What Does It Mean?

We’re consuming more information than we ever did. Largely due to the fact that it is getting easier and easier to create and share. Information is increasingly more accessible. Successful leaders know information is important. The challenge, however, is identifying which information is relevant. Perhaps more than that, which information is important now? Which information will be relevant tomorrow? How can leaders be effective in identifying what information is relevant?

what does it mean
an inquiring mind is prerequisite for great and successful leadership || image by JD Hancock | cc

Knowing what information is pertinent is one of the things that will give organizations the edge over rivals. However, knowing is only the first step. Knowing the pertinent information must be followed by its appreciation. That is, for leaders to be successful, they must allow the information to speak for itself. Manipulating information or facts does not change their truth. Ignoring it does not empower, it impairs, and ultimately destroys an enterprise.

Fight the temptation to manipulate information to say what you want it to say.

Beyond identifying relevant information and what it says, you must inquire on what it means. The implications of information can be determined if the right information is being queried and it is not tainted or manipulated to preference. Dialogue in teams is important. Exploring the different possibilities of the implication of information is best done with many minds and outlooks. Reflection is key for every successful leader. They must constantly look at information to them and ask, “What does it mean?”

The value of information is in the appreciation and understanding of the implications thereof.

Inquiring minds will unlock secrets borne by information. Some of the implications of information will glare at you and others must be prodded out.

Information is only as good as your understanding of it and its implication. It’s not what you know it’s how it matters… It does not matter how much you know. What matters most is how you use what you know. It does not matter that you know until you know what what you know demands. The demands of what you know do not matter much until you act on what it all means. Only then can it make a difference.

Now that you have this information, what are you going to do with it? What does it mean for you and your enterprise?

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4 Ways You Undermie and Fail Your Team(mates)

There is respect bestowed on people by virtue of the position they occupy. Some people struggle to give respect in instances where they are on the ‘same level’ with. Nothing cripples teams like teammates undermining each other. When people in a team undermine each other the whole team fails. Undermining those you are with on your team is evidence that you have made your ego more important than the team and its purposes. The team also fails those that lead it when the teammates undermine each other. So, how exactly are you undermining your teammates?

4 Ways You Undermine and Fail Your Team
undermining your team is like scoring an own goal; self defeating || image by “lumaxart.com”

Roles

 

Every team member has strengths unique to them. Wise leaders assign tasks or roles to team members based on their strengths. You undermine your teammates when you see your role more important to the team than others’. Other instances where people see their assignments more important than others’ that they call for help at the (complete) expense of others’ assignments. In organizations you see people insisting that their departments or divisions are to be treated more respect than any other. The truth is it all takes a team to do the work.

A jigsaw puzzle piece is not more important than the puzzle but the puzzle is incomplete without it

Failure

 

Failure by a part of your enterprise will most likely be felt by other parts of it, if not by all. Failure in one area is failure for all, as it affects everyone. Individuals and or teams in an enterprise must own up to their contribution to failure. However, you fail your teammates when all you do is beat them up after a failure. When teams in your enterprise fail it is your responsibility as a team player to find means to remedy that and empower your teammates for future success.

Teamwork is about enabling success of an enterprise.

Squabble 

 

You fail your team when you allow conflict to grow. Some conflict can easily be short-lived when team members are aware of conflict between other team members and they create a space for it to be resolved. Sadly, some team members pick sides instead of the picking the team and its vision. Team members must learn to focus on the health of the team and not allegiance to others, especially when they are wrong at the expense of what should be collective focus.

Resolve conflict in a team is more than just bringing reconciliation between two parties in conflict; it is about the well-being of the enterprise and its vision

You fail your team when you do not help resolve conflict but enable it.

‘Word’

 

It is easy to see everything that is going wrong. Often at the expense of what is going right. Excellence is important. Despite this fact, not everything deserves fuel. Sometimes the best thing to do for your teammates is a word of encouragement not battering. Always highlighting what your team keeps getting wrong may make your team focus more on the negatives. You undermine your team when you never or rarely highlight what they are getting right.

Affirmation gives confidence to act, while continually keeping failures before your team will incubate discouragement and grow failure further.

Leader, when communicate areas of failure to your team find a way to encouragement for positive outcomes.

How have you felt undermined or failed by you teammates?

 

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3 Ways You Fail Those Who Lead You

Leadership is visible. Every leader has a bull’s-eye on him. This is because everybody is watching you and everything you’re doing. And, everyone seems to always know better than the leader. Leadership is not for sissies.

You cannot lead without courage and a level of deafness. People often more readily point out how leadership is failing or has failed but hardly stop to consider how they fail leadership.

Before you pass judgement or critique, consider how you are helping the demise of your leaders and the enterprise you serve in.

3 ways you fail those who lead you
don’t be quick to point out how leadership is failing before considering how you are contributing to their failure | image by Nima Badiey | cc

You fail your those who lead you when:

Goals 

Leadership gives vision. Vision is foundation for goals. You fail your leadership when you prioritize your own goals over those set out by leadership. When you serve your own goals the enterprise you serve ceases to serve those it is supposed to and serves you.

This is selfish, to say the least. Goals set in line with the vision are an enabling force. Acting without them effectively cripples and undermines the efforts of any team or organisation.

Initiative

When you are not quick to see and or explore the possibilities that currently exist as a result of the organization’s present position, you fail your leadership.

Your present responsibilities could be creating greater opportunities for the enterprise you serve. When all you see are your present responsibilities and not the possibilities that may result as you fulfill them you fail your leaders.

On the same note, you fail your leadership when you see opportunities and do nothing at all about them. You do not act on them or highlight them to your colleagues, leadership and enterprise at large. You also fail your leadership when you only act when you are told to do so.

Follow

This is rather obvious but extremely important. You fail those that lead your team or organization when you do not follow them. You fail your leadership when you devalue your role or do not do it with care. Leadership is failed when those who follow have no respect for their work.

You will not agree with your team and your leadership all the time. In such times, you will fail your leadership when you decide not to follow through with a decision because you do not agree.

Unity is not synonymous with always the same perspective all the time. Having a different perspective to your leadership does not mean you cannot follow them.

Share some of the ways people fail their leadership in the comments below…

 

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Making Vision Stick [Excerpt]

I consider myself an avid reader. I also try to read very broadly to help me grow. I read books, blogs and tweets from people that don’t think like me. The excerpt below is from Andy Stanley’s book on vision, “Making Vision Stick“. An easy read that highlights the importance of keep vision out in front and helping those you lead to do the same. The excerpt:

…I like to joke that the three primary obstacles to making vision stick are success, failure, and everything inbetween. There is no season in which a leader can push autopilot and expect the organization to remain vision driven. It is possible for an organization to increase market share and profit margins while drifting from its original vision… …Success lures us into taking hands off the wheel. Failure causes us to overcorrect. Both succes and failure can lead to disaster.

… Over time organizations become more complex. Complexity is distracting for leaders. Where there were once two balls to juggle, suddenly there are three, then four and then forty. All of them are important. Where there was one good opportunity to pursue, suddenly there are three. And each new opportunity leads to yet another and another. Complexity can kill the original vision.

 

making vision stick
you must keep vision visibly in front you otherwise you will veer and derail your organization

 

If you’ve read the book, what  are your take aways? If you haven’t, do yourself a favor and read it. You can get it here.

 

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Which Leadership Style is Best?

Not all people are the same. Leaders are also people and, as a result, are also not the same. Every leader has a different personality, worldview and disposition on different things.

The common thing to all leaders is that they exist to lead [Click to Tweet]

That is why they are there. This leaves how to lead somewhat optional. You can train leaders on the principles and strategies of leadership but you may not be able to completely shape who they become as leaders. This is because every leader has a different personality and something about it will color their leadership.

which leadership style is the best
one of the things that influence leadership style is personality

Personality profiling or strengths assessments, such as Strengths Finder, Myers Briggs, DISC and Insights, highlight different strengths people have. Leadership style has impact on those you lead and ultimately on your enterprise.

Different leadership styles are effective in different contexts. For example, leaders can take into account the personalities they lead. A relational leader may find it easier to lead and may be able to succeed in getting results from their team.

On the other hand the relational leader can put relationships ahead of results. Some leaders are more focused on the tasks, strategy and ideation. There are myriad ways of assessing and labeling leadership styles.

It is not that leaders have one leadership style per se. What is called ‘leadership style’ is generally their primary and predominant response(s) or disposition as they lead. Which leadership style is best? Which leadership style is better than the other? Or, which is the best leadership style? None.

There is no one leadership style that is best. Neither is there one leadership style that is better than another. What makes the difference is how leaders manage themselves in leading. One of the reasons teams get frustrated with leadership is not leadership style but the context it which a particular style is employed.

Different leadership styles get better results in different contexts. The most important thing for leaders is to understand themselves and the context in which their predominant tendencies work best.

Leader, where you have shortcomings, it is prudent to lean on those on your team whose leadership styles are stronger than you in the Ares you will need.

The only instances where one leadership style is better than another is when another leadership style could be used to get best results. Screwdrivers are great but are ineffective when you need to knock a nail in.

In conclusion, no one leadership style is better than another per se. Context is what you should use to determine which leadership style will be best.

The best leadership style is the one that best fits the context [Click to Tweet]

It is not the leadership style that matters, but that it is appropriately leaned into in each context. As part of developing a healthy organization factor in discerning the leadership style needed for contexts you encounter.

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Your thoughts?

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