Category Archives: Leadership Development
I love sports. Sports are ripe with opportunities to discuss teamwork due to the public nature of its product. Every fan can tell if a team is succeeding or failing by its performance each week. As a Jacksonville Jaguars fan I am intimately familiar with the chicken/egg argument about the performance of a manager and his employees. After all, whose fault is the team’s poor performance – the coaches or the players? The truth is that it could be either or both.
Good teamwork is a two way street. A good leader can’t build the Eiffel Tower without good workers just like the best group of workers in the world can’t build a house without a blueprint. It’s a symbiotic relationship. Let’s dig in by looking at employees from the perspective of a manager. Most employees can be categorized in one of three buckets: Read the rest of this entry
If there is one thing that I’ve learned in the years I’ve spent in corporate America it is that there are way too many people faking it. Obviously, faking it is a non-specific term that can apply in many different situations. In this case, I’m focused on the behavior that people display when they don’t know everything that they think they should in a situation and smile, nod and pretend that they understand everything perfectly. I think we’ve all probably seen this at the lower levels where employees have less experience from which to draw. That isn’t a favorable situation to begin with, but I believe it is a much bigger problem for people as they take a few steps up the corporate ladder.
Once you’ve started making that climb you’ll find that people begin to assume that you understand everything perfectly. They assume more and more as you get higher and higher. Once you’ve climbed 3 or 4 rungs and find yourself leading more than a few people it can be very awkward when you don’t know what is going on. As embarrassing as it is to admit your ignorance to your employees you’ll find that it’s even hard to admit it to the person you’re working for. After all, this is the person that makes judgments about you and about your career. If they think you are dumb, or don’t know how to get things done then it will lead to problems down the road. As a result, many managers will go to great lengths to make their leadership believe that they are on the exact same page. If you don’t like where this is going then you’re not alone. Let’s dig a little deeper before talking about how we can break the cycle. Read the rest of this entry
I’m kicking off a new series called Leadership Superpowers. This series will be a little different from the norm because it will not be done consecutively. Instead, it will be interspersed with other types of articles in the coming months. This series will focus on the most impactful things that a leader can contribute to an organization. I’m calling them superpowers because they have the ability to transform an entire organization when embraced. The first superpower on my list is the ability to hold people accountable.
Most of us have had the misfortune to work in a place where leadership did not do a good job of holding employees accountable. We’ve seen how poorly things work when employees cannot be counted on to deliver good work in a timely fashion. You’ve may have felt that you had to be Superman in order to accomplish anything meaningful. You may have even started to believe the old saying that says ‘if you want something done right you have to do it yourself’. Read the rest of this entry
One of my curses in life is that I come across as a know-it-all. I think that this is because, way down deep, I am actually a know-it-all. Some of you may not believe this, but I hate that about myself. I don’t like when I see it in other people and I certainly don’t like seeing it in myself. I try very hard to hold it down and channel it constructively. Unfortunately, it still leaks out sometimes.
As a know-it-all I tend to have hard and fast opinions on most topics. Sometimes it’s based on a well thought out set of information. Other times it’s based on a split second thought. Oddly enough, they both sound exactly the same when they come out of my mouth. Most people cannot tell which is which. In fact, sometimes I myself don’t even know which is which. I’ve just learned to trust whatever queues up.
That’s why it always interests me so when I run across a topic that generates conflicting responses in my mind. It means that I was not able to make a judgment with either my conscious or subconscious mind. This is exactly what happened earlier this week when I thought about the effectiveness of various team sizes. Read the rest of this entry
It’s amazing how having the right priorities makes such a significant difference in your success in life. Priorities help to motivate us and focus us on doing the right thing when the wrong thing is calling to us. Think about the type of choices that a 17-year-old can make. Should he spend a significant amount of time studying and preparing himself for a strong scholastic future, or should he skateboard and play video games with his time. One increases his chance for success in school and life; the other distracts him and rarely adds value other than momentary gratification. For many 17 year olds it comes down to priorities. Read the rest of this entry