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  • feedwordpress 11:04:39 on 2017/08/08 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , , , Optimism, , Positivity, , ,   

    The One Time You Should NOT Express Positivity 

    Optimism and positivity are beneficial to leadership in almost every circumstance. You won’t find many who would dispute that thought.

    We know the best kind of leadership requires seeing the glass as half full. We know that even in the most challenging times and difficult circumstances, it’s important to concentrate on what we have rather than what we lack. We understand the importance of gratitude—not just as a response when things are going especially well but as a daily practice. It’s not that happy people are thankful, it’s that thankful people are happy.

    We know positive thinking and an optimistic attitude can actually change our reality for the better. In the words of the old adage, “Think good, and it will be good.”

    A daily practice of gratitude and positivity can benefit you even when things get so bad that you can’t see a good outcome or any seed of hope. You can assure yourself that even if you can’t currently comprehend it, there’s a lesson or a stubborn thread of grace in there somewhere.

    There’s one situation, however, when positivity and gratitude don’t work—when, in fact, they can actually be destructive.

    That’s when you try to apply them to others.

    It’s understandable, the urge to apply something so helpful to someone who’s hurting. But however well intended, it simply doesn’t work.

    A distraught or grieving colleague or client doesn’t want to hear “There must be something good in your life to be grateful for.” Or “It must have been meant to be.” Or “I know you’re disappointed but things work out for the best.”

    When someone is suffering, it’s cruel to suggest that it’s all a lesson designed to make them a better person. And it’s downright arrogant for us to tell them this is good for them, or that it’s the way it’s meant to be.

    Our job is not to philosophize about another’s pain, but to alleviate, relieve and lessen it.

    True leaders know that when they see someone suffering, there’s only one acceptable response. They roll up their sleeves and ask, ‘What can I do to help?

    Here are some ways you can be of service to someone who’s hurting:

    Listen. One of the most important traits in leadership is the ability to listen. The best leaders, the skillful ones, know the importance of listening more than they speak. It’s especially important to listen to people who are trying to make sense of difficult events.

    Show support. If someone’s going through a tough time, the most meaningful thing you can say is I’m here for you. Simple words, but when they’re backed up with action they share a burden—and they reassure the person that they’re not alone.

    Convey empathy. Adopting a human approach to your leadership sets an example that helps you build an entire culture of empathetic leaders. People will admire your approach and work harder for you knowing that you respect their personal needs.

    Connect with caring. Gone are the days when people expect leaders to sit behind a closed office door and dictate from power. The best leaders today get to know their people on a personal level as well as professionally. They care, and they show that caring by connecting, communicating and demonstrating compassion.

     Lead from within: A positive is not the best answer for every situation. As a leader, you need to let each situation involving one of your people bring forth the best of what you have to offer in the terms of how you listen, how you support, how you care and how you connect.


    Learn more about the gaps that exist in positivity in my National Bestseller book:
    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.

    buy now

     



    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The One Time You Should NOT Express Positivity appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:41 on 2017/08/01 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , ,   

    Here’s Why You Can’t Afford to Just Stand By And Watch 

    We are living in difficult times, with dysfunction and great disruption seemingly at every turn.

    But there’s something to be learned in any situation. And our times now are asking us some important questions:

    Why we don’t have better leadership?

     Why is it we have leaders that disappoint and dissatisfy us?

    Why do we allow this to happen?

    An important part of the answer to these questions is this: We have become a society of bystanders.

    Bystanders don’t get involved. They stand by—exactly as the name says—and watch without helping.

    Bystanders see something but do nothing; they hear something but say nothing.

    Bystanders are created by fear.

    If you are acting out of fear you cannot be brave, and if you are acting out of passivity you cannot be courageous.

    It’s when we feel most powerless, when we feel nothing we can do will change the status quo, that we need to challenge our fear and passivity—to stop being afraid, to leave any passive inclinations behind.

    If you think you’re not playing a part in the dysfunction, think again. Anyone who is a bystander—anyone who’s watching without doing anything about the troublesome things they see—is part of the problem.

    Ask yourself if any of these traits describe you:

    You believe you’re not leadership material. Where are all the men and women who have strong vision and great ideas and are compelled for the greater good? Maybe you’ve let yourself believe you lack the power or the conviction or the skills to lead. If so, you need to start where you are and answer the call. You’ve never been needed more.

    You’re suppressing your awareness. It’s easy to become so distressed that all you want to do is disengage. If you’re dismissing the problem by checking out because it’s too much to deal with, you’re resigning yourself to apathy. It’s never made any problem go away—if anything it makes things worse. You can’t help yourself or others by ignoring reality. More than ever before we need leaders who can look squarely at the problems we face.

    You’ve stopped meeting the challenges. Suppose our companies, our organizations, our teams, our leaders, became stopped trying to meet our needs. The effects would be terrible. When we’re all facing more and more challenges, it’s tempting to take a break from doing the hard work of turning them around. Remember that you’re pacing yourself for a marathon, not a sprint, so you can maintain a steady effort every day.

    You’re scared to stand up for your convictions. To lead others requires integrity, a word whose Latin origins mean wholeness and completeness, and which in turn means consistency of character. You can’t lose your convictions or your courage when you’re fighting for a common purpose, and you can’t deny the truth you see in exchange for security or someone else’s agenda. Strong convictions precede great actions.

    It’s our duty not only to meet these standards ourselves but to hold others in leadership to them. When a leader becomes lazy, self-indulgent, deceiving, or corrupt, we have to take action and challenge their power.

    Here’s why you can’t afford to just stand by and watch because true leadership is about people: people before policy, people before profits, and people before procedures.

    If we allow those we don’t respect to lead and those we don’t trust to have influence, we are acting out of fear and living as bystanders. And that’s not going to cut it anymore.

    Leadership at its heart is about we the people, it’s not about a self-serving agenda.

    There is a deep cry, a true plea for leadership. We are looking for leaders who will hold themselves accountable—to humanity, to character, to virtue.

    If you want to make an impact, there’s no better time. Now is your chance.

    There is a gap in our leadership and we need you to fill it. We need to you say something and do something.

    We are looking for those who have been bystanders to stop being fearful, to take a chance and challenge the status quo. If you are waiting for permission, here it is. If you are waiting for approval, we approve.

    We are looking for you… to lead us with heart.

    Lead from Within: Leaders become great not because their power, but becasue of their ability to empower others.

     

    Learn more about the gaps that exist in my National Bestseller book:
    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     
    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Here’s Why You Can’t Afford to Just Stand By And Watch appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:10:04 on 2017/06/27 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , , , , , teams, ,   

    The Story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody And Nobody 


    Recently I told a group of leadership executives a simple but meaningful story that you may have heard before. It’s the story of four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

    Here’s the story, titled “Whose Job Is It, Anyway?”

    There was an important job to be done. Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

    The story may be confusing but the message is clear: no one took responsibility so nothing got accomplished.

    It’s a story that plays out often in organizations and companies and on teams—anywhere there is culture that lacks accountability.

    But how do you get people to take responsibly for their work? Different things work in different situations, but here are some strategies that have proven to be effective:

    Become a role model. You can’t tell people what to do if you yourself aren’t willing to hold yourself to the same level. If you want people to act responsibly, you have to be accountable. Your team and your company look to you for direction.

    Don’t make assumptions. Don’t assume that others know instinctively what to do and when to do it, or even what you expect from them. Before people can take responsibility for their work they require clear communication. The more you communicate, the better the results are likely to be.

    Set the standard. If you expect excellence, it’s up to you to set the standards for results and performance. Make each task or goal measurable and set it on a reasonable timeline so it’s achievable. Give people a clear target and they’ll work to reach it—and maybe even surpass it.

    Get the buy-in to go the distance. You need people to buy in and commit if you want to succeed. Each vision should be compelling; each goal should build toward the whole; each task should be laced with motivation. You need people to feel compelled, inspired and motivated to take responsibility.

    Make regular check-ups. One of the biggest reasons people fall short is a lack of follow-through by leadership. Help people stay focused by setting up regular checkpoints—phone calls or meetings where everyone can communicate and catch up, staying focused on moving forward and being accountable. When people know there will be check-ups, they’re less likely to procrastinate and more likely to hit their targets.

    Provide support and training. Especially with a start-up or a new initiative, people are taking on projects or tasks that they’ve never faced before. Make sure everybody has the training and resources they need to be successful, and provide help in resolving any issues that may arise.

    Encourage candor. One of the worst things that can happen to a team is for people to feel uncomfortable discussing problems and expressing their honest opinions. Build a culture of candor so that people know it’s the norm to tell the truth, even when it’s difficult or awkward.

    Concentrate on solutions and not only problems. If people are having problems or falling behind, expect them to come to you with possible solutions, not just the problems. Create an expectation that the first response to a problem is to start finding solutions.

    Praise performance. Praise people for good results and be specific with your acknowledgment. Let them know what they did well and how their work is affecting others. If they fall short, coach them privately and let them know how they can improve. And if their performance does not improve, also address this with meaningful consequences that have been explained ahead of time.

    To avoid having your team become Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody, commit to becoming the kind of leader who takes responsibility for your own life and leadership.

    Lead from within: Don’t let Anybody (or Everybody, Somebody or Nobody) stop you from doing what you need to do to create the kind of leadership and life you can be proud of.
    Learn more about running great teams in my National Bestseller book:
    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody And Nobody appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:05:22 on 2017/06/20 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , Heroic Leadership, , , , ,   

    Why Heroic Leadership Is Needed Now More Than Ever 

     

    Recently I was at an event at the Princeton Club talking about my new book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness. Someone there asked me an intriguing question: “With all the work you do with leaders around the world, who are the leaders you most admire?”

    I thought about it for a split second before answering to the room, “If you are living bravely and leading courageously, you are my hero. Those are the leaders I admire the most.”

    That kind of courage has become sadly endangered. More than ever before, we have a real gap in our leadership.

    The climate of leadership these days is laced with distrust and skepticism. We hold our leaders in doubt and their actions in mistrust. And the worst of it is knowing that what’s happening in leadership today is going to end up costing all of us in the years to come.

    In the past, the leaders we looked up to had character we could value, traits we could admire, values we wanted to emulate.

    But when so many examples of contemporary leadership are laced with ego and distrust, you have to wonder where we’re heading. The only way to salvage today’s leadership is to find the heroic leaders who are courageous enough to lead us in the right direction.

    Heroic leaders are always in high demand—and that’s more true than ever now, when they’re in such short supply. We all have what it takes if we’re willing to do the work.

    Here are some simple but profound things you can do to advance your own brand of heroic leadership:

    End passivity. To get anything done, a heroic leader must move the status quo, end mediocrity and be brave enough to do things that matter even when they’re difficult or may cause conflict. It means not only talking but backing your words up with action.

    Don’t allow the new to become the norm. Heroic leaders are brave enough to remind us not to accept what we don’t value or respect. Faced with declining standards, too many of us are willing to tolerate a “new normal.” But heroic leaders habitually step back to think about how they can work for positive change—in themselves, in their organization and in the world. They have the courage not to normalize or accept bad behavior or bad leadership.

    Break down the silos. Leadership is at its worst when it’s carried out from silos—isolated towers that make collaboration and communication impossible.  Great leadership is a “we” message, not a “me” message. A heroic leader understands that true power of leadership is unity—knowing we’re all in this together. When one person tells others what to do and how to do it and everyone else has to keep quiet and listen, you have a dictatorship, not a democracy. The way to take back leadership is not with ego or power but with humility and collaboration.

    Lead with EQ instead of IQ. Many of us put a lot of emphasis on IQ—that is, skills and thought. And those are important, but they’re not enough on their own. Heroic leaders know that it’s important to connect with others emotionally and to make sure they know you have their back. They have a high degree of emotional intelligence.

    Set the standard. Heroic leaders set high standards for themselves and others. It’s about giving people something compelling to grasp on to and work for while making sure they feel heard and seen and understood.

    Use straight talk. Heroic leaders have nothing to hide. They are brave enough and smart enough to keep the lines of communication open, even when they don’t know all the answers. They know how to use straight talk and are not afraid to say, “I don’t know.” They’re strong enough to share information instead of hoarding it.

    Encourage pushback. Many leaders feel pressure to have all the answers. But heroic leaders encourage constructive dissent and healthy debate. They reinforce the strength of others and demonstrate that in the tension of diverse opinions lies a better answer. It’s not about who is right or wrong but about what can we learn from each other.

    Don’t confuse authority and power. The key to heroic leadership is influence, not authority—because authority isn’t power. If you are a heroic leader who has the ability to change someone’s perspective, never waste that gift. It’s one of the most powerful abilities you can have—especially when you use it on behalf of those who have no influence.

    Start accountability with yourself. The role of heroic leadership is to set the expectations that everyone can commit to and be responsible for. Accountability starts with you—you must hold yourself responsible for modeling the behaviors and actions you want others to follow. People naturally emulate those who lead them, so stay aware that others are looking to you.

    Lead from within: You are here to make a difference—to either improve the world or worsen it. And, whether or not you consciously choose to, you will accomplish one or the other. Choose courage, choose bravery, choose to be a hero. We need you now more than ever.

     

    Learn more about The Heroic Leader in my Wall Street Journal Bestseller book:
    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post Why Heroic Leadership Is Needed Now More Than Ever appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 11:52:29 on 2017/05/09 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , , , , , , Truth, Truth Teller,   

    The Remarkable Power of the Truth Teller 

    Truth Teller, Lolly Daskal, Truth, The Leadership GapWe cannot open a newspaper, turn on our computer, or flip through our feeds, before we find that someone has lied about something. Lying is both ubiquitous and consequential—but why do we lie?

    Science says we learn to deceive as toddlers. We rationalize the fabrications that benefit us. We tell little white lies daily that make others feel good.

    In one study, 60 percent of people lied at least once during a 10-minute conversation, saying an average of 2.92 inaccurate things.

    Psychologists say, most lies are tied to self-esteem: as soon as someone feels a little bit threatened, they immediately begin to lie at higher levels.

    I think we lie for a few reasons:

    • We want to both look good when we are in the company of others.
    • We want to maintain a view of ourselves that is consistent with
      the way they would like us to be.
    • We don’t want to hurt people with bad news or information.

    Whatever the reason, a lie today will have major consequences tomorrow.

    If you’re in a powerful position or leadership role in which people look up to you, you’re expected to lead in integrity and truth. If leaders lie, how can they ever be trusted?

    In my leadership coaching, one of the most important things I teach my clients, is the remarkable power of being the truth teller and what it takes to speak with candor:

    A truth teller will communicate and not hold back. Communicate, communicate, communicate. That’s the role of a leader. If you hold back, people will know something’s going on, and they’ll fill the gap with gossip, paranoia, and suspicion—wreaking havoc on the culture of your organization. Be the leader who tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    A truth teller will create a culture of candor. Instead of blaming others when things go wrong, look for solutions, and create an environment where people feel it’s OK to mess up and make mistakes. Cultivate an environment in which owning up to your mistakes is OK, and it’s safe to fail. the best way you can lead your people is to provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs well.

    A truth teller eliminates barricades. As a leader, you have the power—and the obligation—to get rid of anything that prevents people from performing at their best. Keep processes and policies down to a minimum and make sure they don’t keep people working harder and not smarter. Eliminate any barriers that keep people from telling complicated or unwelcome truths. Celebrate the truth by speaking the truth as their leader.

    A truth teller models high standards. Set the standards high and people will work hard to reach them. That means no bullies, no racism, no intolerance, no deceivers, no cheat—and you keep those standards by meeting them yourself. Make truth a consistent part of our own leadership and business, and others will follow.

    A truth teller gives us reasons to be better than we are. When things are bad or difficult or stressful, our initial reaction is to hide and withhold. But the remarkable power in telling the truth is to let people know they can be part of the solution, and they can be part of something bigger than themselves. As a leader you can provide them with a compelling vision that gives them reason to be better than they are.

    Lead from Within: Great leaders are remarkable truth tellers. They know that honest hearts produce honest actions.

    Learn more about the TRUTH TELLER in my new book:
    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.

    PRE-ORDER FREE ASSESSMENT


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit:
    Getty Images

     

    The post The Remarkable Power of the Truth Teller appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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