Winding Down to Wind Up

Summer unofficially winds down in the U.S. marked by the upcoming Labor Day weekend. Late summer vacations are ending, children are going back to school, and your summer rituals will be diminishing.

Although it’s only a long weekend, this one is a milestone in the year. Whether it’s because we still have strong associations with September as “back to school” or the end of summer hours at work, things will probably be a little different next week.

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Are You an Entrepreneurial Leader?

I recently was a guest on The Complete Leader Podcast, talking about Entrepreneurial Leaders. More info and podcast below.

Our guest is Dr. Lisa Aldisert, who is president of Pharos Alliance. Dr. Aldisert is an executive coach who specializes in strategic planning, workplace trends and leadership development. She talks about her research of entrepreneurial leadership, and lists the skills that these leaders need to master. She defines the “adore and abhor syndrome,” and talks about some of the most common challenges of leaders who are subject-matter experts. She also offers a gift to our listeners!

Patience is a Virtue….Until You Have No Time

People are short on patience these days. They claim that they’re too overwhelmed, have too many commitments, and don’t have nearly enough time. If you ask them to be patient, they may lash out at you with an impatient burst of anger.

Leaders are as challenged as their employees in this regard. When they emote a burst of frustration when something isn’t finished within minutes after it was assigned, they’re adding to workplace stress.

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Speak Up!

Many of the workplace challenges that I observe arise from expectations that one or more people involved in a discussion are clairvoyant. No one consciously admits this, of course. When Joan says she wants xyz and her direct report, Frank, says that she never mentioned xyz, this begins the unraveling of communication.

Actually, it’s not an unraveling, because there is nothing to undo. When Joan gets upset with Frank because he didn’t complete xyz, he looks like a deer in the headlights. He doesn’t have any idea what Joan is talking about.

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Perception vs. Reality

Isn’t it challenging when you need to sift through and determine what is real versus what is perception? I remember a print ad for a bank many years ago whose message asserted that perceptions were far more important than reality. Employees of this bank were baffled by what it meant and how it affected their work.

As seen by this example, a problem can arise when people don’t understand the distinctions. Logical, fact-oriented people may tend to view reality as more important, while more creative people might be drawn to the nuances of perceptions.

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There’s a New Sheriff in Town…

Remember the last time you hired a new manager or supervisor and welcomed him into the fold? The way you inculcate a new manager can make a big difference in how the person adjusts and makes a positive impact in the new position, no matter what the level.

Even though the job responsibilities are usually straightforward, the unstated duties are often the ones that a new person may miss. These unstated tasks are often wrapped into your organization’s culture – things that are more subtle and less tangible – but whose nuances make a difference to success.

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