The Best Leaders Tip #12 – Lead holistically

This is my final of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #12        Lead holistically.  The academic field of leadership is evolving to this, more holistic view of leadership. – where although we understand and acknowledge the various types and styles of leadership and when to use them, we lead as whole people, embracing our teams with all their differences, demonstrating values-based behaviors, setting a clear vision and motivating our people to achieve it, communicating authentically and powerfully, and making sure our organizations are aligned with their entire systems.  This is also known as integrative leadership

To me, this sums up all the steps to being the best leader.

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The Best Leaders Tip #11 – There is no direct line between working around the clock and success

This is my 11th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #11        Take care of yourself.  The most effective leaders know that there is no straight line between success and working around the clock.  Not having a social life, never exercising, eating poorly, and letting your body and mind get out of balance, however, IS a direct path to feeling bad and even illness.  Take care of yourself while you work hard.  Be super organized with your time and you’ll find room for all your priorities, which must include your physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health.

The Best Leaders Tip #9 – Embrace the breadth and depth of diversity

This is my 9th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.

BE A GROWN-UP

Best Leader Tip #9          Embrace diversity in all its definitions.  Although it’s tempting to hang out only with your friends at work (the ones you hire, the ones you know, those with whom you have a lot in common), resist.  Cliques make you narrow and exclusive, and not in a good way.   Instead, be welcoming and expansive.  Seek out and be involved with new hires, and those who are different from you in background, age, professional status, education, mindset, culture, and personality.  You’ll be richer, more well-rounded in your perspective, a more effective professional, and a more mature person.

The Best Leaders Tip #8 – Get Smart: There is no one best leadership style

This is my 8th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #8          Be flexible.  There are situational, transformational, transactional leaders.  There are servant leaders, authoritarians, democratic leaders, laissez-faire, visionary, charismatics, paternalistic, collaborative, consensus-driven, participative, coaching, commanding, pace-setting… We know about most of these, and many of us have identified with one or more of these styles. While scholars differ in how they type leadership practices and behaviors, they agree that the most effective leaders know how to effectively use multiple styles to meet various needs at different times in their organizations. (Read about types of leaders here).

There are many types of leaders, and many tools to help us understand our own styles based on personality and temperament.  I believe these are helpful only to a point, because the best leaders know how they must adapt their leadership styles to be effective in specific situations.  So we have to become proficient in many leadership behaviors, no matter what our natural styles or preferences might be. Read more about leadership theories here.

For example, leading in a crisis requires a more commanding or directive style, and during a strategy or brainstorming session, a collaborative or more hands-off style works better.  Leading through long-term strategy shift, a merger or acquisition, scandal, or economic hardship also require different skills and behaviors.  The best leaders know these differences and when to use them.  Read more here.

Read a New York Times article about leadership styles here.

The Best Leaders Tip #6 – Get Smart: Effective listening is not passive

This is my 6th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #6          Listening isn’t passive.  Effective listening is active, in which the listener participates by asking questions, summarizing what they’ve heard, and clarifying.  At the same time, they refrain from assuming, interrupting, cutting the speaker off, arguing, and making it about them.  How do you know if you’re listening enough?  After your next meeting, ask yourself what specific points of information you gained. If it’s fewer than three items, chances are you’ve spent most of that meeting talking, not listening.  A bonus:  Listening shows you’re interested in people.  And the best leaders are all about their people.

The Best Leaders Tip #5 -Get Smart: Listen more than you talk!

This is my 5th of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.

GET SMART

Best Leader Tip #5          To be smart, you must listen more than you talk.  However, somewhere along the line and especially in our Western culture, talking a lot, being outgoing, loud, and demanding attention became synonymous with leadership.   We talk about qualities like listening, collaboration, and inclusion, but these are not yet seen as the dominant leader traits.  (Maybe because they are less obvious.) No matter what is popular. Listening provides information and insight.  Information is power.  You can’t listen if you’re talking.  So, as they say, close your mouth and open your ears – and your eyes – so you can take in all the important nonverbal communication cues, as well.

The Best Leaders Tip #3 – Be Brave: leadership takes courage

This is my 3rd of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


BE BRAVE

Best Leader Tip #3          More than luck, training, education, or will, leadership takes courage. To be a leader, you need to be braver than you feel, more confident than think you should be.  This includes having the courage to do the right thing and put other people first –  even when it’s unpopular or you think might harm your chances for advancement.  The best leaders speak up and act when they see people (employees, clients, stockholder, customers, the media) being treated unfairly or unethically.  It takes courage to stand up and take a leadership role when others might not volunteer to give it to you.  They don’t hide behind the situation, nor blame others for “having no choice” about their actions.  A leader has strong shoulders on which they are willing to carry the burden of responsibility, accountability, and having the “buck” stop with them.  Read more.

In changing times, you need a plan

tce-front-coverThe start of a new year is always marked by change.  2017 is set to make history, beginning with the dramatic shift in power in our nation’s capitol and its sweeping effects for businesses, organizations, and inevitably, on individuals.  What do these changes mean for you? Whether change has been foisted upon you, or you are determined to finally take charge of your own career and life, you can find guidance in a new book.   This Changes Everything:  Transforming Your Life from the Inside Out is available just in time for you to make this year everything you want.  https://www.amazon.com/dp/0692296921

A highly experienced coach and thought leader on personal and organizational change, I wrote this book to share my proprietary, five-stage model for turning dreams into reality.

I provide explanations of the distinct phases of the change process and practical tips, techniques, and exercises you can use to navigate the emotions and psychology of change.  Full of inspiring stories about how other people have adapted and grown, this lighthearted, empathetic, personal, and even humorous book will empower and equip you to plan and stay on a positive journey toward your best life.

I look forward to hearing how you are changing everything for the better in 2017!

Visit www.communication-leadership-change.com for more information about change, leadership, and coaching from Jaya Bohlmann..

The Best Leaders Tip #2 – Have a soul: Share the Wealth

This is my 2nd of 12 posts about how to be among the Best Leaders.  In these, I provide inspiration for everyone seeking professional and personal growth as a leader of people, projects, groups, teams and organizations. I welcome your comments and feedback.  Visit my website for more information.


Best Leader Tip #2          Share the wealth.  Who are the best leaders?  You can tell by how successful their subordinates are.  Unfortunately, too many people at the top think the way to stay there is to defend their position against perceived threats… including against talented high performers.  This leads to hoarding information, money, opportunities, political capital – things that could be shared with others in order to help them grow.  As in our homes, hoarding is detrimental to organizations for many reasons.  First, ultimately, leaders who hoard are weaker and more vulnerable because they have not engendered the loyalty among their people.  Second, they haven’t created a pipeline of qualified people to succeed them.  This gives the leader and the follower less room to move.  So, be a strong leader by building up those under you. Reward good work with recognition (public and private), bonuses, perks, development opportunities, and other things important to your teams.  Share information that can help them do their jobs well and feel empowered.  In giving, you are stabilizing your organization’s future – and your own.

Daily Thought: The things that support us can constrict our true, natural power. Know the balance.

woman-running-two

I’ve been wearing a soft foot brace for a tiny fracture below the fourth toe on my left foot.  I wear it especially when I run to support the foot and to try to avoid further injury at the very least, if not promote healing.  The brace does its job, while at the same time definitely making its presence known.  I feel it as the appendage it is.  While it keeps my foot compressed and still, it also creates pressure on the bottom of my foot and after a couple of miles, this is irritating.  Today, I ran without the brace.  In the first few steps, I felt a twinge of unease in that foot and nearly turned back to get the brace, afraid I couldn’t do it on my own power.  I kept going, gingerly, slowly, cautiously.  I gained my stride, the discomfort disappeared, I ran my entire distance sans brace.   As usual, I find many running metaphors suitable for advice on life.  In life, as well – the things that we think support us actually do constrain us helpfully.  They also can constrict if too tight, held onto too long, or do not honor our own power that lies just beneath the bands that tie and bind.  What is holding you closed right now?  Is it money you’ve borrowed, a salary you just have to have, a relationship that keeps you safe but chafes at you where your own power meets the road you’re traveling?  Then try a few steps on your own – no support, no artificial structure.  Just you, your power, your honor, your will. Although it might be uncomfortable at first, you just might find yourself hitting your stride quite quickly, and you will flourish in the movement, and in the knowledge that it’s all being done with your own, unfettered power.

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