Tag: an effective leader

Play to Your Strengths or Die

July 21, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

What are your strengths, not just as a leader but as a person, too? Perhaps the most dreaded of all questions in a job interview is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” After all, listing too many positives can sound like bragging, and who wants to admit they even have areas that need improvement? The thing is, even if you’re not currently looking for a career change, a periodic self-assessment can be a great tool for self-improvement, greater success, and yes – increased happiness. The best way to accomplish this is to use pen and paper and to take some time for an honest evaluation of yourself as a leader, and as a person. Break your self-assessment down into three […]

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How to Avoid the Worst Team Dynamics

July 7, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

The moment you recognize that what you thought was your “team” is actually not set up to work together toward a common goal you notice that many of the group members are driven by their own agenda. At that very moment it is your responsibility, as the Team Leader, to transform the group to a team in order to generate success for everyone involved. The transformation begins with increased communication; with you speaking personally and confidentially with each member of the team to discover the underlying cause of your group’s dysfunction. Diagnosing team dysfunction This process alone can begin a catharsis for your team, as each member begins to realize their role in the dysfunction. Your diagnosis starts by asking […]

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When Does a Group Become a Team?

June 30, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

As mentioned in a previous post, Effective Leadership Tools – Promoting Team Dynamics, there is a clear and compelling difference between group dynamics and team dynamics. Knowing the difference may determine your effectiveness as a leader. A group is merely a “community” of people who have something in common, leaving individual members to muddle along as best they can. A team, on the other hand, shares a common goal toward which all members strive, creating a dynamic of dependency toward success – and perhaps reward, as well. Evaluating your team The differences inherent in the two are fundamental, while the difference in performance can be huge and consequential to the success of your team or organization. How do you know […]

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Effective Leadership Tools – Promoting Team Dynamics

June 2, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

In the world of contemporary business management and leadership training, the phrases “group dynamics” and “team dynamics” have essentially become interchangeable. Yet, there is a difference between the two – an important difference – that can lead to failure of your team if you fail to recognize it. Group Dynamics vs. Team Dynamics According to the website Team Technology, a simple definition of group dynamics is, “Groups are a social community, consisting of two or more people who have something in common.” Conversely, and critically, “A team is a special instance of a group in which the commonality is a shared goal.” The difference between the two is clear when you consider the ways in which individuals respond to each […]

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Positive Corporate Culture – Trust, Loyalty, and Relationships

May 26, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

Fortune’s recent “100 Best Companies to Work For” edition talks about corporate culture. In the rankings for this year, aided by surveys taken in a partnership with Great Place To Work, the key to the cultures of the top 100 companies is how the culture fosters relationships between management and employees. The surveys focus on what are called the Trust Index© Survey and the Culture Audit©. “The best workplaces understand the factors that are truly valued by their people. They perpetuate policies, practices and behaviors that strengthen the employee-manager relationship. Employee retention improves, mitigating the costs of continual re-hiring of personnel.” – GreatPlaceToWork.com Relationships are the key to any culture, and the setting, time, and authenticity that supports healthy relationships […]

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Why I Want to Be a Boss – NOT a Leader

May 19, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

Leadership sucks! I always wanted to climb the corporate ladder when I was a young banker. I wanted to climb the industry ladder when I was telecom executive. I always wanted more – more size, more importance, and more impact. I focused on the power and influence I had and – it was great. Or was it? Upon reflection, leadership is hard. Everyone I lead is looking to me to model my stated values and the company’s core values. I have an obligation to do things for the benefit of others. And not just their financial benefit. As I grew up (e.g., threw less temper tantrums and thought longer term), and woke up (e.g., stopped thinking in terms of ME […]

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Effective Leadership Tools – Active Listening

May 12, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

An effective leader employs many skills and tools to inspire and motivate. One of the most important of these may be the skill to listen, rather than merely hear – or tell. While the ability to listen well is not ingrained, the good news is that it can definitely be learned. As with anything else, education, training and practice can be employed to help you become a better listener – and a better leader. Unlike hearing, which is passive, listening is an active process that requires a conscious decision be made; a choice to listen to and understand the message of the speaker, without judgement or rebuttal. Instead, the active listener is committed to hearing and feeling the speaker’s entire […]

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Defining your Role as a Leader

April 28, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

The concept of leadership can be so broad, and the definition so narrow, that trying to identify yourself as an effective leader can be confusing at best and impossible at worst. After all, how can you lead effectively if you have no idea what “being a leader” means? A dictionary definition of leadership is far too narrow, “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” Yet, this one from Bill Gates, “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others,” is more than a bit vague. Instead, maybe we should ask ourselves, “What do great leaders do?” and “What is the role of a leader?” or “How does a leader inspire […]

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How to Avoid Emotional Reactivity

April 21, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

All relationships have certain things in common, whether personal or professional: first, every relationship you enjoy must be based on mutual respect; second, both parties must be willing to listen to each other; third, empathy is key to keeping the relationship moving forward. Staying neutral is the key to effective leadership Effective leadership involves staying emotionally neutral. I don’t mean numb or emotionless, just in control of your emotions, not reactive. To be a better leader, avoid idealizing or reacting to the extreme positive (I love this guy, everything he does is perfect) or being critical or extremely negative (this guy is an idiot). Both of these reactions reflect your projection and capacity to deflate or inflate yourself. The result […]

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Effective Leadership Tools – The Importance and Value of Positivity

April 7, 2015 | By | Add a Comment

If you asked 100 people to define leadership, you’re likely to receive 100 different answers. Although extensive research has been done in recent years on the power of positivity in everyday life, and how effective it can be in business, still far too many leaders are negative or fear-based. Perhaps the most common example of this can be seen in athletic coaches; the stereotypical screamer that heaps harsh criticism on the players whenever they fail to perform to his (usually) unrealistic standards. Is this type of abusive behavior actually effective? It does change behavior. Sometimes very quickly. But there is a price to be paid. What happens when the leader doesn’t have the organizational or economic threat to the employee? […]

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