Rob Salafia, thoughtLEADERS Principal, sat down with Jim and Jan of The Leadership Podcast to discuss his thoughts on authenticity. In continuation of our new collaboration with The Leadership Podcast, Rob gives his insights and thoughts on authenticity in this short form “chalk talk.” These chalk talk series are bitesize sessions on a common (but challenging) leadership issue. Authenticity is a commonly used word in the leadership realm, so Rob breaks down the textbook definition about authenticity and how to use that to your advantage with the different needs of a team and being a leader. Rob further breaks down why exactly people struggle with just being themselves, especially in a work environment, and how it’s tied to being your “best” self, or the best version of you when at work. Stay tuned for more of these brief Chalk Talks featuring Rob, as well as many more members of the thoughtLEADERS team.
One way to instantly see if your workforce is being effectively managed is to ascertain how they feel about work. Today’s post is by Dr. Ian Hesketh and Sir Cary Cooper, authors of Wellbeing at Work (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Starting with the basics, it is without doubt that the relationship workers have with their immediate line managers is the one that can impact most on their wellbeing. The relationship can be the key to happiness, positivity, commitment, productivity and performance. The good news is that this skill can be developed and honed, resulting in optimum working efficiency. Therefore, it is well worth the investment in your leaders, at all levels. We suggest that at its very basic level leadership can be broken down into just three elements. These are, knowing yourself, knowing your people and knowing your business. One of the most popular frameworks of leadership is that of transforming leadership. Initially coined by James Downton in 1973 following his research into charismatic leadership, it was influenced largely by Bernard Bass, and his instrumental book Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectations. Bass established what it was about leadership that inspired extra ordinary achievement and contributions of extra-role effort. He explored what were the traits that great leaders seem to have; concluding with four major tenets. These leadership attributes, commonly known as the 4 ‘I’s’, are:
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Our reader poll today asks: Which of the following skills is your team most in need of improving? Communications: 34.7% Decision-making: 9.0% Problem-solving: 9.7% People leadership: 13.0% Strategic thinking: 19.3% Time management: 14.3% It’s all about the communication. A significant portion of you listed communication as the most critical skill gap on your team. That makes sense. Many other skills like leadership, decision-making and problem-solving require strong communication skills at their foundation. Even skills like time management have roots in communication — how can you delegate or push back on requests if you can’t communicate clearly? Given this demand for communication skills, the question is: What are you doing about building your team’s capabilities in this arena? The ability to get recommendations approved and convey thoughts in a clear and compelling way is something that can be learned. Are you investing in building your team’s skills? Given the current environment, it seems there’s no better time than the present to start working 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!
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Developing your team so well that they begin being poached by others and letting them go to those other teams is exactly how to develop your organization. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS Want to build your team? Get rid of the people who are on it. I don’t mean go about firing people in a flurry. Become what I call a “net exporter of talent.” You need to develop your people to the point that they’re ready for new challenges. Build their skills. Make them more valuable to the organization. Grow them and build upon their responsibilities. And once you can stand back and admire the fruits of your labor, send them somewhere else to work. Actually, if you’ve done a good enough job developing them, others will be trying to poach them from your team. Madness you say? Don’t be too quick to judge. The benefits of becoming a net exporter of talent are many. Before we get into them, let me elaborate on how to become said exporter. First, recognize almost everyone on your team wants to grow. Your obligation as a leader is to provide those opportunities and help people succeed in them. Once you’ve expanded the skills and scope of your team members, you’re ready to begin.
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Soft skills aren’t unimportant, in fact, they might be the difference between getting a job or not. Today’s post is by John Livesay, author of The Successful Pitch (CLICK HERE to get your copy). The concept of soft skills which include empathy, listening, and storytelling is known to not be as important as hard skills. If you’re an architect, your hard skills are what you learned in school, i.e. how to design a building. If you’re a lawyer your hard skills are what you learned in law school and passing the bar. If you’re a keynote speaker, your hard skills are knowing how to put together a talk that has a beginning, middle and end i.e. the craft of speaking. No matter what your profession, mastering the soft skills is what makes you stronger than your competition. Recently a top architecture firm had me speak to their team on how to build better client relationships. Their old way of winning new business was to show their design and hope that would be enough to get a new client. When a client told them they were going to hire the firm they liked the best because the project would last 5 years, they panicked. How do we become more likable they asked me?
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Our reader poll today asks: When you get stressed out, how do you deal with it? I go exercise. 24.38% I take time off from work. 5.48% I throw myself into my work and push through it. 28.86% I meditate. 13.31% I do something else.24.12% I never get stressed out. 3.85% Find a productive outlet. While many of you have productive places to release stress (exercise, meditation, time off or some other activity), an alarming portion of you (29%) simply push through the stress. This can work in the short term, but over time, the cumulative effects of this stress can be tremendous. Whether it’s health issues, relationship challenges, decreased performance, irritability or some other damaging effect, your desire to “push through” can have catastrophic effects. Find an outlet for your stress. Channel it into something productive (outside of doing more work). Your health, your family and your team will appreciate your new habits and you’ll perform better, be happier and be healthier in the process. 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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Most of the major initiatives we pursue are conducted as projects. What do you do when those projects go up in flames? There are seven common reasons our projects go bad and the ways to avoid them. Today’s post is by Mike Figliuolo, Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS. Projects go off the rails all the time. Some statistics I’ve seen say only 1 in 8 projects can truly be declared as successes. Why are we so horrible at executing projects especially when we have all these “tried and true” project management methodologies? There are seven deadly killers of projects. Any one of them can undermine your project’s success. The good news is we teach people how to avoid these issues as part of our Project Management Reality course (CLICK HERE to learn more). For the benefit of all my readers, I’ve outlined these seven killers below along with ways to overcome them. Team Disengagement The team is just checked out. Low morale. Disinterest. Apathy. Their work products are late or low quality. To mitigate: ensure your project is listed on their personal goals, get their manager to commit them to the project, and show them how the project benefits them personally/professionally.
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Expert tips on exactly what to say to lead your team, motivating inspiring and facilitating their efforts to great results. Today’s post is by Keren Eldad, author and TED speaker. Over the course of several years as an executive coach, I’ve been asked many times from company leaders for some pointers on how to take what they have learned in coaching back to coach their teams. Here’s the catch: they only ask for these pointers after a coaching series, making it relatively easy to help. Before the coaching series, most executives are convinced that they already function as “coach,” and that they do so very well. In my experience I have found that most leaders see themselves as inspiring and accountable from the get-go. However, through coaching, assessments and anonymous 360s, a different picture often emerges – not of a coach, but of a manager who controls and commands. These managers often find that those methods – while still prevalent and pervasive – are not effective to productivity, and in fact mostly lead to toxicity, gossip, lack of accountability, a lack of engagement, a fear of speaking up in the organization and in most cases I have witnessed: a talent retention problem. Embracing a leadership focused on coaching is far more empowering and effective. In the words of Adam Grant: “coaching might be more essential than mentoring to our careers and to our teams. Whereas mentors dole out words and wisdom, coaches roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. They don’t just believe in our potential, they get in the arena to help us realize our potential.”
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