Leader Practices That Build Commitment

“In a crisis, people look to leaders’ hearts and their humanity, not just the brilliance of their minds.”  Bill George, 7 Lessons For Leading In Crisis

In my work with leaders, I have observed that coaching highly accomplished professionals and staff to higher productivity and morale requires at least four basic practices.  They are:

1.  The leader must be personally productive.  Few things are more demoralizing than a do nothing leader.  People, especially high performers, are very aware of the producitivity level of their leaders.  It is very difficult to follow someone you view as less productive and less committed than yourself.  Followers are watching your numbers and activities to determine if you are putting forth the same effort and commitment you’re asking of them?

2.  The leader shows colleagues and staff how they can be productive. Less telling and more guidance.  Higher performers who are operating at Maslow’s higher need levels of self-actualization respond best to coaching, not telling.  Individuals with higher self-esteem respond to leaders who ask questions that reveal potential and allows them to see new possibilities and approaches.

3.  The leader eliminates those policies, practices and programs that impede performance. It is very easy to hide behind corporate mandates and blame the pressure on regional or national leadership.  Leaders find a way to buffer those realities and create room for the local team to operate with the least amount of disruption possible.

4.  The leader supports movement and personal accountability. The best leaders watch for results and pay attention to rationalizations.  Alfred Adler, father of personality theory, explained that life happens at the level of events, not words.  His conclusion was that only movement could be trusted.  Leaders put more weight on action and call out those who rationalize inaction.


Coach To Win

“Adaptability is not imitation.  It means power of resistance and assimilation”  Gandhi


The most frightening thing I’ve observed lately is an attitude of resignation.  Many professionals appear to have a ‘whatever will be will be’ view of the current economic difficulties.  Continue in that mindset and you are certain to lose.  In every adversity there is a gift of renewal, reinvention and growth. 


Adapt and prosper!


Adaptability means power of resistance.  To build up a resistance to something is to develop the ability to not be affected.  This is especially true of adverse or ambiguous  circumstances.  In tough economic times and crisis, adaptable business leaders develop the ability to overcome adverse conditions and find breakthrough solutions to problems.  They are resilient emotionally and versatile in their approach to challenges and opportunities.  


Adaptability means power of assimilation.  Those who adapt not only develop the ability to not be affected by adversity, they use the situation for the advantage and profit of their organization.  Changing conditions, even adverse conditions, are integrated and used for their benefit.  


Here are three performance metrics that determine success in adverse conditions:  


1.  Capacity.  Winning is determined by the quality and quantity of output of your team.  Increasing productivity and morale involves a combination of willingness to look at things differently and the capability to make adjustments for surviving and thriving.  Now is the time to increase personal and organizational capacity.  


2.  Appropriateness.   Take appropriate risk to leverage your competitive advantage. Think in terms of actions to be taken or arguments to be made that will have a positive impact on the situation and release creativity in your people.    


3.  Effectiveness.  Adaptable leaders embrace ambiguity confidently by asking, ‘what is required’ for us to succeed in the current economic realities?  What will work?  What will not work?  They are concerned primarily with the effectiveness of their team, their decisions and their plans.  


Coach your people to adapt, be their personal best and to win.  


Need coaching and tools?  Give me a call and I’d be glad to help!  


Coaching In Challenging Times – Deloitte Senior Managers

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If you have a few minutes, watch this video of a presentation I gave to a group of 60 Deloitte Senior Managers and Partners…

Here are 6 tips that will enhance your leadership effectiveness, NOW!

1.  Ambiguity is the greatest risk you must help your people and organization manage through in times like these.  Two things to remember: 1) You cannot take away the ambiguity your people are experiencing, so free yourself from the need to fix it.  2)  Keep people busy.  Movement and action is the best way to overcome ambiguity because life is shaped by events.  

2.  Resist the need to manage tasks and focus on tactics alone.  Focus on your people…this will increase the probability of success more than anything else.  Jim Collins says, “If you cannot predict the What, you have to be able to do a good job with the Who, because the What is going to be constantly shifting.”

3.  Pay attention to what is motivating your people.  Their actions will be motivated by self-preservation, love, fear, revenge, recognition, money or any combination of the six.  Understanding a persons motivations will enable you to coach them toward the most constructive and positive outcomes.

4.  Adapt to the needs and objectives of those you’re trying to influence.  The best coaches have flexible attitudes toward change and people who are different than them.  

5.  Master the 3 Proven Secrets to retaining your top people (sorry, must watch video for these and they are worth the time).

6.  For maximum effectiveness in your coaching, be sincere!  Sincerity in your approach to coaching cannot be overstated.  People are constantly verifying their leaders intentions, authenticity and trustworthiness.  

Before you go, please let me know what the biggest challenge is you’re facing as a leader and manager of other people.  I look forward to reading and responding to your comments.  

Wishing you success!