Dealing with Losses

We deal with losses in the workplace all the time. We lose new opportunities and established business. We lose employees. We lose momentum. We lose market share.

When leaders deal with these losses, they often view them tactically. They evaluate the immediate impact, come to conclusions, and move on. They don’t necessarily think deeply about how the immediate impact affects the long term.

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“Lone Ranger” Leaders

I’ve been working with a leadership team where three out of four people are aligned around organizational goals, while the fourth is singing to the tune of his own agenda.

Although this leader is valued in his role, if he doesn’t work to achieve alignment with his colleagues, over time it will infect the leadership team.

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Collegial Trust

One of my clients has a somewhat contentious relationship with a peer leader in his company, where they are both in key roles. Although they get along on the surface, during a recent coaching session, it was clear that there has been a breach of trust on both sides.

Both know that they need to fix this. The longer my client avoids dealing with the issue, it will be “the elephant in the room” as they move forward. The company is undergoing a strategic transition, and it will be extremely difficult to accomplish their ambitious objectives without rebuilding trust.

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Leadership Decisiveness

As a leader, you’re always “on”, whether you want to be or not. Sometimes it seems like everyone is observing your actions and making judgments. And, of course, these judgments are usually made out of context, without full information.

This comes with the leadership territory and as such people want to see confidence, decisiveness, and consistency in their leaders.

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Your People Are Watching You

Sometimes you just don’t know when your leadership makes a difference for someone. I witnessed one of these situations with a young colleague, who was sharing a story about an interaction on her team.

When I asked her if she realized the impact of her specific action, it was clear she hadn’t thought about it. Although she was genuinely pleased, it almost seemed like the surprise effect of my pointing it out was more thrilling than what she had actually done.

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Flexibility and Resiliency

How prepared are you for the unexpected. “Life happens” – and doesn’t it always seem to do so at the most inopportune times?

You can perfectly plan your schedule, and then life inserts itself, throws you off base, and leaves you bewildered about how this could have happened when you were so well organized.

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Do You Rely on Telepathy?

Are you ever puzzled that some people think that they communicate well when they are ambiguous at best? Some leaders leave a lot unsaid and yet still expect their people to know what they didn’t say.

The challenge with this is that these people don’t even realize that they’re not verbalizing their thoughts. They may think they have, but they haven’t.

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Listen First, then Act, During Succession

Management successions occur every day in organizations around the world. These range from promotions to first level supervisors to appointments of new CEOs.

A person who is new in the job and immediately proclaims, “This is how it’s going to be now” will face resistance on multiple levels, while the person who steps in and listens will be received quite differently.

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Manage – Don’t Avoid – a Weak Link

How do you handle the weak links on your staff? My guess is that in most cases you wait too long to take appropriate action. No matter what your experience is, it’s human to avoid conflict, and weak links are, de facto, conflicts.

You know the basics: can the employee improve from skills training? Would the person be a better fit in another department in the organization? Can the person benefit from one-on-one mentoring?

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