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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——————–
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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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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5 Ways To Be An Exceptional Leader

5 Ways To Be An Exceptional Leader #Infographic

Leadership on Independence Day

Independence Day

 

July 4th - BBQ, Beer, and the Pursuit of Celebration

Most Patriotic Cities of USA

Infographic Source: http://blog.visual.ly/independence-day-infographics/

Learn This: 5 Awesome Apps That Grow Knowledge

Awesome Apps

Leading people and teams in this new era of connectivity, having the right tools in hand can really help make a difference. With literally thousands of smartphone and device apps to choose from, finding educational apps may be truly easy.

But finding educational apps that are worth using is another story!

5 Awesome Apps That Grow Knowledge

 

That’s why this list of the best learning apps includes some of the most talked about and highly rated apps on the market today. Armed with the right app and mobile products, you can learn virtually anything, from how to prepare Russian cuisine to simply brushing up on your mathematics.

Mathomatic

Most math apps are little more than fancy calculators, but Mathomatic is different. In many ways, this app is closer to an advanced graphing calculator than to a simple smartphone app. For instance, it can actually solve algebraic equations. It also comfortably handles derivatives, indefinite integrals of polynomials, and essentially everything else under calculus. While solving problems, Mathomatic shows all its steps as well as all possible answers, so it’s easy to learn just by watching the app.

Best of all, Mathomatic does this in a reasonably clear, easy to manage, and simple to understand interface that doesn’t add any more confusion to an already difficult subject. No matter if you’re trying to check your homework, solve a particularly complicated system of equations, or just simplify a polynomial, this app is definitely worth checking out.

History Line

The highest quality education is often the result of a collaborative effort. And that’s no doubt one of the reasons why History Line has been so popular in the academic community. History Line is a collaborative learning app with an emphasis on US History, and it supports anywhere between one and six players simultaneously.

In short, the app presents series of events, and players have to order the events into the correct sequence.

But in a multiplayer game, every player is responsible for only a portion of a much larger timeline. Players have to choose if the elements the game has given them belong on their own timeline, or if they need to be sent to another player handing a different period of time. Besides being truly engaging and entertaining, History Line can help you build an impressive command of history for such a simple app.

iTranslate Ultimate

Trying to learn a new language? iTranslate Ultimate lets you quickly translate between five languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. One of the most difficult parts of learning a new language is handing the pronunciation of new words. That’s why iTranslate Ultimate can pronounce the thousands of words in its multiple dictionaries for you.

Apart from being an excellent aid for learning a language and accurate pronunciation, this app is a useful tool for navigating through some of the more diverse cities in American and abroad.

USA Factbook and Quiz

Want to know more about US History? The USA Factbook and Quiz app can help teach you all about the world around you, modern and historical.

Apart from the state by state information, including regional maps, flags, and data bout major cities, the USA Factbook app equips you with the ability to test your knowledge in a quiz. In many ways, this highly patriotic app is as educational as it is fun. If you’ve ever wanted to know all the state capitals or master US geography, the multiple choice quiz is about the best an app can do.

Taber’s Medical Dictionary

Whether you’re just looking to expand your own knowledge, or you’re an active medical professional, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is a must have. Containing a dictionary of 65,000 terms, 32,000 audio pronunciations, hundreds of videos, and detailed patient care statements, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is one of the most in-depth medical apps in the world.

No matter if you’re interested in nutrition, therapy, nursing, or just want to keep in touch with the latest information in the medical world, Taber’s Medical Dictionary is all you need to do it.

Do you have a favorite educational or personal development app? Please let me know what it is and how it helps you!

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———————
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

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On Leadership and The Personal Courage Required to Be a Leader

Personal Courage

One of the most overlooked aspects of being a leader is the inherent need for personal courage.

“Personal courage is the ability to act on the tough but necessary decisions guided by a moral compass that serves to benefit the team or stated goals.”David Stricklin

On Personal Courage 

At a cocktail partly last night, I was discussing leadership with my cousin who is the director of operations for a global health care corporation. As we verbally crossed through the different aspects and principles of leadership, we quickly realized one of the most overlooked traits in writings today was the personal courage required to be a leader.

We both agreed strongly that personal courage must be a bedrock of leadership.

A quick search of the internet for leadership principles reveals over 13M returns but target this to personal courage and the returns are reduced by over 60%. To be successful, a leader must display both moral and physical courage. This is accomplished by showing a willingness to take calculated risks, acting independently, and demonstrating personal responsibility for their actions.

On Focus and Intensity

The leader must persist with focus and intensity even when faced with adversity and, in when faced with challenge, project confidence, credibility, and poise.

As Aristotle informed us so many years ago:

Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.” ~ Aristotle

Without personal courage, leadership cannot be effective, revolutionary change is not possible, evolutionary advancement will not occur and an organization will quickly find themselves on the express path to extinction.

The Personal Courage Required to Be a Leader

Leaders must have the personal courage to stand up for what is right.

They demand accountability…from followers, superiors and themselves. Leadership is about doing what is right, not just doing the right things. Successful leaders are never yes-people, but they respectfully dissent.

They also understand that decisions may be delegated but responsibility can not. Courageous leaders are always responsible for their actions.

Leaders must have the personal courage to make decisions.

A leader is continually asked to make decisions with incomplete and variable data sets. The choices many times are not right or wrong, but differing degrees of good enough with conflicting second and third order effects. This draws many leaders into analysis paralysis where a decision is delayed into nonexistence because of the continual search for a perfect solution.

A courageous and dynamic leader knows their worth is determined by their ability to properly analyze situations and take deliberate, calculated risks to move the team forward.

Leaders must have the personal courage to ensure positive change.

It takes courage to question everything, to break from the status quo, to challenge the norm and determine how it could be improved.

A successful leader strives to make positive change every day.

They are not afraid of leading paradigm shifts to ensure success and positive progress. 

Leaders must have the personal courage to deliver bad news as well as good news.

All leaders deliver good news, good leaders delivers bad news. Negative feedback is painful for both sides, but your followers will appreciate your candor when their behavior is improved in the early stages of poor or unsatisfactory  performance instead of waiting until the issue becomes so large it is almost impossible to deal with simply.

We have all needed constructive criticism in our lives. A successful leader cares about their followers enough to have the awkward conversations to discuss missteps, mistakes, or mannerisms.

Making each person better helps the team be better. It takes personal courage to do the right thing and not just calm the troubled waters in your organization. 

Leaders must have the personal courage to develop their followers.

True leadership is not found in an individual, but the people developed. The true measure of a leader is not just measured by success of their organization, but by the measure of leaders they influence and develop to follow in their footsteps.

Successful leaders invest in the future of their followers and not just the organization.

The more you care about your followers, the more personal pride and motivation they will feel toward you and your organization.

Leaders must have the personal courage to delegate.

Leaders must give their team vision…Courageous leaders trust their team to execute their vision. As any new leader can attest, one of the toughest actions is to do nothing on a task and trust your team to execute your direction and wishes.

This is the transition from a tactical level action officer to an organizational and strategic level leader.

Leaders must have the personal courage to seek help from others. 

Leadership has many aspects and principles, but the first building block of a successful leader must be personal courage. The U.S. Air Force defines courage as what allows you to remain calm while recognizing fear.

Further, moral courage means having the inner strength to stand up for what is right and to accept blame when something is your fault.

Improving Your Personal Courage

The obvious question looming is how do you improve your personal courage? You can begin your quest to control fear by practicing self-discipline and calmness. Determine the area in which you experience the most fear in your daily life, and your leadership duties, then force yourself to do them until you can satisfactorily control your reaction.

Personal courage allows the right questions to be asked, followers to be developed and credibility established.

Persoanal courage is simply not letting your fears overcome your goals and define you. It is the ability to admit and learn from your mistakes, and the continual quest to become a better person.

Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.” ~ Billy Graham

What aspects do you consider vital in the personal courage to be a leader? How do you improve your personal courage? Is there any other aspect of leadership which you consider more important? I would love to hear your thoughts!

**********

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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

——————– 
Chris R. Stricklin

Chris R. Stricklin is Chief Growth Officer of The General Leadership Foundation.
He is a Leader, Mentor and Coach integrating Fields of Negotiations and Leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Google+ | Web

 

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Tom Schulte | Executive Director | Linked 2 Leadership
Atlanta, GA USA | http://linked2leadership.com

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