The following is a guest piece by Megan Totka.
Great leadership is a necessity for any business that is striving for great success, especially during trying times. Without leadership that is effective, it’s nearly impossible for businesses to grow and expand, as is necessary in an ever-changing market.
While large corporations may be able to survive for short periods of time without great leadership in place, the opposite is often true for small businesses. Small businesses are often comprised of just a few employees, and could potentially fall apart if their leadership structure is in jeopardy.
So why exactly is it that great leadership is a must for small businesses? Here are a few reasons:
There’s been a lot discussion lately on the merits of telecommuting, in terms of fostering teamwork and innovation among disparate employees in an organization. While there’s certainly been a number of valid points made on both sides of this issue, one fundamental problem with this on-going discussion is the focus on how we work without any evaluation of how these strategies address the issue of why we work.
By now, all of us are familiar with the numerous studies that have unequivocally demonstrated that the ability to motivate employees through salary or other financial incentives has a very short shelf-life and is especially difficult to maintain when obstacles or challenges are placed in our way.
These studies have also shown that the most effective way to sustain our motivation and drive over the long run is being able to connect what we do with an internalized understanding and appreciation of the purpose behind why we do it; of why it matters both to ourselves, and to the organization and community we serve.
This is exactly the approach we see in many of today’s thriving organizations which have a clear connection between their collective efforts and the purpose behind their organization. These purpose-driven organizations don’t care about what their competition is doing because they don’t need to rely on others to define the value of what they do. That definition has already been created internally and collectively.
Our purpose tells us why what we do is so important that only we could do it, if not also why we have to do it. In the pursuit of profits and market share, it’s easy for an organization to Click here to continue reading »”What Organizations Really Need To Succeed And Thrive”
Since writing about the nature of success and failure, I’ve had a number of colleagues express interest in discussing the process of experimentation with me, given my background in the sciences field. While experimentation is certainly a cornerstone in science, these conversations also allowed me to remind others of another valuable skill we can glean from science – that of learning about observation.
The act of observation requires that we look beyond ourselves and what we know, to identify and discover ideas, insights, and lessons that we can learn from those around us and from the surrounding environment. Through observation, we can develop a sense of mindfulness that can help to inform and shape our understanding about a particular situation or process.
It’s an idea that I was reminded of while reading Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson’s book, “Avoid Boring People: Lessons From A Life In Science” and the lessons he shares with the reader from his experiences both in and outside of the lab.
Although the lessons he shares are clearly directed towards those in the sciences field, some of the insights he shares can also benefit leaders in how to become more effective in guiding their organizations in today’s faster-paced and complex world. Click here to continue reading »”Lessons On Effective Leadership From A Nobel Laureate”
A few weeks ago, I shared with my various networks an article from Forbes on the ten resolutions successful people not only make but carry out. While the list provided some valuable points, what was more noteworthy was the discussions this piece generated with a few of my colleagues about the nature of success.
These conversations revealed an interesting paradox. Namely, that while we have no problems identifying successful organizations or individuals, we have a harder time defining what a successful version of our own organization would look like.
Granted, most of us are rather effective at developing strategies and goal-setting. And yet, how many of us have a clear definition or vision of what a successful version of our team/organization would look like? What would it take for us to feel successful in the long run beyond simply achieving our goals or targets?
Here are a series of questions you can use to start a dialogue with your team to help figure this out:
1. How does this fit in with our organization’s values?
One of the reasons why we have a harder time defining success is because many of us are still operating from a reactive standpoint – where our decisions and actions act only in response to what we see our competition doing or as a result of what we encounter or experience.
Another reason is that most discussions on successful organizations or individuals focus Click here to continue reading »”What Does Success Really Look Like?”