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Showing posts from September, 2019

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?

Share The Bad News

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Naturally, it's much easier to share good news with your employees, but it's perhaps even more important to share the bad news.

If revenue is down, or if you've lost a large customer, or if a new competitor has entered the market, let your team know. Your employees need to know about the health of your company or organization. And it's only when they have the full picture -- the good news and the bad news -- that they can rally together with you to brainstorm possible solutions.

Don't keep your team in the dark. Don't give them a false sense of the situation by sharing only good news. Keep them fully informed. They can handle the bad along with the good.

Most likely they have a sense of the bad already. Or, they'll hear it second-hand. You'll gain their respect when they hear the bad news directly from you.

Do You Really Need To Read Leadership Books?

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The answer is yes.


And, fortunately, there are lots out there to select from. However, if you don't have time to read books about how to be an effective and good leader, you can select a few words from the list below and then practice what those words mean, as you lead your team every day.

Awhile back, leaders on the LinkedIn Executive Suite group came up with these nearly 50 words in answer to a discussion topic I posted in the group forum: "A Good Leader Is [insert one word]."  A big thank you to that group for this valuable list.

Accountable
Adaptable
Approachable
Authentic
Aware
Bold
Brave
Candid
Caring
Clear
Challenging
Charismatic
Compassionate
Courageous
Credible
Decisive
Dedicated
Ethical
Empowering
Engaged
Fearless
Forward-Thinking
Gracious
Honest
Humble
Inclusive
Influential
Inspiring
Intuitive
Loyal
Mindful
Moral
Motivating
Objective
Open
Passionate
Pro-active
Receptive
Responsible
Respectful
Skilled
Smart
Steady
Strategic
Thought-Provoking
Tireless
Transparen…

Hire To Complement, Not To Duplicate

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Despite the temptation to hire someone like yourself, hire someone to complement your skills --not to duplicate your skills.

Managers often find it easier, more comfortable, or less threatening to hire someone with similar skills and work habits. But, to build a well-balanced team and to achieve maximum success, you need to have employees who can fill in your weaker areas.

So, if you are a great idea person, but a poor communicator, hire someone with strong communications skills. Similarly, if your team excels in sales but lacks organization, add an employee who leads in organization skills.

This may all seem like common sense. And you obviously need to hire someone to meet certain/minimum skill sets and who will be a good overall fit. However, do what you can to avoid the trap or temptation to hire someone just like you.

How To Listen Carefully

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Being an expert listener is one of the most powerful things you can do as a manager.

When you listen carefully to your employees, you'll gain their respect and you'll learn more about what's going on within your organization.

Listening involves much more than what you hear. When you listen carefully, you are maintaining eye contact with the person speaking. You are watching for non-verbal clues, body language, gestures and facial expressions.

Being an effective listener also means repeating back to the employee what you heard her say to ensure that you understood her correctly. This is a crucial step that many managers forget to do.

Being an expert listener is not easy, but it's vital to making a manager successful.

Start Meetings On Time

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You call a meeting. Chances are one or more people will show up late. Perhaps 10 minutes late.

If there are six people waiting on the latecomers, that's 10 minutes times six. Sixty minutes. One hour of collective wasted time.

If you hold a lot of meetings that each start late, the wasted time will really add up.

So, start your meetings on time. It won't take long before the habitual latecomers will start coming on time, particularly if you start your meetings with a piece of really important news that your employees would much prefer to hear first-hand.

Acknowledge Employees' Personal Milestone Events

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Your employee will appreciate your acknowledging his birthday, advanced degree graduation achievement, wedding engagement, wedding, or other personal milestone event.

If he (or she) shares with you information about any important event in his life, take the opportunity to congratulate him, honor him and acknowledge him. You can give him a card. Or, take him to lunch. Or, even a simple handshake can go a long way.

Taking an interest in your employee goes a long way and it's one of the easiest, meaningful actions you can take.

If you manage a large team, you'll likely want to create a way to help you remember upcoming milestone events for each of your employees.