One of the first rules of leadership, no matter what, or whom, you lead, is goal-setting. The goals you establish will direct your department or organization on where to spend the vast majority of energy, attention, and efforts. Below are a few tips on designing your list of goals:
Bottom-up and top-down. No one employee, including the leader has all the answers. Leaders should not only identify their business goals but ask the employees reporting to them to identify their goals as well. This establishes essential data for goal setting, which is credible and achievable.
Clean up your blind spots. Every organization and every leader has blind spots. The following questions are designed to help you and your organization find blind spots that can lead your organization astray;
What have you tried to accomplish in the past, that you must accomplish in the future, and how will this reward you and your team?
When you consider your outcomes such as results, quality, or customer engagement, which targets are you missing?
What is it that you are not hearing or dealing with as a leader that needs to be addressed?
Institute lessons learned. Goal-setting is the perfect opportunity for a company to evaluate its performance, and adjust course. Ask questions such as:
What are the most relevant metrics for your company?
What does success or failure look like?
How has your (SWOT) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats evolved over the past year?
Make your goals relevant to the big picture. Once you have established your goals, ask yourself how do they align with your people, and your organization’s long-term business plans.
Communicate. Decide how you will package your goals, and communicate them throughout your organization. For example, how will you establish your messages, to ensure everyone is crystal clear on the goals you’ve designed?
Using these tips can help leaders hone in and choose the right 3-5 goals to create a competitive advantage, and move your company forward.
With 70% of Millennials saying they would switch their jobs given the opportunity, how do you keep the front-runners from leaving your organization? Before you can answer that question, here are a few myths.
Millennials don’t want to work hard to get ahead.
This is not true. Millennials are focused on deliverables. In order to get the best out of them, you must understand what drives them.
Millennials don’t understand how to lead.
According to Amy K. Hutchens, there are 7 critical skills leaders need to be successful: leading people, strategic planning, managing change, inspiring commitment, resourcefulness, doing whatever it takes (digitally), and being a quick learner(digitally). Baby Boomers and Generation X-ers tend to be strong in the first three areas, while Millennials are experts in the last three.
Millennials lack respect for authority.
Again, this isn’t the case. In reality, Millennials like anyone else, respect has to be earned. Once respect is earned, they reciprocate by believing in their leaders, and the organization and will do whatever it takes to succeed.
To attract, engage, and retain Millennials, leaders need to:
Provide constant feedback.
Instead of waiting for semi-annual or annual reviews, hold regular meetings and communicate regularly, giving them the opportunity to voice their concerns.
Establish work life balance.
Millennials tend to keep to office hours outside of the normal nine to five. Managers and supervisors need to pay attention to this and support them accordingly.
Keep them challenged.
If they can handle it, allow millennials to work on multiple-projects. Allowing them to get bored typically results in disengagement which results in increased turnover.
Millennials will continue to grow over the next few years. Failing to adhere to simple practices such as these can cause long-term consequences. Click here for more information on managing Millennials in the workplace.
Becoming a better leader is not simply a hot topic, but starts with intention. Aspiring to be a better leader means being a team player with the right character traits. Here are a few tips on developing as a leader
Choose Your Challenge. Leaders are faced with daily challenges such as prioritization, decision-making, inspiring and developing employees, and leading teams. It is vital to define your key leadership challenges and choose to do something about them. For example, what is one thing you need to face, but haven’t? What’s going on within your organization that requires a new approach or more effort? Identify your challenges and develop ideas and support.
Stop Minimizing Innovation. Innovation needs direct support however, leaders often send mixed messages sabotaging efforts with their own behaviors. Ask yourself, do I encourage others to be creative yet quickly suppress ideas. Do I “push” innovative ideas down, rather than “pull” them up? Do I act as through I always have all the answers? It may be time to create the opportunity to learn more about fostering innovation.
Managing Change. Organizations are either looking ahead to a major change, recovering from change, and/or handling varying levels of continuous change. If you’ve applying the same mindset to your work, you may need a refresher on how to lead change. Guiding change requires managing your own change behaviors as well as, dealing with employees’ reactions, and managing the mechanics of change.
Invest in First-Time Managers. Making the switch from individual contributors to leading others can create a unique set of challenges, causing employees to derail — William Gentry, author of “Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For,” has shown first-time managers struggle the most with communication, influence, leading teams, and developing others. Managers should give their individual contributors the gift of leadership development, providing coaching and mentoring geared towards their employee’s specific needs.
Take Care of Yourself. Being relentless about doing more, and being more is not sustainable and creates stress symptoms, resulting in personal and organizational liabilities. Like our body, if we don’t keep our brain in shape, it doesn’t work as well. Add activities into your life to learn actively, breathe better, and solve problems,
Click here for more information on developing a framework to develop leaders in the workplace.
According to The American Society of Training and Development, U.S. businesses spend more than $170 Billion dollars on leadership-based curriculum, with the majority of those dollars being spent on Leadership Training. The problem is leaders are developed, not trained. Training can be rote, and perceived as one size fits all. On the other hand, development is collective, fluid and above all actionable. Here are a few pointers on the benefits of developing leaders in the workplace:
Development focuses on maximizing potential.
Development focuses on the future, rather than simply looking at the present.
Development is transformational not just transactional.
Development focuses on growth.
Development highlights innovation.
Development emphasizes performance not simply compliance.
Development moves people beyond their comfort zone.
Development expands an individual’s influence.
Development explores the unknowns.
If your company is seeking innovative, critical thinkers—develop your leadership team. Click here for more information on building a framework for a successful leadership team.
A recent study conducted by the Gallop Poll gathered responses from over 200, 000 individuals across organizations in a wide variety of industries, giving us a snapshot of today’s workforce. Out of 100 million full-time workers that make up the American workforce, only one-third are engaged at work. In other words, one-third of workers are emotionally or psychologically attached to their work and workforce. Why is it that millennials are the driving force behind workplace change, clocking in with the lowest percentage of engaged employees?
As millennials get older they are able to navigate their career, finding work that better suits their needs, which in turn increases their levels of engagement. On the other hand, since they are the major advocates for change, they may feel they’re “waiting” for their employers to catch up with them, thus affecting how much they are able to emotionally commit. For more information on managing millennials, click here to receive a complimentary assessment and download your FREE COPY of “The Rule of Millennials” by Jacqueline Woods.
Effective leadership can be mastered, and at the core of that learning should be leadership principles that provide a clear roadmap for navigating though virtually any leadership moment. Check out the 15 mission-critical leadership principles that top leaders have utilized in the United States and abroad.
Articulate a clear vision. Formulate a clear and credible vision and communicate it to all members of the enterprise.
Think and act strategically. Set forth a strategy for achieving that vision both short-and long-term, and make sure it’s widely understood. Anticipate reactions and resistance before they are manifest.
Honor your employees. Frequently express your support for those who work with you and for you.
Take charge. Embrace a bias for action, for taking responsibility even if it is not formally delegated, particularly if you are positioned to make a difference.
Act decisively. Make good and timely decisions, ensuring they are executed.
Communicate influentially. Communicate in ways people will not forget; always striving to communicate with simplicity and clarity.
Motivate the troops. Appreciate the distinctive intentions that people bring, building on individual diverse motives.
Embrace the front-lines. Delegate authority except for strategic decisions, and stay close to those most directly engaged with the company’s work.
Build leadership in others: Develop leadership throughout the organization.
Manage relationships. Build personal ties with those who look to you, and work to embrace the feelings and passions of the workplace.
Identify employee’s personal goals: Help everybody appreciate the impact that the vision and strategy are likely to have on their own work and future with the firm.
Maintain your character: Ensure that others appreciate that you are a person of integrity through gestures, commentary and accounts.
Minimize over-optimism: Counter the hubris of success by focusing your attention on latent threats and unresolved problems, and protect against the tendency to engage in unwarranted risk.
Build a diverse team: Recognize that leadership is a team sport played collectively with those who are capable of resolving key challenges.
Place common interest first. In setting strategy, communicating vision, and reaching decisions, common purpose comes first, personal self-interest last.
Utilizing key leadership principles helps organizations create powerful teams and successful workplaces. Click here for more information on developing successful leaders in the workplace.
A recent study from Bersin & Associates titled High Impact Leadership in the 21st Century, identifies 7 critical trends that drive leadership development and shows organizations how to prepare to address these trends to remain competitive. What are these 7 leadership development trends?
Organizations must prioritize investments in leadership development. The study shows lack of leadership development leaves companies open to risk factors. To mitigate these risks, leadership development is essential to motivate, engage, and develop talent.
Organizations must create and implement both a leadership strategy and a leadership development strategy. Effective leadership requires the development of strategies, not just the implementation of programs. Without strong leaders, the best of strategies will fail. A good leadership strategy outlines the company’s leadership requirements, including the number of leaders, and identifies the levels leaders should operate, as well as define the skills, behaviors and capabilities required.
Leadership Competencies must be renewed. Traditional leadership competencies are important although they are evolving. For example, in today’s business world, leadership requires innovative thinkers, agility and flexibility, global competitiveness, people management skills, and diversity.
Leadership Globalization. Since companies are expanding internationally, they must also move from hierarchical, top-down leadership models to inclusive, participatory global leadership styles. In essence, global forces require a global perspective, which means embracing diversity and cultural differences.
Being technologically-savvy. Technology facilitates communication with leaders and employees regardless of the location.
Leadership development targets all leadership audiences. Research validates that leadership development best-practice should targets leaders at all levels. Best practice companies are committing to developing their emerging leaders, front-line and midlevel leaders, as well as executive and senior leaders.
Leadership development solutions should evolve as a process, not a one-time event. The goal of leadership development involves action, not just knowledge. Leaders must learn from ongoing learning opportunities from their work, rather than taking them away from their work to simply gain knowledge. Leadership learning experiences must apply to real organizational issues, taking place within small collaborative units.
In a digital world with increasing transparency, employees expect a productive, engaging workplace. When unforeseen roadblocks get in the way, it may become necessary to provide tools which help employee improve their performance. Being proactive and addressing concerns and issues can help struggling employee succeed.
Through new approaches such as employee journey mapping and design thinking many organizations are focusing on understanding and improving the employee experience. Therefore, organizational culture, engagement, and employee brand position remain top priorities, and employee experience ranks as major trend. What steps can organizations take to improve employee experience.
Rather than utilize an annual engagement survey, make employee experience a leadership priority for your leaders.
Assign the creation of employee experience to senior executives.
Develop a culture with integrated company priorities which include management practices, and workplace benefits.
Update tools to engage employees on an ongoing basic to help leaders and teams understand employee expectations and company values.
Identify company disciplines such as performance management, goal setting, diversity, inclusion, wellness, workplace design and leadership into an integrated framework.
Understanding and improving the employee experience is critical for companies operating in a highly competitive global economy. Providing an engaging employee experience will help companies succeed in attracting and retaining skilled employees and drive a strong cultural experience. Click here for more information on engaging employees in the workplace.
Organizations can be multi-layered with many turns, dead ends and choices, and the best way to get somewhere never occurs in a straight line. There are formal organizations, where the path may look straight and then there are informal organizations where all paths are zigzagged. Since companies are staffed with people, leaders are constantly challenged to work through complexities while obtaining the company’s goals. Here a few tips to help leaders work through some of the challenges that may occur in the workplace.
If you are stuck and not sure why you’re having difficulty?Ask for feedback from at least one person from each group that you work with. Also, be honest and try to self-assess why you aren’t getting things done efficiently and effectively.
Old approaches aren’t working. Try things you generally don’t do and look at what others are doing who are more effective than you.
Getting poor responses from others. Assess your personal style. In other words, people differ in the impressions they leave. Those who leave a positive personal impression get more things done versus those who leave a negative impression.
Frustrated? Consider the nature of the organization. You may be underestimating the complexity of your organization. While it’s possible that some organizations are simple, most are not.
Lost in a maze? Assess your processes. Some people know the necessary steps to get things done, but are too impatient to follow the process.
Getting rattled when what you offer fails or gets rejected?Learn to expect the unexpected. Ask yourself what’s the worst thing that could happen and determine how you will respond? Then take the information and develop counter moves.
Don’t understand who the movers and shakers are in an organization? Identify key players and their roles and assess how they get things done. Who are the major gatekeepers? Who controls the flow of resources? Also, consider who are the major resisters?
Working through challenges require accepting the complexity of organizations, rather than fighting it…click here for a Free Assessment.
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