Today we have Elliot Masie. And we'll be talking about leadership, how it applies and things of the nature. It's a benefit for the class, they're in that theoretical standpoint from textbooks and I like to bring in interviews to give them more applications, things that are applicable to what they might see in the real work life. So thank you for your time. >> I'm glad to do this. >> To do this, starting off, can you just tell us a little about yourself? What you currently do, some of your background experiences, credentials and management. >> Sure, well, I'm Elliott Masie and I am the head of the Masie Center, which is a learning and technology and workforce productivity research center here in Saratoga Springs. I'm also chairman of The Learning Consortium, which is a collaboration of about 245 organizations, many of whom are Fortune 500 companies, Walmart, American Express, JC Penney. Some of them educational institutions, like Empire State College and others, and we look on a continuing basis as how technology will create what we call affordances. For people to learn better, to lead differently, to collaborate more intently, and so I am like Willy Wonka in a chocolate factory. I get to play and collaborate with great minds and great organizations and some really cool technology. >> Well thank you, and thank you again for your time in doing this interview. And so Elliot, when we talk about leadership styles, what is the first thing that come to your mind? >> Well, I view leadership styles in two ways. One way is I view them as flavors. I'm an ice cream kind of guy, so I view them as flavors. And the second is I view them as strategic choices. Now, let me explain that. And it's going to be maybe different than if you talk to somebody who has a very sort of psychometric analysis behind them. What I mean by flavors is that I think we have our native flavor. I am as a leader, who I am because I'm an American, because I'm a Jewish white guy who's 60 years old who grew up in New York City, whose father was an entrepreneur. Who's involved in social activism and a variety of other elements. And that's my flavor and I'm sticking to it. >> [LAUGH] >> Which means that a lot of what my leadership style is it's not constrained, but it's certainly targeted by who I am. And when I work with other people, I'm inevitably asking, what's their flavor. And guess what? The very best leadership times when you got a lot of different flavors around and when we acknowledge that because, look, being all the things I just said, I interrupt people. I'm an interrupter. And I view as a positive thing if I can complete your sentence. And I got to tell you there are some people who's flavors are such that when I do it drives them bat crazy. But I think it's really important to know your own flavor and to know other people's flavors. On the other hand, when i talk about strategic choices, is we choose, how we're going to be as a leader. So, as a leader, i run an organization, i may ask somebody to come in my room, and sometimes, my style is a very convivial, collaborative style and which going on, and sometimes it's. Have a seat. We have some things we have to talk about. And so I, not only is that my flavor, but then we make strategic decisions around, given the circumstance, the people, the outcomes, what's on the line, to reach for different strategic styles of leadership. Some of which are difficult given what your flavor is [LAUGH]. And some of which are reached to to often because that's your default, given what's that? That's your flavor. That's the two sides I think of leadership styles that hit me when you ask that question. >> Great, now, when it applies to you directly do you see your leadership style change at different points and different times. >> Within a modicum, within in a range. Sometimes it changes just because circumstances demand it. Sometimes it changes because the person you're with demands it, and maybe because I'm a successful business person, I can say sometimes it changes because I get bored. [LAUGH] So I kind of I become playful but then I decide I'm going to be a little bit different today. >> Uh-huh. >> But for the most part, it does change within a range. Now, I got to tell you, I am determined and somewhat constrained by my style and I'm also even making strategic choices, you're going to somewhat choose those by the filters that are related to what your flavor is in that sense. So, it's, I would say, it's pretty consistent. If you follow me around for a week, you'd find my standard deviation pretty small. in that sense, but I think my agility is to recognize when I got to reach for a real different style. >> All right. In the text, which we'll be covering in class, you brought out a key word constrained. When you say your leadership style at times is constrained, do you personally, as a self reflection, view that as a pro or con? >> That's great. Pro or con. I don't know. Maybe I view it as a fact of nature in that sense. There are certainly times when I wish that I could be even more agile as a leader than I am It is impossible for me to be in a meeting and not talk. I can't, I just can't. I got to go to the bathroom. If you said, Elliott, be quiet for the next hour, I cannot physiologically do that. So I got to figure out a way. I have a feeling you're similar to me. [LAUGH] Okay. So I wish, I wish I could crank the needle all the way back to say, be that really quiet. >> Laid back person. >> And I can't, so that constraint sometimes is challenging, but I actually think what we then do, and maybe this is where I'm saying I don't think it's a negative. Is you choose opportunities, you choose environments, you choose roles, you even choose organizations that match what the availability of that. If somebody said to me, I need you to be the most high end mathematical wizard in this role. No, that's not, I can handle a budget, but that's not in my range of competency that I can do a lot of. Well the same way if somebody wanted me to be a leader who was real dictatorial and not engaging, that's not in my range, it just is out of it. So I'd probably end up on this end of saying I think it's okay that I'm constrained. >> Right. Excellent, so, out of this first piece here when we talk about leadership style, I think the important takeaways that you have mentioned just in this first section of the interview is, number one, knowing your leadership style, being able to look in the mirror and say, okay These or these or this is my leadership style. That's number one, then number two based upon my leadership style what type of organization or environment best suits a fit where I can thrive. >> Right, right. >> Excellent and I think that's important for our students to know. >> Yeah and sometimes, it's then also which of my strategic choices. So if you kind of view them, let's view them as almost like a manual transmission. >> Absolutely. >> Which gear do I go into in each situation. And once again, I may choose sometimes to hit a gear that's not my favorite. >> But the situation calls for it. So I'll try to reach for that. >> Absolutely. >> Great. Let's talk about leadership as far as theory and practice. And the class is called managerial leadership, but they're two very different things. You have leadership, and you have management. >> Yeah. >> Do you think they're different, or do you think they're the same? >> I think they're totally different. >> In what ways? >> I think management is getting a process done. I think leadership is how you optimize a person or a team. So, to be a manager, I have to be really process oriented. And then I have to make sure that there is a process. That the process is working well, that it's articulated, that people have the resources to get what they need done. When it's broken I got to figure out where the clog is. Is it a people or a resource clog. It is a science to be a manager. I would argue that it's part science and it's part art and I think it's also part dance in theater. It is now how do I optimize either one person. So, I'm a leader and you work for me. How do I optimize your performance? Or, how do I get a group of people to work together real well? And how do I as a leader do that? Now, there are people who are really good leaders and really lousy managers. So, the first thing that person knows is I better have somebody working with me who's a really good manager. I know people who are awesome managers, and they're pretty crappy leaders. So, they manage more from the process side. And if you really want somebody to optimize that team, they got to find somebody and empower them to do that. So I see them as very distinct. I think people confuse them. >> Yes. >> I think we make a mistake when we hire. Are we hiring a leader or a manager? And I think the pathway to developing them is extremely different. >> Absolutely, absolutely. So, if I'm hearing you correctly talking about leaders and managers, a manager could be someone who maintains the status quo. It's a system of process have already been developed and has the bottlenecks kinked out and we know, what the optimal performance needs to be. Where a leader is a person who can put together a organization or a team. To lead this team organization in a path that has never gone before. >> Right and 85% agree with that. But let's make a little distinction. >> Okay. >> The manager in my view may also be the person who builds the processes. >> Okay. >> Okay. Where I think the leader comes in, it's a little bit different, is building the people. >> Got you. >> Okay, so a good example is the manager can figure, okay, here's how our restaurant's going to operate. We'll need people in these roles, and the like. And we need to hire these folks, the leader is the person who comes in and says, okay guys, a high school football game is letting out in 20 minutes. Let's all, let's all get there and let's do it and how do you motivate people through that slam time so it's it is for me It is really optimizing the potential of individuals and optimizing the function of a team within a process. Yeah. >> Understood. Which brings me to a poll question I've been asking the class. Are leaders born or are they made? >> I don't think they're born, but I think they're developed from childhood. >> Okay, elaborate. >> Okay, meaning I don't think it's DNA, I don't think it's IQ, I don't think it's genetics. But I actually think your belief about people starts from childhood. So, when I've gone around and I've interviewed some of the world's best leaders from my point of view, I've inevitably asked them to tell them about their parents. Tell me about their teachers growing up, tell me about their athletic coaches. Tell me about their early managers. So, I think we grow a leader. Now, what's difficult is to start that the first day they do a job because in many ways now I'm doing remedial work that my bet is that by the time I hire them they've got to have a lot of those qualities that are there. If they don't, then we need a plan. And I think you can take somebody who wants to be a leader. Who isn't broken, who's got other competencies and skills and I think you can build up their leadership but then, they need to have some theory. They need to have some coaching, they need to have some feedback but, it's way better from my point of view to hire somebody that has those elements and to credit that when the credits roll. To say, thank you to your parents, thank you to your brother and sister, thank you to your coaches, your rabbi, or your minister, or thank you to all those people who helped you learn what it's like to lead and be part of effective teamwork.