On Leadership Styles, Philosophies and Where You Live

Infographic brought to you by Brighton School of Business and Management

How to Be a Really Stupid Leader

Stupid Leaders

What makes a leader stupid? Most believe it is a combination of a number of unattractive and unproductive behaviors that are incorporated into their style that makes them unsuccessful, along with a refusal to change.

A stupid leader is a committed self-serving leader.

They see every situation and activity from their own vantage point and are unable to head in a different direction.

Smart or Stupid?

Learning how to be a successful leader requires time and attention on what the stupid leader behaviors are, so by doing the opposite, a person can develop into a smart leader instead.

While the following list is anything but complete, it is a good start of some of the top things to include if you too want to be known as a stupid leader someday.

9 Ways to Be a Really Stupid Leader

1) Allow Your Ego to Lead You

Stupid leaders are known for being arrogant and full of themselves. They don’t need a formal fan club because they are so enamored by their greatness that they lack the need for reinforcement. If you remember to lead with your ego, and always remember your importance in the scheme of things, nothing can go wrong.

2) Cultivate a Selective Memory

Stupid leaders remember things that go well and things that make them look good. Of course there may be times where you are fully aware of a situation, that has now gone bad, but if you forget the details, hey, you are just human. Finding out the bad news with everyone else is even better, because you have the added benefit of plausible deniability to lean on too.

Just remember that too much memory loss could be considered a liability, so there may be times you remember a small detail while most of the story is fuzzy.

3) Take Credit for All Good Deeds

A stupid leader knows the value of good publicity, and is always quick to the podium or press release when there is good news to share. Stupid leaders know that there is no “I” in TEAM, but are equally aware that there is a “ME” in those letters.

Sharing credit with others is time-consuming, and if it were not for your leadership, whatever good that did happen is really secondary. Keep your focus and rather than taking time to mention other people, just arrange the talking points to make yourself the center of attention.

4) Blame Others for Troubles

Stupid leaders also realize that when trouble hits, it is a perfect time to remember you lead a team of people and they are open to human error. Whenever possible point out people with complete name, title and responsibilities when you need a fall guy or girl to blame.

Taking responsibility for something that goes bad is simply not a way to end the day on a good note, so learn the art of finger-pointing and get good at it!

5) Avoid the Truth

Now while many people call it lying, it is better to call it a redirection or deflection. When people ask a direct question, often they think they want a direct answer. The truth is they want to feel good, and telling them what they want to hear avoids conflict.

Don’t worry about them finding out later what really happened, by then they will forget who told them.

And even if they have you on video, you can always say they misunderstood your intent. Bottom line, truth builds trust between people, and that is the last thing a really stupid leader wants to build.

6) Demonize Your Enemies

One of the best skills a stupid leader must be good at is to demonize anyone that is against your vision and success. Just because they have a different opinion doesn’t make them right, and debating them is a big waste of time. These people are against you, and just like in war they are the enemy.

For a stupid leader to be successful they must make their enemies appear incompetent, immoral or crazy.

Don’t hide behind a lampshade and expect others to do this for you. Get out there and trash these people yourself!

7) Close Your Mind to New Ideas

Serious stupid leaders know that for them to lead others it is important never to share the stage, less the followers lose focus on them.   Listening to other ideas would only spark a possible change in direction, and stupid leaders know with certainty that changing course makes you look weak.

Sticking to your own ideas no matter how wrong you might be only opens the door to criticism. And imagine what would happen if you did try another approach and it worked; you would have to share the credit!

8) Talk Your Talk and Avoid the Walk

So called leadership gurus have been saying for years that it is more important to walk your talk than talk it. But stupid leaders know that if you talk long enough, and keep the message on track, people begin to believe that snow is hot to the touch. Walking in any direction only confuses people, and talking more saves the wear and tear on your new shoes.

9) Flaunt Your Success

Lastly, it is so important for a stupid leader never to forget to flaunt their success in everyone’s face. If you got a big bonus, tell everyone how you are going to spend it. While staff members may have to save for a year to stay at a KOA camp with their family for a week, they will look up to you once they know you and your family booked your own private cruise ship for a round the world trip.

In Conclusion

Sadly we can all visualize a leader that should have their picture next to each of these points, and it was a challenge not to select photos to illustrate as examples. The lessons to be learned are simple because we need only do the opposite of what it takes to be a really stupid leader so that we can be a really brilliant leader instead.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Jim Hopkins

Jim Hopkins is the CEO of JK Hopkins Consulting
He a Consultant, Coach, Author and Speaker in Organizational & Performance Health
Email | LinkedIn | Website | Blog | (562) 943-5776

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Lessons From Argentine Reaction to World Cup Loss

Argentina Riots

VIDEO: Riots erupted in Argentina after World Cup loss.

High hopes and expectations gave way to defeat, shock, dejection and finally to pain, anger and destruction.

This was the 120-minute journey taken by Argentina’s national football team’s supporters who had gathered at a public square viewing area in Buenos Aires, to watch the final 2014 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and Germany. Chaos erupted after Argentina lost to Germany.

Who publicly vents their frustration through riotous acts of violence and hooliganism because of a loss?

Success Today

Before we rush to condemn the fans’ behavior, it’s important to consider what may have led them to do what they did. In today’s world, success is highly overrated. We celebrate those who come first, conquer (however we define that), make it big, win awards and medals, achieve in one way or other. It’s all about positive feelings, positive emotions and positive labels.

On the other hand, we look down upon those who have suffered defeat, loss and humiliation. For them, it’s negative, negative, negative – feelings, emotions and labels. They’re not good enough, they’ve failed, lost, let themselves and us down.

So it’s shame, shame, shame!

Acting Out

And so for Argentina’s fans, theirs was not just a case of lawlessness. They were simply projecting on the outside what they were going through on the inside – their pain and disappointment. But, one may – nay, SHOULD – ask whether the fans could have displayed their feelings of loss differently.

After all, with no exception, we go through loss and defeat at different times in our lives.

  • Does that give us the license to take to the streets every time we lose and generally make other people’s lives miserable in the process? Especially when the loss is so intense, it’s palpable.
  • Or, do we have a choice as to how to respond to loss?

To quote a popular saying, we need to win with humility and lose with grace. But, what does it mean to lose with grace? In this post, I share a 3-step process that one can follow.

3-Steps to Winning With Humility and Losing With Grace

1) Accept That You Have Lost

Once you’ve lost, you’ve lost. You can’t wish the loss away. And you can’t turn back the clock, to translate the loss into a win. So, admit that you’ve lost. Allow yourself to come to terms with your loss and grieve if you must.

Argentina’s loss to Germany was boldly summed up by Joao Cuenca, who has an Argentine father and a Brazilian mother:

“This was a trauma. We were going to be able to leave singing songs in victory with the glory of the Cup. What happened is nothing short of a disaster.”

Ouch! The good news is that facing your loss and pain head on makes it much easier for the healing process to begin.

2) Learn All You Can

At one time or other, you will lose. It’s just a matter of time. And each loss has a lesson embedded in it.

  • Ask yourself what you can take away from the experience and make it work for you.
  • Don’t waste your loss.
  • The good news is that losing does not make you a loser.
  • It’s an experience, not a state.
  • So, make it your aim to learn all you can from any and every loss.
  • Drawing lessons can help you emerge a stronger, better person.
  • Apply those lessons to future pursuits, to improve your chances of succeeding then.

Internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, coach and author, John Maxwell says in his book Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn, that winning isn’t everything, but learning is. Don’t waste your experiences whether it’s a win or a loss. Learn from both.

3) Move On

Easier said than done, but you must. Don’t camp where you lost the game – for if you do, you’ll waste the chance to get ready for your next big opportunity. Guard against what Abraham Graham Bell, the late Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator warned about:

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

You have to make the decision to keep moving through other open doors. You never know – your next win may be far greater than your last loss. As long as you’re alive, keep moving.

Leading Through Loss

Indeed, better days lie ahead if you accept your past losses, learn from them and move on to seize future opportunities. This lesson applies in sports, family, business, community and in life.

How do you currently deal with loss in your life? Does it make the situation better or worse? How could you respond to losses more effectively?

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Joyce Kaduki

Mrs. Joyce Kaduki is a Leadership Coach, Speaker & Trainer
She enjoys working with Individuals & Teams to help them Improve their Results
Email | LinkedIn | Web

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How to Be a Rock Solid Leader

Rock Solid Leader

The en masse exodus of Baby Boomers alarms some in the business community as retirement encroaches. Varying reasons exist for the multiple reactions to retirement. The energized and ready can’t wait to quit the daily pace of dutiful work obligations in exchange for a more relaxed pace. Others are uncertain, wary and intimidated about this forthcoming season in their lives. 

The question arises, how do you stay a rock solid leader after retirement?

Leadership Validation Is a Core Process

Before a leader can navigate his retirement, an important and often overlooked step is the leadership validation process. This is the process of confirming that a job was well done. Meaningfulness becomes increasingly important as one becomes more experienced.

A rock solid leader who validates the claims of leadership manifested in the working years gains more assurance and is emotionally ready for the exit.

For many, this validation is unnerving:

  • How do they know if they were meaningful?
  • How do they know the caliber of their followers?
  • Or, what is the caliber of their potential successor?

The validation for leaders of core competencies is critical in all phases of the business and personal life cycle and increasingly important near retirement. This translates into core validation being essential from the first interview to the exit interview.

At my firm, we have found that we can confirm core competencies better with 3-D assessments and our clients gain a competitive advantage. This approach provides a much more realistic understanding of the leaders and how best to go ahead.

Leadership Validation

Essential for Rock Solid Leadership

Executive coaching, leadership assessments and evaluations and performance reviews are often the tools used by consultants to help investigate and test the leader’s hard and soft skills. The typical pen and paper approach has brought in results; but limited insights.

A better approach is the 3-D assessment that utilizes video as the main medium.

How to Be a Rock Solid Leader

Under pen and paper, the list of questions is often answered individually. Each response comes from how the leader sees themself. This self-evaluation is a good tool but limited. The way others view a person is critical. First impressions are important. Therefore, undergoing a comprehensive assessment is a better approach.

What variables validate core leadership competencies?

Peer evaluations have often been used to check the team or the leader. The problem is that they are often subjective and not good evaluations. So, the first key in gaining a tier-one evaluation is to make sure that the person diagnosing the skills is not a part of the team or related to the company. An outsider’s objectivity provides a level of analysis that cannot be attained by co-workers.

So this begs the question:

What leadership skills should you get assessed?

Leadership Potential

New and Underdeveloped

The skills gaps in the rise of new leadership is an increasingly challenge for many companies. The new enthusiast wants to lead well, but often lacks the knowledge that comes with hands-on experience. Thus, two categories of skills exist and assessed in a comprehensive leadership skills assessment to confirm core competencies.

Technical Gaps:

  • Computer
  • Engineering
  • Mechanical
  • Electronics
  • Math
  • Computer Programming

Interpersonal Skills:

Certain aspects of leadership depend on qualities – often subtly displayed – that others perceive someone to have. Leadership awareness of soft skills can be difficult to assess, so an effective way requires an in-depth probing and understanding to check core competencies.

This type of “deep-dive” assessment observations and resultant data explain feedback with a higher level of accuracy.

  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Active Listening
  • Sales Techniques

In fact, many qualities are visible with 3-D analytics; thus increasing the effectiveness of each assessment. Now, you can know if you are a rock solid leader.

A Twist in the Leadership Validation Process

Many companies have focused on leadership development and training for the newbie. However, this is only a partial solution. 3-D analytics work for senior management too.

Good companies know the value of their human capital; the experiences of a mature leader adds wisdom to the organization.

Increasingly, the en masse exodus of senior management has upper management more aware of the knowledge loss with retiring senior management. The challenge is to capture and assimilate the knowledge of these retiring seniors. Their successes are what make a leader rock solid.

Rock Solid Leader Plans

The cycle of a leader begins with initiation into authority and continues until retirement. Throughout the business cycle a good leader should confirm his or her core competencies to strengthen weaknesses and strengths. A

potential leader is usually provided training and guidance to increase his skills. An experienced leader, yes, a rock solid leader guides others to maturity. Thus, the question becomes for a company how to keep the knowledge of a rock solid leader?

Succession Planning

Continuity of leadership is a challenge. This is one reason succession planning is fruitful. Succession planning helps find new leaders and explores ways to capture the knowledge of the predecessors.

  • How well is your company positioned to transition its rock solid leaders?
  • Has your company started its 5-year succession plan, yet?
  • What steps are missing to getting your plan on paper and into action?

I share effective succession planning to help prepare executives, leaders and management with programs for custom exit strategies that validate core competencies.

Q: So then, what is the best way to find a rock solid leader?

A: Please post your comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Loreen Sherman

Loreen Sherman is CEO of Star-Ting Inc | Executive Coach | Sr. Mgmt. Consultant
She serves clients with a 3-D Analytic Assessments and Succession Planning
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Corporate | Booking | ☎ 
403.289.2292

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Leading People You Would Rather Not Lead

Terrible Employees

It is said that you can choose your friends, but you cannot choose not your family. Similarly you can’t always choose who you are going to lead.

If you are building a team from the start, yes, you have a say. But this doesn’t mean that you get everything, or anyone, you want.

Becoming a Leader

When I took on a management role, I was chartered to lead an already existing team. I had no choice in who was going to be part of my team. In other scenarios when I was leading virtual teams, I didn’t always have a say on which team members I would be working with.

Did I always find conducive people to lead? No. At times, I had the best of the best people working with me but other times, I felt like pulling my hair.

OMG! Leading THESE types???

There could be several situations where you would rather not lead the people you are working with. Let’s take a look at some of these scenarios:

  • First on my list are under-performers. These people are hardest to motivate. On the contrary, they can cause problems and bring the team morale down.
  • Sometimes you may come across lazy employees who are equally hard to motivate. At times you feel like doing the work yourself instead of asking them. Some of them would find all kinds of excuses to not complete the task. They would also push the blame on to other innocent employees.
  • Then there are those who have a big ego or influence in the organization. They expect everyone to be praising them and looking up to them. These employees often come with a baggage.
  • Sometimes people you are leading are far more senior than you and they could have a hostile attitude towards you. They don’t want to be led by someone they consider their junior.
  • I also came across some under-confident employees that were good at their work but they were equally interested in what others are doing. They would discuss at length about why they are better than their peers.

Leading Tough Employees

Terrible EmployeesThe reality is that one could come across such people in any group or organization and one cannot turn their back to them. The job of a leader is not always easy; it is certainly not a cake walk. But it does become more taxing when you are leading difficult employees.

So the question is this:

Which quality of a leader works in these cases?

One important leadership trait that works is tough empathy. These leaders empathize passionately but realistically. Blind empathy will not work. Leaders should care about employees but also about the work they do.

Leaders toughen up when they need to and give people what they need, not necessarily what they want.

Making Tough Decisions

This sometimes involves making tough decisions that are best for both people as well as business. Tough empathy combined with authenticity is what is required of a true leader.

By authenticity, I mean, the leader is not simply fulfilling job obligations but instead cares about it. His actions would almost always reveal the presence or absence of authenticity.

Because we don’t always get to choose who we lead, what other choice do we really have as effective leader but to make the best decisions, with the best available plan, in the most empathetic and constructive way. Even if we don’t want to.

So, have you experienced having to lead someone you would rather not? How did it go? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
Aditi Chopra
Aditi Chopra is an experienced leader in the software industry
She is a consultant, writer and a leader
Email | LinkedIn |  Web | Blog | Twitter | Books

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Leadership Congruence: Do You Walk the Talk?

walk the Talk

A foundational behavior in effective leadership requires demonstrating congruence between what one says and what one does.

Unfortunately, many times the behaviors of those in charge reflect a philosophy of “do as I say not as I do” rather than one of congruence.

Creating Distrust and Disagreement

Incongruence at both the personal and organizational level often results in distrust and disengagement by the people who have experienced or observed the incongruence. While the data on disengagement and its impact is alarming, the good news is that we are actually dealing with the behaviors that cause the issues.

And when dealing with behaviors, there is a better chance to create better outcomes.

  • We can often think of those managers who hold themselves to a different standard than they hold everyone else to.
  • These are the managers that consistently expected others to stay late but leave the office early themselves.
  • They are the managers who stress transparency. yet would not relay important information to their people. Maybe they are the managers who stressed integrity. yet are unethical in their own behaviors.

These actions often created environments of distrust and disengagement by those who see or who are the recipient of this behavior.

Talking, But Not Walking

As well, we can all recall the organizations that might have done this:

  • State their commitment to their employees or customers, yet don’t behave that way.
  • Claim that their people are their most important asset, yet they do not invest in their development.
  • Or, they are the organizations that conducts a survey on employee satisfaction, yet do nothing to address the issues that may have surfaced from the survey.

Again, these behaviors often create a sense of employee distrust toward the organization.

Creating Dissonance

In these examples, this incongruence often results in disconnection, disengagement and distrust toward the manger, the organization or both.

In the past, the social and financial impact of these negative behaviors was often overlooked.

However, today ample data exists which demonstrates the adverse impact that disengagement has on an organization as it relates to turnover, absenteeism, injuries and profitability to name a few. Much work has been done by organizations such as Gallup to expose the negative consequences of disengagement.

Changing Minds, Changing Behaviors

The good news about the high levels of disengagement the surveys have uncovered is that it can minimized, through behavior changes.

The first behavior involves acting in a congruent way.

As leaders, we must “walk the talk.” In order to create an engaged workforce, those in positions of authority and organizations themselves must become aware of the negative impact that incongruence has on people, the organization, and its customers.

This behavior involves taking inventory of your actions and asking, “Would I see my words and actions as being congruent if I observed them in someone else.”

Another suggestion would be to find someone who would be committed to providing honest feedback on your behaviors and their level of congruence.

This is the first step toward increasing engagement in those around you.

Take the challenge and regularly ask yourself: Is you approach to walk the talk or do you expect others to do as you say but not as you do? What behaviors might you be exhibiting that are incongruent? How might this behavior have caused disengagement in someone in your workplace? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Patrick Veroneau, MS Organizational Leadership

Patrick Veroneau, MS is CEO of Emery Leadership Group
He inspires Others to Develop Effective Leadership Behaviors
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

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On Leadership, Growth and Doing it Anyway

Do It Anyway

Do you know that song by Martina McBride titled “Anyway?”  

In the very first verse of the song she says this:

You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway”

On Life and Making Lemonade

My husband graduated from college and spent 6 years in the Air Force.  Then we settled down in my home town to raise our family and he went to work as an engineer for a large company.  We raised 3 boys.

I began a business. We invested and began preparing for the day that we could retire. We seemed to be on the right track as a couple and a family.

But despite our best laid plans, life brought us some lemons. Our lives changed in directions for which we had not planned:

  • We did not expect that my husband would lose his job after 15 yrs
  • I did not anticipate that my business would begin to lose money
  • We did not know that our son would cost us everything that we had worked for (at least as far as the things of the world are concerned.)

Lemons, Lemons, and More Lemons

Our youngest son became involved in drug and alcohol abuse.  He spent 4 years going to jail, hospitals, and rehab. There were about 3 years that I did not sleep through the night in anticipation of a phone call from the police. I was never sure if they would want us to pick him up or identify his body.

To say the least, these were very difficult years for our family!

The courts held us financially responsible for the crimes that our son committed while he was a minor child.

  • We paid fees, restitution and hospital bills
  • We paid for couple of rehabilitation periods
  • We suffered emotionally, mentally, and career-wise

Because of the time away from work for court and family rehab sessions, my husband’s work performance decreased. When it came time for layoffs at his workplace, he was on the list.  When he lost his job, we lost our ability to pay for our home. My business began to fail and our property investments no longer rented for enough to pay the mortgage.

…More Lemons

As a result, we lost 2 properties, our home, and my business. We continued to fight to save our son. My husband finally found a job in a different state and he relocated. I had to remain where I was to close my business, sell the properties, and be with my son who was not finished with school.

On Making That Lemonade

Over time, my son finally completed his GED and got a good job. It took all the worldly possessions that we had, but our son is alive, healthy, drug free, and working.

After 18 months I was able to join my husband in our new home. I had to start over. He had to start over. I won’t lie, it was the most difficult time of our marriage. We became stronger than ever as a couple by pulling together for the sake of our family.

Although we were financially ruined, I can say with all the confidence in the world this:

Losing your fortune is not that big a deal. After all, it is just money. You can get more of that.

There is no battle more worth fighting that the battle to save a child. There is no amount of money that could change my opinion on the financial, emotional, and family decisions that we made. In fact, I would do it all over again for what we gained.

Keep Trying. It’s Worth It All

Now it is time to start building again.

Did I hesitate to start over? 

Absolutely.

Did I fear the idea of losing again?

You better believe it.

Is it going to be painful and difficult?

You better believe that, too!

Did it stop me?

NO!

There is nothing more painful than the thought of losing a child. Losing “stuff,” well that was easy by comparison. Your true success lies in what you put your hope in.

So, what sort of life-altering challenges have you faced that you were able to overcome? How did that build your character, your family, your relationships, or your business? Are you facing something now and need encouragement? If so, please connect with me and I think I can offer some sound personal advice. I would love to help.

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Never miss an issue of Linked 2 Leadership, subscribe today here.
Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Phyllis Rodriguez

Phyllis Rodriguez is a Producer at Insphere Insurance Solutions
She serves as an Associate Broker, Short Sale and REO Specialist
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | Personal | 520-220-4021

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