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John Maxwell Team

John Maxwell Team Certified Member

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

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    Trust

    Leadership Disciplines for Success

     

    What disciplines do you practice to make your leadership successful?

    Leadership can be learned, but it requires discipline to be effective. It requires identifying and establishing a pattern or system of constructive behaviors, then repeating them, until they become habits that are ingrained into your routine.

    Leadership disciplines are controlled behaviors designed to accomplish specific objectives. They are determined based on the individual leader’s personal style and skillsets, their roles and responsibilities, and the culture and needs of the organization where they function in a leadership capacity.

    Leadership roles and responsibilities are all relative. The ability to effectively hold a leadership role in a Fortune 100 company, a family owned business, a mid-sized non-profit, city government or as an entrepreneur is different for each person. But the need for discipline is consistent across every setting.

    Leadership is establishing a relationship with others, to influence behaviors, to accomplish a goal. Thus leadership discipline is important because no matter the size of the team, everyone is watching and to some degree imitating the leader. And because everyone is watching the leader, it’s important to model the right behaviors. These behaviors are determined by the results the leader wants to accomplish.

    Building Discipline

    Athletes provide a great example of the need for discipline. They come in all shapes and sizes, from little league superstars to multimillion dollar professionals. But each have to learn the disciplines of their respective sport in order to improve their skill level, and to be competitive. There are four key steps to this discipline. Continue reading

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    Your Inner Circle: Building Your Leadership Team

    Google Image

    Google Image

    Imagine that you want to move a 4,000 pound hulking mass of metal, plastic, rubber and fiber from your home to your office. In other words, you want to drive your car to work. The primary device of movement you will need is a set of wheels. Since its invention more than 6,000 years ago this basic tool has facilitated the transportation of objects across the world. The original design of the wheel was a solid frame, until the discovery that spokes made it lighter and faster, thus easier to use. While its design and aesthetics have evolved, the simplicity of its use has remained the same. It provides mobility and progress. Continue reading

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    The Power of “Co”

     

     

    Almost all organizations operate with a singular leader at the top, whether the Chairman, CEO or President.  A few have two individuals functioning as “co-leaders”.  But how many organizations are run by a troika?  Three people working equally together to lead the team. Gensler, a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm with over 3,500 professionals working at 44 locations in 15 countries on 6,700 projects is led by the threesome of David Gensler, Diane Hoskins, and Andy Cohen. With diverse backgrounds, they’ve worked together for 20 years, and now share the leadership role of the firm that David’s father founded in 1965. Their most notable current project is the 2,073 foot tall Shanghai Tower that was topped off in August. It is now China’s tallest building, and second in the world to Dubai’s Burj Khalifa.

    What makes their working relationship even more unusual is that every two years they shift responsibilities for different aspects of the firm. Rather than align responsibilities solely around their areas of strength or interest, each of them continues to grow through taking on roles that are not in their normThree Hands Linkedal suite of skillsets. Their success is evident by their list of projects and clients, about half of which are Fortune 100 companies, and is profiled in the September 2, 2012 issue of Fortune.

    What is “Co”?

    Gensler’s leadership team has harnessed the power of “co”; sharing joint or mutual responsibility among two or more people. At the risk of riling dictionary enthusiasts, the opposite of “co” is “solo”, or one who leads or functions alone.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with operating solo, or as the singular lead on a project or initiative. The decision to do so is a result of individual style, skillset, convenience, or appointment.  But let’s take a minute to explore the power of “co”; sharing accountability and authority with two or more people to lead a team or accomplish a goal.


    Here are ten principles to help leaders to successfully leverage the power of “co”.

    1.      Collaboration – A form of co-laboring or working together collectively to lead the firm.  This is their key word and they model its effectiveness by integrating each other’s strengths, ideas and knowledge for the good of the team.

    2.      Mutual Respect – This involves recognizing each other’s value, esteeming and acknowledging one another.  In many cases, having mutual respect is the key to resolving disagreements, because it provides a basis for working toward positive relationships.

    3.      Communication – Sharing information, seeking input, and ensuring clarity and alignment of purpose and direction. Cohen says they can almost complete each other’s sentences.  They also have a video meeting every Friday that is “sacred”.

    4.      Likability – Shared values and interests form the basis for liking someone. It’s an intangible factor in building effective relationships. Gensler says that they’ve worked together for so long that they’ve even built a level of affection for one another.

    5.      Low Ego – Some corporate leadership styles are domineering and authoritarian, based on the premise that only one person can run the organization.  Operating as a “co-leader” requires valuing colleagues as much as, or more than oneself. Since David Gensler’s father founded the firm, one might expect that he’d have the lead role, but that’s not the case.

    6.      Cross-Pollination – Recognition that great ideas may come from a variety of people, and ensuring openness to receive, debate, evaluate and integrate those ideas.

    7.      Perspective – Leaders who have diverse points of view on situations, events and causation can create a rich environment of discussion and debate, but too much diversity can lead to divisiveness. An underlying shared perspective is important for cohesiveness and alignment.

    8.      Self-Confidence – When leaders are comfortable with who they are, their skills, abilities and particularly their limitations, they will be more open to others’ ideas and input. Insecure leaders are cancerous to the organization.

    9.      Trust – This is like the oil that makes the engine run.  Without trust the organization will quickly seize up and cease to function.

    10.   Cooperation – The team must work together towards a common purpose or benefit. Their actions must complement one another and be aligned toward a singular goal that is clearly understood by all.

    Leverage Your “Co”

    Leaders that model the power of “co” at the top, derive benefits from it at all levels of the organization. The effectiveness of their working relationship defines the culture for current and prospective employees to share information, ideas and intellectual capability, and models the behavior for others.

    Of course, all organizations aren’t conducive to a leadership troika, three people working equally together to lead the team. But all organizations do need the leadership team to operate with the power of “co”, using the principles outlined above to be more effective in reaching their goals. Even the singular Chairman or CEO needs a team supporting him or her that demonstrates these traits.

    So whatever your role or the size organization or team you may lead, think about how you can leverage the power of “co”.

    Read the Fortune Article here.

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    A Relationship of Trust

     

    How do you determine who to trust? How much trust can you place in those around you, and how much can you trust them with?

    A recent story chronicling the “re-education” of Mark Zuckerberg in the April 29th edition of Fortune provides a good example. With the fast paced growth of social media, apps and smart phones, Facebook needed an effective wireless strategy. This was the next big shift in technology, and if they missed it, the young company’s phenomenal successes could be short lived. Zuck, as he is commonly called by those in the business, turned to Mike Schroepfer his Chief Technology Officer, and Cory Ondrejka who was in charge of mobile engineering. Cory had co-founded Linden Lab which created the virtual world Second Life, and later started a tech company that Facebook recently purchased.  It was Cory who proposed not only restarting their current mobile efforts again from scratch, which would take precious time, but doing so in the midst of the much publicized IPO when investor scrutiny on their technology problems would be especially intense.

    After much discussion Zuck approved that approach, even though as he said, it was against his instincts. According to the article, his decision paid off as Facebook launched a new iPhone app in August 2012that has received top ratings in the App Store. While it may be too early to determine the long term success of that decision, there’s great learning in the “process” of making it.

    Man helping a woman up on a rockSo why would Zuck decide to trust the recommendation of these two men, even when it ran contrary to his normal approach and instincts?  Because he trusted them.  At that moment he made a conscious decision to place greater faith in their experience, analysis and resulting recommendation, than in his own. If they were wrong, he had more to lose than anyone else. The potential impact to his reputation and respect, his company, and his wealth could suffer a significant and possibly irretrievable blow.  But he knew that the current strategy wasn’t working, and he had to try something different, so he bought into it and exercised trust.

     


    Active Trust

    This type of trust in others is earned. Its an active verb, and it’s a choice. It comes as a result of several foundational elements.

    Confidence – belief in their abilities and their motives, that they’re reliable and dependable.

    Capability – they have expertise, past proven successes, and experience in a specific critical area.

    Consistency – exhibiting the same behavior and communicating the same values repeatedly such that it’s easy to predict their responses.

    Collaboration – willingness to work with others, exchange ideas and leverage the strengths of others in coming up with solutions to problems.

    Confidentiality – using good judgment in communications with others, and ensuring that information is shared only as necessary with appropriate persons.

    Now think of situations where you’ve placed a great deal of trust in someone else.

    ·        You trust your physician with your health.

    ·        You trust your business partner with your work.

    ·        You trust your financial planner with your investments.

    ·        You trust your spouse with your heart.

    ·        You trust your friends with your happiness.

    ·        You trust your work team with your ideas and strategies.

    ·        You trust your boss with your career.

    And yet you retain a measure of control over these “trusting” relationships, balancing the right amount of confidence, capability, consistency, collaboration and confidentiality that you place in them, with what they provide in return. It’s a reciprocal relationship, reinforced or weakened by every action or counter-action. You can “remove” the trust at any time, almost immediately, whether for cause or for instinct.

    Rock Climbing Trust

    So how do you grow to trust someone? And how much are you willing to trust them? For any productivity to occur we must trust others, because we’re incapable of finding fulfillment, achieving our goals, or attaining significance in life without having trusting relationships. And at the same time, we must display these same characteristics so that others will place their trust in us. But your ability to trust others is based in part on your ability to trust yourself. It is based on your ability to demonstrate the 5Cs in the same manner that you want others to demonstrate it. So because Zuck is able to experience and exhibit confidence, capability, consistency, collaboration and confidentiality, he recognizes it and shares it with others.

    I recognize that I’ll never be able to trust someone else in a certain area, unless I overcome my personal fears in that area.  For instance, I have no desire togo skydiving.  As someone eloquently said, why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane? My fear of having only a parachute on me at ten thousand feet above ground has nothing to do with my trust in the instructor or the pilot. It has everything to do with ME.  And unless I deal with that fear, I’ll never learn to trust them.  Similarly, while I might step on a narrow boulder a few feet off the ground, I cannot imagine ever (did I say ever) rock climbing and stepping up on a boulder thousands of feet off the ground (see the picture).  I’m afraid of that height and don’t trust my ability to master such a feat. Before I perform either act, I’d first have to learn to trust myself and gain more confidence, capability and collaboration before I could trust others to help me do it.  The same is true in marriage relationships and business relationships.

    So instead of examining others to determine if they’re worthy of our trust, we must first decide if we’re worthy of theirs. Do we display confidence, capability, consistency, collaboration and confidentiality? Do we behave in a manner that would make others want to trust us? Do we use those trusting behaviors to support others in their goals in a manner that creates a reciprocal relationship? I encourage you to practice these characteristics to build your relationships of trust.

     

    Read the Fortune article by Jesse Hemphill here.

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    Who’s The Customer?

    In these days of internet connectivity, companies have the technology to track your every move on the internet.  They know which websites you visit, how long you linger, and how many times you click through to another page for more information. They bury tracking devices to place ads in front of you based on the sites you visit, and send spam targeted to where they think your interests lie. Yes, they’re literally following you around collecting information to try to further influence your shopping habits. For stores where you have a physical shopping presence, they entice you with “loyalty” cards where you can get discounts or coupons on products, all based on your common purchases.  Instead of you, the customer Word Picture of Customer linked to 8 other wordsbeing king, you’re pressured by the businesses who expend a lot of resources to understand you.  Continue reading

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