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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

Who Is Running This Place Anyway?


Most managers develop a set of activities they use again and again to drive the work their department needs to accomplish. And still others ignore disciplines of management and try to rely solely on their inspirational leadership to cause employees to do the right thing.

The system of management an organization uses is one of the most influential levers of organizational and individual performance. However, how we manage is usually left to the manager. Leaving this decision to each manager prevents a cohesive management of the business, largely because the essential work of any organization crosses from one department to the next and varying management approaches end up disconnected, incongruous and confusing. There are far too many process interdependencies for a collection of ad hoc management approaches to be efficient.

Sure, one manager’s relationship skills will vary from the next, but the interpersonal aspects of managing are only a small subset of the overall job of managing.

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I Need Me A Management System


The fact is EVERY organization is run by some form of a management system, whether its existence is consciously recognized or not, whether someone designed that system or it simply evolved. Most organizations operate under an informal momentum-driven management system that few, if anyone, in the organization really understands.

How do I know?

I often ask people in organizations—even CEOs—what their system of management is. Most often in response I get a blank stare and at best, a few words–after they take a few seconds to think.

Management system? What’s that?

In fact, there are most often multiple systems in a given organization, which ultimately creates the fractures that lead to disengagement, the biggest enemy to individual and organizational performance.

And whose job is it to determine the organization’s management system? The top executive! We need to start helping them.

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Moving Towards Change


The movement towards change is a difficult course to navigate for many companies.  Emerging technologies, such as Social Media have thrust change onto many of us like it or not.  Accepting that the environment is changing is the first step.  The size of your company is not always the issue.  I have seen many large organizations (500+) adopt and still stay nimble.  Here are three key ways these companies have  guided their ship though the treachous waters of change:

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Leadership: Perfection vs Momentum?


Regardless of what level they are at, many leaders doggedly seek perfection.  This obsession with perfection is driven by fear along with a distorted view of the leadership behaviors that matter most.

Perfection-seeking manifests itself in the form of decision avoidance, micro-managing direct reports, and focusing on the negative.  In addition, these leaders operate down in the weeds and want to oversee every detail of daily operations.  They rely on bureaucratic rules to control the environment and employees.

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Leaders Thrive On The Use Of Fear


The vast majority of leaders use fear to run their organizations, yet they would never admit it. You can fool yourself by saying that fear is not in your heart, but that does not mean your people don’t perform for you primarily because of fear. Fear is a natural outcome of traditional management systems. And fear is costly because it kills innovation and blocks micro improvements.

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Engage or Die


Gallup’s extensive research in employee engagement describes in no uncertain terms the failure of today’s organizations to engage employees. Its research shows that 69 percent of a typical workforce is disengaged. But the news gets even worse. A full 29 percent of the workforce is more than just disengaged, they are categorized as “actively disengaged.” That means these employees choose to do things that disrupt or harm the business. Sadly, these disruptive people are often the most creative and capable people in the organization who express their extreme frustration in the only way they have found possible, trouble.

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Leading From the Front


Organizations need leaders who can get great things done.  There is a secret on how to be a great leader–lead from the front.

Leading from the front is especially important in the face of significant change where the status quo is deadly to an organization’s ability to survive and grow.  Here’s what it looks like to lead from the front:

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The Failure to Engage is Clear


Many levers are pulled by business leaders in attempt after attempt to get significantly different results through people. Whether it’s a new recognition system or black belt Six Sigma training or the latest program on change management, all of these efforts try to change underlying beliefs, models, behaviors and ultimately the organizational culture. Culture is caused by the management system, not by attempts at behavior modification.

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Can You Cause Employees to Engage? Yes!


Employees engage when the organization they work for uses a system of management that is engineered with human nature in mind. Most of us live within a 100-year management system based on Henry Ford’s mass production thinking, and we don’t even know it. That system was designed to not engage the front line people—their job was to do what they were told. Nothing more; nothing less.

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