Major Challenge in Business: The Future of Leadership

Global EngagementIn my opinion, the future of leadership is always changing and it will continue to change. However, it’s human nature, that we often want to categorize everything and everyone into small, manageable boxes subject to fixed rules and processes.

It is also evident in businesses today that we are dealing with short-term thinking, a disposable view of people as assets and the persistent drive of leadership self-preservation. We seem to have devalued people, relationships and values down to simple dollars and cents which never works, if you are looking for a sustainable business.

It gets further complicated when we see the rate of change & complexity increasing daily and the challenges faced by every individual and organization are morphing, evolving and becoming more interdependent than ever before.

Today, I feel comfortable saying that successful leadership is a hybrid of art & science with no hope of a one size fits all solution.

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Ikigai – How to See Growth in 2016!

ikigai DiagramAs we start 2016, I would like to open our imaginations a bit and examine work and life from a couple of Japanese concepts that we have all heard about but few truly understand.  The first we are going to look at is “Ikigai” or “the why you get up every day” and the second is “Kaizen” or “the philosophy of continuous improvement in work and personal lives”.

Many authors discuss these topics independently but I really feel they need to be combined to realize the real power that is present in their use and empowerment. Here we are going to examine an integrated process that can help you become more intentional and empowering in 2016.

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Unlearning Could be the Key to Successful Change

Woman at laptop 300_200Could the solution to resistance to change be a simple act of unlearning?  Let’s look into this and see just how complex this statement really is for humans.

Lao Tzu said, “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Peter Drucker said it another way, “We spend a lot of time teaching leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching leaders what to stop. Half the leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do. They need to learn what to stop.

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How to Grow Your Leadership: Self-Development

Pyramid S Miles FDP 2015Do you feel that self-improvement is beneficial or just a pain? Too often we feel that to embark on a self-improvement plan is a sign of weakness and should not be visible or acknowledged in public. In my opinion, this view is totally wrong and will limit your career and any legacy that you would like to leave.

Personally, I know that I will never be perfect, there will always be room for improvement. Likewise, you will not be perfect and there will always be room for improvement.

Self-improvement is vital for anyone to manage their career, it doesn’t matter if you are a company President, Operations Leader, Customer Service Representative, Sales & Marketing Director or “pick a title.

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How to Look at Certifications

Soft Skills Target - FDP - SMiles 2015I am often asked questions regarding technical and process certifications and I usually always give the same answer, “well, it depends”. With the rapid changes that go on within the technology arena there are new, better and even revolutionary certifications arising daily. Given that, it is not unusual that developers’ interest in technical certifications continue to increase.

Do you ever wonder about the value of earning a technical certification or if the benefits of such a certification would be worth the effort and cost involved? As I said before “It Depends”. Because much of the value of a technical certification is in the eye of the beholder, therefore this is not easy to answer.

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How to Deal with Reorgs?

Any Reorg Affects the Entire Team

Are you faced with an internal or external reorgs, or are you planning a merger soon?  Here are some very brief tips to keep in mind when starting the process.

Determining the value of a re-org is based on learning to measure success across the critical (and equal) elements of results, processes, and relationships.  These are interdependent aspects that can make a difference once everyone realizes that there must be balance.

Generally, we recommend doing a performance assessment and based on the results, the team can be shown how to realize that it must answer two critical questions:

  • How will the members would work together with revised or new reporting relationships (for example, moving from being a direct report to a peer) and,
  • How will the team add value and be held accountable in revised or new relationships.  (For example, being collaborators rather than silo employees.

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Innovation Starts with The Leader – Always

Ideas 89studios FDP 2015I find it amazing that we struggle with the idea of being innovative in this day and age. There are so many opportunities to expand, grow and disrupt categories just by openly thinking and being aware of the sparks of opportunity. On the other hand, not every idea results in an innovative product or service, the word innovation has become watered down because many are using it to describe minimal changes in products and services.

When you think of the word INNOVATION, what to you encounter? How big are your visions, thoughts, or goals? Are they driven by a passion to make your products or services the best in the market? Are your people truly excited to bring ideas to you and discuss them freely? In my world INNOVATION is reserved only for big thinking and extraordinary execution.

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Intentionally Redefine Your Leadership Style (part 4)

Child Leadership 2014  So what can you do to develop    your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are the last three of the seven characteristics you can integrate when selecting the best leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.

  1. Be Collaboration-Focused

The best leaders are human and socially conscious. Recognizing the contribution of others and giving the team room to innovate is the best way to lead into a more resilient future. In this 21st century we are facing radical changes in business structure, communication methods and high dependency on partners for growth.

If your leadership style is silo focused and inward driven, then it will not fit well in today’s environment. People are looking for leaders they can trust, believe and willing to commit to a common purpose of vision. If your focus in on short term financial goals with no room for employees, then I would say your focus is wrong.

  • Consider “Why should my team be led by me?” Notice what you already bring them, and what they need more of from you to bring out their best.
  • Ask yourself, “What can I give my team today?”
  • Ask your people, “How can I help you succeed?”

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Intentionally Redefine Your Leadership Style (part 3)

Journaling 600X400 FreeSo what can you do to develop your unique leadership style into one that will be highly trusted and respected? Today we continue last week’s post, here are two more of the seven characteristics you can integrate when redefine your unique leadership style, with tips for putting them into action.

  1. Get OUT of Your Comfort Zone & Stretch Your Leadership Style

Alongside concentrating on your strengths, actively work to stretch into the leadership style(s) you find harder.

Generally, EQ research findings in a nutshell find: the most successful leaders can consciously draw on and seamlessly integrate all leadership styles, dependent on the situation. One size definitely does not fit all.

For example, strong, aggressive working environments tend to generate a direct and pace-setting style. If this is not your natural approach, but is required within your role, find ways to blend your natural style with your “stretch style” so you’re not putting on an act. This is not a fake it until you make it process. It must be authentic.

A natural coaching/affiliate style may not suffice in moments of crisis.

However, you can be incredibly directive and punchy—forceful, if you were able to give clear directions in as human and humorous a way as you can, so that the job gets done more effectively but you didn’t feel you was selling yourself out.

Always blend with your team’s leadership strengths to best advantage. Generally, the best leaders are not well rounded however the best teams are, says Tom Rath of Gallup, which has surveyed over 3 million people on the topic of leadership style and strengths.

  • Identify your leadership style stretch areas, and find ways to authentically blend them with your natural style.
  • Determine how you can get out of your comfort zone and grow but also allow your team members to do the same.
  • Review the blend of strengths in your team or organization. Who on your team has strengths that particularly complement your own leadership style, and how could you use these better?

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