10 May 2019
Focusing on what’s most important for achieving key objectives is challenging in the conditions of constant change. Fires, distracting issues, and ad-hoc challenges abound. It gets even more complicated in the context of meetings, where there are multiple people in the room - as each has the potential to shape the attention of the group with everything they say. If the team in question reports to you, it can be tempting to step in and be directive when attention and focus dissipates during a team meeting - but then this can foster dependence on you to get things done. So how can you develop focus in your team while keeping members empowered?
16 Apr 2019
Leadership has many facets to it. It looks different in each organization, in each role, and even in each situation - which is part of the challenge, and also what makes it fascinating to study. As I reflect back on the set of skills I most commonly coach my executive clients and their teams on, there is one common trend. This is a secret habit, the “one skill to rule them all” if you will. And it will make you grow and develop as a leader more than any other.
25 Feb 2019
In coaching executives, managers, and team leaders over the last few years, I keep encountering one common developmental hurdle. This is what I refer to as “leadership agility”: adapting your leadership style to meet others’ needs. This ain’t easy to do! We all tend to fall into habits in how we show up, and we naturally excel as leaders when the situation calls for those habits. And when they don’t, we stumble. A great example of this is the approach we use to help a team we are leading to improve its overall effectiveness. What makes this tricky is that the approach to use depends on the stage of development of the team.
24 Jan 2019
When I reflect back on the teams I was a member of during rapid and constant change over my 15 years in high-tech product development, what I remember most is how much habitual reaction I witnessed - both in myself and others. I’m talking about the quick, automatic behaviors (like retorts or knee-jerk emails) that occurred without much thinking. During periods of intense firefighting and reaction to events unfolding outside the team, the gap between thought and action was razor-thin - and discussions were fast and frequently furious. So what exactly was I witnessing and what could we have done about it?
8 Jan 2019
Constant change isn’t just a hallmark of innovation and disruption - it is becoming a common occurrence across industries, geographies, and even company sizes. When change accelerates to the point of being ever-present, it creates unique challenges to leaders and their teams. And you can do something about it.
29 Oct 2018
Emotional self-regulation is a key component of emotional intelligence, which Dan Goleman’s research shows is highly correlated to effective leadership. Many executives know this – but our behavioral style can often make this difficult regardless. I have many coaching clients who are emerging leaders in their organizations and who have directive, dominant, action-oriented personalities. For these clients with “get it done” behavioral styles, anger is easily provoked whenever they feel impeded in some way by colleagues. I often work with them to help them develop a strategy for managing this anger – and thereby inviting greater followership within their organizations in the process.
29 Oct 2018
A number of my clients are what might be described as ‘Type A’ personalities. They are restless high achievers, drivers of projects, relentless seekers of deep and long-lasting business impact. They have a direct, results-oriented style and hold themselves to very high standards. In the right role and right organization, this personality type can serve them well – as long as they continue to achieve and don’t drive over colleagues. However, they can severely struggle with resilience once they encounter failure or extreme stress – as I was reminded of recently.