"We've all attended meetings that were a big waste of time. My experiences usually involved co-workers writing snarky notes about the presenters or how their time would be better spent. I always tried to stay positive, but it wasn’t easy."
There are a lot of ways meetings can go wrong, but as a manager, you have control of many of them. Check your meeting behaviors against the following list, and make changes if you’re guilty of any of these sins: click here to see the rest of the article
Just read a very funny and true post on the HBR Blog by Joel Stein called Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership. Joel talks about how his images of great leaders “were based mainly on movies and sports. I figured great leaders did a lot of alpha-male yelling and inspirational speechmaking.”
In doing research for a book, though, he discovered that most really effective leaders aren’t the loud, pizz-azzy kind. He found, instead, depth of commitment and a quiet attention to the details that allow that commitment to bear fruit.
I agree. In Leading So People Will Follow, I talk about the six qualities that people most want to see in their leaders – the qualities that cause people to fully accept another’s leadership. One of the six is Passion. But we’ve discovered, like Joel, that passion isn’t a wild, loud, take-no-prisoners quality. True passion requires...
"Leading teams to excel by instilling the confidence of self-belief..."
Great leaders have the ability create a sense of self-belief in their followers. Teams that achieve the seemingly impossible, Lance Armstrong’s return from critical illness to win the Tour de France 7 times for example, all have one thing in common – an unerring sense of self-belief.
Great leaders know and understand that this self-belief, this confidence to believe in something bigger and better must be earned. It is the leader’s job to help the team earn their self-belief.
"Dennis Deaton's New Book The Ownership Spirit - Master the power of The One Grand Key That Changes Everything Else."
Is there really one grand key that makes all the difference, that gives you the power to take control of your circumstances-any circumstances-and your life? Yes, there is. And, there is literally no limit to the number of doors you will open for yourself through the principles, skills, and tools you will gain from this book.
"What Matters Now by Gary Hamel is probably one of the most important books you could read this year."
It is an invitation to rethink the fundamental assumptions we have about capitalism, management, institutions, and life at work. It is, as Hamel describes it, “a blueprint for creating organizations that are fit for the future and fit for human beings.”
The book is divided into five fundamental, make-or-break issues that will determine whether your organization thrives or dives in the years ahead: values, innovation, adaptability, passion and ideology. Here are some of his thoughts that become more powerful as they sink in: (click on title above to read full article)
TED Talks Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets?
"Defining the team concept will vary from leader to leader, but there are three basic foundational principles that can be used to further define teams. (What is your definition of Teamwork?"
First, a team is a collaborative approach to the tasks at hand. The main focus of any team is to work in partnership for a common goal or cause. A collaborative approach assumes that there is a desire to work together for a common cause.
"The iceberg represents your leadership. The 10% above the water is your skill. The 90% below the water is your character. It’s what’s below the surface that sinks the ship."
Isn’t that so very true? I would even take it one step further and say our “action” or our behavior represents that 10% above the water…it’s what people see. And, typically they see what we do, what we say, how we act. The 90% — that “under the water” part is what drives the action, what motivates the behavior.
Because the character part is such a significant part of who we are, it’s important that this part be aligned in such a way that it supports ...
Steve Jobs — mysterious, charismatic, intriguing — is often cited as one of the recent greats, and there are clearly benefits to his style. But that kind of leadership also has its limitations.
Here are three reasons the new leadership imperative is all about transparency.
To know you is to love you. Well, love might be strong. But you want your employees to at least like you and understand where you're coming from — because, as copious research has shown, money isn't a good motivational tool. Rather, what will make them go above and beyond is their relationship and loyalty to you — and you'll never get that if you don't let them know you as a person.
"Strong leaders are all unique, however there are several things that they all do to drive confidence and performance."
While I believe that much about leadership can be learned, I have also come to find out that the practice of leadership is rarely successful via the application of textbook principles. Most of which can be found in what seems to be a million books and seminars that teach leadership and its surrounding ideology.
However, what it really comes down to isn’t the leaders in depth training and knowledge of leadership practices. Where the rubber truly meets the road are the inherent actions and subconscious beliefs of the leader. These make all the difference in the world and while there are countless things that individual leaders do to drive performance and behavior, there are also some things that are more consistent among strong leaders. Here are 6 that I have identified so far.
I’ve seen it a thousand times in business—rejection of an idea or a person by virtue of corporate status. The powers that be have authority, so they must be right. Right? Sure, the world’s flat too. "What they have is the fraud of authority, the power to be a bully by the virtue of their title. A title, however, makes no one a leader."
It is usually easier to lead with a title than without. Leading without a title is one of the most difficult and courageous things anyone can attempt. Often, leaders without titles arise in the midst of a crisis—a crisis like a bully’s ego trip.
Dealing with a bully is not especially complicated or difficult. It merely takes nerve. If you work for such a person, do not submit. Fight for your dignity. Bullies destroy dignity and they destroy companies. If you are a leader, you must not allow them to operate under you. As a leader you should try to reform the bully—attempt to make a human connection that explains why people deserve respect. If this does not work, then you must fire that person. Bullies set entirely the wrong tone for productivity, passion, and fun. They drain energy.
The funny thing about these tyrants is that when they lie or back stab or threaten, they think that no one else notices. The truth is, ...
"Take it from Ford's Alan Mulally. Leaders who look for talent, nurture it, and give it authority are ones who achieve. Wise leaders look at what an employee can do rather than what he cannot do."
When Alan Mulally became CEO of Ford Motor Company in September 2006, it was expected among senior executives that some, if not many, would lose their jobs. Mulally was an outsider, hired from Boeing for his expertise in turning around big organizations.
The lesson for leaders who evaluate people--that is, every leader--is to adopt a "glass half full" versus a "glass half empty" attitude. Sometimes, as happened at Ford, employees become beaten up by the system and they stop trying, or at least stop thinking creatively, and acting courageously. They go through the motions. It therefore falls to the leader to "wake them up" to tap into their potential.
"How would you respond if someone asked you, do you understand what you want?"
Seems like a simple question doesn't it? I believe it is probably the most important and meaningful question a leader can ask his or herself. And I believe it is probably the most important and meaningful question a leader can ask of those he or she leads.
Without an answer to the question "do you understand what you want?" we don't move towards what is important. We won't set purposeful goals, we won't create solid visions, we won't make good use of our time - ultimately we won't be very productive. While you may be plenty busy; being busy and being productive are two different things.
"Did you know that there are twenty leadership qualities common to most organizations?"
Neither did I, that’s probably why I found this article very interesting. As we think of coaches we admire or players we’ve coached that have inspired us…it’s sometimes hard to put their leadership traits into words. This list is designed to give us words for what we know intuitively about great leaders.
"There are certain boundaries you shouldn't cross with your coworkers. Are you following these unspoken rules?"
Getting along with co-workers is important. You never know when you'll need their help or support. Thus, staying on co-workers' good sides should be a priority. And yet, it amazes me how many people don't think before they speak. The following five things should never be said to a co-worker. Have you made one or more of these communication faux pas?
"No matter how great a manager you are, bad things will happen at work: not every day, but occasionally. It’s how you handle those incidents—the ones that fill you with frustration, anger and dread—that determine what kind of leader you are."
If you respond to those occasions aggressively (outwardly or passively), you’ll undermine your team, spread fear and start the rumor mill. If, on the other hand, you respond assertively, you’ll keep your team on track when things go wrong, and you’ll gain their confidence and admiration. Which do you choose?
"In this economic downturn there is more pressure than ever on executives to find new sources of growth, and as a result leaders are increasingly talking about innovation."
In some organizations the leader may say “we need to be more innovative” or “we need to think out of the box” and stop there. While for other organizations it may become part of the year’s goals or even...
Human Capital Management is a term used to describe the process of employing people, developing their capabilities,utilizing and managing, and compensating their services in tune with the job and the organizational requirement. Collaboration on the...
"The best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of workplace, company, and team dynamics."
A few years back, I interviewed some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets. I learned that the "best of the best" tend to share the following eight core beliefs.
1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.
Average bosses see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups. They build huge armies of "troops" to order about, demonize competitors as "enemies," and treat customers as "territory" to be conquered.
Extraordinary bosses see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers ... and even competitors.
2. A company is a community, not a machine.
Average bosses consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain control by "pulling levers" and "steering the ship."
Extraordinary bosses see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the community–and company–at large.
3. Management is service, not control.
Average bosses want employees to do exactly what they're told. They're hyper-aware of anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where individual initiative is squelched by the "wait and see what the boss says" mentality.
Extraordinary bosses set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and intervening only in emergencies.
4. My employees are my peers, not my children.
Average bosses see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can't be trusted if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their behinds.
Extraordinary bosses treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their own destinies.
5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.
Average bosses see fear--of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege--as a crucial way to motivate people. As a result, employees and managers alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.
Extraordinary bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it. As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the organization's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and (of course) know they'll share in the rewards.
6. Change equals growth, not pain.
Average bosses see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo change ... until it's too late.
Extraordinary bosses see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don't value change for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.
7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.
Average bosses adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.
Extraordinary bosses see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.
8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.
Average bosses buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.
Extraordinary bosses see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible, to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.
"Every tech company tries to hire the best talent available, but there is a lot more to building a great team than just putting a group of talented individuals in a room."
I’ve strived to create an environment of happy, productive people who are excited to show up to work in the morning (or afternoon, as appropriate!). I’ve found that this environment, while being extremely positive in its own right, also gives us a competitive advantage in recruiting. The following points are the most important takeaways that I’ve learned while heading up recruiting.
1. Only hire people who make others want to be around them.
"No business or organization can survive without the right type of leadership."
Effective leaders know how to create an atmosphere of synergy, teamwork and a shared sense of purpose. Leaders have an effect that trickles down to each and every detail in the organization. So leadership can be one of the primary factors that determine a business’s results.
A good leader is somebody who brings out the best in the people around him/her. So many people are not natural leaders, and in reality are not mainly self motivated. It is a simple point that any person who has worked for a company or organization is aware of. In other words, many people’s efforts are directly related to how good a job the leader does at encouraging them. That’s why leadership is often the difference between success and disappointment. The same group will perform very differently according to the kind of leader they’ve got. An effective leader will make these individuals look amazing, while a weak one will make them seem incompetent.
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