Thursday, January 24, 2019

The 5 P’s of Transitional Leadership

Change and TransitionChange and transition is difficult for many people. In fact, most of us have a love-hate relationship with change – maybe because we believe it will be painful, messy and disruptive despite knowing that if led and managed well it can result in significant improvement and growth.

Ask anyone in our city and they will tell you that everywhere they go they encounter a construction zone. Our freeway and roads have had major delays and new housing construction has created traffic jams of slow-moving cement trucks and heavy equipment. “Messy” and “disruptive” might not be strong enough terms! But the vision of smoother, wider roads and beautiful new neighborhoods helps us remain positive during the processes of change.

In business, as well as in life, it is impossible to experience growth without change, and if you don’t know how to effectively lead and manage change and transition you will encounter greater resistance and opposition no matter how positive or beneficial the change may be. Remember that change is the event; transition is the psychological and emotional response to the event.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Earning the Trust of Your Employees

Trust We live in unsettling times in many ways. We are constantly reminded of the need to protect ourselves from identity thieves, credit card scammers, people laying in wait in parking lots to hi-jack vehicles and sociopaths tampering with packaging in the grocery store. We are bombarded with headlines that scream about lies from politicians, fraud by financiers and broken trust in celebrity marriages. Almost everywhere you turn, you are warned not to trust anyone. We are conditioned to withhold trust.

This conditioning impacts every area of life, and the workplace is no exception. In my work with organizations I often discover that there is a common problem for leaders – employees who don’t trust them. The challenge for leaders and managers today is breaking down the barriers of suspicion and self-protection and learn how to earn the trust of their employees.

I came across an article in Forbes Magazine by Glenn Llopis that listed seven characteristics that undermine the confidence employees have in their leaders. I found them thought-provoking and have added some of my thoughts.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

What Book(s) Are You Currently Reading?

David TowneDuring my years as a leader in education, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants. There is one question that I ask prospective teachers that most stumble over and now, I think, I know why. The question I ask usually occurs in the middle of the interview and it goes something like this: “What book can I find on your table that you are currently reading?” Blank stares, uncomfortable shifting in the chair, silence, and usually the response is one of an excuse as to why they are not currently reading. I find it alarming that our future teachers of future leaders are not engaged consistently in the reading of great, living books.

That one question gives me an insight into the world of the prospective teacher. When I meet a candidate who is a reader, I immediately know they are lifelong learners! It allows me a glimpse in how they use their time, what their interests are, their learning style, and so much more. Reading isn’t the only thing that tells me one is a lifelong learner but it is a big indicator.

After reading the masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson by Jon Meacham entitled The Art of Power, it became clear that education, reading, and sustaining a republic were synonymous to the Founding Fathers. Jefferson once said about the training of our minds (reading), “every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”

What is happening to our minds? They are being rewired by our choices. Checkout the latest research on what we do instead of reading:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Essential Communication Tips for Leaders

Communication TipsOne of the most powerful skills a leader should strive to master is communication. He or she may have brilliant ideas and the vision to solve problems and accomplish daunting missions, but if the ideas and direction can’t be communicated effectively to others, the mission may produce weak results and fall short of the goal. When that occurs, low morale among the ranks usually follows.

I recently came across a list in New Man Magazine of nine principles of communication every leader should adopt. To be the kind of leader that not only gets results, but also earns the respect and loyalty of those you work with, you will want to learn and consistently apply these principles.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Have You Mastered These Leadership Practices?

How do you know if you are a leader? If someone is following you, you are a leader! It may be an official part of your job, or it may be a volunteer endeavor, or maybe you’re a parent, with children following in your footsteps. In my study of leadership, I found some of the best information in the research conducted by James Kouzes and Barry Posner and documented in their book, The Leadership Challenge.

Leadership PracticesAccording to the authors, no matter what areas of life you lead in, there are five practices that strong and effective leaders consistently engage in.  And in order to incorporate these practices you’ll need to make some key commitments associated with each. Here are the Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership: