Posts Tagged ‘Leadership skills’

How to become an accountable leader

March 1, 2011

Great leaders accept responsibility for delivering the results that matter to them and their organisation. They do not hide behind excuses, scapegoats or indecision. Rather, they harness the multitude of resources they have at their disposal to turn desires into realities.

Bruna Martinuzzi has offered the following tips on how you can become a successful accountable leader.

1. Taking time to reflect on how your actions are viewed by all stakeholders: your direct reports, your peers, your clients. Go through a formal 360 Leadership Assessment process or simply get hold of a leadership assessment form and use it to reflect on how others in your team would rate you on each dimension.

2. At the end of each day, take the time to go over your day.
Think about the significant activities in your day. Are you proud of the way you conducted yourself? Could you improve?  This will inspire you to plan your next day around your highest purpose. Getting into this habit of introspection will pay dividends in the long run.

3. Decide to hold yourself accountable for developing other leaders. By mentoring a protégé to enhance their personal and professional growth, you strengthen your own leadership skills and reinforce your determination to be self-accountable as you become the model.

4. When something goes wrong, look inwardly for solutions. It is especially in difficult times that our self-accountability is challenged. Ensure you are well equipped to deal with challenges and controversy.

5. When a mistake is made, do you ask: “Whose fault is it?” or do you say: “What can we learn from this?” It is important to move away from the blame game and take ownership of issues.

6. Think about promises you make to new hires during the interviewing courtship period. In our zeal to want to attract the brightest and most talented, we can easily over promise. Keep a record of your interview notes and what you promised to candidates. If subsequent events make it impossible to keep the promises, at least you can address them with the individual. This is better than forgetting about them altogether.

7. What about promises you made to yourself? Write out your personal and professional goals with clear targets. Read them once a week. Use these to spur you into action.

8. Think about what you are avoiding doing. Is there anything that you are avoiding doing that needs to be done? For example, are you putting off a difficult conversation? Are you delaying any important decisions? Are you delegating away responsibilities that should stay in your court?

Self-accountability, then, is staying true to ourselves despite difficult circumstances. It’s doing the right thing even when we are tempted to bend a few rules for expediency’s sake.

 

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The six keys of success

February 15, 2011

It is possible to build any skill or capacity in the same systematic way we do a muscle: push past your comfort zone and then rest, says Tony Schwartz in the Harvard Business Review. If you have your heart set on improving your skill set in a certain area you can, you just need to practice – a lot!

Tony Schwartz has offered an additional six pointers to help you achieve excellence:

  1. Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
  2. Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Most great performers have found it best to take on difficult work in the mornings, before they do anything else. That’s when most of us have the most energy and the fewest distractions.
  3. Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break. The evidence is equally strong that great performers practice no more than 4 ½ hours a day.
  4. Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments. Too much feedback, too continuously can create cognitive overload, increase anxiety, and interfere with learning.
  5. Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolise and embed learning. It’s also during rest that the right hemisphere becomes more dominant, which can lead to creative breakthroughs.
  6. Ritualise practice. Will and discipline are wildly overrated. The best way to insure you’ll take on difficult tasks is to build rituals — specific, inviolable times at which you do them, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.

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Overcoming the 5 fears of change

February 8, 2011

To move forward you need to make some changes along the way, so fearing change won’t get you anywhere. Instead, choose to embrace change and positive progress will come your way.

CEO Online has included an article on their website that says “Change champions don’t QUIT and don’t SETTLE.” They have provided 5 tips to help you become a successful change champion.

1. Overcome the fear of the unknown

Tip: “Choose growth”

2. Eliminate the fear of failure

Tip: “Get a healthier understanding of how change works”

3. Fight the fear of commitment

Tip: “Focus on what needs to be changed and keep the rest”

4. Dismiss the fear of disapproval

Tip: “Take in the disapproval with a grain of salt and an ounce of discernment”

5.  Discard the fear of success

Tip: “Relish your success instead of settling for mediocrity”

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The key management issues

February 2, 2011

The business landscape is constantly evolving and changing and it is important to keep on top of these changes. Management Today has analysed the top 10 issues facing managers in 2011, and provided a quick tip to overcome each of these. Here are the first five:

1. Two-speed economy

Australia weathered the financial storm better than most, but there are still areas of risk and reward, known as the two-speed economy.

Tip: Concentrate on staff retention and diversification to reduce risk in an uncertain climate.

2. Global economic health

The biggest issue for Australian companies in terms of global economic health is business confidence.

Tip: For a full economic recovery a change in thought processes is required: from ‘glass is half empty’ to ‘glass is half full’.

3. Development and training

As managers look to increase levels of innovation and agility within their organisations, the need for staff development and training becomes greater.

Tip: Formalise the implementation of mentoring, coaching and training procedures in order to increase agility and improve staff retention.

4. Export opportunities

There are amazing opportunities on offer to Australian exporters in the near term.

Tip: Whether you’re currently exporting or looking to begin, look to the markets in our own region of the world for great growth opportunities.

5. Sustainability issues

Despite the shelving of the Emissions Trading Scheme organisations have plenty to be concerned about in terms of sustainability.

Tip: Make sustainability a serious issue in your business – as important as the bottom line – because it is to many stakeholders.

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BluePrint tip: Tough decisions made simpler

January 27, 2011

All of us have to make decisions every day. Some of these are relatively straight forward and simple, whereas others are more difficult requiring a logical and systematic decision making process to help us address the critical elements that result in a good decision.

To make an effective decision you need to: create a constructive environment, generate good alternatives, explore these alternatives, choose the best alternative, check your decisions, communicate this and take action.

How to keep your employees happy in 2011

January 25, 2011

A recent survey of more than 3,000 leaders conducted by Leadership Management Australia and reported on by the HR Daily found that the number-one characteristic today’s employees value in a manager is trustworthiness.

Trustworthiness has moved from seventh position in 2009 to number one replacing clear communication of direction. This shows that employee expectations have changed significantly in the past year calling for all managers to review their leadership style.

The survey found the top ten characteristics of a good manager to be:

  1. Being trustworthy and open in approach
  2. Clearly communicating where the company is going
  3. Giving employees the “space” to do their work, but supporting them
  4. Listening to and respecting employees’ input into decisions
  5. Giving employees regular and honest feedback on how they are going
  6. Being fair and even-handed/making reasonable demands
  7. Providing the resources employees need to do their job
  8. Recognising employees for extra efforts/results;
  9. Coaching and developing employees
  10. Trusting employees with challenging work.

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BluePrint tip: Foster a team spirit in the workplace

January 13, 2011

A basic human need is to feel like they belong to something bigger than themselves, and for many people that need is met by being part of a supportive team environment.

As a manager it is important to create unity among employees, to make people feel valued and that they belong.

By creating this team environment employees will see themselves as a group of people all working for a common goal rather than a bunch of individuals competing against each other.

BluePrint tip: Make feedback regular

December 16, 2010

Feedback is an important part of every workplace and if not done effectively is one of the main causes of employee dissatisfaction.

Feedback needs to be given on a daily basis, if this becomes more of a yearly occurrence people tend to be surprised rather than aligned with the feedback they are given.

If you have suggestions that will help an employer do their job better, it is more productive to communicate that sooner rather than later.

Five easy tips to influence and persuade others in the workplace

December 14, 2010

Persuasion and influence are important factors that have a direct impact on your personal success, whether at the workplace in your personal lives. No matter who you are or what you do, you will never learn a more valuable or important set of skills than that of how to influence others.

Once you tap into the power of influence, you can reach out and help others work smarter, grow faster, live, look and feel better. Here are some tips to help you improve your influencing skills:

1. Be clear about what you are trying to achieve and the outcomes that you want.

2. Get in the shoes of those you want to persuade and think about it from their perspective.

3. Plan as much as you can before the situation to minimise the amount of thinking on your feet you will have to do.

4. Be flexible and be willing to change your style to accommodate different situations and personalities.

5. Make time to reflect and learn from both successful and unsuccessful influencing situations.

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BluePrint tip: Negotiating is all about credibility

December 9, 2010

The most important ingredient for negotiating within an organisation is credibility. Leaders who are believable to their people and to upper management have more success at negotiating needs in both directions effectively.

To do this you need to be consistent in your values and show respect for opinions contrary to your own. Other opinions are as valid as yours and by taking these into consideration you will be able to find a common middle ground resulting in a win-win situation.