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  • feedwordpress 09:00:39 on 2018/04/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , The Leadership Gap,   

    How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You 

    Steve Jobs, who was famous for his hiring and recruiting practices, believed a small team of A+ players could run circles around a giant team of B and C players. He was thoroughly convinced that the quality of the team was everything.

    Many leaders are reluctant to hire as Jobs did. They settle for dependable but less stellar teams—in part because they feel threatened or intimidated at the prospect of leading someone smarter than they are.

    Leading a team of exceptionally bright people does require skill, but as Jobs proved again and again, the payoff is well worth it. Here are some pointers for getting the most out of your own A+ employees:

    Don’t be intimidated. Leaders tend to think they need to have all the answers—and to be terrified when they don’t. But your role as leader is not to know everything; it’s to set the stage. That means working to sustain and support people who are more experienced, up to date and talented than you. It may feel disconcerting at first, but it will serve you well in the future. You do have to know enough to be conversant—so let your stars take center stage while you ask the questions, do the reading, learn and investigate.

    Confront your fears. It’s natural to feel fearful when you are leading people who are smarter than you. Whether you’re afraid of being shown up, of looking unprepared and foolish, or even of being passed over for advancement while someone who was below you rises above, face your fears and work through them. Then remember that hiring the smartest people is ultimately an act of confidence and smart leadership.

    Don’t micromanage. I’ve seen this happen a lot: a leader feels insecure so they overcompensate for what they don’t know by becoming a controlling micromanager. Remember, your role as leader is to allow the smart people to do what they do best. Support them but don’t hover. Keep your actions empowering and maintain strong relationships with your team members by providing support and resources and then stepping aside.

    Get educated. I believe it always helps to have a learner’s inquisitive mindset. If you consider yourself a student rather than an authority figure, you can more easily share your concerns and ask others to include you in discussions that will help you learn. Let those around you know you want to learn from them and be deliberate about creating opportunities to make it happen. You don’t have to try and become an expert, but gain insight into what your people do and it will give you the acumen you need to keep up with those around you.

    Stay vulnerable. If you hear that people are questioning your leadership capabilities, be transparent with what you’ve heard, and what you think, and what you plan on doing about it. Don’t go in trying to safeguard your ego. Instead, approach the situation with a mix of vulnerability and strength, and figure out how you are going to work together and support each other.

    Seek good counsel. Find someone who can listen to and advise you. It may be a peer, a coach, or a mentor. Speak to them candidly, share your concerns, ask for help. Sitting with fearful or anxious feelings often makes things worse, but seeking counsel might help ease your emotional load.

    Add value. As a leader, your role is best served when you are able to bring people together and be there for them in ways no one else can. The best leaders don’t always coach, but they do consistently add value by providing support and resources to their team.

    Lead from within: You don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room—you just have to have that person on your team, give them the support they need, and get out of their 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:

     

    The post How to Lead People Who Are Smarter Than You appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
  • feedwordpress 12:52:29 on 2018/02/16 Permalink
    Tags: , , , The Leadership Gap   

    Lolly Daskal: The Leadership Gap 

    She’s been called the most inspiring woman in the world, Lolly Daskal delves into what’s holding us back as leaders and what it takes to change ourselves, when we can’t change the situation.

     

    The post Lolly Daskal: The Leadership Gap appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

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

    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 10:00:06 on 2018/01/09 Permalink
    Tags: Awareness, , , , , , , , The Leadership Gap,   

    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 10:00:13 on 2018/01/02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , The Leadership Gap, Weakness   

    How to Stop Seeing Struggle as Something Negative 

    Every company I speak to, every leader I coach, I see a constant pattern—virtually everyone sees struggle as something.

    At the heart of this perception, people get too caught up in the idea of struggle to consider what struggle at its core is all about. Most people cannot see themselves objectively, which leads them to fall into the gap of their own weaknesses and shortcomings.

    Faced with struggle, most people are likely turn to one of these four behaviors:

    Deny. Many refuse to acknowledge the role of their own weaknesses in their struggle.

    Turn around. Some accept their weakness but are always looking for a cul-de-sac so they can turn around instead of facing them.

    Change. Some change their direction altogether.

    Leverage. A few are able to accept their weaknesses and work to leverage them—to work on them and turn them into strengths.

    Faced with these options, your success depends on the choice you make:

    If you deny your weaknesses, they will own you. You’ll continue to constantly bump up against them, and you’ll likely continue to suffer.

    If you look for turnarounds, you will find yourself right where you started. There is no turning around from your weaknesses—just acknowledgement or avoidance.

    If you are looking to change, remember that change is good but takes hard work, discipline and consistent action to change longstanding old patterns.

    If you learn to leverage your weaknesses by learning to accept and acknowledge them, you will have found the most effective way to deal with your struggles.

    In my latest book, The Leadership Gap, I talk about how people make choices. In times of struggle, most people aren’t interested in leveraging their weaknesses. It’s human nature to deny them, dismiss them or learn to work around them. But life has a way of repeating the things we don’t want to deal with.

    So how do you leverage your weaknesses and let go of? There are four distinct things you can do:

    Stop comparing yourself to others. Focus on your own issues. The strengths and weaknesses and situations of other people don’t have anything to do with you. We all have something to work on, and the best way to leverage any weakness is to be true about yourself—to find out what you need to work on and to learn new skills and competencies so you can constantly be growing and developing. When you take the time to reflect on who you really are it will give you the ability to look at yourself, the world around you, and the relationship between you and the world with the deep insight that leads to wise new choices.

    Stop worrying. Worry has never achieved much besides feeding the struggle, so stop worrying and start thinking. What can you do today that will lead to small wins tomorrow? What actions can you take that will generate movement instead of stagnation? Connect with what you really want and what you need to do to attain it

    Stop blaming others. Don’t blame your bad decisions or your bad choices on anyone or anything else. This is your life and your struggle. Instead of finding others to blame for your struggles, search your own past and look for the origins of your weaknesses. Blaming others is a subconscious mechanism for avoiding accountability, but it’s still unacceptable. Making bad choices and struggling for them is part of life, and it’s immature to blaming others for those bad decisions.

    Stop the pain. There are two kinds of pain—one that just hurts you, and another that teaches you. Each of us can grow stronger from pain when we don’t allow it to destroy us. Unfortunately pain can stop progress and struggles can impede success, but the pain we feel today is the strength that will help us endure tomorrow.

    Strength and growth come though constant work and effort—and from struggle of every kind.

    Lead from within: Successful leaders are those who can look beyond a struggle or failure and manage the circumstances and situations as well as their response—things they can shape, adjust and change.

     


    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 How to Stop Seeing Struggle as Something Negative appeared first on Lolly Daskal.

     
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