It takes a strong person to speak truth to power. And so leaders need to surround themselves with strong people, unafraid to tell the boss – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Leaders need to make it safe for those who give feedback. They should invite push-back, to welcome people who disagree, and, in fact, to reward them for doing so.

A leader who invites dissent is one who is secure within his or her own self to be the person others embrace as their leader.

John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. Also in 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 100 leadership experts, and Global Gurus ranked him No. 11 on its list of global leadership experts. Baldoni is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

If you enjoyed this article, join SmartBrief’s e-mail list for our daily newsletter on being a better, smarter leader. (read more…)

As leaders, we are taught to reflect, learn, and act. In other words, we have a bias for action, so our thoughts often flow in one of two directions:

  • Forward: What can we do differently that will more effectively motivate others, achieve goals, reduce costs, and increase earnings.
  • Backward: Quickly review the results of the last action, learn from our mistakes, and refocus on tomorrow.

Effective leadership involves collecting and strengthening new knowledge, which leads to attitudinal and behavioral change. We grow, we move onward, we conquer new heights.

… But what should we not bring with us?

What about our baggage?

Most leadership experts probably agree that self-awareness is an essential trait for true leadership development. Part of self-awareness is identifying the “baggage” of our professional and personal lives that we have to let go.

Some quick caveats

I am not talking about the performance improvement planning axiom of “Start, Stop, Continue.” This is important, but usually applies to work processes, systems, and initiatives. (read more…)

Your team is looking to you for answers, but you don’t have many. There are a lot of moving parts, and more’s uncertain than certain. Perhaps your job’s affected and you’re dealing with your own angst.

Meanwhile the work must get done. After all, this could take a while, and suffering results will only make matters worse. How do you inspire confidence in the context of an uncertain future?

It’s not easy. But, acknowledging the uncertainty and helping your team work through it will save a lot of wasted time and emotional energy.

4 ways to help your team thrive in times of uncertainty

“Accepting that the world is full of uncertainty and ambiguity does not and should not stop people from being pretty sure about a lot of things.” ~ Julian Baggini

1. Keep your cool

If you must freak out, do it in private. In uncertain times, nothing will calm and inspire your team more than your “game on” attitude. (read more…)

How do organizations appear when they lack a sense of purpose?

Listless!

Employees feel as if they are drifting on a raft without a rudder. They lack direction as well as motivation. They also feel underappreciated and disengaged. By contrast, when people feel purposeful they are engaged and they put forth the effort to succeed for themselves and by extension the entire organization.

Purposeful organizations apply intention to what they do. Organizations that lack purpose drift and drag and by doing so waste the skills and talents of their employees. (read more…)

“Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” ~ Tom Peters

Are you in a leadership position? Did anyone on your team or being mentored by you get promoted last year? Is anyone who interacts with you growing at the same rate or greater than you are? My goal for 2015 is to develop more leaders and to accelerate their development.

So thinking what I could do to make 2015 the best year for developing leaders, I thought of 5 attitudes I need to work on. Maybe these will help you too.

Attitude 1: Accept responsibility for your team. Stop complaining about your people. They don’t want to fall short of expectations. They want to be depended upon. Your best people want to be dependable. They want the opportunity to have more responsibility. Let them. If you want your people to lead more, give them opportunities. Stop fixing things for them and stop telling them what to do. (read more…)