John Maxwell Team

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Priscilla Archangel is a John Maxwell Team Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker.

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    Character

    When Leading You, Is All About Me

    Angry boss with employeeTrue leadership is about influencing others to achieve common goals. But when leaders place too great a focus on their own self-concept, their status and their personal goals, this self-absorption is generally driven by feelings of insecurity or superiority. These feelings drive behaviors at two opposite ends of the spectrum, and stifle the growth and development of the team and organization. Let’s look at examples of each.

    Insecure Leadership

    Chris is the CEO of a multinational company. As he banged his fist on the conference room table, his frustration was palpable to those in the room. Joe, the VP of Product Development had worked for Chris for a year now. He joined the firm enticed by the scope of responsibility in this VP position, and by Chris’s excitement and commitment to developing a new product line. But now, he was wondering how much longer he could endure working there. Having moved his family half-way across the country, he wanted to give it his best effort, but his natural optimism had waned sharply. Continue reading

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    The 3 C’s to Establishing Tone at the Top

    Team hands together

    Michael left the office early for once. He was on his way home to celebrate the position he had just accepted at a new company. After 25 years of hard work and great personal sacrifice, he finally got the VP position he felt he deserved. He had more than enough experience to step into the role and produce solid wins for his new employer. Everything was moving along smoothly until that night when he got the call from the executive recruiter. There was a problem with background check they just completed. They couldn’t find record of him having completed his MBA. He recognized that when he presented his credentials, he neglected to mention that he was two classes short of graduation, but he felt that his vast experience more than made up for that. Unfortunately for him, his new employer disagreed. The offer was withdrawn, not because he lacked the degree, but because he hadn’t come clean about it.

    Joan was celebrating for a different reason. Her team exceeded their stretch sales target for the fiscal year, a herculean effort on the part of everyone. Her leadership, strategic planning, and ability to pull the group together to find innovative approaches to problems had paid off. This news would be well received by investors and provide her and the team with a significant bonus opportunity. The president called and asked her to stop by his office. As she walked down the hall to see him, she imagined his congratulatory words. She might even get a promotion! But when she opened the door and saw a somber look on his face, and the HR VP already present, she knew the message was going to be very different. Someone had reported a few irregularities in Joan’s sales tactics. She had simply taken a bit of interpretive license in several guidelines, just a gray area that didn’t hurt anyone. But the president didn’t see it as a minor issue. And he dismissed her on the spot for her lack of integrity. Continue reading

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    EMPATHETIC LEADERSHIP: Becoming a Leader Who Cares

    istock photo

    istock photo

    I recently had an opportunity to interact with a variety of people in a service based organization for a prolonged period of time. The nature of these interactions was often stressful for myself and those around me.

    Performance of their job duties required a high level of quality control and process focus. To break the tension, I occasionally joked with them that they needed to avoid making any errors because it would require them to complete too much paperwork.

    But after a while, I began to realize that despite the pressure of their roles, most of them displayed a remarkable level of empathy. They didn’t simply act like they cared about their client population, they really did seem to understand, and they actively advocated for them. It struck me that many of these individuals are not only in roles that are appropriately aligned with their giftedness, but that they are part of an organization that genuinely cares about their work. This led me to think about the culture and the “feel” in many other organizations; and to wonder how employees, clients and other stakeholders experience them in the context of empathy. Continue reading

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    Heart Over Head: The Importance of Emotional Leadership

     

     

    The ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions, and to recognize and influence others’ emotions, is a critical leadership skill. It can make the difference between marginal accomplishment of a goal, and engaging the hearts and minds of team members to uncover innovative and game changing solutions that exceed expectations.

    Emotions represent the Heart in the Head + Hands + Heart equation of leadership. It’s where leaders demonstrate that they care about and can connect with others. The emotions of individuals can either activate and motivate the team, or move them to disassociate from the goal and passively comply. Leaders who engage the capabilities and skillsets (hands), and intellect (heads) of their team; but fail to engage their minds and emotions (hearts) will find that there’s a missing link to maximize performance.

    Imagine that you’re leading an organization in transition. The current state is unworkable, and you have a plan and vision for the future, but it will require radical change. You know it is essential to communicate the need for and plan to change (head), the requirements for change (hands), and gain supportfor the change (heart). To effectively do this it’s helpful to understand employee emotions (fear, excitement, uncertainty, confusion, distrust?) and address each one to effectively encourage, motivate and inspire the team. Continue reading

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    Who Owns You?

    CEOs and individuals in business leadership roles are frequently confronted with the dichotomy of making decisions to ensure the long term health of their companies, while maximizing short term profits. Their management roles compel them to lead the organization as if they are owners, but in reality, these organizations are owned by and at the mercy of investors and customers who determine the value of their products and services.

    Business women fighting over the boss attention

    In a recent survey conducted by Fortune Magazine, 77% of CEOs said it would be easier to manage their companies if they were private¹. This feedback comes in a climate of increasing numbers of activist investors who purchase a significant amount of company stock, then proceed to make recommendations to the board and company leadership on how they should run it to increase value. To be fair, all such suggestions are not bad, and some have led to considerably positive results in the bottom line of these companies. But these CEO owners may find that their company’s mission and purpose are no longer aligned with where others want them to go.

    Customers also have a powerful voice in shaping corporate strategies and decisions. Pepsi worked hard over several years to reformulate its diet cola to remove aspartame, thereby meeting the needs of people who wanted to move away from artificial sweeteners. However, many other diehard Diet Pepsi drinkers didn’t like the taste with the sucralose replacement, and complained loudly. So Pepsi recently announced that the old aspartame formula would return to the market, and they will sell both versions to meet the needs of all those customers. Oh, and did I mention that their sales volume slumped more than 10% during one of the quarters that the aspartame formula was off the market?
    Continue reading

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