Great Leaders Assume a Listening Attitude

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“I would knock on his door and ask if he had a moment to talk. He’d set aside what he was doing, sit back, and give me his full attention. He was a busy man, but he made me feel there was nothing more important than what I had to say,” Andres reminisced.

“Were you his protégé?” I asked.

“No, he treated everyone like that.”

We were talking about Andres’ best boss.

Andres had thought he was following in the steps of his role model, and was quite surprised and disappointed when he got dinged for “listening” on his 360 assessment.

But Andres is not alone. Research shows that most people think they are good listeners – much better than their colleagues – but are . . . → Read More: Great Leaders Assume a Listening Attitude

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How I Learned About the Power of Authenticity

The Power of Authenticity
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What happens when you have to admit you don’t know what you’re doing? Sometimes the power of authenticity is the key to turning things around. So I learned in my first job out of college.

I had landed a prestigious job as a demonstration teacher at New Mexico State University. The classroom was housed in the school of education, surrounded by one-way mirrors.

I had ten “emotionally disturbed” children, ranging in age from 6 to 10, who had been kicked out of the public schools. (In those days there were no laws mandating education for all children).

I was to use a strict behavior modification approach, rewarding positive behavior and ignoring negative behavior. The children received poker chips for completing assignments and good behavior. At . . . → Read More: How I Learned About the Power of Authenticity

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Why Most Change Efforts Fail and 7 Guidelines to Ensure Your Team Succeeds

Why Change Efforts Fail and 7 Guidelines to Ensure Your Team Succeeds
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Chances are you will initiate a change that affects your whole team or start a major team project in the near future.

And chances are it will not make the impact you had hoped for.

A 2008 study by IBM found that over 60 percent of change efforts do not fully meet their objectives, and a 2013 Towers Watson study revealed only 25% are sustained over time.

Most change efforts fail, not because of the technology or the topic of the change or even because it was the wrong idea. They fail because of the human factor.

Have you ever experience any of these human factor derailers?

Halfway through the project you discover you don’t have the support needed from senior management. Your team . . . → Read More: Why Most Change Efforts Fail and 7 Guidelines to Ensure Your Team Succeeds

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The Physics of Change

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Masters of change like Martin Luther King, Jr, Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela understood that vision alone is rarely enough. Real change masters leverage the physics of change to bring about transformation.

Newton’s First Law: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalancing force.

In other words, you might think your vision is a good idea, but unless it is strong enough to unbalance the status quo, nothing will happen. Too many dreams are never put into action because they are not grounded in reality. This is true for organizations as well as individuals.

If you want to change direction, envision an attractive . . . → Read More: The Physics of Change

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Develop Your Team - The Truth About the Bell Curve

Develop Your Team - The Truth About the Bell Curve
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The theory of a bell curve is that most people are average, with a small percent at the top being top performers and a small percent at the bottom being losers.

But when it comes to performance, the truth is the bell curve only exists if you believe it does.

Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson showed this 50 years ago. In their famous study, they gave students IQ tests to predict their ability to achieve and then shared the results with their teachers. As expected, students who scored the highest, had achieved the most at the end of the school year.

However, the IQ scores had actually been assigned randomly and had nothing to do with the students’ true potential. This became known as the . . . → Read More: Develop Your Team – The Truth About the Bell Curve

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Vision is about serving

Vision is about serving
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Thursday Thought: Vision is about serving something greater than yourself. If not in service of a vision, your leadership can become self-serving.

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In addition to my regular leadership blog, I offer “Thursday Thoughts” – simple truths for reflection and food for thought.

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2015 in Review - My Top 10 Blog Posts

Jesse Lyn Stoner Blog Awards
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My year-end review has become one of my favorite posts to write. I get to take my own advice – to reflect on the big picture, look for patterns, and see what I can learn.

Here’s what I found:

➤ A record number of page views – over a half-million during 2015!

➤ A record number of awards and recognition this year!

➤ My blog is especially popular in: The USA, The UK, Canada, India, Australia, South Africa, and Germany.

➤ 53% of my readers are below the age of 35.

➤ 54% are male; 46% are female.

To identify my top posts, I used the number of page views according to Google Analytics. In the past, I created a formula using a combination . . . → Read More: 2015 in Review – My Top 10 Blog Posts

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The Path to Happiness

Path to Happiness
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I would be happy if . . .

… if only my boss wasn’t such a jerk.

… if only my co-workers were nicer.

… if only I could find someone to finance my big idea.

… if only I could buy that car (bike, boat, house).

… if only my kids lived closer.

… if only my friends were more supportive.

… if only my parents weren’t so difficult.

… if only I could find my soulmate.

If your happiness depends on others… or on events working out the way you want… you might be waiting a long time.

When you believe the path to happiness depends on . . . → Read More: The Path to Happiness

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The solstice reminds us it is time to pause, and do nothing.

Solstice tells us it's time to do nothing
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This is a lovely moment – the winter solstice.

The darkest day of the darkest week of the year . . .

. . . when the movement of descent into darkness pauses.

. . . when the rhythm of the sun pauses before it changes from decrease to increase.

. . . when the dominance of night pauses before light overtakes darkness.

If you pay close attention, you can feel it – the pause before the shift.

This darkest day beckons us to pause, too.

What does any great athlete do before they …

… dive into the water

… throw the discus

… grab the rings

They pause.

What are they thinking about?

. . . → Read More: The solstice reminds us it is time to pause, and do nothing.

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