Terry - Seven Zones for Leadership – Acting Authentically in Stability and Chaos

Good evening!

As I read through the excerpts from "The Challenges of Leadership,? I followed the advice of the author. "This book will be most helpful to you if you keep your own organization in mind as you read and reflect.? That is precisely what I did, and with this post I plan to share a part of that process with you.

I enjoyed the last class discussion greatly and think the diversity of perspectives in the class make each discussion lively and thorough. I look forward to reading about how you related this reading to your organization and in what ways you found it helpful (or not helpful.)

A bit of background information: the organization I'm "internalizing? this process with is Altered Esthetics, a nonprofit community art gallery in Northeast Minneapolis. Our mission is to sustain artists' role as a voice of society and we do so through group exhibits, artists discussions, and more. We work with a lot of emerging artists as well as quite a few established artists, both locally and internationally. We're just under 5 years old and have been working actively towards a sustainable, community-centered structure.

As many startup organizations we began with a more hierarchical structure, with much radiating from the founder/director. As we've grown, we've pushed toward a more heterarchical/flat structure. This is for several reasons, sustainability but a heterarchical structure also encourages active engagement with the community. We're in the process of this transfer, so applying these organizational and leadership tools is both interesting and useful – often times it helps point out the ways we are doing well while also helping to clue us in to things we can do better.

Since the author tied the zones along with the segments of the action wheel, I will do the same here. I'll review what the wheel segment and correlating zone is, then apply my own questions and experience to the puzzle.

Existence
The history that limits and launches what we do
Zone 1: Serving the Past

A few years ago, as we looked at our current structure and thought about how we would grow, we asked ourselves: what are the things we have done well in the past? What worked in the past for our organization and the people we serve, and what didn't? In what ways have we seen other organizations in the community succeed and/or fail? What methods and ethics do we want to continue, and what do we want to change? The organization itself was born out of a need in the arts community. We wanted to make sure that as we grew, we kept our function and mission at the center of our processes and actions.

Resources
The things that we use in what we do
Zone 2: Building Core Competencies

We asked ourselves, what are the resources we currently have as an organization? What are our needs, and how will we separate wants from needs?

The structure we are growing into was born both out of the current strengths, while allowing room to grow to fill our areas of weakness. It was not established overnight, but was created after months of examination and deliberation of what we do not need to do, what we should do, what we have to do, what we do well and what we can do better.

Structure
The form and process that support and sustain what we do
Zone 3: Systems Thinking
Zone 3a: Designing Sustainable Systems
Zone 3b: Affirming Shared Identity

Finding a sustainable structure for a nonprofit arts organization was tricky territory. How does one create a structure that promotes sustainability, considers accountability, yet encourages creativity within both the members as well as the people the organization serves? Accessibility and engagement were key clues for this transition. Accessibility to the community and the members of the board, and engagement across all platforms. Finding a structure that allowed board members and participants to be unique participants of a shared collective was also tricky. To make this process successful, we all had to think with more "we? and less "I.? Fortunately, our shows and our mission is much about collaboration, and fortunately many of us had already learned firsthand that often the best results come out of a collaborative, labor intensive process.

Power
The commitment and passion that energize what we do
Zone 4: Creating Ownership

I've been a part of several nonprofits that have had "sitting? board members. Not very engaged, not very helpful, for lack of a better term, they served as seat warmers. We wondered: how could we engage board members in a way that was helpful to the organization? We did this by creating specific roles for board members beyond the traditional roles of Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. The first edition of this was NOT a final draft, nor is it a final draft. As we transition, we are working with current board members, finding strengths and weaknesses, and filling positions not just based on the needs of the organization but also based on the skills and strengths of the board members themselves.

(A chart of the board structure can be found here: http://www.alteredesthetics.org/wiki/tikiwiki-2.2/show_image.php?id=4&thumb=1)

Mission
The aim and priority that give direction to what we do

Zone 5: Focusing on the Future
Zone 5a: Setting Direction
Zone 5b: Anticipating Change

How does one reconcile a myriad of opinions, skills, weaknesses, and desires? Our organization solved this by making sure everything was driven by our mission. "Altered Esthetics works to sustain the historical role of artists as a voice of society through our exhibits, events, services, workshops and programs.? You might call it a "mission filter.? Though initially this filter might seem easier for nonprofits, I think for-profit businesses can have a solid, engaging mission as well. For example – eBay's mission is "to provide a global trading platform where practically anyone can trade practically anything.? For eBay, accessibility and openness is key. Target's mission is "to drive sales profitably while delivering a Target brand shopping experience.? My point is this: missions don't have to be entirely altruistic to be a good filter as an organizational goal.

Often times during our board meetings you'll hear the question pop up "Well, how would that reflect our mission?? or "What does that say about Ae? (Altered Esthetics)? We've avoided several bad choices simply by reminding ourselves why we are around in the first place, and what our long-term mission is.

Setting direction was a huge component of transition. We didn't just "switch? into a new board structure. Change involved and involves long-term implementation. Along with new structure came timeline, goals, and tools of measure. This also wasn't a one-stop, permanent change.

Meaning
The justification and significance that tell us why or for what we do what we do
Zone 6: Creating Meaning in Chaos

If you take a look at the board structure we created, you'll notice that there are lots of dotted lines or fuzzy boundaries between our board, the community we serve, the community we are in, our interns and our volunteers. While having roles is a good "guideline,? being in touch with the people connected to our organization has only helped us as we've grown. In other words – we've gotten more out of inviting artists, volunteers, and community members to be a part of our conversation than we have by shutting them out. By listening to our constituency we've also been able to make some important changes.

Fulfillment
The completed action that embraces existence, resources, structure, power, mission, and meaning.
Zone 7: Serving the Promise of Authenticity.
Zone 7a: Making Wise Choices
Zone 7b: Probing Deeper

Well. As far as being "complete,? I can't say that we're quite there yet. I like to think as an organization we'll always be susceptible and willing to change.

I think as long as we're operating though our mission we can practice authenticity. As we grow fortunately there are other organization we can look to – such as the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – for help making wise choices. (Tools such as the "Principles and Practices of Nonprofit Excellence? have been tremendously helpful.)

I think as long as we continue to ask the question "how can we do what we do better? both of our selves and our constituencies we can constantly probe deeper and grow as an organization.

About the reading
Though I tend to be wary of "maps? and "steps to success,? I must admit throughout our planning we did include many of these components, at least in some capacity. The one thing I found somewhat lacking in this reading – and perhaps this comes later in the text – was any discussion of "soft skills? that would accompany this type of transition. For an example, as we grew as an organization, not everybody was on board with change. People communicated at different paces and with different comfort zones. We gained board members as past members trickled out. Maintaining communication and connectivity throughout this process was and is key. I think those gray areas of these types of transition are unique from organization to organization.

About the author
While doing a little bit of research about the author, I came across the following memorial. While I wasn't 100% sure that this is the same author, after some additional library hunts, I'm fairly certain. Perhaps Dr. Crosby can confirm this. In any case, I wanted to share this with you, so you have a little background on who wrote this text and what he's done as a leader, helping other people lead.

"It is with deep regret that we inform you that Bob Terry, Ph.D., founder of Mobius Leadership International, died peacefully in his sleep on September 20, 2002, due to complications of ALS (Lous Gehrigs disease).

Bob Terry, Ph.D. Former president of Mobius Leadership International, was a leadership architect, executive mentor, author, public speaker and seminar conductor, and peer advisor to leadership educators in the Twin Cities. As Director of the Reflective Leadership Center at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and scholar in leadership studies, plus having led a for profit organization, he was positioned uniquely as a leadership educator. Bob was known for his depth of content, delightful sense of humor, passion for the subject matter and total engagement with his audiences, clients and customers.?

(source)

Questions:
What role do you play in your own organization?
How could you apply/have you applied the "zones? to your own organization?
What are some of the "soft skills? that you think go along with being a good leader?
What areas, if any, do you think the "action wheel? or "zone? left out?

Helpful Links:
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – Principles and Practices for Nonprofit Excellence: http://mncn.org/info_principles.htm

Comments

Jamie - I really enjoyed your summary and particularly appreciated the way you applied the "Seven Zones" to your own experiences.

I thought Terry's theory was entirely sound, however, I did struggle a little keeping all of the terminology straight and felt as though I really needed to read the rest of the book to feel comfortable applying his theory. It's tragic that he passed away. It would be terrific to hear him explain this and be able to ask follow-up questions.

In the introduction, Terry described the difference between sincerity and authenticity, which puzzled me a little at first, but as I read further I recognized Terry's "authenticity" is very similar to "DWYSYWD" from Kouzes and Posner. It is sincerity in the message AND following through with supportive actions. I have certainly seen this lacking where I work. Just this year our organization conducted an employee survey and the results showed a lack of staff empowerment - this is the third survey in a row that showed this. About four months ago, we dumped a new computer system on our staff with no buy-in and practically no pre-training. The results were horrible. We had the survey, we knew what we needed to do better, we said what we would do, yet we didn't do it!

I agree with your comment on the need to address "soft skills" and wonder if this may be part of Terry's chapters that follow. There was an awful lot of information packed into that second chapter. By contrast, I felt the leaders presented by Kouzes and Posner in their first chapter were great examples of people with "soft skills."

One of the things I appreciated about "Seven Zones . . ." is that it didn't preach one specific approach to leadership but rather identified that there are leadership choices and one of his goals was to help us determine which we prefer (10). I saw shades of other leadership and interpersonal philosophies - such as the Johari Window and Situational Leadership - which reinforced that goal.

With most of the articles we've been reading, I find myself coming back to two things:

1) Are these US centric leadership models and if so, how do they compare with other views?

2) How do different human cycles and leadership expression (55) coincide with the economic development of a society? What I mean by that is, are the higher level models always better? Or are there some environments and cultures where a lower, more dictatorial is more approriate?

I'm hoping that our studies in this class might expose us to some other countries' leadership models so that we can begin exploring how we compare.

I also thought of a training game that could be created to reinforce the Seven Leadership Zones, with a focus on the three that seemed to get the most attention: mission, structure, and fulfillment. If this fits the criteria for an action research project and anyone wants to hear about my ideas, let me know.

One of the things I appreciated about "Seven Zones . . ." is that it didn't preach one specific approach to leadership but rather identified that there are leadership choices and one of his goals was to help us determine which we prefer (10). I saw shades of other leadership and interpersonal philosophies - such as the Johari Window and Situational Leadership - which reinforced that goal.

With most of the articles we've been reading, I find myself coming back to two things:

1) Are these US centric leadership models and if so, how do they compare with other views?

2) How do different human cycles and leadership expression (55) coincide with the economic development of a society? What I mean by that is, are the higher level models always better? Or are there some environments and cultures where a lower, more dictatorial is more approriate?

I'm hoping that our studies in this class might expose us to some other countries' leadership models so that we can begin exploring how we compare.

I also thought of a training game that could be created to reinforce the Seven Leadership Zones, with a focus on the three that seemed to get the most attention: mission, structure, and fulfillment. If this fits the criteria for an action research project and anyone wants to hear about my ideas, let me know.

Jamie, I concur with Nathan, I really was impressed with how you were able to describe the Altered Esthetics’ journey in terms of the Seven Zones for Leadership.

Being a student of psychology, I was drawn to Terry’s “embedding? a developmental model within the Zone Map. This application really helped me see how Zone Leadership unites the personal, professional, and organization. Terry’s description of a personal (or organizational) perception of orderliness or chaos in Zones 1-5 depends on where you are in the process. For example, having achieved Zone 1 and moved into Zone 2, all of the chaos felt in the beginning of Zone 1 is now appears orderly, having experienced and succeeded, built a strong foundation for Zone 2. I think that we can all envision experiences similar to this both personally and professionally. Sometimes looking back, we are amazed at how we met the challenge, learned, survived, and found success.

Terry then discusses the most difficult Zones 6 and 7. In these zones order may not be possible within the chaos because it is within these Zones that the most difficult and enduring human questions are met about evil, theology, and authenticity. Whether on a personal, professional, or an organizational journey, the deep questions of Zone 6 and 7 is where stall-out might occur. It is within these zones that the really hard questions need to be confronted about the internal and external. It is here where truth and reality need to be honestly confronted and the inner strengths (on a personal level and relationship level) need to be summoned.

As Terry noted, it is within Zone 7 where the questions arise about the difference between management and leadership. I think that a skilled manager or management team might progress through Zones 1-5, but it is in the search for meaning and fulfillment that requires courage to dig deeper and ask more of individuals and the organization. An organization might survive for a time having achieved Zone 5, but long-term success may be determined by the willingness to meet the challenge of Zone 6 and 7.

The Terry reading is interesting, in that I am still trying to make sense of all its ideas. It is also somewhat challenging as what I am looking for in this class is the type of leadership that can eliminate wars and wage peace. Maybe that is what Terry means by a “servant leader.? The basic premise I do get: leadership is many things, and it is more helpful if defined in certain contexts.

I’m wondering how Terry’s “Seven Zones? relates to the world of conflict resolution and peacemaking. While this reading is not readily apparent in this field, it is not impossible to still find some relevance. In p. 5, the representation of what power means is pretty profound “what is the stakeholder’s level of commitment?? I think of how much power is wielded by the level of commitment opposing sides might devote to the resolution of a conflict. For example, Israel is committed to responding in a disproportionate manner to Hamas because “the way [she] call[s] ‘em creates ‘em.? And Hamas is just looking for any and all ways to be destructive.

What do I mean? How do I see this? Consider the Israeli/Palestine conflict and how the level of commitment to peaceful coexistence is weak, thus very little power in reconciliation efforts is wielded. For there to be a better management of affairs things are going to need to be called as they are not as others create them to be, i.e. engaging Hamas as a stakeholder in the reconciliation efforts. This may be where the 4th Umpire steps in, as I do not think any of the three frameworks fit. I certainly see a need for revision of the leadership heading the peace efforts in that region, with a focus on servant leadership versus what I think is a Manager Leader. This is an area of the reading I would have appreciated more explication.

However the Bryson and Crosby reading discussed ideas and frameworks that a servant leader might employ.

To respond to Jaime and other classmates, I thought the reading was good for its challenge: don’t limit leadership to one thing, it is not linear. And I am glad to have your comments as my perspective differed greatly.

Blog Discussion and Exercise
(Project Goals and Process)


Main point
Normally used in school situations, the 7 types of learning can be applied constructively to work situations as well. In order to be an effective leader and carry out the 7 zones, or any other leadership method, leaders must be effectively versed in the 7 different types of learning. This is not to say that leaders themselves must fall into all of these categories – only that leaders must excel at the ability to identify and engage with cohorts of many different types. This can happen in any place throughout all stages of various projects.


Process
Create 7 different hypothetical situations, one for each “zone? of a process. Connect the situation to one of each learning type, and leave the situation unresolved. Ask the group what they would do next.


Goal
Hopefully each group will come up with a solution to engage – but not alienate – each cohort at the subject's own level.


Timeline
(25 minutes)
Describe project ~1 min
Have class split up into groups of 2-3. Distribute pages to groups at random ~ 1 min
Each group reads their given situation and discusses a solution ~ 5 mins
While noting 7 styles of learning, 1 person from each group will report back on their solution. ~15 mins
Questions ~3 mins


Group 1

Existence
The history that limits and launches what we do
Zone 1: Serving the Past

You the chair of a management team in charge of implementing a new set of accounting procedures. Somebody on your team has the great ability to remember every little detail about the last system – this includes what went well but especially what didn't. Any suggestion you make is met with an elaborate story of what went wrong or why what you have to say isn't a good idea.

What do you do?


Group 2

Resources
The things that we use in what we do
Zone 2: Building Core Competencies

You are on a management team in charge of moving the company to a new facility. You have somebody on your team that is plaguing the process with questions – how you'll take care of all the inventory, how you'll move the office supplies, etc. You're struggling to get a grasp on the bigger picture because you keep answering questions addressing a myriad of miniscule issues.

What do you do?


Group 3

Structure
The form and process that support and sustain what we do
Zone 3: Systems Thinking
Zone 3a: Designing Sustainable Systems
Zone 3b: Affirming Shared Identity

You're the board treasurer of a community nonprofit. Every month when you give the financial reports, and every year when you present the annual budget, you lose the attention of several key members in your audience. Colorful and energetic when it comes to the “big picture? - their attention disappears when you start to talk numbers.

What do you do?


Group 4

Power
The commitment and passion that energize what we do
Zone 4: Creating Ownership

You run a small sales office for a large paper manufacturer. One of your temps seems quite active, but rarely takes initiative in anything beyond his basic day-to-day. When he isn't tapping his feet and drumming or humming during meetings, he's cranking his iPod while filing, ignoring everyone else around him. You could see a future for him at the office if only he'd apply himself and engage a little more.

What do you do?


Group 5

Mission
The aim and priority that give direction to what we do
Zone 5: Focusing on the Future
Zone 5a: Setting Direction
Zone 5b: Anticipating Change

You're on the management team of a small nonprofit board, but one of the members just can't seem to focus during the long meetings. Always getting up or fidgeting, you think he just wants to get to his next softball game or back to the gym. You've got an upcoming strategic planning meeting coming up, and you're wondering how you'll keep this board member's (or any board member's) attention for a day-long planning session.

What do you do?


Group 6

Meaning
The justification and significance that tell us why or for what we do what we do
Zone 6: Creating Meaning in Chaos

You're on the fundraising committee of a community nonprofit organization. One of the young men on your team is super chatty during meetings. Though charismatic and well-liked, it is hard to get the meetings going – and you need to start assigning roles for the event coming up!

What do you do?


Group 7

Fulfillment
The completed action that embraces existence, resources, structure, power, mission, and meaning.
Zone 7: Serving the Promise of Authenticity.
Zone 7a: Making Wise Choices
Zone 7b: Probing Deeper

You're charing a nonprofit board during a difficult transition. Structural progress almost behind you, one member of you team has been relatively quiet throughout the whole process. Though willing to take on tasks alone as needed, he rarely joins committees. Though incredibly intelligent, he is not very engaged with the team. You're ready to begin team discussion and evaluation procedures and you'll need feedback and conversation from everyone in the team, but you're worried you'll receive little response from the quiet member.

What do you do?


Reference

7 Types of Learners - Stacy Mantle

Linguistic
This type of learner loves to read, write, and tell stories. They tend to memorize places, dates, names, and trivia very easily, and are always mesmerizing you with their incredible tales. They have a remarkable ability to repeat back everything you have ever told them, word for word. Encourage their creativity, and do your best to distinguish between the truth and exaggeration (it is all well intended). These students learn best by saying, hearing, and seeing words. Ask them to write down a word or a phrase, and it is forever locked into their memory. Encourage them to participate in spelling bees and creative writing courses. You could have another Shakespeare on your hands!

Logical
This child is very mathematically inclined. They enjoy solving problems, particularly if they are math related. They are similar to Dr. Spock, on Star Trek, in that they are very logical, straight-forward types of learners. They will plague you with questions on how things work, how things relate to one another, and why things are here. Their favorite toys as young children were likely building blocks, and pattern puzzles. Answer their ongoing questions with as much patience as you can muster, and know that one day they may likely become an engineer. This type of student learns best by categorizing, classifying, and working with abstract patterns or relationships. Ask them to make a chart or to show relationships between different items. For example, "What kind of effect does the El Nino have on the stock market?". They will not only come up with an answer, but they will be able to explain the process and developmental stages of the relationship.

Spatial
These are the visualizers. They spend most of the day dreaming, watching movies, and staying as far away from reality as possible. If they seem particularly "down", asking them to draw a picture will get you much further into the nature of the problem, than asking them to tell you about it. Allow them to develop their senses and their natural artistic abilities. They are very good at working with colors and pictures, and using the "mind's eye". Allow them to play a couple of educational computer games, such as Civilization or the Oregon Trail, or to daydream under a tree. They could be hard at work thinking about a particular problem, but have yet to put it on paper. These types of learners are very artistic, although they often have problems expressing it. Encourage any type of creative endeavor. They may become the next developer of an international theme park.

Musical
If your child is always walking around the house humming a tune, or always needs music to study by, then he/she is likely a musical learner. This type of learner is best at noticing details, pitches, and rhythms that escape the normal listener. They are excellent at keeping tune, and are adept at turning the abstract into concrete objects. They learn best through rhythm, melody, and music. For memorization techniques, ask them to write a song about the lesson (rap works well as a narrative), or teach them a song. Encourage their natural love of music, and try to incorporate music into as many lessons as possible.


Bodily
This type of learner is always on the move. They constantly walk around, they have to touch everything, and they use body language to convey their feelings. They would rather play sports or do a craft than sit down and read a book. They need active education! Keep them moving. Play word games in the pool, have spelling lessons during tennis. Take them camping to learn about geography and nature. These are the learners who can do more than one thing at a time. Generally recognized as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), many are misdiagnosed. Allow them to use all of that extra energy to learn. Remember to incorporate sense development and interaction with space during their lessons. Attempt to keep the duration of each lesson down to a minimum (10-20 minutes depending on age), and change subjects frequently. Interdisciplinary lessons are very successful with these types of learners.


Interpersonal
These are the "social butterflies". They adapt easily to any type of social situation, have many friends and are excellent leaders. They are patient, understanding, and very empathetic, which makes them a favorite among their playmates. They generally make good leaders because of their ability to mediate conflict, and are often referred to as "the Peacemaker" of the family. Encourage their love of people, and allow them to be with many different types of people. They will likely bring home a number of different types of friends. Although this can be difficult at times, it is important to support and accept all of them. This type of learner will do best in a group situation as they compare, share, relate, and interview other people. If no group is available, don't be surprised to see them create one in their animals or toys!


Intrapersonal
These strong willed people work best alone. They pursue their one interests and have a deep understanding of themselves. They pride themselves on being independent and original, and they tend to stand out from the crowd without even trying. They are the "strong, silent type". They do best in self paced instruction, individualized projects, and working alone. Allow them to be by themselves, but continue to encourage their socialization skills. Create a number of situations for them to socialize, yet allow them to maintain their own space. These children work best alone, and often need to be encouraged to socialize.

In conclusion, we all have elements of each learning style. But the truth is that one or two types stand out in each of us. Determine which style of learner your child is, and figure out ways to incorporate that learning style into your teaching. Continue to encourage the student to figure out alternative styles, and teach them how to bring each type into their life.


The 7 Leadership Zones and Sections of the Action Wheel – R. Terry

Existence
The history that limits and launches what we do
Zone 1: Serving the Past

Resources
The things that we use in what we do
Zone 2: Building Core Competencies

Structure
The form and process that support and sustain what we do
Zone 3: Systems Thinking
Zone 3a: Designing Sustainable Systems
Zone 3b: Affirming Shared Identity

Power
The commitment and passion that energize what we do
Zone 4: Creating Ownership

Mission
The aim and priority that give direction to what we do
Zone 5: Focusing on the Future
Zone 5a: Setting Direction
Zone 5b: Anticipating Change

Meaning
The justification and significance that tell us why or for what we do what we do
Zone 6: Creating Meaning in Chaos

Fulfillment
The completed action that embraces existence, resources, structure, power, mission, and meaning.
Zone 7: Serving the Promise of Authenticity.
Zone 7a: Making Wise Choices
Zone 7b: Probing Deeper


Resources

Terry, R. (2001). Seven Zones for Leadership: Acting Authentically in Stability and Chaos. Palo Alto, California: Davies-Black Publishing.

Mantle, S. (2005). The Lesson Tutor: The Seven Learning Styles. [Electronic version]. Retrieved February 2, 2009, from http://www.lessontutor.com/sm1.html

Peju, I wanted to respond to your question directly because it was something that I wasn't really enable to encompass in my class discussion, but it is a problem I'm very interested in. The question "how does one lead in difficult situations" is clearly a very hard to answer. I was trying to think of why it is so incredibly hard to answer. I think the inherent problem is in the attempted resolution of two innately conflicting missions. In a company or a community organization, there is usually some type of unifying "mission" to latch on to - be it the bottom line, the mission statement, or a codified system of beliefs. In situations such as the Palestine/Israeli conflict, the goals of either group are a part of that conflict, so there is seemingly no real resolution.

How does one resolve conflicts between two groups or organizations that are in conflict? I am not sure, but I think the answer lies in the secondary areas around what we may think the main goal or mission is. A really good example of this came with the last election, in my opinion. President Obama talked about Pro Life and Pro Choice groups - two organizations that by their very nature, are in conflict. He said "you can be pro-life or pro-choice and still want to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions in the world." It is such a simple connection, but so very true.

I do not know this could be applied to the Israelie/Palestine... but I'm very interested in how this type of collaborative leadership process could be used in various tense diplomatic situations.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs