Leadership

Leadership

5 Hard Truths About Leadership That You Never Stop Learning

Illustration by istockphoto.com

As an Organizational Development and Leadership practitioner, I often find myself having conversations about leadership – what it is and what it isn’t – and how to be a good leader.

It’s time for some truths.

So what are some hard truths about leadership? Read more…

Global HR, Leadership

Hello Goodbye: It’s Critical to Connect and Build Trust With All You Meet

trustyourheartsample

As I looked into his eyes, I could see them welling with tears. As he began to speak, his voice cracked, “Mr. Ron we’ll will miss you so much. It has been my honor to know you.”

As I listened, my eyes teared up in synch. These guys had no idea what they have meant to me over this past year.

As I walked from department to department, the reaction was mostly the same — we were saying our goodbyes. Having spent close to 15 months in a new environment with a workforce that could rival the United Nations — including multiple languages and customs — I was proud of myself for having connected with them. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

The Real Danger With a Results-At-Any-Cost Management Philosophy

123RF Stock Photo

Several years ago, I worked with a major cereal manufacturer whose leadership was concerned that many of the company’s managers weren’t succeeding.

The managers in question had been with the company for some time and had risen through the ranks, and while the company was doing well overall, the leadership suspected that their managers had the potential to have a more positive impact on the company’s success.

My team started with both an annual performance evaluation, which had already been in place for years, and a 360-degree feedback assessment. The performance evaluation measured operational outcomes — how much cereal was manufactured, quality, safety, etc. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Would My Leadership Job Be Easier in a Parallel Universe?

Universe

Sometimes leadership and management jobs just feel ugly and impossible.

I can remember feeling at various points in my career, that the mission just didn’t make sense, or that it was unsupported. I felt like I was out on a limb owning all of the risk, and with not enough resources to succeed.

Or, I felt like the corporate bureaucracy — the board, or another group or particular adversary –, was blocking me (or sabotaging me) from doing the right things that I knew desperately needed to be done.

Welcome to being a leader. Read more…

HR Management, Leadership

Servant Leadership: Here’s Why We Need It Today More Than Ever

123RF Stock Photo

The question caught me off guard.

I’d been offered a promotion, and my manager and I were now talking money. In response to my salary request, he’d asked, “Do you think what you’ll be doing is all that different from what you’re doing now?

For a split second, I wondered if this was a trick question. If I gave the wrong answer, would I end up making less money?

But my boss seemed genuinely curious, so I paused to give his query some serious thought. Read more…

Leadership, Training & Development

The Urgent Need For Leadership Development

DeloiteHCTrends2014

Back in March, I discussed a few takeaways from Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2014 survey. After going through the report again, I think it would be worthwhile to mention some of the other global trends for 2014.

I previously discussed the need to re-skill HR teams, one of the top four (out of 12) global trends that survey respondents perceived as most urgent. I did not, however, discuss the top trend perceived as most urgent by responders — the need to build global leadership.

Fully 38 percent of respondents rated this as “urgent,” 50 percent more than the next trend identified as “urgent.” Read more…

Culture, Leadership

Evolving Your Workplace Culture: History Shows It Takes a Bold Vision

123RF Stock Photo

CEO’s continue to publicly proclaim their efforts to manage significant and meaningful culture change.

Some miss the mark and show their lack of understanding this critical topic. Others, like Satya Nadella of Microsoft, share a much clearer vision and appear like they truly “get it.”

What separates the visionary and capable culture champions from the vast majority of leaders that don’t understand the culture fundamentals? Read more…

Leadership, Talent Management

The Lesson From the Microsoft Cuts: Don’t Mix the Message on Layoffs

Microsoft layoffs

This is not good. One of the guys on the marketing team I work with just got fired. OMG, they just fired another one. It is just crazy around here now.”

As I read the text messages, I could feel the tension that must have permeated this workplace.

The text was from someone who had been in the world of work for four years out of college. This situation with them went on for two days, and as I got the blow-by-blow, it felt like being in a war zone. Read more…

Leadership

Traits of the Great: 5 Qualities That Distinguish the Best Managers

Performance Great Best

Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year.

One of the most important decisions leaders make is simply whom they hire as managers, according to research by the Gallup Organization. Yet Gallup finds companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82 percent of the time.

This is an alarming problem for employee engagement and the development of high-performing cultures. Without the raw natural talent to individualize, focus on each employee’s needs and strengths, boldly review their team members, rally people around a cause, and execute efficient processes, the day-to-day experience will burn out both the manager and their team. Read more…

HR Insights, Leadership

Cool It With Cunning – It’s Emotional Intelligence That Drives Good Leaders

From istockphoto.com

I used to work with a woman I am honest-to-God convinced is evil.

I know that some people are uncomfortable with words like “good,” “bad,” “wrong,” and “evil,” but this executive did evil things, such as lie with the intent to harm, manipulate, backstab, betray, spread malicious gossip, bully, and so on and so forth.

So, sue me if you don’t like my assessment.

Now this woman was what I’d call cunning, but she wasn’t particularly smart. She also lacked emotional intelligence (EI), although casual observers are sometimes fooled into thinking that the ability to be slick or sly is the same as being smart about people. Read more…