A critical part of effective leadership and success means the understanding of including all stakeholders and total collaboration in your leadership model. Today’s post is by Kim Lorenz, author of Tireless (CLICK HERE to get your copy). It’s that time of year again – many organizations have started diving into accomplishing their strategic business goals and objectives for 2021. Do you have a 2021 business vision? In my years of experience as an entrepreneur, business owner, partner and CEO, I have come to realize that if you can learn to see opportunity, can innovate, and look past the “obvious,” you can achieve almost anything. To me, a critical part of effective leadership and business success means understanding the importance of including all stakeholders and total collaboration in your leadership model. Stakeholders are both internal to your company, some in higher levels of management, and often are suited best to contribute fresh ideas and perspectives, mainly because they are often the ones in the trenches and closer to the actual issue you might be addressing. Unfortunately, when business decisions are made due to a lack of knowledge and failure to seek understanding and input from others, millions of dollars can be wasted. Sadly, these poor decisions, whether in the non-profit or for-profit arena, are not typically discovered for many years down the road, so the losses pile up needlessly. With this in mind, I encourage leaders in this New Year to strive to gather more information and consult with others (who might know something they don’t) in every decision they make. Remember, you must be willing to meet with the people who do the work every day – and recognize that they are significant, valuable stakeholders who can help you craft smarter business decisions.
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Our reader poll today asks: As the year comes to an end, what are your expectations for next year? It’ll be much better: 32.43% It’ll be slightly better: 42.96% It’ll be about the same: 16.28% It’ll be slightly worse: 4.92% It’ll be much worse: 3.41% Optimistic views. 75% of you feel like next year will be better than this one. Hopefully that’s the case! 2020 certainly has been extraordinary. The question to you as a leader is what are you doing right now to set next year up to be successful? Are you building talent? Putting together your plans? Building organizational flexibility and capabilities? Better years don’t just happen magically. They’re much more likely to occur if you’re putting in the effort early to make sure you’re ready to capitalize on opportunities that present themselves. As this year winds down, take advantage of some of the quiet time to plan for next year. Take action now to set you up for success later. Don’t wait for Q1 to put things in motion! 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!
Communication is crucial to effective leadership. With all professional relationships, one must clearly convey and maintain company guidelines and standards. Today’s post is by Sarah Y. Tse, author of 7 Years on the Front Line (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Your business reflects your ethos, which explains why it is critical to communicate company culture and goals clearly to new employees, new clients, and new suppliers. A leader lays the ground rules, describes operations, distributes priorities, and defines the values of the business. I focus a tremendous amount of energy into verbal and non-verbal communication. Asking questions, activating curiosity, and engaging as an active listener assists me in assessing clearly if an interviewee is a match, or if a supplier and client will connect and provide for my needs. I see applicants as potential consultants, asking myself, “will this person provide the services he promises?” I notice their body language and verbal reactions to my questions, especially eye contact, which communicates confidence and honesty, or lack thereof. I learned to pay attention to a “feeling” of unsettledness. I pursue questioning until I understand the answer. If there continues to be an “unsettledness,” I listen to my inner spirit and may choose not to hire that person. I select people whom I believe will be assets to my business and examine their character. I observe the chemistry between the two of us and other staff members. Is there a willingness to take initiative and complete tasks efficiently and correctly?
Our reader poll today asks: When you get knocked “off center” by unexpected problems, how long does it take you to recover? A few minutes: 23.86% An hour or so: 27.23% A few hours: 17.60% A day or two: 24.33% Several days to a week: 6.98% Returning to center. There’s no shortage of things to knock us off balance. Events big and small can throw us off at any given time. What’s important is how quickly you’re able to regain your center and get back in balance. For the large portion of you that get thrown off for a day or more, don’t feel bad about it, but do look to do something about it. Find a way to regain your perspective faster. Whether it’s exercising, taking a walk, talking with a friend or co-worker, listening to music, meditating or any other form of resetting yourself, you’d do well to try it. Being off center for too long affects performance, stress and general happiness with the world around you. Let yourself experience the stressor, react to it, but then quickly put it in its place. You’ll find that regular application of these skills will reduce the amount of time it takes you to get back to center and back in balance. 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!
Join our free webinar about how to continue to learn and evolve and lead your organization through crisis. As the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic slowdown continue, leaders need to become more deliberate students of how to lead in a prolonged crisis. To help with that, thoughtLEADERS will be offering a free webinar called Leading in Crisis: Four Leaders Who Did It Right. We’ll be sharing case studies of four exceptional leaders as they faced significant crises and the perhaps unconventional wisdom they gained from those experiences. The webinar is a one-hour session you can attend live or on-demand, free of charge, and will be taught by Paul Smith and Gary Ross, the thoughtLEADERS principals who developed the firm’s courses Storytelling for Leaders and Leading Through Change.
The how-to’s and don’t-do’s of disagreement, at work, but also in life. Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. As leaders, we continue to face an increasing level of complexity. With political shifts happening across the globe, we are finding more than ever before that we are working with people who have dramatically different views than we have. Many are even violating the time-held rule not to discuss politics or religion at work. For many, these discussions, along with a barrage of political demonstrations and news coverage, have left us feeling overwhelmed and often concerned about our immediate and long-term future. Many people appear more agitated, and agitated people are less effective employees, family members and friends. An emerging leader and MBA student, Ben, recently told me that he watched two of his staff members come close to physical blows because of a political disagreement. His department is not directly impacted by the political discussion at hand, yet tempers are still high. The challenge for Ben was restoring a civil and supportive working relationship after people crossed lines that are hard to uncross.