Leadership Refresher

Posted on by Leave a Comment

It’s never a bad time to examine our thoughts on leadership and do a quick assessment of our own leadership beliefs and practices.

Leadership by Pedro Ribeiro Simões,Flickr

Recently, Michael Snyders, Human Capital Strategist with Future Focus, offered his views on management and leadership in a short refresher workshop attended by local business owners and managers.  He started by revisiting the differences between leading and managing which he distilled into the phrase “We manage things and processes. We lead people.” While this sentiment is not new and variations of this statement have been attributed to a number of sources, Snyders took the time to provide a list of competencies, which participants were then asked to classify as aspects of either management or leadership. The ensuing discussion made three things clear:

  1. A business needs both good management and effective leadership to succeed.
  2. While leadership and management are not the same thing, there are definitely areas of overlap.
  3. Whether a particular behavior falls under leadership or management may depend on the purpose of (and the circumstances surrounding), the behavior.

To help decide whether a management or a leadership response is called for in any given situation, Snyders offered the following litmus test.  

We’re contemplating leadership action when we ask ourselves “How can I help?”

When the question in our heads is “What tool or system could we use to address this?"—we need to step in and manage.  

The Third Part of Leading

Especially important in our knowledge-based economy, there is a third hat that leaders must also be comfortable wearing; that of the technical expert. Snyders provided the following definitions for these three dimensions of an effective leader.

Manage: To handle; to conduct; to control; to deal tactfully with; to contrive.

Lead: To show the way by going first; to precede; to guide; to direct by example; to convey; to guide by persuasion or argument. And his own definition of leading: to engage followership.

Be a Technical Expert: Provide information and instruction to others based on thorough knowledge of a particular subject gained through experience, education and proficiency.

While it’s not necessary that a leader or manager know everything about every aspect of the work done within their team, they must have sufficient technical expertise to demonstrate competence, make good decisions and set an informed direction.  Without this third piece, establishing credibility and trust is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Being an Effective Leader

Snyders left us with four recommendations for being more effective in a leadership role.

  1. Strive to go from good to great: Recognize your leadership style and your strengths and build on them. Rather than trying to develop competencies that you may never master due to personal preferences and natural abilities that pull you in a different direction.
  2. Be inspired by others: Make a point of connecting with and learning from leaders you admire. Invite them for coffee and ask then to describe their leadership style and what works for them.
  3. Identify and eliminate red flags: Seek honest feedback and identify aspects of your leadership style that are preventing you from connecting with your team and achieving your objectives. While developing a competence that you’d be better off hiring is not a good use of your time, dealing with real challenges in your approach that prevent you from being effective definitely is.
  4. Surround yourself with talent: When you know what you’re good at—and what you’re not so good at, you can recruit and develop people who complement your skill set. Great leaders surround themselves with great talent.

Whether you see yourself primarily as a leader or as a manager, it’s important to remember that the two are not mutually exclusive. Every organization is made up of people, things and processes. Success requires a combination of showing the way, controlling the journey and sharing your knowledge of the landscape along the way.

 

Sign up for our blog for free HR tips and insight delivered straight to your inbox.

We Are All Connected

Posted on by Leave a Comment

Recently, I have co-facilitated a number of community leadership development workshops as a volunteer with a local social profit organization. One of these sessions, Systems Thinking, focuses on the interrelatedness of the many components that make up a community— from social services to utilities to resident businesses— and explores how that interdependence plays out when problems arise. Connected by Heather, Flickr Some of the connections and effects are obvious. Consider, for example, severe winter weather. We immediately understand (and experience) its effect on transportation services. How it impacts other systems in the community is less apparent and may …

What HR Can Learn from Effective Sales Proposals

Posted on by Leave a Comment

A sales proposal has three basic objectives. Demonstrate to prospective clients that you fully understand the issues they’re facing and that you “get” what matters to them. Persuade the prospective client that you have the expertise, competence and support to deliver an optimal solution effectively and professionally. Provide supporting evidence and a clear rationale that can serve as justification for the prospect’s decision to commit. Photo by nlst6dh, Flickr Most importantly, an effective sales proposal reflects the challenges and needs of the prospective client and focuses on overcoming those challenges and satisfying those …

Why Giving is as Important as Shipping

Posted on by Leave a Comment

This article orginally appeared in Communitech Columns and is republished with permission. Author, Kayleigh Platz, is a storyteller and community relations manager for Communitech. Born, raised and schooled in Waterloo Region, she holds two degrees from the University of Waterloo and is interested in new media, social networks and making connections.  Joseph Fung on Why Giving is as Important as Shipping It’s that awful time of the year. Holiday bills are due. The February deep freeze has settled in. RRSP contributions need to be topped up. Communitech photo by Anthony Reinhart I’m sure Joseph Fung, …

The Importance of Clear Signals at Work

Posted on by Leave a Comment

When Commissioner Gordon and Batman came to an understanding about the Dark Knight’s unofficial (but valued) services to the city of Gotham, they set up a simple, unambiguous bat-signal. When that beam of light and the hovering bat silhouette appeared in the sky, Batman knew he was needed immediately. In the workplace, unfortunately, signals are often much less clear. Here are three ways that signals often get muddied at work. The Indirect Ask Have you ever been guilty of an indirect ask? The indirect ask happens when someone makes a comment in hopes that it will generate a …

Swatting a Fly with a Sledgehammer

Posted on by Leave a Comment

A colleague recently described the following situation to me:   Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons While working with the management team of a small, project-based company, he’s been coaching the new senior project manager. She’s highly qualified and very enthusiastic. So enthusiastic, in fact, that she’s creating a comprehensive project process that will cover all aspects of the business from initial enquiry to post-project debrief and customer follow up. Each step is documented in minute detail with multiple accompanying forms (paper and online) to be completed and/or updated throughout the life of the project. …

6 Ways to Get the Most out of Training your Team

Posted on by Leave a Comment

I came across this article the other day and was stuck by Jim Baston's main message: managers can significantly improve training outcomes by enthusiastically participating in training with their teams. I've personally seen this demonstrated many times. Jim has taken the time to observe and analyze just how and why it makes a difference. There's a lot of value in his recommendations.  ~ Stephanie Reyes 6 Ways to Get the Most out of Training your Team Service managers often ask me if they should attend our Proactive Service® workshop with their technicians. My answer is …

Fighting the “Mommy Dead End”

Posted on by Leave a Comment

One of the toughest challenges to overcome when looking for work is the dreaded resume gap. A month or two, here and there among a lifetime of jobs is not uncommon and shouldn’t have a significant impact on job prospects—as long as it doesn’t represent a pattern of quitting (or being fired!). But longer gaps tend to awaken the skeptic in recruiters and employers. While a lengthy gap in employment can happen for a variety of reasons, one of the most common for women (though slowly becoming more common for men) is time out …

8 Tips for Surviving Your Daily Commute

Posted on by Leave a Comment

According to US Census data on commuting, about 8% of workers in the USA have commutes of an hour or longer, and nearly 600,000 full-time workers endure "megacommutes" of at least an hour-and-a-half and 50 miles. If you are one of that 8%, you know that a long commute can be draining and stressful. Various studies have shown that lengthy commutes have a broad range of impacts including increased stress levels, reduced social interaction, and less sleep. And a recent multivariate study of over 21, 088 commuters found definite associations between commuting and a variety of negative health outcomes.  While some people who commute long …

A Bad Day or Job Burnout?

Posted on by Leave a Comment

Sometimes work is not empowering, or engaging, or satisfying. Sometimes work is just work. Every job has its share of drudgery and every employee occasionally hits a wall where no amount of incentive, appreciation or camaraderie is enough to make them want to put in another day. When this feeling becomes commonplace, it’s time to question whether you’re just having (another) bad day or slowly sliding into job burnout. Photo by Florian Simeth, Flickr You might think that only people in repetitive, mind-numbing jobs are susceptible to this kind of burnout. In fact, monotony is only …

Next Page

Experience TribeHR for Yourself
Contact us to schedule a demo of TribeHR.

Book A Demo
The Latest from Workplace Tribes
Leadership Refresher February 27, 2015
We Are All Connected February 25, 2015
What HR Can Learn from Effective Sales Proposals February 23, 2015
Why Giving is as Important as Shipping February 20, 2015
The Importance of Clear Signals at Work February 18, 2015
 
Swatting a Fly with a Sledgehammer February 16, 2015
6 Ways to Get the Most out of Training your Team February 13, 2015
Fighting the “Mommy Dead End” February 11, 2015
8 Tips for Surviving Your Daily Commute February 09, 2015
A Bad Day or Job Burnout? February 06, 2015