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  • feedwordpress 10:35:12 on 2017/07/18 Permalink
    Tags: , Character, Conscience, , , ,   

    The One Quality That Will Make You Into A Great Leader 

    Many people have different ideas about what makes great business, great leadership, great influence.

    Some base it on results, profit or success, but after working with top performers and leaders around the world I’ve found that there is one aspect, one trait that makes all the difference in the world.

    It’s leading with a conscience.

    When you lead with a conscience, you put your values first; doing what’s right goes at the top of the list.

    Too often people make the error of mistaking data for wisdom, wealth for competence, logic for intelligence—and in the process values become inconsequential.

    But operating without a conscience limits your influence over others, and even over yourself. When you operate without a clearly defined sense of ethics and morality, you will lose respect.

    So what can you do to lead with your conscience?

    Operate from the inside out. Strong leadership begins with learning your priorities and values—being able to articulate them and walk through their implications. No one can excel or succeed without knowing who they are and what they stand for.

    Coordinate your brain, your mouth and your hands. When you’re working to make an impact on the world, people will be constantly evaluating the things you think, say and do. They will be watching you—and trust me, they will notice any inconsistencies between your beliefs, your words and your actions.

    Be consistent. It’s easy to stray from your moral compass when you’re distracted, discouraged, disenchanted. But remember that those are the times you need your inner guidance the most—and the times that your example will be the strongest, for good or for ill.

    Look for opportunities to exercise your values. Sometimes life and work provide ready-made opportunities to demonstrate your values. The rest of the time, seek them out—and encourage others on your team to do the same. Find appropriate ways to make resources available to causes and organizations that are dear to your team.

    Keep everything in alignment. In reality, there’s no bright line between your personal values and your day-to-day work life. Make sure your policies, your expectations of yourself and others, and your support all reflect your individual conscience as much as they do current HR practices.

     Close the gaps. There’s nothing worse than being in a place of power and being loud and wrong, brash and harsh, untrusted and destructive. If there’s any trace of such tendencies within yourself, work to close those gaps before they harm you further.

    Our everyday behavior at work and at home is where our conscience lies, where our lives begin to matter.

    Lead from within: At the end of the day, we don’t want to try to become people who are successful. We want to become people who have a conscience.

    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 One Quality That Will Make You Into A Great Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 11:10:04 on 2017/06/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Character, , , , , 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 09:00:42 on 2017/04/11 Permalink
    Tags: , Character, , , , , , ,   

    6 Excellent Reasons Most Leaders Are Not Qualified to Lead 

    The Leadership Gap, Lolly Daskal

    Every day, people are promoted into leadership who are completely unqualified to lead. People are placed in a leadership role because they’re a good performer who’s overdue for a promotion or because they act the part—even though they’re completely unequipped to motivate or coach people. Or the board selects a CEO who excels at processes and procedures but doesn’t connect with people.

    In most cases, a leadership role requires an entirely different set of skills and aptitudes than the work that got them there. Maybe that’s why a Gallup report found that companies pick the wrong managerial candidates 82 percent of the time—a frightening statistic, since managers have the greatest impact on employee engagement.

    My work as a leadership coach and business consultant often brings me into contact with leaders who are unqualified to lead, here are six excellent reasons why this is true:

    1. Power and authority don’t qualify. While unqualified leaders try to gain authority from titles, successful leaders earn authority by establishing mutual trust and accountability among colleagues. Leadership is not a title but a behavior.

    2. Processes doesn’t motivate. Some people love designing processes and procedures, and every organization needs people with that expertise. But successful leaders focus on people, not processes. How things work is less important than who makes them work.

    3. Explanations don’t engage or empower. The worst leaders will tell you how things should be done simply because they believe they know best. The best will navigate the way and then guide your journey. True leaders are selfless and consider it a privilege to serve and connect with others.

    4. “My way or the highway” doesn’t inspire. Leadership requires courageous thought and innovative creativity; it prizes inclusion and diversity. But an unqualified and insecure leader is likely to be rigid and cautious in their thinking and value obedience and conformity in their team.

    5. Competence doesn’t communicate. The most important element of leadership is communication and connection, drawing people in. When a worker is promoted into leadership because of their competence in a particular area, they may have no clue about the interpersonal requirements of their new position. It’s understandable that they’d just want to close their office door and do what they know how to do.

    6. Success can’t happen in a silo. An unqualified leader with a sudden promotion is likely to be more invested in their own success story than in the people around them. But successful leaders know true leadership becomes ineffective, if not impossible, without teamwork and respect for other people.

    It’s possible for even the most unqualified leader to succeed if they’re willing to let go of old patterns and undertake a lot of new learning.

    Lead from within: True leadership lies in guiding others to success and ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well, by unleashing their greatness and minding their gaps.

    Check out 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.


    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post 6 Excellent Reasons Most Leaders Are Not Qualified to Lead appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 09:00:40 on 2017/03/21 Permalink
    Tags: Character, Commitment, Common Purpose, , Competence, Connection, , ,   

    The Best Way for Leaders to Build Trust 

    Trust, Smart Leaders, Great Leaders, Leadership

    If there’s a single element that can be considered the core of great leadership, it’s trust. Trust fuels everything leaders want for themselves and their teams, from productivity to imagination. And in its absence it’s nearly impossible for a team to be effective. Maybe that’s why leaders talk about trust constantly—having it, measuring it, earning it.

    But “earning” isn’t really the right word. Trust isn’t so much earned as it is built, little by little, day by day. Here are some of the most important blocks to set in place when you’re building trust:

    Character is the foundation of trust. Without it, leaders rely on externals like rank and seniority, but they’ll never be successful without the trust and commitment of those they lead. Character means holding high standards and clear, consistent values that you live every day.

    Competence alone won’t make others trust you—but a lack of competence is a quick way to make them mistrust you. Competence doesn’t mean you know how to do everything. It means you know what needs to be done, understand how it fits with your team’s strengths and weaknesses, and can make a plan to ensure it happens.

    Communication is essential to an environment of trust where leadership can effectively engage employees and deliver results. To be successful, communication needs to flow in both directions with clarity, transparency and timeliness. It takes daily practice over time for a leader and team to get communication right.

    Connection begins with mutual respect and loyalty—with leadership that’s not about power and control but adding value to the work of others and helping them grow in every aspect of their lives. Connections build trust and vice versa.

    Commitment is the visible expression of trust in creating and caring for a partnership. In leadership, when you make a commitment you create a priority and a level of engagement that goes far beyond a promise.

    Common purpose is the final bond that deepens trust with the assurance that everyone is moving and working in the same direction, sharing the same values and aspirations.

    LEAD FROM WITHIN: The best leaders build trust, because trust has the most enduring power and the widest influence.

    Additional Reading you might enjoy:

    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    The post The Best Way for Leaders to Build Trust appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

  • feedwordpress 12:41:07 on 2016/12/06 Permalink
    Tags: , Character, Humble Leaders, Humility, , , , , , ,   

    The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders 

    screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-7-28-00-amWhen we think of great qualities of leaders, the first things that come to mind are traits like charisma, bravado and vision.

    You wouldn’t expect to see humility on that list—but you should.

    Research shows the effectiveness of humble leadership: Humble leaders have more influence, they attract better people, and they earn more confidence, respect and loyalty than those who rely upon ego and power.

    In my work as a coach, I emphasize not just the importance of humility but also the fact that it’s a skill.

    Here are some key skills of humble leaders. Look through and see which you already have and which you need to develop:

    They lead to serve. Humble leaders shift attention away from themselves and focus on the contributions and needs of those around them.

    They have reserves of inner strength. Being a humble leader isn’t a sign of meekness or powerlessness but of great inner strength. The best leaders are humble on the outside and confident on the inside.

    They admit to their mistakes. All leaders are human, which means they all make mistakes from time to time. When you are willing to share your own missteps and mistakes, it allows others to connect to you in a deeper way. Humility is a quality that lets others see your humanity.

    They seek input from others. The first step of turning to others for input is being vulnerable enough to admit that you need the help and insight of others—which is a sign of great character on its own.

    They know themselves. Humble leaders know who they are and behave in a way that’s consistent with that knowledge. They also recognize where there’s room for improvement.

    They are genuine. Humble leaders know the importance of being authentic. They are the same person in private, in public, and in personal life, in every situation and with every kind of people.

    They invite trust. Humble leaders know that trust—earning it, giving it and building it—is the foundation of great leadership.

    They treat others with respect. Humble leaders are consistent and disciplined in their treatment of others. They treat everyone with respect regardless of their position, role or title.

    They understand their limitations. Humble leaders have the confidence to recognize their own weaknesses. Rather than viewing their limits as a threat or a sign of frailty, they surround themselves with others who have complementary skills.

    They model the way. Humble leaders lead by example. Their leadership isn’t expressed as “because I’m the boss” authority but in every one of their actions and words.

    Lead From Within: There is always room to be a better person and leader. If you can cultivate humility as a skill, you will be strong when you are weak and brave when you are scared.

    Photo Credit: Getty Images





    The post The Best Leaders Are Humble Leaders appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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