5 Top Leadership Articles for the Week of April 10, 2017
In two weeks Karin and I head to Southeast Asia to share Winning Well with leaders across the region. We are currently booking companies and association events for 2017 fall and 2018 spring. Email or call to bring us and Winning Well to your leaders.
Each week I read a number of leadership articles from various online resources and share them across social media. Here are the five leadership articles readers found most valuable last week. I have added my comment about each article and would like to hear what you think, too.
Stop Giving Everyone Advice by Nathaniel Green at Susan Mazza’s Random Acts of Leadership
When someone comes to you for advice, there is an incredibly tempting instinct that it may be better to stifle—and that is the instinct to give them the very advice that they’re looking for. It’s natural to want to give someone a solution right away. But giving advice may not be the best way to help them solve the problem.
When you give someone an idea about how to solve their problem, you presume that you know enough about their problem that you have the best solution. In reality, you’re guessing. You might feel confident in your guess: you may have been in a similar situation in the past, or read about a similar situation somewhere.
My Comment: Here’s the thing about giving advice: when someone should be able to figure something out as part of their job – and they’ve been sufficiently trained – giving them the answer to solve their problem is a bad idea. Yes, it feels good. Now they now how smart / helpful you are, but all they’ve learned is how to come to you to solve their problems. If you have five folks on your team that do this, now you have no time to do your own work. Effective leaders help their people develop their own problem solving and critical thinking skills.
7 Ways to Communicate Better With Your Boss by Mary Kelly, PhD, US Navy (ret)
Good communication with the boss is critical for a positive and productive work environment. Many employees, however, struggle to communicate effectively with their supervisors.
According to a Gallup poll reported in Business Journal, only 54 percent of employees feel they can approach their boss with a question. Supervisors who are open and approachable, not surprisingly, have better relationships with their employees, and more of those employees are more fully engaged.
However, we seldom get to choose our supervisors, so wherever we are in the organization, we have to communicate effectively with our boss. There are several techniques that can be used to improve communication.
My Comment: This has only happened once before…a two-week back-to-back top five most popular appearance. Quite a few folks must be feeling the need to communicate better with their boss.
Your success depends in large part on how effectively you partner with your supervisor. Kelly’s suggestions will significantly help you with that relationship. I would draw your attention to #1 in particular: Communicate in the best way for your boss (and a corollary of this…teach your people how to give you information in the best way for you.) If I were to add anything to this list, it would be an extension of the fourth item. Karin and I strongly advocate a ‘no surprises’ rule – make sure your boss hears any bad news directly from you as fast as possible. This may feel uncomfortable, but it builds your credibility. Use the Winining Well DARN method: Be Direct, Accountable, describe your Response, and Next steps.
Where Grit Really Comes From by Dan Rockwell
Because of weather, yesterday’s flight was canceled. Rescheduling was impossible. My first thought was I can go home and take a nap.
Cancellation: I’d been talking with my client. It didn’t look like I was going to make it. Finally, a voice in my head said, “You have a responsibility.” I sent a text to my client, “If the worst happens, I’ll drive down.” (800 miles.)
My Comment: Through this quick anecdote, Rockwell shares ten tips increase your grit and resiliency. How do you respond to adversity? One of my favorite quotes is: “Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.” -Newt Gingrich (Regardless of your thoughts about his politics, it’s a great reminder that the wins don’t always come easily.)
6 Toxic Work Habits That Will Kill Your Office Culture by Marcel Schwates at Inc.com
There comes a time when we all need to evaluate our work environment and the people we work with to determine if it’s hurting our career path, or much worse, our health and well-being.
While job safety is important, you need to weigh the cost: Move on to a healthier work culture where people treat you with respect and dignity, with a lapse in income while you search? Or stay for the paycheck and take the daily shrapnel wounds from toxic co-workers and bosses in the battlefields of your corporate hell?
Perhaps you’re on the fence now, processing your decision. Whatever you choose with a clear and sound mind, here are six toxic corporate behaviors that I’ve collected over the years from the files of clients, case studies in the literature, and personal accounts of colleagues.
Maybe this is that extra nudge you need to push you to the right side of the fence.
My Comment: Schwates wrote this article as a guide to to help you decide whether or not it is time to move to a different organization. As a leader, there’s an additional opportunity here for you: are any of these characteristics true in your team, department, or organization?
Before you answer ‘no way’ – use our Channel Challengers check…does what you’re hearing match what you’re saying? It’s your responsibility to know.
The Two Leadership Skills Your Middle Managers Most Need by Karin Hurt and David Dye
My Comment: This week, one of the most popular articles was easily this piece Karin and I contributed to Training Industry. We share tools to help you persuade your peers and boss as well as to inspire greater performance and have those accountability conversations with your team.
To see David in action, check out this new demo video.
Invite David to help your leaders transform their results without losing their soul (or mind) in the process. Available for keynotes, deep-dive breakout sessions, and corporate training. Email or call at 303.898.7018