A fun and reliable way to score your leadership and management talents.

90 for leadership blog

Ever thought about the perception of your effectiveness as a leader or manager of your team? No? Your team loves you right? Perception is reality when you’re in charge of a team. Everyone in a supervisory role believes they have great leadership and management skills, but the truth is most are not that gifted. It’s not that we’re delusional, we simply judge ourselves in the best light possible, namely, from own perspective. Our egos don’t want to look at the bigger picture, therefore, we resist feedback. In order to facilitate, if not force supervisors to see the perceptions from their teams perspectives consultants developed the 360 evaluations. The 360 combines perspectives from the top down, sideways, and from the bottom up. Great, however, with all of the data the 360 provides, it is still easy to overlook your team’s perspective on your ability to lead and manage. Notice I said, “Team”. If you don’t refer to the people you supervise as “Team” you, my friend, are in deep trouble as a leader. Your boss and friends may think you are great, but if you team has a dissimilar perspective you are not as effective as you could be. You may be what is keeping your “Team” from not just being at the next level, but stopping them from being effective at their current level. Now for the fun part, there is a new tool that allows you to rate your leadership splash and post it to social media. Using the Matrix from Integritas Leadership Solutions, LLC, you can rate yourself, or someone else, on leadership and management aptitudes and directly post the scores to face book. When you receive multiple scores from your team members you can plot them and see your splash as a leader and manager.

First, understand both management and leadership positions are diametrically opposed. They are always trying to get ahead of each other. They both have an important part to play in any organization but most people confuse the divergent skills and abilities required for management for leadership. Leadership is about breaking out of the box and taking your team to a new level. Leaders, create a vision, overcome the inertia of status quo, and bring the team to life to meet new challenges. Management is about policies and procedures, following the rules. Basically, managers keep you in the box. When you were back in school, the leader was the high school rock star and everyone wanted to follow him or her. The manager was the chemistry geek who had to follow the rules or his test tubes would blow up. You asked the chemistry geek how to do your homework, but went to the rock stars house to hang out. Hint, the chemistry geek never forgot, or forgave, you and is now retaliating for your transgressions through their management roles.

Now, fast forward to today and learn something about yourself. The Integritas Leadership Solutions Matrix rates you on your leadership and management abilities. The basic program allows you to answer the questions and then places your score on a graph for you to see. You can then post your score to Facebook. When you have your team complete the basic program you can see your splash as a leader and manager. Let’s take a look at how at how they developed the score:

Leadership can be rated on your ability to create a vision and inspiration. Can you create a vision that is compelling and can you inspire people to follow you. When you look back are people following?
Management is more mundane, but just as important. Do you have the basic knowledge to perform your job at the level required and do you have the ability to perform.

The Matrix is a fun way to receive your score as a leader or manager. More importantly, it is a way for you to gauge your effectiveness. Now, go to the Matrix site and get your score on these four basic skill sets, Vision, Inspiration, Knowledge and Ability. www.integritasleadership.net/matrix

Overcoming an Organization’s Primal Fear of Ideas

Ideas

Over the past few years, organizations have learned to value new ideas that create competitive advantages and help develop a critical mass for success. Senior managers look in wonder at people in other organizations who can come in and seamlessly create synergy and transforms them into an industry leader. Often leaders go to retreats in hopes of developing new strategies that bring thought leaders flocking into their organizations. But let’s stop and back up. Before bringing in new talent, let’s take a crucial look at how organizations already deal with new ideas developed in-house.

From the outset, everyone understands that people dislike and resist change, and new ideas bring change. Change creates anxiety and upsets people, and most resist even the most straightforward idea, that will lead to success. From a distance, we admire people who can develop and initiate change in other organizations, but may disdain people trying to make changes in our own organizations. We are brains are hardwired as a part of our evolutionary process to conform. Through our evolutionary past we learned, people who tried something new and different may have been eaten by the large animal waiting for an easy meal. Today, a new idea brings up the same connotations of fear and trepidation that one company may get eaten by another after it implements a new idea.

Now, at the individual level, we have to examine how organizations treat their own employees with new ideas and strategies to create effectiveness. Have you ever heard some version of the saying, “If I wanted to hear your ideas, I would give you them.” We may bring in a consultant for new ideas, but intentionally over look internal ideas from subordinates. This train of thinking goes back to the heart of the matter in developing organizations. When someone is hired, at a lower level, they are brought on to accomplish tasks set out in their job descriptions. They do day-to-day tangible activities that in general do not impact the long-term success of the organizations. Initially, their job is not to develop long-term strategies, which are the jobs held in senior management positions.

When someone in middle management, or below, develops a new idea they have to find a champion at a higher level who is willing to run with the idea, or it will not gain needed traction. However, they must still overcome the initial fear that someone at a lower level has an outstanding idea which may create a competitive advantage. How dare a lower person presume to have the next big idea? Why, because senior managers resist ideas from subordinates. Why, because senior managers fear losing their jobs to a subordinate. Worse, one may think senior managers would value a person who brings lots of creative ideas that improve effectiveness and efficiency to their attention. Well, yes and no. If the person has already been picked as a future leader in the organization then the ideas have a better chance. If the person is outside of the established developmental pool then ideas are less likely to be listened too; and the person may cause greater fear in the senior management. Why, because he or she is an unknown commodity and sees things that the senior management has missed. This perception of blindness by senior management creates more resistance to new ideas; especially if they were not looking for new ideas. Again, conformity to ones station in the organization is valued at the subconscious level over conscious level saying we value new ideas.

So, let’s recap and tie it all together. We are hard-wired to conform to norms as a way of surviving. In most organizations, out of the box thinking is valued, as long as new ideas were requested from employees, or is occurring in other organizations. Every idea will have some level of resistance no matter how much an impact it will have on improving efficiency. When unsolicited ideas are brought up a champion at the senior level must be brought in who supports the idea for it to have any chance. Ideas from the lower levels are always said to be welcomed, but in most organizations actually cause fear in senior managers who are in charge of long-term strategies, over people who handle day-to-day operations. In short, all organizations who want to succeed need to develop cultures where fears of ideas at any level are overcome, and in fact welcomed. The way you do this is through open dialogue. Open the communication pathways both up and down. As the culture of inclusiveness grows, the fear at the primal level of new ideas is mitigated with every success. In the end, managers are still responsible for strategic development, and lower level associates are responsible for day-to-day activates; however, as a group, they can develop synergy and take their organizations to levels only previously dreamed. So, let’s recap and tie it all together. We are hard-wired to conform to norms as a way of surviving. In most organizations, out of the box thinking is valued, as long as new ideas were requested from employees, or is occurring in other organizations. Every idea will have some level of resistance no matter how much an impact it will have on improving efficiency. When unsolicited ideas are brought up a champion at the senior level must be brought in who supports the idea for it to have any chance. Ideas from the lower levels are always said to be welcomed, but in most organizations actually cause fear in senior managers who are in charge of long-term strategies, over people who handle day-to-day operations. In short, all organizations who want to succeed need to develop cultures where fears of ideas at any level are overcome, and in fact welcomed. The way you do this is through open dialogue. Open the communication pathways both up and down. As the culture of inclusiveness grows, the fear at the primal level of new ideas is mitigated with every success. In the end, managers are still responsible for strategic development, and lower level associates are responsible for day-to-day activates; however, as a group, they can develop synergy and take their organizations to levels only previously dreamed.

The seven steps from self-actualization to creating a high performance team

January 10 picture

In order to create a High Performance team, the foundation must be created on a solid base of leadership. I will outline a simple course from individual self actualization to creating a high performance team.

Step One: The leader must become conscious of his or her actions. Take an inventory of youself and and ask, ” can I lead myself? Why would others follow me?” Are their actions disciplined or undisciplined? Do the actions hurt the team, or help build it up? Do I have the knowledge skills and abilities for their job? If not, how fast can I acquire them? Leaders biggest mistakes stem from not realizing they need to add to their knowledge base, and then making bad decisions based on that lack of knowledge.

Step Two: Without introspection as to why you behave the way you do, you will never be able to create a cohesive plan of action and become an exceptional leader. Through conscious awareness you can begin to create the self discipline you need to create a vision that people will follow. People will not follow someone who is all over the place, but will follow one who is strait, steady and consistent on reaching the desired goal.

Step Three: Self discipline an creating a steady course for people to follow takes courage. You have to change your own behaviors, and then those of your team. You will have to confront people and make your argument for them to change, for their betterment, and that of the team. It takes courage to try and overcome resistance. Confrontation take courage. Sometime the leader had to have the courage to tell someone they do not fit and need to go. Confrontation is good in that it opens up communication lines. Confrontation does not mean yelling and screaming, but actually discussing difference in opinion, not hiding them and letting resentment build

Step Four: Once you begin to control yourself through self discipline, and created an awareness how individual actions impact the team, you can begin to motivate and inspire. Create your individual vision of where you want to go. How will you get their? You will get there through your team and their willingness to follow.

Step Five: What is the vision for the team? What do you collectively believe? As you build yourself up, your vision of the team may change. As the team evolves and changes, their vision may change. The vision the leader and team create must be consistent with the vision of the organization. As good vision for a team takes the organizations vision and then raises the bar. By raising the bar and meeting those goals you become the “go to” people in the department.

Step Six: Celebrate little victories. Rome was not built in a day. Set the long range plan with short term in initiatives. Celebrate once you have reached the initiative goals. Regroup, when you don’t. After a victory or setback, notice I did not say defeat, evaluate what went write or wrong. Adjust course, and then move on. Always look towards to long term future, but remember it is the actions you take each day that get you to fulfill your vision for yourself and your team.

Step Seven: The more successful your team is, the more other teams will recruit away your best team members. Rejoice when a team member moves on to help someone else. It reflects greatly onto you and what you have accomplished. So, now you bring in someone new. Let them know who you are. Find out who they are and what they want to accomplish. Bring it the team, and introduce each one of them. Let the team share the vision with the new person. Together, as a team you use each day as a touchstone for success.