Tag Archives: Leadership Behaviors

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?

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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.

 

 

Five Ways Your Passive-Aggressive Behavior is Undermining Your Leadership

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“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.

How Do You Build a Great Organization?

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“The distance between number one and number two is always a constant. If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself and the organization gets pulled up with you. That is a big lesson. I cannot just expect the organization to improve if I don’t improve myself and lift the organization, because that distance is a constant.” —Indra Nooyi

 

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Building a great organization is about leadership. And, leadership is about you. As Indra Nooyi tells us in the above quote,” If you want to improve the organization, you have to improve yourself…” So, where should you start?

Get clear on your values

Building a great organization requires leaders and employees to embody shared values. Before you can build a culture on shared values, you better get clear on your values as a leader. What’s important to you? Why does it matter? Once you have identified the values that you are truly committed to, you can start developing a culture around those values and building a great organization.

Get your ego in check

If you want to build a great organization, get your ego in check. Leadership is not about your personal glory. It’s about achieving shared success. So, stop taking all the credit and start empowering and recognizing your employees and their contributions instead. When your employees know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated, they will give 110% towards making your organization great. So, stop thinking it’s all about you and make sure your employees know that it’s about them.

Ask the right questions

If you want a great organization you must start asking the right questions. You don’t have all the answers; you need to tap into the knowledge and experience of your employees. You must build trusting relationships where they feel comfortable giving you honest answers. A company of ‘yes’ men will never reach greatness. If you don’t ask the question, what might you miss? Your employees are your greatest asset. Make sure you are asking for their input.

Build your perseverance muscles

To build a great organization you, as a leader, must build your perseverance muscles. You must learn hang on tight while you struggle to find solutions to overcoming the obstacles you will inevitably encounter. Building a great organization requires the relentless, sustained, and passionate pursuit of long-term goals. There will be frustration, confusion, and some failures. But, you must keep the big picture in mind. Remember that there are always several paths to reaching the same goal so remain flexible and persevere even when times get tough.

Become part of an extraordinary team

Building a great organization requires you, as a leader, to become part of an extraordinary team. You can’t do it alone, and you can’t do it by surrounding yourself with those who are content to be average. Create an extraordinary team. Surround yourself with those who are smarter and more talented than you. Don’t feel threatened; feel excited about the limitless possibilities.

It Starts with You

What separates a great organization from an average one? It all starts with you. Get clear on your values, check your ego at the door, start asking the right questions, build your perseverance muscles, and create an extraordinary team to surround yourself with. Focus on how you can improve yourself and you will pull your organization up with you.

 

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO 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.

 

Four Ways to Get Out of Your Own Way

DSC09374-B“You’ve gotta find a way to get out of your own way, so you can progress in life.” —Steve Carlton

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

How much would you benefit from becoming more self-aware of the behaviors that cause you to stand in your own way? Would your focus change? Could you learn to be more curious, agile, proactive, and prepared to overcome challenges? Here are four ways to get out of your own way so you can thrive.

Let go of your ego and pride

First, you must let go of your ego. Your ego and pride will alienate those you need on your side; no one succeeds alone. They will taint your perception of reality. And, they will bias your decisions.

Challenge the status quo

The status quo is the enemy of progress. Once you have set aside your ego, you must challenge the status quo. Get comfortable with the idea of change, develop a positive attitude, and stop settling for the status quo.

Learn from your mistakes and failures

One of the keys to success is to continually learn; and, one of the best ways to learn is from your mistakes and failures. Now that you have removed the status quo barrier to progress, you need to pull together all of the lessons learned from your past mistakes. Admit vulnerability, recognize where your opportunities lie, and get comfortable with failure.

Recognize your weaknesses

Once you have thought through your past mistakes and recognize the lessons you have learned, you must recognize and admit your weaknesses. Again, no one succeeds alone; who will you need to help you accomplish your goals? Surround yourself with the right people and engage others in contributing to mutual success.

What Are You Waiting For?

So, how long are you going to stand in your own way? Let go of your ego, challenge the status quo, learn from your mistakes, and recognize your weaknesses. Get out of your own way so you can thrive.

 

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO 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.

 

 

Why Do Your Employees Hate You?

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“A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” —Nelson Mandela

 

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

I am surprised when managers act shocked to find out that their employees don’t like them. You have to remember that the way you think affects your behavior and your behavior determines how your employees react to you. If you don’t pay close attention to your thoughts this can become a vicious cycle. So, why do your employees hate you?

You think your title makes you a leader

I can tell you that one of the biggest factors that causes employees to hate you as their manager is if you think that your title makes you a leader. You don’t become a leader just because you get placed in a management position. Leadership is something that you grow into and earn. Chances are that if you think your title makes you a leader, you also think it entitles you to power. You may have control over rewards or consequences that give you the power to accomplish short-term tasks. This, however, does not equate to long-term power that is earned through respect.

They don’t trust you

If you don’t trust your employees, they won’t trust you. People like people they trust. Animosity is created when your employees’ notice that you think you know more than them, you stop listening to what they have to say, and you are always keeping score. When it appears that you do not trust them, they stop engaging with you even when you ask them questions. They don’t feel like they can be themselves around you. You can’t command trust and respect, you have to give it first and then earn it.

You fail to build relationships

Even if you had strong relationships at some point, when you were promoted you may have become distant and bureaucratic. Your relationships may have become superficial and fake; employees can see right through your facade. After making the move into a management position, it is easy to forget what it’s like to be the low man on the totem pole or working on the front lines. You fail to build relationships on an individual basis where each employee knows that you care about them personally. If you start relying on email as your main form of communication you lose that face-to-face interaction that can be so important to relationship building. You don’t encourage, welcome, ask for, or act on feedback which reinforces the perception that you don’t care what your employees have to say.

You have something to prove

You think that leadership requires you to make sure everyone knows you’re in charge. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If you need to prove that you are in charge, you’re not a leader. You feel you have something to prove, all the time. You’re smarter, stronger, braver, or more powerful; it’s always something. You default to the use of fear and intimidation when you feel you’re not getting the respect you think you deserve. And, you never admit when you are wrong. No one likes a know-it-all. If you are always trying to one-up your employees, chances are they will start to hate you.

You don’t value their contributions

When you think you’re all that, you tend to minimize the contributions of others. When you don’t recognize the value of your employees’ contributions or reward them for a job well done their distaste for you grows. If you don’t recognize their value you will fail to challenge them or engage their creativity. Everyone wants to feel that their contributions are valued and that their efforts are worthwhile.

Turn it Around

So, now you know some of the main reasons your employees might hate you, what can you do to turn it around? Start by recognizing that you become a manager by being promoted or hired into that position, but you become a leader by focusing on the needs of others rather than gaining power for yourself. Show your employees that you trust them and their abilities, communicate openly, and stop keeping score. Remember that you are not a leader if you need to prove that you are in charge. And finally, recognize that every employee adds value. Leadership is influence, and you can’t influence those who hate you. Pay close attention to your thoughts for they will become your behavior. Turn it around.

 

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO 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 Behaviors that Unite Your Team

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“Divide and rule, the politician cries; unite and lead, is the watchword of the wise.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Why?

Why is it so important to unite your team? When your team is divided it is every man for himself. Each member has their own agenda and is looking out for their own best interest. When a team is united, true collaboration can take place. Every member is putting their best effort into what is best for the team as a whole. Each member plays an important role in reaching the shared goals of the group. So, what behaviors will help unite your team?

Finding commonality

Barbara Deming said, “The longer we listen to one another – with real attention – the more commonality we will find in all our lives. That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another life stories and not simply opinions.” Everyone wants to feel a sense of belonging, to be part of something bigger than themselves, and to work with others with whom they can relate. By creating a sense of community and belonging you can develop a team identity and begin to unite your team.

Eliminating the us vs. them mentality

Sharon Salzberg believes, “We can learn the art of fierce compassion – redefining strength, deconstructing isolation and renewing a sense of community, practicing letting go of rigid us-vs.-them thinking – while cultivating power and clarity in response to difficult situations.” Unity requires the building of trusting, respectful relationships. An us vs. them mentality undermines your ability to form meaningful relationships throughout your team. Recognize that your team is your #1 asset; every member has something to contribute. Help unite your team by eliminating the us vs. them mentality and by giving credit where it is due, communicating openly, and showing respect for every member.

Recognize that everyone adds value

Michelle Obama explained, “We learned about gratitude and humility – that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept the school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.” Everyone wants to know that their contribution is valued. Every member of the team is there for a reason, they have a specific role to play, and they bring with them unique experiences and knowledge. Unite your team by showing them that you recognize the value they bring to the team. Invest in them and provide opportunities for growth. Give them the support, encouragement, and the resources they need to be successful.

Share the success

Michael Ironside tells us, “People who get involved with the success of something have to be given at least some share in that success.” When the team succeeds, everyone on the team succeeds. Create a win-win team environment where individual members benefit as the team progresses. Focus on removing obstacles and helping others grow and succeed. Every day offers the opportunity to take on individual and shared challenges that help us grow and move us one step closer to achieving our goals. Set ambitious goals, unite your team under one vision, and then share and celebrate successes both small and large.

Let leaders emerge naturally

Robin S. Sharma reminded us, “Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Help team members recognize their strengths and weaknesses then find ways to empower them to use their strengths for the benefit of the team. Serve as a coach, at the sidelines, allowing the team to share in the leadership. Allow team members to step up when their strengths fit the current needs of the group. Unite your team by empowering them to stand up for what they believe in, always have their back, and let leaders emerge from among the ranks.

Unite Your Team

Create unity in your team where collaboration, innovation, and continual growth can take place. Develop a supportive environment where the contribution of each member is recognized and valued. Find commonality, eliminate the us vs. them mentality, recognize that everyone adds value, share the success, and let leaders emerge naturally. A successful team is a united team.
© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

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

Learn more about Elizabeth 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.

 

Three Daily Behaviors for Effective Leadership

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“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.” —John C. Maxwell

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

Daily Behaviors

Your ability to inspire and influence, as a leader, is tied directly to your daily behaviors. These behaviors need to be based on your core values and they need to support a strong, shared vision. Your leadership should never be about you; your focus every day should be on creating win-win situations where not only the organization wins, but employees win. If you can successfully create these situations, you also win as an effective leader.

The performance of any one individual is linked to the health of the culture as a whole, and culture grows out of your leadership behaviors. Your behaviors lead to effective leadership when you appreciate the value in the contribution of each individual and invest in helping your employees grow. Show your employees that you care about them as individuals on a daily basis. Serve as a coach and a cheerleader for your team. If you A.C.E. your daily behaviors you will become a more effective leader.

Acknowledge

Tim Ferriss explained, “For most people, happiness in life is a massive amount of achievement plus a massive amount of appreciation. And you need both of those things.” Your employees need to know that you care. They need to see that you recognize and appreciate that everyone has something of value to offer. Get to know your employees and make them feel valued on an individual level. Express sincere, specific appreciation. Acknowledge progress and potential by providing opportunities to gain further experience and knowledge; seek to promote from within when possible. Share the credit; acknowledge that you accomplish nothing alone.

Communicate

Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. said, “It’s about communication. It’s about honesty. It’s about treating people in the organization as deserving to know the facts. You don’t try to give them half the story. You don’t try to hide the story. You treat them as true equals and you communicate and you communicate and communicate.” As a leader, you must invest in relationships and building trust on a daily basis. You need to communicate your passion in a way that will connect others to your vision, mission, and current focus. You need to be transparent and share pertinent information so that employees not only have the information needed to do their jobs but also to feel they are an important part of a long-term vision and goal. Above all else, you must learn to be good at listening. When you listen, it shows your employees that you care. When they know you care, they put their trust in you and will give 100% to their work.

Engage

Rupert Murdoch believes, “In motivating people you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example- and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.” You must give your employees a reason to believe they are part of something bigger than themselves. On a daily basis you must show that you are confident in their abilities and interested in their input. Give them the opportunity to manage their own work. Provide an environment where it is safe for them to fail and learn the lessons that their mistakes have to offer. Encourage your employees to solve problems and make decisions; not because they have to, but because they want to. When you ignite passion and excitement for the vision they are contributing to reaching they will be engaged in their work and everyone will reap the benefits.

Effective Leadership

Effective leaders acknowledge, communicate with, and engage employees on a daily basis. They know that it’s not about them; it’s about those who follow them. They value the skills and knowledge that each employee brings to the table. They communicate ‘with’ not ‘to’ employees. They awaken excitement in working together towards a shared vision. A.C.E. your daily leadership behaviors; your ability to inspire and influence depends on it.

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

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

Learn more about Elizabeth 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.

 

How Leadership Impacts Culture and Why it Matters

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“Research shows that the climate of an organization influences an individual’s contribution far more than the individual himself.” —W. Edwards Deming

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

 

How Leadership Impacts Culture

Culture is a set of values, behaviors, and habits that operate within the organization even when no one is looking. The culture of an organization is driven by what leaders value, how they behave, and what they communicate. Leadership ripples through the organization with either productive or devastating power. It can build or break down barriers; widen or bridge gaps. It can build others and inspire greatness or it can tear others down and cause them to disengage. Leadership either encourages collaboration and challenging the status quo or stifles teamwork and innovation.

Culture and inspiration grow from the vision, long-standing values, and behaviors of the leader. If the leader is seen as being selfless and authentic then followers are more likely to buy into their vision for the future. This type of leader inspires a trusting and consistent culture.

As a leader, employees watch how you behave to determine if you are authentic and deserving of support. You are always under observation; employees are taking their social and cultural cues from you. Are you transparent? Are you willing to share pertinent information about the organization including financial metrics and profit, operating plans, priorities, and the current focus? Are you supportive and encouraging? When you are transparent and share information employees feel secure, they feel like they are an important part of a team, and they want to be part of your vision. Your leadership has a direct and deep-seated impact on the culture of your organization.

Why it Matters

The top challenges facing organizations today are culture, engagement, and employee retention. Culture matters because it is the very fiber of the organization and determines how goals will be accomplished. The culture you create serves as the vehicle with which you get people working together towards accomplishing a shared vision. A dysfunctional culture hurts your bottom line; it results in decreased productivity and quality, increased employee absences, and higher turnover. The culture of your organization determines how employees feel about their work and themselves; when they feel good they invest 100% of themselves in their performance.

Your culture ultimately translates into your brand. What do you want your brand message to be? If you, as the leader, do not serve something greater than yourself, your employees will not follow. They may perform their tasks, but when their hearts are not in it productivity and engagement suffer. When productivity and engagement suffer, how your organization is perceived by clients, suppliers, and the community suffers. Your leadership isn’t about you; it’s about recognizing and bringing out the best in others while uniting teams under a common vision for the future. Are your employees engaged? The level of employee engagement is a good indication of the health of the culture in your organization.

Set your ego aside and take an honest assessment of your culture and the impact your behavior, as a leader, is having. Your culture will mimic the same tone, mission, and values as your leadership. You can’t fool yourself any longer; culture matters. Your culture tells everyone why your organization exists, where it is going, and how it will get there. Look around, you can see the culture in what your employees are saying about you and in the levels of positive energy or negative energy in your organization.

Take-Away

No one can know or do everything themselves, we all need the cooperation of others to succeed. Your leadership can transform the culture into one that is supportive and engaging or it can tear down the very fabric of cooperation and dedication. Are your employees engaged and excited to be part of your vision? What you value, how you behave, and what you communicate, as a leader, will create the culture of your organization. And, culture matters.

 

 

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

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

Learn more about Elizabeth 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.