Please note – the contribution window for this has closed. Thanks to all who supported the effort. Just because this event is closed doesn’t mean you can’t help. Go volunteer somewhere. Donate. Make someone else’s life better. Thanks! Let’s face it – you’re pretty fortunate. You’re reading this by accessing the Internet over your laptop while sitting in the comfort of your home drinking your Starbucks quad shot venti caramel macchiato. Imagine NOT being able to pay for Internet access. Imagine NOT having your laptop. Imagine NOT being in your home because you no longer have one. Pretty grim, huh? Well that’s EXACTLY the situation some folks I’d like to help are in. The Ohio State – Marion Psychology Club is sponsoring the Giving Tree Project, in which we all can help needy families during the holiday season. The families being helped are the victims of domestic violence. They’ve escaped from some terrible situations in their homes sometimes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. They’ve found shelter and protection at Turning Point Domestic Abuse Shelter. They need YOUR help. Due to a difficult economy, the project to give them a happy holiday has not raised as much money as they’d like. I’m asking your help to solve that problem. I’m asking you to donate whatever you can to your local shelter. All funds will be used to purchase items these families desperately need (and yes, I’m kicking in a nice chunk of change too). Some of the gifts the families have requested are socks for a six year old little girl whose favorite color is purple (yes… she simply wants SOCKS for Christmas!). Another is a size 14 boys coat (the child only wants to be warm). One of the mothers is pregnant and due with a […]
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-12-05 09:08:002013-11-07 17:03:59Some Families & Little Kids Need YOUR Help!
This is perhaps the most challenging Leadership Principle because it requires you to let go, trust someone else, and lose control of the ultimate outcome. Who’s scared? I am (and have been on several occasions). Losing control can be terrifying but it’s the key to successfully implementing this principle. You know you’re successfully at the edge of control when you’re shouting like Scotty on Star Trek (“I can’t hold her cap’n! She’s breaking up!”). Developing a sense of responsibility in your subordinates and team members requires YOU to act differently before they can. This principle is all about giving your team opportunities to learn and grow. It demonstrates your interest in their growth as a professional and proves how much you trust them to work on things that really matter. Rather than belabor a long drawn out explanation of why it’s important and uncomfortable to give people responsibility (and assume risk in doing so), I encourage you to read this previous post on leading through risk-taking. Remember – your job as a leader is to set direction, provide encouragement, and take corrective action when things aren’t going well (notice I didn’t say “perform every task yourself”). Before we explore why this principle is so important, allow me to share an example of me failing at it.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-12-01 06:01:002018-12-21 14:13:01Increasing Responsibility In Your Team - the 8th Leadership Principle
Leadership without action is nothing more than cheerleading. It’s a rah rah speech. Stuff has to happen. Results count. The seventh Leadership Principle is “ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished.” I know some of you are conjuring up visions of taskmaster bosses when you hear those words (hopefully none of those bosses have been as bad as The Taskmaster comic book villain pictured here – although it would be very cool to work for him because that would mean you’re a cartoon which carries all sorts of possibilities along with it…). I’m not advocating that. This principle is all about mission definition, articulation, and accomplishment. There’s a lot loaded into that very short statement of principle so let’s break it down. Ensure the task is understood Seems simple, right? Make sure people know what you’re asking them to do. And exactly how many times have you or your boss skipped that critical step this week alone? We assume. You know what happens then (bad things). I screwed this up this very morning:
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-24 06:05:002018-12-21 13:40:55Drive Results Without Being The Taskmaster - The 7th Leadership Principle
Knowledge is power but the problem is too many people abuse that power. Spidey said “with great power comes great responsibility.” I’m pretty sure wherever he is, Spidey is reading this series on the Leadership Principles just like you are. You can be a super-hero just like him. As a leader in your organization, you are privy to a ton of information which in turn gives you a great deal of power. Unfortunately, many so-called leaders fail to share information and either knowingly or unknowingly abuse the trusted position they occupy. Does your boss ever act like James Bond? They go into a meeting with mucka mucks above them (search the blog for the technical definition of mucka mucks). They come out of the meeting and everyone is wondering what’s going on. You wait all day to get an update and come 5PM, they disappear into the night (it’s getting dark pretty early these days – curse you daylight savings time!). Their Bond persona kicks in and they act as if the information they’ve been given is for their eyes only and divulging it would put the security of the UK at risk. (Note: I asked my twitter followers to pick the best bond – the vote was split between Craig and Connery hence the pic. Follow me on twitter – it’s fun!). How do you feel not knowing what’s going on? It’s unnerving. Annoying. Such behavior plants the seeds of poisonous gossip. If people don’t know what’s going on, they’ll make something up, won’t they? So let’s put the flip-flops of subversion on your feet, get into your team members’ heads and see how you can prevent your people from experiencing the same frustration. The basic premise to follow here is that they know what you know. Sure, some […]
I recently had the extreme pleasure of being a speaker at the W.P. Carey School’s Compete Through Services Symposium. Some fantastic lessons came out of the sessions that were delivered by some phenomenal speakers. I count myself fortunate to have been part of such incredible company. The W.P. Carey School at Arizona State University has distinctive offerings in the arena of business services and they’ve truly become thoughtLEADERS on the topic (according to my definition of someone who agitates for change in order to drive business impact). The symposium, led by Dr. Stephen Brown, Dr. Mary Jo Bittner, and Alicia Holder drew phenomenal speakers from around the world. Those individuals covered some great topics and leave us with some pointed lessons on differentiating in the new service-based economy. The leaders of the symposium describe the program as follows: “In business, there is one decisive moment when the choice to separate and set one’s self apart becomes evident. The “Compete Through Service” Symposium is the premier executive education event that helps you seize that opportunity by showing you how to: – Design and deliver “out of the box” customer service – Create and promote new, innovative services – Construct value-added, revenue-producing services – Establish a service culture that differentiates – Instill an unrelenting focus on the customer” They’re lofty goals but the event absolutely delivered on them. I’d like to share a few thoughts from some of the other speakers at the event (there’s no way I could ever cover all the great stuff that was presented there):
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-12 14:11:002013-11-07 16:58:54Competing Through Service Differentiation
It’s time to get into the heavy lifting of the Leadership Principles. The fifth principle – know your people and look out for their well-being seems like the easiest one of all. Therein lies the trap. How well do you know them as individuals? What makes them tick? Freak out? Happy? Fearful? What do they do really well? What are they terrible at? Getting the picture yet? You know I love examples so let’s explore this principle with some stories. First, I encourage you to read this previous post about 7Up. It’s good grounding on treating your folks as individuals which is the first step in getting to know them and looking out for their well-being. So here’s a story. I screwed up (I know! Some of you are shocked. Some of you are applauding that I’ve finally come to my senses and admitted a mistake.). I had a great guy on my team. He did phenomenal work. He tackled large projects, put order to them, and made stuff happen. I made some assumptions about work he was comfortable performing based on my prior experiences with folks of similar backgrounds. I asked him to perform said work and present it to our muckamucks (definition – muckamuck, noun: an individual in an organization whose title has a letter in front of “VP” or begins with the letter “C”). He did the work. I didn’t check it because I thought it was pretty basic for him and I trusted he had nailed it. He hadn’t.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-10 06:03:002018-12-21 13:40:24Do You Know Your People? The Fifth Leadership Principle
Do you have kids? Want some? (Kidding – mine are great and you can’t have them and no, I’m not implying your kids or mine look like this post’s picture…). I ask this first question to kick off our discussion of the fourth Leadership Principle: Set the Example. Anyone who has kids or has spent any time around them knows this principle can be an exceedingly powerful and/or embarrassing one. Kids are incredible mimics and they are very adept at self-preservation. Let’s explore. As far as being mimics, if you do it, they do it (monkey see, monkey do, right?). If you take out the trash, fold laundry, clean up after yourself, etc. you’ll find them doing the same (or at least not complaining when you ask them to perform those thrilling tasks). They’ll also imitate the bad behaviors. Pick your nose. Kick the dog. Drink too much. Drive like a maniac. How do you think they’ll behave in their teenage years? Yeahhhh… Fortunately for them no matter how badly you behave, you’re not allowed to get mad at them or discipline them when they behave that way. Why? Because “well you do it” is an incredibly powerful defense. How do you as a parent have a whit of moral authority in such a situation? Short answer – you don’t. No, you haven’t been transported to a child rearing blog. This dynamic applies in business more than you might appreciate.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-11-03 06:05:002018-06-21 14:21:08Monkey See... The Fourth Leadership Principle: Set the Example
Back on the topic of the Leadership Principles, we’re going to explore one that even Tommy from Rugrats understands: responsibility (or “‘sponsbltee” as he pronounces it). The principle states “seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.” While it seems relatively straightforward, this principle requires some parsing and deeper exploration. Many managers (which I do work hard to differentiate from leaders) understand they are accountable but few make the leap to being responsible. Responsibility is all about ownership. Accountability is simply being the first person they call when things get screwed up. Big difference. To really understand this principle, I think some fictional examples might be helpful. First we’ll explore the “take responsibility for your actions” clause because it’s simpler then we’ll move into the advanced class about “seeking responsibility.” Accountability and responsibility are somewhat different animals. To make the point, allow me to offer two responses to the same scenario. The situation is the business unit just cratered and completely missed its earnings target. The leader of said unit is called onto the carpet to explain what’s happened. Here are the responses.
https://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.png00Mike Figliuolohttps://thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/logo.pngMike Figliuolo2008-10-27 05:03:002018-06-21 14:15:27Leadership Means Seeking Responsibility, Not Chucking People Under The Bus