5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader

Iceberg

Do you think you’re an effective leader? Feedback is one good way to find out, especially through “360 feedback.”

But there’s another, equally powerful way. Take a serious look at your beliefs – your “assumed truths” about yourself, others and how the world works.

Your beliefs dictate your behavior. And unexamined beliefs are like icebergs. Unseen below the surface, they can undermine your good intentions without your awareness.

Instead of believing everything you think, think about what you really believe.

Taking some time to reflect on these questions will help uncover some assumptions that might be interfering with your ability to align your behavior with your intentions to be a better leader.

1. What are you are willing to take a stand for?

When . . . → Read More: 5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader

Tune In and Turn Off

In balance

Technology gives us the opportunity to be “always on” and the illusion of increased productivity. The reality is that it’s not healthy, and over the long run you will be less productive.

Even understanding this, it can be hard to resist the pressure to quickly check email or whip off a quick response, especially if you believe your boss or customers will be unhappy if you don’t respond immediately.

To ensure your continued good health, productivity and positive relationships, confront your beliefs about being indispensable, negotiate new expectations around how quickly you need to respond, and make intentional decisions to create “off time.”

These 7 habits can help you turn off technology for a more tuned in life.

1. Stop multi-tasking. Many . . . → Read More: Tune In and Turn Off

Results Driven vs Process Driven Leadership

Results Driven vs Process Driven

During a break in the meeting, Dan pulled me aside and whispered, “No more ‘p’ words, please.”

“What are ‘p’ words?” I asked.

“You know,” he replied, “Words like process, perspective and paradigm.”

Dan is results-driven. There were way too many “p” words in this meeting for his comfort … planning … process … people … participation.

At one time or another, many of us have felt like Dan – that it is so much easier to do the work than take the time to involve others in the process of planning for the work – to just decide where you’re going and get on with it.

The problem is, when you’re a leader, you can’t just announce where you’re going and expect people . . . → Read More: Results Driven vs Process Driven Leadership

The Best Way to Predict Your Future

Newscast

“The best way to predict your future is to create it.” – This popular quote is attributed to Peter Drucker. But what does it really mean?

Do you muscle your way into the future, constructing your life as though it’s a project? If you try to do that, you’ll be disappointed.

The real meaning behind this statement is that we need to assume responsibility for our lives and the future we want to impact.

It starts with focusing on the reality you create right now, which is shaped by what you focus your attention on and the images you hold in your mind.

Advanced studies in neuroscience show that we are hard-wired to focus on negative images. When we see something beautiful, we notice . . . → Read More: The Best Way to Predict Your Future

Pause Before You Plan

pause before you plan

 

This is a lovely moment. The darkest day of the darkest week of the year in the northern hemisphere.

It is the moment before the balance shifts and light begins to overtake darkness.

On the winter solstice, the rhythm of the sun pauses as it changes direction from decrease to increase.

If we pay attention, we, too, can’t help but pause.

This darkest day of the darkest week beckons us to pause.

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?

Nothing — absolutely nothing.

Shabbat means stop, cease. That’s what this week beckons us . . . → Read More: Pause Before You Plan

First Engage Yourself: 7 Ways to Increase Your Own Engagement and Satisfaction

It’s been over 10 years since the dismal results of the Gallup employee engagement study were first reported by Marcus Buckingham. Since then, the term “employee engagement” has become common place. With such a strong focus on its importance and over a decade to address the issues, it would be reasonable to expect improvement.

But the news is not good. The results of The 2012 Towers Watson Global Workforce Study indicate that 43% of the global workforce is either detached or actively disengaged.

If you are a manager, these numbers should alarm you. Perhaps you’ve had discussions about it or even tried to do something.

But before you focus further on your employees, it’s a good idea to take a step back and . . . → Read More: First Engage Yourself: 7 Ways to Increase Your Own Engagement and Satisfaction

Are You Creating Our Future or Just Trying to Survive?

This summer I was fortunate to attend the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, the publisher of the book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision. The mission of Berrett-Koehler is “to create a world that works for all.”

Some of the most respected thought-leaders in the field of leadership and social change shared their vision for the future – Ken Blanchard, Margaret Wheatley, Peter Block, BJ Gallagher, Richard Leider, John Perkins, and Brian Tracy to name a few. Some of the speakers were inspiring, others thought-provoking and some were challenging.

Yet each of them demanded that we step outside our comfort zone and look at a bigger picture – to take responsibility for making a contribution . . . → Read More: Are You Creating Our Future or Just Trying to Survive?

7 Ways to ReWire Your Brain and Become a Better Leader

Leader's Brain - Rewired

Over the last few decades, studies in neuroscience have shown that you can literally physically rewire your brain. You can change the “default network” you were born with, the one that ensured the survival of our primitive ancestors who lived in a very different world.

Our “fight-flight” reaction and strong memory for painful experiences are hardwired from birth. Our brains detect negative information faster than positive information and are drawn to bad news. This hardwiring is further reinforced as we grow up because our negative experiences leave an indelible trace in our brain. The brain continues to learn and change itself throughout our life.

The good news is we are capable of over-riding our primitive reactions that don’t serve us well, and creating new . . . → Read More: 7 Ways to ReWire Your Brain and Become a Better Leader

It’s Easier to Give Than to Receive, But Not Necessarily Better

How many times have you heard, “It’s better to give than receive?” It’s so ingrained in our culture, we don’t even question it.

If you are in a leadership role, chances are you believe this wholeheartedly. Which means you also probably believe you should

always be competent,

never make mistakes,

and always be strong.

And likely you believe you should only receive when you have something to give in exchange.

One problem with this attitude is that when you are in a situation where you don’t have a choice and must receive, you are likely to feel

…humiliated

…incompetent

…stupid

because it challenges your self-image.

It is easier to give than to receive, . . . → Read More: It’s Easier to Give Than to Receive, But Not Necessarily Better