Do You Have an Open Mind?

Open-mindDo you maintain an open mind? Is it possible to learn more about yourself even late in your career and life? Or, at some point, do we stop questioning and decide “that’s just the way we are?” I think these questions are important. In the work I do as a coach, I encounter both responses from people.

Eminent psychologist and human intelligence expert Howard Gardner (Extraordinary Minds, 1998) points out that exceptional people have a special talent for identifying their own strengths and weaknesses. They have open minds and are willing to take in feedback about their own deficiencies so they can improve themselves and their organizational performance. Read More »

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How Well Do You Know Yourself?

Know-yourselfHow well do you think you know yourself? Self-awareness is key to success in work, life, and relationships. I would say that it is the foundation of strong character, giving us the ability to lead with a sense of purpose, authenticity, openness, and trust.

Knowing yourself, and knowing the forces that affect the people who work for you, holds the key to being a successful leader.” ~ Kenneth M. Settel, MD, Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, CEO Psychology: Who Rises, Who Falls and Why (RosettaBooks, 2012)

Many of us know our character strengths, and over time have worked to develop them. At the same time, not being cognizant of our weaknesses can blindside our success. Read More »

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Authentic Leaders Earn Trust

Authentic-leadersI’ve been exploring what it takes for leaders to become more authentic leaders. According to author Karissa Thacker in The Art of Authenticity (Wiley, 2016), becoming more authentic involves several key leadership mandates:

  1. Be self-aware
  2. Earn respect
  3. Connect with people
  4. Convey credibility
  5. Earn trust

You can earn trust by practicing these four attributes: self-awareness, respect, connecting, and credibility. There are other ways to enhance your trust quotient and demonstrate authenticity. Read More »

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How Do Authentic Leaders
Convey Credibility?

Authentic-leaersI’ve been exploring how authentic leaders build authenticity by addressing five areas: self-awareness, respect, connecting, credibility and trust.

How do authentic leaders come across as truly credible? For one thing, people don’t believe leaders who exhibit questionable behavior. If a leader shows flexible morality in one arena, they are not going to be perceived as 100% ethical in others. Being true, inwardly and outwardly, avoids this potential pitfall. Read More »

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Authentic Leaders Earn Respect

Authentic-Leader I’ve been exploring what it takes for leaders to develop into more authentic leaders. Being respected begins with showing respect to others, both upline and downline in your organization. Model respect for everyone and it will be contagious.

The phrase “leading by example” is more than a suggestion. Leaders who model the behavior they want their organization to exhibit make the most effective strides in establishing a healthy culture. Employees respect leaders who “walk the talk” and regard them as authentic. Who doesn’t want to follow someone who displays noble values in decisions and behaviors? Read More »

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Why Authentic Leaders Need to Be Self Aware

Authentic-leadersIn just about every article and book I read about authentic leaders, we learn how self-awareness is a cornerstone to authenticity. There are good reasons for this.

Authentic leaders know themselves well, notes Brenda Ellington Booth, a clinical professor of management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business.

When leaders are self-aware, they recognize their limitations and weaknesses, and they can openly admit to them. This leads to being able to learn to compensate for faults in order to find workable solutions. Focusing on self-improvement, with an emphasis on asking others to assist, is as authentic as it gets. Read More »

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Are You the Authentic Leader
Your People Need?

Authentic-leaderAre you really the authentic leader your people want you to be? Many leaders are unaware of how their lack of authenticity chips away at people, breeding dissatisfaction, distrust and disloyalty. Organizational effectiveness and productivity suffer when workers view leaders as inauthentic.

One out of three people distrusts his or her employer, according to the 2017 Edelman “Trust Barometer.” Four out of five don’t see authenticity in their leaders’ performance. When only 20 percent of leaders come across as genuine, they risk handicapping their organizations with insufficient influence, poor worker engagement, and ultimately, disappointing corporate results. Read More »

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Leadership Dishonesty:
When Is It Right for Leaders to Lie?

Leadership-DishonestyIn my last post, I wrote about leadership dishonesty and asked the question, “When, if ever, and under what circumstances, is it okay for leaders to lie?” I’m interested to know what your experience has been. And I’m curious about author Jeffrey Pfeffer’s contention that the ability to misrepresent reality is a crucial leadership skill.

In Leadership BS, Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time,  (HarperBusiness, September 2015) he writes:

“Simply put, there are occasions when you have to do bad things to achieve good results.”

“Sometimes survival demands that you do what prevails in the ecosystem in which you are competing.”

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Leadership Dishonesty: The New Norm?

Leadership-DishonestyEveryone agrees that leadership dishonesty is wrong and that candor, honesty and transparency are essential to leaders of all organizations. When leaders lie, no one trusts them—not their subordinates, their own bosses, their colleagues, or their customers. You can’t have effective leadership without trust.

Worse, when leaders lie, others do the same. Almost no one can be sure to have accurate information about what is really going on and decisions are faulty. It is impossible to learn from experience and make better choices when there isn’t full disclosure and transparency. Read More »

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When Teams Lack Focus on Results

focus-on-resultsWhen team members trust one another, engage in healthy conflict around issues, commit to the decisions they make, and hold one another accountable, there’s a pretty good chance they will succeed. And yet… sometimes they don’t.

When teams manage the first four dysfunctions of teams that commonly cause project failures, they still might fail. Why does this happen? Human nature.

We have a strong tendency to look out for ourselves before others, even when others are part of our families and teams. And because teams are made up of fallible human beings, they often stumble. They lose sight of the ultimate measure of a great team: Achieving the results they were designed to achieve. Read More »

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