May 29, 2013

The Power of WE

Guest Post by Charles Lee
Human beings were meant to experience life together.

Life makes so much more sense when we come to a place to that we NEED others. No matter how different others may be in their worldview, cultural identity, and personal preferences, moving towards a mindset that says WE is better than ME is healthy.

G5 Leadership just released a new video, presentation, and discussion guide as a part of their research for a new book they’re writing. It’s absolutely FREE to download.

I hope you will take a moment to watch this video and visit their site for some great resources. Here’s a quick synopsis of the project from their founders, Steven Smith and David Marcum:
As part of research for a new book we’re writing, we noticed a societal decline in unity. You’ve probably noticed it too.
Politicians are divided with intractable positions. Enterprises and teams are territorial. Partners often appear to simply coexist. Families seem more separated, even when they’re together. There is a growing trend of me that divides we. We wanted to do our part to reverse the trend.
We created a video on the power of unity titled We. To spark a discussion, we produced three tools you can download that go with the video:
  1. A discussion guide to build a stronger culture of we where you work.
  2. A PowerPoint presentation for the discussion guide, including the video.
  3. A handout for people who attend the session.
We hope the discussion makes a difference, wherever we matters to you.

May 22, 2013

Managing Expectations

One of the most underrated attributes of a leader is his or her ability to manage expectations. This extends to personal, team and projects. 

I learned this lesson early on. I distinctly remember posing this scenario to Dr. Henry Cloud in a class he was teaching. I asked, "How do you manage expectations so you don't end up being disappointed?"
His answer went something like this...

"A lot of times we have our own expectations that are best case scenario or idealistic and there's nowhere for you to go except down. I'm not saying lower your expectations, but think more at a realistic level so there's at least some room to be happily surprised."

I have high expectations and I don't have any intention of changing that. What I have changed is forcing my expectations on others or situations where I don't have much control over the outcome. For example, if I am leading a team I will set the standard high and expect my team to meet them, but if they don't I adjust. Anytime your expectations include another person, be prepared for a variety of outcomes.

When your expectations are too high, it's like putting someone on a pedestal...the only way they can go is down. People are going to let you down. That's not being pessimistic, that's a fact. It doesn't mean you don't put your faith in others, it just means we're all human and we make mistakes. 

Disappointment can be a result of unrealistic expectations. Don't ever apologize for having high standards. Just make sure you're not forcing your expectations on someone else.

May 8, 2013

The Interview X-Factor

Since last fall I've been recruiting for a school so after seeing multiple resumes and doing several interviews I asked myself, "What's that ONE THING that stands out as a candidate?"

I'm a firm believer that resumes aren't a good judge of talent. It's similar to having a Driver's license...just because you have one doesn't mean you're a good driver. Everything is exposed when you interview. Whether face to face or over the phone within the first five minutes you can tell whether you have a great candidate or not.
So what is that ONE THING? Confidence. Not arrogance. Not ego. It's confidence knowing who you are. Clarity about your strengths and weaknesses. It's knowing your style and what results it brings. You can hear it in someone's voice. You can see it in the way they carry themselves. Confident people's self-assessment is the same as the way others see them. Confidence brings results and breeds trust from others. Confident people can do the job, because they've done it before. If they don't have the experience, they have the drive to figure it out. Confidence is multi-sensory. Hard to describe, easy to recognize.

I'm not downplaying experience or education by any means, but when you're the interviewer confidence separates a good from great candidate. On a scale of 1 - 10 how confident are you?

May 1, 2013

The Magic of Strengths-Based Coaching

Guest Post by Josh Allan Dykstra

I had the pleasure of presenting a virtual class entitled “The Magic of Strengths-Based Coaching” to the ICF (International Coach Federation) a couple weeks ago. Over 140 coaches attended from around the world!

Here was the gist of the class:
Research shows that the most effective leaders in the world share one surprising trait: they know their strengths and they work “in” them almost all the time. By attending this session, you will discover a fresh perspective to share with the clients you work with, and learn why a focus on “what’s right with people” is surprisingly counter-intuitive and also, perhaps, the most important insight you can provide someone who desires to live an exceptional life.

Coaches will deepen and stretch their knowledge of several ICF core coaching competencies, including:

How to create greater personal awareness for coaching clients, particularly in the areas of enduring personality strengths and natural sources of energy

How to design better action plans for coaching clients by aligning individual goals with unique personal motivators and, therefore, achieving more success

How to manage progress and accountability for coaching clients by integrating action plans with personal strengths, thereby developing greater resilience to meet objectives

If you missed it, you can listen to the recording here. While you listen, I recommend opening the visual presentation here, and following along with it as you listen to the recording. I give cues throughout to make it very simple.

ICF-LA does great stuff like this all the time (and the host, Paul, is seriously one of the most wonderful people you’ll ever meet). If you’d like to register for one of their upcoming teleclasses, just go here.