It is in human nature to look for negative in everything first. Most of the stories on the news are negative (after all, they draw the most attention). There are more negative words in our vocabulary than positive and happy words.
When something doesn’t go the way we think it should, our mind immediately jumps to negative thoughts and gloomy assumptions.
It is also in human nature to fix things...
The simple truth is that if we stop trying to “fix” our employees and rather focus on their strengths and their passions, we can create a fervent army of brand evangelists who, when empowered, could take our brand and our products to a whole new level.
Here is the ABCD of strength-based leadership:
Align, don’t fix. Instead of forcing team-members to work on projects that need to be done, ask “Who wants to take on this one?” Look at the skillsets of your employees, talk to them, and identify the best fit. You might find that someone who isn’t passionate about analytics would trade projects with someone who is and vice versa. Sometimes it’s as easy as asking. And sometimes you need to reshuffle your team and fill in the gaps. But ultimately, when all the pieces of the puzzle fit well and all the skillsets are utilized in the way they should be, you end up becoming a better leader and fostering an innovative environment.
Build diverse teams. Diversity of perspective, cultures, passions, ages, genders will help you build some of the most creative and innovative teams around. Building a successful team is like building a puzzle. When all of the pieces fall into place, you end up with a complete picture. Don’t just hire “yes” people, hire those who will be able to bring various strengths to the team, thus creating grounds-breaking thinking. Their success will take your success to new heights.
Create the culture of transparency. When your team-members trust you, they are open about their passions, motivations, and dreams. And if you listen (not hear, really listen) hey will give you their 110% and more.
Don’t manage, empower. Building a diverse and complete team is half the battle. The other half is to actually empower them to create art. And that requires risk-taking and unconventional thinking. As a leader you need to allow your teams to be naïve, curious, and bold. Even if sometimes it leads to a healthy conflict. A diverse team usually means strong perspectives and opinions. But that’s okay, because as a leader you can guide your team and their passions in the right direction without dampening their ingenuity and enthusiasm.
Leadership is a privilege, not a right, and we need to treat it as such. Leadership means encouraging people to live up to their fullest potential and find the path they love. That, and only that, will create a strong culture and sustainable levels of innovation.
"Yet while political organisations have always been a rich fund of colourful stories (who’s up, who’s down, who’s in and who’s out) and powerful visions (I have a dream …) this is excluded from the traditional account of managerial leadership. Our research highlights the distinctive ways in which storytelling serves strategic purposes for chief executives’ leadership behaviour. This short article outlines some of our headline findings and argues that storytelling should be recognised as central to the ways in which local authority chief executives act as leaders."
This essay outlines some of our headline findings and argues that storytelling should be recognised as central to the ways in which local authority chief executives act as leaders. We confined our findings to three main areas: The ways in which chief executives use stories to:
- persuade and to construct meaning for others;
- establish credentials and join the group;
- build relationships and learn from others in the group.
“Science, once the great explicator, garbles life with complexity and perplexity. Who can listen without cynicism to economists, sociologists, politicians? Religion, for many, has become an empty ritual that masks hypocrisy. As our faith in traditional ideologies diminishes we turn to the source we still believe in: the art of the story.” Robert McKee, screenwriter
A great quote can provide personal inspiration and can be used to educate others; in my book Employee Engagement 2.0 I open every chapter with an enlightening quotation. Below are my top 100 leadership quotes of all time.
Shusaku Tani is employed at the Sony plant here, but he doesn’t really work.
For more than two years, he has come to a small room, taken a seat and then passed the time reading newspapers, browsing the web and poring over engineering textbooks from his college days. He files a report on his activities at the end of each day.
Sony, Tani’s employer of 32 years, consigned him to this room because they can’t get rid of him. Sony had eliminated his position at the Sony Sendai Technology Centre, which in better times produced magnetic tapes for videos and cassettes. But Tani, 51, refused to take an early retirement offer from Sony in late 2010 — his prerogative under Japanese labour law.
So there he sits in what is called the “chasing-out room”. He spends his days there, with about 40 other holdouts.
“I won’t leave,” Tani said. “Companies aren’t supposed to act this way. It’s inhumane.”
The standoff between workers and management at the Sendai factory underscores an intensifying battle over hiring and firing practices in Japan, where lifetime employment has long been the norm and where large-scale lay-offs remain a social taboo, at least at Japan’s largest corporations.
Often shareholders appoint transformational leaders to turnaround firms. This is not always the best approach. Leadership approach depends on context.
Across small and medium sized firms (SMEs) deemed to be failing or simply not performing to stakeholder expectations, there is a tendency for boards to parachute leaders into the CEO post and expect transformational leadership. Leaders in this case are selected for their heroism, charisma and drive. They are put to task and given objectives, often demanding instant results. But is it right to seek transformational leadership? And does transformational leadership always deliver? This post discusses these points and looks at the alternatives: if not transformational, what leadership approach might be more appropriate to turn round failure?
“There’s no way to institutionalize or “corporatize” niceness…. It has to come from the top, and from there it will filter down…"
We live in a world where information travels quickly and powerfully. Nothing happens—good or bad—without the world knowing it.
In his book Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is over—and Collaboration Is In, author Peter Shankman shows how famously nice executives, entrepreneurs, and companies are setting the standard for success in this new world. He goes in-depth with nine hallmarks of effective leadership.
If I had a bigger napkin I would have written this:The Less Simple Formula for Assessing Leadership = Identify the Problem, Find a Solution, Develop a Workable Plan, Inspire Others, Deliver the (My own simple #leadership equation....awareness +...
Many, many years ago (in the 1980’s), I worked for Unisys Corporation in Jericho, NY. My district manager was a gentleman by the name of Bob Greifeld. I worked closely with Bob for over four years and he and I became close friends.
Eventually, Bob moved to a company called Automated Security Clearances, which was purchased by Sunguard. One day Bob received a call from a recruiter with a very interesting opportunity. Bob went to his boss at Sunguard and said “I love working for Sunguard, but this is the opportunity of a lifetime.” His boss told him to go for it, and Bob won the job of a lifetime… and he held it.