Tag Archives: better leadership skills

The Importance of a Leader Being Able to Admit Mistakes

In our book Enlightened Leadership we talk about the importance of leader being able to admit mistakes.This not only humanizes you in the eyes of your employees, but it also fosters our model of self-responsibility and creates an environment of freedom to make mistakes – something which encourages people to take risks and grow. In this article on PR Web, we see how many leaders are refusing to admit their faults and how this affects their employees.

The Importance of a Leader Being Able to Admit Mistakes

In new research conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a significant percentage of UK line managers have an exaggerated sense of skill and ability to effectively manage their staff. Jane Carroll of Personnel Solutions, HR consultants Manchester warns that situations like this could be affecting company productivity.

‘The cohesion of a team of staff is a crucial aspect to a company’s success, especially regarding smaller, newer enterprises. With small amounts of staff, often in close working contact, it’s essential everyone gets along well and tasks are completed smoothly,’ says Jane Carroll of Personnel Solutions, a Manchester based HR company. ‘If one member of the team is difficult to work with, the effects can be devastating to productivity.’

The study involved 2,000 employees and managers and revealed that one in four line managers – representing nearly 2million employers in the UK possessed an over inflated opinion of themselves and their abilities, which the CIPD warned would impact negatively in various aspects of business.

‘How a line manager behaves directly affects the staff below,’ explains Jane Carroll of Personnel Solutions,HR consultants Manchester. ‘Being unaware of the challenges faced, reoccurring issues and praise due can cause frustration, stress, and in extreme cases staff absences and sickness, all of which can often be avoided.’

Original article here

Do you recognize the importance of leader being able to admit mistakes? How have your mistakes actually benefited your or your employees?



The Relationship Between Modern Leadership and Birds in Formation

Have you ever thought about the relationship between modern leadership and birds flying in formation? In this article posted on The Metro West Daily News, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra of Weston, author of Leadership by Example, talks about the essential qualities of a modern-day leader using the example of birds flying in formation.

The Relationship Between Modern Leadership and Birds in Formation

Exploring the dynamics of leadership, Dr. Sanjiv Chopra cites the shifting roles of birds flying in V-formation, taking turns directing the flock before dropping back to less strenuous positions.

In his new book, “Leadership by Example,’’ the Weston resident observes humans, like migrating birds, can rise beyond their expectations to the demands of leadership.

“Very few of us are leaders all of the time and in everything we do,’’ writes Chopra, professor of medicine and faculty dean of the Department of Continuing Education at Harvard Medical School, “but all of us can become a leader for a certain time, in specific situations.’’

For Chopra, the best leaders inspire by living exemplary lives and encouraging others to “dream big.’’

A graceful writer, he packs his 208-page book with stories about everyday folks like 9-year-old Melissa Poe of Nashville, Tenn., who, inspired by an episode of “Highway to Heaven,’’ started an international environmental organization that has planted more than a million trees in 15 countries. A native of India, Chopra draws from a global pantheon of great leaders throughout history, from Buddha to FDR, from Soren Kierkegaard to Gandhi, to illustrate the power of selflessness and idealism.

original article here

The next time you find yourself feeling a loss of energy from flying out in front for too long, we ask you to think about the relationship between modern leadership and birds in formation and then let someone else take the lead for a while.



Be Honest About Which Goals Really Matter to You


Be honest about which goals really matter to you.

If you are like most people you have thoughts about different kinds of projects and goals you would like to accomplish. What I’ve noticed recently is that most people, including myself, don’t act on those dreams and visions as often as we would like.

To overcome this problem, you need to be honest about which goals really matter to you. I found this wonderful article  that sheds some light on why our ambition seems to diminish when it comes to things we say we think we want to do.

Be Honest About Which Goals Really Matter to You

I have been challenging myself a lot lately regarding my goals and dreams. I say I want to XYZ, but if I am honest, there are many signs that should tell me that I really don’t want to do this. It is a goal I want to want. Something that I think would be interesting to want. But I have to push myself to get enthused about it.


Here is an example. I have been saying for many years that I wanted to get my PhD. I even enrolled in a great program and was underway. It was a slog for all the usual reasons including that I was working full time and trying to have a life. I thought this was normal and it is to a point. But even if I had all the time in the world it would be a slog. And now I can be at peace and tell you I really don’t want a PhD. I wanted to want it.


Quitting the program hurt because I had already made an investment. But is it ever right to continue spending time and money when it’s no longer a goal? No, it is not (especially if you do not need the credential/outcome, which I don’t). Read the full article here…


I am pretty sure all of you have your own examples of times when you “wanted to want” a certain goal and may have even felt a twinge of guilt about not getting it done. Isn’t it time to  be honest about which goals really matter to you? It’s actually a  very good feeling to let go of those things you have no real ambition for and to embrace one thing that means the most to you. As you can see, understanding this concept is important for good leadership.

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How You Can Profit from Sitting on a Board of Non-Profits

Do you know how you can profit from sitting on the board of a non-profit? We know this may sound counter-intuitive at first, but many leaders have talked about the myriad ways in which non-profits have served them as leaders. In this article posted on Forbes by Geri Stengel, you can see how volunteering for a non-profit board make work for you.

How You Can Profit from Sitting on a Board of Non-Profits

Let’s face it: When you’re the head of a small business, you want to develop your leadership skills and, if you are like most entrepreneurs, contribute to your community. What if you could do good and beef up your leadership skills at the same time?

As a business owner, you have more than money to contribute. Being on the board of a nonprofit is great way to give back. It is also a great way to improve your leadership skills.

Many big companies recognize that being on nonprofit boards builds “soft” leadership skills. They pay for rising stars in their companies to go through nonprofit board training and encourage nonprofit board service, according to Nicole T. Sebastian, deputy executive director of  VCG Governance Matters, which places people on nonprofit boards.

Founders of small to mid-sized companies also recognize the importance of board service as way to improve their leadership skills. Many successful entrepreneurs — some pretty big players — credit their success to integrating nonprofit work into their business plan.

original article here

If this is something you have never thought about before, we ask you to do think about how you can profit from sitting on the board of a non-profits. Not only can you learn skills you may not have acquired while staying in your comfort zone, but you can also gain connections, mentors, peers, and even friendships.


The Right Leadership Skills and How to Apply Them

A good leader needs not only the skills to head a successful organization, but also has to know how to apply those skills in the right places at the right time. We like to make it simple and we found an article that is right in line with us when it comes to the right leadership skills and how to apply them, posted by a guest columnist on About Leaders

The Right Leadership Skills and How to Apply Them

What are the critical leadership skills and leadership qualities that build and sustain a growing business?

Randy Pound, VP at Centennial Executive Search calls them the 4 “C”s. The 4 “C”s are put into action by finding, hiring, and developing great people – individuals who have the capacity to deliver the 4 “C”s for leadership success:

  • Competence. Meets and exceeds position requirements and anticipates organizational needs where innovation, collaboration, and creativity are required to sustain a competitive advantage and maximize profitability.
  • Culture. Understands that every organization is a compilation of many sub-cultures, diverse goals, and personal objectives. Knows how to utilize that knowledge to obtain the best efforts of all employees for the benefit of the entire organization.
  • Chemistry. Recognizes how behavior and group dynamics actually feeds or discourages group achievement and is able to motivate and get the best out of everyone. Believes that everyone wants to make a difference and know they are valued.
  • Character. Displays the strength and energy to keep moving forward even in the face of ambiguity and difficult challenges, ensuring that not only will they excel, but everyone around them will also.

Original article here

Did they miss anything or is this right on the money? Do you have anything to add on the right leadership skills and how to apply them? If so, please share your thoughts or experiences on leadership.


Good Leaders Know Which Values to Emphasize

free from morguefile.com

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.



Lessons in Leadership from Star Trek

Are you ready to lead your organization where no other has gone before? Okay, yes we are having some fun here – but we are also serious. We can learn lessons in leadership from Star Trek. Captain Kirk was a great leader in every sense. He valued his team, their contributions and opinions, and always encouraged them to be creative. In this clever piece from Forbes, posted by Alex Knapp, we get a lighthearted approach to what good leadership is.

Leadership Lessons from Star Trek

Here are five of the key leadership lessons that you can take away from Captain Kirk as you pilot your own organization into unknown futures.

1. Never Stop Learning

“You know the greatest danger facing us is ourselves, an irrational fear of the unknown. But there’s no such thing as the unknown– only things temporarily hidden, temporarily not understood.”

Captain Kirk may have a reputation as a suave ladies man, but don’t let that exterior cool fool you. Kirk’s reputation at the Academy was that of a “walking stack of books,” in the words of his former first officer, Gary Mitchell. And a passion for learning helped him through several missions. Perhaps the best demonstration of this is in the episode “Arena,” where Kirk is forced to fight a Gorn Captain in single combat by advanced beings. Using his own knowledge and materials at hand, Kirk is able to build a rudimentary shotgun, which he uses to defeat the Gorn.

If you think about it, there’s no need for a 23rd Century Starship Captain to know how to mix and prepare gunpowder if the occasion called for it. After all, Starfleet officers fight with phasers and photon torpedoes. To them, gunpowder is obsolete. But the same drive for knowledge that drove Kirk to the stars also caused him to learn that bit of information, and it paid off several years later.

2. Have Advisors With Different Worldviews

“One of the advantages of being a captain, Doctor, is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.”

Kirk’s closest two advisors are Commander Spock, a Vulcan committed to a philosophy of logic, and Dr. Leonard McCoy, a human driven by compassion and scientific curiosity. Both Spock and McCoy are frequently at odds with each other, recommended different courses of action and bringing very different types of arguments to bear in defense of those points of view. Kirk sometimes goes with one, or the other, or sometimes takes their advice as a springboard to developing an entirely different course of action.

original article here

 When you think about it, the whole theme applies here. In a new-age global market our horizons have been expanded far beyond what they were even 25 ago. Catch the spirit of adventure and take some lessons in leadership from Star Trek.


The Importance of Communication Skills in a Global Market

In today’s global market, there is more opportunity for growth and expansion than ever before.The importance of communication skills in a global market cannot be underestimated. Not only do you need to be able to effectively communicate with employees from other cultures, but they too need to be trained to communicate across their own borders. In this article posted on Market Watch, we get insight from Hays Journal, a world-class global specialist recruiting group, on how to be effective in an international evironment.

The Importance of Communication Skills in a Global Market

Communication skills are becoming vital if global business leaders are to effectively manage people across international boundaries, says recruiting experts Hays.

In its latest Hays Journal, out this week, the recruiter explores the growing importance of communication in international people management. Says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong: “For business leaders in an increasingly global, 24/7 environment, how they communicate with a multi-lingual and multi-cultural team, located across different time zones and markets, is increasingly important and critical to business success.

“Even the most globetrotting manager cannot be everywhere at once. The world of work is increasingly complex and in our experience of recruiting world-class leaders, strong communication skills are vitally important in a successful leader. They allow a leader to remain attuned to the different cultural and societal expectations of global teams through regular contact, while keeping in mind regional sensitivities and market differences.

“This includes being aware of how what you are saying is perceived by others, especially if English is not their first language.”

There has been some debate about whether such skills can be taught. “Certainly it requires multiple interventions over a period of time,” says Marc. “It’s also about bringing people together – networks are hugely important to learning, while ongoing leadership and talent development are also critical.

“Leaders can develop the skills and qualities necessary to build, engage and foster team spirit across different time zones and geographies. Many organisations run their own diversity and inclusion training programmes for managers, with extra programmes offered for those likely to work with staff across geographies.

“This includes managing different ways of working, such as differing leadership and cultural styles. Coaching and training in effective communication techniques, such as the danger of ambiguity, the need for clarity and the benefits of picking up the phone or even getting on a plane, are also essential. How you communicate is vital.

Original article here

The importance of communication skills in a global market is important not only for reaching out to your customer, client and partner base, but also in managing a multi-cultural business environment. Make sure your organization is ready for the challenge.


The Value of an Adaptable Skill Set

A good leader and his or her team is like a Swiss Army knife: easily adaptable to perform many functions in a variety of situations.The value of an adaptable skill set is something most any leader should understand. In this article from Trade Arabia, Stephan Scholz, Shell’s Vice 44President – Human Resources for Middle East and North Africa, talks about his unique leadership development model and how he applies it to today’s ever-changing global market.

The Importance of an Adaptable Skill Set

Future leaders will need to equip themselves with a number of leadership competences and skills to enable them to deliver their vision, as the world becomes more uncertain with significant emerging economies, a top Shell executive said.

Stephan Scholz, Shell’s Vice President – Human Resources for Middle East and North Africa, reflected on the current global environment and shared Shell’s leadership development model in his key note speech at the Kuwait Oil Company’s third Sharing Best Practices Conference.

Scholz said: “Shell operates in a complex, fast-paced and networked world. Managing the global operational footprint, increasing number of joint ventures, and rising energy demand presents new types of challenges for leaders. The new Shell Leadership model provides a focus on the leadership qualities needed for the future.

“The qualities are defined by four key attributes starting with “Authenticity” to inspire professionalism and resilience; “Growth” to ensure leaders capture opportunities to generate value to the organization; “Collaboration” to build strong partnerships and “Performance” to deliver extraordinary business outcomes by investing in people so that teams are fit for the future.”

Ahmad Atallah, chairman and managing director for Shell Companies in Kuwait, commented on the sidelines of the conference by saying: “Working with Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, we both get the opportunity to share ways of working and best practices through our ongoing interactions. The Shell Leadership Model and Attributes ensure that Shell experts working with Kuwait will contribute effectively to building a sustainable energy future through their drive to perform and deliver, while inspiring the young Kuwaiti engineers to adopt global professional standards that focus on the leadership attributes.”

Original article here

The value of an adaptable skill set in today’s ever-changing business environment is something a leader should keep in mind. Make sure you and your team have a wide variety of tools at your disposal so that you are ready for whatever comes your way.