Leadership can be as simple as Mother Goose Management. Here are 6 lessons you learned a long time ago, that when applied, will make you a better leader.
1. The lesson of Alice and the Cheshire Cat: If you don’t know where you’re going, it doesn’t matter what path you take.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to Alice: I don’t much care where. The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go. Alice: …so long as I get somewhere. The Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
Leadership is about going somewhere. The . . . → Read More: Mother Goose Management
If you rarely delegate, you are an individual contributor. It doesn’t matter what your title is. Leaders who don’t delegate are not leading.
Not delegating hurts.
It hurts YOU. It’s not possible to do it all alone. You will get overloaded, stressed, and will eventually drown in the details.
It hurts your team. If you are doing their work, you are denying them the opportunity to grow and develop new skills and experiences.
It hurts your organization. If you are spending your time mucky around in the details, who’s looking at the horizon and ensuring you’re heading in the right direction?
But wait! Delegating hurts, too.
Stacey got feedback that her team saw her as a micro-manager, and she was working hard to step . . . → Read More: How to Delegate So the Gain Outweighs the Pain
The assumption that change has to start at the top is wrong. You don’t have to wait for senior leaders to make it a better place.
Managers don’t have to wait for senior management to start a process of organizational revitalization. ~Michael Beer
The first step in building shared vision is to give up the traditional notion that vision is always announced from “on high.” ~Peter Senge
Begin within your own sphere of influence.
Where do you have the greatest influence? Most likely within your own team. Consider the widest sphere that you can impact. This is the place to start.
Take responsibility to provide leadership.
Leadership is more than just good management practices. Leadership is about going somewhere.
. . . → Read More: Stop Waiting for Someone Else to Provide Leadership
Jerome said his biggest problem was time management. He was overloaded, deadlines were getting missed, and he was stressed.
Managing his team was his biggest time drain.
“When they ask me questions, I get stuck spending time with them instead of doing my own work. And when I don’t hear from them, I usually discover they’ve made mistakes that I need to clean up.”
I replied, “Jerome, your biggest problem is you’re a “seagull manager.”
“What’s a seagull manager?”
A seagull is usually off flying around somewhere, but every once in a while, swoops in unexpectedly, makes a lot of noise, dumps a load, and then flies off again.
When you’re bouncing back and forth between being over-involved and . . . → Read More: Ten Tips for Delegating – The Best Time Management Tool
When I published my Value of Vision series, I had no idea I had done something unusual. I am concerned about the current lack of interest around vision in leadership, and I had hoped that publishing a series of views from a variety of experts might help boost the topic back onto the radar.
I was surprised when Wally Bock told me he hadn’t seen a blog series like this before – one with so many significant thought-leaders writing on the same subject. Wally asked for an interview to identify some lessons that had made the series successful.
Wally Bock is a highly respected and accomplished business writer, ghost-writer, and editor. In addition to his popular Three Star Leadership blog, Wally writes the Zero . . . → Read More: How Important Is Vision in Leadership? The Question is the Answer
Much of your brain is hardwired from birth. Our primitive reflexes make us hyper-alert for bad news. Our brains detect negative information faster than positive information, and we have a stronger memory for painful experiences than pleasurable ones. This hardwiring ensured the survival of our ancestors.
But the world has changed, and we now know more about how our brains can best help us in today’s world. Studies in brain science have revealed that our prefrontal cortex provides thinking processes that allow us to override the primitive instincts that no longer serve us. It gives us the ability to make choices about our behavior – IF we are intentional.
Brain science shows us the old excuses don’t hold up.
Far too many leaders . . . → Read More: What Brain Science Can Teach Us About Leadership
Considering the compelling case for the value of vision, it’s strikingly absent these days.
Recent research by Kouzes and Posner demonstrates that “being forward-looking is the quality that most separates leaders from individual contributors.”
However, “it’s something that too few fully appreciate, and too many devote almost no time to developing,” says Jim Kouzes.
What happened to vision? Where has she gone?
She held so much promise 30 years ago when people like Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner first brought her to our attention.
Did she get worn out? Did she grow old and tired? No, it’s worse than that.
Vision has been prostituted.
By mission statements that are no more than meaningless marketing messages – We have covered her . . . → Read More: Looking for Vision? She’s Out Walking the Streets in Stilettos
I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Conant, newly appointed Non-Executive Chairman of Avon and the former President and CEO of Campbell Soup, where he led the company through a dramatic transformation, reversing the declining trend in earnings and employee engagement. Under his leadership, the company generated quality sales growth and some of the best employee engagement rankings in the industry for ten consecutive years.
I am delighted to be able to share Doug’s views on vision here. ~Jesse
What do you observe about people’s attitudes toward vision these days, Doug?
One thing I’ve observed in all of my speaking, from millennials at Google to boomers at Vanguard, is that people today are less interested in the vision and more interested in “how . . . → Read More: The Value of Vision Series – An Interview With Doug Conant
A Leadership Vision for America: Rebuilding a Divided House
Almost every dinner conversation I have been a part of in the last few years at some point gets around to how disappointed everyone seems to be with what’s going on in Washington. The complaints are not so much about the leadership capability of the current president as they are about the political system in general. Probably at no time in our country have we had so many major problems—yet we don’t seem to be making much progress in addressing them.
In thinking about what could help to turn around the system in Washington, I have been struck by the realization that there is a major missing ingredient . . . → Read More: The Value of Vision Series – Ken Blanchard