If you are alert and open, you can find connections to the things you are most passionate about just about anywhere. For me, it happened again a few nights ago as I read “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss to my kids. Like many, I was given this book as I graduated high school. It’s a favorite of ours and we come back to it often.
As I read, I found myself thinking about how good leaders find their way out of confusion and ‘slumps’. Many of us can relate to that little guy in the book charging out into the world to seize his destiny. There are many meaningful messages that resonate at several stages in our lives.
Being a leader means mastering the art of juggling both the current task and all the challenges it presents, but also keeping an eye on the horizon for new challenges and opportunities. This constant balancing act makes it easy to forget that the value of being connected to your colleagues is equally as important as being effective and efficient at getting the job done. Personal connections enrich and support the work at hand. Thus, leaders must also focus on being personable and engaging in their relationships.
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
Time and again, as the years fly by, we find ourselves seeking to improve either our skills or our habits so that we might increase our chances of professional success. We buy new books, we attend shiny seminars; our hunger for success drives us to such extremes that we go through the same motions every year. It is because of this intense frenzy to improve that we forget the most essential fact in this whole scenario: with just a tiny bit of guidance, the ability to improve and succeed lies within our own control.
With this new year upon us, and working with the same drive and enthusiasm that we use every day to elevate your career, let’s look at the factors that will ensure positive, and sustainable, change for 2017.
It all starts with self awareness. Taking an assessment like Strengthfinders or Emergenetics will help you identify the types of activities that either give you energy or drain your energy . The insight you gain with this information will be crucial in understanding where your strengths lie so that you can capitalize on them and shine. Sure, you may be able to do any given job. Who knows, you might even be able to master it. However, the real payoff comes when you discover your underlying strengths (ones that you might not even know existed) and pursue them with the same amount of gusto that you otherwise might have wasted on a job that is draining the life out of you.
What have people said to you about your work or your habits? What have you heard them say that you are good at? Better yet, what have you hear them say that you are not good at? The more honest the feedback, the better. Because we are not the best at analyzing ourselves in these types of circumstances, gathering this type of information will be a tremendous help. Make sure to nurture a thick skin though, because believe it or not, none of us are good at everything. In American culture, we have heard time and again that we can do anything. Well no, sorry to say, the truth is that you cannot do anything. Just recognizing that can be liberating and empowering.
With your personal values clear in your mind, ask the types of questions that will help you understand what is genuinely at your core and what it is that you truly seek. Do you want to be in a small organization or a large organization? Do you want to be in a private, public, or non-profit setting? Does the purpose of the organization align with your purpose? What kind of people and team do you want to work with? Think about what it is that you are really looking for. For example, if you want a job with adventure and you get a job requiring you to be behind a desk all day, it can be extremely unfulfilling. Of course, you can seek adventure in other parts of your life, but think about it: a day job is 10 hours a day. If you can find something that gives you energy, rather than drains it, that is the perfect start for positive and sustainable change.
Prepare for Challenges
If you are not careful, your career controls you. If you get on a path where you are getting promotions but being moved around and getting positioned where you are losing control of the important things around you, you are now wearing the golden handcuffs. You have a great job, a title and money, but you feel miserable. You’ve let your career control you instead of you controlling your career. If you are going to make a career change, this is your opportunity to slow down, answer these questions and figure out what you really want.
Sustainable change is difficult, there’s no question. We all face daily battles that seem to put us back five steps after we’ve fought tooth and nail for the last four . It is for this very reason that, before we set out into the unknown, we need to first do our homework and figure out what really makes us tick. Go take that assessment, talk to that trusted friend, ask yourself those important questions and, most importantly, prepare for what might set you back. With each step you take and question you ask, you are gathering the building blocks for a solid foundation for change. Finally, be confident that you will ultimately make the right decisions that will keep paying you back day after day. You owe it to yourself.
Most leaders don’t think about their leadership legacy. They think a legacy is something for older people or something you leave when you die. A Legacy, however, is something more. A true Legacy is a living thing that is a gift to both the giver and recipient and as it is passed on, it adds to the leader’s reputation. It is possible a legacy is not “formally” recognized until after a person retires; however, just as a person begins building their financial legacy from the day the begin their career, so a leader begins building thier leadership legacy the day you begin leading. This means leaders who desire a meaningful legacy need to be proactive.
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!”
Why is it there are some people that easily draw crowds at parties and other social gatherings while others struggle to make connections? There are a number of reasons this occurs but surely, the “people magnet” in the crowd has what we define on the MSBCoach Leadership Maturity Model (LMM) as “Advanced People Skills.” Advanced People Skills are not only valuable in daily social interactions but they are essential to good leadership. After all, projects are managed and people are led. And good leaders must be equipped with the appropriate level of job knowledge as well as the people skills necessary to optimize the team’s production and job satisfaction. Advanced People Skills include the ability to motivate and influence others. Someone with this competency is also approachable, open minded, able to read people, and is collaborative.
Most leadership programs miss the mark in developing leaders. They try to re-create the person or make them into someone else, possibly a specific leader that is revered and admired. Although it is beneficial to read and learn from others, it is crucial to your leadership confidence that you know yourself. In John Mason’s Book, An Enemy Called Average, he makes the statement, “All of us are born originals but most of us die carbon copies”. We do not need anymore “carbon copy” leaders. We need leaders who really know themselves, are self-managed and confident to move organizations forward.
Knowing yourself is self-awareness (the first component in Emotional Intelligence – for more information on Emotional Intelligence read “Leading with the Whole Brain”. What does it really mean to be self-aware and how does this affect your leadership confidence?
￼￼Controlling behaviors begin with self-awareness.
Self-Awareness is your ability to accurately read and understand your emotions, to be aware of your triggers, hot buttons and the responses that are provoked when they are pushed or tripped...
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.
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?
What sets one leader apart from another leader? Why do some leaders have an ability to motivate themselves and those around them to accomplish great things?
There are several factors that create success for a leader; however, Emotional Intelligence is being quickly rated among the top indicators. In the article "EQ vs. IQ - emotional intelligence, intelligence quotient", Cynthia L. Kemper states, “For those in leadership positions, emotional intelligence skills account for close to 90 percent of what distinguishes outstanding leaders from those judged as average.”
According to a study conducted in 2008 by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre, Inc., companies that use professional coaching reported a median return on investment of seven times their initial investment. The study was the result of a survey of corporate and individual clients of ICF (International Coach Federation) member coaches. It also found that individuals who participated in coaching reported a median return on investment of 3.44 times their investment...