Leadership Essentials2019-10-31T11:36:11-05:00

Leadership Essentials

Enhance Your Workplace Community

A team that works collaboratively works like a well-oiled machine.  Interdependent relationships are enhanced, communication is heightened, and accountability is high.  As your team’s leader, what have you done lately to promote cooperation within the team?  If you haven’t given it much thought here are three suggestions: Conduct update meetings that help team [...]

How Does Stress Affect Your Objectivity?

Under times of stress you may rely less on your objectivity and fall victim to fearing the worse or you could swing to the other extreme and take a rose-colored glasses approach. If you worry about catastrophes, remember that sometimes the best actions involve risks. Don’t be limited by worst-case [...]

Leverage Your Emotions for Better Problem Solving

The basic premise of emotional intelligence is the better one manages their emotions, the more effective they will be personally and professionally. Managing one’s emotions includes the ability to summons specific emotions to achieve desired outcomes. Consider this fact, positive emotions have been shown to expand the scope of a person’s [...]

How Controlled Are You? – Impulse Control

Impulse control is the ability to think before acting. Low impulse control is characterized by: The tendency to jump to hasty conclusions An “act now, think later” approach to solving problems and making decisions Being overly talkative or controlling in meetings and conversations Regular moments of regret, perhaps wishing you [...]

How Do You Communicate Feelings? – Emotional Expression

Leaders who effectively express their emotions use words and physical expressions to communicate their feelings in a constructive way. This helps to build the authentic relationships that contribute to successful leadership. Consider the leader whose facial expression appears to communicate a particular feeling before he utters a word or the leader whose poker face [...]

What are Your Triggers? – Emotional Self-Awareness

When leaders have a solid understanding of what triggers their emotions they can manage themselves and control the impact their emotions have on others. I once worked for a leader whose emotions could be triggered by something as simple as a question that he did not like. His aggressive and condescending response would silence the room. People became hesitant [...]

Balance Confidence with Relatability

Confident leaders maintain a full and honest view of their strengths and limitations. It is this balanced view that fuels their self-confidence.  They lead with their strengths and delegate tasks that can be accomplished more effectively by others.  They exercise considerable influence on strategic decisions, serve as role models, and demonstrate the [...]

Acknowledge and Recognize the Success of Others

While interpersonal relationships are considered the medium through which leaders gain buy-in, trust, and the resources needed to reach their goals,  the importance of a leader’s ability to form strong relationships within his or her team cannot be understated.  As a leader, the more you strengthen your interpersonal skills, the better you’ll be [...]

Communicate Standards & Expectations that Engage and Motivate

High performing leaders pursue purpose and enjoyment in their work.  The pursuit of purpose creates fulfillment that motivates these leaders to always be on the lookout for ways to optimize their own talents and the talents of their teams.  Leaders that pursue purpose challenge their teams with high standards and inspire them [...]

Confidence – Comfort with Failure

Leaders are not infallible.  Given the scope of their work and the magnitude of their decisions it goes without saying that a few mistakes are inevitable every now and then.  Mistakes, however, should not be used to de-value one’s sense of self-worth. Even the most soundly planned and researched business deals and [...]

Leverage – Strong Relationships

Maintaining mutually beneficial relationships can have immeasurable returns, in terms of providing a supportive network to buffer the negative effects of stress, and promoting a positive team and corporate culture. When relationships are not as strong as they could be, a leader’s impact on the organization may be marginal. Loyal [...]

Leadership Approachability

How would you rate your approachability? As you think about your answer, consider the extent to which others would say that you have an "open door" policy.  Visibility and accessibility are components of approachability. People need to know that they can get to you when needed.  Transparency, another aspect of approachability [...]

To Be or Not To Be Independent – Consider the Implications

In the context of emotional intelligence, being independent means that a leader is capable of feeling, thinking, and working on his/her own.  Leaders that exhibit strength in this area welcome or request guidance from others, but usually make the ultimate decision.  They also accept responsibility for their decisions and mistakes, [...]

The Emotional Aspects of Problem Solving – Balance is Important

Leaders need more than just problem-solving skills, they need to work with problems where emotions are involved and recognize how their emotions impact their decisiveness. Leaders with strong problem solving abilities tackle problems head on without being distracted by their emotions. If this is a strength, you likely approach problem [...]

Control Your Impulses – Think Before You Act

Impulse Control is the ability to show restraint in the face of impulses and temptations to act.  Leaders with high impulse control think before acting, which puts people at ease and promotes a feeling that the leader’s behavior and mood are easily predictable. This results in open and honest communication. Leaders [...]

Curiosity – The Power of Our Questions

I remember the time a senior leader said something during a small group conversation that motivated me to ask if he had an alter ego. He enthusiastically answered “Yes!”  He then shared that he calls his alter ego Nomar, which is his first name spelled backwards. As he talked about Nomar's persona, [...]

Our Judgments Get in the Way

As much as we all absolutely hate to be judged and evaluated by others, at some point we have all done just that to someone else. Even if we don’t speak the words going through our heads, our thoughts can be felt.  A person’s view of the world may not be the same [...]

The Art of Connecting – Be Present. Be Focused.

In some ways email has disabled our ability to connect with one another in the workplace.  We can all think of a time when we or someone we worked with “hid” behind an email rather than demonstrate the courage to have a real conversation. The intentionality of connection can disrupt [...]

Optimism – The Great Equalizer

While it is often said that “it's lonely at the top,” there are things that leaders can do to minimize that feeling of isolation. Something as simple as praising a peer on an accomplishment can cultivate an optimistic and encouraging atmosphere. Additionally, opting for “interaction over transaction” can have a positive impact on goal achievement, [...]

Delegate to Develop

Individuals that lead differently understand the responsibility that leaders have for developing their people.  Delegation can be a powerful development tool.  Done well, it garners positive results.  It frees up the leader for more strategic pursuits and contributes to the organization's leadership pipeline. Developmental delegation does, however, require thoughtful planning.  The leader must [...]

Lead Differently – Focus on Personal Relationships

The quality of a leader’s personal relationships (with family and friends) is indicative of his/her ability to form professional relationships that drive team performance, and stimulate collaboration and innovation among peers, key stakeholders, and co-workers. As you read this article, think about a personal relationship that requires your attention or [...]

Change Your Mindset

Leaders often feel compelled to take on a great deal of responsibility to achieve the strategic vision of the organization.  Moving into the new year, try harnessing the power of delegation to lighten the load. Is it possible to assign tasks to your team to help lessen the burden of [...]

Practice Realistic Optimism

Ideally, optimism is rooted in rational thought and logic.  As you move into the New Year with positive thoughts about what's possible, check to ensure that your optimism is appropriately grounded. Consider asking for feedback on your goals to ensure that they are realistic; reflect on past successes and the [...]

Be Kind to Yourself

When pressure mounts, leaders often focus their priority on achievement and neglect their well-being. Be kind to yourself. Use meditation and exercise to boost your stress tolerance and your optimism.  Both will help you focus, manage your energy, and handle competing priorities. I often recommend the CALM app, which provides [...]

Keep Work in Perspective

Work is an essential component for leaders in every organization.  However, work should not consistently over shadow other aspects of a leader's life. We are only capable of taking on so much before physical and emotional resources are depleted. The more responsibility a leader shoulders the more important it is to pay [...]