The Importance Of Public Speaking In Leadership

Public speaking is one of my favorite activities at work, whether it is selling a product or negotiating a contract. It allows me to gather information, to win over an audience and increase my leadership influence. It is the ability to be eloquent and to persuade which gives me an edge over the competition.

Public speaking skills are useful on a daily basis. They can be learnt, they are required in different social situations, from professionals to students.

However, public speaking requires a certain level of confidence, preparation, technique, voice control, clear ideas, arguments, objectives, good knowledge of the audience.

It also generates severe anxiety in most people. And, keeping your composure in stressful situations will demonstrate your leadership skills.

Wondering how to deliver your best speech and overcome fear of public speaking?

Public Speaking In Leadership

The importance of public speaking

Avoiding public speaking can be detrimental to your career, to your relationships and to your personal growth. This skill is called upon for celebratory events, meetings.

Public speaking enables you to transform people, influence some people, persuade others, help people work toward a personal or common goal, inspire emotions and provide value, convey a vision, drive change and positive actions, introduce new information, innovative ideas to a crowd.

It allows you to gain trust, to solidify your credibility, to become more confident, to find your voice, to address difficult conversations and find solutions.

Coping with the fear of public speaking

Public speaking can make some people anxious because the speaker is at the complete mercy of the audience. The good news is that fears are learnt behavior and can be unlearned. To get rid of your debilitating fear:

  • Keep in mind that the audience is generally supportive, even though they can make or break you.
  • Change your perspective and think of your speech as a conversation. To help you do so, practice in front of family and friends.
  • Start your speech with questions to get your audience more engaged.
  • Stay present, stop over-analyzing the situations and stop trying to be perfect.
  • Visualize a positive outcome.
  • Avoid trying to completely remove your anxiety. Instead, channel it otherwise, distract yourself from these emotions by exercising or listening to music.

Honing your public speaking skills

When speaking publicly you want to be understood, to guide them to your ideas. Public speaking doesn’t need to be your full-time job to be useful. To hone your public speaking skills:

  • Understand your audience. Your audience comes from different backgrounds, have diverse interests and needs. To forejudge their responses to your speech, analyze your audience, their culture, their current situation. Then, identify the points that you need to emphasize and those you need to remove.
  • Decide and format your content. It is important to know what you will be talking about. Furthermore, the format of your content will depend on the event.
    • Detail your speech, arrange your arguments in order of importance and organize your content to increase retention.
    • Employ different tools for your presentation like PowerPoint.
    • Give your audience practical advice.
    • Keep it simple, use short sentences, get to the point.
    • Introduction and conclusion are key and have to be most prepared.
  • Ensure that you passionate about the topic beforehand. Your passion will motivate the audience.
  • Determine your objective. Understand the need you have to impact your audience, the need to speak at this event and the decision to explore this specific topic.
  • Determine your communication style and rhetoric. It is important to mind your verbal and nonverbal delivery, to pay attention to your delivery, your tone and your voice more than you do to the content of your speech.
    • Captivate the audience and interact with them within the 10 first seconds.
    • Use action verbs, personal pronouns, present tense, tangible language, proper grammar, appropriate logic and conventional language. Adapt your message and language to your audience.
    • Use your own words to convey your personality and keep the audience engaged.
    • Learn to tell stories, to use relatable examples, your personal experiences and interests. This is why it is important to know your audience.
    • Ask provocative questions, embody the story and act out the anecdotes.
  • Before you start speaking, take a moment, breathe, master your fear, control yourself and your thoughts.
  • Keep your energy up from beginning to end.
  • Stand up straight, shoulders backward and arms open. Look at people in the eye and smile to put people at ease.
  • Walk around on stage before the speech to get an idea of the space available. This will allow you to feel at home on stage or in public and to move your body at will.
  • Act natural. There is nothing more off-putting and distracting than someone acting theatrical.
  • Look the part but don’t let your clothes distract your audience from the message.
  • Keep in mind that your audience wants to see you win. Stay focused: don’t be distracted by the audience, by naysayers and hecklers.
  • Treat your speech like an opportunity to have a conversation with friends.
  • Incorporate humor in your set if you are brave enough. Humor is risky but self-deprecating humor is always the best option.
  • Observe your competition, listen to other speakers and take notes. 
  • Rehearse your speech relentlessly and don’t let it show. Rehearsing will help you deliver your speech with confidence, avoid searching for words, avoid skipping important points. Practice will also make you a leader in your field and increase your credibility.
  • Solidify your credibility. There is nothing
    • Become an expert on the subject, create your own content and connect the dots properly.
    • Be transparent, trustworthy, fair and respectful. Conduct yourself morally.
    • Care for your audience and share valid information that will progress them
    • Agree to disagree with your audience, respect their values, avoid attacking them and don’t make them feel stupid.
    • Stay away from hate speech, offensive, untruthful, distorted and slanderish speech
  • Keep sharpening your public speaking skills and take some classes.

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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Bridging The Generational Gap: From Boomers to Millennials

In today’s workplace, leaders of organizations must hire millennials and boomers to keep business running. For the sake of their organization, leaders must have them collaborating, handling constructive conflicts and effectively dealing with change.

However, conflicts in the workplace, involving different generations, are old as time, are common, are inevitable and ought to be handled quickly before they get out of hand.

Conflicts usually arise when one generation is leading or managing another. These days, boomers are passed over for promotions, millennials are put in leadership roles and tend to manage boomers because they have a researched set of skills that are beneficial to the company.

Bridging the generational gap helps in making better decisions, reducing employee turnover, strengthening team cohesion and in building innovative products.

Wondering how to bridge the generation gap and build a more collaborative workplace?

Bridging The Generational Gap: From Boomers to Millennials

A generation is a period of time when people perceived the world differently. In one generation, people are shaped by social trends, are programmed with thoughts, values, moral ethics, models, examples of success and the guidelines to succeed.

Three generations rub shoulders in corporate: the baby-boomers (1946-1964), the generation X (1965-1980) and the millennials (1980-2000). Needless to say, each generation has their own set of strengths, weaknesses and of requirements in order to give their best at work.

The Baby-Boomers Generation

Boomers are the most famous generation and have a different set of values. They trust the system, understand hierarchy, follow rules and obey orders.

They believe in seniority and meritocracy. Indeed, they stay at a job for the longest time and wait for an opportunity for advancement.

Strengths

Employees from the baby-boomer generation:

  • Define their identity through their jobs.
  • Have a strong work ethic. They are hardworking even workaholics.
  • Are concerned about the quality of their contributions at work.
  • Are loyal to their organization and expect loyalty in return.
  • Have good people skills and build healthy relationships.
  • Are capable of team work.

Weaknesses

Employees from the baby-boomer generation:

  • Respect hierarchy and don’t challenge the status quo.
  • Depend on seniority for career advancement.
  • Unable to welcome change. They don’t understand that the world is changing and are unable to quickly evolve with it.
  • Have a poor work life balance. They are not flexible with their time, burn out easily and are willing to sacrifice their work life balance.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, employees from the baby-boomer generation require:

  • Appreciation, respect, fairness and equity of treatment.
  • Involvement on the job.
  • Job satisfaction.
  • Health care and retirement package.

The Generation X

This generation no longer trust the system and believe that corporations don’t have their best interest at heart.

Strengths

Employees from the generation X:

  • Are innovative and creative.
  • Are authentic. They feel the need to know and be themselves in every situation.
  • Are autonomous, independent, loyal to self and self-reliant.
  • Are flexible, task oriented and multi-taskers.
  • Take initiative and have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Weaknesses

Employees from the generation X:

  • Lack clear purpose.
  • Are insubordinate. They no longer comply to authority and are defiant.
  • Are easily bored. They need to be kept on challenging or high-profile projects.
  • Are individualistic. They put themselves and the well-being of their family first.
  • Lack commitment to an organization.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, employees from the generation X require:

  • Automatic respect.
  • That their leaders apply a laissez-faire or a democratic leadership style.
  • Short termed challenging projects.
  • To understand the reasons of a task before undertaking said task.
  • A healthy work life balance: they put family first, no matter what.
  • Unique, fun and informal organization with flexible hours.
  • Career advancement or a constant interest in their assignment. If they don’t get what they want or need, they jump ship.
  • High salaries and rewards proportional to their contributions at work.

The Millennials

Millennials are idealist and have a more democratic way of viewing the world. They intend to make work fun and purposeful, to innovate and to invest themselves.

They have high expectations for their jobs, are now able to blow the whistle easily, seek fairness and integrity in their leaders.

Strengths

Millennial employees:

  • Have an ability to connect with the world and to quickly share information.
  • Use online communication effectively.
  • Are positive and are culturally sensitive.
  • Are ambitious, innovative and drive change.
  • Seek learning opportunities and desire accomplishments.
  • Have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Are capable of team work.

Weaknesses

Millennial employees:

  • Lack interpersonal skills.
  • Have poor decision-making and problem-solving skills.
  • Need constant guidance and feedback.

Requirements

To perform to the best of their abilities, millennial employees require:

Bridging the generational gap

The collaboration of generations is essential to develop any organization. To bridge the generational gap and to retain more employees:

  1. Get to know your employees personally.
  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your employees.
  3. Customize your leadership style to your employees.
  4. Keep a respectful tone, stay professional and use formal language, especially with boomers.
  5. Give people a reason to work for your organization.
  6. Transfer knowledge between generations.
  7. Put people in the right positions.
  8. Remind all parties involved that they have more commonalities than differences.
  9. Disintegrate stereotypes about people from different generations. For example, boomers can learn how to handle technology and millennials are not lazy.
  10. Promote the benefits of diversity and cultural sensitivity.
  11. Adapt your employees working hours to the organization and exemplify a healthy work life balance.
  12. Help people gain new skills by putting them on different projects.
  13. Upgrade your employees interpersonal skills.
  14. Provide technological trainings.
  15. Suggest mentoring program.
  16. Recognize and reward your employees for their contributions.
  17. Give positive feedback, especially to millennials.
  18. Have an open door policy to hear employee complaints and ideas.
  19. Set high expectations for your employees and expect the best from them.
  20. Welcome initiative, innovation and creativity.

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.

The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

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

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

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

The Importance Of Effectively Improving Your Communication Skills

What is communication?

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

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

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

Why is it important?

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

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

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

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

How to improve your communication skills?

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

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

Last Words Of Advice!

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

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

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

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

The Importance Of Motivational Leadership

Most uninspired leaders use money or fear in the workplace to motivate people, to force them to obey and do their jobs. Though these leaders reach their monthly goals, they lose the loyalty and respect of their employees. On the long run, employee satisfaction diminishes and these leaders become less effective and don’t last long before being “overthrown”.

Needless to say, being a motivated  leader lasts longer nad is much more impactful than directly requiring motivation from their employees.

Wondering how to effectively motivate your team?

The Importance Of Motivational Leadership

What is motivation?

Motivation is central to leadership. It is an active mental process, initiated by certain needs and wants. It solidifies expectations, shapes and encourages dynamic, unique behaviors, actions, habits to achieve specific goals.

Motivation relies on the learning process of an individual and his or her ability to observe the relationship between performance and outcome. Therefore, motivation is positively reinforced by experience and by seeing that the steps taken lead to success.

Being motivated means bein goal-oriented, being disciplined and committed enough to remember, to clarify and to pursue an objective.

Why is it so important?

Motivation is necessary to face high level challenges, to put out thoughts into action and paves the way to a vision, a goal. It improves self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline, job satisfaction, work performance, employee health, vision and purpose.

Motivation translates at work into carrying out assignments, measuring results, getting rewarded for good work (pay raise, praise, promotions, …).

It is necessary to motivate your employees when they feel dissatisfied with the status quo, when morale is low, when deadlines are hard to meet and when results aren’t reached.

How to motivate employees?

Because corporate is so competitive, it has a tendency to measure, to reward our performance, to promote some and to undermine others. It is always necessary to protect your sense of self-worth, to stay motivated on a daily basis. It even becomes detrimental to measure the degree of potential success before undergoing further work. To create a climate of high motivation at work:

  1. Be self-aware, self-disciplined, self-motivated to motivate others. By being your own energizer, people will intuitively follow your lead. Also, this will help you discover the areas where you lack motivation, the areas where you are either distracted, overworked, scattered or where you are multitasking and trying to please everyone.
  2. Know your own individual purpose and carefully pick and choose your battles.
  3. When met with difficulties, lead by example, shine a spotlight on what has been accomplished so far rather than what is missing, and focus on the numerous opportunities than can result from the chaos. Avoid using negative energy and worry to motivate your team.
  4. Develop and secure a harmonious life outside of the workplace. If you are happy and have peace of mind, you will be able to maintain harmony within your team.
  5. Demonstrate integrity. Do the right thing, especially when no one is watching.
  6. Stay close to your convictions and to your values.
  7. Treat yourself and your employees fairly and with respect.
  8. Avoid lying to your employees, making excuses and learn to keep promises.
  9. Avoid encouraging a culture of gossip, manipulation, distrust and disrespect.
  10. Keep learning and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  11. Get to know your team and build strong healthy and mature relationships with them. Allow them to be themselves and not a dull version of themselves. Furthermore, avoid stereotyping them.
  12. Be loyal to your team. To get loyalty, you have to  be loyal.
  13. Explain to them first hand why they should work for you. To do so, it is imperative that you communicate your company vision and your mission through written statements.
  14. Invest in the people around you, show them the value of their contributions and don’t hesitate to show your appreciation for them.
  15. Listen to and understand your employees before seeking to be understood. Leaders have power and authority of their employees but they cannot come first all the time and restrain people’s freedom of speech. Sometimes, it is best to let your team members get their point across first.
  16. Place their needs before yours. Servant leadership has a bad reputation because it leaves the leader vulnerable and powerless. However, being the last served has real impact on the long run.
  17. Connect with people who are highly motivated and surround yourself who share your same systems of values.
  18. Identify the reasons why some people come to work daily. For example, make sure, even in the hiring process, that the interviewees values are aligned with those of the company and those of the leaders by asking the right questions. Also, during the hiring process, invite people to ask the right questions.
  19. Make sure that your employees are self-aware and honest about their strengths and weaknesses, about their blind spots.
  20. Put the people on your team in positions where their strengths are useful and maximized in order to stimulate them. People want to feel as if they are doing meaningful work and are part of something greater than them.
  21. Hire ambitious and self-motivated individuals.
  22. Challenge your employees and help them reach their goals.
  23. Give people the necessary power and authority to accomplish their job.
  24. Hold your team to high expectations, reward them for meeting standards and reward them for their positive behavior.
  25. Provide honest and positive feedback to your team. On another note, genuinely take input from your team. Ask probing questions and listen to the answers.
  26. Keep your employees and yourself accountable, especially when in power.
  27. Empower your team and involve them in the decision-making process so they can take ownership of their work. For example, use the word “we” when speaking about any project.
  28. Instill discipline in your employees and provide clear guidelines for their behavior. Discipline is a skill that can be thought and that develops in you set ways for your thoughts, actions and habits.
  29. Nurture motivational thoughts in your employees. Indeed, thoughts have a direct impact on behaviors and results despite circumstances.
  30. Invest in trainings and in the personal development of your team. There is no need to make these trainings compulsory.
  31. Welcome innovation. Being an advocate for change helps to increase the lifespan of your company and helps your employees to go through change. There is nothing sadder than a company that has peaked and that refuses to renew their methods.
  32. Let your employees manage their time and take breaks once in a while. Leaders cannot have control over every aspect of their employees life.

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.

Motivational Leadership

Identifying And Correcting Leadership Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes?! Everybody makes them but not everyone knows how to handle them. Mistakes are most often seen in a negative light but it shows you what you are made of, that you need to redirect your career, that you need to change procedures and your character.

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

  • Discovering our authentic selves.
  • Exhibiting our vulnerabilities, limitations and blind spots.
  • Helping us prioritize and go to the essentials.
  • Showing us what works and what doesn’t.
  • Teaching us to forgive and to be less hard on ourselves.
  • Teaching us how to explore and experiment in life.
  • Teaching us how to learn and change.
  • Humbling us.
  • Showing us who is our support system.
  • Building our problem solving skills.
  • Making us more resourceful.
  • Displaying the consequences of our mistakes.
  • Removing us from our comfort zones.

Wondering how to identify mistakes and how to correct them?

Identifying And Correcting Leadership Mistakes In The Workplace

Mistakes don’t directly lead to success but it can show you the way. It is best when they come to light rather than going unnoticed. When mistakes are made, it makes sense for us to focus on what we have done right, on our strengths rather than our weaknesses. It is then detrimental to:

  • Identify the cues of mistake making, of failure.
  • Be self-aware.
  • Take responsibility for the mistake that led to the problem.
  • Encourage constructive criticism as much as feedback is given.
  • Measure the consequences of the mistakes.
  • Make immediate analysis and changes to fix the mistakes.
  • Be smart and learn from the mistakes made. Be wise and learn from the mistakes of others.
  • Create an environment that is safe to make mistakes and to recover from them.

There is a vast number of recurring mistakes and failures detected in corporate history.

MISTAKE #1: Fitting Into The Corporate Culture

The first mistake that leaders make is failing to see that they don’t fit in, that their values and morals don’t match the company’s culture.

To identify whether or not you will fit in and be an asset to your company:

  • Check out the group that you have to work with.
  • Pose the right questions about the company during the hiring process. You can even hang out in the company’s lobby or pip in the office to get a feel of the company.

Corrective Action

Whether or not you wish to adapt to the culture is a personal choice. If you do:

  • Observe other people who are successful within the organization and see if you can emulate their behavior.
  • Learn to appreciate uniqueness and diversity.
  • Learn to adapt to the situation at hand.
  • Leave when there is too much discrepancy between your morals, values and the company’s culture.

MISTAKE #2: Focusing on the job and not on people

Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive. They don’t like to be interrupted, are their best when left alone, avoid  conversations and small talks at all costs, are focused on tasks, are afraid of failing at their jobs.

Unfortunately, they fail at relationships. This can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your speech or your behavior.

Corrective Action

Dealing with people has now become a sought after soft skill. To keep growing that skill:

  • Relax and allow people to come to you.
  • Control your verbal and non verbal cues.
  • Recognize that people are part of life and that relationships can increase your success.
  • Show that you care.
  • Solve people’s problem.
  • Take lunches and breaks away from your workplace in order to handle social interactions better.
  • Give positive feedback, affirmations, encouragements especially to younger workers.
  • Don’t play favorites with people.

MISTAKE #3: Sticking To Traditional Leadership Styles

Autocratic and commanding leadership styles, though common and easy, are outdated, are rigid, are no longer acceptable in society and don’t work anymore, especially with millennials.

Some leaders, needing to feel superior and powerful, tend to withhold information to control their employees. Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured. They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.

People are more comfortable in the democratic leadership style and are able to perform at their best.

Corrective Action

To transition from an autocratic leadership style to a more democratic leadership style:

  • Allow your workers to give their input before you make a decision.
  • Learn how to motivate and inspire your people.
  • Be the solution to everybody’s problem.
  • Empower others and help them to be successful.
  • Don’t be arrogant, don’t bark orders or mistreat your coworkers.
  • Listen to the needs of your coworkers.

MISTAKE #4: Shutting down dissenting voices, innovative and creative people

Pioneers and dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation. They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.

The thing is that pioneers are innovative, creative and can renew a company’s product and culture. They are natural catalysts, take risks and they need a room to breathe and to exercise their talents.

Corrective Action

To include dissenting voices, innovative and creative people:

  • Be more flexible with your policies and procedures.
  • Learn to discern pioneers from troublemakers and contrarians. pioneers actually care about the organization and about their contributions to it.
  • Allow pioneers to work on their own and own their results.
  • Slowly increase their responsibility.
  • Understand that everyone is not the same and deserve a different treatment.

MISTAKE #5: Controlling people and not delegating

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

  • Has faith in the workers.
  • believes that the work will be up to standards.
  • is confident in their personal abilities and is not afraid of being upstaged.
  • is comfortable depending on others.

Corrective Action

Delegating is not easy.  To learn how to delegate:

  • Avoid micromanaging people but measure their advancement.
  • Don’t withdraw a project or assignment that you have previously delegated.
  • Include employees in the decision-making process.
  • Demonstrate confidence in yourself and in the people you have chosen to delegate the tasks to.
  • When delegating, select experts in their field, clarify their roles, give them the authority to do their jobs, allow them to fail and to grow.
  • Create clear progress measurement tools and milestones.

MISTAKE #6: Not Seeing The Bigger Picture

Leaders fail when they are unable to see the bigger picture.

Corrective Action

To stay fixated on the bigger picture:

  • Write a personal mission statement and build a vision board.
  • Get to know your company’s mission and vision statement.
  • Take time to think about your vision.
  • Prioritize and stick to the essentials.
  • Feed your mind with positivity.

MISTAKE #7: Competing With Coworkers

Comparing ourselves to others and competing with them can weigh on work performance and self-esteem.

Competition in the workplace, without rules and regulations, to increase work performance, to put two employees against each other can easily derail an entire organization, create a toxic workplace, create a culture of fear.

Corrective Action

To reduce competition in the workplace:

  • Collaborate with your team members.
  • Build relationships that go beyond the workplace.
  • Compete against the standards that you have set for yourself.
  • Acknowledge your personal success.
  • Build new skills.

IDENTIFYING AND CORRECTING LEADERSHIP MISTAKES IN THE WORKPLACE

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.

The Importance Of Demonstrating Authenticity In Leadership

Being oneself in corporate is difficult. Indeed, corporate is infamous for suppressing emotions, for promoting toxic behavior, for relying on military style hierarchy and for employing an oppressing and commanding leadership style. To humanize the corporate environment, organizations schedule team building events, ostentatious celebratory ceremonies, job satisfaction programs and other vain initiatives.

However, these events only disguise reality, don’t solve employee engagement, alignment and fulfillment, and almost often leave employees feeling alienated and manipulated. Lack of authenticity can easily become boring and even traumatic.

Whereas, enabling authenticity allows corporations to peak innovation, enthusiasm and creativity and to subsequently attract authentic customers.

Wondering how to avoid bending yourself to fit into the corporate mold, to be your authentic self at work, to make employees feel involved and celebrate their uniqueness?

The Importance Of Demonstrating Authenticity In Leadership

In the workplace, we take orders, hide our social lives, form superficial and hypocritical relationships, sacrifice our feelings and core values in order to make a living and to endanger the things that breathes life into us.

For example, leaders feel like they have to act their way through their role, they are unable to use their strengths, to be straightforward, to be genuine or to perform in accordance with their values and ideals. Subsequently, being consistent with their behavior becomes draining and unproductive.

But today, for millennial leaders, job satisfaction, self-fulfillment, authenticity have become a requirement. They are tired of the emotionless, depressing and cold corporate world, are skeptical about capitalism and resistant to the commanding leadership style, seek social progress and equity, voice dissent and unfairness.

That is why places like Google and Apple have come up with new ways to encourage employees quirks and weirdness.

So how to demonstrate authenticity in your leadership, to appreciate authenticity in employees and translate it into the corporation?

Old corporations used to suppress emotions which seemed to lead to rational decisions, to value conformity and an ability to execute orders without questions. Back in the day, being authentic would be a luxury but nowadays it has become essential to success. To be more authentic in your leadership:

  1. Know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses. Take time off for introspection, meditation and prayer to get to know yourself better, to confront your blind spots and to quiet the noise.
  2. Learn to speak the truth, to be honest with yourself and edit the lies you have been telling yourself for years. Doing so is difficult because most role models on television, in politics, in advertisements, in our lives lie without expecting any repercussion. Hiding behind the persona that you are expected to be at work, at home, with your friends, with your family, with strangers and with people from different backgrounds end up draining you.
  3. Practice being yourself in all situations to build up your confidence. No need to take on a persona all the time. Identify what aspect of your life you are willing to bring at work.
  4. Trust yourself and listen to your instincts. Circumstances should not dictate your choices and decisions.
  5. Accept and love yourself unconditionally. Furthermore, adjust your self-deprecating lens and perceptions of reality to understand your true value.
  6. Find the strength within to do the right thing and build up your integrity.
  7. Increase your emotional intelligence to appropriately deal with your emotions and with difficult situations, to understand the impact of their behavior on others.
  8. Discipline your thoughts in order to focus on your goals and remain consistent through difficult situations.
  9. Be an Essentialist, avoid temptations, stay away from the media and remove distractions. Distractions impedes us from challenging the world and the status quo, from questioning leaders, finding your true inspiration, changing lifestyle. Instead, direct your attention to wise, inspiring and motivating sources.Allow differences in opinions and nurture dissenting voices to spark constructive discussions and innovation.
  10. Respect cultural diversity and difference of lifestyles. For instance, allow creativity, informal clothing and employees with tattoos and piercings. Also, create excitement within your organization and help employees show their playful and fun side to overcome boredom and to increase employee engagement.
  11. Identify your purpose. Purpose is mostly found in times of pressure, when you are forced to examine your life, your values and your walk in life. However, pressure points are not always stimulants. Purpose can also come naturally to you. With purpose, you are automatically motivated and interested in what you are doing and careful about the implications of your work.
  12. Take care of yourself, eat healthy and exercise regularly to properly manage stressful situations.
  13. Give yourself permission to explore different work environments, secure those that bring out the best in you and prosper in the right role.
  14. Stay humble no matter what and stay close to your family and roots. Know that the success of the project and the well-being of your team come first.
  15. Be transparent. Speak your mind, avoid playing games and manipulating your employees. Lead at work the same way that you will lead at home.
  16. Ask for advice and opinions from your colleagues before making major decisions.
  17. Know who your friends are and build deeper relationships in the workplace. Your true friends will appreciate your success, your authenticity, will help you move toward your goal, give good advice and provide different perspectives on one situation.
  18. Find ways to measure and to genuinely celebrate successThis will help to increase job satisfaction and employee engagement.

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.

The Introverted Leader In An Extrovert World

Cubicles are the worst invention for the workplace since the sixties. They were meant to give employees more freedom but have made them more unproductive and unfulfilled.

However, in the workplace, it seems to mostly benefit extroverted people. Indeed, extroverted individuals are friendly, partake in all the fun, get the most important projects and assume the most important positions, know everyone and go further in life. Therefore, introverts either tend to force themselves to adapt to society’s expectation or to give up on their dreams and desire for leadership.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts can be leaders even though introversion is considered a weakness.

There are many attributes to being an introverted leader. Introverted leaders are hard workers and high performers who simply lack people skill, who need their own time to think and become anxious otherwise. They have a rich imagination, get bored easily, love to retreat, yearn for quiet time, are energized by solitude, avoid social exchange and finally extract their strength from within.

Wondering how to harness your influence and how to make a difference as an introverted leader?

The introverted leadersThe Introverted Leader In An Extrovert World

Being an introverted leader has its many challenges in today’s competitive and aggressive workplace. Introverted leaders image and performance suffer because they:

  • are seen as weirdos, deviates and antisocial because they lack interpersonal skills,
  • are connected to the world 24/7, cannot escape anymore and shut down because they constantly feel invaded,
  • get fatigued from being around people all day, are easily and somatically affected by stress,
  • are unable to be assertive, to choose their own projects, to sell themselves and their achievements, to show themselves in the best light and say no to additional work,
  • downplay or are unaware of their potential,
  • are unable to build relationships that will take their career to the next level and become visible.

How to succeed as an introverted leader? Challenges of being an introverted leader

An introverted leaders has tremendous work to do to exhibit expected leadership behaviors. These behaviors will be unnatural at first but will  become second nature with practice.

Work on yourself

Working on yourself does not imply that you have or are a problem or that introversion is a disorder but means that you want to become the best version of yourself. To delete faulty assumptions about you and to reduce the pressure of an interaction:

  • Know yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, blindspots, limitations in order to increase your self-confidence, your emotional intelligence, to believe in yourself and capabilities, to be able to detach yourself in difficult situations, to avoid downplaying their personalities, external appearance, capabilities and past successes.
  • Because introverts internalize their problems, it is detrimental for you to value yourself, and treat yourself with respect, stop the self-destructive talk and make  daily affirmative statements and acknowledge your mistakes.
  • Give yourself time to process your thoughts internally and to recharge your batteries.
  • Introverts are inwardly oriented and cannot think on their feet. To compensate, mentally prepare yourself for conversations, presentations, interactions, meetings, job interviews by taking notes, learning key phrases and introduction, composing probing questions, producing back up topics and stories, and finally inviting feedback.
  • Control your voice and your body language. For example, as you are difficult to read, manage your facial expression, smile and look people in the eye to appear approachable.
  • Avoid gossiping, pleasing others, running away from conflicts, passive aggressive behavior, learn to participate in office politics, to resolve conflicts effectively and realistically locate the origin of the problem.
  • Introvert leaders and employees don’t complain and take on more work that they can handle. Learn to set limits, to say no and different ways to decline an invitation, to ask for help and for directions.
  • Take risks and get out your comfort zone to find new opportunities, discover new capabilities and know your limitations, increase your skills and knowledge, get creative and innovative.

Work on your relationships with others

Introverts are generally reserved, appear to be self-absorbed, act their way through their day and stay away from small talk. Maintaining meaningful relationships with people are difficult in itself without feeling the need to put on a front and without feeling exhausted by the process. While interacting with people, it is critical to:

  • Focus on the present moment, connect with people and give them your full attention. Actively listen (introverts are naturally good listeners), show authenticity and interest in the conversations, and extract what you need from the interaction to make a profound and lasting impression.
  • Know your team members, the purpose of the interaction to clarify and organize your speech.
  • Match people with their appropriate tasks by reading and observing them, by analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, by coaching them into their purpose. Understand the roles and ambition of your teammates.
  • Create a vision and incorporate each member of the workplace into it.
  • Set standards for your team and write them down, build up your credibility and team motivation.
  • Use open and direct communication. Write down valuable information in all cases.
  • Use social media platforms to network.
  • Find other introverts in your workplace and your energy will automatically increase.

Work on your understanding of your organization

To honor your introverted nature and to better understand the corporate culture and its priorities

  • Introverted leaders generally exercise reflective leadership. However, adapt your leadership style to the people, on their cultural background, on the situation, organization, on the level of extraversion of the crowd.
  • Gain additional visibility of your organization by taking on diverse assignments.
  • When being hired, negotiate a serenity package in your job where you get an office, a consequential lunch break for example.
  • Find a coach or a mentor and create an effective support system.

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.

Which Leadership Styles are You?

Leadership styles

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.

bo5urb867fThere 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.

Appropriate context

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,
  • being decisive,
  • winning them over.

Appropriate context

The visionary leadership style is appropriate in innovative and complex situations.

Coaching leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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 leadership

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,

Appropriate context

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.

Appropriate context

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,

Appropriate context

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.

Appropriate context

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.

Appropriate context

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 Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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 Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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 Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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 Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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:

  • employees are skilled, educated and aware of their strengths and weaknesses,
  • the organization is stable and is increasing.

Change Leadership

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,

Appropriate context

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.

Appropriate context

The multicultural leadership style is appropriate for multicultural or multinational corporations.

Servant Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

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 Leadership

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.

Appropriate context

The transactional leadership styles is common in large administrative organizations, in urgent and conflictual situations.

Transformational Leadership

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,

Appropriate context

The transformational leadership style is appropriate when:

  • the organization is dormant and require change,
  • employees require optimism and enthusiasm,
  • employees are detail oriented.

In conclusion

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.

Marcus Buckingham

authorMarcus Buckingham is a researcher, motivational speaker and business consultant. Marcus Buckingham is also the Author of StandOut 2.0 assess your strengths, find your edge, win at work.

The importance of identifying your strengths and weaknesses to succeed at work

For the last few years, emphasis has no longer been put unto developing leadership knowledge, leadership skills and leadership competencies in the workplace but unto developing your talents, your strengths and purpose in order to pursue leadership positions.

What is the main difference between knowledge, skills, competencies, talents and strengths?

On one hand, knowledge (the fact of knowing something), skills (the ability to perform tasks well at your job or in a given situation) and competencies (the ability to master the skills that you perform well at your job or in a situation) are learnt and developed at school or at work, through training and practise.

On the other hand, your talents are inherent, last a lifetime and make you unique. They cannot be acquired or forgotten throughout life. By means of your talents, you are innately hardwired to think, feel and speak a certain way, to react in a particular manner to a given situation or event.

Finally, strengths are the combination of skills, knowledge and talent. As sure as recognizing the different types of coworkers possible in the workplace remains a knowledge, getting along with coworkers and navigating office politics become skills, communicating effectively and influencing coworkers and clients are talents. Subsequently, possessing the ability to take command, impose your views and take charge on a project emerge as a strength.

Defining your strengths early in life is critical for personal development, self fulfillment and career success. Indeed, assessing your strengths will enable you to:

  • appreciate your self-worth, reinforce your values and your motivations.
  • understand your strength, its nuances, its impact at work and consequences on coworkers. For instance, visionary leaders don’t always know how to properly explain their vision which leaves their team members confused and uncertain of the leadership capabilities of the visionary leader.
  • evaluate your role and contributions at work. This way, you will not be taken advantage of and you will find out early whether or not you are fulfilled by a career path, if you are performant or if you are made for leadership.
  • be more effective, positively influence career decisions and improve your career by actually mastering these strengths. Strenghts assessment becomes suddenly critical when accepting or refusing a promotion.
  • assist, be assisted by coworkers or team members with a complementing set of skills. If you are a team leader, acknowledging your strengths will make you more aware of your team member’s.
  • invest in an environment that fits your thinking pattern and use less energy while sustainably performing a task.
  • gauge your weaknesses and possible blindspots. determining your weaknesses enables a better self-assessment, a way to work around them or simply avoid them. Accept the weaknesses as much as you do the strengths but don’t overwork your weaknesses either: correcting your weaknesses will never be as effective as improving your pre-existent strengths. A common mistake, that I have mostly noticed during performance reviews, lies in the fact that managers stress, more than often, the flaws of an employee and urge them to fix their weaknesses instead of pointing out their strengths and placing them where they would be more productive.
  • Extend the vision of yourself, the limit of who you are and what you can do. Be adventurous and step outside of your comfort zone.
  • express personal truths, steer away from social pressure and conforming to social norms.

Many times, and we have all seen it, people who do not discover their strength or do not use them, tend to be depressed, anxious, bored and unmotivated. They also interact negatively with their coworkers, complain about their job, underperform and are ultimately labeled “difficult”.

Wasting a lifetime in a dead-end job, they feel forced to counter their instincts and to comply to conventional thoughts and rules which is unnatural and counterproductive to them.

It is easier to describe or identify an acquired professional competency than to identify a natural strength.

How to quickly find your strengths?

Due to their innate nature, strengths are easily noticeable to everyone but you. But if you pay close attention to your everyday, you will be able to discover or rediscover them:

  • by renewing your thought pattern. Don’t give up on yourself and your self growth. Make up your mind not to live your life on the side walk. Most people spend time improving their flaws and not their strengths. It is clear that they would have been further if they did otherwise.
  • by reverting back to the memories of your childhood and recalling what you did well and with pleasure. On account of, at that period, the “system” had not affected nor perverted you yet: the main personality traits and what you were gifted with at a younger age remained unchanged.
  • by looking for a common thread in the things that immediately and sustainably attract your attention throughout your life experiences. I usually spend my time reading entrepreneur, management and leadership books and blogs at any hour of the day.
  • by reading books, gaining knowledge, relating to the people in the books and by practicing what you have just learnt on different occasions.
  • by engaging a professional to help identify your strengths and how to employ them.
  • by taking well-known online tests, such as StrenghtsFinder2.0 and StandOut, and cross referencing them.
  • by directly asking the people closest to you, going through your notes and emails or by taking into account your annual performance review. Because of the dark side of human nature, your review as much as people’s advice can be totally biased.  There will certainly be a discrepancy between what people think of me, what I think of myself and who I really am.
  • by surrounding yourself with supporting people. Stay away from yes men, undermining people or groups who hide your strengths, highlights your weaknesses and constantly criticize your work.
  • by simply seeking the truth about yourself and being unafraid of failure or the said truth. Work gradually on yourself and you will be able to build a career more successfully on a strength.

Last words of advice!

First of all, improving strengths is nothing without character.

Talent doesn’t have to be impressive and loud but you must find a way to translate it into something. Sometimes, through life, you are using your strength unknowingly until you are prepared to use it: your passions have probably made you invest enough time into a career path to develop the necessary skills and knowledge. However, if your strength does not fit any career, create one for yourself!

Remember not to feel limited to having one talent and make up your mind not to live your life on the side-walk. And leave your dreams and connect with them.

Don’t hesitate to become an expert of you!

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

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