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  • feedwordpress 09:00:39 on 2018/04/10 Permalink
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    How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You 

    Steve Jobs, who was famous for his hiring and recruiting practices, believed a small team of A+ players could run circles around a giant team of B and C players. He was thoroughly convinced that the quality of the team was everything.

    Many leaders are reluctant to hire as Jobs did. They settle for dependable but less stellar teams—in part because they feel threatened or intimidated at the prospect of leading someone smarter than they are.

    Leading a team of exceptionally bright people does require skill, but as Jobs proved again and again, the payoff is well worth it. Here are some pointers for getting the most out of your own A+ employees:

    Don’t be intimidated. Leaders tend to think they need to have all the answers—and to be terrified when they don’t. But your role as leader is not to know everything; it’s to set the stage. That means working to sustain and support people who are more experienced, up to date and talented than you. It may feel disconcerting at first, but it will serve you well in the future. You do have to know enough to be conversant—so let your stars take center stage while you ask the questions, do the reading, learn and investigate.

    Confront your fears. It’s natural to feel fearful when you are leading people who are smarter than you. Whether you’re afraid of being shown up, of looking unprepared and foolish, or even of being passed over for advancement while someone who was below you rises above, face your fears and work through them. Then remember that hiring the smartest people is ultimately an act of confidence and smart leadership.

    Don’t micromanage. I’ve seen this happen a lot: a leader feels insecure so they overcompensate for what they don’t know by becoming a controlling micromanager. Remember, your role as leader is to allow the smart people to do what they do best. Support them but don’t hover. Keep your actions empowering and maintain strong relationships with your team members by providing support and resources and then stepping aside.

    Get educated. I believe it always helps to have a learner’s inquisitive mindset. If you consider yourself a student rather than an authority figure, you can more easily share your concerns and ask others to include you in discussions that will help you learn. Let those around you know you want to learn from them and be deliberate about creating opportunities to make it happen. You don’t have to try and become an expert, but gain insight into what your people do and it will give you the acumen you need to keep up with those around you.

    Stay vulnerable. If you hear that people are questioning your leadership capabilities, be transparent with what you’ve heard, and what you think, and what you plan on doing about it. Don’t go in trying to safeguard your ego. Instead, approach the situation with a mix of vulnerability and strength, and figure out how you are going to work together and support each other.

    Seek good counsel. Find someone who can listen to and advise you. It may be a peer, a coach, or a mentor. Speak to them candidly, share your concerns, ask for help. Sitting with fearful or anxious feelings often makes things worse, but seeking counsel might help ease your emotional load.

    Add value. As a leader, your role is best served when you are able to bring people together and be there for them in ways no one else can. The best leaders don’t always coach, but they do consistently add value by providing support and resources to their team.

    Lead from within: You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room—you just have to have that person on your team, give them the support they need, and get out of their way.


    N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

    THE LEADERSHIP GAP

    What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

    After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    The post How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:30:52 on 2018/04/09 Permalink
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    Dreams Do Come True 

    dreams_do_come_true

    Dreams do come true and I am so excited this week that I can hardly contain myself. This week I am living a dream that I had about 20 years ago! I am going to work with one of the most highly respected and well-known companies in the world! I am going to be teaching our flagship training program for assistants, the Star Achievement Series®. And I won’t only be teaching this week, but I will be going to this company six times between now and September. I will be teaching 12 full-day workshops with three levels of learning. The point I want to make is that your biggest dreams can come true…. with hard work, commitment, persistence and keeping the faith.

     

    In the early days of starting my business, I dreamed of working with this company because in the training industry they are tops! No one trains their employees better than this organization. In the early years, I tried to think of ways to get into this company but I didn’t try real hard because I thought it was impossible. So what did I do? I went to work at building my craft. I spent years devoting myself to writing an impressive in-depth curriculum for administrative professionals of all levels and all walks of life. I was teaching that course in numerous organizations and I kept improving the curriculum time and time again. In fact, the Star Achievement Series® has had 16 revisions in 27 years. It has stood the test of time and thousands of assistants have attended the course and received their CEAP (Certified Executive Administrative Professional) designation.

    designation_course_for_administraive_assistants

    About one year ago, I got a call from an individual from this amazing organization inquiring about the Star Achievement course. Now, after almost 12 months of conversations and tons of hours of back and forth emails, I am on a plane heading there today!

     

    This is really about you, though. It’s about you dreaming big, working hard, keeping the faith, never giving up and being a rock star at your calling. So here is my advice:

     

    1. Dream big! Often we dream way too small.
    1. Keep dreaming.
    1. Don’t let the naysayers squash your dream.
    1. Take your work, your gift, seriously. What have you been blessed with? Are you using your talents or are they just fading away?
    1. Polish your craft.
    1. Always put your best foot forward.
    1. Build a reputation of excellence.
    1. Set goals and monitor your progress.
    1. Enjoy the journey!

     

    What is your big dream? Deep down, what do you hope will happen in your life or your career? Have you given it any thought? Have you ever thought, “Wow, if this happens, it will be the ultimate?” You have to set these ideas in your mind so your subconscious can go to work. Just remember that it may take years for that dream to come true. But it is well worth the wait!

     

    Joan Burge

    The post Dreams Do Come True appeared first on Office Dynamics.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:26:37 on 2018/04/06 Permalink
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    Are you hearing me? Listening Skills for Leaders 

    A few years ago, my husband and I bought a kitchen table from a reputable furniture company. Within a week, we noticed a few flaws in the finish. I called the help desk and was instructed to buy an extended warranty policy. They said I would get priority treatment, have a direct dial in line for assistance and would be entitled to additional maintenance past the standard time period. So, we purchased the policy.

    A repairman came to our home and touched up the flaws. A few months later, more of the finish started peeling off. I called again. Another repairman fixed the problem. It happened two or three more times. Each time, someone came to touch up the table. At that point, I should have insisted that the company replace the table, but I didn’t. About two years later, the problem re-surfaced. This time, the company said my extended maintenance contract had expired so there was nothing they could do. They advised me to go buy furniture finishing sticks.

    Fast forward to today; I use those furniture sticks often, but now the table is warping. I contacted customer service. We exchanged multiple e-mails. A representative called me. She was responsive, apologetic and said she was forwarding her notes to management and would have someone call me. She did, and it went something like this.

    “You have a problem with a table?”

    “Yes,” I said. Did you read the notes from the emails and the person I spoke with?”

    She didn’t see any notes. I described the saga again.

    “Well” she responded, “we sent people to your house and everything was fine.”

    It wasn’t fine I stated. If it was fine, I wouldn’t have kept calling back.

    “What” she asked?

    I repeated myself.

    “I’m looking at your file and everything was fine.”

    Now I was annoyed. Again, I explained the situation. Again, she told me everything was fine. “Are you listening to me?” I asked.

    “Yes, she said. I see that every time we sent someone to your house, everything was fine”.

    Tired of talking to someone who wasn’t paying attention and didn’t seem to care, I told her I would never shop at her furniture store again. She said that’s unfortunate. I said it was fine and hung up. I don’t blame this company for failing to replace a table that is out of extended warranty. I do blame their management for failure to listen to their customers. I blame them for lack of empathy. And I blame them for not making communication a priority.

    There are several ways to tell if someone is really listening to you. In person, they will maintain eye contact, so you know they’re listening. They often angle their body toward you which signals they are in the conversation. Engaged listeners typically don’t fidget, tap their fingers or shift in their seats.

    When you can’t see someone, there are verbal clues that will signal if they’re paying attention. Ask a question or ask for their opinion. If they respond with “what” or ask you to repeat yourself, they probably weren’t listening. Then ask them if they’re listening. If they’re caught off guard or continue to repeat the same thing over or over, that’s a good clue that they’re not really listening.

    At work, poor listening skills translate to poor performance, poor relationships and poor productivity. That’s why listening is such an important skill for leaders to master. It actually takes more concentration and focus than speaking. When you listen, you show interest in others and make them feel valued.

    We worked with a candy company that manufactures and sells products in more than eighty countries around the globe. Despite the enormity of running this company, several times a month the CEO joins employees for lunch in the cafeteria so he can listen and stay in touch. It’s not a complaint session because most of his employees are happy. While they talk shop, much of the conversation focuses on families, current events and what’s happening in their lives.

    Employees feel that the CEO really cares about them, because he really does. They feel their voices are heard because they are. There is a big difference between leaders saying they want to keep the lines of communication open and leaders who really do.

    An article published in the Harvard Business Review lumped listening into three categories:

    1. Internal listening which is when you are focused on your own thoughts and concerns but pretend to focus on others.

    2. Focused listening is when you focus on others but are not fully connected to them.

    3. 360 listening is what they term “the magic”. Not only are you listening to what someone else is saying, but you are paying attention to how they say it.

    Listening improves productivity in the workplace. If you are truly engaged in a conversation, it is natural to ask probing questions such as “can you elaborate” or “will you share an experience that led to your thought process” or “how can this help our team achieve their objectives?” These are questions that show you are fully present and genuinely interested in understanding and learning more.

    Over the past two decades, we have worked with hundreds of executives. Those who are sincere listeners have several traits in common. They come across as caring empathetic individuals. Employees tend to want to work harder for people that seem to care about them. Leaders who listen embrace people’s differences and try to understand how those traits can be utilized instead of trying to mold them into someone they want them to be. These leaders also tend to be open to new approaches and ideas, rather than thinking they have all the answers.

    Yet, published articles report less than 2% of all professionals have any formal training to help them understand and improve listening techniques.

    The furniture company I mentioned is a textbook example. After I hung up with the manager, I e-mailed a note of thanks to the original customer service representative who tried to help me. I said a manager did call as promised and then briefly recounted the conversation saying she was not helpful.

    The service representative e-mailed me back immediately, but to my surprise she wrote: “Thank you Karen. Did the manager resolve your problem?” At first, I thought I read it wrong. Then I realized, she didn’t read what I wrote. Chances are, her attention was challenged by multiple tasks other than my problem.

    Unfortunately, her failure to read my comments only further cemented my opinion that this company doesn’t really care about its customers. Because service representatives are the front line of many companies, they have a unique opportunity to shape reputations and forge relationships.

    Empowering employees with on-going education and training to improve listening and communication skills will surely reap great returns on your investment both inside the company and when dealing with important customers.

     
  • feedwordpress 14:09:33 on 2018/04/04 Permalink
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    The Six Ways Your Business Will Use Mixed Reality 

    Download high res version here. 

    By Jaimy Szymanski with Jeremiah Owyang

    Though consumer applications may receive most of the fanfare, mixed reality technologies offer enterprises many opportunities to supercharge employee skill-sets as well.

    Utilizing internal-facing augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications––often referred to simply as “XR” for “extended reality”––companies can increase collaboration and transform traditional approaches to education and training, repairs and maintenance, sales, product and site design, and more.

    The latest report from Kaleido Insights’ we published “Prepare for the New Reality of ‘Super Employees,’” explores in detail the most effective cross-departmental use cases of mixed reality within organizations. These are applicable to a variety of industries (see Fig. 1 below), with advantages of utilizing XR over traditional processes, practices, and legacy technologies abound. The six enterprise use cases are:

    1. Engineering and Design Modeling: Utilizing 3D modeling in engineering products is a tried-and-true method in most manufacturing environments. Reviewing designs in a collaborative VR space offers novel opportunities as traditional computer-aided design and modeling (CAD/CAM) technologies evolve.
    2. Training and Employee Education: Conducting training exercises in a VR environment offers many benefits over real-world programs, including increased safety; managing information transfer amidst high employee turnover; scaling trainers; and upskilling existing workers.
    3. Real-time Information Overlay: Primarily a use case meant for AR, real-time information is provided to a viewer utilizing wearable AR headsets or accessible through a mobile device or tablet via an AR app, while simultaneously viewing real-world surroundings.
    4. Theft Protection: Though primarily retail in its industrial application, theft protection is an emerging use case utilized by large retailers to combat shrinkage of high ticket-value items.
    5. B2B Sales: VR and AR can offer new, immersive opportunities to sell industrial products while simultaneously increasing portability and scaling salesperson efforts.
    6. Marketing and Entertainment: AR and VR content marketing is a growing field for digital marketers looking to reach audiences in new, engaging ways in order to compete with other online and mobile experiences.

    From designing machinery in a collaborative VR space to avoid collision issues, to utilizing AR wearables to overlay information for technician repairs in real-time, the XR space is filled with opportunity for innovative corporations seeking to empower “super employees” while achieving greater efficiencies and engagement. Like many modern-day superheroes, these employees are strengthened with superpowers made possible via technological sidekicks that augment their bionic brains.

    Learn more about each enterprise XR use case, as well as challenges to adoption and recommendations for implementation, by downloading the full report here. 

     
  • feedwordpress 13:48:22 on 2018/04/04 Permalink
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    Quick Tip #76: Boring to Brilliant – Present the Problem 

    In our new 12 part series, learn to turn Boring to Brilliant. Whether presenting, persuading or trying to improve your communications, there are 12 sure-fire steps to help you become a more impactful leader and communicator.

    #1 Present the Problem

     
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