Lopsided leadership - When leaders' strengths fail

Lopsided leadership - When leaders' strengths fail

In the last decade, leadership development experts have enthusiastically pushed to improve leadership strengths instead of addressing leaders’ weaknesses. This approach may have some success in growing individuals’ effectiveness, but it’s fundamentally flawed. When overemphasized, strengths become overused. This post is the first in the series on Lopsided Leadership.

Read More

Heroic and Post-Heroic Stages

Heroic and Post-Heroic Stages

The theory of developmental stages for leadership indicates that if we try to grow leaders' inner game, rather than outer competencies, leaders increase their capacity to handle more complexity and thus lead more effectively. When working with leaders, we relate the inner game to a strong personal foundation that further underpins competencies. A strong personal foundation includes well-developed emotional intelligence.

Read More

5 Levels of Leadership

5 Levels of Leadership

Different theories of leadership development are based on the fact that leaders, like all adults, progress through stages as they grow and mature. The different descriptive words used by development stage theorists for these stages can be confusing. All have characteristics in common, however.

Using a broad brush, this post summarizes the various stages of leadership development including percentages of leaders in each stage.

Read More

Do you pass the Partnership Test?

Do you pass the Partnership Test?

When facilitating the Crucial Conversations workshop, we spend some time discussing the difference between a "partnership" perspective and a "win-win" perspective. When you think of the word "winner" what words come to mind? Participants often say the following: champion, leader, and...loser. When we approach a situation thinking the word "winner" the word "loser" isn't far behind. As soon as we think "loser" the brain readies itself for the fight. Fight! Now you are going into a conversation readying yourself for a fight. 

Read More

Development Stages and Effective Leader-Managers

Development Stages and Effective Leader-Managers

Developmental theories have been around for decades based on 50 years of psychological research into how adults mature. How are developmental stages applied to leader-managers? How do leader-managers grow into more effective levels of maturity, wisdom and agility? Organizational psychologists have since applied the basic tenets to leadership development. Read further to learn about their conclusions and the affect on leader-manager effectiveness and peak performance.

Read More

Agility and Resilience: The Urgent Need to Grow Better Leaders

Agility and Resilience: The Urgent Need to Grow Better Leaders

Currently, few leadership-development initiatives are addressing the inner game: how leaders perceive, find meaning, make decisions, and handle complexities. However, accredited executive coaches have been preparing for this shift over the evolution of executive and leadership coaching. The shift is from transactional and situational coaching toward coaching the essence of leaders and appreciating developmental-stages theory.

Read More

Leaders Growing Up in a Complex World - Introduction to 5 Development Leadership Stages

Leaders Growing Up in a Complex World - Introduction to 5 Development Leadership Stages

At the higher stages of development, leaders become more successful and their businesses enjoy greater results. With increased leadership effectiveness, there’s a 38% probability of seeing higher business performance, according to a study from The Leadership Circle. A 38% leverage is well beyond most companies’ profit margins, hence developing capable leaders must be a priority.

Read More

The Myth of Work-Life Balance Just Won't Go Away

The Myth of Work-Life Balance Just Won't Go Away

I recently spoke on a panel about the myth of work-life balance. I have been spreading the word since 2005 that there is no such thing as work-life balance. We have been sold a bill-of-goods similar to other career and life cliches such as "you can have it all". I thought this myth would finally fade with growing collective wisdom. But, it keeps rearing it's head. Hence, the need to readdress the myth especially with recent comments by Marissa Mayer (Google fame) that the 130 hour workweek is required for success. Anyone feeling guilty? 

Read More

Your Strengths are the Key to Peak Performance

Your Strengths are the Key to Peak Performance

Peak performance cannot be achieved without getting intimate with your strengths, nurturing those strengths, and using your strengths wisely and strategically aligned with your goals.

Self-knowledge is essential. Do you know your strengths? Do you spend time considering how to best use your strengths? No one will manage your career if you don’t. If you truly want to develop personal passion for your work or re-ignite your passion during mid-career malaise or as you return to work after cancer or other critical illness, ask yourself four critical questions:

Read More

The Wisdom of Mid-career Coaching

The Wisdom of Mid-career Coaching

Often at at this pivotal time of life, clinging to the status quo may, on the surface, appear to be a safer, mature choice. Nothing could be further from the truth. Redoubling your efforts to achieve happiness based on what drove you in the first half of life is foolish. Consider the metaphor of a bridge. If you stay on one side because of comfort of fear, you don't enjoy the benefits of the other side.

Read More