Advice to New Leaders

Advice to New Leaders

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

New leaders – leadership is about creating positive change in a group or organization to achieve some long-term objective. It involves having a vision, new leaderssetting goals and knowing how to move  the organization and its people towards them. The key skill for new leaders is learn how to best use your resources. And that includes  your people and using their talents to get you to where you need to be.

As new leaders, you need to be able to show why you should have the authority. Why should you be in that leadership role? To show that you need to understand the organization and the world in which it operates. That way you can win the confidence and trust of the people you will lead. As new leaders you need the best brief you can get. And then you need to ask questions that will show people you are really interested in them and what they are trying to do.

Create more leaders as you go

If you are leading a team, you will need to develop and motivate individuals and groups. It means helping people find meaning and purpose in what they are doing. That is so that they can see it as worthwhile. And as a leader, you have a responsibility to create more leaders throughout you organization. You can do this by setting a positive example.  New leaders succeed by allowing people to learn and develop on the job. And by encouraging them to be proactive. Let them know they really can influence the way the organization achieves success.

If you are the leader, you need to have resilience and be able to overcome obstacles that others would find daunting.  You need to know how to find new solutions and inspire others to do the same thing. Ensure people throughout the organization know that their ideas are welcomed and rewarded.  Help them to have confidence in you, when times are hard.

Be prepared to recognize and reward positive leadership wherever you find it throughout the organization.  Let some of your own power be passed on to those around you.  Just make sure they share your vision and that you have a way to know whether they are staying on the right track.  Accept, as well, that letting go of power means taking risks and being ready to step when things go wrong. That is part of leadership too. Support your emerging new leaders and what you will win is their loyalty. They in turn will support you.

Good luck with your in your new role and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Monday Quotes – Leadership

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

  • “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” Adlai leadershipE. Stevenson II
  • “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.” Dolly Parton
  • “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.” Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.” Groucho Marx
  • “You have to be burning with “an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right.” If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Steve Jobs
  • “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” John C. Maxwell
  • “Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off.” Colin Powell
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

You can find Wendy’s books on Amazon at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on life and your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What Kind Of Leader Are You? Well, let me ask you a question. If you had a choice, what kind of person would you want to follow? It is a good question to ask yourself if you are leader in any capacity. That means from leading a hobby group, a small work team or even a major corporation.

There are some obvious characteristics in our “good leader”, aren’t there? For example, we would all want a leader who acted with integrity. Integrity is the very bedrock of trust and we all hope that we can trust the person who is showing us the way ahead.  As for me, I want to follow someone I believe when they tell me it is safe to take a risk. I’m not going to walk across that rope bridge to a what you tell me is a bright future unless I believe that it really is strong enough to keep me out of the river. Sometimes of course you won’t know any more than I do – but you will certainly know how to find out as much as possible. And you’ll tell me clearly what the facts are and why I should take the risk anyway, if I should.

Of course, we want a leader who has a clear vision of where we are trying to go And their works can paint it so that we can see the destination too. We want someone who can paint the future in colours that lead us to have enough faith to step out with them. We need a message that gets us all turning in the same direction – marching along together. The vision needs to be bright enough to illuminate the way.

What Kind Of Leader Are You?

Most of us would like to follow a leader who wasn’t working for their own ends but for ours. That is a servant leader who is prepared to act with compassion. John Maxwell put it this way: “Servant-leaders never pursue a mission at the expense of their people. Rather, servant-leaders earn the loyalty and best efforts of their people by serving the interests and investing in the development of those they lead. A servant-leader wants to see others succeed.”

Good leaders know that they’re only as good as the people who support them. They invest time and energy in ensuring the well-being and success of their team.

So, what kind of leader are you? Are you demonstrating integrity, vision and compassion? If not, what changes do you plan to make? You will need to change something won’t you? That is if you are serious about your career and expect others to follow you.

If you would like some help in developing your leadership skills please get in touch. Good leaders are modest enough to know that working with a coach really can make a difference.
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in helping people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. She has worked in management as well as coaching and personal development, as well as starting up her own businesses. That means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up a new business or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

 

What is leadership

Leadership – What is leadership and have you got it?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

What is leadership – well, what do you think? The whole world seems to be talking about leadership right now.  How good is it? How bad is it? How to improve it?  But let us think a little about what it is.

At its most basic, leadership is simply one person leading another.  Think of someone in a blindfold being led by another.  If that is going to work, the person doing the leading needs to have some idea where they are going. They need to have some conception of the obstacles on the way and how to overcome them.  Of course,  the person doing the leading needs to be able to inspire confidence in the person being led.  That confidence needs to be strong enough for them at least to take the first step.

What is leadership  in organizations?

Leadership in organizations is the same really.  A leader sees a problem that needs to be fixed or a goal that needs to be achieved. It could be something that no one else sees or something that no one else wants to see because the sight is uncomfortable. But whatever it is, it becomes the focus of the leader’s attention and they set out with determination to deal with it or to achieve it.  Then of course the leader needs to be able to bring others along with them.

This kind of leadership can be at any level in an organization.  Most successful organizations today recognize that and set up systems which empower leaders at all levels.  With information technology it is easy to give people throughout an organization the information they need to become leaders and the tools to lead.  But of course if this is to work well, leadership does need to start at the top. Then leaders throughout the organization will set out in the same direction, supporting each other. They will not be tripping each other up.

If you are supposed to “lead” your organization how a good a job are you doing at setting out a clear vision for the future?  Do the other leaders throughout your organization know where you are going so that they can lead in the same direction?  Do they have the knowledge and information to take your vision forward? If not you have a problem. What are you going to do about it?

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

giving a presentation

Giving a Presentation – Tips

Giving a presentation – there comes a time in every leader/manager’s life when it is necessary to give a presentation. This might be to a board, a small élite team or a very large group. You will want to keep them interested, alert and engaged right through from the start to finish! Here are some tips.

  1. Giving a presentation – start with a bang. Make sure you open with impact. Start off with something that really grabs your audience’s attention. No don’t shout fire – but do say something memorable. Make a strong impression and get their interest straight away. You could start with a remarkable fact about the organization or something surprising about you. But don’t be too shocking in a work environment.
  2. Say why you are there – tell them your purpose. Why are you speaking to them? Tell your audience clearly what this is about. Be clear yourself why you are there and then make it clear to them. Then stick to your purpose. Make sure your presentation is well focused.
  3. Be the leader – stay in control. This is your presentation and you are responsible for it. Show you are in control Make sure you do the talking, not your slides. They only exist to support you Make sure you let your personality show through.
  4. Make it the right length.  Short and interesting is much better than long and boring.  After the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, famous orator Edward Everett stood up and talked about the battle for two hours. Then Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in two minutes. Who do you think made more impact?
  5. Stay on the subject. If you are talking about something your audience is interested in, they will not fall asleep. Do you have some special news to share with them? Are you about to solve a problem for them?  Stay with that and they will stay with you.
  6. Have a call to action. Do you know what you want the audience to do as a result of your presentation? Put it at the end of the presentation for impact. Make it clear and end with it.
  7. You gotta practice! Anything and everything is improved with editing, polishing, smoothing and practicing. Practice your presentation and it will be far more effective when you deliver it.
  8. Be confident.This is easier said than done. But practice will help. Have a short relaxation technique to use in the rest room before hand if you know that you suffer from stage fright. The practice and taking time to prepare properly on the day, will also help with that. Try to enjoy yourself, if you can, then your audience will do so too.
  9. Be ready for the unexpected. Things can go wrong. You can lose your notes on the day, for example. So have a back up plan and, if you can, try out the equipment before you start.
  10. Give a presentation you would enjoy – make it interesting. If you are passionate about your subject and enjoy it, others will too. If you are warm and interesting – they will love it.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Bringing in a new team leader

Team Work – bringing in a new team leader

Bringing in a new team leaderThere will be times when you need to bring in a new team leader. This can disrupt an existing team and impact on their performance. Here are some tips for a smooth transition.

Has your existing team leader had to leave suddenly?  Perhaps they have found a better opportunity elsewhere?  You might have decided it was time to make a change? Whatever the reason, now, you have to bring in someone new to lead the team.

The top priority is to explain what is happening. You don’t want to paint the old leader in a negative light – you know there are loyalties. But you want them to accept the change and the new leader.  Here are some top tips for bringing in a new team leader.

  1. Give the team a clear and honest explanation for the change. If things have not been going well, be careful about attributing any failure specifically to the old team leader. But you can be clear about why a new approach is needed. Then emphasize the background and experience of the new team leader.
  2. Honor the past. If good progress has been made and the old team leader left on good terms, there is something to celebrate. This should be done as part of the change to the new team leader. Again, if the old team leader has been taken ill, it is important to recognize the contribution that they, and the team, have made so far.
  3. Tell the team about the new team leader before they arrive. Give them as much information as you can on why this person has been chosen. Show that that both the team and the new team leader have your confidence. Make sure the team are clear about their roles and your expectations.
  4. Make introductions. When the new team leader arrives introduce them to the team yourself. It is great if this can be over coffee or lunch so that there is an opportunity for some informal chat as well as formal introductions.
  5. Have an induction program. Make sure someone takes responsibility for showing the new team leader round. If you want to minimize any glitch in performance make sure that there is an induction program. The new leader needs to meet key people and know why they are important.
  6. Follow-up. Remember to check back. Don’t wait for the next formal board or project meeting to find out how the new leader is settling in. A short phone call from you asking how the new team leader is settling in will make them feel them feel appreciated. It will also give you early warning if all is not going well. Touch base with the team themselves sometimes to show you haven’t abandoned them. But be careful not to undermine the new team leader when you do it.

If you need support transitioning between team leaders, get in touch. Working with a coach can help a team make the change without disruption.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Are you a good team leader? Take my test.

Are you a good team leader?

Are you a good team leader? Take my test and find out.

Are you a good team leader? See how well you are doing in the leadership stakes. If you are serious about being a good leader, then you should be able to give serious answers to all these questions.

 

  1. There is no “best” style of leadership. How ready are you to be flexible? What do you think this means?
  2. The most successful leaders adapt their leadership style to the ability of the people they lead and the needs of the task. Do you know what those are? How will you find out?
  3. At the start of a task, good leaders explain what, how, why, when, where and what to do to start the task. Do you have that information ready for your team? How will you get it?
  4. Good Leaders recognize that competence and confidence can wax and wane over a project. How will you monitor those variations? How will you be ready to intervene?
  5. Good leaders share leadership when the group is mature. This helps to keep morale and energy up. How strong is your ego feeling today? How will you share leadership?
  6. Enthusiasm and confidence can take a knock when the group realizes just how complicated the challenge is going to be. How are you preparing to monitor this, then step in and support?
  7. A good leader develops the competence and commitment of the team so that they become self-motivated. Have you got the resources available to do this?
  8. Good leaders share the vision-making, as well as the vision. Do you have a process in place to do this?
  9. A good leader refreshes the vision on the journey. Have you made plans for this?
  10. A good leader communicates clearly and listens well. Are you ready to ask your team how well you are communicating?
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Managing Office Politics

Management and Career Development:The Joys of Office Politics

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Politics – A definition – “activities aimed at improving someone’s status or increasing power within an organization” Oxford Dictionaries
This is a re-post, with some slight amendments, of something I wrote a while ago. But I think it is useful and I hope you will agree!

Managing Office Politics – I don’t play chess.  I admire those who do – for me the game is too slow to enjoy.  But I do know the rules!

For me, managing office politics is just like that.  You may decide not to ‘play’ but you do need to know how the game works.

This is true in most work situations but particularly if  you lead or manage a vital project or programme.  If you don’t manage your stakeholders, your initiative may be shot down in ways you never expected.

Stakeholder management (managing those with an interest in what you are doing) doesn’t work if you don’t make sure you understand the politics of the organisation and your particular part of it.

Wherever you have a group of people, you will have a degree of politics operating.

People will usually jockey for position, form alliances, decide who they do like and who they don’t!  They will come to the group with different personalities, sets of values and opinions. Over time a group/team develops a set of norms or standards and ways of working. They develop a pecking order – a hierarchy of status and influence.  This may not necessarily reflect the organisation chart.  For example, the person who controls the stationery cupboard can have quite a lot of power to disrupt their colleague’s day, if they choose to do so, in lots of offices!

If you don’t understand the influence-hierarchy you can find it difficult to get things done, particularly if you are new to an organisation.  And the hierarchy will change over time, as people strive successfully and unsuccessfully to achieve greater influence.

You need to understand the office politics, even if you find the concept of managing office politics distasteful.

And, you will be very lucky indeed if someone actually tells you the rules of the game! It is far better to understand what is going on and  adopt a strategy to keep the negative effects of office politics on you and your work to a minimum.

In reality, it is useful to be regarded as inside the influence group, rather than outside looking in. What you are probably best to aim for is to manage any effects of office politics that directly relate to you!  Then turn them in your favour, or at least minimise any possible harmful e effects on you and your work.

Office politics in its crudest form usually occurs when one, or more than one, person holds (or is seen as holding) a significant amount of power within the office.  This may be formal power – the CEO’s private office is usually a hotbed of office politics – or informal power. Formal power is pretty easy to read.  And, for example, PAs to top managers, who may all wield considerable power,  are fairly easy to discover.

Informal power can arise in a number of ways! Someone with depth of knowledge of the organisation, the key subject matter expert, can accrue significant amounts of informal power.    And sometimes this informal power can be abused; for example, the ‘office bully’ or those in a relationship with someone holding formal power who are unscrupulous players of the office politics’ game.  You need to listen and observe the group you work with and its surrounding organisation to find out more about these!

What can you do to make office politics work for you?

  1. Try to get to know the politically powerful within your organisation.  Don’t be afraid of them – they are often much, more receptive to people who aren’t intimidated by them!  
  2. Make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve.  Deal with their reservations and make sure they understand that you are taking on board their views.   
  3. If someone does try to undermine you, don’t get drawn in. Simply be bold and assertive, but not aggressive.  Make your points clearly and offer good will.  If their negative behaviour persists, then ring-fence them – make sure they have as little as possible to do with your work.
  4. People often play office politics because they are unsure about their own abilities and achievements.  They try to conceal what they believe are their shortcomings behind a façade and to make others feel they are less worthy. Don’t let them undermine your self-esteem – be proud of your own accomplishments and make sure that your efforts are recognised by those who matter. 
  5. Don’t get into direct competition if you can avoid it – it’s a waste of your time! If people know you are doing a good job consistently there is far less opportunity for you to be undermined. 
  6. Forming alliances with senior managers and using them as sponsors and champions for your work can increase your own informal power.  If you have a formal sponsor, make sure they are well informed and really up to date with your project or programme and can talk about it fluently to their colleagues.   As with all stakeholder management – targeted communication of  good quality of information is key to you and your project or programme’s success.

If you want to know more or do want to play the office politics game then here are some books that might be useful!

‘Office Politics: How work really works’ by Guy Browning   http://amzn.to/efTzjO

‘100+ Tactics for Office Politics (Barron’s Business Success)’ by Casey Hawley   http://amzn.to/hkBR6r

For the really evil!

’21 Dirty Tricks at Work: How to Win at Office Politics’ by Mike Phipps, Colin Gautrey http://amzn.to/fFMHQ4

If you would like some more advice of thriving at work, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Transformational leadership – transformational leaders are able to communicate a clear vision. They Transformational leadershipshare a passion for engaging in the journey. Such leaders are able to make the group they lead feel recharged and energized for the challenge ahead.

Transformational leaders win the trust of those they lead. They usually show energy, enthusiasm and passion and they want everyone in the group to succeed. 

Some military and political leaders are transformational leaders. But without honesty and integrity, transformational leadership skills can be misused.

A transformational leader’s behaviour needs to be absolutely consistent and resonant with the vision, the challenge and a commitment to the well-being of the group.

Transformational leadership is best accompanied by a servant leadership approach. This means the leader has a clear set of values and models these for those who are led. The leader needs to give the team confidence that they really can meet the goal.

The transformational leader challenges assumptions

The transformational leader challenges assumptions and stimulates and encourages creativity in those who follow. Those lead need to understand how they can connect with the leader, the organisation and each other.

Obstacles are overcome together. The group and the leader share responsibility for the task. The leader accepts that he/she “carries the can” and team members are not “blamed” when things go.

Each person in the team is appreciated and encouraged in turn to appreciate others. The leader acts as a coach and encourages personal development in team members.

The theory of transformational leadership was introduced by James MacGregor Burns and later developed by Bernard M Bass. Bass.  It proposed that transformational leaders succeed by gaining the trust, respect and admiration of their followers.

Bass saw four different elements working together to make up transformational leadership. These were

  • Intellectual stimulation – encouraging followers’ creativity and ingenuity
  • Support to each follower
  • The sharing of a clear and convincing vision and passion
  • The sharing of values

If you would like to read more you can  find James MacGregor Burns’ classic text at the link at the bottom of this post.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership

Leadership Styles – Life Cycle Leadership – different leadership styles are required across the life cycle of any group activity.

  1. Telling – at the start an activity, task or project, the individual, team or group usually know little about what is required of them and they can be confused and uncoordinated! Generally, they lack the specific skills required for this particular piece of work and they may not know each other. Lacking knowledge and confidence, they are anxious and unwilling to take responsibility for the task. The leader needs to go into “Telling” mode. This means being more directive; focusing on the task, promoting ownership by the individual team member and promoting their confidence. This Telling stage is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, when, and where to do the task.
  2. Selling – as the group develops, the leader focuses on coaching to get them into the delivery stage! They agree how they will behave to complete the task! But in doing this there may be conflict and a leader may need a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. They are still not able to take on responsibility; but, they are willing to work at the task. While the leader is still providing the direction and focusing on the task, he or she is now focusing as well on individuals using two-way communication – listening as well as giving instruction. The leader provides the coaching and support needed to help the individual or group buy into the process.
  3. Participating – as the individual or team becomes more confident and self managed the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style! The team are experienced and able to do the task but may still lack the confidence to take on full responsibility. There is now shared decision-making about how the task will be accomplished and the leader generally provides far less instruction, concentrating instead on strengthening bonds and commitment within the group.
  4. Delegating – when the group is fully mature, the leader is still involved in decisions; but responsibility for how the task will be accomplished has been passed to the group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress. But the group are experienced at the task, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. They are able and willing not only to do the task, but to take responsibility for its completion.

I have described the stages in terms of group behaviour but the same cycle is seen in the development of individuals when they take on a new role.

No one style is right for any leader all the time. Good leaders need the confidence to be flexible, and to adapt themselves according to the situation. The right leadership style will depend on the person or group being led.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link