Here are 5 things that successful leaders know about leadership that make us want to follow them:
Continue reading → 5 Things Successful Leaders Know That Make Us Want To Follow Them
85% of people around the world are not engaged or are actively disengaged with their work. (Gallup December, 2017). The result is a $7 trillion loss in productivity worldwide. Sadly, this trend has been holding steady for more than 20 years.
It seems that everything in the world economy has changed except how leaders continue to miss the opportunity to engage people.
Gratitude: Could this possibly make a difference?
What we desire and need as human beings in order to be engaged at work is to be respected, offered the opportunity to learn and grow and to be thanked for our contributions. Consider this:
Indeed, we hunger for gratitude and we intuitively know that in a workplace where it is practiced, a more civilized, creative and thriving world will prevail. And yet, the research tells us that leaders worldwide are ignoring this inner wisdom and failing to engage the hearts and full commitment of their teams.
Curiosity, creativity and innovation are all human experiences that come from the integration of heart and mind. In organization life, we often forget this and we work only from the neck up, with our minds. Over-investing in rational thought and intellect is a great folly for leaders and is an epidemic in global leadership as we see from this multi-decade pattern of dismal engagement numbers. It is an approach to leadership where the primary mode of operation is believing that the mind provides the only road to solutions and results. It is an over-emphasis on tasks with not enough focus on people and expressing appreciation to those people through which all things happen.
When we do this, we leave behind our potential genius and our ability to unlock the genius of others. The result of which is a lack of engagement and, subsequently, results that are a fraction of what they could be.
Another Program Is Not The Answer
Gratefulness is a powerful tool for building extraordinary and engaged teams. We don’t need another program to raise engagement. We need to coach leaders to lead with gratitude and reward them for doing so.
To be grateful leaders means we are paying attention to our people and to what is happening right now and to the opportunity in every moment. We are comfortable with ambiguity and, therefore, we are allowing ourselves to be surprised by ideas, people and situations. We are listening and responding. We are focused on others, not on ourselves. We are operating with complete faith that in doing so, the results will come, and they do.
Grateful Leadership Behaviors
When we demonstrate grateful leadership we:
Daily Practices To Develop Grateful Leadership Skill
Leading with gratitude is not difficult but it requires practice in order to bring the necessary balance to the dynamic between mind and heart. Here are some ways to develop your ability to lead with gratefulness:
If you want to work with these practices, try rating yourself on a scale of 1-5 (1=I don’t do this and 5= I consistently do this) on each of the 7 grateful leadership behaviors listed above. Set goals and action plans to improve. Utilize at least one of the daily practices suggested and then rescore yourself in 30, 60 and 90 days. Take note of how your practices help increase the engagement of your team and, wonderfully, your own happiness as a leader.
Sheila Madden works as an executive coaching supporting leaders in technology, healthcare, non-profits and higher education.
Copyright 2018 Sheila Madden, Madden Coaching & Consulting. All Rights Reserved.
The bullies and jerks at work are people who are running scared. They attack and try to keep you off balance so that you don’t notice that they are off balance and insecure as all hell. They are wounded and they don’t understand it or why they feel the way they do.
It is not your job to fix them but it is your job to set your own boundaries (think of boundaries as STOP signs) and standards of how you choose to be treated and how you will treat others. It is also your job to respectfully call out those who do violate your boundaries and standards. But be careful here. Do it according to your own values and standards of civility. The jerks and bullies gain power and momentum when they trigger you and you respond just like them. You might feel entitled to lash out because people like this have shown complete disregard for your values. But all you do when you react instead of respond is let the jerks win the day.
The most effective leaders practice and exercise self-management. They know what triggers them and who triggers them (self-awareness) and they have well-developed ways to neutralize the trigger so that they can respond from a place of balance. (self-management) Their measured responses teach the bully and others present how things should be done.
Try this. Approach with genuine curiosity and the desire to inform and correct, not slam back.
Next time someone is being a jerk to you or someone else, respond right away (don’t wait or let it go on because it builds strength). Simply ask in a strong and balanced voice “Excuse me, but do you hear how hostile and degrading your words and tone of voice are right now?”
Wait for them to answer.
If they don’t answer, follow up with, “Seriously, I am genuinely asking you, can you hear it?”
Wait for them to answer.
If the answer is “No” then say what is true for you. Something like, “Well you’re being harsh and using language like (insert language) that is insulting and it is impossible to hear anything constructive in your message. I would appreciate you taking that language and tone out of it and tell me what you are really trying to say.”
If they answer “Yes” then ask for the same thing. Something like, “Good. Please stop it. I am willing to hear what you have to say but I need you to say it with respect.”
The reason bullying and being a jerk at work is getting to be an epidemic is because those who act this way spur our anger or embarrassment or whatever and we go into defensive mode. The second this happens we have lost our power and influence and most important, our ability to stop the behavior.
Whoever has the strongest momentum wins. Shift the momentum to respect with your response and behavior and the jerks and bullies lose their power.
Sheila Madden is CEO of Madden Coaching & Consulting. If you like this blog and want to receive more like it, please sign up on the right of this page.
Copyright 2017, Sheila Madden. All Rights Reserved.
Moral outrage and vehement, yet peaceful, disagreement are necessary and legitimate responses to anyone or anything that goes against the morals and values of a civilized world. What we must be mindful of is not allowing our fight against injustice to mirror the energy and behavior of that with which we disagree. If we do, we inadvertently give what we don’t want MORE momentum.
The most effective and memorable leaders have risen powerfully against what is unjust while personally demonstrating civility and respect for humanity. This is what shifts the momentum to what is good and just.
The characteristics of such leaders include being:
· Principled vs self-righteous
· Definitive vs equivocal
· Passionate vs violent
The minute we fall into the same patterns of incivility in our protests against the lack of civility, we have lost our power to influence change and we have inadvertently fueled the momentum of the very thing we despise.
“Hatred and fear blind us. We no longer see each other. We only see the faces of monsters, and that gives us the courage to destroy each other. Thich Nhat Hanh
Perhaps the greatest challenge of leadership is in managing our own emotional reactions to violations of human values. But when we can do so, we are able to seize the opportunity and respond intentionally with our thoughts, words and actions. Leading by example for what we stand for and what we are unwilling to compromise on, even when provoked, has great power. It teaches and empowers others to do the same, and most important, it disempowers opposing forces.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller
Let us take inspiration from and stand with the great leaders, famous and not famous, who have come before us and to those we see modeling leadership character today. The best way to show our gratitude for their brave actions that have made our world better is to do our part every day. It is not necessary to play on a huge stage. It is only necessary that we use our every word and action to demonstrate our uncompromising devotion to a world where love prevails and where the universal operating system upon which we exist is based on the dignity of all humanity.
Copyright 2017, Sheila Madden. All Rights Reserved.
The one crippling behavior that will cause you failure in leadership and in life, (and by life, I mean as a partner, a parent, a friend etc.) is the lack of empathy.
Empathy, which is a cornerstone of emotional intelligence, specifically social awareness, is often misunderstood as sharing other people’s emotions and concerns and caring deeply about them. That innate caring and concern is more representative of compassion.
Continue reading → The #1 Crippling Behavior That Will Cause You Failure In Leadership and Life
“My Religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” The Dalai Lama
Kindness is a leadership characteristic that will deliver financial and humanitarian returns beyond imagination. It helps us create work environments that are based on trust and that allow people to express and experience meaning and purpose at work.
Continue reading → Kindness: The Surprising X Factor For Successful Leaders
Einstein believed that God’s thoughts were accessible and that he could hear them if he got himself into a certain state of mind, the mind of imagination. When he said that imagination is more important than knowledge, my guess is that he came to that insight after he experienced what many of us have experienced: Knowledge can only take us so far.
Continue reading → 5 Ways Super Successful Leaders Operate
Our lives are a series of relationships, the success or failure of which happens one conversation at a time. The same is true for our organizations. The quality of the conversations that executive teams have among themselves will either help their organization succeed, under-perform or potentially fail.
Continue reading → 5 Questions Leadership Teams Should Be Asking Themselves Everyday
For 25 years my husband has been teasing me about my inability to take a decent nap. He can take a nap anywhere, anytime. The usual scenario for us is that we lie down and within two minutes he is sound asleep and snoring. Within five minutes I am twitching with restlessness. Within six minutes my mind has turned into a roller coaster of thoughts about what I should be doing, what I have forgotten to do, what I am worried about doing or not doing and a thousand “what ifs” that torture me unmercifully. In the meantime my husbands slumber continues and the deeper his innocent and effortless sleep goes the more agitated I get. Not just because he is right, I can’t take a decent nap, but because I want to and I haven’t been able to figure out why I can’t!
Continue reading → Want To Be The best At What You Do? Take Naps, Seriously
I broadened my practice two years ago to include coaching young professionals. It has opened my eyes and invigorated me in ways I never dreamed.
Most of you know that I am a self-described human potential junkie. I am possessed when it comes to wanting to support individuals and organizations in developing leadership capability. And I have to be candid, this passion collides head-on with how I see the media disrespecting this generation and writing about them with such gloom and doom. After complaining about it to anyone who would listen, I finally realized I had to put up or shut up. That is when I started coaching millennials and I am more excited about the leadership future of this world than I have been in a very long time.
Continue reading → What Every Employer Needs To Know About Gen Y’s