Articles tagged with: Adaptive Leadership

Curiosity: An Open Mind Opens Doors

In his short but powerful book, “Wait, What?”, University of Virginia President Jim Ryan says that curiosity begins with asking “I wonder why?” and “I wonder if?” He says that “I wonder why” allows you to remain curious with the world and “I wonder if” allows you to remain engaged with the world and prompts you to try something new.

The Art of Delegation

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work you have on your plate? Do you feel indispensable, like you can’t take time off without everything falling apart? Have you missed deadlines? Do you work long hours? Are you making all of the decisions? Do you feel too busy to check in with direct reports or colleagues? Have you been told that you need to delegate more? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you likely have difficulty with delegation.


Add Coaching to the Leadership Toolbelt

There is no argument that effective leadership requires a variety of competencies in the leader’s toolbelt. Some of these tools include effective communication, inspiring, directing, creating vision, strategic thinking, building relationships, adaptability, drive, execution and emotional intelligence. Coaching is a relatively new tool for the leadership toolbelt. Like all the other leadership competencies mentioned, coaching is not the only tool for leaders; however, it is an important one.

There are many misconceptions of what coaching is and even how to use it, and leaders often think they are coaching when they are not. For example, a leader meets with a team member to discuss a challenge, situation or area for improvement and basically tells the employee how to resolve the problem. He or she may tell a story of resolving a similar situation. Next, the leader encourages the team member to “get out there and make the changes.”

Does this scenario sound familiar? Although this approach may have a place in leadership (in fact, it’s more like mentoring), too often, it becomes overused. When a leadership competency is overused, it becomes a weakness.

Read the article in it's entirety here: http://www.trainingindustry.com/blog/blog-entries/add-coaching-to-the-leadership-toolbelt.aspx


Using EQ to Enhance Your Stakeholder Analysis

When you think of doing a stakeholder analysis, doesn’t it seem a little mid-20th century? When you look at it, after all is said and done, isn’t it really just names? Scrawled black and white names hanging there on the page in front of you with no depth whatsoever. However, there is something much, much more going on behind each and every name on that page.  Every one of those colleagues, every one of those team members, has an emotional makeup that pushes them to make all sorts of decisions, both logical and illogical. Those humans, every individual named on that page, are flesh, blood, and bones so why not take that fact into consideration the next time you perform a stakeholder analysis?

I understand, it might seem a little challenging to project your EQ onto something as two-dimensional as a stakeholder map. “I mean” you might be thinking “isn’t the stakeholder analysis supposed to simply be a strategic planning tool? Don't make this more difficult than it needs to be!”  


Leadership Pitfalls: Are you making mistakes or making excuses?

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It’s happened to us all: At some point in our careers we didn’t know the answer.

We were not prepared. We weren’t sure of what decision to make. And for some – this is our worst nightmare! Especially in the workplace, we are concerned with how our coworkers, bosses or clients perceive us. We want them to feel we are credible and competent additions to the team. But how do we balance that with our innate “human-ness”? The state of being imperfect – but trying to be so?



Top Ways to Ensure Leadership Failure

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What causes a leader to fail?

The truth is, there are many things that cause failure at all levels of leadership. There is not a specific “formula” for leadership failure, just as there is not a specific “formula” for leadership success. There are however, actions or behaviors that drive a leader toward the path of success or failure.





Are You Winning or Coping When It Comes To Leading Change In Your Organization?

Change…. just the word alone brings stress to many of us. We encounter so much change in our rapidly evolving world that you may wonder, “How do I keep up and manage change for myself, let alone lead my team through another change?” One thing is for sure when it comes to change, it is not a matter of if, but when.

If we are not changing, we are dying… which is not an option. There is a quote by Charles Darwin that says, “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” How well do you manage and lead change?



The Bottom Line in Leadership Development

We know that our clients value return on investment (ROI). Our goal at MSBCoach is to provide insight into the challenging question of how to measure the ROI for leadership coaching and development, as well as the team-building programs we offer. A frequently asked question is, “How does one build a business case for leadership development that will resonate with the executive leadership or stakeholders?” Pressed with company expectations to increase revenues while decreasing costs, many business leaders are reluctant to invest in development programs, viewing them as a luxury rather than a necessity. This certainly isn’t a new issue but, in a down economy, the pressure to justify every expense is intensified. The view held by experts is that leadership development must be viewed as a strategic investment in the business, and that a business case can – and should – be built in support of any such program...


To Lead or to Manage? OR TO LEAD AND MANAGE!

 

There is an ongoing debate about the differences and definitions of leader and manager and many are striving to identify which is better. The bottom line is, organizations need both leaders and managers in order to be successful. In fact, the more "lean" organizations become, the more we will see leaders who need to be able to manage and managers who need to be able to lead.

One of the mistakes that have been made is trying to make management and leadership independent of one another. The truth is they are both dependent upon one another for a company's profits as well as their people's success.

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What Happens When You Lose A Great Team Member?

Have you ever found the perfect new team member? A person who fits exactly what your organization needs from their skills, experience, talents, connections and even personality? Hopefully you have had this experience at least once in your leadership career. It is one of the most exhilarating feelings! Maybe this person was hired to be a successor for a senior leader or to take over a new division. Whatever the reason, it is rewarding to everyone when you bring in the right person at the right time.

Have you found yourself in this position only to later find out this person was not the perfect fit you were looking for; worse, maybe they were perfect but after awhile they decided it was time to move on to another opportunity? Either way there are some important lessons to learn and use moving forward when this happens.

Lesson one: What did you (the leader) learn from this experience? Here are a few questions to ask yourself (be sure to include what did you do well and what would you do differently):

  1. Did you indeed hire the right person at the right time…. If so, move on to the next questions, if not, what have you learned specifically that tells you this person was not the right hire and what will you do to avoid this pitfall next time?
  2. Was this person challenged enough in the role they were given?
  3. Were these person’s needs met both professionally and personally?
  4. How did this person connect with others in the organization?
  5. How did this person navigate the “political” climate of direct reports, peers, boss, clients and stakeholders?
  6. What did you do to ensure this person was set up for success?
  7. What support did you provide for this person?
  8. What on-going development did you provide for this person?
  9. Were there opportunities for growth in the areas of this person’s expertise?
  10. Were you surprised when this person decided to leave – if so, what warning signs did you miss?

Lesson two: What feedback can you get from person leaving and/or lessons they learned? Here are a few questions to ask the person leaving (ask for specifics, what did we do well and what could we have done better):

  1. What was your greatest take a-way from your time with us?
  2. Did you feel supported?
  3. Did you feel there were opportunities for growth – both professionally and personally?
  4. Was your role a right fit?
  5. What was your greatest challenge while with us?
  6. Did you understand the “political landscape”?
  7. What affected your decision to leave?
  8. Could anything have changed your mind?
  9. What are three things you would recommend to us in the future to ensure we continue to attract and retain talent such as yourself?
  10. Would you recommend a friend or colleague to work with us?

Lesson Three: It is important to make sure the message of this person’s departure is communicated properly and you capture the opportunity for feedback moving forward. Below are a few questions to help you navigate this process:

  1. How will I communicate the message to others that this person is leaving?
  2. How will I make sure other team members feel supported in the transition?
  3. Is there a successor or will we need to look outside the organization…. Or is this role still relevant?
  4. What will be done to create an opportunity to receive feedback from others?
  5. How will I reassure others we are fine and moving forward?

The answers to the questions in all three “lessons” will help you personally reflect, learn, grow and make even better hiring and retaining decisions in the future. As your organizations grows and changes it is inevitable that some of the “perfect” hires at one point may not be the best fit for the future. It is also important to realize there are times when a person needs to move on, even when everything has been done correctly. Rather than looking at this time as a loss, look at it from the standpoint of how fortunate you were to work with this person and them with the organization.

Moving on is often like a graduation… it is simply time to move on. I use to be a school teacher and I think the best metaphor here is recognizing we may love a student and be very proud of them; however, we would never keep them from passing to greater things just because we like them and they did a great job! One of my favorite sayings is, “your ceiling should be their floor”…. Learn what you can and then, let people “graduate” when they need to. Stay in contact with them. Be proud that you were a part of their leadership journey and career development.

 

What lessons have you learned from losing a great employee? I would love to hear your stories and/or questions you would add to the list/s above. If you are interested in working with a coach on how to attract and retain (or even let go in the right way) great talent please contact me today at


Why Hire A Coach?

 

  1. The higher an executive advances up the organizational latter, they are less dependent on technical skill and require more effectiveness in interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence.
  2. Coaching is an effective tool for improving the bottom line performance in executives and organizations
  3. Coaching builds skills and capacities for more effective working relationships.
  4. Coaching paves the way for decision makers to create higher levels of organizational effectiveness through dialogue, inquiry and positive interactions.
  5. Coaching helps identify when teamwork is important; the how and when to apply the skills necessary to foster it.
  6. Coached executives have reported improvements in the following areas:
    1. 53% in Productivity
    2. 48% in Quality
    3. 48% in Organizational Strength
    4. 39% in Customer Service
    5. 34% in Reducing Customer Complaints
    6. 32% in Retaining Executives who Received Coaching
    7. 23% in Cost Reductions
    8. 22% in Bottom-line Profitability

*Research from the Center for Creative Leadership