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4 Skills for Effective Leadership in All Situations

4 Skills for Effective Leadership in All Situations
By Chris Prato

Untold volumes of information have been written about effective leadership. All business owners know that effective leadership is essential to driving performance, but few understand what this really means. It seems that almost every day, there’s a new, “groundbreaking” approach to leadership described in some pop-business book.

Don’t get distracted by the hype. Stick to the fundamentals and your leadership will drive performance, motivate employees, and boost your business.

So let’s get back to basics and focus on four key leadership qualities.

  1. Building Trust

    Effective leaders strive to make a personal connection with their team members, as that connection helps cultivate a trusting environment. This personal connection can be achieved through active listen and behaving authentically; that is, genuinely caring about your colleagues.

    When teammates feel they can trust their leaders, all the pieces start to fall into place. They will have a stronger stake in the work they do and are more likely to bring up problems as they arise.

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Critical Attributes of a Good Leader

Critical Attributes of a Good Leader
By Aaron D Smith

Reflection is an important component of effective leadership and efficient management. When was the last time you were able to think back on your own performance as a manager or leader? Sure, you may have your annual performance review when your supervisor explains the highs and lows of the past year. But when was the last time you took the opportunity to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, am I being the best leader or manager that I can? Perhaps you are, but there’s also a chance that you’re not. If you fall into the latter category, asking the question, “Why would anyone want to be led by me?” is a fantastic start to getting you on the right track. Let’s take a look at where you are.

Obviously you can reflect on tactical questions such as, “Have I been able to help my organization reach its goals in the past year?” Maybe you’ll ask, “Have I seen growth in the people who I’m consistently in contact with?” These questions are very good starting points to determine if you’re being the most effective leader or manager that you can be. Read the Complete Article

Are Your Beliefs Helping or Hindering You as a Leader?

Are Your Beliefs Helping or Hindering You as a Leader?
By Susanne Madsen

Have you ever considered how important your values and beliefs are to the results you get (or don’t get) in your personal and professional life? Beliefs are so powerful that they shape your attitudes, decisions, actions, and ultimately determine your results. They are something you accept as being true or real. They are firmly held opinions about what you think you can and cannot do. Henry Ford said it very well; ‘whether you think you can or can’t either way you are right’.

Beliefs play a large role in how we interpret the world and serve as a kind of lens through which we look. The things we see, experience, think and feel are all adjusted through this lens to fit with our beliefs. If we believe that change is good and that opportunity is everywhere that is what we will see. Read the Complete Article

Leaders Should Inspire Change Through the Rear View Mirror

Leaders Should Inspire Change Through the Rear View Mirror
By Roy Osing

There is certainly no shortage of advice on what actions leaders should take to successfully implement change.

However, despite the plethora of guidance available, organizations generally have difficulty executing their “brave idea”. The desired change doesn’t see the light of day; the intended benefits aren’t realized; dysfunction and discontent are often left as the aftermath.

Traditional change management methodology has two fundamental flaws.

First, the premise of change management is based on the future. It focuses on what needs to be done differently in order to meet expected new environmental and competitive shifts.

The risk here is the implicit internal message that can be sent that somehow the past (and by implication the people who were there) is “bad”, and is responsible for the jeopardy leadership says the organization faces.

I’ve seen “warriors” in the organization steadfastly refuse to consider a change in direction because they felt betrayed; they were recognized and rewarded yesterday but today seem to be condemned for getting the company “into this mess”. Read the Complete Article

10 Signs Your Employees Are Unhappy

10 Signs Your Employees Are Unhappy
By Cheryl Cran

In these busy times leaders and teams are so focused on getting through myriads of tasks and projects that often signs of discontent can be missed or ignored.

Leaders that focus on employee ‘happiness’ in addition to productivity and bottom line results have a greater competitive advantage. Happy employees are engaged employees.

Here are ten signs your employees are unhappy:

  1. There is a lack of energy

    Energy is the secret behind success – when there is a palpable collective energy in an organization it is like a ‘buzz’ where people are eager to contribute, eager to provide ideas, eager to share. When there is a lack of energy it indicates apathy.

  2. There is a sense of everyone ‘going through the motions’

    Unhappy employees show up with an attitude of simply getting through the day and doing the minimum to keep his or her job.

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Has “Leadership” Become a Misnomer?

Has “Leadership” Become a Misnomer?
By Harroll Ingram

I remember playing a game called follow-the-leader, as a child. First, a leader was chosen to be at the head of a line of children. The other children, then, lined up behind the leader. The leader moved around aimlessly, sometimes with a stick in his hand, and all the children mimicked the leader’s actions. Any players who failed to follow the leader and do what the leader did had to stop playing the game (i.e., was out of the game). The child who followed the leader the longest (i.e., the last remaining follower) was the winner and became the leader when the game re-started. In some ways, the game follow-the-leader epitomizes the leader selection process in today’s organizations.

Leadership is defined as the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. The word “motivating” in the definition of leadership is key to determining whether or not leadership is taking place in an organization. Read the Complete Article

4 Essential Elements to Building Trust Within Your Team

4 Essential Elements to Building Trust Within Your Team
By Richard Lepsinger

Trust is the essential ingredient that binds every successful team together.

Building trust takes time, especially within virtual teams where face-to-face interactions are few and far between. And as many of us have learned the hard way, it takes only a moment to destroy.

To build trust within their teams, leaders must first understand the four components that create it.

  1. Credibility

    Credibility is the extent to which your team believes in what you have to say about a given topic. It’s demonstrated through experience in a particular area and a proven track record of achieving results. If you lack credibility as a leader, it can be difficult to build trust within your team.

    In this instance, it’s important to acknowledge your limitations and consult someone else within your team or outside the team for an expert opinion.

    Other ways to improve credibility within your team:

    • Avoid exaggeration
    • Answer direct questions with direct answers
    • Offer to help find a solution
    • Build partnerships with team members at different locations and rotate them
  2. Reliability

    While credibility is demonstrated by your words, reliability is demonstrated through actions.

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7 Lead-Off Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Manager

7 Lead-Off Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Manager
By Art Petty

Establishing yourself as a credible and positive leader is important and challenging. Here are some all-too-common missteps of first-time (and even some hapless, experienced) managers. Avoid them in good health!

  1. Leading-off with, “Things are going to change around here.” Too many managers enter into a new role assuming everything is broken and that they’ve been elevated to right the wrongs and inanities of the prior regime. Unless your boss has suggested that your function isn’t functioning at all, you need to show some respect for the work of the group, the team members and yes, the prior manager. You won’t win any hearts or minds by suggesting that everyone else was incapable of functioning without you around.
  2. Leading-off with some variation of, “I’m the New Sheriff in Town.” I’ve lost track of the number of times a new manager has compensated for his insecurities by overplaying the “I’m in charge” card.

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New Perspectives on Millennials in the Workplace

New Perspectives on Millennials in the Workplace
By Richard Lepsinger

When it comes to what matters most in the workplace, are Millennials really that different from the rest of us?

Among leaders, human resource managers and researchers, there seems to be no clear consensus. Some researchers have concluded those born before 1980 learn differently and have distinct leadership development needs. Others contend there’s no real evidence of that, aside from perception. Much has been written about how to engage Millennials at work; just as much, if not more, has been written about why Millennials are failing in the workplace and why employers shouldn’t give them special treatment.

Whatever employers think of them, at least one thing is certain: they can’t be ignored. In the next five years, Millennials will make up nearly half of the global workforce, and many of them will be in leadership roles, whether they are prepared to lead or not. Read the Complete Article

Developing Leaders Who Excel at Strategy Execution

Developing Leaders Who Excel at Strategy Execution
By Richard Lepsinger

In 2006, the NBA introduced a new basketball made of synthetic material. Spalding designed the new ball to be easier to handle and bounce better on the court. Despite the upgrades, many NBA players began experiencing cut fingers and torn ligaments, and the ball was sticking to their hands during games. What tested well in the manufacturer’s lab did not work well on the court.

After complaints from stars like Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James and Steve Nash, NBA Commissioner David Stern admitted it was a mistake not to consult with players before making the decision to change the ball’s design. The NBA went back to using the leather ball after just a few months of using the synthetic one. The strategy was well-intentioned, but its execution did not play out well. Had the league solicited input from players during the process, it would have saved a significant amount of time and money. Read the Complete Article

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