First and foremost, leaders are trust makers

One of the most common questions I’m asked, especially by technical experts who are making the transition from individual contributors to managers and leaders of people and teams, is how to build trust.

This article offers 50 behavioral practices to do so.

But, first I will put trust in context by explaining briefly what it is, why it is so critical for leaders, and how it can be measured.

What is trust?

Trust is the level of confidence others (your team members, associates or stakeholders) have in you.

It relates to your team members’ willingness to make themselves vulnerable and be open with you, and their expectation that you will consider their interests in their absence.

Trust is the result of your team members’ assessment of your intentions, character, integrity, and competence.

Why is trust so critical for leaders?

Trust, along with your teams’ perceptions of the degree to which you fulfil their expectations and how fair you are to them, is a critical ingredient to establishing your credibility as a leader.

Credibility is the foundation of effective leadership. It’s the link between your Self-leadership and your Leadership Impact.

How can you measure trust?

While asking someone whether they trust you may be good enough in everyday conversation, it’s an inaccurate way to measure it for the purpose of research into leadership coaching.

This is because trust is a multidimensional construct that, as I mentioned above, involves team member’s assessment of your intentions, character, integrity, and competence.

This also means that trust needs to be measured in a way that goes beyond providing a YES/NO answer, as when asking a closed question or using a nominal scale.

Imagine, for example, that someone says to you that they don’t trust you. Wouldn’t it be useful to know why that’s actually case so, you could do something about it?

To fully understand trust and measure it, trust needs to be unpacked and quantified in terms of its degree or intensity. The best way to do this is by asking your team members, for example, to respond to the following seven statements using an interval scale from 1 to 5, as depicted in the table below.

Fifty Practices / Behaviors for Leaders to Build and Sustain Trust

Following from the above, the various practices or behaviors to build trust can be grouped into the following four dimensions:

1)   Go beyond self-interest for the good of your team.

2)   Make others proud to be associated with you.

3)   Act in ways that build others’ respect for you.

4)   Display a sense of power and confidence.

1) Go beyond self-interest for the good of the team (10 practices)

  1. Allow others to voice their opinions and ideas.
  2. Encourage your team members / associates to approach you with their concerns.
  3. Support your team’s promising ideas and help to implement them.
  4. Look at the other side of issues / arguments before defending your own.
  5. When tempted to judge someone, ask yourself, “How would I feel if I were in that person’s shoes?
  6. Always demonstrate a collaborative spirit and be willing to compromise by giving something up.
  7. Be open to the suggestions of others by being receptive and flexible while keeping in mind that this doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them or do what they want you to do.
  8. Think of people you know who go beyond self-interest for the good of the team and model what are they do.
  9. Never use information unfairly to gain advantage.
  10. Never display favoritism within your team.

2) Make others proud to be associated with you (14 practices)

  1. Always be respectful, courteous and polite.
  2. Treat your team members’ / associates’ confidences as honest, valid and genuine.
  3. Avoid judging others by remembering that all ideas have value (never judge a book by its cover).
  4. Allow others to express their frustrations, anger or discontent appropriately, and help them to resolve their issues constructively.
  5. Always be open to hearing all sides of an issue.
  6. Regulate your emotions and control your actions until you have demonstrated to the other person that you understand them/their perspective.
  7. Develop a relaxed and attentive approach so that your team members don’t feel controlled or overpowered by your strong opinions.
  8. Never gossip or listen to the gossips of others (what you consent to, you reinforce).
  9. Always focus on your team members’/associates’ strengths and good qualities, rather than their weaknesses, deficiencies or shortcomings.
  10. Never dwell on negative experiences; learn from them and move on.
  11. Don’t fuel heated conversations. Be the voice of reason.
  12. During initial meetings especially, present a friendly, positive and optimistic attitude rather than appearing to be distracted by ‘more important things’ such as checking your emails or phone messages – no multitasking!
  13. When working with your team, emphasise what is the “right thing to do” in terms of the interest of the team as whole unit.
  14. In difficult situations or when the going gets tough, evoke the memory of a good friend, mentor, boss or hero to anchor yourself and retain your poise.

3) Act in ways that build others‘ respect for you (14 practices)

  1. Consider and treat conflict to be over ideas, approaches and perspectives, not people.
  2. Express your desire for a resolution that is acceptable to everyone in the team.
  3. Look for small opportunities to build trust by getting to know people, making acquaintances with less familiar team members or associates either through small talk over coffee or by extending an informal lunch invitation.
  4. Never criticize anyone in public – regardless of whether they are present not.
  5. Never bully or belittle others, or blame them when things go wrong.
  6. Never lecture or patronize others.
  7. Give credit to others when credit is due.
  8. If you don’t know something when asked, say so openly without fear of being exposed by pretending that you do, even if you or others believe you’re expected to know the answer.
  9. Be a mentor or a coach to those who show potential and who you believe could benefit from it.
  10. Always provide timely, constructive and useful feedback.
  11. Encourage and assist others in setting their goals – including their career goals – and help them to identify the skills/resources they need to achieve them.
  12. Help others to identify and develop their strengths.
  13. Remove obstacles that may hinder your team’s efforts, performance and success.
  14. Challenge your team/associates to exceed their own expectations and become the best they can be.

4) Display inner power, self-assurance and confidence (12 practices)

  1. Acknowledge the opinions of your team members without backing off when you’re convinced of the merits, collective benefits and validity of your point of view.
  2. Remember that everyone will not agree with you on everything all the time.
  3. Be willing to respectfully confront others (without blaming) when you believe they have made an error.
  4. Be proactive by initiating discussions that may feel uncomfortable but need to be addressed (e.g. performance-related or sensitive issues).
  5. Never abuse your power or authority.
  6. Stand up for others when they need support or have been treated unfairly or victimized.
  7. When challenged or provoked, don’t back-down. Instead, re-state your position clearly to make sure your team/associates understand your perspective.
  8. If you’re affronted, insulted or abused, don’t become defensive or retaliate. Demonstrate emotional detachment and be assertive by stating how you expect to be treated instead. If necessary, vent your negative feelings later with someone you trust (e.g. friend, mentor or coach).
  9. Always be respectful and work professionally with people you don’t like.
  10. Do your best in attempting to turn around or restore any relationships with tensions or a history of conflict.
  11. Seize moments to demonstrate vulnerability by sharing some of your failures or past mistakes and the lessons learned. Doing so not only demonstrates that you’re human, it’s also a testimony your self-awareness, self-acceptance and courage.
  12. Always be the role model you would like to be seen as by others.

I guarantee you that by consistently applying the behaviors outlined above, you will build your levels of trust and significantly elevate your credibility as a leader.

In fact, I’m confident to say that, even if you only apply 50% of these behaviors you will still get great results.

My suggestion is that you choose a handful of them and focus on them until they become habits.

Of course, a more accurate and effective way to do this would be to take the Leadership Results® survey, which produces a comprehensive and detailed results report.

In any case, the overall idea is to apply such behaviours over time and monitor progress until they become immovable habits.

Good luck!

Source: Sebastian Salicru

Why The Best Bosses Have The Biggest Hearts?

My personal experience: If you don’t love people, you are not able to lead them.

That’s why I thing it’s valuable to come up with the following article from Joshua Miller I’ve red recently.

Follow your heart, but take your brain with you

People bring a lot of things to work on a daily basis that they probably should just leave at home – ranging from their personal drama to their kids; but there’s one thing that should always be brought to the workplace and that’s your heart.

We always hear about leaders needing to have high EQ and IQ but all too often we forget about LQ.

Yes, LQ – aptly standing for Love Quotient or what I like to call the heart of this article.

Jack Ma was famously quoted about this earlier this year, “To gain success, a person will need high EQ; if you don’t want to lose quickly, you will need a high IQ, and if you want to be respected, you need high LQ — the IQ of love.”

The Love Quotient is the simple act of being kind towards people.

What it really means:

In the most basic way, it’s about bringing your heart to work and to the people you serve. Think servant leadership. Servant leaders look to take care of, and meet the needs of their colleagues, customers, communities and of course their employees. It’s about authentic service and showing up through the lens of vulnerability with the intention to make a difference in the lives of others. This in return can create deeper experiences for themselves and their employees.

Although the LQ may not be the most scientifically proven concept, it can be qualified if not quantified through the eyes and hearts of those they lead. As a boss/leader, showing you genuinely care must come from their heart. I’m not big on models but here was one that resonated deeply with this topic:

  • Human. You are human and if you want to lead others more effectively, they must see you as such. You make mistakes and you have weaknesses. When your team can see more of the real you, they are more likely to choose to follow.
  • Empathy. Often leaders try to be sympathetic, yet empathy is far more powerful. The best leaders “put themselves in the shoes” of others by thinking of similar situations, or sharing their own related situations.
  • Attitude. Attitude isn’t about logic, it is all emotion. It is OK to be disappointed and frustrated, and showing that to your team in small doses can be quite powerful. But they also need to see your positive passion and belief on display as often as possible.
  • Relationships. If you want to lead more effectively, find ways to connect with and get to know more about more of your team members. Remember that your goal isn’t to make friends, but rather to be friendly and genuinely interested in others. While there isn’t a formula, leading from your heart certainly includes building stronger and more lasting working relationships with others.
  • Trust. Trust is both a noun and a verb. If you want to build others’ trust in you (the noun), trust them more (the verb). In other words, to get more of the noun, do more of the verb.

Here are a few excellent ways I found online which you can start implementing with your team today.

  • Look for opportunities to help and support. Make it a habit to look for opportunities to help the people around you. Maybe it’s an official part of your job, leveraging your knowledge and skills in a way that has a positive impact on someone else’s job. Maybe it’s an unofficial role, like mentoring new hires. Or it could even be sharing knowledge and ideas with a co-worker around something in their life that has nothing to do with work.
  • Communicate healthily. How you communicate is one of the biggest ways to bring your heart to work. Does it open the door to connection and understanding, or does it feed conflict and divisiveness. Does it acknowledge the shared humanity of the other person, or does it make them an “other” to be dealt with? Does it encourage people to open up and fly, or shut down and protect themselves? Does it enable a healthy resolution of challenges, or does it pour fuel on them?
  • Express gratitude. Make it a point to sincerely thank people whenever the opportunity arises. This is a two-way street. The recipient gets the good feeling of being appreciated, and you get to bask in gratitude – a heart-based activity if ever there was one.
  • Acknowledge others. Along similar lines, sincerely acknowledging others’ efforts and achievements can be a way to work from the heart. It’s a validating and encouraging practice that requires little investment on your part, but has the potential to make a significant impact for the receiving party. And in the go-go, results-driven environment of today’s workplace, that kind of reinforcement is often all too infrequent.
  • Show patience. We live in an impatient culture. Showing patience is a gift of love. Not only does it create more space for your interactions to unfold positively, it also reduces the negative impact of impatience-driven conflict.
  • Connect. You don’t work with co-workers. You work with people. Opening yourself to connection with the people you work with takes you out of cogs-in-a-machine mode and creates the possibility of more meaningful experiences.

Final thought: Love for what you do, where you do it and ultimately love the opportunity to make a difference in another persons life whenever possible. The process begins within yourself as you can’t fake this. Take the time necessary to find the love within and then go out and give that back to your team.

The floor is yours: Should more leaders practice vulnerability?

With leadership,

Source: Joshua Miller

Beförderung bis zur Unfähigkeit – Das Peter-Prinzip ist bewiesen

Wer kennt dies nicht und/oder ist ihnen sogar schon begegnet: die exzellenten Fachleute, die als Führungskraft versagen. Schon im Jahr 1969 beschrieb der nordamerikanische Soziologe Laurence Peter folgendes Prinzip: Wer seinen Job gut macht, wird befördert – bis er einen Posten erreicht, bei dem andere Fähigkeiten gefragt sind. In Hierarchien stiegen Beschäftigte so „bis zur Stufe ihrer Unfähigkeit“ auf.

Bisher war das nach seinem Entdecker benannte Peter-Prinzip eher ein populärer Managementmythos – es fehlten Belege. Doch nun haben US-Wissenschaftler den Vertrieb von 214 US-Unternehmen daraufhin untersucht. Dieser Bereich war gut geeignet, weil sich die Leistung der Mitarbeiter an den Geschäftsabschlüssen messen liess und die der Führungskräfte daran, wie sehr sie dazu beitrug, die Leistung ihrer Mitarbeiter zu steigern.

Die Studie zeigte: Die Ergebnisse der Vertriebsmitarbeiter korrelierten stark mit den Beförderungen, sie waren aber negativ korreliert mit dem späteren Erfolg als Vertriebsleiter – nach einer Beförderung verschlechterten sich die Ergebnisse der Mitarbeiter. Das Peter-Prinzip also, bestätigt.

Der Artikel stammt aus der neusten Ausgabe des Harvard Business Managers (Mai 2018).

Weitere Artikel zu diesem Thema:

Source: Lukas Friedrich

Is the era of management over?

„The key to management is to get rid of the managers,“ advised Ricardo Semler, whose TED Talk went viral, introducing terms such as “industrial democracy” and “corporate re-engineering”. It’s important to point out that Mr. Semler isn’t an academic or an expert in management theory, he is the CEO of a successful industrial company. His views are unlikely to represent mainstream thinking on organizational design. But perhaps it is time we redefine the term “manager”, and question whether the idea of “management” as it was inherited from the industrial era, has outlived its usefulness. ​​

The World Bank estimates the size of the global workforce at about 3.5 billion people, and by no means would I expect, much less advocate, that those who are employed today will transition into a management-free structure in the near or even medium term. The vast majority of work involving human labour is still best carried out in a traditional organisational structure.

In a world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), it is the tech unicorns that will be the early adopters of a post-hierarchical model. In fact, some have already embraced it. Today’s competitive landscape is defined by one word: disruption. The ideas of incremental progress, continuous improvement, and process optimizations just don’t cut the mustard anymore; those practices are necessary, but insufficient. It is now impossible to build enduring success without “intrapreneurship” – creating new ideas from within an organization.

The organizational dilemmas faced by ambitious disruptors are best exemplified by Netflix. Their human resources guru, Patty McCord, identified a problem that appears obvious in retrospect: as businesses grow, so does their complexity. But that comes at a cost of shrinking talent density: the proportion of high-performers within an organization.

The slide deck she developed with the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, went viral, and Sheryl Sandberg referred to it as possibly the most important document to come out of Silicon Valley. That said, Patty McCord did not earn her accolades by identifying problems. What captivated everyone’s imagination were the unorthodox solutions that she offered: “Over the years we learned that if we asked people to rely on logic and common sense instead of on formal policies, most of the time we would get better results, and at lower cost.”

The commentary on Netflix’s corporate culture often focuses on its concrete HR policies, such as self-allotted vacations, and the absence of travel expense reports. But these are just derivatives of a larger vision: high business complexity need not be managed with standard processes and ever-growing rulebook. Patty McCord advocated the exact opposite: limit the tyranny of procedures, bring on board high-performers, and let them self-manage in an environment of maximum flexibility.

Today, we define management as the process of dealing with or controlling things or people. And if this is not a red flag to a CEO running anything other than a widget factory, I don’t know what is. Controlling things no longer appears plausible, and controlling people is downright counterproductive.

Steve Jobs hit the nail on the head when he said: “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

Apple’s co-founder is rightfully considered one of the greatest visionaries of our time, but had he been born in, say, the 17th century – or even 50 years earlier than he was – I doubt such a pronouncement would have resonated with his contemporaries. The post-management era is only just beginning to dawn. And it is the ever-accelerating pace of technological progress that is responsible for destroying old paradigms.

Having smart people tell landowners what to do in a pre-industrial society would not have led to better economic outcomes. In the best-case scenario, it would have invited ridicule. There was no evidence to suggest, at the time, that the production and population growth were not one of the same.

While the division of labour was the hallmark of the industrial era, it is becoming increasingly difficult today to parse out and allocate white-collar work in the form of specific tasks. Regardless of how we describe the present, be it the digital epoch, the Fourth Industrial Revolution era, or the “second machine age”, what it boils down to is that all work that requires supervision is being outsourced to robots and algorithms. Non-standard, creative, experimental work, on the other hand, doesn’t naturally lend itself to management.

The second fundamental shift we see now is that a strategy of making a plan and then executing it is no longer viable. What used to be known as “muddling through” is now seen as adapting to the fast-changing environment. Strategy, as we know it, is dead. Dealing with uncertainty is the number one challenge and, as the cliché goes, it’s the number one opportunity too. If your company isn’t the disruptor, it’s a clear sign that it’s about to be disrupted.

The bottom line is that the hierarchical management mode is no longer suited for the challenges of the modern economy. Every pillar of a traditional organization is now in flux, as was brilliantly conceptualized by Tanmay Vora.

The status quo is often protected by the vocabulary of business: directors direct, presidents preside, and managers manage. But all those activities are adding much less value than they used to be. They constrain innovation and stifle creativity in the pursuit of order.

Contextual awareness, peripheral vision, design thinking and a multi-disciplinary approach – these are all terms that are trending in modern office-speak. And deservedly so. A project-based and titles-free organization — where yesterday’s team member is today’s team lead — can deliver the flexibility and agility that businesses yearn for.

“Context Curator” is the term I’d like to introduce to the business dictionary. To lead a project is not to assign tasks and monitor performance, but to empower, to define the broader context, and to organically link the work of one team with the rest of the business. Following the example of Netflix and striving for higher talent density is only half the battle.

Curating the context in which high performers can excel – rather than attempting to manage them – is the key to unleashing their full potential.

Source: Andrew Chakhoyan

Why you should put employees, not customers, first!? Unhappy employees cost companies billions of dollars each year.

Negative experiences are necessary in our lives, because they show us the right way, we learn to make better decisions, through them we recognize what we want and what we do not. Ultimately, all experiences, especially negative experiences, help us to become better Leader.

Source: Serge Tumelero

Take care about your employees, and they will take care about your business. It’s as simple as that.

Source: Richard Branson

Employees are your most valuable resource. Yet many companies ignore and treat their employees poorly. Our system has fallen into a self-reinforcing command loop construct as follows: Increase shareholder value at all costs without regard for the human factor. Sadly, if you do not cure the cancer in the root of the tree, not only with the branches and leaves die; but so will the the tree. Unhappy employees cost companies billions of dollars each year in lost revenues, settlements and other damages. The loss of revenue can send even established companies into financial distress, with some even filing for bankruptcy.

Financial Losses can result from:

Decreased Productivity. According to research conducted by Gallup, disengaged employees cost companies $450-to-$550 billion in lost productivity each year as a result of poor performance and high absenteeism.

Put your staff first, your customers second & your shareholders third

Source: Richard Branson

Employee Negligence: When employees are put first, they feel a sense of ownership to the business. Such employees will always take the initiative to solve problems before they get worse. On the other hand, an unhappy employee will just move along and not care as an issue escalates. It is also common for dissatisfied employees to neglect to complete tasks or make mistakes. This leads to poor quality control standards, unsafe products and dangers to consumers. Cases of serious injury or death, caused by company negligence often results in hefty settlements being paid out to those affected.

Tarnished Reputation: Employees interact with customers and could say anything negative about the company’s culture, products and services. The actions of one individual can bring down a company or uplift it. In an age of social media, individual employee actions can have dire effects on an organization. Video accounts of poor customer service experienced by a consumer can go viral on Facebook with similar hashtags on Twitter calling for a boycott of the company. This story can then be picked up by mainstream news bringing negative press resulting in companies having to settle lawsuits.

Employees are the branches of the tree that makes a company grow. Research has found an economic link between employee satisfaction and company financial performance. Employees who genuinely like coming to work every day may have a positive impact on a company’s stock performance. A happy workplace culture does translate into better stock returns. Happy Employees = Happy Customers = Happy Shareholders.

Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.

Source: J.W. Marriott

Employees are your best brand ambassadors. Your brand position is determined by the customer’s experience. The experience is delivered by your front line employees. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the business. Your employees know your customers best. They use your internal tools and systems every day. They have the answers on how to improve customer service and your products. They have the solutions on how to improve systems which can save money by driving efficiencies.

Employees are the backbone of any organization. In order to remain strong in an industry, employees have to be kept happy. In fact, when an employee-focused policy is put in place, it is actually very common to see a corresponding increase in customer satisfaction. Happy employees are always willing to do more, they will go to great lengths to help the company grow. Charity begins at home. If you want to get the best out of your employees – Put them first.

Source: Brigitte Hyacinth