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  • feedwordpress 09:00:48 on 2018/02/06 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , , , , ,   

    7 Ways To Keep Your Team Happy And Motivated 

    There are probably few if any people in leadership who don’t aspire to have a happy team. But what does it take to keep people motivated? Especially these days, when most people are working long hours and have so much to do, there are steps you can take to help ensure your team is happy (and, since the two go hand in hand, motivated). Here’s a list, compiled from the workshops I facilitate, of what fuels the happiest teams

    1. A happy team has a supportive leader. A happy team has a leader who is engaged and supportive—and leaders with that style will go much further than either micromanagers or aloof directors. People are much more willing to go the extra mile if they know their team leader is willing to roll their sleeves up and pitch in when necessary. They need to know their leader is someone they can count on when the going gets tough.

    2. A happy team has an inclusive culture. One key to a happy team is to create an environment where people feel free to discuss ideas openly and to disagree with each other before reaching consensus—or, at the very least, a compromise that everyone can live with.  If the culture is right, the conversation will be honest and the communication will find common ground. Make sure your team atmosphere is one where new ideas are welcomed, healthy debate is encouraged and everyone works toward the same goals of trust, respect and success.

    3. A happy team has opportunities for learning. When team members feel that the organization and leadership are invested in their career, they feel valued—which in turn makes them feel happier and more productive, innovative and creative. Team members are also invigorated by feeling that they’re growing and not just standing still. Extend as many opportunities as possible for learning and professional development.

    4. A happy team has up-to-date tools that work well. Teams work at their best when they know they’re equipped to do their job properly. Tools that are outdated or that don’t work well make the workplace stressful and frustrating. When setting goals for your team, make sure that they have the tools and training to accomplish they need.

    5. A happy team has ongoing feedback and clear communication. Good communication skills build trusting relationship and cultivate happy people. That means you need to be as skilled at listening as at speaking and writing. Allocate ongoing time for feedback, making sure communication is honest, truthful and straightforward. Teamwork thrives in an environment where communication is valued.

    6. A happy team knows mistakes are acceptable. While you should be able to expect consistently high performance from your team, mistakes and errors are inevitable. A positive working culture is one where employees are not made to feel that a mistake is unacceptable or fatal. The best teams make mistakes—and then learn from them. Avoid blaming or shaming people when they make a mistake.

    7. A happy team receives appreciation and recognition. When your team does something above and beyond, something unexpected, something that impresses you—express appreciation and recognition as loudly and publically as possible. It’s a no-brainer: making people feel valued it one of the easiest things you can do to foster a positive workplace culture and a happy team.

    Everyone in the organization, from the top down, is responsible for designing and building a positive environment and culture where people can be happy, where everyone makes a contribution, where everyone counts.

    Lead from within: Happy people make happy teams, and happy teams know what they want and how to navigate toward it together.

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


    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 7 Ways To Keep Your Team Happy And Motivated appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:51:16 on 2018/01/30 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, Burnt Out Leadership, , , , , ,   

    7 Important Reasons Leaders Crash and Burn 

    Whether you’re in a formal leadership role or not, if people are relying on you and you are responsible for their success, you’re serving as a leader—and that means experiencing all the highs and lows of leadership.

    Generally, leaders want to do their best and maintain high standards of excellence. They push themselves for the benefit of their team and put their own interests at the bottom of the list.

    Those attitudes are part of what makes people leaders, but it also puts them at higher than average risk of burnout. Here are seven serious ways leaders set themselves up to crash and burn:

    1. Focusing on being liked. A need to be liked makes leadership a struggle. The best leaders understand that being liked is a side effect, not a goal. If they’re invested in their people and in helping them learn and grow in an atmosphere of respect and equality—as any leader should be—they will be liked. Leaders who focus on being liked, on the other hand, are constantly changing direction in hopes of earning someone’s approval. In the end, they’re not effective as leaders—and they’re actually liked less than those who have their priorities in order. Leadership is not about being liked; it’s about getting the job done while empowering those around you.

    2. Taking on too much without delegating. If you think you’re the only one who can get the job done right, you are doing a disservice to your own leadership—and to all the people who were hired to support you in your work. When you take on too much without delegating you’ll end up feeling perpetually behind with no chance of catching up, and few situations are more exhausting. Part of your role as a leader is helping your team take on more authority to build their own leadership skills. If you don’t delegate, you’re failing your team and yourself.

    3. Deviating from what’s important. If you’re the type of leader who says yes to everything, you’ll end up overloaded and unfocused. Learn instead to say yes only to the things that are important to your mission. Leadership is about getting things done and achieving results, so keep your focus on the things that directly or indirectly contribute to results and learn to say no to the rest.

    4. Relying on consensus. Leaders have to be able to make decisions independently and trust their own judgment. If you find yourself often waiting for people to agree with you or second-guessing yourself, you’re adding to your stress and detracting from your leadership. Building a great team involves collaboration—one of the key elements associated with creating a dynamic corporate culture. But consensus decision making isn’t appropriate or feasible in many situations, and that’s where leadership steps up.

    5. Getting caught up in your own importance. Even good leaders can get caught up in their own hype—which actually means they’re caught up in their own ego. When you lead from your ego you undermine your effectiveness as a leader. Stoking your own ego will never earn you anyone’s respect, and leadership should never be about pushing your own agenda, status and gratification ahead of others affected by your actions.

    6. Failing to build trust. Earning and building trust are at the heart of leadership. If you fail to cultivate trust as a leader, communication and team effectiveness immediately suffer—and it’s hard to make up losses in those areas. Learn the problems that a lack of trust can cause in your team, and remember that resolving trust issues starts and ends with you.

    7. Tending to fix instead of navigate. If you find yourself constantly trying to fix whatever problem is in front of you instead of navigating long-term solutions, you’re going to keep spinning your wheels. Great leaders avoid burnout by empowering others to look for solutions while the leader navigates the way with them.

    In short, if you want to avoid crashing and burning, you need to reach beyond managing your role. You have to learn to manage yourself.

    Lead from within: Working hard for something you don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something you love is called passion.

    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 7 Important Reasons Leaders Crash and Burn appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:48:17 on 2018/01/23 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, Feedback, , , , ,   

    The Power of Feedback: How To Make Feedback Constructive 

    Criticism is rarely easy for anyone to hear, but the manner in which it’s provided can make a huge difference in how feedback is received and how useful it can be in helping the recipient grow.

    The way most organizations handle feedback is terrible. Bosses save everything up till the dreaded performance review rolls around. Piling up a year’s worth of feedback in one day is grueling and stressful for everyone involved. Instead of being an opportunity for growth, it’s treated as something awful to get through.

    I believe there is a problem—not only with the whole performance review process but with how we communicate feedback. We have institutionalized the art of letting people know how they’re doing, often with a process that does more harm than good. But we dutifully follow the system that’s handed to us, even though it’s unsettling for everyone involved.

    Feedback can be invaluable when it’s offered in the right way with the right intentions. Knowing the how and when is a skill, and like any other skill it takes practice to get it right.

    Here is the process I teach to top leaders around the world. It’s effective, constructive, and geared toward employees’ overall growth and development.

    Make sure there’s a reason. For feedback to be effective, it must have a purpose. You may be analyzing a recent problem to prevent it from recurring, or the employee’s role may be involved in an area that’s been targeted for expansion. Effective feedback requires credibility, and that credibility is absent if only context is “It’s review time and I have to list something under ‘Areas for Improvement.’”

    It has to be given at right time and at for right duration. Appropriate timing is important. When an event triggers a need for feedback, provide it as quickly as possible (but not in the heat of the moment). Timely feedback allows you to address issues more effectively, and it doesn’t leave employees feeling blindsided.

    It has to be done routinely and regularly. Examining events and looking for highs and lows, and especially for places where changes would be beneficial, should be a regular part of your leadership, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. When feedback becomes part of that process, it doesn’t make recipients feel singled out or like a scapegoat.

    Keep it simple and specific. To be effective, feedback must be clear. Stay on track and stick to the issue at hand. Avoid phrases like you never or you always—discuss the impact of specific behavior without blame or personal criticism.

    Make it interactive. Feedback works best when it’s treated not as a one-way street but an interactive session for problem solving. Ask for input and ideas to help clarify it’s about progress, not punishment.

    Use “I” statements. The best feedback comes from your personal perspective. You can avoid labeling, blaming and accusing by making sure your sentences start with “I”: I thought, I sense,, and by expressing yourself with concern and care,

    Know when to go private. It’s a wise principle that’s easy to forget: give recognition in public and criticism in private. Create a safe environment, away from hearing ears, and speak in a way that no one can overhear or disrupt the conversation. Privacy is important.

    Stay focused. A good feedback discussion is about one issue, not piling on every large and small grievance at once. If you expand the scope of the feedback to include objectives and criticisms, you risk having an employee who feels attacked and demoralized—and who wouldn’t? Stick to the specific behavior that the employee needs to change.

    For every negative, give two positives. A good rule to follow is to start off with something positive. This helps put the person in the right frame of mind to receive information. It’s also good to end the discussion with something positive so they don’t leave discouraged and dispirited.

    Follow up for progress. The whole purpose of feedback is for improvement. Feedback needs to be carried out in a constant loop in which everyone thinks about what they’ve done and what they could do better, as they work to grow and develop—and that requires measuring accomplishments. Discuss what is and isn’t working and work together on anything that needs to be amended.

    If feedback is positive and constructive, positive outcomes will be the result; if it is grounded in negativity, a lack of engagement and failure will follow.

    LEAD FROM WITHIN: Feedback is effective when it’s a two-way street. You need to know how to give it effectively and receive it constructively.


    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Power of Feedback: How To Make Feedback Constructive appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 10:00:36 on 2018/01/16 Permalink
    Tags: Blog, , Isolation, , , , , ,   

    What Great Leaders Struggle With – But Are Scared to Admit 

    I recently gave a keynote to a room filled with hundreds of leaders from around the world. These were people with prestigious positions and reputations for excellence, and I was humbled and honored to be in their presence.

    After my keynote a crowd gathered at the back of the room, where I was signing my new book. Speaking with these accomplished leaders one on one, I began to notice a pattern. Many of them were using the content of my talk as a springboard to talk about their struggles—struggles they were scared to admit to others, especially their colleagues, their teammates, and their boards. The nature of their struggles fell into a few broad categories.

    1. They were grappling with loneliness and isolation. We think of business leaders as being surrounded by people all the time, but the old adage is true—it really is lonely at the top. In a recent study, 61 percent of C-suite leaders believed isolation hindered their performance. That’s a significant proportion of top executives who are suffering—and not performing at their peak. The sense of isolation is even more pronounced, and its effects more significant, during challenging times. Those who are dealing with loneliness and isolation need to know they aren’t alone. Finding ways to let people in may mean overcoming the myth that we need to do it alone, but it’s the best cure for loneliness and isolation.

    2. They were wrestling with self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. From time to time we all feel inadequate. or suffer from self -doubt, but leaders tend to see it through the lens of their team and the others who are counting on them, and it leaves very little room for even questioning yourself. In an unfamiliar situation or one with no easy answers, even if they have the necessary skills to arrive at a solution, they may start to question and mistrust themselves. As I discuss in my latest book, The Leadership Gap, tapping into your capabilities and competencies can provide the confidence you need to overcome times of self-doubt.

    3. They were fearful of letting people down. Like the rest of us, most leaders ascribe to a set of rules and standards, and they hope people are pleased with the work they do. But if it’s done right, leadership involves risk and courageous decisions, and one of the hazards is that sometimes you let others down and have to face their disapproval. Especially when you’re trying to achieve something significant, it’s important to remember that you can’t always please others (or even yourself) and free yourself to make tough choices in light of the big-picture priorities and your goals for your team and organization.

    4. They were afraid of public failure. We may teach that failure is a component of eventual success—and it is—but it’s still something that everyone dreads. And when you fail as a leader, you fail big. Especially for a group of people who tend to have healthy egos, it can be rough. It may be easier said than done, but when you’ve wiped out is the time to get out of your own head and look objectively at failure as a learning experience.

    5. They were scrambling to get everything accomplished. We all tend to have a lot to do on any given day. That daily pressure is magnified for leaders, who have their own things to accomplish and have to make sure everyone on their team is performing well. It’s a big burden, and the only way through is to focus on what you need to accomplish as a leader, do it with excellence and make sure you are surrounded by the right people doing their right jobs in the right way.

    6. They were laboring over their weaknesses. Most people hate to admit they have weaknesses. My keynote took this as a topic, with the gist being that while most leaders are working to find their strengths, I’m a big believer in identifying your weaknesses and leveraging them. That same message is an important part of The Leadership Gap.

    7. They struggled with criticism. Leaders learn early on that everyone has an opinion about their actions and thoughts. All feedback is good, but it’s hard to listen to critical opinions, especially when they seem poorly thought through or mean spirited. As a leader, you need people to share information with you, and that means managing your emotions when you hear things seem unfair.

    8. They were wrestling with the best way to handle confrontation. Few of us enjoy confrontation, but it’s a necessary skill if you want to challenge those you lead. The reality of leadership is that there are times when you have disagreements where you have to stand up and challenge someone. Confrontation is where the skill of true leadership lies, because the best leaders learn how to question and tackle challenge with a humble and sincere approach.

    What I came to realize that day is that it doesn’t matter what position you have or whether you lead a team of one or a company of thousands. Struggle is a part of leadership, it brings lessons to be learned and opportunities to be shared. If you can find meaning in your struggle you will succeed as a leader.

    Lead From Within: When leaders can battle the struggles of the present they will learn to unlock the success in their future.


    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post What Great Leaders Struggle With – But Are Scared to Admit appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 10:00:06 on 2018/01/09 Permalink
    Tags: Awareness, Blog, , , , , , , ,   

    All Successful Leaders Need This Quality to be Effective 

    If you’ve recently been promoted or somehow flagged as a leader, you might be feeling pretty good about yourself, as if you know it all. But the quality that really helps successful leaders be effective is awareness —and until you develop your capacity for awareness, none of your knowledge will do you much good.

    When you’re in a leadership position, sometimes those around you will shield you from reality. They may not want to tell you about a problem because they are afraid of being blamed. They won’t tell you something isn’t working because they feel intimidated about second-guessing you. They may protect you from unpleasant truths out of misplaced loyalty or because they don’t want to deal with your response. Instead of telling you what you need to know, they may complain behind your back, remain quiet rather than disagree with you, or maybe just leave altogether to avoid confrontation.

    You may be sailing through your day thinking everything is fine, but if the things you need to know aren’t getting to you, you have a problem. Here are seven questions based on the traits of highly aware leaders—use them to assess and build your own capability for awareness.

    Do you lead with questions? Are the kind of leader who is inquisitive? Do you ask a lot of questions, or are you assuming you know it all? Leaders who pride themselves on being aware are consistently asking questions.

    Are you open to constructive feedback? For some, feedback always feels like criticism, but constructive feedback is actually a great gift. When you can be open to feedback you become more aware, a better leader and a better person.

    Do you create a safe environment? If you want to hear constructive feedback, you must create a safe culture, a safe environment where people can speak their mind and heart. If people don’t feel safe speaking out, you end up with a culture where people either complain behind your back or walk away, so they don’t have to deal with you. Either way, an unsafe environment leads to a toxic culture. Even if your culture normalizes this climate, that doesn’t make it right.

    Are you open to learning new things? The best leaders understand how much they don’t know, and they treat learning as a big part of leadership. They never stop discovering, learning and wondering about new ways of doing things.

    Do you assume everyone agrees with you? Aware leaders remain open to disagreements and conflict. They expect others to speak up and state their mind, and they model the idea that differences are meant not to divide but to enrich.

    Are you too distracted to be informed? I have seen many leaders who simply have too much going on—whose enormous responsibilities leave them too distracted to know what they’re doing and how they’re being perceived. But an anxious and distressed leader makes for an uneasy and agitated team. Don’t allow distractions to keep you from being informed.

    Are you surrounding yourself with people who are smarter than you? Some leaders will think they have to be the smartest person in the room, so they surround themselves with mediocrity. But mediocrity will never yield excellence. The best and smartest leaders surround themselves with people who are smarter and who can disagree with them, and they learn from those people.

    Aware leaders have the capacity to stand apart from themselves and examine their thinking and actions. In turn, they receive the insight to lead not only themselves but also others to greatness.

    Lead from within: Awareness is one of the rarest of human commodities. It is the difference between limiting yourself and evaluating yourself—not only as a leader but as a person.

    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.

    buy now


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:


    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post All Successful Leaders Need This Quality to be Effective appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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