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Everyone wants to have good meetings, especially the one-on-one meetings with their boss. Many people dread them, but those meetings are the foundation for success. It’s possible to not only excel in them but to come away from them feeling more productive and energized. Whether you meet with your boss weekly, quarterly, or even just once a year, here are some tips for making the most of that time:

Create an agenda. The most productive meetings have a set agenda. Establishing an agenda ahead of time gives the meeting structure and allows both of you to prepare. Several days ahead of the meeting, jot down any questions you want answered and items you want to discuss, and provide a copy to your boss.

Show leadership. Who you are is just important as what you say and how you say it. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate your abilities and speak with confidence. When you do, you reinforce the idea that you’re the right person for the job.

Stay on track. To demonstrate your productivity and effectiveness, don’t get sidetracked by small talk except for a short set of pleasantries at the beginning. Instead, update your boss on your current projects and future plans. Don’t bombard them with too many details; let them know everything they need to stay informed without taking up too much of their time.

Present new ideas. Show your boss that you are not only working on your current projects but developing other ideas as well. Always focus on solutions instead of problems.

Ask for feedback. It’s great for your boss to see your strengths, but you want to also show that you’re open to development and growth, so ask for feedback. Be specific—don’t just ask “How am I doing?” but “What do you think I can do to improve in workflow?” (or leadership, management, or another area).

Make agreements. It’s best to have an agreement with your boss about the next steps in each of the things you’re working on. Agree on the immediate way forward, and be clear about expectations.

Be of service. End your meetings by asking your boss “How can I support you?” Taking even a few minutes to acknowledge their role can make a big difference. It shows empathy, consideration, and an eye for the big picture—and it will likely build valuable trust and goodwill.

At the end of the day, the most effective one-on-one meetings are a two-way street: where you and your boss serve and support each other. Don’t ask yourself how you can get the most out of the meeting but how both of you can find ways to work together to advance your organization’s mission.

Lead from within: Even if your one-on-one meetings are already working well, consider these ideas and other ways to make them more effective and successful.

#1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post How to Make the Most of One-on-One Meetings with Your Boss appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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People often wonder if they need a leadership coach. My answer is always yes. If you want to achieve great things, you can only do so much on your own. Whatever your abilities and circumstances, it takes support and guidance to get the most out of them.

A coaching relationship can be challenging, and even difficult at times, but the payoff is great. Virtually every successful person—not only in business but in sports, politics, entertainment and a host of other fields—has had the benefit of some form of coaching. When you’re ready to get started, here are seven ways to ensure you get the most of your leadership coach.

Make time. For coaching to be effective, you need to commit to at least a year. It may seem like a long time now, but it will fly quickly. And for coaching to be the most effective, you’ll need to carve out a little bit of time on a daily basis. That requires that you become strategic with managing your time and that you make coaching a consistent priority. Set your sessions for the same time every week so they’re automatically built into your schedule. If you want results, you have to devote some time.

Put in the effort. Think of what you want to accomplish. Make a list, create goals and then put in the effort, because you are the one who is going to be driving this process. Unlike most other learning and development processes, you are responsible for setting your own learning objectives, crafting session agendas and structuring the coaching schedule. This is your show, and you need to take charge.

Do the work. As a leader, it is important that you challenge yourself to advance to a new level as a leader. Don’t waste this opportunity by settling for minor changes and fine-tuning what you’re already doing. Make yourself uncomfortable. Take on the challenge and picture a better version of yourself as a leader, and allow it to excite and scare you at the same time. Expect great things from yourself and the process.

Accept feedback. An important part of growth lies in taking in the perspective of others—especially the things we have a hard time hearing. I ask my clients to select six to seven people who work with them regularly and ask them how they could improve as a leader. Once you’ve solicited feedback, you can use it to work with your coach on developing goals. Always treat feedback, good or critical, as a gift.

Embrace the rocky road. If your coach is good they will take you down some difficult roads. Especially if you’re making significant changes, prepare yourself for rigorous self-assessment, learning and development. Think about
 what you are willing to invest, risk and sacrifice to become a better leader, and recognize that it’s the challenging path that leads to where you want to be.

Take one step at a time. When things become challenging, concentrate on taking one step at a time. Work with your coach on a single specific action that will advance your leadership in some way and commit to completing it before the next session. That may mean experimenting with a new practice, having a difficult conversation, redesigning how you invest your time, restructuring your personal strategies or acquiring a necessary resource. Even a single step is progress, and they add up quickly over time.

Acknowledge results. Assess the results of your coaching with the only valid measure of leadership: the impact that you have on others. Remember that it’s not about being liked or being the smartest leader. Observe how people act around you; listen to how they speak to you; learn what they do when you are not around. You know your leadership is working when others can emulate you and do great work on their own. If you see you have empowered and motivated them to bring their best, you’re becoming a great leader

Remember, this process is about you. You will get the results you want only if you commit and take responsibility for who you are and how much you are willing to do. Don’t bother waste time trying to impress your coach—they already know how talented and competent you are, but they also see the potential of who you can become.

Lead from within: A great leadership coach will challenge you, encourage you, confront you, affirm you and provoke you. Your coach is always in service of your growth, evolution and development as a leader and a person.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post 7 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Leadership Coach  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Whatever your position, whatever field you’re working in, whatever type of organization, the fundamentals of strong leadership are the same. Here are the eight qualities I consider essential to strong, effective, successful leadership:

The competence in being positive. A positive attitude, especially from top management, can set a tone and signal others to be more positive—and, in turn, productive. When you’re optimistic about yourself and what you’re doing as well as about other people, you’re much more likely to inspire others to be and do their best. Positivity is contagious, and it’s a vital part of being a strong leader.

The ability to be decisive. The ability to make difficult decisions based on the facts and circumstances of each specific situation is an important quality for effective leadership. To be a good leader, you need to rely on both your reason and your intuition and be able to pull everything you know together on the fly when a timely decision is required. Making decisions, especially difficult decisions, quickly and without waffling is among the most important elements of leadership.

The resourcefulness to delegate. A confident leader is not afraid to let others handle the workload, and they know they can trust their team to get the job done. It is less confident leaders who are wary of delegating and feel that they need to control everything. If you have confidence in your people, they will show you how competent they are.

The character of integrity. Everyone wants to be led by a leader who embodies integrity. If others are following your lead, it’s critical that you model integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, and accountability in everything you do. When all is said and done, integrity is the most important thing of all in leadership.

The ability to listen to others. Listening is a skill, and it’s one that everyone, in every position, at every level—and especially those in leadership—should be proficient in and practice daily. Allowing others to speak and be heard is among the hallmarks of good leadership.

The essence of humility. Humble leaders know that even though they are in charge, the contributions of others are equally important. They also understand that admitting mistakes is not a sign of weakness but a demonstration of strength. When you incorporate humility into your leadership, you’re on the path to building a strong, courageous team that collaborates and communicates well.

The wisdom of being approachable. Leadership is a privilege, and in order for it to be truly effective you need to be accessible and approachable. People should always feel that the channels of communication are open and be comfortable sharing both good and bad news. Make sure you keep yourself available and responsive to the needs of those you lead.

The mastery of motivation. One of the most difficult jobs for a leader is motivating others, especially when the circumstances are complex or difficult. The best way to master the art of motivation is by setting a good example yourself. In tough times, people look to their leadership for cues about how to react. If you lead from within, with high standards and steady action, you will automatically motivate and inspire others .

How many of these qualities do you have within your own leadership? It’s never too soon to begin cultivating any elements you may be lacking. Remember, those who are following you expect you to lead with greatness.

Lead from within: To keep your leadership strong, hold your focus on the essential qualities of the role.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post How to Build Effective Leadership with These 8 Qualities appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Confident leaders generally let their people do what they were hired to do. They don’t feel the need to watch them like a hawk, micromanage them in their tasks, track every move they make, or enact rules or policies that make them feel constrained and under surveillance.

Those steps are taken by leaders who lead through fear, creating the kind of culture that is marked by terror, timidity, and low morale. Here are 10 significant signs that you might be leading from fear. If they sound familiar, you need to drastically change your leadership style to clean up the toxic culture and begin creating success and happiness for yourself and your team.

People don’t interact. When people keep to themselves and avoid collaborating or interacting with others, it’s a sure sign that they’re scared to step out of line. If your employees’ main goal is to keep their heads down and stay in their own lane, your organization won’t be competitive.

Order is maintained through punishment. People who work in punitive environments are frightened most of the time. It’s incredibly demoralizing to feel you are constantly being monitored to be caught doing something wrong. Effective leaders spend their time listening to people, solving problems and celebrating successes, not punishing people or trying to catch them doing something wrong.

People don’t speak the truth. Under fear-based leadership, people are afraid to tell the truth because they already know no one wants to hear it. They keep problems and challenges to themselves because they know that that bringing them into the open won’t help and may even do them harm. The open communication that needs to happen for a team to work effectively is shut down completely.

People are constantly afraid of losing their jobs. When people work under a cloud of fear and suspicion, they act out of anxiety and timidity, and they’re incapable of bringing their best. You cannot work well with the notion that you can lose your job over a misstep. Your job as leader is to bring the best out of people, and that’s not possible in a climate of fear.

People are petrified of messing up. When people have a leader who addresses problems by penalizing someone, they learn to lay low and blame each other when things go wrong because they are scared to be the one who’s called out for a mistake. It’s one of the surest routes to a toxic culture.

The best and brightest don’t advance. With a fear-based leader, the smartest and most competent people don’t tend to advance. Instead, promotions go to those who most wholeheartedly embrace the culture and agree with whatever the leader says. Over time, unthinking agreement becomes the only way to get ahead.

People stop wanting to be visible. In a climate of fear, it’s hard for people to be authentic or present. They keep to themselves, worried about making waves or standing out. The main goal of most employees becomes to avoid being noticed, which leads to mediocrity across the board.

If you recognize this culture, you need to know that leading through fear is doing direct harm to your leadership, your team and your organization. It’s likely that many of your most talented and gifted people have already left you, so take immediate steps to make the necessary changes before you lose the rest.

Lead from within: As a leader, your job is to make people feel secure, safe and supported. If you are instead creating havoc, control and anxiety, you are a fearful leader and need to make some changes.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post Why You Should Stop Leading Through Fear  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Business leaders always ask me, when is a good time to start planning their succession, and I usually answer the day you become the leader. And many of them are shocked, but the truth is, succession planning takes time and development; and if you want to grow leaders you have to groom and grow them, it doesn’t happen overnight.

So if you are wondering how to start planning for your succession, this is how.

Start early: It can take time to find and prepare a promising candidate for a leadership role. So, don’t leave your succession plan until the last moment, start having a plan from the day you take office, because how you will lead every day, will affect those around you, No one is going to be with a company forever, so it’s important to know what needs to happen and it’s the leadership responsibility in developing bench strength that a critical for succession to be successful

Engage senior leaders: It’s essential to have consensus among the CEO and senior leadership team about the importance of proactive leadership development and succession planning. This group should set expectations, put processes in place, and hold the organization accountable for making it happen.

Speak to the process: As the current leader, it’s important to be part of the process and procedure, think outside the box when you are building a succession plan, and make sure you have a slate of diverse candidates. A robust plan can ease the process of identifying individuals who are ready to take on the role immediately—and others who are a few years out.

Map out a vision of the future leadership team:  An active development process to prepare people for next-level jobs. so it imperative for leadership to understand the capabilities required to achieve the organization’s strategy. With this understanding, the organization can assess the potential of current people, and see if there are any candidates to become the future leader to meet the emerging needs.

Shift everyone’s mindset: Usually everyone thinks of succession as a loss, it is the leaders responsibility to embrace the idea and have everyone shift their mindset from seeing the succession process as a loss and toward envisioning it as an opportunity for the themselves and the company.

Develop the future leaders. Identify potential future leaders, then identify their development needs and build in systematic processes to cultivate that development growth. As a leader, you need to identify developmental needs and career aspirations, and consciously build learning objectives into the future leader’s work.

Seek new talent to fill the void. There will be many instances where future leadership capabilities cannot be fulfilled by those who are in company now, that is when the organization needs to an effective hiring and ongoing on-boarding practices to integrate new leaders into the company.

By knowing the importance of succession planning and identifying your potential future leaders you help those in your company feel valued for their contributions and eager to realize their potential within the organization.

Lead from within: The potential gains from doing succession planning well go far beyond the obvious result of having a steady pipeline of leaders ready to step into new roles, it gives the company stability and resilience, which breeds market confidence and drives shareholder value.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post How to Start Planning for Your Succession appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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In my work as a leadership coach to top business leaders around the world, I see firsthand the growing influence of the field. These days, it seems, there are countless conversations, articles and blog posts about leadership. As awareness of the field grows, people are looking to define it, explain it and emulate it.

I find it fascinating that people want more understanding of leadership processes than the person behind the leadership—for people it’s always more about the how and less about the who. And for me, the who is more important before you can implement the how.

To address that need, here are 10 important ways to define successful leadership. Once you understand these elements, you’ll have the orientation you need to handle any process or theory:

A successful leader is an authentic leader. They are genuine; they are confident in who they are while remaining teachable. You’ll never hear them say they’re faking it till they make it. You can feel the confidence they have in their unique self.

A successful leader is a cognizant leader. They are mindful and aware, attentive to themselves and to those around them. They know how to apply knowledge and perception to their work.

A successful leader is an optimistic leader. They’re always able to view the glass as half full instead of half empty. Their sunny perspective means everything they do is encouraging and empowering.

A successful leader is a devoted leader. They are dependable and hold themselves accountable for their actions. You can count on them to be consistent and to stick it out until the job gets done.

A successful leader is a respected leader. A leader who fosters respect is a leader worth following—they are willing to give their all for the people they’re leading and the cause they’re working for.

A successful leader is a virtuous leader. Their integrity, honesty and character are reflected in everything they do. Their inner moral compass guides every thought and action.

A successful leader is a purposeful leader. The best and most successful leaders are those who are driven by their mission. They keep it centered as the most important thing to them, and that awareness keeps them on track.

A successful leader is a truthful leader. Their word is their bond. and the only way they know how to function is with honesty and honor. 

A successful leader is a courageous leader. They are bold in their thinking and determined in their actions, able to take risks in business and think creatively about the future. Uncharted territory is never off limits.

A successful leader is a humble leader. Self-effacing and appreciative, they recognize they can’t do it alone—and they’d never want to. They are thankful in knowing the value of their team and genuinely grateful for the contributions of the people they lead. Their leadership is centered on their recognition that success is shared.

In my opinion a successful leader should embody all of these important ways to be a leader. The degree to which you miss the mark in any of them is the degree to which your leadership can be compromised.

Lead from within: The best, most successful leader is one who doesn’t need anything from their people but serves in meaningful ways that become their blueprint for success.

#1  N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post 10 Important Ways to Describe a Successful Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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As a leadership coach, I have learned that you cannot teach someone who doesn’t want to learn or grow. Without that desire, there is no use in advising or coaching, because it just won’t work. I have never been a big believer in making people do something they don’t want to do.

What I have found is that many times people just want to keep doing the same thing over and over again without creating much change. They tend to believe that if it isn’t broken you don’t need to fix it—which means they lose out on a lot of opportunities to make something better.

The same is true for leaders, sometimes they refuse to learn and grow, and here are the four most common mindsets that feed that kind of thinking. Maybe some of them will ring true for you and sound familiar. If so, take some time to reflect on whether that’s really how you want to approach your leadership.

They know what they know. Many leaders believe they already know everything they need to know, and they don’t feel the need for any new development or growth. This type of leadership thinking is more common than you might think. The problem, of course, is that it results in a closed circuit that limits different ways of thinking and relating to others. Leadership should be about making the effort to question ourselves, being willing to be uncomfortable to maintain an open mind. The best leaders understand that they’ll never know enough.

They know what they don’t know. Some leaders actually pride themselves on the things they don’t know. They like to run things in the way that suits them, even if it’s completely counterproductive. This way of thinking sometimes comes across as arrogant. It’s often a matter of pride, combined with a bit f defensiveness about their lack of knowledge. The leaders who have the most to learn are often too proud to own up to their shortcomings. It takes courage to admit that you don’t know everything you need to know, but that’s the first step in learning.

They don’t know what is known. A leader who is not questioning is not learning. The smartest leaders are perpetual students—they have the mindset of learning something new all the time. But many times we don’t think we need to know anything new simply  because we don’t exercise enough curiosity to discover the gaps in what we already know. It takes a confident leader to go out and look for those gaps so they can be filled in.

They don’t know the unknown. A leader who doesn’t know how to face the unknown will always maintain some degree of ignorance. Insight can have as much power and value as knowledge. And developing that insight means you have to be willing to approach the open questions, to acknowledge that some things can’t be known. It means opening up a different side of yourself.

Development and growth should be synonymous with who you are as a leader, not treated as a one-time event or a periodic luxury. To truly be your best, you need to adopt them as daily habits.

The best leaders insist on finding new ways to learn and grow, because they understand their growth determines who they are—and, ultimately, the success of their leadership.

Lead from within: If you want to be successful you must be open to development and growth. The best leaders are always teachable.

#1   N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post 4 Important Reasons Why People Refuse to Learn And Grow  appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Nobody starts a new job hoping to be fired. The most important thing, of course, is to do good work without making trouble—but there are lots of factors that can make or break your success. Here are ten of the most common missteps that get people fired:

Lying on your job application. Many people inflate their qualifications a bit on job applications, and the usual assumption is that once you get the job, all that matters is how well you perform. But most companies now have a zero tolerance policy for dishonest applications, and discovery of a false statement is enough to get you fired even if you’re doing a great job. And if there are inconsistencies between what you’ve said you can do and your performance on the job—for example, if you’re struggling with a piece of software or equipment you’ve said you know how to use—your entire application may get a second, closer look.

Disrespecting leadership. If you disrespect those in charge, you shouldn’t be surprised if they ask you to leave. The attitude you bring to the workplace, the respect you give, and your happiness in your work are largely your choice, so choose wisely.

Slacking off on the job. No one wants a slacker on their team or in their company. If you’re not making the effort and maintaining a strong work ethic, there’s a good chance that you won’t be around long. Make sure you behave today in ways that your future self will thank you for.

Not being a team player. To do most jobs effectively requires the cooperation, support and goodwill of those around you. Becoming detached from those you work with could get you replaced with someone who can work well with others. Whatever your personal feelings about people, make it a point to build and maintain good working relationships with everyone on your team.

Keeping toxic company. If you spend most of your time with complainers, gossipers and grumblers, you’re casting yourself in a bad light. Even if you aren’t engaging in the complaints and gossip, you will be judged by the company you keep. If you associate with toxic people, you’ll quickly be considered toxic yourself.

Leading from your ego. A healthy ego is a good thing to have, but that doesn’t mean insisting that you’re always right or that your way is the only way to get something done. An ego that gets in the way of efficiency and teamwork can earn you an invitation to leave.

Taking credit for other people’s work. if you are someone who never presents an original thought at work but takes credit for other people’s accomplishments, you will likely find yourself out the door. Even if you get away with it for the moment, you can’t build success by taking credit for what others have done.

Not taking responsibility. When you make a mistake, admit it right away. The truth will almost always come out in time, and failing to hold yourself accountable just brings additional negative attention. And if you compound the problem by trying to blame your error on technology, a time crunch or the actions of others, you’ll almost certainly be seen as someone the organization would be better off without.

Drinking on the job. One of the quickest ways to be shown the door is to drink on the job. Know your organization’s rules and expectations. Having a drink at dinner with a client is one thing, but pulling out a bottle from your desk drawer or having beers for lunch is another. Being a productive member of a team requires focus and sobriety.

Indiscreet job hunting. If you’re looking for a new job, don’t send your resume from your work computer or use the office printer and paper. Emails are often monitored, and using company resources for your job hunt (or any personal business) is a firing offense in many workplaces.

If you’re like most people, you start a new job with the best of intentions. If you think of being fired at all, it’s as something that happens to those who get caught in incompetent or grossly unethical behavior. But if you don’t mind your steps, you may be the one who is asked to go.

Lead from within: To avoid being fired, take complete responsibility about who you are and what you do in the workplace.

#1  N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post 10 Guaranteed Ways That Can Get You Fired appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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At some point in our lives and our leadership, we all experience insecurity. And when we act out of that insecurity we tend to behave badly, sometimes harming our relationships and reputation in the process. Especially for leaders, insecurity affects not only ourselves but also those around us.

Because when an insecure leader thinks everything is about them as a result, every action, every choice, ever decision is put through the filter of their own self-centeredness, which doesn’t really serve others well.

Here are 10 of the top signals that insecurity may be damaging your leadership. If any of these sound familiar, stop the behavior and work through the issues before major consequences result.

You become defensive when challenged. When an insecure leader feels they’re being challenged or confronted, their first response is to feel they’re in the wrong—and to avoid that discord they quickly become defensive. Learn to welcome direct, honest communication even if it’s not what you want to hear; make peace with the fact that you will sometimes get it wrong.

You micromanage. Insecure leaders like to control everything, even how other people do their work. They feel the more control they have the less likely they’ll be faced with a better way. Instead, give autonomy to your team and allow them to show off their talents and strengths.

You’re not interested in feedback. Insecure leaders get annoyed when their team members or colleagues want to give them feedback. They see it as a confrontation and respond with fear and dismissal. Become familiar enough with your own strengths and weaknesses to take criticism in stride.

You refuse to explain your decisions. Insecure leaders fear that the rationale for their decision may not hold up well, so they communicate decisions with no underlying explanation. Explain your decisions and the reasons behind your thinking so others can understand and trust your choices.  

You stop listening to other people’s opinions. Insecure leaders see asking questions, seeking advice and listening to the opinions of others as a sign of weakness. They don’t want to be perceived as needing help. Emulate confident leaders by being willing to listen and learn from the opinions of others. In time you’ll realize that it’s actually a sign of strength.

You always have to have final word. Insecure leaders need to be seen as always winning—even in an honest difference between two sound opinions. Learn to value the thoughts of others, especially in areas you need to know more about.

You get angry when a team members resigns. Insecure leaders see any departure as a reflection on their leadership, so they respond in anger and focus on the faults of the person who’s leaving. When you lose a valued team member, take stock and ask yourself whether there’s anything you should do differently to keep your best people happy and productive.

You blame others. When things go wrong, an insecure leader will never take responsibility but will always blame others first so they can avoid thinking about the possibility that they did something wrong or made a bad decision. Work to be secure enough in your leadership to say, “I messed up—let’s go make it better now.”

You take credit for your team’s achievements. Insecure leaders like to take credit for other people’s work—not because it makes them feel better, but because it makes them seem indispensable and helps ease their fears of being unnecessary or unworthy. Emulate the great leaders who know success takes a team, and be quick to praise and recognize the achievements of others. (By the way, that’s also the best way to make yourself look good.)

You don’t promote or develop your best people. Insecure leaders want to protect themselves at all costs, and they see the smartest and highest-achieving people around them as threats. They hand out titles only to those they believe will never question their authority or outshine them. As a leader, the best success you can achieve is the success of your people.

We all have moments of insecurity. But if any of these descriptions sounds like you, you need to act quickly to change directions. If you can’t do it on your own, recruit the help of a coach or mentor—someone who can help you become more confident in who you are. Left unchecked, your insecurities will affect not only you but also everyone you lead.

Lead from within: An insecure leader must become big enough to admit their mistakes, smart enough to correct them and strong enough to embrace them.

#1 N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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The post 10 Signs You May be an Insecure Leader (and How to Be More Confident ) appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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Coaching as many leaders as I have, there are patterns that emerge—and there are times it’s apparent, from the perspective of an outsider, that certain actions are not going to lead to the desired results.

I consider it part of my job to help leaders avoid unnecessary struggle. It’s in that spirit that I present some things you need to quit doing immediately—not because I say so but because they will not serve you in the way you think they will.

If you’d rather learn these lessons the hard way, that’s your right. But for those who are open to advice from someone who’s witnessed a lot of leadership situations, good and bad, here’s the list of things you need to quit doing (or avoid starting):

Comparing your success to that of others. Your leadership will never be like anyone else’s, and your journey is all your own. You will likely be successful in ways other leaders aren’t and you will fail as others might not. The goal of your leadership should be to be the best leader you can be, and the only accurate way to measure your success is against your own ideals and self-awareness.

Running from your problems. If you can’t face your own problems head on, you can’t lead others in their own struggles. To be a great leader, you must first build understanding by struggling with your own problems and issues. That experience is what will ultimately shape you into the leader you were meant to become.

Trying to be popular. If you want to be popular, you cannot be a leader. If you want to be a leader, you have to be willing to do the hard work, have the difficult conversations and take the major risks that make it all but impossible to be popular. Leadership can be risky at times—be prepared.

Being indecisive about what you want. You can never leave where you are until you decide where you would rather be. Decisiveness is everything when it comes to being successful in leadership. Make a decision about what you want, then pursue it with passion and determination.

Pretending you have all the answers. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to know everything. The sooner you admit you don’t have all the answers, the quicker those around you will be willing to help you fill in the gaps.

Going it alone. Leadership can be lonely, but it doesn’t mean you have to lead alone. The best leaders surround themselves with people who hold them accountable for their actions and help strengthen their character. If you have a tendency to isolate yourself, make it a practice to connect with others who will support you.

Trying to be everything to everyone. One of the greatest challenges of leadership is wanting to always do more. But trying to be everything to everyone is impossible and will just burn you out. Don’t allow yourself to flounder in the weeds trying to meet everyone’s expectations. Instead, believe in yourself and in others, and help inspire people to work toward their own priorities.

Lead from within: There are many lessons to be learned in leadership. Whenever possible, try to avoid learning them the hard way and quit them before they stop you.

#1 N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

buy now

Additional Reading you might enjoy:

Photo Credit: iStockPhotos

The post 7 Things Every Leader Needs to Quit Doing Immediately appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

Read Full Article

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