5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Be More Effective as a Leader

Win a free book 2

I am honored to host this guest post by Marcia Reynolds, author of the new bestseller The Discomfort Zone: Mastering the Art of Turning Difficult Conversations into Breakthroughs, and to offer the opportunity to win a free copy of her book. Leave a comment and winners will be randomly drawn on October 24th.

As a leader, there will be times when the people you lead or coach get stuck when dealing with difficult decisions and relationship issues. They know they have to resolve their issue but can’t see new solutions. You want to help, but these conversations can stir up emotions, and you might get flustered when a person gets angry, tears up, or feels embarrassed.

Yet it . . . → Read More: 5 Ways to Use Discomfort to Be More Effective as a Leader

Craft Workplace Inspiration With an Organizational Constitution

Culture Engine Cover

Guest post by S. Chris Edmonds

How is your team or department performing today?

I’ll bet you think you know how your team is performing. Most likely you have dashboards that indicate production, error rates, profitability, sales, market share, and more.

You probably also have customer service metrics at your fingertips – tools that indicate service ratings, customer satisfaction, customer churn, and the like.

But do you know exactly how inspiring your work environment is?

Performance, customer service, and workplace inspiration are all equally important metrics.

The reality is that workplace inspiration isn’t closely monitored, measured, or rewarded. Very few leaders pay attention to it. And if they do notice it – and notice that workplace inspiration isn’t where they’d like it . . . → Read More: Craft Workplace Inspiration With an Organizational Constitution

The New Rules of the Social Age

The Social Age

Guest Post by Ted Coiné, Co-author A World Gone Social

What used to seem very good leadership practices in the Industrial Age was good, or at least efficient. But the Industrial Age is over. And it’s not coming back. It’s the Social Age now, and it will be for quite some time to come.

New age, New rules.

We humans are social down to our very core – it’s not just what we do, it’s what we are. Connecting with each other, sharing ideas, news, tips – and sometimes warnings – that’s all we’ve ever done. First our connecting was limited to the physical proximity of our tribe or village. Then letters tied us one by one over distances, then phone lines did; . . . → Read More: The New Rules of the Social Age

Make Your Next Meeting as Engaging as a Video Game

Axelrod Blog pic

Guest Post by Dick Axelrod

Are meetings in your organization places where productivity goes to die? If you answered yes, you are not alone. There are 11 million meetings a day in the U.S. alone. Half are ineffective.

The problem with most meetings is that meeting leaders and participants do not think of them as places to do productive work.

An efficiency mindset prevails. How to get through the agenda as quickly and efficiently as possible becomes the driving force behind many meetings. This strategy may work to minimize the pain you associate with meetings, but it does not lead to a positive work experience.

In order to transform meetings into productive work experiences, look to two unlikely sources: the factory floor and . . . → Read More: Make Your Next Meeting as Engaging as a Video Game

What I Learned about Vision Casting

Guest Post by Dan Rockwell @LeadershipFreak (Jedi Master of leadership lessons in less than 300 words)

I thought vision casting was about me. Jesse Lyn Stoner taught me that vision is about us.

I used to craft the vision and spring it on my team. I’d declare, “Here’s where we’re going.”

It’s the only model I ever saw.

Casting vision as a solo act reflects top-down, disconnected leadership. In the end, it isn’t leadership at all. It’s declaration.

Vision that’s about us takes

openness,

courage,

candor,

transparency, and

flexibility.

The declarative approach is easier at first, but ineffective in the long run.

I haven’t fully learned the lesson. I still . . . → Read More: What I Learned about Vision Casting

How to Give Your Boss Bad News and Keep Your Credibility

Who Me?

“Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.” –Colin Powell

One of hardest tasks in management is how to give your boss bad news. After all, you want to show you’ve got everything under control, are making the right decisions, and are executing flawlessly.

As a leader, you want to shine the best light on your team—it’s hard when that light reveals a big mistake.

If you’ve got bad news, I’ve got some good news. Handling bad news well can increase your leadership credibility. Helping your team recover from bad news will help to them learn and grow.

Bad News the D.A.R.N. Way

Bad news is never easy. Here are 4 steps to share your news and accelerate the recovery.

1. Disclosure

Explain the . . . → Read More: How to Give Your Boss Bad News and Keep Your Credibility

Neuroscience, Mindware and Influential Leadership

The Influential Leader

Guest Post by Rebel Brown

Whether you’re a small business owner or an executive of a large corporation, you are leading humans and their minds. The two are inseparable. Did you know that the words man and mind come from the same Sanskrit root?

The sum of our individual selves is housed within our mindware, the programs we’ve created throughout our life’s learning and experiences. No two humans have the same mindware. Hence no two humans have the same perceptions, thought processes, communication styles, motivational responses or behaviors.

Understanding individual human mindware is the key to next generation leadership.

Whether we’re making a decision about our strategy, designing a new product promotion, selling to a new prospect or solving a problem for a . . . → Read More: Neuroscience, Mindware and Influential Leadership

Help Employees Turn the Job They Have Into a Job They Love

Love Em or Lose Em

Guest Post by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans Celebrating the release of the 5th edition of the bestseller Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em: Getting Good People to Stay by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans, which provides twenty-six strategies to keep talented employees happy and productive. In addition to updating and revising all information for the fifth edition, the authors have included more international stories and statistics.

Beverly Kaye is the Founder of Career Systems International. Sharon Jordan-Evans is the President of the Jordan Evans Group. Their guest post illuminates one of the 26 strategies described in their book. All great performers are interested in learning, and the opportunity to learn can be a greater incentive than a promotion or pay raise. Learning opportunities through . . . → Read More: Help Employees Turn the Job They Have Into a Job They Love

Change Your Story, Change Your Organization

Waves of Change

Guest Post by Peggy Holman

Like a great wave, cultural stories carry us along, creating a coherent view of our world. For example, the phrase the “American Dream” evokes a story that has inspired generations to believe that no matter who they are, by working hard, they have the opportunity to succeed.

When such a narrative peaks and starts to decline, no longer living up to its promise, a new wave of possibilities begins to churn. Small, even invisible at first, some stories catch on and a new narrative wave forms as the old one dissipates.

As a new story grows strong enough to compete with the old story, some of us feel confused, betrayed, depressed, or lost. Others . . . → Read More: Change Your Story, Change Your Organization