Our reader poll today asks: How does your company handle times of extreme challenge? We hunker down and don’t do anything different until things calm down. 16% We play defensively but take on small new initiatives with low risk. 37% We aggressively seek new opportunities and invest behind them. 48% Seizing the moment: While the poll is split on those playing offense and those playing defense, the implications are pretty clear. For those acting defensively, you need to factor in how other market participants will behave when calculating your stance. If you’re not factoring in the aggressive 48% into your expectations, your defensive stance might cost you more than you anticipate. Strategy isn’t just about your actions – it’s about your actions in relation to other players in the market. You might find your defensive strategy puts you further behind your more aggressive competition and when you come out of that defensive stance ready to compete aggressively again, you may have a lot of catch-up to play. While being defensive is certainly understandable, you could be creating many more risks than you believe you are. Conduct a rigorous market assessment before choosing a stance. 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
Finding ways to be resilient during difficult times is a key factor in what makes a strong leader. Today’s post is by Maureen Metcalf, a thoughtLEADERS principal. Resilience is a key factor in leadership success during times of stress. Our ability to manage our own energy and thinking have a significant impact on our ability to deliver personally and on our ability to inspire our followers. By building our resilience and creating a culture where others are expected to build theirs, we can make a significant impact on driving and sustaining our success as individuals and as organizations. Jon and Maureen start with defining resilience then move to the critical aspects of personal resilience. They include a focus on how brains and bodies react to stress and practices that will reduce the impact events have on leaders. discuss their areas of expertise in brain functioning. This interview includes a discussion of specific tools that allow leaders to build more resilient brains and reduce emotional reactivity. These tools help leaders manage feelings thereby also reducing stress. Equipped with these tools, leaders need to build practices.
Credibility is the foundation of effective leadership. Today’s post is by Alain Hunkins, author of Cracking the Leadership Code (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Clint is the co-founder of a software company that’s experienced rapid growth over the past three years. He’s smart, outgoing, and great in front of customers. In fact, Clint is the sales team’s go-to to close big accounts. The sales team has nicknamed him Midas, because everything he touches turns to gold. On top of all that, Clint’s a genuinely nice guy. However, for all of his strengths, Clint has a tragic flaw. He’s consistently late for meetings. Ten, twenty, thirty minutes late is par for the course with Clint, and sometime more. Clint is also the master of coming up with reasons why he’s late—this customer meeting went long, that operational issue needed his time, the traffic from the airport was atrocious. However, as much as Clint tries to explain each instance away, his team’s not having it anymore. Clint’s invisibility is having a visible impact on engagement and morale—from the top straight on down. Whether he realizes it or not, Clint’s been shooting his credibility in the foot. It’s hurting his leadership and having an impact on the company. If you want to be a great leader, and have those you lead perform at their best, the onus is on you to create an effective leader-follower relationship. You set the tone. You lay the groundwork of connection for what that relationship will become. The first step on that journey is establishing your credibility.
In this episode of Innovating Leadership Maureen Metcalf, thoughtLEADERS Principal, interviews Victor Prince, a fellow thoughtLEADERS Principal, about guiding leaders to exceptional results. In today’s interview, Victor talks about the power of applying the “Leadership Matrix” -the box- to team management. He will describe what exactly the Leadership Matrix is, how it works, and how it will help you get the best out of yourself and your team. Victor, through all of this, will also answer a few of the below questions: Who should read Lead Inside the Box? What problem does it help them solve and how do you help people solve that problem? He will walk us through the different parts of the Leadership Matrix, explain the four boxes and how to utilize this tool to allocate leadership time by the various groups. Victor provides great insights about how this structure helps managers and leaders think through what employees need using a framework to categorize where they are right now. This tool can also help shift people to become more productive. Stay tuned for more of these leadership discussions between Maureen and Victor, along with a few other team members from thoughtLEADERS, being featured on the Innovating Leadership podcast.
Sometimes the best leaders are the ones at the back of the pack, helping to drive everything forward and sometimes they are out front, and other times it benefits to be both, just like AirBnb. Today’s post is by Joseph Michelli, author of The AirBnb Way (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Around 2007, Simon Cooper was the CEO of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, where I was working with their senior leadership team. Simon and I were exploring how Ritz-Carlton could adapt to meet the needs of changing luxury travelers without losing the company’s legacy customer base. Simon offered an example of the challenges faced by the luxury hotel company in 2008, “I had a guest complain to me that he saw one of our bartenders serve a young guest a bottle of beer without a glass. When I looked into it, I informed the complaining guest that the service was a result of the young guest having asked for his beer to be served that way a day before. That is the challenge … to customize the experience to the guest, ensuring that traditional and new-generation guests are each treated respectfully in accord with their wishes.” In that same year, two men in San Francisco (Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia) were facing a very different accommodation challenge. They were trying to make rent for their apartment after a third roommate moved out. Since Brian and Joe had recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and given that a design conference was coming to San Francisco, the roommates decided to create a make-shift website targeted to conference attendees. They planned to place three air mattresses in the spare room and offer breakfast (in the form of uncooked pop tarts) for $80 per night, per guest, for the duration […]
Our reader poll today asks: How important is it to your employees that you treat them consistently with one another? Extremely: They want everyone to always be treated equally: 51.14% Very: They’ll tolerate some special treatment but not very much: 31.99% Somewhat: Some want consistent treatment, while others don’t seem to care: 11.34% Not very: Most of them only worry about how they’re treated themselves: 4.28% Not at all: Special and different treatment is an accepted norm: 1.25% Fair versus equal? The majority of you said your team members want consistency and equal treatment. Be sure you have a perspective on equal versus fair though. Should a new hire be held to the same equal standards of performance as a senior peer in a similar role? Should someone be given time off to handle a personal issue while another person who doesn’t have a personal issue be denied the same time off? Equality absolutely matters on the vast majority of topics. Your challenge is figuring out when fairness comes into play and how to apply it. A big part of doing that right is explaining the difference to people and when you make decisions that aren’t necessarily equal or consistent that you’re able to explain to them why you did what you did and why it is fair. These are challenging topics to navigate. As long as you’re doing what is right and explain things, you can have a productive conversation. Also be open to other perspectives on how to handle the situation because “fair” to you might not seem fair to someone else. Enlist the aid of trusted advisers for those challenging situations. 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 […]
Career burnout is in no shortage in America, catch it early and recover quick with these tips. Today’s post is by thoughtLEADERS principal Jon Wortmann. How tired are you? I ask because even if you practice the best self-care, set boundaries with your time, and manage your exposure to the inevitable conflicts and stress of working with people, you get tired. Performers, leaders, and managers who want to succeed and win will inevitably have tired days. The problem with tired is that it can also go too far. Are you so tired you are burned out? I have had the privilege of working with diverse school districts and education leaders over the past decade. In preparation for one of my workshops I came across this study. Summary: 93% of the elementary school teachers surveyed were stressed, couldn’t cope, and felt burned out. Only 7% of the cohort had low stress, high abilities to cope, and a low experience of burnout. Is it the same in every industry? At every level of organizations? Do professional athletes and musicians experience the same struggles? It doesn’t have to be.
More women in the workforce will impact your culture and leadership. Understanding the needs of this new model will put you far ahead of your competition. Today’s post is by Andreas Wilderer, author of Lean On (CLICK HERE to get your copy). The number of women in the American workforce has now edged past the number of men for only the second time ever, according to a recent Washington Post article, and we have reason to believe this trend is here to stay. In fact, in 2016 and 2017 the number of women receiving bachelor’s degrees surpassed men by 14 percent. Meanwhile, over the last 30 years, the percentage of stay-at-home dads has also risen. In the U.S. these numbers have steadily increased from 4 percent to 7 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. In Canada reports show that fathers account for 10 percent of all stay-at-home parents. This is undoubtedly another clear indication that times are changing and that families are beginning to embrace non-traditional roles. The question is, is everyone else? In my book Lean On, I tell my story about being a stay-at-home dad, married to a successful female executive. Having been in the stay-at-home-dad role for 13 years, I have experienced what it is like for those living in a non-traditional family model.
Our reader poll today asks: How do you handle distractions that break your concentration and focus? I ignore them as best I can and press on: 14.75% I accept the interruption, take a break, then get back to work: 76.75% Nothing ever distracts me enough to break concentration: 1.89% I completely lose focus and give up on the task for a long time: 6.61% Deal with it and move on. Interruptions are a part of life and they’re pervasive both at work and at home (especially when working from home). The vast majority of you see them as a cue to take a break then get back to work. Just be careful that it doesn’t sap your productivity. Do what you can to minimize interruptions because you’re not only giving up the time of the break but also time to get your mind back in the mode of what it was working on. Find a dedicated work space and make an agreement with those who might interrupt you as to when it is or isn’t OK to interrupt. You have to take active control over your work environment lest it end up dictating how productive or unproductive you are. 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!
Paul Smith, thoughtLEADERS Principal, sat down with Jim and Jan of The Leadership Podcast to discuss storytelling and how it can apply to your leadership ability and skill In continuation of our new collaboration with The Leadership Podcast, Paul breaks down just how storytelling can make you a better leader in this short form “chalk talk.” These chalk talk series are bitesize sessions on a common (but challenging) leadership issue. Paul gives Jim and Jan some background on the current renaissance and rediscovery that is happening in relation to the power of storytelling, and the distancing away from the heavy focus on analytics that happened around the same time as the expansion of the digital age, and the return to a more human-centered approach. Paul elaborates on the definition he shares with executives and leaders on what exactly ‘storytelling’ is, and how we can continue to blend the two worlds of data-centric and human-centric to tell better, more compelling stories. Stay tuned for more of these brief Chalk Talks featuring Paul, as well as many more members of the thoughtLEADERS team.
Communication is not only a necessary skill, but it can be the difference between getting the job, saving your company millions, and ultimate workplace harmony. Today’s post is by Katy Kvalvik. To be an effective leader, you must be an effective communicator. To be an effective communicator, you must believe in the value of every conversation. Improving the way you communicate can evoke a greater connection in all of your personal relationships and have a positive impact on your professional interactions. According to a new worldwide survey, communication is one of the most highly prized soft skills for talent today. When the stakes are high, solidify your role as a team player, problem-solver, or indispensable leader by honing these five essential communication skills: Listen and Be Present In order to communicate effectively, it is important that you have genuine respect for the other person’s view of the world. All people have different ways of experiencing life and the world around them (different beliefs, values, filters, etc.). By listening deeply in order to understand and respect these differences instead of judging, better and more efficient communication will occur. Effective, deep listening promotes better understanding, reduces conflict, and enhances relationships. You can improve your listening skills by practicing Objective Active and Intuitive Listening. Objective Active listening is being in the moment and completely focused on the other person. You’re getting the facts versus getting all the details of a subjective story. It’s very effective for problem-solving. Using it in a professional environment helps the listener see facts clearly and arrive at timely, accurate solutions that maximize results.
Our reader poll today asks: What is the biggest impediment to you making a big change in the way you work? I like my routine and simply don’t want to change. 16.10% I don’t know how to make the required changes. 9.52% People around me refuse to change with me. 20.49% I’m afraid to change. I might fail or things won’t go well. 6.82% I don’t have the resources I need to make the change. 17.56% I love change and always embrace it. 29.51% Many obstacles to change. There isn’t a dominant reason for change resistance, apparently. Sometimes it’s our desire for routine or it’s others’ desires not to change. Whatever the reason for change resistance, identify it, give it a name, and compare the cost of not changing with what the value of the obstacle is. Many times we don’t do this math and we let inertia lead us to a bad outcome. For the 30% of you who love and embrace change, help those around you do the same. Share the techniques you use to overcome fear or routine inertia. Don’t push them to change — lead them to change. Also don’t let your love of change turn into change for the sake of change. Some of us love change too much and make changes that might not be necessary. Understand this is a risk for you 30% and could cause unnecessary turmoil for the 70% of your colleagues. 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 […]