Our reader poll today asks: When you travel internationally, do you research cultural norms of your destination before going? Always. I want to fit in and not offend anyone: 51% Sometimes. But if I make mistakes, so be it: 22% Rarely. I’ll only research extremely foreign cultures: 7% Never. They can accept me as I am: 2% I don’t travel internationally: 17% Being obtuse can lose you opportunities. Small mistakes related to customs and social graces can lead to lost opportunities. Inadvertently insulting a business partner, colleague, candidate, or client can leave them frustrated or insulted by your interaction with them. The Internet makes it easy to learn about everything from customary greetings, hand gestures that are insulting, tipping, and ways of working. Ignore doing your research at your own peril. The flip side of this is that people will find it endearing that you’ve gone to the trouble to learn about their culture and customs. That goes a long way toward building trust-based, respectful relationships. So the next time you’re on that long flight overseas, spend some of those hours doing some basic Internet research on the culture you’re about to visit. The relationship you lose or save might depend on it. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
About Ryan Shaw
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Leadership isn’t an unlimited resource, because time isn’t an unlimited resource. Learn how to be a more effective and efficient leader. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. Do you work a 40 hour week or are you working 24/7? How much effort are you putting into your work? How much stress do you experience from the energy you’re putting in? Your time and energy are finite resources. You can squeeze more time out by taking away from other activities in your life but you can’t do that forever. That time isn’t unlimited. If you squeeze out too much, bad things can happen. I’m speaking from experience here. I’ve had two heart attacks because I was spending too much time and energy with my work. Something needs to change. To reduce the time you spend at work, reduce stress, and improve performance, you need to approach how you spend your time and energy differently. Leadership capital is the time and energy you invest in leading your team. It needs to be invested carefully like any other scarce resource. When’s the last time you assessed where you’re spending your time and energy? Who are you spending it with? How are you spending it? Are you getting the results you want from those investments? These are all questions I want you to consider as you assess how you’re spending the valuable resource of your leadership capital.
Whether you’re trying to win championships or create the world’s best advertising, hiring people committed to being good teammates is what the best teams do. Today’s post is by Leo Bottary, author of What Anyone Can Do (CLICK HERE to get your copy). During my workshops for CEOs and business leaders, I talk about how the same five factors that are common to high-performing peer groups apply to high-performing teams. These five factors, first outlined in The Power of Peers, essentially involve people, trust, productivity, accountability, and servant leadership. It’s having excellent people who thrive in a culture that prizes trust, world class results, being accountable to one another, and servant leadership. In short though, it’s about having people who are committed to being great teammates versus top individual contributors. Let me share two examples of great teams, one from business and the other from sports. MullenLowe MullenLowe is a Boston-based advertising agency. The firm’s logo features an octopus wearing boxing gloves – a different kind of beast, so to speak. People who enjoy the privilege of working there are surrounded by colleagues committed to one another and to creating great work for their clients. Picture talented people, all from various backgrounds and walks of life, dedicated to producing award-winning advertising that drives their clients’ business. Let me illustrate what that looks like based on what I experienced during my time with the agency.
Our reader poll today asks: How frequently do you shift blame for mistakes you’ve made? Never. I always own my mistakes: 66% Sometimes. It just kind of happens, and I don’t realize I’m doing it: 32% Often. Usually, someone else caused the problem to start: 1% Always. I have a hard time taking responsibility for mistakes: 1% Mess up, fess up. While most of you actively admit to and own mistakes, there’s a large group of you who admit to blame-shifting. It’s easy to do. None of us likes to make mistakes let alone claim responsibility for them. When you do find yourself in that situation, it might be easier to split the mistake into components and own the portions of it that are your responsibility. Many mistakes have multiple parties contributing. No one wants to take the blame for someone else’s mistake so we find ourselves attributing the entire mistake to someone else’s actions. Find and own the parts of it that are yours. Leave it to others to take responsibility for their portion. The interesting thing is once you publicly claim your part of the issue, others will tend to claim theirs too since they’re no longer on the hook for the entire issue. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Creating your company, or teams, strategy based on the mission and not standards or metrics is what will help your team win. Today’s post is by Doug Hall, author of DRIVING EUREKA! (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Strategy by numbers is a command and control approach to management. It focuses energy on the theory that when everyone hits their individual number, the total organization wins. The command and control approach was pioneered by the military. However, the military has changed as the speed of warfare has changed. A US Marine explained it this way: “Years ago, the military was focused on instant, willing obedience to orders. Today we give the mission and explain why. When the troops know the mission and why it’s important, we leverage their skills and knowledge.” Instant, willing obedience to orders is not fun. It’s slavery. It turns employees into zombies and creates disengagement between employees and the work. Today the military enables troops to both think and do. They call it Commander’s Intent. Commander’s Intent: A clear and concise expression of the purpose of the operation and the desired end state that supports mission command, provides focus to the staff, and helps subordinate and supporting commanders act to achieve the commander’s desired result without further order, even when the operation does not unfold as planned. A distilled version of Commander’s Intent is simply: “In the absence of further orders, you know what to do.”
Our reader poll today asks: How do you deal with passive-aggressive people? I confront them directly when I see the behavior: 41% I generally ignore the behavior: 47% I behave passive-aggressively right back at them: 13% Don’t stoop to their level. The majority of you either confront passive-aggressive behavior when you see it or you just let it slide. I’d venture to guess that the difference in those situations boils down to how egregious the behavior is (with the worse it is inviting more direct confrontation) and what the recipient’s bias toward conflict is (fight or flight). For those of you who get passive-aggressive right back, I ask you to consider the fact that bad behavior invites more bad behavior. You might be making your own situation worse by stooping to their level. The next time you consider doing so, try a different path and either confront the person about their behavior or just let it slide. The workplace might end up being more pleasant if you do. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!