Monthly Archives: March 2018

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.

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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.