“..., you have to be immune to criticism, but...

Feedback How is your team receiving your feedback?
...at the same time, responsive to feedback.”We find this distinction between criticism and feedback to be an interesting topic as we coach our client leaders through the many changes occurring in their businesses. In a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment, it is easy to take any negative input, whether from internal or external sources, as a personal affront. The skill of the leader is to know the difference between criticism and feedback as the title quote from Deepak Chopra suggests. His entire quote above is, “The biggest insight is that if you want to be successful, you have to be immune to criticism, but, at the same time, responsive to feedback, which are two different things.In our leadership and business coaching practice, we routinely facilitate coaching around the differences between the two so we are using this month’s discussion to share some thoughts on how leaders can effectively leverage...
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“A different world cannot be built...

vision-lg How are you leading differently to achieve desired results?
...by indifferent people.”A recurring theme in our writings this year center on critical thinking and the leader’s ability to set direction for their teams in the context of operating in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment. It is a recurring theme because we continue to see and hear about business leaders struggling with change they feel they have limited control over. Using the title quote attributed to Peter Marshall, former chaplain for the U.S. Senate in the late 1940s, we continue to explore effective leadership in a VUCA business environment.Indifference is defined as a lack of interest or concern in a given situation. It is being apathetic in a situation and is a clear reflection of the leader’s attitude. This is an important distinction as part of the challenge of effectively leading change is thinking it merely involves doing different to get different results. It is a common misconception...
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Are We Too Soft…

ED-AK082_bauerl_G_20090827153620
…on Our Soft Skills? Much is said and written these days about soft skills and how important they are to business success. Often, the context of this discussion is the evolving influence of technology in our daily lives. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and any other technology that threatens (real or imagined) to replace humans in the workforce is a driving force behind the need and effectiveness of our soft skills. It’s as if we are less afraid of losing our hard skills and more afraid of our lack of soft skills and ability to think critically! Another context for this conversation is in the discussion of “skills gaps”. The November 2018 LinkedIn Workforce Report found the biggest “skills gap” is in San Francisco/Silicon Valley followed by New York City. The top 3 skill gaps in San Francisco/Silicon Valley are Oral Communication, Business Management and Leadership in that order. In...
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“The Best Way to Find Yourself…

…is to Lose Yourself in the Service of Others”As we continue our discussion of Leading at the Speed of Business, we look this month to expand on last month’s discussion in the Get Ready to Warp post. While last month’s theme was speed, this month we look at the concept highlighted by Mahatma Gandhi’s quote in the title, Servant Leadership. More specifically, we explore the idea that the leader of any organization can only be as effective and successful as the team they lead. The implication here is that no leader can keep up the pace of business solely on their own merits. They need followers who are fully bought in, physically and emotionally to the Vision and Purpose of the organization. In order to stay relevant at the speed of business, followers are the ones who will make it happen because they trust, and willingly follow, their leader!So how do...
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“Leadership…

Leadership---Salesmanship As you lead your business into a new year, what are your followers buying?
…is Salesmanship”I first came across this quote when I read Hamid “Hank” Noorani’s book POWER – The Modern Doctrine and had a chance to explore the idea in a video interview we did together several years ago. It caught my attention because those who know me as a Leadership and Business Coach are sometimes surprised that I am also a Sales Coach. I have always believed there is a level of genuine salesmanship in the process of being an effective leader. While I would be the first to agree the two are not identical twins, I would argue they are at least in the same family tree!One of the key arguments they are not alike, I believe, stems from an outdated understanding of 21st Century Salesmanship. For instance, in Daniel Pink’s latest book To Sell is Human, he makes multiple cases for the human element of sales as opposed to the...
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Are you measuring Headcount…

engagement What is your heartcount and how do you know?
…or Heartcount?As we enter into what is arguably the most emotional season of the year, it seems fitting to remind ourselves as leaders the importance of engaging followers at a level much deeper than merely following orders. We’ve all read the ever-growing number of articles and blogs concerning the low levels of employee engagement in the workforce. One reason may well be the simple reference to people as “headcount”. What if we stopped measuring headcount and started measuring “heartcount”?Heartcount, for purposes of this discussion, refers to the level of commitment to the Vision, Mission and Strategy as active participants in the organizational Culture. Imagine a monthly meeting where leaders report their heartcount or heartcount-as-a-percentage-of-headcount to their management and boards. Think of the discussion that comes out of a leader stating, “We had a 43% heartcount this past quarter” which is akin to saying, “We were 43% committed to the success of...
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