Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

What has shaped you as a leader? Is it an experience, person or situation?

Posted in Blog on July 7th, 2017 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

shaped as a leaderThrough my executive coaching I have found a lot of leaders found answering this question rewarding. It’s an opportunity to self-reflect on what has gotten us to where we are today and it helps us understand what motivates and drives us as leaders based on key turning points in our lives. It also helps identify what kind of leader you are today or ultimately the type of leader you aspire to be.

I have a client who as a young child was training for the Olympics. She was extremely competitive and learned at a young age the importance of setting goals and achieving them. She also learned about the dynamics of working as part of a team and winning for the team. And finally, she learned how to bounce back from disappointment when she was injured and determined continuing on was not practical. When we talked about her leadership, we uncovered threads of each of these qualities in her current leadership style.

We reviewed these qualities and came up with the following list.

Goal driven – I set my sights on what I want to achieve
Planful – I set out a plan to achieve these goals
Determined and unwavering – I am resolute in reaching my goal, often times having to make sacrifices to stay on course
Overcomes setbacks – I’m able to handle obstacles even in the face of adversity
Competitive – I like to win for myself and the team

My client summed things up this way; “this is exactly who I am as a leader but I wonder if there are opportunities for me to continue to grow and hone these skills.” She gained great clarity from this exercise and wanted to leverage these insights for continued leadership growth.

With this in mind, we needed to determine what was most effective and what was least effective about her leadership style. She accomplished this by asking her team, coworkers and management for feedback on these qualities. This was a simple exercise where she sent an email asking for honest feedback on her leadership style, sharing the above list of qualities and traits. She followed up with in-person meetings to discuss the feedback she received.

What she found out was eye-opening. While her higher-level management applauded her competitive nature, she realized her coworkers looked at this very differently. They questioned her motives as a more myopic view of what winning would mean for her, not the whole team. This was a big surprise for my client who placed great value on teamwork. We determined her competitive nature was signaling a different message than teamwork and working more closely with the team was needed. Armed with this insight she is now bringing her coworkers in earlier on projects she is working on, communicating more about why she is recommending a particular direction and being more open to contrarian views and ensuring her coworkers gain visibility for their efforts so everyone benefits from the success of the project.

What has shaped you as a leader? What experience, person or situation has made you the kind of leader you are today? Please share your…

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

linkedin follow

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Success Breeds Success: Your Top 100 Accomplishments

Posted in Blog on January 9th, 2017 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

The phrase Success Breeds Success points to the notion that when you are successful it paves the way for further success.  To help my clients here, I challenge them to create a list of their top accomplishments.  They take this challenge on with abandon until they hear my ask; “I want you to create a list of 100 accomplishments from the past year”.  The typical response is; “are you kidding me, 100?”  Or “there is no way I can come up with that many.”  After the initial shock wears off, my clients are excited thinking about all they’ve done even if there’s still a little trepidation mixed in with the prospect of coming up with this magnitude of accomplishments.

Before we jump in, let’s look at the business case for why this is essential to your success as a leader.  I was speaking with one of my clients who told me his manager stated he didn’t have any experience in removing obstacles and getting everyone on the same page.  My client was shocked.  He told me he does this every day and was puzzled how his manager didn’t have a clue this was a strength.  Through our coaching we uncovered while he has great success here, he doesn’t communicate the incremental wins until the project is completed.  The problem lies in the only in-depth conversation with his manager is when he reaches an obstacle he can’t solve at his level, leaving the impression he is not good at removing all obstacles.  In fact, he is very good at removing obstacles and is the go-to for many of his co-workers.  However, there are times where things require a higher level of oversight and his manager is interpreting this as a weakness.

Whatever your situation, I bet you don’t update your manager with all the things you do to make a project successful.  Learning from this situation, my client is letting his manager know, “hey the project is on-time but we ran into a snafu and I had to do these three things to keep it on track”, essentially communicating how he removed the obstacles.  Let’s dive in and create your list of 100 accomplishments.

Step 1

Reserve time on your calendar, initially I suggest reserving 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to create your list of accomplishments.  You will need to schedule additional blocks of time to finish your list.  I prefer reserving time at the end of the day, but any time that works for you is best.  You will find accomplishments pop into your head, so keep this list handy, allowing you to add these new thoughts to your list.  But remember your goal is 100 accomplishments and this takes your commitment to keep at it until you are done!  I challenge my clients to come up with the first 25 in their first sitting.  Then I ask them to set time aside for the next 25 accomplishments.  It typically gets harder at this point which takes us to the next step.

Step 2

If you are having trouble coming up with your 100 accomplishments, break each of these items into smaller accomplishments.  Here’s some guidance.  Let’s look at a real accomplishment from a client; Implemented the change initiative throughout the division.  This is a great accomplishment, I bet this took a lot to implement this change and get everyone on board.  With that in mind, this can be broken down into several discrete accomplishments.  Using this as an example, think about the people that you had to gain buy-in from, the challenges or obstacles that you had to remove and the leadership you showed to bring the team along.  Maybe there was a communication plan you had to develop or training you had to deliver.  The point is, each of these actions, while they led to the larger accomplishment, they are accomplishments in and of themselves.  Don’t sell yourself short of all it takes to do what you do.  You should be a lot closer to that elusive 100 target.

Step 3

What themes stand out for you as you read your 100 accomplishments?  You should see your key areas of strength, e.g. solving problems no one else can solve or bringing disparate people together for problem resolution.  Identify three to four themes.  An example of one of my client’s three themes are the following: Business Improvement, Connects the Dots and Coaching/Mentoring.  These are all areas of strength for her.  Through our coaching, we added a fourth category, Clear and Concise Communications.  This last theme is a development area she is working on.  By tracking this, it helps her remain accountable and enables her to see all the progress she is making as she lists examples of where she is improving.

Success breeds success.  Congratulations, you should be proud of all you have accomplished!  I bet it feels good reviewing this list which fuels further motivation.  Without getting into the scientific side of things, reviewing and reflecting on your list ignites a feel-good response in your brain.  This is a great way to boost your confidence and feel proud of all you do.  Review your list at regular intervals and use this boost as motivation to continue attracting even greater success.

But don’t stop there.  Your manager probably knows you successfully completed that important project but does he or she know what it took to get there?  Share this in your one-on-one’s, end of quarter as well as input into your annual review or whenever you have an opportunity to let others know all you do.  This is how you position yourself for greater leadership success.

I suggest doing this for the prior year but get started on the current year too.  It’s so much easier when you keep this file open, on your desk top or wherever you do your thinking, and add accomplishments as you go.  Good luck and wishing you continued success!

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

OWN It: Giving Feedback Is as Easy as 1-2-3!

Posted in Blog on July 23rd, 2016 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

public speakingWe’ve all heard that people would rather die than get up in front of an audience for public speaking. Giving feedback conjures up the same feelings of fear and trepidation. However, to develop your employees, it’s important to give them regular and timely feedback. When I’m facilitating workshops on leadership I talk about creating a feedback culture. What I mean by this is a culture that promotes giving feedback as a regular occurrence and not solely reserved for annual reviews.

In these workshops I ask the participants to raise their hands if they like giving feedback. On average no more than two or three people raise their hands, that’s less than 1/8 of the class. But when I ask how many like receiving feedback, almost every hand goes up. I also conduct 360 feedback sessions on behalf of my coaching clients and invariably I hear “this is the first time I’ve ever heard this” when they receive their feedback report. We are doing a huge disservice to our employees by not giving them regular and immediate feedback to help them continue to grow.

OWN It: Giving Feedback Is as Easy as 1-2-3So why is it there is such a great dichotomy between giving feedback and receiving it? Probably the biggest reason is it takes courage to give tough feedback. No one wants to hurt someone’s feelings intentionally. But how else can we grow if we don’t get feedback? When I look at the business case for giving feedback, a more engaged workforce tops the list. Research shows employee engagement goes up dramatically when employees receive regular feedback, even when it’s centered around their weaknesses.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to give actionable and valuable feedback. I’ve developed a simple and proven 3-step process that I call OWN.

Observations – Describe the behavior you observed using specific examples. Focus on the facts and don’t make it personal.

Why is this important – Describe the impact on you as the manager, on the team, morale, etc.

Next steps – What specific actions can they take or behaviors they need to change to address this feedback.

Here’s a real-life example of how you can use OWN.

What I observed is in yesterday’s meeting you became defensive when other people offered an alternate viewpoint to yours and you got impatient and cut them off.

Why is this important? Because people see you as not being open or not listening when you defend your position and cut them off. The impact of this is you will find it hard to get buy-in if people don’t feel they are being heard. This makes it challenging to move your initiative forward.

Some next steps include taking a breath and pausing to think what you want to say when someone disagrees with your idea. Another option is to say “here’s my point of view I’d like to hear your point of view when presenting a new idea. And a third option is to state, “help me better understand more about your idea” when you feel yourself getting defensive.

I offer three helpful tips for using OWN:

1. Keep the focus on the specific behavior you observed and not on the person. This should not be a personal affront.
2. Provide the feedback in a timely manner. The longer you wait, the less effective your feedback will be.
3. Make sure it’s actionable. If the feedback is too vague it will not be clear what they need to do as a result of your feedback. Gain agreement on how you will measure progress and when you will circle back to check-in on their progress.

I promise you if you OWN it you will get more comfortable giving tough feedback. Your employees will feel engaged and happy that you are investing in helping them grow. Giving feedback really can be as easy as 1-2-3.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

linkedin follow

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

The How-To’s of Delegating

Posted in Blog on October 16th, 2015 by Admin Jones – 1 Comment

sage098126Delegation is an age old leadership challenge. Intuitively we know we can’t do it all but when the rubber meets the road we step in and make sure that high visibility project gets done even if it means stepping in and doing it yourself. In my last blog, Do or Die! I dispelled the key myths my clients share with me for not delegating. There’s power in delegating and it’s one of the key leadership skills that leads to success. Your ability to delegate serves several purposes:

Shifts your focus to high priority items. As you take lower priority tasks off your plate you are able to turn your focus to more strategic responsibilities. Often times we deal with the here and now and don’t allow time for the longer range, more strategic thinking and planning. This is your chance to go beyond the day-to-day tactical tasks and focus on the areas where you can truly add value.
Enables you to “let go”. You are not the only person who can accomplish a tough task, even if it sometimes feels that way. You have to take calculated risks that enable others to take on greater responsibility. It can feel uncomfortable and like losing control but you can’t hold onto things that would be better suited for other people to take on. Delegation relies on your ability as a leader to let go. This oftentimes includes facing the feelings associated with losing control and not being in charge of the outcome. Ensure you set your team up for success and communicate your expectations on how you want to remain in the loop, even if it’s simply a regular project update.
Teaches others. When you delegate your direct reports are taking on tasks that ultimately you were performing. This helps prepare them for the next level. This also sends a message you have faith in them and they in turn appreciate stepping up to the challenge.
Helps you grow as a leader. As an individual contributor and even as a first-line manager you were being judged by the work you did. As you take on additional responsibility and larger teams, you are being judged on how you motivate and inspire others to do the work. This is a pivotal point in leadership. Those that learn the importance of delegating will take their leadership to the next level.

I use the Sage Alliance Delegation worksheet to help my clients delegate their projects more effectively. The following steps will help you fill out the worksheet.

The first column are things you Must Do, meaning no one else can do these things. Examples include one-on-ones, performance reviews, skip level meetings and meetings that require your presence such as your manager’s staff meeting. These are responsibilities you simply can’t delegate.

The next column represents the things you can Delegate Now. Ask yourself these questions:

• Do I really need to attend that meeting or conference call?
• Do I have to be the one to write that report or create that presentation deck?
• What are the projects that others can run with while I oversee the bigger picture?

While it may take some time for your direct reports to get up to speed, you will feel like a burden has been lifted which frees up time for you to focus on the things that really matter to your more strategic role.

Now we come to the third column and the hardest to let go. These are the projects and responsibilities that fall into Delegate Later. You may feel like you will lose touch or lose control if you delegate these. Many times we know instinctively we don’t have to do this task but there are reasons surrounding why you can’t delegate this now. Identify the specific issue that stands in the way of you delegating this now. Maybe you are short staffed and there is no one to delegate to or it could be a matter of training or something else entirely. Regardless of the issue it’s important to create a plan to delegate this sooner rather than later. Develop a 30–60–90 plan to address the issue and get these projects off your plate. Your success depends on it and your team will be happier with the new challenges and opportunities your delegation creates.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

linkedin follow

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Where do leaders struggle?

Posted in Blog on September 18th, 2014 by Admin Jones – 1 Comment

Recently, I was interviewed by Andy Greider with LinkedInsite.com on the topic of “What leaders struggle with“. In the MP3 audio file below, I discuss three main challenges professionals encounter as they strive to become better leaders. Take a listen, and please share your thoughts.

Where do leaders struggle?

Business people playing tug-of-warWhat are the things that trip leaders up? While I’m referring to leaders in different industries, with different experience and at different levels, there are some common themes of where they struggle. And while these leaders are successful in their own right, I see the following three key areas continue to bubble up through my coaching with them.

Strategic Focus – Leaders struggle with when to focus strategically and when to dive in and get in the weeds. It’s a balance between doing versus delegating. We think this happens with just new managers but I see this at all levels and with all leaders. It’s hard to let go and relinquish control of the outcome. Furthermore, some managers feel they are the only person who can perform a particular task or they can do it best, which may in fact be true, but it’s impossible to do it all.

I received a great piece of advice, earlier in my career, from my manager who told me, “You are not being judged on the work you do but how you empower others to get the work done.” This was a turning point for me in my career. Regardless of where you are in your leadership journey, it’s important to empower your employees and get out of the way so the work can get done. Leaders who do this well know how to provide guidance but keep their distance. If you grab the reins and tackle the more difficult tasks you are missing out on coachable moments. Your employees aren’t learning and furthermore they know you will jump in and save the day when they stumble. Instead, hold them accountable, teach them and delegate it instead of doing it!

Communicating Effectively – Communicating at all levels is critical, whether it’s upwards to those more senior in the organization, down to direct reports or across to peers and business partners. In regards to communicating up, it’s about employing the right level of detail. I ran a discussion on LinkedIn about this very topic, an area where a lot of leaders struggle. Check out the discussion HERE to see the comments and best practices on communicating up effectively. It’s important to tailor your message for your audience, especially when communicating upwards. Those at the higher levels in your organization don’t need to know everything you know about a particular topic. Instead what’s more important is being concise in your communication. It’s not about proving how much you know but rather demonstrating your confidence around a topic as you tailor your communication for your specific audience. That speaks volumes!

Then there are times where there is simply not enough communication. I see this a lot when leaders are communicating with their peers and direct reports. A client of mine didn’t communicate effectively with her peers. And as such her peers became distrustful when she asked them for help. She only brought them in when she needed something from them but never communicated back to them on the things that impacted them or would help them do their jobs more effectively. I tell all my clients, over communicate! While you may think you are communicating effectively, you are probably not communicating nearly enough.

And there are times we can forget that not everyone knows what we know. Things move at such a fast pace that often times your direct reports may not know the landscape has changed or that priorities have shifted. A client of mine is part of discussions with senior executives on the changing priorities for the organization but what he fails to realize is his team doesn’t get that same exposure. As a result, they become frustrated when he tells them to change their focus since they don’t understand the context or rationale behind the change. While this may seem like a rookie mistake, I see more leaders tell their employees what to do instead of why they need to do it. They are not effectively cascading their communications down and as a result employees are frustrated or simply not on board. A quick fix is to error on over communicating. Focus your communications on the why behind changes and you will see employees get on board quicker and with less resistance. You can always ask for feedback and pare your communication back if it becomes too much, although I rarely see this as being the case. Whether it’s with direct reports or your peer’s communication is critical to successful leadership.

Courageousness or “Edge” – Edge is all about wanting to win at all costs. In the right dose it’s a redeeming quality you want all your leaders to possess. But without the right balance, it can lead to less effective leadership. I conducted a 360 assessment, to gain developmental feedback, on someone I was coaching with too much edge and learned he can divide people. On the one hand are people who like his demanding style and feel like he pushes them to perform at their best. On the other hand are those that feel like he’s got a personal agenda and runs over them with his edgy style. In this instance it’s about having patience to meet people where they are and pave the way so they can go on the journey with you instead of pulling them, kicking and screaming. It’s imperative to adjust your style based on the person or the situation and look for ways to be more collaborative, especially with peers. Ask more questions and gain agreement on next steps instead of jumping in and forcing the next step. There is an element of situational awareness at work here; having an understanding of the impact you have on others and whether it’s positive and productive or if it’s something less effective.

On the flip side are leaders that can simply be too nice and don’t push back when needed, they need more edge. Many of my clients pride themselves on being responsive and as a result struggle with saying “no”, they don’t want to disappoint or even worse hurt someone’s feelings by being too blunt. So they shy away from making tough or unpopular decisions that may give the impression they are anything but helpful and friendly. In these instances we want leaders to be more courageous and demonstrate more edge by handling difficult situations and conflict with confidence. Nobody likes conflict but it’s part of the job. I coach my clients to look at this situationally. This isn’t about changing who you are but rather identifying situations and people where you can be more courageous and add value by demonstrating more edge.

Leadership involves a whole host of traits to be successful in a dynamic and complex world. And while this isn’t an exhaustive list, your ability to be more effective in these areas will help you continue to grow your leadership. How do you rate yourself in these three critical areas and where do you struggle?

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

linkedin follow

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

The Three Qualities That Transform a Good Leader Into a GREAT Leader

Posted in Blog on August 6th, 2014 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

Three Qualities That Transform a Good Leader Into a GREAT LeaderWhat helps a good leader become a great leader? This is a question I am asked and a challenge I help business leaders tackle and overcome through my coaching and leadership workshops. Great leaders always possess a unique mix of qualities; and so this is not an attempt to boil things down to a simple 3 bullet list. There are many unique qualities each great leader brings to the table. But at the essence, and since we have to begin somewhere, we can start here, with three vital attributes.

Share Their Vision

Great leaders work very hard to share their vision which helps them engage their employees and provide a place where those employees enjoy showing up every day. Leaders who share their vision show their passion in everything they do – and that passion is infectious which helps get others to buy-in and carry forward the goals of the organization to support the vision.

Motivate Their People

Great leaders understand what it takes to motivate their teams. Leaders who have transcended beyond being good are able to flex their style and adjust based on the individual. Since not everyone is motivated the same way, great leaders take the time and have the ability to recognize this and meet the individual where they are . This provides the employee with what they need to be at their best each day. It also allows the employee to feel like a vital cog in the organization who will get things done because of the respect they have for their leader and the shared vision.

Aware of Their Abilities and Limitations

And while all these attributes are important, the number one characteristic I’ve found that distinguishes those that are good from those who are great leaders is quite simply self-awareness. Leaders who understand their strengths and where they excel but are also honest with themselves and are able to identify their blind spots really stand out. They are continuous learners who look for ways to close their gaps. And as a result, they distinguish and differentiate themselves and surpass other leaders. This may be one of the more difficult things to accomplish but the great leaders do so and excel as a result.

What do you think makes a great leader? Do the attributes above describe the people leading your division, organization or company? What can you do to be a great leader?

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

“Ask the Expert” July Interview

Posted in Blog on July 23rd, 2014 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

Recently, I was interviewed by Andy Greider with LinkedInsite.com on the topic of “Qualities That Make a Great Leader“. I share three qualities and characteristics that make great leaders in the MP3 audio file below. Take a listen, and please share your thoughts.

ask the expert mp3 interview

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Identify your Unique Leadership Style

Posted in Blog on April 1st, 2014 by Admin Jones – Be the first to comment

Identify your Unique Leadership StyleWhat is your unique leadership style? I’ve written about the importance of being a flexible leader in The Best Leaders Flex Their Style. To further build on that discussion it’s important to know how your unique style helps you influence others. There are four distinct leadership styles that I based on the HBDI, Herman Brain Dominance Instrument, an assessment that provides companies with insight into different thinking styles. Whether you have the opportunity to take an assessment or not, I hope you will think about your unique style. Which leader is most like you?

Analytical leader takes information and makes decisions based on facts in a very logical and analytical manner. It’s important for this leader to have a good grasp of the available data and information before making a vital decision. This prevents missteps and helps the organization avoid jumping into a situation that could prove costly to the bottom line.

Planful leader takes a practical approach to decision making. They work off of a plan and focus on getting things done in an organized and timely fashion. This leader attempts to mitigate the business risk to ensure projects are implemented successfully. Planful leaders help organizations identify best practices and lay the tracks for critical processes before unnecessarily pulling the trigger.

Interpersonal leader builds consensus to arrive at win-win decisions. They are empathetic leaders who care about the needs of the team and place importance on building personal relationships. Interpersonal leaders tend to be intuitive about the impact decisions have on others and look for ways to ensure everyone is on the same page to minimize conflict.

Visionary leader sees the big picture and takes a strategic approach to decision making. This leader is willing to take risks and challenge convention more so than their counterparts. They apply out-of-the box thinking to solve business problems. Visionary leaders constantly challenge their employees to avoid stagnation and to look for new ideas and approaches to remain competitive.

While we employ more than one leadership style, we leverage these different strategies at different times and with different people and in different situations. The flexible leader knows how to match their style to the situation and balance all four of these styles to be effective. Regardless of what process, tool or assessment you use for self-awareness, it’s essential to think through how you can leverage your strengths to engage and empower those around you. How well balanced are you in these approaches and where do you struggle?

In a follow-up, I will delve into the flip side of these approaches and explore instances where these leadership styles may be less effective.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Personal Branding: Stress Can Undermine the Consistency of Your Brand

Posted in Blog on December 6th, 2012 by Shelley – Be the first to comment

stressed womanOne of the key tenants to branding is consistency. As consumers, we’ve learned this from the most successful products on the market; Coke, Microsoft and McDonalds. Yet time and time again I see my clients demonstrating lack of consistency in their own personal brands.

When we think about our own brand we naturally define this based on our strengths. However, I suggest you also look at your behavior when under stress. When you go into stress mode you are making decisions, responding and taking actions from this vantage point; when you may not be at your best.

When you are stressed you naturally make assumptions about the situation, the people and the motives behind what is being said or done. Yet these assumptions can be clouded by your stress mode and can impact your brand. When you are in stress mode you react to a stimulus based on the assumptions you’ve formed and make decisions based on that stimulus. Take the example of my client who became defensive when her boss inquired on the source for where she had gathered her data for a particular project. Her defensive posture kicked in and she reacted to “why is the boss questioning my abilities” so she dug her heels in and responded accordingly. Unfortunately her response did not demonstrate her “analytical” and “thorough” brand, her strengths. Instead her defensive behavior came off as being rigid and not open to new ideas.

These types of responses impact the perceptions other people have of you and if your behavior and actions are being ruled by your stress behavior you may not be putting your best foot forward. When you are in control of your behaviors, responses and actions you can ensure you are leveraging your strengths for a consistent brand. To do this, analyze your stress behavior and gain insight into your behaviors and the associated assumptions you may make. Take time to understand the perceptions that may be attributed to your actions and look for opportunities to bring your behavior into alignment with your strengths for a consistent brand.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr

Leadership Success: Being an Active Follower

Posted in Blog on November 1st, 2012 by Shelley Hammell – 1 Comment

following leadershipI was recently giving a speech on “Followership” to mentees going through Pathbuilders, the mentoring program in Atlanta, GA. My speech centered on the importance of being an active follower. You probably are having the same reaction I received when I started my speech; “Why would I want to be a follower when I can be a leader? I’m someone who takes initiative, who has great ideas and is results oriented, I like to make things happen.” That’s precisely why you want to be an active follower. These are exactly the same qualities that make a good leader.

By following, you learn from successful leaders how to be a good leader yourself. You begin to model the necessary behavior and establish your reputation as an active follower. That’s when you pave the way to take on a greater leadership role. You see everyone follows someone, even the CEO answers to a board of directors. All leaders came-up through the ranks and recognize the distinction of when to lead and when to follow. All good leaders were good followers. The key to leadership success is being an active follower.

Sage Alliance, a Leadership Performance Company, provides coaching, teambuilding and assessments, workshops and speaking on topics including; leadership development, empowering teams, communications, lasting impressions, personal branding and building a coaching culture for executives and high-potentials – for both team and individual leaders.

Contact us today to discover how your organization can get the most through improved productivity, efficiency and direct impact to your bottom line, while leaders gain powerful insight, crystallize opportunities for growth and fine tune their strengths, enabling them to make the greatest impact. You can contact Shelley Hammell directly at shammell@thesagealliance.com.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedintumblr