Articles tagged with: Authentic Leadership

Everything looks easy when someone else does it

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Have you ever noticed when you observe someone else doing something it usually looks easy? Or have you noticed, when you think of something that needs to be done, you think, “it’s not that big of a deal, it should not take them very long”? I am guilty of this on many occasions; although, at least now I am consciously aware of it.



Can Poor Customer Service Unintentionally Destroy Credibility?

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It was the hottest week of the summer so far and the air conditioner in my condo stopped working. Hot and moody, I called in a repair request to my leasing agent. A day passed, and not hearing from them I decided to call again. Not only was the heat rising, so was my impatience. The receptionist for the leasing agent apologized and reassured me that a ticket would be placed for first thing the next morning. ‘First thing’ came and went, the temperature rose, and by now my impatience was growing to anger and frustration. I started to mistrust this company with whom I was doing business. I felt like I couldn’t rely on them to be true to their word, or to contact me if they would be unable to fulfil a request.



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.



Owning Your Leadership Presence

Owning is such a positive word.  It conveys the simple message of a child…it’s mine.  Look a little deeper into the meaning and we think about the work to procure something of value and taking responsibility to care for that something.


 


Is Unselfish Leadership Also Inspirational Leadership?

                                             

I recently read an article about a generous stand taken by a leader and CEO named, Dan Price.  Price is the Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments. When I read the story, I was impressed with his benevolence. However, it was his actions as a leader that peaked my curiosity and prompted me to find out more about him and his leadership style.


If you don’t know the story, Dan Price announced at a staff meeting that over the next three years the minimum annual salary for every employee will be increased to $70,000. It was heartwarming to hear expressions of the positive impact the salary increase will have on the employees. One young man said he and his wife will be able to start a family sooner than they had previously thought and one young woman stated she would be able to fulfill her dream of purchasing a home before she turned 21. As I tend to do when I hear something of interest, I immediately went to Google and searched for Dan Price and Gravity Payments. I wanted to know more about this company, its leader, and ultimately, what it was that drove Mr. Price to make such a generous gesture. After all, it is not likely that he woke up one morning and thought, “I have an idea! I’ll give everybody a raise when I get to work today!” So when I visited the company website I went to their About Us page.  Right there, in the middle of the page, I found my answer-a quote from Dan Price.




What Separates a Good Leader From a Great Leader?

She wasn’t exactly a woman one would identify as a leader.  She was in her 30’s, her front teeth were missing, her clothes were worn, she stood a little over 5 feet tall, she was uneducated and it was rumored she had abandoned her husband in the middle of the night.  She took jobs mostly cooking and cleaning.  Although she had a strong work ethic, she would disappear in the spring or fall only to return completely broke with no one knowing where she had been.  

Does this woman fit your description of a great leader?  Would you respect a woman like this if you saw her on the street or if she came to your office for a job?   The answer was “yes” for the hundreds of slaves who followed her to freedom out of the South.  These people recognized and respected her for her great leadership.  This woman’s name was Harriet Tubman. 



Leadership Through Community Engagement: The Ultimate Win-Win

As we develop and strengthen the leadership in our organizations, as well as our personal leadership development, we should be sure to include time and planning for “community focus.”  More and more organizations have broadened their vision to include community service initiatives. Your career development plan should include the same goals for considering your involvement in  your community. There are many ways to explore ‘community’, both inside and outside your organization and this can become a highlight for your experience and resume. Caretaking for your community can also contribute to your overall wellness and help you to develop as a confident professional.


Let’s start with a definition of what we mean by community focus.  Wikipedia defines community a social unit of any size that shares common values.Values” elicit our energy and emotion because they are principles that we deeply believe in.  We should therefore invest our time and our support.  In our career path, we sometimes get so busy with tasks that we forget to schedule time to “give back” and revisit our values.  Finding time to serve a greater good can be easier than you think and the rewards for you can make a big difference.

 CommunityFocus BHiggins2016
 



 


 

Always Leave a Place Better Than You Found It

Do you remember those things you mother always said to you?  Do you also remember when you realized those things she said were meaningful to life?   One of the things my mother used to always say was, "Always leave a place better than you found it".  She was referring to cleanliness.  She taught me when I stayed at someone's house, before leaving I should put clean sheets on the bed, empty the trash and make sure the rooms I used (including the bathroom) looked better than when I arrived.  I value this lesson and still live into it.  



3 Keys to Building Trust in Your Leadership

Trust in leadership is on a decline1. There are several reasons for this, and the purpose of this white paper is to identify areas where leaders can focus to bring higher levels of trust.
The first question we should ask is, "Why is trust so important in an organization?" I believe that answer is in this quote from Sissela Bok, author of Lying:

Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe
or the water we drink. When it is damaged, the community as a whole
suffers; and, when it is destroyed, societies falter and collapse…Trust
and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.

According to Patrick Lencioni’s model "The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” trust is the foundation for all relationships. The workplace is all about people and relationships and that is why trust is crucial to the success of any organization.

So why is trust declining? There are three key reasons for declining trust:
1. Lack of vision
2. Fitting into the strategy
3. Uncertainty of values

Let’s break these key reasons down one at a time. The first is lack of vision or lack of understanding of the vision. An ancient Hebrew proverb says,

Where there is no vision, the people parish.

People need to know the vision of where the organization is headed and see a clear line of how to get there. Carly Fiorina said,

A leader's greatest obligation is to make possible an environment
where people's minds and hearts can be inventive, brave, human and strong...
where people can aspire to change the world.

http://www.ibew1613.org/library/notrust.html
Bok, Sissela. Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life. Vintage Books, 1999.

 


Using Emotional Intelligence to Build Trust in Your Leadership

Trust in leadership is on the decline. What is most concerning is that trust is the basis for all positive human interaction, either in the workplace or in our personal lives. Without trust collaboration and communication deteriorates, employees are less likely to bring innovative solutions or thoughts to the table, and productivity declines. All of this eventually leads to employees who are not engaged and a workplace that becomes toxic to be in.

The first question we should ask is, "Why is trust so important in an organization"? Consider this quote from Sissela Bok, author of Lying:

Trust is a social good to be protected just as much as the air we breathe or the water we drink. When it is damaged, the community as a whole suffers; and, when it is destroyed, societies falter and collapse…Trust and integrity are precious resources, easily squandered, hard to regain.

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Creating Your Leadership Credo or Mantra

The word “mantra” has a few different meanings.  One of the definitions means, “an instrument of thought” (Wikipedia).  A credo is “a statement of the beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions” (Dictionary.com). A few weeks ago, I was writing up my thoughts on leadership to share with a new team member.  In doing so, I realized I created a list that makes up my personal leadership credo or mantra.


What Does Your Leadership "Selfie" Look Like?

“Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson, is one of my favorite songs.  This song summarizes an important thought... if we want our world to be a better place, it begins with each one of us. If you buy in to the words of this song and want to be a change in the world.... you need to realize this includes being the change you want to see in your organizations as well. Being "the change and making a difference" requires a different way of thinking.  Ask yourself, “How do I engage with others? What is my leadership presence? Do I carry out my work with integrity?” 


I am a leader...but who am I?

Authentic leaders align their leadership style with their personal purpose and values, and that is what helps them inspire and perform consistently.

So how exactly do you go about creating this style? You can start with the exploration of your values, assumptions and beliefs about yourself.


Keeping it Real: A Look at Authentic Leadership

Recently, I was coaching with a client and the topic of authentic leadership came up. The client was describing a former boss and said, “I think my previous boss was authentic – an authentic jerk – certifiable!”  The client went on to describe how the former boss was consistent and true to specific behaviors that gave him the title of “authentic jerk.”  Most of us would agree that this “boss” isn’t our definition of authentic leadership.  So, why do we use the word “authentic” to refer to leadership?


Visionary Leadership: Seeing the Forest AND the Trees

Visionary Leaders are often identified as innovative, out of the box thinkers, risk takers and able to see the possibilities for the future.  While all of these things are typically true of visionary leaders, they show up as outward attributes that make the visionary leader successful. These things are the aspects of the process that goes on internally within the leader individually. There is another key aspect to being a visionary leader that does not get as much attention or "flair."  This other aspect of visionary leadership is knowing how to empower others.  This attribute of empowering is not only essential to one's development, but it is also important to the success of relationships.