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  • feedwordpress 09:00:47 on 2018/12/17 Permalink
    Tags: , Career, , , , , , Retirement,   

    The Difficult Day Every Leader Has to Face 

    At some point every leader has to face what is for many a difficult day—the day they are no longer the leader. Maybe they’re retiring or just slowing down or moving on to something new.

    The reason for the departure isn’t as important as the work that precedes it. Every leader should have a succession plan in place. (Even if you’re young and plan to stay where you are, you should still prepare for the remote possibility of a sudden illness or accident.) If you haven’t yet made a plan, here are some guidelines that can help:

    Take your time. A great plan can’t be put together overnight, but the time to start is today. Start by sketching out your areas of responsibility, the reporting and governance structure of your organization, and any parties—team members, colleagues, board members—you want to have input into your planning.

    Groom those with potential. Identify the people in your organization you believe have the potential to be great leaders and begin to teach, coach and prep them. When you invest in your organization’s future leadership, your influence remains long after you’ve left.

    Recognize your emotions (and understand they’re normal). As in many other areas, the best leaders are those who know how to manage their emotions. They don’t allow themselves to be blindsided; they give themselves healthy outlets for voicing and expressing what they’re feeling so when the day does come, the emotions aren’t overwhelming.

    Map your second purpose. I believe our lives comes in stages. For many of us, the first purpose consists doing what’s expected of us, and our work life is driven by the arc of our career. When that stage is over we can move on to our second purpose, where things slow down and we spend our time on things that align with our values.  It’s time to be intentional about where you spend your time and energy.

    Let go and move on. Once you’ve decided to move on, the worst thing you can do is to not let go. Trying to keep hold of the reins leaves you—and everyone around you—in limbo. Especially if you’ve spent years or decades in control, it may be among the most difficult challenges of your life—that’s why you have to prepare far in advance.

    Learn your lessons. Sometimes looking back can help you move forward. Reflect on all the struggles, the lessons you’ve learned, the strengths you’ve developed, all the connection and growth and regrets of your career as leader, and you’ll attain a greater awareness of yourself and where you’re headed.

    When the day comes that it’s time to change seasons, it will be a much easier and more fulfilling transition if it’s handled with care for all concerned—yourself, your organization, and the new leadership.

    Lead from within: Every succession plan will be different, but the only way to know what’s next is to be prepared long before the day arrives and it becomes difficult.

     


    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: iStock Photo

    The post The Difficult Day Every Leader Has to Face appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:10 on 2018/12/11 Permalink
    Tags: , Career, , , , , Mangagement, , ,   

    My Best Advice for Leaders When Things Are Going Wrong 

    I’ve been coaching top leaders in almost every industry for decades, and I’ve learned that even when it appears that an organization is running well and its leaders are effective, it’s often a very different story behind the scenes.

    Tough times are a fact of life for nearly every organization at some point. And when times get tough, leaders have to get tougher.

    I once heard a CEO yell in frustration, “I’m going to walk away from this whole company.” He was over it almost immediately, but his words in that tense moment genuinely frightened his board and team to the point that they began to question his leadership.

    Maybe more than at any other time, when things go wrong your words and actions as a leader are critically important. Here’s my best advice for those times:

    Face your obligations. Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Sometimes what is needed most will happen when you face your challenge and own your struggles. Success often lies in your ability to face difficult situations.

    Use the struggle to pivot. The uncertainty and uprootedness of moments of crisis have a strange benefit: they make it a great time to change direction. Moving to things that will serve your organization in a different way and pose new challenges—the kind of change that people find frightening under many circumstances—can instead be a welcome source of hope in tough times. Sometimes problems are pushing you directly into the path of opportunities that weren’t visible before.

    Change your thinking. It’s easy to turn your thoughts to a dark and negative place when things go wrong, especially if you don’t have the resources or influence to change a tough situation. But in these cases, the only thing you can control is the way you think and respond. However difficult, struggle makes us strong and comes with important lessons. Instead of giving in to negativity, try to view the situation as a chance for you and your team to learn and grow.

    Make a plan to move forward. As a leader, you cannot get stuck in a problem but need to be the source of plans and solutions. Problems come and go, but ultimately you won’t be remembered for the problems you faced but the solutions you came up with. Leadership at its best is when you don’t like something and you move ahead and use your influence to do something about it.

    Don’t let anything stop you. Whatever the obstacles or challenges, the best time to show determination is when you’re facing your biggest challenges, because the true essence of determination will get you through anything. The difference between impossible and possible lies in a leader’s determination. Some people succeed because they are destined, but most succeed because they are determined.

    Lead from within: When things go wrong, become the kind of leader who can make things turn out the best—and make the best of things along the 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.

    buy now

     


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

     

    Photo Credit: iStock Photo

    The post My Best Advice for Leaders When Things Are Going Wrong appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:57 on 2018/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Career, , , , Leadership Skills, , ,   

    4 of the Most Important Skills of the Future 

    The future is being built now with robotics, artificial intelligence, and all kinds of automation that will take over many of the skills we perform today. But there are some skills that we will need for the future, skills that can’t be automated. If you want to excel in the years to come, make sure you’re up to speed in these areas:

    Communication. If you’re in leadership, how you communicate, what you communicate and—most of all—how you listen are all supremely important. In communication, it’s the tone that inspires and the spirit that motivates. No robot or machine could ever have the same effect as a leader with great communication skills. Knowing how to communicate is all about creating and clarifying expectations. It’s important to communicate not just what you want someone to do and (without micromanaging) how they should do it but also why you want it to be done and why the person you’re asking is the best person for the job. People want meaning, so communication will always be a crucial leadership skill.

    Engagement. Gone are the days of a leader sitting at their desk with the door closed. That doesn’t work (and really, it never did). For any enterprise to excel and achieve its goals leaders need to value engagement, because great leadership begins with connection. When we understand that despite the ways in which we differ we’re all alike in our desire for acceptance and connection, we can recognize those needs in ourselves—and in others. That’s when we can truly make a difference, and it requires human connection.

    Influence. Many sources contribute influence in our lives. Parents, other family members, teachers, friends, books we’ve read, discussions we’ve had, life experiences—all of these influences merge together to form our core values and build our character. In the years to come it’s predicted that our biggest commodity will be ourselves—that people will follow others because of who they are and what their character represents. That’s not something you could ever get from a machine, robot or automation.

    Heart. Automation can never substitute for heart, care and love. When a leader demonstrates caring, it makes a difference in everyone they touch. The world is full of people who need to be exposed to a caring heart. Great leaders care about the people they lead above their own leadership; they are close enough to show they care but far enough ahead to also motivate. The future relies on this wisdom: leadership is not about being in charge but about taking care of those in your charge.

    There are doubtless numerous skills you’ll need to build a successful future, but it’s these core skills that matter most.

    Lead from within: The future belongs to the leaders who excel at today’s most important skills.

     


     

    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: iStockPhotos

    The post 4 of the Most Important Skills of the Future appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:02 on 2018/11/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Career, , , , , ,   

    These Powerful Traits Can Make You into a Successful Leader 

    Some traits set a great leader apart from the pack. Great leaders are multidimensional, continually improving, growing and learning.

    Here are the most powerful top traits that can make you be the most successful leader you can be:

    Self-management. One of the most important traits of successful leadership is self-management. Be aware of your strengths, but also learn how to manage and leverage your weaknesses.

    Being a visionary. Exceptional leaders have the ability to look into the future and create a vision that will benefit their organization. Being a visionary means understanding that continuous change is occurring all around you, so what worked in the past may not work now.

    Setting goals: A successful leader must be able to set clear goals and be determined and purposeful in achieving them. Set your goals, then back them up with unshakable self-confidence.

    Effective communication. Great leaders are effective communicators, able to clearly and succinctly explain everything from organizational goals to specific tasks. Develop your ability to communicate to people what they need to know in order to excel.

    Exhibiting integrity.
    Great leaders never separate character from success. They know there can be nothing of real value if those who follow them can’t respect their leadership. Integrity is about more than just doing the right thing—it’s about standing for something bigger than yourself and setting an example in the process.

    Demonstrating decisiveness. Every effective leader has to learn to make sound decisions under pressure. As you build your agility in solving problems under rapidly shifting circumstances, you’re learning to act decisively in a complex environment.

    Expressing curiosity. Great leaders share the trait of curiosity. They’re genuinely interested in people, their company and the world around them. They ask questions, read, listen and surround themselves with mentors, coaches and advisors. Build the habit of listening more than you speak, because curiosity is the best way to stay informed.

    Conveying compassion. Great leaders consider the needs of others ahead of their own. They care about people beyond what people can do for them personally. Compassion isn’t a trait you can fake, but it is one you can develop by simply paying attention to the people around you.

    Communicating expertise.
    It’s crucial to keep a finger on the pulse of what’s happening and to stay on top of relevant facts, figures, and best practices. To be successful requires mastering your field.

    Supplying innovation. Leaders must have the courage to take risks and to encourage creativity in others. Orient your thinking to always look forward with an open mind.

    Exemplifying humility. Humility is crucial to real success—the kind that’s based not in what you get but in who you become as a person. Be humble in your confidence and courageous in your character.

    Establishing endurance.
    Every great leader knows that the most important trait you can have is the ability to persevere when things go wrong. Challenges and difficult times will always come and go, but those who stay the course will endure.

    Lead from within:
    If you want to be a successful leader, begin today to cultivate the traits you need.

     


     

    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: iStockPhotos

    The post These Powerful Traits Can Make You into a Successful Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 08:00:51 on 2018/09/13 Permalink
    Tags: , Career, , , , , ,   

    6 Things Leaders Hate Doing but Need to Do Anyway 

    As an executive leadership coach, I work firsthand with a wide range of leaders, which gives me a good perspective on the things they have in common. Here are six things that virtually every leader I’ve ever worked with does regularly, even though they thoroughly dislike them. If you’re trying to skate by these (or other important things you don’t enjoy), get in the habit of doing them anyway.

    Being vulnerable. Three decades ago, I came up with the phrase Vulnerable is the new strong. Many of my coaching clients disagreed and argued that vulnerability is in fact weakness. I thought then, and still do, that if you show vulnerability, people will respect you more, honor you more and relate to you more. I’m glad to say that most of those who reluctantly went along later came around to agreeing with me.

    Managing. Most leaders want to be the visionary, the one who thinks up the great ideas. Nobody wants to manage the visions through implementation. But the truth is, you cannot become an excellent leader without also knowing how to be an excellent manager. Any leader who is not a good manager risks having their vision and their team compromised by the mismanagement of others.

    Giving feedback. Sharing constructive criticism is a big part of being a leader. If you can’t help people rethink what they’re doing, you’re not truly leading them. People need feedback—they need to know if what they are doing is right or if they need correction. Feedback is a valuable tool that provides direction. Given the right way, it becomes a gift.

    Admitting to mistakes. All great leaders make mistakes along the way, but not many want to admit it. It takes a lot of coaching for some leaders to be able admit when they’re wrong, but the power of admitting to your mistakes is the power of your influence as a leader.

    Exercising self-restraint. I’ve seen leaders who wanted to have a go at their team, their board, their stakeholders—to tell them all what they think and how they feel. But I always coach leaders not to mix bad words with a bad mood. You’ll have many opportunities to change your mood, but you can never replace the words you speak. So even if you hate it, learn self-restraint when it comes to your emotions and make sure the words you speak are intentional and thoughtful.

    Failing. Leaders aren’t perfect; they have weaknesses, shortcomings and failures from time to time. Nobody likes failing. Period. Leaders, in particular, want to be known as winners. But most leaders will tell you that even though they hate failing they continue to take risks, because some of their greatest achievements, most memorable growth and most effective improvements have come from their failures.

    Lead from within: There will be many things you don’t want to do as a leader. Do them anyway.


     

    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: iStockphotos

    The post 6 Things Leaders Hate Doing but Need to Do Anyway appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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