The word ‘channel’ has various and differing meanings. I grew up on a ranch, and we had to get water to the grass and to the cattle. My dad and grandpa built ditches and canals to channel the water to specific places for specific uses. We had three TV channels that brought news and content into our lives from the outside world. There were cables and wires to channel electricity, in the right amount, to lights, appliances and other devices.
You know successful people when you see them. They move forward as if there’s nothing that can stop them. What motivates them? What are the core attributes that drive them to climb higher?
So much productivity is lost in businesses because the people who are hired to do the work are not motivated or even worse are demotivated to give their best effort. Have you seen this in your organization?
What is the root cause of this lack of motivation? In some cases it’s because people are afraid to take risks. They worry about the consequences of their actions; in many cases they fear repercussion from their boss. However, in increasingly more organizations, the lack of motivation stems from a lack of leadership from within. Continue reading
Guest post by Bernie Bulkin, author of Crash Course
The central competency of any corporate (or charity or political or sports) leader is the ability to build a great team. But how? What are the key elements? And while sometimes we have the luxury of putting together a team from scratch, where you can pick the individuals you want to have, more often leaders inherit a team that may or may not have a record of performance, that they need to build into a ‘best team’. Here are a few key things: Continue reading
“Extreme would not be extreme without fear. And fear would not be worth it without the love of the game.”
Are you an extreme leader? According to Steve Farber, author and business leadership expert, extreme leaders “approach the act of leadership as you’d approach an extreme sport: learn to love the fear and exhilaration that naturally comes with the territory.” To become an extreme leader you need to seek opportunities that will stretch you and ultimately cause fear. The fear defines the experiences that lead to extreme leadership.
To create the experiences that will strengthen your leadership, Farber recommend you take a Radical LEAP every day. LEAP is an acronym for the following: Continue reading
Contributed by Global Knowledge
Today’s business recruiters face a growing concern over the future of leadership. This concern is certainly not unfounded – by the year 2020 over a quarter of the workforce will be aged 55 and over (compared to just 13% in 2000), and many of these will hold senior positions in their organization. Employers are therefore being faced with the sensitive task of bridging the skills gap in a bid to find new leaders to replace those who are heading towards retirement.
Jocelyn Bérard, Global Knowledge’s Vice President is one leader who is working diligently to steer organizations through the leadership predicament towards a green light solution. In his latest publication Accelerating Leadership Development: Practical Solutions for Building Your Organization’s Potential, Bérard identifies key ways in which employers can work to fill leadership roles, whether through leadership training or business development strategies.
According to Bérard, the book’s main purpose is to aid businesses to “speed up the process of leadership development [by making sure that they] have the right opportunities and infrastructure to retain that talent.” The publication includes a step-by-step approach to accelerating leadership development within the workplace, which seeks to lay the foundations for organizations to “identify talent gaps, select next-generation talent, determine leadership requirements and give them [employees] the tools they need to succeed.”
The publication also includes interviews with top international academics and executives from Europe and North America who offer sound advice on how to find, encourage and nurture emerging talent in the workplace.
In addition to his recent book, Bérard also regularly offers leadership advice in industry publications both online and in print. In a recent article on accelerating leadership development, Bérard identified two key strategies for organizations seeking to prepare for leadership succession:
1. The 9-Box Grid
A core part of the solution is identifying potential leader candidates, this may be an employee who consistently produces work of a high standard and is skilled in every area of their role. One tool, which Bérard suggests organizations can use, is the nine-box grid that can be used to position potential leaders on a low, medium and high performance scale.
However, merely scoring employees with a performance rating is not enough to predict and rate potential leaders. Bérard identifies six factors that employees need to take into account in order to assess future leaders. These are:
- Cognitive complexity and capacity
- Learning orientation: self and others
- Drive and achievement orientation
- Motivation to lead
- Social and emotional complexity and capacity
- Personal and business ethics
These factors are believed to be essential in order to streamline the leadership assessment process.
2. Carefully Identify Potential Leaders Through Diagnosis
Meticulously assessing a potential leader’s capabilities, competencies, experience and knowledge is essential in order to recognize strengths and identify room for improvement. Bérard says options for assessment could include “360-degree surveys or simulations, validated personality traits inventories, tailored knowledge, and an experience review interview or questionnaire.”
Using these four components to appropriately assess potential-leaders will give employers an accurate indication of whether a candidate is ready to make the leap of faith towards leadership training and development.
Author Note: Global Knowledge are IT and business training providers who organize a number of leadership development training events designed to offer practical solutions for building an organization’s potential. The next event will be hosted by Jocelyn Bérard on the 2nd December. Visit the website to find out more.
The Product Management Perspective: Many product management leaders face challenges with aging individual contributors on their teams. What makes this challenge even more difficult is the shortage of college programs focused on product management, which means new candidates need training and preparation beyond what they get in college to get started. Therefore, product management leaders must focus on not only finding people with the right skills to lead their products, but also on training them for their job. When hiring a VP or Director of Product Management, make sure your chosen candidate understands these aspects and will focus on developing leaders in your product organization.
Guest post by Marcela De Vivo
Managers and team leaders alike want to create the best possible environment for their employees in order to have a high-functioning workplace, but exactly how to go about this is a bit of a difficult question. Each employee has a particular way they get things done, but it is your job as their leader to motivate them to work together.
Image via Free Digital Photos
There are several different ways to go about motivating your employees; some are tried and true, and others may be things you have never done before. Whatever you do, start working today for a more positive work environment and higher group efficiency.
1. Spend time one-on-one
Sometimes, it’s easy for your employees to get lost in the midst of a huge corporation. This can be discouraging, and can ultimately cause them to think that their work is not recognized or needed.
Let them know that you do acknowledge and appreciate their efforts by spending some time with them, one-on-one. Share with them specific times when you have been satisfied with their work, and remind them why they are so indispensable within the company.
2. Be a good example
Your employees are constantly looking to you for how they should be doing things and how they should react in certain situations. That means, if you are constantly giving off negative vibes and criticizing the company, there is a pretty good chance your employees will learn to do the same.
Come into the office everyday with a positive attitude, and start including your employees in the decision-making process. They will start to respond to your outlook, which develops a much healthier work environment.
3. Devote a room to relaxation
When employees are at work day-after-day, accomplishing tasks and going to meetings, the office tends to become monotonous. Your employees need some place to relax and recharge, and why can’t this be right in your building?
Create a room specifically for relaxing and meditation. Use feng shui in the room to ensure there is a good flow and atmosphere for all your employees. One of the most effective ways to promote relaxation is to incorporate a water element within the workplace, such as a water wall or small fountain. When your employees feel rested, they will be more motivated to work hard.
4. Promote a safe environment
Like anyone, your employees get frustrated with some aspects of work. Does this mean that every time you hear them voice something negative you should be worried they are going to quit? Of course not! Instead, let them know it’s okay to speak up and voice their complaints.
As a leader it is your job to make this a healthy exercise instead of becoming negative, but sometimes getting something off our chest just feels good. Do what you can to listen to their requests and complaints and make some positive changes in the office.
5. Have fun as a group outside the office
A close-knit team works wonders for productivity at work. Building relationships and morale should be at the top of your list as a manager, but this doesn’t always need to stay at the office.
Plan group events with your team. Weekend barbeques at someone’s house, Monday morning breakfasts and even happy hour events after work all grow your employees together and get them excited to work together. You can even use these kinds of events as a reward for hard work.
Image via Free Digital Photos
No matter what methods you employ, your employees should be very important to you. They are the ones working for you, and it is your job to motivate them to be the best they can be.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and business owner who always puts her team first. She and her team practice yoga and meditation every morning and, on Fridays, they all get together to have lunch to brainstorm and relax. You can find out more about her business and team by visiting Gryffin Media’s website.
The Product Management Perspective: As a product manager you have a major influence on all those responsible for creating, marketing and selling your products. While you do not manage those individuals, you can have a major effect on their productivity and success. Experiment with these principles to find ways to motivate those whom you count on for the success of your products.