MEETINGS: Tools of a Leader’s Trade

Stop Resisting – Learn to Use Them Well

I grew up around the construction trades. Before I was even a teenager I owned my own power tools: A drill, jig saw, and circular saw. I still have the jig saw. But the circular saw had a problem. It was misaligned and it was hard to cut straight with it. I learned then that bad tools get bad results.Meeting

Good tools, on the other hand, make getting good results easier – assuming you know how to use them well.

Since a leader’s job is to influence, most of a leader’s tools involve communication. For many leaders, meetings are a powerful tool in their shop that they haven’t learned to use well. Continue reading MEETINGS: Tools of a Leader’s Trade

Leadership Style or Culture

We’re going to mix things up a little. Instead of my typical one-page blog article, I have a video blog for you. One of enLumen Leadership‘s clients, Action Property Management, publishes a video blog directed primarily at the leaders of the homeowner associations they serve. I recently had the privilege of being interviewed for one episode of this blog.

Join us as we explore topics like leadership styles, characteristics of a healthy culture and how to create one, why a culture where no one gets offended isn’t necessarily healthy, and the relationship between leading and managing.

Leadership Style or Culture Interview
Leadership: Organizational Culture and Values – The Uncommon Area, Episode 22

 

Empathic Change Leadership

Navigating the Emotions of Change

Change is hard. Leading others through change is harder. Coercion and manipulation might seem the easy way, but you’ll pay a high cost in the long run. Using good leadership skills to inspire and support them through the changes will get you through with fewer casualties.

Paving the Path through Change

States of ChangeChange involves three states (see Figure 1). Have you ever tried to use a map
when you don’t know where you’re at currently or where you’re trying to get to? A map is pretty useless in that case. Continue reading Empathic Change Leadership

My Competence Is My Enemy

When Strength Becomes Weakness

Your hard work, education, and self-discipline have paid off. Congratulations for rising to a position of authority and leadership! People respect you. Your competence is often sought by others, both within your organization and by others in your industry and even outside your industry.Competence Tug of War

But now you’ve hit a plateau. The opportunities are there but you can’t seem to grow your organization fast enough to meet the demand. You recognize the bottleneck is leadership. You can’t find enough skillful leaders that you can trust to make good decisions. So every issue gets pushed up to a few very busy people.  Maybe it’s only one person: You. Continue reading My Competence Is My Enemy

Deciding Who Does What

Leveraging Assignments for Growth

Deciding Who Does What

If you’re like most people trying to decide who to assign a task to, you start by identifying who is best equipped to do the job. They’ve done it before, they’ll get it done quicker, and it will take you less time  to explain what needs done. It’s a natural starting point, but not necessarily the best ending point for deciding who does what. Continue reading Deciding Who Does What

Virtuous Blending

Individual Values and the Organization

Our guest blogger, Scott Vandeventer, is Founder of Empathic Inc, an executive coaching firm and a collaborator with enLumen on leadership training projects.blending values

Every organization is strengthened or weakened to the degree a common set of values are held mutually by its participants.  Values are the rails on which an organization runs.  The same is true for individuals.

All of us are keepers of a set of values – from the infant to the eldest.  They are our own.  There’s one primary way we recognize those values in ourselves and in others:  Behaviors. Continue reading Virtuous Blending

Don’t Answer That!

Questions Leaders Should Try Hard Not to Answer

We love having the answers. It’s an ego boost to know what to do when others don’t. But just because you know the answer, doesn’t mean you should give it when someone asks.

“Answer That” Scenario

Chris is Brett’s boss. Brett’s working on a project and encounters a problem. So Brett goes to Chris and asks what he should do. Chris, having been in similar circumstances, gives Brett a great answer. Brett take Chris’ advice and successfully solves the problem. What will Brett do the next time he has a problem? He’ll think, “I know, I’ll ask Chris!”. And Chris will probably give him another great answer.

What’s wrong with this scenario? Nothing, as long as Chris wants to continue to be the organization’s bottleneck, making all the decisions. Brett (and undoubtedly, many other Bretts in the organization) is being programmed to push every decision up to Chris.

Don't Answer That

Let’s try another approach. Continue reading Don’t Answer That!

The Decisions You Shouldn’t Make

…Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

Leaders tend to be busy people.  A corollary is that leaders tend to be bottlenecks in most organizations.  Good leaders learn to delegate – not just to get the tasks done, but because they see delegation as a tool for developing people.

Decision making bottleneck
(c) Can Stock Photo / jgroup

So let’s say you’ve mastered delegating tasks and are seeing people rise up to do things that you used to think could only be done by you.  Much to your surprise, some have proven better at those tasks than you ever were.  You’re no longer a bottleneck, right? Continue reading The Decisions You Shouldn’t Make

Debt Beyond Dollars

Technical Debt Will Cost You More Than Money

Even if your organization’s balance sheet shows no debts, it’s a safe bet you have some.  If you’re not aware of that debt, you can’t be managing it well.Triple constraints

The debts I’m referring to aren’t generally tracked in dollars.  But the financial toll of their impact on your organization’s resilience, flexibility, responsiveness, ability to grow, and overall health is huge. Continue reading Debt Beyond Dollars

Avoiding a “No” From the Boss

Leading Up to Move Forward

Avoiding "No"

As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to master Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi mind trick to get someone to say what you want them to say.  But there are things we can do to stack the odds in our favor, hopefully avoiding a “no” response to our ideas. Continue reading Avoiding a “No” From the Boss