Leaders: Filling the Talent Pool

Filling the Talent Pool

Top 25 Faces of Learning and Leadership Development 2014

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Top 25 Leadership Development 2014

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3 Steps to Leading in a Foreign Land

Freak Out and Lose Control

Leading situations and teams can be difficult on any given day. But when you jump into a situation where you are called upon to lead in short-order and everything about the ordeal is absolutely foreign to you, then this is when you need to get a leadership plan that works.

Freaking out is not an option! Your plan has to be a plan that is short, smart, and sweet!

No Worries Leadership

Different culture? Different technology? No do-overs? No problem…

A few weeks ago I received an invitation to present on a Google Hangout from the editor of a popular philanthropy blog. The CEO of the organization had read one of my ebooks and was interested in having me share a few of my thoughts on nonprofit leadership with her community.  

After excitedly accepting the invitation, I considered the situation I had just put myself in.

  1. This organization was based in a different country, and served people of a different culture than mine. 
  2. I had never presented on this specific topic before and the show would be liveno do-overs if I made a mistake.
  3. I had never used Google Hangout before and was admittedly nervous about using new technology.

My 3 Step Game Plan

As I considered all these variables, I began to map out a game plan of how I planned to deliver a meaningful, natural presentation in spite of my concerns.

Here is the action plan that I walked myself through during the weeks leading up to my first Google Hangout. 

1) Research everything and and thing about the organization that had invited me to present. 

I had to answers to these questions:

  • Who were the people on the panel that would be leading the discussion?
  • What was important to them?
  • What was the mission and vision of their organization?
  • What were they hoping to accomplish by having me on the Hangout?
  • Who were some of the people they had had on the show previously?
  • What was the style of communication they were looking for?
  • Were there any precautions I needed to take to ensure I was presenting in a tone that respected their unique culture?
  • What was the demographic of their audience?

2) Write up a detailed minute-by-minute presentation outline. 

I knew that the show was forty minutes long and that the panel wanted five questions they would use to lead the discussion. Forty minutes minus ten minutes for off-the-cuff dialogue here and there left me with 30 minutes of content I needed to create (or six minutes per question).

From there I went to my notes and wrote down three talking points per question allowing myself two minutes to cover each point.

After I had my outline, I had some other people read it to make sure that it made sense and then began to practice on my own.

 3) Master the technology. 

Although I had attended Google Hangouts in the past, I had never presented on one before. Priority number one became learning HOW to use this tool like a pro.

To get as much input as I could, I asked anyone I knew who had presented on a Hangout for their personal advice, researched best-practices blogs and played around with it knowing that the more comfortable I felt with the technology, the more relaxed I would be during the presentation.

I made a shortlist of the top five tips I had found and began to get everything ready. Examples: I made sure to use a room that had great lighting, made sure my kids wouldn’t be making noise with the babysitter in the background etc.

When the Hangout day finally came I was ready and the feedback I got afterwards from the panel was that I had nailed it. I was really happy that it had gone well but honestly I was more excited that my game plan had worked – I now had a proven template I could follow for future presentations.

Leading in a Foreign Land

I found that because I had taken the time to prepare, I was able to be completely present during the discussion and truly enjoyed the experience instead of being rigid, rushed and anxious.

Following these or similar steps will help you lead like a winner when everything seems foreign to you.

have you ever been “thrown into” a situation where you had to lead in a place or circumstance that felt foreign to you? What do YOU do to prepare for presenting in an environment that is foreign to you? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Natasha Golinsky
Natasha Golinsky is the Founder of Next Level Nonprofits
She helps nonprofit CEO’s take their leadership skills to the next level
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook Web

Image Sources: brandstyledesign.com

Leadership Crack Head: Addicted to Your Smartphone?

Addicted to Smartphone

Why Are We So Addicted To Our Phones? 

I see so many people who are seemingly addicted to their smartphones! It truly makes me wonder some things

  • I wonder what the average daily count is of people checking during dinner, while driving, in a meeting, on the phone with someone else?
  • Ever meet someone who is texting while engaging in a conversation with you, and then letting you know that they are listening?
  • Is our work really that important, that we need to stop being present in the moment and get back to people every 2 seconds?
  • What is driving this addiction and how might is be negatively affecting us?

Searching for Reason

I have been trying to understand the reason why people are so “distracted” by their devices. In all honesty, I must admit that I am addicted to the prospective thrill of seeing a new exciting email message arrive.

And then I become disappointed when the new message on my device is only another Living Social coupon…

I also feel the need to get back to people so quickly these days. I feel that if I don’t check every 2 seconds that I may risk not giving “excellent customer service.”

Surely I can’t be connecting to my kids, friends, employees, family AND living in the moment while constantly looking at my phone waiting for the next great thing to show up.

This bothered me very much. So whenever I could, I sought out the reason(s) why people are so seemingly addicted to their phones. And then one day I came across something.

I now think I might finally understand the reason…

———————————————————————————————

L2L Reader Survey 2013

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“I find good and useful tips, suggestions, and valuable content through L2L
which makes my organization and me more effective. Keep up the good work!”

———————————————————————————————

Understanding Power vs. Force

During a meeting with my business coach, she shared David Hawkins – Power vs. Force chart. Mr. Hawkins describes this chart as the hidden determinants of human behavior.

I went digging for something on this chart that could shed some light on why millions of us are in a romantic relationship with our phone. Out of 17 levels, scoring 20-1000, lowest to highest respectively, I found the word DESIRE!!

Click on the chart below for a full explanation.

Power vs Force Chart

Yes, this makes sense; the desire for reward, accomplishment, a new client, to be praised for great service, all of these things that could be present in an email, text or voice mail. Then I realized, according to this chart “Desire” is only 6 out of 17, with a score of 125.

But wait, isn’t it good to desire things, to have goals and wants? Then I kept reading, and understood the dichotomy.

Understanding Desire and Priorities

According to Dr. Hawkins, “Desire is also the level of addiction, wherein it becomes a craving more important than life itself.”  This craving can then lead to frustration when you don’t get the response that you want.

Ahh- hence the disappointment in the Living Social coupon!

The egotistical answer sitting in front of me did strike me hard for a second.

Then I got over myself and looked at the lesson in all of this:

The bottom line is that nothing is more important to me then my family, friends and vision to help others. So when I’m focused on my priorities, I will make a promise to be fully present on those things and not my phone!

The world (and the coupon) can surely wait as I check my phone periodically and not constantly.

Are you addicted to your phone? Are some of your priorities out of line with your top values? What are ways you balance being present with the task at hand, while knowing their might be important messages waiting for you? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————–
Val Ries, RN, MBA, CPC
Val Ries RN, MBA, CPC is CEO of the Ries Company
She helps leaders RECHARGE so they have the strength to impact the world
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Web | Blog | Book

Image Sources: pplware.sapo.pt

How Effective Leaders Can Use Social Media

Social Media Icons

Being a leader of a team has many faces.

One almost has to be a paranoid schizophrenic to have effective leadership skills nowadays.

So many voices talking to them and so many personalities that they must exemplify to fit all the roles they play, it’s a wonder they stay sane.

Changing Business Landscape

The business world has drastically changed in the last five years.

Social media has swept in and torched the landscape like Smaug from the Hobbit. The land looks different from what it used to look like, and now we have a bunch of fresh young pines sprouting up all over our companies who are intimately tied to the social media machine.

LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumbler, Foursquare, and whatever else people are using…they are using it a lot.Generation Xers and the Baby Boomers are just as active as the Millennials and their use of social media in the workplace.

Company leaders have to lead, and one thing we can rest our laurels on is that social media opens up a new line of communication that we didn’t have before.

When used wisely social media can enhance leadership capabilities.

I am going to try and illustrate why leaders should stay social media savvy in order to further their goals and objectives.

Social Media Increases Speed

In business, speed can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

If you can act quickly and decisively on the right information you can make a lot of money. Conversely, if the information vital to decision-making is unavailable due to lack of communication speed, a missed opportunity can leave an indelible mark on the leader and the company.

Social media drastically speeds up the communication machine.

Sure, email is still fast, but it’s not 23-seconds fast. I say 23-because when something important happens, let’s say something political, my phone sends me a push notification and by the time I open it up it seems like it’s been about 23-seconds.

An email sent to your inbox will not be seen that fast.

An employee could share something on the company Facebook page or send a direct message which could be seen by you or other decision making individuals in the organization and acted upon quickly. I love that!

Social Media Increases Communication

I believe we’ve already had a paradigm shift when it comes to communication.

There are lots of naysayers out there who think that communicating via text or smart phone is doing a disservice to the psyche of everyone in the world. I understand that body language and other verbal subtleties are lacking in electronic communication, but the fact of the matter is some communication in the workplace, to get things done quickly and efficiently, doesn’t require body language.

It doesn’t bother me that employees might tweet each other instead of getting out of their chairs and walking two or three cubicles down the aisle.

That’s because a tweet or direct message is light years faster than standing up and walking to someone else’s desk.

In my experience, social media does not distract or isolate employees. On the contrary, it brings them together, albeit in an online space, and speeds up talking points. As a leader I believe we should encourage employees to utilize social media this way to communicate when appropriate.

Social Media Humanizes

There is something about a “quick” email, when you compare to social media, that sucks the life out of the message. In an email it is too easy to confuse the emotional meaning behind the words. I’ve sent a number of quick emails over the course of my career that were construed in a negative way I didn’t intend them to be.

People thought I was being too “mean” or too “bossy” in the way I came across, but in reality I just wasn’t being excessively polite by saying please and thank you and each sentence!

By communicating via social media you actually feel “real” to the recipient.

Starting out a direct message by saying “hey Jack, do you have a second?” And then as that person responds you can engage them in a real-time conversation in a way that can’t be done through email. 10 years ago people used to use instant messaging regularly in the same fashion, but IM has gone WAY down in usage.

I think instant messaging will be dead in a few years…it’s already on life support. So, by having a real-time conversation using a social media platform you humanize your electronic communications making them much more effective.

This in turn makes you a better and more approachable leader.

Don’t go crazy using social media, but don’t give it the cold shoulder either. Social media, in some form or another, will be with us for the foreseeable future. It has a lot of advantages, and don’t get me wrong it does have disadvantages, but I think the advantages heavily outweigh the disadvantages. Use it wisely and use it well, it should increase your effectiveness and power as a leader.

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————

Robert Cordray
Robert Cordray is a freelance writer with over 20 years of business experience
He does the occasional business consult to help increase employee morale
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web

Image Sources: multyshades.com

Leaders: Getting Out of Email Hell

Email Hell

It seems as though at times the email faucet never slows. And the more emails coming in – and the more emails to sort through – the higher our stress.

The question for leaders is this:

What can you do to help your team focus and be more productive? And what steps can you take to reduce your own email overload?

Our new research, the 2012 Work-related Email Perception Study, provides a unique view of how employees in a variety of industries, roles and functions perceive email and the strategies they feel are most helpful in dealing with its frequent excess.

Perception & Reality

The detailed results offer interesting insights:

  • Email is seen as an effective and necessary communication tool by more than three-quarters of all audiences (84% of executives; 83% of middle managers; 77% of employees)
  • Limiting email outside normal business hours  is seen as very effective by few (11% of executives; 20% of middle managers; 13% of employees)
  • Limiting email during normal business hours carries even less support (8% of executives; 15% of middle managers; 11% of employees)

Through our research employees said they want guidelines and policies to help address the overwhelming amount of irrelevant email that fills their inbox each day.

And while dealing with irrelevant email has become a challenge – and frustration – for almost everyone, middle managers are feeling that pain the most.

The results of our research demonstrate middle managers spend 6,000 minutes (100 hours) on irrelevant email each year. That’s not just email, it’s irrelevant email. Additionally, supervisors spend 5,250 minutes (87.5 hours) and employees spend 4,250 minutes (71 hours) on irrelevant email every year.

Those numbers add up pretty quickly for any organization.

Solutions to email overload do exist. As a leader all eyes are on you and your actions play a central role.

Getting Out of Email Hell

Here are some email best practices that you can blend into your communications today:

Use email to:

  • Provide directional information
  • Share a status update, briefly, in the message
  • Include additional information through a link or attachment
  • Offer time-sensitive information uniformly to a group of recipients
  • Record of your communication

Don’t use email to:

  • Give negative news or feedback
  • Describe complicated, detailed or lengthy topics
  • Keep the recipient from having the chance to respond in a conversational manner
  • Discuss topics that are nuanced and require context to understand fully

Email tips and best practices:

  • Keep messages short and clear to read; use bullet points to highlight information
  • Be clear in the subject line by briefly explaining the content of your message
  • Detail when you need a response and what you’re expecting
  • Pick up the phone if the email chain is going back and forth; recognize that email is not always the right vehicle, especially for complex topics
  • Respond quickly
  • Proofread your emails for correct spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Double check you’ve used the right email addresses and attachments; avoid distributing proprietary information
  • Answer all questions to limit avoid back and forth messages
  • Use “Reply All” only when everyone needs to see your message
  • Check with the recipient to see how they would like to receive large attachments
  • Avoid message that contain nuance or sarcasm; email doesn’t express either one well

Email overload touches just about everyone and every organization. Yet solutions do exist.

Smarter Communications

With a smart plan and the right approach, email can become the effective and efficient communication tool it was meant to be within your organization.

At the same time, you’ll raise the bar of your overall communications, reinforcing the benefits of face-to-face and voice-to-voice communications.

See here for more on the 2012 Work-related Email Perception Study

So, how ugly is your email inbox? What tips can you implement now to handle the volume and urgency issues that keep increasing? How can you get a total handle on your email communications before 2013 rolls in? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

———————
David Grossman
David Grossman is Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group
He is a much sought-after Consultant, Speaker, and Executive Coach 
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Book

Image Sources: savvybrain.com

 

Emerging Leaders: Leading the “New World”

Leading Technology

As leaders in a professional environment, we always aim to convey a message with good intentions. However, we can oftentimes fail. This is because we haven’t crafted our message for the correct target.

Our messages are not always clear because we don’t always understand our audience.

Engaging Future Leaders

I am a person, a leader, a mentor who aims to engage future leaders and develop an understanding of methods to connect with all generations to enhance communication and leadership growth.

There is a huge divide between the “Net Generation” and other generations because technology has exponentially developed this group of people.

Who knew that social media would be the greatest influence over a group of people?

A Growing Divide

Teachers, coaches, mentors, and leaders a like struggle to connect with the new generation of leaders. And this disconnect between these groups becomes more clear as the years progress.

Our job as leaders is to make sure our future leaders are ready for the future world, starting now to develop the “Net Generation,” helping them understand the advantages and disadvantages that technology has created for them.

Technical Edge

Cutting Through the Crowd

Now, many may understand the advantages of being tech savvy which are:

  1. They are able to connect with larger audiences more globally.
  2. They can work faster with more mobility.
  3. They can understand more and have more resources to produce results and develop others.

A Double-Edged Sword

What many don’t understand is that there are disadvantages as well:

  1. Everyone is under a microscope and the world of Human Resources is stronger than ever with fewer people and more resources. This means that social media can be used for hiring practices to get a better snap shot of people. People and leaders alike need to watch what they post as posts are seen by more than just friends and family. Networking circles are larger than ever before.
  2. Verbal communication skills have become diluted; much of today’s communication is via device without speaking.
  3. Connecting with multiple generations has become more difficult because the differences have become exponential.

Closing the Gap

Now, to close the gap between generations to enhance communication and develop “simply great leaders” we must teach listening and understanding, which are the basics to human interaction and chemistry.

I have…

  • Spent some time developing myself to understand the complexities of social media.
  • Utilized social media as a leader and employer to get a better understanding of this topic and to help develop young leaders.
  • Used social media to make decisions about hiring leaders into organization in which I have worked.

Emerging leaders need more guidance and coaching than ever before so we need to be there to help.

Mentoring New Leaders

I have mentored emerging leaders and the key to success is to find common interest with leadership goals and practice one-on-one communication through coaching practices.

Unfortunately, as business professionals we have fine lines as to how much we can inform new candidates and employees in regards to business do’s and don’ts ; we have to generic, ensuring equality and professionalism which can hinder the growth of potential emerging leaders.

Today’s leaders need to step out of their comfort zone make a difference for the future.

Taking the Time

Taking time to develop and educate future leaders, raising awareness about the effects of social media though sincere coaching and development; this is what we need to build a stronghold of the next generation leaders.

Effective communication is about listening and understanding while conveying a message that a person or group of people will understand. The best way to convey a message is to understand the audience to which it is being conveyed. Keep in mind that the great leaders of tomorrow will encompass the teachings of the leaders of today.

So how are you doing in bridging the gaps that exist in your organization? How well are you reaching out to those in different generations to help your operation run smoother? What are some of the (technological) barriers that are keeping you from better engagement with others? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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

———————

Michael R Stanford is Doctoral Learner at UOP
He does occasional motivational speaking for community colleges
Email | LinkedInFacebook | Web

Image Source: thedroidguy.com

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