When I started in the field of leadership development (when gas was 89 cents a gallon), the model we used looking like this:

  • When someone got promoted to team leader, supervisor, or manager, they were sent a memo (no e-mail yet) from HR informing them that they have been registered for a mandatory four-week supervisory training course.
  • When they showed up, some (or most) of them kicking and screaming, HR told them everything they had to learn, showed them step-by-step details, made them practice (role plays), and then sent them off to do good and no harm, never to be seen or heard from again.

Sadly, there are many organizations that are still using this outdated method of leadership development. While this model is inherently flawed in a number of ways, the biggest problem with it is that people won’t grow or change unless they want to. They need to be intrinsically motivated to change, and in order to be motivated, they need to have a sense of autonomy, or control. (read more…)

The Young Entrepreneur Council is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Read previous SmartBlogs posts by YEC.

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Q. What is the most important question you can ask your employees about how well you’re doing as their leader?

yec_Michael Quinn1. Do you trust me?

I think trust is what binds every leader to their employees. Do you trust that I’m taking this company in the right direction? Do you trust that I have your best interests in mind? Do you trust that I’m working to keep this company successful? I believe that if they genuinely feel that they can trust and rely on leadership, they will strive to be their best as well. (read more…)

You prepare. Practice. Revise. Prepare some more. Practice again. You have a solid presentation ready to go. And yet somehow, it all falls flat when the camera rolls. And you just don’t know why.

When presenting “on camera,” what you don’t know can hurt you. Fortunately, there are a few trade secrets that can make the difference between mayhem and magic. With the help of trusted colleagues Glenn Gautier (executive producer, 2+Communications), and TV host, media trainer Scott Morgan (The Morgan Group) below are 12 tips (plus a bonus!) that will ensure the camera hangs on your every word.

 

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Remember, appearance matters

1. Use caution with color. Be sensitive about the colors you choose to wear: avoid green (if you will be speaking against a green screen), black, white, or bright red. Another no-no: shiny fabrics or busy patterns like houndstooth. Women look good in jewel tones with simple, matte jewelry. (read more…)

I was having a cup of coffee with a former work colleague who lamented over what happened at a meeting with his employer when the CEO said many things that were, shall we say, less than inspiring. The episode really called into question the leadership of the CEO in the eyes of my friend and his colleagues.

I stressed to my friend that, if he wanted to thrive there, he needed to look past this one event and try to find something about the CEO that inspires him and gives him confidence because you cannot work for someone for whom you have no respect. Consider this the worst that this individual can be, and remember that you got through it, and move on.

Contradicting myself, I then laughed and quoted the movie “Starman,” in which Jeff Bridges’ character tells a government alien-life investigator why his kind are interested in our kind — “Humans are a strange species … you are at your very best when things are at their worst.”

My friend quickly said, “Not all humans.”

That is very true. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: If someone on your team hates their job, what do you do?

  • Nothing — it’s up to them to find happiness: 7.24%
  • Point out the good things about their role: 27.35%
  • Change their role to make them happy: 7.81%
  • Encourage them to find another role: 57.6%

If you don’t like the job, take action. We’ll frequently have team members who aren’t happy in their roles. Your job as their leader is to help them find their passion for their job. One way to do so is to help them see their work through a different lens and point out the good about their role. The second is to encourage them to find a role that’s better suited to them. (read more…)