As a leader you can’t change a person but you can change their context.

A critical part of a leader’s role is to build others up. Great leaders are highly skilled at this. Good leaders sometimes give up because they are not yet skilled in communicating in a way that empowers and inspires others. This is a skill worth developing. You cannot change a person, but you can change their context. You can create a safe place in which you and others become aware of how each other sees the world. You can adjust how you communicate so that there is true understanding of what you say and that you care.

My intention is to speak to leaders, developing leaders and those who support leaders. My intention in sharing this video is not political (given our country’s turmoil from miscommunications and hate, I need to make clear that I am not speaking directly to this). Please watch and listen to JFK in the video below, perhaps more than once, and consider how your own communications might combine power and caring, as he does:

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Any business can be nimble. It starts with true leadership.

thepivotdiagram

We often hear about pivots and pivoting in the context of quick shifts by an individual or in the early days of a startup.

A quick “turn on a dime” pivot does not result in lasting change for a business beyond a handful of employees. Perhaps the mental model that a pivot must be quick has stopped you from considering it for your business. Consider The Pivot.

The Pivot leverages one of the most effective means for long-term change: collaboration. It inspires action in terms of best next steps.
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Aim to be a Great Leader? Don’t be a Hero.

superman-1070457_1280

We love our heroes. They stay alert for danger and then swoop in to save the day.

Everyday heroes may not be looking for danger but they are wired to be the person who saves the day, or in a workplace perhaps it is that they are the go-to person to solve a sticky problem.

A great leader isn’t the person to solve every problem, even if he or she could do so.

A great leader builds up others so that they solve the problems they encounter or foresee.

This is especially powerful when it creates closer collaboration within a team and across teams.

Does this mean you never help solve problems? No. If you (still) are an expert in a particular area or topic, and the team asks you to step into the problem as an expert, then you’ll do so. At that time you are in the role of the expert and not in the role of the leader.

“A great leader feels no need to be the hero. A great leader builds a team and supports them being a hero in their role.” ~ Lori Michele Leavitt

www.thepivotbook.com

www.thepivotbook.com

To learn more about building a great workplace and realizing performance breakthroughs (without being the hero)…

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The Pivot: Orchestrating Extraordinary Business Momentum.

Safe to speak up. Power to be heard.

Are you including effective communication as an area for growth in performance?

An important aspect of coaching for better performance is aimed at communication. This includes improving the dynamics and effectiveness in meetings as well as helping individuals be more clear and concise in their delivery of ideas and feedback.

A recent article by weforum.org speaks to the unheard voices of women in the workplace.
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Kill Performance Measurement & Ratings?

Today’s news shouts that traditional performance management is “bad.”  “We’ve killed performance ratings!” and “We’ve killed the annual performance review!” are phrases being touted as if, by removing a process, the company has instantaneously changed its culture.   In many cases this feels more like marketing than real change.  It takes courage to change the behaviors driving the culture that may not be working for you right now.

You came to this post to hear about performance rating, and whether to kill this process or not.  Continue reading to explore 5 dos and don’ts related to rating performance in a healthy, growing workplace. Read the rest of this entry »

Excellence – Found, Made or Elusive?

“Why is it so hard to find an excellent employee?”

That was the subject of a recent discussion in a leadership group on Linkedin. Responses (over one thousand to date!) can be grouped into four main themes:
1. that it is indeed nearly impossible to find an excellent person to hire;
2. that there are many excellent people, but they are in the wrong jobs;
3. that the right person may be out of work and not getting noticed; or
4. that employers are so far below excellence that no individual could be excellent in their employ.

Where’s the issue? Is it in the selection? hiring? alignment of person to role? management? something else? all of the above?
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Alignment Series #3: When strategy changes

In Series #1 and #2 I discussed the best steps for aligning people with strategy and how to know when strategy must change.

In this post l get to the execution part of a change in strategy and answer, “How do you re-align people when strategy must change in a way that changes their daily work?”

For their Sept 2015 newsletter, Palladium Group, founded by the fathers of the Balanced Scorecard, Robert Kaplan and David Norton, asked a few thought leaders including me to provide guidance to their readers on this subject.

How Do You Align Culture with Strategy?

Want to get what you expect, even when your expectations change frequently as your company grows? Create clarity around how problems will be discovered, communicated and solved. Communication between individuals and managers can ensure that decisions are made, and resources are allocated smartly – and aimed at keeping execution on track with strategy.
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Alignment Series #2: How do you know when strategy must change?

In the first post of this series, I shared three proven steps in aligning people with strategy.

During times of significant change, alignment requires more attention from leaders and managers. This is especially the case when what is required to execute a new strategy involves more than small tweaks in people’s daily work.

How do you know when strategy must change?

John Caplan explains this well in the first 1.5 minutes of the video below.

He describes an ad agency with a strategy to do cool work but their strength was to do really great, but not cool, retail work. They changed their strategy and landed a deal with Starbucks.

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Alignment Series #1: How to align people with strategy

Strategies change.  At least they should – in order to even just keep up with the change around us.

This series addresses Alignment.  How can you align your people with strategy?  How do you know when strategy must change? (even when it hasn’t been a year)?  How do you re-align people when strategy must change in a way that changes their daily work?

Let’s talk about the first step – aligning people with strategy (when the strategy does not require significant change in roles or the work people do).   Read the rest of this entry »

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