Our reader poll today asks: What are your expectations of team members when it comes to their development? They are 100% in charge of their own development. 5% They should drive their development, and I provide some resources. 41& We should partner equally on their development plans and actions. 51% I should drive most of their development efforts with their assistance. 7% I am 100% responsible for their development. 1% Individuals drive their development. 92% of you state that the individual needs to drive their own development with some assistance from you. While they’re responsible for driving it, be sure you give them the resources they need to do so. Guidance on skill gaps, suggestions on ways they can fill those gaps, access to training, funding for coursework, time away from their desks to develop, and growth opportunities in their roles are things only you can provide. You can tell them they need to drive their development but if you don’t support them with appropriate resources, they’ll get frustrated, disillusioned, and eventually look for a leader who will invest in their development. There are more opportunities than ever to help people learn – guide them to those options and put the conditions in place where they can take advantage of them. 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!
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Entries by Ryan Shaw
Being an authentic leader isn’t just good practice, it’s a necessity for the short, and long, term success and progress of your business. Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. I am keenly interested in understanding how leaders progress their business agendas as well as the global agenda in times of significant geopolitical shifts. I attended the International Leadership Association’s conference, Authentic Leadership for Progress, Peace & Prosperity, in West Palm Beach, Florida, where keynote speakers, academics, award recipients and leaders across industries and the globe discussed their perspectives on the subject. This article summarizes my key takeaways. With 39 countries represented at the conference, the focus on the volume, complexity and rate of change in the current climate continued to inform the conversations. So too did the political landscape, particularly the disillusionment with democracy and the move toward populism. The conversation was also impacted by several events happening in the background, such as a bomber delivering 14 bombs to democratic leaders and supporters, who was actually apprehended near West Palm Beach, where the conference was being held. There was also a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh in the morning of the final day at the conference. These events called to question what more we, as members of an international association, can do to focus on the intersection of leadership, scholarship and practice at a conference that focuses on progress, peace and prosperity.
Our reader poll today asks: The last time you provided difficult feedback, how did it go? The reaction was much better than I expected. 36% The reaction was about what I expected. 54% The reaction was much worse than I expected. 11% It’s not as bad as you expect. While many of you got pretty much what you expected the last time you delivered difficult feedback, more of you were positively surprised by the reaction than negatively surprised. That’s not surprising. Giving feedback is a stressful process. We don’t like delivering tough messages and we mentally prepare ourselves for conflict going into the conversation. Recognize that people appreciate being told when something isn’t going well. The vast majority of people want to do better and are happy to hear ways they can do that. To get more comfortable with delivering tough feedback, use a standard feedback model that provides facts first, then interpretation, then a call for action. By starting with the facts, you remove emotion from the situation and people are much more willing to hear what you have to say rather than getting defensive and debating 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!
Emotional intelligence is no longer a ‘nice to have’ in the workplace, but a ‘must have’ to be effective in the modern workplace. Today’s post is by Asha Tarry. Emotional intelligence skills are those important soft skills that are now reaching the desk of more and more leaders. It used to be targeted as a set of skills that belonged to customer-driven and service industries. However, we are learning there are people who are inept at having those important, emotional, human skills which connect people and build strong teams. That is why emotional intelligence is now being considered an important asset for employees. We need to reevaluate how we review resumes. It matters that employees have a good grip on soft skills. For example, being an effective communicator, and being able to adapt to the different styles in which people work, should become required skills. Most people want to avoid certain emotions at work, but that is where they spend most of their time. That is why emotional intelligence should not be limited to helping just customer-driven industries or education workers.
Creating a culture of overt collaboration is foundational to an organizations ability to maximize results. Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS principal Maureen Metcalf. In the United States, where we recently came out of a challenging election season, a concern for many leaders in the last few months has been creating workplaces where all employees are focused on the mission of the organization and not distracted by the political views of their colleagues. It seems that with this election, we are seeing a decrease in civility, openness and appreciation for alternate points of view. While this problem is accelerated by the recent election in the U.S., we are seeing similar concerns globally as we experience factions pushing toward globalism while others move toward localism. For example: Bill is leading a group of technology professionals. They come from diverse backgrounds, and many are new to the organization. They are focused on IT security, a field that is evolving quickly. This group is continually faced with challenges they have not seen, and they are one of the top organizations among their peers. They are encouraged to attend conferences, read, talk to people in different industries and talk to thought leaders. Their only limitations in their interactions are time and money—the same limitations we all face. In addition to being encouraged to solicit information continually, they are explicit about their culture. They have discussed how they will work together and define the elements that support a highly effective culture. These agreements are foundational to their ability to think and behave collaboratively as their primary approach to problem-solving.
Leadership cannot be do as I say, leadership must also be do as I do, show your team how you want to operate. Today’s post is by Pat McManamon, author of The Intentional Sales Manager (CLICK HERE to get your copy). As a sales leader, you have to admit it’s been an interesting year. You’ve been faced with business challenges you never even imagined you would encounter. Guess what? Your sales people are in the same situation! Your decisions, like theirs, are going to be crucial. What criteria will you use to make them? Business is still being conducted; prospects are reaching out; your competition is on the phones and on the streets; customers are buying. Many companies I’ve spoken to had a record month in March despite the disruption of a nationwide shutdown. All signs point to a strong recovery in the near future for those who are prepared. But we must be prepared to make constructive changes, and we must accept that the most important change starts with us!
The top-down hierarchical structure of organizations is limited and outdated. Here are four tips for leaders to adjust their strategic planning process to support a networked model. Today’s post is by Chris Yates, author of Share (CLICK HERE to get your copy). During my work from home life, kids have been teaching me how to win Battle Royale in Fortnite. For my 10-year old son, it’s all about taking the high ground to snipe at your opponents. My 12-year old daughter, on the other hand, builds networks and alliances. She is already conditioned by societal gender stereotyping to win not through force or the relentless focus on the high ground. She seldom loses, and is perhaps better prepared by that same stereotyping to win in a future world. In most organizations, there is a basic assumption that the hierarchy of titles represents the hierarchy of information. Bosses know best because they’ve taken the high ground. Most management books, gurus, and models created to date have been based on the same premise of a vertical organization with a hierarchy of power. Recently, management theory has been about creating a more effective pyramid, by turning it upside down and calling it servant leadership. Nevertheless, it’s still a pyramid.
Our reader poll today asks: When someone on your team pesters you to get something low priority completed, how do you react? I firmly tell them, “No, I’ll do it when it’s time. Please don’t mention it again.” 34% I ignore their pestering and get to it when I get to it. 22% placate them and keep saying “I’ll get to it soon.” 32% I give in and just do it. Anything to get them to stop pestering me. 11% Maintaining focus and priorities. It looks like most of you try to get the distraction to stop – either by being direct, ignoring the distraction, or placating with a “not now” response. Recognize that if they’re pestering you, they likely won’t stop until they get a firm answer either way. Whether that’s you giving in and just doing it or firmly telling them “no” they’ll need a definitive result and will keep bringing it up until they have resolution. Try giving them definitive answers. If the answer is “no” or “not now” then just say so. Ignoring them or placating them doesn’t stop the distractions and those distractions impact your productivity significantly. Step up and assert your priorities. It will alleviate anxiety for them and will reduce interruptions for you. 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!
In this episode of Innovating Leadership Maureen Metcalf, thoughtLEADERS Principal, sits down to discuss with Paul Smith, a fellow thoughtLEADERS Principal, about the power of stories. Paul talks with Maureen about his perspective and thought process on the power of story for leaders. He shares his insights about what works, why it works and how you will be more effective as a leader if you master the use of story as one of your skills. Paul recounts a compelling story told by Bob McDonald, CEO of Proctor and Gamble and connects it to a primary leadership and parenting lesson for him. Through his use of story he illustrates a couple of things like what is a great leadership story? What are the primary elements the make up a great leadership story? He also breakdown why you should use stories to lead and sell and just what are the most common mistakes of using stories. This discussion will have you walking away with the foundations of using and telling your personal leadership story. Stay tuned for more of these leadership discussions between Maureen and Paul, along with a few other team members from thoughtLEADERS, being featured on the Innovating Leadership podcast.
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 Antonio Garrido, author of The 21st Century Ride Along (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Ask a bunch of top executives who they believe is the best coach in the world, and they will likely reel off the names of ‘the usual suspects’ – you know, the ones that pay millions a year to their SEO-agency in order to occupy that cherished top spot on any of the most common coach-related web-searches. …And, they’d all be wrong. The very best coach that you (or anyone else, for that matter) ever knew was your mom – or whichever family member spent the most time bringing you up when you were a tiny tot: the one who was with you when you learned to walk, talk, read, and write. Heck, it took an age to get you to tie a shoelace, brush your teeth, ride a bike, and master the use of a fork, and you’re a real smarty-pants, right? Let’s not forget, forks can be tricky, of course. Here’s the thing, the reason that your mom was the best coach you ever knew is because of her willingness to see you grow and develop and thrive. It was more important to her to see you do well than her own level of discomfort in getting you there: she cared more about your progress than the limits of her own patience and well-being, and that’s the mark of any great coach. If you are not prepared to invest heavily in the growth and development of your team, you’re not being a good coach (parent).
Paul Smith, thoughtLEADERS Principal, sat down with Jim and Jan of The Leadership Podcast to discuss storytelling and how it can make your role as a salesperson easier and more effective. In continuation of our new collaboration with The Leadership Podcast, Paul breaks down just how storytelling can make you a better and stronger salesperson in this short form “chalk talk.” These chalk talk series are bitesize sessions on a common (but challenging) leadership issue. After his previous breakdown of storytelling for leaders, Paul takes some time to differentiate storytelling for leaders versus storytelling for salespeople, and how the storytelling really affects the emotional decision making that we do as human beings. Paul goes into the framework for a great story that works in a sales environment and how it differentiates from our traditional idea about storytelling, like a bedtime story. He gives further insight into what it takes to really build a compelling story and get buy-in from your audience. Stay tuned for more of these brief Chalk Talks featuring Paul, as well as many more members of the thoughtLEADERS team.
Blanca De La Rosa discusses how people can take control of their careers through personal empowerment. Today’s post is by Blanca De La Rosa, author of Empower Yourself for an Amazing Career (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Are you in control of your life and your career? Is your life what you imagined it would be? Or have you somehow allowed yourself to be deterred from your chosen path? Did you know that nothing changes unless you change it? No matter what you seek, it can only happen if you do something about it. Take charge of your personal power. To be empowered you must know what you want for your life and why. Personal empowerment is a collection of beliefs, actions and skills all working together to help you achieve your goals and it begins with two things: self-awareness and a positive mindset.