Saturday, August 10, 2013

Choose Leadership to Stay Relevant

Leadership is a choice more than a title. Today, I am reminded that there is a compelling new reason for choosing leadership, “Staying relevant in our new age of work.”


I have written about leadership choice several times in the past.  For example, in Leading from Below, I cite a Wall Street Journal article that makes five recommendations about your leadership choices.  The most important recommendation is:
Make a conscious decision to lead and move beyond your current role. Make the decision on your own. Take the risk and you'll thrive in your job and get that next promotion.

Choose Leadership to Stay Relevant

Today I curated a Fast Company article entitled The Four Things People Can Still Do Better Than Computers  for my Leaderly and Listable Scoop.It.  The Fast Company article describes the changing labor market and those skills that will be valued in our changing world. 

My summary and simple recommendations after reading the article and underlying research paper:
  • Computers are not good at being human.  
  • Computers are not good at leadership.
  • Choose leadership to stay relevant.
I found the Fast Company article interesting and would recommend reading it.  We need to stay relevant.

Thanks for reading.  Choose leadership, quiet leadership.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Inspired by Lists

I’m inspired by lists.

What kind of lists? 

All kinds.  My favorites include:
To-do lists, bucket lists, blog rolls, checklists, best seller lists, grocery lists,  most emailed lists, Forbes richest people lists, reference lists, Fortune 100 Lists, dream list, David Letterman Top Ten Lists and more.

I often get leadership inspiration and insight from a good list.  To me, a list from a great thinker like Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Michael Hyatt, Gretchen Rubin will teach, coach, and inspire.  And best of all, it may only require a short amount of time to find that one nugget that makes a difference.

Introducing Leaderly & Listable

For the past few weeks, I have been curating and sharing leadership lists in an effort that I have titled, Leaderly & Listable.  You can access these lists on this blog on the Leaderly & Listable page or directly on the Leaderly & Listable Scoop.It site.

Finally, if you find a good list that you think should be included in this effort, Tweet a link using the hash tag #LdrLst (think Leader List with no vowels).  I can include the list in this effort.

Thanks for reading.  Please lead quietly.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tom Peter's Leaderly List

I am a fan of Tom Peters.  Last week, Tom tweeted that he had posted a leadership self-assessment on his web site.  I took a look and given my fondness for leaderly lists, I retweeted the following:
If you are looking for a  quick checklist for leaderly actions, the summary at the bottom of the post provides that mini-MBA in leadership.

In your self assessment, ask yourself, am I a(n)   fill in the blank from the Peter's list.__

  • "Aggressive listener."
  • Expert at questioning.
  • Meetings as leadership opportunity #1.
  • Creating a "civil society."
  • Expert at "helping."
  • Expert at holding productive conversations.
  • Fanatic about clear communications.
  • Fanatic about training.
  • Master of appreciation/acknowledgement.
  • Effective at apology.
  • Creating a culture of automatic helpfulness by all to all.
  • Presentation excellence.
  • Conscious master of body language.
  • Master of hiring.
  • Master of evaluating people.
  • Time manager par excellence.
  • Avid practitioner of MBWA/Managing By Wandering Around.
  • Avid student of the process of influencing others per se.
  • Student of decision making and devastating impact of irrational aspects thereof.
  • Brilliantly schooled student of negotiation.
  • Creating a no-nonsense execution culture.
  • Meticulous about employee development/100% of staff.
  • Student of the power of "d"iversity (all flavors of difference).
  • Aggressive in pursuing gender balance.
  • Making team-building excellence everyone's daily priority.
  • Understanding value of matchless 1st-line management.
  • Instilling "business sense" in one and all.
The list is a wealth of great reminders.   The entire post is indeed a mini-MBA in leadership.

Thanks for reading.  Please lead quietly

Sunday, April 14, 2013

You Must Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go

 My Lesson at Level 4 Leadership

I was impacted recently when one of my employees left my team to pursue opportunities outside of my company.  That event and a review of my own career opportunities motivated me to study the role of growth and employee development in leadership.  I had to face the reality that the team member left my team because I had failed to fully understand and act on the development needs of the departing team member.   Leaders need to be people developers.  You must help them grow or watch them go. 
The imperative this leadership role was validated for me with a review of the John Maxwell book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential.  Maxwell’s levels provide a framework to measure and grow your leadership abilities. 
In this framework, all leaders start at the bottom (Level 1)  and grow to higher levels of influence.  Levels 2 – 4 represent a hierarchy of skills that you earn as a result of your relationships, problem solving and development.  Few leaders reach the pinnacle (Level 5).  Each level builds on the previous level and you progress to the next level after mastering and maintaining the previous level.

Maxwell’s 5 Levels of Leadership
The Maxwell book provide great insight but you can also get a sample of the framework directly from Maxwell from the YouTube embedded below.

The Maxwell framework helped me pinpoint that I had personal development of my own in order to occupy a Level 4 position. 

Level 4 Best Behaviors

Here is a quick list of the best behaviors and guidelines of Level 4 People Development leadership.
1.  Find the Best People Possible – A good team starts with good people with the right chemistry, character, capacity, and contribution.  Maxwell quoted coach Lou Holtz who said, “I’ve had good players and I’ve had bad players.  I’m a better coach with good players.”
2.  Positioning – Placing the Right People in the Right Position.  A leader must understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team and put people in a position to succeed.  I have previously written about this as the Tom Kelly approach in Lead like a Teacher - Find the Right Role. 
3. Modeling – Showing Other How to Lead.  It is simple.  Model what you want to see in others.
4.  Equipping – Helping Other Do Their Jobs Well.  Leadership is not just delegation.  It is delegation along with support, coaching, and mentoring.
5.  Developing – Teaching Them to Do Life Well.   Good life skills help a person create a a foundation for success. 
6.  Empowering – Enabling People to Succeed.  As Maxwell write, “you need to trust them, believe in them, and hold them accountable. 
7.  Measuring – Evaluating Those Whom you Develop to Maximize their Efforts.  This is a simple behavior that proposes that you evaluate and keep score in order to learn and grow. 
I discovered many new leadership insight in the Maxwell book.  I would recommend quiet leaders explore this insight.
Thanks for reading.  Please lead quietly as people developers.