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”
The following is a guest piece by Megan Totka.
We often hear that great leaders are born, not bred. This would imply that you must have leadership in your blood, rather than be able to learn great leadership qualities. While it may be true that some people are natural born leaders, I don’t think it’s necessarily true that great leadership cannot be taught.
On our Chamber blog and website, we focus on the needs of small business owners. Many small businesses are started by people who want to act on a great idea. These people may or may not have previous leadership experience or even possess inherent leadership qualities.
In the case of these business owners, it’s imperative to develop leadership skills, and quickly. Even if your business is a one-man show, it’s still critical to be assertive when it comes to business, and being assertive is absolutely a leadership quality.
If you are involved in a small business, whether it is as the owner, partner, or employee, it’s a great idea to take a few minutes to think about the leadership qualities that you possess and how you can use them to benefit yourself, your company, and those around you.
A few leadership qualities that are important to those who are involved in the small business world: Click here to continue reading »”How Helping Others Develop Great Leadership Skills Can Help Your Business”
Why is it that some leaders are able to stretch and build the intelligence, creativity and motivation of their employees, while other leaders seem only to disengage and drain the collective talent found within their teams? That’s the basis of my conversation with leadership researcher and best-selling author Liz Wiseman.
Liz is the president of The Wiseman Group, a research and development firm that conducts research in the field of leadership and collective intelligence. Some of her clients include Nike, Apple, PayPal, Genentech, Dubai Bank, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Prior to founding her research firm, Liz worked for 17 years at Oracle as the Vice President of Oracle University and the global leaders for Human Resource Development.
In addition to writing for the Harvard Business Review, Liz co-wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller, “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter”, which features some of the research she’s done looking at leadership and collective intelligence.
Over the course of our conversation, Liz shares a number of stories and research findings that help to illustrate:
- What’s the “dirty little secret of the corporate world” that we don’t talk about and how it’s impacting employee engagement.
- How “multiplier” leaders stretch and grow talent to increase team productivity, instead of relying on attaining more resources to achieve goals.
- Why leaders need to go “public” with their mistakes to engender team success and building community.
- How encouraging debate can improve both decision-making and employee engagement.
- What “multiplier” leaders do that motivates their employees to do their best work.
- What the research findings into “multiplier” leaders reveals about opportunities to improve our education system in order to create leaders and employees that organizations will need in the years ahead.
Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Biz Cafe Podcast #11 – Liz Wiseman On How Leaders Grow Intelligence”
When it comes to successfully leading today’s organizations, one skill that’s been growing in importance and need is the ability to manage change. While many of us have read about various organizations to understand how they’ve dealt with change, I’d like to share an experiment done with crows to highlight some key lessons we can glean from this research on how to embrace change.
In his TED talk, Joshua Klein describes an experiment he performed to understand the nature of intelligence found in crows. For his experiment, Klein created a vending machine that would dispense peanuts when a coin was dropped into the coin slot. At first, he placed the peanuts on a feeding tray above the coin slot, along with a number of coins, to help attract the interest of the nearby crows.
Once Klein saw that the birds had become comfortable eating peanuts on the vending machine, he removed the peanuts from the feeding tray, leaving only the coins behind. When the other birds and squirrels inspected the device and found only coins on the tray, they left to forage for food elsewhere. The crows, on the other hand, used their beaks to push the coins around in order to see if they could find a peanut.
Naturally, this action caused one of the coins to fall into the coin slot, resulting in the machine dispensing a peanut. In a short period of time, the crows caught on that Click here to continue reading »”How To Embrace Change In Today’s Organizations”