Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

How To Be A Bad Manager

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Bad Managers

I was intrigued recently to read an article in The Huffington Post (find it here) that identified eleven ineffective leadership styles. It was hard while reading not to assign the names of people I have worked with through the years against these. It was even harder when I realised I was guilty of a number of them.

The article is a quick read, in infographic style, so I’m not going to reproduce all the material here, but I will highlight the top five styles that most annoy me:

  1. Micromanaging
  2. Autocratic
  3. Dictatorial
  4. Excessive consistency
  5. Mushroom management

As you read the article, think honestly about your own leadership and see if you are guilty of having any of these styles, and if you do, then develop a plan to see if you can move from being ineffective to effective. Your employees will love you for it!

Are You A Toxic Leader?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Toxic LeadershipThat’s a tough question to answer for many of us. We would like to believe that we have no faults, and if only everybody did what they were told, before I tell them, then the business will go alright. Unfortunately, sometimes we are the problem, and for leaders it may be our leadership.

In a recent blog in Business News Daily (Read it here), Nicole Fallon Taylor outlines 4 warning signs that you may be that toxic leader. The article is well worth the read, if you are game! As a teaser, the four warning signs are:

  1. Your team keeps disappearing
  2. People don’t look to you for guidance
  3. You frequently have negative emotional reactions to work situations
  4. You feel the need to control all aspects of your teams’ operations

But don’t despair if you recognise some (or all) of these behaviours, as there are things you can do to reduce your toxicity. Fallon refers to strategies that include self-awareness, humility and accountability. In the article there are three questions to ask yourself regarding your interactions with people. Why not try some of these out during the next week and see what happens.

The Avondale Business School can help you be an effective leader– find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Great Performers Make Their Personal Lives a Priority

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Work life Balance 2The great dilemma for most people striving for success is to balance their personal lives with their careers, so that neither suffers. How difficult that can be is represented by numerous broken relationships and unrealised dreams. In a very recent post on the Harvard Business Review site, Stew Friedman explores this idea and proposes a way of making it work. You can read the full article here.

Friedman references examples of successful people who have achieved in the four areas of life – work, family, community and self, and talks of “four-way wins” that result in all of these areas being enriched through the span of one’s lifetime. While using these examples, Friedman does so in order to highlight that anyone can achieve this, and it is not the domain of the rich and successful only.

While the article elaborates on these examples, there are three principles that Friedman advocates as the starting point for this success, a quick summary of these are:

  1. Be Real – that is, act with authenticity to clarify what is most important to you.
  2. Be Whole – see how the most important things to you in work, family, community and self affect each other.
  3. Be Innovative – simply experiment with creative ways to get things done, that suit you and those around you.

No one said it was going to be easy, and it does require some degree of strength to work to align these actions between the various domains so they all line up with core values. But when you achieve this, there is less conflict and you can move forward. An interesting comment from Friedman is that the examples he gave of successful people, “…persisted because of their commitment to their families, communities and private selves, not in spite of them.”

The first step – what matters most to you?

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Managing Up

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Manage Your BossThere is plenty of advice out there on how to lead and manage teams, and we at ABS have presented many of these. However, in a recent Business News Daily blog Nicole Fallen Taylor writes about a different perspective to managing – managing your boss, or managing up. You can read the full article here, but following is a brief summary of the main features.

Don’t be afraid to manage up – which essentially is learning what your boss’s work style is and adapting to it for achieving the best possible results for the team. Remember though that every boss is different, and one size does not fit all. Also remember that your boss has many more people to worry about than just you, so don’t be too pushy or all-consuming. The author provides a few tips on what might help in this process:

  1. Earn your boss’ trust
  • Build friendly rapport
  • Learn how they prefer to work
  • Leave your ego at the door and commit to your manager’s and company’s goals
  1. Give regular feedback (but don’t nag)
  • Don’t take up all their time – they have more to do than just listen to you
  • When invited – provide honest feedback
  • Be aware of your boss’ communication preferences
  • Don’t catch them off-guard!
  1. Show that you’re a team player
  • Don’t try and micromanage your boss
  • Look to add value to the team, for example:
    • Keep cool under pressure
    • Offer solutions, not just problems
    • Mentor junior staff

And most importantly, managing up is not sucking up! It is all about the success of the team, where everybody wins.

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Why Leaders Lack Emotional Intelligence

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Emotional IntelligenceTravis Bradberry is the author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and in a recent blog in Inc.com explained the counter-intuitive situation of CEOs having the lowest level of emotional intelligence (EQ). You can find the article here.

Through his organisation TalentSmart, Bradberry analysed over one mission EQ profiles across the spectrum of roles to find out who has the highest level of EQ. Surprisingly, it is middle managers, probably because people in these positions have been put there because of their ability to work with people and general level-headedness.

After this though, the scores drop continually until ending up with the CEO, who typically had the lowest EQ scores. However, Bradberry also notes that the best-performing CEOs will have the highest EQs. Bradberry proposes that KPIs and knowledge form a significant part of the appointment process for these roles, which focus on short-term results. Instead, he suggests that the key criteria should be their skill in inspiring others to excel. It is this new environment of leadership where leaders find themselves getting out of touch with people and their EQ levels dropping.

Listed below are a few of Bradberry’s strategies for boosting your EQ:

  • Acknowledge other people’s feelings
  • When you care, show it
  • Watch your emotions like a hawk
  • Sleep
  • Quash negative self-talk

In the coming week, why not give at least one of these strategies a try, and see if your EQ gets a boost. The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Two Types of Leadership

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Leadership 2

Leaders can be categorised into those who have a desire for either dominance or prestige. So writes Emily Stone, reporting on research that has just gone to publication from John Maner and Charleen Case of the Kellogg Institute. You can find the article here.

From their research, Maner and Case found that typically people are motivated either by their desire for dominance or prestige. Neither is any better or worse than the other, but each works best in different circumstances. Typically, leaders have the capabilities for both types, and effective leaders are those who know when to switch between the two types, depending on the circumstances and situation.

A desire for dominance leaders typically led by intimidation and coercion, and demand following rather than inspire it. But they are also decisive and swift decision makers. Unfortunately, they are also characterised as likely to sacrifice the best interests of the group in order to retain their power.

Prestige seeking leaders will display their skills and knowledge, convincing people that they are worth following. They are known for being able to foster creativity and innovation in their teams, but they are also prone to avoid making the right decision in order to continue being liked. They are reluctant to give the hard feedback required at times.

You might be a dominant type leader if you do most of the talking in meetings, and lower your voice when talking. But beware, people often mistake you talking for competence, just because you sound like you know what you are doing. Time reveals the truth. Alternatively, you could be a prestige style leader if you listen more than you talk and can empathise with your employees who are able to find innovative and creative solutions to issues.

Stone points out at the end of her article that Maner and Case remind readers the best leaders are those that are able to switch between the two types as situations and circumstances change.

So which type of leader are you? Most importantly, are you able to adapt? The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

5 Strategies for Leading a High-Impact Team

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Teams2For introverts like me, working in teams can be very stressful, but it is more a fact of working life now than ever before. As a result, I am also glad to find some useful tips on how to work in teams better, and one such piece of useful advice comes from Leigh Thompson in the July 2016 edition of KellogInsight (read it here).

Thompson offers some strategies for teams, based on her extensive research in the area as an academic leader at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Without wanting to take anything away from the substance of the article, and it is highly recommended you read it for a richer experience, a quick summary of the main points are:

1.Teams are not cocktail parties: don’t invite everyone.

  • In other words, keep things small and co-opt specialists when you need them.
  • Also, think about changing the membership regularly in order to keep ideas fresh.

2. It is possible to set ground rules without stifling creativity.

  • You will probably find that some structure will actually provide a safe environment for the creative juices to flow.
  • At a minimum, have a clear goal for the team, and a brief charter of how to function. Teams that do this are proven to be more nimble.

3.Drop the pride talk. Vulnerability can be a good thing.

  • Almost counterintuitively, but based on research, team members who have shared an embarrassing moment typically generate more ideas in subsequent brainstorming sessions.

4.You may be able to cut your meeting time in half – if you are smart about it.

  • Again, based on research, it is better to have four one-hour meetings than two two-hours meetings. The article has some really practical tips to help with this.

5.It is possible to get along too well. Agree to keep disagreeing.

  • Disagreement that is properly managed helps teams to avoid groupthink by probing the strengths and weaknesses of any idea.

This week, think about teams you are a part of, and see if there is an opportunity to introduce one or maybe two of these suggestions, and take your team to the next level. The Avondale Business School can assist your team to become an effective team – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

12 Lessons You Learn or Regret Forever

Sunday, August 28, 2016

LifeIt is painful having to learn lessons the hard way. So we at ABS have found an article that will help take the pain out of life’s lessons. Writing for Inc. magazine, Travis Bradberry points out 12 lessons that as a leader of an organisation we need to learn sooner or later, and the sooner the better. You can read it here. We are not going to spoil the article for you, but as a teaser, following are some of the lessons Bradberry helpfully points out, and offers some advice with:

  • You’re living the life that you’ve created
  • Being busy does not equal being productive
  • Don’t say yes unless you really want to
  • Seek out small victories
  • Don’t seek perfection

Without even going into the details of them, those simple headings alone should change your life, so don’t neglect reading the full article.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

Slow Deciders Make Better Strategists

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Strategy 3What contributes the most to making good competitive-strategy decisions – Education? Experience? Outsiders with new ideas? Mark Chussil, in a recent HBR Online article (read it here) shares some findings from data he has collected based on competitive-strategy decisions.

Chussil has developed a matrix of decisions, highlighting the four styles of strategy decision-making as follows:

Chussil

 

 

Chussil’s experience indicates that those in the best performing group are the “I don’t knows”. These are the people who take their time and consider alternatives before launching into making their decision.

This is opposed to those who “Already know”, and are overconfident, not really looking for other solutions, because they “already know” the answer. Close behind this group are the “Now I knows”, who have a high degree of confidence following pondering the issue for a time.

The lesson that Chussil draws out is to take a “not so fast” approach and really consider alternatives before committing to action.

The Avondale Business School can advise your organisation on being effective in these areas – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168

The Secret to Being a Better Leader: See and Hear Others

Sunday, July 17, 2016

EmpathyConsistently people who have good empathy for others are proven to be better leaders, lead more effective teams, and gain power more readily. What does it mean to be empathetic? According to Dacher Keltner in a recent Science of Us article (Read it here), it is the understanding of what other people think and feel. Using Abraham Lincoln as an example, he quotes a journalist (Thurlow Weed) from the Albany Evening Journal who said of Lincoln: “He sees all who go there, hears all they have to say, talks freely with everybody, reads whatever is written to him.”

Keltner refers to numerous studies that show the positive results of being empathetic. It increases team effectiveness, one’s ability to negotiate better, widens the circle of friends, and enables one to gain power much more easily. In part this is because when people are heard and understood, they are more willing to be influenced by such people.

However, an interesting phenomenon occurs – Keltner refers to studies that show once empathetic people attain power, they often experience empathy deficits, whereby their empathy disengages. By losing this empathy, people in power then start disrespecting people and those once harmonious relationships are now jeopardised and tend to undo the previous good work.

The challenge for those that do rise to power is to be conscious of this and to purposively commit to maintaining the empathy that got them where they are. As Keltner points out from Lincoln, the secret is to see and hear others.

The Avondale Business School can help you and your team develop leadership skills – find out how by contacting Warrick Long at the Avondale Business School.

E: Warrick.long@avondale.edu.au

P: 02 4980 2168