/Notes/ Leadership

I’m participating in my employer’s leadership training program. Notes and whatnot.

My focuses:
Driving Engagement:

  • Less skilled:
    • Has little insight into what motivates others
    • Doesn’t give people enough flexibility and autonomy to do their work
    • Does little to create enthusiasm
    • Is unwilling to share ownership and give up control of assignments
  • Skilled:
    • Structures the work so it aligns with people’s goals and motivators
    • Empowers others
    • Makes each person feel their contributions are important
    • Invites input and shares ownership and visibility
    • Shows a clear connection between people’s motivators and the organizational goals
  • Talented:
    • Creates a positive and motivating work environment
    • Knows what motivates different people and aligns work accordingly
    • Gives others appropriate latitude to get work done
    • Invites input from others
    • Makes people feel that their contributions are visible and valued
  • Overused:
    • May accommodate others’ motivators at the expense of getting needed work done
    • May empower beyond people’s capacity
    • May avoid giving constructive feedback if it could negatively impact engagement

Interpersonal Savvy:

  • Less skilled:
    • Builds few relationships
    • Engages with people in immediate work area only
    • Is uncomfortable when interacting with people different from self
    • Expresses points of view in a blunt or insensitive manner
    • Shows little interest in others’ needs
  • Skilled:
    • Relates comfortably with people across levels, functions, culture, and geography
    • Acts with diplomacy and tact
    • Builds rapport in an open, friendly, and accepting way
    • Builds constructive relationships with people both similar and different to self
    • Picks up on interpersonal and group dynamics
  • Talented:
    • Proactively develops relationships with a wide variety of people
    • Builds immediate rapport, even when facing difficult or tense situations
    • Understands interpersonal and group dynamics and reacts in an effective manner
    • Engages input from others constantly and listens with empathy and concern
  • Overused:
    • Is focused on understanding group and interpersonal dynamics at the expense of getting results
    • Makes ineffective decisions due to a strong need to be liked
    • May be seen as lacking authenticity

Builds Networks:

  • Less skilled:
    • Builds limited relationships with different groups
    • Has difficulty determining who to contact for resources or knowledge
    • Doesn’t tap into networks beyond own immediate area to exchange ideas or get things done
  • Skilled:
    • Builds strong formal and informal networks
    • Maintains relationships across a variety of functions and locations
    • Draws upon multiple relationships to exchange ideas, resources, and know-how
  • Talented:
    • Consults with a wide network of internal and external connections
    • Connects the right people to accomplish goals
    • Works through formal and informal channels to build broad-based relationships and support
  • Overused:
    • Relies on networking at the expense of other skills and work priorities
    • May be perceived as a one-sided networker, using networks solely for own advantage

Leading discussions:

  • Don’t let the discussion wander. Bringing in specific quotes, problems, or other samples of the material can ensure that even underprepared participants will have something to talk about.
  • Use open-ended questions and ask participants for clarification, examples, definitions.
  • Summarize responses without taking a stand one way or another.
  • Toward the end of the discussion, review the main ideas, the thread of the discussion, and conclusions.

General Notes from Readings:

  • Your employees understand their jobs. They know their tasks, roles, and functions within the org, and it’s time for you to let them do what they need to do to get the job done. Your role is to encourage and support the decision-making environment, and give employees the tools and knowledge they need to make and act upon their own decisions. If a company has a history of shutting down or letting go of initiators, the leader can’t tell employees, “You are empowered.”
    • What can a leader do when they are driving engagement, but their leader is not?
  • Energy, not time, is the currency of engagement. Engagement is the combination of the perception of changes and events happening around you, and the level of energy experienced. So, highly engaged people have positive perceptions of changes going on around them and they put a high level of energy into their work and everything else they do.
    • What creates this positive perception? Being engaged, but WHY/HOW?
    • Engaged employees take ownership of what they do and how they do it; how do leaders encourage this state? Create conditions in which they choose to be engaged.

Employee Development:
Ask for development until it stings!

  • What would you like to do?
  • Where do you see yourself?
  • What are your aspirations?
  • Use the resources, tools, people around you
  • Where you are:
    • job title
    • job description
    • behavior
    • performance
      • requires self-reflection
      • leader and peer feedback
  • Where you want to go:
    • growth conversations
    • where do I want to grow my skillset?
    • what follows my interests?
    • what supports the business?
    • what do you like to do?
    • what are you good at?
    • what do you want to accomplish in the role you’re taking on?

Leadership webinar notes: (spring into leadership 3/10)

67% of women rate having a mentor as very important to career, but only 37% don’t have a workplace mentor women ask for mentorships less often than men companies with formalized mentorship programs are more profitable, while the people being mentored are more successful

Servant leadership: True leadership emerges from those whose primary motivation is a deep desire to help others.

The best test is: Do those served grow as persons; do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?

The servant leader seeks to identify the will of a group and helps clarify that will. She strives to understand and empathize with others. She assumes the good intentions of coworkers and does not reject them as people, even if she finds it necessary to refuse to accept their behavior or performance. She relies on persuasion over coercion. She is effective at building consensus within groups. She believes that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as coworkers. She is deeply committed to the growth of each and every individual within the institution. She seeks to identify some means for building community among the org’s people.

Great leaders exercise power by virtue of their passion and who they are. They possess the ability to make things happen by encouraging and inspiring others and acting as a catalyst for change. They are teachable. They show genuine concern for their team - the whole person, including life outside of work. They provide positive feedback, ask for team input and involve them in pivotal decisions. They model the way they want their team to act. They are authentic and honest. They work hard at being themselves, telling the truth, and investing in others.

Written on January 21, 2020