Does Counting Coins Make You More Money?

Technological advancements just keep on coming. And all the while we tout them as “more efficient” and “better.”

In many ways, though, the technologies seem to only take care of “keeping the lights on” tasks.

Wasting Our Time?

These are just mundane or routine undertakings that once “wasted” precious human time.

  • Are we really any more productive though?
  • What do these technologies do to our ability to collaborate and innovate?

Compare and Contrast

I recently took a trip to the grocery store with a year’s worth of change, and after about 30-seconds of dumping coins into a machine, I was given a total and a receipt for my 22 pounds worth of coinage. When I was younger, I would bring this same pile of change to the bank, and wait patiently while the teller spent 10 minutes counting it out. During this time, my parents would chat casually with one of the bank employees.

While this wasn’t a huge transaction, or even particularly important business for the bank, manually completing the task allowed time for relationships to be built between my parents (the customers) and various bank employees (the business).

Now the automatic coin-counting machine has replaced the teller for this task. Yes, that bit of technology frees up some time for the teller and allows him or her to “get more done,” but at the end of the day, is it really making any more money for the bank?

Getting More Done With Less

With all of these technological breakthroughs, most of us are able to be very self-sufficient in the workplace. We can accomplish dull tasks more quickly and more accurately than in years past.

With that tech-based efficiency, however, we’ve adopted this idea that the same amount of work can be done by fewer people – and therein lies the problem.

It’s true that technology allows us to be more “productive,” but what are the underlying costs to the organization?

No Bandwidth

A recent client of mine, an information technology group, reduced its team of database engineers from 55 to 45 employees. Because they are exceptional people with state-of-the-art technology, they were able to maintain the same level of customer and project support even with the reduction in staff. There was no noticeable drop off in performance or reliability. There were, however, some unintended consequences:

  • The team has little to no ability to take on new projects
  • Team member get over 400 emails every day, and that’s not including phone calls, instant messages, and texts
  • Career development is stagnant – not intentionally, but because there is no time to dedicate to it
  • Database interruptions, though rare, now take almost 30% longer to resolve

While the current workload wasn’t impacted, the reduced workforce left zero bandwidth available to take on anything outside of their narrowly defined roles. Customers were mildly disappointed in this lack of expandable service, and other IT teams found the group difficult to work with – because the level of stress (with no prospect of relief) has the team stretched tight like a drum.

Now What?

Instead of looking at how to get more done with fewer people, organizations need to start asking themselves, “what’s best for the company?”

In an emergency, sometimes layoffs can’t be avoided, but it’s worth considering that a team with adequate resources and enough members is far more capable of scaling to meet demand.

When every member of a workforce is operating at maximum capacity, there is no room for additional polish on a task, no room for an expanded market share, and perhaps most importantly, no time to devote to solving problems and innovating within the company itself.

Doing Things Better

Instead of looking for ways to do more with less, companies should simply be look at how to do things better. The push to “increase productivity” is a false measure of success, because efficiency is not necessarily akin to quality.

Productivity is not just accomplishing more with fewer resources, or in less time, but rather the collective result of taking on greater workloads, improving efficiency, and delivering a higher quality result at the end of the process.

There is an assumption that technology has made organizations more productive, but is this really the case? They may be able to get the same amount of work done with fewer people, but what about taking on more work? What about coming up with innovative solutions to customer issues? What about fostering relationships?

At what point does squeezing efficiency out of a company become strangulation? When does “trimming the fat” turn into cutting out muscle? How much staffing margin be in place to make sure your organization is primed for growth and opportunity? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————
Anil Saxena

Anil Saxena is a President & Senior Consultant Cube 214 Consulting
He helps organizations create environments that generate repeatable superior results
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog | (847) 212-0701

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On Leadership, Change and East African Wildebeest

Wildebeests

Like a wildebeest in East Africa, successful leaders must dare to change.

Great Wildebeest Migration

The spectacular wildebeest migration in East Africa has been touted as one of the seven new wonders of the world. Between July and October every year, up to a million wildebeest migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and cross the border into the Masaai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

In the Masaai Mara, the wildebeest have to cross the Mara river – sometimes several times – to get to lush plains on the other side of the river. Each year as they plunge across the river, many thousands drown or are killed by crocodiles lurking in the murky waters.

The wildebeest that survive the crossing make their way to the plains, where they are stalked and hunted down by lions, cheetahs and leopards.

Why Take the Risk?

Anyone unfamiliar with this phenomenon might wonder why the animals take a journey that is fraught with so much danger. Well, the migration follows change in the feeding habitat of the wildebeest, so the animals have to move from the South to the North where they can find adequate grazing and water.

Let’s consider their options.

  • Should they ‘choose’ to remain in the Serengeti and not migrate, the pasture will be insufficient to sustain all their numbers throughout the year. And any that survive will be weak and become easy prey for predators.
  • On the other hand, making the journey to the Mara exposes them to possible death – and thousands die annually along the way. The animals that survive however find adequate pasture and water to keep them alive.

Theirs is a world where, to borrow the words of Randall White, Phillip Hodgson and Stuart Crainer in ‘The Future of Leadership’ the wildebeest “…have to change to survive; and, paradoxically, where the very act of change increases the risk that (they) won’t survive.”

It is a world of risk and opportunity; potential loss and gain. In short, one where change is absolutely necessary, and yet takes great courage.

So, what lessons can we draw from these animals, as we consider our options in life?

Lessons for Life and Business

1) Recognize the Need to Change

Whether you’re leading a team, running an organization – business or otherwise – or working on a personal project, you know that change is imminent.

Resources run out, people working with you change or move on, the external environment changes.

Therefore, as you make progress in your chosen undertaking, put in place contingency plans to help you stay on course when the inevitable changes occur. Don’t be caught unawares and therefore become a victim.

2) Take Action

When it’s time to take the next step, follow through without backtracking. In the wildebeest migration, the dangers are real – the ranging waters of the Mara, and the crocodiles in them.

But the herds cross anyway.

When you take up a leadership position, know full well that you will be leading your followers to unchartered territories and face success or failure by taking risks. In so doing, you raise yourself to scrutiny, judgment and criticism. Face the fear and do it anyway.

Alternatively, you invest your money in a project with a high probability of either success or failure. If you’ve done due diligence up to this point and have no compelling reason to hold back any longer, proceed with your planned course of action.

3) Don’t Relax

Some people taste success and then relax, struck by the deadly “destination disease.” Even after the wildebeest reach the Mara plains, they still face predators. Some cows lose their young calves and decide to go back through the waters and along the tracks to look for them.

Away from the big herds, they become easy prey for predators and often don’t survive attacks. The journey is not over. Likewise in life and business, one failure or victory does not mark the end of the journey.

Rather, it prepares you for the next section of the trip that you must continue on. Take too much time lamenting a failure or celebrating a success and you become discouraged or complacent, unable to take the next step. So, whatever happens, don’t lose sight of the journey ahead. In the words of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela:

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

Keep climbing. Keep changing. Keep growing.

Bonus – Fun fact

“Wildebeest calves gain their feet faster than the young of any other ungulate.” – Jonathan Scott’s Safari Guide to East African Animals. They stand within two to five minutes of birthing, and can run with the herd shortly thereafter – even outrunning a lioness!

What changes do you need to make in your personal or professional life? What is the next step in the plan and when will you take it? How will you handle potential setbacks brought about by either failure (discouragement) or success (complacency)?

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——————–
Joyce Kaduki

Mrs. Joyce Kaduki is a Leadership Coach, Speaker & Trainer
She enjoys working with Individuals & Teams to help them Improve their Results
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Improve Your Team by Developing the HERO Inside You!

Be the Hero

Real heroes don’t really wear capes or have supernatural powers. In the real world, HERO’s are simply ordinary people who choose to respond to a set of circumstances in a way that inspires others. And it IS possible to develop the HERO inside you.

But before you can lead others, you must first learn to lead yourself.

That’s how you develop into a HERO.

The Hero Inside

There are battles inside you that go on every day, and those battles are the reason that you haven’t accomplished as much as you promised yourself you would back on New Year’s Eve. Internally, there is a part of you – a HERO – that wants to succeed and has strong values and great ideas and when you wake up it is your best self that is energized and bold and determined.

Friedrich Nietzsche called it the Übermensch. The term, loosely translated, means “superhuman.”

But your best self, your internal hero, has enemies…

  • Every day your HERO has to wage a battle against distractions, and disappointment, and disparagement.
  • Every day he has to struggle with ghosts of regret or monsters of misfortune.
  • Our history, things that happened in the past.
  • And our experiences, things that happen to us and around us, can sometimes seem devastating.

Fighting Your Battles

Imagine being a recently divorced woman, caring for a 3-month old daughter, forced to go on welfare after losing her job. Those would be hard battles to fight! And even though those circumstances and experiences are dangerous adversaries, they are not as powerful or impactful as our internal response to them.

If we respond poorly, we experience more painful outcomes. We become victims of our own negative responses. 

People, and teams, are not victims of circumstances. They only feel this way when they do not develop and use the HERO within them.

Winning the Battles Within

Too often our internal HERO’s greatest threat is our own fear, or contentment, or excuses, or doubts… those deceitful soldiers that protect the walls of our comfort zone.  And it is amazing what sometimes we can allow ourselves to grow comfortable with.

But if you want to develop the HERO within you and accomplish your ambitious goals, you have to:

  • Exile your excuses
  • Dump your doubts
  • Crash through that comfort zone that has caged you

The HERO Formula

So, what separates the average man from Nietzsche’s Übermensch?

The answer is a simple equation.  H + E x R = O

History + Events x Response = Outcomes

We cannot control our history… or the events that occur to and around us. But we CAN control our RESPONSE to them. And no matter what the first parts of the equation are, OUR RESPONSE DETERMINES THE OUTCOME!

To get something different, to feel something different, to become something different, you will have RESPOND differently!

I offer team building for teachers, for athletes, and for corporate groups that inspire unity and boost morale, but the key to any group’s improvement is each individual within the group claiming responsibility for their response to the history and events around them.

The HERO Attitude

Remember that single mother we imagined above? Well that was J K Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter series.  She developed her HERO because she decided to choose a positive response to her circumstances.

We cannot control our circumstances.  But we can control our responses. Regardless of the circumstance, we get to choose our attitude and our actions. We can develop a victim attitude and spiral down, or the kind that J K Rowling did and ascend far beyond expectations.

And if you keep a good attitude and take appropriate action consistently, those habits will lead you to accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself.

But your focus must be on changing the equation with a quality response. The world is not going to change  and we remain victims as long as we are waiting on someone or something else to change for us.

Becoming a HERO

So, how does one become a HERO? Commit to responding to your history and your experiences as your best self. Remember, you cannot choose where you were planted – but you CAN choose to bloom there.

Want to improve your organization and inspire team development? Want to improve your family?  Your community? Your workplace? Then develop the HERO inside you. Your example and responses WILL impact others. Whatever your history or experiences, your response to the events you experience will determine your teams success.

So how are you responding to your past and current situations in life, at work, and in your community? Are you mentally stuck in the past and still paying a heavy price? If so, WHY? What steps can you take today to reprogram your responses so that you can get those superhuman results and lets the HERO soar? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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———————–
Sean Glaze

Sean Glaze is Speaker, Author, Coach, and Facilitator at Great Results Teambuilding
He delivers Engaging Events that Transform Laughter into Lessons
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Engaging Adult Learners: Avoiding the Rabbit Hole

Rabbit Hole Learning

What comes to mind when you think about designing coursework and presenting the staff development content to a group you’ve never met? 

Perhaps is it nervousness? Dread? Excitement?

Designing for Adults

It can be a challenge to design learning sessions for adults whom you don’t know personally. I’ve experienced the good and the bad when it comes to presenting. Facilitators, trainers and instructors can face a myriad of challenges that can make them wonder if they are truly being effective.

And not all of the post-training survey questionnaires (aka “smile sheets”) really provide the kind of honest feedback needed for course or delivery improvement.

So what is the best way to configure and design the most effective course content for adult learners? Well, a lot of answers pertain, but probably the most important one is participant engagement.

5 Ways to Engage Adult Learners

Here are five ideas that have helped me engage a crowd:

1) Backward Planning

Decide what it is you want the audience to know, understand, and be able to do at the end of the training. Be very specific with this. Then plan the training so as to maximize time and achieve the goals.

Show others you value their time by not wasting it on unnecessary tasks that don’t lead to a greater and deeper understanding of the topic or training. Comedians are not the only ones who face “tough crowds.”

Don’t be a time waster! Instead, be a bucket filler!

2) Have a Hook

In his book “Teach Like A Pirate,”  Dave Burgess emphasizes the importance of capturing a student’s attention with a hook. The same technique is important (and just as effective) when working with adult learners.

The first few minutes of any training determine whether or not you will draw them in-or have them thinking of what to fix for dinner instead. I have used funny videos that relate to the topic, pictures, and even storytelling.

What matters here is that your choice is relevant, brief, and motivating.

For example, recently I delivered a training on progress monitoring and examining data. Not very exciting stuff.  So I used storytelling  to pique interest. I started the session off with this:

“For the next few minutes, I want you to imagine progress monitoring in a way you never have before. Imagine it as a map. A map you will develop and use on your journey toward maximizing student progress.”

My audience was quietly listening and immediately intrigued by this. They wanted to hear the rest of the story. They wanted to become a part of the story.

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3) Respect Learning Styles

Students are not the only ones who fail to flourish with the “sage on the stage” type of instruction. Engage your audience using activities that draw upon multiple intelligences.

  • If you present with slides, make sure the have limited wording on them…maybe even only an image. The audience will remember what you have said by having an image to which they can relate the thought. There is no need to include every word you are saying on your slides.
  • For every ten minutes you talk, allow an equal opportunity for participants to engage in dialogue with those around them and with the larger group. Be comfortable in the role of “facilitator.”  This is easy to say and most would agree, but often times we fail to do this. Whether due to nerves or time constraints, this seems to be an area we want to cut corners on. Don’t do that.

4) Establish Importance

Nothing helps motivate learners more than seeing a real connection between what is being learned and their own lives. Better still if you can share personal testimony on how you have experienced it.

The National Criminal Justice Reference Center writes this:

“A key principle in adult learning is that the ultimate educator needs to develop an appeal, a “need to know” in the learners—to make a case for the value in their life performance of learning what is offered. At a minimum, this case should be made through testimony from the experience of the instructor.”

5) The Closing

Just as we embrace the importance of the closing in our lessons in class, we must also give this consideration when working with adults.

Allow plenty of time for your participants to ask questions, share insights, and debrief with others.

I often encourage people to use social media both during and at the end of the session to share out their own takeaways. This builds ownership and solidifies the learning while allowing you an opportunity to address any lingering questions.

Include a way to further the conversations after the session ends. You may consider using Today’s Meet, your website, or another back-channeling tool. The learning shouldn’t stop at the end of your session.

Focusing on these five simple areas has helped me tremendously in engaging a group and leaving them inspired and informed…and also avoid many rabbit holes along the way.

What strategies have you found particularly effective when delivering adult training? I’d love to connect and share ideas!

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———————–
Traci Logue

Traci Logue is an educator at Northwest ISD
She has twice been named Teacher of the Year
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Organizational Health: I’m Not Here For The Money

Empty Pockets

Talent development, succession planning, leadership training – call it what you want . . . but be serious about it. 

In most organizations, talent development is probably the most under-budgeted, under-staffed, under-creative, and underutilized department in the organization.

The First Thing To Go

I know a person who was laid off three months ago when his entire Talent Development Department was eliminated due to budget cuts.

Anyone in training or HR knows the old saying, “Training is always the first one to go.”

It happens over and over again, when actually during budget cuts is not the time to cut talent development.  But that’s just one portion of the whole picture.

Looking to the Past for Hope

What I’ve been seeing so much of lately is that leaders don’t want to try anything “new” and they don’t want to invest any (more) money.  They want to stick to the same old tried and true models.

So when they go to hire, most leaders look mainly at things like this:

“What you’ve done in the past…”

“What positions you have had in the past…”

Rather than looking forward at things like this:

“What you can do for us now…?”

“What you can bring to us in the future…?”

In this day and age (and economy,) no one can simply rest on their laurels, so to speak.

A Healthy Understanding

We have seen through numerous studies over the last few years that money is not the number one thing employee’s want from their jobs.  Up around the top of most desired benefits from employment is usually something to do with development/promotion opportunities.

Consequently, it’s the job of the HR and organization leaders to stop and say, “Hey, we need to start looking at this more seriously and investing in it”.

According to a recent survey by Burson-Marsteller and global research training firm Great Place to Work, the top two programs that help companies achieve stability are Branding (75%) and Career Development (75%).  What’s that?  Career development?  Hmmmm.

When you only hire someone on the grounds of what he HAS done in the past – over and over – then that’s what you’re going to get, the same OLD stuff.  Not only does leadership need to look at what the person HAS done, but what he CAN do, and WILL do in the future, and build upon that.

Modern Day Training and Development

There have been so many advances in training techniques over just the last few years.  The days of the instructor standing at the front of the room talking about textbook theories (boooooring…..) are gone – or should be.

Now we can add video, audio, animation, Internet links, and infographics to our PowerPoints (remember to keep your slides simple).

We can make it easier for employees to get access to training with online courses using such programs as Lectora or Captivate.  We can get the message out to more people at one time with social media, Go-to-Training, Google hangouts or your own built in video/teleconferencing.

And don’t forget about team facilitation, gaming, and other types of interactive programs.  There are countless ideas if you just look for them.

Looking Fresh. Feeling Fresh.

Don’t hire the guy that’s done the same thing over and over for 25 years.  That’s just going to get you the same thing that he started out with and has been regurgitating for years.

Hire for experience AND knowledge AND attitude.

If you look at the most successful organizations today, you’ll see that they do just that – Disney, Zappos, Wegman’s.  And sometimes the focus is mainly on attitude.  That way you have a better chance of people “fitting” in the organization and staying longer.

But leadership also has to do their part.  unfortunately, quite often they just hire and hope for the best.  This is quite sad because developing your talent from within is one of the most important aspects and advantages of your business.  This is what employee’s want and what your organization needs.

Creating a Magic Kingdom

Here’s a good example.  The Walt Disney Company (my fave).  I would LOVE to get a job there training with the Disney Institute, HR, or about anything else for that matter.  However, that may not ever happen.  Disney does a great job of promoting from within.

They do that with a lot of cross-training and putting cast members in positions where their knowledge of the organization will work best . . . like training.

Facilitators at the Disney Institute and Disney Traditions (orientation) classes have all come up within the organization.  In fact cast members who facilitate in Traditions may very well be heading to work at the Jungle Cruise or Tower of Terror after class.

A Final Note:

Leaders – the composition of the office has changed, and you have to acknowledge that.  We now have FOUR generations of workers in our businesses:

  • Mature/World War II Generation (born before 1946)
  • Baby Boomers (1946–1965)
  • Generation X (1966–1980)
  • Generation Y/Millennials (1981–2000)

I guarantee you that the Gen-X’s and Gen-Y’s do not learn well in the same ways as the previous two generations. So for leaders and the people in charge of the organizational health, it is highly important to train and develop in ways that work for EVERYBODY!

So ask yourselves a couple of these questions:

Where is my organization honestly headed?  What do my employees want?  How many employees do I lose to competitors who develop them better than me?  What’s my next step? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Andy Uskavitch
Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development and Customer Service Specialist
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
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On Leadership and The Crisis Moment of a Decision

Decision Making
Recently I became acquainted with a leader serving an interim position. 

“Interim” positions are always difficult, both for the organization as well as the person filling the temporary role.

Leading in the Moment

I have been an interim leader twice in my career, and so I fully appreciate the transient-feel of the role. By definition, the person must keep things going and serve as a leader in the moment, yet very few interim leaders I have known feel comfortable enough to make a l decision impacting long-term on the basis that the assignment is short-term.

I was the opposite:

While I was “interim,” I felt a strong responsibility to act decisively and make decisions that would impact short and long-term gains, but most “Interims” I have known do not feel this way.

A Wobbly Interim

My recent acquaintance is one such leader.  So far, 100% for 100%, when a decision has come up or just before a final deadline, I have been on the sidelines watching the Interim choke, hyperventilate, paralyze, and hold up progress while everyone looks in bewilderment for a reason for such a slow-down.

This person shares strong opinions openly, a range of criticisms (some that have improved certain areas exponentially), and strong views about nearly everything—even pop culture.  Technically he has most of what is needed for the role, and when he is focused on an area that area gets an enormous amount of valuable support.

All of this and yet I haven’t seen any real leadership-level decision come about, at least not without a painful journey by all who surround him.

We all know this type of person. And he is not the first I have encountered. So it got me thinking: “Why?”

What Drives a Decision?

I chuckle at the sound of “making a decision.”  I joke that it is really about “concluding a decision,” if that makes any sense at all.  There are so may things that go into the process of decision-making, and the study of this topic could keep anyone up for days.

Just Bing “The Anatomy of a Decision” and you will see what I mean.

Each resource always mentions the various steps to decision-making, from gathering information to assessing various outcomes, blah blah blah.

Case in Point

The one I like the most, though, is from Fordham Law Review (1984) where Judge Irving R. Kaufman takes on the decision-making topic in a most interesting fashion.

If you look at Judge Kaufman’s time as a Federal Judge for the United States, he was involved in some of the most interesting cases in the 20th century, from the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case to his rejection of the government’s attempt to deport musician John Lennon.  Most of us will never know the pressure of making a decision at that level.

Most of us will never make decisions at that level, either.

And even more of us will never think too long about how we might make a decision or how much will go into it: we either make one, stall out, or reluctantly finally get around to it.

Easier Said Than Done – For Some

Sure, some would argue that a simply Myers Briggs will help us (face it, some are more comfortable with making decisions than others), but the truth is that decision-making is far more than just a matter of innate preference for closure or commitment, as Myers Briggs or any Jung-type assessment would suggest.

Judge Kaufman’s decisions, for example, had far-reaching implications—far more than the ones we are generally up against each day: whether an inexpensive training should take place, or if a meeting of senior leaders should include financial business analysis, or what to eat for lunch, for example.

Then how do you do it?

4 Ingredients in Making Decisions 

Of all the resources I have reviewed, and years in my own decision-making (and sometimes decision-deflecting) tenure, four items remain steadfast for decisions, good or bad.

I have marginalized these common items to a fault, but you will get the gist:

1) Facts

Good or bad, the starting point of a decision is what you know and the best decisions are based on hard cold unbiased facts and data points.  Period.

2) Interpretation

This is related to what you do with the facts after you review them, and it is largely based on who prepared the facts, who is telling you the facts, how you like the facts, and whether you believe in them.  This is also when confidence builds up or shuts down.  This is the crisis point of decision-making and usually when leaders (or anyone) realizes whether he or she is up for the task.

3) Guidelines or Governance

After the facts are interpreted, we often have guidelines or governance that will help us along the way… and sometimes not so much.  If we interpret that a project will be late based on all the facts, various project rules will require us to escalate immediately.  Black and white, yet not always done for a number of reasons.  This goes to the next item:

4) Courage

Defined in The Free Dictionary as “the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.”  Yes, leadership always goes back to Courage, doesn’t it?  And when all is said and done, when it comes to decisions (particularly the difficult and ethically based ones), this is really the one that will galvanize what people remember the most.

So what are some of your thoughts of recent events around the globe?  How do leaders around the world make decisions?  What are the basis points for your decisions? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Christa Dhimo
Christa Dhimo is President & Founder, via Best Practices
She helps clients by aligning human capital performance with business results

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Wishy-Washy Leadership! How To Tell If You’re Too Inclusive

Indecisive Leadership

Today, many leaders are suffering from too inclusive of a leadership style. They look to their team to vote on direction, try to balance everyone’s needs, and do their best not to upset anyone.

This is not leadership!

Wishy-Washy Leadership

This desire to include everyone can translate into a high “affiliation motive.”  This high need to be liked results in the leader making decisions to appease each person. The result is that no one on the team is happy with the manager.

They see their leader as weak and wishy-washy because they make too many exceptions to accommodate every team member’s wish.

Consistency of direction and purpose erodes.

Effective Leadership

To be effective as a leader you need a two power motives. The first is “Personalized Power” and the second is “Socialized Power.”  Personalized power is also referred to as “ego.” Although there are many articles telling leaders that ego is something to be avoided this isn’t true.

Leaders need to have a healthy level of ego or desire for personal power to be effective.

It is this ego that makes a leader believe he or she is good enough to rise above the ordinary and to lead a group a people in a direction. That leader has to have enough confidence to believe they have chosen the right direction even though there is no guarantee of success. This takes guts and a willingness to take risks; it takes ego.

No one wants to follow a leader that doesn’t exude confidence.

In a Harvard Business Review article by David C. McClelland and David H.  Burnham entitled “Power is the Great Motivator” the authors shared research showing that:

…an important determining factor of high team morale and outcomes was related to a leader’s need for power being higher than their need to be liked.

Getting Things Straight

This is not to say that leaders shouldn’t have some desire to be liked. An absence of this need would create a sociopath and too little in a leader would result in the personal power taking over and the leader becoming the uncaring egotist or abuser.

The affiliation motive needs to be present but the need for personalized power must be higher.

The authors also found a second power motive that was attributed to the most effective leaders –  socialized power. Socialized power is the desire to use your power to do what is best for the organization.

The most effective power profile is highest in socialized power, has a moderate level of personalized power and a lower need to be liked.  The research demonstrated that this profile results in the best revenue results, clarity of purpose and direction and teams with high morale and personal responsibility.

Front End Alignment

Here are some tips to get your power profile back in alignment by growing the power pair:

1) Use Consultative Decision Making

Instead of consensus take the team members’ opinions and views into consideration and then set a decisive course of action.

2) Question Your Motives

Are you pushing your point of view because you believe it is what is best for the organization, best for your group, best for you or you just want to be right?

3) Demonstrate Consistency

Company policies and guidelines are in place to help you maintain consistency when people ask for special favors.  It’s okay if the employee doesn’t like you for your response. You’re their manager, not their friend.

4) Think of the Bigger Picture

Your job as a leader is to keep the business profitable so it can continue to employ the great people who work for you. If you give in to each employee’s requests without considering the impact to business you hurt everyone in the long run.

Leaders and companies need to remember there is a critical balance between creating an inclusive workplace and enabling leaders to lead.

What other tips would you offer to keep leaders’ power properly balanced?

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———————–
Carlann Fergusson

Carlann Fergusson is owner at Propel Forward LLC
She provides seminars and consulting on Strategic Leadership Challenges
Email | LinkedIn | Twitter | Web | Skype: carlann.fergusson

Image Sources: workplacepsychology.files.wordpress.com

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