Saturday, 31 January 2015
Friday, 30 January 2015
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
1. Be bold.
2. Find your unique self and wear it like a badge of honor.
3. Conquer the unknown.
4. Be inclusive.
5. Be confident (but not arrogant).
6. Be generous with everyone you meet.
7. Never miss an opportunity to give a compliment.
8. Say no so you can say yes.
9. Practice humility.
10. Stand for something.
Monday, 26 January 2015
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Saturday, 24 January 2015
An early career mentor offered this comment and it has been with me in one form or another throughout my career: “If you’re sleeping through the night, you’re not thinking hard enough about your job and career and you’re definitely not asking yourself the tough questions.”
While I encourage a full night’s rest…we all need quality sleep to perform at our best, the second half of his advice on asking (and answering) the tough questions of ourselves is spot on. From CEOs to smart functional managers and senior leaders, we often get sucked into the operational vortex of our jobs and we forestall asking and answering the big questions on direction, people and about our own personal/professional well-being.
There are convenient excuses we use to keep from attacking all three of those categories.
- People issues are sticky and they involve emotions, and when the emotions might be negative, we tend to move in the other direction.
- Issues of direction…a change in strategy, investing in new offerings or changing long-standing processes, are by nature ambiguous and therefore perceived by us as risky. Too many managers are taught to avoid risk, and by habit, we move towards the status quo as a safe haven.
- And issues of well-being…physical and mental health and career satisfaction are things we plan on getting to later. They take a backseat to the urgent daily activities.
Yet, no three topics are more important in helping create value (profits, market-share, efficiencies, engagement) for our firms than the decisions and actions we make and take on people, direction and on the development and maintenance of our own physical and mental well-being.
Here are just a few of the questions effective leaders hold themselves accountable to asking and answering.
At Least 11 Must Ask and Answer Questions for Leaders at All Levels:
Fair warning…compound questions ahead.
1. How am I truly doing as a leader? Am I getting the frank feedback I need from my team members and peers to help me strengthen my effectiveness? If not, how might I get this feedback?
2. Am I taking accountability for the team that I’ve put on the field? Is the best team with the right people in the right positions, or, are there clear gaps that only I can fix? Do I have a plan to fill those gaps? Do I have the courage to make the needed moves?
3. Am I a net supplier of level-up talent to the broader organization? If not, how can I strengthen my talent recruiting and development efforts?
4. How am I measuring performance and success of my team(s)? Do the measures promote the right behaviors? Do the measures promote continuous improvement? Do the measures connect to the bigger picture outcomes we are after?
5. Is the firm’s direction clear to everyone on my team? What can I do better or more of to constantly reinforce direction and ensure that our individual and team priorities support direction? Do I need to teach people about our business and how we make money and how we plan to grow?
6. Am I realistic about the need to embrace change? Are market dynamics signaling a needed change in direction and am I advocating for this change with my peers and by offering ideas?
7. Am I serving as a catalyst for productive change in my firm? Do I believe passionately in an issue that can benefit my firm and am I advocating hard for it, or, am I simply going along with consensus? If it’s the latter, how can I constructively break with the consensus and build understanding for my idea or approach?
8. Am I actively cultivating healthy relationships with my peers and colleagues in other functions? Do I recognize how dependent I truly am on the help and support of other leaders and other functional team members for my own success? Is there a rift that needs healing and am I taking the lead on making this happen?
9. Am I developing myself? What investments have I made in time, effort and money during the past year in strengthening my skills and gaining exposure to new ideas and new ways of thinking?
10. How I am doing? Is my work (my firm, my vocation) in alignment with my passion, superpower(s) and values? If any of the three are out of whack, what must I do to fix the problem? Are the issues repairable in my current environment or, must I do the hard work of making a significant change?
11. Do I understand that my physical well-being directly impacts my mental well-being and professional performance? Am I taking care of myself physically? If not, how can I adjust my lifestyle to improve my physical health? Do I need to invest the outside help of a coach or trainer help me jump-start an improvement program?
The Bottom-Line for Now:
High personal performance is an outcome of clarity and balance. From ensuring clarity for the direction of your firm, your team and your team members to gaining objective insight on your own performance, clarity in the workplace is essential for your success. Balancing your passion, capabilities and values with your daily work and backing this balance with physical well-being is essential for your satisfaction and success. The pursuit of needed clarity and healthy balance is a journey with constantly shifting terrain. Get started by asking and answering the questions noted above. And if the answers are less than ideal for you, take action.
Read more; http://ht.ly/FVezt
Friday, 23 January 2015
"If we want to introduce new leadership behaviors in our lives, it’s necessary to practice.” Richard Strozzi-Heckler, The Leadership Dojo
Leading others has everything to do with the relationships you form with them. And when you lead others well, your success – and that of your organization, has the best chance of occurring.
When you discover through feedback you’ve received that your relationships have room to improve, it can be discouraging. However, this feedback is simply a reminder that things can be better. It’s a good thing to know because as your relationships with your manager, your peers, your direct reports, or your customers/clients improve, so does your ability to achieve results.
What you might not know is that leadership is something that needs to be “practiced” in the same way the best basketball players, ballerinas, or virtuoso pianists do. More to the point, the relationship behaviors you need to have as a leader that are capable of connecting, growing, inspiring, and influencing others must be practiced.
You have been born with some of those relationship behaviors. Others must be learned and practiced in order to become embodied. If you are observant, you may notice that as soon as one behavioral habit becomes ingrained in your psyche, another one appears that needs to be practiced and worked on. Some examples of relationship behaviors that are commonly “practiced” by leaders who are intentional about improving their relationships include the “how to” of:
- having “small talk” conversations
- listening better
- getting along with their manager
- dealing with high performers and/or poor performers
- forming better relationships with their peers
- learning to coach others
Start practicing today to improve your leadership relationships by:
Getting feedback on relationship behaviors that may need some “tweaking”. Almost any leadership 360 will have questions relating to your relationships (in the form of how well you communicate, collaborate, work in teams, etc.) that when answered, can help you to understand your gaps. You can also ask for feedback or hire an executive coach to do targeted interviews of your stakeholders around your relationship strengths and gaps.
Creating a plan to close the gaps in your relationships. Create a written action or development plan and find someone to hold you accountable to your action steps. Make sure that your steps include the specifics of the behaviors you need to incorporate, for example, what will you be doing when you listen better?
Trying on new behaviors that will strengthen your relationships. Be willing to do some things that aren’t in your comfort zone. For instance, having small talk can be uncomfortable (but it is necessary to connect with others). Try the new behavior, and observe how others act differently in the workplace and toward you; adjust as needed.
Ongoing “practice” until new, more effective behaviors become “habits”. When you’re diligent in and reflective in your practice, your new behaviors can become “second nature”. This usually means they’ll feel more natural, automatic, or habitual. It may take months for this to happen (so patience is key).
Improving the relationships with your stakeholders requires dedicated practice and a dose of courage. Your improved rapport with others will be rewarded with improved leadership and a successful organization.