Once upon a time, a company discovered that they could realize a savings of $40,000 annually by inserting paper into the fax machine sideways, thereby cutting transmission time by 15 percent. However, the director reported that, “It will be hard to implement because it means changing behaviour.” Getting people to change just one small behaviour is inherently difficult. How are we to deal with negative emotions that comes along with changes?Read More
For years, I have witnessed companies struggle with creating a better workplace, good profits, and true growth by introducing improvements into every function and process. Competitive pressures keep increasing, the pace of change keeps accelerating, and companies MUST continually search for higher levels of quality, service, and overall business agility. The treadmill moves faster, companies work harder, but results improve slowly or not at all. Dynamic change is not a DIY project.Read More
According to well-documented research from both the Gallup Organization and the Hay Group, roughly 50 to 70 percent of how employees perceive their organization’s climate can be traced to the actions of one person—the leader. More than anyone else, the person in charge creates the conditions and reinforces the tone-from-the-top that directly affect people’s moods at work and ultimately their ability to perform for themselves, their teams, and the organization.
A positive climate protects the bottom line by protecting the organization's reputation; reducing employee turnover; preventing incidents of workplace violence and harassment and complaints involving Human Rights and Ministry of Labour; protecting the business owners and leaders from personal liability. Hence, an authentic positive climate requires a conscious daily moment-by-moment commitment beyond town-hall meetings, team-building events, and rah-rah meetings.Read More
The ability to inspire positive feelings in others is a key leadership quality. The ability to cultivate our own positive feelings is equally important for our own health and well-being. When we feel good, we perform better, are more creative and more productive. Good feelings are like lubrication to the brain—mental efficiency goes up, memory is sharpened, we can understand directions and make better decisions.Read More
Too much strategic thinking leads to not enough attention to operational details. Too much dominance and hard-driving encouragement leads to not enough listening and empathy to individuals.
How can leaders manage people by using their strengths “just right” without overextending them to the point where they become liabilities? How do leaders take full advantage of their natural talents, without going too far? The first step is to acknowledge where you overuse your strengths.Read More
Most leaders are familiar with the concept of leadership competency skill sets coming in pairs. Multiple assessment tools classify people’s preferences as either “task-oriented” vs. “people-oriented", “big picture” vs. “detail-oriented” or “analytic” vs. “intuitive”.
There are many different models of leadership competencies. One model proposed by Kaiser and Kaplan in their book Fear Your Strengths: What You Are Best at Could Be Your Biggest Problem (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013) illustrates the tension of dualities that arise in the execution of leadership responsibilities.Read More
Who hasn’t worked for a star-performing leader who was exceptionally brilliant at operational details and has been micromanaged to death? Or for a supportive boss who asked for everyone’s input but delayed making timely decisions?
Leadership strengths when overemphasized are often overused. This is the downside of strengths-based leadership development. We need to take into account how the very strengths that leaders depend on can be detrimental to careers and to the people they manage.Read More
By guest blogger, Susan Edwards, PCC, CHRP, Development By Design.
Sooner or later after a significant promotion, this challenge seems to hit all leaders between the eyes. Letting go of previously successful approaches is one of the most frequent coaching topics for Sue Edwards executive coaching clients. It’s especially a challenge when the approaches that are no longer appropriate to rely on are the very behaviours that led to the promotion. Why this sudden about face? Why would certain behaviours be considered strengths one day and weaknesses a week later? Are organizations this erratic?Read More
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
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