Category Archives: Leadership Behaviors

Improving Management Team Performance

“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” —Chris Hadfield

The key to improving management team performance is summarized quite nicely in the Chris Hadfield quote above. When your management team can lay the groundwork for their employees to succeed and then stand back and let them shine, the whole organization performs better. So, what should you be looking at to improve the performance of your management team?

What is their focus?

What are your managers focusing on? It can be easy for them to get caught up in focusing solely on the bottom line and forget about the employees who are contributing to that bottom line. Or, they can become so concerned with gaining recognition for themselves that they forget about the people who are really doing the work. The best management teams focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘who’. When management spends their energy on supporting their employees in determining the ‘how’ for themselves, performance improves at every level of the organization.

How are their relationships?

What kind of relationships are your managers developing? Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect; they cannot thrive in an us vs. them environment. Without strong relationships managers are ineffective. If you want to improve the performance of your management team, help them build strong, trusting, inclusive relationships.

How do they accomplish objectives?

How do your managers accomplish the objectives that you have set for them? Many managers defer to micromanagement as a means for accomplishing tasks and achieving goals. Micromanagement kills employee engagement and does more harm to productivity than good. When you put an end to micromanagement and empower employees to make decisions and take action on their own you greatly improve performance.

As Your Management Team Performs

As your management team performs, so will their employees. Make sure your managers are focusing on the right things. Help them build the relationships that lead to efficiency and top performance. Teach them to empower and support employees in accomplishing objectives rather than micromanaging them. When your management team provides the foundation employees need to succeed and can then stand back and lets employees shine, everyone’s performance improves.

What action will you take today to start improving the performance of your management team?

 

 

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Are You Pulling Others Up or Pushing Them Down?

pulling“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” —Booker T. Washington

The saddest thing about business and success is the internal political games that some people are willing to play in order to get themselves ahead. There are two different ways of getting to the top and they both look very different and have different impacts on your ability to lead. You can get to the top by pulling others up; serving them, inspiring them, and encouraging them. Or, you can get to the top by pushing others down in an attempt to make yourself look better and eliminate any competition. When you pull others up you serve in a hero role; you earn trust, respect, and loyalty. When you push others down you become the enemy; losing all trust, respect, and influence. Here are three questions to help you determine if you are pulling or pushing.

What is your attitude?

Do you see others as being capable and willing to do the task at hand? If you have the attitude that you are the only one capable of doing things right, I guarantee you are pushing others down. Recognizing the strengths that others bring to the table and giving them the opportunity and support to use those strengths is the trademark of a leader who is pulling others up.

Do you have the influence?

Do you inspire others? Do they trust and respect you? Without these things you do not have influence. If you do not have influence you cannot lead effectively. You gain the ability to inspire others and you earn their trust and respect by being a leader who reaches out and helps them along. If you continually push others down, you may have the false illusion that you have influence, but your employees know different.

Are you willing to make the investment?

If you are unwilling to invest your time and resources into building others up, then you are selfishly pushing them down. I’m sure you had a mentor at some point in your career, someone who you looked up to, someone who was willing to invest their time and energy into showing you the ropes and helping you grow. These are the true leaders. When you are unwilling to mentor others, you appear to have a hidden agenda. Employees will feel that you are withholding pertinent information in an attempt to make yourself look better.

Pull Others Up

Whether you are pulling others up or pushing them down, it will be reflected in your attitude, your ability to influence, and your willingness to invest in others. True leadership is about pulling others up, making them look good, and helping them to become the best they can be. This is the type of leadership that actually makes you, as the leader, look good. When you are pushing others down as you climb your way to the top, you are really showing everyone that you are not actual leadership material at all. Leadership is not about you so reach down and start pulling others up!

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Top 3 Mistakes Most Managers Make

heather-guestGuest Post by: Heather R. Younger, J.D. CCXP

 

Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility. Peter F. Drucker

In my role, I often meet with employee focus groups and leaders of organizations. While on one side I am privy to what employees think of their manager’s effectiveness, I also see first-hand some of the key mistakes that block managers’ ability to be their best. Below are the top five mistakes I see managers make in their role as manager.

I have to focus on getting work done.

I do live in the real world where organizations exist to make money and profits. To this extent, I understand that managers have to meet their own deadlines. They have to get work done.

Having said that, most managers focus too much of their effort on tasks and not on the people who help perform the tasks. These are the same people who can make or break the customer experience and the bottom line.

I challenge managers to schedule in a sliver of time every week to sit with each team member. Having meaningful conversations with team members will actually drive improved performance.

We believe in this so much that we created a Meaningful Conversations tip sheet for managers.Click Here if you need direction.

I see what you are doing, but don’t have time to recognize you.

This is a big one!

I don’t think I need to be academic about this concept, because we all crave more consistent recognition. It is such an important driver of employee engagement that Gallup research still lists it as one of the top reasons employees remain with or leave an organization.

If you are a manager, how often do you recognize your team members? Remember, know how your team member likes to receive recognition. Some just don’t like big parties and balloons. Many just prefer a “thank you.”

Be sure to use their name and be as specific as possible about the reason for the recognition. This way, they know what types of behaviors drive positive praise from you.

In order to have long-lasting effects, you want to recognize team members every seven days. I don’t mean you have to give them a party or even give them a ribbon. Keep it simple. If you go too long before praising them, they will forget that positive feeling and that affects performance.

How did you feel the last time your manager recognized you?

Give that same feeling to your team members often!

I need to tell you what you are doing wrong and don’t have time to care about how that sounds.

Ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it?”

Managers are in a unique position to be able to use their authority for the betterment of others, or to use it to make others feel awful for their shortcomings or mistakes.

I would caution managers from jumping too quickly to find their team members’ mistakes. If you notice that any one team member’s performance, behavior or attitude is below your standards, sit with them to find out what might be going on to cause such a change.

Let them know that you are concerned about this decline. Offer to provide clear guidance to help them get back on track. They need to know that you are not always judging them. Choose your words carefully in order to avoid creating this perception.

They need to know that you are on their side and will fight for them if they put in the hard work.

The good news?

Managers can control whether or not they make these mistakes and how often they choose to do so. While the power and authority rests on the manager to drive their team forward, the more important thing to remember is to use that power for the good of the team. I know that these mistakes can create a lot of frustration. What other mistakes do you think many managers make? Ideas on how to stop them?

heatherpic

 

Senior Consultant and Trainer

Heather is a leadership strategist and employee engagement consultant, trainer, coach and speaker with proven expertise in building Voice of the Employee cultures and acting as catalyst for employee-driven cultural & process improvements. Heather is a frequent author on LinkedIn’s Pulse platform, a blog contributor for Huffington Post and a member and Certified Customer Experience Professional with the Customer Experience Professional’s Association.

Heather truly believes that the fastest way to create employee engagement and loyalty is to transform organizational culture into an environment focused on breaking down silos, aligning around a common purpose, empowering employees to do their best work and reinvigorating leaders to take ownership in their role in creating all of it.

 

 

Stop the Micromanagement Madness

lady-w-crazy-hair-2-day-sale-ad“Trust is a core currency of any relationship. Sometimes our need to control and micromanage everything erodes our confidence in ourselves and others. The truth: people are much more capable than we think. A hearty dose of trust is often what’s needed to unlock the magic. Go ahead, have faith.” —Kris Carr

Kris Carr hit the nail on the head in the above quote. As a manager or leader, trust is the key to effectively influencing others. Without the ability to influence you completely lose your ability to lead. But, trusting the abilities of others is often easier said than done. When you don’t trust others to perform their work tasks at your definition of a satisfactory level you get caught up in micromanagement madness.

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a micromanager. Do you remember how it made you feel? Did you dread walking into work every day? Did you cringe when you heard your manager’s voice down the hall? Micromanagement destroys employee morale and the culture of the whole organization. Here are three important aspects of micromanagement that you must understand.

Your issue not theirs

Your inability to let go of control is your problem, not your employees’ problem. Your micromanagement is bases solely on your need to control everything. Employees do not cause micromanagement, insecure leaders do. This creates an unhealthy environment for everyone to work in. Through the lens of a micromanager, they are forced to micromanage everyone because everyone else is incapable. This is an absolute lie. Capable employees are hired to do specific jobs and should be provided the necessary resources and then allowed to do their job without a babysitter.

Build confidence

Relinquishing the control of micromanagement requires you to build confidence, not only in your employees, but in yourself. You must give employees the training they need, and then let them do what they were hired to do. You must also be confident that you are able to give them the tools they need perform their work and problem-solve on their own. You must also be confident that you are capable of monitoring and managing performance from a distance. Through the lens a micromanager, they are overly confident in their own abilities and underestimate the abilities of others. This overconfidence is usually compensation for lack of true self-esteem. Develop your own healthy self-confidence and then work WITH others to develop confidence in their abilities.

Learn to trust

If you don’t have mutual trust with you employees, you have nothing. The relationships you need to be successful are built on a foundation of trust and respect. When you look at others through the lens of a micromanager, no one seems trustworthy; no one seems capable; except, of course, yourself. This is the perspective of someone who is insecure and is willing to kill all trust to hide it. Your employees are as capable of doing their job as you are of doing yours. If they aren’t, it’s you that has dropped the ball. Give them the training and resources they need and then trust them with their own responsibilities.

Let Go of the Madness

Good managers are NEVER micromanagers. If you are a good leader, you will never need to micromanage employees. You will give them training, tools, and guidance, but you will never micromanage. Organizations thrive when employees are engaged, making decisions, and designing their own work. Micromanagement is the madness that suffocates the life out of any team, department, or organization. Let go of the madness.

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Five Ways Your Passive-Aggressive Behavior is Undermining Your Leadership

No_Back_Stabbing_Swatch

 

 

 

“I’m sitting in my home office wearing a bathrobe. The same way I’m not going to start wearing ties, I’m also not going to buy into the fake politeness, the lying, the office politics and backstabbing, the passive aggressiveness, and the buzzwords.” —Linus Torvalds

According to Barrie Davenport, on her website liveboldandbloom.com, “Passive aggressive behavior can manifest in many ways but has the common feature of non-verbal negativity, resistance, and confusion. In relationships, it is a form of emotional abuse that is insidiously destructive to open and honest communication.”

Very few things make work-life worse than working for a passive-aggressive boss. The negative energy that passive-aggressive behavior creates causes distrust, disrespect, poor communication, lack of loyalty, and loss of influence. These are key factors in being able to lead effectively; so, how is your passive-aggressive behavior undermining your leadership?

Loss of trust

If you are passive-aggressive, employees will find you fake. They won’t trust to turn away from you because they know you will stab them in the back every chance you get. The worst part about this type of behavior is that, because it is all done behind employees’ backs, they will never trust you.

How can you fix it? Be real. Never say anything behind someone’s back that you wouldn’t say to their face. Show them that they can take you at your word.

Loss of respect

There is nothing to respect about a person who allows passive-aggressive behavior to play a role in their leadership. This type of behavior is cowardly. It is disrespectful to employees who deserve to know where they really stand and to be treated fairly.

How can you fix it? Be fair. Employees should know where they stand and have the opportunity to defend themselves against untrue allegations and assumptions. Show them that you have their back.

Loss of communication

When employees lose trust and respect for you, as a leader, they no longer care to hear anything you have to say; they can’t believe you anyway. They no longer care to share any information with you; you can’t be trusted not to use it against them and to not take the credit for their hard work for yourself.

How can you fix it? Be open and honest. Your words better match your actions. Employees should never hear from someone else anything that they should have heard from you. Ask for their input, give them the credit they deserve, always follow through, and be honest with feedback.

Loss of loyalty

Once you’ve lost the trust; respect; and willingness to communicate of your employees, you will definitely have lost their loyalty. They will no longer give you 100% of their effort, they will no longer work to make you look better, they will not look out for your best interest, and they will jump ship as soon as they can find a way out.

How can you fix it? Employees will be loyal to you if, and only if, they KNOW that you are loyal to them. Mutual trust, respect, and two-way communication must all be present before there will by any loyalty.

Loss of influence

At the end of the day, your ability to lead at all is based on the influence you have over employees. If you are a passive-aggressive leader, you will lose your influence. Once that is gone, you have nothing left.

How can you fix it? Influence is the catch all. You must eliminate the passive-aggressive behavior completely if you want to regain your influence. Build the trust, earn the respect, repair the communication, and prove your loyalty.

Fix It!!!!

You’ve heard it said time and time again that people do not leave jobs, they do not leave companies, they leave leaders. Passive-aggressive behavior is NEVER okay for a leader. You will lose trust, you will lose respect, you will lose loyalty, and you will lose your ability to influence. It’s time to stop being a passive-aggressive leader and fix it!

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

What is the Quality of Your Culture?

culture“The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued.” —Ken Robinson
Your organization has a culture; it may be a culture that has been deliberately developed or it may be one that has grown, unnoticed, from the behaviors of organizational leaders. This culture will either have a positive impact on employees, productivity, and innovation or, it will erode the very foundation that the organization needs to be successful. So, what is the quality of your culture?

Collaboration

One of the most obvious signs of a healthy culture is the willingness and ability of employees at every level of the organization to collaborate. This starts with you; as a leader, you must let employees see that you do not know everything and you need the knowledge and support of others. When they see your willingness to collaborate and your appreciation for the value that is created from collaborative efforts, they will be much more comfortable following your example.

Engagement

Another clear sign of a healthy culture is a high level of engagement by employees in their work. Engagement is about active participation. This is not ‘just going through the motion’ participation, but truly invested in the task at hand participation. This type of engagement is developed by leaders who share their big picture passion with employees. These leaders help every employee understand the incredible value they add to every task they participate in. Then they allow employees to have control over their own work.

Curiosity

One often overlooked sign of a healthy culture is curiosity throughout the organization. Curiosity is what drives innovation. It keeps employees excited about their work and wanting to learn and do more. As a leader, you either encourage curiosity and outside-the-box thinking, or you stifle it with an ‘I don’t pay you to think’ attitude. Challenge employees to be curious, to experiment, and to explore new ideas. Curiosity benefits the employee, you as the leader, and the entire organization.

Support

One of the biggest components of a healthy culture is the support of employees by management. Employees need to know you have their back and their best interest at heart. They need to know that they can trust you, and that you trust and respect them in return. An employee should never feel like they have been left to tread water alone. Make sure every employee knows that you are right there with them.

You are the Key

You are the key. You will either use your leadership to purposefully develop a positive culture, or you will turn a blind eye and it will take on a life of its own. Either way, it’s your leadership behaviors that will determine the quality of your culture. Set the example that fosters collaboration. Share the passion that inspires engagement. Challenge employees to be curios. And, make sure your employees know that you are there to support them. So, what is the quality of your culture?

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

Are You Showing Up Mentally, Physically, and Emotionally as a Leader?

Mirror“Showing up every day isn’t enough. There are a lot of guys who show up every day who shouldn’t have shown up at all.” —James Caan

Leadership isn’t about just being a warm body; it’s about showing up mentally, physically, and emotionally for your people. This is what makes you the type of leader that people follow willingly. So, are you showing up?

Mentally

When you show up mentally for your employees, you invest yourself into developing them into the best that they can be. As a leader, you need to focus on effective training, developing a pleasant working environment, and showing employees that you value their contributions. When grow your employees, your ability to lead effectively will also grow.

Physically

When you show up physically for your employees, you do not look down on them from a lofty office; you roll up your sleeves and get out on the floor. Your front line employees need to see you in the trenches with them, gaining an understanding of what their tasks require and what works and doesn’t work. When employees see you out on the floor with them, not to judge or micromanage, but to learn and support, you will earn their trust and respect.

Emotionally

When you show up emotionally for your employees, you get to know each of them on an individual basis. You start caring about them both professionally and personally. You get to know their strengths, their weaknesses, their aspirations, and their fears. When you show up emotionally for your employees, you become a source of support, understanding, and encouragement for them.

How are You Showing Up?

Just showing up every day isn’t enough. In order to be an effective leader who inspires others to follow willingly, you must show up for your employees mentally, physically, and emotionally. Invest in their development, spend time out on the floor with them, and offer them support on an individual level. So, how are you showing up?

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Are You There for Your People?

sheep“Too many leaders act as if the sheep…their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.” —Ken Blanchard

Do your leadership behaviors tell your employees that you see them as a tool to achieve your own goals? Or, do they think you see them as an important part of the team? Are they there to serve you? Or, are you there to serve them? Effective leaders are a benefit to their employees. This benefit is not based on the perception of the leader; it is based on the perception of the employees. So, do your employees know you are there for them or do they think they are there just for you?

Trust

Trust is a two-way street. It’s not only important that your employees trust you to do what is in their best interest, but that you trust them. How does your behavior signal employees that you trust them? Leaders who trust their employees allow them to have control over their own work. They allow them to make decisions and take action without being micromanaged. When employees know that you trust them, they feel that you are there for them and they see your leadership as a benefit.

Investment

When you invest your time and resources in developing your employees it shows them that they are valued. We are drawn to people who want the best for us and are willing to invest their strengths in helping us achieve our goals. When you are willing to invest in your employees, helping them to become the best that they can be, you are demonstrating that you are there for them.

Community

When you develop a sense of community employees feel like they belong. Community brings us together and motivates us to work toward the good of the whole. When employees know they are part of a community that you have created and support they feel safe and believe that you, as a leader, are there for them.

Be There

To be an effective leader your employees must know that you are there for them. When they know that your leadership is beneficial it gives you the power and influence you need to be a successful leader. If your employees feel that you see them only as a tool for accomplishing your own goals, they will close themselves off from you and your attempts to influence them will be ineffective. Develop mutual trust with your employees. Invest your time and resources into their development. And, develop the sense of community where employees know they are safe and part of something bigger than themselves. Let your people know that you are there for them.

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Go Beyond Leadership: Teach and Inspire

teach“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupery

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

No one wants to work, day in and day out, carrying out meaningless tasks that feed the passion and vision of someone else. People want to feel engaged in work that is meaningful to them, where they know they are adding value. When you focus on the task of leadership, you often alienate your employees. As a leader, you have a unique opportunity to step beyond leadership and become a teacher. When you serve your employees in a teaching role, you inspire and engage them. So, how can you step up your leadership to teach and inspire?

Offer challenge

Talented employees want to be challenged and engaged. They don’t want all the answers and every solution provided for them. They want the opportunity to identify problems, tackle issues, and make decisions related to their work for themselves. When you offer challenges to your employees, not only do you show that you trust them but, you make their work more exciting; when their work is more exciting they become more engaged; and, when they are engaged they are eager to learn new skills and gain new knowledge.

Provide meaning

Employees need to find meaning in their work. They need to know that their contribution is making a difference. This cannot be your meaning; work must be meaningful to employees on an individual basis. They need to see the big picture and understand the important role they play in that big picture. When employees feel that their work is meaningful, motivation switches from external to internal. Meaningful work provides inspiration, and inspiration motivates employees to put more effort into their performance. High performing employees are always looking for ways to develop and to learn which improves themselves, the team, and the organization.

Support growth

Employees want opportunities to grow. When you serve in the role of a teacher you invest your time and resources into helping others become the best they can be. Growth requires exposure to new experiences, continual training, opportunities to use new knowledge and skills, and the leeway to fail and learn from that failure. The more employees grow, the greater their potential for future growth and the greater their contribution to the organization.

Share vision

At the end of the day, successful leaders are the ones who effectively lay out their vision and then get employees to buy into that vision heart and soul. When you serve employees as a teacher and a mentor, you inspire them to make your vision their own. With a shared vision, employees become more dedicated, teams become more committed, and the organization thrives.

Teach and Inspire

Effective leadership goes beyond dictating and directing employees and tasks. It requires stepping beyond the traditional role of the transactional leader to that of a teacher. When you become a teacher and mentor who offers challenge, provides meaning, supports growth, and shares vision you inspire your employees. And, inspired employees will take pride in their work, they will respect the goals of the organization, and they will give 110% in pursuit of those goals.

 

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Take Your Leadership off Autopilot

autopilot off“Very often, human beings are living like on autopilot, reacting automatically with what happens. What interests me about the life of an explorer is you are in the unknown; you are out of your habits.” —Bertrand Piccard

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Autopilot is about habit. It’s about operating based on habit rather than consciously responding to the situation and circumstances surrounding you. When you are in autopilot mode, it’s like you have blinders on; you miss many signs, symptoms, and opportunities. Autopilot plays a role in every area of our lives. It becomes particularly concerning when it starts to impact the behaviors of leaders. So, how can you take your leadership off autopilot?

Be curious

When you are curious you seek out the new, the unknown, the interesting. To the curious leader, the blinders of autopilot are too restrictive; they are thrown aside and exchanged for a new perspective of curiosity. Curiosity helps keep you from operating out of habit.

Be present

When you are present you pay attention to the details of what is happening here and now. When you pay attention your autopilot is shut down. Being present as a leader keeps your focus on what is happening and this laser focus helps prevent you from unconsciously falling into your ordinary habits.

Be engaged

When you are engaged, you are actively participating. Active participation turns off autopilot. It boosts the energy and excitement in which you approach your leadership. When you are engaged it’s much easier to act purposefully rather than out of habit.

Break the Habit

Step out of your habits and into the unknown. Take off the blinders and start being curious. Become focused and present. Be engaged, becoming an active participant in your leadership. It’s time to break the habit and take your leadership off autopilot.

 

© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.