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Become a leader of character

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Character (noun): one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual. Merriam-Webster. The truly great leaders stand out in the minds and hearts of those they lead. The difference between a good and great leader is their character.

Morale 207

How listening more will change you

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Photo credit 123RF. A leader in a large organization was having a difficult time influencing his employees to move forward on a significant project that needed to be completed in a short period of time.

Take the pause that refreshes

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For many years in the last century, Coca-Cola had an advertising campaign called “It’s the Pause that Refreshes”. Let’s borrow those words to consider the importance of a pause for your leadership and ways that you can refresh yourself.

When you want to know what others think

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Photo credit: 123RF. You are a good leader. You feel like you’ve done your best to develop the relationships that will make your employees feel safe in speaking their truth.

Innovation: Five Signs You Might Be Faking It

Every company wants to be a leader in innovation, but how can you tell if your company is really innovating or just going through the motions? See the 5 signs you might be faking innovation and what to do if you are.

What if critical feedback could transform your leadership?

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Photo credit 123RF. The feedback the leaders I work with is almost always well balanced between the positive and the critical. Yet its common for them to get most emotional over what they view as the negative comments.

Why you need to get personal at work

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Photo credit: 123rf. Some leaders think that they shouldn’t develop “personal relationships” with their employees and other stakeholders at work. When asked why they feel that way, they say that it would be unethical, immoral, and make them vulnerable to criticism.

Morale 205

Tribute to a great leader and good person

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Good people die everyday. Yet not all of them affirm for us the goodness in humanity and leadership the way Ted did. He passed away last week and left a legacy of positive experiences for anyone who took the time to know him – which wasn’t a hard thing to do.

Ethics 204

Secret sauce ingredients that make a manager an awesome leader

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Photo credit: 123rf. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some pretty awesome managers who are also awesome leaders. They’re fully aware that they have job descriptions that detail bottom lines to meet, projects to complete, and problems to troubleshoot.

The most amazing question

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Photo credit: 123RF. In the formative stages of my career I was a Human Resources generalist for a large Pharmaceutical company. As an avowed problem-solver I got frustrated when people came to me with drawn-out tales of workplace woe that I just couldn’t solve for them.

Starting new with those who have offended you

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How often have you been having a conversation with someone that you aren’t fond of, and your mind wanders to some past offense that you believe they did to you? How about that employee that you hired who was so full of promise, but lost your trust?

11 Proven Ways to Turn Your Culture into a Culture of Innovation

Learn the 11 proven strategies that you can implement quickly to get every employee innovating and contributing to the growth of your company.

Compassion is needed in the workplace and this is what it looks like

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Photo credit 123RF. Like many leaders, you may be feeling worn out, overworked, and stressed. I’ll bet you didn’t know that one “cure” for this might be showing compassion toward others. There appears to be some evidence that extending compassion can help you while also helping others.

How you interact is a choice

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Photo credit: 123RF. It’s all too easy to interact with others without thinking about the impact you have on them, and what that means for your success and that of your organization.

Listening to yourself

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I’ve written frequently about the importance of listening to others. It can make a huge difference to your effectiveness as a leader and it makes up for a multitude of other weaknesses you may have. Funny thing is, I’ve never written anything about listening to yourself.

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The power of positive future-focused questions

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You’ve probably heard that leaders need to ask more questions. It takes courage and practice to find the kind of questions that will help others to help themselves, your organization and move everyone forward.

When great expectations equals great employees

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Photo credit: 123RF. Sometimes I have the pleasure of working with someone that has employees who are deliriously happy. One of the reasons they feel this way is because their leader sets high expectations for them. These leaders make their leadership look effortless.

Quantifying a Culture of Innovation

Examining five years of anonymous data from over 6 million users in 170+ countries, Spigit has discovered that a culture of innovation can be measured – with a 99% statistical confidence level – by a metric called "ideation rate." Download the eBook now for an in-depth look at this groundbreaking study.

When you need to stop leading and start following

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Photo credit: 123RF. All leaders are also followers. Nobody is autonomous and without the need to follow others. Sometimes the “others” can be your board, manager, employees, peers, or even your significant other. Your need to follow will be depend on the circumstances.

Morale 140

Eight unexpected ways to continue to develop yourself as a leader

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Photo credit: 123rf. You’re a year or two into your dream leadership role and you know you are capable of more, but you don’t know where to start. After the first months of learning everything you need to learn about your job you settled in. Yet you have a nagging feeling that something is missing.

When you listen more

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Photo credit: Yarruta @123RF. It seems so much of our lives are wrapped up in what we see with our eyes that we forget that what we hear is just as important – maybe more so.

Tools 257

What an open dialog requires of you

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Photo credit: 123RF. There are times when a you as a leader will need to have an open dialog with an individual, group or team. This might be so that you can get others’ input, thoughts or opinions. It isn’t about pushing your ideas on others, it’s about drawing theirs out.

Tough Comp Conversations: A Guide For Doing Them Right

Speaker: Rusty Lindquist, VP Strategic HR Insights at Bamboo HR

Compensation can be tricky, few things carry as much emotional weight as comp. And with the increased transparency in the market, combined with our collective propensity to rate ourselves against others, the frequency of these very difficult conversations is increasing. In this webinar, we will deconstruct some of the psychology around comp. We’ll take an analytic look at comp’s role in the employee experience, and then we’ll get really tactical with guidance on very specific compensation conversations.

The benefits of listening more

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Photo credit: 123RF. I was young and relatively new to the professional work world, with an abundance of motivation and drive. The executive I was reporting to inherited me and the work I was doing in a reorganization.

Bond 219

Lessons in leadership from a surprising source

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A year ago, I bought a bucket list item: my first fully digital camera and all the gear to go with it. This was a considerable step up from the point and shoot and cell phone photography I’d been used to. So I took basic photography classes and some that were a bit more advanced.

Why you should coach people

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Photo credit: 123rf Southmind. Organizations are increasingly teaching leaders to coach their subordinates (and sometimes each other). I want to believe that this isn’t a passing fad, because there are lots of reasons for leaders to learn how to coach others in the workplace.

Doing nothing often leads to the very best something

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Photo credit: 123rf. We went to see the new movie Christopher Robin last weekend. We grew up with Winnie the Pooh books and we carried on that tradition with our own children so have a soft spot for the stories and characters.

Crisis 207

How to break out of the box to become a better leader

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Photo credit: 123RF. When we have our first meeting, leaders often express their personal perception about who they are and how they see themselves: “I’m the kind of leader who….(fill fill in the blank).” People will tell you that I’m like (fill in the blank)”.

How To 160

Become a generative listener

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There is a kind of non-listening that goes on in our society and organizations that is distracted and disjointed, and often marked by interruptions. This non-listening doesn’t focus on the person speaking. Rather, the listeners try their hardest to get their ideas into the conversation.

Examine the beliefs that no longer serve you

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Photo credit: 123RF. Because of who you are and how you’ve lived in the world, you carry beliefs with you that may or may not serve you in your leadership (and your life). It’s good to be aware of those and realize when they need to be held tightly or set free.

Coaching is more than asking questions

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I’ve seen a lot written and said about how important it is for people managers to coach the people around them. Often, the enthusiasm about coaching is anchored in leaders asking more questions rather than telling others what to do.

Goal 251

What if questions were valued as much as knowledge?

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Photo credit: 123RF. The people with the most smarts win! There are rewards to be reaped for the most knowledgeable people in our society and our organizations. Imagine what might happen if we also rewarded those who are smart AND ask great questions.

Give them the gift of your presence

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Photo credit: 123rf. I once had a manager who inherited my function (and me) through a reorganization. My short time working for him in that role was one of the most personally frustrating and painful experiences in my work life. The reason? I was invisible to him.

You can’t see a vision when you’re tangled in the weeds

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If you are a “people leader”, every time you get more responsibility, you need to work toward seeing further, broader, and becoming more visionary. When you take on a higher level of work you need to be thinking about delegating and stepping out of the daily work to fly above it and see a vision.

Why you need to tell them why

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Photo credit: 123RF. Sometimes you need to make a decision without input from others. However, when you are asked about your reasons for your conclusion, a response like “It needs to be done this way” or “No, we can’t do that” can be seen as disrespectful and authoritarian.

Stress 187

There is always something new under the sun

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Photo credit: 123RF. Are you feeling a little stale or bored? Do you sense that years of leadership are wearing on you? Are you squelching new ideas or figuratively rolling your eyes when the younger generation of leaders in your company make suggestions to change something?

To be the best leader, you need to be the best human

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Photo credit: 123RF. The relationships you have with those who support you at work are key to your success as a leader. Without those, nothing happens like it should. And good relationships are dependent on your ability to be the best human you can be.

Morale 179

Ten daily practices that show respect to your team

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Disrespect seems to be running rampant everywhere, including our workplaces. Yet when a leader shows they respect their team, the benefits become obvious: people are motivated, dedicated, loyal and the leader becomes a talent magnet – the best workers want to work for and stay with that leader.

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The upsides to delegating

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One of the most difficult personal challenges a leader can have throughout their career is to delegate some of the work they are doing to others. It’s unfortunate that all too often a crisis happens before a leader realizes they could have done a better job of delegating.

How to make feedback a developmental opportunity

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Many employees cringe at the thought of getting feedback from their manager. Who wouldn’t blame them? It tends to be overly critical, given with haste and without care, and confusing. So often, the feedback given is often useless to the receiver.

How To 235

The neuroscience of asking insightful questions

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I teach coaching skills to leaders. When I get to the section on how to ask questions (an important part of learning to coach) I might ask a trick question to start off: “How many of you are good at solving problems?”. Without fail, almost all hands shoot enthusiastically into the air.

Get out of the weeds to lead people

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Many employees are promoted into management positions because their knowledge and expertise have made them successful in the work they do. The problem is that a management position doesn’t always fit their passion. People managers have to lead people, and not everyone is motivated to do that.

Becoming a great leader takes intention and mindfulness

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Leading others can look easy. In reality, most leaders aren’t naturals at leading people; they have to learn by trial and error. Think of all the professions that people go into that require years of honing their craft: musician, doctor, lawyer, engineer, teacher, scientist….the the list goes on.