Tag Archives: Leadership Style

Four Tips to Enhance your Leadership Success

How to Lead Like it Matters

I received a copy of this article and I thought, “There are some good ideas here, maybe I should write something about this.” Then I realized, I don’t need to write something about this, I just need to share it with you. Enjoy!

How to Lead Like it Matters
by Roxi Bahar Hewertson

Whether you’re a manager, executive, or CEO, your leadership style matters. Whether you’re running a large global firm, a small project team or an entrepreneurial venture, it’s the way you communicate and connect to other people that can, and will, make or break your success. The key lies with making each and every connection count—to develop and leverage your skills and play on your strengths—in order to lead like it matters…because it does. There are problems, pressures, and pain points that plague managers at every level—and most of them are solvable. Understanding that each and every leadership choice you make has some kind of a ‘ripple effect’ throughout your team and organization at large is critical to your success. As leaders, we need to know how to ensure that the ripples we make have the intended impact, whether it’s running meetings, handling conflicts, making confident decisions, or instituting needed changes in the workplace. When leaders approach and execute effective leadership correctly, they often gain greater control of their organization’s future, build highly productive teams, and can institute changes that “stick.” In my book, “Lead Like it Matters…Because it Does,” I focus on these 4 core tenets of leadership that, when mastered, best assure the desired “ripple effect” that can revolutionize the way one leads and succeeds:

1. Personal Mastery: It’s imperative to discover exactly who you are as a leader and draw on your strengths to influence others—to know and grow the leader within. Personal mastery is discovering who YOU are as a leader, your purpose, values, and vision, how you affect others, your style, preferences, strengths and challenges—it all starts with you. Begin by: getting direct feedback from your boss and anonymous feedback from your peers, direct reports, and even clients about your leadership style and impact. Then you can be certain of how you areperceived in your role and discern what’s working for you and what’s not. Play to your strengths and work with trusted colleagues and/or a business or executive coach to mitigate your blind spots and challenges.

2. Interpersonal Mastery: A powerful leader has excellent communication and people management skills that engage, motivate, and inspire employees. These leaders know how to listen deeply and communicate effectively with others, how to constructively provide feedback (including to one’s boss), and how to manage conflict successfully. Begin by: practicing deep listening as if your life depends on it. Most of us know how in theory, so be mindful and tactically apply it. At the end of every conversation, ask the person talking to you if they felt fully heard and understood by you, and then ask them why they felt that way. It’s also a good idea to practice demonstrating empathy in every conversation, no matter what the subject.

3. Team Mastery: The most successful leaders harness the power of group dynamics to build stronger, more productive teams. No matter why a team is formed or who is on the team, the “not to’s” of building and maintaining effective teams do not vary. Leaders who want to succeed need their teams to succeed. And of course, teams are made up of individuals. The reality is, people are messy and groups are messy. It takes awareness, attention, time, and skill to get the best out of your teams. And it’s worth every ounce of investment, when done well.

Begin by: making the time to establish “ground rules” or “rules of engagement” for new or existing teams. These are the things that each team member NEEDS to feel safe, be fully heard, believe that they belong, and feel that what they have to offer matters to the leader and the other team members. With an established team, you might put this topic on the agenda as a simple “checking in on our team process,” “housekeeping” or “revisiting our team norms” line item. Employ whatever positioning work for you and your group. Then, make sure the group maintains accountability to the ground rules for themselves and each other to ensure the effort is not in vein.

4. Culture and Systems Mastery: Take the lead in assessing your organization and make the changes you need to succeed—on every level. To understand leadership we must understand the cultures operating around us because culture affects us much like the air we breathe, and it is almost as important to our well-being. An organization’s espoused values may or may not reflect the real operating culture of the organization. You need to know, not guess or project, what the culture really is and how it actually affects your people and overarching business results.

Begin by: walking around the organization and really observing the lay of the land, as if you were in a foreign country. What language are they speaking; how are they dressed; what do their work “homes” look and feel like; how do different groups interact; how high or low is the smile meter around the workplace? This will get you started, but it certainly isn’t the whole story. For that, you have to delve deeper, and ask more questions. Just remember, never ask questions about the workplace if you are not prepared to hear the answers in a non-defensive manner or actually address issues brought to your attention.

When leaders excel at these four core facets of effective leadership, they will reap quantifiable rewards, including, but limited to, increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and enhanced productivity. No matter the decision at hand, whether cutting wasteful meetings, addressing conflict, or better aligning decisions with tactical business needs, each and every choice a leader makes will have a ripple effect. It’s the leader’s approach, attitude, and skills that will determine if the resultant effects of seemingly singular choices will be helpful or a hindrance as each one cascades through the system.

Leadership authority Roxi Bahar Hewertson, CEO of Highland Consulting Group, Inc. and AskRoxi.com, brings over three decades of practical experience in the worlds of business, higher education and non-profits. She is an entrepreneur, consultant, speaker and author of the acclaimed book, “Lead Like it Matters…Because it Does ” (McGraw-Hill October 2014) (www.tinyurl.com/leadlikeitmatters), which provides leaders with a step-by-step roadmap and practical tools to achieve great results. Source:http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/ExecutiveIntegration.pdf

Power: Case inquiry

Guest post by Travis Anderson

Power

Yukl and Falbe define seven types of leadership power. ?The authors decided based on research that the dichotomy of positional power and personal power was a two-factor concept of leadership power.

Positional Power

  1. Legitimate
  2. Reward
  3. Coercive
  4. Information
  5. Ecological

Personal Power

  1. Referent
  2. Expert

The two-factor concept is an important distinction because as an individual is hired into a position, it is presumed that they gain automatic legitimate power. However, personally the individual may not have any subject matter expertise and also must earn the respect of others in order to obtain referent power.

If an individual only relies on just one source of power, namely legitimate, that individual is doomed to fail. Based on the way the authors explain the different types of power and real world experience, effectiveness is obtained by understanding how each of these sources of power work in unison.

Robert Greene in the The 48 Laws of Power explains that people perceive power differently. As we become astute to the power that is all around us at all times, we can monitor power from three different perspectives of which are

  1. Those that want to obtain power
  2. Those that want to guard themselves against power
  3. Those that want to observe power

Most of us are linear thinkers and generally develop our leadership style over time based on personal experience. Our first experience with power and effective leadership is with our parents. As children, we try very hard to walk the line and expand the boundaries of our jurisdiction. As we grow and mature, our different experiences define our leadership style.

How we use the different sources of power in the context of a situation determines our effectiveness.

As a case example, let?s conclude that an individual leader is considerate, transformational, and people centric by definition of style. Her expertise and background is five years software development in the commercial market sector. She is a PMP, MBA, and IPMA-B.? Now the context is a $7M high risk Gov’t project, firm fixed price contract, and only one year in duration. Neither her nor her organization has past experience working on Gov’t contracts.

  • Can this style of leader be effective?
  • What sources of power can this leader draw upon?
  • How can this leader be effective?

Leave your comments and add to the situational context if so desired.