In the 1980s, MBWA was the rage. It involved the radical notion that leaders could drive better results by stepping out of their offices and engaging with employees and the work flow in a less formal, more impromptu fashion. “Management by walking around” changed the cadence of business — in large part through greater leadership involvement and presence.
Fast forward three decades, and just “being there” has become table stakes. Now leaders must really leverage those moments with others, and the most natural and effective tool for accomplishing this is conversation.
A quick Amazon search reveals that thousands of books are published each year on the subject, teaching readers how to engage in conversations that span from crucial to courageous, passionate to powerful, fierce to focused, and authentic to action-oriented. Advice focuses on the importance of small talk and big ideas, listening and messaging, as well as on the art and science of the act. (read more…)
Let’s face it — it’s great to be the boss. You’re the one calling the shots, making sure everything stays on course; in the end, the responsibility for your company’s success or failure falls on your shoulders. And you’re fine with that. After all, you’re the boss.
When it comes to being in charge, however, acting as the constant problem-solver can become tiring — and detrimental to the business. When an employee brings you a problem, there are benefits to having built a company culture in which he or she is encouraged to bring a solution as well.
More businesses are adopting policies that direct employees to bring possible solutions to management whenever they present a problem. Considered offhand, this practice makes perfect sense. How often have you had an employee present a problem, and when you ask what he or she thinks should be done, you had the same idea in mind? (read more…)
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council, an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and e-mail lessons. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.
What’s one leadership best practice no early-stage startup can afford to be without (e.g. transparency) and why?
I think this is the single most important leadership practice because it allows the company to attract talent they otherwise could not afford. There is an amazing amount of talented people out there who are stuck in a job they hate and are willing to take a pay cut to work for something they believe in. Therefore, share your passion and dreams of the future. This will carry folks a long way. (read more…)
In the American workplace, this time of year often means the onset of gift-giving. Whether it’s a formal holiday gift exchange or simply the sharing of a meal, leaders often extend a small token of thanks to their employees in December.
Regardless of your company’s protocol, (and even if your company has a strict policy against gift-giving) you can easily give every one of your team members a meaningful and useful gift this holiday season. With just a bit of introspection, you will know exactly what each person on your team needs.
Introspection, you say? What has that got to do with leadership gift-giving? The biggest give you can give your team is the gift of time and attention. And before you can decide how to direct those two precious resources, you’ll need to invest in a bit of introspection. As fellow SmartBlog on Leadership contributor Lolly Daskal writes, “Introspection and its byproduct, self-awareness, are central to any leadership, no matter what level or position. (read more…)
Last week, we asked: How willing are you to step outside your leadership style “comfort zone” and try new techniques?
- Very — I try new leadership techniques all the time: 42.06%
- Somewhat — I occasionally try new things: 53.05%
- Not very — I’m reluctant to try new leadership techniques: 3.84%
- Not at all — I hate going outside my comfort zone: 1.05%
Growth occurs outside of comfort. Clearly, getting outside your comfort zone will create new opportunities for learning and many of you say you try to do so. I’ll challenge you to step way outside your comfort zone from time to time. Take on a project you have very little background or expertise on. Mentor someone who is your polar opposite. Go to someone who you don’t get along with and ask them to coach you. (read more…)