Create a Shared Vision!

Create a Shared Vision!

Create a Shared Vision – What do followers want? A leader with a compelling vision of the future – which is not usually that leader’s personal view. New research shows that followers respond to a leader who can articulate a vision.  I hope you enjoy this post from Harvard Business Review.

To Lead, Create a Shared Vision

Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from nonleaders. We know this because we asked followers.

In an ongoing project surveying tens of thousands of working people around the world, we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a leader (defined as someone whose direction you would willingly follow)?” Then we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a colleague (defined as someone you’d like to have on your team)?” The number one requirement of a leader—honesty—was also the top-ranking attribute of a good colleague. But the second-highest requirement of a leader, that he or she be forward-looking, applied only to the leader role. Just 27% of respondents selected it as something they want in a colleague, whereas 72% wanted it in a leader. (Among respondents holding more-senior roles in organizations, the percentage was even greater, at 88%.) No other quality showed such a dramatic difference between leader and colleague.

This points to a huge challenge for the rising executive: The trait that most separates the leaders from individual contributors is something that they haven’t had to demonstrate in prior, nonleadership roles. Perhaps that’s why so few leaders seem to have made a habit of looking ahead; researchers who study executives’ work activities estimate that only 3% of the typical business leader’s time is spent envisioning and enlisting. The challenge, as we know, only escalates with managerial level: Leaders on the front line must anticipate merely what comes after current projects wrap up. People at the next level of leadership should be looking several years into the future. And those in the C-suite must focus on a horizon some 10 years distant.

So how do new leaders develop this forward-looking capacity?

You can read the rest of this post at this link

 

Leadership:To Lead, Create a Shared Vision!

What do followers want? A leader with a compelling vision of the future – which is not usually that leader’s personal view. New research shows that followers respond to a leader who can articulate a vision.  I hope you enjoy this post from Harvard Business Review.

To Lead, Create a Shared Vision

Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from nonleaders. We know this because we asked followers.

In an ongoing project surveying tens of thousands of working people around the world, we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a leader (defined as someone whose direction you would willingly follow)?” Then we asked, “What do you look for and admire in a colleague (defined as someone you’d like to have on your team)?” The number one requirement of a leader—honesty—was also the top-ranking attribute of a good colleague. But the second-highest requirement of a leader, that he or she be forward-looking, applied only to the leader role. Just 27% of respondents selected it as something they want in a colleague, whereas 72% wanted it in a leader. (Among respondents holding more-senior roles in organizations, the percentage was even greater, at 88%.) No other quality showed such a dramatic difference between leader and colleague.

This points to a huge challenge for the rising executive: The trait that most separates the leaders from individual contributors is something that they haven’t had to demonstrate in prior, nonleadership roles. Perhaps that’s why so few leaders seem to have made a habit of looking ahead; researchers who study executives’ work activities estimate that only 3% of the typical business leader’s time is spent envisioning and enlisting. The challenge, as we know, only escalates with managerial level: Leaders on the front line must anticipate merely what comes after current projects wrap up. People at the next level of leadership should be looking several years into the future. And those in the C-suite must focus on a horizon some 10 years distant.

So how do new leaders develop this forward-looking capacity?

You can read the rest of this post at this link

 

Leadership Tips from Bill Gates – still the greatest!

Leadership Tips from Bill Gates – still the greatest!

Some 12 years ago Bill Gates wrote a book Business @ the Speed of Thought: Succeeding in the Digital Economy. To say it was influential at the time is an understatement.

I think the leadership tips he gave in it are still valid today.  Here they are:

1. Take two “retreats” every year.

“Leave your office to develop long-range strategies.”  Every leader needs to stand back from the day-to-day activities of the organization and take long hard look – long (forwards and back) and wide – what else is going on in the wider world, right now.  Then it may be time to refresh the vision and refocus the organization

2. Read books on other topics.

“Read books on topics that don’t pertain strictly to your business or industry. It’s the best way to maintain a broad perspective.”  Leaders need an open mind.  I wrote about that here recently.  Open Minds come up with new, innovative, solutions and new destinations – open your mind by reading books outside your immediate field of interest!  You’ll be surprised where it might lead to.

3. Identify problems early.

“Identify problems early by tracking “exceptions,” such as sales figures that suddenly sag for a particular product. Jump on them right away.” You should know your organization well enough to know what are  the key indicators and you should be tracking them.  Don’t just look at them – truly understand – ask questions till you do.  Then act!

4. Stop at the end of each day

“Stop at the end of each day to analyze how well you used it. If you wasted time on things you didn’t need to do, eliminate them tomorrow.”  Take time out to reflect and act on your reflection.  If you find you don’t have time to react then have a look at this link; there is a post and a poll today about managing your email in-box.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in 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.comWendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions

Using emotional intelligence can help you succeed as a leader. But what is emotional intelligence, and why is it that success in life sometimes seems unrelated to intelligence and how hard you are prepared to work?

In 1996 Daniel Goleman wrote his groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence“. His exhaustive research had confirmed that success in life is based more on our ability to manage our emotions than on our intellectual capability or our physical strength.

Dr Goleman describes five main elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-awareness.
  2. Self-regulation.
  3. Motivation.
  4. Empathy.
  5. Social skills.

The ability to call on these five qualities can help you to succeed as a leader.

  1. Self-awareness means you are in touch with your own feelings and emotions. You understand how they affect your behaviour and how they influence those around you.  You can strengthen your self-awareness by keeping a daily journal where you record how you feel each day and then reflect on what you have written.  Take time during the day to monitor yourself, your feelings and how you are reacting to things.
  2. Self-regulation means you don’t let fly with negative emotions or make rushed judgments about things or people.  Successful leaders stay in control of themselves and they are prepared to be flexible while being accountable. To help you do this, you need know your values and where you are not prepared to compromise. Spend some time thinking about what really matters to you.  Make a commitment to be accountable for what you do and practice staying calm. A relaxation technique can help – try this technique on our sister site WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.
  3. Motivated leaders have a clear vision and work consistently towards their goals. Do you have that clear vision and is it still appropriate to you and your organization?  Find out more about developing the right vision at this link. If you get to the point where you are responding to events, rather than being proactive, then take action because your lack of motivation could put your organization at risk.
  4. For leaders, having empathy is critical to managing a successful organization or a successful team.  Empathy means you can put yourself in someone else’s situation. Leaders with empathy help develop their teams as they develop themselves. They make sure that people are treated fairly, and they listen.  As a result they earn respect and loyalty. Practice imagining yourself in someone else’s shoes – put yourself in their position.  Listen carefully to what people say and pay attention to body language – respond to feelings!
  5. Leaders with social skills are good communicators – they communicate well and often. They’re just as open to hearing bad news as good news!  Leaders who have good social skills have the confidence to resolve conflicts before they threaten the team or the organization. Learn to talk to your team and if necessary do some formal training in communication skills and conflict resolution.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage both your own emotions, and those of the people you lead.   Having a high EQ means  knowing what you are feeling, what this means, and how your emotions can affect other people. For leaders, having emotional intelligence is essential for success. Take time to work on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.  They will certainly help ensure that you succeed as a leader.

If you would like to know more about emotional intelligence and how it can help you in job search go to our sister site WiseWolf Leaving the Public Sector.  If you would like to know what emotional intelligence might mean for you in your life outside work then please visit WiseWolf’s Your Happiness Factor.

If you would like to read Dr Goleman’s book click on the picture link below

You can try out an EQ test at this link http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3038

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career. You can email her atwendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 

10 simple ways to become a better leader starting now

Troy Lum is founder and president of Wired2Lead and a proud graduate of Bellevue University’s Master of Arts in Leadership program.  He works to develop leadership skills with businesses large and small. With support from his wife, he found the commitment, time, and cost of pursuing additional education opened new doors. At Bellevue University, he found a program that provided him with the tools and resources to work around his life.

His post on Make it Happen Now provides 10 invlauable tips on how to develop your leadershhip skills.

“Throughout my life, I have been inspiring individuals to become a voice in their community and create change.  While I believed my leadership skills were well tuned, I am a lifelong learner and wanted to expand my knowledge on leadership development. My problem was that I was newly married, welcomed my son into the world and started a new job.  No way was I going to have the time needed to go back to school.

This is where my thinking all changed.  I started to research graduate programs, learning toward an MBA because that is what I was told to get to work in the business community.  While conducting my research on graduate schools and programs, I discovered a school in Nebraska named Bellevue University that had an interesting degree in Leadership.

My degree opened my eyes to new and exciting leadership development skills.  I took these skills and started my own organization working with individuals to develop strong leadership skills.  My passion is to make positive change in the world by developing individuals to change their own community.

 Regardless of your aspirations, becoming a better leader is sure to pave the way.  To become a great leader, a person needs to utilize all the resources available to expand their knowledge.  Leadership lessons are all around us and can be learned from watching movies, reading books and from our peers. The following 10 steps will get you on your way for a successful career and fulfilling life… you can find the 10 steps at this link

Leadership styles – are you the leader for all seasons?


A bonfire lit the sky of Babil Province, as no...

The post that gets the greatest number of visits on this blog is a very short piece I wrote a while ago on different leadership styles – here is the link. I know a picture is worth a thousand words but its success still staggers me – every day it get more hits!

Now leaders, being people, come in all shapes, sizes and personality types and thank goodness for it.

The secret of being a good leader is the ability to be flexible.  Whatever your natural style, If you can adapt that style to meet the needs of the times and your situation, well, in my book, you will be doing OK. And I believe you may be quite unusual.

But, if you are prepared and able to flex, you still need to be able to recognize when a different style is required. For example, a participative leadership style is great in gaining consensus, engagement and a commitment to quality.  But in a conflict situation where survival depends upon making a quick decision, it may have its limitations and could be potentially disastrous

There may be limits for many of us in how far, and for how long, we can adapt from what is our natural style.

It really helps if we understand our natural style and if we can be honest with ourselves about how far we are able to change.  Under stress and over time we tend to revert to what is natural for us.

An action-orientated leader may be great at saving an organization, bringing it out of inertia and building up motivation and morale, short-term.   But that same action-orientated leader may not be the person to develop a vision for the organization long-term.

If you can flex long enough to meet the need, that is great!  If you can’t, and you know it, then have the courage and honesty to admit the problem and put energy into finding someone who can.

So where do you start to become this paragon of leaders who can change styles as required?  Well, start by understanding you.

There are various leadership tests that you can find easily on-line (such as, Myers Briggs) and some of them are free.  Do your homework – find out as much as you can about your own and different leadership styles on this and other websites.

Then start to observe yourself and your organization.  If you look and listen to your people you’ll soon know if your leadership style is right for the times! But be aware, this may mean you have some difficult choices to make. That depends, of course, on how just how good you want to be as a leader!

Wendy Mason is a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence. If you would like to work on developing your leadership ability or your own confidence, Wendy would happy to work with you.  Her Learn to Be Confident Program is at this link. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@confidencecoach.me  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

Are you a good leader? Time for a Mini- Stocktake!

The five dimensions of Meta-leadership as deve...

We all like to think we are good at what we do, don’t we?

I usually work on the assumption that most people take stock of how well they are doing, at least occasionally.  (Sometimes I wonder, though.)  Anyway, here is my checklist for all you leaders out there.  I hope you will take part. So pen and pad at the ready;

  1. To start with – what do you think is special, unique and distinctive about you as a leader?  What marks you out from the crowd – in other words – why should you be the leader?
  2. Ok so now for results – let us start with the positive!  What impressive or striking results have you achieved over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  3. Now, let us go to the other extreme – what did you do that you regretted over the last year, six months, three months, the last month, the last week?
  4. So what lessons have you learned recently?
  5. When did you first become interested in leadership and what have you learned about it (and about yourself) since then?  Has this further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to leadership? What insights have you gained?
  6. What have you done with that learning and how are you managing your own self-development?  When was the last time you undertook any kind of formal self development?
  7. What are you doing to share your learning?  Have you spoken or written about your insights and how has this been received?  If you have not shared, why not?
  8. How do you go about getting feedback on your leadership style anyway?  Do you welcome feedback – would you welcome it from your own team and do they know that?
  9. Where do you go from here – is there anything you need to change about your leadership style for the future?  How will you do it?
  10. Now what are your goals as a leader over the next year? What are your development goals and what development goals do you have for your team? How will you, and they, know when you reach them – how will things be different?

I’d love to think that you would share the results of this mini-review with someone.  But that is asking a lot of a leader isn’t it?  What might happen if you showed your weaknesses?  Would the sky fall in if you admitted there is room for improvement?  Well that is a good review question in itself isn’t it.

Anyway I wish you luck because leadership is one of the most challenging jobs in the world, but in my view, it is quite the most satisfying!
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439