Consulting – How and Why

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The Oracle Way to Consulting by Kim Miller provides insight into what makes Oracle’s consultants some of the most respected consultants in the industry. Professionalism, managing client behaviors, clear communication, and tackling unexpected challenges are all necessary to be a successful consultant. Miller focuses on how consultants can best plan for their own futures and be the architects of their career paths.photogrid_1488465092456.png

CONSULTING EXPLAINED

A consultant’s role is part teacher, part entertainer, part trusted colleague, and part personal assistant. Successful consultants wear many hats with ease, and have mastered a variety of skills. An effective consultant sets client expectations early and leads by example. Good consultants have mastered the skill of getting others to trust them quickly. To maintain trust, consultants should follow a responsible, ethical code of conduct. The best consultants are those that provide value-added services. These services allow clients to become more self-sufficient and ensure a long-term relationship between consultant and client.

While the soft skills of consulting can be taught, some people are naturally better suited to consulting than others. Without aptitude for the job, and a desire to perform at the highest level, even a competent person may fail in a consulting role. Not all consultants are created equal.

Consultants must understand how they fit into the overall hierarchy of their implementation teams. Consultants regularly interact with project managers, team leads, and subject-matter experts. They may also pull in other team members in clients’ organizations, or interact with other experts who are brought in to provide additional expertise.

A consultant should adhere to the following best practices:

*Always achieve an understanding of one’s role in the project prior to meeting the client.

*Defer to the project manager when appropriate.

*Know the key players and their roles.

*Aim to help the client take ownership of the project as his or her skills and understanding of the project increase.

THE ELEVATOR PITCH

An elevator pitch is a brief summary of personal experience. The perfect consultant elevator pitch should succinctly answer the question, “Tell me about [yourself/product/methodology/technology].” This pitch is brief and to the point. It can be used to generate word-of-mouth buzz or entice potential clients. A consultant should have several of these elevator pitches memorized, with each tailored to a specific query or situation. There are a few rules for crafting a winning pitch:

*Explain one’s position at the company.

*Explain the precise role one plays in that position.

*End the pitch with a question to encourage a dialogue with the listener.

In follow-up discussions, consultants should be prepared to explain what exactly their companies do. A consultant should also be able to clearly explain the benefits of his or her services. Consultants should be wary of over-selling or under-selling their abilities, as neither path ends up being productive in the long term.

GETTING AN ASSIGNMENT

Consultants should always be prepared for questions, especially during the interview and hiring process. The client will have many questions, and the consultant should come prepared with a copy of his or her résumé. Consultants should practice interviewing with peers or managers who are willing to critique their performances.

After a consultant is selected to go on an assignment, the consultant should put together a checklist to prepare for the tasks ahead. Research should be conducted independently and combined with information provided by the project manager. Consultants should make an effort to introduce themselves to their new teammates as soon as possible.

When a new assignment begins, the consultant should let the client’s team know what to expect and what the consultant will need from them. All eyes will be on the consultant, so he or she must lead by example.

CONSULTING AS A SECOND CAREER

Many professionals transition into consulting as a second career. Before making this change, potential consultants should consider their qualifications, both personally and professionally. Without the basic aptitude for the position, a person’s second career as a consultant will not last.

New consultants should be prepared to learn on the job and work their way up. Before making a career change, people should ask themselves the following questions:

*Have I ever successfully taught adults?

*Do I want to spend extended time away from home?

*Do I enjoy working long hours?

*Am I a team player?

*Can I balance a position that requires leadership, delegation, and the ability to follow at the same time?

*Am I able to apply knowledge to different types of situations?

*Am I able to keep calm under pressure?

Positive answers are a good indication that a person has the temperament to be a successful consultant.

BEING EFFECTIVE ON DAY 1 AND DAY 10,000

Those who feel qualified to become consultants should also make sure they are prepared to be effective from the start. Part of being effective is having the right mind-set. Oracle’s consultants are known to excel because they freely share information and work tirelessly toward the success of their clients, rather than having one eye on their own personal advancement.

Before their first day on the job, consultants should schedule meetings and orientations with their managers. New consultants should ask managers why they were hired, and then capitalize on that perceived value. If there are any other lingering questions, consultants should get them answered on the first day. Consultants may look foolish further down the line if they fail to ask the right questions early in the process.

On the second day, new consultants should determine how new hires are integrated into client projects. They should take the initiative to learn as much as they can about their first assignments, and get up to speed about the current implementation processes. They should then focus on building the skills that will make them valuable on their assignments.

BEWARE OF OR EMBRACE INDEPENDENT CONSULTANTS?

Some consultants find it difficult to work with independent consultants, as they are often more focused on billable hours than client outcomes. Independent consultants are often hired by clients because they are cheaper than hiring more staff. If a client brings on an independent consultant, it can also be a red flag, indicating that the other consultant is not adding enough value to justify his or her cost.

Consultants should maintain a courteous and professional demeanor when dealing with independent consultants. Consultants should touch base with their managers to best understand the role of the independent consultant in a particular implementation, and determine how much transparency is required when speaking with that person.

SEE THE WORLD

Consulting can be an exciting career for those who love to travel and meet new people, but the demands of consulting can also take a toll on families. As with any career, striking the correct work/life balance can be difficult. Travel is also not without its perils, so consultants who are not married or living with someone should make sure to have a friend or colleague who follow their movements. In the event of a problem, the consultant will have at least one person who knows where he or she is supposed to be. The rewards of travel can be both professional and personal, and many consultants will have opportunities to visit many different countries. When traveling, the consultant should take the time to learn the accepted business etiquette in different cultures.

PREDICT THE UNEXPECTED

The most important skill a consultant can master is the art of setting effective expectations. Consultants must develop and execute their plans, and then recap those plans for the benefit of clients and managers. The process for achieving positive results should always be the shortest path possible. A consultant’s word is his or her bond. Therefore, a consultant should say what he or she is going to do, do it, and then tell everyone what he or she did. If there is an unexpected change in scope, a change order should be generated.

AUTHORITY AND OFFICE POLITICS

Consultants should be knowledgeable about products, but they must also build other skills so that their services have added value. One major challenge that consultants must contend with is the fact that they have no authority over their clients. Therefore, consultants must tailor their approaches for each client team, and find a way to work effectively with each team. When issues arise, consultants should try to obtain definitions of the issues in a way that will not alienate clients. This will result in a solution that does not ruffle any feathers.

Leveraging one’s pseudo-authority is an important skill in any consultant’s toolbox. Building strong relationships with clients is an important step in the right direction. Consultants should establish their credibility early in the consulting process, and continually re-establish their expertise. Consultants should also leverage the expertise of those around them in the project ecosystem.

Consultants should stay above the fray when it comes to company politics. They should have respect for politics and find a niche within the political power structure where they can be the most effective. When discussing office politics with the client team, a consultant can be a sympathetic ear, but he or she must never offer any opinions about the issue at hand.

PROFESSIONALISM AND INTEGRITY

There is no substitute for professionalism — no other skill or attribute can put a client at ease as quickly. Professionalism should be a part of every consultant’s attire, speech, written communication, and actions. Professional behavior leaves a lasting impression with clients, which can lead to renewed contracts or referral business. Being professional also means being approachable. Clients may find it difficult to ask for help, so consultants should be humble and courteous. All work and spending should be carefully documented.

TIME MANAGEMENT AND MEETINGS

Consultants must plan every day. They must manage their own time, as well as the client team’s time. Consultants should also have alternative plans in place to handle any unforeseen complications. It is important that an alternative plan also be realistic, and based on the capabilities and skill level of the client team. Planning and time management should be documented in some way. Not only does this help consultants stay organized, but it provides the client team with a living document of the plan.

Consultants tend to spend a lot of time in meetings. The importance of a meeting is an indicator of how much prior preparation is required. Every meeting should have a clearly written agenda, which will help set expectations for all involved. The invitee list for each meeting should be tailored so that only stakeholders and decision makers are involved. Consultants should ensure that attendees stay on topic for the duration of the meeting.

CHILDREN MAKE THE BEST NEGOTIATORS

A child can be the best negotiator. A consultant should try to mimic a child’s innate ability to convince adults to do something, without the adults even realizing what is happening. Consultants should be able to warm clients up to an idea, but allow the client to take the final step. When a client thinks an idea was his or her own, he or she will be more likely to follow through on implementation.

MANAGING CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS

Consultants need to help clients approach new situations and products in a way that counters clients’ assumptions and preconceptions. Novice consultants may struggle with some of their clients’ more challenging behaviors. Many people do not adapt well to changes in the workplace, so consultants must be understanding of clients’ fears. Not all challenging behaviors need to be addressed. If the behaviors do not impact the work, consultants can leave them be.

EFFECTIVE WRITING

Consultants must craft all written records and communications with great care. They should use legally defensible facts, and document all results or benefits to clients to add value. Consultants should solicit feedback on their documentation from their own companies and colleagues. Consultants should also be able to clearly state their experiences and expertise in their résumés.

Consultants create a lot of documentation, and it is important for that documentation to be factual and clear. Emotions should be left out entirely. All documentation should have a professional tone. All of the deliverables must be high quality and delivered on or before the deadline. Rookie consultants may underestimate the amount of time it takes to create high-quality documentation, so it is advisable to budget plenty of time for these types of tasks.

Some consultants read their work out loud, or have others read it, in order to ensure that the text is easy to comprehend. Words should be chosen carefully, especially when discussing a part of the implementation that may not be going well. A simple word like “bug” may send some clients into a panic. Words should be chosen in such a way that the reality of situations are made crystal clear, and solutions should be specifically laid out. Last but not least, a consultant should always use spell-check.

LISTEN AND ASK QUESTIONS

Much of the consultant’s job revolves around speaking, but listening is an equally important part of being an effective consultant. Good consultants listen fully before formulating responses. If a consultant does not know exactly how to respond to a query, he or she can start by summarizing the question that was asked. If the consultant does not know the answer to a question, he or she should admit it and immediately promise to find the answer.

Consultants need to ask good questions, and also know how to rephrase questions that are not getting robust answers. A high-quality question will be more likely to result in a high-value answer. Consultants should avoid rhetorical and trick questions, neither of which will advance the progress of the consultant-client relationship.

ACQUIRED COMPANIES: FROM COMPETITOR TO COLLABORATOR

If a company gets acquired after implementation has begun, this can change to flavor of the whole assignment. The consultant should speak with his or her project manager and get guidance on how to fold the new company into the project. The project plan will likely need to be updated in response to the change. Consultants should be empathetic to the stresses associated with this change, but they must remain focused on their tasks.

IMPLEMENTATION

Successful implementation requires the following steps:

*Getting a handoff from the sales team.

*Defining an implementation strategy.

*Gathering customer requirements.

*Translating those requirements into software functionality.

*Testing the solution.

*Training the end users.

*Transitioning to production.

*Going live.

*Transitioning the consulting team off the project.

The implementation team is likely to include a mix of several different teams. Some may be offshore team members, while others may be independent consultants or remote workers. The most important team must be the client team. Consultants should be cognizant of any time zone differences that may present a challenge and plan team activities accordingly. Consultants should foster teamwork among disparate groups.

BE PROACTIVE AND MANAGE YOUR MANAGER

Consultants who want to advance their careers need to make a name for themselves, which means taking initiative, making plans, and building relationships with managers. A consultant’s manager can be an advocate and a partner in advancing the consultant’s career. Consultants need to find out how their managers’ performance is measured and then help their managers meet those benchmarks. Consultants should adapt to their managers’ unique styles and quirks, and set aside time to make sure that their managers are thinking about how to advance the consultants’ careers.

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How Coaching differs

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Types of training session by ANUBHAThe difference between coaching and task status updates. Approximately 85 to 90 percent of one-on-one meetings between managers and employees is spent discussing project status updates, which leaves only ten to 15 percent for actual coaching. Discussing task updates does not grow the employee’s ability to improve their future performance, but coaching does. Many leaders also admit to having much more frequent performance review sessions than career development sessions, and while it is important for employees to receive feedback, it is just as important to develop their commitment to their job and decision-making abilities.

Coaching itself is defined as “interactions that help the individual being coached to expand awareness, discover superior solutions, and make and implement better decisions.” Through coaching, an employee will gain perspective on their situations and be able to come up with an effective solution. They will also develop a higher level of commitment to the solution and the outcome because it came from within themselves. As a coach, it is necessary to make sure that you have the correct mindset and skill set. The mindset is the manner with which the coach guides the conversation with the employee, and it precedes the skill set. A coach’s mindset should dictate that they can get more done by developing their employees and gaining their trust. A coach’s skill set involves actual steps the coach can take during the coaching session, such as listening to both what is said and what is not said, exploring the consequences of particular actions, inquiring about the employee’s desired future state, and holding the employee responsible for agreed-upon commitments.

Coaching is not mentoring, where a more senior individual is guiding the “mentee” through the organization and giving advice that may not be relevant within the next few years. On the contrary, coaching can occur between a manager, their employees, their boss, and between peers. Coaching is also not teaching, where a more senior individual purely conveys information that the student lacks. While coaching does contain elements of teaching, it is more than the straight passing of information. Coaching can also become confused with counseling, which helps people who are experiencing inner turmoil or dysfunctional behavior work out their issues and learn how to behave and act more effectively. Coaching is similar in that it is training people to act more effectively through finding solutions to their own problems, but the people who receive coaching are not always experiencing inner turmoil. Once leaders are aware of exactly what coaching is and coaching’s many benefits, they are ready to proceed to the next step, learning new and effective coaching strategies.

Listening : key for leader

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The most important skill for any leader to have is the ability to Prism Full Form1communicate effectively. This means clearly articulating a vision, connecting with people in a way that promotes understanding, and listening to really hear what people have to say. Six obstacles limit effective communication:

  1. Moving too fast, which can happen due to overreliance on email and texting.
  2. Listening too little.
  3. Failing to show respect for others.
  4. Making assumptions about what others know or understand.
  5. Ignoring the importance of nonverbal communication.
  6. Not checking for understanding.

A key aspect of effective communications is asking the right questions at the right time. There are two kinds of questions:

  1. Closed questions: Questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”These questions convey minimal information.
  2. Open questions: Questions that begin with journalists’ words: who, what, when, where, and why. Open questions produce more information and can be followed by phrases such as “tell me more,” to solicit more information.

The Johari Window, a communications model developed by Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham, stresses the two-way nature of communication. Exposure, on the vertical axis of the window, is the measure of how well communicators let others know what is going on in their minds. Feedback, on the horizontal axis, measures how well communicators are receiving and understanding what is going on in the other party’s head.

There are 10 approaches that can help leaders increase the amount and effectiveness of their exposure. Leaders must:

  1. Be sure their specific concerns are clear by describing specific situations and how they reacted.
  2. Never assume they know what others are thinking or feeling.
  3. Be careful not to convey a judgment — positive or negative — of other people’s characters.
  4. Give concrete examples of what they mean.
  5. Give information rather than advice.
  6. Tailor their conversations to the receivers’ needs.
  7. Check for understanding.
  8. Avoid overloading receivers with information beyond what they can handle and use.
  9. Be level with receivers without “leveling” them.
  10. Maintain their sense of humor and be willing to laugh at themselves.

Listening is a very important part of effective communication. People engage in four types of listening:

  1. Physical listening: The listener is bodily present, but not really paying much attention to what is going on.
  2. Tape listening: The listener is not really interested in what the other person is saying, but is just attentive enough to be able to repeat back word for word what has been said if asked.
  3. Judgmental listening: The listener is developing a rebuttal rather than seeking to understand what the other person is saying.
  4. Active listening: The listener is 100 percent present, with a goal of understanding and not necessarily agreeing.

Active listening is the preferred listening style. One tool to help achieve this is paraphrasing, or repeating what the other party has said in an accurate and neutral summary. The second is reflection, or acknowledging the feelings or emotions the other party has conveyed. In both paraphrasing and reflection, it is important for people not to sound condescending or to give the impression that a technique is being employed.

HIGH IMPACT PRESENTATION By Anubha Walia

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Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 6.08.33 pm Presentation Skills is the most important competency for any employee. I have been conducting session for various escorts, corporates at Senior level and Mid level and I am sharing Roadmap which you can never forget . HR can contact us at 919818446562, training@prismphilosophy.com for development of their staff on this title.

Map It

The best way to start any presentation is with an outline. Outlines help leaders prioritize and organize their thoughts. This is especially important in situations in which there is a large amount of information to distill and disseminate. Although creating an outline takes more time to prepare, it saves the audience time. Mind maps have become a popular way of outlining; particularly helpful is a BRIEF map. Each of the letters in BRIEF stands for a function of a bubble in the map. The middle bubble contains the main idea of the presentation and is called the brief box. The rest of the map should be organized with bubbles that contain the following:

*Background or beginning.
*Reason or relevance.
*Information for inclusion.
*Ending or conclusion.
*Follow-up questions expected to be asked.

Tell It

The best way to persuade an audience is to tell a story. Good stories connect and stick with the audience. When considering the elements of a narrative, it is important to think like a journalist and keep in mind the following key elements:

*A strong headline.
*A compelling lead paragraph.
*A clear sense of conflict.
*Personal voice.
*A consistent narrative thread.
*A logical sequence of events.
*Character development.
*A powerful conclusion.

Stories should be short and simple. Leaders who need to synthesize a large amount of information into an outline should create a narrative map that includes the following:

*Focal point: the headline of the story.
*Setup or challenge: the issue the organization is facing.
*Opportunity: how the organization can resolve the issue.
*Approach: the how, where, or when of the story.
*Payoff: the conclusion.

Talk It

Being brief is not about eliminating or cutting off conversation — it is about meaningful, controlled conversations. In a controlled conversation, a leader asks thoughtful and intentional questions to determine what is interesting to the other person. By controlling the questions, leaders can choose to ask more questions or end the conversation based on the response. A great method for keeping any conversation brief and powerful is to use TALC Tracks:

*Talk: When someone starts talking, a leader should be prepared with a response that has a clear point.
*Actively listen: A leader must listen carefully to the other person to pick up key words, names, dates, and other important details. A leader should be ready to ask open-ended questions with a focus on the elements that are interesting.
*Converse: A leader should jump in with a comment or question when there is a natural pause, be careful not to start an irrelevant conversation, and keep responses short.

Being brief requires an understanding of what is important to the audience. By focusing on the audience’s priorities, leaders show respect for them.

Show It

Multiple studies have shown that visual communications are much more powerful than those with words alone. In fact, screens and interactive media are causing a shift from a world of words to one of images. People now expect their communications to be interactive. Incorporating visuals is a great way to be brief, and can be accomplished by:

*Googling images that relate to the presentation.
*Integrating drawings.
*Using short, online videos.
*Using a whiteboard to illustrate.
*Bringing in show-and-tell items.
*Creating a presentation through programs like prezi.com.
*Adding photography.
*Color-coding memos.
*Using icons instead of frequently used words.

When using visuals, leaders should assume people may not read the accompanying text. Therefore, the visuals should be able to stand on their own. When incorporating videos, leaders should be mindful of the time and quality — videos that are too long or too amateurish will lose the audience.

These guidelines help to make written communications more visually appealing:

*Communications should have a strong subject line or title.
*Readers should not have to scroll down beyond the opening window.
*White space should balance the text.
*Key ideas should be called out.
*Bullets and numbers should feature a strong starting word.
*Unnecessary words should be trimmed.

Leadership Style

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UNDERSTANDING LEADERSHIP STYLE

Leaders often exhibit two types of power. Positional power comes from the leader’s place on the organizational chart and the authority that comes with it. This is the power to hire and fire, to command and direct. Personal power is power that is earned — it flows from the leader’s qualities as an individual. It is granted to the leader by others based on his or her personal qualities, including integrity, respect for others, trustworthiness, and the willingness to work hard and follow through on promises.

People react and respond to what they perceive as a leader’s priorities. These priorities are grounded in two basic concerns: people and production. After interviewing many leaders, management theorists Robert Blake and Jane Mouton developed a leadership model that defined five distinctive leadership styles based on the level of concern shown for people and production:

  1. Bureaucratic. Low level of concern for both production and people. This leader achieves only what is requested and deemed necessary regarding both production and people. A bureaucratic manager”serves the system,” striving to do no more than execute stated policies and procedures.
  2. Supportive: Low level of concern for production and high level of concern for people. Supportive managers want their staff members to be happy, generally believing that productivity stems from happy individuals. They may overreward for minor achievements and be unwilling to address production concerns.
  3. Directive:High level of concern for production and low level of concern for people. Directive managers tend to have a command-and-control mindset, with a low tolerance for mistakes. They may reward well, but expect perfection and use scare tactics in regard to job security.
  4. Traditional: Moderate concern for both production and people. Traditional managers focus on finding the middle ground and keeping things in balance. In trying to achieve satisfaction for everyone, they can get stressed out easily.
  5. Collaborative: Equally high level of concern for both production and people. Collaborative managers aim to create employee satisfaction through the work itself, giving people the support and resources they need to meet challenges. While other leaders see production and people needs in conflict, collaborative managers recognize they are interdependent.

When asked, leaders typically say their styles are either traditional or collaborative. To identify their dominant leadership styles, leaders can ask themselves a series questions, including what matters most to them, how do they tend to handle conflicts between people needs and production needs, how do they assign tasks, and what do they find most frustrating?

The collaborative leadership style is the ideal “home base” for many leaders. Circumstances may call for one of the other leadership styles from time to time, but leaders should always return to the collaborative style. Every other leadership style will provide short-term gains and long-term pain.

HOLD PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE

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IMG_6678Accountability goes hand in hand with authority and responsibility. Holding people accountable for their performance sounds intimidating to most, but it is actually very beneficial for workers. Like most policies, accountability must begin at the top. If CEOs do not hold themselves accountable, they cannot reasonably expect the same of others. Leaders make a habit of setting personal performance goals and sticking to them. The next step is to then promote the same level of accountability across the entire organization. Once these rules are established, they must be enforced. This can be the most unpleasant part of a leader’s job. It does not mean, however, that leaders cannot help employees by way of providing tools and resources for success. Additionally, employees can and should be rewarded when they perform as expected. This will build a culture based on excellence, quality, and supportiveness.

BUILD LOYALTY AND ENGAGEMENT FROM THE MIDDLE

It is not easy to inspire cultural change in managers and have them go on to inspire others. The best way to effect change is to give managers a broader sense of the organization, beyond their own individual departments or teams. After this, it is important to give managers the power to make a difference. This helps to ensure that they are properly aligned with the culture and strategies of senior leadership. Managers should be encouraged to get to know their staff as people, and to develop personal bonds with them. In this way, a team can develop a shared goal. This trust and openness will inevitably go back up the organizational chain to its leaders, who will find they are in charge of an organization with a strong sense of purpose.

BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER

One of the best ways to mend gaps in an organization is through the sharing of information. When employees know what is happening in the boardroom, misunderstanding and misinterpretation are reduced. Communication also brings people together because employees get to express their own points of view more clearly. This decentralized structure is sometimes referred to as horizontal management. Among its benefits, horizontal management can help hold managers accountable. However, leaders need to be mindful that over-decentralization can lead to gaps in communication, and various parts of an organization will develop their own ways of doing things. This can be combated with smart integration of disparate systems and standardization of company-wide operations.

Another proactive way to bring people together is to have experts from different areas of an organization collaborate to develop new best practices that keep different perspective in mind and can be adopted throughout the organization. This technique can bring about great innovations in efficiency and cost reduction. These sorts of initiatives take time and should be approached incrementally. Early successes will build momentum and prove to any potential skeptics that the system is working.

KNOW YOUR PEOPLE – New Leaders

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Effective leaders do not keep their distance from the people they are meant to lead. Making connections with people is the most crucial aspect of leadership. 29496953_498482940546099_3793124209420405687_nThe greatest leaders in the world have gone out of the way to make regular, meaningful connections with their people. However, most managers do not go to this extent. Instead, many make cursory attempts at connection once in a while. Instead of making connections, the would-be managers only highlight how often they are not present. This is not real leadership. Leadership involves taking time to observe employees on the job and gaining some perspective about them and the company as a whole. It takes a special effort to develop these relationships with the front line, but they are valuable and fulfilling.

Spending time with employees is a necessary component of leadership and has a real impact on the performance of a business and its culture. Sharing information with employees inspires loyalty, which in turn leads to less turnaround. Similarly, it is important to be open and accessible to employees at every level of an organization. Employees should take the opportunity to get to know their leaders, just as leaders should make the effort to know more about employees. It can be a lot of work making meaningful connections with the front line, especially in large organizations, but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices.

BREAKING DOWN THE DOORS

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When attempting to “break down doors,” Baldoni recommends building confidence and leveraging it to accomplish good and effect change. Baldoni lists seven angles from which leaders can approach advocacy. Some managers may choose to focus on more than one:

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Six Sigma Certification program

  1. Information — Disseminating data
  2. Charisma — Appeal
  3. Participation — Engaging others
  4. Compromise — Bringing together diverging viewpoints
  5. Reason — The tool of logic
  6. Emotional appeal — Appealing to the heart
  7. Coercion — Application of force

He then delves deeper, outlining the nature of relationships within organizations, the best ways to relate to people, and most important, how to get things done:

*The View from the Middle. Middle managers must be on top of what is happening in their organizations, both above and below them.

*The View Looking Up. In communicating with senior management, managers must be solid in their knowledge of the facts, prepare their pitches well, and build supportive coalitions. They should persist, even if their ideas are initially rejected.

*Relate to People as People. Before asking people to support a point of view, it is crucial to connect with them. This may mean empathizing with alternative viewpoints and even networking with those on the “other side of the aisle.”

*Present Your Ideas. Telling a story about the benefits of a product or idea can help listeners connect. Equally important is presenting with enthusiasm.

*Respect One Another. Managers and employees need to show respect by listening to each other.

*Influence Across Borders. As organizations become leaner and more linear, it is necessary for leaders, particularly in the middle, to exert influence beyond their own departments. They should make themselves available to help in times of change, encourage others with stories of success, and even as they exert influence, remain humble.

*Make Your Case. Baldoni presents a series of action steps but cautions leaders to recognize when it is prudent to repeat steps or change the order. The steps include: taking the temperature of the organization, identifying both supporters and detractors, arguing for the value of propositions, making the business case for propositions, anticipating obstacles and then revising, engaging on an emotional level, and making people feel like they can benefit from a proposal.

*Deal with the Limits of Influence. Sometimes senior managers will dismiss an idea. The challenge for influencers is to persevere.

*Advocate. Advocacy means standing up for what a person believes in. To be the best advocate possible, leaders should provide information about the issues at hand, teach their teams how to articulate them, and prepare their teams for potential adversity.

*Stick to Your Knitting. One note of caution — leaders need to be careful about asking their people to become advocates. They should make sure that people advocating truly believe in the cause, and it is best to limit the number of people involved.

All of these strategies boil down to the fact that a team requires a leader who is not afraid to try new things to achieve great results.

PINNACLE : ELEMENT OF LEADER

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THE PINNACLE

Most leaders who reach the pinnacle do so later in their careers; however, this level is not a resting place for leaders to stop and view their successes. Instead, it is a reproducing place from which they can make the greatest impact of their lives. Level 5 leaders, or pinnacle leaders, strive to lift up as many leaders as they can, tackle as many great challenges as possible, and extend their influences beyond their own organizations and industries.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.28.41 pmGeneral Electric is often cited as a top-ten organization for leaders. For many years it was led by Jack Welch, a Level 5 leader, who emphasized developing other leaders to become Level 4 leaders — or leaders who produce other leaders. Level 5 leaders like Welch can cross lines out of their areas of expertise to speak with authority. People respect them for who they are and what they represent. They often advance the cause of leadership, redefine it, and pour themselves into the next generation of leaders.

The Downside of the Pinnacle

One of the greatest dangers for pinnacle leaders is thinking they have “arrived.” No matter how good they have been in the past, they still need to strategize, weigh decisions, plan, and execute at a very high level. Their leadership momentum can overcome many problems, but even momentum cannot continually compensate for arrogance or stupidity. Level 5 leaders must not treat their organizations as their personal properties. Leaders cannot make decisions with only their personal interests in mind.

When people excel to a high level, a certain mythology grows up around them. They become larger than life in other people’s minds. However, a Level 5 leader must never forget that he started at the bottom as a positional leader. If he becomes successful, it is only because many other people helped along the way.

Best Behaviors on Level 5

Level 5 leaders make room at the top for other leaders. This creates a cycle of positive change in an organization by increasing its size and power. Level 5 leaders also aggressively give power away to other leaders. This comes from their ability to see people not as they are or as others see them, but as they could be. If there are potential leaders in the organization, Level 5 leaders must dedicate time and effort to mentoring them. The best potential leaders will not remain in the organization unless they are helped to climb up to the next level.

True leaders put their egos aside and strive to create successors who go beyond them. They plan to hand off the baton when they are still running at their peak. Leaders must not hurt their organizations’ momentum by staying too long just for their own personal gratification.

Pinnacle leaders are respected outside of their organizations and industries and have reputations that offer high degrees of credibility. The key is leveraging their abilities for the benefit of others outside their direct spheres of influence.

PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT

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PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT : denoted as Level 4 leaders, they invest time, energy, money, and thought into growing others as leaders. This practice of identifying and developing people accentuates the positives of the organization. Bringing out the best in a person is often a catalyst for bringing out the best in the team.

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 5.34.53 pmPeople development is transformative. It invites people into the process of leadership. When new leaders are developed, they become better at what they do and they help everyone who works with them do the same. With the addition of more great leaders, an organization’s efforts improve. Growing the leadership of the organization gives it the ability to expand territory and take on new initiatives.

The Downside of People Development

To lead at Level 4, leaders must focus 80 percent of their attention on others and help them to grow, learn, and achieve. If their focus remains on themselves and what they want, then other people become an obstacle.

Leaders can tell if their egos are obstructing their ability to move to Level 4 simply by observing what happens during their team meetings:

*Do team members freely share their thoughts and ideas?

*If the leader contributes ideas, does the discussion move from his idea to the best idea — and is he happy about it?

*When the team succeeds, do other team members get the majority of the credit?

*Is there a shared sense of pride in the work that is being done?

*When things go wrong, does the leader personally accept the greatest share of the blame?

People development requires patience and big-picture thinking. Helping another person become a competent leader almost always takes longer than expected and is more difficult than anticipated, but the Level 4 leader does it anyway. Otherwise he limits the potential for himself, his people, and his organization.

Best Behaviors on Level 4

To develop people and help them become good leaders, their capacities can be assessed in these areas:

*Stress management: The ability to withstand and overcome pressure, failure, deadlines, and obstacles.

*Skill: The ability to complete specific tasks.

*Thinking: The ability to be creative, develop strategy, solve problems, and adapt.

*Leadership: The ability to gather followers and build a team.

*Attitude: The ability to remain positive and tenacious amidst negative circumstances.

In order to equip others to succeed, Level 4 leaders must follow a five step process:

*Step 1: I do it (competence)

*Step 2: I do it and you are with me (demonstration)

*Step 3: You do it and I am with you (coaching)

*Step 4: You do it (empowerment)

*Step 5: You do it and someone is with you (reproduction)

To create a leadership development culture that cultivates Level 5 leaders, current leaders must:

*Champion leadership: Define and model good leadership.

*Teach leadership: Train leaders on a regular, frequent, and consistent basis.

*Practice leadership: Help emerging leaders to plan and execute.

*Coach leadership: Review new leaders’ performances and correct their errors.

*Reward leadership: Reward good leadership withfair pay, resources, and recognition.