“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
– William Arthur Ward
When it comes to effectively leading teams and organizations in today’s fast-paced, 24/7 global economy, it’s becoming more and more evident that the days of command-and-control leadership are well behind us. That – to paraphrase the quote above – organizations need leaders who don’t just explain or demonstrate the relevance of their vision to those they lead. Rather, what organizations require are leaders who can inspire employees to commit themselves wholeheartedly to making this vision a reality.
It’s a recurring theme found in some of the talks I’ve given this year, going from my keynote speech given at a leadership conference in Chicago last month to my next presentation in Utah in September: that as leaders, we need to do more than simply paint grand visions of the future; we also have to provide an environment where our employees can see the opportunity to grow, evolve, and help build the kind of future that they want to be a part of.
As I prepare for my talk next month on how leaders can help their organizations to shift from relying solely on training programs to promoting a continuous learning environment, I’d like to share the following 3 measures to provide some insights on how you can do the same in your organization.
1. Encourage your employees to challenge their assumptions
One of the first things we have to do to promote continuous learning in our organization is to encourage our employees to challenge their assumptions of their capabilities as well as of what’s possible. To understand the importance of this step to creating a continuous learning environment, we need to first understand how our brain performs tasks.
When our brain performs tasks or makes decisions, it not only taps into the Click here to continue reading »”How To Promote Continuous Learning In Your Organization”
The following is a guest piece by Jesse Newton and Josh Davis.
If you’re trying to instill organizational change in your company, then you face not just a logistical shift, but a cultural challenge as well. Employees will have to think differently, see people differently, and act in new ways. Employees also need to continually reinforce the right habits in one another so that the customer experience is on their minds everywhere.
One method that can help is known as pride building. This is a cultural intervention in which leaders seek out a few employees who are already known to be master motivators, adept at inspiring strategic awareness among their colleagues. These master motivators are invited to recommend specific measures that enable better ways of working.
Pride builders in a wide variety of companies and industries tend to recommend three specific measures time and time again: (1) giving more autonomy to frontline workers, (2) clearly explaining to staff members the significance and Click here to continue reading »”3 Valuable Insights Leaders Can Learn From Neuroscience”
Of the various articles I’ve written for my website, this one is quite unique as it’s the product of a writing collaboration between myself and Col. Chris R. Stricklin. At the time we were writing this piece, Chris was stationed at Kabul, Afghanistan as the Chief of Staff/Chief Operating Officer for the NATO Air Training Command.
In addition to the unique experience of shaping and discussing the various points we wanted to share in this piece, it was wonderful to see how quickly we discovered both the common ground we share, along with the commonality found in our individual experiences regarding the challenges we’ve faced and seen in how we can help to bring out the best in those around us – even from a half a world away.
I hope you’ll enjoy the combined insights Chris and I bring to this piece on how we can effectively take over the reins of an established team and help them to continue to achieve success in attaining the shared purpose that defines why we do what we do.
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The house is perfect. Yard meticulously manicured, walls freshly painted, window treatments perfectly hung…it is as you dreamed…just as you move out. For those who move often, it is a commonly understood idiom the house is always the way we want it just before we move out.
As a leader, the same goes for developing a team. You develop those who follow to be intrinsically motivated toward the success of your mission and you meticulously handpick the different levels of leaders below you to execute your vision.
When it is finally running like a well-oiled machine, corporate promotes you to the next level of challenge. What about your successor? People think that assuming a leadership position over a poorly performing organization is the biggest challenge you could face, but the truth is… becoming the leader of a tight team is a larger challenge.
Follow these five simple ground rules and your new leadership challenge will be off to a great start. Click here to continue reading »”5 Important Keys For Taking On New Leadership Challenges”
One of the things I enjoy in writing about leadership is looking out for new insights into how we can become a better leader to those we serve, as well as discovering new examples that can help to illustrate what those measures might look like in action. The most recent example of this came courtesy of my daughter Alya’s dance recital, a show she had to participate in as part of her dance class curriculum.
Now granted, as her father it’s only natural that my focus and attention would be on watching my daughter and being dazzled by her performance. But outside of that typical parental pride, there was one thing that was unmistakable about Alya’s performance – as she danced on that stage, it was clear to everyone that she was having fun.
What was particularly noteworthy about this is that in openly expressing her joy while she danced – irrespective of whether she was the best dancer on stage or not – she actually made her performance that much more enjoyable because her emotional expressiveness drew the audience in. Indeed, after the show, a few of the other parents came up to me to pass along a message to Alya about how much they enjoyed her dance because they appreciated the obvious enthusiasm she brought to the stage.
Hearing these comments made me realize that this is something leaders tend to overlook or fail to take into consideration regarding not only how they communicate to their employees, but also what efforts they make to better relate to those under their care.
More specifically, as leaders, we know the value of the vision or the change initiatives we want to push through our organization. But how many of us can say that our employees see and understand the value behind our collective efforts as well?
In looking at the various studies on employee morale and engagement levels in today’s workplaces, the answer to this question is Click here to continue reading »”Are You Creating Value Through Your Leadership?”
The following is a guest piece by Fast Company contributor Faisal Hoque.
It doesn’t matter what we do, where we do it, or how well we create a product or offer a service. We don’t succeed without the right people on our teams.
I have come to believe that to survive and ultimately thrive we must effectively create “partnerships” with many around us, from family to colleagues to society in general.
Here are five fundamental principles I have learned to build better partnerships with others:
1. Be direct
Direct communication leads to direction, the path you set as a leader. Even if it was possible, nobody wants to follow a muddled message. Every word must be deliberate and directed. Don’t be tempted to reach out without direction because that can deter or even destroy your overall agenda. Click here to continue reading »”5 Leadership Mantras For Building Better Partnerships”