In today’s demanding business environment (cost pressures, flatter organizations, more direct reports, “speed to market” as a competitive advantage, etc.) you have limited opportunity to devote time and energy to your own development. Most leaders struggle to meet all of the responsibilities of their positions and are too busy and too stressed to step back and learn from their experiences – or to implement changes that establish best practices. The one thing that is in no one’s best interest is for you, as a leader, to forsake your own learning and development – no matter what level you may be. In the current environment, Executive Coaching is one sure-fire way you can continue to develop your executive-level skills, as well as address your developmental and growth needs (which impacts the entire organization), while continuing to run your organization on a day to day basis. Continue Reading…
Archives For alignment
The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.
― Kenneth H. Blanchard
In your never-ending quest to become the best leader you can be, you need to relentlessly seek new ways to ascend to the next level. But how you influence others along the way has an enormous impact on your ability to climb the ladder of success. How can you use your power and influence to create a level of support
around you that will further both your success… and the organizations?
Throughout history leadership has been critical to performance, to success… and to the greater good. Power in the workplace has traditionally been defined as force, dominance, aggression, strength, and authority. Observations could lead you to conclude that only the most powerful make it to the top and that in order to that level you must bring into play perceived force, dominance, aggression, and strength. Not true…
Today, it is far more critical to understand and leverage the dynamics of influence within power. Learning the art of influence as a tool for positively impacting your surroundings and facilitating the achievement of goals will take you far. Influence is about getting things done in the real world – where politics and personalities often seem to hinder rather than help you. Influence makes things happen, despite the obstacles that might stand in your way. Your implicit theories and feelings about power and influence have a profound impact on how you perceive problems and opportunities, and subsequently, how you decide upon a particular course of action. To develop a realistic point of view, you must become aware of and test your assumptions about power and influence. Here are three resources to help you: Continue Reading…
Innovation. Integration. Motivation.
Once again, three simple words…
However, each of these is extremely complex and rarely executed.
In order to win the war for global domination, we must engage both our colleagues and our employees on three key battlefields: Innovation, Integration and Motivation. This week, we will address the second of these combat zones: Integration.
The rapid pace of change and the growing number of collaborative technology solutions has enabled virtual work while the demand for skills from around the world has made it a necessity. However, collaborative teamwork is not intuitive. It’s far more than dealing with technology and time zones – it is about people and the value that cross-cultural, cross-functional integration can bring to the organization. Continue Reading…
Becoming a great leader is more than just a title – it is hard work. It requires unprecedented levels of innovation and a commitment to the organization and its constituents, as well as the ability to continually inspire and motivate others to succeed. One key way to achieve ongoing innovation and sustainable results is through the creation of an execution culture.
You, as a leader, have an opportunity to accelerate progress in your organization through the deployment of Rapid Result Initiatives (RRI’s), which can be used to:
- Increase current performance
- Strengthen collaboration
- Facilitate innovation
- Demonstrate success in the process of executing your long term vision and mission
RRI’s are small, high-leverage, short-term projects that generate immediate impact and measurable results, while tapping into hidden capacity and building momentum to drive large-scale change – usually in 100 days or less.
Exceptional leaders understand they must calculate their steps and fully understand what they have and how to use it most effectively to continually move forward. One very beneficial way to do this is to structure your organization as a portfolio of RRI’s leading to the achievement of ultimate vision. This approach creates the opportunity to pursue strategically critical goals that deliver real impact, while linking directly to the long term plans and objectives of the organization. Each RRI becomes a vehicle for achievement, learning, and the advancement of long term goals.
The core of Rapid Results Initiatives involves working with your teams to set and achieve small, but aggressive, goals in one or more key areas of performance. From this perspective, they are compelled to tap into hidden reserves of capacity and energy to get the job done, taking action and testing assumptions to determine how to best achieve the desired objective on a compressed timeline. Through a succession of fast-paced, results focused initiatives, you can make remarkable gains toward major goals and objectives.
We hear about vision, mission statements and values often enough, but why are they so important? Similar to Alice unsuccessfully trying to open the door to Wonderland, you must have the right keys to shape your company’s culture and reflect what you stand for. They are the essence of your identity as an organization – your principles, beliefs, philosophies… and how you do business. Woven into the fabric of its culture, every work environment should strive to encourage positive values and discourage negative influences that affect behavior and outcomes. We all possess a moral compass, defined via our values, which directs how we treat others and conduct ourselves. As an organization, this can be a powerful tool to shape culture. Ultimately, it does not come back to the company, but its people…
Arguably self-awareness and integrity are an important subset of values, but self-awareness and the pursuit of the truth are so important that they should be on every company’s list of values. If integrity is best described by C.S. Lewis as “doing the right thing, even when nobody is watching,” having the ability to be completely honest about your own strengths, weaknesses, and biases is critical. In developing an authentic, sustainable culture this applies not only to the leadership team, but to every single employee. Self-awareness and integrity are easy to lose… and hard to win back. When cultures are failing there are root causes that must be identified, but that can rarely be fixed quickly – and certainly not by policy and procedural changes. During challenging times, leaders tend want to drink from the blue bottle and — ta da! – see that the company culture is fixed. Unfortunately, building, evolving and transforming cultures takes both time and hard work.
Here are 6 core “keys” that will help you to build toward an amazing organizational culture:
Creating a great company culture can feel like chasing the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole… everywhere you turn are examples of what happens when a company culture goes south. This is most often because companies often get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running the business and forget the importance of creating a remarkable company culture.
Establishing a culture you believe in means having a clear and consistent vision and knowing how you’d like everyone, inside and outside the company, to view the organization. Many old-school executives often view the order of operations as Profit, Policy, Process… and then People. This is completely backwards – it’s people that make a business successful and people that create a culture. The greater the inclusion of people, the more significant the contributions made… which flows over to customer satisfaction – and increased revenue.
Similar to the conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, “if you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which way you go” – so it goes with culture. When you don’t have a clear vision, strategy and plan for execution it doesn’t matter who you hire or what you do – you will wander aimlessly, never arriving at your desired destination. If you have a vision without a strategy, or a strategy without a plan for execution, your corporate culture will fall right down that rabbit hole into Neverland… oops, I mean Wonderland!