When leaders get to the strategic level, they need to change their perspective from looking down at their section or division to looking up and out. They need to have the overall organization's success in mind, not just the parts they are in charge of.
Leading other leaders for the first time brings some challenges. You are no longer focused on the actions of individual contributors, but have accomplish your mission by, with, and through other leaders. Developing those leaders is one of the most important things you can focus on. When they share your values and support your vision, your abilities are multiplied.
I recently watched a great, short video by Kara Lawson that inspired me to add "Handle Hard Better" to my list of great, simple advice phrases.
Leaders should be constantly challenging themselves and their people to get better at what they do. Do this by raising the bar and then helping your folks clear it.
A poor sailor blames the wind for getting lost. A great sailor accounts for the conditions and is successful in spite of the wind. What conditions are you blaming when things don't go your way?
If you're a senior leader and are having trouble getting your latest generation of employees to comply with "the way we've always done things here," you aren't alone. But you might also be part of the problem.
Cultures evolve all the time, and leaders have the difficult task of fostering their company culture while allowing it to grow. This doesn't mean you need to compromise your values, it means you need to understand how your employees interpret and internalize those values. Then you have a choice of helping them see things your way, or adjusting your perspective to see things their way, or a little of both.
Forcing people to see things your way without considering their perspective will help them decide whether or not they want to work there.
Whenever I hear someone is leaving their job I ask them why they are leaving. Sometimes they say "more money" or "better opportunity" but when I dig into it a little bit I often get to "I wasn't really appreciated" or "my boss was a jerk" or "there just wasn't any growth opportunity or mentoring for me."
This isn't new. We've known for years that people typically leave because of their immediate supervisor. But if we've known this for so long, why aren't we getting better at it? Why are so many leaders underperforming?
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The struggle to find, hire, and keep talented leaders is tough for most businesses. Maybe your leadership talent pipeline is right under your nose. Investing in your employees' development helps you grow your own leaders. #leadership #leadershipcoaching
Leaders often get drawn into issues that can be solved at lower levels. We do this for a variety of reasons, but a big one is that the lower level issues are easier to deal with than the ones we should be focusing on.
Great leaders are great listeners. But when you wall yourself off in corner offices, boardrooms, and reserved tables for meals you only get to listen to the people who somehow get into those rooms. If you really want to know what's happening in your company, the reports and charts you see in meetings only tell part of the story.
As simple as it sounds, having lunch with the troops will bring a wealth of information to you as a leader, and will give you another opportunity to share your vision with the team.
When you give broad, general guidance to your company you can get them moving in the same general direction. But if you want them to execute in concert, you need to be specific about what you want them to do.
Values shape your company's culture. There are typically two kinds of values in any company: your espoused values (the ones on your website) and the real ones that you live every day. It's awesome when those two align. It's not awesome when they don't.
Just as many people accept the default browsers on their computers, many of us accept defaults in our businesses and our lives. I first read about this concept in Adam Grant's 2016 book "Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World" and six years later it bears repeating.
Many leaders struggle with creating a culture of accountability. They have to get over that. Accountability is a key leadership responsibility and is essential for success.
Leaders often find themselves in uncomfortable situations. But if you're not being injured or choked out, you can keep rolling. Find a way to stay in the fight.
Learning to lead is kind of like learning to swim. If you jump in the deep end too soon you splash around a lot, and that can be tough on the people you lead. Preparing for leadership roles before you are in them builds confidence and skill that will pay dividends.
The struggle to find, hire, and keep talented leaders is tough for most businesses. Maybe your leadership talent pipeline is right under your nose. Investing in your employees' development helps you grow your own leaders.
Get rid of the policies holding your employees back
Developing your junior leaders will free you up to think strategically
Synapse Florida and Bob Dixon on Tampa News 9
1. Leadership Insight: Challenging What We Think We Know by Bob Dixon
2. The Logic of Failure by Dietrich Doerner
3. The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi
4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
5. Winning With Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future by Tomasz Tunguz and Frank Bien
6. Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error by Kathryn Schulz
7. Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows
8. Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insight by Gary Klein
1. Don't Believe Everything You Think: The 6 Basic Mistakes We Make in Thinking by Thomas E. Kida
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
3. Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji
4. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink
6. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
7. The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt
8. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
2. Strategic Intuition: The Creative Spark in Human Achievement by William Duggan
3. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of The Learning Organization by Peter Senge
4. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
5. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman and Kevin Pierce
1. Drive by Daniel Pink
2. How to be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman and Rene Boer
3. It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership by Colin Powell
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age by Dale Carnegie
2. My Life in Leadership: The Journey and Lessons Learned Along the Way by Francis Hesselbein
3. Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits by Robert C. Townsend and Warren Bennis
4. The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business by by Patrick M. Lencioni