Thursday, November 28, 2019

12 Leadership Mea Culpas *

1. Focusing on low performers while neglecting high performers.
     Solution: Spend most of your development resource on "B" performers. Reward "As".
     Develop "Bs".

2. Declaring conclusions.  You've been mulling something over for a few days, and without                     including your team, you tell what you want, your conclusion.
     Solution: Engage people early and often. If you want them to buy in, they need to weigh in.

3. Getting lost in the weeds. In the weeds is good stress, lost in the weeds is bad stress and defeats         us.
     Solution: Reconnect with your "why" and mission. Seek advise from your sounding board.

4. Forgetting you intimidate people because of your position or title.
     Solution: Leaders are on a stage, empathize with those who follow you.

5. Believing all good things people tell you.
     Solution: Seek out  people who tell you the unvarnished truth, value them.
     (avoid the "Emperor New Clothes" stigma.)

6. Giving feedback only when things go wrong.
     Solution: Make it a point to reward what you want repeated.

7. Treating everyone the same. What inspires one, discourages another.
     Solution: Learn the values of your teammates. Utilize the Platinum Rule**.

8. Creating artificial urgency. 
     Solution: Don't pretend there's an emergency in order to fuel energy. Avoid the "crying wolf".             When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

9. Interrupting
    Solution: Shut-up if you tend to interrupt. Listen, learn, that order.

10. Relying on email when things get heated.
       Solution: Pick up the phone when things get hot. Better yet, show up in someone's doorway.

11.  Allowing people to talk theory rather than action in meetings.
        Solution: Ask, "Who does what by when", over and over.

12. Spending too much time talking about problems and not enough exploring options.
       Solution: Say, I hear what went wrong. What might we do about it.?" After the first suggestion            say, "What else?" two or three more times.

* Inspired by Leadership Freak



Sunday, October 6, 2019

Leadership and Power

10 Ways to Expand Power*

1. Make others feel powerful. Expand power by giving authority to people who get things done. Hoarded power shrinks, but shared authority expands your ability to get things done.

2. Expose frailties; never whine. The battle makes you beautiful. Ugly leaders pretend they have it all together. We connect people who work through frailties. The operative expression is "work through." Vulnerability isn't an excuse for weakness.

3. Bring up awkward issues with optimism. Weak leaders dance around elephants. Powerful leaders invite them to dance.

4. Assume you talk too much, if you have position and authority. People with power believe they have the right to talk more than others. Listen at least 60% of the time.

5. Take action after listening. Listening isn't leading. Quiet, by itself, isn't strength. Leaders take action.The more you get done, the more powerful you become. Wrestle big problems into submission.

6. Give permission before its needed. Ask, "Whats next:, then say, "Go for it." Permission-asking is old school.

7. Make people feel important. You're drawn to someone who makes you feel you matter. Expand power by letting others know they matter.

8. Develop and release talent, yours and theirs. Leaders who fear talented people are losers. Ask yourself, "How can I bring out their best?"  Develop strengths. Minimize weaknesses. Mitigate hindrances.

9. Commit to help others reach their goals. Remove teammates whose personal goals and values collide with organizational.

10. Lead by noble values, not the bottom line. Hold to your values even if it costs. Never trust a leader who serves the bottom line before integrity, for example. Leadership is about results, but never sacrifice values for results.

Bonus: Make it better or stop blabbing

* L F


Thursday, July 11, 2019

12 Things Great Leaders Know

1. Great leaders know that they don't know everything.

2. It's important to create an environment where performance is expected, enjoyed, and honored.

3. Leadership is not about being in charge, it is about taking care of those in your charge.

4. Reward what you want repeated, manage what you don't.

5. The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has happened. Clarify and confirm. Over-communicate, under-assume.

6. Great leaders know you have to love someone enough to hold them accountable, even if they don't love you back.

7. Deal quickly with issues. It's irresponsible to neglect holding people responsible.

8. Don't assume people feel valued, value them with a sincere conversation.

9. Listen to learn, not just waiting for your turn to speak.

10. Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability. Specific is terrific, and keep it simple and sincere.

11. If you want to grow your organization, start by growing your people.

12. Great leaders know that leadership is giving. Giving people the opportunity to do things they may not necessarily want to do, but need to do...including ourselves.


Monday, May 27, 2019

7 Leadership Lessons From Dad

Ed Gambone started his leadership journey with the Kroger Company right after World War II.

Dad lived in a generation when people quite often defined their lives by the company that employed them. I can empathize with that myself,  I spent 36 years at Giant Eagle Supermarkets, my Dad trumped that with 48 years in the Kroger Company.

In reflection, here are 7 Leadership Lessons from Ed Gambone:

1. Laugh more at your own "goof-ups" then other's "goof-ups".

2. Never be on time for a meeting or an appointment, always be early.

3. Promote the successes of others.

4. Know the difference between "giving a hand", and giving a "hand-out".

5. Don't just let "family" happen, make "family" happen.

6. Always have a strong work ethic and more importantly, have "ethics" that are always strong.

7. "Do what you love, love what you do, and share that love with everyone." ~ EG *

*Quote from Ed Gambone,  first published in my book Pecan Pie.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Shifting of the Leadership Dialog

Yesterday's Leaders vs. Today's Leaders

Yesterday's Leaders say
   "You should..."
Today's Leaders say
   "I believe that..."

Yesterday's Leaders say
   "I can't believe you did..."
Today's Leaders say
   "How did that happen?"

Yesterday's Leaders say
   "Why didn't you...?"
Today's Leaders say
   "What other options were available...?"

Yesterday's Leaders say
   "Just do it!"
Today's Leaders say
   "We need this now!"

Yesterday's Leaders say
   "You better get it together..."
Today's Leaders say
   "I'm concerned about your behavior, how can I help?"

When it comes to Leadership; What got you here, will not get us there.

Lead better, or be replaced by better leaders.


Saturday, April 20, 2019

What Got You Here, Will Not Get You There

"What got you here, will not get you there." ~ Marshall Goldsmith

Tomorrow's organizations will need to be both Smart and Healthy-

Smart Organizations are excellent in:
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Technology
These organizations are task-oriented and focus on getting things done.

Healthy Organizations demonstrate:
  • Cohesiveness
  • Clarity of purpose, direction and communication
  • High morale
  • High productivity
  • Low turnover

These organizations are people-oriented and focus on building better people and a better team.

Common threads in both Smart and Healthy Organizations:
  • Vulnerability trust
  • Healthy conflict
  • Team commitment
  • Peer accountability
  • Results driven

Championship-level performing organizations are both Smart AND Healthy.

Both models combine to answer the following questions:
  1. Why do we exist?
  2. How do we behave?
  3. What do we do?
  4. How will we succeed?
  5. What is most important, right now?
  6. Who must do what?

Monday, March 4, 2019

Leadership and Joy

Leadership and Joy

Leadership and joy are not finite games.
Leadership and joy are infinite games, played by continuously improving participants.

When it comes to leadership and joy, there are no finish lines.

You will never be "the best" leader.
You will never be "the most joyous" person.

You will always be learning to be a better leader and learning to find more joy.

Leaders find joy in learning.
Learning will help you teach others to find joy.

Leaders are dealers in joy.


Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Encouraging the Empowered

When leaders empower, they give qualified team members control over their work.
Encourage the "empowered" to find their way, not yours.

Everyone must agree on the vision and goals, but how to get it done is up to the "empowered" and small teams who are closest to the work.

Keep in mind, encouragement isn't telling someone they did a good job when they fell short. That's a lie that affirms indifference and mediocity.
Never affirm lackluster performance due to lack of preparation, low effort, or want of commitment.

Leaders need to be empathetic, yes, because empathy says, "I understand you".
Encouragement says, "I believe in you".
Too much empathy validates lack of effort and causes self-indulgence.
Encouragement says, "You can reach higher."

Bottom Line: Guide the "empowered" by showing a little empathy, and giving lots of encouragement.

*This posting was inspired by Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak