Another aspect of creating leaders in your organization is how assignments for subordinates are designed and managed. I was very lucky in my first management position to be overwhelmed immediately. What happened was that I was managing a group of… Read More »Creating Leaders in your Organization, Part 2: Leadership and Delegation
Emerging leadership in organizations can be developed, suppressed or ignored. Unfortunately, rather than encourage the emergence of leadership, it is often not considered, or even worse, suppressed. Leadership, as distinguished from management, is present when unprecedented results are produced through… Read More »Creating Leaders in Your Organization, Part 1: Talk is Not Cheap
In most organizations and communities there are a series of agreements that are so clearly ingrained that they have become part of the culture. Mostly, they are not discussed, but they constitute assumptions about how things are. They are virtually… Read More »Background Conversations: What’s At The Top Of Your Ladder?
“It how’s not what you say to the players that counts, it’s what they hear.”
–Red Auerbach, Former Head Coach of the Boston Celtics and 9-time World Champion (in a 10-year span)
Communication is often assumed (or explicitly said) to be a matter of transmitting information from a sender to a receiver. Personally, I think that’s simply broadcasting. Real communication includes both the sending and the receiving—the mutual sharing of the information—and therefore, if it’s not received, it’s not actually communication.
If this is true, you may find that a whole lot of what you thought was communication, really wasn’t. You may also find that this gives you a new perspective from which to craft your communications and that there are some immediate opportunities for increasing your effectiveness and impact. Whether in terms of your marketing, sales, leadership, teamwork or relationships, communication is key—and you can only make the difference you want to make to the degree that your communication is effective.
Constructive criticism is, well, constructive. There is no such thing as “constructive criticism that is hurtful”. There is constructive criticism and there are failed attempts at constructive criticism. How one knows if the criticism was constructive is by looking at the results. If the recipient of said critique is left empowered and has greater clarity after than before, this is constructive. Intending to give constructive criticism and leaving someone less effective, is not. It would serve most of us to develop our skills at both giving and receiving critique. When it actually happens the giving of constructive criticism, is a gift. It makes the recipient more effective and leaves him or her, with increased confidence in their ability.
Saying that you’re “customer-service oriented” is not a differentiator. Actually being of service, as demonstrated by contribution and delivering significant value, is. The ability to discern what’s wanted and needed, with the willingness and tools to provide it, will set you apart both in how you are perceived and the results you produce.
While many people in business speak of service (customer service, servant-leadership, etc.), few are willing to step out and provide tremendous value without assurance of direct return. Though that approach seems to make sense and may even seem “obvious” from a traditional business view, it is precisely that “obviousness” that I want to explore. When you examine the validity of the underlying assumptions of the “me first” mentality, you may end up with some new opportunities for impact that would have otherwise eluded you.
The distance from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii is roughly 2,400 Miles. Modern airlines being what they are, this is not a tremendously burdensome or risky journey. Clearly it is a trip undertaken casually by many and with little fear. And yet, if one misses Hawaii by say 10% and keeps flying, there is little likelihood of survival.
For most of us a 10% margin of error is far smaller than we tolerate in our business lives. Many organizations routinely miss objectives by margins much larger, and for most, this is considered du rigor.
This segment concludes this series on leadership…
Doug: I have been on both sides of the leadership scenario you describe and have had some victories and have made some pretty big mistakes. I remember one situation where I was new in a leadership position and had a substantial project to get done under great pressure. The people who were truly on my team allowed me both the freedom to ask a lot of them and the leeway to make mistakes. The challenge came with people who joined the team later, after the project had momentum.
Doug: Great, so a leader is someone who produces extraordinary results and around whom other leaders emerge and for the moment we are discussing specifically leaders of teams of people rather than people who “lead themselves”. You mention the hurdles of producing the result and in my experience the hurdles are a critical part of the process.
How does a leader get a team of people, each of whom may have issues or challenges personally, through a process of producing the intended results?