3 Vital Tasks for Welcoming a New Leader

The start of a new year may find you welcoming a new leader to your team. Key to your onboarding effort is emphasizing the need to build relationships that are essential for the leader’s success.  Guiding your new leader to accomplish these 3 tasks will support that objective, and help establish the leader’s effectiveness and credibility:  1. Align current circumstances with expectations. New leaders must quickly gain clarity about the path ahead and your expectations for them. As …

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3 Ways to Launch Productive Change

In today’s increasingly flat, networked and collaborative organizations, leaders seeking to drive productive change actively engage with their teams to make something better that improves performance, strengthens competitive advantage and creates strategic value.  Most teams want to do meaningful work, to make a difference beyond their functional responsibilities; but they need their leaders to provide direction and grounds to act on this aspiration. Their leaders perceive change initiatives as opportunities to produce positive outcomes while enabling them to practice and refine their relational, communicative, interpretive, and affective skills. So all …

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3 Core Values of Exceptional Leaders

        Leaders are judged to be genuine when their actions are guided by their personal core values. These three values are particularly relevant for leaders who seek to be exceptional: Accountability. When there is a problem, accountable leaders look first to themselves. They accept responsibility for the consequences of their decisions. They credit their team when things go well, and when problems arise, accept the responsibility rather than blaming the team. When encouraging autonomy, these leaders …

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When Growth Stalls

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet When growth stalls, the need to reassess strategy, people and process becomes urgent. The people evaluation may considers the “right person-right job” question, balancing an individual’s performance against the consistency of actual versus expected behaviors. The process evaluation may challenge best practices. What has worked well to deliver productivity with consistent quality versus what can be improved, by how much and how soon. The strategy evaluation is typically the most comprehensive assessment, often beginning with a review of …

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Leadership Lessons from St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Lost in the midst of parades, green beer, and Irish music, there is a story of a remarkable leader. That millions of people still celebrate a holiday honoring Patrick, 1500 years after his death, attests to his success as a leader.  How does his legacy have anything to do with business leadership today? Leaders are not born into this world; some may arrive with stronger leadership traits or qualities than others, …

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The First Step in Earning Leadership

Being named as leader doesn’t make you one. Leadership is earned from those you seek to lead. For you to be successful as a leader, they must choose to follow you. Your team will make this choice by judging your truthfulness, your authenticity. The first step you take to establish your leadership identity creates a lasting impression that defines your potential as a leader. Before you can lead others, you must know yourself well, and …

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Authenticity and Challenge

In 2013, the Edelman Trust Barometer documented that only 18% of people reported that they trusted business leaders to tell the truth. That same year, Gallop polled 180 million employees and reported that only 13% of them are engaged at work. With confidence and morale so low, one attribute is most often mentioned as the primary reason that employees respect their leader. Authenticity enables leadership. But it can also disable it. How is that possible? …

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Preserving vs. Breaking

Managing the ever accelerating pace of change creates a challenge for leaders. In the race to stay ahead, what parts of your business do you preserve and what should you break? The competitive advantage of your exclusive product or service erodes quickly these days. Sustaining a program of continuous innovation and improvement is mandatory to stay ahead of the disruptive forces of unrelenting, rapid change. Implementing such a program drives you to acquire new skills …

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Preserving Balance

Leaders are increasingly challenged to preserve balance between their corporate responsibilities and their personal core values. The inability to sustain this balance can cause conflicts for the leader and confusion for those who depend on her or him. A prolonged imbalance can breed distrust in a team. One way to help leaders preserve balance is for them to measure the energy and skill invested in their key activities versus the benefits they receive back from …

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Leading Through Volatility

Cyclical revenue – lots of orders one quarter, not enough the next. Inconsistent cashflow – payables out of balance with receipts. Unpredictable profitability – decision-making is inhibited. Business is rarely stable, but volatility like this is becoming more commonplace. Defining such circumstances as “volatile” seems to suggest that, in the future, business conditions will settle down and return to a calmer state. But instability is well established now, challenging leaders to prove their effectiveness. Sustain …

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