Are your Employees Over-managed and Under-led?

Are your employees over-managed and under-led? That describes the state of leadership in most of the organizations with which I have consulted over the past 20 years. It’s too bad.

I am not sure how we got this way. I think it’s from two generations of leaders taking too-much-to-heart the old adage: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” I think we have lost sight of what the “it” in that sentence is supposed to refer to. As your high school English teacher used to say, the pronoun “it” in this case has a vague antecedent. Continue reading

12 Culture Traits from the Masters of Leadership

Leadership is often defined as a set of skills or attributes possessed by a person known as “the leader.” Accordingly, leadership development is treated as if it were a solo act. But it’s not. There can be no leadership without other people. There also can be no leaders created without leaders of leaders…these are Masters of Leadership.

Masters of Leadership know the secret to their leadership success is not written in this article, it is not in seminars, books or audio programs. It is locked away in their employees, in their minds and hearts. To access this information you need tools and tactics to help you get to understand their criteria and then connect with their minds, touch their hearts and do this with congruence to fully engage employees.  Continue reading

All that Diversity Training & Can’t See Past Your Own Color

My wife works for a global organization which allocates significant resources annually to Diversity Recruiting and Training, but is it adding more value and making improvements in how employees view Diversity?

In addition to their investment in Diversity Programs, they also have well developed Mentoring (Coaching) Program. My wife is in Senior-level Management and participates in the mentoring as well as in the Diversity Programs as both a leader and participant. A few years ago, one of the people she mentored had performance issues. Her Coachee, a young African-American woman, spent more time trying to get ahead than focusing on her development issues and work in general. Continue reading

11 Laws of Leadership at Work

Throughout the course of my working career, which goes back to the age of 15 when I worked in a transmission shop owned by a friend’s Dad, leaders have created the working conditions that I was subjected to. Some had positive employee engagement, some not so good. Continue reading

5 Rules the Best Leaders Use for Reducing Workplace Conflict

Is your company plagued with co-worker versus co-worker or leadership versus employee disagreements and petty hostilities? Just because you don’t openly see the workplace conflict doesn’t mean it isn’t present. In many organizations these things are under the surface and live in a passive-aggressive form. In either case, whether apparent or not there are some steps you can take to deal with damaging and unproductive conflicts in the workplace. Continue reading

8 Key Questions to Overcome 360 degree Feedback Problems

When it comes to 360-degree feedback, be warned that it is much easier to lose trust than to build it.

In the beginning, 360 assessments were seen to be a development tool. They were not conceived to be used as a tool for performance appraisal. As their use has grown, however, they have come to be used by some organizations for evaluation, not just for development. This has pulled the rug out from under the original intent and caused a lot of problems for many. Continue reading

The Best Leadership Advice I Never Took

Have you ever been given a really good piece of leadership advice… and then didn’t follow it? Did you later regret not following it? I did. And I have. And I learned a lesson from it.

I hope it might be instructive to share my own lesson with you.

30 Years ago yet seems like yesterday

It happened over 30 years ago. I remember it well. I was 20 then. College student. Enrolled in Naval ROTC. Training to become a leader in the Marine Corps as a Marine officer upon graduation. Each summer, we ROTC students went through various sorts of military training. Continue reading

How Wall Street Ruins Employee Engagement

It’s Friday afternoon at 4:45pm, two weeks before Christmas, and you get the call, “let 10 people go on Monday, we need to meet our quarterly financial projections.”

If you received this call, knowing it’s the holiday season, what would you do? You would do what you have to do, wouldn’t you. That is what my friend Will did when he received this call the other day. The company he works for has over 600 locations nationwide.

Just think about the savings in payroll that can be added to the bottom line over the 3 week period before the end of the year. That’s exactly what the corporate leadership team thought. But what cost does this type of thinking have on long-term employee engagement? Continue reading

How to Keep your But from Causing Workplace Conflict

A typical manager spends around a quarter of his or her time dealing with conflict; to calculate your costs due to workplace conflict access the People Problems Calculator.

The costs of workplace conflict are very significant. An unhappy workforce – where employees feel undervalued, misunderstood, overlooked or taken for granted – leads to greater stress, low employee engagement, low employee morale, poor teamwork and higher staff turnover.

But a great deal of the conflict in the workplace, at home and in our personal lives can be avoided; it is born out of differences that could very easily be accommodated and resolved.

Avoid the “___, but…” Continue reading

Why Leadership May Be Bad for Employee Engagement

Money Wasted on Leadership Development Leadership is complex. Do you suspect this is why Billions of dollars globally are spent each year on leadership development? 

A Big Waste of Money

Despite the big investments in leadership development, many organizations continue to experience conflict, mistrust, resistance, low morale and de-motivation – signs that leadership has no impact on the organization … either the leadership style is inappropriate or people are not willing to engage with it.

Theory Changes Nada

We all know theory changes nothing (even if you spend Billions more). It’s action that makes the difference. Action occurs when you can apply methods that enable leadership to be viewed as a partnership between the leader and the led. When employees are willing to engage and take ownership for being led rather than sitting back and expecting the team leader to be solely responsible for leading the results are phenomenal.

Joint Responsibility Continue reading

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