What started off as an innocuous query from my leader soon became a chance to explore and grow myself as an individual contributor at a deeper leadership level -- someone who doesn't need a hierarchy, department or budget to make an organizational impact.
What are the most important three words for any relationship between a manager and employee? No, it’s not “I love you.” Now that would be inappropriate, although not everyone would agree with that opinion. Love their jobs, yes. Love their managers or employees? Eew! No, the most important three little words are: “I trust you.” Trust is the foundation that a positive manager-employee relationship is built on. The absence of trust leads to micromanagement, fear, risk-aversion, backstabbing, destructive rumors, a lack of innovation, mistakes, and a lack of engagement. What does trust look like? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, but here’s a starter list from both the manager’s and employee’s perspective:
Imagine your life without time, without a constant sense that you’re running behind, frustrated that yet again you are losing the battle against the irresistible force of the ticking clock. Imagine not wishing there were more hours in the day.
Who hasn’t thought about quitting their full-time job and going out on their own? Being your own boss is certainly tempting. But is giving up your status as a regular employee the right choice for you?
In general, treat your people as exactly what they are: knowledge workers who are happy in their roles, and whose time is precious. People in offices today seem to love their work, but that doesn’t mean they can neglect everything else in their lives to take on more of it.
"The best way to predict the future is to create it," says leadership guru Peter Drucker. The relevance of modern artists is measured to a great degree by their ability to refresh aesthetic concepts and innovate. Many artists who are now seen as cultural leaders created the future through breakthrough work, starting with the 16th century innovator and artist, Leonardo da Vinci, through to Damien Hirst, the most successful artist of our own time.
Innovation is based on thought and imagination, which, together, produce new, different concepts. These usually do not reveal themselves through structured processes and cannot be forced to come into existence. As Drucker has said, "Innovative people go out into the field, look around, ask questions and listen attentively. Analyzing the probability of a business opportunity means right and left-brain activity."
Consider how these examples of avenues of innovation are relevant to artists and business leaders.
The THNK model of creative leadershipCreative leadership is rich with paradoxes. Creative leaders are driven by their internal passion and purpose, yet they also have an externally oriented, explorative mindset. Creative leaders lead from the front by envisioning a better future, pointing the way and setting an aspiration, yet they achieve this by orchestrating a creative team, often leading from behind to bring out the best in others. In this article, we describe the competencies of a creative leader in detail, and invite you to look in the mirror and see how you score on those key competencies. We explore the topic of paradoxes found in creative leadership and leave you with some practical suggestions on how to grow as a creative leader.
Life is stressful enough for most of us. Allowing a toxic individual to ravage your immediate environment can cause havoc in your mental well-being, which can lead to physical challenges.
A bad state of mind not only affects your physical well-being but makes it difficult for you to respond calmly under pressure. Ninety percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions, so your ability to perform effectively can be affected if you do not adopt strategies that will allow you to deal with toxic people.
Good managers—even great ones—can make spectacularly bad choices. Some of them result from bad luck or poor timing, but a large body of research suggests that many are caused by cognitive and behavioral biases. While techniques to “debias” decision making do exist, it’s often difficult for executives, whose own biases may be part of the problem, to know when they are worth applying. In this article, we propose a simple, checklist-based approach that can help flag times when the decision-making process may have gone awry and interventions are necessary. Our early research, which we explain later, suggests that is the case roughly 75 percent of the time.
The Whitehall & Industry Group is an independent charity whose purpose is to develop learning opportunities between sectors. To celebrate its 30th anniversary last year, WIG set up its first Insight Days programme, in which senior leaders – including Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives/Chairmen – spent a day in each other’s organisations. Earlier this year, WIG arranged an Insight Day for Erik Bonino, Chairman of Shell UK, and Sir Derek Jones KCB, Permanent Secretary, Welsh Government. In a guest blog, Erik reflects on the experience.
Now that career-minded Millennials make up 50 percent of our workplace, it's safe to assume (like every other generation to enter the work force) they'll want to earn promotions as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, we're hearing across the board that a lot of Millennial workers aren't promotion material, citing a lack of drive and professionalism. However, the real problem lies in a lack of Millennial understanding of the power of perception. In my experience, simple insights are all Millennials need to turn things around.
"People hear what they see." --Doris Day
We know actions speak louder than words. What some Millennials don't understand is certain actions at work give the perception they're lazy and unskilled.
Let's take a look at the most common mistakes Millennials make and how they get misperceived.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “No regrets!”, usually uttered when about to do something a little unwise perhaps. And yet, as alluring as the “Living Without Regrets” philosophy sounds, it’s not always so easy.
A little data-driven self-knowledge can be a wonderful thing. As Lenore Skenazy points out in her amusing Wall Street Journalreview of Laura Vanderkam’s I Know How She Does It, even the most successful super-achievers remain oblivious to where their time really goes.
Are you spending enough time with your employees…or too much? New research reveals that the median time employees spend interacting with leaders is approximately three hours per week – just half of the six hours found to be optimal for employee engagement. Regardless of which of the myriad leadership styles you prefer, spending time with employees is a universal requirement.
According to a new study “Optimal Hours with the Boss” from Leadership IQ, most people spend only half the time they should be spending with their boss. People who do spend an optimal number of hours interacting with their direct leader (six hours per week) are 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week.
Since the mid-2000s, organizational change management and transformation have become permanent features of the business landscape. Vast new markets and labor pools have opened up, innovative technologies have put once-powerful business models on the chopping block, and capital flows and investor demand have become less predictable. To meet these challenges, firms have become more sophisticated in the best practices for organizational change management. They are far more sensitive to and more keenly aware of the role that culture plays. They’ve also had to get much better on their follow-through.
Yet according to a 2013 Strategy&/Katzenbach Center survey of global senior executives on culture and change management, the success rate of major change initiatives is only 54 percent. This is far too low. The costs are high when change efforts go wrong—not only financially but in confusion, lost opportunity, wasted resources, and diminished morale. When employees who have endured real upheaval and put in significant extra hours for an initiative that was announced with great fanfare see it simply fizzle out, cynicism sets in.
It’s been just over a week since Jack Dorsey took over as Twitter’s interim CEO, but there’s already been one notable change at the San Francisco Internet company on his watch. Details of engineering team meetings are now sent to the entire company so that everyone is privy to the latest projects and challenges.
A new Ketchum leadership study of more than 6,000 respondents in 12 countries reveals people are looking more to employees at all levels for leadership instead of just those at the top of the org chart. According to the fourth-annual Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor (KLCM), 41 percent of respondents believe leadership should come mainly from the organization and all its employees, compared with 25 percent that believe leadership should come only from the CEO.
This aligns with three years of KLCM data pointing to the demise of the CEO-as-celebrity leadership style and highlights a greater-than-ever opportunity for "leadership by all" – a collaborative and communicative culture that empowers employees at every level.
While the CEO, board and senior management still play an important role, the study suggests that employees throughout an organization can and should provide leadership. The survey identified the top five traits of an effective leader: leading by example (63 percent), communicating in an open and transparent way (61 percent), admitting mistakes (59 percent), bringing out the best in others (58 percent), and handling controversial issues or crises calmly and confidently (58 percent). These are traits that every CEO should possess, and also ones that every good employee would have.
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