Thank you for inspiring me to document musings and learnings from the field of leadership, team performance and conscious change. I trust you'll find the exercises, resources and insights useful whether you are a leader, team player, coach/consultant or change agent.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Tune In

Some people argue with the idea that 80% of communication is non-verbal. I wonder if it's because we define body language as what we can observe like rolling eyes, crossed arms, a smile or the disconnect between what someone says and does. What if it includes what we think too?

Our thought bubbles broadcast information. Like a key that beams an invisible code to unlock a car door, how we think is a signal that influences relationships and outcomes.

For example, if I think you are stupid and give you a compliment you will most likely receive a message of incompetence and wonder why you don't feel empowered in my presence. If I believe I am better than you my arrogance will probably diminish your willingness to collaborate and innovate. If however, I assume positive intent and respect you'll more likely tell me what's really going on (vs. what you think I want to hear). If I know you are creative and resourceful, you'll express your best and resolve problems more quickly.

Energy follows thought, so it behooves us to be more aware of what our minds are transmitting and the degree to which our thoughts are aligned with desired results.

Start by tuning into your own beliefs, assumptions, expectations, interpretations and stories and notice how they influence the results you are getting. Then consider the degree to which your thinking is aligned with what you really want.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

What's your Center?

The Rise of the Guardians is an animated delight filled with inspiration. St. Nick, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, Jack Frost and the Tooth Fairy make a strong team because each has a role to play and contribution to make in service of the common good.

Part of leadership is knowing who you are and how you best add value. For example, at his core St. Nick is full of wonder. This wonder is central to his work.

Check out this 2 minute scene which invites you to ponder who you are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7ms4O6Ytc8

What were you born with? What is special inside of you? What do you put into the world? What is your center?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Forward

It's spring! If you want to refresh your leadership, explore the following blogs by David Kerpen author of Likeable Business.

25 Quotes to Inspire You to Be a Better Leader

11 Simple Concepts to Become a Better Leader

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tips for Moving Up

If you are wondering why you haven't been promoted or are proactively seeking a bigger leadership role, The Leadership Pipeline provides some common transition traps to anticipate and mitigate. Here are a few to get you started:

Manager of Managers
  • Don't exhibit uncertainty or delay decisions. Learn to make choices that are directionally correct.
  • Expand alliances outside comfort zone. Rely less on previous team members and friends. 
  • Seek differing opinions and views. Value diversity.
  • Hold direct reports accountable for leading and developing others. Inspire and feedback.
  • Embrace new ideas. Explore new ways to achieve results.
Functional Leader
  • Align function with enterprise. Move beyond tactical focus.
  • Don't rely too much on expertise.  Develop broader knowledge and experience to drive innovation. 
  • Build positive climate within the team. Focus on employee engagement.
  • Trust others to do the work. Coach and mentor.
  • Don't allow a few trusted colleagues to influence views and decisions. Expand your network and promote your "wins".
  • Develop strong cross-functional working relationships. Invest time here.
Business Leader
  • Balance and align regional/business leadership with enterprise. Focus on longer-term strategy.
  • Understand all aspects of the business. Focus on how growth and profit will be achieved.
  • Trust others. Make your thinking transparent and encourage others to do the same.
  • Invest in people. Accurately assess and manage talent.