Clued In

Intentions can skew our perception of reality.  How we intend to lead and how we actually lead can be like night and day.  Then, of course, there’s the whole issue of other’s perception of us.

I have found that people’s perception of their leader is often closer to reality than the leaders personal intentions.

The people you lead are not concerned, necessarily, with your intentions.  They have to deal with your actual behavior.

Get clued in.  Have an objective third-party executive coach interview your colleagues and the professionals who work for you.  If you’re lucky, you’ll learn a few clues on how to increase your effectiveness.


Connected, but not connecting

You may be able to transfer information and give directives by phone, email and webcasts, but connecting with your professionals requires face-to-face interaction.

A national leader detailed for me all the personal one-on-one calls, group conference calls, email and webcasts where he communicated with his regional and local leaders; however, they described him as absent and not accessible.  His efforts to communicate, no matter how sincere, were not effective.

Today’s communication technology is creating distance between leaders and professionals.

Create opportunities to interact with your team, listen to their concerns and give them a chance to connect with you.  Then, you will attract followers.


Getting Results In Difficult Times: Engage

“To stay on the map you’ve got to keep showing up.” P. Gallagher

Whether you’re trying to generate new business or land a position with a new firm, getting in front of people is the most critical thing to accomplish.  Building and nurturing professional relationships must be given the highest priority every day.

If I’ve learned anything in my twenty-three years as a consultant, it’s to keep showing up.  When I show up I usually discover opportunities to help clients succeed.  When I don’t show up, my chances of getting assignments are zero.

Three conversations I had on this topic last week:

Executive…“I get so consumed with my work that I do not take time to keep my professional network outside of the firm active.”  He noted that the last time he was in a job search he promised himself that he would continue to network.  That hasn’t happened quite the way he thought it would.  A future problem in the making.

Managing Director (with an unemployed spouse)…”He doesn’t seem to act with an understanding that his full-time job, right now, is looking for a full-time job.”

Young Frustrated Professional…“It takes so long for people to decide to approve my proposals and get started.  I need to hear from them.”

Times are tough right now.  Lead times have quadrupled (at least in my business); and, companies are being much more deliberate and involving more people in the decision-making process.  So, be persistent, keep showing up and do not lose heart.  If you care enough to keep in contact, opportunity will have a higher probability of coming your way.

One year ago this month I made a sales call at the request of a client.  Two months later I submitted a proposal at the request of that client and nothing happened. Continued to call as months passed.  Asked that client to lunch in October.  Got a call last Tuesday from that client accepting my proposal, almost one year to the day. Keep showing up!