In this month-long celebration of my first book “Leadership Vertigo”, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of having some of the top leadership experts – Doug Conant, Liz Wiseman, Jim Kouzes, and Barry Posner – share their insights about three of the four leadership principles discussed in my book. For this next entry in this special leadership series, I’d like to discuss the fourth leadership principle “Drive Compassion”.
A few years ago, I wrote a piece based on a tweetchat I hosted looking at the importance of empathy in leadership. Although I wrote it many years ago, it continues to be shared in various social media channels, no doubt due to our increasing awareness of the importance of empathy to leadership roles in today’s global environment.
Of course, the interesting thing about empathy is that it’s not that difficult for us to exhibit. Indeed, research from the neuroscience field has demonstrated that we’re actually hard-wired to empathize with those around us, thanks to a neural network called mirror neurons.
And the clearest example we can see of our hard-wired tendency for empathy comes from how we react to news of natural disasters or atrocities committed by other humans. Even though we may not be directly impacted by these events, it nonetheless causes a deep emotional response. While our rational mind might view these events as being not our concern, our empathy makes it so that we can’t help but feel concern and care for those we don’t even know.
But if we’re hard-wired to empathize and consequently, to exhibit compassion to those around us, how come we don’t see evidence of this behaviour in the workplace? Why are so many workplaces suffering from a lack of human compassion, connection, and shared belonging? And perhaps more importantly Click here to continue reading »”Compassion – A Cornerstone In Today’s Leadership”
Continuing the month-long celebration of the release of my first leadership book (which will be available in bookstores and through online retailers), “Leadership Vertigo”, I’m delighted to welcome best-selling author, leadership researcher, and former Oracle executive Liz Wiseman. In this special guest piece written for this celebratory leadership series, Liz looks at how making ourselves vulnerable can help us to build our competency, which is the 2nd leadership principle found in the book.
Liz, thanks for sharing insights from your upcoming book with my readers. I’m truly grateful for all the support and guidance you gave me as I took my steps forward to join in among the ranks as a leadership author. It really means a lot and helped me greatly. (Thanks also, Liz, for the great idea for the next episode of my leadership podcast show, “Leadership Biz Cafe”, that will be released on my blog in three weeks. I’m sure my listeners are going to love it).
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Becoming a great leader requires us to understand how our best intentions can be received differently by the people we lead and often backfire. Reinhold Niebuhr, the American theologian said, “All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions.” While leaders view their own leadership through the lens of their good intentions, their staff perceives that same behavior only by its consequences.
Max Brown and Tanveer Naseer refer to this gap as leadership vertigo. Understanding and closing this gap requires leaders to be willing to learn and understand how our natural tendencies can take us down the wrong path. And real learning only happens when leaders get vulnerable and open up.
Several years ago I was working with a management team in the United Arab Emirates, helping them becoming Multipliers – leaders who bring out the best ideas and work from their teams. We explored the idea that, despite having the very best of intentions, leaders can accidentally have a diminishing impact on the people they lead.
The group was delightfully engaged and enjoying the session. I asked each person to Click here to continue reading »”Got Leadership Vertigo? Get Vulnerable”
One of the great joys I get from my work is the opportunity to connect and build relationships with some truly exceptional leaders and people. One of them is my friend, Bob Bennett, the guest writer of this piece. After seeing one of Bob’s talks two years ago, I knew this was a leader I had to connect with, and our conversations and emails since then have been inspiring, informative, and just plain fun. When you read the guest piece he’s written below, you’ll understand why.
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I am blessed to have grandchildren, because they teach me something new every day – even things like leadership and business.
One week shy of their third birthday my wife and I took two of our grandchildren, May and Tucker, to Disney World. They are twins; May is an instigator and manipulator. Tucker is ‘all boy’ and extremely active but sensitive. Both have a quest for knowledge; they can talk with you all day about habitats, inertia, paleontologists, and, as Tucker calls it, ‘gestion,’ the art of turning the food one eats into energy.
We stayed at a cabin in the Wilderness Village. We spent four full days at the separate theme parks, going on every ride that did not have a height restriction.
While packing to leave after the ‘adventure,’ my wife and I wondered which were the kids’ favorite rides. The decision: Tucker – Toy Story; May – Ariel. So, as would any grandparent, we asked them.
The first surprise for us was the speed with which they answered the question. They both answered immediately Click here to continue reading »”How We Can Develop A Culture Of Learning”
Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the distinct honour of being recognized by two organizations for my work in the field of leadership. The first came from Inc. Magazine which recognized me as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts, putting me alongside such leadership heavyweights as Sir Richard Branson, Vineet Nayar, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Peter F. Drucker, and placing one spot below Bill Gates.
The second recognition I received came from Kelly Services in their list of the “Top 7 Blogs Every Manager Should Read”, where I found myself being included alongside such preeminent sites as the Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Management Blog, The Gallup Blog, and Seth Godin to name a few.
Naturally, I took to my various networks to share this news, both to invite others to join me in celebrating these recognitions, but also as an opportunity for me to express my appreciation for the continued support and encouragement I’ve received over the years that has helped to place me in such esteemed company.
Among the various congratulatory wishes, renowned leadership expert, best-selling author, and award-winning leadership speaker Jim Kouzes posed an interesting question to me – looking back at the journey that has lead to me such accolades and recognition, “what would you say are the 3 to 5 lessons you’ve learned along the way?”
Although my reply to Jim’s query focused on some of the lessons I’ve learned from writing this blog for the past 5 years, I realized that some of these lessons also apply to the field of leadership, in how they can guide us to become the kind of leader our employees need us to be so they can succeed and thrive.
So here now are 3 lessons I’d like to share from my own experiences to ensure that we’re not only successful in our efforts to guide and inspire those we lead, but that we’re able to achieve the underlying vision and drive that defines why we commit ourselves to serving those under our care. Click here to continue reading »”3 Personal Lessons On How To Succeed At Leadership”
After enduring the long and at-times extreme weather conditions of this past winter season, many of us are understandably relieved to find ourselves under the welcoming and hospitable conditions that are often associated with Springtime.
Of course, with the return of warm weather and sunny skies, there is a strong temptation to rip apart the brown and tired masses in our gardens in order to make room for new plants already in bloom. That we start over with a fresh batch of flowers instead of providing the current plants in our garden with the time they need to awaken and resume their growth cycle.
It’s a temptation that’s mirrored in many organizations today where the shift is moving from surviving the economic storm of the past few years to seeking opportunities for growth and expansion. As with our gardens, it can be tempting to simply press ahead with new initiatives with little thought on the impact it might have on the collective potential that currently lies dormant within our workforce.
But if we are to ensure a sustainable, long-term growth for our organization, we need to make intentional our efforts to tap into the discretionary effort found within our employees. That in looking ahead, we connect the motivational drives of those under our care with what we plan to fuel our organization’s growth. In this way, we can provide a strong foundation on which to build our organization’s health and long-term viability.
To help you achieve this in your organization, here are four measures you can implement in order to plant the seeds for your organization’s future growth and ability to thrive in the years to come. Click here to continue reading »”Planting Seeds For Your Organization’s Growth”