UCLA Extension Expert Promotes New Leadership Paradigm

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Dr. Herb Kindler’s collaborative leadership and management strategy encourages inspired employees, productive teams and successful organizations.

Control or collaboration. For management expert Dr. Herb Kindler, the choice is clear: collaboration. Collaborative leadership promotes innovation and maximizes employee potential, Kindler says.

Kindler, who holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in Management from UCLA, has spread the gospel of his pioneering leadership and management techniques in UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program for more than 25 years. He has also introduced new ways of leading employees to organizations including Symantec, Lockheed Martin, IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and Starbucks; and has authored "Clear & Creative Thinking" and "Leadership Mastery in Turbulent Times," among others.

This September, Kindler will explore his groundbreaking leadership paradigm with participants in “Leadership Skill Building,” one of the workshops offered as part of UCLA Extension’s fall Technical Management Program.

Over the course of his career as a professor, researcher and consultant, Kindler has distilled his leadership paradigm to five points:

1. Practice Self Management. Leaders should set an example in managing the daily challenges and stresses of the workplace, and in achieving work/life balance. This can be especially difficult for engineers and others in technical professions, Kindler says. “The stereotype is of the engineer sleeping under his desk,” he says. “But this is bad for the other aspects of his life and, ultimately, his work.”

2. Build Productive Relationships. Leaders can develop employees who are inspired and committed to the success of their organization by fostering productive collaboration. For example, managers can engage in two-way “leadership conversations” with team members to resolve differences while building mutual trust and respect. Productive relationships mature as managers initially direct new employees, then mentor the employees, collaborate with them and finally delegate responsibility to them.

3. Energize Performance. Leaders can stimulate innovation by supporting risk-tasking and new ways of doing things. Open-minded leadership demonstrates trust and energizes employees.

4. Develop Thinking Skills. Engineers, scientists and others are taught to rely on linear, logical reasoning – but that has its limits, Kindler says. Linear thinking promotes incremental progress, while nonlinear, intuitive thinking can produce transformational change. Of course, there’s still a place for linear thinking: to refine the “big picture” ideas and concepts generated by intuitive thinking.

5. Adopt an Action Orientation. After developing innovative and inspired team members, leaders can help turn their ideas into action by encouraging action planning. Kindler says action plans should be evaluated using six “success criteria”: technical, economic, social, political, ethical and environmental. An action plan that is technically feasible, economically viable, provides a social benefit, has political support within the organization, and ethically and environmentally sound is bound to be a success.

Who can benefit from Kindler’s five points? “Anyone who has leadership responsibilities or who aspires to have leadership responsibilities,” he says.

About UCLA Extension’s Technical Management Program

UCLA Extension’s 72nd Technical Management Program, scheduled for Sept. 17-22, is designed to help technical managers sharpen their managerial expertise and optimize their organizational performance. Participants choose the courses they want from a selection of 27 workshops, assembling their own personalized five-day program. Offered biannually in March and September, the Technical Management Program is continuously updated with the help of an advisory board of industry leaders.

The five-day program is $2,995, including all texts and materials, breakfasts and lunches, parking, a welcome reception and social dinner, and the use of UCLA campus facilities. Visit http://www.uclaextension.edu/tmp or call 310-825-3858 for more information.

UCLA Extension is one of the nation’s largest and most comprehensive institutions of continuing higher education, offering over 4,500 courses each year and more than 80 prestigious certificate programs in a range of fields. Designed to meet the needs of working adults, UCLA Extension courses are offered during the day, in the evening, and on weekends at convenient locations in Los Angeles, as well as online.

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