Far too many "leaders" are overly invested in their own ideas, opinions, and directives; they are me-managers and me-leaders: "me think this, so you do that." It's often just a bad habit, or self-styled way to manage. Specifically, they're partially to totally blind about how things look from others' points of view, and how they come across to them. It's fixable, and worthwhile to fix.
Failing to read the room and adjust our communication to others is a rampant problem in many if not most workplaces--whether we're too distracted or hurried, or too "busy." Even if you're the smartest most capable person in the world, if you can't read the room, you're going to fall down, time after time, because you lose the people around you.
While the Donald is fond of telling us, in essence, "what got me rich will fix America," his polling popularity is reminding us of something powerful about leadership itself: Be authentic--drop the game face, masks, and caring too much about what others think. Come clean and say what you believe and people will follow you. If "authenticity" strikes you as...
Most people settle for jobs that fall far short of “happy at work” for too many years. In fact, to some, the notion that we can enjoy our work most days, and have both rewarding and fulfilling (and even fun) careers seems absurd. Yet when you enjoy your work you’re going to do a great job—the best work of your career. Here are 8 tips for helping make that happen.
Whether you’re running a Fortune 500 corporation, a pre-IPO start up, or a government agency, the simple formula of choose, transmit, and filter can make the difference between success and failure. In fact, many leaders who under-deliver on their goals or fail in their roles, do one or two of these things well, but not all three.
Hiring well means doing interviews that result in insights about each candidate. That begins with good questions that increase the likelihood you'll get some type of x-ray of the person – showing more of them than they are likely to want you to see. Here are 12 of my favorites for your consideration.
The data are overwhelming that professionals are rewarded more on confidence and appearance than substance. Whether we’ve been bedazzled in the interview process and hired a dud, or seen someone with plenty of swagger fail their way to top jobs, it’s worth noticing and addressing confidence-bias in ourselves and others.
Every time I start coaching someone, I interview 8-12 of their colleagues. They list for me real-life strengths and development areas. Over 10 years, I've collected thousands, and recently analyzed them to look for common themes. 52 leadership strengths appeared repeatedly, and they fell nicely in 4 themes
Building executive presence (EP) is a hot topic. A dash of swagger when face to face are crucial; but how do you demonstrate EP on email? EP-busting email habits are rampant, according to my experience as an executive coach. With a few simple practices, and breaking a few habits, you can use email as an instrument of greater influence.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader who, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, and Nelson Mandela after him, showed us the way from weakness and division to strength in unity. He challenged and inspired us to reach deeper within ourselves, despite ourselves, for our best, which sometimes is, simply, better than yesterday. His power endures because it's rooted in...
If you can say something in three sentences or less, then do it. Of course details and nuance are critical to success, but so is knowing when to keep it simple. That's where good things come in threes. While some would impose a blind-logic “rule of three” to emails and other executive communication, I think it’s best to consider these specific situations where threes that are particularly useful.
As an executive coach, I have plenty of clients at any given time wanting to make a bigger difference in their organization and/or the world. Ownership is a powerful mindset to do that. Thinking like an owner is a leadership approach that saves money, time, and upgrades everyone’s ability to make a more significant difference.
Leadership has a time-frame, and it’s navigating the present based on the future. The highest-achieving leaders spend the majority of their time focused on building and guiding toward the future, while keeping a close eye on any big barriers and drivers in the present that most impact the way forward.
“In some cultures, it’s a virtue not to speak your mind.” This advice came to me in the course of interviewing an American client’s colleague in the Asia-Pacific region. As I reflected on it, I see it has greater meaning than the obvious merit of good cultural adaptation. With the focus on transparency and authenticity in leadership, particularly in the...
Our professional selves emerge from how we create and revise ourselves as people in the world. So for anyone wanting to be their best as a leader, as I do, it's equally important, in my view, to reconsider every so often what we stand for in the area of personal leadership -- meaning, as we define and redefine our self each day, what must be true for us to feel right with life and the world?
From Lance Armstrong to the IRS, 2013 has so far been rich with lessons to be learned from leadership failures. We get at least as many ideas about good leadership from failures as we do from successes, so these five should be instructive: 1. Innovate First for a Greater Good The example: Pfizer, for devoting billions of dollars to develop...
Every person who truly cares about the quality, volume, and overall mission of his or her work is a tremendous asset to any organization. In my experience as a coach and c-level executive, I learned the hard way how important it is to select people who care, and de-select people who don’t care. That’s basic leadership – surround yourself with...
Sustainability, virtualization, and crisis continuity are things people talk about often, but, with some notable exceptions, tend to remain rote, reactive or status quo among most organizations. Worse, they are under-served topics in leader education and development worldwide. Yet as the saying goes, they will not be ignored, and will demand greater share of mind and wallet for leaders in the years immediately ahead.
If you don’t check your blind spot for your own blend of these seven strengths-become-weaknesses, you’ll be falling short of taking your A-game to the field every day, so why not give it a try?
Seeking good "chemistry" / a good fit is a great way to hire, acquire, resolve issues, and promote – and ignoring or glossing over bad chemistry usually comes around to bite us, sooner or later.
For most people promoted to senior positions, having a strong, influential voice at the big table is not standard equipment -- it takes work. Here you will find some practical steps you can take.