Understanding what inspires you to do your best work is one of the first steps in developing your leadership philosophy. As you begin articulating your leadership philosophy, the first place to start is leading yourself. You need to know why you’re excited to go to work every day. Why do you get out of bed every day? Because as leaders, we’re there to inspire and motivate the members of our team. For us to do so, we should probably be motivated first and foremost. Now, in terms of a maxim, a maxim is a trigger to remind you of a story or something that’s emotionally resonant. My maxim, in terms of why do I get out of bed every day, is light bulbs. Two words, light bulbs. That might not mean a lot to you, but it means the world to me because the type of work that I love to do, the best moments in my career, are moments where I’m teaching, where I’m doing something like I’m doing right now. When I teach and I see a participant struggling with an idea, but then I’m able to explain it in a manner that I see that light bulb go off—I see their face light up—that’s so exciting for me, and so fulfilling. That’s the type of work that I love to do. There’s huge emotional resonance in the notion of light bulbs for me. Maxims should drive behavior. Let me show you how maxims can drive my behavior when I think about light bulbs. Imagine a situation where a client comes to me and they say, “Mike, we’ve got two pieces of work for you. You can only do one. One is going off into a cubicle and working by yourself on an Excel model. The other piece of work is writing a new leadership training course for us and delivering it to our high-potential associates.” As I think about light bulbs, it becomes very clear to me that I should walk away from the Excel […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220928-Light-Bulb.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-09-28 06:30:002022-09-28 03:30:57Discovering Your Personal Inspiration
Dogs can teach us a thing or two. Have you ever thought about how to apply canine behavior to your leadership style? There are interesting approaches your dog would encourage you to try if you want to be a better leader. Today’s post is by Krissi Barr, co-author of The Fido Factor: How to Get a Leg Up at Work. If you’re like most Americans you love dogs. Unlike a goldfish won at a church festival, people form deep and meaningful relationships with their canine pals. So what does any of this have to do with leadership? As it turns out, a lot. Leadership is more art than science, and more emotion than logic. The actions and behaviors that roll up to form an effective leader, when you boil them down, are actually pretty simple. And they are very similar to why we love dogs so darn much. Dogs are faithful, inspirational, determined and observant. These four core qualities—the Fido Factors—are the basis of the unexpected reason why we can learn leadership lessons from dogs. Take a dog’s tail. It’s a crystal clear barometer of how they are feeling. Happy and it wags like crazy, guilty and it curls under out of shame. Dogs are simply incapable of hiding how they feel. They can’t lie. Not so much with humans. Like a professional poker player, most of us have gotten very good at hiding our emotions in the workplace. And while there are times when that’s a good thing, more often than not we’d benefit from wagging our tail a little more. Dogs don’t hide how they feel. Take a typical day coming home after work. There to greet you at the front door is your dog. His smiling face, a slobbery tennis ball in the mouth and a wagging […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220926-Dog-in-Office.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-09-26 08:00:122022-09-26 02:45:53Be a Better Leader by Wagging Your Tail
Internalizing these four aspects of leadership is a great first step in developing your personal leadership philosophy. When articulating your leadership philosophy, you need to think beyond the leader led diad. A lot of times we get focused on, “Well, this is how I interact with a person and that’s what leadership is about.” As a leader, you need to look at yourself more completely as an individual in a variety of domains. As I’ve looked at leadership and tried to be more complete in the thinking about it, there are really four aspects of leadership that I invite you to think about: Leading Yourself First is leading yourself. Where are you going? What’s important to you? What are your personal ethical standards? What are the beliefs that underpin how you’re going to interact with the members of your team? Leading the Thinking Next is leading the thinking. As the leader, you need to set the direction for where the team is headed. You need to articulate behavioral standards for what you will and won’t stand for from the members of your team. Leading Your People Next is leading your people, and we need to lead people as individuals. You can’t treat them as faceless cogs in the machine because that won’t inspire them or get the best performance out of them. Leading your people is all about understanding what their personal wants and needs are and what motivates them. Leading a Balanced Life The last aspect of leadership is leading a balanced life because if you’re burned out, you’re worthless to the members of your team. Additionally, as a leader, you set the tone, so you’re going to set an example on balance. Making sure that you stay in balance is important to making sure the team stays in balance. Developing Your Leaderships Maxims Now, […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220921-Number-Four.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-09-21 06:30:492022-09-21 04:19:34The Four Aspects of Leadership
Speaking spontaneously can be a powerful way for leaders to communicate with their teams. But such spontaneity comes with many pitfalls that can derail the speaker’s message. Beware of rambling on, using inappropriate humor, and not staying attuned to your audience. Today’s post is by Judith Humphrey, author of Impromptu: Leading in the Moment (CLICK HERE to get your copy). A senior vice president I know had just joined a firm and was asked to speak at the next town hall. He was excited about the opportunity to address the company’s 3,000 employees and carefully prepared a scripted speech. But when he began to rehearse, the CEO took one look at the script, and asked, “What’s that?” “It’s my speech,” the new executive replied. “Oh, we don’t give speeches here,” the CEO said. “Just talk to our employees.” Fortunately, he had time to mentally master the thoughts he had written out, and he spoke without a text – to rave reviews. Such spontaneous dialogue is the new normal for business leaders. No longer hidden behind podiums as their predecessors were, today’s leaders are far more likely to engage their audience in dialogue. These conversations might be interviews, town halls, elevator conversations, corridor exchanges, or brief remarks sparked by “Do you have a minute?” As casual as these extemporaneous situations seem to be, they can be high stakes situations for leaders. If you want to speak as a leader in impromptu situations, avoid the following pitfalls: Pitfall #1: Not Preparing Many leaders think of impromptu speaking as “winging it,” but doing so will lead to many stumbles – and who wants to be known for that track record? Winston Churchill had fun with speakers who talk without thinking. He observed: “Before they get up, they do not know what they […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/20220919-Microphone.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-09-19 08:00:562022-09-19 01:08:38Avoiding the Pitfalls of Impromptu Speaking
Our reader poll today asks: When it comes to being coached, what kind of coaching do you prefer to receive? I want a coach who only asks questions and I come up with my own answers 4.52% I want a coach who offers advice and suggestions on what the answer is 9.04% I want a coach who balances between asking and telling 86.44% Ask and Tell. There’s a clear preference for coaching that strikes a balance between asking questions that help someone reach their own answers but also telling answers that can accelerate growth and development. For those delivering coaching, work to start with asking questions and push the person you’re working with to really think and come up with new ideas and challenge their way of thinking. That said, don’t let them get exasperated or discouraged and recognize when you should move into “telling” mode where you offer them some of your own suggestions. If you’re the person being coached, push yourself to think more deeply but don’t hold back from telling your coach that you’re out of ideas and could really use some suggestions. Finding the right balance will foster growth but also accelerate development and performance improvement. – 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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Defining your organization’s vision and mission helps you focus on work that is consistent with your purpose. A vision and mission define your purpose and your destination. While the mission and vision are usually written for top-level organizations, these tools can be used at a departmental level and even at a personal level. They help you focus on work that is consistent with your purpose and that takes you closer to achieving your goals. The mission is why your organization exists. It specifies the business you’re in, who you serve, and your impact on the world around you. It’s the road you’re on. I run a leadership training firm. My firm’s mission is to advance the art of business leadership through hands-on training and coaching led by dynamic business people. It’s clear what business we’re in: business leadership training. It’s clear who we work with: people in large and small organizations who are their leaders. And the impact on the world is helping people improve their skills in this arena. The vision is a midterm objective of what you’ll achieve three to five years out. It’s a waypoint along the road you’re on. My firm’s vision, right now, is to be a global firm of uniquely skilled executives who teach managers around the world how to be great leaders. This lays out my expectations for the type of work we’re going to do and when I’ll consider us to be successful. This global element is something that’s new in the past few years, and it’s really getting us to focus on other countries. The mission and vision are linked. They can be created for any organization. They’ll set direction and help determine the work you will or won’t do. For my firm, our vision and mission do exactly that. We routinely say no to consulting work. It’s not part […]
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The ability to receive feedback, even when it’s critical, and bounce back from adversity are just two of many characteristics that make for a great leader. How many of these traits do you possess? Today’s post is by Tim Cole, author of The Compass Solution (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Here’s an interesting litmus test to apply to the headlines as you sip your coffee this morning or watch the evening news tonight. If you look for it you’ll see a common strain. Someone somewhere will be under attack, criticized for a failed policy, facing an indiscretion that has come back to haunt them, or for making a misstatement that is now being roundly assailed in the media. Someone once said that the essence of story is and always has been conflict. If that’s the case then the daily news is the petri dish for great stories because it is rife with conflict. I grew up in the corporate world and made my career there. I learned a thing or two about conflict and how to survive it. I learned even more about people and what distinguished a limited few from the masses when it came to how they dealt with adversity or more specifically, criticism. Here is the insight I eventually gained (and unfortunately this was not an overnight process.) Everyone is at their best when they dictate the game. Far fewer are effective when the game is being dictated to them. Said another way, if you really want to know the character of an individual, watch them when the bright lights of scrutiny, criticism, or adversity are being directed toward them. Many lose their way then. I liken it to the same phenomenon I see in combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts. The offensive […]
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Our reader poll today asks: What is the biggest mistake you see people make after they get promoted? They coast and figure “they’ve got this” based on the skills that got them promoted 13.46% They start acting like a big shot and treat their former peers poorly 22.96% They try to take on too much to impress others and get overwhelmed 36.94% They act like a “know-it-all” and are unwilling to listen or learn 19.78% Something else 6.86% New title, same you. Clearly “big shot” behaviors like acting like a know it all, treating others poorly, or being overconfident are big “no no’s” once you’ve been promoted. They’ll alienate coworkers, turn off managers, and frustrate your team members. Remember – it’s the same you, just with a different title and pay grade. Stay grounded and focus on the work. But focusing on the work can carry a risk – taking on too much work to impress others. Be careful not to overcommit yourself. While you might succeed, you’re possibly setting yourself up to burn yourself out from taking on too much work or you might fail at multiple tasks because you’re not ready to take them on. Take a measured approach to your new role, focus on your core responsibilities, and continue being the great coworker that got you promoted in the first place. – 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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