The following is a guest piece by Dan Pontefract.
The Italian town of Pisa is an interesting place full of contrasts. The tower, of course, has been leaning amongst a sea of straight buildings in the Piazza del Duomo that includes tall Tuscan evergreens as well as columns that have adorned the Duomo, Baptistery and Campo Santo for several hundred years.
Fine art in the various buildings is starkly opposed a gaggle of immigrants trying to make a buck by hocking souvenir trinkets of miniature ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’ replicas, Holy rosaries, fake leather bags and sunglasses. It really is beauty and the beast.
Tourists themselves parade mightily with cameras in hand amongst the old Romanesque walls gazing at this architectural wonderment whereas local Italians look on rather ambivalently to the surroundings, barely noticing the beatific stone marvels nestled amongst them.
It’s this recognition of contrast in Pisa where we must take pause and articulate a set of leadership attributes that embody contrast. I suggest there are fifteen Connected Leader Attributes necessary to invoke ‘Flat Army’ across a team and organization; where there is rigidity there must be flexibility and where there is give there must be take. Where there is the need to drive business there is the need to understand and work with people.
The Connected Leader in the Flat Army model can be thought of as Click here to continue reading »”What Does It Take To Be A Connected Leader?”
The following is guest piece by Dan Schawbel.
When I used to work in a Fortune 200 company, I always wondered what it took to get ahead at work. No one ever spelled it out and there were no set expectations for becoming a manager at the company. You had to figure it out on your own.
The basis for my new book, “Promote Yourself”, is that I wanted to reveal the criteria that managers were using to evaluate employees for management roles. If you know what managers are looking for, and what they don’t care as much about, then you can spend your time wisely and increase your probability of success.
One of my predictions was that the higher up you go in an organization, the more important soft skills are to your success. The reason is because you have to start managing people, leading a team, delegate tasks and communicate constantly. This was confirmed in the research I did with American Express for the book. We found that managers are looking for soft skills over hard ones when promoting.
Then we decided to break the soft skills down to find out which ones are the most important. The top three most important skills Click here to continue reading »”What Managers Are Looking For In Tomorrow’s Leaders”
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”
The following is a guest piece by Kevin Kruse.
“Hey, why is it always up to the manager to increase engagement?” Shirley had thrust up her hand and didn’t wait for me to call on her before blurting out her question. She continued, “The person who always complains about ‘communication’ never raises his hand in a meeting to ask a question.”
We were in the middle of workshop teaching leadership principles that drive employee engagement—techniques that increase an employee’s emotional commitment to the company they work for. I paused, not knowing where this Director-level executive was going.
There was a wave of murmurs and head nodding among the other managers in the room. Derek suddenly piled on, “And the people who say there are no growth opportunities have never logged into our virtual university even once!”
My well planned meeting suddenly derailed into a spontaneous conversation around the role of the individual in employee engagement. What should be expected of the individual worker when it comes to satisfaction, motivation and ultimately, giving discretionary effort?
Shirley’s spontaneous outburst set me off on a one-year quest to better Click here to continue reading »”Employee Engagement Is Everyone’s Job”