Last week, we asked: Do you consider your team to be “high performing?”
- Absolutely — they’re consistently excellent: 26.32%
- Kind of — they’re good but have room to improve: 60.15%
- Not really — they’ve got their share of issues: 11.09%
- Not at all — I’m in disaster-recovery mode: 2.44%
Driving high performance. The high performing team is elusive. It requires a special chemistry among the team members and you are the chief chemist. If your team is currently high performing, beware of throwing off the mix with new hires, role changes or revised priorities. If you’re trying to elevate your team, step back and list what’s working great and what’s holding the team back (caveat — you might be on that list of things holding them back). (read more…)
Last week, we asked: How good are you at giving difficult feedback promptly?
- Great — I share difficult feedback immediately: 21.53%
- OK — I give tough feedback with some hesitation: 60.76%
- Not good — I struggle with giving tough feedback: 16.64%
- Poor — I rarely share difficult feedback: 1.07%
Prompt feedback matters. You should never hesitate to give tough feedback promptly. Not doing so is a failure of leadership. You’re not only letting that individual down — you’re letting down the rest of the team too. Invariably they see the person’s shortcomings and they wonder why the boss isn’t taking corrective action. It’s a slippery morale slope from there. Not giving tough feedback promptly can lead to disastrous results and damage your credibility as a leader. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: What is your perception of a leader who has an “interesting” title with words like “guru” or “ninja” in it?
- It’s awesome and fun: 3.71%
- It’s OK: 4.3%
- I don’t care what they’re called as long as the work gets done: 23.28%
- It’s silly and I view them as less credible: 68.72%
Stop being a guru ninja! Clearly most folks find self-given titles like “guru” or “ninja” to be silly and you lose credibility for having it on your card or signature block. At best, you get apathy over it and clearly it drives a very small percentage of people to think more highly of you. Now while you may not have a silly title like that, you must realize this dynamic applies to every aspect of your “signature block persona.” You need to ensure your don’t fall into the typical traps of a bad electronic calling card. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: What’s the biggest mistake you see people make when they’re giving a formal presentation?
- Too much content, not enough time: 24.69%
- Too focused on the slides versus the desired meeting outcome: 35.69%
- Poor stage presence: 7.6%
- Not reading the audience well: 7.33%
- Not having a clear and compelling story they’re telling: 24.69%
PowerPoint is evil. Well, the program itself isn’t evil — just the way we use it and rely too much on it is. Too much focus on too many slides and failing to have a clear and compelling story is a recipe for disaster. It’s easy to fixate on the presentation because it’s something tangible that we can manipulate. We seem to feel that if we include more content, we’ll be more compelling. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: What’s the most challenging aspect of leading your peers?
- Doing so without appearing to be bossy: 47.68%
- Getting them to respect my position: 11.64%
- Separating friendships from the work we have to do: 22.9%
- Feeling insecure relative to my peers’ strong skills: 4.63%
- It’s not challenging at all — I excel at it: 13.14%
Avoid being bossy. Leading peers can be an incredibly difficult thing to do. It seems the biggest challenges folks face are separating friendships from leadership and leading the team without appearing bossy. Finding strategies to avoid appearing bossy is a critical component of successfully leading a group of your peers. Involving others, ceding authority and appealing to professionalism are solid techniques for getting the results you need without harming friendships in the process. (read more…)