Test RSS Mix

Test RSS Mix 2017-05-27T15:45:46+00:00

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

  • Letting Go of the Big Chief Motif
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on October 11, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    Guest post from Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III:Discipline, focus and drive got you where you are today. You lost count of the sacrifices long ago – free weekends, discretionary purchases, a good night’s sleep – all to achieve your vision. You did it. Now get over it.We all want to be effective leaders so that we can guide others to contribute to our vision, but we tend to overlook the importance of humility in leadership. By humility, I don’t mean modesty about what you have achieved; I mean being humble enough to abandon the “Big Chief” mentality and embrace the input of others. Forget the CEO or Executive or Senior Whatever title you have and get down in the trenches. Better yet, lift up those around you and empower them to work alongside you. In doing so, you not only effectively lead others, but also guide them to follow suit.The need for personal recognition can be a powerful, yet blinding, force. I experienced this myself several years ago. I was sitting in a meeting during which we were trying to find a way to overcome the challenge of getting other churches and pastors to come together. The issue, one of my colleagues suggested, was that no one could figure out who should be in charge. The role of the leader had become more important than the work being done. People get used to operating in this “Big Chief” motif because their egos crave it. But, it’s bad for business. In addition to limiting innovation, it creates smaller chiefs who want to maintain power they assume they have. So, the employee who craves your approval cares little about advancing your vision, and more about advancing his or her own career. This leads to jealousy, insecurity and grandstanding.After experiencing this among my own team, I made some changes. I abandoned the hierarchical, top down flow chart and shifted to a relational model. I drew a circle and put myself in the middle. All of my managers were placed around the circle. Now, when I share a vision, I share it with all of them and ask for input. In turn, I respect input from anyone in that circle. In fact, I even welcome input from team members outside of the circle. The possibility of a groundbreaking idea is more valuable to me than maintaining this idea of seniority.Working with others rather than above them does not mean you are minimizing what you have accomplished or demeaning your capabilities. Rather, you are expanding your potential. We have incredible limitations on our time; if all ideas stop with us, very little will ever get done. And, as intelligent as we may be, it takes the ideas of many to spark true brilliance. Collaboration fosters innovation. You cannot be cutting edge if your circle always depends on you to do the thinking. Proverbs 27:17 declares, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” When we let go of the focus on titles, positions and accolades, we set the tone for successful ideation and instill this characteristic in others, cultivating the next wave of leadership. This is humility at its best – productive and positive. It helps everyone in your orbit feel empowered to contribute to a collective vision, driving it forward rather than simply being passengers along for the ride. This is the how to dispense with Chiefs, big and small, and focus instead on building a better team.  About the author: Bishop Joseph Warren Walker, III is the pastor of the historic Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee and Presiding Bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship International. In 1992 at the age of 24, Bishop Walker began his pastorate at Mt. Zion with 175 members, which has grown to over 30,000, and continues to grow at a phenomenal rate. He’s the author of the book called No Opportunity Wasted: The Art of Execution. You can connect with Bishop Walker at: https://www.josephwalker3.org/. […]

  • Why Managers Don’t Listen (Poor Listener Syndrome): and the Cures!
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on October 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    One of the most important skills for any manager is listening. Listening demonstrates respect, concern, an openness to new ideas, empathy, compassion, curiosity, trust, loyalty, and receptivity to feedback – all considered to be qualities of an effective leader.Listening isn’t rocket science. We are born with the ability to listen, yet somehow managers, at some point in their careers, seem to forget how to use this natural born gift. Listening is one of the most consistently lowest rated behaviors in 360 degree feedback assessments for managers. It’s a management disease – Poor Listener Syndrome (PLS)!Actually, it’s not just managers that don’t listen – it’s also employees, husbands, wives, kids, students, teachers, and just about human being with two ears. However, this is a management and leadership resource, so we’ll stick with listening in the context of a management skill.So if listening is such an important management skill and it’s an ability we were born with, why do so many managers get feedback that say they are poor listeners?That’s an issue I’ve explored with several managers when I review their 360 assessment results. Here are the seven most frequent reasons, and a prescription for each cause:1. They don’t know they are poor listeners – it’s a blind spot. A behavioral blind spot is the gap between our intentions and our behaviors. We see ourselves as a good listener, but others don’t. Given that candid feedbackis such a rare commodity, we are clueless about our flaws until they are pointed out by others. And even when they are, we sometimes still deny they exist (fight or flight). The cure: Get some feedback. Feedback is a gift, and awareness is the key to self-development. 2. They don’t understand the value of listening. I’ll often have to spend time explaining the impact of poor listening to managers, either in a coaching session or in a training class. Sometimes I’ll demonstrate it. At some point, the light goes on, and for the first time in their lives they get it. These are the same managers who are often having issues in their personal lives, with their friends and family, and poor listening is often the culprit. The cure: Read the research, discuss the importance of listening with others, and experience the positive effects when you focus on improving your listening skills!3. They don’t know how to listen. Managers often get low scores in listening but insist they understand the importance of listening and that they DO listen. While this may be true (good intentions), others see behaviors that convey a lack of listening. The cure: Listening skills are relatively easy behaviors to learn, with a little awareness and practice. They include:·         Making eye contact·         Head nodding·         An open posture·         Leaning forward·         Arms uncrossed·         Using encouraging phrases such as “go on”, “tell me more”, “uh uh”, or anything to show that you are paying attention·         Paraphrasing (repeating back in your own words to check for understandingTake a short course, read a book, observe others, practice, and get feedback. Like any new skill, it will feel unnatural at first, but with deliberate practice, the skill soon becomes a habit.4. They are impatient, smart, or easily distracted. OK, these are actually three separate, but sometimes related causes. Highly successful, intelligent,  type A managersoften find it difficult to slow down and take the extra time to listen. They jump ahead and want to finish someone’s sentence, use hand gestures to speed someone along, or their minds start racing on to other issues and thoughts. Smartphone checking is a symptom of this impatience and habitual multi-tasking. The cures: Shut the door, turn off the smartphone, focus, and give the person in front of you 100% of your attention. Think of it as a gift, and observe the difference in how others respond.5. They listen selectively. This reason is one of the most common, and becomes apparent with 360 degree assessment results. The manager shows high in listening for the boss and superiors, but low with peers or direct reports. The cure: The skills are there- you just have to apply them consistently!6. They don’t value people at all. Managers won’t admit this, but when they try to justify their low listening scores, it becomes apparent that they just don’t see value in paying attention to what others have to say. They just may not be interested in people. In the worst cases, it’s extreme arrogance.The cure: Fake it until you make it. If you can convince a manager that it is in their own selfish self-interest to at least pretend that they are listening, they might be willing to mimic listening behaviors. Yes, it’s not authentic, and some people will see through it, but sometimes if you practice a behavior long enough, you get good at it, and you start to become the behavior. 7. They have poor hearing. I know this from personal experience, when a caring manager told me that others were complaining that I didn’t listen to them. That, and my wife complaining that the TV was too loud. The cause: get your hearing checked, and if you are told you need hearing aids (and can afford them), get it done. Your family and employees will appreciate it, and you’ll find out what you’ve been missing.Need an executive coach that can work with you or your leaders to improve their listening skills? Or a half day training program? Please contact me to discuss! […]

  • What if Serving Others Actually Serves You, too?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on October 4, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    What if Serving Others Actually Serves You, too?Guest post from S. Chris Edmonds:The cashier at the checkout line at our local grocery store was literally singing. “Did you find everything you neeeedd?” was the next line in his obviously many-times-rehearsed “show,” and he smiled and laughed as he finished up. He most likely does not have had a high paying career as a cashier, but he does create a joyful work environment! On a daily basis, can you say that your job brings you joy? Do you experience the pure pleasure of serving others beautifully, work well done, and cooperative interaction with team members? Do you relish the learning and discovery your work provides?Or is work a source of consternation for you, with more politics than pleasure, more battles than beauty?How about in the rest of your life? Do you experience the pure pleasure of serving others beautifully, work well done, and cooperative interaction with family members, friends, and neighbors, every day?Or, not exactly?Research on happiness (Happy Planet Index) and engagement (Towers Watson Global Workforce Study) indicates that people around the globe don’t experience well-being consistently at work or in their personal lives. If you didn’t jump out of bed this particular morning excited about work, that doesn’t mean you should quit. But if you’re not genuinely inspired by your life and your work, you are likely eroding your well-being and life satisfaction.I do suggest that you choose to refine your daily life to include activities that are aligned with your purpose and values, and that serve others well.By adding engaging activities – slowly but intentionally – you increase your personal joy, service, and alignment. Even an hour a week will boost your positive well-being.How shall you start? First, identify activities that meet three criteria: you love doing them, they genuinely serve others, and they’re not against local laws.Second, identify current and possible avenues that would enable you to engage in those “high impact” activities.Those activities might include things like:○     If you love learning and love books, create a book club. At work, try a monthly lunch meeting to review business books that might increase knowledge, efficiency, and teamwork.○     Volunteer at a local non-profit. Stock shelves at a food bank or serve meals at a homeless shelter.○     Start up a weekly music showcase at your local coffee house. Seek out musicians who would love to share their passions with a live audience.○     Volunteer at local events that inspire you. For example, every year since 1994 there has been a huge festival/conference called South By Southwestin Austin, TX. That three-week event requires 14,000 volunteers to help it run smoothly!Third, don’t just think about engaging in these activities. DO them. Add at least an hour per week of your unique “high impact” activities, starting NOW.You don’t need anyone’s permission to refine your life and work. Take the time to engage in activities you love and that serve others well – it’ll do you GOOD.S. Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. After a 15-year career leading successful teams, Chris founded his consulting company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in 1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers The Culture Engine and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn from his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at http://drivingresultsthroughculture.com. Get free resources plus weekly updates from Chris by subscribing here.&nbs […]

  • My Friend Ohm (the Elephant)
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on September 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Guest post from Brent Chapman:I awoke from a 3 hour ride in the back seat of a Toyota sedan to the driver telling us we had arrived.  We stepped out of the car into the muggy, humid morning of a remote location 200 kilometers outside of Bangkok.  To my amazement, we were the only vehicle in the dirt parking area amongst a compound of small insignificant buildings and…elephants.  Lots and lots of elephants.  Elephants just walking around like they ran the place. (Later to find out, they actually do run the place.)An Elephant Camp is a unique experience.  It is a collection of elephants either sold or leased to the camp. The camp trains and cares for the elephants, and allows tourists (like us) to come and visit, ride, and swim with them.  They are free to roam.  There aren’t any cages. The only exception were the baby elephants housed in a caged area.  Apparently it’s not a great idea to let a baby elephant run around unsupervised.  Imagine a 400 pound one-year-old that can move fast!?! They explained that one baby had run through the wall of a building on the property and collapsed it.They led us in to first eat breakfast and then off to meet our elephants.  My elephant was named Ohm.  This was nothing like when you see elephants ridden at the zoo.  There were no baskets or ropes. It was just me and Ohm. They helped us get on the elephant.  They instructed us to hold on to something and advised we grab their ear lobes.  Awesome, I know I love it when a stranger tugs on my earlobes.Then the real journey began.  They taught us the voice commands needed to control our elephant and told us to meet them down at the river. Huh?  As in, their big plan was to leave us alone with these gigantic adult elephants, and control them with the 5 minute training session we just got. To be fair, Ohm knew the route and I had to do very little but to hold on and pray I didn’t fall 10 feet off the back of my new friend.Side note: Interesting fact, elephants are hairy.  They have prickly hair all over their neck and back and it’s uncomfortable to sit on.The first few minutes were very intimidating and then I got comfortable. Ohm walked me around the compound (stopping to get a snack occasionally) and took me down to the river where we swam and played and it was an awesome experience.  I went from pure fear to one of the coolest experiences of my life…and all I did was take a chance.  I had confidence, I held back the fear, and I took a chance on myself (and Ohm).And so is life…and more appropriately, this is how our day-to-day careers transpire.  We wake up to something we weren’t expecting.  An opportunity of an assignment, or an issue that we have to complete with either very little explanation or none at all.  And we are expected to succeed.  And our jobs depend on it.  And how do we do it?  We do it with confidence.  We trust what we know, we trust ourselves, we grab the task and we make it happen. And those are the moments that help us grow and learn and evolve.  Those accomplishments are the moments that we cherish and that we use to motivate us for the next challenge.So, when you get to work this week and someone hands you your own version of taking Ohm down to the river for a swim – Don’t be afraid, jump on and enjoy the ride!Brent Chapman, CIO of RoundPoint Mortgage Servicing Corp, is co-author, with Kevin Brungardt, of a forthcoming book on leadership and culture. Chapman was named to the Charlotte Business Journal's 2018 40 Under 40 and has also been a finalist for both the 2018 Dallas CIO of the Year and the 2018 Charlotte CIO of the Year. For more information, please visit www.brungardtchapman.com. […]

  • How Effective is Your Communication?
    by noreply@blogger.com (Dan McCarthy) on September 20, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Guest post from David Hiatt:Lack of effective communication skills has done more to keep good people from being promoted into leadership roles than any other skill deficiency.  I hope I have your attention because in over 30 years of working with managers and organizations, my experience is that a lack of effective communication skills has kept very talented and skilled people from becoming leaders.  They have this great knowledge and skill set for the job requirements but communicating in a manner to get positive outcomes from others was sorely lacking.Communication is a basic human need.  Interacting with other humans has been the core of human progress throughout the ages.  Isolation and lack of human interaction will emotionally, mentally, and physically debilitate a person; as will ineffective conversations.  On the other end of the spectrum, when you communicate effectively and achieve more positive outcomes you enhance your sense of well-being.  I don’t know about you, but I know that I would prefer to think and feel better.   Just because two or more people are talking with each other does not necessarily mean they are communicating. Communication requires several key skills and components.  Key components include understanding yourself and others, creating agreements about the conversation, emotional involvement (or lack of), attitude and beliefs, and your comfort zone. Skills include listening, and questioning.  If you want to achieve more positive outcomes with co-workers, or family and friends the above skills and components will improve your communication.Understanding the other person can be key.  When you can identify the behavioral style or preferences of the other people with whom you communicate you are better able to adapt your message in such a way that the other people have a better chance of understanding you.  An example of this would be communicating with a Dominant Style who prefers, direct, to the point, task-oriented interactions and you want to chit-chat about the weather.  That Dominant person will not be engaged, and the odds of a positive outcome diminish.  Another way to understand the others with whom you communicate is to determine if they are being emotional, judgmental, or just exchanging information; and then being self-aware enough to make sure that you are nurturing and sharing information without judgement or emotion.  It is okay to care enough to want a positive outcome but if you attempt to communicate when simply reacting to your or the other person’s emotions it is not unusual to find yourself in a shouting match with negative outcomes.I have found that when you set goals and expectations for the important conversations you tend to get better results. What I mean is that the conversation should have an agreed upon purpose, confirmation of the time allotted, agreed upon agendas and expectations of people engaged in the conversation, and a goal or outcome at the end of the conversation.  When you add the component of a mutual agreement at the beginning of those important conversations you are better able to control the direction and therefore the outcome of the conversation.Emotional involvement is double-edged.  As I mentioned earlier, you want to care enough to accomplish a positive outcome at the end of the conversation, yet you should not be communicating emotionally.  If you are communicating from your emotional ego-state, you will not be able to think objectively or to listen clearly.  Emotions will always cloud your thinking and cause you to say or to respond in a manner that will result in a less than positive outcome.Your attitude and beliefs are intertwined with your self-concept and create your view of reality.  The important thing to remember is that the other person or people with whom you are communicating will not have the same view.  According to each person’s view, they are right.  Whatever beliefs you were taught or acquired throughout your life will become your definition of normal.  Your subconscious’ job is to keep you normal, whatever normal means to you.  Do a self-assessment of your attitudes and beliefs and decide which are still appropriate as an adult and which are hurting your efforts to be a more effective communicator.Listening is a skill that much has been written about.  I urge you to read as much as you can on listening skills.  My experience has taught me that listening is much more than just looking at the other person and nodding my head! I must make sure that I am understanding what they are saying and the intention behind it.  This means the good listening skills should include good questioning skills. When you are unsure of what the other person is asking or saying you must ask them to clarify.  Be careful.  Your belief that it is rude to ask so many questions may prevent you from asking the key questions for real understanding, which, by the way, is what real listening is about.David Hiatt is author of FROM THE BOARDROOM TO THE LIVING ROOM:  Communicate With Skill For Positive Outcomes. After 10 years of owning and operating a successful Sandler Training center, he was recruited by Sandler corporate to handle the bulk of national and international training through the Global Accounts division. With a BA and Masters in Communications, he is a passionate and energetic program leader who is truly concerned with helping others to grow, develop, and communicate. […]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email