Brett was excited about his upcoming 90-day performance review. He knew he had gotten off to a rough start, missing some deadlines and overlooking some important details. But the goals his supervisor, Sherry, had set for the last month were reasonable, and Brett had hit them all. He felt like he had finally hit the stride for success in his job.
So it was quite a shock when Sherry rated his performance as “Unsatisfactory”! How could that be when he had hit all of his goals? Sherry said she was trying to set goals to stretch him to grow, but his “beginner goals” were a fraction of what he really needs to be able to produce. So she raised the bar for the next month with tighter schedules and fewer errors. She even added new goals for things he didn’t know about before. Brett wondered if he could ever be successful in this role. Continue reading No Surprises!
Instant oatmeal, same-day deliveries, on-demand video – we don’t like to wait. Our culture doesn’t cultivate patience. So naturally, we expect instant buy-in to our ideas. Instant Influence: If you can bottle that and sell it you’ll become instantly wealthy!
The Big Pitch
You walk into the boss’s office ready to pitch your latest great idea. Convinced he’s going to love it, you passionately lay it all on the table. “That’s interesting”, he casually responds, “but I don’t think we’re going that direction.”
How can he not see the brilliance of your game-changing idea?
Let’s assume for the moment that your idea really is brilliant. Your idea isn’t the problem, it’s your skill at influence that fell short. Continue reading Moving the Needle
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.
Good tools, on the other hand, make getting good results easier – assuming you know how to use them well.
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.
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
Change 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
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.
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
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
Our guest blogger, Scott Vandeventer, is Founder of Empathic Inc, an executive coaching firm and a collaborator with enLumen on leadership training projects.
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
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.
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.
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