Lead with questions, not answers

"Leading from good to great does not mean coming up with the answers and then motivating everyone to follow your messianic vision. It means having the humility to grasp the fact that you do not yet understand enough to have the answers and then to ask the questions that will lead to the best possible insights."

- Jim Collins, Good to Great

Do you have Derailers on Your Team?

I was recently facilitating a strategic team building offsite for a senior leadership team in Colorado, and at the break one of the leaders approached me to talk about one of his team members. This particular team member was having a negative impact on the overall team, but the leader was having a difficult time putting his finger on what the team member was doing that was creating such a ripple effect.

Trying to be Invulnerable?

We read about them every day – the charismatic, hard-driving leaders who have led their organization from the trenches into an amazing turnaround.

The leaders we don’t usually hear about are the humble, modest, reserved, gracias, mild-mannered, and self-effacing leaders that famous author and business Guru Jim Collins describes as Level 5 Leaders in his book Good to Great.

Shockwaves Part 3: Avoiding Costly Senior Leadership Team Mistakes

In the first two parts of this article, I discussed the impact that senior leadership teams have on their organization. The behaviors that begin at the senior leadership team level ripple through an organization, and just like a wave that grows as it nears its shore, those behaviors also grow and get repeated - regardless of whether they have a positive or negative impact on the organization.

Getting Clear on Your Vision for the Team

In almost any leadership book you read about, you'll hear that having a vision is important. But, for many people, the idea alone is difficult to understand. And, as a result, having a vision becomes elusive.

Getting clear about your vision for the team isn’t rocket science, and most leaders make it more complicated than it needs to be. It is simply being able to communicate the purpose of the team, where you would like the team to be, and how you would like the team to get there.

Leading by Example? Avoid these Mistakes

One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is leading by email (or by texting or by a project management tool or by chat or by some other technology) instead of Leading by Example. They provide feedback by email, delegate by email, and reset expectations over email. Even when their team members are sitting in cubicles right next to them!

People-first™ Factor #1: Lead by Example

Have you ever had respect for a leader whose words did not match her actions? Have you ever had respect for a leader who preached personal values and then behaved differently?

The fundamental component of leadership is People-first™ Factor #1 Lead by Example. This is the core of leadership. This is the component that will either establish or kill your credibility. And if you aren’t credible, you will never gain commitment and trust from your team members.

Culture Change: What does your organization reward?

Do you work in an environment where:

  • People are constantly running around focused on pressing matters instead of being able to think about the big picture.
  • There is never time to do anything except put out the latest and loudest fire.
  • The organization expects to move quickly but it crushes critical thinking and debate.
  • It is the norm to work 60+ hours per week.

How about an environment where:

Find out how your team is doing

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The Pain from the Story is Worse than the Pain Itself

I went to the dentist last week for the first of two visits to get a crown placed on a cracked tooth. Honestly, I hate going to the dentist. Don't get me wrong. My dentist is extremely competent, and I trust his work.