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posted by Kim Benedict on Monday, 23 February 2015
posted by Kim Benedict on Sunday, 15 February 2015
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What we are Reading

 mindfulnessforbeginnersbook 200

 

Relevant Musings

Current thoughts on leadership.

Tag: Leadership

Leaders with Empathy

"Successful leaders lead with the heart, not just the head. They possess qualities like empathy, compassion and courage. They also have the ability to establish deep, long-term and genuine relationships where others trust them.” ~Bill George

 

What is the definition of empathy? According to Merriam Webster dictionary, it’s the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions, or the ability to share someone else's feelings

Empathy doesn’t mean you have to agree with your employees 100% of the time, but to have the ability to comprehend what they are going through. There are benefits from being able to understand what those around us need, as opposed to what we perceive is required.

Successful leaders take the time to understand the needs of their employees and offer the support they need when dealing with workplace challenges or issues. In doing so, leaders can build a sense of trust, thereby strengthening the relationships they have with their employees and consequently, the relationships employees have with one another, leading to greater collaboration and improved productivity.

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Nine Minutes to Monday...even though today is Wednesday

Yep, it's Wednesday, but I came Nine Minutes to Monday chart today by James Robbins.  I tend to like visuals like this. As leaders, we have to keep the environment, the employees and the job in mind. If we do so, this allows for you and your employees to produce results, to excel and develop personally and professionally. 


Be honest.  What's missing in this chart for you?  More importantly, are you going to ignore it, or are you going to change what you are doing from today until next Monday? 

 

9 minutes monday

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Leaders in Dark Places

What's wrong with this picture?

 

leadernotfollower

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Communication is Key

I thought I would share this BLR article with you.  What are you doing to ensure effective communication is taking place at your organization?

 

Communication tops the list of skills training provided to individual contributors, according to a survey of executives and managers from more than 700 organizations by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association. AMA Enterprise provides organizations with assessment, measurement and tailored training solutions.

The survey probed development programs for individual contributors, workers who may have no direct reports, or formal leadership position. Those whose expertise is important for an enterprise’s success.

Training

Among organizations that offer development to individual contributors, two-thirds provide communication training, more than any other content type. Next are skills or competencies specific to an individual’s role, such as information technology.

One question asked was, “If your organization makes an effort to develop individual contributors, which of the following kinds of content are included in such programs? The results below show that communication development tops the list.

 

Communication 65%
Skills/competencies specific to individual’s role 60%
Leadership development 53%
Project management 49%
Interpersonal skills 48%
Collaboration 43%
Decision making 40%
Critical thinking 38%
Cultural sensitivity/diversity 32%
Creativity/innovative thinking 32%
Ethics      30%
Business/financial acumen 30%
Emotional intelligence 25%
Global perspective 14%
Other  6%

 

“Being able to write and speak, as well as, understand others is so central to the functioning of the organization that it can’t be taken for granted, even for individual contributors who don’t operate as part of a team,” said Sam Davis, vice president of AMA Enterprise.

Developing interpersonal and communication skills ensures mutual clarity and understanding when dealing with others, advised Davis. “Such training and development will help to maximize all business interactions and aid the achievement of critical goals.”

For more information on this survey, view the AMA Enterprise press release.

 

Relevant Movement is a division of www.assethr.com.

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Words and Ideas

Listen to your employees. Be open to their ideas. It can take so little of your time to do so, but can make a big impact on them.  

robinwilliams

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Leadership Deficit

According to the APQC, there are some alarming deficits in leadership skills in many companies.  This may not surprise some, but it should be alarming to all. About 80% of those surveyed feel their organization’s leadership practices are ineffective and almost half of employers place little or no priority on leadership development and learning initiatives.

Yes, leadership development programs take time and money.  However, what it’s costing your organization to NOT provide leadership development?   Leadership development offers you to chance to improve your succession planning strategies. If an employee understands that you are grooming them for a particular position, they will be more engaged and committed to the company, and will feel a greater sense of belonging and accountability. Not only is this a benefit to the employee, but it is a helpful retention tool and can result in significant turnover/hiring cost savings to the organization.

 leadershipdeficit

 So where do you start? Check out www.relevantmovement.com for your customized leadership options. Or, you can contact Chris Kelly at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Steve Jobs and Legacy

The passing of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, has sparked much conversation in many corners of the world. I suspect that even for those of us who don't know much about technology, we will still find ourselves involved in chatter about his death and more importantly, about his life.

The comments about his life will undoubtedly be connected to the contributions he made to those around him, those around him both near and far. In the reading about his life that I have taken in so far today, the comment I appreciate the most is this; Jobs recognized that people care more about what technology can do for them than about how the technology actually worked. Not withstanding, of course, the many dozens of people who purely love technology inside out.

So, while I'm pondering how to leave my own legacy, I'm asking myself, "what am I focused on?" The act of contributing? Or the people who might benefit from the contribution? In other words, what is the motive behind my contributions, my work? I can't be certain, but I'm willing to bet that if I'd had the chance to talk this over with Jobs, he would have welcomed the dialogue.

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Steve Jobs and Legacy

The passing of Apple founder, Steve Jobs, has sparked much conversation in many corners of the world. I suspect that even for those of us who don't know much about technology, we will still find ourselves involved in chatter about his death and more importantly, about his life.

The comments about his life will undoubtedly be connected to the contributions he made to those around him, those around him both near and far. In the reading about his life that I have taken in so far today, the comment I appreciate the most is this; Jobs recognized that people care more about what technology can do for them than about how the technology actually worked. Not withstanding, of course, the many dozens of people who purely love technology inside out.

So, while I'm pondering how to leave my own legacy, I'm asking myself, "what am I focused on?" The act of contributing? Or the people who might benefit from the contribution? In other words, what is the motive behind my contributions, my work? I can't be certain, but I'm willing to bet that if I'd had the chance to talk this over with Jobs, he would have welcomed the dialogue.

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Quote in Action: Positive; able to project optimisim

" Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you'll start having positive results.     Willie Nelson

Are you, by nature, a positive thinking person or a negative thinking person? If negativism has a hold on you, change what you are putting in front of yourself. Read positive material, focus on upbeat radio or TV, select movies that embrace an affirming perspective.

What goes in your mind often comes out your actions – how will you feed your mind this week?

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Quote in Action: Selfless; Others First, Leader Second

                     

Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.”                Nancy Astor

You know the phrases … those catchy little statements that people use to convey a message or sentiment. “That guy, he gets along with everyone,” or “I’ve never heard an unkind word come from her mouth,” or “He is one of the most “down to earth” people I’ve ever worked for.”  People want to be liked, want to belong and feel significant. A leader who links themselves into others offer a rich benefit for all people involved.

  What words would people use to describe how you link or connect?

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The Hardest Competency To Learn

Some leadership gurus say that given the large list of competencies a leader would strive to develop, the hardest one is "personal learning." I agree.  It's also, in my opinion, the most important.  To me, it's all about self-awareness.  Can I take the blinders off and hold the mirror up to my own face and tell the truth?  Can I not only accept feedback, but also ask for it, knowing that it might be hard to hear. Can I take the feedback I get with grace and a stiff upper lip, say thank you, and then make a plan to change?  And then, can I share my learning with someone and ask them to be an accountability partner and help me change?

 

That's a lot.  And I can tell you with 100% certainty, that if you can do this, you too can be a great leader.
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Obligation or Opportunity?

I was delighted to be part of the Building Champions conference for the MN Chief Engineers Guild last week in St Cloud. Our conversation centered on character traits that effective leaders display. I tossed out a thought that got a few folks thinking and I'm wondering what you all think. A few years back a Dateline episode shared data from a study that left me reeling. Their survey was asking, "how many close friends do you have?" Friends that, if needed, could come to your aid in an emergency. 25% of the respondents said they had zero. Zero people they could turn to. The next 50% said they had one or two people they could call. I was stunned! And, I felt incredibly blessed when I realized I had several people I could call, in a heartbeat, if needed. My point to the group in sharing this study information, was as managers we may not have any legal obligation to befriend our employees. But, as leaders, we have unending opportunity to engage with employees who, if we do befriend them, are much more likely to engage with us - as their leader and possibly as their friend. Now, I have a long history in employee management and HR so I can guess what some of you might be thinking ... but rather than assume, I'd rather ask you. Do you see the opportunity? Or do you only feel the obligation? Share your thoughts, thx!
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Healthy Team Conflict

The topic of conflict has been coming up frequently over the last 6 to 9 months. So much so that we've devoted four months of learning events to the topic (the first one just completed in April, on health team conflict).

Asking ourselves "Why now?," we've concluded the the economy has a lot to do with it.  As job worries increase, as employees who aren't themselves victims of layoffs take on additional work - and work that's not likely in their areas of strength, stress increases. As stress increases, so too conflict.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 385 million working days are spent in conflict each year.  That's costly!

However, it's not all bad news. Healthy conflict breeds innovation, creativity, better problem solutions, and increased morale! 

 

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For the Interim Time

I shared this poem with a colleague group this morning, and received a myriad of reactions.  Here it is for your thoughts. Think about night and day as a metaphor for change.  In terms of leadership, I think about increasing self-awareness, and the changes we want to make in ourselves as a result of that increased self-awareness. I'd love YOUR thoughts on this poem and what it means to you!

 

For the Interim Time, by John O'Donohue

When near the end of the day, life has drained

Out of light, and it is too soon

For the mind of night to have darkened things,

No place looks like itself, loss of outline

Makes everything look strangely in-between,

Unsure of what has been or what might come.

In this wan light, even trees seem groundless.

In a while it will be night, but nothing

Here seems to believe the relief of dark.

You are in this time of the interim

Where everything seems withheld.

The path you took to get here has washed out;

The way forward is still concealed from you.

“The old is not old enough to have died away;

The new is still too young to be born.”

You cannot lay claim to anything;

In this place of dusk,

Your eyes are blurred;

And there is no mirror.

Everyone has lost sight of your heart

And you can see nowhere to put your trust;

You know you have to make your own way through.

As far as you can, hold your confidence.

Do not allow your confusion to squander

This call which is loosening

Your roots in false ground,

That you might come free

From all you have outgrown.

What is being transfigured here is your mind,

And it is difficult and slow to become new.

The more faithfully you can endure here,

The more refined your heart will become

For your arrival in the new dawn.

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The Right Thing and The Easy Thing

The right thing and the easy thing are seldom the same thing…  in parenting, in relationships, in leadership.  The easy thing is a short term gain, like maintaining shareholder value. The right thing is a long term gain, like investing in an expensive product for the long term market share it can provide.  There’s a potentially tough conversation that needs to be had.  The easy thing would be to ignore it (avoiding a potential conflict)… the right thing is to have it.  The obvious upside is the positive outcome of the conversation; the intangible outcome is the effect I have on the other by modeling strong authentic leadership. And THAT leaves a legacy.

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