Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 2)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman. To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Speaking truth to power by James O’Toole

Speaking truth to power, by James O’Toole, is the second essay from Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor.

Speaking truth to power has been a long-standing issue throughout History. It is a very common and complex matter that has direct repercussions on an individual’s life, career and health.

In this essay, in order to illustrate the concerns raised by a lack of transparency, many examples have been extracted from literature, from 2500 years of History and from James O’Toole‘s personal experience during his research in corporations.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 2) #book #books #bookreviews #transparency #candor #companyculture https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

Why speak truth to power?

Speaking truth to power creates a healthy and successful company culture in any given organization.

What makes speaking truth to power so convoluted?

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Speaking truth to power can be perceived as disloyalty, dissidence, insubordination or non-conformism because it challenges old assumptions, systems that are already in place, defies group-thinking and questions the authority, decisions and ego of the person in power.

 

Speaking the truth also implies having to make the person in power admit their mistake.

James O’Toole blames this impugning perception on the stubbornness, the stupidity and the hubris (arrogance of power) of leaders who reject good advice and are incapable of hearing the truth.

That is why, leaders must openly listen to their employees, understand their working conditions, rethink old assumptions and avoid group-thinking at all cost.

Speaking truth to power does not go without risks: most employees are not willing to report any misconduct or unethical behavior by fear of retaliation, by fear of being reprimanded, by belief that no action will be taken by management or by Human Resources (HR).

How to create transparency and trust within an organization?

According to James O’Toole, corporations should hire at leisure a “corporate fool”, term quoted by Verne Morland, an executive at NCR in the 1980s.

A “corporate fool” is a modern day jester that is capable and licensed to speak truth to power and create controversy.

The role of the “corporate fool” can be associated to the role of women in modern day organizations.

Indeed, women are unafraid to challenge the system and to speak truth to power in corporations as they have only recently been evolving in the male-dominating corporations and as a result have not learnt any ethical misbehavior. Not to mention, women have throughout History stood up courageously to authority at the peril of their lives.

The 7 characteristics of a transparent leader

Below are the characteristics that a leader must abide by to enforce transparency within their organization:

  1. Leaders must consistently tell the truth to their followers.
  2. Leaders must be comfortable with the truth.
  3. Leaders must practice integrity.
  4. Leaders must demonstrate appropriate respect towards their followers by sharing relevant information and actually including them in the flow of information.
  5. Leaders must gather the necessary information before making any type of decision.
  6. Leaders must value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.
  7. Leaders at the top should not reward other leaders for their ability to compete nor congratulate leader’s misconduct.

Moreover, followers must be willing to put themselves on the line to be able to correct their bosses. “In sum, before speaking truth to power can be considered virtuous, the act must meet several criteria:

  • It must be truthful.
  • It must do no harm to innocents.
  • It must not be self-interested (the benefits must go to others, or to the organization).
  • It must be the product of moral reflection.
  • It must come from a messenger who is willing to pay the price.
  • It must have at least a chance of bringing about positive change (there is no virtue in tilting at windmills).
  • It must not be done out of spite or anger.”

Throughout History, organizations have punished those that speak truth to power, have challenged their loyalty, have put their sanity to the test, have labelled them as crazy or angry people.

So why blow the whistle?

Whistleblowers are loyal to their organization and not assumably to their leaders. When the leaders betray the values and the integrity of the organization, whistleblowers come forth and are ready to denounce publicly any signs of foul-play.

Is there an appropriate time for whistleblowing or for speaking truth to power?

The time is right when one is mature enough to objectively analyze the situation at hand and is virtuous enough to be able to temper his or her anger.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biederman, click here.

Review

images-31.jpg.jpeg

Speaking truth to power is perfect for leaders who are looking to understand what transparency is all about and are starting to implement it in their organization.

In Speaking truth to power, James O’Toole makes us realize how far this issue goes back, how much human nature is to blame for a lack of transparency and why a step has not been taken to generally encourage transparency, even though success, effectiveness and trust should be incentives for corporations.

In reality, speaking from personal experience, most candid, virtuous and conscientious people do not climb the career ladder in corporations and sojourn at the bottom until they learn to moderate their opinion.

Otherwise, they are perceived by team members and leaders as being weak, insubordinate, insolent and disloyal.

I’ve seen many straightforward people being exemplary managed out of corporations while leaders kept asking their employees to be transparent and while those who did the leader’s dirty deed were promoted.

As a result, it created a toxic and unsafe environment where no one would speak up (not even HR) to the wrongdoings of management.

If candid people are not able to sugarcoat their opinion, they end up whistleblowing or leaving the organization. And so, I did.

Favorite quote(s)

In a recent scientific survey of a cross-section of American workers, over two-thirds report having personally witnessed unethical behavior on the job, but only about a third of those say they reported what they observed to their supervisors. The reasons given for their reticence range from fear of retaliation to the belief that management would not act on the information appropriately.

In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain.

Ratings 4/5

Author

James O’Toole

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Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 1)

Creating a culture of candor, by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and Patricia Ward Biederman, is the first essay from Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. It reveals the effects of transparency and lack thereof in organizations…

What is Transparency?

Transparency is defined as “the degree to which information flows freely within an organization, among managers and employees, and outward to stakeholders.”

This essay also describes ways to implement a culture of candor and stresses the fact that the rise of digital technologies made it almost impossible for organizations to keep secrets or remain opaque.

Transparency is a choice to make that brings success, additional clarity and instills trust. However, most companies don’t chose candor and openness: true transparency is hard, as much as true honesty is.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (Part 1) #book #books #bookreviews #transparency #candor #companyculture https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

Leaders find it hard to be transparent:

  • In today’s world, the race to become number 1 brings leaders to overlook any wrongdoings or any existing flaws.
  • Another reason is that leaders need to make an immediate decision and look decisive. Therefore, leaders tend to dismiss information.
  • Knowledge is power and by virtue of human nature, most people, leaders included, enjoy hoarding information to feel powerful and superior.

Followers find it hard to be transparent:

  • Followers do not directly transfer raw internal information to the leader(s). The raw information is limitedly conveyed, colored and sugar-coated.
  • Followers think of leaders as demigods: they admire them and praise them. This attitude prevents followers from criticizing their leaders or speaking the awkward truth to them.

The need for whistleblowers

When there is no transparency, whistleblowers, loyal or not, patriotic or not, reveal the truth at the peril of their life because they believe that the organization’s secrets is too unscrupulous to keep and that the organization’s values no longer align with theirs.

Whistleblowers put their lives at risk, are often shunned, demoted for speaking the truth. With the development of internet, secrecy is almost impossible and whistleblowers are no longer at risk and can reveal secrets anonymously.

Blogs have become an unstoppable force, capable of damaging big and perennial corporations, institutions and individuals, of economically boycotting companies. Thankfully, blogs have protected and enabled whistleblowers.

How to create a culture of candor?

In order to implement a culture if candor, followers, on one hand, must feel free to speak up and to speak openly. On the other hand, leaders must value the truth, welcome unpleasant information and reward such openness.

  • Leaders must combat transparency by demanding feedback from their team and listening to the feedback.
  • Leaders must not to be overconfident about their own leadership capabilities.
  • Leaders must treat the follower’s ideas with importance and take counsel from the follower. Leaders must seek information at all level of chain.
  • Leaders should be allowed to be prudent and to take their time in order to make a decision.
  • Internal information flow must be treated as importantly as the information coming in and out of the organization.
  • Transparency should be mechanized by installing whistleblower software (EthicsPoint and Global Compliance Services for example) to enable employees to report anonymously any wrongdoings and to alert to any problems.
  • Whistleblowers should not be ostracized for speaking up.

The dangers of group-think

Bennis, Goleman and Biederman finally compare organizations secrets to the dark secrets kept by family members. In families as in organizations, the lack of transparency introduces toxic secrets that are unfortunately well kept.

These secrets tightly bond employees, which make it hard for a member to come forth by fear of being expelled, punished, by fear of threatening or destroying an entire organization.

Furthermore, these employees take pride in belonging to such a tight-knit organization, leading to feelings of superiority and to group-thinking.

Group-thinking is defined as the “subsequent congressional investigation made an explicit diagnosis of groupthink—a process in which unfounded assumptions drive a plan of action and contradictory information is suppressed, along with any doubts about the assumptions themselves”. Although group thinking brings in cohesiveness, it allows only one pattern of thinking and generally leads to one unique bad decision.

Review

images-31.jpg.jpegCreating a culture of candor, by Warren Bennis, Daniel Goleman and Patricia Ward Biederman is a very interesting and well written essay. It provides us with pertinent examples, gives rise to contemporaneous observations and administers great advice for effectively creating a culture of candor.

While I was reading this essay, the Volkswagen scandal kept coming to mind in 2015 where the performance results of 11 millions cars worldwide where altered to admit a low carbon-dioxide emission levels. In the race to success, Volkswagen has not been candid with the public or to the Environmental Protection Agency.

This essay still highlights many current issues where numerous ethical issues present in modern corporations. It was surprising to see, even with the rise of digital technologies, how many corporations, organizations and institutions remain opaque.

Favorite quote(s)

In idea-driven organizations—and which are not these days?—genuine, collegial Leaders collaboration leads to better morale, a greater likelihood of creativity, and greater candor and transparency.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Warren Bennis

Patricia Ward Biederman

Daniel Goleman

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Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better…

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw #book #books #bookreview   #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #selfdevelopment https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, these blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blind spots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful. And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance. To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation. If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of areas of lack of self-awareness and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised  to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to  distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them? To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved. It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review

indexIn Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses.

He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away.

Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone. In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them.

I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers. It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity.

After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them. I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.
Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.
The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

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Designing An Innovative & Effective Workspace

Nowadays, many companies redesign their workspaces to stand out, to create a more balanced environment, to exhibit their brand, values and personalities.

In the last 10 years, employees have admitted that their relationship with work and their workspace have changed.

According to recent studies, only a small percentage of employees have a positive opinion of their workspace and the percentage gets even smaller when it comes to millenials.

Therefore, companies must adapt to meet the needs of this younger generation. That is why these companies are redesigning their workspace in the hopes of attracting and retaining young talents.

Wondering how to design a positive workspace in order to retain young talents?

Designing An Innovative & Effective Workspace #office #openspace #startupmentality #work #workplace #workspace journeytoleadershipblog.com

Benefits of redesigning the workspace

Workspace relates to the physical environment at work and can affect our life, mood, mental and physical well-being. It also involves workers safety, quality of work and of life.

Improving the workspace has considerable benefits for employees. Indeed, employees are healthier, more fulfilled, more engaged and more productive. Indeed, the well-being generated by a positive workspace leads to positive emotions, builds greater relationships, and fosters a sense of purpose.

For organization, a positive workspace drives better customer service, decreases absenteeism, saves time and money on the long-term.

Roadmap to creating the perfect workspace

There are no real roadmap to creating the perfect workspace but there are several criteria that come up when employees talk about improving their workspace.

To grade a workspace, employees take into account their working conditions, their working methods, their ability to focus, their level of productivity, and their creativity.

Building a healthy and innovative workspace

For the most part, companies have considered the following criteria to attract and retain young talents:

1. The startup mentality

Companies can start by updating the apparence of their building, opening up their workspace and creating a startup mentality.

Truthfully, most millennial don’t want to work in traditional workspaces anymore and prefer startups.

2. The healthy work-life balance

Organizations ought to create a healthy work-life balance.

Employees are best able to perform professionally when their personal life is in order. Companies must find a equilibrium between employees well-being and their productivity at work.

3. The use of external services

Integrating innovative and ethical services is a way fro companies to retain talents.

For example, some companies pay for cleaning services, tend to go green, monitor their energetical expenses daily, regularly test for ventilation and air quality. Others offer work out sessions and relaxation rooms.

4. The use of innovative and ergonomic equipment

Incorporating innovative and ergonomic equipment to prevent physical strain, pain and exhaustion increases employees engagement and value.

Most employees stay in a sitted position at their desk for hours at a time and don’t partake in physical activities.

Some workplaces are so sophisticated that they have installed sit-to-stand desk and different activities during working hours.

5. The minimization of paperwork and bureaucracy

Companies are able to retain their talents by allowing paperless procedures and reducing bureaucracy, by proposing communication apps, digital platforms for online training and for better communication.

On one hand, employees gain time and increase their efficiency.

On the other hand, companies become technologically savvy, agile and react more efficiently.

6. Learning and development opportunities

Providing training, learning and development opportunities says that your workspace values your employees skills and that it is geared towards innovation and learning.

Training stimulates the mind and opens it up to new and interesting ways of thinking and implementing their task.

Furthermore, training and development activities are an investment and are also the best place to introduce stress relief and stress management in the workplace.

7. The company culture

Hiring talents who will fit in the company culture is benefitial to the workspace.

Besides being competent for a given role, employees who fit into the culture tend to be more positive, perform at the best and treat customer and colleagues better.

8. The positioning of employees

Having employees work according to their strengths and weaknesses can only boost the general workspace.

Positive workspaces are constructed when employees are able to focus on tasks that interest them, are challenging and that utilize their strengths.

9. The inclusion of diversity

Diversity encourages communication, critical thinking, decision making, innovative ideas and personal growth.

10. Leadership

Promoting effective leadership is a sure way to support human basic needs and to promote healthy company culture.

Last Words Of Advice!

Research demonstrates that creating a healthy workspace, keeping employees happy and healthy increases the organization bottom-line and creates a more positive office culture.

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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Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce Shaw

Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter by Robert Bruce ShawAccording to Robert Bruce Shaw, in Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, great leadership emanates from an ability to make great decisions which comes from making bad decisions and learning from them. The sooner in your career that those bad decisions are made, the better.

Of course, you make fewer mistakes as you progress in your career and as you experience the outcomes of the mistakes, but you never stop making them. In addition, mistakes are more costly as you move up the ladder in a company and can potentially derail your career.

In light of this issue, in Leadership Blindspots, Robert Bruce Shaw investigates the existence of leadership blindspot, an “unrecognized weakness or threat that has the potential to undermine a leader’s success” and that becomes evident in the way your team, organizations and markets are perceived.

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work.

Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them.

Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful.

And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

Furthermore, blindspots come with a price and has to be recognized by the leader in order for him or her to find a balance.

To do so, leaders have to weigh two conflicting needs:

  1. their need for acting with confidence, believing strongly in their vision, and having faith in themselves, their abilities.
  2. their need for assessing their limitations in order to avoid overconfidence or excessive optimism.

The complex balance between self-confidence and self-doubt is unnatural, contradictory but necessary, depends on each individual and each situation.

If there are too many blindspots, the leader can be overly confident and arrogant. If there are too few blindspots, the leader is somewhat realistic about the obstacles to face, is aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses.

Are there different levels of blindness?

There are three levels of blindness that a leader could experience:

  1. Lack of awareness level. This is the “most extreme form of a blindspot”. At this level, leaders are constantly surprised or blindsided by events.
  2. Faulty assessment level. At this level, leaders are in denial: they refuse to acknowledge risks, to analyze known weaknesses, and to understand the causes and consequences of their blindspots.
  3. Failure to act level. At this level, leaders know the risks, threats and weaknesses that lay ahead but fail to act on them for lack of skills and resolve. Those leaders are adept to the rule “when in doubt, do nothing” or rather remain in their comfort zones.

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

  1. Review your past and present mistakes. Mistakes are indicative of blindspots, areas of lack of self-awareness, and areas of faulty patterns of thinking and behavior. It is advised  to identify the most significant mistakes, their causes, patterns of behavior and thinking associated to these mistakes and the actions to be taken on the behalf of the leader to prevent those mistakes from reoccurring.
  2. Consider honest and useful feedback from your trusted advisors.
  3. Gain additional insight by taking the blindspot assessment survey.

Then, question the relative importance of your blindspots in your career and its impacts on yourself, the organization to  distinguish which blindspot requires your immediate attention.

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

  1. “Overestimating your strategic capabilities”
  2. “Valuing being right over being effective”
  3. “Failing to balance the what with the how”
  4. “Not seeing your impact on others”
  5. “Believing the rules don’t apply to you”
  6. “Thinking the present is the past”
  7. “Failing to focus on the vital few”
  8. “Taking for granted your team model”
  9. “Overrating the talent on your team”
  10. “Avoiding the tough conversations”
  11. “Trusting the wrong individuals”
  12. “Not developing real successors”
  13. “Failing to capture hearts and minds”
  14. “Losing touch with your shop floor”
  15. “Treating information and opinion as fact”
  16. “Misreading the political landscape”
  17. “Putting personal ambition before the company”
  18. “Clinging to the status quo”
  19. “Underestimating your competitors”
  20. “Being overly optimistic”

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best.

There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

  1. Experience gaps“. The blindspot stems from a lack of experience or from a habit of using past experiences to extrapolate a present situation.
  2. Information overload” describes an inability to pay attention to everything that is happening when engaged in a complex and challenging task.
  3. Emotional bias” corresponds to an emotional involvement in a particular situation or outcome that clouds judgement.
  4. Cognitive dissonance” is a psychology term associated to a state in which leaders hold two conflicting views of their self-image. The “conflict is resolved through rationalizing one’s belief or actions in a manner that sustains one’s positive self-image” which reinforces the blindspot.
  5. “Misaligned incentives” are compensation systems that are “designed to focus attention and effort within an organization, with the result being that people focus more on some areas than on others”.
  6. Hierarchical distortion”. The information transmitted to hierarchy becomes distorted, false, incomplete because:
    • high-ranking leaders are sometimes detached from the lower levels of the organization.
    • subordinates tend to sugarcoat information by deference or by fear of retaliation.
    • high-ranking leaders pay less attention to less powerful people.
  7. Overconfidence“. Leaders overestimates their own capabilities, skills and knowledge.

How to overcome blindspots?

According to Robert Bruce Shaw, it is not possible to completely suppress blindspots but it is important to recognize them and find ways to work with them?

To handle blindspot:

  1. Make an assessment of the problem on your own, stay on contact with frontliners, customers, markets and high potential individuals.
  2. Invest in metrics, processes and data that challenge the leader’s beliefs and basic assumptions.
  3. Develop an ability to recognize, prioritize blindspot warning signs.
  4. Consider feedback from trusted advisors.
  5. “Leaders need to test their ideas and discuss emerging threats with a diverse team of individuals who respect each other’s experience and abilities but are also willing to push each other to reach the best outcomes on the truly critical issues”.

In conclusion, leaders are flawed individuals with strengths, weaknesses and blindspots that are to be acknowledged. Blindspots often show up when the leader is using his or her strengths or reverts to their comfort zone, and cannot be completely resolved.

It is up to the leader to stay on the lookout for blindspots, to strike up a balance between self-confidence and self-doubt.

Review


indexIn Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw analyses leadership behaviors when it comes to blindspots and weaknesses. He illustrates every single one of his thoughts on blindspots with great and renown leadership examples and concludes each example with an analysis and lessons to take away. Furthermore, not only this book contains realistic and applicable examples, each paragraph of this book can be read on standalone.

In addition, Robert Bruce Shaw provides us with a tool —the blindspot assessment survey— for us to identify whether or not we possess blindspots and to what degree we have incubated them. I recommend this book to employees who are failing to lead and to boost their careers.

It has come to my knowledge that because of my belief system, I am an adept of the rule “when in doubt, stand still” which has not bothered my career but has increased my serenity. After taking the blindspot assessment test, I have received a low probability of blindspots as I am self-aware of my strengths and of my weaknesses.

Finally, Leadership Blindspots was intriguing to me because there are so many books about leadership strengths and developing them.

I equally appreciated the fact that he mentioned the need for transparency (better visibility of mistakes thanks to the media) which put leaders are under a lot of pressure, all while trying to overcome their blindspots.

Favorite quote(s)

People who are smart and self-assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior—to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face. Their intelligence can work against them when they convince themselves, and often others, that they are right even when they are wrong.

Successful individuals who sometimes stumble often do so because they have no one who can protect them from themselves.

The best leaders develop a range of compensating mechanisms that fit their personalities and the company cultures in which they work. In many cases these leaders don’t fundamentally change the way they think, but instead develop warning systems that surface important weaknesses and threats.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

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Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and Cohesion

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionBuilding an ideal team is one of the most complex but also one of the most rewarding and advantageous responsibility of a leader.

The leader has to select the team to ultimately create the best results for the organization, in light of the company’s culture and of the personality, motivation, commitment, values, performance, integrity level of his or her potential team members, with respect to his or her leadership style.

When the team is built, the leader has to look out for red flags that can destroy the synergy of his or her team and easily create a lasting toxic climate.

Wondering how to detect these red flags, avoid toxicity on your team, how to extract the best results from your team members and to become the best team member you can?

A few years ago, I worked on a year-long project, under a boss who used demotions and other measures to punish some of his employees when mistakes occurred. For example, he would quickly and sadistically withdraw work responsibilities from someone he did not favor to give to someone else.

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and CohesionAs a result, the team was a unsalvable shipwreck: every man for himself, searching for a flotation device, fighting to get on land. My former boss manipulative behavior created a toxic climate where people were continually in flight or fight mode, were mistrustful towards one another, would turn on each other, retain information and sabotage every other person efforts to succeed, were obliged to seek his “affections” and to continually prove their loyalty to him in order to feel safe in their position, were more focused on office politics than on their work, were always on the lookout of a scapegoat, were afraid of speaking up and being transparent.

The lack of trust, commitment, performance was noticeable on a daily basis. By trust, I mean the ability of the team members to admit their mistakes, acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, stay open, transparent with one another without any repercussion on themselves or their career.

RED FLAG #1: Lack of Transparency

In Speaking Truth to Power, James O’Toole states that “In essence, trust is hard to earn, easy to lose, and, once lost, nearly impossible to regain”.

Teams must be able to understand each other, to interpret their respective behavior and to be candid with one another.

To enable transparency, leaders have to:

  • Ask their team to reveal something personal and relevant about themselves. It can relate to their failures or successes, to their worst or most embarrassing experiences at work.
  • Encourage team building to better understand one another and enable bonds.
  • Assess and apply their team strengths and weaknesses by using profiling tools to get more insights into their behavior such as the DISC assessment, Social Style model, Right Path Profiles, Insights, MBTI).
  • Define a clear purpose for the team.
  • Explain major decisions from the organization to their team and include them in the flow of relevant information.
  • Maintain trust overtime and create unanimity.
  • Consistently tell the truth to their followers, be comfortable with it and practice integrity.
  • Value openness, empower those who tell the truth and must not reward those who do otherwise.

RED FLAG #2: Fear of conflict

In teams, conflicts do exist, are raw and real, are to be expected, and shouldn’t be avoided. In addition, they occur because we were born into different generations, backgrounds, with different personalities, values and morals.

Furthermore, conflict is always seen in a negative light or as a destructive process.
However, conflicts can be healthy and productive too. And even though conflicts are uncomfortable and make you feel under attack, they are necessary for personal and organizational progress, are used to generate the best decisions for the organization and to make team meetings mire engaging. In order to establish a conflict culture, it is imperative that leaders:

  • Create a structure where it is safe for their team members to express themselves without feeling the need to attack.
  • Hold their team accountable to the conflict system established.
  • Focus the conflict on the issue at hand to avoid personal attacks.
  • Assess each team member conflict capabilities/profiles with MBTI to develop the appropriate approach.
  • Ask their team members directly how they deal with conflicts.
  • Define conflict resolution, ease anxious team members in the face of conflict and find courage to speak truth to power.

RED FLAG #3: Lack of Commitment

Commitment is the willingness to achieve common goals as a team, the ability of team members to align themselves with the organization purpose, values and strategies even in disagreement with the decision taken.

To enhance team commitment, leaders must:

  • Embrace conflicts, divergent opinions, ideas and perspectives.
  • Among conflicting ideas, make wise decisions and be unafraid to displease some team members.
  • Before making a decision, understand and consider all ideas.
  • Clarify their decisions with the team and write down them down to avoid ulterior assumptions and ambiguities.

RED FLAG #4: Lack of accountability

Team members must keep each other accountable for their behavior, their mistakes and lack of performance. If no one is held accountable, team members gradually lose respect for each other and moral decreases. Leaders must:

  • Lead by example, call out mishaps, low results and misconduct.
  • Make every team member aware of each other contributions and functions on the team.
  • Track everyone’s progress and accurately measure performance.
  • Measure team success using objective and liable means.
  • Measure progress with timelines.
  • Focus on areas of productivity.
  • Make sure that the collective interest in results exceeds the individual needs of the team.

How to be an effective team member?

  • Develop your communication skills.

  • Make sure that you are understood and are open to clarifying misunderstandings.

  • Monitor your non verbal communication. Keep your body language positive and opened.

  • Look at the person you’re exchanging with.

  • If a problem occurs between you and someone else, fix it before the problem festers by talking to that person as soon as possible. This shows that you are willing to work through issues, that you are a problem solver instead of being inappropriate and ineffective.

  • Give sincere and appropriate positive feedback to your team members.

  • Develop your listening skills.

 

To demonstrate your interest in learning new skills, to better understand the other person, you have to:

  • be willing to listen more that you speak and voice your opinion in due time.
  • Implement the conversation with probing question.
  • Request other people opinion before giving yours.
  • Avoid planning your responses during the conversation.
  • Encourage the conversation with nods, smiles and eye contact.
  • Manage your tasks and time.
  • Put your understanding of the team task into writing in order to clarify immediate issues and to have a reference for time and deadlines measurement.
  • Own up to your actions.

 

Failing to follow through on your team assignments is synonym to letting your team down. To stay accountable for your part:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Offer to help coworkers in time of need.
  • Avoid procrastination and do not hesitate yo ask for help.
  • Avoid blaming others for your mistakes take the blame if you have done something wrong.
  • Find solutions to issues instead if creating them.
  • Learn from each and very situations and move on group them.
  • Avoid repeating past mistakes.
  • Work on interrelationship skills.

 

Last Words Of Advice!

In the team, you have to cooperate with your coworkers and work well with your supervisor. To do so:

  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Avoid stereotypes and jumping to conclusions.
  • Avoid gossip and keep confidences.
  • Share your knowledge with your team.

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

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12 Ways To Build A High Performance Culture

The company culture depends heavily on the leader’s personality, character and vision…

The culture of the company affects every level of the company and determines:

  • How you act and operate.
  • How decisions are made.
  • How you treat your customers, employees.
  • How your employees treat each other.
  • How you handle failures and celebrate successes.
  • The acceptable code of conduct.
  • Why certain things are required.

A highly performing company culture increases engagement, retains good employees, satisfies their customers and has better results than any other company.

That is why leaders have to hold themselves to very high standards and realize how much their behavior impacts their workplace.

Wondering how to create a high performance culture?

12 Ways To Build A High Performance Culture #culture #performance #leadership

1. Assess the current state of your company

Leaders have to purposefully create and maintain a healthy workplace culture.

However, they must first be a living model for the culture that they want.

Leaders must take a good look at themselves when assessing the state of the culture: if the culture is unhealthy, then the leadership is unhealthy.

2. Define your why

Leaders must clearly define their purpose, personal mission statement and the vision for your company.

Building a high performance culture is subjective to the leader. It is important for leaders to have an initial idea of who they are, what they want and where they are going before they start hiring.

3. Define your core values

Core values are fundamentals beliefs, a set of principles that leaders follow and that guide then through life.

For example, a company can be based on the core value of radical honesty. In such culture, employees don’t sugarcoat anything, are able to tell the truth no matter the circumstances.

4.  Define your version of success

It is important for leaders to define the short term and long term goals, to give their employees a definition of success so they know what to aim for in the long run.

For example, success can be meeting deadlines and hitting results.

Success can also be defined on different levels of technical competencies or on leadership abilities.

Leaders must be realistic about their goals and set clear expectations for employees. Setting unreachable goals will only demoralize your team.

5. Apply the Golden Rule

The Golden Rule is the principle of treating people the same way you want to be treated.

Because leaders are role models, they have to become culturally sensitive and inclusive.

6. Empower your employees

There are several ways that leaders can empower their teams within the company. They can:

  1. Play to employees strengths and place them in the right roles. Help employees gain awareness and achieve their highest potential
  2. Acknowledge hard and good quality work.
  3. Allow employees make mistakes.
  4. Trust in employees decisions making skills. Employees will then feel confident about their abilities and stay engaged.
  5. Encourage training. Employees perform better when they are confident about their abilities.

7. Give your employees a sense of ownership

Employees take more pride and respect more what they do when they have ownership over their work.

Giving a sense of ownership will help you develop great leaders who will in turn inspire and motivate.

8. Promote innovation and change

Innovation is necessary for the survival of each and every company in today’s economy.

When leaders promote innovation and change, people will be more likely to grow, to adapt, ask questions, to try new things and adopt a change mindset.

9. Value transparency

Leaders must encourage a transparent and open culture where information flows freely.

For instance, letting your employees know how well your company is doing will improve trust. Of course, there will be gossip around the health of the company but overall employees will believe that you have their best interest at heart.

10. Practice collaboration

Leaders promote and encourage autonomy and collaboration within their team.

They allow their teams to have fun at work. They have broken down traditional workplace structure, simplified workplace processes and looked after their employees well-being.

11. Appraise customer satisfaction

High performance cultures are hard to come by.

Leaders continuously conduct customer satisfaction assessments because these assessments give a direct indication of team performance and the health of the company.

12. Monitor your culture

There will always be things to improve in a company but it important to strive for more. It is up to leaders to:

  • Nurture, develop and sustain the culture.
  • Deliver a set of tools to drive performance.
  • Show that the health of the company matters.
  • Give regular updates on how employees are doing in regards to their individual and collective goals.

Last Words Of Advice!

Most leaders, when trying to improve their cultures, focus on metrics and not on the people. If your culture is not where you want it to be, remember that:

  • One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.
  • You need to focus on the positives.
  • You just need to take on step at a time. For example, start by sharing your goals or by being transparent about the current status of the company.
  • If you don’t think you can practice of implement the culture that you want, find a manager or a human resources person who has the skills that you are missing.

 

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

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15 Hateful Coworkers and How to Deal with Them

We all have been exposed during a period of time to annoying, hateful, toxic coworkers that can drive us crazy.

Sometimes, bringing us to ask ourselves whether they’re the problem or we are.

Wondering how to spot these toxic coworkers from afar and how to handle them?

Every workplace has difficult employees and we all have been, to some extent, in different situations with hateful coworkers. I do believe that we all, partially or fully, demonstrate some level of toxicity towards a third party in the workplace.

Below, are the 15 worst toxic coworkers that I have already met and have had to deal with.

Case Study #1: ​The Delicate

Key Symptoms

The Delicate is a sensitive person with vain imagination that constantly and easily feels under attack, and that takes things deeply and personally. The Delicate thinks that people are looking, gossiping and criticizing him or her!

Treatment

  • Keep the conversation on superficial topics and crack jokes about him or her.
  • Avoid using sarcasm, making dry remarks, directly confronting this person. Instead, try to sugarcoat things and to give indirect constructive criticism.

Case Study #2: The Slacker

Key Symptoms

The Slacker is mostly concerned about personal life and regulating it during working hours.

The Slacker does not take his or her work seriously, spends his or her working life over the internet, cannot make a deadline to save his or her life, is not punctual even absent, unapologetically displays a lack of motivation.

The Slacker is visibly unfulfilled in his or her current position but won’t do anything about it.

Treatment

  • Impose a deadline or better yet let him or her publicly impose a deadline.
  • Pick up the slack with the rest of the team and keep quiet.
  • This individual will sink himself or herself. Otherwise, this individual will eventually have to get up and swim, explain their behavior, their performance and their results to upper management.

Case Study #3: The Rocket Scientist

Key Symptoms

The Rocket Scientist is the individual on the team that is full of knowledge but who is in search for recognition for his superior intellect and who demands an immense respect for his expertise.

The Rocket Scientist will feel insulted and will almost become passive aggressive if his or her ideas and point of view are being questioned.

Treatment

  • Avoid comparing his expertise to anyone on the team.
  • Avoid diminishing his knowledge and ideas in front of the team or behind closed doors.
  • Avoid criticizing his work and intellect.
  • Instead, tap into his range of knowledge by placing him or her in the role of a counselor but not a decision maker.

Case Study #4: The Gossiper

Key Symptoms

The Gossiper is an individual that enjoys gossip, that emphasizes and embellishes a rumor.

The Gossiper is nosy and loves to keep the rumor mill spinning. This person is even capable of destroying someone’s reputation in the office.

Treatment

  • Listen to the rumor without adding any input. The information may not be malicious but indicative of office politics or of a situation that you can take advantage of.
  • However, learn to separate useful information from the gossip.
  • If this person only brings negative void information, crafted gossip, signal your disinterest by not responding or responding with monosyllables or challenging the facts in the story line, discreetly remove yourself from the circle, avoid participating in the rumor mill.
  • Be careful not to offense this person, for they would drag your name in the mud. If this person is actually gossiping about you, avoid any interaction and adding fuel to fire by striking back with gossip before damaging your reputation.
  • Confront this person in a non threatening and diplomatic way, in a private setting by stating that you are aware of the gossip and everyone is saying that she is a liar and the bearer of the negative information but you know that is not true.

Case Study #5: The Bulldozer

Key Symptoms

The Bulldozer is an individual that believes wrongly in his intelligence. The Bulldozer doesn’t hesitate to make everybody’s life miserable if things don’t go his way.

The Bulldozer threatens, bullies, intimidates, steps on toes and remains on the verge of harassment in order to get things his way. “It’s my way or the high way!”.

The Bulldozer imposes his way of doing things even if it is not the best way of doing them.

They make the worst managers ever but are the most common managers found in corporate.

Treatment

  • Cultivate your emotional intelligence in order not to respond to negativity with negativity.
  • listen to this person point of view from beginning to end without uttering a word, then summarize their position and calmly expose yours.

Case Study #6: The Work-To-Rule

Key Symptoms

The Work-To-Rule discards any part of responsibility in a situation, does not understand tram work and does exactly what is stated in their contracts and no more.

In fact, the Work-To-Rule insists on not taking on more responsibilities than his or her job description.

Treatment

  • Stress the importance of team work and the value of this individual contribution at work.

Case Study #7: The Overly Friendly

Key Symptoms

The Overly Friendly is an individual that thinks that his coworkers are his extended family and that doesn’t mind sharing extra personal details of his or her life. These details will make you uncomfortable.

Treatment

Explain that you don’t want to hear the gruesome details of his or her life.

If his or her behavior are too intimate, it can be considered as harassment and can be reported to human resources.

Case Study #8: The Naysayer

Key Symptoms

The Naysayer is an individual that irritatingly pinpoints everything negative in a situation and predicts problems before they happen, without proposing an alternative and constructive solution to the situation at hand.

Treatment

Position that person in roles that require to see problems before they occur.

No need to argue and show the positive side of an idea.

To inhibit this behavior, request an explanation why the situation would not work and a thought-through plan for the solution

Case Study #9: The Blameshifter

Key Symptoms

The Blameshifter is an individual that points the finger at everyone else but themselves and that comes up with very creative excuses to completely remove the blame from themselves.

It is a form of narcissism: the Blameshifter is afraid of confronting themselves.

Treatment

  • Come prepared with evidence.
  • If the blame is pointed at you and you know that it is not your fault, give proof of your innocence without accusing this individual.
  • If this individual comes to you with an object of complaint on someone else, in order to avoid being put in the middle, claim that this is none of your business and suggest that they have a conversation with the alleged culprit.

15 Hateful Coworkers and How to Deal with Them

Case Study #10: The Neophobe

Key Symptoms

The Neophobe is an individual that doesn’t deal well with change. The Neophobe is capable of refusing it, sabotaging it or even halting it.

Treatment

  • Demonstrate to him or her that change isn’t traumatic and can be positive.
  • Provide proof and facts that the change eminent is positive.
  • Help that person embrace change.

Case Study #11: The Chatterbox

Key Symptoms

The Chatterbox is an individual that drops by your workspace and starts chatting without solicitation about anything and everything.

This individual does not necessarily partake in gossip, but volunteers to share their point of view.

This individual tends to makes you unproductive and inefficient.

Treatment

  • Avoid using words of exclamation or affirmation to not encourage this person to keep on talking.
  • Avoid making eye contact when this person is passing through.
  • Politely and respectfully explain that you are on schedule.

Case Study #12: The Martyr

Key Symptoms

The Martyr is a dedicated employee, willing to “die” for their company without being asked to do so, and that searches for recognition and validation.

For example, the Martyr does extra hours at work and manipulate the boss when someone else get a promotion.

Treatment

  • Show appreciation for this employee and value their work within the company.

Case Study #13: The Stealer

Key Symptoms

The Stealer constantly steals coworkers ideas, takes credit for them and denies it when confronted.

Treatment

  • Hold back on your ideas and opinions when having a conversation with this individual. Listen more than you speak.
  • Avoid confronting this fool but bite your tongue instead because he or she might not know how to implement your ideas.
  • Don’t report it to upper management before appearing to be salty.

Case Study #14: The Snake

Key Symptoms

The Snake is an overly ambitious — almost sociopathic — coworker that smiles to your face and that stabs you and everyone else in the back. The Snake will claim that your ideas are wonderful but will degrade them when you are not looking.

Treatment

  • Keep your personal information, brilliant ideas to yourself.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • Stay socially engaged and involved in office politics.

Case Study #15: The Ultra Competitive

Key Symptoms

The Ultra Competitive is an individual that is prepared to step over your dead body to succeed or to get recognition in the workplace.

Treatment

  • Focus on your work or get involve in a project where the Ultra Competitive person is not involved in.
  • Stay socially engaged with your other coworkers and keep networking.
  • Consider the company culture, compare them to your values and figure out whether or not you fit in.

How do I deal with other difficult personalities?

Last Words Of Advice!

Toxic coworkersMost coworkers use extreme tactics to get advancements in the workplace and would do anything to trigger you, to demean you or sabotage your own progress.

Some take job positions where they do not belong and that they cannot handle.

Others are misusing their strengths and transforming them into flaws that are not accepted in the environment they choose to work in. Others are even responding to an already toxic workplace.

Lastly some coworkers are oblivious to their visible flaws and practice them outside of work.

In order to deal with other toxic coworkers:

  • cultivate emotional intelligence,
  • listen more than you speak,
  • look for the positive or the humour in negative circumstances.

No matter the reasons, you have to learn how to insulate yourself emotionally and spot a hateful coworker from a distance.

 

 

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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The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell

According to John C. Maxwell, there are 21 irrefutable laws of leadership that every leader should hold on to.

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow By John C. Maxwell #books #bookreviews #leadership #leadershipskills #leadershipbooks #selfimprovement #selfawareness

1. The law of the lid

Your ability to lead determines your effectiveness, the height of your success, the limit of your vision, the impact of your influence.

To overcome the law of the lid, you have to increase your ability to lead.

2. The law of influence

Influence is an important part of leadership.

You have to put in work to gain influence. It is not about a title or a leadership position and cannot be bought.

With influence, you can rally people to a cause, move people in a new direction, and you can win people over on the long run.

3. The law of process

Leadership is a lifelong process.

LEADERSHIP IS DEVELOPED DAILY, NOT IN A DAY. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

Leadership is a collection of skills that need continual improvement, personal growth and learning.

Leadership requires a lot of self discipline and determination. It is important for leaders to open themselves up for improvement to start slow and fight their way up.

4. The law of navigation

Leaders need to effectively navigate their way through life, while knowing people are depending on them.

In order to give themselves the best chances at success, they:

  • Are realistic.
  • Have to stay focused and in control.
  • Have a solid vision for their destination.
  • Have enough visibility to change course in time if they want to.
  • Draw their itinerary from their past failures and successes.
  • Listen to what their team has to say.
  • Don’t make commitments lightly.
  • Plan the course of their action.

5. The law of E. F. Hutton

Leaders become real leaders thanks to their character, relationships, knowledge, experience, past successes and abilities. People will not follow you because of your position.

The law of E. F. Hutton helps you figure out who the real leader in the room really is. To find the real leader, observe the reaction of the people in the room when the real leader speaks.

6. The law of solid ground

Leaders must communicate their character, exemplify their behavior, maintain their credibility and avoid breaking the trust of their followers.

When leaders make a mistake, they must quickly admit it and ask for forgiveness.

7. The law of respect

Leaders who are stronger and better leaders than their followers tend to gain respect.

8. The law of intuition

The law of intuition is a complex part of leadership, relies on instinct, facts and other factors.

Leaders who work with the law of intuition are able to sense a situation, to read people and themselves, to use their intuition to achieve their goals and to solve problems.

9. The law of magnetism

The law of magnetism states that who you are is who you attract.

Leaders who follow this law are able to attract the people who possess the same qualities as they do.

They attract people with same attitude, from the same generation and background, with the same values, life experiences and abilities.

Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. - John C. Maxwell in The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership Click To Tweet

10. The law of connection

Leaders who observe this law touch people emotionally, know how to communicate with people, connect with them and show that they care.

The more leaders work on the connection with their employees, the more employees are loyal and demonstrate a strong work ethic.

11. The law of the inner circle

The people in the leader’s inner circle will determine the leader’s potential.

Leaders understand that they cannot be a lone ranger and acknowledge the purpose and strengths of the inner circle.

12. The law of empowerment

Successful and secure leaders empower and believe in their team.

Those who don’t create a barrier that their employees cannot overcome.

13. The law of reproduction

The law of reproduction works in a way where only leaders are capable of developing leaders and by teaching them what they know.

Some leaders don’t develop other leaders because they don’t have time or because of their own insecurities.

14. The law of buy in

People buy into leaders who have a vision.

If they don’t like the leader or the vision, they get another leader.

If the leader is credible, then people believe that the vision is credible as well.

15. The law of victory

Leaders who observe this law refuse defeat, dedicate themselves to victory and find a way to achieve success.

16. The law of the big mo

Leaders understand that to create change they need to create momentum.

Momentum is contagious, improves performance and makes the leader look good.

17. The law of priorities

Leaders spend their time prioritizing and recognize that doing more does not equate success.

They use the Pareto principle and the three Rs( requirement, return, reward).

18. The law of sacrifice

Sometimes, leaders have to sacrifice themselves to succeed and to gain opportunities.

The higher you go up on the ladder, the more you have to sacrifice.

19. The law of timing

Successful leaders read situations, recognize when to lead and when to take the right action at the right time.

20. The law of explosive growth

Potential leaders are hard to find and to attract but leaders who develop other leaders multiply growth within their organization.

21. The law of legacy

Leaders who leave a legacy lead with tomorrow in mind, make developing other leaders as part of the culture, sacrifice for future success and pass on the torch.

Review

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow is an easy to read leadership development book.

In The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow, John C. Maxwell makes a list of 21 laws of leadership to help people better themselves and their organization.

These laws are the universal foundation for every area of your life. They can be learnt, be in standalone, have serious consequences, be practiced on a daily basis.

Maxwell has spent most of his life in leadership position. So, he entertains us with uncommon, historical and adventurous examples that everyone can relate to.

Finally, he encourages leaders to learn and go apply what they learnt.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Leadership is complicated. It has many facets: respect, experience, emotional strength, people skills, discipline, vision, momentum, timing—the list goes on. As you can see, many factors that come into play in leadership are intangible. That’s why leaders require so much seasoning to be effective.

The good news is that your leadership ability is not static. No matter where you’re starting from, you can get better.

The leader finds the dream and then the people. The people find the leader, and then the dream.

MANY PEOPLE TODAY WANT TO CLIMB UP THE CORPORATE LADDER BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THAT FREEDOM AND POWER ARE THE PRIZES WAITING AT THE TOP. THEY DON’T REALIZE THAT THE TRUE NATURE OF LEADERSHIP IS REALLY SACRIFICE.

Ratings 4/5

Author

John C. Maxwell

How To Create A Positive Work Environment?

Employees are the heartbeat of the company.

They are the ones that keep your company running and they must feel good coming to work.

Therefore, leaders have to build a positive work environment to ensure the mental, emotional and physical well-being of their employees.

Wondering how to build a positive work environment?

How To Create A Positive Work Environment? #positivity #workplace #work #career #job #leader #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #empowerment #selfimprovement

What is a healthy & positive work environment?

Workplace culture defines the work environment.

Workplace culture determines the standards, ethics, code of conduct, mission statement and the level of toxicity in the workplace.

In addition, it is unique. It is created by the leaders and is maintained by everyone else.

That is why leaders have to be positive, ethical and mindful of their behavior and of the information that they put out.

A healthy and positive work environment is where people:

  • Needs are met and perform at their best.
  • Feel good about themselves and safe enough to express themselves.
  • Are clean and hygienic, mentally and physically cared for.
  • Are subjected to little to no stress.
  • Are understood and their voices are heard.
  • Are able to collaborate with others.
  • Are respected for their contributions and not systemically punished for their mistakes.

The benefits of a healthy & positive workplace?

Creating a healthy work environment increases productivity, motivation and benefits.

Creating a healthy workplace significantly reduces absenteeism and employee turnover.

A healthy and positive workplace helps you boost morale, attract and retain the best talents.

How to create a healthy & positive workplace?

How To Create A Positive Work Environment? #positivity #workplace #work #career #job #leader #leadership #leadershipdevelopment #empowerment #selfimprovement

1. Keep work fun

Having fun at work increases productivity because it makes work easier. To keep work fun, leaders must:

  • Understand that shame and fear are not sustainable motivators.
  • Simplify policies and procedures. 
  • Eliminate drama and remove office politics.
  • Create activities outside of work.
  • Allow flexible working hours.
  • Provide an environment where people can work out, eat healthy and relax.
  • Don’t give people more work load than they can carry.

2. Be a positive leader

If your team sees you having fun at work, they will most likely start to have fun as well. If you are a positive leader, they will most likely start being positive.

Positive leaders are optimistic, promote trust and transparency, encourage change, creativity and innovation.

They build quality relationships with the people they work with, regardless of their personalities.

Furthermore, positive leaders are sensitive to all cultures and ethnical backgrounds. They understand that diversity makes their strength.

In the long run, positive leaders acquire a positive reputation. Gaining a positive reputation increases the value of a company, improves employee loyalty and job satisfaction.

3. Empower your team

Empowering your team is all about giving them the resources they need to succeed. To empower your team:

  • Identify what motivates them and place them in the area of their strengths.
  • Make sure your team has a healthy work life balance.
  • Encourage team building activities.
  • Provide additional training for those who lack confidence and competencies.
  • Allow your team to take breaks throughout the day to recharge their batteries, to relax and to think.
  • Give people their dues. Acknowledge when someone is doing good by privately or publicly complementing them. Also, be honest when an employee is underperforming.
  • Treat your employees with fairness and respect. Don’t play favorites or openly disregard someone just so you could feel better about yourself.
  • Support your team throughout difficult situations. When an issue arises, be compassionate and be a problem solver. For example, if someone on your team perpetually misses a deadline, find out why they are underperforming.

4. Encourage positive behaviors

In the workplace, negativity often upstages positivity. Leaders must take on the responsibility to bring positive behaviors in the forefront. To do so:

  • Reward those with an exemplary behavior.
  • Incorporate a code of conduct and policies that promote positive behaviors.
  • Call out bad behaviors or behaviors that don’t meet your standards.
  • Celebrate success as soon as it happens. This suggestion seems obvious. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate success? I once worked for a company whose higher ups would bully anyone who seemed confident, content with themselves.
  • Don’t condone workplace bullying.
  • Don’t shut down people who are expressing joy or who are celebrating success.

5. Hone your communication skills

Leaders who want to build a positive and healthy workplace must effectively and regularly communicate with their team so they can clearly reach their goals and achieve their vision.

Leaders with a positive work environment share their visions with their team, make sure that every employee connect and align with the vision.

Then, they encourage positive discussions, debates and brainstorming. They all people to say what is on their mind or to challenge the status quo without fear of retribution.

6. Help your employees grow into leaders

When it comes to healthy workplaces, there is no such thing as competing with your employees. If you help your employees grow, you will grow too.

7. Hire the right people for the right job

During the hiring process, it is critical to respect people, identify and hire the people who will fit into the company culture and who will add value to the company culture.

Last Words Of Advice!

If your team doesn’t see you taking continuous action and investing in their well-being, they will not implement your vision or strategies.

Commit to making your workplace a healthy environment!

 

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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