To remain competitive, most organizations stay up to date on every technology, continually propose innovative products and always embrace change. However, putting change into practice is much more complex than it appears.
To that effect, effective leaders have to be confident, self-aware, self-assured, strategic, adaptable, bold, resourceful, driven, accountable and able to think on their feet. Needless to say, ineffective leadership hinders change, creates mistrust, disengagement, misalignment and a loss of moral among employees.
Wondering how to successfully lead change and overcome resistance?
Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.
It has the ability to stimulate interest in a job and can be perceived as a new challenge. It also creates an opportunity for promotion and to learn new skills.
Change becomes compulsory and evident in the workplace during societal movements, when the values and beliefs of both leaders and employees no longer match those of the company. Change also happens when the organization requires new skills, new products or services, policies update, restructuring, or relocation.
Resistance to change
Change brings about an initial resistance, can easily become chaotic and unstable. When faced with change, most people believe that they will:
potentially lose their current position,
be demoted, that their career will eventually suffer or that their hard work will be devalued,
be working for a lower salary,
lose control over their own life,
live in the unknown.
The unknown generates strong emotions in people. Therefore, employees tend to resist change when they are surprised or unprepared, don’t understand the reasons for the change, are not implicated enough in the decision-making process.
Indeed, some people will openly express their resistance to change, some will voluntarily sabotage change, others will quietly and passively express their discontent. It is the role of the leader to temper such behavior and push change.
How to implement change?
The leaders must visibly act out the change, must be ready to do things differently and to think otherwise. To lead the change process from start to finish:
Assess your own ability to handle change.Before undertaking such mission, ensure that you believe in the change and that it doesn’t go against your principles. In addition, keep in mind that reacting to the change is much more difficult than initiating it. Either you can start the movement, participate in it or suffer and react to it.
Stay disciplined, resilient and patient. The change process is slow and everybody moves at their own pace.
Be open to feedback and to making alterations to the original plan of action.
Ask probing questions to key employees, acknowledge that you don’t know all the answers and be open to learn continually. This will allow you to gather appropriate information, to anticipate issues, to maximize effort.
Evaluate the right amount of change you want to implement. You don’t want to overwhelm or burn out your employees .
Calculate the costs and determine the feasibility of the change to ensure that it doesn’t get out of control. It becomes critical to motivate the necessary time and resources, to place emphasis on the value and sustainability of change.
Analyze the consequences of change before undertaking anything.
Understand the company culture, its values and beliefs in order to best present ideas and to determine a proper structure.
Design a clear strategy and outcome for the process. For example, you can break the change process into smaller steps, prioritize them and create metrics to measure progress.
Identify the influencers and the people who are open to change in your organization. Find informal leaders in your organization, who will motivate others and who will instill pride in their work.
Discuss the implications of change with your employees and increase the number of meetings if necessary. Listen to the questions and concerns of your employees. It is necessary to reassure people about the upcoming changes by explaining to them the reasons and the benefits for change.
Directly address problems, don’t micromanage and don’t openly criticize dissenting voices in order to shut them up.
Keep your energy up during the process, motivate your team and show them the positive sides of the transformation. Persuade your employees that they will benefit from the change to increase commitment.
Encourage collaboration on your team, mitigate conflicts and maintain harmony as much as possible because emotions are high.
Set high expectations and give your team the confidence to deal with changes and gain their approval every step of the way.
Give your employees more ownership of their work to increase commitment.
Expect setbacks. Understand that the risks are worth the rewards and that it is OK to fail. People don’t take risks when there are no personal rewards, there is no clemency towards failure.
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.
In Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, Simon Sinek believes that every single employee is capable of becoming a leader, of being remarkable, of exercising courage and sacrifice, of investing into the company, and of finding fulfillment at work.
The General Role Of The Leader
In addition, Simon Sinek considers humans as hunters, organizations as tribes and leaders as those who put order within the tribe.
In modern days, leaders are perceived as dominant, are the ones that eat first, are the ones who make the most money, who get preferential treatment and most importantly are those who are supposed to protect. Indeed, they have more resources at their disposal and have to use it appropriately to ensure the survival of their tribe.
However, for long-lasting results, to gain the loyalty and respect of their employees, they must not consider their well-being above the well-being of the tribe.They must eat last.
It is the role of leaders of an organization to be courageous, to demonstrate empathy, to lay down the foundation for success, to show employees appreciation and to allow them to take appropriate risks.
The Circle Of Safety
The Circle Of Safety contains all the people of an organization. It is a safe space where employees feel fulfilled at work, don’t dread Monday morning, are willing to advance the company’s purpose.
It is an environment of increased commitment, fulfillment, gratitude and happiness, where employees are more relaxed, thrive, collaborate and work for each other.
In the Circle Of Safety, leaders and employees share the same values, pull their respective loads and are committed to the Circle.
Everyone feels valued by their peers, they know that their colleagues have their backs, they believe that they belong to something greater than themselves, that they can safely drive innovation, share ideas and express themselves freely.
By the same token, employees and leaders must independently weigh their decisions and ponder whether or not their decisions are beneficial to the group. It is wise to remember that working toward individualistic goals will hurt the group.
Leaders In The Circle Of Safety
Besides, leaders are the gatekeepers of the Circle. They set the standards, they decide who gets in and who stays at the door.
To create safety, leaders have to meet certain conditions and build a soothing company culture. Company culture in modern days is unnatural because they go against all natural needs, instincts, rights for safety and fulfillment.
If leaders want to create a Circle Of Safety, to establish an innovative, stable, robust, lasting, successful company, they must:
Understand that employees are not a means to an end and shouldn’t be exploited.
Increase employee cohesion and inclusion.They must no longer fear each other but must be willing to fight external challenges together. Moreover, there is power in numbers: when challenges arise, employees in the Circle Of Safety must put all their differences aside to reach a common goal.
Avoid placing money above people but place people above everything else.
Remember that they are the models for the organization. Therefore, they must define a clear set of values and beliefs for themselves and for their employees.
Inject empathy into the workplace culture and treat everyone fairly. This will make both employees and leaders more human, and make work more enjoyable.
Extend trust to earn trust. Trust also lies in the fact that leaders know when to follow the rules and when to break them in order to guarantee the safety of their employees.
Help people solve problems.They will in turn, help each other.
Listen to their employees.
Protect their employees internal conflicts and promote collaboration.
The Feasibility Of The Circle Of Safety
Making people feel safe, putting their well-being first is idealistic but impractical.
On one hand, people work out of necessity, are willing to stay in a job that they hate to provide for themselves and for their loved ones. They don’t want to selflessly commit to and invest themselves into the company. They are reluctant to put forth the time and effort because they are not in control and might not receive the proper rewards.
On the other hand, it is quasi difficult to find organizations that genuinely care for their employees safety and well-being. Most of them tend to care more about reaching numbers and are willing to sacrifice people to get there.
The truth is most companies and leaders display poor character and induce a stressful and fearful culture. Employee disengagement, high employee turnover and health problems ensue.
Abundance and Abstraction
Finally, when leaders have everything in abundance, which is often the case today, they lose the real value of things.
As a consequence, the more their companies grow, the more they are out of touch with their employees and their consumers, the less they empathize with them. To solve this abstraction, leaders should:
Get to know their employees personally. Investing time and energy in them will transpire as appreciation.
Observe the real impact and results of their time and effort, alongside their employees’. This will consequently increase everybody’s quality of work.
Give people the time needed to trust, to find their way and place with the Circle Of Safety.
The Influence Of The Company Culture
The culture severely impacts the survival of the company. When there are no values, no principles, no particular beliefs, when the culture is based on numbers, reports and performance, the company is doomed to fail.
Moreover, leaders with poor character fabricate a bad culture that in turn breeds bad leaders. This is why, leaders are required to:
Rely on integrity and trust, spend time with the people they serve and shift their focus to the latter.
Find someone to lean on and to help them through hardships.
Discover their life purpose.
Work hard for what they have in order to value it.
Hold on to their responsibilities.
Simon Sinek, in Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t, provides an innovative leadership strategy to build a successful organization, to increase employee engagement and fulfillment.
In this great book, Sinek places people at the forefront of the company and demonstrates that building a company from the ground up takes on a whole new sense. He believes that leaders have to take care of the well-being of their employees first and their employees will take care of the rest.
Besides, he doesn’t claim to be an idealist, to believe that all workers love their jobs and that all leaders treat their employees well. He understands that most people work out of necessity.
Lastly, he analyzes our biological needs and transposes them to the modern working world. Our natural needs are powerful forces that we cannot control.
In our modern world, advancing our careers and trying to find happiness and fulfillment are the definition of success. But the systems inside us that guide our behavior and decisions still function as they did tens of thousands of years ago. Our primitive minds still perceive the world around us in terms of threats to our well-being or opportunities to find safety.
Being a leader is like being a parent, and the company is like a new family to join. One that will care for us like we are their own . . . in sickness and in health. And if we are successful, our people will take on our company’s name as a sign of the family to which they are loyal.
This feeling of belonging, of shared values and a deep sense of empathy, dramatically enhances trust, cooperation and problem solving.
Quite often, what’s good for one is not necessarily good for the other. Working exclusively to advance ourselves may hurt the group, while working exclusively to advance the group may come at a cost to us as individuals.
Leadership is about integrity, honesty and accountability. All components of trust.
At work, leaders are constantly being challenged by coworkers, by the need to conform to the organization culture, to resist to the opinion of others and to work through other external pressure.
Because leadership comes most often from within and requires great energy, self-discipline, strong purpose, maintaining self-esteem is critical to maintaining leadership.
Wondering how to get a bulletproof self-esteem?
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem corresponds to our self-image and to the opinion that we have of ourselves. It is made of the differences between the way we perceive ourselves, the way we want to be perceived and the way we are actually being perceived.
It is also a feeling of competency, worthiness, efficiency, performance, self-respect. It delimits our sense of identity, self-worth, well-being and constant satisfaction no matter the circumstances.
Self-esteem is the ability to cope with life challenges. It is the belief in our abilities, our values, our potential to confidently demonstrate our abilities and values. Therefore, self-esteem is an important component of leadership.
Self-esteem is an internal quality, is not a constant and can rise or fall throughout life, throughout challenges.
Why is it important?
With a proper amount of self-esteem, you are able to trust your skills, your knowledge, your decisions and your thoughts. Low self-esteem leads to poor relationships, depression, anxiety and anger. Increasing self-esteem amounts to better health and a stronger ability to cope with stressful situations.
As a leader, having a solid self-esteem is necessary to make decisions without fear or hesitation, to think clearly, to trust his or her opinion, to remain optimistic under pressure, to help others feel good about themselves, to build relationships, and to gracefully welcome change.
Furthermore, building self-esteem in your team will help them take pride in their work and make them commit to goals.
How to boost your leadership self-esteem?
Building self-esteem is not an overnight process and requires patience. To boost your leadership self-esteem:
Rewire your thinking process and remember that you are not alone if you are suffering with low self-esteem.
Recall that you cannot please everyone and the first person to please is yourself.
Remember that you cannot be a master at everything and that you must focus on the vital few.
Accept that you cannot control everything, that suffering and joy are part of life and that no one is perfect.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a different combination of experiences, of strengths and weaknesses that they must accept. This will help you build on the skills that you are good at and operate through your weaknesses.
Accept yourself: learn to spend time alone and to enjoy your own company. Find activities that are fun and that you do well outside of work. Treat yourself kindly and take time off to do things that are pleasurable to you.
Avoid reasoning with your emotions, dwelling on the negative, complaining, self-pity, shifting blame or blowing an issue out of proportion. You can remove the power that emotions and past negative experiences holds over you by writing down on paper or by speaking it out loud.
Always maintain your integrity, treat people fairly and do the right thing, even if it puts you in a difficult situation. This will also help you maintain your self-respect and the respect that people have for you.
Stay authentic. Being fake or hypocritical is not sustainable on the long run and your real self will slowly suffer the consequences.
Be resilient and believe that you can overcome challenges and that you can find solutions to your problems.
Don’t rely on people or other external factors to restore your self-esteem. Compliments only stroke your ego and will have no effect on your self-esteem for long. On the same length, belittling people won’t do the trick either.
As a leader, it is important that you share your knowledge with your team. Retaining information is a sign of weakness, of a desire for control, power and will not lead you to success. On the other hand, your team skills, loyalty and respect will unequivocally be increased.
Take responsibility for your actions, seek solutions instead of creating problems.
Seek positive qualities in your employees, give positive feedback and build a positive work environment. Giving positive feedback doesn’t mean dismissing or sugarcoating negative feedback but it means that you give constructive criticism and make people feel good about their work performance.
Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses.Place them on tasks that employ their strengths, and don’t hesitate to stretch their abilities and responsibilities.
Remove doubt from your employees so they can perform better.
Teach your team to see problems as challenges or opportunities in disguise.Do not punish mistakes and show that it is OK to disagree, to share a dissenting opinion, or to say “I don’t know”.
Mitigate bad behavior within your team and maintain composure no matter the circumstances.
Include playful time in the workplace. This will increase productivity. Contrary to popular bureaucratic and corporate belief, be playful is not a sign of immaturity to carelessness. Instead, it is a way to release painful experiences.
Seek external professional help to sort through bad experiences and memories if necessary.
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.
In the world we live in, with a supremacist leader as the leader of the free world, it seems that culturally ignorant people feel free to demonstrate their ignorance. Lately, cultural ignorance and overtly offending people have been maximized, and this behavior is slowly becoming the norm.
At work and in life, leaders are the ones to demonstrate exemplary behavior when dealing with people from different backgrounds. They have to be emotionally and culturally intelligent.
Wondering how to adjust yourself with different cultures, to become more culturally sensitive and create a healthy workplace?
What is culture?
Culture is a dynamic and complex system of shared values, norms and symbols that distinguishes groups of people from others and that bound them together. It is demonstrated most often in literature, art, religion, language, traditions.
Furthermore, culture is learnt, and shapes one’s personal behavior, values, thoughts, experiences. for example, it defines one’s reaction to conflict or our problem solving skills.
Culture lays the basis for purpose, a higher calling and meaning in life. It is built on morals and a set of unspoken rules. It also conditions our perception for failure and success.
What is cultural sensitivity?
Cultural sensitivity is being aware that everyone is not the same. It means being able to learn from different people, to understand their backgrounds, to collaborate and cooperate with them, without being judgmental.
Cultural sensitivity means viewing everyone as a unique individual. It promotes unity and has become a skill that is most useful in the world of today.
Why is cultural sensitivity important?
Cultural sensitivity is detrimental because it introduces the concept of identity, of cultural appreciation, of cultural differences. It consequently increase the feeling of belonging and of safety. It improves communication, the quality of work in multinationals or when dealing with coworkers from different backgrounds. In addition, it removes the idea of cultural superiority.
Contrasting cultures bring a diverse set of knowledge, competencies, perspectives and ideas. If positively and purposefully harnessed, culture differences can trigger innovation, creativity and improve job satisfaction.
How to become a culturally sensitive leader?
Work is a part of an individual social identity. Corporate has its own culture, with its norm, its rules, its own values and own systems of beliefs. If the culture is healthy and positive, people easily feel empowered, valued and give better results.
In the corporate culture, managing people with different backgrounds is complex and full of challenges. Regardless of the laws in place, there are a lot of micro aggression towards diversity.
To create culturally sensitive environment, and subsequently a healthy workplace:
Encourage self-awareness and self-development. Change is an internal process that requires self-analysis and self-respect beforehand.
Stay authentic and don’t try to appropriate or claim someone else’s culture.
Be mindful, be open to new experiences and don’t hesitate to explore and learn new things.
Remember, with every interaction, that every person from a different culture is a human-being.
Embrace people who are different from yourself. Get to know the person’s background to understand their behavior, how they operate in society and how they experience life.
Listen actively and respectfullyto people and when speaking, choose your words carefully.
Avoid imposing your ideas on people and forcing them into a box of stereotypes.
Take the initiative and learn other people’s dynamics through personal experience or prolonged exposure.
Identify some idioms and sayings. Also, pronounce their name correctly and accept silence as an act of communication. Learning their language will consequently improve communication.
Show appreciation for someone else’s culture. On one hand, demonstrate empathy and avoid judging them. On the other hand, don’t pander too much to someone else’s culture.
Ask probing open-ended questions. Avoid asking too many questions as not to overwhelm your interlocutor.
Help your employees to understand the company’s culture, expectations, goals and code of conduct.
Effectively navigate conflicts brought by cultural differences.
Pick up on emotional and non verbal cues during conversations.
Take and provide diversity trainings.
If you are part of the majority, seek understanding before seeking to be understood. opening up to minorities will help them accept yours faster, to face challenges better and will increase their work performance.
Respect that other people won’t want to integrate your culture.
Allow people to express freely their values. This will increase their interactions with others, their work performance and their well-being.
Learn to compromise.
Encourage your team to travel more and to approach diverse group of people outside of work.
Adjusting or understanding a culture is a long process. Learning and adjusting to someone else’s culture doesn’t mean that you have to deny your own. It just means that you are able to work and collaborate with people from diverse 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.
Adversity comes from various sources at work: people, change, rumors, lies, conflicts, differences in values or beliefs, decisions taken beyond your control.
When feeling challenged or blocked, people react in different manner (passivity, hopelessness, anger, blame shifting, avoidance, etc …).
Hoping that life or work is made of only happy, positive moments is an illusion. If you are submerged with setbacks, learn to discreetly deal with them and with the emotions that they bring.
Wondering how to build up your resilience and face adversity head on?
What is resilience?
Resilience is the ability to function under pressure, to skillfully master stressful situations.
In addition, resilience is a mindset that focuses on the essentials and your personal growth. In fact, it changes your perspective on a tough situations, shifts the focus from our self to a goal or a purpose, and removes the pressures of running after success.
That being said, resilient leaders demonstrate similar behaviors, beliefs and values in challenging times. Resilient leaders:
Find opportunity in failure. Resilient leaders are unafraid to fail or to succeed. Furthermore, they don’t stay down when they have been put down.
Are able to draw strength from within and to survive ridicule, undermining, alienation, manipulation and what people say and think about you. They have a deep understanding of self and belive that they cannot be moved no matter the circumstances.
Face obstacles head on because they understand that pain is inevitable in life. They are pioneers, the firsts tp experience everything and to face obstacles before everyone.
Have faith that there is always a solution and that they will find a way. They remain optimistic in adversity, believe that it is just a phase of life and that they can create a positive outcome out of any situation.
Are accountable for their actions, don’t shift blame, don’t complain uselessly or make excuses for themselves.
Are able to respond to the demands placed upon them.
Effectively manage time.
Set high standards for themselves.
Are willing to go through uncomfortable situations to get where they are going and understand that these situations are part of life.
Are selective of the people they surround themselves with and the people they look up to.
Have strong coping mechanisms.
Know that you are not the only one facing adversity.
What are the benefits of resilience in leadership?
Moreover, resilience will determine how far you will go in your career or in life. On the long run, in the workplace, it helps you grow as a person, it increases job satisfaction, job performance, success and moral.
It is notorious that during challenging times, you become stronger, that you build up your character and discover your authentic self. Furthermore, you learn from your failures, you learn to do the right thing in wrong situations, even when nobody is looking.
How to build and boost personal resilience?
To measure resilience, it is important to look at a leader’s behavior, emotional response during challenging times. To build up your resilience and the resilience of your team:
Recognize that you are only human and that you will make mistakes. Being human is not an excuse for purposefully making mistakes or for creating setbacks for yourself or for others.
Be self-aware, self-efficient, and adaptable to any situations. This step is detrimental to identify your stressors and anticipate your reaction.
Realize that everyone faces adversity and that behind every obstacle lies an opportunity.
Change your perspective and see adversity as a challenge.
Share positive experiences and values with people around you.
Discern the essential from the rest. Then, commit to these essentials. If you haven’t committed to your essentials, trials will seem insurmountable.
Invest your time and energy rightfully and purposefully. Make sure you persist and put your energy behind the right goals.
Accept that there will be things that you cannot control.
Take care of your mental health and find ways to evacuate the effect of negativity.
Avoid taking setbacks or failures personally.
Reinforce your coping mechanisms, find strong people to support you and seek a sounding board who can bring new perspectives on an issue.
If all fails, turn over a new leaf.
How to build and boost resilience in your team?
Team members are always looking for reassurance. When they don’t have it, they monitor leaders behavior and can possibly start false rumors. To reassure them:
Remember that your team observe you and rely on you the most. Therefore, demonstrate the behavior required for success and for overcoming adversity.
Deal with employees that have made mistakes quickly, before they seem acceptable, and with a cool head. When emotions are high, it becomes difficult to think straight, to make the right decisions, and to behave professionally.
Help your team identify the origin of the issue, different strategies for improvement, for the problem-solving process.
Be as transparent as possible and let them understand the difficulty of the situations.
Treat people with respect and not as commodities. For example, try listening to their concerns without emitting judgement.
Provide trainings to your team and allow them t learn skills such as goal-setting, conflict resolution or decision-making and apply them with confidence.
Provide tools to measure progress and to control the damage done to ensure that what brought up the problem does not recur.
Congratulate them, reward them on successes.
Avoid punishing or reminding people of their past mistakes.
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.
In How Full is Your Bucket?, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have partnered up in the hopes of helping people focus on the positive and not the negative. In his previous research and in his life experiences, Donald O. Clifton noticed that every interaction in life made a difference and profoundly shaped his perceptions.
The theory of the dipper and the bucket
To Donald O. Clifton and to Tom Rath, everyone possesses an invisible bucket and an invisible dipper. Filling your bucket would be synonymous to “boosting your well-being” and feeling engaged in your work.
An invisible bucket that can be emptied or filled depending on our interactions with others. When the bucket is full, we feel great, optimistic, energetic, renewed and strong.
An invisible dipper that can empty of fill someone else’s bucket. When the dipper is used to fill someone else’s bucket, we simultaneous fill our own bucket. When we use our dipper to empty someone else’s bucket, we empty our own bucket.
The power of Negativity
Negativity has the power to kill an individual. For most of us, negativity is common and harmless, but erodes our well-being and productivity. Negativity is also contagious and pushes us to start dipping in someone else’s bucket in the hopes of fulling ours.
In the workplace, daily multiple micro aggressions or the accumulation of negative interactions can cause people invisible and individual bucket to be emptied. An empty bucket has consequences on your well-being, on the well-being of your friends and family members, on your work performance, on your team’s productivity.
The disengagement and the negativity of employees are conveyed by “glazed looks”, counter productivity, a tendency to “stirring up trouble with whining, complaining, and even paranoia.
Fortunately, positivity is much more impactful than negativity.
As a leader or manager, how to make sure that employees individual bucket is full? How to get them to stay engaged?
Employees often lack recognition for their good work and “praise is rare in most organization”.
It takes a little initiative to create inexpensive and meaningful bucket filling experiences. For example, a short, motivating, positive conversation from leaders to increase employees productivity, alignment and engagement would suffice.
Leaders and managers have to:
switch the focus on their employees strengths only,
daily and positively interact with their team members.
Where is Negativity Rooted?
Our predisposition for either positivity or negativity is similar to our metabolism and our or disposition for weight gain. No matter how much someone eats, they will always remain thin.
Filling someone bucket should be unique, specific to the individual, appropriate to the work environment. Generic one size fits all approaches often backfire.
The american culture is to blame for the development and inclination toward negativity. In the American culture, we focus on what we do wrong instead of what we do right, on fixing weaknesses and dismissing strengths. “This focus is particularly evident in our school experiences” or at work where our natural talents and our skills don’t fit our roles. Also, we expect our employees to change their personality to fit the role.
According to John Gottman’s research on marriage, there is a magic ratio to respect in order to maintain positivity and to fill your bucket. The magic ratio is 5:1 which means that there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.
This magic ratio is critical for the workplace. For instance, teams with having more than 3 positive interactions for every negative interaction (3:1 ratio) gain in productivity and engagement. However, teams having more than a 13:1 ratio lose in productivity.
That is why, Rath and Clifton recommend grounding positivity in reality, but also acknowledging negativity and weaknesses and correcting mistakes.
The Benefits of Positivity
Positive or negative encounters are highly memorable and can change your life forever. Positivity creates a mindset that:
becomes a buffer against adversity, depression, health issues,
enables recovery from traumatic, painful experiences,
improves mental physical well-being,
stands as a coping and defense mechanisms,
transforms and breaks down social barriers,
generates optimal functioning in organizations and in individuals,
Induced by leader, improves productivity and group performance in the workplace.
How to Increase Positive Emotions?
To increase positive emotions and positive encounters, apply the following five strategies:
Prevent any type of bucking dipping
Stop poking fun at someone, focusing in their insecurities, chronically criticizing others.
Keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions.
Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong
To know if your focus us centered around what is right or if you have some impact on your environment, take the Positive Impact Test from Gallup. The Positive Impact Test provides 15 statements to measure your impact and your progress. Don’t hesitate to print them, read them and encourage your friends to take the test.
Develop several good relationships
These relationships have to be best friends quality with coworkers in order to increase your job satisfaction and productively and subsequently increase theirs.
Actively listen to your coworkers.
Acknowledge when someone is doing a great job.
Reverse the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule signifies “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Clifton and Rath introduced the reverted golden rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”.
Personalize your interactions and the way you praise and recognize others.
How Full is Your Bucket? by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath is a brief, easy to read, encouraging and compelling book that gives tools to spread positivity in life or at work, to become a better leader, to develop values and character.
Furthermore, I found interesting that both authors share their personal adversities and explain how they have ingrained positivity in their lives and thoughts to overcome their health obstacles.
On a personal level, I wanted to read a positive book, that can stimulate everyone’s mind, inspire leaders to work on themselves and their leadership skills, to provide some tools to dilute the toxicity and the negativity in the workplace, to break the cycle of negativity in your life.
I believe that most of us can handle positive situations and encounters, but not everyone can handle difficult situations, that preparation is key and it is better to be safe then sorry, that it is better to be warned about toxicity than to be blindsided by it, and finally that knowledge is power.
In addition, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath are right when they claim that negativity stems from your culture and has become the norm. They are also right when they state that emptying someone else’s bucket will not make you feel better but only make you feel less then. So, you have to wonder: are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?
Most of us want more positive emotions in our lives. We want to feel like Tammy did in her brief meeting with Karen more often – and like she did after her performance review less often. Unfortunately, wanting a more positive environment isn’t enough. Most of us have grown up in a culture in which it’s much easier to tell people what they did wrong instead of praising them when they succeed. Although this negativity-based approach might have evolved unintentionally, it nevertheless permeates our society at all levels.
Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific, and deserved.
Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003) was a chairman of Gallup, was named the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology by the American Psychological Association. Donald O. Clifton is also the author of How Full is Your Bucket?.
Leadership style refers to the way that the leader interacts with his or her subordinates, influences their behavior, motivates them, makes decisions for them and for the organization. A specific leadership style can deeply influence the quality of work, the commitment, the work satisfaction of both leader and subordinates.
Throughout their career, to be successful, leaders need to continually assess and improve their leadership style, identify its strengths and weaknesses, adapt it to their environment, their organization and to their followers, and even combine them into one suitable and adaptable leadership style.
For leaders to adapt their leadership style to the context, they must get to know themselves and be authentic to their values and beliefs beforehand, get to understand their team members working style and expectations from a leader, get to acknowledge the company culture.
Wondering what leadership styles you have developed across the years or would like to acquire and which one is suitable to your work environment?
In order to determine the best leadership style, the leaders have to contextualize, consider the situations and the people that they face on a daily basis.
There are many leadership styles that are common to most workplaces, that most leaders identify with the most, that are more or less efficient depending on their personal background, their employees personalities and background, and on the organization culture. These leadership styles are to possibly be combined into one and modulated to different situations.
Democratic or Participative leadership
Democratic or participative leaders listen to their followers and consider their opinions, are generally high performers and high achievers. Even though they have the final say, they gather information from their employees before making a decision.
Democratic leaders influence their employees by:
including them in the decision-making process,
informing them about the company’s strategies and decisions,
sharing adequate responsibilities with them,
instilling trust, cooperation, values, synergy in their employees,
allowing them to set their own goals,
enabling them to improve their skills and knowledge,
promoting, recognizing and encouraging accomplishments.
The democratic leadership style is appropriate when the leader:
is directing a small team,
has highly skilled and experienced employees,
desires to be transparent, keep employees informed and involved in the decision-making process,
wants to build up his or her employees self-worth and job satisfaction,
is implementing changes in work processes, job roles and organizational structures,
resolves conflicts that necessitate the employees input
The democratic leadership style is ineffective when:
gathering employees input requires time that is lacking,
gathering employees input is not cost-effective
Visionary or inspirational leadership
Visionary leaders share their dreams and purpose with their employees, possess an ability to inspire people, and develop drive and purpose.
Visionary leaders influence their employees by:
stating, defining, creating and sharing a vision of the organization with them,
acting on that vision,
winning them over.
The visionary leadership style is appropriate in innovative and complex situations.
Coaching leaders align their employees’ aspirations with the organization goals and values.
Coaching leaders influence their employees by:
delegating challenging assignments,
demonstrating faith that demands justification,
teaching them how to manage their time and solve problems accurately,
giving them some authority and independence over their work,
promoting transparency and authenticity,
instilling high levels of loyalty.
The coaching leadership style is appropriate when :
employees need to build strong long-term competencies and are willing to learn from their experiences,
employees are responsible,
employees lack motivation or faith in the project,
employees want to improve on their weaknesses and commit to the process,
a toxic workplace need a turn around.
The coaching leadership style is inefficient when:
employees resist change,
the leader lacks expertise in the field,
Affiliative leaders bring themselves and their employees into association and create a sense of belonging. Affiliative leaders help in solving conflicts and in building teams up.
Affiliative leaders influence their employees by:
welcoming and valuing them,
providing frequent positive feedback,
healing rifts between coworkers and curing toxicity,
The affiliative leadership style is appropriate when:
employees need reassurance,
the organization is facing stressful and volatile situations,
morale and harmony are low,
the organization is in reconstruction.
The affiliative leadership style is inefficient when:
employees are complacent in their work performance,
needing to predict the rise of conflicts and problems.
Pacesetting or Task-Oriented Leadership
Pacesetting leaders are task-oriented and directive, plan and execute assignments, make followers meet deadlines, accomplish challenging projects and reach goals, are concerned with the general effectiveness of their team. They are by the book and enforces the rules and regulations of the company.
Pacesetting leaders influence their team by:
defining set outcomes and means to achieve these goals,
using conditional reinforcement,
providing rewards on performance tasks,
differentiating employees in regards to their contributions to the team,
showing additional support for employees that achieve set goals
relying on deadlines, structured tasks, definite standards for performance and procedures,
making sure that their team is effective and productive enforce standardized procedures,
researching employee performance and behavior rather than employee satisfaction.
Pacesetting Leadership style is most appropriate when the leader has to:
repetitively perform routine tasks,
reinforce procedures and policies,
mobilize an already motivated and skilled team,
deliver results quickly.
Pacesetting leadership style is ineffective when:
employees have ingrained certain work habits and refuse to break them,
employees are no longer motivated,
employees are burnt out,
employees don’t go the extra mile to meet the expectations.
Commanding or Authoritarian leadership
Commanding leaders create a fearful environment to instill respect and get quick results from followers, rely on threats and punishments as incentives, lack trust in their employees and make decisions without employees input and without giving any explanation. Commanding leaders tend to retain power and demand immediate compliance.
Commanding leaders influence their employees by:
disallowing any input, power and decision-making responsibilities to their employees,
wanting complete and blind obedience from their employees
using punishments and rewards as incentives,
The commanding leadership style is appropriate when:
employees are inexperienced or lack training in a field,
employees are not receptive to other leadership styles and there is no other way,
time is lacking to make a decision,
employees challenge their authority,
the organization is facing a crisis.
The commanding leadership style is ineffective when:
employees do not respond to threats anymore,
employees are disengaged, unmotivated, fearful or resentful,
the rate of employees quitting is high.
Relationship building or Bridging Leadership
Relationship building leaders are generally supportive and accepting of subordinates, use communication skills to create synergy and motivation among their subordinates, foster a climate of trust, transparency and confidence, promote collaboration and inclusion.
Relationship building leaders influence their team by:
using unconditional reinforcements,
recognizing the worth of their employees,
building the self-esteem of their employees,
building quality relationships with their employees,
assessing how their decisions will impact their employees,
being concerned about the welfare and satisfaction on the job of their employees.
The relationship building leadership is appropriate when:
the leader needs a collective response from their employees,
team cohesion has previously been fractured.
Laissez-Faire or Hands-Off Leadership
The laissez-faire or hands-off leader gives his employees as much as freedom, authority and power as possible. Little or no directions is given to their subordinates that are able to determine their goals, plan and execute their tasks unsupervised.
The laissez-faire leader does not manage his or her subordinates nor use his or her influence. The laissez-faire leader interfere the least possible with employees savoir-faire and jobs to increase employees pride and motivation.
The laissez-faire leadership style is appropriate when the leader has:
experts or consultants on his or her team,
highly skilled, experienced, educated employees, trustworthy, prideful and driven people in his or her organization,
employees are well-educated and experienced, are good decision makers, feel in control,
need freedom to thrive on their job and to love their job,
plans to expand the business and to delegate leadership responsibilities to other employees,
employees who are in remote locations or who don’t require a lot of face to face time.
The laissez-faire leadership style is ineffective when:
employees are worried about making mistakes,
employees don’t have good communication skills,
the leader’s absence, lack of feedback, lack of validation and lack of recognition makes their subordinates feel insecure,
the leader doesn’t understand his or her responsibilities and rely on his or her subordinates to pull all the weight.
Charismatic leaders influence through their personality, share vision, captivate and persuade an audience, are self-confident, eloquent, have high energy and are emotionally intelligent. Charismatic leaders use their charisma to achieve their own goals and ambitions.
The charismatic leadership style is appropriate when:
the leader has to inspire and raise morale,
the leader is involved on short-term projects or projects that are lacking energy and motivation.
the organization needs to promote its brand and expand in the marketplace.
The charismatic leadership style is inefficient when:
the leader believes too deeply in himself or herself and feels invincible,
the project is chaotic and needs immediate guidance and direction.
Analytic leaders analyze figures, hard data to solve problems, to make better decisions, to increase in productivity. Analytic leaders are also good at controlling their emotions.
Analytic leaders influence their employees by:
requiring hard data from them to closely follow the execution process,
valuing accuracy and logic,
dismissing feelings and opinions of their employees.
The analytical leadership style is appropriate when the organization needs facts and data to advance and make a decision.
The analytical leadership style is inefficient when:
there is too much emotional distant between the leader and the subordinates,
the organization is facing a stressful situations and there is no time for over analysis.
Reflective leaders are introspective and often quiet or reserved, trust their insights and intuition, are emotionally intelligent, are self-aware, promote self-awareness, reflect on the impacts of decisions before taking them, and seek opportunity in failure. Reflective leaders decode observations about their organization and coworkers and excel in analyzing the behavior, body language, tone of voice of themselves and others.
Reflective leaders influence their subordinates by:
understanding their observations about their organization and coworkers,
understanding the reasons for a flow of events and connecting the dots,
understanding their employees, their way of thinking, their preferences, their motivations, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and blindspots in order to achieve a specific goal,
being flexible in their responses, being open and sharing their thoughts and conclusions with your employees,
actively listening to their employees and confronting their ideas or assumptions,
setting goals, giving feedback, effectively distinguishing obstacles and picking out effective problem-solving approaches.
The reflective leadership styles is appropriate when:
the workplace climate is conflictual and volatile,
change is needed in the organization,
the leader’s position is unstable.
Corrective leaders identify the past mistakes of the organization, find solutions and apply corrective actions to set it back on an ideal track, facilitate collaboration and synergy with their team.
Corrective leaders influence their subordinates by:
setting clear goals and timelines,
communicating effectively to identify the root of the problem,
focusing their employees attention on the goals to correct the mistakes,
monitoring step by step the implementation of the solution,
implicating their employees in the planning process,
avoiding experimenting with new ideas and untested solutions,
keeping reports on the mistakes and the change process.
The corrective leadership style is appropriate when:
the organization is in a state of emergency and is deteriorating,
impactful mistakes have been made by employees,
organizational procedures have not been followed.
The corrective leadership style is inefficient when:
Change leaders embrace innovation, system alterations, problem solving. Change leaders are determined, persistent, resistant and eager to make change happen.
Change leaders influence their subordinates by:
explaining that change is a necessary good,
sharing the visions of the change process results,
removing their employees and organization out of the comfort zone,
encouraging their employees to implement the change process and to adapt to the new versions and norms of the organization,
sustaining the change process and incorporating it in the company’s culture,
The change leadership style is appropriate to most types of situations and organizations that have plateaued because change is nowadays detrimental to any organization’s success.
Multicultural or Cultural Intelligence Leadership
Multicultural leaders enjoy ambiguous situations and see problems as opportunities, gain energy and motivation through cross-cultural interactions, encourage innovation by taking into account their subordinates multicultural differences, advocate for understanding and mutual respect, render their subordinates effective.
Multicultural leaders influence their subordinates by:
understanding, learning and harmonizing with the cultural backgrounds of their employees,
adapting to diverse cultures and encouraging their employees to do the same,
being open-minded and accepting of different cultures,
being accountable for their actions around different cultures.
The multicultural leadership style is appropriate for multicultural or multinational corporations.
Servant leaders lead by example and choose to serve their subordinates highest needs first and lead afterwards.
Servant leaders influence their team by:
giving all the credit to their employees,
staying out of the spotlight,
involving their employees in the decision-making process.
The servant leadership style is appropriate when:
the leader is head of an association or community,
employees pull their weight on their own.
The servant leadership styles is uncommon and inefficient in:
corporate and organizations where leader has to make quick decisions,
in competitive situations.
Transactional leaders gain compliance by offering rewards for good performance and severe punishments for lack of performance or of compliance.
Transactional leaders influence their employees by:
working by the book,
encouraging the status quo,
compensating them for achieving goals and enforcing the company rules,
clarifying everyone’s role and responsibility.
The transactional leadership styles is common in large administrative organizations, in urgent and conflictual situations.
Transformation Leaders share visions and goals with their subordinates, create intense emotions in them, align them with core values, unify them with a purpose and involve them in the decision process, encourage change in others and themselves. Transformational leaders wholeheartedly embrace change, challenge the status quo and invest in the development of their employees.
Transformational leaders influence their employees by:
openly communicating a vision with them,
not using positional authority to convince,
encouraging them to view problems with a different perspective,
supporting and stimulating their innovative ideas,
challenging the status quo,
expecting the best of them and strengthening their optimism and enthusiasm,
The transformational leadership style is appropriate when:
the organization is dormant and require change,
employees require optimism and enthusiasm,
employees are detail oriented.
There are several leadership styles to choose from or that you have already identified with. No leadership style is the absolute best but is relative to a given situation.
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.
In The Success Formula: How Smart Leaders Deliver Outstanding Value, Andrew Kakabadse acknowledges the complexities of leadership and researches the factors for leadership success, in the fast-paced and complex global marketplace. The skills needed to succeed in the past are today insufficient.
Andrew Kakabadse suggests that creating value is the origin of success, the definition of success depending on the type of value the organization wants to create and on the way they want to create value.
What is value?
Creating value should be the “primary purpose of leadership”.
The notion of value stretches itself from going public to the number of stakeholders, from not losing money to making profit, from creating quality products to retaining customers, from contributing to society to connecting stakeholders, customers, suppliers, others individuals to the activity of the organization.
What is success?
“[…] success is the creation of value — economic and social benefits and outcomes that serve a purpose for the people they are intended to help, in accordance with a set of values that the organization subscribes to”.
What is considered failure?
Failure is the destruction of value or the unsuccessful delivery of value due to bad management.
Organizations propose value by holding on to their client and audience, and by explaining how they do well uniquely. Several scenarios can be played out regarding the value proposition:
If there isn’t any value proposition clearly defined, leaders are easily derailed and pursue purposeless strategies.
If the value proposition isn’t readjusted to fit the context, leaders are blindsided by the event and lack flexibility.
If the value proposition is known to be used and a strategy has been implemented around it, but the value proposition has never been tested, then the value proposition of the organization is doomed to fail.
Only if the value proposition of the company is continually being tested, interrogated and evidence pursued, that the organization can be successful.
How to create value? How to create sustainable value?
Leaders approach value creation differently by:
Approach #1: Replicating a previous strategy. This approach is the most commonly applied in organizations. However, this approach is flawed if the leader constantly employs the same strategy to different situations, without being allowed to evolve and adapt to new situations.
Approach #2: Intuitively formulating an unproven strategy. This approach is flawed if the leader doesn’t challenge the facts and doesn’t test his strategy.
Approach #3: Interrogating and proving a hypothetical strategy with evidence. This third approach is the most accurate because leaders need to gather evidence, data, engage with people within their context to be able to make decisions accordingly. This approach requires a combination of “diversity of thinking”, strategy, engagement and alignment to create value.
Subsequently, two leadership models derive from the three approaches for value creation:
Model #1: The creation of “perceived value”
This is an old leadership model, driven by the belief of the leader. Leaders who create perceived value tend to visualize the bigger picture and to put strategy first.
Model #2: The creation of “delivered value”
This is a new and current leadership model, driven by evidence. In this model, leaders maintain close relationships with the society of the organization (stakeholders, customers, …), gather evidence from them about the advancement of value creation and about the implementation of the strategy.
What is the success formula?
To make sense of value creation in organization that are either evidence-led or strategy-led, Andrew Kakabadse came up with three formulas:
STRATEGY x (ENGAGEMENT + ALIGNMENT) = VALUE PROPOSITION
Formula #1 makes sense of value creation in organizations driven by strategy and disengaged with their contextual reality.
(STRATEGY x ALIGNMENT) + ENGAGEMENT = VALUE PROPOSITION
The formula above represents a situation in which leaders implement a strategy, with which everyone is on board, at a human and cultural cost.
Formula #3 — The Success Formula
STRATEGY + (ENGAGEMENT x ALIGNMENT) = VALUE DELIVERY
The success formula represents an organizations where consensus is first achieved before formulating a strategy that will continually be tested.
What are the other factors for success?
Value delivery is the starting point of success. It is also necessary to seek out different point of views, different perspectives to build a composite understanding of the organization and to sustain success. “Diversity of thinking and engagement are the two sides of the same coin”. Diversity of thinking does not include gender, age, nationality but means “diverse in mind”.
Leaders who want to promote diversity of thinking within their organization must:
have a “passion for diversity of thinking”. Leaders should be curious, enjoy learning about themselves and the world, should be “open to new experiences and perspectives”.
have international exposure. Leaders are compelled to welcome and search for international exposures for organizational and personal growth.
advocate for open communication to instill trust and to encourage positive attitude towards challenges. Open communication comes from exposure to different cultures, which teaches the leaders how to adapt to different environments and to work with different cultures.
engage with the organization. Leaders can start promoting the culture of diversity of thinking within the corporation, be active listeners and respond to people accordingly.
build their team. Leaders are obliged to select the right people to make the right decisions and to avoid group-thinking.
Diversity of thinking is at the center of the success formula. Leaders must encourage “diversity of thinking” by listening and showing respect.
How to create a culture of diversity of thinking?
In The Success Formula: How Smart Leaders Deliver Outstanding Value, Andrew Kakabadse put together seven “disciplines” to help create a culture of diversity of thinking, and therefore to fulfill the success formula.
Discipline #1: Evidence Collection
Evidence creates alignment and engagement and allow leaders to reach a balance of opinions. Gathering evidence is part of a transparent process, gives a realistic overview of the market and the position of the company or the market, and allows leaders to gain knowledge in their respective fields.
deeply believe that the evidence gathering process can move towards success.
start gathering evidence from day one.
assemble hard evidence as well as soft evidence, and are comfortable with constructive criticism.
emphasize on the quality of the evidence.
actively listen and engage with divergent thinking.
use evidence to back up their strategies and to debate.
make time for debates even if evidence is a slow process and delays decision.
seek evidence in a structured manner.
Discipline #2: Mission Delimitation
Defining a mission for the organization means defining a clear purpose for the organization in order to promulgate their core values.
Needless to say that the nature of these core values is critical: successful organizations promote “inclusiveness and an environment suitable for innovation, the building of trust, and the spotting of new opportunities”.
Discipline #3: Alignment Enhancement
Alignment, “the logic and structure to execute strategy”, is a vital element in fulfillment of the success formula. There are 3 types of alignment:
“Alignment of thinking between the key players” in order to execute strategy. This type of alignment starts with the hiring process.
Alignment of structure to gain in efficiency.
Alignment of operational system, protocols, processes to facilitate the execution of strategy.
Discipline #4: Engagement Enhancement
Engagement, “the desire, willingness, motivation (or demotivation) to make the structures and the processes work”, is difficult to achieve because it is impossible to control people.
Corporations with the highest level of engagement are not led by charismatic nor visionary leaders but are led by humble leaders, with listening skills that treat people fairly, that are open-minded and that reward people for their effort.
Discipline #5: Leadership Style Improvement
In addition to being driven by evidence, to leading with purpose, leaders display 3 main qualities:
a high level of IQ to respond to the challenges that the organization faces and build “pathways through demanding circumstances”.
“a profound moral consciousness” which requires integrity and an accurate and sensitive understanding of the context.
a “persuasive advocacy” which is an ability to “walk the talk and talk the walk”.
Discipline #6: Governance Balance
Governance has two vital dimensions: monitoring and mentoring that are linked to the performance of the organization.
“Monitoring is all about the controls, protocols, and procedures that provide early warning signals and enable the board to take action to prevent wrongdoing or bad decisions”. “It is mentoring that makes the governance difference. This stewardship requires time, commitment, and consideration of how and with whom to engage”.
Discipline #7: Wisdom Development
Wisdom allows the increase of alignment and engagement. Wisdom is “earned through years of experience”, “comes from reflection and a willingness to keep on learning”.
Wise leaders learn to conveniently engage with people, patiently work through issues and dilemmas, accurately solve problems instead of rushing through them.
The Success Formula: How Smart Leaders Deliver Outstanding Value is a robust academic research publication, with simple theories. These theories are illustrated with several real life, relatable, contemporaneous case studies from which leaders can grab inspiration.
Through one simple formula, Kakabadse was able to represent the complexities of todays organizations and highlight the difficulties of putting this formula into practise.
Furthermore, I believe this book is ideal for leaders:
starting a business or company and are wondering how to create value and a competitive advantage within their company,
looking to ensure a healthy workplace,
looking to evaluate their organizations and detect potential issues,
who have been derailed by a strategy-led organization,
who are in organizations that are restructuring and want to promote an evidence-led culture in their organization.
Finally, I enjoyed the fact that Andrew Kakabadse stressed that evidence-led leadership does not happen overnight, that the leader’s job is not easy and every decisions have to be thought through, analyze and tested beforehand, and that the organization’s success is not only due to the leader but also to the contribution of the team, and that leaders have to showcase strong core values.
“[…] success is the creation of value — economic and social benefits and outcomes that serve a purpose for the people they are intended to help, in accordance with a set of values that the organization subscribes to”.
Whether it’s originated in our History or Culture, whether it’s from watching television or from frequenting our friends and family, we all have a clear picture in our minds of what great leadership is or should be.
We also have in mind which competencies and qualities are ideally associated to great leadership.
Wondering if that picture you nurture in your mind coincides with reality and what makes leadership so important?
What is great leadership?
Leadership is the ability to wheel power, to influence people positively in order to be successful, to bring like-minded individuals together towards a common goal or vision and to translate that vision into reality.
Influence allows leaders to gain consistent support for their views and opinions while building relationships with other individuals, groups or organization on a daily basis. It also helps leaders improve teamwork, and gain more credibility, and respect.
Furthermore, influence is used to win others over, to persuade and convince without having to subject anyone to manipulation, force, command or control. It consists in a core competency in today’s workplace.
Why is leadership important?
Not everyone is a leader.
Not everyone is given an opportunity to lead or not everyone has made the conscious decision to lead.
Not everyone wants to be a leader because leadership requires time, knowledge, skills and emotional intelligence.
Some people are actually leaders but not in all aspects of their lives. At last, others leaders emerge later in life.
Moreover, the importance for leadership and the motivation for leadership go hand in hand.
Everybody is motivated differently by leadership: you can be motivated by a search for prestige, status, respect, deference, money, power, an increase in power of decision, a will to make the world a better place by servicing others, a strong desire to embody a vision and to bring that vision into reality.
In addition, without great leadership, chaos flares up.
The key competencies for great leadership
I believe that the nine competencies below are the foundation of great contemporaneous leadership:
Demonstrating integrity and instilling trust in employees. Leaders must be capable of being responsible and accountable, of becoming an exemplar of wanted behaviors and values, treating others with respect, of doing the right thing, of walking the walk and walking the talk. According to Warren Bennis, “there is no difference between becoming an effective leader and becoming a fully integrated human being”.
Learning continuously to be able to deal with personal and organizational complexities, to grow and become more effective, and finally to challenge the status quo.
Share vision to inspire has purpose. A vision is what you want to create, to embody and achieve as a leader. The leader’s vision has everything to do with his or her purpose and is often reflected in his or her behavior.
Maintaining strong communication skills. Leaders must be good speakers as well as good and active listeners. Communication skills increase the leader’s influence in the workplace. The best way to showcase your communication skills is to:
delay your speech, analyze your audience by getting to know their background, situation, history, values, enhance your rhetoric and work on the delivery of your speech.
describe the situation you want to change, its impacts and its solutions.
ask for other people input by professional courtesy and be open for discussion.
Developing emotional intelligence. Exceptional leaders get to know themselves before getting to know others, lead themselves before leading others, use their emotions at work but don’t let their emotions use them.
Building healthy relationships and connecting with your followers. Indeed, outstanding leaders hold your employees to a higher standard, with higher expectations with the belief that their employees can meet them. They also provide feedback, invest in their employees personal strengths, value collaboration and team work in order to connect to your workforce.
Developing others by mentoring and coaching them in order to sustain high performance employees, to train them for leadership positions and to strengthen employees weaknesses and to help “difficult” employees to fit into the corporate culture. A great leader is a catalyst, facilitator that allow each member of the team to shine. By then, employees commitment and productivity will be increased. Tom Rath and Barry Conchie (2009) said it right in Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow: “Perhaps the ultimate test of a leader is not what you are able to do in the here and now – but instead what continues to grow long after you’re gone.”.
The skills of leaders are transferable to every aspect or role of their lives: they are applicable to their community, neighborhood.
people regularly come to you for advice, for brainstorming or problem solving,
you are progressively given more responsibility on a project by your boss,
your boss asks for your opinion on a subject matter before an “above your pay grade” meeting
or you are included in your coworkers social activities.
If you are not being perceived as a leader, start with these small steps:
Respect the company’s culture, work protocols and procedures and perform well.
Offer your help when there is extra work to do in the office. This will show that you are ready to roll up your sleeves for the success of the project, to apply yourself effectively without complaining.
Volunteer outside of work. This will allow you to test your leadership skills, to inquire whether leadership is made for you or not, to learn new skills and mostly to make mistakes with less consequence to your career.
Read or write articles about leadership development and take courses to increase your knowledge about leadership.