"How do we keep moving forward and not get caught up in the day-to-day malaise of emails and meetings?"
Great leaders translate vision into decisive action — a skill that's especially vital in tough times. But what are those skills? Do you have a blind spot? Should you be doing more? First off — great leaders do three things — no more, no less:
- They motivate their people.
- They deliver information when required.
- They help their people with obstacles.
That's it. As a leader, if you find yourself doing anything else, you're doing too much. Now let's look at each one:
They motivate their people.
The most successful leaders are those with the best people skills, especially during the most difficult circumstances. Poor communication and interpersonal relationships routinely thwart leaders who are otherwise technically competent. In order to succeed, leaders must be fully engaged with the individuals who make up their organization. This means an array of capabilities like coaching, mentoring and how to give constructive feedback which reinforces the behavior and motivation of your peak performers. The best tool to learn how to motivate is Dale Carnegie's: How to Win Friends and Influence People.
They deliver information when required.
What does this really mean? Incredibly efficient two-way communication. And the cruel joke is that most leaders had the chops to make their way up the ladder and succeed — now the skills that got them there (getting things done) have no place in leadership. You now have to communicate to your team to get things done. This is where most C- and VP level executives fail - you need to lead with greater impact by applying emotional intelligence to manage your team. The best tool to effectively communicate is Daniel Goleman's: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
They help their people with obstacles.
Here's the mistake all leaders make. When their people come to them with a problem — they spend time helping them brainstorm, choose and sometimes execute a solution. I've seen this happen time and time again. Great leaders ask their people to come to them when they have a problem, but they also require their people to come with a solution too. 80-90% of the time, that solution is usually the best one and the team member is further empowered to make those tough decisions. On the off chance (that 10-20%) that your people might be wrong, you're there to help them investigate other options. For optimal delegation, seek out Michael Abrashoff's: It’s Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.
At the end of the day, you need to build a leadership style that creates trust, sets a clear vision and guides your entire team toward greater performance and profit.
You're getting the feeling your relationship has soured with your boss. How do you repair it?
The secret prescription to success is no longer a secret.
Try to imagine working for a company with no management. How do they resolve conflicts, set priorities, measure performance, fire laggards, and all the rest? I couldn't picture it working. What could management do?
When you're good at something, you'll tell everyone. When you're great at something, they'll tell you.
"All coaching is, is taking a player where he can't take himself." - Bill McCartney When executives coach, they commonly make the mistake of downplaying their role as the boss. Confusion occurs with the associate and coaching fails.
To be clear, a boss is the one who holds people accountable for results. A coach helps people increase their skills to achieve the results.
You hate your job. You hate going to work. You hate your boss. You hate the people you work with. You hate your cubicle. Or it's not good or bad — just boring. You watch the clock and pray for 5 PM to roll around.
Whether you're a student, teacher, or parent, I think you'll appreciate this story of how one teacher can completely and permanently change someone's life in only a few lessons.
It's hard to be a leader in today's economy. Add that you need equal parts of courage, vision, empathy, and reality (Peter Koestenbaum's Leadership Diamond) AND get your work done, it's almost impossible. I've reduced my list of hundreds down to five reasons.
It's the most wonderful time of the year . . . Yes — it's that time to prepare for annual reviews. Most leaders look at this as a frustrating zone between a rock and a hard place (is this you?).
CIOs are under more pressure than ever. The job is incredibly challenging. Despite recent arguments to the contrary, we believe information technology is at the heart of corporate strategy. IT must deliver more systems faster and operate them in a fail-safe environment. Being successful as a CIO requires an unusual combination of technical know-how, business acumen, and organizational leadership skills. It's a job with a sometimes short life cycle, and it takes a seemingly superhuman to do it effectively.
The U.S. economy is not only shedding jobs at a record rate; it is shedding more jobs than it is supposed to. It’s bad enough that the unemployment rate has doubled in only a year and a half and one out of six construction workers is out of work.
That's my mantra. And I make all my clients tattoo it on their arms. Why? Because it works. It all comes down to ACTION.
The hallmark of a great leader is effective delegation. Effective delegation develops people who are ultimately more fulfilled and productive. Managers become more fulfilled and productive themselves as they learn to count on their staffs and are freed up to attend to more strategic issues.
Over the course of the life of this blog, other authors will approach this different ways. I convinced my supervisor at a wireless telecom company (this was in 2005) to let me become a workshifter for three out of five days a week. It wasn't easy, but I found several keys that got me the freedom to work out of a coffeeshop, and the flexibility to do more with the two hours a day that shift brought me.
Gladwell again uses history to reinforce his argument that with the proper planning and doing something different (something that your opposing team (i.e., competition) isn't expecting) even though you are the underdog — you will succeed.
Working with employees to resolve performance problems is one of your key leadership responsibilities.