On Leadership Styles, Philosophies and Where You Live

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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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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
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Effective Leaders Are Story Doers, Not Just Story Tellers

Mountain Climber

We all learn from stories, we get to practice our emotional responses and we can test our beliefs in safe territory.

“A leader is someone who demonstrates what’s possible.” ~ Mark Yarnell

Describing Your Purpose

Your story will be a narrative that describes your purpose in a way that is easily understood, is intriguing, inspiring and ultimately is sufficiently engaging to capture the imagination of your target audience.

It also will get them to spend, support or evangelise you. Without a coherent and inspiring story your organisation will have an uphill battle to influence and gain market share.

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” ~ Robert McKee

Knowing Your Audience

You have two audiences:

  • One is your workforce
  • The other is the people outside your organisation

For both groups the story is fundamental but insufficient on its own to ensure success in a competitive world. Not only must the story be told it must be seen to be lived by you and your organisation.

The Art of The Story

Alexander Mackenzie a world’s expert describes how storytelling lies at the heart of leadership. Leaders of highly successful modern organisations tell stories that:

  1. Are simple, truthful, unambiguous and based on sound ethics and core values
  2. Describe how you intend to make your workers lives, the world or society better
  3. Can be understood and cared about by anyone
  4. Are consistent aligned with workforce and clients
  5. Drive practical action underpinning a culture of wellbeing
  6. Motivate listener engagement with the story and action because of it.
  7. Underpin marketing strategies exemplifying these core values
  8. Use a full range of modern social networking platforms
  9. Create compelling and meaningful experiences

Being The Story

An authentic ”story doing” leader will claim in the company’s mission, “Triple XXX Inc is committed to developing its workforce”. They will tell this to clients and governments etc. but they will also tell the same story pro bono at high schools helping young people to understand why this principle is so crucial to business.

It’s that age old adage about “walking the talk”. If you claim to have “committed customer service,” have members of senior management shadow delivery drivers or man the telephones.

Our society is becoming more and more sceptical. Leaders who authentically embody their organisation’s story will drive success.

Do your story and not just tell it?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

For a great introduction to leadership and storytelling check out Lisa Bloom’s site Your Actions Today

  • Take stock of the channels you use to tell your personal and organisational story.
  • How many are you supporting with an action?
  • Look at the missions of your competitors and look how they might be story doing
  • Select one element of your story and design up to three simple actions that bring it alive – then test them.

Recommended reading The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative – Stephen Denning

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–  

Gary Coulton

Dr Gary R Coulton is CEO of Adaptive Intelligence Consulting Limited
He empowers leaders to release their Adaptive Intelligence
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Web

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7 Timeless Leadership Lessons from an Anachronistic Concierge

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Monsieur Gustave H. was a hotel concierge performing at the very top of his game at a time when Europe was heading into its darkest hour.

He was a man so devoted to his profession and committed to his personal values that it eventually cost him his life.  

7 Timeless Leadership Lessons

Here are 7 timeless lessons (including specific behavior & result) to be learned from Gustav H.’s exemplary leadership style at The Grand Budapest Hotel in Wes Anderson’s delightful new film of the same name.

Lesson #1:  Treat Others with Respect

Leadership Behavior:

Imprisoned with brutal thugs and murderers for a crime he did not commit, Gustave H. treats his fellow prisoners with respect, even earning the respect of the grisly (and artistically-gifted) gang leader.

“This is amazing work! Did you draw this Ludwig?”

Result: 

Ludwig includes him in his gang’s successful prison break plan.

Are there any relationships in your team or work circle you would like to improve?  If you want to improve relations with somebody, read why Dr David Burns views treating them with kindness and respect as the key.

Lesson #2:  Fight for your People

Leadership Behavior:

To his own detriment, Gustave H. twice stands up to soldiers on the train for harassing Zero, an immigrant worker (& Gustave’s deputy) traveling without proper travel documents.

“Take your hands off my Lobby Boy!”

Result: 

Full and eternal loyalty from Zero.

Lesson #3:  Treat Clients Well

Leadership Behavior: 

Gustav H. makes his guests feel special by comforting them in their time of need (intimate room visits not recommended).

Result:

He is left a priceless painting from a special patron and guest of the hotel.

Lesson #4:  Know Your People

Leadership Behavior:  

On unexpectedly meeting his new Lobby Boy, Gustave H. takes the time to interview/interrogate him and explain the rigorous demands and expectations on him as Lobby Boy.  During the intense interview, he also gets a picture of Zero’s skill set…which incidentally needs urgent developing by Gustave himself.

Result: 

By knowing what is expected of him and why, Zero is fully engaged and committed to fulfilling the demands and expectations of the job.

How well do you know your people?  According to Linda Hill and Kent Lineback, here are 7 things you should know about your people.

Lesson #5:  Demand the Highest Standards

Leadership Behavior:  

Eating night after night at a long, cramped table in a tiny back room, Gustave H. meticulously briefs his staff on how to maintain and improve the excellent service which is expected of them all.

Result: 

The hotel has an unparalleled reputation for service and quality.

Lesson #6:  Build Your Network

Leadership Behavior:  

Having exhausted all options while fleeing for his life after the prison break, Gustave H. contacts a secret society of fellow concierges for help.

Result: 

The well-connected network miraculously comes to his rescue.

What could you do to strengthen your network?  In what unexpected ways might a stronger network serve you in the future?  This insightful article from HBR provide practical tips on how to build your network.

Lesson #7:  Live Your Values

Leadership Behavior:  

Clothed in dirty rags after breaking out of prison, Gustav H. lives his value of good hygiene by generously spritzing himself at first chance with his beloved perfume.

Result: 

From then on, Lobby Boy and protégé Zero religiously follows his hygienic Best Practice.

Watch the entertaining trailer to get a colorful picture of Gustave H. and his magical world.

Which of these modelled behaviors would help improve your relationships?  Which would improve the performance of your team?  What would it look like to fight for your people, for example?  What might be the result? Please share your key learnings from Gustave H. or other fictional characters who have inspired you and what you’ve done with the learning.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
Timothy P. Nash

Tim Nash is a Development Coach & Consultant based in Munich, Germany.
He helps teams & team leaders achieve peak performance for breakthrough results.
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web

Image Sources: filmhuisbussum.nl

Smart Leaders: How To Avoid the Bullying Trap


Bully Trap

Although we may not want to face it, our organizational cultures may be encouraging or rewarding abrasive and bullying behaviors in the name of achieving goals.

This makes it too easy to fall into the bullying trap.

Anything Goes?

If your strategy is to do whatever you need to do to meet your organization’s goals without investing time and resources to support your employees, your success will be short-lived.  

Recently, I asked my friend David Hain to join me on my podcast #HealthyLeadership to discuss the bullying trap that so many executives fall into. David is an organizational development expert and was recently appointed to the board of an organization called Bullies Out

During the interview, we covered the topic of the way in which too many managers treat their staff when critical deadlines require employees to stay late or work through the weekend. We talked about a company I worked for a few years back that enforced the “I don’t care” attitude. 

 I was told time and time again:

“This is what we are paying you for and you need to do whatever you have to do to get the job done.”

Not only is this approach counterproductive because it alienates employees, it can easily lead to abrasive and bullying behaviors from management and the staff.    

David Hain on goals and bullying

The Bullying Trap

Once we understand this bullying trap, it starts to make sense that over 50 million employees have reported that they have been bullied or otherwise abused.

Over 50 Million have been bullied at work!!!

This frightening statistic was shared with me by Dr. Annette Rotter, an expert on the topic of bullying, during an interview last year.  

Dr. Rotter explained that:

“A major part of the problem is many managers AND employees are not equipped or prepared to lead through the growing pressure and tension of the workplace and, as a result, lash out at their employees.”

I sincerely doubt that thousands of managers get out of bed in the morning thinking that they can’t wait to go bully and intimidate their employees and co-workers. However, the sad truth is that too many of us fall into the bullying trap.  

As David Hain explained, healthy organizations support those who may be being bullied and those who fall into the trap of bullying.  Easy to say, very hard to do…

Hain on Bullying Signed

It Takes One To Know One…

A few years back I asked my staff for feedback on my leadership and what I learned from them changed my whole perspective on leadership. While I thought that I was a good leader, the truth was that I was intimidating my employees and some of them were scared of me.  

While it was never my intent to bully them, there were times when they felt bullied.  

Since that point I started developing and incorporating organizational development principles into my organizations through formal and informal channels. I started telling my staff that my goal was that they never fear me again.

It didn’t take long before other teams started finding out about the work we were doing and asked us to share our materials and practices. I remember some of my colleagues asking me why I was doing all this work.

One rather abrasive executive actually told me:

“I don’t have time for this stuff.  This is a waste of time and money!”

Like so many abrasive executives, he chose to criticize and ridicule the need to improve his organizational culture instead of the facing the fact that his staff was confused, fearful, and suffering from an extreme lack of trust in management.  

I am fairly sure he had fallen into the bullying trap a number of times.

Resistance To Change

As I spoke to David during our podcast, I remembered this conversation and felt it was a perfect example of why it is so difficult to implement organizational change. Many of us don’t want to change, particularly when we may not be proud of the person we have become.  

look in the mirror signed

Are you a good leader?  How do you know?

Self-reflection can be painful, but as they say, no pain, no gain!

Thanks for sharing everyone!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————–
Al Gonzalez

Al Gonzalez is Founding Partner at GIVE Leadership
He helps clients develop trust and leverage the strengths of all team members
Email | LinkedIn |  Twitter | Web

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Visionary Leaders Squeeze Their Creative Juice Every Day

Creativity is vital for leaders in a rapidly changing world. But as a leader, do you have those days when you wake up feeling dull and nothing creative seems to come to mind?

You’re tempted to retreat into the mundane and routine just to get the day over and done with.

Forcing Creativity

Maybe you do manage to pick a subject and try to bludgeon some creativity out of your brain.

  • Which subject to go for?
  • In which direction to travel?
  • What will my new creation look like?

It all seems too much like hard work to me. You’re tired and uninspired. You eventually accept it,  but now what? How do you get new creative ideas to flow from your mind?

A Creative Energy Crisis

The visionary starts with a clean sheet of paper, and re-imagines the world.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell

Can we be creative only when we’re energised? I hear you saying something like this:

When I’m tired I have no energy and I feel incapable of raising the effort. Everything I want to think about just asks too much of me. Without energy how can I possibly come up with anything creative or useful?

Why would you expect to be a full-on high energy creative person every day? There are going to be days like this one. Should you retreat, lick your imaginary self-indulgent wounds and sit in a corner.

If you can crack this challenge you will not be a prisoner of “tiredness.” Luckily there is plenty you can do.

“Creativity is an act of defiance” ~ Twyla Tharp

How Creative Are You?

In a great TEDx talk by John Paul Caponigro, he tells us “You are a lot more creative than you think you are” and gives great ways to trigger our creativity.

The direction you want to take is entirely your decision

Steps To Juicing Your Creative Mind

A key message of John’s is to become childlike again.

  • First release the pressure.
  • Just mess about with “stuff.”
  • Aim nowhere in particular.
  • It doesn’t matter where you start or finish.
  • Have faith, something will develop out of the mist.
  • Keep playing and it will crystallize.
  • The stuff you throw away today might be useful another time, so keep brief notes.
  • Scratch away until things gel, and then focus down on the specifics.
  • Then analyse and introduce your mental editor.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” ~ Erich Fromm

“Scatching” and Keeping the Good Stuff

Twyla Tharp dancer and choreographer spends many hours in rehearsal, playing with steps and poses, throwing away most of her work but keeping the really good things. She coined the term “scratching.” If it’s good enough for her it’s good enough for me, and you.

Remarkably, energy appears as if by magic driving yet more creativity.

Triggering creativity is about letting the juices flow and revealing the gifts spontaneously. You cannot force it. Next harness and develop your new creation.

My formula for scratching is PTP – Place, Time and Permission.

  • Place – Find a place conducive to scratching. (e.g. a favourite coffee shop, jogging and crucially for teams an agreed thinking space).
  • Time – Give yourself sufficient time. Scratching shouldn’t be rushed.
  • Permission – Give yourself (and others) permission to put aside time to scratch. This time is valuable and not wasted; it’s the golden time which generates the most creative elements of our lives and our work.

Can I add a couple more P’s: patience and persistence?

The Creative Environment

In his brilliant study of the environment of creativity Steven Johnson describes in his video at the top of this post how many great inventions or intellectual leaps have required decades of patient development.

The great ideas often involve the collision of multiple smaller concepts and observations.

He also proposes that creativity is a product of chance and that “chance favours the connected mind.” We are all more connected than ever before which is a good thing. Our challenge is to prevent being distracted by the dross. We need to scratch purposefully to find the hidden gold.

Follow the Leaders

Finally, if this creative process is good enough for the leader it must be good for everyone who follows. The creativity of an organisation will be magnified many-fold if you create a connected physical and cultural environment.

Chance will then favour this highly connected authentically aware creative crowd.

“The things we fear most in organizations—fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances— are the primary sources of creativity.” ~ Margaret J. Wheatley

Action Plan

Your Actions Today

  • Find a Place, assign Time and give yourself Permission to scratch.
  • Let thoughts come and go – don’t concentrate on anything in particular.
  • Play around with ideas and make notes. Is it good for today or tomorrow?
  • Notice how you feel before, during and afterwards.
  • During and at the end of today make notes on what you observed and felt.

Recommended reading

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp

Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

**********

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

——————–
 Gary Coulton

Dr Gary R Coulton is CEO of Adaptive Intelligence Consulting Limited
He empowers leaders to release their Adaptive Intelligence
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Blog | Web

Image Sources: youtube.com

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