The following is a guest post by Therese S. Kinal.
At best, leadership development is a fun day out, at worst it is a gut wrenching, annoying exercise that leaves you cringing as someone teaches you to suck eggs. In neither case does it make you into a leader. Harsh? Perhaps, but that’s how most managers and executives I work with see it…. and in the majority of cases, I agree.
In today’s environment, employees have to deal with complexity and ambiguity at a much higher rate than before. Functions and clear roles and responsibilities have been replaced with multiple bosses, cross-functional teams, working with partners all over the world and a general sense of never quite standing still. In this brave new world, the only constant is change. And it is managers’ ability to innovate, collaborate and adapt to a constantly changing environment that are the leadership skills we most need to develop.
Despite the billions invested in leadership development every year, the vast majority of programs fail to deliver their intended results. In the US alone, US$ 156 billion is invested in learning and development every year, or US$ 1,182 per employee (1). And even though classroom training (live and virtual) is perceived to be the least effective(2), over 50% of organizations report using it(3).
In this tough economic climate and rapidly changing business environment, it’s not enough to Click here to continue reading »”Winners Are Born In Difficult Times”
When it comes to leadership, there’s a common understanding that true leadership doesn’t require formal titles or roles. Rather, it involves our ability to inspire and rally those around us to commit their talents, creativity, and insights towards a shared purpose, and then doing whatever we can to help them to succeed in that effort.
It’s looking at leadership from that lens that’s compelled me to share these three important lessons – along with one of my own – from a most unlikely source of inspiration on what it takes to successfully lead others in today’s increasingly complex and fast-changing environment.
A few days ago, I watched an acceptance speech that actor Ashton Kutcher gave at a recent teen awards show. In accepting his award, Kutcher shared three lessons he’s learned in his work life that he wanted to share with the throngs of teens watching the show.
Although his message was meant to inspire the young viewers about their future work lives, some of the points he shared are equally important for leaders who want to ensure that they are providing the right environment to help those they lead to not only succeed, but thrive under their care. Click here to continue reading »”How To Succeed At Leadership – Inspiration From An Unlikely Source”
The following is a guest piece by Bill Treasurer.
A lot has been written about Transformational Leadership. The term was coined by James McGregor Burns, the Pulitzer Prize winning author and historian. In his book “Leadership” he talks about the transformational impact that occurs on performance and morale when a leader connects a follower’s sense of identity to the collective identity of the organization.
Leadership practitioners spend a lot of time theorizing about transformational change writ large. But transforming an entire organization will never be an experience that most leaders are tasked with. Most leaders aren’t CEOs. They are heads of teams, departments, and divisions. More broadly, they are anyone who influences others toward the achievement of goals.
So rather than spending too much time musing about transformational change at scale, it makes more sense to focus on helping inspire transformational change at a more personal level.
Think about leaders you’ve worked for. They have likely been people who gave you feedback at a critical moment in time that ended up Click here to continue reading »”The Impact Of Leaders On Personal Transformation”
In the face of continual change and uncertainty in the global economy – not to mention the increasingly myopic focus on short-term gains at the expense of understanding the long-term context – fear in the workplace has become a long-term affliction as evidenced in study after study showing increasing levels of stress paired with falling engagement levels in today’s work environments.
Not surprisingly, such conditions naturally lead to calls for courageous leaders to step forward to help guide us through the storm and back into calmer waters. Unfortunately, when it comes to courage in leadership, we often have a wrong impression of what that means.
When it comes to courageous leadership, the image that often comes to mind is of a leader who is not just assertive in the face of uncertainty, but who also exudes a sense of fearlessness regarding the situation before them. And yet, the reality is that courage in leadership is not about the absence of fear. Rather, it’s about learning to manage one’s fear in order to do the work and make the decisions that need to be made.
Of course, the ability to exhibit courage in our leadership is not something that is limited to a select few that breathe rarefied air. Indeed, each of us have the capacity to be courageous leaders by implementing the following steps: Click here to continue reading »”How Courageous Leaders Address Fear In The Workplace”