Leadership

Over your life you spend a lot more time at work than you do with your family which is why it becomes really important that you enjoy what you do. A job that sucks the life out of your soul is doing nothing for your health and wellbeing. But that does not mean the job has to be rewarding to be enjoyable and that is exactly where this article from Dan Rockwell starts. Positive Work Relationships Positive work relationships provide deeper collegial bonds, it supports effective knowledge sharing and relationship based learning. Worker productivity is directly connected to the productivity of co-workers. A study by Alexandre Mas and Enrico Moretti (2009) looked at peer effects in the workplace and found that when you put a highly productive worker on a team the whole team’s productivity goes up. The more frequent the contact, the more powerful the positive impact. For manyContinue Reading

The Pandemic is bringing up new leadership challenges and it is becoming clear that management styles need to change and that no one person can solve this on their own. This article points out that in these VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) times those who have stood out as the most effective leaders have demonstrated a new set of leadership skills. Based on 25 years of leadership research CLO believe that two very different leadership styles will cause failure or success in these turbulent times. Hero Leaders who direct from the top with an authoritarian, forceful and charismatic leadership style are much less likely to weather the current challenges. What has become clear is that no one person has all the necessary knowledge and experience to solve the problems, therefore leaders need to build an inclusive team that brings together different types of expertise to work together and createContinue Reading

WFH

Offer as much flexibility as possible sums up the new Microsoft employee guidelines for working from home and we can all learn from their example. With everyone around the world working from home for the last few months, embracing the flexible workplace just sounds logical. At Microsoft they have taken this to a new level by providing clarity in guidelines Offer As Much Flexibility As Possible The guide from Chief People Officer Kathleen Hogan, starts by explaining how empathetic she is about the emotional toil that come from the new demands of everybody working at home and often needing to contribute to home schooling at the same time. Working from home is mostly a supported choice and returning to the office is optional for employees (except for those essential onsite roles). It goes on to state that Microsoft plans to “offer as much flexibility as possible to support individual workContinue Reading

Leadership traits

What makes a truly great leader? We all deal with range of different leaders every day in different parts of our lives but how many of them really inspire you – what are the traits of truly great leaders? Howard M. Shore identifies five character traits of great leaders. Integrity Having integrity means that have the strength of your convictions to put personal interests aside and ‘take the right action’. Humility Being humble and curious, recognise that personal success is almost always the result of the efforts of many others. Expressing Care Everyone deserves care, a great leader can put themselves into someone else’s place and deeply empathise with their underlying motivation and desires. Weak leaders are oblivious to others points of view and don’t care about them. Consistency Leadership consistency sets the tone for the team, erratic or inconsistent leadership behaviour creates team stress and disharmony. Influence Having aContinue Reading

Keeping your team motivated during the pandemic is a widely recognised challenge. A recent survey of 600 CEOs by HBS asked what was keeping them up at night. The answers varied slightly but the common theme was motivation. “Keeping morale and motivation up amongst employees while they are dealing with the stress of COVID-19 as well as parenting/schooling children while working from home. How can we be supportive while maximizing productivity? How do we help employees with work/life balance?” “Keeping spirits high in a sales environment. At the moment our sales force has to work twice as hard for a quarter of the results. We have reduced the expectation of results but they still feel like they are losing every day. I believe this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and I will need help for the next many months to keep theirs and others’ spirits high so weContinue Reading

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand and use your own empathy and emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate efficiently and empathise with others to over come challenges and defuse conflict. Conversations always start out with small talk, and so often we revert back to a basic question something like “Hi, how are you?”. The social convention is that we often start a conversation asking this generic question and potentially don’t even wait for the answer. Researchers at Harvard Business School analyzed hundreds of conversations to determine what kinds of questions led to better reactions. The findings established that people who ask deeper more interested questions were better liked by those they were having conversations with. It also noted that individuals using this technique were rated as having a higher interpersonal construct of listening validation and care. Authentic conversations are grounded in asking a question that you care about listeningContinue Reading

With the dual pressures of the pandemic and the economic crisis, many executives are challenged dealing with the constant increase in new challenges that appear every day. Many leaders claim that with all this going on they have no time for strategy and planning, often using the excuse that this is a ‘Black Swan event’. The concept of a Black Swan event (a term coined by Wall Street trade Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his 2001 book ‘Fooled by Randomness‘) is an event that is unpredictable, has severe and widespread consequences, and after the event people will rationalise as being predictable (hindsight bias). Previous events that have been broadly defined as Black Swan include: The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis The “Dotcom” Crash  9/11 Attacks The 2008 Global Financial Crisis Brexit Author Michele Wucker describes the current situation not as a Black Swan but rather as “Grey Rhino”. The Rhino phenomenon isContinue Reading

The Avocado Leader is a new term coined to reflect a change in management behaviours during the pandemic. The Avocado Leader has a soft and empathetic exterior with a hard business core. Academics from Macquarie Business School together with management consultancy We Are Unity conducted research interviewing senior and mid level executives from ASX200 firms about how management has changed during the pandemic and the impact of COVID19 restrictions. Key findings show the crisis has been a catalyst for transformation in the way that people work, increasing focus on mental health, introduction of flexible and smarter ways of working and the acceleration of digital disruption to future proof the business. The survey found that during the COVID 63% of leaders identified a boost to productivity 57% saw improved collaboration 55% saw improved efficiency 87% believed their organisation was agile in response to the pandemic 74% attributed improved performance to theContinue Reading

This article looks at the different type of power that management use in leadership positions, positional power and personal power. “The most effective leaders appear to exhibit a degree of versatility and flexibility that enables them to adapt their behavior to the changing and contradictory demands made on them Ralph Stogdill (The Leadership Handbook) It is not enough for a leader to just have different styles of behaviour, to be effective they must be able to adapt their style to different situations and the needs of stakeholders and employees. Beyond the style of behaviour every leader needs to be able to assess how that specific style of behaviour impacts others, knowing exactly how they are using the power in the relationship in that circumstance and at that point in time. “While leadership is about the process of influencing people, power can be described as a leader’s influence potential.” The effective delegationContinue Reading

Leadership is a profoundly personal face to face relationship, trust is established when leaders treat each other as valued. Strategic Effectiveness requires leaders build highly resilient highly effective teams that can weather the impacts of the current global pressures. High performing teams require authentic leadership, which involves honouring the moral obligation to care genuinely for others in the teams welfare. “Leaders who are trustworthy create interpersonal relationships based upon open communication, demonstrate personal competence, exhibit by their actions a commitment to others’ welfare, and model unflagging integrity” Schoorman, F. D., Mayer, R. C. & Davis, J. D. (2007). “An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust: Past, Present, and Future.” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp. 344-354. Effective leadership involves establishing relationships that unite individuals and engage them as owners and partners. Relationships with team members need to be based on authenticity and empathy. Many organisations still have leaders thatContinue Reading