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

    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, , , , , , , Personal Development, ,   

    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.

     
  • feedwordpress 10:53:28 on 2017/10/24 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , Looking for Leadership, , Personal Development,   

    Stop Looking For Leadership! 

    Have you found yourself asking where are the leaders?

    Have you thought to yourself where has leadership gone?

    I can imagine you might want to know where you can look for leadership so you can find a great individual that you can follow and maybe even emulate.

    But I am going to tell you to stop looking for leaders.

    Because the individuals that are leaders, you don’t have to look for them, they are there and they will rise up, they will do so in the following ways:

    When everyone does what is good for them, it will be the leader who does the right thing. There is really only one sure fire method for identifying leaders – Do they have the character and integrity to do the right thing, for the right reason, at the right time. The answer to this test will be born out through their actions.

    When everyone else is worried about their reputation, it will be the leader who leads
    with character.
    Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “Leadership is a potent combination of
    strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” I couldn’t agree more. It will not be the titles or position – they do not a leader make! Rather, leaders must possess the necessary character to inspire others to follow. because a leader who lacks character will not endure the test of time.

    When everyone else has self-doubt, it will be the leader who shows up with confidence: Most individuals suffer from having self-doubt, in their abilities and skills and therefore shy away from what they are capable of accomplishing, it’s the individual that projects confidence- they are the ones that standout because they can captures people’s attention with who they are.

    When everyone else is rigid, it will be the leader that is going to be flexible: if as an individual you lead in way that says, my way or the highway, that kind of leadership style has no place in the world of business or leadership today, but if you are flexible in your approach and you understand the necessity of being fluid, you have identified a leader.

    When everyone else is serving themselves, it will be the leader who is serving others. If an individual doesn’t understand the concept of “service above self” they will not engender themselves as being a leader. Any individual that has a servant heart, that things of what is good for others, that prides themselves as being a supporter and serving others, is a leader.

    When everyone else is preoccupied with taking the credit, it will be the leader that is leading by example: Leaders need no identification as they instinctively and inevitably make their presence known without much fanfare or taking

    When everyone else is distracted, it will be the leader who will be focused: Leaders who are not intentional and are not focused, will fail themselves and their team. Leaders who lack discipline will model the wrong behaviors and will inevitably spread themselves too thin. but when a leader can focus, and follow one course of action until they succeed, that is a leader.

    When everyone is blaming others,  it is the leader who takes responsibility: Real leaders are accountable. They don’t blame others, don’t claim credit for the success of their team, but always accept responsibility for failures that occur on their watch.

    If you find that your company, your organization, your team are looking for leadership and you want to fill it the gap, by appointing an individual to the position and you are hoping they perform- stop.

    The leaders you want are there, you just have to notice them, they are rising to top, they are leading by example, taking responsibility, staying focused, and are busy serving others.

    Lead from Within: Stop looking for leaders out there when you can easily find leadership from within.

     


    Still looking for leadership, you will find it 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 Stop Looking For Leadership! appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:15 on 2017/10/10 Permalink
    Tags: , Effective Leader, , , Personal Development   

    7 Fears You Need to Overcome to Be An Effective Leader 

    Everybody has fears—and that means every leader has fears. But not letting those fears
    get the best of you is an important part of successful leadership. If you don’t learn to
    manage your fears, you’ll be tempted to take the kind of shortcuts that undermine your authority and influence.

    Here are seven of the most common fears that leaders, in particular, need to look out for:

    The fear of being seen as an imposter. If you secretly feel you’re not really good enough
    or smart enough for leadership, you’re not alone. But left unchecked, those feelings can do harm to your effectiveness. Fear can make you forget everything and want to run. Instead, leverage your fear by experiencing it and being great anyway. As Mark Twain once said, courage is the resistance to fear, not the absence of fear. You can feel the fear and still
    be who you want to be as a leader.

    The fear of being criticized. Facing criticism is part of the territory of leadership.
    You don’t have to let it bother you—in fact, you should be concerned if you never hear
    criticism, because that means you’re probably playing too safe. Think of it this way: If
    you have no critics you’ll likely have no success. So don’t fear criticism but take it in
    stride and strive to be your own best and meet your own standard of excellence.
    On the other side of your fear is everything you need to be.

    The fear of being a failure. When you fail as a leader, you get everyone’s attention.
    Failure is something we all fear, but it doesn’t have to mean it’s fatal to your leadership—
    think of failure as simply part of succeeding. When you become afraid to fail forward,
    you end up missing out on new learning experiences and new opportunities. In the
    end we regret only the chances we didn’t take.

    The fear of not being a good communicator. Not everyone is born to be a great communicator, but good communication skills are essential to leadership. if you
    are fearful that you’re not good at communicating in a compelling way—in a way
    that inspires and motivates others—practice your speaking or writing skills. The
    more you practice and rehearse and revise, the more confident you will be and the
    less fearful you will become.

    The fear of making hard decisions. As a leader, you need to be able to make hard
    decisions without getting stuck in “paralysis of analysis”—taking too long to choose
    because of indecision. A lack of decisiveness can cripple any business or organization.
    Hard choices are sometimes necessary without much time to reflect. Make the best
    decision you can based on where you want to go, not where you are, and then move on.

    The fear of not taking responsibility. As the saying goes, with much power comes much responsibility. To take responsibility you have to first realize that your leadership is the
    cause of and the solution to the things that matter, and you can’t escape that responsibly
    by postponing or evading it. The moment you move past your fear and take responsibility
    is the moment you can change anything.

    The fear of not getting it done. In today’s global economy, effective leadership is
    defined by results—but, as we all know well, there are hundreds of distractions and
    millions of diversions that can get in the way. If you’re fearful you won’t get the job done,
    stop focusing on the results you want and concentrate on the actions you can take
    right now that will lead to those results.

    Lead from within: These are just a few of the possibilities. The leaders I coach have
    all kinds of fears. Whatever form your fears take, once you learn you can tackle them
    head-on you’ll quickly realize you can handle anything.


    Learn how to be an effective leader 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 7 Fears You Need to Overcome to Be An Effective Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 09:00:18 on 2017/09/26 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , New Leader, Personal Development,   

    How to Succeed as A New Leader 

    Congratulations on your new leadership position! I am sure you’ve worked hard and persevered along the way to get to this point.

    Everything you’ve done so far in your career has led you to this position. But the experiences and skills that landed you this new job will not be what allows you to succeed.

    In fact, you’ll need a new set of skills to continue being successful. You need to adapt the traits and develop the skills that make leaders into great leaders. There are no quick fixes; it takes hard work and the refusal to give up.

    As a leadership coach for over three decades, I have groomed some of the top leaders across all industries. I’ve learned there is no real secret to succeeding—it’s just a matter of learning the habits and skills you need.

    Here are some powerful things you can do. Use this as a blueprint and revisit it every few weeks to make sure your leadership is moving toward where it needs to be.

    Create with style. Identify your own leadership style and make it clear to everyone what you stand for, what’s important to you and what you will not tolerate. Allow others to get to know you—make it personal and inspirational.

    Create a template. To make an impact from the start, make sure you know what you will do. Conduct an organizational assessment after obtaining input from all sources, then create a template of the information you receive and make a plan.

    Avoid power trips. Now that you’ve earned your place as a leader, it’s easy to let the power get to you. But don’t. Rather than letting your ego get the best of you, treat your new position with respect and work humbly on being able to adapt, transform and do what is right.

    Understand the concept behind the company. As a new leader, you need to learn the lay of the land. Become familiar with all aspects of the company so you can see what is working and what is not.

    Communicate who you are. Let your colleagues and employees who you are and what you are all about. Let them get to know you so they can follow you. Those who don’t know what you stand for will find it hard to follow your lead.

    Trust your new team. When you became a leader, you inherited a team that you may not have even had a hand in selecting. They may not be the dream team you want, but don’t become discouraged. Give them a chance to align with you and start building trust.

    Generate your own vision. Craft your vision and use diversified communication vehicles, including email, memos, video conferences, and face-to-face meetings, to articulate it effectively. Let people know that you have great ideas and aspirations and you plan on making them happen.

    Identify your priorities. Show others what’s most important to you by identifying the priority areas to improve the bottom line. Create an action plan, dividing the areas into short- and long-term goals. Let people know you are here to get things done.

    Manage all stakeholders. Most leaders think they have no time for this, but it’s so important—you need to meet all stakeholders to hear firsthand their expectations and aspirations. Travel or use electronic conferencing to connect with those who are far away. Connecting with stakeholders is as important as any other task you will do.

    Listen more than you speak. Speak less, listen more—get input on the major changes that need to happen and then work to improve the organization’s effectiveness and bottom line.

    Communicate with candor. In every communication—public or private, with people at every level of the organization and outside—be open, transparent and forthcoming.

    Devise a new strategy. Don’t make the mistake of following the strategy of your predecessor. It may (or may not) have worked for them, but you were hired to bring your own ideas to bear.

    Create a winning formula. Create a winning formula based on your recreated vision and show how the organization can succeed with your plan. Seek early wins from the very beginning so you can build momentum.

    Identify roles and responsibilities. Make sure everyone is rightly placed with their roles and responsibilities to leverage their strengths. At times, good employees are wrongly placed in the organization. Spot and place them properly.

    Encourage creativity and innovation. Encourage innovative ideas among employees and reward them for their efforts.

    Provide feedback. You gain credibility when you give input to your employees regularly. Guide, coach and inspire them daily.

    Align and eliminate. After you have given them time to align and a chance to grow and develop, consider eliminating those who aren’t on board with your ideas. Sometimes part of making sure you have the right people on the bus is making sure the wrong people get off.

    Stay open to learning. Every great leader knows that to have a continuing impact and a great legacy you need to keep learning. Self-improvement is a lifelong journey, and success as a leader and as an individual requires constant learning. Treat your education as a process, not a race with an end point.

    Remember, it’s always about others. It’s not about your achievements, your goals, your ambitions or your success as a leader. Everything you’ve done and earned for yourself is now your goal for your team. It’s about recognizing their efforts and contributions, rewarding them for positive behavior and helping them succeed.

    Think of your legacy. Ask yourself how you want to be remembered at the end of your time with the organization. Then work backward, building upon your vision of your legacy daily.

    Lead from within: The new leader is one who commits people to action, who converts followers into leaders, and who may convert leaders into agents of change.


    Learn more about leadership 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 How to Succeed as A New Leader appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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