Test RSS Mix

Test RSS Mix2017-05-27T15:45:46+00:00

Great Leadership Opinions and information on leadership and leadership development by Dan McCarthy

  • Mastering your Inner Game of Leadership
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on August 6, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Guest post from Ron Garonzik and Rick Lash: In 1938 archeologists in Israel made a remarkable discovery – a cache of 2,500-year-old letters between officers and their commanders. They provide a unique window on the impact overly controlling, self-centered leadership styles can have on others: “Regarding the letter you sent, the heart of your servant is ill, when my lord said: Don’t you know how to read a letter?  As God lives, for every letter that comes to me, it is read.”  Even Moses had a reputation as a micromanager who couldn’t give up control or delegate; his father-in-law Jethro telling him “This thing you are doing is not good – you will surely wear away you and those who are with you”.  From ancient times to today’s boardrooms, overly controlling leaders who act to serve their own needs can create toxic work environments where decision making, creativity and engagement grinds to a halt. What are the enduring qualities of great leadership? Starting in the 1960s, the late Harvard psychologist David McClelland and a group of researchers wanted to understand great leadership and why it matters. They discovered that the highest performing leaders weren’t more achievement driven or more people focused.  Rather, they possessed a unique motivational profile - a very pronounced need for power or influence. But in the very best leaders McClelland discovered three critical characteristics that acted as controls on their use of power and control that made all the difference – greater emotional maturity, high self-management and a participative, coaching leadership style (think of great professional sports coaches).  McClelland called these qualities ‘socialized’ power.  These outstanding leaders were not in the game for themselves but for the good of the institutions they served.  They funneled their strong need for influencing others not to meet their own self-serving needs like higher status, greater control or being liked, but rather to make others more capable and to further the mission of their organization.  In a 2018 Harvard Business Review article Ego is the Enemy of Good Leadership, the authors note that as leader take on greater responsibility, they can become susceptible to ‘hubris syndrome’ – where power goes to their heads and the leader comes to see world as serving their own needs.  In our early careers a certain amount of ego is essential to drive success.  But an ego unmanaged can lead to self-centered behavior, coercive actions, a need for overcontrol and an inability to listen or appreciate other points of view – career derailers if unmanaged.  The good news is that socialized power can be developed, but rarely is it mentioned in preparing high potential leaders for senior leadership roles.  Little time is spent exploring why self-management is the first step in learning how to lead others or learning the basics of good team leadership - like creating clarity and setting performance standards so people know what good looks like – and how to recognize and coach others to succeed.  Letting go of your ego Most leadership development relies on what Hermina Ibarra, author of numerous leadership development books, calls the “plan-and-implement” model.  We identify a gap or skill we want to strengthen, then set a goal and plan for closing the gap.  That linear approach works well for developing competence, but for making deeper changes like increasing socialized power requires a different, more iterative tactic, what Ibarra refers to as “test-and-learn”.  We start with a new experience, try out a new behavior, reflect on it and then use the insights to change our assumptions and goals.  Test-and-learn leads to deeper growth in how we see ourselves and helps to make profound shifts in our mindset.  Here are a few test-and-learn ideas that can help build your socialized power and change your inner leadership game: ·         - Work on a project where you can’t count on your expertise to get you through.  Relying on others will help you develop an appreciation for what others have to offer and see the world from a different perspective.  Think of the valuable lessons learned from the show Undercover Bosswhere a CEO has to “flip hamburgers” and learns to appreciate the emotional, physical and personal challenges of her employees. ·         - Coach or mentor someone who has the potential to be a great leader.  Socialized power is all about gaining deep emotional satisfaction by serving others and enabling them to be successful. ·         - Make socialized power an important value in your life by reading about leaders who you deeply admire. Look for evidence of what they did, thought and felt that exemplifies socialized power.  ·         - What are the key experiences you have had in your career and life that exemplify your leadership values? Which are good examples where you demonstrated socialized power?  Which stories do you need to elevate and put more of a spotlight on? Which stories are no longer useful?  Practice telling those stories to others. ·        -  Consider expanding or changing your social network to include others who can see and reinforce the socialized power in you (rather than just the great achiever). Great leadership is timeless.  Whether in ancient times or responding to a global crisis, the very best leaders act to make a positive difference and have learned to let go of their ego.  And they do it by developing their emotional maturity and self-control while actively engaging others.  Clearly these aren’t things one just learns in a leadership course of by reading leadership books (although these can help) but through stretching experiences, developing others, challenging deeply held beliefs and building new relationships, all of which help strengthen our desire to make a difference, serve others and in the process become better leaders.  Ron Garonzik is an independent consultant with more than a quarter century of global leadership development experience supporting organizations large and small, public and private. Rick Lash is an independent consultant and senior associate with Verity International and is a recognized leadership development expert and executive coach. For over 35 years he has worked with Fortune 500 organizations in Canada, the United States and internationally. His most recent work focuses on the power of leadership narrative for creating authentic leadership.

  • More Automation is Coming! Bulletproof Your Career
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on July 30, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Guest post from Edward D. Hess:Everyone knows that jobs have been automated over the last 20 years. But the number of those automated jobs will be a small number compared to what is coming over the next 10 years. The continuing advancement and convergence of artificial intelligence, bio-technology, nanotechnology, virtual and augmented reality, quantum computing, and Big Data will automate millions of jobs in the United States. Not just manufacturing jobs but also service jobs, knowledge-worker jobs and professionals.McKinsey predicts that by 2030, over 25 million jobs in the United States will be automated. Research from Oxford University predicted that within 15 years there is a high probability that 47% of U.S. jobs including professional jobs will be automated. How will you stay relevant in the workplace? What can you do to become bulletproof?I believe we humans will need to excel at doing something valuable that the technology itself will not be able to do well. There are four uniquely human skills that currently meet that criteria:1. Emotional Excellence: Being able to emotionally connect, relate, and collaborate with others in positive ways that can result in caring-trusting relationships that enable you to have high-quality making meaning conversations with others that create or deliver value will be a key human differentiator. Being able to manage one’s emotions; generate positive emotions; and be highly sensitive to the emotional state of others will be important human skills.2. Thinking Excellence: Being adept at being able to think differently than the technology with the agility to move back and forth between those different ways of thinking: exploring the unknown and seeking novelty by being creative, imaginative, and innovative; engaging in higher-level critical thinking; making decisions in environments with lots of uncertainty and little data; and excelling at sense-making and emergent thinking. 3. Exploration Excellence: Excelling at having the courage to go into new areas – the unknown - and to explore and discover the new and the different by using low-risk iterative learning processes is the third key human skill. It requires overcoming the fear of making mistakes and in most cases effective collaboration with others and overcoming our reflexive habitual ways of thinking. The science of adult learning shows that our brains and minds are generally wired to be efficient. We reflexively seek confirmation of what we expect to see, feel, or think; to protect our egos; and to strive for cohesiveness of our personal stories of how our world works. We are creatures of habit and operate much of the time on autopilot. All of that inhibits Exploration Excellence. To stay relevant in the workplace we will need to “rewire” our brains in order to:·        -  Seek out novelty not primarily confirmation, affirmation, and cohesiveness:·         - Actively seek out disconfirming information that challenges our beliefs;·        -  Ask questions that lead to exploration and discovery (e.g., Why? What if? Why not?);·         - Defer judgments in order to further explore and discover;·         - Embrace differences and to make meaning of differences;·         - Embrace ambiguity by not rushing to the safety of making comfortable, speedy decisions; and·        -  Excel at “not knowing” and Hyper-Learning: continuous learning, unlearning and relearning. Those three skills are all enabled by the fourth skill:4. Self Excellence: Excelling at managing how you think, how you listen, how you handle emotional stress and the challenge of needing to continuously adapt at the pace of change requires managing your ego, your mind and your emotions. The desired result is “Inner Peace” – approaching others and the world with an internal quietness or stillness, which I define as being fully present in the moment with an open and non-judgmental mind and a lack of self-absorption with limited stress and fear. That helps you remove internal noise and distraction and helps you align your inner world—your mind, body, brain, and heart—so you can better engage with the outer world in the pursuit of excelling at the above three skills. That state of being enables Emotional Excellence, Thinking Excellence and Exploration Excellence.We human beings will be in a continuous race in the workplace to stay ahead of the advancing technology. Are you “Bulletproof?” Edward D. Hess is Professor of Business Administration, Batten Fellow and Batten Executive-in -Residence at the Darden Graduate School of Business and the author of Hyper-Learning: How to Adapt to the Speed of Change, which will be published by Berrett-Koehler in August, 2020.

  • Leading Into the Acceleration of Change
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on July 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Guest by Marcia Reynolds:The response to the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated economic and social trends. We are now shopping and buying meals more online, saving rental dollars on office space, holding more virtual business and personal meetings, and improving or seeking an end to our personal relationships as we spend more time together. As we transition to being more mobile, we won’t be “returning” so much as “evolving” to confront a new reality.This is the perfect opportunity to reflect with colleagues on how best to work and what is possible for us in the future. Yet you can’t force people to think creatively, especially now. You have to ease them into the conversation, and then inspire them to think beyond the negative cloud overshadowing their views.The role of the leader in times of uncertainty is to coach people to think differently, not tell them what to do. Enter the conversation with a coaching approachWhether threats are real or not, forcing a conversation about the future is not productive. When we experience acute stress, our brains shut down in self-survival. We prepare to fight, flight, or freeze, not explore possibilities. Creativity is paralyzed. We believe doomsday stories more than the future leaders are inventing. The two key triggers of psychological stress are the perception that there is no control over present circumstances, and there is no way to predict what comes next. All indicators suggest uncertainty will not let up. So, how do you lead others to shift their perspective around control and predictability so they embrace, even capitalize on change? Try taking a coaching approach to your conversation.People need to feel seen, heard, and reminded that their existence matters no matter what they are experiencing. They need to know their raging emotions are legitimate reactions to their current challenges. Let them know you understand why they are feeling the way they do. Share that you feel unsettled, too, so they know you are a fellow human being. This acceptance may help them feel safe enough to consider the possibility of expanding their perspective. To start, don't just ask, "How are you?" Ask something like, "How are you really doing with all these challenges?" Relax as they talk. You don’t need to make them feel better if you are genuinely listening. Once you feel their brains calming down, you can ask if they are ready to look at actions they can take. They may or may not be ready.Clarify what they believe about today and assume about tomorrowThe less we know for sure, the more we believe the worst will happen. It’s difficult to sort the most likely truths from imagination, but using compassionate curiosity will help clarify the stories people are living.When I coach clients, I listen for the beliefs they are holding about the present moment and the assumptions they are making about the future. I share statements like, “Sounds like you believe (this) is happening.” Or “You said you assume (this) is how your life and work will be affected. Can we sort out what we know for sure and then look at what else is possible?” I fill in (this) with specific phrases they shared, using their words so we can examine their thinking together. Acknowledging limiting beliefs and unsupported assumptions will soften the edges of their stories. Offer ways to embrace control and adapt predictionsOnce you clarify their beliefs and assumptions, you can shift the conversation to explore what is in their control to do today and how these steps will help shape the future.Control – Ask what routines they have created to manage their days. If they are struggling to uphold commitments, strategize what boundaries they could create and how to plan for taking just a few steps at a time. Ask how you can support them in feeling they are in more control of their days.Predictability – Even if you have a vision of what business might look like in a few months, be open to new ideas so you can co-create the future together. Ask questions to create possible scenarios to work toward, knowing that you will adapt as the future unfolds. Executive coach Scott Eblin suggests asking specific “what if” questions that look at how our lives today might influence how we do our best work going forward. Here are a few examples adapted from his work:What if we social distancing needs to be practiced for a year, how would we do business? What if we changed 50% of the things we’ve always done to better use our current resources and time?What if we were starting our business today? What do we need to do to emerge better and stronger than we were? Accept and build on their ideas instead of judging them. People need to feel safe with you to speak what is on their mind. Once they trust you won’t make them wrong, they will be more open to change their minds. Also, let go of how you want the conversation to go. Don’t let your impatience sabotage the conversation. If they reach a dead-end in deciding what to do next, then you can offer suggestions for them to consider without taking their power away.When you use a coaching approach instead of telling them what to do, you expand their mind and strengthen their will to move forward. Dr. Marcia Reynolds is a world-renowned expert on inspiring change through conversations. She has delivered programs and coached leaders in 41 countries and reached thousands online. She has four best-selling books, including The Discomfort Zone; Wander Woman; Outsmart Your Brain; her latest, Coach the Person, Not the Problem: A Guide to Using Reflective Inquiry gives tools, tips, and case studies to help you easily apply coaching skills to change minds and behaviors. Read more at https://www.Covisioning.com .

  • How to Journal
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on July 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Guest post from Michaela Renee Johnson:I have always loved writing, especially as a way to process the depth of my emotions through difficult times. I still have my first journal, which I got in the third grade. It was included in a gift bag at a birthday party I attended. The notebook was tiny, maybe only three inches wide by four inches long, with multicolored paper and hearts on the cover. But I quickly understood that it could make a big impact on my life. It was a safe place to share my struggles with making friends at my new school and dealing with the woes of being an 8-year-old. My first journal became a friend in whom I could confide.My journals, over the years, haven’t been just a place to share frustrations and worry, but also a place where I could share dreams, especially the ones I didn’t think others would understand. During challenging times, reading a great quote and writing in my journal became one of the most important ways to safely explore the change I needed, without the influence of others. My journals have always been a place where I could speak my truth freely, just having written it down allowed space for me to let it go and process things in a new way.I started to realize that by journaling my goals and dreams, I could even change the direction of my life. Journaling became a tool to launch ideas and manifest my hopes. I eventually started an online journal, which became my memoir, Teetering on Disaster.Needless to say, I was overjoyed at the opportunity to write Empowered, A Motivational Journal for Women when the publisher reached out to me I didn't hesitate to say YES!So many people say they want to journal, but have many reasons why it hasn't made its way into their life."I don't have the time.""I don't know how.""I'm kind of afraid to sit and write.""I don't write well.""I don't know what to say.""I'm not sure where to start."1. Find a journal with prompts to start, Empowered is a great example of that, but you can find some others here. If you are new to journaling it can be helpful to have guidance. Also the prompts can be exciting, for example, in Empowered, many of the prompts are creative and outside of the box. Law of Attraction Daily Journal, Gratitude Journal2. If you want to start with a plain lined paper journal, that's okay too. I recommend beginning by filling the pages with quotes that you absolutely love across the top. This puts "you" in your journal, and my experience is that when I finally go to fill a certain page, the quote that I'd already written was just the message I needed. Kind of like a blast from the past (or future).Then, start by writing the weather...what was the weather like today? How do your emotions feel similar, or different? You'd be surprised how words can start to flow from there.3. Get a great pen! There is nothing worse than a pen that cramps your hand instantly, or writes terribly, or leaks through the pages. I absolutely love LePen and Micron -Sakura of America.4. Don't hold yourself to a schedule. It can be lovely to do a daily gratitude journal in the morning, with an evening reflection. And while I highly recommend connecting with your journal daily, it's more important that your journal be available for you when you need it, and less important that you judge yourself for whether or not you use it.5. Don't worry about the grammar, or the spelling, or even the way it looks. It can be helpful and fun to do a few journal entries with the lights down, simply for the experience of letting go of "how" it looks. We are taught all through school that we need to stay in the lines, and have proper grammar, those rules don't apply in journaling. Think of it as an extension of your mind. Your mind allows thoughts to roll without censorship, allow your pen to do the same.6. It can be helpful to start by writing a story. If you were to run into an old friend at a coffee shop 5 years from now what would the ideal story of your life be, what would it look like? Share that with your journal.7. Ask yourself, if nothing changed today, would I be happy - share why or why not.Sure?8. Lastly, go easy. Sometimes painful realizations come up when we have a safe space to process and discover our inner thoughts.Sometimes the process to achieve our dreams may not feel comfortable. But I believe our greatest growth comes during times when we are uncomfortable—especially because humans are biologically programmed to notice when something doesn’t feel right and fix perceived problems. As you go through this journal, be aware that your mind is detecting these shifts, and will help you gather insight into what needs to change. Sometimes we can find ourselves being more aware of people and situations or processing things days after an activity. Give yourself grace to process, and practice good self-care, like getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and taking care of yourself. And remember you are exactly where you are supposed to be in this moment.Lastly, if after reading this, you're inspired to begin journaling, consider Empowered, a Motivational Journal for Women.Michaela Renee Johnson is an award-winning author, licensed psychotherapist and host of the top iTunes podcast, Be You Find Happy, which encourages people to speak their truth with grace and live a courageous life of authenticity. Her initiative, Be You Find Happy, holds workshops and conversations on finding happiness in spite of life's setbacks and has landed her speaking opportunities across the nation. She is an avid adventurer, having traveled to more than 20 countries, and self-proclaimed "Boho Mom" who loves all things metaphysical as well as poetic quotes. She is a Sagittarius and an ocean-lover who lives in Northern California with her husband and young son, and a homestead full of animals. In her spare time, she's often hiking, doing yoga, gardening, golfing or reading.Connect with her at www.MichaelaRenee.com or on Instagram @MichaelaReneeJ.

  • Nurture Your Leadership Intuition
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on July 10, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Guest post by Martha Alderson:Leaders often rely on surveys, empirical data, conscious reasoning, concrete evidence, facts, logic, and scientific research before making decisions or changing the current course of action. We turn to experts for insight as we attempt to understand and solve a complex problem. We lean into tried-and-true strategies hoping to replicate past successes. However, life today moves at warp speed. What worked previously, doesn’t apply in today’s world. We’re asked to innovate and create new solutions instantaneously.Rather than turn to others for answers, you have within you something more powerful and honest and reliable and immediate than any outside expert or long-standing model of operation. What you possess serves you better and makes you a unique and trusted leader. That something is your inner voice, otherwise known as your intuition and innate wisdom.Trusting Your Inner Voice When you’re asked to react on the fly, fix what’s not working, and come up with creative solutions, you don’t have the luxury of time to research. Instead, listen to and rely on your inner self for immediate hits of insight, knowing, and understanding. You make a snap judgment of the situation, the person, or the problem. This, then, becomes a starting place to form solid decisions as you invite in ideas and possibilities to plot a plan and determine a course of action. If, however, you doubt your instinct and what you’re intuiting, or disrespect the inner guidance you’re being offered, believing your inner feelings are an illusion and can’t be proven, are immaterial, a weakness or insignificant, you’re negating your greatest strength. Your inner voice offers you the true nature of reality beyond the physical. Your sixth sense nurtures your confidence and grows your faith in yourself to inspire others.Rely on Your IntuitionYour intuition is the non-physical and deepest part of you. It asks that you demand no proof and no evidence of its truth, but to simply trust when you pick up on subtle cues from those you’re leading, when you sense you’re headed in the wrong direction, when you feel an inner clarity. Your inner voice is that which you know to be true even when, especially when, everyone and everything else say differently. When you rely on your inner messages, you rarely make a wrong move. A hunch, a feeling, your gut reaction often lead you to answers you never could have come up with through your intellect alone. CourageWe often have difficulty hearing our innate wisdom beneath the clamor of our learned responses and conventional wisdom. It takes courage to have faith in your intuition and to stick to your decisions when what you’re proposing goes against all available evidence to the contrary. To stand in your truth is daring and audacious, and often threatens your ego with fears of being wrong or laughed at when you know you know but have no idea why or how you came to be so certain, and are unable to explain beyond the simple statement—I just know.As you learn to trust and are guided by your intuition, you lead by example, which in turn encourages those you lead to begin trusting their inner voice, too. MARTHA ALDERSON, MA is the author of the best-selling The Plot Whisperer. She writes novels for readers, plot books for writers, and most recently Boundless Creativity: A Spiritual Workbook for Overcoming Self-Doubt, Emotional Traps, and Other Creative Blocks for anyone looking to enrich their lives with more creativity and inspiration. Her other books are Writing Blockbuster Plots and Writing Deep Scenes, The Plot Whisperer Workbook, The Plot Whisperer Book of Writing Prompts, as well as several ebooks. Look for her latest novel Parallel Lives: A Love Story coming out summer 2020. She lives and writes in Santa Cruz. Learn more about Alderson on her website, and connect with her on Facebook,Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Youtube.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email