How Different Leadership Styles Affect Organization Growth

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This blog is provided by Ashley Wilson, as a companion to the interview with Dr. Dale Meyerrose and his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Pandemic, Activism, Political Policies: Practical Actions for Leaders that aired on August 25th, 2020.

 

The leadership style that you implement when running your business can often have a significant impact on the success or failure of your company.

Excellent leadership isn’t about barking orders at a specific time or making sure that deadlines are met. You also need to consider the culture you’re creating in your company, and the inspiration you give to your employees.

There are many different styles of leadership when managing and running your team. Each comes with its pros and cons. Let’s inspect how specific leadership styles can affect the growth of your organization.

Autocratic / Authoritarian Leadership

In a crisis, an autocratic or authoritarian leadership style can be beneficial. Sometimes, when employees are panicked, they need the guidance of a strong and confident leader. However, more often than not, autocratic leadership isn’t as beneficial as it seems.

This strategy allows you to run your organization from a top-down perspective, so all the power and authority in your company belongs to your senior management.

This also means that your employees can often feel as though their voices aren’t heard. Although this kind of leadership fosters an environment where working decisions are made quickly, allowing for enhanced efficiency, it also allows for less creativity and buy-in for employees.

Team members can see leaders in this style as uncompromising and controlling, which can lead to even more significant issues with morale.

Participative Leadership

The participative leadership or democratic leadership style is often a lot better for employee morale and creativity. Here, business leaders and managers seek and encourage input from their staff before making decisions.

Participative leaders act after soliciting opinions and ideas from the employees.

The biggest benefit of this leadership strategy is that employees feel more valued and as though their opinion matters. This also fosters a more aligned team, where employees feel more connected to managers, and generally have more commitment to their organization.

However, one downside of leadership style is that decisions can sometimes stall because leaders want to make a choice that can please everyone.

Delegative Leadership

Otherwise known as laissez-faire leadership, delegative leadership is at the other side of the spectrum to the autocratic style.

This strategy allows employees to make more of their own decisions and establish their guidelines for how to work. Leaders that choose this style rarely make major decisions on their own.

This method of leadership also means that team leaders generally only intervene with work in critical circumstances. Employees often prefer this form of leadership, but it can often lead to problems with a lack of direction.

Company leaders often need to find the right balance between giving guidance and letting employees know what they need and giving them the freedom to operate autonomously.

If your company is brimming with experts who know how to make the most out of their skills in your workplace, then you may find that it’s easier to run a business with a delegative leadership style.

Transformational Leadership

In a transformational leadership environment, there’s a heavy focus on change and improvement in the workplace.

A lot of companies in different industries have begun to focus more on transformational leadership to support an age of “digital transformation,” or switch to a more agile way of working.

Transformational leaders inspire their team and create visions that can help their team members to move towards a brighter future.

However, although transformational leaders can give their employees guidance toward reaching business goals, they also pay attention to what their team members need.

This kind of business leader collaborates with employees to determine what changes are needed in workplaces and how to implement these changes.

Transformational leaders are often seen as valuable assets within their organizations, as they help companies to grow and thrive in difficult times. Such leaders can also serve as critical role models, helpful for keeping subordinates motivated.

Transactional Leadership

Finally, transactional leaders give team members very specific tasks to complete and targets to work towards. They reward team members when they meet the set objectives. This leadership style focuses heavily on the results of employee performance.

An enormous benefit of transactional leadership is that it allows for frequent feedback from team leaders.

Employers and managers need to give their staff plenty of guidance for this strategy to work, and also highlight clear expectations that their team members know what to do next. Transformational leadership can promote a lot of improvement and growth within any organization.

This form of leadership is useful for achieving high levels of employee engagement, particularly for those who are motivated by receiving awards and bonuses. However, there is a risk in this kind of environment that employees will follow the status quo and lose their creativity.

Maintaining Best Leadership Practices

Ultimately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to finding the perfect leadership strategy for your team.

You’ll need to consider the demands of your business, how your employees work, and more when determining what kind of leader you need to be. The best leaders can adapt their style to the environment and the personalities that exist in their team.

Take some time to analyze your team and create a strategy based on what you think you know about how your people operate. Once you’ve implemented a leadership style that seems suitable for your company, monitor how your employees respond.

If something isn’t working, go back to the drawing board and ask yourself what you need to change.

Choosing Your Leadership Style

Different leadership styles have a significant impact on the performance of any organization.

How you choose to lead your team will affect employee morale, decision-making abilities, productivity, and more.

Because of this, successful leaders are scrutinizing problems in their environment and making informed choices on how to adapt.

Effective leaders don’t just set a direction and communicate a goal to their team members, they pay attention to what’s going on around them, and ensure that they’re ready to pivot their leadership style when necessary.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Ashley Wilson is a content creator, writing about business and tech. She has been known to reference movies in casual conversation and enjoys baking homemade treats for her husband and their two felines, Lady and Gaga. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.

What Is Intrapreneurship? 3 Ways it Can Supercharge Your Career

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This blog is part of the extra blog series we are doing as encouragement in these uncertain times.  This post is for those looking to solidify their value to their current employer and develop their own leadership skills without necessarily having a leadership role. And for those who are in leadership roles, are there potential leaders in your organization who have the characteristics of an intrapreneur? This blog is a companion to the Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future interview with Greg Moran that aired April 7th, 2020 titled Bridging Millennial and Traditional Leadership.

 

When you imagine a professional leader, many of us picture a manager, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. Leadership in many cases is synonymous with being in charge of a group of people. While it is true bosses and business owners are leaders, there are many different kinds of leadership that one can embody. You don’t have to be in charge of an organization or team in order to lead with your efforts and insights.

Whether you’re a manager or simply a member of a large team, intrapreneurship is a skill you can utilize to position yourself as a leader. Intrapreneurs are innovators within an organization who use their knowledge and skills to drive new ideas. In a similar way that entrepreneurs create a new product or service, intrapreneurs create new processes, develop new products, forge new pathways at their own company.

There are several key characteristics that allow intrapreneurs to achieve more than the average employee, which you may already be familiar with. They are eager to learn, always asking questions to understand why things are the way they are. They are flexible and collaborative, always willing to make adjustments and react to changing situations and requirements. Though they work well in a team, they also are motivated by a certain degree of competition.

Perhaps one of the factors that makes them most successful, is their creativity. Using their innate curiosity, they think outside of the box to come up with unique solutions to common problems. They also tolerate a certain degree of risk when advocating and testing their more unusual ideas.

These characteristics are often seen across every level of a successful team. No matter your position, you can focus on these traits to help find success. Here are just a few of the ways that intrapreneurship benefits your career:

  1. Positions You as a Leader

If all these characteristics sound familiar, it is because they also make great leaders. Being a team player, taking initiative, and coming up with innovative ideas can all help others see you as a leader in the workplace.

  1. Helps You Build Lifelong Skills

No matter what you’re doing in 5 or 10 years, the soft skills you build while working as an intrapreneur will always be valuable. Being able to innovate, take on risks, and learn from failures are some of the most important skills in any career. While you may not use the same software job to job, these skills will always be useful.

  1. Sets Your Career Up for Success

Being able to offer a unique perspective, smart ideas, and flexible teamwork abilities will undoubtedly benefit your career. When looking for someone to take on a new project, or spearhead a new team effort, your bosses and coworkers will be more likely to look to you if you have a track record of intrapreneurship.

To learn more about intrapreneurship, check out this infographic by Turbo:

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Brigid Ludwig is a digital content creator who helps Turbo create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. With a background in digital marketing and creative writing, she has written on everything from tiny homes to financial planning. aspires to empower others to make smart financial decisions for a happier and healthier life.

 

What Is Imposter Syndrome and How May It Be Affecting Your Leadership?

To start or to continue receiving the weekly blogs via email, please sign-up using this link: subscribe to Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blog.

This guest blog is provided by Kayla Montgomery. It is a companion to the interview with Greg Moran on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, Bridging Millennial and Traditional Leadership, which aired on 4/7/20.

 

You’ve made it as a leader. A leader that most say is very successful. Yet, you still find your hands getting clammy every time you have to get up and talk about ideas or projects you have in the works even though your team knows they won’t fall short of a success.

If you feel this way, you may be experiencing the imposter syndrome. Turns out, even the highest of achievers, like Serena Williams and Tom Hanks, deal with the same extreme case of self-doubt.

The syndrome is reported to have, and continue, to affect 70 percent of millennials. This extreme self-doubt stops you from chasing after your goals and let you feel proud of those you’ve already nailed. But guess what? You aren’t crazy! You’re worthy of the achievements you have earned. You are worthy of your place no matter what stage of life, or your career, you are in.

Whether you’re slightly affected by the imposter syndrome or not, there are five different types you may just fall under. Learn about the types, how they may be affecting your finances, and what you’re able to do to counteract each thought process.

Five Different Types of Imposter Syndrome:

  1. The Perfectionist

As a perfectionist, you feel like you’re unstoppable. You think no matter what you have on your to-do list, or calendar, you will be able to fit everything in and master each activity no matter how tired you may get. Even though you think every week you’ll be able to master all trades, you’re constantly letting yourself down. Each week you look back at everything you weren’t able to complete, even though you thought you easily could.

To push past your perfectionist imposter tendencies, break your goals down into smaller micro-goals. Instead of wanting to save thousands of dollars this year for a house down payment, break down a small monthly value goal that will easily lead you up to your goal.

  1. The Super(wo)man

You may find yourself spending the majority of your time in the office or working countless jobs. When your friends and family ask if you’re able to make an event, you find yourself constantly turning them down because you have to “work.” No matter what, you grade your work on how much time you put into each rather than the output of each project you complete.

To hold back from working countless hours night after night, try different work methods like deep work and task batching. Invest in various apps that are able to block notifications during certain working hours, and value sound canceling earbuds that will allow a distraction free zone. Create boundaries in the workplace to ensure you don’t stay too long to wrap up a project in an unrealistic time frame.

  1. The Natural Genius

Luckily, you’re really smart. The downside is that you don’t like to get out of your comfort zone. You may avoid taking on new projects since they will take you a little more time and focus to get the job done right. This can prevent you from reaching the next step in your career or be there when your coworkers may need help on certain projects to deliver in time.

Even though you’re really good at what you do and are happy with that, get out of your comfort zone. Whether that be going to a new workout class on the weekend or asking to join meetings across different departments at your company, push yourself out of your bubble.

  1. The Soloist

As the soloist, you find yourself doing everything yourself. You insist on walking up and down every aisle at the grocery store to find that specific rice blend you like rather than asking the countless associates that walk right past you. You find yourself doing the same thing at work. You’d rather finish a project on your own in double the time it normally would just so you don’t have to ask your coworkers for a rundown.

Asking portrays your confidence in owning up to not knowing everything. Constantly tell yourself this when questions start to arise at your job. Even take baby steps by asking store associates to point you in the direction of a specific item that you know you’d be able to find on your own.

  1. The Expert

You’re the jack of all trades. You’re good at everything that’s put on your plate, but you may not be good at strutting your stuff when asked. During meetings you may feel like you blacked out when having to stand up and talk in front of everyone, or consistently feel like the information you have doesn’t amount to anything. Your coworkers look up to you, but you still feel like a fraud when they pay attention to you.

To act like the expert you are, exercise your communication skills and remind yourself you have earned your spot in whatever meeting or opportunity you were presented with. To be confident, you have to act confident.

This common syndrome may deter you from reaching your biggest career goals. If you think you may be dealing with imposter syndrome, Mint created an infographic explaining the different types, how each type may affect your finances, and tips to overcoming it. Push past your self-doubt and push past to conquer anything you put your mind to!

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Kayla Montgomery is a digital content marketer who helps Mint create helpful and compelling stories worth sharing. Her background in digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from business to lifestyle. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, writing for her own blog, traveling, and exploring all the in’s and out’s Austin, TX has to offer. To learn more, connect with Kayla on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kayla-s-montgomery/

Co-creating Our Future with Robots

This is a guest blog by Susan Harper as a companion to the Voice America interview with Dale Meyerrose, PhD, Redefining the Workforce: When Robots Pay Union Dues and Learn Too

 

Many of us have seen the futuristic movies so popular in our culture for decades like Star Wars, Star Trek, even the time traveling series Back to the Future.  In Back to the Future II, made in 1985, they predict what they believe the advances of technology will be in 30 years.  That was 2015 and is now 4 years in our rearview mirror.  Some advances we still haven’t managed, like the levitating car, but some we have so far outpaced that the movie producers never could have imagined the advances we have made in technology, such as the capabilities of the smart phone.

How do we harness that technology to reinvent our workforce and make our companies that much more efficient?  RPAs, Robotic Process Automation, give leaders the opportunity to approach their work force and identify the tedious tasks and then work to remove those tasks from their human work force and automate it.  This frees up the human work force to do the complex and meaningful work.

What does this look like? The challenge for leaders is to identify the highly cognitive and highly valued tasks that humans need to do and allowing technology to be used as a solution that can make up for gaps in the human workforce.

 

The benefits of implementing RPAs to complete work force tasks include:

  • they can work 24×7—continually perform without taking a rest,
  • they can be taught a myriad of tasks,
  • they can always be on call,
  • they work faster, longer, and make less errors than people on routine,
  • repetitive tasks and every action can be fully audited.

 

While implementing the RPAs leaders need to be mindful of the human workforce who are fearful of these digital workers.  Often human work force will believe that they’ll be replaced and lose their job, they are fearful of having to train and upskill in order to remain employable, they don’t understand how to leverage the bots and have a reluctance to learn.

 

How is this technology already being employed in our companies?  One of the biggest sectors is in the financial industry.  Credit card companies would never be able to use humans to process the millions of transactions that occur each day.  The RPAs are trained to look for inconsistencies in the charges and flag them for things like location, amount, or unusual patterns.

Another large sector utilizing the RPA technology is the health care industry.  They are being used in almost every aspect of the patient’s care. RPAs begin by assisting in scheduling appointments.  They can assist in finding treatments once a doctor has made a diagnosis.  They can ensure a schedule for a treatment plan is closely followed by setting up future appointments.  They are involved in the claims and billing process.  They can direct patient questions to the appropriate person.  They can manage and forward patient records.  This automation of tasks frees up the medical staff to do the tasks that require a human intervention.

The age of automation is here and how our companies use these technologies and innovate their businesses will determine the success of their businesses.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

 

 

Team Effectiveness, Brexit and Theresa May

This blog is a guest post by Simon Mac Rory as a companion to the November, 27 Voice America interview where he talks about his latest book, Wake-up and Smell the Coffee: An Imperative for Teams.

While writing my recent book “Wake up and smell the coffee – the imperative of teams” all around me was the Brexit discussion. I could not pick up a news feed and not see something on the negotiations in terms of the UK position, the EU position and the Irish question. I must admit, despite a keen interest in the outcome, both as business person and an EU/Irish national living in the UK, I remain in a confused state as to what is happening. I cannot make head nor tail of the UK position!

Observing the UK Brexit team and the confused narrative that emerges, I got to wondering how effective are they as a team? Do they have the capability for success? Brexit is such a critical issue for the UK overall and can even be viewed as the greatest existential threat to the UK since World War II, if the negotiations are not a success.

To be effective there are a number of critical issues that teams need to address. If they can improve on these through their own efforts, they can drive their overall effectiveness substantially. I define team effectiveness as – “The ability of a work team to be successful and produce the intended results. For the team, success is achieving the results, but effectiveness is about capability for success.”

I have attempted to map the Brexit team to the factors and criteria for an effective team. These are my views and generated as a distant observer (as I can only be). What do others think – does Theresa May and her Brexit team have the capabilities for success? The model I use is displayed below and is comprised of six factors. Each factor in turn contains two criteria that impact team effectiveness. In the table that follows I have given a brief definition of each criteria and my opinion of the Brexit team in relation to same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Simon Mac Rory is a specialist in team development. He works with senior staff leaders to help them discover that edge to becoming a truly high performing team. Over his 30-year career he has worked globally with a blue-chip client base in both the private and public sectors.

He founded The ODD Company in 2011 to deliver TDP (a cloud-based team development tool and methodology) to the international markets. Simon
operates the business from London with a Dublin-based development and support office.

Simon received a doctoral degree for his work on the application of generic frameworks in organizational development and is a Visiting Research Fellow at Nottingham Business School.

Follow Simon on Twitter @SimomMacRory

The Position Success Indicator (PSI): Your Job Fit Solution for the Future of Work

This blog is a guest post by Mark Palmer as a companion to the November, 13 Voice America show interview with Mr. Palmer, Managing Partner, Hire-Directions and Principal, Innovative Leadership Institute. The interview focuses on the Position Success Indicator assessment to help hone find where they fit professionally. 

THE FUTURE OF WORK IS HERE

The future of work is already here: the gig economy, automation, and artificial intelligence. These trends are part of a growing narrative that suggest an increasingly complex and unpredictable workforce.

Studies indicate that by 2025, the global population will reach nearly 10 billion people, with only 15% of that population living and working in high-income economies. In fact, according to a recent Oxford Study, it’s predicted that 47% of jobs will disappear in the next 25 years.

NEW PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES ARE COMING…ARE YOU READY?

Workforce disruptions already force you to make employment decisions faster, smarter, and more often than any previous generation of professionals. Consequently, the coming era of work will produce thrivers, strivers, and survivors.

To thrive in this future workforce—and to navigate new realities while staying authentic to your dreams and interests—you will need a better way to prepare, respond, and adapt to a constant stream of occupational change.

YOU WILL NEED OCCUPATIONAL FITNESS

Two-thirds of your adult waking life will be spent creating and maintaining a livelihood. Your ability to make quality professional decisions, quickly and consistently, is more critical than ever.

This ability to adapt and intelligently respond to new professional situations will require occupational fitness: the capacity to quickly identify the right opportunities, communicate how you add value, and consistently choose ventures that align with your strengths and competencies.

BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGY: “TALENT DNA” TESTING

“Quantified self”, or life-logging technology, has transformed the way we maximize physical fitness. If you’ve used an activity tracker or a DNA kit, you’re already familiar with how “quantified self” can be used to improve wellness goals.

Using a new breakthrough called “talent DNA” sequencing, this “quantified self” technology can now be applied to support professional wellness, too. It builds on current life-logging advancements to accelerate occupational fitness, and can be used to enhance job matching and career mapping.

POSITION SUCCESS INDICATOR (PSI): GET YOUR UNIQUE TALENT CODE

Every person has a unique “talent DNA” code, or occupational talent signature made of [32] quantifiable performance markers. These markers correlate with specific job requirements used by organizations to build roles.

The Position Success Indicator (PSI) reveals key professional knowledge—based on your exclusive “talent DNA”—that can be used to match you to the right jobs, build resumes, setup interview strategies, uncover career advancement opportunities, and enhance your networking capability.

We encourage you to take the PSI assessment. You get free overview results and can purchase more detailed report. You can use the results of your report to take the actions recommended below and also use them when you listen to the interview with Mark.

PROFESSIONAL SUCCESS PLANS: PUT YOUR PSI RESULTS TO WORK

PSI reveals how you ideally fit an organization’s goals, team projects, and job requirements. You get precise, custom language needed to communicate YOUR unique value in ways that will speak to executives, clients, and venture partners.

Once you take the free assessment, maximize your results—combined with the Professional and Interview Success Plans—in two (2) simple steps:

STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR FIT

Use the plans to identify your operational strengths and fit with common organizational goals, projects, and job roles:

  1. Trace your universal job fit using the world’s only position requirements blueprint used to design ALL jobs (Professional Success Plan, Alignment Plan)
  2. Locate your operational impact points (Alignment Plan highlighted strengths)
  3. Identify your high level fit – best fit with organization needs (Professional Success Plan, Org Fit Map)
  4. Identify your detailed level fit – best fit with specific job functions (Professional Success Plan, Alignment Plan, Jobs Matrix, Requirements Insert)
  5. Pinpoint your “thrive zones” – fit with key performance objectives, where you will be most successful in jobs and career development (and understand where you WON’T)

STEP 2:  COMMUNICATE YOUR VALUE

Utilize the free results and plans to enhance your professional CV, resume, social media, and live interactions:

  • Use the Professional Summary (your free professional brand statement):
    • as an opening for professional social media, CV, and resume descriptions
    • to create a 30-second networking “pitch” (don’t just network, FIT-work!)
    • as a companion to your custom interviewing strategy (Interview Success Plan)
  • Use the Requirements Insert in the Professional Success Plan to summarize your value (your strengths converted to an organizational grade “job description”):
    • submit this insert with your resume, and stand out in interviews and job fairs
    • use with recruiters and hiring managers to assess fit for new jobs or performance reviews
    • use in cover letter style emails used in conjunction with job applications
    • get the right wording to communicate with executives or project stakeholders to articulate where you fit and add value

WORKFORCE TALENT GENOME PROJECT:  BE PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER

Our talent coding technology gives you the opportunity to personally make a difference in improving the future workforce by participating in a new kind of research—online, from anywhere.

By taking PSI, you are contributing your unique “talent DNA”, thereby helping to build the world’s first generation talent genome library.

This global “talent DNA” data repository will be used to enhance future workforce readiness, and to improve job design, job matching and recruiting. It will also optimize merit-based diversity, and protect workers everywhere from displacements caused by increasing job and market disruptions.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the

Mark Palmer is co-creator of the Position Success Indicator; The Job Fit Calculator; and LaborGenome™ Talent Mapping technology.

He is co-author of the Innovative Leader Fieldbook, and senior editor for the Innovative Leadership Guide to Transforming Organizations. Mark is also a consultant, and Principal and Advisor with the Innovative Leadership Institute., a management consulting firm offering progressive leadership development, team building and organizational effectiveness. He was also a TEDx OSU Speaker in 2012.

Building Trust in a Noisy World

This post by Nick Glimsdahl is the companion to an interview with Michelle Harrison, CEO of Kanter Public, the WPP Group public policy consulting and research business, on Voice America where she talks about the first of its kind report that Kantar Public released at Davos focusing on the challenges governments face across the planet and how the current loss of trust impacts their ability to navigate current challenges.

Everyone — including me — is vying for your attention. We live in a noisy world, bombarded by advertisements, news, campaigns, emails, messages, and social media notifications.

So, how can a business build trust and credibility in today’s noisy world?

This deceptively simple, relevant question is up against a distrusting world. In America specifically, the state of trust is dire. The Edelman Trust Barometer’s Executive Summary reports, “It is no exaggeration to state the U.S. has reached a point of crisis that should provoke every leader, in government, business, or civil sector, into urgent action. Inertia is not an option, and neither is silence…no work is more important than re-establishing trust” (p. 7).

Rather than feeling overwhelmed, business leaders should take a strategic approach to build trust and create positive brand awareness to help ensure messages are received. While increasing revenue is vital to a successful business, focusing on revenue without prioritizing content, awareness, and trust is futile. Hence, a company’s first priority should be to make sure customers view its content, marketing, and brand as credible, trustworthy, and customer-centric.

Eight Trust-building actions to weave into a business strategy:

1. Base the customer experience on what is simplest for the customer, not what is simplest for the company

2. Weave technology into the fabric of the business strategy, demonstrating that the business is ‘with the times,’ aware of customer expectations, and able to quickly resolve issues with modern solutions

3. Create effortless, memorable interactions with your customers so they willingly return

4. Seek ways to provide value to others first

5. Ask for and respond to reviews and highlight them on your site

6. Create an online reputation and have a consistent brand

7. Make sure online interactions are secure

8. Have timely coverage of business news

Building a trustworthy brand results in many benefits. In fact, according to Forbes, trust is the most powerful currency in business. Beyond being a currency of its own, trust leads to referrals, stronger collaboration, a stronger business, and the ability to work through challenges internally or with a client.

Building trust requires time — a currency of itself; however, as the most powerful currency, trust requires the utmost attention for a company to reach its highest potential.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Nick Glimsdahl is the Client Enablement Director for VDS. VDS creates effortless interactions. It helps improve the way enterprising businesses deliver customer experiences. With a 30-year history of delivering results, its success in creating effortless interactions is unmatched. As a client enablement lead, Nick brings his clients the right communications solution: contact centers through (Genesys / Five9), business collaboration (Microsoft Skype) for Business, or enterprise telephony solutions so you can deliver the best customer experience.

The Business Case for Diversity

This is a guest post by Troy Mosley. It is the companion to the Voice America interview on Increasing Inclusion to Drive Results and Build a Better World aired October 19, 2018 with Troy.

The Information Age has made the world smaller. Technology gives consumers greater access to worldwide markets in seconds. The near real-time accessibility of information brings people closer, sharing and reacting to the same data across oceans. This “smaller world” makes many feel like global citizens and increases market competition. Consumers are now more selective about purchases and  often choose brands that reflect their values over those with the lowest price point.

Businesses that understand this shrinking effect are postured to dominate global markets for the foreseeable future. A key component to selling in dynamic global markets is having a diverse workforce that can connect with this broad customer base. As a twenty-year combat veteran and health administrator I have studied inclusion, diversity, strategic planning and leadership principals, and developed an appreciation for what drives consumer behavior. In military planning circles it is said that “the best way to stop a tank is with another tank.” Similarly, the best way to sell products and services to women and minority groups is to have women and minorities in your R&D, IT, Marketing, and Operations departments. This isn’t just diversity for the sake of diversity, but a varied team of professionals in key positions with the requisite education and training to help develop and implement your company’s strategy.

Nike is a prime example of how to leverage diversity to connect with consumers. In September 2018, Nike launched an ad campaign with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the campaign and the motto “Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything.” Kaepernick became a household name by refusing to stand for the national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racism. President Trump suggested that those kneeling for the national anthem were “Sons of Bitches” who should be fired. The day after Nike released their ad campaign some costumers videoed themselves burning Nike products. Nike’s stock fell 3% but rebounded to 4.2% by week’s end. Nike’s online sales jumped 25% the following week and their stock is now trading at an all-time high. They had the guts to take a huge risk because Nike’s staff is among the most diverse in the industry. They were able to understand and connect with their consumer base in a way that positively impacted their bottom line.

Women influence 70-80% of consumer spending and make up 51% of the work force, yet comprise only 5.5% of Fortune 500 CEOs. This gender imbalance exists in virtually every industry from fashion to finance. The numbers for ethnic minorities are similarly striking. Blacks constitute roughly 13% of the US population, and spend an estimated $1.3 trillion on consumer goods annually, but make up only 2% of fortune 500 CEOs. This lack of representation directly correlates to missed opportunities for increasing market share in a rapidly changing consumer base. So what can an organization do increase its diversity?  Ah, I’m glad you asked.

Steps to Increasing Diversity in Your Organization

  1. Awareness. What is the demographic makeup of your organization? And that of your consumer base? If your personnel generally reflects your desired base, well done, keep up the good work! If your organization falls short on reflecting your ideal base, read on.
  2. Inclusion. This means creating a culture that values diversity and removes barriers that could prevent under-represented groups from fully participating. And inclusion starts at the top. Leaders set the tone for organizations through what they do and what they evaluate. Minorities are familiar with marginalization; they can smell insincerity a mile away. If you are insincere about establishing a culture of inclusion you will fail.

The military can offer many lessons on inclusion. The armed forces ended the practice of segregation in its ranks in 1948, six years before the Supreme Court ruled on Brown v. Board of Education. Women achieved pay equity in 1943 and were admitted to previously all-male uniformed service academies in 1976 when women still needed male co-signers to obtain credit cards. Today, women comprise 5.5% of flag officers (CEO equivalents) and 17% of the total force. Black generals come from a long tradition of women and minorities advancing to the top ranks since the early 1970s. These achievements didn’t happen overnight. They were made possible by a serious commitment to building leadership that reflects those they serve.

  1. Recruitment. If you are unable to find personnel with the perspectives you lack, you may not be looking in the right places. Talent can be found everywhere; opportunity can’t. Often when we think about recruiting, our thoughts immediately venture to Ivy League or other elite institutions. If your search begins and ends there and you still can’t establish a diverse management force, widen your aperture to include paths less travelled. America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) turn out thousands of minority professionals annually.
  2. Objectives, Metrics and Measures. Establish objectives, metrics, and measures to gauge your success before launching your inclusion strategy. Develop concrete, quantifiable goals related to your inclusion efforts and diversity program. Metric development specifically for inclusion is something you may want to consider outsourcing to a consultant who specializes in such work.
  3. Think Broadly. Don’t limit your strategy to the traditional definitions of diversity; give consideration to generational, regional, and socio-economic diversity.

Technology will continue to have a shrinking effect on global markets for the foreseeable future.  A diverse workforce, who are trained, strategically placed within one’s organization, and part of an inclusive corporate culture will become an increasing part of an organizations’ agility, and strategic positioning within markets.  Diversity is not only ethically prudent for businesses, it is a sound practice that yields positive returns.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Troy Mosley is a healthcare administrator by training. He spent the first twenty years of his professional life serving as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. He was raised in Jacksonville Beach, FL raised in the 70s and 80s in an upper middle class, predominately white community. He has always enjoyed writing, history, and is obsessed with the ideals of American Democracy, fair play, and inclusion.
He recently published Unwritten Truce: The Armed Forces and American Social Justice.

Should IT Executives Show Their “Soft Side”?

This is a guest post by Patt Hardie, Leadership and Talent Management Expert.  It is the companion to the July 17, 2018 Voice America interview with David White, CIO of Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, aired on VoiceAmerica “Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations”: Should IT Executives Share their ‘Soft Side’?

Soft skills have many definitions, one key being emotional intelligence. Research has provided clear evidence that emotionally intelligent leaders are more successful. Many of these studies yield bottom-line results. Yet, many leaders miss the mark. Why? Maybe they believe that strong leadership equates to being tough, they lack confidence, or don’t want to appear vulnerable in their role. Or some may believe it seems too ‘touchy-feely’ or soft. The ‘Soft Side’ of leadership spans beyond technical leaders to all leaders, and really isn’t about being soft (or any of those other things) at all. What it IS about is being confident and secure enough to be yourself with others; its about being humble, approachable and personable; and treating people with dignity, concern and appreciation. It’s also knowing your people, about having compassion and restraint; listening with purpose and responding with care; and caring about the impact of decisions on people. Finally, it’s about sincerity, self-awareness and learning. The ‘Soft Side’ of leading doesn’t eliminate the important responsibilities of managing performance and holding people accountable. It is a ‘both/and’ combination of strengths that leaders need to have to be successful.

As an IT Leader and someone who works in technology, David talks about why the soft side of leading is a significant contributor to success. As technology leaders, we need a diverse set of skills including a heavy dose of soft skills to be a highly successful business leaders beyond our technical skills. These skills range from awareness and management of our mood, an ability to be present and focused to skills in establishing and managing a positive culture where a broad range of perspectives can be explored and synthesized.

David has a strong understanding about the ‘Soft Side’ of leading and demonstrates it effectively.

The soft side of leading is a hot topic today for many articles and books under titles such as Authentic or Gracious Leadership, or the Genuine or Compassionate Leader because it couldn’t be more important than in today’s environment, in our culture, our communities, and in our organizations and its impact to bottom-line business results. The beauty of it all is that when leaders are willing to be their authentic self in business relationships with key stakeholders: teams, peers, customers, etc., great outcomes emerge:  trust builds, morale and engagement increases, teamwork and collaboration multiplies within and between groups, and empowerment and accountability grows. Better decisions are made, ‘conflict’ becomes ‘problem solving’, and over time, if practiced by enough leaders, authenticity becomes part of the culture. The old saying that the leader sets the tone couldn’t be truer. All of these lead to higher performance and business results.

Maya Angelou, the American civil rights activist and poet once said, ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ Janet Smith Meeks, business leader says in her book Gracious Leadership: Lead Like You’ve Never Led Before ‘Gracious leadership represents the intersection of ultimate respect ad optimal outcomes.’ These inspirational quotes represent what the soft side of leading are ultimately about: Sharing the best version of yourself in service of others. Yet, how do you do that well? It’s often the little things surprisingly, it’s consistency over time. Here are a few tips with examples:

  • Be personable, humble, authentic:
    • Make eye contact, initiating conversation with those you encounter on the elevator, in hallways, in the cafeteria, in meetings (even if you’re introverted)
    • Get to know your people, team members, key stakeholders; remember names, important information; let them get to know you
    • Acknowledge mistakes, ask forgiveness; show gratitude; be sincere
    • Ask for coaching, mentoring, training, support when needed
    • Drop by offices or invite staff to your office to chat
    • Have your meetings in the cafeteria or other casual spaces at the office
    • Have lunch with team or 1-1 with team members/others

Author personal example: When I have meetings in cities where team members are located, I always make time to meet and have lunch with them to discuss current issues and learn more about them personally.

  • Treat people with dignity, concern and appreciation:
    • Show compassion with a personal note of condolence, get well card; work from home in special circumstance if you can, etc.
    • Say thank you, send notes of appreciation
    • Celebrate accomplishments/milestones individually/team
    • Never be too busy to reach out to become aware of what’s going on with other’s needs
    • Manage performance issues with dignity
    • Do more listening than speaking so that others feel heard
    • Give people undivided attention when they come into your office to talk; put everything down, don’t answer your phone

Author personal example: I recall a time when my team was working on a lengthy project and we were closing in on our deadline. We were working long hours, so over the weekend, I put handwritten motivational notes on small post-it’s on everyone’s desktop monitors… simple sayings like ‘Stay awesome… we’re almost there!!!’ and ‘Hang in there, you’re doing GREAT!!!’ I was amazed at the impact that small gesture had the following week on the entire team!

  • Self-awareness and learning:
    • Seek feedback for yourself from others regularly
    • Know what you know, know where your gaps are; fill your gaps with learning and supplement some with smart people and utilize them well
    • Be clear about your personal leadership philosophy; your own development plan; your organization’s mission/vision/values and share it all with your team and have them hold you accountable

Author personal example: In all my regular 1-1 meetings with team members, I always ask what else they need from me to help them in their role…

Leadership is about building the next generation of leaders. People want to know how their work contributes to the achievement of results and are eager to provide their discretionary effort. People want to feel fully appreciated for the work they do, they want to matter. Step up to the leadership they deserve and deliver them the best version of yourself that you can. You won’t disappoint, and neither will they… I promise!

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the Author

Patt Hardie, Principal and Founder of The Hardie Group LLC, has 30 years of business experience across healthcare, chemical, utility, contract research and retail industries as an expert leadership consultant, coach, and advisor. Patt delivers impactful, practical solutions that support her clients’ leadership / team development and organizational challenges. She is recognized as a collaborative partner and progressive thought-leader who has the ability to connect with the business and synthesize needs into successful strategies for sustainable results.

The Difference Between Entitlement and Awareness

This post is written by guest Eric Termuende as a companion to his interview, Changing the Way We Think About Work on the Voice America Radio Show, “Innovative Leaders Driving Thriving Organizations” on July 3, 2018.

We’ve all heard the stereotypes around the Millennial generation. They’re narcissistic, job-hop, aren’t loyal, and most of all, entitled. They think they deserve more than they work for, and have unrealistic expectations. Right? Isn’t that what we’re lead to believe when we talk about a generation that populates such a large portion of the workplace? It seems like it, but doesn’t necessarily have to.

The Millennial demographic, as big as it is, is brought up in a technological world that didn’t exist for the generation the preceded it. This generation has better access to internet, cell phones, social media, and information that simply wasn’t nearly as accessible as it was 15-20 years ago. Job postings aren’t posted on a cork board and the resumé is only a small portion of what educating a potential employer looks like.

This means that the expectations are bigger because this next generation knows what can, and is being done.

Let’s take fairly recent news that came out of Sweden, for example. In Sweden, there is talk about moving to a 6 hour work day. Now, as someone in Canada who may not like their job, there are two options. The first is to apply for a job in Sweden with the hopes that the application will be accepted and I can work only six hours a day. The second is that I could ask my employer or government why it is that Sweden is the only country that is doing this, and why we can’t look at a similar practice here in our hometown.

Another example would be around office aesthetics. One office may have a beautiful open concept style and another may be stuck in the ‘70’s with cubicles that limit communication and interaction between employees. Because of the hyper-connected world we live in, information about these great places to work is spreading faster than it ever has before. As a result, people are asking ‘why not me too?’.

No, things haven’t changed around what people need to do to progress another step in the organization, or to work in a more efficient manner by changing the structure and aesthetics of the office, but the way we talk about it might. People need to know that the grass will always be greener, the story is always bigger than the one that is being told, and that there are always exceptions. It is too easy for a story to be posted and go viral, only to be the flavor of the hour and forgotten about shortly after, while still having impact on the people in the office and what they are aware could be taking place.

The world of work is ever changing and the ways we work and the environments we work in are changing just as quickly. Telling stories of the newest office space are nice, but rarely do they paint a full picture of what the office culture is, or what it is like to work there. The next generation is right to ask about the opportunity to advance the workplace they are in, but shouldn’t have expectations to do so. There needs to be open communication within the office from the top-down and from the bottom-up to ensure that the environment created is one the provides the tools necessary and the environment that allows people to naturally do the best work they possible can. This awareness and hyper connectivity, paired with curiosity and desire to change, adapt, and grow, shouldn’t be confused with entitlement, which is a completely different topic.

To become a more innovative leader, please consider our online leader development program. For additional tools, we recommend taking leadership assessments, using the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook and Innovative Leaders Guide to Transforming Organizations, and adding coaching to our online innovative leadership program. We also offer several workshops to help you build these skills and system to create a regenerative, inclusive and thriving organization that will have a positive impact in the world.

About the author

Eric Termuende is on a mission to change the way we talk about work and get fulfillment from it. A bestselling author, speaker, and entrepreneur, Eric is co-founder of NoW Innovations, and Lead Content Strategist for True Calling Canada., Eric has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Thrive Global, the Huffington Post and many others. In 2015, Eric was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovators under 35 globally by American Express. Eric sat as Community Integration Chair for Global Shapers Calgary, a community that functions under the World Economic Forum. He is a former Canadian G20 YEA Delegate, representing Canada in Sydney in 2014. Eric is currently signed by the National Speakers Bureau and travels the world talking about the future of work and multiple generations in the workplace. In 2016, Eric spoke at TEDxBCIT in Vancouver giving his presentation entitled ‘Bigger than Work.’ Eric has worked and spoken with clients across the world. His new book, Rethink Work is now available on Amazon.