12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

Unfortunately, we have all experienced toxic leadership at some point in our career.

Toxic workplaces and toxic leadership foster because the leader is either encouraging it, participating in it or ignoring it.

Toxic leaders are corrosive on the long run. They erode their employees confidence, motivation, productivity, trust, loyalty and respect.

Wondering if you are a toxic leader or are in the presence of one?

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

12 Signs Of A Toxic Leader

#1. Toxic leaders retain useful information

Knowledge is power and toxic leaders know that.

The longer they can keep you in the dark, the longer they have control over you and the longer they stay in power.

In fact, leaders who retain information are insecure and are afraid of being replaced.

#2. Toxic leaders abuse their power and authority

Any chance that they get, toxic leaders need to remind you that they are in power and that they have leverage (financial leverage most of the time) over you.

This type of leaders have huge egos, consider that their employees are subordinates, and do not care who they have to step over to get what they want.

#3. Toxic leaders micromanage their employees

They don’t give people the time or the space to do their job. Instead, they breath down people’s neck.

In fact, micromanaging leaders are counterproductive and create a stressful work environment.

Which, in turn, slows down team work and efficiency.

#4. Toxic leaders condone poor behavior

They accept poor behavior from their team as long as the team produces results.

For example, they would tolerate workplace bullying if it would bring their team closer together.

In turn, they use fear and diverse punishments to incentivize their team.

#5. Toxic leaders manipulate and play aggressive office politics

They play mind games, use information about you against you, love to manipulate and gas light their own team just to stay in power and to advance their career.

#6. Toxic leaders shift responsibility

They talk about accountability but when push comes to shoves they avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Besides, when things are great, they take credit for your success. When things go bad, they question your abilities and your failures.

#7. Toxic leaders give orders and don’t expect feedback

Forbthem, it is their way or the high way.

They expect you to follow orders whether that order is right or wrong, whether that order benefits them or not.

The truth is they think that they know best but they actually don’t.

#8. Toxic leaders lie for no reason

They backtrack, bend the rules, adjust procedures, make up stories and rumors to for their needs.

They do not care aboitbthe impact of their words and create a culture of distrust.

#9. Toxic leaders protect the status quo

They deeply believe in hierarchy.

They don’t promote change or push innovative ideas.

In addition, they are locked in a particular era, in a particular setting. They don’t wish to modernize or adapt to change.

#10. Toxic leaders are overly emotional

They dramatize everything, have a temper and haven’t got a hold of it.

Their mood usually fluctuates throughout the day.

As a result, their behavior makes people walk on eggshells around them.

#11. Toxic leaders are passive aggressive

Either they play nice to your face and stab you in the back.

Or, they hold their feelings in and act it out instead.

Passive aggressivity is very difficult to deal with as they don’t offer you any type of resolve.

#12. Toxic leaders lack core values

These leaders are entitled and self serving.

They do not care about people and put their own interest first, no matter what.

Last Words Of Advice!

Toxic leaders often scare away their best employees.

Toxic leaders are simply fooling themselves because they live in constant fear.

They are afraid of losing control, of losing power, of seeming inferior, of being replaceable…

Furthermore, they let their fear control them and influence their behavior.

It is not necessary for you to play into their hands:

  • Learn from your experiences, about yourself and your limits. You can always extract lessons from a negative experience.
  • Emotionally and physically discipline youserlf. Don’t lose your cool. By loosing your cool, you are giving them power over you.
  • Don’t take things personally and don’t let their problems become yours. It’s not about you but it’s all about them.
  • Find emotional support outside of work.
  • Keep your dignity. Don’t let other people actions define your character.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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    14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

    New leaders get into leadership positions by demonstrating greater skills, higher levels of emotional intelligence, better expertise than the teams they were in.

    However, for new leaders, mistakes are common and quasi inevitable.

    Mistakes show you what you are made of, what you need to succeed, what you need to redirect your career, what you are missing to improve your character.

    Wondering what are the common mistakes to avoid as a new leader?

    Mistakes don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when they come to light rather than going unnoticed.

    When mistakes are made, it makes sense for us to focus on what we have done right, on our strengths rather than our weaknesses.

    14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

    14 Common Mistakes That New Leaders Make

    #1. New leaders ego-trip

    Some new leaders want to bring attention to themselves, to demonstrate their self-importance and their superiority.

    They usually overstep their boundaries, put down their “subordinates” and come off as arrogant. It is safe to say that:

    • They lack self-confidence and self-awareness.
    • Their ego is fragile. They surround themselves with yes men and people who strike their ego.
    • They are entitled to their position and don’t understand that the position requires work and humility.

    #2. New leaders power-trip

    Leaders who power-trip lack humility and self-discipline.

    They use their new position to impose their authority, to remind their “subordinates” that they have power over them and to exact revenge on coworkers that they didn’t like.

    Needless to say, power tripping can damage trust and workplace morale.

    #3. New leaders don’t deal with their imposter syndrome

    New leaders let their imposter syndrome sabotage their efforts.

    Leaders with imposter syndrome don’t believe that they are due to their position, don’t believe that they have succeeded thanks to their gifts.

    Some of them are insecure, tend to feel like frauds and are afraid of being unmasked.

    Some are overzealous. They want to do things their way, be the catalysts of change, challenge the status quo almost immediately.

    Some overwork, they show off their skills and try to prove themselves.

    Others expect perfection and not excellence.

    #4. New leaders don’t know who they are

    New leaders are generally unaware of who they are, how they are seen, how they should contribute and of what they now represent.

    That is because new leaders:

    #5. New leaders don’t update their mindset

    Becoming a leader is a long and never-ending process.

    However, new leaders have to quickly update their mindset to keep up with their teams.

    They have to change their focus from frontliner to strategist, to doing from ordering, to performing a task to planning meetings.

    Firstly, they must make a pact with themselves to grow and to improve.

    Secondly, they must constantly monitor their words, attitudes and actions.

    #6. New leaders don’t understand the requirements of their position

    Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. New to their roles, most leaders:

    • Don’t grasp that being a boss, being a manager and being a leader are different.
    • Think “position” automatically implies “authority”.
    • Don’t understand their job description.
    • Don’t fully understand or commit to their role.
    • Fail to see the bigger picture.
    • Get overwhelmed by their positions.
    Leadership is not about the title or the position. It is about character, attitude and influence. - Vanessa Sylvester Click To Tweet

    #7. New leaders stop learning

    Even though new leaders think that they can handle their position with their old skills and their old knowledge, most of them don’t have the necessary skills to be a leader.

    New leaders face new responsibilities that they don’t have the skills for and :

    • Are too afraid to ask questions and to ask for help.
    • Take too long before initiating leadership training.
    • Have to learn new skills quickly, autonomously, and most importantly apply them.

    #8. New leaders stick to traditional leadership styles

    Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.

    People are more comfortable and are able to perform at their best with a democratic leadership style.

    Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured.

    They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.

    #9. New leaders don’t cater to their past and present relationships

    Some leaders stop valuing people, start ignoring their teams and their past relationships. Instead, they tend to:

    • Disconnect from their teams. For instance, they don’t listen to their team and don’t measure their words.
    • Avoid conversations, small talk and nurturing new relationships.
    • Avoid collaboration and do everything themselves.
    • Focus on the results.

    Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive.

    Dismissing relationships can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your intentions, speech or behavior.

    #10. New leaders run away from conflicts

    New leaders aim to please at first. They sugarcoat, don’t address awkward dynamics, avoid conflicts, run away from difficult conversations, want to be liked and not respected.

    They don’t speak up when they have to. For example, they don’t communicate expectations don’t correct employee mistakes when they have to, are no longer transparent because they are afraid of judgement and of losing their position.

    In addition, they comply too often because they are not confident about their abilities.

    Even if it is sometimes wise to avoid conflict, this strategy is not sustainable.

    #11. New leaders shut down dissenting voices

    New leaders must get comfortable with people who cause dissent even though the latter are natural catalysts, and easily take risks.

    Dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation.

    They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.

    #12. New leaders don’t delegate

    At entry level, we want to control people, do everything ourselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.

    Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that they:

    • Give instructions to their employees.
    • Have faith in the workers, be comfortable depending on others and believe that the work will be up to standards.
    • Have confidence in their personal abilities and do not be afraid of being upstaged.
    • Do not feel guilty that they are giving too much work to their employees because they were once in their place.

    #13. New Leaders fail to navigate office politics

    They don’t fully understand the politics at work and don’t take time to grasp it.

    It is important that they:

    • Address internal conflicts and discontinue previous leadership issues.
    • Stay aware of the new power struggles. Indeed, they will be compared to previous leaders and compare themselves to previous leaders, have to deal with jealousy and insubordination at first, have to face judgement and backlash from their coworkers.
    • Avoid talking negatively about the previous leader, gossiping about their coworkers with the coworkers.
    • Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.

    #14. New leaders don’t take accountability for their actions

    They don’t take accountability for their own actions.

    Instead, they tend to shift blame, find a scapegoat, are afraid of the words “I don’t know”.

    Furthermore, they take credit and don’t shine light on their high performing employees.

    Last Words Of Advice!

    Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and for:

    • Humbling us and discovering our authentic selves.
    • Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
    • Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
    • Removing us from our comfort zones.
    • Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
    • Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves, how to explore and experiment in life, how to learn and change.
    • Making us more resourceful, more resilient, more self-disciplined and building our problem solving skills.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

    Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

    Annual Performance Reviews are often dreaded by most employees.

    It is the time of the year where we often get offended, where leaders realize that they don’t really understand what is going on in their organization.

    In addition, most employees believe that their performance review is inaccurate and biased. It has been shown that it doesn’t help employees improve their performance reach their greatest potential, or grow personally.

    That is because, performance reviews:

    • Are given annually which is insufficient. Indeed, mistakes have time to fester for a whole year.
    • Don’t provide enough details. The annual performance review tracks a few of our skills and take snapshots of our behaviors.
    • Take into account only one person’s point of view.
    • Cross-examines someone with different sets of sills with defective criteria.

    Wondering how to adequately give and receive feedback?

    Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

    The ability to give and to receive feedback is essential to success and to being a great leader. It is a personal development tool and a skill that can be learnt.

    What is constructive feedback?

    Feedback is the general way you perceive people, is a shared appreciation of a person and of a situation.

    Furthermore, feedback is constructive criticism, challenges the way you think about yourself and aims to see people improve and become their best selves. It is the desire for employees to perform well and to find satisfaction in their job.

    In fact, giving feedback is similar to coaching, mentoring or teaching.

    Feedback is different from micromanagement, negative criticism or emitting judgement. It can be wrong but it is unfortunately necessary for our growth.

    Benefits of the feedback process

    We perpetually need evaluation to assess our current situation, our ego and our work performance.

    The feedback process, if done the right way, will:

    However, giving or receiving feedback is difficult: it relies on false assumptions, it consumes time and energy, is often met with avoidance or with resistance.

    Nevertheless, being closed off from feedback unequivocally leads to conflicts, to setbacks, to communication issues, to an inability to find a solution.

    How to receive feedback?

    Receiving feedback as a leader will set the example and encourage people to listen to what you have to say.

    Receiving feedback doesn’t mean automatically acting on the advice or immediately starting the changing process. It means that you must:

    1. Understand that there is always room for improvement. 
    2. Be open to feedback in general and therefore to understanding someone’s perception of you.
    3. Listen to what people you trust are saying about you and give the thoughts some consideration.
    4. Consolidate your confidence and set apart your identity from the perceptions people have about you.
    5. Understand that you have the option to choose to apply the feedback.
    6. Identify your triggers and fortify your emotional intelligence. You must therefore be willing to ask the right questions, to objectively talk about issues regarding you and to separate the person giving you feedback from the actual message.
    7. Learn from your mistakes and give yourself time to apply what you have learnt.

    How to give feedback?

    Leaders who are able to effectively receive feedback are able to give them as well, must exhibit exemplary behavior. To give effective feedback:

    1. Build trust and respect in your employees.
    2. Help people feel good about themselves and motivate them to grow.
    3. Develop an adequate communication style.
    4. Find out why you are implementing the feedback process.
    5. Specifically identify the issues you need to deal with, the reasons and the solutions for them.
    6. Understand that everybody processes information differently, has their personal systems of belief and their own truths. This makes the interpretation of feedback difficult.
    7. Before starting the process, collect enough information to form an accurate opinion. Prepare examples to back up your claims. Do not assume things about people and do not classify them.
    8. Don’t project, force people to change, force people to be something that they are not or treat them like a project that needs to be fixed.
    9. Mind your intent and be genuine in your delivery. Inauthentic feedback breeds distrust and generates negative emotional responses.
    10. Be empathetic. Think about what you are going to say and do before meeting with the person. Show appreciation, choose your words and timing carefully.
    11. Discuss people’s work performance but not their personality nor core values.
    12. Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses.
    13. Avoid definite terms such as “never”, “always”, “must”, “should”, and make “I’ statements.
    14. Encourage positive behavior. Work is not always fair and not everyone plays by the same rules.
    15. Acknowledge that there are consequences to every action.
    16. Give frequent feedback outside the annual performance review, in private, as soon as possible.

    Providing & Receiving Positive Feedback

    Last Word Of Advice!

    Human beings are very sensitive and most people are not confrontational. So, treat people like you would like to be treated. Don’t seek to offend or to blame, and don’t talk down to them.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

    Henri Junttila

    MEET THE AUTHOR

    Henri Junttila is the founder of Wake Up Cloud which helps people find and follow their passion. Henri Junttila is also the author of Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself.

    Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

    I always wished someone had thought me what I know now, so I didn’t need to learn life and office politics the hard way.

    Needless to say, mentors are hard to come by and it is difficult for women and minorities to find mentors in powerful positions.

    However, achieving success without a mentor is possible but having one will definitively make your life easier.

    Wondering how to score the perfect mentor or perfect mentee?

    Building An Impactful Mentorship Relationship

    What is mentorship?

    Mentorship is usually the realization of leadership. It is similar to tutorship, to parenthood, to partnership, or to an alliance.

    To simplify, mentorship is basically an often exclusive work relationship between two people who are willing to learn from each other and to grow with each other.

    Furthermore, mentorship is built on reciprocity and commitment. It requires trust, loyalty, personal empowerment, respect, effective time management, and resistance to social pressures.

    Most mentorship are informal and naturally happen in the workplace. However, they can take place in your personal life.

    If you are looking for a mentor…

    You have to be able to effectively manage yourself, to handle all responsibilities and to not self-sabotage.

    Are you ready for mentorship?

    To prepare yourself for mentorship and to make yourself attractive to a mentor, you must develop your skills and your character on your own:

    • Keep a positive attitude and be open to learn.
    • Have goals and ambition.
    • Learn to build relationships, to handle office politics, pressures and failures.
    • Humble demonstrate your character and your smarts.
    • Take calculated risks.

    Benefits to having a mentor

    Mentorship provides the mentee, the learner or the protégé with:

    • Insights into the corporate culture, sound advice and ongoing feedback.
    • Leadership skills and increased job performance.
    • An ability to adapt to change.
    • More independence, more experiences, more challenges, more success and opportunities for evolution.
    • Appropriate jobs and roles in regards to your strengths.
    • Increased visibility, access to responsibilities and high positions.
    • Higher pay.
    • Emotional support, emotional intelligence, self-awareness, higher self-esteem, better focus, stronger confidence.

    How to find a mentor?

    You must not wait to be chosen by a mentor: you should make the first move. To find a mentor:

    • Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
    • Identify your goals and make sure that they align with those of your future mentor.
    • Handle your career on your own, manage your own reputation, gain pertinent skills, work on yourself and on your goals first before seeking help.
    • Verify the role and status of the person of interest. The person must not necessarily be your supervisor, must not work at the same company or have the same position. Make sure that your mentor has exceptional skills, is well read, is self-aware and is always on the path of self-improvement.
    • Observe your mentor’s behavior and character to ensure that you will get along with them and look up to.
    • Test your mentor’s ability to handle work then ask for help.
    • Get to know your mentor on a personal level and keep in touch from time to time.
    • Seek understanding and accept mentorship influence.
    • Learn to keep secrets.

    If you looking to be a mentor…

    You must be willing to share your experiences, to be authentic, protective, fair, positive, patient and confident.

    Mentors are motivators, are able to create strong relationships, are part of a powerful network, demonstrate exemplary leadership behavior, have influence, dedicate themselves to people, take risks, give sound advice, and give credit when it’s due.

    Benefits to being a mentor

    Being a mentor is rewarding and is an illustrious position. In a mentorship relationship, everyone benefits from each other’s success and brings equal goods to the table.

    On one hand, mentors are able to share their life experiences, to share great work tips, to provide different perspectives, to retain the best employees and to improve the workplace. They can delegate work to a trusted employee, bridge the generational gap, get to work with different people and get more free time to themselves.

    On another hand, without being part of your organization, mentees are able to positively impact the mentor’s image, reputation, forces them to sharpen their skills and to improve their work-life balance. Mentees keep their mentors in touch with their organization, up to date with their technical skills

    Finally, mentorship is fulfilling because mentors are able to leave a legacy, to make their mark.

    How to select a mentee?

    The perfect mentee does not exist.

    • Be open to mentorship proposals early in life and early in your career
    • Observe if they have potential
    • Verify the mentee is curious, eager to learn and open to change
    • Verify that they are willing to put in the work

    How to be a mentor?

    To be the best mentor you can be:

    • Be a role-model.
    • Find out what you and your mentee want to achieve.
    • Set realistic expectations about the job and help them clarify their goals.
    • Find your most convenient mentorship and leadership style.
    • Know how to navigate most challenging situations.
    • Give support whenever you can, have an open door policy, respond to the needs and goals of your mentee.
    • Show appreciation and show that their opinions matter.
    • Give your mentee time to grow, time to commit and time to develop their skills.
    • Open up your network to the mentee and give direct access to success.
    • Don’t mold the mentee in your image and understand that they are their own person.
    • Incorporate mentoring programs in your organization if you can.
    • Let go of the mentee if your goals don’t align anymore and if the mentee has outgrown you.

     

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

    7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

    There are laws and principles that govern the workplace. We can either ignore them, acknowledge them or abide by them.

    These laws and principles are the most visible when someone has been promoted, is moving forward or a new boss is in town. Some appear to be jealous, some try to quickly affiliate with the winner, to show their allegiance. Others are quick to sabotage and to compete.

    I am not one to willingly participate in office politics. However, in my opinion, because knowledge is power, the best way to avoid politics is to know the rules. I like to know what is happening, how to read a room, to always be aware of my behavior, and to prepare myself for what is coming.

    This advice is also valuable for minorities who encounters western group think in the office, who need to be realistic about their situations and want to understand how to advance themselves, how to protect themselves.

    Wondering how to navigate office politics and whether or not you should be interested in it?

    7 Pragmatic Principles Of Office Politics

    What is office politics?

    Office politics is a human concept and is inevitable. It is also very necessary and will go on whether your participate in it or not.

    In office politics people seek power, leadership, influence and/or control of other people, more responsibility on their job.

    Office politics is a particular hard skill because it requires that you control your primitive, impulsive responses to different situations and that you stay in high alert at all times.

    The Perks Of Office Politics

    Political animals in the office usually get what they want, to evade conflicts and sometimes create them between different individuals. Political animals:

    • Have influence. They build healthy relationships, even with toxic individuals.
    • Recognize the agendas and powers at play in any relationships.
    • Get the best projects, get promoted, get pay raise and other rewards.
    • Are trusted for their opinions.
    • Get credit for their hard work.
    • Get their career on a positive track.
    • Have the ability and the tools to deal with opposition and usually wins in a conflict.
    • Conserve their energy and focus it on worthwhile issues.
    • Avoid being blindsided or facing unpleasant outcomes.

    What We Hate About Office Politics

    Office politics is often badly perceived because it can be cruel, be viewed as being calculated and manipulative.

    Sometimes, office politics is a dangerous and corrosive game but it is a game. It is part of human nature, a social activity, a marathon and not a sprint.

    It is often used to sabotage, to manipulate, to deflect or to create a conflict between people.

    Therefore, it is not for the faint of heart. Before starting, you must make sure that you are robust, are not dependent on people or other external factors, that you are emotionally detached from your work and that you can clearly separate your identity from your job.

    Furthermore, keep in mind that abusing power on the long run does not lead to success.

    Principle #1: Defining your purpose

    Having greater goals in life will help you sustain and overcome opposition, avoid being pushed around by people or events. Your ultimate goals can be:

    • staying at a company and getting your pay check to ensure your lifestyle and to guarantee financial stability.
    • staying at a company, evolving, building healthy relationships
    • Living the company and finding better

    Either way, set realistic goals, expectations for yourself. Next, stay focus on your goals, use your goals to guide your decisions and your behavior.

    Principle #2: Know your strengths, weaknesses and limits

    Politics and power will challenge your weaknesses.

    Understanding your strengths and weaknesses will help you assess your worth, appreciate your contributions at work and determine whether or not you can run with horses. This will also help you identify them in others, understand them, maximize their potential and forgive their weaknesses.

    To be effective at office politics, don’t directly demonstrate or enunciate your strengths or weaknesses. It is best to wait for the right moment to do so.

    In addition, you must seek to enhance your performance, your productivity, to develop competencies that are hard to acquire or hard to replace. and to deliver great results. Then, discreetly promote your results.

    Principle #3: Maintaining your leadership capabilities

    It is important to learn to keep your peace and your composure at all times by seriously controlling your emotions. This demands a lot of discipline and will help you grow as a person.

    Furthermore, lead by example and take care or yourself first. Great leaders have power but stay humble and don’t abuse it.

    Seek understanding

    To help you manage people, conflicts, to adopt the right behavior, to estimate your position and status:

    • Understand the company culture, values and principles.
    • Understand the people who you work with, estimate their boundaries and assess their attitudes.
    • Believe that hierarchy exist and is gladly enforced in the workplace. This means that you must, at some point, show deference to your “superiors”.This doesn’t mean that your “superiors” have greater character, greater skill sets or greater vision. However, no matter who you are, you won’t be able to freely speak your mind, to make your own decisions, to control your assignments.

    Discipline your words and your thoughts

    • Stay away from gossip and rumors.
    • Watch what you say and how you say it.
    • Give substance to your speech.
    • Monitor your behavior at all times.

    Discipline your emotions

    • Get rid of your ego and nurture your sense of humor. If you don’t know something, say so and don’t fake knowledge.
    • Don’t waste your time and energy on useless matters.
    • Keep your wits about you.
    • When someone slights you, don’t give them an emotional reaction.

    Principle #4: Behave ethically

    • Remain true to your core values.
    • Don’t expect to be treated fairly.
    • Upgrade your character in order to be unimpeachable from the start. People with low or no ethics are unsuccessful in the long run.

    Poor character leads to abusive, aggressive, masochistic, sadist behavior and office politics.

    When I was working for a long corporation, one person in the office was being bullied. I was asked, as a team member, to participate in the bullying and to force the person to quit.

    Most of my team members, for fun or for fear of retribution, would engage in toxic behavior towards this one person, put down false complaints and manufacture false rumors as well.

    Without doing the same, I realized that sadistically beating down on someone, engaging in toxic behavior were not aligning with my core values and wouldn’t allow me to sleep properly at night.

    To solve the solution, I simply listened to the request, spoke positively about the person, suggested to them that they had to find a better position and found a better place to work myself.

    What was your ethically questionable experience?

    Principle #5: Building your network and gaining influence

    Networking is an important process, especially if your are shy and introverted. Who you know will determine how far you will get.

    Here are some tips below that will help you be unbothered, to gain influence and build positive relationships:

    • Protect your reputation at all cost. For instance, if you make promises, live up to them.
    • Have a positive attitude. Avoid being mean or offending people for sport.
    • Act or be confident. It is important to fake it until you make it, to dress confidently and dress for success.
    • Give your best on your job and put your best foot forward. You can even become an expert in your field.
    • Empathetic ally listen to your coworkers. This way, you will get invaluable information about the environment, be solution oriented and build strong relationships.
    • Look to be respected and not to be liked.
    • Seek to integrate the group before you seek to lead it.
    • Target people who can help you achieve your goals and let them know what you bring to the table.
    • Don’t worry what people say about you, don’t gossip or spread false rumors.
    • Avoid too much flattery. You will appear weak to  your peers, will erode their respect and the respect of the higher-ups.
    • Involve people in your decision-making process.

    Principle #6: Friend or Foe?

    It is detrimental to discern your friends from your enemies, your confidant from your comrade, your constituents from your compatriots.

    Keep in mind that:

    • Not everybody is your friend and don’t expect your “friends” to have your back.
    • It is better to have allies than to have enemies.
    • Your enemies won’t stop at anything to block you from achieving your purpose.

    In conflicts or challenging situations:

    • Always seek to diffuse tension.
    • Avoid taking sides, power struggles but don’t give in to enemies or attempt to please them.
    • Mind your business and don’t take anything personally.
    • Identify the toxic behavior and the solution for it.
    • Don’t stoop to the level of the perpetrator or please the naysayers.
    • Don’t play the victim or suffer unfair treatment.
    • Ask questions rather than giving answers or have a private chat with an enemy and try to bring them to your side.
    • If you are not in position of power or are not favored at your job, accept it and move on, especially if you don’t know how to maneuver the situation.
    • If excluded from a group, don’t attempt to fit in, just join a new one or leave the place.
    • If you are being openly criticized or insulted, don’t let that affect your self-worth or your work. Agree with the perpetrator without demonstrating emotion.

    Principle #7: Change

    To handle office politics, one must learn to appreciate change and adapt to it.

    • Stay present, stay resilient and robust to conflicts and change, to your own emotions, to the emotions of others.
    • Learn to deal with change and quickly recover from your blows.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

    Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

    In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy suggest that we define a plan for our lives. They introduce us to the concept of Life Planning and show us how to implement the process.

    Living Forward_ A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by (1).png

    What is a Life Plan?

    According to Hyatt and Harkavy, “A Life Plan is a short written document, usually five to fifteen pages long“. The Life Plan is personal, describes your priorities, the steps to reach your goals and the legacy you want to leave.

    It is a life long process, that can continually be adjusted and improved. A Life Plan doesn’t shield you from life challenges and failures. Instead, it will help you create intention for your life.

    It is common to have a career plan but no Life Plan. The Life Plan enables you to:

    • Set priorities and stick to them.
    • Stop sacrificing yourself, to stop trading health and time for work, career advancement, accolades or money.
    • Filter out opportunities. As you get older and as you get experiences, opportunity coming your way will multiply. It is therefore important to know where your priorities lie and what opportunity to choose.
    • Avoid distractions, confront and deal with reality.
    • Avoid the feeling of being stuck and allow you to keep your eyes on the future.
    • Avoid regrets and increase your level of control.

    The drift and its consequences

    Most people drift away from their dreams because:

    • They are unaware that their ideas and assumptions are inaccurate and harmful.
    • There is a discrepancy between their beliefs and reality.
    • They are distracted, are spread too thin or too busy to focus on their lives and to start prioritizing.
    • They don’t understand that there is hope, that they can change and that they have more control over their lives than they think.

    When you drift away from your dreams and when you don’t have a Life Plan, you tend to:

    • Lack meaning and purpose.
    • Waste your time and other valuable resources on meaningless tasks.
    • Lose opportunities and their sense of urgency. People who drift away procrastinate and are unable to discern a good opportunity from a bad.
    • Experience trouble more intensely because they are unprepared.
    • Take a passive approach to life, shift blame and live in regrets.

    Designing and implementing your Life Plan

    To design your Life Plan, it is necessary to outline your legacy, to set your priorities, get clarity on your objectives and to reserve one day to build your Life Plan.

    Outlining your legacy

    To design your Life Plan, keep in mind that everybody leaves a legacy, face your mortality and begin with the end in mind. It is critical to write your Life Plan like you are writing your eulogy, to imagine how you want others to remember you and to stay committed to the process.

    Setting your priorities

    Getting more clarity on your objectives will definitely increase your commitment. To do so, you must steer clear from external expectations and do what is right for you.

    Getting clarity on objectives

    • Identify your purpose.
    • Project yourself into the future, picture yourself in it and imagine all the different positive outcomes. To make your vision much more compelling, write down in the present tense what you hear, feel, see, smell and taste.
    • Find and apply a quote that inspires you.
    • Make an honest assessment of your current progress.
    • Commit to specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bond goals.

    Devote one day to your Life Plan

    Hyatt & Harkavy recommend that you schedule one day to create your Life Plan. Needless to say, the Life plan should be implemented starting the next day.

    It is necessary to allow yourself to dream, to not expect perfection and to not get distracted.

    Implement your plan

    Implementing the Life Plan is the most challenging part. It is necessary to:

    • Include your Life Plan in your everyday routine.
    • Fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by life’s drama.
    • Don’t be afraid to say no or to disappoint others.
    • Read your plan daily and review it often.

    Review

    Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy is an easy to read self-help book that is based on some of their traumatic experiences. It is destined to increase our focus, to helps us find out what matters most, to acquire meaning and fulfillment in our everyday life, to allow us to prioritize our lives and to contribute effectively,

    This book is written for people who are looking for a better direction for their life because they are either:

    • unsatisfied with the current state of their lives,
    • lack purpose,
    • seeking more balance,
    • unable to overcome life challenges,
    • noticing that their lives don’t fit their vision or dream,
    • not reaching their full potential.

    The earlier we start creating and implementing a Life Plan, the better.

    Favorite quote(s)

    Living Forward will heighten your sense of what’s truly possible for you in life. If you feel out of balance, aware that your current pace is unsustainable; if you are making great gains professionally but don’t want to neglect personal priorities; if you want to have better focus to succeed financially; if you have gone through a recent tragedy and suddenly become aware that life is short; if any of those are true, this book is for you.

    I know that how we lead ourselves in life impacts how we lead those around us. Self-leadership always precedes team leadership. We must have a balanced approach to accumulating net worth in all of the critical accounts in our lives, not just one or two. Ultimately this allows us to make the greatest difference and adds the most value to those around us. It is possible to grow at work without diminishing other areas of our lives. Living forward helps us find and maintain our balance.

    Ratings 4/5

    Author

    Daniel Harkavy

    Michael Hyatt

    The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

    Leaders receive a multitude of information on a daily basis. They make hard decisions every day and expect that their employees will directly understand and precisely apply them.

    Decisions become erroneous when leader fail to listen. The execution process falls short when leaders fail to communicate and clarify their vision. Subsequently, they also fail to solve problems and reach their goals.

    Wondering how to hone your communication skills and create a better working environment? 

    The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

    What is communication?

    Communication is a complex and dynamic process, used to collect information. It is also a form of human interaction that always involves at least 2 people, that depends on the character of the people involved and that relies on trust.

    While communicating, we receive and/or emit information through silence, facial expressions, writing, reading, talking or listening. We use these skills practically everywhere at work, for every situations.

    In addition, a noisy environment, stereotypes, cultural differences, lexical differences, company culture are barriers to communication. These barriers distort what is being said and what is being received. However, being aware if them is the first step to reprogramming communication.

    Why is it important?

    Communication skill is the ability to effectively interact with people to influence, to convince, to mobilize people towards one goal, to unify teams.

    Developing communication skills will bring success at every level, help convey a better understanding of your standards and requirements, build positive healthy relationships, avoid or work through conflicts.

    Great communication skills will improve your leadership credibility, your self-confidence, your relationships with others, your feelings of belonging and will decrease your stress level. They will also drive change and increase team motivation.

    Furthermore, poor communication skills can prevent you from understanding your coworkers, getting hired or getting promoted, saving time or sharing request in meetings. communication failure leads to resentment.

    How to improve your communication skills?

    At work, some people struggle to share their thoughts, ideas. To improve your communication skills and get ahead at work:

    1. Be self-aware and stay authentic to your principles.
    2. Demonstrate empathy. Empathy will allow you to reach people, to perceive their feelings and perspectives, to build a team that you understand. For example, start by learning your employee’s name to show that you care.
    3. Demonstrate that you can be trusted by keeping secrets, by following through on promises and commitments, by being consistent, and by not withholding useful information
    4. Even though you don’t believe it, you are a brand and must treat yourself as such. You must learn to present, to market yourself, to quantify and value your assets.
    5. Find a purpose for every interaction. Your purpose gives your communication direction.
    6. Remember that everyone is different and won’t communicate the way you do.
    7. Always think win-win. According to Stephen Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, it is better to seek mutual benefits in all human interactions, believe that life is a cooperation and not a competition.
    8. Understand the corporate culture to adapt your communication style. Your communication style will influence the way others react to you. Numerous communication styles have been developed throughout the years and most often, have been equated to leadership style. Needless to say, everyone doesn’t communicate the same way.
    9. Bear in mind that appearances are important, even detrimental to success. Maintain professional decorum at all times, dress appropriately, groom yourself, be hygienic, keep your composure according to the company’s culture.
    10. Take care of your own body language by standing straight, by eliminating over the top behavior, standing still, staying focused on your interlocutor, maintaining eye contact and restraining your facial expression.
    11. Actively listen and speak less. While listening, monitor body language, evaluate the emotional intensity of the conversation, stay open-minded, and choose your words carefully not to offend. This also means that you don’t need to emit judgement during the process, that you must avoid listening to reply or to seek ulterior motives in someone, and that you must allow people to talk without interruption, even if I disagree with them.
    12. When writing and speaking, keep it succinct, specific, clear, coherent and compelling for others. Avoid using ambiguous words.
    13. Treat people as you want to be treated. Stay polite and treat people with the respect that they deserve and with regards to their culture.
    14. Have an open door policy and be approachable.
    15. Analyze your audience. Take time and analyze the full situation and pay attention to non verbal communication.
    16. When in conversation, observe what is being said and paraphrase to confirm that you have properly understood, ask probing questions to get all the information and avoid daydreaming, tuning out or jumping to conclusions. If nervous, introverted or shy, practice your conversations before.
    17. Avoid using stereotypes to categorize someone or the info that they share.
    18. Use humor to defuse negative situations to elevate any subject, to put your audience at ease. Using humor is risky but is worth-while.
    19. Reward positive behavior and hold people accountable for negative behavior.

    Last Words Of Advice!

    To effectively improve communication, there are also a few unspoken rules to follow. One must avoid:

    • Discounting information on the account of discrediting the source.
    • Comparing the information you are getting with your own experience.
    • Calling attention to yourself or your situation.
    • Gossiping, openly criticizing or making fun of others and their interests. Find solutions and help resolve problem instead of creating them.
    • Noisy environment to have conversations.
    • Respect silence. Silence is golden in some cultures.
    1. Finally, don’t take anything personal.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

    Changing Career And Starting Over — 25 Tips To Make A Successful Career Change

    Sometimes, we are stuck in a career that we hate or that no longer fulfills us. Other times, the commute is too long, we make long studies to end up in a career that requires too much sacrifice, that doesn’t fit us or that we struggle in.

    Uprooting, starting over, reinventing your career and moving forward is difficult. Starting over from scratch feels like a failure, is intimidating, is discouraging, takes time, requires optimism, an ability to learn, an interest in personal growth, a sense of  adventure.

    Wondering how to actively change career and find a job that fulfills you?

    Successful Career Change

    Being in the wrong job or leading the wrong people demands too much sacrifice and can lead to a serious breakdown or various health issues. Our lack of interest spills over at work and most importantly at home, especially if we are leaders. We visibly become careless, inconsistent, we underperform and are emotionally unavailable.

    Furthermore, a career change is necessary when your personal needs are not met, when you get feeling of boredom, start burning out, lack of satisfaction, work for a bad boss and with toxic coworkers. Everybody has a breaking point and cannot spend a lifetime adapting to situations that are unnatural to them.

    How to avoid making the wrong career choice?

    Some people drift through jobs without any idea of what they are doing or without making a decisive career choice. To avoid making a bad career choice:

    Actively changing careers

    Changing career is daunting yet exciting. It is daunting because we might lose status, leadership position. However, it can be exciting because the future is promising. Starting over means learning from your past mistakes, applying the solutions with an open mind and with a different perspective on life.

    Quitting your job and pursuing the career you always wanted is a leap of faith. The future is unknown but promising. To transition smoothly:

    1. Know that what we think we can achieve is unlimited and is not limited. Changing career requires a different mindset. Believe that ever force is on your side and attract the things you want in life. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward.
    2. List the different careers that you wish you could have.
    3. Some people will tell you that it is a bad decision to change career. Listen carefully to what they say and understand that their opinion is not really about you. Find ways to overcome these boundaries, keep moving forward and don’t look back.
    4. Accept yourself and your character flaws.
    5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you tap into your full potential and make your career more sustainable, make work more enjoyable and will have you jumping out of bed to get to work.
    6. Translate your strengths and weaknesses into coherent skills and avoid devaluing what you can do easily.
    7. Identify your core values. Core values are what guide your behavior and character. Make sure that what you are doing aligns with your values.
    8. Identify your skills acquired at work and make sure that they are transferable.
    9. Find out your passions, what you want and what you like to do, even when you are not getting paid.
    10. Build a visionset goals, focus or a purpose. Daily remind yourself of your dreams and goals. Then, determine the needs required for achieving this purpose.
    11. Imagine your ideal life and your ideal position. Write it down and create a vision board to specifically solidify your dreams.
    12. Measure your stage in life, how far are you in life. The consequences of changing career will be different if you are a recent graduate student or a seasoned senior professional.
    13. Meet your personal requirements at home. Your requirements can be money, recognition, trust, autonomy, performance and achievements). Furthermore, understand that your needs are personal and will not be grasped by everyone.
    14. Build strong and healthy relationships. You can do this by starting a small group, by assisting others at work and by bringing solutions to their problems.
    15. Address your past and your present experiences. Then, Estimate what you consider as a failure and as a success.
    16. Be open to learn and ask probing questions.
    17. Brush up on your interview skills, network and learn to sell yourself.
    18. If you are looking for a job at another company, remember to update your resume with accurate experience and qualifications, big or small.
    19. Take classes and trainings that will move you toward your career goal and keep you motivated.
    20. Ask for sit downs to people who are in your career of choice. During that interview, don’t directly ask for a job but avoid making assumptions, ask probing questions and take notes.
    21. Respond to advertised jobs. You can also directly apply to companies without going through ads.
    22. Rearrange your personal life before tending to the professional life. Make peace with yourself and physically declutter your space at home then at work.
    23. Learn to deal with worst case scenarios on your current job before moving on to the next one. Chances are that you will meet the same situation somewhere else and potentially end up in the same mess.
    24. Avoid passive aggressive behavior on your last days at work and develop smart strategies to handle our current job. For example, try to meet your boss requirements before quitting your job. When you meet the boss’s requirements, his trust in you will be renewed and your energy will be boosted.
    25. Start a business that is directly molded on your strengths and weaknesses.Once a leader, always a leader. It is not something you can turn off.

    Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

    Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.