are indeed operating in a volatileuncertaincomplex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world—and it’s becoming clear that our comfortable, classic models of leadership don’t work in this constantly changing climate.

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Sticking to your values in a VUCA environment: The challenges of working with integrity

The acronym often used to describe an environment of noise, mess, and doubt is VUCA. These four letters represent volatilityuncertaintycomplexity, and ambiguity. It’s something that’s recognizable for many of us in our everyday lives.

Perhaps you’re managing a complex job with multiple pressures, and much of the day is spent doing a role that’s unrecognisable from the one you thought you’d signed up to. And maybe this is coupled with the responsibility you feel for your elderly parents who need attention. And your children, who not only want loving and feeding, but also need to visit the dentist and be to their swimming lesson on time.

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