Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott

Being a boss is a full-time job and is not as easy as it seems.

The truth is, being the boss can be an emotional rollercoaster.

It requires maturity, focus and emotional discipline, especially when dealing with people.

That is why Kim Scott has established a few principles that can help bosses create a culture of candor, build stable relationships and evolve into great bosses.

According to Kim Scott, managers, leaders or bosses:

  1. Achieve results.
  2. Deal with people.
  3. Express what they think.
  4. Build and guide cohesive teams.
  5. Accept and give fair and candid feedback.

As you can see, Kim Scott makes no distinction between a boss, a leader and a manager because eventually, they have to assume different roles and master different skills at different moments.

They all have to find out a way to get what they want by saying what they mean.

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean

Radical Candor_ Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott (2)

Why and how to build relationships?

The relationships you have with your team determine your level of success, company culture, and performance.

To build great relationships that will help your business:

  • Take care of yourself first.
  • Stay centered and create a healthy work life balance.
  • Find out what works best for you and apply it.
  • Care personally about people.
  • Respect boundaries and people physical space. It is detrimental to find a balance between creating personal yet professional bonds.
  • Spend time alone with your team members.
  • Stay true to your values and share them if possible.
  • Be transparent and aware of your emotions.
  • Discipline your reactions. Learn to respond and not react.

Why and how to build a great team?

People’s motivations are personal.

Every team member can be exceptional, they just have to find the right fit and the right motivations.

Needless to say, work life is better when your team loves what they do.

To build a great team:

  • Get to know the people on your team. Focus more on them than on results.
  • Understand people’s strength and weaknesses, identify how they tick and how their job fits into their life plan.
  • Avoid micromanaging or ignoring your team members.
  • Allocate as much time to those who are struggling as the top performers.
  • Listen to your team members, learn to incorporate their thinking into yours, and give them the opportunity to complain, share ideas, and raise issues. This way, you will create a culture of innovation.

Why and how to accept/give feedback?

Feedback is an uncomfortable process. To accept and give proper feedback:

  • Earn your team’s trust.
  • Listen more than you speak.
  • Understand what motivates your team and help them avoid burnout or boredom.
  • Understand your audience and adapt to it.
  • See feedback as an act of guidance and don’t make it personal.
  • Solicit feedback especially in private conversations and outside of meetings.
  • Voice your own disagreements. Speak up when things are not going well.
  • Take responsibility fo your actions and admit when you have made a mistake
  • Discern the truth from a lie when it comes to feedback.
  • Be humble in your delivery and state that you want to help.

Why and how to achieve results?

Every boss wants results. To achieve results:

  • Have frequent one on one conversation with your team and with a positive mindset. Have a one on one conversation with your team members to get to know them, to solve problems effectively and to help you understand what is working and what is not.
  • Create key metrics to measure progress. Write down any possible updates.
  • Create meetings where you can debate, encourage new ideas and make big decisions.
  • Test out the feasibility of the ideas you have received.

Review

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott is a step by step guide on how to be a candid boss.

It is about building candid relationships with the people you work with and about using your humanity as a leadership tool.

Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean By Kim Scott essentially takes the pressure off leaders.

The principles shared expose candor as a management tool, put bosses at ease and help them understand that there is more to being a boss than giving orders.

In addition, the principles shared remove fear, self-doubt and anxiety, then create an understanding regarding the role of a boss.

Furthermore, Kim Scott uses her own experiences at Google and Adsense to drive the conversation and to illustrate her ideas about radical candor.

She provides amazing tools and techniques to implement in order to be a great boss and to have a healthy relationship with your direct reports.

Her tools and techniques are detailed and are not exclusive to bosses.

Finally, the best thing about this book is that you can tell that Kim Scott cares about the career advancement and the emotional health of every boss.

Through radical candor, she demonstrates how to improve all aspects of your work life.

You don’t have to implement every tool or technique right away.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

In order to build a great team, you need to understand how each person’s job fits into their life goals

The way you treat people determines whether you’ll get their best effort, a perfunctory effort, or an effort to sabotage you.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Kim Scott

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Kim Scott

MEET THE AUTHORKim Scott teaches leadership seminars and has been at the head of major companies.

Kim Scott is also the author of the best selling book Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean.

The Importance Of Trust In Leadership

The consequences of distrust are significant. It increases employees turnover and employees don’t volunteer ideas like they should, question every single move  of the leader, undermine his or her decisions.

Nobody wants to go to work where they constantly have to look behind their shoulder, where they cannot share knowledge freely, where they cannot speak up in meetings, where they have to watch their every single word.

We end up losing confidence in yourself, not wanting to contribute at work, preserving ourselves, acting against our core values, lacking energy, refusing to invest in people, felling alone and always on the look out.

Wondering how to build or repair trust in leadership and in the workplace?

Trust In Leadership

What is trust?

Trust is an emotional bond, a connection between two people who is developed through repeated interactions and that provides comfort and stability. It is the foundation of all relationships and according to Patrick Lencioni, in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team it is  the most important factor in team cohesion.

Furthermore, trust is reciprocal, subjective, takes time to build but can be destroyed in a matter of seconds. It is not granted by a title nor by a position but is necessary to work and to share knowledge. Trust is empowering, improves overall employees motivation, productivity, wellbeing in the workplace and corporate culture.

Trust is detrimental to leadership because leaders have the power to make decisions that can impact their team and their livelihood.

Detecting and understanding untrustworthy leaders

Trustworthy leaders drive success, put employees at ease, have their employees best interest at heart. Trustworthy leaders care about their own contributions, about the impact of their decision, about their people and regularly show appreciation. They are fair and respectful, are credible and communicate openly.

Nevertheless, some leaders exhibit negative behaviors that make them seem untrustworthy. Because, trust is subjective and because followers model these behavior, it is compulsory that leaders identify what they are doing wrong and immediately correct themselves.

Below are different scenarios where leaders are perceived to be untrustworthy and the respective explanation to their behavior.

Scenario #1

Some leaders are naturally reserved and secretive. Unfortunately, they come off as being snobs, defensive, or as having a personal agenda. People generally think the worst when they don’t know what their leader is thinking.

Scenario #2

Some leaders are introverts and minimize social interactions. To their team, they are perceived to either be standoffish, weirdos. This can open the door to a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts.

Scenario #3

Some leaders speak very little because they either believe that the topic doesn’t deserve much conversation, don’t enjoy speaking, don’t feel the need to explain themselves or they are unable to put their thoughts into words.

Scenario #4

Some leaders adapt their response to their audience and come off as being disingenuous. For example, they would talk frankly in front of their team and sugarcoat things in front of the hierarchy.

Scenario #5

Some leaders are self-serving and don’t care about their employees. They don’t demonstrate respect for their team and can easily step over them.

Scenario #6

Some leaders are arrogant. They feel superior to others all while being insecure, they lack humility and self-awareness, they are unwilling to learn and to grow.

Scenario #7

Some leaders blatantly lie. In some toxic companies, lying is seen as a strength. But this strength is short-termed and create distrust amongst employees.

Scenario #8

Some leaders gossip about their own employees and their own organization. Because most employees are attempting to preserve their jobs, employees tend to fake their true feelings. However, leaders have difficulties noticing the impact of their negative behavior.

Scenario #9

Some leaders are able to shift blame too easily and don’t take responsibility for their action. This leader is afraid of confronting themselves. This makes employees unwilling to take risks and to involve themselves in their job.

Scenario #10

Some leaders play favorites, treat their employees unfairly, take credit for their work, disrespect them, isolate and scapegoat some employees and sabotage others.

Scenario #11

Some leaders underperform or don’t come through on promises. People tend to dismiss those who overpromise and underperform, even if they are talented or competent.

Scenario #12

Some leaders overreact to challenges and under high pressured situations, they give in too easily to their emotions.

How to build trust and maintain it in the workplace?

Placing trust in someone makes us vulnerable to that person who can use this vulnerability to their advantage. However, to create a healthy workplace, it is necessary for leaders to build trust within their team. To do so, you will have to:

  1. Trust yourself in order to make yourself feel confident, competent, to help yourself grow your relationships, to take risks and to face challenges.
  2. Develop your character and learnt to do what is right.
  3. Learn new skills and teach them to others.
  4. Create a safe workplace. Help others express themselves, their ideas, and vent their frustrations. Help employees achieve their goals. Give your employees room to grow their skills and self-esteem by offering them training and coaching.
  5. Appreciate people‘s capabilities and employ them for their strengths.
  6. Give trust to receive trust. However, beware of people who will take advantage of your eagerness to trust. Learn how to detect these toxic individuals and protect yourself from them.
  7. Actively listen to your team without speaking or emitting judgements.
  8. Be open and honest with important company information. Don’t shy away from the truth.
  9. Positively present your thoughts and ideas to your team.
  10. Involve your team in the decision-making process.
  11. Don’t allow communication to break down and don’t withhold any information from your team. misunderstandings are easily created and can decrease trust.
  12. Clarify your employees assignments, roles and measure their progress. For example, give your employees the necessary authority to accomplish their assignments and trust their decisions.
  13. Avoid gossiping like the plague. It may seem fun and you might enjoy the camaraderie but it is unprofessional and unethical. Respect what people have told you in confidence.
  14. Adopt consistent behaviors and expectations on a daily basis. Employees tend to trust leaders who are predictable, who represent the company’s values and missions.
  15. Admit mistakes, acknowledge negative situations and sincerely apologize if necessary. Take responsibility for your actions.
  16. Be reliable. Carry out promises and meet deadlines. Be careful of what you promise to others before you compromise your relationships.
  17. Give and accept constructive criticism to build long-lasting relationships.
  18. Forgive instead of seeking revenge and perpetuating distrustful behavior.

 

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.

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 Fairness In Leadership

Not everything is fair in life or in the workplace. Sometimes promotions are passed by to someone who doesn’t deserve it but that is the boss’s best friend.

Sometimes someone spreads an absurd rumor about you, gets away with it and you and your career suffer the consequences of that rumor.

Other times, the boss takes credit for your hard work or you did not get a raise despite your hard work.

It even appears that unfair and unscrupulous people are thriving in the world of today. It makes us envy them and makes us want to become like them. Nonetheless, there is room for everyone.

Furthermore, fairness and a democratic leadership style are more and more required in the workplace because millennials don’t respond otherwise. That is why leaders, more than others, need to work on their character, lead by example and instill fairness in the workplace.

Wondering how to deal with lack of fairness in the workplace and most importantly apply fairness as a leader?

The Importance Of Fairness In Leadership

Being fair means being appropriate, just, free of favoritism, impartial with everyone, treating people with basic human rights. Fairness is based on someone’s cultural background, religious affiliation, cognitive biases/dissonance and prejudices, promotes healthy workplace culture. It repels the effects of negativity, prevents abuse of power and of justice, is contagious and promotes self-accountability.

Fair leadership doesn’t use power to make arbitrary and personal decisions, earn the trust and loyalty of their employees, lets everyone voice their opinion equally, receive and give the same amount of respect.

Fair leadership is the hardest and longest way but is the most profitable and most rewarding in the long run. In that case, fairness should be the tool that should drive any decision and settle any discussion.

However, there are downsides to being a fair leader. Fair leaders are not viewed as powerful and though enough to make hard decisions, to reward and punish effectively. Having a strong moral compass, core values and firmly believing that what goes around comes around can enable deep friendships but can block opportunities. Therefore, even though they are well respected, they don’t always get promoted to higher ranks.

Dealing with lack of fairness in the workplace

When a situation is unfair, when social norms, rules and beliefs are not respected, people tend to innately react emotionally, to feel punished, to justify their emotions and  to form definite opinions on whether something is wrong or right, good or bad.

Also, when a workplace is not fair, employees and leaders underperform, rely heavily on politics and employees are not gratified by their own merits.

Dealing with unfairness, especially coming from your boss and leader, is not easy. Especially, because we spend most of our waking hours with people who are not related to us, with people who are occasionally dysfunctional, with people who don’t have our best interest at heart or with people who simply compete with us.

That being said, the experience of unfairness can strengthen you or defeat you. It is how you react to it that will define your path in life, the outcome of the situation and potentially bring you closer to your goal.

To deal with lack of fairness the best way possible:

  1. Keep your self-discipline, self-respect and integrity in check. Don’t start lashing out, starting personal vendetta and neglecting your work because things are not going your way. Business is independent from emotions.
  2. Seek understanding of the situation. The situation will probably seem fairer if the reasons are legitimate.
  3. Remember your worth. Sometimes, when we are not promoted, we tend to immediately question our competencies, strengths and contribution within the organization. That is why it necessary to know yourself, your core values, your strengths and weaknesses, write them down and pull out that piece of paper in difficult times.
  4. Remember that you are responsible for your own welfare and happiness. At the end of the day, life is too short to be treated poorly and unfairly. If you see no improvements, it’s time to quit.
  5. Don’t let unfair situations make you give up on your goals. There are other opportunities that will present themselves.
  6. Take unfair events as a challenge, as a learning experience or as practice, and learn to overcome life obstacles.
  7. Don’t complain about your circumstances and don’t blame your circumstances on everyone else. Find way to grow and do better.
  8. Break the cycle of negativity, include fairness in your decision-making process and don’t reproduce unfair experiences on someone else. Even though life isn’t fair to you, it is better to remain fair to everyone else because you must avoid making the world a worst place and you don’t know what the other person is going through.

How to regulate an unfair situation and normalize fairness in the workplace?

The judgement of King Solomon, in the Bible [1 Kings 3:16-28], is a probing and famous display of fairness. Two women each conceive a baby at the same time, in the same place. At night, one of these women goes to sleep, rolls on her baby and kills it. The other woman rest her newborn on her chest and then goes to sleep. Later on that night, the first woman, noticing that her child was dead, took the other woman baby. The latter, aware of the trickery, brought the former in front of King Solomon. King Solomon sentenced that they should divide the baby in two and by the reaction of the two women, discovers who is the true mother of the child.

Having a firm but fair leader is idealistic even biblical. After an employee emotional reaction to unfairness, it is detrimental to the leader to:

  • Inform them of their behavior and get informed on the reasons of their behavior. Then, give them the time to work on themselves, to change the behavior.
  • Establish rules of ethics and performance for your employees.
  • Avoid letting problems fester longer than they should and forgive honest mistakes.
  • Constantly exercise and expect fairness. When people see leaders applying this system, they tend to replicate it.
  • Demonstrate trust and loyalty from day one.
  • Lead by example and model fairness in the organization from top to bottom to encourage positive changes, respect, accountability.
  • Advocate for their employees and not favor your employees.
  • Remain transparent, especially during performance reviews and encourage whistle-blowers.
  • Stay humble in order to accept upward feedback from employees.
  • Avoid gossip and nip negative rumor in the bud.
  • Provide a safe space at all times for employees to expose their grievances. Get all sides of a conflict, before making a decision. Keep in mind, making the perfect fair decision is impossible because we don’t have access to all the information.
  • If competing, fight clean, win fair and square.

Just remember, Nature Is Fair And, Sooner Or Later, Always Gives You What You Deserve!

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 Managing Conflicts As A Leader

Conflicts happen in all workplaces, are inevitable, generally dramatic, are stereotypically painful, are often the road to failure if you don’t know how to manage them. However, contrary to common belief, they are most of the times milestones to success.

Wondering how to constructively manage or disengage workplace conflicts and how to remain disciplined and self-aware during conflicts as a leader?

The Importance Of Effectively Managing Conflicts As A Leader.png

Conflicts are incompatibilities and interference between two different parties ideas, desires, goals, interests, values and principles, events and activities.

Conflict management or conflict competence is a learnable skill that should be developed by all leaders throughout their career. Conflicts are consequential, frequent and inevitable but are necessary. They occur whether an employee is expressing a dissenting view, resisting change, or whether the leader is correcting an existing problem, fighting complacency and group-thinking.

Leaders that poorly manage conflict are faced with unfortunate lawsuits, grievances, violence, employee absenteeism, employee defection, poor performance, ineffective decisions, deteriorated working relationships, distrust and other negative behaviors, attacks on reputation and careers, a toxic company culture.

As a result, poorly managed conflicts are costly for organizations that have to sometimes hire new employees, take time to train new members, bring in paid third-party to mediate disagreements.

However, the benefits of appropriate conflict management are endless. In order to approach conflict in a productive manner, it is necessary to understand that:

  • differences in points of views generate innovative solutions and breakthroughs,
  • dissenting thinking allow to make higher quality decisions,
  • creativity is stimulated among the team,
  • social relationships are subsequently  improved,
  • transparency and open communication are promoted,
  • the work environment becomes more collaborative, and the company culture healthier,
  • more opportunities surface,
  • and most importantly, people within the organization might need help or mediation during conflict.

Addressing conflicts effectively

In the workplace, conflicts generally stems from differences of control, power and influence between the leader and his or her employees. Conflicts also come from discrepancies in culture, background, monetary.

There are several steps, that you can take to understand and manage conflicts constructively, you must:

  1. First understand yourself. What are your strengths, weaknesses, blindspots? How do you interact with different people with different backgrounds? How do you cause conflicts?
  2. Identify your conflict style. There are five different conflict styles, explaining the manner in which people attempt to meet their needs while showing interest in meeting other people needs during a conflict:
    • The competitive conflict style is aggressive, seeks to win, gain control, disregards other people needs and generally heightens conflicts.
    • The cooperative conflict style is defined by a need to reach a common goal using and consensus, to collaborate and to offer innovate ideas to resolve an issue. This style is representative of a healthy work culture.
    • The compromising conflict style is defined by a unsatisfying willingness to meet the other party half way.
    • The accommodating conflict style is obliging, facilitating, diplomatic, describes a desire to put others need and interests before a sole individualistic need in other to preserve relationships. This style is the complete opposite of the competitive style.
    • The avoidant conflict style is composed of penned up feelings and of a need to sweep negative interactions and situations under the rug. Therefore, needs go unexpressed and the conflict festers.
  1. Identify your trigger. To appropriately assess your trigger, attend conflict management classes, get a mentor or a coach, take the Myers-Briggs Assessment Test or the Conflict Dynamics Profile.
  2. Develop an emergency plan to cool down and desensitize your triggers. Desensitizing your trigger doesn’t mean that a person’s behavior is right or pleasant, it just means understanding the demonstrated behavior and changing your reaction towards it. For example, take a break before responding or jumping to conclusion.
  3. Learn to control your emotional reaction to conflict. Understand, stay conscious of the strong emotions that come with conflicts then cultivate positive emotions to counteract the negative ones.
  4. Discipline your thoughts, perceptions and assumptions of other people. The interpretation of someone’s attitude does not necessarily match reality.
  5. Observe the time frame, the number of times you have to see someone at the office. The less time you spend with coworkers, the less time you will notice their flaws and the less you will harbor negative emotions.
  6. Learn to discern any conflict driven behavior on the scale of conflict intensity. The intensity level measures the level of discomfort during a dispute:
    • At the first level, there is a difference in opinions but there are no discomfort.
    • At the second level, misunderstandings sprout: what is understood by someone is different from what is really meant.
    • At the third level, disagreements occur: each party understands but disagrees with each other’s opinions, feels discomfort which can lead to damage in the relationship.
    • At the fourth level, discord transpires: each party respond to a difference in opinion and there are continual attacks on the relationship.
    • At the last and fifth level, each party is polarized, suffers from the conflict, resort to sabotage, criticism, manipulation, etc…

Furthermore, detecting a conflict early will allow to resolve them faster.

How to resolve conflict and create positive outcomes

There are generally two known responses to conflict: “fight or flight” and “retaliatory cycle”.

On on hand, the fight or flight response is a natural response to threats where one either flee from danger or fight it. The choice between fight or flight depends on how someone has been conditioned.

On the other hand, the retaliatory cycle leads to escalation, leads to destructive behaviors that fuel and trigger negative behaviors in each party. In the retaliatory cycle, someone is first triggered by a behavior, then generates in that person an emotional response to this behavior. This emotional response is perceived by others as a threat to their ideas, opinions that in return generate an emotional response. And so on and so forth, the retaliatory cycle is created.

Leaders have to acquire a model behavior during conflicts in the workplace. Leaders encourage positive outcomes by:

  1. Facing conflicts head on, standing their ground and assuming that conflicts are inevitable, frequent and are just a passing phase.
  2. Staying calm and composed under pressure.
  3. Avoiding jumping to conclusions, shifting blame or pointing fingers and relying only on facts.
  4. Separating the person from the real issue.
  5. Instilling core values and fair treatment among their followers.
  6. Encouraging open communication and allowing the other party to speak their truth.
  7. Demonstrating that they have understood every side of the issue, being empathetic to the conflict partner.
  8. Suggesting solutions to existing problems thanks to external opinions, historical and innovative ideas.
  9. Sincerely apologizing to the other person and being able to admit when they were wrong.

How to recover from conflict?

Conflict competence requires that the leader:

  • value differences,
  • almost immediately detect a conflict before it arises in a tone or in a facial micro-gesture,
  • identify positive and negative models of leadership within the organization,
  • learn from setbacks and hardships that build character,
  • solve other people conflicts and implement a conflict resolution culture.

Dealing with conflict can leave you feeling like you are in a hostile territory but practice makes perfect, and managing conflicts effectively becomes easy with experience.

Also, create a zen space and learn to leave your conflicts at work.

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.

Four Red Flags Wrecking Team Success and Cohesion

Team BuildingBuilding an ideal team is one of the most complex but also one of the most rewarding and advantageous responsibility of a leader. The leader has to select the team to ultimately create the best results for the organization, in light of the company’s culture and of the personality, motivation, commitment, values, performance, integrity level of his or her potential team members, with respect to his or her leadership style. When the team is built, the leader has to look out for red flags that can destroy the synergy of his or her team and easily create a lasting toxic climate.

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

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

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

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

RED FLAG #1: Lack of Transparency

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

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

To enable transparency, leaders have to:

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

RED FLAG #2: Fear of conflict

In teams, conflicts do exist, are raw and real, are to be expected, and shouldn’t be avoided. In addition, they occur because we were born into different generations, backgrounds, with different personalities, values and morals.
Furthermore, conflict is always seen in a negative light or as a destructive process.
However, conflicts can be healthy and productive too. And even though conflicts are uncomfortable and make you feel under attack, they are necessary for personal and organizational progress, are used to generate the best decisions for the organization and to make team meetings mire engaging. In order to establish a conflict culture, it is imperative that leaders:

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

RED FLAG #3: Lack of Commitment

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

To enhance team commitment, leaders must:

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

RED FLAG #4: Lack of accountability

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

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

How to be an effective team member?

  1. Develop your communication skills
  • Make sure that you are understood and are open to clarifying misunderstandings.
  • Monitor your non verbal communication. Keep your body language positive and opened.
  • Look at the person you’re exchanging with.
  • If a problem occurs between you and someone else, fix it before the problem festers by talking to that person as soon as possible. This shows that you are willing to work through issues, that you are a problem solver instead of being inappropriate and ineffective.
  • Give sincere and appropriate positive feedback to your team members.

  1. Develop your listening skills

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

  • be willing to listen more that you speak and voice your opinion in due time.
  • Implement the conversation with probing question
  • Request other people opinion before giving yours.
  • Avoid planning your responses during the conversation.
  • Encourage the conversation with nods, smiles and eye contact.

  1. Manage your tasks and time.

Put your understanding of the team task into writing in order to clarify immediate issues and to have a reference for time and deadlines measurement.

  1. Own up to your actions.

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

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

  1. Work on interrelationship skills

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to characterize leadership blindspots?

First of all, leadership blindspots  are often associated to leadership strengths. They appear whenever the leader is utilizing his or her strengths at work. Second of all, blindspots don’t disappear, even if you are fully aware of them. Thirdly, blindspots are situational, adaptive and can be helpful. And finally, blindspots are able to impact other people and followers.

Advice for understanding and dealing with leadership blindspots?

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

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

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

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

Are there different levels of blindness?

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

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

How to identify your leadership blindspots? 

In order to identify your blindspots:

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

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

What are the different types of leadership blindspots?

Robert Bruce Shaw has classified leadership blindspots in 20 categories:

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

Which factors trigger blindspots?

Blindspots often go hand in hand with the leader’s strengths and reappear unexpectedly when the leader does what he or she does best. There are few factors that lead to blindspots areas:

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

How to overcome blindspots?

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

To handle blindspot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite quote(s)

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

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

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

Ratings 3/5

Author

Robert Bruce Shaw

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16 Hard Truths About Corporate

deceive-1299043__340When it comes to corporate, people retain certain preconceived ideas about it and corporate fights back setting unwritten rules that are not applicable and indulgent to everyone.

For recent graduates, that are unfamiliar with these rules, transitioning from college to corporate then becomes challenging. At every step of the way, they are being hit by reality and are starting to figure out some hard truths about corporate.

Wondering how to transition to corporate smoothly and how to correct your misconceptions about corporate as soon as possible?

Start reprogramming your mind and integrating these hard truths right now.

Misconception #1: Money is compensatory

Money pays the rent, the car note and the student loan but relying on your pay to cope with the long hours, the office politics and the difficult boss is a mistake.

Money will be compensation enough just for the first few months when you are able to pay the bills. But it will get meaningless where validation, recognition, purpose and fulfillment go a long way.

Developing a healthy work balance, assessing your strengths and weaknesses, and pursuing your purpose are in fact detrimental to career success.

Misconception #2: Your grades are no longer important and your performance in class has nothing to do your performance at work.

What is required of you in corporate, on your first jobs, is not really to understand the different aspects of your job but mostly to understand the task given to you and to execute them.

First of all, your grades will no longer validate you, you will be able to gloat and feel superior anymore. However, you will be having dreaded performance review, once a year, instead of irregular exams. In truth, you will no longer graded on your level of knowledge and your ability to memorize theories but on your ability to work in a team.

Secondly, the company takes all the credit for your work.

Finally, if you missed class back in the days, you could still have caught up with the class and get off with a warning. But if you miss work or are late often, then you become lost in the project and in office politics and you might get fired.

Because you will be judged annually on the collective performance of the team, here are a few tips:

  • Search for the influencers on your team, get along with them and grow your own influence with them.
  • Hold up your end of the bargain in the team and help others pull their weight, without taking credit for it.
  • Keep your personal and ambitious goals in mind for motivation.

Misconception #3: Your diploma will automatically get you a job

In the past, your diploma from an ivy league college will get you a position with status and authority. Nowadays, people are looking for leadership qualities, character, personality, novelty and diversity.

You currently have to go through multiple job interviews, that are now psychological evaluations, competing with someone with the exact same credentials and outperforming yourself, before getting hired by a company.

Misconception #4: Your education will fit the job description

Companies lure low profile, cheap and gullible graduates with polished presentations, attractive job descriptions.

At an entry-level position, your job will be everything and anything the manager wants it to be. Your entry-level position often begins with menial work, beneath you and your education level. And in that case, you will have to put up with it and outdo yourself.

Executing menial work serves the purpose of building trust between you and your team, and of demonstrating your resistance towards hard work.

Misconception #5: You can figure it all on your own

When you arrive in a new company, keep it mind that you cannot figure it all by yourself and you have to be open to learning.

  • Find a mentor to get advice and create a support system.
  • Ask questions to your coworkers to increase your influence and your technical competencies. Learn all the information needed for you to succeed at your job.
  • Takes courses, trainings and keep reading books to develop yourself and your knowledge.

Misconception #6: Your are indispensable to the company

It doesn’t matter which school you graduated from, at entry-level, every employee looks, talks, walks and acts the same. It is highly likeable that you will be treated all the same,  interchanged at some point, moved around from team to team, from projects to projects.

Your status shouldn’t be taken personally. It is a rite of passage.

Misconception #7: Corporate requires common and usual skills

Graduates were required to learn and memorize theories. In corporate, you will be asked to execute soldier-like, be dictated what to write down. Find a way to understand what is asked of you without asking too many dumb questions.

Avoid open debates and correcting your managers like in the classroom.

Misconception #8: The company’s public image and values are legit

hard truth about corporateThe company image and values are not always injected and reflected in the company’s workplace.

Most of the time, hierarchy is not always respected, power is unevenly distributed, roles are attributes unofficially and values are non-existent in the workplace. A toxic and individualistic company can publicly encourage team work and be elected “Best Company to Work in”. It’s all about product marketing.

Misconception #9: Blindly comply to your orders and assignments

Obeying at your bosses beck and call shows your loyalty, your ability to take and follow directions. It is also dangerous because you can take the fall and be thrown under the bus for any failure.

In any case, make sure that you:

  • do what is asked of you to a certain extent.
  • observe your boss’ methods, attitude towards you and others. His or her behavior might be part of his or her process.
  • keep your eyes and ears open in case of bullying and of excessive treatment coming from your bosses.

Misconception #10: Everybody knows better

You might think that evolving to corporate means that everyone there has evolved and matured as well. Everyone is educated and trained for their job, but not everyone is self-trained, disciplined, polite and respectful.

You will definitely encounter toxic coworkers that can easily make your life a living hell if you don’t know how to deal with them.

Misconception #11: You can make friends in the workplace

It is strongly advised not to create deep level of friendships in the workplace because your coworkers are not to be trusted with confidential and personal information.

Misconception #12: Office politics are easy to navigate

Office politics are more difficult to navigate than it seems, especially at an entry-level position because you have to try to be liked and to get along with everybody, from the beginning, without showing that you are making that effort.

Outside of work, you were able to get into a fight with whomever you pleased without ripping any consequences. In the workplace, your ability to assimilate, to fit in and to get along with your coworkers will be tested during the first three months on the job.

What to do then?

  • Be an easy-going, a non-partisan, untalkative, reliable coworker that everyone confides to.
  • Don’t take unpopular opinions, even for your “ally” in the workplace.
  • Show respect for other people opinions.
  • Show deference —not submission— for hierarchy. Avoid stepping on toes and going above someone’s head.
  • Develop character, integrity and a proper attitude.
  • Use laughter to defuse bombs.

Misconception #13: Transparency and candor are welcomed with open arms

Don’t openly correct your managers in front of his or her superiors or subordinates or anyone really before being labeled as a “difficult” or “problematic” employee. Keep your thoughts, opinions and concern to yourself.

There are no rewards in pointing out issues, candidly picking bones with bosses and speaking truth to power.  Your credibility and professional judgement can suffer from it.

Misconception #14: Invest yourself in your job

One of the greatest and most common mistake of young graduates is to invest themselves and their time into their jobs. It is essential for you to:

  • put yourself first.
  • not invest too much in projects nor merge your identity with your role in the company. This way, if a project fails, you will not entirely feel the blowback.
  • accomplish your required hours and put in a few hours here and there on special occasions.
  • build a life for yourself outside of corporate that will be a buffer when the workplace becomes toxic.

Misconception #15: Promotion comes from hard work

It is a wildly known fact that promotion does not come from hard work but from the illusion of hard work.

To get promoted, it is necessary to:

  • not outperform your colleagues. You have to slightly perform better than them otherwise you come off as a show off and your coworkers will hate you,
  • not be overly efficient. Otherwise, you will be setting the bar high, be unprepared for unexpected setbacks and you will be setting a negative precedent for yourself,
  • gain the right influence and acquire the right influencers.

Misconception #16: Promotion will get you respect and authority

Yes, a certain amount of authority and influence is acquired through a promotion. Nevertheless, people won’t follow you or perform beyond your orders and your stated authority. You will only be able to control your subordinates through monetary leverage.

According to John C. Maxwell in Developing the Leader Within You, it is only by building solid relationships with your peers that you will gain influence, increase your credibility and your authority.

You must not pursue a promotion just for the status and the title, without being prepared for higher level of leadership. You must develop self-discipline and character first and avoid attracting negative attention on yourself, at all cost.

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.

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor by Bennis, Goleman, O’Toole and Biederman (part 3)

Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor is a collection of three essays written by BennisGolemanO’Toole and Biederman.

The new transparency by Warren Bennis

The new transparency, by Warren Bennis, is the third and last essay of Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor. This essay defines digital transparency, focuses on the effects of the “digital revolution” and how it has made transparency quasi inevitable in modern day organizations.

What is the upside of the new transparency?

Transparency notoriously drives success, effectiveness and trust between members of an organization.

The emergence of internet has been able to fill the cultural need for transparency, to break down old rules and traditions, to erase borders and social status barriers.

In particular, the rise of blogs:

  • has transformed the mainstream media. Blogs shape the public opinion. Moreover, mainstream media now rely upon them to exchange and to create loyalty amongst their viewers.
  • has transformed politics (for the better?). Indeed, blogs have increased transparency over the years: in many countries, the government and politicians can no longer hold secrets, maintain exclusive power and absolute control over citizens. Blogs have become a political and diplomatic tool to fight corruption and power abuse.
  • has exposed insiders “secrets to outsiders” in corporations: most bloggers whistleblow freely, safely and anonymously.
  • has changed the societal game. Protests happen in the streets as well in the cyberspace.
  • has evenly distributed information and knowledge. Seeing that knowledge is power, blogs have created a new power that have made leaders “lose their monopoly on leadership”. Blogs have given a digital platform for people from  different nationalities, social categories and spheres of influence to express their opinions.

What is the downside of the new transparency?

First of all, the digital transparency incites a lack of privacy. Most individuals’ confidential information (credit card number, personal records,…) transits openly on internet, which makes them vulnerable to hacking and allows misuse of information and illegal tracking of their information.

Also, the “digital realm is wild and minimally policed”. Some users take advantage of the anonymity of internet to dishonestly compete, to openly attack an institution, organization or another individual under false pretenses.

Digital transparency has devalued, through the mainstream media, “authentic expertise by treating ordinary viewers and readers as the equals of those with genuine insight and experience” to enhance their viewers’ loyalty. Unfortunately, it also impedes their viewers from comprehending or appropriately analysing complex facts and events.

Warren Bennis denotes that blogs, acquiring greater influence and outreach than news paper, will substitute the latter if the content “commit to high standards of accuracy, fairness, and conduct”.

On the internet, where there are no secrets, where information persists for several lifetimes and where truth is relative, users are able to decide the perimeters of transparency,  to fabricate the truth and to create the persona they want. However, users are unable to vet and verify the actual truth.

To read the review on the first essay Creating a culture of candor by Warren BennisDaniel Goleman, and Patricia Ward Biedermanclick here.

To read the review on the second essay Speaking truth to power by James O’Tooleclick here.

Review

SearchTransparency.jpg.jpegThe new transparency by Warren Bennis is a proper conclusion to the book Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor that delivers impartial views on the internet and the blogosphere.

While reading his book, several contemporaneous examples came to mind such as the Black Lives Matter Movement that started in summer 2013, in the United States and has since then spread itself to different countries, to different nationalities and cultures. Social Media and blogs have definitely given the Movement the tools that it needed to speak up about police brutality on African-Americans, to show proof of police misconduct, to syndicate and organize itself and finally, to resist oppression.

One example of the misuse of the internet platform is cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is the bullying of an individual over the internet, through blogs or social media. Many victims of cyberbullying have spoken publicly over this issue but due to the anonymity and the lack of regulation of the internet, the government has not yet found a way to penalize the abusers.

Favorite quote(s)

Transparency would not be a problem in a world in which everyone is decent and fair-minded.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Warren Bennis

Purchase