The Easy Way vs. The Right Way
Leaders must be willing to have tough conversations. But the temptation to find a way to avoid those conversations is strong. If we’re committed, as we should be as leaders, to helping those we lead to succeed then we must be willing to do the hard thing. Here are a few of the common cop outs that we’re tempted to use instead of having a tough conversation:
Continue reading Don’t Cop Out on Good Leadership
Advancement Requires Change
“What got us here won’t get us there” is a truism that applies as we advance from one level of organizational leadership to another. When someone with professional or trade skills does their craft well they may be promoted into leadership roles – often without training in how to lead. The same is true when people are promoted through leadership ranks, say from supervisor, to manager, to VP, to CEO. They are frequently left to figure out on their own what the new role requires. At best, that’s inefficient. At worst, they never figure it out and keep doing what they did before without recognizing the changes required to do their new role well.
Continue reading Bends in the Leadership Pipeline
Rule #1 of Performance Management
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!
It’s Easier to Do It Myself…
You’re probably good at what you do. That’s why you’re in the position that you’re in. But now you’ve become the bottleneck. How can you possibly find time to do the tasks you’re expert at and lead others?
The answer is…You can’t!
Something Has to Give
As your organization grows, the demands on you also grow. If you want to model the Peter Principle and “rise to your highest level of incompetence” just try doing it all yourself.
So you have a choice. Continue reading Delegate? But I Do It Better!
When Leadership Seems Too Costly
Good leadership takes time. Time you don’t have. Higher pressure demands leave no time to invest in helping others be successful. That, by the way, is leadership: Investing in the success of others.
How to Grow Your Organization
Growth isn’t the only goal worth pursuing, but most organizations want to grow so let’s frame our discussion of leadership in that context.
You want to grow, and growth keeps you busy. Being good at your craft is what got you where you are. The more you grow, the more of what you’re good at there is to do. The bigger you get, the busier you get. We’ll assume you’ve successfully shed lower-level tasks so you can focus on your core skill. But eventually you become the bottleneck because your organization can’t grow past your ability to do what you’re good at. What’s the solution? Continue reading Too Busy to Lead
Good Leaders Know Who They Are and Have the Right Heart
How would you have described a leader when you were in the 6th grade? I cringe when I think what I would likely have said…things like, “gets to tell other people what to do”, “doesn’t have to listen to anybody else”, “makes the most money”, and “speaks in front of groups of people”.
Jeanie Coca decided she wanted her 6th grade class at Friends Christian Middle School in Yorba Linda, CA to see leadership differently. Continue reading Leadership Lessons from the 6th Grade
Cultural Readiness for Change
Unless you’ve been asleep like Rip Van Winkle (Google it if you’re too young to know the story), you know that change is a constant in today’s world. But just because it’s constant doesn’t mean we’re good at it.
Change would be easier if we all viewed it the same way. But inevitably, while some are clamoring to have changed yesterday, others are saying, “not in my lifetime!”. Continue reading Ready or Not, Here Change Comes!
The Investment that Pays Back Big…
I’ve written before about dealing with the pervasive problem of being too busy (see https://enlumenls.com/say-no/, or the videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlqgjjR3m68). There is a way to gain significant ground against this problem. Now don’t roll your eyes at me until you’ve heard me out, but I believe the best, most lasting solution to being too busy is… Continue reading The Cure for “Too Busy”
Leading People Who Are Not Like You…
I just finished reading another book on how to manage Millennials. As the most studied generation in history, there’s no shortage of perspectives available on the best ways to engage this generation and help them achieve their full potential. Since I often use the tagline, “helping young leaders become wise before they grow old”, I appreciate gleaning from the wisdom and experience of others on this topic. However…
Continue reading Different Is a Good Thing
Deciding When You Can’t Decide
I thought about waiting to write this until April Fools’ Day and calling it, “Taking the Risk Out of Decision Making”. If decisions weren’t risky anyone could make them. Even not deciding puts us at risk of delaying or not getting the benefits of the decision.
A five hundred (or 5,000) word article isn’t going to relieve you of every decision making stress. But here are a few tips that might help you find a path forward: Continue reading Breaking the Logjam