[expand title=”How did Coaching get its “Bad Name”?”]

By: ATCEN

In a given situation, which would make you more uncomfortable; coaching or counseling? Many will claim the latter, regardless of whether it is on the ‘giving’ or ‘receiving’ end. Counseling sessions are not a favorite amongst many, thanks to the negative implications it is often associated with.

Coaching theoretically plays a different role in performance management compared to counseling. According to Florence Stone, author of “Coaching, Counseling & Mentoring”, coaching begins with an assumption. An assumption that most employees are:

1) Eager to do well,
2) To please their managers, and
3) To achieve as high a position as they can with the organization.

As a coach, you are to ensure your employees or team members do all the three. Should the above three statements not depict the actual situation, only then should counseling be considered.

“Why do employees not welcome or resist coaching as part of performance management?” – is a question frequently asked by the management. Below are three possible reasons that gave coaching its “bad name”.

Mindset 1: “You’re doing it wrong. Let me show you the right way.”
Coaching is not about correcting mistakes. Neither is it required only when things go wrong. Frequent coaching can identify specific areas of improvement. Its objective should be to assist employees to do the right things, better. For increased effectiveness, coaching sessions should be planned periodically.

Mindset 2: “I’m the Coach. You do as I say because I’m the expert.” 
Yes. A coach should be an expert. A coach should also have the necessary communication skills and the willingness to accept certain limitations an apprentice may have, in terms of knowledge, abilities and skills. The roles are not one of a leader and a follower, but more precisely, a partnership.

Mindset 3: “I don’t have the time to coach. There are more important things at hand.”
Many managers argue that they do not have the time to coach. Coaching is time-consuming, yet the results are beneficial. Managers fail to realize that if they do not continually work at developing their employees’ skills, much of the additional work will have to be delegated to other resources, or eventually wind up on their own ‘to-do’ list. Worst still, there is also the kind of manager who accepts the challenge to coach yet does not allocate the time for it.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Making Employees Fall in Love with Us”]

By: Ernie Chen

Employees today are extremely sophisticated in their desires working for an organization. As a matter a fact, high performance individuals are inundated with so many different types of rewards and recognition that it becomes difficult to determine what is important and what is not. We have however, identified the following 5 key important factors in creating sustainable motivation in our employees.

1. Deliver As Promised
How many organizations or individuals have told you that they were going to do something, and then didn’t do it? And what have you told others you would do for them, but haven’t done? Follow-through is abysmal today. Excellent leaders always deliver what they promise. When they commit, it happens. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

2. Manage the Employee’s Experience
No matter what business you’re in, it is critical that you manage your employees’ experience. It’s those seemingly little touches and comments — that often have nothing to do with your specific business — that will make your employees remember working with you as personal and enjoyable.

3. Create Ownership
Be prudent when assigning and then advertising employee ownership. Ownership is not about what you call employees; it is about how employees act. Create a sense of ownership for your employees. Give them tangible incentives to perform. Link some part of their compensation with performance. Maybe even make them literal owners.

4. Involve Everyone in Improvement
Unique Ideas and the ability to implement them drive your business. And a critical key to success is your ability to involve everyone in generating ideas for improvement. Two of your best resources for such idea generation are employees and customers. How often do you ask your employees for suggestions about improving service? And how well do they respond? If you aren’t getting lots of employee suggestions, you aren’t asking well.

5. Make Teamwork Work
Exceptional service is created from the inside out. Employees who don’t feel well served probably won’t serve well. Promote the concept of teamwork in your organization. Teamwork works when there’s communication, cooperation, and a desire to work together for a common goal.

Most employee complaints evolve from poorly managed expectations. Don’t waste your time trying to exceed employee expectations if you don’t have a foolproof system for the basics: delivering what you promise, when you promise it.

[/expand]

[expand title=”The Power of Accepting Feedback (Part 1 of 4)”]

By Jeremy Lee

There are only two types of people in the world, those who are able to appreciate feedback and those unable to handle feedback. So which are you?

Before answering that, let us understand what is feedback and it’s characteristics. Feedback occurs under two distinct situations; when someone reveals to you how they perceive (their feelings and thoughts) you to be. Likewise feedback also occurs when a person points out his or her observations of your behavior or attitude towards something, someone or in a particular situation. In both situations the feedback given will be thoughts, feelings and observations on you.

The first characteristic of feedback is its neutrality; it is neither positive nor negative. It is what the person who gave it perceives or observes on you. Similarly feedback does not have the power to hurt or benefit a person. Ultimately it is the perception of the recipient of the feedback that determines the feedback outcome; a compliment or a criticism. Hence feedback does not control a person; it is how the person allows it to control him or her that allows feedback to be positive or negative, hurtful or a compliment.

Lastly feedback can be real or unreal. The feedback given to you can be false when it is said out of spite or deceit. On the other hand, the feedback given to you can be real as it reveals something you are not aware of or it confirms something that you are already aware of. Therefore feedback when given with no ill-intention can be extremely beneficial to oneself. When we take this type of feedback as a reality check and act on it then we can use it to improve ourselves.

Learning to accept feedback can reveal a lot about one’s character. People who are able to accept feedback are usually more self-assured and has greater emotional control of themselves compared to those who react negatively to feedback. If one is able to accept constructive feedback without being defensive or uncomfortable, it reveals a person who is open and constantly seeking to improve his weakness and enhance his strength.

Additionally learning to accept feedback gracefully will allow for greater trust and honesty to prevail as others will be more willing to share their thoughts and feelings about us to us. Their inner thoughts, feelings and observations will be communicated to us without evasiveness or censorship. They will speak their mind and reveal their feelings. This type of openness greatly strengthens any relationship and improves communication drastically, thereby leading to greater effectiveness and productivity.

So learn to accept feedback, make it a process of self evaluation and improvement.

In the next article we will examine what we can do when feedback is provided to us. This will be followed by how to give feedback and lastly an article on using feedback in the workplace).

[/expand]

[expand title=”The Power of Accepting Feedback (Part 2 of 4)”]

By Jeremy Lee

In the previous article we examine what is feedback. We ended with the message that feedback when given under good intentions is a highly useful tool for personal self improvement. However feedback is a highly under-utilized tool in the Malaysian culture as it is deemed highly un-Malaysian in nature due to its directness. Therefore many of us are unfamiliar with it and do not know how to react when feedback is given to us. In this article we are going to discuss what are we to do when we are given feedback.

Feedback can be given under many conditions and circumstances. Therefore we must practice this 4 simple steps to receiving feedback; openness, clarification, evaluation and action.

OPENNESS: Openness here signifies our attitude towards feedback. We must accept that feedback is beneficial to us and our development. Therefore when feedback is given, we should listen with openness and without comment. This is not the time to accept, deny and rationalize the feedback. This is the time to listen to what the person is saying without judgment and eliminate any emotional factor coming from the person giving the feedback.

CLARIFICATION: When the person giving the feedback has finished, don’t make any statements, but do ask questions if we need further clarification. Once we are certain we understand the feedback always thank the giver for the feedback. This can be just a simple but sincere “Thank you”. Such a response takes courage and is great for character building.

EVALUATION: Next we must allow ourselves the time to process the information given in the feedback. Take no action yet to change our perceived behavior yet. Use the evaluation time to watch our actions, behaviors and attitudes that are mentioned in the feedback. Simultaneously observe how others react to us. We need to evaluate for ourselves if there is any validity to the feedback given. If need be, discuss the feedback with friends or others whose opinions we respect. Ask them for their opinions as to the validity of the feedback but not their reactions to the feedback. Ultimately if the feedback holds true, we need to accept. If it is not valid, then we have learnt more about what we are not.

ACTION: Once the feedback is validated and accepted, we need to consciously find ways to improve ourselves and be aware whenever this behavior or attitude of ours’ arises. Additionally we can always get support from our friends in reminding us whenever we slip back to old our old ways.

Initially this whole process may be difficult. However with practice and perseverance, feedbacks will become less painful. We will learn to appreciate the value of feedback and learn how to put it into a larger perspective to allow it to help us achieve our dreams.

[/expand]

[expand title=”How to Give Feedback (Part 3 of 4)”]

By Jeremy Lee

In the last article we shared that accepting feedback is a process that needs to be learnt. Likewise we need to learn to give feedback. Giving feedback is not just about going to a person and telling them what we think of them, we should go through a systematic thinking process prior to giving them feedback.

Let’s learn the 9 steps to giving feedback based on the following scenario. Joe, a new colleague of ours has just completed his first corporate sales presentation to a client. Things went smoothly in the presentation but there where a few areas that we felt Joe could improve in. So let’s apply the 9 steps of giving feedback.

Timing: Feedback should always be given as soon as possible after the incident has happened. A good time to give Joe feedback would be on the ride back to the the office.

Be clear and be specific: Be clear what we want to say and be able to give specific examples to explain our point. Example: Joe mumbled several times during the presentation- whenever he came to slides related to the company history.

Purpose of giving the feedback. If the purpose for us giving the feedback is vindictive in nature and is about making us feel better then the feedback should never be given. However if the feedback is about improving Joe or enhancing the relationship between us and Joe or Joe and another party then the feedback serves a good purpose. In this scenario it is to improve Joe’s presentation skill.

Prepare the person for feedback: Never launch into feedback immediately. Always set an expectation that allows the listener to know what to expect. A good suggestion here would actually be asking the person whether they like to discuss the incident:

Example:

“Joe, can we discuss on how the presentation went just now”

Emphasize on the positive: When giving feedback if possible it should always begin by emphasizing on the positive. This will ensure that they listen carefully.

Example:

“You did a good job at the presentation just now, the clients were impressed. However I felt you could have been even better.”

Own the feedback that you give: Notice the word “I felt” above; or other words such as “I notice” or “I saw”. Show that the feedback is coming from you and it is based on your own judgment. Remember you are not to evaluate or criticize what they did rather bring it up as how you perceived the situation.

The Behavior not the Person: Focus on the behavior of the person rather then the person, be specific and clear when stating this.

Example:

“Joe during the presentation there were several occasions when I could not hear you clearly. All I heard were a series of mumbles, especially when you were explaining the parts related to the company history. On several occasion the clients were even looking at one another an giving each other looks. Did you know you were mumbling?”

Focus on things that can be controlled: Whenever we give feedback make sure that it is on things that can be controlled. Likewise whatever Joe’s reason is for mumbling, make sure it is focused on things that he can controlnot things that cannot be controlled. The above feedback on the mumbling can be rectified by Joe but the constant disruption during the presentation by the client’s telephone cannot be controlled by the two of you.

Be solution focus: Whenever a feedback is brought up, we must make sure that we are willing to seek a solution with the person. in overcoming the problem or resolving the issue.

Example:

Joe: “You know what, I have been in this organization for only 6 days and I have not had the time to go through the history of the company thoroughly. Well I suppose the mumbling was just a way of hiding my nervousness.”

You: “ It good that you brought this up, is there any way I can help you in learning the company’s history”

Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are doing, how they affect us or others. Giving feedback to someone helps them become more effective and supports us and other to become more effective and build better relationship. So let’s start giving feedback. Help them help themselves and help us help ourselves.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Building a Solid Foundation for a Successful Quality Effort”]

By Jeremy Lee

Many organizations recognize the merits of quality. On the contrary, there are doubts and concerns on the success of quality efforts. In most instances, organizations implement quality initiatives for the sake of doing it, or just because their competitors are doing it.

In order to obtain the desired results in all quality efforts, the key is to build a solid foundation. The following elements contribute to the “ingredients” of such a solid foundation:

1. Customer Focus 
All quality efforts must be evolved around the customers. This is vital as quality is about satisfying customers’ needs; and customers here include both internal and external. By asking “Who is the customer?” and “What are the customers’ needs and expectations?” organizations are able to identify “what” they should be doing. The appropriate quality strategy can then be drawn up to meet those needs accordingly.

2. Quality as a Process
Quality should be viewed as a process, not a program or project. It has a beginning and may require a long time to end. That is why some call it the “Quality Journey”. This journey requires persistence, continuous efforts and commitment.

3. Management’s Support and Commitment
Quality has to begin from the top. Without strong and continuous support and commitment from the management, quality effort is unlikely to survive. This constitutes faith in believing that quality will produce positive results; and discipline adhering to procedures and processes.

4. Employees Buy In
Inevitably employees buy in is crucial as they are the “internal customers”. They should be involved from the initial stage of the quality journey. There is also a need to creating awareness amongst employees through education and training. When the set objectives are achieved, employees who are involved directly in the quality effort should be given recognition. This will boost their morale and confidence to continue in the quality journey.

Some say that quality effort is a long pursuit, or a never ending journey. To a certain extent, I do agree. However in the efforts to making it a success, the fundamentals need to be established. The journey will only be worthwhile if a solid foundation is built right from the beginning.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Internal Quality Audit – What, Why and Who “]

By ATCEN

Organization which implements a Quality Management System (QMS) is required to carry out an Internal Quality Audit exercise. Majority conduct this exercise annually though some organizations do it twice yearly. Internal Quality Audit is a systematic examination to determine activities carried out in the organization are accordance to the documented quality procedures and processes.

Internal Quality Audit is carried out to ensure that the organization’s quality system complies with the requirements of the relevant Standard. Other objectives include to determine if the quality systems is effective in meeting the quality objectives; to identify improvement areas; and monitor corrective and preventive actions.

The individual who is responsible to carry out an Internal Quality Audit is called an Internal Quality Auditor, or in short IQA. Ideally the IQA team should consist of representatives from different departments in an organization. This will enable inter-department interaction and foster understanding of other department’s functions during the process of carry out the internal audit. The appointed or assigned IQA will first undergo the necessary training to perform a quality audit. He or she is independent of the work being audited.

A professional IQA should possess good communication skills; is analytical and has sound knowledge of the Standards requirements. Most importantly the individual should have the key intention to help in process improvement and not find fault in the work of another colleague. The IQA must be objective and make decisions based on the documented evidence.

The approach of conducting an internal audit is very important as it determines the success of the internal audit exercise. Throughout my experience working with IQA teams of different organizations, the common area of improvements for IQAs is inter-personal skills. It was found that the auditee (i.e. the individual being audited) felt that the IQA was too task-oriented and structured in performing the audit. Most of the time there was no personal touch which resulted in lack of cooperation and buy-in from the auditees.

It is a common fact that many employees are not receptive towards internal audit. To encourage participation and obtain acceptance, it is vital for the management to communicate clearly the key objective of the exercise. In addition, the IQA needs to play his or role well to ensure that the entire internal quality audit exercise is a success.

[/expand]

[expand title=”Getting the Most Out of Critical Feedback “]

By ATCEN

There are generally two types of people in the world, those who are able to appreciate feedback and those unable to handle feedback. So which are you?

To best answer this question, let us understand what is feedback and its characteristics. Feedback occurs under two distinct situations; when someone reveals to you how they perceive you to be (their feelings and thoughts). Likewise feedback also occurs when a person points out his or her observations of your behavior or attitude towards something, someone or in a particular situation. In both situations the feedback given will be thoughts, feelings and observations on you.

The first characteristic of feedback is its neutrality; it is neither positive nor negative. It is what the person who gave it perceives or observes on you. Similarly feedback does not have the power to hurt or benefit a person. Ultimately it is the perception of the recipient of the feedback that determines the feedback outcome; a compliment or a criticism. Hence feedback does not control a person; it is how the person allows it to control him or her that allows feedback to be positive or negative, hurtful or a compliment.

Lastly feedback can be real or unreal. The feedback given to you can be false when it is said out of spite or deceit. On the other hand, the feedback given to you can be real as it reveals something you are not aware of or it confirms something that you are already aware of. Therefore feedback when given with no ill-intention can be extremely beneficial to oneself. When we take this type of feedback as a reality check and act on it then we can use it to improve ourselves.

Learning to accept feedback can reveal a lot about one’s character. People who are able to accept feedback are usually more self-assured and has greater emotional control of themselves compared to those who react negatively to feedback. If one is able to accept constructive feedback without being defensive or uncomfortable, it reveals a person who is open and constantly seeking to improve his weakness and interest in enhancing their strengths.

Additionally, learning to accept feedback gracefully will allow for greater trust and honesty to prevail as others will be more willing to share their thoughts and feelings about us. Their inner thoughts, feelings and observations will be communicated to us without evasiveness or censorship. They will speak their mind and reveal their feelings. This type of openness greatly strengthens any relationship and improves communication drastically, thereby leading to greater effectiveness and productivity.

So learn to accept feedback, make it a process of self evaluation and improvement and leverage on it to develop your Leadership capabilities by leaps and bounds.

[/expand]

[expand title=”How to Accept That You Are Wrong “]

By ATCEN

Feedback when given with good intentions is a highly useful tool for personal and team self- improvement. However feedback is a highly under-utilized tool in Malaysian corporate culture as it is deemed culturally insensitive to give someone ‘negative’ comments due to its directness. Herein lie the catalyst of rumor mongering and the creation of factions leading to the unhealthy practice of office politics; due to many of us being unfamiliar with feedback and do not know how to react when feedback is given to us. In this article we are going to discuss what are we to do when we are given feedback.

Feedback can be given under many conditions and circumstances. Therefore we must practice this 4 simple steps to receiving feedback: Openness, Clarification, Evaluation and Action.

OPENNESS: Openness here signifies our attitude towards feedback. We must accept that feedback is beneficial to us and our development. Therefore when feedback is given, we should listen with openness and without presupposition. This is not the time to accept, deny and rationalize the feedback. This is the time to listen to what the person is saying without judgment and eliminate any emotional factors coming from the person giving the feedback.

CLARIFICATION: When the person giving the feedback has finished, don’t make any statements, but do ask questions if we need further clarification. Once we are certain we understand the feedback always thank the giver for the feedback. This can be just a simple but sincere “Thank you”. Such a response takes courage and is great for character building.

EVALUATION: Next we must allow ourselves the time to process the information given in the feedback. Take no action yet to change our perceived behavior yet. Use the evaluation time to watch our actions, behaviors and attitudes that are stated in the feedback. Simultaneously, observe how others react to us. We need to evaluate for ourselves if there is any validity to the feedback given. If need be, discuss the feedback with friends or others whose opinions we respect. Ask them for their opinions as to the validity of the feedback but not their reactions to the feedback. Ultimately if the feedback holds true, we need to accept it. If it is not valid, then we have learnt more about what we are not.

ACTION: Once the feedback is validated and accepted, we need to consciously find ways to improve ourselves and be aware whenever this behavior or attitude of ours arises. Additionally we can always get support from our friends in reminding us whenever we slip back to the unwanted behavior.

Initially, this whole process may be difficult. However with practice and perseverance, feedback will become less painful. We will learn to appreciate the value of feedback and learn how to put it into a larger perspective to allow it to help us achieve our dreams.

[/expand]

[expand title=”How to Tell Someone They Are Wrong “]

By ATCEN

Learning how to give feedback takes a lot of discipline, control and gumption. Giving feedback is not just about going to a person and telling them what we think of them, we should go through a systematic thinking process prior to giving them feedback.

Let’s learn the 9 steps to giving feedback based on the following scenario. Joe, a new colleague of ours has just completed his first corporate sales presentation to a client. Things went smoothly in the presentation but there where a few areas that we felt Joe could improve in. So let’s apply the 9 steps of giving feedback.

1. Timing: Feedback should always be given as soon as possible after the incident has happened. A good time to give Joe feedback would be on the ride back to the office.

2. Be clear and be specific: Be clear what we want to say and be able to give specific examples to establish our point. Example: Joe mumbled 3 times during the presentation- whenever he came to slides related to the company history.

3. Purpose of giving the feedback. If the purpose for us giving the feedback is vindictive in nature and its about making us feel better then the feedback should never be given. However if the feedback is about improving Joe or enhancing the relationship between us and Joe or Joe and another party then the feedback serves a good purpose. In this scenario it is to improve Joe’s presentation skill.

4. Prepare the person for feedback: Never launch into feedback immediately. Always set an expectation that allows the listener to know what to expect. A good suggestion here would actually be asking the person whether they would like to discuss the incident:
Example: “Joe, can we discuss on how the presentation went just now”

5. Emphasize on the positive: When giving feedback if possible it should always begin by emphasizing on the positive. This will ensure that they listen carefully.
Example: “You did a good job at the presentation just now, the clients were impressed. However I felt you could have been even better.”

6. Own the feedback that you give : Notice the word “I felt” above; or other words such as “I notice” or “I saw”. Show that the feedback is coming from you and it is based on your own observation and judgment. Remember you are not to evaluate or criticize what they did rather bring it up as how you perceived the situation.

7. The Behavior not the Person: Focus on the behavior of the person rather than the attitude or personality of the person, be specific and clear when stating this.
Example: “Joe, during the presentation there were several occasions when I could not hear you clearly. All I heard were a series of mumbles, especially when you were explaining the parts related to the company history. On several occasions the clients were even looking at one another and giving each other looks. Did you know you were mumbling?”

8. Focus on things that can be controlled: Whenever we give feedback make sure that it is on things that can be controlled. Likewise whatever Joe’s reason is for mumbling, make sure it is focused on things that he can controlnot things that cannot be controlled. The above feedback on the mumbling can be rectified by Joe but the constant disruption during the presentation by the client’s telephone cannot be controlled by the two of you.

9. Be solution focus: Whenever a feedback is brought up, we must make sure that we are willing to seek a solution with the person. In overcoming the problem or resolving the issue.

Example: Joe: “You know what, I have been in this organization for only 6 days and I have not had the time to go through the history of the company thoroughly. Well I suppose the mumbling was just a way of hiding my nervousness.”

You: “Its good that you brought this up, is there any way I can help you in learning the company’s history”

Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are doing, how they affect us or others. Giving feedback to someone helps them become more effective and in turn it supports us and others to become more effective and build better relationship. So let’s start giving feedback. Help them help themselves and help us help ourselves.

[/expand]

[expand title=”‘Love Potion No. 6’ – Getting Your Staff to Love You “]

By ATCEN

Employees today are extremely sophisticated in their desires working for an organization. As a matter a fact, high performance individuals are inundated with so many different types of rewards and recognition that it becomes difficult to determine what is important and what is not. We have however, identified the following 5 key important factors in creating sustainable motivation in our employees.

1. Deliver As Promised
How many organizations or individuals have told you that they were going to do something, and then didn’t do it? And what have you told others you would do for them, but haven’t done? Follow-through is at abysmal standards today. Excellent leaders always deliver what they promise. When they commit, it happens. Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

2. Manage the Employee’s Experience
No matter what business you’re in, it is critical that you manage your employees’ experience. It’s those seemingly little touches and comments — that often have nothing to do with your specific business — that will make your employees remember working with you as sincere and enjoyable.

3. Create Ownership
Be prudent when assigning and then advertising employee ownership. Ownership is not about what you call employees; it is about how employees act. Create a sense of ownership for your employees. Reward them with tangible incentives to perform. Link some part of their compensation with performance. Maybe even make them literal owners.

4. Involve Everyone in Improvement
Unique Ideas and the ability to implement them drive your business. And a critical key to success is your ability to involve everyone in generating ideas for improvement. Two of your best resources for such idea generation are employees and customers. How often do you ask your employees for suggestions about improving service? And how well do they respond? If you aren’t getting lots of employee suggestions, you aren’t asking well.

5. Make Teamwork Work
Exceptional service is created from the inside out. Employees who don’t feel well served probably won’t serve well. Promote the concept of teamwork in your organization. Teamwork works when there’s communication, cooperation, and a desire to work together for a common goal.

Most employee complaints evolve from poorly managed expectations. Don’t waste your time trying to exceed employee expectations if you don’t have a foolproof system for the basics:delivering what you promise, when you promise it.

[/expand]

[expand title=”‘Debunking the ‘BORN LEADER’ Myth “]

By ATCEN

Have you ever heard a doctor after delivering a baby exclaiming “Nurse, looks like we have another Leader born…” in the operating theater? This, ladies and gentlemen is the myth of the ‘natural-born leader.’ Should this be true, just for arguments sake these individuals can have no interaction whatsoever with any external elements and can be in isolation till they are adults can emerge from this experiment and lead a group of people; highly unlikely. Truth of the matter is, some people seem to have had the benefit of the ‘right’ exposure. But, exposure to what elements?

In an increasingly competitive world, successful businesses need leaders, not managers, to handle the pressure.  Even so, an individual can’t appoint themselves a leader. Leadership is an honorary title which can be bestowed only by the followers. This goes the same for top management, they can’t appoint leaders any more than managers can appoint themselves. The loyalty of those to be led must be earned through successful attitudes and behavior.  Those who have been assigned to lead others but lack the skills or motivation to do so will forever remain mere managers.

Effectiveness as a leader is directly proportionate to effectiveness as an influential human being.  Above all else, a leader is responsible for getting the best performance possible out of people.  Regardless of how many people are involved, the leader is ultimately responsible.  Quality of leadership is not determined by the urgency of size of the task to be accomplished.  Some of the greatest leaders in business spend much of their time dealing with common details.  What makes these people great is how they deal with ordinary details as well as major challenges.

When searching for effective leaders, follow three steps.
1. Identify those who are willing to genuinely accept the challenges and responsibilities of leadership.

2. Identify who the people to be led will respect and willingly follow.  It’s not a popularity contest, but a nominated leader must be able to earn their respect.

3. Assess the leader’s performance in real, non-scientific terms, understanding that people are not machines.  Leaders must be merchants of hope.

Many people graduate from school intending to save the world by slaying a fire-breathing dragon.  Once they discover how few dragons there are to slay, they must content themselves by campaigning against an occasional lizard.  Nevertheless, the great ones fight lizards with tremendous style and vigor.

[/expand]

 

 

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