The following is a guest piece by Marlene Chism.
There are as many definitions for leadership as there are companies that have leaders, yet at the core, leadership is about alignment. When we hear the word alignment, we think “walking the talk” or acting from integrity. We have all had the experience of observing a leader who doesn’t “walk his talk.” There an incongruity, an imbalance, or lack of agreement in one or more area.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s definition of alignment is to arrange things so that they form a line or are in proper position: to change something so that it agrees with or matches something else.
Working in and living in alignment is difficult because alignment requires you to make decisions and take actions that are in agreement with many goals, ideas and beliefs, some of which may be in conflict. Click here to continue reading »”Leadership Is About Alignment”
Over the past few months, I’ve been noticing a common thread in my work with various leaders and organizations, as well through my various speaking engagements with audiences in Canada and the US. Regardless of whether it’s the private or public sector, there’s a clear desire out there among many leaders to understand how to better engage their employees in the work they do.
No doubt a key factor behind this drive to better understand how to get employees to fully commit their discretionary efforts to their organization’s shared purpose stems from the realities of leading today’s organizations. Faced with increasing demands on their time, attention, and limited resources, it’s very easy for leaders to lose sight of what their employees truly need to feel inspired and empowered in the contributions they make to their organization.
Certainly, there are numerous studies out there which help shed some light on just how far organizations and their leaders have to go to improve employee engagement and productivity in their workplace.
From Gallup’s finding that only 13% of employees in 140 countries surveyed were engaged in the work they do, to Salary.com’s multi-year findings that 20% of a typical workday in US organizations is spent on non-work related tasks because employees don’t get a sense of value from what they do, it’s clear that this is a critical issue for every leader to consider and address.
Of course, when faced with such findings, it’s easy for leaders to either assume their organization is the exception to these findings, or that to address these issues requires some large-scale transformation in terms of the type of work they assign to their employees.
Regardless of how leaders choose to react to such findings about the realities found in today’s workplaces, one thing that’s clear is that in order to truly improve the way we work, leaders need to shift their focus from Click here to continue reading »”Are You Creating Purpose Through Your Leadership?”
The following is a guest piece by Dr. Alan Zimmerman.
It was the most memorable line in the movie Cool Hand Luke. When the prisoners wouldn’t listen, the prison guard uttered that ominous line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”
In a similar sense, almost every employee survey complains about a “lack of communication.” Perhaps you work in one of those places.
The good news is: there are two communication makeups that can fix that. One that deals with the quantity of your communication. The other addresses the quality of your communication.
Makeup #1: DNDT Increases The Quantity Of Your Communication
As I speak to various corporate groups, one of the most frequent complaints I hear is “We’re so busy we don’t have time to talk to each other. We’re so focused on our own individual silos that we don’t really know what the other people in our company are doing.”
If that sounds like you, it’s time to implement DNDT or Do Not Disturb Times. Follow these guidelines. Click here to continue reading »”2 Techniques That Transform Leadership Communication”
When I sat down to write this latest piece for my leadership blog, I realized that today marks a special anniversary – exactly 6 years ago on this date I took the plunge to begin writing my own blog. Without question, it’s been a long and exhilarating journey both in terms of the evolution of my site as well as in terms of my writing style and approach.
Given that it’s a rare occurrence for this writing anniversary to coincide with the day of the week that I publish my latest articles, I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to reflect on this writing anniversary and what lessons can be shared from this milestone on how we can do a better job inspiring those we lead to bring their best selves to the work they do.
In looking back on these past 6 years writing for my blog, I’m reminded of the fact that as is the case with writing, leadership is a journey of discovery, one that will help you understand your true value and purpose [Share on Twitter].
It’s a journey that will often challenge your assumptions of what works, of what it is that truly engages and inspires those around you, and which – if you’re open to learning those lessons – will help you to evolve and grow into the kind of leader your employees and organization needs you to be.
The truth I’ve come to appreciate over the past few years of sharing my thoughts and insights on leadership is that we can’t rely on our sense of obligation – of what people expect from us – to push ourselves to be better than we are today. Rather, what we need is that internally-driven commitment to not settle for the current status quo; that we not look at ourselves today with the belief that we can’t achieve more, or become more than we are right now.
In every successful leader, we see that hunger that compels them to not settle or rest on their laurels, but to keep pushing themselves to achieve even more and in the process, help those around them to become stronger contributors and more valued members of their organization.
These leaders understood that Click here to continue reading »”Do You Motivate By Obligation Or Commitment?”
As a writer, there’s a natural tendency to examine events to see how they can shape our understanding of things and generate ideas that can be shared with others. It’s from that perspective that this piece that came to mind on the news of the passing of one of my childhood heroes, Leonard Nimoy, and what insights could be gleaned on looking back at the impact his life has had on so many around the world.
As is the case with many scientists, Star Trek inspired within me a deep love for both real-world science and science fiction. But it’s not just scientists who have been singing their praises for Leonard Nimoy’s work. Indeed, people from all walks of life have been joining in the choruses of expressing gratitude for the influence his work – and in particular his portrayal of the legendary character Mr. Spock – has had on their lives.
Granted, for some, it might be hard to appreciate what’s behind all these tributes from people all over the world, not to mention heads of state and leaders of some of the world’s largest organizations. That is, of course, until we recognize that in those tributes we see people talking less about his work playing the fictional character Mr. Spock, and more about how his work influenced them.
Of how the character he gave life to inspired so many to challenge themselves to not only believe in a better tomorrow, but to become active participants in making that idea a reality.
It’s from that lens that I decided to write my own personal tribute to this childhood hero of mine, by sharing some stories from his life and what lessons we can learn from them about how we can use our leadership to bring out the best in those we lead, as well as inspire them to commit to the vision we have for the future.
1. Find opportunities to address the needs of others
One of the common statements being shared about Leonard Nimoy was how generous a person he was both to the people he worked with and to the numerous fans he met over the course of his life.
Some of the best examples of this can be seen in the efforts he made on behalf of Click here to continue reading »”The Leadership Legacy Of A Childhood Hero”