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Leadership Skills

Leadership Skills

Jeremy Greenberg shares a company post based on the Avenue Group Business Leader Research Series. This article identifies how U.S. company leaders work. Avenue Group Business Leader Research Series We are excited to continue our series devoted to sharing the findings from the Avenue Group Business Leader Survey. The Avenue Group Business Research Study We conducted an in-depth, quantitative online survey of over 500 U.S. business leaders, in which we explored perspectives on a wide range of topics. The survey…
Peter Costa offers his perspective on leadership and management and why you need them both. What do you think of when you see the word “management”? Probably nothing good.  Management seems to have become a dirty word, the antithesis of what a real leader is supposed to be. I believe it’s time to rethink that view.  To be a truly effective leader, you need to develop a full suite of both leadership AND management skills. Leadership is the act of…
Amy Giddon shares key findings from the book Lessons from the Geese on how to lead your team towards near-perfect formation. I was really nervous for my first staff meeting. I was a young vice president and had just been given a new role, one that quadrupled the number of people on my team and gave me oversight of a technical area beyond my current expertise. What should I say to the team? What would build their trust and confidence…
Diana Dosik shares a Ted Talk where she explains why we need to treat our employees as thoughtfully as our customers. Today’s companies know everything there is to know about their customers and will stop at nothing to ensure that their experience is pleasant and meaningful. But what if they directed some of that same energy at understanding and engaging their employees? What are the potential payoffs for a better motivated, more loyal and imaginatively innovating workforce? Using her experiences…
Stephanie Soler shares professional coaching tips on how to manage a one-on-one session that yields results. Having regular 1:1 meetings with direct reports has become standard practice for managers. In reality, the quality of these meetings vary. At their worst, 1:1s are bland status updates and a waste of time. At their best, 1:1s are powerful coaching interactions that set your direct reports up for success. There’s no single recipe for a great 1:1. Each direct report is different, and…
Jesse Jacoby takes us back to the basic, but widely overlooked and underestimated, points of communication that help build trust, ensure clear communication and win respect. We live in an age where communication is rampant. When exchanging information with a colleague, you may choose to email, text, instant message, tweet, and the list goes on. With all these choices readily available, one may argue that communicating is faster and easier than ever before. However, our messages are also becoming more…
Darryl Stickel shares an evergreen article that is designed to help leaders build trust by examining the role that our emotions play in our decisions to trust. Both love and hate are blind. The vast majority of the existing literature on trust takes a rational actor perspective. That means the authors assume people are always reasonable and rational, and the work focuses on the cognitive process that takes place when we decide to trust someone. If you’ve ever dated someone…
Caroline Taich shares an evergreen post on how to become a confident leader. Dave was one of my first clients as a management consultant. He was in a rotational leadership program at the regional utility. He became the leader of procurement for the construction services category overnight – without any training or preparation. My job was to guide him through the procurement process to identify cost savings. Dave was taking a risk. In this new role, he was going to…
Sherif El-Henaoui shares an article that is designed to help you redefine how you identify and deal with difficult people.  Often I hear the term difficult about a person that colleagues don’t like or don’t like working with. I kept thinking about that for a while with the conclusion that there is no such thing like a difficult person. Let me explain using two cases. Case 1: Is John [the person for the sake of the example] understanding / acknowledging…
The skill of persuasion is an important one to hone. Here we share some top strategies for building influence and persuasion. The Harvard Business Review did research that revealed the top personal — or soft — skills of successful entrepreneurs. The number one skill was persuasion. “The quality serial entrepreneurs displayed above others was persuasion, or the ability to convince others to change the way they think, believe or behave,” study results stated. “Persuasion for this study was defined as…
Darryl Stickel was recently interviewed on the podcast Positive Turbulence where he shares a formula for building trust. Rob Brodnick: Welcome to the Positive Turbulence Podcast: Stories from the Periphery here, we journey to the edge to talk to turbulators about their experiences creating positive change. Hi, I’m Rob Brodnick. Karyn Zuidinga: And I’m Karyn Zuidinga in sharing these stories, these perspectives on innovation, creativity, change, and leadership. We hope to generate some positive turbulence for you. Rob Brodnick: Consider…
Mark Ledden shares an article that explains why self-orientation is the most important component of trust.  The math of David Maister’s Trust Equation[1] is designed to make a simple point: of the four components of trust, self-orientation is the most important. His argument makes a certain intuitive sense. If I think you are all about getting what is best for you and not at all concerned with what is best for me, I am not likely to trust you no…
Joy Fairbanks shares an article that offers a few key tips for ventures to improve their pitch. 15 minutes are so over. Founders, you have thirty seconds to explain why the venture you work on day and night is worth someone’s attention.  You are innovative, your technology sizzles, and you have a talented team.  You even have traction.  You get so excited that you dive right into the technology.  Time’s up.  You didn’t clearly identify a problem, you didn’t mention…
Greg Acton shares a podcast where he discusses problem solving and leadership with Steve Caldwell at Manager Mojo. While leadership entails guiding people in the direction of success, it also requires the ability to look at problems and seek solutions. How you frame those problems can have much to do with the solution arrived at. Mark Twain once said, “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know, it’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”…
Xavier Lederer provides key steps on prioritization and action. ‘The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.’– Michael Porter “I don’t have enough time in a day to work on the most important things!” I regularly hear CEOs complain. We all have a tendency to jump on the most urgent problems – because they are urgent and also because, let’s face it: we are addicted to fixing problems. Why priorities matter – pebbles vs. rocks The issue is:…
Anubhav Raina shares a series that presents a model for understanding how influencing works and how you can train yourself to excel at it. It combines his personal observations with the latest research in influencing. Note this is a three-part series: Intro (this article) CIF — Core Influence Framework Building Trust Convincing people Appendices Using effective questioning Expanding the size of the pie Negotiation: sweetening the deal Using biases to your advantage Negotiation: When to walk away Being able to…
Believe it whether you want to or not, exercise can improve your performance as a leader. Jeffery Perry explains how in this article. John F. Kennedy once said, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” There is arguably no greater dynamic and creative intellectual activity than personal leadership. Leaders have significant daily demands as they manage teams and engage with internal and…
Dan Markovitz shares a short but insightful post and an introduction to a workshop on the importance of word choice when problem framing to ensure a positive outcome.  In 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” In 2017, President Trump declared a “public health emergency” to battle the opioid crisis. These two declarations were essentially about the same thing: dealing with the financial, emotional, and social scourge of drug abuse that was destroying individuals and communities. But the framing…
  As we move towards the end of the pandemic and a surge in business, Geoff Wilson provides a post for leaders to help navigate the next economic journey. We are in a world of opportunity and hurt.  Demand is high, spirits (and prices) are up, and supply is constrained.  What’s a leader to do? When I was a young man I learned microeconomics on the back of a simple diagram with two lines…one for demand (always downward sloping) and…
  Aneta Key shares a 2-minute video from a series that dives into how to assess the situation.  This sequence of videos emphasizes that strategic decision-making starts with assessing the situation.  The prior video discussed “speed” as a dimension and this one focuses on another important dimension — the gravity of the decisions leaders make. This simple consideration can have a profound impact on how execs allocate their scarce leadership capacity given all the decisions they need to make. Key…
  Nils Boeffel shares a post that identifies how to ask the right questions to get the information you need.  Many managers are confronted with complex decisions to make, and not enough time in which to make them. One way to help make better decisions more quickly is knowing how to ask questions that get to the core of the subject, and not just tiptoe around the edges. Let’s look at an example. If you ask what your marketing budget…
  Rahul Bhargava shares an article that identifies the need for intrapersonal intelligence in the workplace. It is important to determine a person’s intelligence at the early stage of life. In doing so, they can receive proper guidance to achieve success in their respective fields. To enhance the intelligence we possess, intrapersonal intelligence plays a very crucial role. A person should follow a set of guidelines in his life to increasing productivity, concentration, and a positive outlook towards life. Intrapersonal…
  From Jared Simmons’  company blog, a post on why motherhood is a leadership development boot camp. Motherhood builds skills that are competitive advantages in the workplace.  “Motherhood and apple pie” are meant to evoke an image of something universally good – something everyone can agree on. But, like most things about moms, this phrase has morphed into patronizing passive aggressiveness, at its best.  When someone at work says, “That’s just motherhood and apple pie,” what they are really saying…
  Darryl Stickel shares a candid post on executive coaching, and how working with one mid-level manager revealed the problem and the solution to becoming a more effective executive leader. One of the primary differentiating factors between good and great leaders is the ability to understand and build trust. The more senior a leadership role we take on, the less direct control we have over outcomes. We become more and more reliant on those who report to us for our…
  Priyanka Ghosh shares a case study on the steps taken to address a slump in the business cycle combined with frictions in the Leadership Team. SITUATION The Middle-Eastern unit of global energy company was facing a challenging period due to a slump in the business cycle combined with frictions in its Leadership Team. As the Middle East business had grown, the Leadership Team had expanded to reflect the broader set of service lines and increased levels of functional support….
  In the third post in a series on off-site leadership, Aneta Key addresses the substance dimension of event design. I strongly believe that any event design has 3 important dimensions to consider:  Substance — This is the most important dimension of the 3. It is the “hardcore” look at the event and is what executives truly care about: What outcomes are we creating? What content are we discussing? What work are we advancing? Structure — The second most important…
  Diane Mulcahy recently published an article on ADP.com that explains how companies can grow their contingent workforce and why they should. Shifts in corporate supply and demand as a result of the global health event, and the halt of business travel have led to an increase in contingent workers for many companies. Independent workers give businesses more flexibility to staff up and down as the market environment changes, and to access the precise skills, expertise, and experience where and…
  In this article for WorkMarket, Diane Mulcahy explains why gig workers may provide the solution you need to adapt to the current pandemic and changing business environment. The world, the economic environment, and the demands placed on your company are all changing in unexpected ways. The difference between succeeding or failing to manage through a crisis can depend on your ability to add staff to critical functions, and access the exact skills and experience needed to respond to a…
  Diane Mulcahy explains why the current model of the office worker is difficult to change despite the evidence of increased productivity from the remote worker. No one expected (or wanted) remote work to scale because of a virus and subsequent global pandemic. But, here we are.  The battle for remote work has been ongoing. Employees want the choice and flexibility to work outside the office at least some of the time, but many companies and even more managers resist…
  Paul Millerd’s latest newsletter explores four questions surrounding the state of work, schools, and creativity and shares unexpected thoughts on the future of work. The US has lost 38 million jobs. Some of those may come back. Many will not. Going into 2021, the US will likely have the highest unemployment rate in the last 100 years. I’ve written quite a bit about the fragile labor economy and believe the gaps I’ve written about have become more visible than…
  Sarah Ralston Miller and Zaheera Soomar co-authored this article on how to support and strengthen company culture during the current crisis.  Through the Covid-19 pandemic, our world of work has changed almost overnight. In the past few weeks, we’ve spoken with senior leaders at organizations with whom we have been working to strengthen their ethical culture. These leaders understand that their culture is an essential resource to navigate through the current crisis, and are finding new ways to cultivate…
  As more employees work from home, it is important to establish clear guidelines and routines, this post from David Burnie’s company provides ten questions businesses should ask to ensure the switch to working remotely runs smoothly.  Establishing a work from home (WFH) program is an essential part of a business continuity plan. In the current COVID 19 crisis, executing a work from home (WFH) policy is a top priority for organizations. A robust work from home policy will enable…
  As more people get used to working remotely, Paul Millerd shares valuable advice and fourteen tips that should not be followed. I’ve either put these tips into practice in my own life or can confirm that other people have. People rarely talk about these practices in public because there is a certain amount of shame and embarrassment about telling people you work less.   Advice on working remotely Paul shares include: The morning routine Asynchronous communication The bi-modal workday…
  Diane Mulcahy interviews Krystal Hicks to find out why some companies don’t hire remote employees, and how the Gig Economy has shifted the power balance between employers and employees.   Krystal Hicks is the founder of JOBTALK, a company that grew out of her side gig providing talent, recruiting, and job-hunting advice to companies and individuals. Before going out on her own, she managed U.S. Talent Acquisition for the Swiss chocolate maker Lindt, and was the former Director of…