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Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn
The adopted mantra of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner is "next play," a phrase borrowed from Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who calls it out after every sequence on offense or defense. Weiner explains it as: "Take a minute to celebrate success or reflect on failure, but then move on."
As a manager, Weiner takes time to acknowledge relatively small accomplishments by his employees. He often ends a meeting or speech by asking what he could have done better. His workdays are as long as or longer than those of his employees. "That allows him to be extremely credible as a leader," says David Hahn, LinkedIn's vice president of product management.
Weiner's style earns raves from his staff. His Mountain View, Calif.-based company, with more than 3,000 employees and 200 million members, consistently ranks as one of the best places to work, earning a 92 percent employee-approval rating in an anonymous survey last year by Glassdoor.com.
Hahn says Weiner impressed him from his first days on the job with his ability to pinpoint issues and deal empathetically with employees. "A big part of leadership and a big part of being a disciplined manager is being able to ask really great questions," Hahn says. "He was able to ask questions that were really right on the money. They were precisely the areas we were having trouble with or spending a lot of time thinking about or influenced the direction we needed to go."
In meetings, when it's clear someone has made a mistake, Weiner displays a deft touch, turning the gaffe into a teaching moment for everyone. "The person who made the mistake or who can do better the next time leaves the meeting feeling good," Hahn says. "There's a magic to it, that he's able to do it in such a constructive way. You feel like you're part of a supportive team, and ultimately you feel like Jeff is behind you." --Jim Morrison
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In business, sometimes the most valuable lessons come from the worst teachers. We asked six entrepreneurs: What's the greatest thing you learned from a bad boss? Related: The 6 Most Familiar 'Bad Boss' Types and What to Do About Them
1. Bring everyone in.
“A former boss was very hierarchical and discouraged collaboration. Everyone reported directly to her, and interdepartmental meetingswere practically prohibited. It meant that only our boss had the full picture -- we missed a lot of opportunity for alignment and cooperation. Today at our company, it’s a priority to hold regular team meetings and foster a strong culture of collaboration. It’s crucial that our team members weave collective sharing into the fabric of their day-to-day interactions.” -- Melissa Biggs Bradley, founder and CEO, Indagare
2. Be vulnerable.
“Don’t be afraid to show your emotions! I worked for a partner at McKinsey who was an incredible person but an awful manager because he kept his feelings bottled up. After a client presentation went awry, our team didn’t know where we stood with our manager. It was tense, awkward and demotivating. Showing vulnerability and letting others know when you’re genuinely upset can help everyone externalize their emotions, build trust and reassure employees that they aren’t alone. It sends a clearer message than stone-faced silence.” -- Leo Wang, founder and CEO, Buffy
3. Lend a hand.
“I worked for someone who would never help out the junior staff with their work, even if he was finished with his own -- he’d simply pack up and leave early. I now make an extra effort to ask my staff if they can use a hand when my own workload is light. It’s created a culture that feels more like a tight-knit team and less like a hierarchy.” -- Adam Tichauer, founder and CEO, Camp No Counselors
4. Move as a group.
“When I was a nurse manager, I had a boss with no experience in healthcare. She wanted to change our process for keeping patients from getting blood clots. I knew it was a mistake, but she insisted. Ultimately, the change failed. It taught me the importance of empowering staff to speak up. At Extend Fertility, we collect feedback from customers via surveys. Results are shared with our staff, and together we develop action plans to address negative experiences. It’s the employees who interact with patients on a daily basis who have the best solutions.” -- Ilaina Edison, CEO, Extend Fertility
5. Trust your team.
“I once worked for a woman who joined our team after I had been working there for a while. Every time I stood up, she’d ask me where I was going, whether it was to the bathroom or to the printer. She had a fear of not having control over my time and work. As a young adult, this behavior really demoralized me, especially since I had excelled at the job for years prior. My leadership style is less neurotic. Once my team members have my trust, I’m pretty hands-off.” -- Denise Lee, founder and CEO, Alala
6. Respect others’ time.
“Early in my career, I had a project manager who’d wait until the very last minute to review work, then convey lots of new information and requests. This happened at the end of the day or, worse, after hours, when I was home. It was demoralizing, inefficient and disrespectful. In my career, I’m conscious about reviewing work in a timely and complete way so my team can successfully incorporate my feedback without generating a last-minute crisis -- or lingering resentment.” -- Kirsten R. Murray, principal architect and owner, Olson Kundig
Originally published on Entrepreneur
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Living here in the U.S. as I do, I’ve grown deeply disturbed at how our collective capacity for listening and for true connection with others has shifted dramatically in the past two years. Suddenly, what was once the hallmark of our country - the rich, collaborative co-existence of and respect for very different ideologies, beliefs and traditions among us – has turned into something else, and that something is terrifying.
Our world has transformed into a waging of war against each other every day. The majority of us are standing entrenched behind our own ideological “bunkers.” And we’ve chosen to stand in those bunkers only with those who hate the same people we hate.
As Brené Brown so powerfully articulated in her recent lecture at Washington’s National Cathedral,
“I’d define where we are in this highly polarized world as a crisis of spiritual connection… We have sorted ourselves by ideology into bunkers…factions….And the more sorted we become, the lonelier we are.”
Brené goes on to say that this process of “sorting” and the lack of connection and isolation that occurs from sorting, leads inevitably to dehumanization. And once we dehumanize others, we’re capable of doing anything to them. We’re seeing this every single day, in the news and in the conversations we’re all having, day in and day out.
When I step back and analyze the findings from my work and interviews with some of the most positive and transformative leaders and influencers, I see one recurring trait that stands above them all. And, interestingly, when I look at exceptional qualities of the successful professionals I’ve coached, the exact same trait is apparent in them as well.
What is this one trait that separates successful, highly impactful and transformational leaders from the rest?
It’s the ability to listen and connect wholeheartedly – with compassion, respect, and emotional balance – with all people, regardless of their different ideologies and beliefs.
And the flip side of this is also true: Those who are unable to listen with their hearts and spirits in a respectful, balanced and compassionate way to those who are different are the same individuals who are experiencing the greatest amount of trauma, conflict and pain in their work, lives and relationships.
Truly successful leaders and professionals (and by the way, I’m not just talking about “powerful” leaders, I’m talking about successful ones) are able to do the following:
They listen to learn, not to teach or impose
Amazing leaders who transform and uplift us actively listen as a way to learn, grow and expand their own knowledge and understanding. Poor leaders listen only for evidence of how they are right or how they can “win.”
They listen as a way to make sense of their environment and the challenges, not to demonize them
Transformative leaders listen as a way to understand the “why” behind what’s happening. They fully get that this “why” can’t be discerned unless all viewpoints are openly shared. Poor leaders listen only for nuggets that they can use against other people or other factions.
They listen without agenda, but with purposeful intent to connect people, not divide them
Truly great leaders know this: Ultimate success cannot be achieved without the collaboration and investment of all parties involved. So they listen as a way to build bridges, not eradicate them. Poor leaders constantly hold to one rigid agenda, and that agenda is to put themselves and their faction above what is best for the collective good.
They listen to find new solutions that will help not just their own interests, but will support the highest and greatest long-term good of all
Transformative leaders who are successful in bringing about positive change are continually listening for potential new approaches and solutions that will help the greatest number possible, not just those who adhere to one ideology. They recognize that the best solutions emerge from diverse, expansive thought and approach.
They listen to learn how they can grow
Finally, successful leaders listen as a way to see more clearly their own part in the problem at hand, and to understand how to stretch beyond their limitations and grow. Poor leaders listen only as a way to defend and justify who they have become.
In the end, highly successful leaders make significant positive change possible because they’re able to do what many of us can’t – listen wholeheartedly and unemotionally to those who are different, so that new, innovative solutions can emerge. In this way, these leaders support not only their particular interests, but the interests of a world that lies beyond their limited, isolated agenda.
For more from Kathy Caprino, visit her Finding Brave podcast, and her programs and talks at KathyCaprino.com.
Originally Publish on Forbes
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Transformational leaders are often charismatic individuals, “but are not as narcissistic as pure Charismatic Leaders, who succeed through a belief in themselves rather than a belief in others,” according to ChangingMinds.org. It is taken for granted that charismatic leaders are transformational, but nothing can be further from the truth. Although all transformational leaders have some form of charisma, not all these leaders use their gifts for noble intentions.
Traditionally, a transformational leader has been synonymous with a charismatic leader according to the Bailey Group. After all, it’s that charisma that served as the see/touch/feel of an outstanding leader. The kind of man or woman who excited his or her followers with passion, ambition, and exuberance. That ability to work a crowd into a froth by articulating such an exciting vision of the future that there is no question as to whether it made sense or was strategically sound. The truth is, many leaders dubbed as charismatic are not really transformational at all.
According to Gibson et al., charismatic leadership is described as the ability to influence others based on a supernatural gift and attractive powers. They have a charismatic effect on their followers to an unusually high degree and these followers perceive the leader's beliefs as correct and accept him or her without questions.
Transformational leaders, on the other hand, is a style of leadership in which the leader identifies the needed change, creates a vision to guide the change through inspiration, and executes the change with the commitment of the members of the group. Transformational leaders balances charisma with collaboration, confidence with virtue and influence with transparency.
With this approach, the leader identifies a collective vision that a group can recognize with and get excited about. Ideas take precedence, rather than the leader themselves. According to Air Force Colonel Mark Homrig, transformational leadership is a sharp, but double-edged sword. Pseudo-transformational leadership “has a potential immoral and unethical dimension that could be exploited by an unscrupulous leader inflicted on naive and unsuspecting followers.”
According to Homrig, Hitler appealed to the values of the German people, was charismatic, offered a transcendent vision and frequently encouraged his followers. However, his goal led to the ruin rather than the betterment of his followers. Another example of negative transformational leadership was Jim Jones of the People’s Temple. He was charismatic and expressed a lofty vision that eventually led to the murder-suicide of over 800 followers in 1978, according to the PBS documentary, “Jonestown -- The Life and Death of People’s Temple.”
Their original charisma and go-to attitude elicit adoration among followers, who feel the leader was a superior role model. Like various scenarios, people are drawn to such individuals because they offer new and exciting ideas in which everyone wants to be involved. Interestingly enough, most of these leaders start off with a bang but ultimately fall apart after people become wise to the outrageousness of their behavior and actions. It is hard to imagine how one person can convince so many individuals to be so hateful, but such is the pull of a transformational leader with the wrong intention.
Transformational leaders inspire people to believe that the impossible is possible, create change in individuals and social systems through a collective vision and work more for the betterment of the organization and their people. Their intention is always to improve. Transformational leadership like Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Indra Nooyi of Pepsi, etc. all have those characteristics.
Transformational leaders can capture people’s attention effortlessly and influence the lives of many people. It is an effective way to elicit change and get things accomplished by enlisting the help of your people, but the intentions of the leaders is the problem, and that results in the negative side of transformational leadership.
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leadershipfirst by Gifford Thomas, Founder Leadership .. - 1M ago
Which leader brought out the best in you?
What did they say or do?
How did they make you feel?
Leadership is all about people, and I am 100 percent sure, your life was impacted by someone you admired dearly during your personal or professional life. God knows I have.
Transformational Leaders, for example, are a rare breed and they often distinguish themselves from other leaders by their unique characteristics. In the book The Leadership Challenge, the authors suggest that when transformational leadership exists, people "raise each other to higher levels of motivation and morality." These leaders instill "a sense of adventure in others, look for ways to radically alter the status quo, and ... scan the environment for new and fresh ideas.
These leaders always search for opportunities to do what has never been done, and as a result, their leadership is exemplified in these 5 characteristics.
Inspire a shared vision
According to Dr. Rhonda Pennings, A primary characteristic of the transformational leader is to have the synergy to create visions and goals for the institution out of the old vision. The leader must not only create a new vision for the institution but also adequately communicate this vision to others. In The Leadership Challenge, the authors emphasize that "by using persuasive language, positive communication style, and nonverbal expressiveness; leaders breathe life into a vision that is shared by everyone in the organization.
Challenge the status quo
The Harvard Business Review asked more than 1,000 employees; How often have you seen senior leaders challenge the status quo. The result? 42% said never or almost never, 32% said sometimes, and 26% said fairly often or very often. Only 3% said always. Transformational leaders by their nature challenge the status quo and are not afraid of change.
Enable others to act
The transformational leader is comfortable involving others in the decision-making process. If the leader empowers others and delegates responsibilities, followers can share in the decision-making process. They are more likely to use the participatory process to arrive at a consensus. According to Pielstick, when leaders foster participation with others in the decision-making process, there is less likelihood of escalating the conflict to emerge. The leader has a mentality that is inclusive to all followers including diverse and multicultural groups. They listen to everyone and seek to create an atmosphere of empowerment in their organization.
Model the way
Transformational leaders serves as a role model for their employees. Because they trust and respect the leader, they emulate this individual and internalize his or her ideals. If the leader do not demonstrate a commitment through their actions, that organization will be full of conflict and quickly become a very toxic place to work. Leaders should always walk the talk, but it becomes even more critical to do so when their organization is going through a change.
Encourage the heart
Another critical aspect of transformational leadership is that the leader must intellectually and emotionally stimulate people. When leaders inspire and empower others, the work becomes stimulating, motivating, challenging, and fascinating. By building on their strengths and enhancing their knowledge and skills, leaders can have a transforming effect on the lives of their employees by helping them stay engaged and competent in their chosen career.
Transformational leaders are change agents. They exhibit characteristics that reflect a vision for the future, demonstrate an ability to influence others, provide inspiration and encouragement to others, and express high-performance expectations.
The end - result of transformational leadership is that people are motivated to succeed, and the institution is strengthened and transformed. Transformational leadership inspire people to believe that the impossible is possible and in the process, bring forth the best in themselves and others.
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leadershipfirst by Gifford Thomas, Founder Leadership .. - 1M ago
On rainy Tuesday afternoon, my 31-year-old wife died after battling stage 4 lung cancer, for the past 4 and a half years. In her last days, the treatments weren't working, and the pain got worse by the minute. It was so painful watching someone you love so much having to endure that kind of suffering, and I was powerless to help in any way. I sat on a chair with my hands on my head, tears running down my face, trying to be strong for my two young children, thinking about a line or a sentence that could explain the death of their mother.
The whole experience was so emotionally draining, I often wonder why; why is this happening to my wife and by extension my family. But despite the challenges, my CEO and my staff were very supportive. They took up my responsibilities, and this allowed me to deal with my wife illness full time. If I didn't have that support from my team and my CEO, God knows how I was going to make it.
One of the hallmark traits of a great company and a transformational leader is their ability to connect with their employees professionally and personally. They always reinforced the collective responsibility and go out of their way to ensure their team has the necessary support when needed. Transformational companies are often the ones prepared to challenge the status quo for example, many companies have changed their policies with the intention to give their employees more time to deal with personal issues affecting their lives.
Facebook, along with several other companies have extended their bereavement policy, doubling their paid death leave and offering up to 20 paid days off for employees who have lost an immediate family member, and those mourning the passing of an extended family member will be given 10 days of paid leave.
On top of that, Facebook has a three-day “paid family sick time” policy that covers short-term illness like staying home to care for your child who has the flu and this is in addition to Facebook employees’ 21 annual days of paid time off, plus unlimited sick time.
Deloitte and the Vanguard Group, for example, both started giving workers paid time off to care for sick relatives. Additionally, companies like Twitter, Cisco, and others offer unlimited vacation days to employees, which could, in those unfortunate circumstances, be used to grieve or care for a sick family member.
Many people have grown accustomed and accept an environment that is not supportive of their needs especially in a time of unforeseen circumstances, and they believe all companies are the same. They have been brainwashed to think that work is this prison sentence waiting for bail every day at 4 or 5 o'clock when their a thousand of companies who put their employees first and really look out for their staff and their families.
But this is the beauty of transformational leadership and transformational companies; they are not prepared to settle for “what is,” they inspire their people to believe and model the behavior they expect at their company.
You don’t have to accept an environment void of employee support. I will always remember the famous words of Sir Richard Branson:
"I truly believe that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of the business"
When Ben wife died he got overwhelming support form his company, in this type of environment employee turnover will be practically zero, because the leaders who genuinely care about their employee have the most loyal employees in the world, and they will go hell and back for their leader.
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Have you ever had a great idea or an excellent proposal that got rejected because it was deemed to “out of the box” for the company? It can be very demoralizing to put so much effort into something, only to have the leadership of the company shut it down because they are not prepared to go outside their comfort zone.
On the flip side have you ever have the privilege to work for a company that embraced creativity, innovation, unrealistic expectations. There is a reason why good companies become great, and the average companies remain average.
Great leaders are prepared to push the limits of their industry while embracing innovative concepts and ideas. Many companies come to mind, Apple, Amazon, Alibaba, Air hub, Netflix, Facebook, Uber, The Wright brothers, Google, Standard Oil, etc.
If you look closely at all of these companies; their leader’s thinking and mindset are vastly different from the average, they are not prepared to settle for “what is,” passionately believe that they can achieve the impossible and are not afraid to go against popular opinion to fulfill their dream. It is not easy, you will lose loads of money at times, but the payoff at the end will be huge.
But that's what transformational leaders live for; a chance to inspire and motivate people towards a shared vision. On the other hand, transactional leaders operate within existing boundaries of processes, structures, and goals; too afraid to shake the boat.
How do you identify a transactional leader from a transformational leader, here are the 4 fundamental differences between the two?
Motivation
Transactional leaders reward and punish in traditional ways according to Joseph Chris. This means that subordinates are rewarded with something ‘substantial’ (e.g., cash, gift certificate, etc.) for doing the desired behavior, and punished for any deviation.
Transformational leaders are magnetic; they attempt to achieve positive results from employees by keeping them invested in projects, leading to an internal, high-order reward system.
Practical
Transitional Leaders are very practical or realistic. They tend to solve problems or deal with issues pragmatically, taking into account all realistic constraints and opportunities.
Transformational leaders believe that anything is possible and are more likely to address the issues before they become problematic.
Change
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” Transactional leaders probably have this as their motto. These are the kind of people who can work with the existing system or environment without feeling the need to change a part or overhaul everything. They do not seek to transform things, wanting everything to remain exactly as they are.
Transformational leaders emphasize new ideas, seek to destroy the status quo and live in a world where change is the only constant.
Hierarchical
Transactional leaders place a lot of importance on corporate structure and culture. It often compliments rigid organizational hierarchy. For example, when reporting a problem or issue, the report is expected to pass through from the employee’s immediate leader before reaching the top management. Bypassing the hierarchy could be taken as insubordination.
Transformational leaders create a flat organization, limiting and removing any trace of bureaucracy while creating an environment that is mentally stimulating and enjoyable.
Many leaders allowed their mindset and their environment to trapped them into a transactional style of management, I have seen this time and time again. Their comfort zone becomes a straitjacket, never trying anything new and settling for the familiar. Transformational leaders move the world forward, they challenge people with an attractive vision and tie that vision to a strategy for its achievement. They engage and motivate people to identify with the organization's goals and values.
Transformational leaders are seen as role models by others because of the way they behave and the values they espouse. They encourage others to think outside of the box and give individual attention to colleagues and subordinates when it is needed. They also drive the organization forward by developing (and efficiently articulating) a vision of the future that is compelling and convincing to others according to Nicholas Bremner.
Leaders with an inspiring vision challenge followers to leave their comfort zones, communicate optimism about future goals and provide meaning for the task at hand. If you are a transactional leader, it is time to move forward with transformational leadership. You must see the world differently, look at your company differently; I am 100% sure someone one is actively working and creating something new to make your product or business obsolete.
If you want to develop into a transformational leader and become someone who inspires people to believe that the impossible is possible while in the process, challenging yourself to try something new, send me an email at giffordthomas1@gmail.com. I am committed to helping you become one of the best leaders this world have ever seen.
The world needs more transformational leaders who are not afraid to upset the status quo, but more importantly, leaders who can provide a robust platform to help develop this generation of transformational leaders.
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leadershipfirst by Gifford Thomas, Founder Leadership .. - 1M ago
The story of Enron Corp. is the story of a company that reached dramatic heights, only to face a dizzying fall. Its collapse affected thousands of employees and shook Wall Street to its core. At Enron's peak, its shares were worth $90.75; when it declared bankruptcy on December 2, 2001, they were trading at $0.26. To this day, many wonder how such a powerful business, at the time one of the largest companies in the U.S, disintegrated almost overnight and how it managed to fool the regulators with fake holdings and off-the-books accounting for so long.
For those not familiar with the Enron scandal, most of the top executives were tried for fraud after it was revealed in November 2001 that the company hid its mountains of debt and toxic assets from investors and creditors. At the time, Enron was ranked the sixth-largest energy company in the world.
Top Enron executives sold their company stock before the company’s downfall, whereas lower-level employees were prevented from selling their stock due to 401K restrictions. Enron filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2001 and instantly became the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history at that time. This left thousands of workers with worthless stock in their pension. The lower-level employees lost their life savings due to the collapse.
WoW! When I read this story tears came to my eyes because people lost all their life savings. Ethics is concerned with the kinds of values and morals an individual or a society finds desirable or appropriate. Ethical theory provides us with a system of rules or principles that guide us in making decisions about what is right or wrong in particular situation.
In essence, ethical theory provides a basis for understanding what it means to be a morally decent human being. Ethical leaders always know how to do the right thing. It may be difficult to define precisely what “right” is, but a leader who is ethical is not afraid to do what they genuinely believe to be right – even if it is unpopular, unprofitable, or inconvenient.
Here are 5 Attributes of an Ethical Leader
Honesty It goes without saying that anyone who is ethical will also be honest and loyal. Honesty is particularly important to be an effective, ethical leader because followers trust honest and dependable leaders. Ethical leaders convey facts transparently, no matter how unpopular they may be.
Respect others One of the most essential traits of ethical leadership is the respect that is given to their team. They are open to other opinions and encourage people to voice different ideas within the organization. An ethical leader shows respect to all members of the team by listening to them attentively, valuing their contributions, being compassionate, and being generous while considering opposing viewpoints.
The ability to set a good example The defining feature of the ethical leader is that in addition to the foundational qualities mentioned above, they are seen to act from their own well-developed set of ethical principles, setting a consistently good example for others to follow. An ethical leader can inspire the workforce by staying true to his or her own ethical standards.
Encourages initiative Under an ethical leader, employees thrive and flourish. Employees are rewarded for coming up with innovative ideas and are encouraged to do what it takes to improve the way things are done. Employees are praised for taking the first step rather than waiting for somebody else to do it for them.
They’re not afraid to be challenged Having one’s subordinates call you out, disagree with you, challenge your judgment; all of this calls for great understanding and tolerance. Ethical leaders understand that it’s part of a culture of continuous improvement. There can be no “I’m the boss, don’t you dare challenge my authority.” It is part of not taking oneself too seriously. Self-deprecating humor is used to good effect.
Ultimately, good ethics is good business. The organization that does the right thing, and is seen to be doing the right thing is the one that will prosper in today’s more connected and accountable world. People expects moral behavior in our leaders and will punish those that transgress through loss of reputation and jail. The old paradigm of win-lose is giving way to win-win. Ultimately, good ethics is good business. The organization that does the right thing, and is seen to be doing the right thing is the one that will prosper in today’s more connected and accountable world.
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leadershipfirst by Gifford Thomas, Founder Leadership .. - 1M ago
What’s the most critical skill of a leader? The ability to inspire perhaps, to motivate or to achieve new heights that previously seemed impossible. Martin Luther King, Jr. Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Ma, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson, etc. They “got” it. They all have the gift to get people to believe in something they never dreamed possible for themselves.
Very few people look forward to going to work according to Carmine Gallo, let face it; many people prefer to hit the snooze button instead of crawling off their bed in the morning. And no amount of free coffee and fruit in the company kitchen isn’t going to change that. How is it possible that unhappy, unmotivated and disengaged employees could offer exceptional customer service or develop exciting, innovative products that move your brand forward? They can’t. That’s why it is up to you as the leader to inspire your team, when employees are excited to come to work each day, workplace productivity significantly increases. Some of the world's best companies; Google, Zappos, LinkedIn, and even Wegmans Food Markets people love to come to work. They show up every day, do their best, have fun, and when they go home at night, they look forward to coming back to work the next day. Everyone should have that desire. Very few people are born with the type of charismatic leadership skills that drive those around them to dig deep and achieve their very best. Carmine Gallo however in his article on Forbes, identified 7 qualities of Inspiring Leaders. The list was compiled with the help of dozens of the world’s most inspiring business leaders for a book Carmine wrote in 2009.
I will look at 4 of these traits, but you can visit www.forbes.com
to explore the remaining three. Let's look at the four qualities. Ignite Your Enthusiasm.
I once asked the famous financial guru, Suze Orman, for the secret behind her success. You cannot inspire, she said, unless you’re inspired yourself. She’s speaking about passion. Every inspiring leader is abundantly passionate—not about the product itself, but what the product means to their customers. Steve Jobs is not passionate about computers. He’s passionate about building tools that help people to unleash their personal creativity. Big difference.Navigate a course of action.
Nothing extraordinary ever happened without a leader articulating a vision, a course of action. We’ve seen this throughout history (think John F. Kennedy challenging a nation to land a man on the moon), and it works for building brands as well. When I interviewed Teach for America founder, Wendy Kopp, she said that her ‘vision’ as a college student was to “eliminate educational inequities.” That vision remains as firmly in place today as it did when she started the non-profit that trains college graduates to teach in schools across America. Bold visions create excitement and inspire evangelists.Paint a picture.
Our brains are programmed more for stories than for abstract ideas. Stories can include the real stories of how your products are improving the lives of your customers.
Stories can also include personal anecdotes, helping to establish a closer connection between leaders and teams. Recently I spent time with a top executive of a huge, global energy company. He had very personal, touching stories of what the company and its safety record meant to him. I urged him to begin telling the stories in his public presentations, especially with employees.
After one talk an employee approached this leader and said he felt more inspired than ever. Stories make connections. Tell more of them.Encourage potential.
When I was on a tour of Zappos’ headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, I met the Zappos, Goal Coach.
“What kind of goals do you help people achieve?” I asked. “Almost anything,” he said. “The other day I worked with a young man who wanted to learn how to play guitar and a woman who wanted to start writing the book she had always dreamed of.” “What does that have to do with Zappos?” I asked. “It has everything to do with Zappos,” he responded.
Zappos has achieved a reputation for superior customer service because it doesn’t see employees as cogs in a wheel. Employees know that Zappos’ leaders genuinely care about their well-being. It’s also one of the “happiest” places to work.
Everyone should and can enjoy their work. However, the leadership of the company must inspire themselves first and create an environment that allows people to enjoy their work. As an inspirational leader, you can effectively engage your employees and develop their strengths for more successful business results.
If you are genuinely interested, honest and sincere in what you do, you will become a more inspirational leader who can foster healthy and meaningful relationships to improve the company bottom-line and in the process, develop the next generation of inspirational leaders. Never underestimate the power of an inspirational Leader.
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Life can be very tiring especially if you have a family. From getting the children ready for school, dealing with the traffic, coping with their attitude at times, helping out with homework; WoW! Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming.
But do you know what is even worse, having to deal with a lousy manager on top of your hectic personal life? You now have to work with someone who has tons of problems leading and who care precious little about vision, values inspiration and motivation. On one of my previous jobs, I used to have constant thoughts of quitting because it was very demotivating to go to work every day. I eventually left, because my life is worth so much more than sacrificing my piece of mind for a stressful environment, it doesn’t make sense in my book.
But as I get more knowledgeable about management and Leadership, I sympathize with these managers who are thrust into a position without any training, self-development or mentorship. Simply because, leadership requires a different type of mindset and a lot of people who are promoted to a “Leadership” position are not ready to lead; they may be able to manage but lead, No.
According to Asia Pacific managing people is one of the most demanding yet rewarding skills set you can have. Many newly promoted managers and supervisors failed to transit from a high performance individual into an effective team manager. Alarmingly, the latest Survey by CareerBuilder shows that close to 60% of new managers and supervisors receive no formal management training and are ill prepared for the new challenges and roles without proper guidance.
Commonly cited stats estimate that about 60% of newly promoted managers fail within the first year (Ashkenas, 2015), pointing to a critical miscalculation in the decision process for selecting who is ready for “next level” management. As a result here are 3 common reasons new managers fail and what you can do about it.
Negative self-talk
When it comes to the worst things for our mental health, constant negativity is definitely one of them, especially if you are managing or leading people. When it comes to thoughts about yourself, your self-image serves as a sieve, filtering every experience and interaction while creating a running inner dialogue. You talk to yourself regularly about all of your experiences – what you think about yourself, the way you see others, etc.
This ongoing, internal dialogue is your “self-talk,” and it goes with you everywhere. When these private conversations are positive, they support you and work in your best interest. When they’re negative, they’re destructive and demoralizing, and as a result, it impedes your leadership abilities.
Recommendation
- Make a list of all the things that trigger self-doubt and create a strategy to mitigate these occurrences.
- Reduce your inner doubt through physical activity, or other types of relaxation.
- Spend some time exploring the values and principals that you feel most strongly about and write down the important ones.
- When current strategies are not working, make the necessary changes to your plans, activities, objectives, or behavior.
Justifying your behavior and blaming others
Do you find it hard to admit when you’re wrong? I read an article where the author shared his experience when he heard a leader blaming everyone else for the way he was acting: "I sat there listening to this poor justification for unacceptable behavior thinking to myself: The excuses that people come up with never cease to amaze me.” but that Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.
The feeling of discomfort caused by performing an action that is discrepant from one’s self-concept, cognitive dissonance always produces discomfort, and in response, many people try to reduce it by blaming others for their actions. There is no I in team and leadership is all about building and creating an environment that allows their people to maximize their full potential while in the process helping the company achieves its objectives.
Recommendation
- Lead by example and encourage others in a positive way
- Validate your team by creating trust.
- Genuinely show interest in helping others.
- Admit when you are wrong
Lacking Emotional Intelligence
For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. After all, who is more likely to succeed – a leader who shouts at his team when he's under stress, or a leader who stay in control, and calmly assesses the situation?
Leaders with self-control stay calm and clear-headed while under stress or during a crisis and maintain emotional balance. Leadership is demanding and the people who can juggle multiple demands, but remain focused on a group’s goals are the ones who are likely to succeed.
Recommendation
- Listen attentively to your team to understand their perspectives
- Create and maintains good working relationships with other people.
- Feel what other people are feeling so you can put yourself in their shoes.
- Read non-verbal cues, read messages conveyed by facial gestures, posture, eye movement, and body language. When you enter into the realm of leadership, you are in the business of people. Inspiring and motivating people to get things done. You lead by example, and you are comfortable with the uncertainty that leadership can bring and as such you are flexible in adapting to new challenges and nimble in adjusting to sudden change.
Leaders who have high standards not only for themselves but for others continually learn how to improve performance, along with their team. They see opportunity in situations where others would see a setback and lead others positively, from diverse backgrounds and cultures to create an atmosphere of respect, helpfulness, and cooperation.
Leadership is about people, and if you want to become an effective leader, you must draw others into active commitment to the team’s effort and build a spirit of positive relationships and create a sense of purpose beyond the day-to-day tasks of your people.
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