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

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

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

1. The law of the lid

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

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

2. The law of influence

Influence is an important part of leadership.

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

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

3. The law of process

Leadership is a lifelong process.

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

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

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

4. The law of navigation

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

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

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

5. The law of E. F. Hutton

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

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

6. The law of solid ground

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

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

7. The law of respect

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

8. The law of intuition

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

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

9. The law of magnetism

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

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

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

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

10. The law of connection

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

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

11. The law of the inner circle

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

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

12. The law of empowerment

Successful and secure leaders empower and believe in their team.

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

13. The law of reproduction

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

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

14. The law of buy in

People buy into leaders who have a vision.

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

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

15. The law of victory

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

16. The law of the big mo

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

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

17. The law of priorities

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

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

18. The law of sacrifice

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

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

19. The law of timing

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

20. The law of explosive growth

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

21. The law of legacy

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

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

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

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

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

Ratings 4/5

Author

John C. Maxwell

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The Importance Of Being Present In Leadership

Leaders often find themselves looking for the next best thing, distracted by the past and worrying about the future.

However, dwelling in the past or the future brings about dissatisfaction and unhappiness, impedes leaders from being effective, from being creative or finding appropriate solutions.

Indeed, we have all experienced these moments in meetings when everyone in the room is completely checked out, where people talk over each other and where no useful information is shared.

Wondering how to improve your leadership and live in the present?

The Importance Of Being Present In Leadership

What being present means?

Being present is a state of mind. It means being able to quiet your mind, to stay open and authentic, to remain in constant contact with your emotions and with your surroundings.

Being present means living in the moment and not overthinking the past, the present or the future. When you live in the present, you don’t over-analyze life, you accept your situation, take action or effectively resolve your problem.

Benefits of being present

Being present is powerful because it can be acted upon right now.

Usually, people dissatisfaction or unhappiness is caused by their attachment to the future or the past. Being present will help you:

  • Become more effective, more intuitive, more creative.
  • Be more aware of your fluctuating thoughts and emotions.
  • Achieve a higher sense of confidence and authenticity.
  • Increase your level of gratitude, trust, respect and broaden your charisma.
  • Gain the ability to interpret and to respond appropriately to any given situation.
  • Get the most out of your day and out of others.
  • Hone your communication and relationship skills. You can then connect with others, adapt to people and read them better.
  • Build up your emotional intelligence.
  • Foresee challenges and notice details.
  • Avoid being in a constant state of pain, anxiety or depression.
  • Retrieve your ability to enjoy your life and be an inspiration to people around you.
  • Activate the Law of Attraction.

How to become more present?

Most of the time our mind is somewhere else.

Thoughts submerge us whether we want it or not. Therefore, asking someone to stop thinking is like asking them to stop breathing.

Your job is to not eliminate the thoughts that come to mind but to control them.

Needless to say, learning to be present is not an overnight process. Becoming more present requires a lot of self-discipline and self-awareness:

  1. Understand that you are a mental, intellectual, emotional, spiritual being.
  2. Understand that your past doesn’t define you and that you cannot go back in time. Worrying about the past will not help you identify what is wrong in the present and will definitely strengthen your negative thoughts.
  3. Do not worry about the future. Your mind tries to create the future from your past and not from your present information. However, dreaming of your future is OK if you are expecting better for yourself.
  4. Be self-aware and conscious. The moment you realize that you are not present, you are in the moment.
  5. Stay true to yourself, avoid comparing yourself to others and avoid caring about what others think of you.
  6. Listen to your gut and constantly remind yourself of your purpose.
  7. Observe the patterns of your mind and observe your own reaction.
  8. Accept the thoughts that come to you, don’t act on them and keep it moving.
  9. Take time to reflect, to listen to yourself before dealing with people or entering a situation that you cannot handle. For example, I like taking my lunch break alone to center myself, to give me time to recharge my batteries.
  10. Slow down, avoid multitasking and give yourself time to think before making a decision.
  11. Avoid external distractions to be able to engage properly with people.
  12. Prioritize, appreciate your time and energy. It is also important to avoid missing moments with your family and friends.
  13. Be more empathetic, actively listen to people and seek someone else’s point of view.
  14. Find things to be grateful about.
  15. Find an activity that you enjoy in the moment.
  16. Practice focusing on your breathing.
  17. Surround yourself with people who matter most to you.
  18. Compliment people, once in a while and give them your full attention.
  19. Do not self-medicate.

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 Innovation In Leadership

Welcoming innovation and creating an overall innovation culture at work is not easy but necessary.

Most company cultures have very limiting unwritten rules when it comes to innovation. For the most part, innovators in corporate culture are seen as irresponsible, unmindful, nonconformist and disruptive. For instance, some organizations will not hesitate to shut down dissident voices and to punish rules breakers.

Furthermore, the longer you have been in a leadership position, the more you become complacent, the more you get stuck in your ways, the more you start believing in erroneous paradigms, the less you are willing to take risks, to change your processes and to innovate.

Wondering how to avoid complacency and to enable the innovation process?

Innovation Leadership

What is innovation?

Innovation is a natural or acquired process that is present as a core value in most organization and that can make all the difference. It is the ability to deliver new positive data, value, concepts and systems. Somewhat, innovation implies creativity but not the other way around.

Furthermore, innovation is a mindset but not everyone is able to trigger innovation. Innovative leaders are capable of:

  • Self-awareness and of assessing situations.
  • Creativity and of generating new opportunities for themselves.
  • Identifying issues, understanding them and exploring different perspectives.
  • Finding long-term solutions to problem and making strategic decisions.
  • Having a vision, short and long-term goals.
  • Performing at a higher level, effectively restructuring organization, implementing a vision and appropriately using their resources.
  • Communicating effectively.
  • Adapting to different circumstances, taking action despite the circumstances and reinventing themselves.
  • Taking charge of their behavior and their emotions.
  • Adequately handling failure and success.

Why innovate?

Leaders feel pressure to adapt to the market, to create new products, to maintain a stable work environment, stable results and still welcome innovation. Jump starting the innovation process within your organization will help you and your organization:

  • Stay relevant.
  • Gain a competitive advantage.
  • Remember that what worked in the past, will not necessarily work right now.
  • Demonstrates your effectiveness, adaptability, capacity to handle issues and to overcome challenges.
  • Pay close attention to the customers.

How to trigger and maintain an innovation culture?

Every organization has their own culture and every leader has their own norms. So, in order to avoid complacency and to trigger an innovative spirit:

  1. Live a healthy Work-Life Balance.
  2. Identify new ideas to integrate into your leadership style
  3. Keep an open mind, focus on the positive, give yourself the time and the opportunity to explore, always ask questions and always be open to learn. Pursue truth and knowledge.
  4. Challenge your own knowledge, your assumptions and your preconceived notions.
  5. Avoid using your life and work experiences to drive innovationQuestion and learn from everything: read, observe and explore more than usual. You can even look at other innovative ideas and see if they fir your situation.
  6. Get out of your comfort zonechallenge conventional wisdom and the status quo.
  7. Create a personal mission statement that measure your progress, that helps you follow through on your commitments and that incorporates your willingness to innovate.
  8. Rephrase a same issue multiple times to gain more clarification.
  9. Don’t hesitate to break societal rules to get where you want to go.
  10. Demonstrate that innovation is necessary. Incorporate it in your core values and in your actions.
  11. Listen to different ideas and appreciate other people point of views, especially if they are not related to the issue. However, this doesn’t mean that you will need to apply their point of view.
  12. Be confident in your vision and embrace change.
  13. Write down every idea that comes to you even if you don’t have the opportunity to use them.
  14. Learn to take calculated risks, to handle failure as well as success, to plan for the unknown and for failures, to celebrate success. Failure and success can inhibit your ability to innovate because you are constantly thinking of what could go wrong. It is therefore important to see failure as an opportunity to grow and to get closer to success.
  15. Analyze the time and the cost needed to implement your innovative idea.
  16. Identify the passionate people and change agents on your team. Besides, expecting people to be passionate, demonstrate your own passion and convey it to your team.
  17. Identify the people who are blocking your ideas in the organizationIt would be wise to share your vision with them and try to convince them.
  18. Ask for constant feedback and give feedback yourself.
  19. Empower your team at all levels, trust them, allow them to speak their minds, to find different alternatives to a problem and help them achieve their goals.
  20. Encourage dissenting voices who can challenge in new ideas and analyze their every aspect, who can identify areas in the organization that need optimization.
  21. Welcome brainstorming activities and filter out ideas with potential.
  22. Set deadlines to build pressure and to get more out of your team.
  23. Train your employees to hone their skills, to appreciate change and set high expectations for them.
  24. Avoid criticizing your team when they come up with new ideas and avoid shifting blame when something goes wrong.
  25. Remove your ego and potentially collaborate with your competitor.

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 Successfully Leading Through Change

To remain competitive, most organizations stay up to date on every technology, continually propose innovative products and always embrace change. However, putting change into practice is much more complex than it appears.

To that effect, effective leaders have to be confident, self-aware, self-assured, strategic, adaptable, bold, resourceful, driven, accountable and able to think on their feet. Needless to say, ineffective leadership hinders change, creates mistrust, disengagement, misalignment and a loss of moral among employees.

Wondering how to successfully lead change and overcome resistance?

Leading Through Change

Change is a part of life, is a constant and is inevitable. Change shakes things up, disrupts old habits, breathes new life into the workplace and into any project.

It has the ability to stimulate interest in a job and can be perceived as a new challenge. It also creates an opportunity for promotion and to learn new skills.

Change becomes compulsory and evident in the workplace during societal movements, when the values and beliefs of both leaders and employees no longer match those of the company. Change also happens when the organization requires new skills, new products or services, policies update, restructuring, or relocation.

Resistance to change

Change brings about an initial resistance, can easily become chaotic and unstable. When faced with change, most people believe that they will:

  • potentially lose their current position,
  • be demoted, that their career will eventually suffer or that their hard work will be devalued,
  • be working for a lower salary,
  • lose control over their own life,
  • live in the unknown.

The unknown generates strong emotions in people. Therefore, employees tend to resist change when they are surprised or unprepared, don’t understand the reasons for the change, are not implicated enough in the decision-making process.

Indeed, some people will openly express their resistance to change, some will voluntarily sabotage change, others will quietly and passively express their discontent. It is the role of the leader to temper such behavior and push change.

How to implement change?

The leaders must visibly act out the change, must be ready to do things differently and to think otherwise. To lead the change process from start to finish:

  1. Assess your own ability to handle change. Before undertaking such mission, ensure that you believe in the change and that it doesn’t go against your principles. In addition, keep in mind that reacting to the change is much more difficult than initiating it. Either you can start the movement, participate in it or suffer and react to it.
  2. Stay disciplinedresilient and patient. The change process is slow and everybody moves at their own pace.
  3. Learn to communicate your vision which encompasses your values and morals.
  4. Be authentic and transparent in order to build trust and to improve relationships. Change is much more difficult to implement when there is a climate of mistrust.
  5. Be open to feedback and to making alterations to the original plan of action.
  6. Ask probing questions to key employees, acknowledge that you don’t know all the answers and be open to learn continually. This will allow you to gather appropriate information, to anticipate issues, to maximize effort.
  7. Evaluate the right amount of change you want to implement. You don’t want to overwhelm or burn out your employees .
  8. Calculate the costs and determine the feasibility of the change to ensure that it doesn’t get out of control. It becomes critical to motivate the necessary time and resources, to place emphasis on the value and sustainability of change.
  9. Analyze the consequences of change before undertaking anything.
  10. Understand the company culture, its values and beliefs in order to best present ideas and to determine a proper structure.
  11. Design a clear strategy and outcome for the process. For example, you can break the change process into smaller steps, prioritize them and create metrics to measure progress.
  12. Identify the influencers and the people who are open to change in your organization. Find informal leaders in your organization, who will motivate others and who will instill pride in their work.
  13. Discuss the implications of change with your employees and increase the number of meetings if necessary. Listen to the questions and concerns of your employees. It is necessary to reassure people about the upcoming changes by explaining to them the reasons and the benefits for change.
  14. Directly address problems, don’t micromanage and don’t openly criticize dissenting voices in order to shut them up.
  15. Keep your energy up during the process, motivate your team and show them the positive sides of the transformation. Persuade your employees that they will benefit from the change to increase commitment.
  16. Encourage collaboration on your team, mitigate conflicts and maintain harmony as much as possible because emotions are high.
  17. Set high expectations and give your team the confidence to deal with changes and gain their approval every step of the way.
  18. Give your employees more ownership of their work to increase commitment.
  19. Expect setbacks. Understand that the risks are worth the rewards and that it is OK to fail. People don’t take risks when there are no personal rewards, there is no clemency towards failure.

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

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

Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action by Simon Sinek


In Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take ActionSimon Sinek explains the importance of identifying your personal purpose and extending this knowledge to different areas of your life.

Discovering your purpose will help you to avoid making bad assumptions about people, to make better decisions, to inspire people, to motivate people to achieve goals, to build great organizations and to mature into a successful leader.

Undeniably, most of us make unfair assumptions about other people, about the world around us and we tend to adjust our lives around these assumptions. Others attempt to gather information through polls, surveys, personal experience or external perspectives to make important decisions and to motivate people.

However, having the right data and all the great advice in the world doesn’t protect us from making bad decisions and underperforming. How to make the best decisions, achieve a desired outcome, motivate people and be successful, discarding all assumptions?

Manipulation for Motivation

Leaders achieve results by making decisions. When leaders don’t understand their goals or the way to achieve an outcome, they tend to manipulate others to reach their goals.

Manipulation is quite visible and effective in the business world, has become the norm and a flawed assumption in itself. For example, businesses either:

  • Drop their prices to attract customers in order to get rid of old products and to welcome new ones. This creates low expectations in customers who stop buying and wait for the next price decrease.
  • Give away free promotions with their products to entice customers. The promotional process is purposefully complicated to reduce the number of people getting the free product but to increase the number of random product purchase.
  • Use fear to motivate people, to make them obey rules, to understand the consequences of their actions and moreover to step away from unwanted products. Fear tactics are seen in advertisements and in politics.
  • Make us aspire to a better lifestyle with one product. This tactic has a positive intention but is still manipulative because it is only effective with insecure people.
  • Use peer pressure to make people believe that their product is the best and that they have no choice but to purchase it. This tactic is designed to make people feel like they are missing out on something.
  • Innovate in order to compensate for society’s need for change and to potentially boost sales. In reality, companies don’t invent new products but add features to existing ones.
  • Write conditions in fine prints , offer products at low tariffs to only rise the price later.

However, manipulation is a back biting and short termed method to get results. It guarantees transactions and not loyalty.

Inspiration for Motivation: The Golden Circle

Some leaders go against the norm and choose to inspire people rather than manipulating them. To do so, they follow the Golden Circle.

Inspired by the mathematical golden ratio, the Golden Circle rule has many applications in different areas of life, favors “order and predictability in human behavior”, helps leaders communicate their vision from the inside out.

The Golden Circle is a guide to vastly improving leadership skills, the corporate culture, the company’s hiring skills, product development, sales and marketing. It even explains loyalty and how to create enough momentum to turn an idea into a social movement.

Start With Why

The Golden Circle has 3 steps: first identify why,  then ask how and lastly ask what.

Ask Why

Leaders who know why they do what they do first build long-lasting success, are much more appealing, are able to communicate their belief, to include people, to drive positive decisions and to command loyalty. A lack of understanding of why leaders do what they do only breeds doubt, make decisions harder, make them resort to manipulation.

Knowing why will improve the leader’s charisma and confidence, will attract followers by giving them something to believe in, will inspire them but won’t be able to drive an entire movement.

To have a broader impact, leaders have to be authentic, to trust their gut and their purpose. Additionally, they have to diffuse their message, through commercials and through their logo, with a purpose and not with manipulation tactics.

Ask How

The second step resides in putting the purpose into action. To put their vision into action, leaders must gather a following and gain their trust. Therefore, leaders have to identify their core values and principles that guide their decisions, be disciplined enough to stick to these values, share their purpose, and show that they are not self-interested.

Followers having the same set of values as the leaders will have the opportunity to innovate, to trust the workspace and to go the extra mile. Having a loyal following provides peace of mind, increases trust, reduces the stress levels and the need for hard work.

Needless to say, leaders with different sets of values, often don’t fit in a particular culture. If they don’t belong, they won’t be able to make others feel like they belong, they won’t hire people who will embody their values.

Ask What

The third and last step consists in leaders remaining consistent and staying accountable to their values and principles.

Maintaining the Golden Circle

When leaders or organizations no longer have purpose, start feeling unsuccessful and start being untrustworthy, though having great achievements under their belts.

Leaders must fight to maintain the Golden Circle so that they can sustain trust, drive and purpose. To do so, they must maintain clarity of their vision, extract it and integrate it into the culture of the company and find a successor willing to preserve the vision.

Review

Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action, by Simon Sinek is a self-help book that help you understand the importance of having a purpose.

The Golden Circle classifies people in Why-types (visionaries), How-types (realists and executives) and What-types (employees). In addition, the Golden Circle clarifies the conception of great organization and the composition of all hierarchy. At the top of the organization, stands the leader representing the vision and imagining the destination. In the middle, are the executives who know how to bring the vision to life and imagine the route. Finally, at the bottom, are the employees who implement the results (money, profit, prices).

It is remarkable for people who owns businesses, for leaders who want to market themselves, to find their purpose and sustain success. Becoming successful without knowing who you are is almost impossible.

I would have to agree with Simon Sinek: loyalty and trust are the most valued and long-lasting qualities in relationships and in business. These qualities reduce our stress levels and the pressure to compete or to innovate.

Furthermore, it discloses real truths in marketing, in business and in corporate, observes what makes them successful and what makes them fail. It also shows us the numerous manipulation tactics that we have certainly fallen victims to.

Favorite quote(s)

We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us. Those whom we consider great leaders all have an ability to draw us close and to command our  loyalty.

Cultures are groups of people who come together around a common set of values and beliefs. When we share values and beliefs with others, we form trust. Trust of others allows us to rely on others to help protect our children and ensure our
personal survival. […]  A company is a culture.

What all great leaders have in common is the ability to find good
fits to join their organizations

Ratings 4/5

Author

Simon Sinek

Purchase

Simon Sinek

author

Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker. He is also the author of Start With Why — How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action (2009) and of Leaders Eat Last — Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.

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.

Patrick Lencioni

author

Patrick Lencioni is a speaker, consultant, founder and president of The Table Group. Patrick Lencioni is also the author of Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

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.