Hi, this is Sheril Mathews and welcome to Leading Sapiens!
LS is a coaching, consulting, and training practice, focused on leadership development. It is primarily oriented towards practicing managers, leaders, and executives. If you are an aspiring leader, you will find value here as well.
This site is where I capture and share seminal ideas and frameworks in short-form posts and long-form articles. My sole aim is to make you a more effective manager and leader, both at work and in life.
The primary questions that I tackle are,
- How can managers and leaders become more effective?
- How do you develop the managerial mind?
- What is the being of the effective executive?
- What differentiates those who thrive vs those who struggle?
LS came out of my own experiences, observations, and rich interactions over a 20 year corporate career that included various leadership and management positions . Often it was by title, at other times it is what the situation required.
Most of the widely disseminated information out there is just plain fluff or borderline useless, disconnected from the reality of what practicing managers and leaders face on a daily basis. LS tries to cut through the fluff and uncover actionable, proven frameworks that are further upstream.
The content is geared towards thinking, conscientious managers, who are in it for the long game and who know that short-term techniques only do so much. You know from hard-earned experience that there are no free lunches.
As Peter Block puts it, there is no cheap grace. You understand the conditions of the game and know that trying to wish it away is a losing proposition.
What you can do instead is make yourself a better player through your own development.
Approach & Philosophy
For an in-depth look into my approach and overall philosophy check out this article.
My approach is multi-disciplinary and there is no one school of thought that I exclusively adhere to. I avoid focussing on tactics and techniques and prefer working with overarching frameworks that underlie systems. This helps sustain gains in the long-run.
In my articles and practice, the intent is not to give you the answers but to develop your complexity and capacity. This can get you to a different vantage point that may provide you different approaches and different answers to whatever challenges you might be facing. And in the process we access higher levels of performance for both you and your team.
I don’t promise overnight results. Both human beings and organizations consisting of them, operate in biological time not machine time. Our systems are designed to protect ourselves even when it comes at the expense of our future growth. Change is possible but it takes time, effort, and dedicated attention.
Increasing your Capacity for Action
Organizations, especially large ones, can be mind numbingly frustrating. But more often this frustration comes from our inability or perceived inability to take constructive action that yields tangible results.My end goal is to increase your capacity for action even in the face of increasing complexity and ambiguity.
Leveraging Paradox, not Fighting it
Management and leadership are inherently paradoxical. Leaders who understand and embrace paradox have a leg up. Those who don’t and expect things to be somehow different, are akin to playing football but not wanting to get tackled. It's simply the conditions of the game.
Paradox also means that by definition it cannot be problem-solved away. Conditions exist simultaneously and they have to be worked with. Planes don’t problem solve away air resistance, they work with it. Trying to eliminate something that cannot be eliminated is not a winning strategy.
Understanding the Game
We are led to believe that there is a formula out there and if we can only learn to apply that, things will be just fine. And if it did not work for us, then it's our fault. Reality is much more complex. The trick is to understand the complexities and realities of our unique situations, what might be called conditions of the game, and to master the underlying mechanics, rather than treat them as obstacles in our way.
Somebody Should have Told Us
There are numerous seminal frameworks what I call “somebody should have told us”. They get lost either with time or in the deafening noise of sub-standard stuff that keeps coming out. And the pace is only increasing. Access to information is not the problem any more. Knowing who and what to pay attention to, and to actually do it over sustained periods of time is the new challenge of our times.
Did one of the articles resonate with you? Wondering what might be the best approach to a vexing challenge you are facing?
My offerings vary between coaching, consulting, and training based on your needs. You can set up a 30 minute, no obligation strategy session where we can discuss potential options.
Alternatively, you can email me directly at email@example.com.
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