Realizing Leadership Magazine. In Conversation with Chris Atkinson: The Transformational Leader
Elysian Training's insight:
Elysian Training is very happy to be featured on the cover of Realizing Leadership this month.
“If people listen to you, if they’re choosing to follow you – your words, your ideas – you’re a leader regardless of your position and that’s fundamentally misunderstood because we associate the word leader with those people with power..” ~ Chris Atkinson
Can you imagine working for someone in a high-level leadership role, perhaps a CEO, and suddenly it dawns on you: This person isn't leadership caliber.
Your next thought may be, How in the world did he (or she) make it this far up the ladder?
It's a fair question. People are promoted into leadership roles every day who have no business belonging there.
Sometimes it's political; other times it's the easier choice--promote from within and avoid the high cost of recruitment--but a bad choice, nonetheless.
The biggest challenge leaders face is performing to the set standards of the best in the business. This means raising the bar really high--as the ten hugely successful CEOs I wrote about recently have done.
In the end, you'll find the leadership journey is predicated on two things that drive success: Results and relationships. You can't have results at the expense of people. And serving your tribe well without getting results is merely putting lipstick on a pig.
As Andy Williams crooned, "It's the most wonderful time of the year." No, I'm not talking about Christmas. I'm talking about March Madness! I'm a big fan of college basketball and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is like Christmas in March. There are always underdogs upsetting the established favorites and feel-good stories of players overcoming…
Thee concept and nature of leadership has probably never been more debated than it is now. Last year saw Theresa May take over as PM in the UK after David Cameron stepped down, while the US elected a new President - where his opponent criticised him for having no prior political experience.
The debate around leadership looks set to continue. Trump’s inauguration dominates headlines, Northern Ireland’s deputy first minister has resigned, meaning an assembly election is inevitable, and the French Presidential elections are set for May.
These political upheavals have repercussions across the world of business. Redrawing the next 12 months and beyond will present uncertain and potentially challenging times, but businesses who are themselves able to ensure they have trustworthy, capable and confident leaders in place will be able to navigate this uncertainty and even thrive.
Four years after publishing its last “State Of The American Workplace” report, Gallup is back with an update that, at first glance, leaves the impression that very little has changed. Employee engagement metrics haven’t meaningfully improved (weren’t we all working on this?) and, in his introductory remarks, Gallup’s CEO, Jim Clifton, insists we’ve reached the point where traditional leadership practices are failing so badly that they now require a full “disruption.”
Good communication is certainly a strong leadership trait. But what exactly does that look like? A global leadership study revealed that 85 percent of companies report an urgent need to develop employees with leadership potential. Let me echo that massive study: We are in an era with an alarming leadership shortage. As more Boomers retire and Millennials continue to increase in numbers as the largest working generation, today's companies just aren't prepared to develop tomorrow's leaders.
Leadership skills aren't stagnant. Different generations moving in and out of the workforce dictate changes to the way people lead.
Elysian Training's insight:
Leadership skills aren't stagnant. Different generations moving in and out of the workforce dictate changes to the ways people lead. This is one reason leaders need to be constantly updating their skills.
What is your instinctive approach to decision making? If you're naturally optimistic, then chances are you don't always consider potential downsides. Similarly, if you're very cautious or have a risk-averse outlook, you might not focus on opportunities that could open up.
Often, the best decisions come from changing the way that you think about problems, and examining them from different viewpoints.
"Six Thinking Hats" can help you to look at problems from different perspectives, but one at a time, to avoid confusion from too many angles crowding your thinking.
It's no secret. Employee satisfaction has everything to do with business success. An employee who jumps ship costs your business around 20 percent of his or her salary -- and that's just part of the impact. Workplace productivity, company culture and brand reputation can all suffer when just one team member quits.
But let's be honest: There isn't always an open line of communication between executives and employees. Even if the channel exists, employees often fear voicing their wants, needs and feedback will make them seem like complainers and lead to negative repercussions.
If a vibrant, productive, innovative workforce is on your list of priorities for 2017, consider some things your employees might want but won't tell you.
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