Category Archives: Leadership Tips

Good Leaders Know Which Values to Emphasize

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An executive chef is responsible for knowing which values to emphasize.

Today I want to examine the issue of clear values as they relate to leadership. As important as it is to have strong values, good leaders know which values to emphasize. In every aspect of business, values come in to play, and each individual is responsible for upholding the values of the company they work for. I really liked this article I found on Sea Point Center that get this message across very clearly.

Good Leaders Know Which Values to Emphasis

Can everyone in your organization explain each of the values and how they personally act on them? They can at companies like Disney, Starbucks, Southwest, McDonalds and Google – all listed in the top 15 of the 2012 most admired companies.

Why I fired my tree service company

Our fruit trees are sprayed three times during the summer. One day the tree service showed up while my teenage son was mowing the lawn. They were both still there as I returned from work.

The man had aimed his sprayer at the apple tree, but it was a windy day, and the spray was blowing directly toward my son. I jumped out of my car and ran to the man yelling, “Watch out! Your spray is blowing on that boy!”

“I know,” he replied in a reassuring voice. “I asked him, and he said he didn’t mind.” – The boy might not have minded, but his mother sure did!

Because the company had not clearly articulated and communicated safety as guiding values to their employees, they lost my business.

Don’t wait for senior leadership

If you are a team leader, you must help your team translate the company values into team values in order to make them actionable. I don’t want to let senior leadership off the hook, but if the company hasn’t articulated values, it’s not an excuse to wait. Go ahead and create your own team values.

  • Identify the values needed to support your team’s purpose. Don’t assume that any are understood. If integrity or ethics are important, it needs to be listed.
  • Don’t choose more values than people can easily remember. You don’t need to list each person’s personal values. As long as there are no values conflicts, they can still act on them. Focus on the values that are the key drivers to accomplish your mission.
  • Communicate them clearly and frequently so everyone knows what they are. Translate them into behaviors, not simply a list of words. Describing behavioral examples helps people understand what they look like when they are lived.To Read the Full Article click here…
Check in with your employees and find out if they understand what the core values of your company are, recognize that good leaders know which values to emphasize and good employees can interpret those values into consistent actions.
Which values do you emphasis in your business?
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How Not to Be a Good Leader

We talk a lot about how to develop leadership skills, but sometimes it’s fun to look at the other side of the fence – in this case, how not to be a good leader. I would venture to say that at some point in time, we have all come across one. Here’s a fun article posted by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer on the Washington Post which describes the perfect bad boss.

How Not to Be a Good Leader

Step 1: Never allow pride of accomplishment. When we analyzed the events occurring on people’s very worst days at the office, one thing stood out: setbacks. Setbacks are any instances where employees feel stalled in their most important work or unable to make any meaningful contribution. So, at every turn, stymie employees’ desire to make a difference. One of the most effective examples we saw was a head of product development, who routinely moved people on and off projects like chess pieces in a game for which only he had the rules.

The next step follows organically from the first.

Step 2: Miss no opportunity to block progress on employees’ projects. Every day, you’ll see dozens of ways to inhibit substantial forward movement on your subordinates’ most important efforts. Goal-setting is a great place to start. Give conflicting goals, change them as frequently as possible, and allow people no autonomy in meeting them. If you get this formula just right, the destructive effects on motivation and performance can be truly dramatic.

Step 3: Give yourself some credit. You’re probably already doing many of these things, and don’t even realize it. That’s okay. In fact, unawareness is one of the trademarks of managers who are most effective at destroying employees’ work lives. As far as we could tell from talking with them or reading their own diaries, they generally thought their employees were doing just fine – or that “bad morale” was due to the employees’ unfortunate personalities or poor work ethics. Rarely did they give themselves credit for how much their own words and actions made it impossible for people to get a sense of accomplishment. You may be better at this than you think!

original article here

Let’s have some fun here. Do you have a story of a good example of how not be a good leader? Please share it with us.

 

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Leader’s Focus Should Be Individual’s Strengths

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Whether it's music, sports or a sales team the best leaders focus on individual strengths to get the best results.

Every company wants to utilize their employees efficiently and raise overall productivity. In order to do that, the best leader’s focus should be on individual strengths and talents and to place the right workers on jobs they can succeed at.

Happy workers are productive and innovative as well as loyal. When a worker feels proud of their accomplishments they will work twice as hard. What manager doesn’t want that? Steve Roesler on All Things Workplace points out the benefits of using this strategy in one simple example.

Leaders Should Focus on Individual Strengths and Talents

Here is a way to start thinking about where to invest energy: Building Strengths or Overcoming Weaknesses. I’ll use a sales example.

Let’s say you are a sales rep who has a track record of getting appointments and a presentation with 60% of the people on whom you call. But your ability to close the sale is 25%. You have been a sales rep at different companies for 18 years.(Stick with me, I’ve been a sales manager). What you now know is that you’re strength lies in building the initial relationship and being able to get in front of the client. No matter how hard you’ve worked at closing the sale, you’ve never gotten above 25%.

As your sales manager, I’d start thinking: If I help you focus on getting appointments and presentations–and you improve just 10%–then I have someone who can get us in front of a prospective client 66% of the time. If I start focusing on your closing deficit and you manage to improve 10%, you still only get to a 27.5% success rate. So I decide that I –or another “closer” with a high percentage of success–will come along to the presentations.

Read more of this article here

Sometimes even the workers aren’t sure where they really belong, a good leaders focus should be on the individuals strengths. When a manager takes the time to observe and assess the work environment and speak to their employees regularly they promote honest, stress free communication. They also create more opportunities to bring out the best in each employee by allowing them to use their strongest skills.

 

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Leadership and Personal Responsibility

Leadership and personal responsibility are not only about your responsibilities as a leader in an organization, but also about taking personal responsibility for yourself in all aspects of your life: where you have been and where you are going – mistakes, choices, and failures. A good leader owns his or her life and by doing so, sets a good example for others to follow. In this article posted Careerealism by Andria Corso, read about three important factors of personal responsibility.

Leadership and Personal Responsibility

Personal leadership is taking responsibility for all aspects of your life and leading it in the direction that is best for you.

In order to be a successful leader on the job, having strong personal leadership skills is critical.

When you are able to take responsibility for decisions you are making in all areas of your life and are making those decisions in your own best interest, you are better able to have a positive and inspiring impact on others and are also able to be a role model for others in the leadership arena.

There are three factors that impact strong personal leadership skills.

First is your mindset. I’ve spoken and written about the importance of mindset before so if you’ve been following me for a while, you know I believe your mindset about any topic is the foundation of your success in that particular area.

Mindset is defined as, “A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.”

original article here

Leadership and personal responsibility are essential for not only for gaining the respect of the people in your organization, but also for teaching them to own up and learn from their mistakes.

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A Good Leader is a Good Listener

Good leaders know that their job is better done when they have as many people on their side as possible. No one leader can have his or her eyes and ears everywhere without the help of others. We have mentioned before the importance of being able to connect with and inspire your employees and a key factor in that is that a good leader is a good listener. Learn some tips provided by HARVEY SCHACHTER posted on www.theglobeandmail.com.

 A Good Leader is a Good Listener

Danger ahead: Executive not listening. A road sign similar to that might be useful for the corridors of a company where senior managers view conversation as one-way affairs, and refuse to listen to others.

“Listening is a valuable skill that most executives spend little time cultivating,” consultant Bernard Ferrari writes in the McKinsey Quarterly.

To improve, he says, focus on three elements:

1. Show respect: To run a complex organization, you must solicit advice from all corners. Let everyone know that you are open to their viewpoints. Being respectful doesn’t mean avoiding tough questions; good listeners routinely ask them to uncover the information they need. “The goal is ensuring the free and open flow of information and ideas,” he writes.

2. Keep quiet: Your conversation partner should be speaking 80 per cent of the time while you limit yourself to about 20 per cent. To make your speaking time count, ask questions that point the other party in the right direction.

original post here

It is far too easy to hear without listening and you should know that people can tell when you are not listening to them.  A good leader is a good listener, someone who clearly and authentically considers and respects all viewpoints.

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