Managing Digital Devices:
Use Smart Tech Tools

Information-OverloadI’ve been discussing the deluge of information and our use of digital devices to help manage the flow of content in my posts here. New tech tools pop up all the time, and some help, others only distract.

The Digital Revolution has exploded in the 21st century. By 2012, over 2 billion people used the Internet, twice the number using it in 2007. Cloud computing entered the mainstream by the early 2010s. By 2015, tablet computers and smartphones are expected to exceed personal computers in Internet usage.

This means that everyone is expected to stay abreast of trends and the incessant flow of information. Not everyone does a good job of using digital devices. Read More »

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Digital Distractions:
Are You Lured into Multitasking?

Digital-DistractionsI’m concerned that the digital devices we are using non-stop are only creating more digital distractions. Instead of streamlining the flow of information and saving us time, our phones, tablets, and mobile tools seduce us into thinking we can take in more information and handle it all simultaneously.

I don’t know of anyone, at least among my executive coaching clients, who doesn’t multitask and answer email and review documents while on conference calls, for example. However, the results are mediocre on all fronts. But the temptation to multitask with digital devices is seductive. Read More »

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Digital Distractions: The War for Your Attention

Digital-distractionsAre you letting digital distractions overwhelm you and eat away at your ability to focus and concentrate? Is technology really saving you time and energy —like it’s supposed to do —or is it running rampant, creating distractions and unnecessary work?

I hear these kind of complaints a lot among my coaching clients. Most of us are bombarded by messages, texts, alerts, and buzzed throughout the day with rings, chirps, and dings, making it difficult to focus and concentrate on crucial information. And then, with any slightest urge to procrastinate, we’re never more than a click away from diversion. Read More »

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Use Your Leadership Strengths at Work

Leadership-Strengths-3I’ve been writing about the value of knowing your leadership strengths so you can get more out of your career. If you haven’t taken a strengths assessment yet, do so now. You can find strengths assessments online.

The Gallup Organization identified 34 distinct personal strengths after interviewing 1.7 million professionals over 40 years. Here is a list of identifiable career strengths along with a table to show how each strengths fits into the four domains of leadership strengths. Read More »

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Measuring and Defining
Your Leadership Strengths

Leadership-strengthsGallup’s new online StrengthsFinder assessment helps you identify which of 34 theme-based strengths you have and how they fit into the four domains of leadership strengths:

  • Execution
  • Influence
  • Relationship-building
  • Strategic thinking

You can also take advantage of similar strengths assessments here: free online tools.

Defining Leadership Strengths

Strengths development requires you to understand several key terms:

A strength is your ability to consistently produce positive outcomes through near-perfect performance in a specific task. It is composed of: Read More »

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4 Leadership Qualities Your Followers Want

Leadership-QualitiesAs a leader, do you have a good grasp of what leadership qualities your followers want from you? In my previous posts here  and here, I’ve been talking about the benefits of leadership that emphasizes the strengths of people, rather than trying to fix weaknesses.

In Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, New York Times-bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of extensive Gallup research. Based on their analyses, three keys to effective leadership emerge:

  1. Know your strengths—and invest in others’ strengths.
  2. Hire people with the right strengths for your team.
  3. Understand and meet your followers’ four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

This third point is key because any leader who doesn’t meet followers basic needs will end up with a disengaged work force. What leadership qualities do your followers want?

The most effective leaders understand their followers’ needs.

Read More »

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4 Effective Leadership Skills

Maximize-Leadership-SkillsIn Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow, New York Times-bestselling author Tom Rath and leadership consultant Barry Conchie reveal the results of extensive Gallup research. Based on their analyses, three keys to effective leadership emerge:

  1. Know your strengths—and invest in others’ strengths.
  2. Hire people with the right strengths for your team.
  3. Understand and meet your followers’ four basic needs: trust, compassion, stability and hope.

The most effective leaders continuously invest in strengths. When leaders fail to focus on individuals’ strengths, the odds of employee engagement drop to a dismal 1 in 11 (9%). But when leaders focus on employees’ strengths, the odds soar to almost 3 in 4 (73%).

That translates to an eightfold increase in the odds of engaging individuals in their work, leading to greatly increased organizational and personal gains. Employees enjoy greater self-confidence when they learn about their strengths (as opposed to focusing on their weaknesses). Read More »

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Strengths-Based Leadership:
Well Known Yet Not Well Used

Strengths-based-leadershipAre you a strengths-based leader? Do you engage with your people in discussions about their strengths and talents?

My recent series on mid-career crises struck a chord with readers, several of whom shared their dilemmas with me through email and comments. My frequent response is to ask people if they are doing work they love, and if not, why not? Sometimes the urgent demands of projects means we get swept up in doing things we don’t like and aren’t really good at.

That’s when you need to appeal to people’s strengths and talents. But how can you do that unless you use strengths-based leadership principles on a daily basis?

If you want to improve employee engagement and productivity while reducing turnover, your organization must build on individual and team strengths. Strengths-based leadership is the key leadership style that will prevail in the future. Read More »

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Mid Career Crises Aren’t Always Midway

Mid-career-crisisMy recent series of post on mid career challenges has resonated with a number of readers. But there’s another crucial moment we face towards the end of one’s career. When we’re nearing the point where we make plans for retirement, these issues flare up again. There’s no term for it, but late-career awareness can be just as confusing and challenging.

I’ll share just one comment from a reader:

Dear Chip, Always enjoy your points. I will be age 59 in about a month and went through the mid life thing at 43. I am expecting to retire at age 62.5 (hopefully) from the full-time, high energy, stressful and lots of responsibility job to something part-time and low stress. I see from the U-curve that I should be started uphill. So, how come I am starting to count months already?

I feel over-worked, under-paid, and while I enjoy mentoring to my hopeful successors and while I enjoy my industry, I find myself hating to deal with the entitlement employees that whine about everything and its never enough for them. Can you blog about us late Baby Boomers and what we should be doing to lessen the burden and anxiety I feel?

Read More »

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Mid Life Crisis: Now What?

Mid-Life-CrisisIf you haven’t yet had a mid-career crisis, you probably will at some point. Something happens in our minds between the ages of 35 and 50 that’s too important to ignore. As I mentioned in my previous post here, scientists are only now beginning to study and understand what’s behind mid-life crises.

It turns out that it’s experienced all over the world. Surveys show that life satisfaction deteriorates mid-life and then rises again with age, in over 50 countries worldwide. Why is this? Is it a feature of our industrialized era, a result of modern society driven by ambition and consumerism?

I wonder. What I do know is that it’s a major reason executives come into coaching to contemplate the questions of life and what’s next. What I hear from my clients is that their cherished convictions, morals and life principles suddenly come under examination. Smart people know that it doesn’t mean something is wrong, or even that they’re not achieving what they set out to do. It’s not for lack of success. Most of my clients are successful. Read More »

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