Executive leadership

How to Improve Your Leadership Skills

 

Leadership is not a one-size-fits all position. Every leader adopts a different style based on their strengths, passions, and talents. Bernie Heine provides a process that can help you understand your strengths and leverage the overlap of passion and talent.

The Zone of Leadership explained

Get INTO Your Leadership Zone. What are YOU really good at? What are you passionate about? We are talking here about knowing yourself, knowing what’s really important to you, what you do very well, and what you love to spend your precious time at.

Here are 3 excellent tools to help understand your personal zone of leadership:

The Gallup Strengths Finder is a tried-and-trusted survey that gets you to list out the 5 top items from a number of comprehensive assessment areas. It is important to understand the support material that accompanies these assessment areas. For example, Bernie’s 5 strengths came out as ‘individualization’ (works well one on one), ‘learner,’ ‘achiever,’ ‘communication,’ and ‘maximizer’.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • VIA strengths survey
  • The Venn diagram
  • The five-step process to create your zone

 

Read the full article, Get Into YOUR Leadership Zone, and follow the process on the Professional Business Coach website. 

 

The Importance of Proactive Planning

 

Aneta Key shares a short message that shines a light into the importance of leaders spending valuable time on scenario planning, and how following military training can guide business strategies. 

It is important for leadership teams to regularly work through scenarios across time horizons. 

Strategic decision-making is at the core of leadership and is what Aneta Key facilitates among clients. It is also one of the core areas explored in the GrowthKey leadership development programs.

This question is a sneak peek from an upcoming episode of the Simplicity for Success podcast in which host Peter Eckart and Aneta are talking about Strategic decision-making under risk and uncertainty.

 

Points discussed include:

  • Thinking across multiple timelines
  • The fog of war
  • The death of the best plans

 

Read the article,The Value of Strategic Planning: Military Analogy, and watch the video on the Aedea Partners’ website.

 

Books, Videos, and Advice

 

Dan Markovitz shares a new video series on the root cause of CEO overwhelm and provides a downloadable PDF on why the best CEOs don’t feel overwhelmed. 

As many of you know, I conducted a study of CEO overwhelm this winter. It wasn’t entirely surprising that CEOs (and other leaders) who embraced lean habits and principles in their work felt less overwhelmed by the demands on their time and attention. 

In the study, I made a few brief suggestions about how to deal with the root cause of overwhelm. But the limits of a PowerPoint format made it difficult to go into much detail. In response to requests for more information, I made a series of short (2-3 minute) videos in my state of the art video studio (i.e., my living room). 

I’ll be posting one video per day over the next week on my YouTube channel. I’ll also be providing links to each video on Twitter and LinkedIn as they’re released. I hope you enjoy them.

 

Dan has recently published his latest book, The Conclusion Trap, which addresses the bane of problem solvers everywhere: jumping to solutions. 

 

Access the video series and download the PDF on the Markovitz Consulting website. And the book is now available for sale on Amazon.

 

Looking for Answers?

 

Geoff Wilson provides a reality check and a sage reminder to plant your feet firmly on the ground when looking to the future. 

 

Times of crisis require a change of perspective and a call to action.

So, here we are, weeks into a bizarre world of isolation, uncertainty, and pain.  If one thing is likely, it’s that after weeks of responsiveness, you may now start to see real signs of resignation and capitulation.  But, you may also see signs of opportunity and–dare I say it–optimism.  My sense is that both mindsets are probably “right” and “ok.”  This is no self-help blog.  I fully believe that there is plenty to fear in the environment beyond fear itself.

But.

I also think it’s important to realize that in times of crisis or trial or despair it’s our imperative to reflect and chart a course.  That course may be brand new and different, or it may be a retreat to the tried and true.  In either case…it’s a course.

One of the more influential books in my life is Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a Holocaust survivor and influential thinking on how people find meaning in life regardless of experience.  His experience in the Auschwitz death camp sparked a globally influential view of how individuals find meaning in challenging and even hopeless circumstances.

 

Points addressed in this article include:

  • Reflecting and charting a course
  • Why me vs. what’s next

 

Read the full article, Finding meaning during crisis requires an answer, not a question, on the Wilson Growth Partners’ website.

 

The Demons that Haunt a Leader’s Mind

 

Leadership has its own set of unique challenges during times of crises; Luiz Zorzella provides a post that identifies a few of the common obstacles faced and how to overcome them.

During a crisis, we are all pushed to make strategic, life-changing decisions. Often we need to make these decisions under a lot of uncertainty and with incomplete and faulty information.

Below, I review some of my favourite cognitive biases with a couple of examples of how they may be influencing your and your counterpart’s decisions.

You can print this list and keep it in your drawer as a checklist on how to survive yourself and the other survivors during this period.

In the early days of a crisis, there is a lot of uncertainty: at the macro level, questions like how long the crisis will last, how effective the solution will be and, what will be the direct and indirect impact of this on your business, your clients, partners and competitors are very troubling questions.

On top of these, micro questions like how will these change the demand for your products, what emerging business models will be successful and what implications all these changes will have to your risk profile; and individual questions like what is the impact on the your health, your team’s and your loved ones and what is the impact on your job security, growth prospects and personal investments.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • The need to hide vulnerability & overconfidence
  • Ambiguity aversion
  • Availability heuristic
  • Group think
  • Belief bias, confirmation bias & outcome bias

 

Read the full article, 5 Demons Who Flourish During Hard Times, on the Amquant website. 

 

Are You Leaving a Legacy or a Car Wreck?

 

Geoff Wilson asks you to take a moment to look to the future and determine the impact of the legacy you want to leave. 

We all leave a legacy of some sort. Ryan Newman’s survival of NASCAR’s worst wreck ever highlights the contrasts of passive and active legacies.

Do you know the legacy you are leaving with your business, team, or organization?

It’s surprising how little this topic actually gets highlighted when managers and executive teams focus on their strategic aims.  Sure there are legacies that are left via who you are–for example the ethical legacies like that of Marvin Bower at McKinsey or innovation legacies like that of Gordon Moore of Intel and Moore’s Law fame.  Those were probably not forged in a boardroom strategy session but rather through strength of personality.

But, there are also legacies left in a couple of other ways.  There are passive legacies that result accidentally, and there are active legacies that result from thoughtful focus and intervention.  This weekend offered a stark contrast of the two.

Monday’s Daytona 500 ended with a vicious wreck where driver Ryan Newman–leading the race at the time–was bumped from behind and spun violently into the wall of the final turn in the race.  His car, pictured above, went airborne, was struck broadside by another car at 190 miles per hour, landed on its roof, and then slid for a quarter mile or more in a conflagration of sparks and flames.

 

Read the full article, Legacy Lessons from NASCAR’s Worst Wreck Ever, on the Wilson Growth Partners website. 

 

How to Become an Effective Executive Leader

Thinking about kicking off the New Year with the goal of transitioning from senior to executive leadership? Stephen Redwood provides advice on how to achieve the goal. 

 

When coaching clients I am often asked the question: what do I need to know to make the transition from being an already experienced leader to being effective as an executive leader

It’s an interesting, and sometimes surprising, question given that they will already have years of experience as leaders. I believe the reason they are asking is because of the realization that the most senior executive roles are often differentiated from other leadership roles by the:

  1. Weight of ultimate accountability
  2. Complexity and breadth of oversight responsibilities
  3. Challenge of motivating others to accept accountability for problem solving
  4. Difficulty of learning to ask questions rather than give answers
  5. Degree to which messaging has to be effective at a distance

This is not to say these factors don’t play a role to some degree at all levels of leadership, but at the most senior levels each of these generally carries greater consequences for the organization. So, let’s dig in and look at what I’ve often found helps leaders I work with successfully make this transition.

 

Read the full article How Do I Make the Transition from Senior to Executive Leadership? on LinkedIn.