Recognizing your own gifts and strengths can be one of the hardest things we do as leaders. Watch our latest video to see how we can help you and your leadership team become better leaders in your organization!
As an executive leader, have you ever thought, I really wish my mid-level management leaders could make better, faster decisions, have tough conversations, courageously lead others, and be a more cohesive team?
Well, they can.
But more often than not, it’s you who must look in the mirror, change your own behavior and model the behavior you want to see before this can happen.
The end of the year or beginning of a New Year is a great time to look ahead and set goals, make resolutions, and set higher expectations of our organizations and ourselves. It can also be a time when many of us look back and wish we had gotten more accomplished or done things better.
But, have you looked back over the past year to celebrate the achievements and victories you may have had? No matter how big or small, they are there, so why not honor them?
Our owner, Thom Cody, has been an executive leadership coach for over 20 years. He has worked with small family owned businesses, all the way up to large pharmaceutical corporations. It doesn’t matter the size or the success of the business. All executives can struggle with building great leaders and having a culture that will sustain itself into the future.
Here is how we can help.
Thanksgiving is a special time of year for us at Pathmakers. Here’s why…
This is an article written by Jeff Haden, one of my favorite “influencers” on LinkedIn.
Most of what he is talking about is so simple, yet seems to be forgotten at times in the workplace. Having integrity, being honest, and showing respect are core values most of us were taught growing up. Here’s how you will know if you have the right employee working for you!
You’ve worked in your organization for a long time and have a lot invested. You love the company’s culture and vision. So, now you hear that a big change is coming. Maybe a merger? Maybe your CEO or owner is retiring? Whatever it is, you have lots of questions. Don’t panic. Here are the top 3 questions you really should be asking.
- How does this change tie into the strategic vision of the organization?
- Especially when you love your job, company, and culture, you are likely going to want to know if that culture will be changing. When big changes, like a company buyout or merger happen, it’s likely that changes will occur no matter what you are told. But if you can nail down the purpose of the upcoming change, you can better understand where the company is going and what their objective is. This will, in turn, help you decide whether or not you will champion the cause.
- Is Leadership on board with the change?
- When each and every leader in the company is on board with the change, you will know it. If not, you will know that too. Often times, if there is discord among leaders regarding a company change, you may see behaviors or hear comments that are not reflective of the positive culture you know and love. This is not uncommon, but can be a big problem if not handled in the correct manner. If a leader is vocal about their dislike, they may have valid concerns but they should be voiced in a constructive way, not behind other leaders’ backs. Remember that change affects everyone differently so just because one or two leaders are not on board right away doesn’t mean you should jump ship. Test the waters of how leadership is affected by the change – that’s a telltale sign.
- How will this affect employees? (not just YOU)
- When a disruption at work occurs, we most often think of ourselves first. How is this change going to affect ME and my job? This is human nature. Ask questions and offer your ideas, but make sure you aren’t only thinking of yourself – how will this affect our department or team? It’s best to maintain a global, big picture way of thinking. Don’t shut down. You’ll get a better understanding of how things are going to unfold if you keep communication lines open.
True… there could be negative effects of a looming change in your organization, but by asking these important questions and staying alert to leadership behaviors throughout the organization, you can transition through it without panicking.
If your company is struggling to get through an upcoming change or you want to get ahead of it, Pathmakers can help. Visit our website today – www.pathmakers-inc.com
We as leaders have the ability to create opportunities for other leaders, or people we lead, to learn, change, grow…and to be different. We are not responsible for the choices that others make when given those opportunities; we cannot make the choice for them. For accountability to exist, only they have the ability to choose to be different in each unique situation. This interview with Simon Sinek shows us how to inspire leaders to do remarkable things just by creating opportunities!
I never truly considered myself a leader until I had the title of “manager,” and even then it was a difficult pill to swallow. Why? One: because I was so busy with my day-to-day obligations, it didn’t occur to me that I was being looked at as a leader. Two: being a leader is scary. It means we have to deal with a lot of problems we don’t really ask for. It means we have a big responsibility – to be role models, to take care of conflict between co-workers, to “know all the answers” – all on top of doing all the other stuff our jobs require.
So, what does being a leader really mean to YOU? Some believe it’s all in the title, but does having a fancy title automatically make you the perfect leader? Certainly not.
Think back to a great leader or mentor you’ve had. What made him or her great? The qualities I remember about some of the best leaders I’ve worked with include the following:
- Passion for their work and the people they worked with
- They asked tough questions and truly sought to understand the why
- They did more listening than talking
- They built trust by sharing their experiences and mistakes and what they learned from each
Now think back to a bad leader you’ve had. Believe it or not, there is value in having bad leaders, too. They can make you react in ways you may not have thought of before. For example, what not to do in certain situations or how to go about things differently. And they can still have a positive impact on you and help you learn a great deal from the experience.
Here are more talking points my colleagues and I came up with on how you can uncover your strengths as a confident leader:
Show Your Vulnerability
Defined as “the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.” Being vulnerable is certainly a risky proposition and one most of us are not excited about experiencing, yet it’s a key trait all of us must possess in order to be a great leader. And leaders who are passionate about their work and their people will show their vulnerability because they believe in what they do through good times and bad.
Vulnerability is not weakness. And neither is not “knowing all the answers.” Quite simply, our vulnerability builds trust because it shows others we are human.
Be Open to Feedback
Seek out feedback and wisdom from other leaders or just those people who inspire and challenge you, whether in your organization or not. And remember – you don’t always have to be the smartest person in the room to be a good leader. Be humble by opening up yourself to ask for help. C.S Lewis once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” If you possess the willingness and courage to admit when you’ve made a mistake, you will also earn the respect of your peers and leaders alike.
Know Your Beliefs and Biases
Based on past experiences, we all bring our own beliefs and biases to our relationships, to our jobs, let’s face it…to everything we see and do. Recognizing these beliefs and biases, your values, and what drives your behavior are so important when leading others. You will no doubt bring them to the table when making decisions or handling conflicts between others, so by identifying them ahead of time can help you manage the situation at hand more objectively.
Books by Steven Covey, Simon Sinek and Patrick Lencioni (to name a few) and tools, such as the DiSC or Myers-Briggs assessments, are great ways to help discover your strengths. But be warned, they are not the only way. Tools like these do not predict job or leadership success.
Leadership is not one-dimensional and should not be approached from only the technical or scientific aspect. And it’s more than tactical – as much time that’s spent on the tactical side should also be spent on the interpersonal side. In other words, tools can be very useful, but connecting with people by a regular cadence of communication is key.
Consider Your Culture
It may feel like some people are natural born leaders and have it all figured out, but they still need to be nurtured and developed. Remember that the type of leadership you have in your organization is what determines your culture. It sets the foundation. If your foundation is growth-minded, transparent, creative, and innovative, then that culture will follow. You can have all the talent in the world in your organization, but if your foundation of leadership, thus your culture is weak, then all that talent will either fall into bad patterns or go elsewhere.
One last thought…do things that scare you, push your boundaries, things you don’t really think you can do. All of these things can help you uncover strengths you never thought you had!
And if you need more help, Pathmakers can help you and your leadership team uncover your strengths, individually and collectively. Visit our website and contact us today for more information.