Tag: be a better leader

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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