By: Rosamond Hutt November 30, 2016
By: Simon Torkington September 02, 2016
By: Richard Feloni & Skye Gould October 10, 2016
By: Peter Diamond August 26, 2016
There’s nothing more motivating than working on a team that’s firing on all cylinders. Everything is in sync. The business is moving forward. Tangible success is achieved. People are in a groove and working hard isn’t hard work. It’s seemingly effortless, with no wasted energy. When everyone feels good about the work they’re doing together, even those outside the team can feel a palpable difference. Something special is happening. It’s contagious, and people want to be part of it. What’s their secret sauce? And how can you get it for your team? Over the past three years, I’ve interviewed hundreds of marketing professionals to discern how teams operate and why some are higher-functioning than others. During these interviews, people freely share how they feel about teams and their leaders. Surprisingly, people’s candor always points optimistically toward improving performance — even if the team is struggling. High-octane leaders possess and consistently exhibit six attributes that bolster team performance.
Teams live or die on a leader’s ability exemplify these six attributes. Not only did I strive to put these into practice when I was leading teams for more than 15 years, I’ve witnessed marked differences among leaders who employ these behaviors and those who don’t. Ineffective leadership ultimately has a direct impact on business results, morale, turnover, growth and innovation.
By: Emma Luxton October 20, 2016
By: Stephen Frost September 15, 2016
By: Jeff Boss October 02, 2016
It’s rare that you see the words “introvert” and “leader” in the same sentence. After all, the common perception is that extroverts make great public speakers and are excellent networkers — two things CEOs and organizational leaders must be — and that introverts are not. In fact, a poll conducted by USA Today cited 65 percent of executives who believed introversion to be a barrier to leadership. Interestingly, the same article highlights that roughly 40 percent of leaders actually are introverted — they’re just better at adapting themselves to situational demands. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Charles Schwab are just a few “innies.“ If you are considering starting a business but don’t consider yourself a social butterfly, here are six truths about introverts that you should know about:
Unlike their extroverted counterparts who are more sensitive to rewards, which explains why extroverts are more pre-disposed to risk-taking, introverts take a circumspect approach to chance. This is why you hear extroverts say things such as, “Let’s just do it!” whereas introverts prefer to ask, “are we sure this is the right thing to do?” Why is knowing this an entrepreneurial advantage? Risk-taking is a rite of passage for any founder yet can often feel awkward. You may vacillate between yes and no, go and no-go while you weigh different options. Now you know why. Recognizing how you’re predisposed to decision-making is how you improve, and entrepreneurs make impactful decisions every day. Second, while every start-up necessitates some risk to propel it forward, it also requires prudence in capital and resources.
Rather than the flashy chit-chat that defines social gatherings, introverts listen intently to what others say and internalize it before they speak. They’re not thinking about what to say while the other person is still talking, but rather listening so they can learn what to say. Along the same lines, introverts share a common love of learning, according to bestselling author and founder of Quiet Revolution, Susan Cain. They are intrinsically motivated and therefore seek content regardless of achieving an external standard. How’s that for a performance standard?
Remember being in school and hearing the same kids contribute, until shy little Johnny — who never said a peep — chimed in? Then what happened? Everyone turned around to look in awe at little Johnny actually talking. This is how introverts leverage their power of presence: they “own” the moment by speaking calmly and deliberately, which translates to a positive perception.
Not to say that extroverts aren’t humble, but introverts tend to have an accurate sense of their abilities and achievements (not to be confused with underestimated). Humility entails the ability to acknowledge mistakes, imperfections, knowledge gaps and limitations — all key ingredients for getting ahead in business and life. Being humble also indicates an openness to hear new ideas or receive contradictory information.
Since introverts have a lower sensitivity to external rewards than extroverts, they’re more comfortable working with little information and resisting self-defeating impulses. Introverts are also more likely to persist in finding solutions that aren’t initially apparent. Don’t believe me? Maybe you’ll believe Albert Einstein, who said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s that I stay with problems longer.” Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first), but finding certainty where uncertainty typically prevails is a huge plus for any entrepreneur.
Even if you start a company through a partnership or joint venture, you will likely find yourself working alone at some point in your career. Introverts prefer working in isolation because it affords the greatest opportunity to focus. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, put it this way, “Most inventors and engineers I have met are like me — they’re shy and they live in their heads. They work best when they are alone, and can control an invention’s design. I’m going to give you some advice that might be hard to take: work alone. You’re going to be able to design revolutionary products and features.”
By: Deborah Mitchell January 26, 2015
As an entrepreneur, what is your leadership style? I’ve worked for a variety of bosses over the years, all with very different personalities and leadership styles. Some were obsessive micromanagers while others were hands off and provided no guidance as a manager, leaving me to figure out more than a few important things for myself. When you Google leadership styles, one of the first results is courtesy of Wikipedia, which gives the textbook definition of leaders as such: “They range from the grouchy, live-in-fear type of boss, to the merry pack leader who builds a relationship of trust with his subordinates in order to increase productivity.” Further research reveals that good leadership traits include good communication skills, creativity and the ability to inspire workers, all while keeping their staff motivated.
If you are an entrepreneur or plan to become one, ask yourself these three questions and determine what you should do to improve your leadership style.
A company is not measured by the number of employees, but rather, by the employee culture it promotes and the ability of its leader to generate feelings of loyalty and a sense of purpose among his staff. Work performance is more likely to increase when leaders maintain an open-door policy, engage in non-work related conversations, show a sense of humor and stand by their employees when they are facing challenges.
Implementing a better leadership style:
A good exercise in sound leadership is to encourage activities outside the workplace. Activities where the boss joins along — even for an hour — such as training for a marathon, volunteering, taking yoga classes or attending a skill-acquisition workshop are all good ways to be approachable and build team camaraderie. It is also a great way to empower team members and provide them with a sense of purpose other than only focusing on the company’s bottom line.
Creating a climate of security within an organization is a key component to any employee-retention strategy. Bosses should create a bond with employees, often reminding them of their worth and praising them for their performance. In smaller businesses, they should be kept in the loop about upcoming projects and given the sense of security that comes with knowing that they are building their careers on solid ground.
Implementing a better leadership style:
Adding a personal touch — something as simple as knowing an employee’s name or a personal email complimenting them on a job well-done — can go a long way. If there is a problem or challenging situation at the office, meet with the team in person or send an email to address it. Don’t leave it to your managers to handle.
If your company is very large, employees realize that a true friendship with a boss may not be likely, but they want to feel that their contribution counts or at least is being acknowledged. If you are running a small company, then it’s easy to jump on the phone and talk in person when a job is well done.
Are you behaving in an unprofessional manner? Employees notice everything, including the behavior and business ethics of their superiors. So if you are cutting corners, lying to employees or clients, or misappropriating funds — you get the picture — your employees have little reason to respect you as a leader. Besides, a sloppy boss will not have enough credibility to criticize a sloppy team!
Implementing a better leadership style:
A leader should lead by example, be reliable and credible, and care about their reputation as well as the company’s reputation. When it comes to a leader’s work performance, hold yourself to a higher standard –one your team wants to emulate. If employees see you being professional, going the extra mile and/or caring about the work in the way you want them to, then you bet they will want to do the same.
By: Emma Luxton August 03, 2016