Surviving Leadership Chaos
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Surviving Leadership Chaos
" We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. " - Winston Churchill
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Don’t Confuse Activity with Accomplishment

Don’t Confuse Activity with Accomplishment | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Are you busy? Me, too. Unfortunately, activity is not the same as accomplishment. For some reason, I seem to forget this over and over again. I think busyness may be one of the most insidious and disruptive things leaders must guard against. Why is activity so dangerous? Here are a few reasons.


Activity can be addictive – Like other addictions, the previous level required to get a high no longer creates the needed buzz. So, we up the dose. What used to be exciting must be replaced by something even more exciting, demanding or challenging. If we’re not extremely careful, activity will beget activity… and we’ll love it!

 

Activity can be distracting – If we’re busy, we may not be aware of more pressing issues and challenges. The harder we work on the wrong things, the greater the danger. We’ve all heard about the airliner that crashed while the crew was focused on a 10-cent light in the cockpit that was malfunctioning.


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3 Ways Great Leaders Honor Success and Drive Momentum

3 Ways Great Leaders Honor Success and Drive Momentum | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Great leaders celebrate successes with their people. They honor them in public, they encourage them, they focus on victories and not failures.

 

Success breeds success.   It becomes habitual.   But it doesn’t just happen by luck or being in the right place at the right time.  Those are factors, but rare at best.   If you look closely at successful leaders, organizations and families, you will find clues.

 

Success Leaves A Trail


Success certainly leaves a trail.  The goal as a leader is to follow the trail and duplicate it.  Filter through it and utilize what works.  You don’t need to reinvent the wheel.    All of the successful leaders I know haven’t discovered a new law or principle on success or leadership.

 

They’ve simply applied timeless principles that work over a long period of time, decades in most instances.

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If it were just about leading, would you still want to be a leader?

If it were just about leading, would you still want to be a leader? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Imagine for a moment that you as a leader didn’t have all the perks that seem to accompany positions of leadership—no lease car, no reserved parking space, no special dining rooms, offices, furnishings or refreshments and certainly not the compensation that creates jealousies. Would you still want to be a leader? 

What if no one had to think that your way was always the best way? What if you had to ask as much as you told? What if being “in-charge” meant that it was your job to put others first? What if those you led got all the credit? Would you still want to lead? 

What if all you got were the intrinsic rewards of leadership—the satisfaction of seeing others grow to their potential, perform to their best ability and knowing that you enabled that to happen, knowing that you were the catalyst, the spark, the steady, guiding hand throughout the process? Would that be enough to motivate you to lead? To deal with the downside of leadership?

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When to Fire a Top Performer Who Hurts Your Company Culture

When to Fire a Top Performer Who Hurts Your Company Culture | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
A rubric for evaluating skilled-but-undermining employees.

 

My business partner and I had a tough decision to make. One of the top producers at our boutique partnership development firm was having a detrimental impact on company culture. Should we continue to support and reward him given his strong results, or should we cut him loose?

 

Our company, Axcess Worldwide, was shaped in its early years by a small, tight knit group: my partner, Kirk Posmatur, and me and our first few employees. Now, after significant growth, we were honing our strategy, placing the right people in the right roles, continuing to deliver profitability while simultaneously maintaining a strong and meaningful corporate culture, something we consider to be one of our most powerful assets.

 

The new executive we were discussing that day was doing what we had hired him to: immediately deliver results. But he was doing so in a manner that didn't strike us as consistent with our culture; he was focused so intensely on "what he did" that he paid little attention to "how he did it," which resulted in consistently dismissing the opinions of others and pursuing what we felt was a strategy of "winning at any cost."

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Leadership Caffeine-Is it Time to Re-examine the Leader You've Become?

Leadership Caffeine-Is it Time to Re-examine the Leader You've Become? | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Taking time to re-examine your role and performance as a leader offers nothing but growth opportunities for yourself and for those who look to you to lead...

 

I’ve had more than a few professionals who approached my course on leadership with trepidation and even outright cynicism. I’m pretty convinced the trepidation was over the topic and not the instructor!

 

“Another damned course on leadership,” was the way one of my eventual favorite students (and converts) described his expectations for our time together.  I frankly don’t fault him for his early cynicism.After all, what can anyone learn in a classroom setting that isn’t better taught on the firing lines of learning by actively leading?

 

And while I don’t profess to have cracked the code on running the world’s greatest leadership course (although it may be the world’s most enthusiastic and passionate!), I do know that every experienced leader leaves having accomplished two key items:

 

1. By their active involvement, they end up stepping back and developing a clearer view to the leader they’ve become.

 

2. Almost to a person, they leave with new resolve and some ideas for resuming their walk down the path towards the leader they always wanted to become.

 

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Never Underestimate The Lowly Peasant In Front Of You

Never Underestimate The Lowly Peasant In Front Of You | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
The value of a connection can never be immediately understood. As leaders we should treat every potential connection with respect. Because you never know when they might be able to assist you.

 

During the party, I ran into the CEO of the association that was putting on the conference. I congratulated him on the event and engaged in small talk. He then asked who I was and who I was with. When I explained that I was not with anyone and that I had recently resigned and was looking for other opportunities, he kind of shook his head, chewed some food and non-chalently turned around and started talking with someone else.  I stood there in in awe at this experience.

 

I don’t consider myself prideful, but later I thought to myself. Does he realize I run the largest IT operations oriented peer group with CEO’s from 3 continents? Does he realize I have almost 10,000 social media connections, of which at least two-thirds, work in the IT industry?  Does he realize that I write guest articles for an IT Industry Channel blog that is read by thousands of IT executives? Does he realize I have been asked to speak at several IT industry events in the coming year that will be attended by thousands of IT executives? Does he realize I have a book that will be published soon by a major publisher? Does he realize I was invited by one of the vendors paying him money to be there?

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Five Keys to Creating an Authentic Life

Five Keys to Creating an Authentic Life | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Are you living an authentic life? There are five keys to creating a truly authentic life. Put them into practice in your life and discover just how much you've been missing.

 

Are you living an authentic life? If you have to stop and actually think about it, then the answer is probably no. Don’t worry, you are not alone.

 

Today’s society makes it very difficult to truly be yourself. In fact, our society is more inclined to encourage conformity than it is to encourage following your heart, but that doesn’t mean that it is impossible. In fact, there are five relatively simple keys for creating an authentic life; keys that will help you in living the life you were born to live.

 

The Five Keys to Authenticity:...

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Great Presentation Ideas: How to Captivate Your Audience

Great Presentation Ideas: How to Captivate Your Audience | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Here's how to captivate your audience, with simple guidelines from the National Elevator Pitch Champion. Do you know how to make your message matter?

 

If you want to know how to captivate your audience, you have to focus on what really matters. Not necessarily what matters to you…what matters to your audience. (An excerpt from The NEW Elevator Pitch)

You have to “take in” your listener: Are they agitated? Concerned? Closed off to new ideas? You better find out, if you want to captivate their imagination for the next two minutes.

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Moving your hands could change what you hear

Moving your hands could change what you hear | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

How we perceive sound can be altered by whether we are using our left or right hands while listening according to researchers at Georgetown University Medical Centre.


The results -- which were presented at Neuroscience 2012 -- are being attributed to the different language processing abilities of the left and right hemispheres of the brain which control the right and left sides of the body respectively.

 

To investigate the phenomenon neurologist Peter Turkeltaub and his team disguised rapid- and slow-changing sounds within background noise. Participants were asked to indicate whether they could hear the noise by pressing a button using alternately their right hand then their left hands.

Those responding with their right hand heard the rapidly changing sounds more often than when using their left hands while the slowly changing sounds were heard more often when using the left hand.

 

"The left hemisphere likes rapidly changing sounds, such as consonants, and the right hemisphere likes slowly changing sounds, such as syllables or intonation," explains Turkeltaub on the GUMC website.

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The Confidence/Competence Loop

The Confidence/Competence Loop | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Using the confidence/competence loop can drive performance and inform, inspire and ignite those you lead. Jump-start your confidence with these application techniques.

 

There are several basic areas of study that, as we study them, we can become more effective coaches and leaders.  This long list includes both human behavior and learning.  The psychological concept I want to talk about today comes from the intersection of these two fields of study.

 

Don’t worry; I’m not going to go all academic on you (though you could, with a simple web search, find lots of scholarly work on what we are going to talk about).

 

Here is the concept – the confidence/competence loop.


We all recognize that our success accelerates when we are confident.  The reason is simple.  Without confidence we revert to fear, and when we are fearful we don’t take any action.  We get tentative, we delay and we procrastinate.  When you are able to let go of fear, you take action more quickly and easily.

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Gloria Inostroza's comment, October 15, 2012 5:41 PM
Como educadora concibo que la confianza es el principio fundamental para producir un aprendizaje significativo.
AlGonzalezinfo's comment, October 15, 2012 8:15 PM
@Gloria, estoy deacuerdo completamente!
Love Learning's curator insight, February 12, 2013 6:56 AM

I like this concept.  It has worked for me in the past in situations where I woudl like to be more confident.  To me it's all about being prepared and knowing my subject.  If I am competent at what I'm doing, confidence comes naturally!

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Courage is the Key to Great Leadership

Courage is the Key to Great Leadership | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Throughout the ages, people have searched for the precise alchemy of ingredients that constitute great leadership. In measured proportions, great leaders are said to demonstrate bold but reasoned judgment, spirited but calculated risk-taking and an assertive but reflective disposition. Complicating the matter are the expectations and needs of those being led. Followers want leaders who make decisions decisively but inclusively, interpret situations with rational and emotional intelligence and exude confidence and humility.

 

The list of characteristics that comprise great leadership is so long and contradictory, that the aspiring leader is left to ask, “Where on earth do I start?” Fortunately, there is a clear starting point. One leadership characteristic—or more accurately, virtue—informs and strengthens all others: Courage.

 

Aristotle called courage the first virtue, because it makes all of the other virtues possible. In addition to being the most important human virtue, it is the most important business virtue, as well. Think about it: Other important business concepts like leadership, innovation and sales wither in the absence of courage. Leadership takes making bold and often unpopular decisions. Leadership takes courage. Innovation involves creating ground-breaking but tradition-defying ideas. Innovation takes courage. Sales requires being repeatedly rejected before closing a deal. Sales takes courage. Take away courage, and sales, innovation and leadership lose their potency.


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Priority. Clarity. Capacity.

Priority. Clarity. Capacity. | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

Life doesn’t always go smoothly.

 

Chances are that in the last few weeks, someone has let you down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider your needs or wants. It might be an employee, a friend, or even your spouse.

 

Anger is probably the first reaction. Then … some more anger maybe. Then maybe some hurt. Then, quite possibly, a healthy dose of passive aggression.

 

But before we get ready to call someone out who has wrongly slighted us, we should ask ourselves another question. Have I let someone down by not doing something, half doing something, or failing to even consider their wants or needs?

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How wasting time can build resilience

How wasting time can build resilience | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
As a game designer, I’m often accused of helping people waste substantial portions of their lives. And no wonder: worldwide, we spend 7 billion hours a week playing video games – 300 million minutes a day on Angry Birds alone!

 

As a game designer, I’m often accused of helping people waste substantial portions of their lives. And no wonder: worldwide, we spend 7 billion hours a week playing video games – 300 million minutes a day on Angry Birds alone! – with seemingly nothing to show for it.

 

But research suggests that engaging in some activities we assume are non-productive may actually be a smart way to spend time, especially at work. These practices can make people more resourceful problem-solvers, more collaborative and less likely to give up when the going gets tough. In other words, they can make people more resilient. That’s why I’ve made it a personal goal to waste at least four minutes every hour.

 

I began immersing myself in the science of resilience after I was laid up for three months with a traumatic brain injury. I was under orders to let my brain rest: no email, no writing, no running. Every night I went to bed feeling as if the day had been a waste, and that made me anxious and depressed. I realised that I’d go crazy being so unproductive unless I could redefine what productivity meant to me. I thought of activities that would speed my recovery – small things that would make me feel happy, connected and creative.

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How To Manage Someone You Hate

How To Manage Someone You Hate | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
From Mike Michalowicz: Conflict looms large in a small business. Here's how to cope with a direct report whom you can't stand, but who is too essential to fire.

 

Hate your co-worker or employee? Congratulations! Acknowledging you have a problem, after all, is the first step towards making things work out.

 

Ironically, teams in which everyone likes each other are typically weak teams. People (that includes you) have a tendency to like others who are similar to them. We revel in similarities. Grew up in the same town as me? You’re awesome! Went to the same college? Hot diggity dog! Enjoy the same TV show as me? You’re practically my twin. Gosh, you are amazing! With all those similarities, a team of copy-cats will have tunnel vision and won’t have complementary skills. Great teams don’t like each other nearly as much as they respect each other.

 

There is greatness in differences.


Via The People Development Network
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Being the best leader for the situation

Being the best leader for the situation | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
Harvard’s Gautam Mukunda on finding the person best suited for the challenge at hand.

 

Organizations don’t choose a leader randomly. They always have a process to evaluate the person whom they want to lead. A filtered leader is someone who has gone through a long evaluation process. They’ve been filtered by their years of experience at the organization and through evaluation. Unfiltered leaders bypass this long process and are hired externally.

Should organizations seek filtered or unfiltered leaders?


If you’re an organization that’s relatively successful, go with the insider. You might think you know a lot about another organization’s CEO, but it’s never the same as evaluating someone based on personal experience. There’s inherent risk in hiring an unfiltered leader.


Via Kevin Watson
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Stanford University Offers Free Entrepreneurial Courses Online - Forbes

Stanford University Offers Free Entrepreneurial Courses Online - Forbes | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
For those of us with a constant thirst for education, Stanford University is currently offering online courses this Fall - for free.

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Email Is The New Pony Express--And It's Time To Put It Down

Email Is The New Pony Express--And It's Time To Put It Down | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
In early 2011, the CEO of a French IT company issued an usual memorandum. He banned email. Employees were discouraged from sending or receiving internal messages, with the goal of eradicating email within 18 months.

 

Critics scoffed. Workers rebelled. But Thierry Breton, the CEO of Atos, has stuck to his guns, reducing message volume by an estimated 20%. His company, by the way, has 74,000 employees in 48 countries.

 

Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today. I’ll admit my vendetta is personal. I run a company,HootSuite, which is focused on disrupting how the world communicates using social media. Yet each day my employees and I send each other thousands of emails, typing out addresses and patiently waiting for replies like we were mailing letters on the Pony Express.

 

As we’ve expanded from 20 to 200 employees over the last two years, the headaches have only grown. Anyone with an inbox knows what I’m talking about. A dozen emails to set up a meeting time. Documents attached and edited and reedited until no one knows which version is current. Urgent messages drowning in forwards and cc's and spam.

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Two Ways to Overcome the Pipe Dream Problem

Two Ways to Overcome the Pipe Dream Problem | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
What are the core components of organizational strategy?

 

Ivory-tower-leaders mastermind their own demise when they craft strategies and plans without considering the talent on the team.

 

Stop creating pipe dreams of frustration and disappointment.


"You’re dreams are doomed if the horses in the barn can’t pull the wagon."


In, “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream,” Steve Van Remortel asks,

 

"Can you name one aspect of your business that strategy or talent won’t address?”

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Finding Creativity in Business

Finding Creativity in Business | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it

One of the questions I’ve been asked repeatedly lately is how to get more ideas, more creativity, more inspiration in business. The answer is elegantly simple: you can’t. Business isn’t especially good at creativity. In fact, I’d argue that business is the antithesis of creativity, and here’s why: business is really good at systems.

 

If you’ve got a system, you can scale the system. You grow your business by repeating the system, by enhancing it, by adding more resources to it – and to do that, everything has to be defined, outlined, regulated, and measured. The people you hire for your business have to be able to pick up a manual, follow the steps in it, and replicate their portion of the system flawlessly in order for the business to scale and grow.

 

The disadvantage of systems is that by definition, they should not be creative. They inhibit creativity, because creativity tends to make systems more inefficient.

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7 Easy Steps to Solve a Conflict

7 Easy Steps to Solve a Conflict | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
To solve a conflict and reconcile your team or improve your relationship, apply the 7 following steps. It will help you to develop greater control of yourself and of situations which may arise in your life.

 

Situations arise everyday, but we can approach them consciously and solve a conflict easily.

“I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to.” – Unknown

 

Situations of conflict occurs for many reason among them:


-Argument because you want to have it your way while the other wants to have it his way as well
-Someone who refuses to listen to your opinion is perceived as an opponent.


-Someone who tells that your idea is wrong or not realistic.


In any of this situation you may find yourself getting upset, frustrated or withdrawn. Therefore you set yourself in conflict mode. Often disagreement is (mis)interpreted as opposition.

 

How true is it you are in conflict? How much does it cost you or your organization?

 

We are seeing the reality from our own perspective: what may be true for us may not be for another individual or community. Many examples come to mind at a team, community or even a nation level. Conflicts arise everywhere and in any situation not because people are right or wrong but because of the diversity of perspectives.

 

These perspectives, which are only perceptions of the reality based on filters such as beliefs, education, religion, etc…, lead us to feel separated from one another and to conclude that if we don’t agree, we automatically are in conflict.


Via Belinda MJ.B, Anne Egros, David Hain, Roger Francis
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Manvotional: Theodore Roosevelt on Integrity in Private and Public Life

Manvotional: Theodore Roosevelt on Integrity in Private and Public Life | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
If a public man tries to get your vote by saying that he will do something wrong in your interest, you can be absolutely certain that if ever it becomes worth his while he will do something wrong against your interest.

 

The very last thing that an intelligent and self-respecting member of a democratic community should do is to reward any public man because that public man says he will get the private citizen something to which this private citizen is not entitled, or will gratify some emotion or animosity which this private citizen ought not to possess.

 

Let me illustrate this by one anecdote from my own experience. A number of years ago I was engaged in cattle-ranching on the great plains of the western United States. There were no fences. The cattle wandered free, the ownership of each being determined by the brand; the calves were branded with the brand of the cows they followed. If on the round-up an animal was passed by, the following year it would appear as an unbranded yearling, and was then called a maverick.

 

By the custom of the country these mavericks were branded with the brand of the man on whose range they were found. One day I was riding the range with a newly hired cowboy, and we came upon a maverick.


Via Bill Butler
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lexi shea's curator insight, February 11, 2015 2:04 PM

things he thought

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Heart to Heart Talks – Three Steps to Discuss the Elephant in the Room

Heart to Heart Talks – Three Steps to Discuss the Elephant in the Room | Surviving Leadership Chaos | Scoop.it
 Everyone on the team knew the elephant was in the room, but no one wanted to talk about it.

 

At the root of many of our interpersonal or team conflicts is a failure to communicate. Sometimes the problem is that information isn’t shared broadly enough and people become resentful because they weren’t included. Other times we say things that come out wrong and people are offended, even though we may have had good intentions behind our message. Regardless of how the situation was created, if we don’t take the time to thoughtfully address it, the miscommunication evolves into the “elephant in the room” that everyone knows is present but isn’t willing to address.

 

Recently I worked with a client where the elephant in the room had been present for nearly a year. The issue within this team had led to a fracture in what were previously very close relationships, had tarnished the team’s reputation within the organization, and was causing strife and turmoil that was affecting the team’s performance. Everyone on the team knew the elephant was in the room, but no one wanted to talk about it.

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