Who Should Receive Leadership Development?

All too often, when I ask a client whom they would like to include in their leadership development initiative, they respond with, "Well, we have X senior managers and Y middle managers and Z supervisors. Can we do something for all of them?" In other words, when they hear the word "leader" they think of only people at the top level plus anyone who has at least one employee formally reporting to them. I must confess, I apply this same filter a lot myself. I may influence the client's answer by … [Read more...]

What Whole Foods CEO Would Advise His “Younger Self” to Do

John Mackey is an entrepreneur who has built his very successful business with a genuine eye on his core values. His journey to leading today's Whole Foods is an interesting one. What began as one store in Austin Texas, is now close to 400 outlets employing  80,000 staff and grossing over $12 million. "So John," asked the interviewer in yesterday's Washington Post, "if you could go back to those early years and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?" Having read the full … [Read more...]

Physician (Manager), Heal Thyself Too

You probably sit down at least annually with each of your staff to have a conversation about their growth and development in their current job and perhaps with an eye to future roles. You look at an array of possible learning vehicles, such as external courses, internally provided workshops, special assignments, job shadowing, coaching, mentoring, webinars and so forth. If you are serious about supporting them you schedule at least a quarterly check in as to what they have been learning and … [Read more...]

Do Good and Poor Bosses Clone Themselves?

When I train or coach front line supervisors, I am struck how often they are unable to think of a good manager for whom they have worked. It is so much easier to learn and then apply good management skills when you have someone in mind who has actually demonstrated them with you. ("How would Jennifer handle this employee? What would Frank do in this situation? What I remember Amanda said to turn her team around was… ") But does this mean that the leaders you have worked for in your career … [Read more...]

Developing Gen Y Leaders

What leadership competencies do newly minted Millenial employees need to develop, from the get go? And what strengths do they, as a cohort, bring to the workplace? We hear so much "gen Y bashing" these days. We hear the stereotypes: unfocused, texting obsessed, ADHD prone, the world owes me recognition and, BTW, I'm pretty well ready for the C-suite…now! The Center for Creative Leadership set out to learn more. They conducted a study of about 500 managers and reported the results last year in … [Read more...]

Developing Leaders for the Horizon

They say Wayne Gretzky was a step ahead of other players because he skated to where the puck was going to be. Are you developing your up-and-coming leaders for where your markets and your environment are going to be? Will your leaders be prepared for the daunting complexity that's coming? Or are you preparing them for today or maybe just the next year or two? The Leadership Circle, whose 360 assessment profile and Culture Survey we use with our clients, says that even today's (forget about … [Read more...]

Plant Your Talent Investments in Fertile Ground

I recently heard an interesting presentation by Holly Kortright, Senior VP, HR of Deltek. She was talking about where her company has decided to direct their available resources for employee capacity development. They target four areas: High Potentials for leadership positions High Performers People possessing critical, hard to replace, skills People in key positions (e.g. long experience and intimate knowledge of key work processes) With the US government entering a time of … [Read more...]

Reactive vs. Creative Mind-sets…and Results

At the core of The Leadership Circle (360 degree assessment) model are the Reactive tendencies and Creative competencies. If you look at the circle itself, you will see Reactive structure of mind represented by the lower half of the circle and Creative structure by the upper half. When leaders operate from the Reactive mind-set they are, of course, able to achieve at least some level of results through their people. The problem is that, as research shows, at some point they hit a ceiling. … [Read more...]

Develop Your Leadership Competence Asynchronously

It being New Year's time again, Bill George recently blogged about "Five Resolutions for Aspiring Leaders." He talked about things you can do to develop yourself, beyond what you do in your direct job: such as finding a mentor, setting up a mastermind type group with other emerging and aspiring leaders,volunteering in the community in a leadership role, and traveling beyond your nation's borders. If you are serious about growing your leadership potential, these are all excellent … [Read more...]

Accelerate Your Growth with a Mastermind Group

Bill George, an author whom I have reviewed and whom I respect, has just come out with a new book, True North Groups. This is a more structured version of the classic "mastermind group" which many of my speaker colleagues have formed or joined. This new publication just reminds me to urge you to form or join a mastermind group. For over a decade I have belonged to a group of 12 owners of non-competing businesses. Since this blog is for managers, I suggest you form your group around fellow … [Read more...]