Thursday, October 29

Leadership

Leadership

How Long is Your Management Nose
Leadership

How Long is Your Management Nose

How Long is Your Management Nose Long-nosed managers sniff around in everyone’s business. Short-nosed managers seem disinterested, aloof, and uncaring. How long should a manager’s nose be? One size doesn’t fit all. My preference: I preferred managers with short noses. Over-involvement offended me. Don’t you trust me? Do you think I’m incompetent? Don’t you have something better to do? But, there’s more to the story. A few affirmations fueled my fire. An occasional, “How are things going?”, let me know they cared. You’re a nagging meddler that doesn’t trust me if you’re over-involved. Too little involvement and you’re an uncaring jerk. A manager reading my preferences might feel damned if you do, damned if you don’t. 2 co...
Manager as Pooper Scooper
Leadership

Manager as Pooper Scooper

Manager as Pooper Scooper Hotheads are a reality in organizational life. I’m not endorsing or encouraging hotheaded behaviors. Manager as pooper scooper: Every manager has cleaned up the aftermath of a hothead’s outburst. The hothead moved on. Everyone else tiptoes around the road apples left behind. Sensitive spirits feel demoralized. Timid team members won’t speak up but hope you will. Perhaps you should. Note: Violent or threatening behaviors are grounds for dismissal. Worth it: Don’t expect hotheads to change. A hotheaded symphony conductor might be worth it if they… Have a big heart. Terminate coldhearted hotheads. A big heart and generous spirit compensate for many deficiencies. Are respected by the team for th...
Loneliness is More Dangerous than Smoking or Obesity
Leadership

Loneliness is More Dangerous than Smoking or Obesity

Loneliness is More Dangerous than Smoking or Obesity “Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.” Douglas Nemecek “… individuals with adequate social relationships have a 50% greater likelihood of survival compared to those with poor or insufficient social relationships.” 4 reasons you feel alone: #1. You feel alone because you are alone. Zoom meetings can’t replace skin. You’re going to die much sooner if you aren’t nourished with human contact. I’m not encouraging you to touch everyone. I am encouraging you to respect the power of in-person contact, handshakes, and physical pats on the back. #2. You feel alone because people don’t understand you. No one...
How Negative Thinking Creates Positive Solutions
Leadership

How Negative Thinking Creates Positive Solutions

How Negative Thinking Creates Positive Solutions Shooting down ideas is sport to corporate teams. What happens when new ideas come before teams? People explain why they won’t work! Don’t you hate people who explain why something won’t work? I’ve learned to respect, admire, and leverage the insights of people who anticipate what could go wrong. It’s dangerous to expect plans to work and not anticipate what could go wrong. How might we screw up: Create a plan by asking how you might screw up. Planning – during Covid-19 – feels like chasing greased pigs. Education leaders chase plans for opening schools. Business leaders try to get a grip on re-opening business or bringing people back into the office. Don’t ask, “How will it work?”...
How to Increase Your Resilience as a Leader
Leadership

How to Increase Your Resilience as a Leader

April 7, 2020 It’s a common myth that working harder is the best way to deal with the pressures of management. We like to think that extending work hours and multi-tasking are effective ways to be more effective at work. Yet this thinking is flawed. We know from studies of stress that performance doesn’t always increase as a result of putting more pressure on yourself. In the current pandemic environment especially, pushing yourself too hard will just lead to burnout. Additional pressure might lead to initial improvements, but then performance plateaus and ultimately may decline as the pressures associated with work increase. When crisis, industry volatility, societal shifts, or workplace pressures result in stress, it’s time to thin...
Your Role in Innovation Depends on Where You Sit
Leadership

Your Role in Innovation Depends on Where You Sit

April 10, 2020 Understanding How Your Role in Innovation Varies by Leader Level It’s obvious that leaders in different levels of the organization have to lead differently — think about how different the leadership challenges are for a line supervisor than a CEO. So it shouldn’t be surprising that leaders who are looking to drive innovation have different challenges depending on their position. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Regardless of where you sit in an organization, it’s useful to understand the challenges unique to leading innovation efforts — and the 3 leadership imperatives that provide emotional support innovators need. What’s My Role in Innovation? Unsure where you stand on pushing innovation forward? Conside...
5 Most Important Leadership Competencies for Function Leaders
Leadership

5 Most Important Leadership Competencies for Function Leaders

June 2, 2020 We work closely with many leaders who are running functions or divisions in large organizations. They carry titles such as vice president or senior director and have responsibilities for one or more functions — such as sales, marketing, finance, operations, engineering, technology, legal, and human resources. They run business units and geographic regions. Functional leaders typically manage groups of more than 500 people, have budgets in excess of $500M, and are often on a shortlist to be COO or CEO. What leadership competencies are most important for success in a functional leadership role – especially during a time when uncertainty is heightened and innovation is critical for organizations to survive and thrive? How well ...
What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?
Leadership

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Leader?

June 10, 2020 Leaders shape our nations, communities, and organizations. We need good leaders to help guide us and make the essential large-scale decisions that keep the world moving. Our society is usually quick to identify a bad leader, but do we know how to identify a good one? What would most people say makes a good leader? The Characteristics & Qualities of a Good Leader Based on our research, we’ve found that great leaders consistently possess these 10 core leadership skills: Integrity Ability to delegate Communication Self-awareness Gratitude Learning agility Influence Empathy Courage Respect Integrity The importance of integrity should be obvious. Though it may not necessarily be a metric in employee evaluation...
How to Overcome Strategic Leadership Challenges
Leadership

How to Overcome Strategic Leadership Challenges

June 22, 2020 What makes strategic leadership different than leadership in general? If you’re a good leader, aren’t you in turn a strategic leader? Effective strategic leadership – and the ability to solve strategic leadership challenges – requires different skills and perspectives than those required by day-to-day operational leadership. Operational leaders must meet short-term targets, master their functional area, and create stability for focused execution. Strategic leaders, on the other hand, must make decisions that position the business for the future, while meeting current demands. They must focus on multiple facets of the business instead of ensuring success in a single area. And, typically, strategic leaders are involved in...
Parents: How to Have Patience for Yourself in a Culture of Comparison
Leadership

Parents: How to Have Patience for Yourself in a Culture of Comparison

I remember overhearing a dad talk about what he’d just done for his children. Actually, he was bragging about what he’d done for them. This man just returned from a trip to the Swiss Alps where he and his kids had skied together in new matching snowsuits with brand new ski equipment. Upon their return, they stopped in New York to “see a Broadway show and to consume some of the best food anywhere.” After hearing his story, I suddenly felt inferior. Throughout my kids’ childhood, I worked to be an intentional father. I spent time with each of them, took them on daddy dates, and provided trips and toys appropriately. Along the way, however, I noticed something sinister happening between parents in my community. They prided themselves so much on their parent engagement that it bec...