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 #10 – Be a Grown Up: Don’t gossip

This is my 10th 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 #10        Guard the reputations of others as if they were your own.  Gossip has ruined many solid professional reputations.  Get to know people one on one, and believe your own experience rather than coffee-room whispers.  Forming relationships based on trust and mutual respect allows you to more easily approach people directly if you have questions about them or their work, and to hold the necessary difficult conversations. If you don’t do it for others, do it for yourself:  gossipers create untrustworthy reputations for themselves in the long run.

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 #7 – Be a good leader, not just good at your job

This is my 7th 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 #7          Be a good leader, not just good at your job.  People get promoted much of the time because they’re proficient at the core business of their organizations.  CPAs become CFOs, engineers become project managers, journalists become executive producers.  Organizations need to do a better job at making sure the core requirements of these promotions include expertise related not just to technique, but also to people.  This includes getting educated and experienced in areas like interpersonal communication, motivating teams, creating and communication an organizational vision, providing formal and informal feedback, holding effective meetings, predicting and managing change, and so much more.  conducting evaluations, giving and receiving feedback, and self-awareness, which is the foundation of all of this. (For one example, click here for a New York Times article about 360-degree evaluations.)

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.

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.

The Best Leaders Tip #1 – Have a soul: Be the Golden Rule

This is my 1st 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. 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.


HAVE A SOUL

Best Leader Tip #1          Be the golden rule.  What you hold inside you is what you’ll see manifested in your external world.  If you treat people with kindness, generosity, honesty, caring, and accountability, you will see those qualities returned to you many time over.  It’s the best, and most important, ROI in the world of leadership.  First, be a person of quality – tend to your soul and clean out any darkness there.  Then, lead with your soul shining out to your work and your people.  You’ll know you’re doing it right when you generate respect, love, recognition, and wealth.

The Best Leaders (a new series)

Leadership is a topic widely discussed, researched, and written about – a recent online search for “effective leadership” yielded 13.5 million results; 424,000 in the last month alone.  And apparently we all want to get better at it – there were 203 million hits for an online search of “leadership courses.”

Is all this plethora of information falling on deaf ears? Why are 3.1 million people leaving their jobs this year in the U.S.* –  75% of them because of their bosses**?

Because information and academic programs are not enough – we have to put all this wonderful knowledge into practice as leaders.  Obviously, we’re not doing this well enough yet, and we must get better immediately.

Why?  First, it costs you every time an employee walks out the door – $11 billion is lost due to employee turnover annually.***

Second, the long term success of our organizations is at stake.  All leaders, whether good or bad, set the tone and role model behaviors for their organizations.  If we want good leadership to show up in the future, it has to take root now.

Third, we’re all leaders.  No matter what our job titles or positions in life, we’re all in charge of something – a household, a team, a project.

Fourth, adopting the qualities of good leadership can make us better people, overall.  And who doesn’t aspire to that?

So how do we become better leaders?  Based on my years of experience and study, I’ve put together a list of top 12 qualities.  Together, they add up to this simple mantra:

Have a soul, be brave,  get smart, and be a grown-up.

The complete list of tips appears in my upcoming 12-post Best Leaders series.  Watch for it!

For references and more information on Best Leaders, visit my website.

 


 

*Wall Street Journal, February 2016) http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/02/09/voluntary-job-quitting-hits-highest-level-in-nine-years/

**Gallup/Dale Carnegie http://www.dalecarnegie.com/employee-engagement/engaged-employees-infographic/.

***Dale Carnegie Training    http://www.dalecarnegie.com/employee-engagement/engaged-employees-infographic/

 

 

 

 

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