8 elements to develop a path to increased leadership
Do you have a desire to develop as a leader? Many people think about this, but don’t really know how to go about it or what to do. In fact, most people don’t do anything: they leave it up to their managers or a conversation with their HR rep. In other words,they leave it into the hands of others.
A newly promoted client of mine was struggling with managing time and tasks. She felt like she could never get on top of her task list. She had missed several important deadlines that weren’t client-critical but caused issues for the rest of her team. She felt dejected and was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to get her arms around the new job. Upon looking deeper, though, we discovered that it wasn’t really about time management; it was her bandwidth.
An opportunity for leaders to sharpen the saw and up their game
Virtual leadership is now an essential skill as a result of living through the pandemic. Recent announcements by large tech companies such as Google and Salesforce.com that they expect their employees to work remotely until next summer are harbingers of what we can expect in the near term.
The virtual leader needs to adapt and do things differently than six months ago. Effective communication is even more essential than it was “way back” in February. Rather than being daunted by this, it’s an opportunity for leaders to “sharpen the saw” and up their game.
7 indications of a broken culture
Culture is a common buzzword these days. Many articles tout the importance of a good culture. There are even awards that celebrate companies where employees love to work. Experts talk about defining, transforming, and fixing your culture. But how do you even know if your company’s culture needs help? Or what aspects to fix if it has some cracks?
It is possible for a culture to be mostly good and have only a few blemishes. In fact, that’s the way that most cultures are. Even idealized cultures you see showcased in the media, with inventive perks and fun break rooms, still have issues.
Employee branding has existed for years. Simply put, it reflects how outsiders view your company, largely through the lens of your employees. Today, it’s one measure of whether your company is a desirable place to work.
An employee-centric brand, however, is a little more subtle. It isn’t just about making your company attractive from a recruiting perspective. Rather, it’s about how your organization’s core values mesh with those of your employees.
If you’re like most good leaders, you’ve pondered both your accomplishments and shortcomings of 2018 and thought about how you can improve the year ahead. As you think about 2019, consider formalizing such a review so you can start the new year with a bang. One way to approach this is to categorize your self-review into three areas: leadership practices you want to continue, things that don’t work and you want to eliminate, and new ideas that you’ve not yet pursued.
IN this podcast, Lisa tells us the ways that leaders can leave a legacy with their teams. She outlines the five key competencies necessary for an influential leader, and how leaders can master these skills over time (and gives us a free worksheet to get the process started). She also makes the case for looking at leadership in a multidimensional way, and the power of helping employees maximize their strengths versus work on their weaknesses.
Why should organizational culture be important to you? If you don’t have an immediate answer, it probably means this topic doesn’t receive much attention from your executive team. You may even think of culture as one of those “soft” aspects of business that doesn’t drive results.
The truth is, your company already has a culture, whether it was created intentionally or not.
You’ve probably had moments when completing a report feels tedious, or brainstorming new ideas seems like a chore. But you’ve presumably experienced times where the opposite was true–you got into the groove, and everything just came effortlessly. This was likely because what you were doing was in sync with your brain’s natural flow at the time.
Think about the best team you’ve ever been a part of. What made that team work? Was it the project? The people? The interpersonal dynamics? Did you enjoy being part of it? Did it bring out the best in you?
Now think about the worst team you’ve ever been on. What made it different?
I was recently involved in hiring a new property manager for a residential apartment complex. The top candidate was starkly different from the successful employee who had previously held the position for 20 years.The new guy was a great fit, but he was much younger, had a different work background, and was essentially “unproven” in working with a more complicated property and staff.
Leadership styles have shifted steadily over the past couple of decades. This shift has been prompted by the generational evolution of the workforce makeup resulting in a shift of leadership demographics. As the veteran generation and baby boomers begin to retire, so too retires the military style of management in favor of the softer side of leadership that millennials bring to the table.
Few leaders would admit to a favorable view of entitlement. In fact, most will express strong negative views about it publicly. But behind the scenes, many managers unwittingly tolerate or even allow themselves to be held hostage by entitled employees.
When you start talking about mentorship programs, you’ll usually get one of the following reactions: a collective groan about the additional work that a program might entail, intimidation about where to begin, or excitement from people who have experienced successful mentor relationships and the growth that comes from them.
Effective feedback is part art, part science. Telling employees that they need to do X instead of Y is the science part. That’s easy. But feedback that addresses personality and character traits is hard feedback to give; that’s the art.
Many managers resist giving this kind of feedback because it makes them uncomfortable. They fear the outcome, which is generally neither positive nor pleasant. The situation itself can feel embarrassing, not to mention the awkward work interactions in the days that follow. Managers often procrastinate giving difficult feedback in the hopes that it will just go away or somehow resolve itself. But once you’ve gone too far down the road without giving feedback, the situation just becomes more difficult and confusing for the employee.
If you’re a manager, maybe you can remember a time when you promoted someone to a position that they really didn’t deserve. And if you can, then you already know that undeserved promotions are time-wasters, morale-killers, and frustration-inducers–not just for you, but for the company as a whole.
At Micron, an international memory and storage solutions company, leadership in the systems solution department is fluid. When a project is identified, one person takes the lead, organizes timelines and meetings, and drives the cross-functional teams’ tasks and deliverables—based on the system issue and the area of focus. The department uses an ARCI model (determining who should be Accountable, Responsible, Consulted and Informed), and the team comes together based on the answers.
If you have a job, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance you don’t like it—at least according to one sobering study last year. Not only are those statistical odds the same everywhere, but quitting for a more satisfying gig is easier said than done. Plus, it can take awhile to learn the technical skills you might need to land a job you like more.
But there may be a useful shortcut: What if you could double down on the so-called “soft skills”—like emotional intelligence—that you already have in order to improve the job you’re in? It starts with just thinking more strategically about your relationships around the office. Here’s what to do.
Promotions are a positive workplace occurrence, so why is it they can be such a challenge? We tend to promote our best employees into a position of leadership, but without the training and support they need to succeed, the transition can be rocky.
Simply put, leadership takes a different set of skills, which is why not everyone is willing or even called to be a leader. The first question to ask is if the person who is getting promoted truly wants to be in a managerial role. Great leadership takes a desire to learn, to continually improve, and to care about the people you manage. If the aspiration exists, there is more potential for success.
Many good things come in small packages, and Lisa Aldisert’s small trade paperback is a perfect example. Leadership Reflections is an unusual volume that should be on the desktop of every manager and leader, particularly in a corporate environment, but it would be helpful in any situation, small or large, profit or non-profit, where the situation involves a leader/manager and followers or employees.
This isn’t a trick question. You know the answer is a resounding no. But you may not know the full scope of the “why” behind the no. There are the standard arguments that support the organizational advancement of women based on demographics and diversity: Women comprise 47% of the workforce, so we should increase the proportion of women leaders commensurately.
Too much work and not enough time.Feeling you don’t have time to manage or lead. The weight of company-altering decisions. Competitive pressure with coworkers—real or imagined. Dealing with difficult clients and seemingly unrealistic demands.
It’s New Year. If you haven’t already begun, now is the time to start making plans for the year ahead, not only regarding company strategy, but also for your personal and professional development as a leader. Start working now on the workplace trends that will be useful throughout the year. If you plan now, you’ll be in the flow.
Most of us have had horrible bosses at some point in our careers. And if we’re being honest, we might even admit to having been a horrible boss at some point.
The truth is that poor management behavior is all too common and is typically driven by one factor: insecurity. All leaders have insecurities whether or not they admit it. Good leaders want to do well for their people and the organization (What if I’m not making the right decision for my employees? What if this idea doesn’t work?). But for poor leaders, insecurities often come from a personal level.
I recently visited a client’s office in a suburb of New York City. This office only exists because the CEO lives nearby and it’s a convenient location for their financial backers to meet. Yet the company’s actual headquarters is hundreds of miles away, where the CEO spends just one day a week. To further muddle matters, the COO works and lives 1,000 miles away, and another executive lives in the South.
In today’s business world, leaders who understand the value of EQ will render obsolete badly behaving bosses. As employees continue to call for an end to incivility in the workplace, increasing EQ at all levels of leadership will become critical.
You can’t expect your employees to know what you left unsaid, especially any chatter going on in your head.
People struggle constantly with communication issues.
Even when you do it well, sometimes you need to repeat it, say it differently, or repeat it back in their words so you know everyone’s on the same page.
The purpose of a vacation is to, among other things, take a break that allows you to be mentally and physically ready for the challenges you may face when you return to work.
“These are the same challenges being faced by businesses everywhere,” Aldisert noted. “The American workplace has fundamentally changed, and wise employers will recognize their new reality and build strategies to make it work for them.”
Do you differentiate between strategies that focus on top-line growth versus the bottom line? These are two very different approaches, and many business owners do not distinguish between them.
“This study lays the foundation of an entrepreneurial leadership model that hadn’t been articulated before,” Aldisert said. “It clearly defines the behavior and motivators of entrepreneurial individuals so that they can be more easily identified and nurtured. Moreover, it validates earlier studies of serial entrepreneurs.”
Vacations are meant to be a time to recharge yourself so when you do go back to work, you are more focused and able to deal with the tasks ahead, which may have seemed overwhelming before the vacation.
- Acknowledge that you may have some separation anxiety from the office, but don’t obsess over it.
- Thoughtfully prepare in advance. Your colleagues, reporters and clients will appreciate that you let them know you’ll be away on vacation.
- Enlist the help of your family or travel companions. You don’t want to ruin their time by always checking your email or texting. So create and keep your boundaries.
- The less you contact your colleagues, the happier they will be. Give them the opportunity to show you what they can do.
- Do something that you want to do every day while on vacation. With something to look forward to, you’ll enjoy being away from your day-to-day work.
- Make sure that your choice of vacation venue fits your state of mind. If you’re exhausted, then don’t pick a destination that involves whirlwind activity.
Many entrepreneurs don’t think of themselves as leaders.
The foundation for the research involved using an assessment that covered three different dimensions: behavior, motivators and professional skills. These factors created a snapshot of entrepreneurial leadership not previously documented in a doctoral study.
“If a couple shares values and goals, it is easy to transfer that passion into a business,” says Lisa Aldisert, a Manhattan-based management consultant and executive coach who works with couples. “It’s not unusual anymore.”
Employers should be calm and acknowledge that workers will have issues.
“If [owners] are experiencing anxiety, that’s going to be replicated faster than they can imagine across their staff,” said Lisa Aldisert, president of Pharos Alliance, a New York-based consulting firm. “Since every owner has some anxiety, they have to be additionally mindful and careful of their tone of voice, their facial expressions, their body language so that they’re not saying one thing and meaning another.”
If taking a personality-assessment test seems unsettling, you aren’t going to like this little fact: Your answers can require a retest, as if your personality failed to parallel park.
NEW YORK (Money Magazine) – These days it’s sometimes hard to know what to worry about more — the weak economy, the volatile stock market, unemployment or our usual concerns about families and friends.
Corporations realize they must face and embrace the changes that diversity in the workplace brings.
Often, the tendency is to think everyone sees the same thing in the same way. “If you’re a white man, your perspective is that everyone thinks and talks like white men,” said Lisa Aldisert, author of Valuing People: How Human Capital Can be Your Strongest Asset.
Successful businesses that stand the test of time inevitably are those that best learn how to deal with and profit from change. Many times, this means taking a step back and refocusing on your business.
The way you deliver employee feedback can affect how your business grows. How do you deliver feedback? Some people embrace opportunities to offer positive accolades for a job well done. Others are quick to criticize what didn’t work well and focus on what needs to be done differently the next time.
“A lot of companies don’t know how to measure it,” said Lisa Aldisert, a management consultant and author of Valuing People: How Human Capital Can Be Your Strongest Asset. “It’s a combination of art and science.”
Training is good for employee relations, but few companies measure the long-term effectiveness of training on employees or its impact on their bottom line.
“A lot of companies don’t know how to measure it,” said Lisa Aldisert, a management consultant and author of “Valuing People: How Human Capital Can Be Your Strongest Asset” (Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2002, $27). “It’s a combination of art and science.”
Aldisert explains that while the traditional business model is hierarchal, with a boss at the top passing down arbitrary decisions, “women tend to embrace the stewardship model, where you embrace all the talents of the team, and where the objective is for everyone to have a role and to feel good about the outcome.”