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Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the tag “leadership”

13 ways how to become a leader and a manager


13 ways how to become a leader and a manager 

I have just read yet another article on LinkedIn about how you are either a leader, or a manager. It separated leaders being the folks that do the lofty dreaming and entrepreneurial stuff, and managers are the drones who just make the stuff leaders come up with happen. I have grown to believe that this is absolute nonsense. There is always a combination of the two. If you are the CEO you still need to possess better than average managerial skills. Conversely, as a line manager or team lead you still need to be able leading your team members by creating a purposeful and engaging work environment. Here are 13 quick tips that can make a huge difference for how well you lead and manage your team.

  • Park your personal agenda and ego: Did you ever like a boss that is only concerned about his / her own issues, but never yours? Turn that down a notch or two. Have you ever seen the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? In it there is a great line about leadership: “Never gripe down, always gripe up.” Your folks are not interested about your woes; their’s are big enough the way they are.
  • Be fair: Kick up the old golden rule to platinum level. Treat others how they would like to be treated. Never treat people differently. You will regret it in the end. The moment you lose their trust you will no longer be privy to vital people and company information. There has to be clarity about what applies to everyone.
  • Help promote your team members: Nothing shows more respect than to be a great career steward. Help your team advancing in their careers.
  • Give them a great reason to spend their time at work: Purpose and impact is what people are looking for. Especially Millennials will emphasize on this point.
  • What happens at the work place, stays at the work place: Other than the heavy hitters of employee safety, harassment, discrimination, moral, and ethical problems, no other team member information is supposed to leave your lips. Confidentiality is the keystone to how much you will be trusted as a leader.
  • Make sure having a great one on one contact with your team members: Nothing beats being able to help and assist your team members on a one on one basis. You get to know about their struggles and aspirations and you can help make a difference happen.
  • Listen, listen, and listen: Your organization can tell you anything you want to know about the state of mind of your folks and also the strategic and tactical progress you are making (or the lack thereof). Boy, did that take me a while to learn how to do this better. Asking engaging questions is the tougher but better thing to do and you get to listen to your organization’s creativity come alive.
  • Embrace transparency and collaboration: This builds trust. Trust begets creativity. Realize that you cannot and should work alone. You need all the help you can get working toward common goals. The worst that can happen in business is to have success. Success can outgrow and outspend you in a heartbeat. You need a team that is nimble and fully engaged in order to make it through the ups and downs of the economy.
  • Be humble and grateful: Nothing beats a little self-depreciating humor when you make mistakes. Admit them and make them public. No one – not even you – should be able getting away with not learning from your mistakes. At the same time you want your team to stay informed enough such that they will not have to make the same mistakes either. Be grateful for the openness your team affords you. Not allowed are intentional or pattern of mistakes.
  • Do something with what they tell you: When your team is trying to tell you that there is a systemic problem with a process, policy, people, etc. do something with this info. That is why you became the leader-manager in the first place. Do not let anyone else handle this important detail for you. This needs to come from and through you. Taking charge of difficult situations is (unfortunately) something you will to get to deal with. Do it well and people will trust you.
  • Be mindful of other people’s time commitments: Knowing when to end a conversation is tough. Sometimes it feels great speaking with like minded folks about issues you are mutually facing. Cut it short if it no longer serves the purpose. Do not fall victim to scope creep either. One issue leads to the next and then there is another one, etc. etc. Trust me, there are more challenges than you can shake a stick at. Keep it to solving one short and effective issue at a time.
  • Prepare meetings well ahead of time: Most meetings are really not necessary, or the are simply not effective. Too often leader-managers look at them as a “working meeting”, meaning that the problem, problem statement, and possible solution finding happen with the attendees hearing about this issue for the first time.
  • Start and end meetings on time: Do this religiously. Yes, there are times when it may be necessary to run over. Attempt your very best to get a reputation for beginning and ending on time. Your folks want to get their tasks done.

Do not be afraid to fail with any of the above topics. Only very few business schools are providing leadership and soft skill training – yet. I am hoping that one day leader-manager training will become a mandatory topic at graduate and undergraduate level. Plan, Do, Reflect, and Correct your future behavior and you will have made the biggest change already. Remember that you are a leader-manager. Good luck!

Ralf

One of the most effective ways to make any conversation effective


One of the most effective ways to make any conversation effective 

How many friends could you make with your mouth versus your ear? Oh my, this question hit me square in the forehead quite a while back. Here you have all the technology to reach out to so many people in real time and yet nothing matters until someone starts to listen. The key to making a difference is learning to keeping your mouth closed and to just listen. You can inject your knowledge and experience etc into the dialog depending on the questions that you will be asked in the process of listening. This is the most effective way of making any conversation a win-win situation.

It remains one of the toughest things to do for me. How about you? You have so much to share. You have bundled up so much experience. You have been on an excited life’s journey that should be shared. There is a time to share all of this, but you need to scan for the best time to do so. Best practice is to park your desire to make statements and assertions – that is if you are interested in learning something new about the other conversation partner. It is takes a little exercise, but the rewards can be remarkable. Then you need to literally force your brain to think about how to switch from questions that would give you a yes/ no response to open ended ones. At first, you will not fell easy about this, but just recall that these questions had better start out with a W or an H (where, who, why, what, when, how).

Stand back and then stand by what ensues. The greater percentage of people will enrich your life by blessing you with their experience, talents and most of all they will give you two elements of human interaction that are the most scarce these days: They are now giving you their attention and a little bit of trust that if you do this well can last a life time. That is how you make any conversation highly effective.

Blessed beyond measure,

Ralf

How does one sense someone’s power and gravitas?


How does one sense someone’s power and gravitas? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Just very recently I got a call from a good friend of mine. We talked about the things we would like to achieve next – our life goals. I was not so sure that could pull it off when she shared with me that she thought that I could do anything I would set my mind to: “The very first time I met you, I could sense that you have an unbelievable power and force.” For starters, I was very thankful for her kicking me in the side for doubting myself. After all, believing in yourself and realizing your full potential is what I believe in and it is something that I am trying to let others ponder too.

More profound though, I was taken aback about the mere fact that someone could sense power and / or force. Huh? How in the world does this work? I thought about the many people I am blessed to meet. Very often I can sense that there is something special about them. I catch myself thinking that I should really make an effort to paying attention to what they have got to say. There may be a certain calmness and competency that “oozes” out of them. They may share a sense of substance and competence without as much as saying a word.

So here is the puzzler part for you: How do you tell that someone has these powerful attributes? Is there something physical that you can pick up on? Is it something they say? Is it how they say it? What makes you want to hang out with them? What are the non-verbal clues that you can sense? More importantly, how can you tap into this unseen power as well?

Ralf

Are we ready to learn from George Carlin’s paradox of time?


Are we ready to learn from George Carlin’s paradox of time? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

I have to admit, not all of George Carlin’s humor is my cup of tea. The quote below did strike a chord with me though. Current events let them be nationally or internationally highlight how far off the ideal path we are. I encourage you to compare and contrast how you fare with the whole list of his items. Leave a mark in people’s lives – not scars.

Ralf

 

 

The paradox of our time in history is that we have

taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider

freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more,

but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have

bigger houses and smaller families, more

conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees

but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment,

more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but

less wellness.

 

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too

recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get

too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read

too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our

values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate

too often.

 

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life.

We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve

been all the way to the moon and back, but have

trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.

We conquered outer space but not inner space. We’ve

done larger things, but not better things.

 

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We

write more, but learn less. We plan more, but

accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush, but not to

wait. We build more computers to hold more

information, to produce more copies than ever, but

we communicate less and less.

 

These are the times of fast foods and slow

digestion, big men and small character, steep

profits and shallow relationships. These are the

days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier

houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick

trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one

night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do

everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a

time when there is much in the showroom window and

nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can

bring this letter to you, and a time when you can

choose either to share this insight, or to just hit

delete.

 

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones,

because they are not going to be around forever.

 

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to

you in awe, because that little person soon will

grow up and leave your side.

 

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you,

because that is the only treasure you can give with

your heart and it doesn’t cost a cent.

 

Remember, to say, “I love you” to your partner and

your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and

an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep

inside of you.

 

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for

someday that person will not be there again.

 

Give time to love, give time to speak,! and give time

to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

 

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER:

 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we

take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

 

George Carlin

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