The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 220,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.
Mike Myatt takes a long close look at how leadership today is being practiced and has come up with 11 major gaps in leadership execution. He also reveals the quick ways to fill those gaps.
His premise is this:
“As time has passed, they [leaders] have succumbed to accepting what is instead of pursing what if. They make safe choices instead of smart choices- they have forgotten what is is to be a leader.”
Title: Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs To Close And The Secrets To Closing Them Quickly
by Mike Myatt
The purpose of Mike Myatt’s new book Hacking Leadership is to equip leaders at every level with an actionable framework to identify blind spots and close leadership gaps. And this it does. He provides a thorough template that can help the bottom-line of any business.
Successful leadership execution requires leaders to get out of the fog they are in and stop allowing poor results, malaise, bad attitudes, politics, and many other harmful things to get in the way of business success. This requires one to first understand what they are up against, recognize the damaging effects they have, and create solid solutions to keep those toxin out of the workplace.
And based on his years as a top Fortune 500 business and leadership consultant, Myatt has identified 11 big gaps and reveals the secret to quickly filling these gaps. The format is easy to follow in the remedies are logical.
The book is easy to pick up and put down in short segments. Because it is broken down into highly logical segments in each chapter, anyone can use this as both a good read and as a reference guide in the future.
It is generally rare for me to put too many marks or highlights in a book, as I somehow see this as a violation of the sanctity of the text (silly, I know…), but this book has so many nuggets that are so succinct that I have highlighted more lines in this book than most.
With so many highlighted and underscored lines, quotes, gems, and nuggets, I would recommend using this book as a self-coaching guide.
To make it easy to self-coach, simply create a logical way to sort through the “recipes” that can serve you best and copy them onto flash cards. Write the problem or sticking-point you are facing on one side of the card and his recommended solution on the other. Keep these near you are reflect on them often until they have seeped into your subconsciousness.
The insights and wisdom will serve you well on your leadership journey.
And it will be like hiring Mike for a fraction of his normal fee!
A Reader’s Guide
The book is broken down into 11 easy-to-understand “gaps” (or problem areas) that need “hacking” (or decoding) and is formatted in a problem/solution design for easy reading . This really helped me get my mind around each issue separately and then let me build upon a solution set that was both comprehensive, yet digestible and easily reference-able.
The 11 (major) gaps that need hacking are these:
In addition to these major gaps, each section breaks down multiple mini-gaps within each section to further simplify and expand understandings. This really helps build a great mental image that sticks in your mind.
“Leadership is more than a title; it’s a privilege and therefore a burden of the highest responsibility. Nothing is more dangerous than leaders who lose sight of their real purpose – to serve something greater than themselves”
Get This Book
I really enjoyed this “recipe-for-success-style” book. I was able to read it at my own pace and take the time to reflect on how each segment can help me be a better leader and run my companies most effectively. If you are looking for a cogent, clear, and digestible how-to from a leading national leadership expert, then I say “Get This Book!
I give Mike Myatt’s newest book L2L 5-Stars.
You can buy it here.
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Filed under: Leadership Lessons Learned, Leading Change, Organizational Health, Practical Steps to Influence, Servant Leadership, Team Building Leadership | Tagged: business, L2L Book Review, leadership, Management, Mike Myatt | 3 Comments »
This week L2L is bringing you a recap of the Top 10 most popular blog posts over the last year. Enjoy Top #2 and 1!
#2 | Top 5 Most Important Leadership Traits | by Robert Cordray
Whether you are responsible for a thousand employees or just starting an online business with a few friends, you need to know how to be a leader.
In the business world, and in life in general, there are those who lead and those who follow.
The quality of leadership has a strong influence on a company’s ultimate outcome. While every company is different, there are certain general qualities that every leader should have.
While this is certainly not a comprehensive list, it may be a good place to start.
Top 5 Most Important Leadership Traits
Few qualities will transfer directly to employees faster than honesty. As a leader you hold up the standard for how work in your company should be done. If employees can tell that you are dishonest with clients they will likely follow your example, and vice versa.
Honesty is directly tied to trust.
If you are dishonest with employees, chances aren’t good that they will trust you in the future. When you lose the trust of your employees you lose control of the company.
2. Ability to Delegate
If your company consists of three people, or if you are running it completely on your own this may not be as much of an issue. Most leaders however are in charge of a large group of people.
Realize that you simply cannot do everything yourself.
You may feel that you can complete assignments more efficiently than others, but try exercising a bit of trust in other people’s capacity. Identify specific skills in people and delegate assignments accordingly. You never know, they may surprise you.
The workplace can be a tense and stressful place. If you can’t find a way to relieve that stress, it will start to impact the quality of your work. One of the best ways to increase productivity in the office is to take a break and laugh a little. Show a funny video or tell some jokes.
If you can loosen up your employees, they will enjoy being at work more.
This is important because overall happiness directly influences the work people do. Of course when its time to get down to business there may not be time for jokes. Too much humor can turn the workplace into a circus. Find a balance that is appropriate for your office.
There is no handbook on how to run your business specifically. Situations will arise that you don’t expect, especially if you are an entrepreneur. You will need to be flexible, adaptable and able to come up with creative solutions to complex problems.
Some of the best leaders don’t necessarily follow the rules exactly.
They come up with their own guidelines based on their companies needs.
5. Positive Attitude
No business is perfect and things will inevitably go wrong. In difficult times employees will look to their leader. It is important that you know how to keep calm and stay positive.
Attitude is contagious and makes a huge difference in the success of any company.
So, what attributes or traits would you add to this list to make it the Top 10? How are you doing at keeping these important traits on your mind, in your heart, and on your lips? Do you struggle with maintaining any of these traits? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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#1 | At a Loss With the Boss | by Tim Lambert
One of the toughest adjustments new managers have to make is managing their transition from specialist or expert operator to someone who is no longer required to play to these strengths.
I’ve worked with many managers (well-seasoned ones and young bucks,) and most of them saw this transition as a real baptism of fire (…but without a Priest to guide them through.)
Becoming the Boss
Here’s what one manager told me when I was coaching him.
“When I first became a manager I was really uncomfortable with the sudden nom de plume ”Boss.” In one fell swoop I went from being one of the gang to becoming the gang leader, not by common consent of the team, but through imposition as far as they were concerned. I found the hierarchy really hard to get used to. To be honest, I don’t know that I ever have.”
What’s in a Name?
As we discussed his experience and concerns, we started to realise that there was a clue hidden away in what he had told me, and it’s the use of his word “boss.”
It raised a number of questions for us:
- What should we call our leaders?
- Do the titles we afford them have to be so forcefully hierarchical?
- Why do we need to create this enormous separation between the person who manages a team’s operation and the members of that team?
We both agreed that whatever we choose to call ourselves, “boss” (even if delivered tongue-in-cheek) is among the least helpful of titles. Rightly or wrongly, we associate the word “boss” with being bossy. That is its derivation. So the implication is that in order to be a boss you have to be bossy.
It’s a short-hand job description or competency profile. As such, it serves no-one very well.
Feeling the Distance
First, employees subconsciously feel the need to distance and protect themselves. Secondly the manager, consciously or otherwise, feels the imperative to live up to the tag. “Boss” is a title that forces distance when closeness and collaboration is needed to deliver results.
This is what my client had experienced when he first accepted the role, and had been struggling with it ever since.
Some people love the title of “boss” because it is a public declaration of their significance and raised status. Other managers, the more successful ones, realise that results are not achieved by wielding status, but by engagement, good management, and loyalty.
A Creepy Example
To back up this assertion, I shared with a story with my client of manager who attended one of my management training workshops. At a certain point in the proceedings, he proudly boasted that he followed people to the toilet and stood outside with a stopwatch until they came out.
He would penalise them if they went over the allotted three minutes per visit.
Suppressing my urge to tell him that this was the weirdest example of a time and motion study I’d ever encountered, I asked him to tell me a bit more about his team.
- Were they committed?
- Were they pro-active?
- Were they diligent?
- Were they productive?
His answer, not surprisingly, was “No. In fact, they’re the worst performing shift on the plant.”
Being Boss or Being Bossy
The manager above loved being the boss, and no love was lost between him and his team. But we have learned long ago that adopting a Directive, Telling style of management as our primary position yields few dividends in the long-term.
As an emergency measure, it has its place, but no-one likes a bossy-boots and we sure as hell don’t want to be managed by one.
Having this discussion with my client helped us both realise that the word “boss” is a highly-charged one. Using it has the psychological effect of driving a certain type of behaviour. Through further discussion we discovered that what’s needed is a reframing of the relationship between a manager and the people they manage: a relationship based on mutual benefit and interdependence, not hierarchy.
This reframing can be enough to reposition the way we interact with those we are privileged to manage.
The conclusion here is that some words such as ‘boss’ are very negatively impactful. We can weaken our positive impact by using them, even if it’s done ironically.
Using the word “boss” ironically simply reinforces our understanding of a Boss as someone who rules with a rod of iron, pulls rank, and has power over us.That’s a tough role to live up to, and not a desirable one for most of us. It certainly wasn’t what my client wanted for him and his team.
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This week L2L is bringing you a recap of the Top 10 most popular blog posts over the last year. Enjoy Top #4 and 3!
#4 | Emotional Intelligence: The Leadership Difference-Maker | by Dr. Tom Cocklereece
In March 2013 Susanna Rohm’s seemingly-healthy two month old baby had stopped breathing causing mom to go into a panic. She began screaming for help as loudly as possible.
In the panic Susanna had lost her cell phone and had the presence of mind to go get help rather than search for the phone. She ran outside and saw two boys playing across the street. Susanna yelled to them for help and screamed for them to call 911.
Ethan Wilson, age 11, and Rocky Hurt, age 9, immediately placed the emergency call but Rocky ran across the street to see what else he could do to help.
Noticing that Susanna was not administering CPR correctly, he coached the panicking mom to give proper chest compressions and breaths to her distressed baby.
Rocky later told a reporter, “I told her to push on the baby’s chest five to 10 times with only two fingers, tilt back the baby’s head, plug the baby’s nose and breathe into the baby’s mouth.”
Suddenly, the baby began crying at which point Rocky told Susanna, “That’s a good sign because it means the baby is breathing.”
Paramedics soon arrived and transported the baby to the hospital for further treatment but Rocky certainly saved the day. Rocky and Ethan said they had learned CPR from a restaurant poster.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is the ability and presence of mind to make rational decisions and to take action that may be directly opposed to the inner emotional stimulus. More broadly is the ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself, of others, and of groups.
Emotional Intelligence may be explained best using stories in which it may be illustrated. The story about Rocky helping to save a baby illustrates a great human interest story but also Emotional Intelligence, also known as EQ or EI.
Rocky clearly did not panic as might be expected of a nine-year old boy. He maintained control of his own emotions, recalled memory of a poster describing CPR of an infant, and through his composure he calmed the emotions of Susanne so that she could follow the instructions and resuscitate her baby.
This is not to suggest that Susanne has a low EQ but rather that Rocky certainly is a good illustration of high emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence is the ability and presence of mind to make rational decisions and to take action that may be directly opposed to the inner emotional stimulus.
Emotional Intelligence is Leadership Intelligence
Rocky Hurt appears to have natural Emotional Intelligence at an early age, with limited education, maturity, or training. His presence of mind and control of not only his own emotions but also those of Susanne is compelling. Historically this is an ability of the best leaders.
- Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain serving as a regiment commander in the battle of Gettysburg overcame the overwhelming sense of defeat by his soldiers on the second day of the battle. He ordered a bayonet charge of Confederate forces and took over 100 prisoners and restored confidence as his position on Little Round Top was held.
- Lee Iacocca was an incredibly successful executive at Ford Motor Company in 1978. Even though the company posted a $2 billion profit that year, Iacocca was fired. While many people get down on themselves after being terminated, Iacocca quickly rose to the top again as the chief executive of the troubled Chrysler Motor Company and is credited with turning the company around.
True Control: Controlling One’s Self
Whether in the military, business, politics, church, or any other endeavor, leaders with high Emotional Intelligence are able to change the mood, motivate the people, and lead the organization to success.
Emotional Intelligence is the difference-maker for leadership. It requires that the leader suspend their own mood and emotions and communicate optimism and a positive vision.
It is the difference between leadership that creates dissonance and leadership that creates resonance. There are many examples in history of leaders with high Emotional Intelligence.
Dissonance or resonance may be seen in the culture of a leader’s organization by how he or she motivates people. Dissonant leadership can motivate for a while but requires great energy to sustain. On the other hand, resonant leadership that is actuated by Emotional Intelligence coupled with effective leadership abilities is self-sustaining by the synergy of the whole organization.
Developing a Higher Emotional Intelligence
Many scholars of Emotional Intelligence believe that people can improve and grow in this area of development. The premise in virtually all of the books and resources on the EQ subject suggest that one may improve his or her Emotional Intelligence area.
However, developing a higher Emotional Intelligence requires determination and presence of mind.
It requires moving from:
- UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE >>> to >>>
- CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE >>> to >>>
- CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE >>> to >>>
- UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE.
The last stage shows the presence of mind that Rocky Hurt dad as he helped save that baby.
For those of the Christian faith, actuating Emotional Intelligence is the realization of Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It requires that one internalize the principle until it is lived value.
So what are some examples you remember of emotional intelligence from history? Why is it difficult to act contrary to emotional stimuli? Are you growing in emotional intelligence? Does your workplace exhibit resonant or dissonant leadership? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Dr. Tom Cocklereece is CEO of RENOVA Coaching and Consulting, LLC
He is an author, professional coach, and leadership specialist
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Blog | Book | Coaching| Leadership
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#3 | 35 Fun and Affordable Team Appreciation Ideas | by Sean Glaze
As an effective leader, you are likely always looking for fun and affordable ideas to show appreciation to your team. Everyone enjoys recognition, and one of the most impactful ways to motivate your team is to reward behaviors that you want repeated.
As a basketball coach, our program had a “hard hat” award that was given each week to the player that had the most charges and deflections. And just like in sports, whatever industry you work in, there will be important statistics that you can choose to measure and celebrate.
And no matter what field you work in, it is important to remember this quote by VCU Basketball Coach Shaka Smart:
“Appreciation is the currency of success.”
35 Fun and Affordable Team Appreciation Ideas
The following list of 35 ideas will hopefully inspire you to begin celebrating small victories along the way, instead of waiting until the end of your project or season.
Every team performs better when they feel appreciated for their efforts.
Consider adopting some of these fun ideas to show appreciation to people on your team:
1. Publish a “praise” column in your newsletter. Ask employees to submit suggestions for the honor to recognize their peers.
2. Bring in soft drinks and juices to stock the staff refrigerator for the week.
3. Use a dry erase marker to write a message to your employees on the window at the entrance of the building or office.
4. Purchase and inscribe a favorite book as a gift.
5. Create a “traveling trophy” that could represent excellence in your organization and be given to a team member to display it for a week
6. Begin meetings by recognizing accomplishments and highlighting employee successes.
7. Give a personalized coffee cup mug filled with candy.
8. Start a peer-nominated employee of the month award, and print a certificate to honor the teammate who is voted for and why they were selected
9. Publicize the praise. If you hear a positive remark about a person, repeat it to that person as soon as possible—perhaps via email, and copy managers as an especially powerful way to help employees feel appreciated.
10. Send a hand-written thank you note to the team member’s family, such as: “Please accept our sincere thanks for the support you have given to _________ as she (or he) has dedicated so much effort to our company. We are fortunate to have her (him) on the team and want you to know that she (he) is a great asset to our family as well…”
11. Photoshop a million-dollar bill with the employee’s face on it, and post it around the office with a note saying, “Thanks a Million.”
12. Post a birthdays and anniversaries Celebration Calendar in your office. Celebrate employees’ birthdays and employment anniversaries.
13. Give “honored” employees an extra-long lunch break.
14. Complete a simple daily task for the employee – whether by surprise or as his/her choice, they will appreciate you “lightening their load.”
15. Give the person a membership or subscription that relates to their work
16. Post a large “celebration calendar” in your work area. Tack on notes of recognition to specific dates.
17. Surprise the team with doughnuts or a breakfast buffet as they near completion of an important or difficult project.
18. Fill their office or workspace with brightly colored balloons and a card.
19. Give a framed poem as a thank you.
20. Send a gift card to the employee’s home, signed by a manager.
21. Bring a baked gift basket (cookies, etc.) for an afternoon team surprise.
22. Allow the team to flex their schedule or work adjusted hours if possible, to allow for more family time or errands.
23. Award the teammate a coveted parking spot, set aside for the “most driven” employee of the month.
24. Give them a chance to connect with new people or learn new skills by sending high performing people to conferences or other networking events.
25. Loosen up the dress code for a day (teachers love jeans!)
26. As a manager or supervisor, have fun putting on an apron and serving THEM coffee one morning – taking orders as a “servant” leader.
27. Ask for their input and involve them in meetings that may impact them in the future to show you trust their perspectives and ideas.
28. Let them eat cake – for birthdays, or new hires, or met quotas, etc.
29. Get other employees to share a “what I appreciate about _______” sentence, and then frame and sign it as a gift.
30. Call a meeting and have everyone give a 30 second standing ovation to the person whose efforts or accomplishments you want to recognize.
31. Contribute to THEIR cause, and make a donation or participate in a worthwhile charity that they care about.
32. Send flowers to them at their desk, compliments of the company.
33. Put together a scrapbook that clients can see as an “album of all-stars,” and publish one new page for each all-star employee behavior, including a picture and description of the achievement.
34. Play their favorite music at the office during lunch (or an entire day!)
35. Send a very formal summons to meet with a manager – then surprise them with your praise for their efforts and a picture to be included in a company-wide email.
Doing it Right
While planning which of these 35 team appreciation ideas to use, keep in mind that if you think you provide enough recognition, remember that you can always do more.
It is nearly impossible to say “thank you” enough or be specific enough about what the employee did to earn your recognition. Great leaders outlaw saying “good job,” and are always specific with their praise – so teammates both feel appreciated and are motivated to repeat that particular behavior again.
If you are looking for an even more fun and impactful event to thank your large office staff or to help prepare them for a challenging upcoming project, consider the impact that a day of laughter and lessons from a team building speaker could provide.
Team development is an ongoing process, and the toasts and rewards you choose to share will have a tremendous influence on your organization’s morale and motivation.
What other creative ideas would you suggest for team appreciation? I would love to hear your ideas!
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