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December 30, 2015
What an amazing year! I was blessed to work in over 30 different settings this year with leaders in the US, Europe, Asia and India. My passport is filling up.
It wasn’t just the wonderment of working with leaders from different cultures (“you can’t give your boss feedback here in China – it’s just not acceptable”) but in seeing how leaders grew as a result of considering what they have been doing that has been effective as well as seeing new opportunities and approaches to be better leaders in the future.
One leader told me his primary concern was the different team dynamics in leading a multi-cultural team from China, Belgium, the US and South America. He said he spent so much time in team meetings being careful about not offending people that they rarely got much done on important issues. His major learning – four months later – was in how to create a common future and set of conversational values so that everyone could agree that what they said and how they said it was always to be understood in the execution of the team’s work. It took several team meetings for everyone to embrace that “just because Paco said XXX doesn’t mean he’s being overly critical or insensitive to the challenges faced elsewhere.” The team now reports not only dramatically improved team processes but also a much closer interpersonal connection across the members.
It’s much easier to forgive someone when you absolutely know they are interested in your needs, wants and concerns and are able to raise those issues for group dialogue.
Does that happen on your team? Are you a leader with the courage and skill to raise that issue? What are the potential benefits? What are the potential pitfalls or downsides to not addressing them and living with lackluster performance? Do you have the energy to continue life this way –and is that what your organization is paying you to do as a leader?
So many teams say they are a “high performing team” without exploring what that really means in terms of their outcomes (business outcomes as well as the quality of their conversations).
Make 2016 your best year as a leader. What might you need to learn in the next year so you will be better?
Me? I’m working on three things (only):
- 1:1 work with my ski coach to prepare for my next level of certification with the Professional Ski Instructors of America. The better I can get in my skiing and instruction the better I can help my coachees learn. Plus I continue to make connections between what it means to manage yourself on the slopes and managing yourself on the job.
- I will be pursuing my next level of executive coaching certification with the International Coach Federation. I am approaching 1,000 hours of coaching sessions and continued development means better coaching for me and for my clients.
- I should complete two new writing projects with the Center for Creative Leadership (ccl.org) on Developing Executive Presence and on Working with Accountability Partners.
BE BETTER NOW – A Leadership Call to Action – Take a moment right now to put your thoughts into action
- What is ONE ASPECT of your professional life that might benefit from more or different attention in this subject area (enhancing the impact you make on others)?
- What is ONE THING you could do TODAY that would move you more deliberately in this direction? The Behavior or action I could take (verb); I will…
- HOW will you ensure you are developing – WITH WHOM can you share this goal or add to your brain trust to hold yourself accountable?
- MAKE a 10 minute calendar appointment right now to check in with yourself on this topic next week (better yet – for each following week). Keep it practical – write brief notes on two questions only:
- What clear steps did I take last week for my own development?
- What will I focus on executing next week?
Need some thought partner time? – Call/email at 336.918.8415 email@example.com
Practical – Relevant – Immediately Useful