The 10 Deadly Sins of Leadership

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1 The 10 Deadly Sins of Leadership A GUIDE TO LEADERSHIP SUCCESS Greg Nichvalodoff, BSc. BM (Honors), MBA, PCC

2 THE PURSUIT OF POTENTIAL Have you ever felt it would be great to have someone in your corner? Organizational change and executive leadership challenges are difficult, to say the least. For this very reason, Inscape offers confidential, professional executive coaching to guide you through the process of change and to help you attain both your personal and professional goals. The coaching partnership often begins when a corporate leader is mired in a dilemma and feels stymied but you don t have to wait to start making positive changes, and reaping the benefits. From offices in Vancouver, BC Canada, Greg Nichvalodoff is a certified professional Executive Coach who specializes in leadership and management issues. Greg provides executive coaching and leadership development, both nationally and internationally to a broad spectrum of business clients and is a requested speaker on organizational and leadership development issues. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

3 Leadership, even at the best of times, can be challenging. Leaders seek out advice and information from those who have gone before, but the landscape is constantly shifting with cultural swings and the changing tides of the corporate environment. Some leadership principles have withstood the test of time, remaining firm and resolute. Solving the 10 leadership problems described here acts as a solid foundation for all leaders. We hope that you can use this material to develop your skills as a leader to help your organization thrive in the reality of business in the 21st century. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

4 DEADLY SIN NO. 1 You Don t Know Yourself Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

5 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

6 As leaders, we seldom take an inventory of our own strengths and weaknesses. Often, our perception of ourselves is different from how others see us. We can easily become our own worst enemy. Fortunately there are tools that can help build self-awareness. These include 360-degree evaluations, emotional intelligence assessments (EQ) and psychometric testing such as the MBTI (Myers BriggsType Indicator). Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

7 We cannot become what we need to be, remaining what we are. Max Depree Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

8 DEADLY SIN NO. 2 You Failed to Build Trust Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

9 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

10 Costs of mistrust in the workplace include poor company loyalty, lack of commitment and high staff turnover. Distrustful employees are less productive. Distrustful management wastes time checking up on staff. We all seek trust. The less we find it the more precious it becomes. An organization that holds trust has a powerful competitive advantage. How do you build trust? Trust is earned when everyone s interests are considered and respected. Effective communication is the key. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

11 Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great. Ralph Waldo Emerson Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

12 DEADLY SIN NO. 3 You Conduct Unproductive Meetings Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

13 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

14 The typical executive spends 25% of the workday in meetings. But 50% of participants consider these meetings a waste of time. They also waste money. According to one study, badly run meetings cost U.S. companies $37 billion annually. Keep your meeting to an hour or less. Make sure all the key players will be there. Don t feel compelled to call a meeting if it isn t needed, even if it s become a habit. Do you always have a staff meeting first thing in the morning, even if you don t have to have one? Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

15 People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything. Thomas Sowell Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

16 DEADLY SIN NO. 4 You Execute Strategy Poorly Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

17 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

18 While executives may readily participate in the development of new strategies, they often view execution as a lower-level task. That is why many companies experience an execution gap between strategy and results. Effective strategy execution takes time, involves many people, demands integration of many key activities and requires an effective feedback system. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

19 Execution is the ability to mesh strategy with reality, align people with goals and achieve the promised results. Larry Bossidy Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

20 DEADLY SIN NO. 5 You Avoid Difficult Conversations Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

21 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

22 Difficult communication and strained relationships can take a harsh toll on our energy, attitude and spirit. What important but difficult conversations are you avoiding? What conflicts are brewing in awkward silence? To engage, we must learn to be comfortable with opposing ideas, different perspectives and tensions. Try to see difficult conversations as opportunities to facilitate change. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

23 People almost never change without first feeling understood. Douglas Stone Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

24 DEADLY SIN NO. 6 You Try to be a Hero Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

25 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

26 Everyone wants to be a hero: to be admired, respected, accepted. But this desire can lead to workplace dysfunction. The leader with a hero complex assumes he or she has all the answers, like Yoda, the all-knowing character in Star Wars. They take on too much power and make promises they can t meet. Other employees may also idealize a leader too much, depending on them and disempowering themselves. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

27 Build an organization that can endure and adapt through multiple generations of leaders. Organizational success cannot be built around a single great leader or a single great idea. Our ego hinders our ability to influence more than anything else under our control. Michael McKinney Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

28 DEADLY SIN NO. 7 You Struggle With Decisions Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

29 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

30 Decisions are at the heart of leadership success, and they can be difficult, perplexing and nerve-racking. Many people avoid decisions because they fear failure. They may be intimidated by superiors or by subordinates, or too easily influenced by others ideas. A variety of tools are available to assist you in your decision-making process. Find the one that works for you. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

31 The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

32 DEADLY SIN NO. 8 You Are Unable to Manage and Lead Change Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

33 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

34 Leaders and managers must constantly make and manage change. Often, their ability in this area determines their success. Those who fail tend to shuttle from job to job. What does it take to be a great agent of change? Chip and Dan Heath, authors of Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard, argue that both logic and emotion play a vital part in transformation. For individuals behaviour to change, they write, you ve got to influence not only the environment but hearts and minds. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

35 The rate of change is not going to slow down anytime soon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more in the next few decades. James Kotter Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

36 DEADLY SIN NO. 9 You Are a Poor Communicator Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

37 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

38 Communication through written, non-verbal cues and spoken words is the mechanism we use to establish and modify relationships. The attitude you bring to communication will have a huge impact on the way you interact with others. Practice the art of active listening. Avoid the impulse to listen only for the end of someone s sentence so that you can blurt out your ideas. Paraphrasing and seeking clarity will often enhance our ability to communicate and connect with the other party. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

39 Be confident that you can make good contributions to conversation. Assess your own opinions and feelings so you can adequately convey them to others. Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. Robert Greenleaf Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

40 DEADLY SIN NO. 10 You Don t Manage Up Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

41 Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

42 You need to go above and beyond the tasks assigned to you, so that you can enhance your manager s work. Rosanne Badowski, co-author of Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship with Those Above You, served as executive assistant to Jack Welch at General Electric for 14 years. Doing what you can to make your manager s job easier will not only help them do their job, but you will be considered a valuable asset to your manager and to your organization, she says. You want to be described as indispensable. Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

43 With today s shaky economy, learning to manage up is more important than ever. What can you do today to enhance your ability to add value and influence in your workplace? Managing up is not political game playing. Rather, it s a conscious approach to working with your supervisor toward goals that are important to both of you. Harvard Business Press Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

44 What does the leader need? Knowing what the leader needs requires the ability to consider what the organization needs and what the role of leader will play in fulfilling that need. John Baldoni Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

45 How does your leadership match up? Our coaching sessions and leadership workshops explore all these issues, giving you powerful, proven processes to help your organization break through the barriers to become more productive, more efficient and more profitable. Call today for an initial consultation, or write to Copyright 2014 by Inscape Consulting Group. All rights reserved

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