To Engage Your Employees, Show Them Respect

To Engage Your Employees, Show Them Respect

Featured, Improvement, Leadership
Showing respect enhances a leader’s influence and performance – and a worldwide study found that it’s the leadership behavior with the biggest effect on employee engagement. Yet many leaders struggle to show respect to their employees.  To become a more respectful leader, try these tips:  Ask for help. Collect feedback from trusted friends and colleagues about when they’ve seen you treat people well or badly. Then look for patterns. When are you at your best? How could you treat people better?Reflect. Keep a journal about when and why you are uncivil. Being more aware of your behavior is an essential part of improving it.Work with a coach. A skilled coach can assist you with uncovering the reasons for your uncivil behavior and taking steps to change it.Be accountable. Identify one behavior change to work…
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Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Your MBA Isn’t Worth What You Think It Is

Evaluate, Featured, Improvement, Leadership
The exalted MBA degree is suffering a downturn. Fewer people are entering MBA programs. There is a good reason for that. The MBA is not worth the time and money. How many great companies were built by people with MBAs? You'll be hard pressed to find one. How many companies were run by people with MBAs when they collapsed? That number is a lot larger. The financial instruments that caused the great recession were created by MBAs. Why is this? What you don't learn in an MBA program is how t run a company. You also don't learn how to manage people. What you are taught is business theory. When you get5 out of the classroom, that theory isn't worth much. Academics have had to admit a few hard truths…
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Make Time To Focus On Each Employee’s Professional Growth

Make Time To Focus On Each Employee’s Professional Growth

Featured, Improvement, Leadership
Managers are supposed to help their teams develop professionally — and great managers tailor their development efforts to each person. Doing so helps you understand the nuances of how people are growing week by week and month by month. At the end of each week, take 15 minutes to write down recent steps you’ve taken to support team members. Note what patterns you’re seeing for each employee, opportunities for future growth, and feedback you’d like to give. As you gain insight into someone’s progress, find a few minutes to pull the person aside to discuss it. You don’t have to wait for their formal review; engaging with people on an ongoing basis shows that you know what success looks like for them and are working to help them achieve it.…
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Keep Experimenting with Different Leadership Styles

Keep Experimenting with Different Leadership Styles

Featured, Leadership
To grow as a leader you must dive into projects and activities, interact with different kinds of people, experiment with new ways of getting things done – and try out various leadership styles. Most learning involves some form of imitation (and understanding that nothing is “original”). So stop viewing authenticity as an intrinsic state. It’s really an ability to take elements you have learned from others’ styles and behaviors and make them your own. But don’t copy just one person’s leadership style; tap many diverse role models. There is a big difference between totally imitating someone and borrowing selectively from various people to create, modify, and improve your own leadership style. It’s OK to be inconsistent from one day to the next. That’s not being a fake: it’s how you…
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The Best Bosses Follow These 5 Rules

The Best Bosses Follow These 5 Rules

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Leadership
Amazing bosses try to make work meaningful and enjoyable for employees. They’re most successful when they adhere to a few best practices: Manage individuals, not just teams. When you’re under pressure, you can forget that employees have varying interests, abilities, goals, and styles of learning. But it’s important to understand what makes each person tick so that you can customize your interactions with them. Go big on meaning. Inspire people with a vision, set challenging goals, and articulate a clear purpose. Don’t rely on incentives like bonuses, stock options, or raises. Focus on feedback. Use regular (at least weekly) one-on-one conversations for coaching. Make the feedback clear, honest, and constructive. Don’t just talk — listen. Pose problems and challenges, and then ask questions to enlist the entire team in generating solutions. Be consistent. Be open to new…
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Leadership Is Not A Title

Leadership Is Not A Title

Featured, Leadership
It's natural to look to people in authority for leadership. Leadership, however, is not inherent in a title. There are many people in authority who are not leaders. Conversely there are many leaders who do not have titles and are not officially in charge. A leader is someone that generates trust and respect. People turn to leaders. You cannot wait until you are in charge to become a leader. Leadership has to be practiced before you are in charge. Here are some things to do to become a leader. Treat others with respect. When others feel you respect them, they respect you in return. Listen. A true leader values the opinions of others, even when those opinions differ. Leaders know that by listening to others without judgment, they can learn and…
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Make Time for Strategic Thinking Every Day

Make Time for Strategic Thinking Every Day

Featured, Improvement, Leadership, Personal Growth
If you believe that only senior executives need to think strategically, think again. No matter what level you’re at, strategic thinking is a critical skill — one that can always be improved. To hone your capacity to see the big picture, start by making sure you have a solid understanding of the industry context and business drivers. Make it a routine to explore the internal trends in your day-to-day work. Pay attention to the issues that get raised repeatedly, and synthesize the common obstacles your colleagues face. Be proactive about connecting with peers in your organization and in your industry to understand their observations of the marketplace, and share this information across your network. Take the time to understand the unique information and perspective that your job function contributes to…
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Fiduciary Responsibility Isn’t Just For Finance

Fiduciary Responsibility Isn’t Just For Finance

Customer, Featured, Focus, Leadership
By law financial advisors are required to act with fiduciary responsibility. This means they are required to put the client's best interests before there own. This is a concept that isn't just for financial advisors, it should be applied in every industry. Your customer is the reason you are in business. Your customer is the reason you get paid. You are there to solve a problem for your customer. For these reasons and many others, you should be putting your customer before yourself. It is a step above customer service. It is about trust. When your customer knows that they are taken care of they come back over and over again. They refer more clients to you because they know you will take care of the people they refer. In…
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Partnering With Clients

Partnering With Clients

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured, Leadership
"Partnering" has become one of those overused buzzwords that has lost its meaning. Every company talks about partnering with their clients. While it is imperative that you become a partner to your client, without understanding what that means, the term is useless. Partnering is not selling: Selling products or services to your client is not partnering. That's what every business does. Partnering with a customer does not mean offering discounts. Partnering is not about sales. It is about the service you give during and after the sales. Partnering requires understanding: I get a great many solicitations from companies that claim they want to partner with me. Further reading shows they have no idea what I do and simply grabbed my contact information from a mailing list. To be a partner…
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Give People Time and Space to Be More Creative

Give People Time and Space to Be More Creative

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Leadership, Planning
Creativity takes time, requiring people to struggle down several blind alleys before finding the right solution. That’s why a lot of creative activity may look suspiciously like loafing around until a breakthrough happens. But if an organization truly wants creativity, it has to start by hiring more people than it needs to complete the tasks required for the company to stay afloat. Managers also need to provide some flexibility for employees to alter their schedules when an interesting idea begins to develop. And they need to reward employees for engaging in tasks that ultimately lead to creative solutions, like learning new things, developing new skills, having wide-ranging conversations with colleagues, and trying out ideas that don’t work.
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