Develop Leaders

Do You Really Need to be Doing That?

It’s common for high performers to continue to volunteer for additional responsibilities, to the point where they may become burned out. To prevent this, it’s vital to pause and think, “Do I really need to be doing this? Is there someone else on my team that would like this opportunity? or Is there a way to automate this task?” Consider whether you are delegating responsibilities as you continue to take on new ones.

Add to Collection

Focus on Growth & Development

When crafting a job description and searching for highly talented candidates, it’s important to focus on how this person will contribute to the overall success of the organization. Don’t create a list of endless responsibilites. What opportunities will they have to grow and develop their skills? How will the candidate’s achievements in this role align to business objectives and advancement opportunities?

Add to Collection

Stretch Yourself

Identify a new challenge you would like to take on or a new skill you are passionate about developing. Are you an aspiring leader who would like to gain more experience? What area could you develop that will get you closer to your career goals? Create a plan for the next 90 days to challenge yourself.

Add to Collection

Build Advocates

Not everyone has a leader that is willing to advocate on their behalf when it comes to a new position, promotion, or career change. It’s beneficial to develop relationships with other leaders and individuals in your industry, or with more experience than you, to advocate on your behalf. Identify at least 1 person you would like to develop a relationship with.

Add to Collection

Where Are You Going?

If your organization isn’t providing a formal career map or development plan for you, take ownership and create your own. What do you want to get out of your career? In what areas would you like to advance your skills?

Add to Collection

Use High Performers to Guide

Low solid performers are committed to the organization, but can also be easily influenced by negative, low performers. To best support a low solid performer, partner them with positive, high performers for skill development opportunities.

Add to Collection

Encourage Solid Performers

Solid performers want to build relationships with their leaders, have opportunities for professional development, and hear feedback that inspires improvement. Identify the solid performers on your team, and help them grow by identifying one skill or area for improvement at a time. Ask engaging questions to gain reflective insight and possible solutions from the employee. Ask how you can support their growth and professional development.

Add to Collection

Meet with High Performers Monthly

50% of high performers say they expect at least a monthly sit down with their managers, but only 53% say their manager delivers on their feedback expectations. High performers want feedback. They want dialogue with you as their leader. Make monthly meetings with high performers a priority.

Add to Collection

4 Steps to Re-Recruit High Performers

  1. Thank them for their contributions.
  2. Ensure that the employee is informed of the direction of the organization.
  3. Review the characteristics that make the individual valuable to the organization, be specific.
  4. Ask what can be done to ensure you do not lose the employee as a member of the team; reiterate that person’s importance to the organization’s mission.

Listen carefully and follow through with any requests for support.

Add to Collection

Ask Your High Performers

Ask what high performing employees need to be a long-term employee; what can you do for them? Coach this individual to take on new responsibilities or reach new levels of performance.

Add to Collection

Daily Gratitude

Take 30 seconds out of each day to record one thing you are grateful for. You can use a gratitude journal, a word document, or even a voice or video recorder on your phone.

Add to Collection

Create an Appreciation Board

Write one thank you note thanking one employee for extra effort at work, post the note on the board, and provide blank cards and pens for others to add their own notes. Intentional expressions of gratitude by leaders provide opportunities for peers to express gratitude and help employees reconnect to purpose and worthwhile work.

Add to Collection

Use Key Words During Results Rollout

While seeking feedback on your lowest scored survey items, using Key Words like those in the example below can be useful:

“I want to tell you I am disappointed that our results did not improve in this area. I’m committed to working with our team to create a great work environment and need your input to know the best actions to take to support our team. Help me understand, what did you specifically mean when you scored item__ a ___? What things can I or we do to improve this area?”

Add to Collection

Leaders in Service

Team leaders and organization leaders set the example for how customers are treated. When leaders connect with employees, employees learn how to connect with their stakeholders. Connect with at least one employee each day this week.

Add to Collection

Establish a Mentorship Program

64% of managers say they don’t think their own employees will be able to keep pace with skills needed in the future and only 20% have the skills needed for both their current role and their future career. Organizations can capitalize on their own employees to fill in any skills gaps by establishing a mentorship program. This can be more formal one-on-one mentoring, peer-to-peer mentoring, or group mentoring. Get started by asking your employees what they hope to get out of their future mentorship program.

Add to Collection

Qualities of a Mentor

Look for a mentor who is honest, vulnerable, and has experience aligned to your goals. Seek to learn from their mistakes and accomplishments. Have they demonstrated success? Is their career path similar to the direction you envision for yourself? Are they respected amongst their peers?

Add to Collection

Commit to Mentorship

Becoming a mentor shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s a big commitment. Mentors ensure professional development happens at the right pace and the individual has the right tools to succeed. They devote their time, energy, and accumulated knowledge to inspire mentees towards their goals. Before you agree to become a mentor, consider whether you’re able to make the commitment to the relationship your mentee deserves.

Add to Collection

Turn Aspiring Leaders into Mentors

To encourage the development of aspiring leaders, offer them the opportunity to mentor the organization’s newest employees. Not only will your aspiring leaders learn how to coach others, but the organization will see a variety of benefits from reduced turnover to increased morale.

Add to Collection

Seeking a Mentor?

A mentor can provide trusted advice, encouragement, and feedback about your career progress. Before seeking out a mentor, consider your goals for this relationship. How much time are you willing to commit to working with your mentor? You will only get out of mentorship what you put into it.

Add to Collection

Ask How to Improve Communication

Gather feedback from your employees and the community (investors, customers, people who benefit from your organization) regarding your communication. Do they receive too much communication, or too little? Are they able to understand the communication and find it relevant? What improvements do they recommend? Review the responses and tailor the organization’s communication practices to their preferences.

Add to Collection

Reduce Communication Barriers

What communication tools, procedures, or standards are causing a barrier in your workplace? Is there a better solution for that communication tool or process? Take the steps to reduce the barrier and increase the quality of the communication tool or standard being used.

Add to Collection

Communicate by Listening

Individuals want to be heard and able to share their ideas. Leaders who are able to develop good relationships with their employees are likely good listeners. To become a better listener, be attentive, ask open-ended questions, ask probing questions, request clarification, paraphrase, be compassionate and empathetic, and summarize back the information you heard to ensure its accuracy and let the communicator know they are heard.

Add to Collection

Tell Stakeholders What they Want to Know

What is important to the organization’s stakeholders? Do you gather feedback from the stakeholders (the physical community that surrounds the organization, its investors, its customers, anyone that benefits from the service it provides)? Analyze stakeholder feedback to develop a plan to communicate openly with stakeholders based on the information they want to hear. Stakeholders want honest updates from the source.

Add to Collection

Approach Transparency Proactively

Reacting to a negative situation isn’t transparency. To build trust and loyalty with employees and the organization’s community, leaders can use open, honest communication to let individuals know about your processes, values, and the customer or employee experience, therefore holding it accountable. How can you approach transparency in a more proactive manner? What will you do this week to promote open, honest communication?

 

Add to Collection

Clarify Decision Making

Be open with all employees in the organization about the decision-making process. The more information an individual has about why and how a decision was made, the less anxious and uncertain they may feel. During conversations with your teams this week, make it a point to be transparent and start by explaining the why.

Add to Collection

Use Probing Questions

Rather than risk alienating a team member with constructive criticism, try probing questions to initiate improvement. Start with: “Have you experienced any barriers to achieving results recently? How did you work through that?” Then, probe: “Can you think of a time you’ve experienced a similar barrier? What did you do?” Offer suggestions by explaining what has worked for you in a similar situation. Close by asking: “What actions could you take to grow and develop your skills? How can I help you?”

Add to Collection

Commit to Monthly Meetings

Employees want leaders who are approachable, work alongside them, provide training and development opportunities, build a relationship with them, and utilize efficient systems. These needs can be met by participating in one-on-one monthly meetings with individuals you supervise. Make a commitment today by scheduling monthly meetings for next month.

Add to Collection

Meet with Leaders First

Ask the leadership team to participate in a Leadership Forum prior to the organization-wide employee forum. Explain what the employee forum will look like and gather feedback to ensure it’s successful. Include the information needed for leaders to continue to reinforce the message with their teams over the next 90 days.

Add to Collection

Discuss Available Leadership Development

What resources can upcoming leaders take advantage of to develop their skills? Are there external professional development opportunities available? Can aspiring leaders easily access the necessary resources? Connect with identified aspiring leaders and show them the available resources aligned to their leadership development needs.

Add to Collection

Develop with Specific Goals

Prepare a plan with an aspiring leader this week. It’s recommended for the professional development plan to include goals, objectives to meet those goals, criteria for completion, and a timeline. Using specific, measurable goals, rather than vague goals like “improve communication,” we can better track progress and identify areas with further development needs.

Add to Collection

Get Aspiring Leaders Involved

While supporting the development of an aspiring leader, involve them with real-life situations that present an opportunity for decision making or problem-solving. New leaders can also develop skills in these areas by conducting role-play scenarios and reviewing case studies.

Add to Collection

Support Succession Planning

Consider what a leadership development program would look like for your organization. Picture a process for developing aspiring leaders and supporting growth in areas such as communication, performance conversations, talent management, and continuous improvement. This may include leadership development retreats, learning tools, or a partnership with a mentor.

Add to Collection

Develop Yourself

Set at least one professional development goal for the next 90 days. What skills do you need to strengthen? What actions can you take to strengthen those skills? Are there any upcoming opportunities or additional responsibilities you can take advantage of to support your development plan?

Add to Collection

Connect with Aspiring Leaders

Once you’ve identified upcoming leaders within the organization, get to know them better. Identify their skills and what areas can be improved. During one-on-one meetings with aspiring leaders, ask for their input on how they can build their needed skills. Strive to provide upcoming leaders with additional opportunities to own key outcomes.

Add to Collection

Stop and Celebrate

Some projects take years to complete, others are never complete due to consistent advances in technology. Take time to stop and reflect on the projects that you lead. Have you celebrated the small wins along the way? Have you taken time to recognize and appreciate all of the work that has gone into the project? Leaders who reflect on the team’s progress, recognize it and celebrate it, keep the team motivated for the long run.

Add to Collection

Listen for Understanding

Avoid the temptation of listening to others only to prepare yourself for a response. The act of listening helps us better understand those around us. Pause for 5 seconds to make sure the person is done talking before you begin your response. Consider responding with a probing question or a clarifying statement to be sure you’re understanding the message correctly.

Add to Collection

Reflect on Values

What does your organization value? How do you role-model one of the values? How do those you work with role-model this value? How can your organization strengthen its commitment to living out the values?

Add to Collection

Weekly Connections

Connect with your team once a week for 10-15 minutes. Each member reports: one win/progress made, what step they’re taking next, and any potential barriers to achieving their goal.

Add to Collection

Use Feedback to Motivate

Many individuals crave feedback at work. It lets us know we’re on the right track, and reveals areas for improvement. The best feedback results from asking questions such as, “What is going well and why is it going well?,” “Are you experiencing any barriers? Why?,” and “How have you overcome similar barriers in the past?.” Use these prompts next time you’re providing feedback to a team member.

Add to Collection

Offer Freedom within the Fences

The most successful organizations are those that offer employees “freedom within fences.” The standards and expectations are collaboratively set, based on the organization’s goals. Then, leaders and employees creatively operate within the fence. This type of structure is not about control. Progress is monitored and direction is provided for how to achieve success.

Add to Collection

Assign a Champion of the Goal

The organization’s executive leader determines the champion to own each of the goals and its achievement. The focus of the champion is always on how to reach or surpass the target. This is the person responsible for reporting out results at regular intervals and for identifying areas of success. The champion also facilitates discussion of strategy implementation and any needed changes or adjustments. These discussions and decisions always revolve around hitting the goal and increasing performance.

Add to Collection

Be Aware of Nonverbal Communication

During conversations with your team members, pay close attention to their nonverbal communication. If a person’s body language and their verbal responses don’t match, this could be a sign to clarify what the person is trying to say.

Add to Collection

Discussion for Improvements

Strategy sessions provide a forum for open and honest conversation about challenges and resources. The more we involve the entire team in the discussion, the richer the options for improvement.

Add to Collection

Identify Who is Next

Who will be in their current position 5 years from now? Who will be promoted? Who will have moved on? Part of a great leader’s organizational strategy is to create a plan for succession and the development of new leaders. Identify one person this week that can be developed to succeed you.

Add to Collection

Communicate Neutrally

When speaking about challenges, stop and think, “How can I phrase this in a way that doesn’t put others down – even subtly?”

Add to Collection

Be Open to Feedback

Thank your colleague who cares enough to speak up and provide you with feedback. Feedback is a caring gesture meant to help you grow.

Add to Collection

The Joy of Reward

Recognize your high performers by giving them more responsibility or an opportunity to work in an area they are most passionate about.

Add to Collection

Feedback to Inspire

While giving critical feedback, remind the recipient that you believe in them and their abilities, the goal you are collectively trying to achieve, and the new information they need to drive to excellence.

Add to Collection

Question for Better Answers

Instead of asking, “Do you have any questions?,” ask, “What can I explain better?” You can probe further by asking, “Can you be more specific?,” “What makes you say that?,” “Can you give me an example?,” and “Why do you think that’s working?”

Add to Collection

Role-Model Pride

List what makes you feel valued. What gives you a sense of pride? Do more of those things.

Add to Collection

Show Value by Asking Questions

Learn something new about an employee by asking them about their family or interests. Value is created when we show interest and concern for their well-being.

Add to Collection

Improve Yourself First

Identify one thing you will learn this week, and set aside the time needed in your schedule. Improve yourself before you attempt to improve those you lead.

Add to Collection

Show Your Team They Fit

Ensure everyone on your team has a place, a purpose, is prepared, and is passionate about what they do.

Add to Collection

Connect by Relating

Relate, don’t compare. During every meeting and interaction this week, identify how you can transfer and implement an idea or best practice to your team.

Add to Collection

Objective Evaluations

Adopt and commit to an objective, measurable, leader evaluation tool and hold leaders accountable for the results.

Add to Collection

Tough Talks

When you are faced with a tough conversation, first consider your goals. The first is to solve the problem. The second is to do so without damaging the relationship.

Add to Collection

Get Personal

Individually ask your team members a personal question today. Investing in the emotional side of your team builds the trust required to achieve excellence.

Add to Collection

Leadership is a Choice

Being a leader is a choice you make each day you come to work. Choose to listen better, set and role model higher standards, and provide more clarity to your team.

Add to Collection

Thrive in the Face of Adversity

Pause for 2 to 5 seconds to think today before you respond. Your response is always a choice, even in the most difficult situations, and sets an example for others to follow.

Add to Collection

Develop Yourself to Develop Others

Choose a skill you need to develop further as a leader and set aside 30 minutes each day to practice. We can only take someone as far as we’ve taken ourselves.

Add to Collection

Everyone’s a Leader

Think about how you impact the culture and climate of the organization. Identify and commit to role modeling an element of your culture today.

Add to Collection

What Gets Recognized Gets Repeated

Set clear expectations by immediately recognizing individuals who are doing the right things in the right way.

Add to Collection

Live Your Values

Identify what it looks like to model one of your organization’s values for all of your employees. Values shouldn’t live on paper. They live in your actions. Your core values set the expectations for behavior for everyone to model.

Add to Collection

Effective Meetings

Make a commitment to have more productive meetings, by starting and ending all meetings on time today. Your team will thank you.

Add to Collection

Give Trust to Get Trust

How do you get people to trust? Start with trusting first. Share a vulnerable experience with a colleague today that will begin building your relationship.

Add to Collection

Get Your Game Face On

A leader must consistently display their game face. Regardless of the situation, no negative emotion or expression can show. Leaders communicate with body language. If your stomach is churning, your expression stays calm.

Add to Collection

Do Less to Accomplish More

Identify the most important task aligned to your goals each day and finish it first. “By creating less activity, we actually create more urgency. The key is choosing the right activity and making sure it’s implemented to the fullest degree.” -John Kotter

Add to Collection

Start Small

Start moving barriers today by writing down your top three obstacles. “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Add to Collection

Leading Change

Do one thing today outside of your comfort zone. “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw

Add to Collection

Authenticity Creates Followers

Make pausing a practice in your communication. By taking time to consider what we are communicating, we become more authentic and those we lead are more likely to trust us.

Add to Collection

Craft your character

You cannot pick your talents or IQ, but you can choose your character. You can’t separate a leader’s character from his or her actions. As you live your life and make daily choices, you are continuing to create your character.

Add to Collection

Lower Your Talking Time

Value your listening and reading time at roughly 10 times your talking time on the road to continuous learning and self-improvement. Estimate how much time you spend talking each day and set a goal to lower that number.

Add to Collection

Back Pocket Ownership

We/They is the act of passing blame to others. Increase ownership behavior and eliminate we/they by visualizing your supervisor in your back pocket.

Add to Collection

Finding Meaning

All of us want to be a key player on a team that achieves something meaningful. Take time today to connect your team to the deeper purpose of the work you do. Reveal a deeper meaning behind your business strategy and actions the team carries out on a daily basis.

Add to Collection

Guide to Purpose

Leaders help all employees find purpose in their work. Connect employees to what’s most meaningful to them. Ask, “What did you enjoy working on this past year? Why?” Then, help them align their upcoming goals to the organization’s overall strategy, using their response.

Add to Collection

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account

User Profile Fields