Just this week, our newly hired Vice President of Sales and I were talking about delegation. He kept asking for me to give him stuff and I kept reminding myself it was okay to let go of certain things. My fellow control freak friends will understand this. However, there is a lot to be said for delegation and much has been said about what it is and how to do it, but are there some things you shouldn’t delegate. Yes, I believe there are, namely one that is most important: your relationships. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t and if you do, why it could spell disaster:
Whether your relationships are with vendors, clients, or internal employees, when you hire someone new, they usually have no connection with the people you know or have worked with for a while. Because you know them, there is a connection and a history. Both bring ease and comfort to conversation, allow for more effective networking and idea sharing, and keeps your Read Full Article »
I have to laugh at my own silly sense of humor in “touching on” intangible traits, but I’m also making a point. You can quantifiably measure things like delegation, achievement, and motivation from a leader to a team. What you can’t measure are the three more intangible traits of patience, trust and confidence, but without these you’ll also be measuring the number of people leaving, citing poor leadership as the primary reason. As important as these three traits are, they are also those with which leaders can struggle the most. Let’s touch on these and see if we can improve how you use…even the traits you really can’t “touch”.
Last week, as I was waiting on something, this phrase popped into my head: “Patience is only a virtue for those who are waiting for something they don’t really want”. Now I’m not sure that’s categorically true, but I can just see some ancient medicine man sitting on a rock espousing patience is a virtue from the perspective of someone who is 110 and perhaps isn’t feeling ambitious or driven to reach for much. Those who aspire to positions of leadership typically want results. They want action…now… and they enjoy and crave accomplishment. None of those things endear themselves to patience, however, without patience, your behavior becomes pushy, so a balance is necessary. Being pushy doesn’t result in people getting more done, it makes them feel pushed. Talk yourself into being patient, even if that means you double or triple the time YOU think is appropriate to wait before your next iteration of “are you done yet”. Things do work out in a right timing it seems and what may need to be adjusted is your expectation of that “right” time.
One of the webinars I created recently helps new leaders work on their ability to earn respect from those they lead. Part of what we know to be true in the earning respect process is that it can also be followed to help build trust or earn the trust of others. Some of these steps include being true to yourself, keeping your word, and doing your best, but if it’s trust you’re not sure they have, there’s a few more steps to add. In order for people to trust you, they have to be capable of trust. This concept is a two way street. In addition, building trust takes time. See the above paragraph on patience. And the number one way to build trust is to be someone people can trust. If you say something is confidential, mean it and show that. If you say something is “just between us” keep it that way, even if it means you’re not seen as the central source of all information.
On the issue of confidence, I often joke that this is primarily about managing the voices in your head. It’s true actually and yet many are not sure how to do that exactly. To build your confidence, turn the volume down a bit on the internal critic. Give yourself permission to be “human” if that’s a struggle and know that this very effort will make you even more approachable. Recognize that as a leader, being confident is not the same as arrogance. The feeling of real confidence, in your own gifts, skills, and talents, your own convictions, and your own clarity of direction (which means you may want to get clear on what you really want and where you want to go before you can guide the team there), will keep you from taking others’ action personally or making tough leadership decisions based on popular opinion or mass agreement with your direction.
The effect of having and using or earning all three traits will set you apart from those leaders who rely on their power or authority to entice or force others to follow. The true mark of an effective leader is how many others follow them, regardless of their title, willingly and with loyalty. These traits, demonstrated with sincerity and authenticity will remarkably increase that number.
Today, actively pursue and practice the use of these three traits. They’re contagious you know.
It came up again! That question that makes me wince: “So, tell me, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?” The question was actually posed to a client, interviewing to be a judge and you would think they’d be far more interested in learning what she loved to do versus her own perception of how she behaves. Your perception of your own behavior even has a good chance of being inaccurate, so instead of focusing on what you do well and what you don’t, look at what you love. You love it because you’re good at it and doing it makes you better! Some call it “livin’ the dream” and some simply use the phrase to sarcastically justify doing a job they don’t really enjoy. But how DO you do what you love? Well, here are five ways. Read Full Article »
There’s no shortage of leaders who’ve been promoted partially because they wanted to get ahead. There’s no shame in craving to climb that corporate ladder. You get great joy from getting ahead… but so do they and they need your help to do it. What about the business? If you’re the leader, do you really want to be behind the 8 ball come fourth quarter or do you want to be well prepared and positioned to excel? Getting ahead can be great, but if that’s the case, why do so many leaders push things on purpose just to experience the pressure, adrenaline and see if they can beat their own speed record of accomplishment? Yep, I’m talking to you, but it takes one to know one so let’s learn together and maybe take that time to get ahead… now. Here’s a couple of ways to make it work! Read Full Article »
This topic came up with a business coaching client the other day and I thought I’d share. The leader I was working with, a Commander, was struggling with waiting for “things to fall into place” and to come together. His impatience was building, stress increasing and employees were scattering like mice, looking busy, but not really focused on the plan or direction of the organization. They were frozen in fear and this slowed down achievement, driving the leader to even greater levels of frustration. Got a strategy or a strategic plan, direction, set of goals? Here’s why you want to use patience while you push forward and keep up progress. Read Full Article »
Saw the movie “The Croods” this past weekend and as many of you know, I’m a BIG movie fan. I’m also the dork that sits in the theatre and takes notes on the movie, applying what I see to leadership. Talk about living what you love! Ha! “The Croods” is a lovely family movie, but I also loved the lessons in leadership that we can apply. Here are five. Read Full Article »
“Generation Y, commonly called the Millennials, is the largest generation in US history and already represents over 25% of the US workforce. Coming of age at the tail end of the deep recession, they have high expectations that are running up against fewer growth opportunities. Are you ready to lead this group?”
This arrived in my email as part of an email to sign up for a learning webinar that will address leading Gen Y team members. The stats fascinated me and if you would like to know more about the webinar that I was invited to, go to www.TalentKeepers.com or email Kerri Weber, Senior Talent Management Strategy Consultant, KWeber@TalentKeepers.com
We’ve spoken of expectations lately and they’ve been a hot topic in our leadership classes, too! What we‘ve not addressed is how low can they go and whether reducing them is really the right thing to do. Not sure of your expectations? Start there and think on those. Then review the following three reasons you may want to raise them a notch. Read Full Article »