Category Archives: Leadership Development

Leadership Coaching


The View

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Leadership coaching is a great way to prepare for the future. One leadership skill is recognizing talented individuals in your company for advancement. Everyone can be a leader but there are some who will naturally work their way into it and there are others who will need some more coaching to become a solid leader. Leadership coaching is a great way to safeguard your team's assets by prepping for future responsibilities. Leadership coaching has to fit in with organizational needs and it can be an expense that will not pan out if the correct corporate infrastructure in place to ensure impactful results. John Hoover talks more about the contextual coaching style that maximizes impact.

It seems that leadership coaching, which has blossomed in popularity over the past decade, has somehow become the tail that is wagging the dog. Many organizations have been subsidizing leadership coaching engagements with no platform, systemic structure for identifying and capturing enterprise-wide trends and patterns, nor anyone responsible for analyzing and reporting to upper management on key strategic themes or metrics.

Leadership coaching might be delivering huge returns for the beaucoup dollars being invested. But, who can tell?

Coaching, as it is customarily practiced, usually takes place behind a veil of secrecy or on a desert island where what is revealed under the palm tree remains forever buried beneath the palm tree.

…More at The Leadership Coaching Dilemma: Contextual Coaching Is the

Good leadership teams are in a prime position to identify successful individuals that are part of their team. These individuals can make good candidates for future leadership opportunities. Often a leadership coaching situation can be a tangible benefit to the company and the individual. Leadership coaching can be useful for leaders who are struggling with certain aspects of their leadership and just want to solidify certain skills. Leadership coaching is a great way to improve performance when it is done in context of specific situations that arise within your company. Leadership coaching is a great way to get ready for the future.



11 Leadership Improvements to do Today

Simon Bolivar

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Leaders can integrate these 11 improvements to their leadership skills today. Being the best leader that you can be should be constantly in the back of your mind. Taking the time for even fifteen minutes a day about how to improve on a leadership skill will be time well spent. Leaders hold a heavy weight on their shoulders but are in a strong position to lighten the load by improving their skills. Take a look at these 11 improvements from Margaret Buj and make it a priority to start working to improve today. 

In one leadership study, qualities such as assertiveness, adaptability, intelligence and conscientiousness were cited as the most important. Research clearly shows that transformational leaders – leaders who are positive, inspiring, and who empower and develop followers – are better leaders. They are more valued by followers and have higher performing teams.

As a result, it would only make sense that you strive to improve your leadership skills and get the most out of life for everyone in your sphere.

Consider some of the following tips for how to become a better leader and think about ways that you can implement these strategies in your daily life.

1. Have a clear vision

Take the time to share your vision, your mission and your goals with your team. Your job as a leader is to provide a clear path that your team can follow. Your team also must understand why the goals you have set are valuable to them. Take the time to explain to them, in detail, why and how your vision will not only improve the business, but how it will benefit them in return. Include your team in your strategic planning sessions, ask for feedback and get them to “buy into” your vision for the future of the company.

…More at Top Ways to Improve Your Leadership Skills | Career Rocketeer

Leaders should take their role seriously and work on this list over time. There are eleven great improvements to make today, tomorrow and every day. If we practice a skill it becomes a habit and these natural leadership abilities will become ingrained in your persona and make you a more efficient, likeable, and intelligent leader. Leaders can incorporate these 11 improvements to their leadership skills today. 


Management and Leadership

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Management and leadership are two terms that get tossed around as identical in the business world. Management and leadership are two different but crucial functions of businesses large and small. A manager is adept at keeping structure and maintaining a company's well-being. A leader is someone who guides a company's future. John Kotter covers the three common mistakes that people make and discusses the difference further at the Harvard Business Review.

Mistake #1: People use the terms “management” and “leadership” interchangeably. This shows that they don't see the crucial difference between the two and the vital functions that each role plays.

Mistake #2: People use the term “leadership” to refer to the people at the very top of hierarchies. They then call the people in the layers below them in the organization “management.” And then all the rest are workers, specialists, and individual contributors. This is also a mistake and very misleading.

Mistake #3: People often think of “leadership” in terms of personality characteristics, usually as something they call charisma. Since few people have great charisma, this leads logically to the conclusion that few people can provide leadership, which gets us into increasing trouble.

…More at Management Is (Still) Not Leadership – John Kotter – Harvard

Managers and leaders both help a company thrive but with different means. A manager can be a leader and a leader can be a manager but one does not imply the other and establishing the difference will help to avoid this common error. Management and leadership are terms commonly used synonymously but have very different meanings and we hope that you will avoid this mistake in the future. 


5 Quick Emotional Intelligence Improvements for Leaders

Sky symphony

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Leaders can use five quick improvements to develop their emotional intelligence. Everyone feels a huge spectrum of emotions on a daily basis and a well developed emotional intelligence can help to smooth out the highs and lows to keep an even keel. An ability of a leader to express themselves in all situations is the mark of a great leader. A leader must be able to lead through hectic high-paced environments as well as boost morale among their team when things get sluggish. They need to have the skill to effectively deliver difficult news and keep their emotions in check to keep from negatively affecting their team. Today we examine five ways to improve your emotional intelligence from Preston Ni at Psychology Today.

1. The ability to deal with one's own negative emotions

Perhaps no aspect of EQ is more important than our ability to effectively manage our own negative emotions, so they don't overwhelm us and affect our judgment. In order to change the way we feel about a situation, we must first change the way we think about it. Neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen developed an easy to practice exercise called “ANT Therapy- Killing our Automatic Negative Thoughts,” which helps us examine thenature of our negative experiences, and relate to it in such a way as to reduce our negative emotions. Click on this video link ( to see Dr. Amen explain ANT Therapy (from 01:04 to the end of the clip, and at the very beginning of the next sequence).

…More at 5 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Emotional Intelligence | Psychology

The emotional intelligence of a leader resonates outward and affects all in their vicinity. Teams thrive off of a leader who possesses and skillfully wields charisma and passion to drive purposeful work forward. This leader doles out praise effectively which allows them to deliver criticism that their team accepts with humility. Conversely, a leader who displays random emotional outbursts while threatening and cajoling employees will only marginalize their team. This type of leader will inspire no great actions and ultimately will push people away with their erratic behavior. An effective leader is one who has a firm grasp of their own emotional intelligence. If you need a lesson, or even just a quick refresher, check out the five quick improvements to further develop your emotional intelligence.


Leadership is Earned and Not Bestowed

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Leadership must be earned through hard work which lead to results and is not simply bestowed on a person. Leaders must have taken the time to earn their title in order to foster respect and camaraderie with those they will be leading. A position of leadership that is bestowed will be looked at with skepticism by those that must follow this unknown leader. This is a situation where a leader must act quickly and decisively in order to gain the respect of those they are leading. Teams look to leaders to provide guidance and friendship so a genuine interest is essential for those looking to lead. Two esteemed individuals in the leadership realm shed some more insight on leadership as Dr. Rodger Duncan interviews Mark Sanborn

I’d begin by asking, “Why do you want to lead? What difference do you want to make?”
Leadership has become trendy and many want to be “leaders” but don’t necessarily have compelling reasons. Leadership should be borne out of a desire to contribute rather than simply achieve. Leadership done right benefits both the leader and the greater good: followers, the organization, and/or the community. Know why you want to lead because without compelling reasons, you probably won’t be able to pay the cost of developing your leadership abilities and maintain your commitment in the face of challenges.

…More at Mark Sanborn: You Don't Need a Title to Be a Leader :: Doctor Duncan

This wide-ranging discussion touches on a great many aspects of leadership but the first item mentioned is about earning the title of leader. Many leaders will work their way up the corporate ladder to achieve leadership by gaining responsibility gradually as they go. This is a great way to gain the respect of colleagues and peers. If you are results driven and show a flair for success then people will respect you and trust you to lead them in success as well. This contrasts sharply with those that get assigned a role of leadership and assume that this bestows a pass to behave poorly. Quite the opposite is true, a person who has a title bestowed on them must work doubly hard to earn the respect of their team. A leader who understands that true leadership is earned through service and a drive to succeed will go a lot farther than those that attain a position through bestowal and settle into it with complacency.


Are You a Leader or a Manager?

Training the trainers

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One important distinction to ask yourself when doing a self-evaluation would be: am I a manager or a leader? The answer will depend on many factors. One defining characteristic of leaders however is an ability to command the respect and attention of peers and accomplish projects, tasks, and goals with the help of a team. Managers may be the head of a group of people also but often they are in charge of a task or process.  Jay Hargis writes more about the difference between leadership and management. 

Oftentimes, we discuss management in terms of the ability to get work done through others. However, as organizations have become flatter, we have many managers who manage process and programs vs. people. Are they any less of a manager? In fact, most compensation and promotion programs move people through at least the title of manager on their way to director so the true scope of the work that the manager is responsible for has changed.

Who makes a good manager? If I had the silver bullet answer to this question, I would be wealthy beyond imagination. However, we can examine what seems to make some managers successful and others not so successful. Most managers have one common trait–that is the ability to manage both tasks and process. That is why there are so many people out there with the word “manager” in their job title. However, many of them don’t manage people. Think about it, there are thousands of project managers out there with no direct reports. They manage the process but not the people. They have influence but not direct responsibility.

…More at What are the Differences in Leadership and Management?

How many times do we hear the term manager when leader is more apt? Vice versa? In common speech the two terms are used interchangeably when in fact they could have very different meanings. A leader is someone whom people will readily listen to and take action for. A manager could be in charge of other people but is not necessarily so. Are you a leader or a manager?


Project Leadership in 5 Components

Desert Leader

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Five components can help you with your project leadership. Project leaders are those who possess an understanding of the scope of a project. They know the required objectives and have the knowledge required to complete those objectives. Project leaders are the true drivers of teams despite the fact that they may not be in a management position. James L. Haner tells us the five important components of project leadership from Dr. Peter F. Drucker.

Management guru Dr. Peter F. Drucker said that the performance of the project leader determines the success or failure of the project. The number one reason that project team members stay or leave is how they are treated by their project leaders.

Dr. Drucker described these five key elements of project leadership:

  1. Leader-follower:  project leaders influence the behavior of team members, and vice versa
  2. Influencing:  project leaders and team members using knowledge and competence rather than position and status to influence each other
  3. Project objectives:  outcomes that project leaders and team members want to accomplish
  4. Change:  needed to achieve project objectives
  5. People:  project leadership is about leading team members

Project Leadership is the process of influencing team members to achieve project objectives through change.

…More at Five Key Elements of Project Leadership I Learned From Peter F …

Project leadership is essential to project completion. The success of a project relies heavily on the ability of a project leader to influence their team and keep them moving forward with positive momentum to conquer project objectives. A project leader is responsible for ensuring that the outcome of a project is aligned with the objectives that were put forth in the undertaking of the project. To ensure success with your project keep these five components of project leadership in mind. 


A Few Truths About Management vs. Leadership

The Likes of Whom The People Had Never Seen Before.  Beguiled and Deceived, The Masses Followed Him

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Do you know the difference between management and leadership? Many people believe that management and leadership are synonomous but they are not. A lot of people become managers who are not great leaders. A company will not thrive if a leader is not heading the company and managers are not providing structure. Leaders and managers are both essential to keep a company aligned and moving in the right direction towards success. We take a look at a list of the first five (of ten) truths about the difference between leadership and management brought to us by Dan McCarthy

1. Management and leadership are not the same. Not all leaders are managers and not all managers are leaders. You can be good at one and lousy at the other, or you can be good or bad at both.

2. *Managers plan and budget, organize and staff, control and solve problems, and produce predictability and order.

3. *Leaders establish direction, align people, motivate, inspire, and mentor, and produce change.

*Source: from John Kotter’s What Leaders Really Do, Harvard Business Review.

4. While leadership and management are different, they are complementary and equally important. One is not “gooder” than the other.

5. Organizations need great leadership and great management or they will crash and burn. To what degree of each depends on the degree of change needed.

More at 10 Simple “Truths” about Management vs. Leadership | Great Leadership by Dan 

These truths begin to give us an idea of just what the difference is between leadership and management. Good management is a requirement for any company to succeed by providing the necessary organization. A strong leader will orchestrate and position a company to do great things. Leadership is something to be developed over time while management can be adopted. Take these truths to heart and begin challenging yourself to develop yourself as a leader and as a manager with these truths about management and leadership. 


Conversation Skills in Leadership


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Are conversation skills in leadership declining? Communication, particularly, conversation has changed a great deal over time. While face-to-face and handwritten communication may have been the bread and butter of earlier generations, today is guided through e-mail, text, and other electronic formats. Generation Y joins the workforce with more electronic than face-to-face or fully written text. So how can leaders help?

Mary Ann Allison, an assistant professor of media studies at Hofstra University, has her students keep a log of their own communication habits.

“By paying attention to it, they say, `Wow, it’s a really different conversation when you’re talking with someone and listening to them,” Allison says. They key in on body language, facial expressions and tone of voice – all cues that you lose when you can’t see or hear someone, or when you’re distracted, even in person, by a gadget.

Sternberg, at Fordham, asks her students to give up one form of electronic communication to see what kind of difference it makes in their lives.

She also has them practice simple tasks such as standing up in a room full of people and introducing themselves. Many of them hate the drill, she says, but later tell her how useful it was, especially in the workplace.

Interestingly, Anna’s mom, Joanna Schiferl, is more worried about the effect that texting is having on her daughter’s writing skills than her social skills. Anna tends to rush her writing and pays less attention to grammar, or uses abbreviations she’d use in a text. It is a common observation among parents….More at Text Messaging: Is Texting Ruining The Art Of Conversation?

Schiferi is correct – the effect on writing skills may be the biggest concern. Prime example is a young man I worked with that wanted to move into a leadership role. He had the knowledge, the passion, and the vision needed to lead. Unfortunately he couldn’t get past the abbreviated texting and tweeting format and informality for his  communications, written or verbal. He lacked the art of business conversation as he spent the majority of his time texting and tweeting.

Comunication – effective communication is key to leaderships role in conveying the vision and knowledge  to inspire and mentor others. A key in this is conversation skills in leadership.

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Musings on Leadership – Reflection


We don’t often take time to reflect in leadership. And some don’t ever use reflection as a tool. So I was excited to see Mike Myatt‘s post today:

I love history, and have always enjoyed being a student of history. Earlier this week we launched a new project: The History of Leadership. The project consists of an interactive historical timeline of the world’s greatest leaders dating as far back as 2000 BC. Since history has been recorded, so have great lessons in leadership. The ultimate test of leadership has always been, and will always be, whether or not it can endure the test of time. Time tells a story, validates or invalidates theories, positions, and philosophies, and ultimately, time shapes a leader’s legacy. While anyone can be great in the moment, few can sustain greatness over time. Put simply, there is much to be learned from viewing anything through a historical lens – especially leadership….More at Leadership & History

Reflection gives us an opportunity to evaluate where we have been and plan where we want to go. The project outlined by Myatt provides an additional line of reflection. It allows us to reflect on leaders of our past. An opportunity to find leaders we wish to further explore to learn from not only our past, but their’s.

Knowing that The History of Leadership site is still new and they are looking for feedback, I can forgive oversights in the timeline. I look forward to checking the timeline for leaders to spend some reflection time on leadership. I challenge you to do the same.

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