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Learn To Take Risks

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Inspirational leadership wisdom came awhile back from Bahram Akradi, the CEO of Life Time Fitness.
From that health club's monthly fitness magazine, Experience Life, Akradi says: Once we get comfortable in our habitual patterns, we may fail to notice when they have outworn their useful purpose, or when new alternatives might serve us better.Once you've encountered a second way of seeing things, you're more likely to entertain the possibility of a third and fourth way, too.Do something that makes you just a little bit uncomfortable--and that renders you a little more awake.Thanks Akradi for encouraging us to break out from predictability.

10 More Ways To Be A Better Leader

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Here are 10 behaviors, techniques and tips you can use to be an effective leader:
Respond to questions quickly and fully.Take an interest in your employees and their personal milestone events.Give feedback in a timely manner and make it individualized and specific.Be willing to change your decisions.End every meeting with a follow-up To Do list.Support mentoring -- both informal and formal.Don't delay tough decisions.Do annual written performance appraisals.Explain how a change will affect employee's feelings before, during and after the change is implemented.Have face-to-face interaction as often as possible.

10 Essential Elements Of Dignity

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In their book, Millennials Who Manage, authors Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, quote Donna Hicks's explanation about how dignity is different from respect. Dignity is different from respect in that it is not based on how people perform, what they can do for us, or their likability. Dignity is a feeling of inherent value and worth.Therefore, Espinoza and Schwarzbart recommend that leaders treat those they are leading with dignity and follow Hick's 10 Essential Elements of Dignity: Acceptance of Identity - Approach people as being neither inferior nor superior to you. Assume that others have integrity.

Inclusion - Make others feel that they belong, whatever the relationship.

Safety - Put people at ease at two levels: physically, so they feel safe from bodily harm, and psychologically, so they feel safe from being humiliated.

Acknowledgment - Give people your full attention by listening, hearing, validating, and responding to their concerns, feelings, and experiences.

Recognition -…

When Upset, Do This Before You Send Your Response

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As a leader a time will come when you have to write an email, memo or letter to address an issue of great importance or concern to you. Or, perhaps in response to something that displeased you, disappointed you, frustrated you, or upset you.

Write that document. Then, let it sit. Preferably, let it sit for 24 hours.

Then, re-read it. It's almost guaranteed you'll end up tweaking the document. You might add a fact that you accidentally omitted in the heat of the moment the day before. Or, more likely, you'll alter the tone so it will achieve a better response from the document's recipient. You may even decide not to send the document at all, and instead will discuss the matter in person or over the phone with the intended recipient.

Usually, time and circumstances permit you to let your document sit for a day. And when your document sits for a day, you'll end up ultimately crafting a better message.

Three Ways To Be An Effective Leader

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Be decisive
A manager who can't make a decision or who can't make a timely decision will frustrate his/her employees. Equally bad, a lack of decision will impede the progress of the manager's team.

Some managers make endless requests for data as a way to postpone their having to make a decision. Employees end up spinning in circles, slicing and dicing the information far beyond what is truly needed for the manager to make a decision.

Some managers are simply afraid to make a decision in fear of making a "wrong" decision. These managers don't necessarily request needless data, but simply just never made a decision.

Successful managers (true leaders) gather the data from their employees, make any necessary follow-up requests (probing beyond what their employee may have researched/gathered on their own), and then make their decision...knowing that in virtually all cases most decisions are not black and white "right or "wrong," but are the best decisio…

How You Can Reach Your Goals

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Social psychologist, Heidi Grant Halvorson, wrote Succeedto help you understand how goals work, what tends to go wrong, and what you can do to reach your goals or to help others reach theirs.

Because many of us struggle each year to fulfill our New Year's Resolutions (goals), Halvorson's book, packed with the findings from her own research, along with the most useful tips from academic journals and handbooks, is a worthwhile read.

In her 260-page book, Halvorson covers:

•  How to set a goal that you will pursue even in the face of adversity.
•  How to avoid the kind of positive thinking that makes people fail.
•  How to create an environment that will help you win.

"Setting goals is important," said Halvorson, "But that's not the whole story. Because how you set your goals--the way you think about whatever it is you want to do, and how you will get there--is every bit as important."

Halvorson recommends:
•  Making your goal as specific as possible.
•  Ma…

Seven Tough Questions To Ask Your Team

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High-functioning teams can disagree and still produce excellent products and results. Team members can also disagree and still care about each other. And, they can challenge each other to think differently.

Best-selling leadership book authors Scott J. Allen and Mitchell Kusy recommend that leaders ask seven tough questions of their teams to help maximize their results. Here are those questions to ask each team member:
What are some obstacles affecting this team?What are opportunities we could take advantage of that we have been largely ignoring?Where can you take greater ownership on this team?Where have you let this team down?Compared to other teams with which you are familiar, how are we doing?When was the last time you complimented the team or one of its members?How open are you to giving direct feedback to team members?