Monthly Archives: May 2016

Self-awareness: An Increasing Need for Leaders

self-awareness 2

The world is full of recording devices and leaders can be judged on a single sound bite.  Self-awareness is a trait with growing importance.

How am I defining being self-aware? Being alert and aware of your emotions, thoughts and behaviors. In the 24/7 news cycle and with virtually every human being in possession of a recording device, leaders must be constantly vigilant in how they are conducting themselves. Social media is also fraught with landmines for those leaders who act emotionally before thinking logically.

The self-awareness of self-control

We all have trigger words, phrases or attitudes that can inflame emotions. Some people may be using those triggers intentionally to evoke a specific action to suit their purposes. Hold firm. Recognize when someone is pushing those emotions in you and it is imperative you hold on to your control. The criticality of recorded confrontations or heated exchanges is higher than ever before with how the viral transformation of information happens in the social media world. When you are challenged, mentally regroup, focus and don’t be derailed in your message
The self-awareness needed for avoiding fear

Embarrassment, pride, anger and feeling intimidated can all manifest itself in the form of fear. When a leader, well any person actually, is fearful they will respond with emotion over logic and can become rash in comments or actions. Fair or not, leaders are held to a higher standard of resisting emotional reactions. Do you know how fearful emotions are incited in you? Today more than ever leaders must learn to embrace bravery and face their fears moving forward with confidence.

Thought leaders, elected officials and anyone at the forefront of ideology within an organization should plan to develop their self-awareness because the challenges will only increase in this age of connectivity and immediate information.

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Delegation Not Working?

two business women standing looking at file or plans

To cut to the chase…Is it you, or is it them? Micromanagement has no place in the current business environment. So why do I still witness so many leaders who are resistant to delegate?

Here’s how to create the right environment for successful delegation:

Develop trust 

When a leader doesn’t trust the team to accept the responsibility for important tasks or client accounts, delegation simply won’t happen. Is this lack of trust due to untrained employees? Not enough experience in the workforce? Or is it simply an unwillingness to let go?

I see leaders who are fully aware even minor mistakes in today’s business climate can cost customers and clients, and in their effort to maximize customer retention, they want to do everything critical themselves. At some point that trust in your team has to be developed; otherwise, the team will recognize your lack of faith in them.

Establish training programs

If the leader doesn’t trust the team, recognize what is missing and begin to develop those individuals who need to be able to handle these tasks. They won’t learn it by watching, nor will they be error-free, but learning must take place to develop the organization.

Set measurements

Measure their effectiveness with the most concerning tasks. By using measurements, the leader and the employee with have monitoring tools and goals to look at.

Kick the habit

Sometimes micro-managing (the inability to let go and delegate effectively) is simply a habit. People ready to accept those challenges need to be given the opportunity to prove themselves and grow. Become more solution-focused and less blame-focused and create a learning environment fertile for delegation.

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Eliminate Your Own Speed Bumps to Success

speed bumps

Great leaders frequently have a wonderful vision, but how well that vision is articulated will determine the success of that vision. When looking to make your vision a reality, be sure to first eliminate your own speed bumps to creating the success you see in front of you.

Don’t skip the details.  Soundbites may be good for media but they are poor substitutes for detailed explanations of the key components on the success plan. You must craft your message for maximum effectiveness. Sharing a meaningful vision with off the cuff remarks can make your idea DOA. Craft your message to sway those in doubt. Consider the obstacles of the opposition and develop the compelling argument on how to overcome those obstacles. Finally, the more details you able to articulate demonstrated the depth of thought put into the vision as opposed to just another fleeting idea.

Don’t project your concerns. Frequently, as executives explain projects or programs, they will project their own fears onto the message. When discussing the idea try to stay away from the negatives of fear of risk, cost and adding undue pressure on to the idea that will cause people to be fearful of getting on board. Write down your worries in advance of your communication. If in fact, they dominate your thoughts on the project, then now is not the time to try to convince people to join you. You want to encourage others from a position of confidence, not fear.

Curb impatience. In the quest to get things done fast, critical steps are ignored (such as failing to write down your worries and staring at them prior to sharing the ideas and fears with others,) Patience doesn’t mean inaction. It means you recognize timing for new ideas is critically important to your own buy-in, the buy-in of employees and customers.

When you have the desire to lead your employees into new projects or directions, be sure your mind is fully convinced of the direction you want to travel before sharing the idea with the rest of those looking to you for direction.

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