Tag Archives for " Consulting "

7 Questions for Leaders

Seven questions for leaders (posted by Seth Godin)

Do you let the facts get in the way of a good story?

What do you do with people who disagree with you… do you call them names in order to shut them down?

Are you open to multiple points of view or you demand compliance and uniformity? [Bonus: Are you willing to walk away from a project or customer or employee who has values that don’t match yours?]

Is it okay if someone else gets the credit?

How often are you able to change your position?

Do you have a goal that can be reached in multiple ways?

If someone else can get us there faster, are you willing to let them?

No textbook answers… It’s easy to get tripped up by these. In fact, most leaders I know do.

Response to Why Leaders Must Feel Pain: It’s really about integrity

My response to Peter Bregman’s Post: Why Leaders Must Feel Pain in the Harvard Business Review:

Dear Peter,

I deeply appreciate your courage for posting this … it’s about damn time people stop trying to “not feel” primary emotions.  Human being are hard-wired to feel emotion.  Our decisions are ultimately driven by emotions.   Leaders make quick, multi-million dollar decisions using intuition.  Intuition comes from the integration of the “low road” and the “high road” as well as information from the outside coming in and information from inside coming  through.

It’s about time corporate America get’s it – we can’t “not feel.”  I’m not talking about dancing naked in the boardroom … I’m talking about integrity. The word “integrity” from the word “integrate” … to integrate who we are into what we do. To do that, we must be willing to integrate our “fragments” into ourselves a whole person. Fragments are a result of the “should’s or “rules of engagement” … Don’t bring your personal life into work. Leave your emotions at the door. Don’t get too close to your employees. Don’t let them see you sweat.

Integration is also the ability to integrate our past into our present and therefore our future ability to make a difference … I believe a pivotal responsibility of effective and sustainable leaders today.

Sixteen years ago, I coined a term “professional intimacy” in an article I wanted to publish. I was told it would be published if I changed the term. I refused and it was never published. I was told that I “shouldn’t” tell people I was incorporate psychology and management or leadership (i.e., self or other awareness, relationship skills or into my coaching or speaking business). Talking about the “soft skills of leadership” was too “touchy-feely” and would “scare clients (mostly male) away.” After spending years of following this advice, I felt exhausted and inauthentic. Now, after 2008, Enron, etc. we are seeing the tipping point.

It’s about time leaders start with the question “Who Am I?” I’m grateful you were willing to speak the truth. I, like you, will continue speak authentically, whether others agree or not.

It’s about time leaders ask: Who Am I?

It is refreshing to see how the definition of leadership is transforming from “skills” CEO’s “use” to get the job done, to leadership about bringing who we are as leaders into what we do to as leaders, and the ongoing definition of ourselves and our purpose, and as such the positive change we have the responsibility for making in our organization.

Exceptional leaders begin by answering the question “Who am I?”  Sustainable leaders are built to last, who invest in developing others and recognize the effect of who they are on the people who surround them … and beyond.

Sustainable leaders recognize the “ripple effect” of their actions.  When you throw a rock into a pond … the ripples go across the top of the water, down to the bottom and reverberate back to continually define that leader going forward.

Sustainable, effective leaders take responsibility for how they show up and the ripples they create.

Is executive coaching just a passing fad?

Is the use of coaching to develop leaders or high potential managers into leadership roles just a passing fad or here to stay?  If it’s here to stay, wouldn’t it be more effective for coaches to teach managers and leaders how to coach or to develop a coaching style of management and leadership than for a coach to “coach one leader or manager at a time?”  Developing a sustainable leader would include “teaching him to fish” rather than “fishing for him” in my opinion.  What are your thoughts on the topic of the efficacy of leadership coaching in organizations?