Category: Leadership Skills (page 1 of 5)

Building an Office Culture That Will Last

Having a positive culture in your company office is one of the most important parts of success in today’s business world. Employees all over the world constantly leave their jobs in order to seek a space where they’ll truly be appreciated and feel like more than just a body. When your office has a strong culture, employees are more motivated which can ultimately lead to better performance and productivity, which can only be good for your business. But how does one go about creating a strong, lasting office culture?

Open Communication

One of the most important features of company culture is open communication between leaders and employees. Leaders need to be transparent. Transparency builds trust, even in the worst situations. While the idea of giving your employees bad news can be stressful, it shows them that you trust them with this information. This, in turn, will make them trust you. When there’s a sense of trust between leaders and employees, everyone will be more motivated to work their hardest and be open and honest with one another about what is or isn’t working for the company.

Get Everyone Involved

Organization involvement is great for building a positive culture within your office. When everyone is involved, they feel like they’re truly part of a team and that their voices matter within the company. This, like having open communication, can make employees more motivated to work their hardest in order to help the company succeed. Give your employee’s leadership positions that give them new responsibilities, such as being a project lead. When trying to make decisions that affect the company overall, get your team involved, and ask what they think. Hearing multiple perspectives is a great way to help a company grow and employees will know that their opinions matter.

Invest In Your Employees

A great way to build a lasting, positive culture within your office is by investing in your employees. This means helping them grow their skillset and pushing them out of their comfort zone in order to help them succeed further. This is a great way to not only motivate your employees but help them grow into a role they may have thought they couldn’t take on. This is great for both them as an individual and for your company, meaning they can take on new responsibilities that can bring your company further.

Fostering Self-Discipline as a Leader

When you’re in a leadership position, not only do you set an example for all of your subordinates, but you’re also responsible for a lot more than the regular employee. It stands to reason that you should be good at disciplining yourself so that you can attain more of the goals that you have set out for yourself. In fact, fostering self-discipline will not only make you happier and help you reach your goals more quickly, but it also helps you set out some of the best examples for your employees so that they too achieve more, thereby making everyone around them more successful and helping your company thrive. Here are some ways that you can get yourself in the habit of using self-discipline.

Work on Your Weaknesses

We all have shortcomings, but developing self-discipline is about learning how to overcome them. It’s easy to do the things that are fun or come easily for us, but it’s a lot harder to develop the skills in areas where you struggle. If you want to be more productive, you should work on your weaknesses because they’re often a lot easier to overcome than what you might think. Plus, you’ll reap the rewards many times over when you show yourself and your employees that it’s possible to move past weaknesses.

Make Goals and Execute

If you want to know where you’re going, you need a road map with destinations. Making clear goals is easy for some, but you need to be able to put it into practice. Write down your goals and the steps you’ll take every day or week to accomplish them.

Don’t Cut Yourself Short

Some people think that there’s a limit to how long they can do something or how hard they can work. Those people often put limits on themselves, and then they only live up to the caps that they’ve arbitrarily placed on themselves. Give yourself plenty of room to grow by not putting caps on your willpower and ability to work.

If you’re trying to develop self-discipline as a leader, it’s a worthy goal, and you’ll probably find that you’re living a happier life when you do because you’ll achieve your goals and inspire your employees to achieve theirs.

What Failure Can Teach You About Leadership

As a leader, failure likely seems like the scariest thing to happen to you. Nobody enjoys failing but when you fail as a leader it hits harder than usual. This is probably due to the fact that you’re leading a team of people, and you may feel as if you’re letting them down. The thing is, failure is often necessary in life, whether you’re a leader or not. Failure teaches us valuable lessons about ourselves and our roles, and allows us to move forward with new insight which can ultimately shape our career and our future as a human being. No matter how hard you try, failure is ultimately inevitable and it’s important to understand what you can learn from it. Here are a few things failure can teach you about being a leader.

Don’t Get Complacent

When you’re succeeding as a leader and your business is doing well, it can be easy to put autopilot on and go with the flow. Why would you want to take a risk when things are going so well? The truth of the matter is that your complacency can be your downfall, and stop your business from ever truly growing. In this situation, a failure of some sort will end up being a slap in the face and help you realize that complacency isn’t always good. While risks can result in failure as well, they are all ultimately learning experiences, and you’re better off having that experience than letting things ride out as they are.

Appreciate Your Role

When you fail as a leader, you ultimately begin to open your eyes to what it is you do and how you make a difference not only in your business but for your team as well. This can help you get a better understanding of what your role is in the company and the difference you make everyday, which can ultimately make you want to become a more effective leader. Your team and your business rely on you to make the right decisions and realizing that will allow you to have a deeper appreciation for your role as a leader as well as the other leaders you work with in and out of work.

There’s Almost Always A Second Chance

One of the most important things you’ll learn about failing as a leader is that failure doesn’t mean it’s the end. Second chances are all around you, and you even if you fail doesn’t mean things are over. Understanding that you have a second chance will allow you to look at situations and opportunities in a new light and ultimately lead you to seizing success with those new opportunities.

Great Leadership Podcasts

Being a leader can be difficult. Not only do you have to properly lead a team of any number of individuals, but you must be prepared to lead them through difficult times as well. Problems can arise at any moment and it can be more stressful than you may believe. Luckily, there are ways to learn more about how to lead properly and oftentimes the best way to do this is by listening to other successful leaders. Many of the most successful leaders have a tendency to share their own knowledge and the stories of how they got to where they are, whether it be through books, interviews or podcasts – a very popular method nowadays. Here are a few great podcasts worth checking out hosted by successful leaders looking to help others in their own success.

The Go-Giver

If you’re looking for something bite size, look no further than The Go-Giver, hosted by Bob Burg. Bob Burg is a fairly popular leadership speaker who used to be a television personality and highly successful salesman, and eventually went on to write a book with the same name as this show. The main concept of both the book and the show is looking at how providing value to other people is the best way to live and work. As a leader, this means being there and doing whatever you can to enhance the lives and work of your team. Episodes are usually no more than 30 minutes in length, typically beginning with a brief thought and then a 15 minute interview with another successful leader.

Growth Think Tank

Formerly known as Leaders in the Trenches, this show is all about having conversations with leaders, for leaders. Host Gene Hammett is a leader and entrepreneur with years of experience who has seen both success and failure in life, and chose to share those experiences and his knowledge with high-performing leaders around the world so they can achieve greater success. Each episode of the show features deep-dive discussions with leaders from all over the world and each conversation is focused on helping listeners create new strategies so they can succeed and expand their own knowledge of leadership and various other skills involved in leadership.

Beyond the To-Do-List

No matter how hard a leader works, sometimes that work just doesn’t pay off. In this show, host Erik Fisher discusses all of the aspects of productivity in leadership and how to choose the right tasks and do them properly. You’ll learn all about how other leaders both fail and succeed when it comes to their daily goals in both work and life, and you’ll obtain the skills to move forward and make sure your hard work pays off both at work and in your personal life.

Using Storytelling to Build Stronger Remote Teams

After the outbreak of the coronavirus, working remotely has become the new normal and many businesses are opting to let their employees continue this practice. Communication between leaders and their teams has been extraordinarily comprehensive and, at times, creative. One of the most powerful forms of communication is storytelling, which has been a part of human culture since our beginnings. We’re all hardwired to respond positively to stories, so why not use that to build a stronger team even if they are working remotely?

Storytelling Forges Positive Connections

Most good stories involve emotions everyone can relate to. Use stories as an ice breaker or as a kickoff for a meeting. As we tell stories we become more animated and invested. The more stories the team shares, the more trust the team will build collectively. Telling stories that have an impact, even if it’s just a smile, will allow the team to trust one another, be more open, support each other, and strive to collaborate more effectively. 

Use Stories to Combat Isolation

No matter how introverted a person is, isolation gets to all of us at some point. Knowing you have a strong team that is just a click away can do wonders for a person’s mental health. Letting others share their self-isolation experiences in a safe and open environment through storytelling allows them to feel they aren’t alone and others are going through the same frustrations. After assessing everyone’s mental space in a meeting you can reach out to individuals, if needed, to assist them further. 

Always Come from a Place of Truth

Even when your team members aren’t in the same room, they can tell when something isn’t genuine. Always keep your stories as authentic as possible to build up trust and comradery even if it’s a simple “For me, a typical day looks like…”. You don’t have to go to great lengths to make your team think you have everything perfectly together. Show your team it’s okay to need help, so you can forge more positive relationships and make your team stronger than ever. 

Allow All Team Members to Contribute

Some members of your team may be excited to share their stories while others may be more shy. Create an online environment where everyone is encouraged to speak and no one person dominates the conversation. Everyone should know their input is valued within the team. Allow a different person to share a story each meeting to ensure everyone gets equal opportunity to speak. 

 

How to Stay Focused While Working From Home

Working from home can seem great at first, but it may get a bit more difficult as time goes on. Staying focused and making sure you have a productive workday from the comfort of your own home is a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily, there are a few things you can do throughout the day to help boost your productivity and keep you focused.

Take a Walk

One of the simplest ways to improve your focus at work is to just take a break and go for a walk. Take a pause from work and leave your desk for a while. After hours of staring at a laptop and sitting in one place, the body can start to wear down and your mind will easily lose focus. To make sure this doesn’t happen, stand up for a bit or take a walk around the block. It’ll improve your work and your day drastically.

Get Moving in Your Seat

When you’re not on a break or walking around, you can easily do some exercises while you are working. Engage in some seated exercises to get your blood flowing and keep your mind focused. Easy ones to try are neck flexion, upper trapezius stretch, strengthening shoulder shrug, chest bicep stretch, and more. If you’re going to spend all day at your desk, doing these exercises can make it easier and more comfortable for you.

Designate a Working Space

Be sure to pick a spot in your home and make it your designated working area. Even if you don’t have a desk, use the kitchen table, a chair in the living room, or even sitting on your bed. Just make sure to set it up in a way to assign it as your work area. And use it for only that If it feels too much like home, it can make staying focused a lot harder. By having a designated area, you are more likely to stay in the workflow and keep up your focus. 

Set Up a Schedule

As you work from home, keep a detailed schedule for your day and make sure to follow it. Don’t just wake up, roll out of bed, and get to work two n=minutes after your alarm goes off. Set up your morning routine just as you would if you were heading out to work instead of working from home. Schedule in your breaks and write down goals for the day so you know what needs to be done and how much time you have to do it. This will allow you to have a more productive day. 

Master Your EQ to Enhance Your Leadership Capabilities

EQ, or emotional intelligence, has become a popular topic among leaders and managers in recent years for good reason. While this skill was largely overlooked throughout the past several decades, it’s getting a much-needed resurgence while propelling effective leaders to new heights and creating unstoppable teams. 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage yourself and your relationships effectively and is closely linked with performance and success. Use the following tips to enhance your skills to more effectively lead your team to success. 

Be Self-Aware

Self-awareness is a crucial skill to have as a leader. You must be aware of your actions, how you come across to your team, and how you express yourself in certain situations. In addition to knowing how you will react to situations, you must be aware of what triggers your emotional responses. These aspects together can give you a clear picture of how to best control these actions to lead your team towards a healthier future instead of regressing. Be open to criticisms and use them as a basis to improve and develop your skills. 

Be Socially Aware

Social awareness involves a sensitivity to another person’s feelings and emotions as well as your own willingness to be respectful. With more knowledge about how other people may react, you can compose a professional response without batting an eye. If your company implements a new policy that may trigger a negative reaction within your team, you can prepare them in a way that is respectful, ensures their concerns are heard, and you can make the proper adjustments to maintain efficiency. 

Facilitate Collaboration

With a higher emotional intelligence, it’s possible to improve day-to-day interactions amongst those on your team. A higher EQ means you can manage larger teams more effectively by helping others work together and to motivate them to work harder in a way that inspires instead of threatens. The happier your team is the more it will show in their work. Once you prove the worth of your EQ to the team as a whole you can teach others to do the same to create a positive and productive workforce that truly values its employees. 

How Leaders Make the Best Out of Mondays

For the longest time, Mondays have gotten a bad rep. They have often been seen as the mark the end of the weekend and the dreaded start of the workweek. However, Mondays can actually be the best day of the week. When it comes to being a successful leader, they make the best out of Mondays and use it as their most productive day.

Hyping Up the Team

Without a doubt, energies are very low on Mondays. Instead of letting your team sulk and dread the beginning of the week, make it a day they look forward to. A good leader will use Mondays to start the week off right and get their team members pumped. A fun and easy way to do this is to start the day off with a meeting that has complimentary donuts or simply grabbing everyone’s coffee orders. This way, your team members are happy and more likely to have a productive day.

Tackle Challenging Tasks First

It’s easy to let Mondays slip out of the way when you’re looking to just get it over with. Instead of waiting for it to just be over and waiting to be more productive on Tuesday, use Monday to get all of your toughest tasks over with. This way, by using the beginning of the week to handle your biggest challenges, the rest of the week is a breeze. You are able to put more focus on your team and their challenges. This will help your week go by much more efficiently. 

Revisit Overall Vision and Purpose

Mondays are the perfect day to revisit your overall goals, vision, and purpose. Instead of just going through the motions and losing sight of the bigger picture, think about your overall objection. It only takes a few minutes to go over strategic planning and goals that align with your vision or purpose. It’s even better to go over with your team of why you all are doing what you do and what the team is working towards. This will not only motivate and inspire your team, but it will also keep the right on track and become much more efficient. 

Look at Mondays as your most efficient day and the best opportunity to make your week as productive and efficient as possible.

Ways to Foster Belonging at Work

The human sense of connection is incredibly important: it impacts our health and productivity. While it may seem that belonging only matters in our personal lives, research conducted by the leadership development startup BetterUp indicates that workplace belonging is key to employee well-being and organizational functioning. Exclusion can beget both pain and psychological ailments. 

BetterUp found, among other statistics, that employees see a 56% increase in job performance when they feel like they belong. Furthermore, belonging benefits workers’ careers, since those who felt highly connected received twice as many raises and were 18 times more likely to be promoted in a six month period. Cofounder and CEO of BetterUp Alexi Robichaux states that the most important assets to your company are your people. “Belonging should be at the heart of every human capital strategy.” 

If you’re not sure how to do that, here are some strategies that came out of their research.

Create Allies at Work

A powerful solution to prevent feelings of exclusion is to add an ally to the team. Having an ally can counteract the 25% productivity loss seen in those who didn’t have one. This can be as simple as having someone who acknowledges and includes you. Peers make for very effective allies, and fortunately, there is no hierarchy to allyship: anyone can be an ally. 

Encourage Healthy Interactions

Psychologists Jane Dutton and Emily Heaphy coined the term high-quality connections (HQCs) to describe interactions that have a positive impact on our lives and work. In a high-quality connection, each person reciprocates positive regard and care, and as a result, both feel valued. HQCs play an important role in close relationships but also have the power to unlock meaning in less intimate interactions. These interactions can be brief and emotionally neutral, but the key is that they happen regularly and are not negative. 

Tips on Recovering from Failure

When we think of leaders and successful people, we usually just picture them in their successes. Seldom do we think of their failures. Failure can cause emotional pain and embarrass us, but the silver lining of failure is that it is an opportunity to grow and enrich our lives both personally and professionally.

 

The first gift of failure is humility. Acknowledging a mistake and/or failure takes us to a place of vulnerability. Admitting to it is powerful and helps us to affirm that we want to do the correct thing, in the case of wrongdoing, or to do better if we fell short. Humility is also a reminder that as humans, we are social and need to rely on one another.  

 

Another gift of failure is compassion. Admitting to mistakes can be unbearably embarrassing, painful, even, but that embarrassment can increase our compassion for others. Research has shown that we tend to focus more on ourselves when we are successful and have achieved a higher status. The vulnerability of failure opens us up to connecting with others. Sally Blount, a contributor to Forbes, puts it best: “It turns out that engaging in the small joys and comaraderies of everyday life is one of the best ways to soothe a chastened ego.” 

 

One of the best ways to recover from failure is to keep an openness to learning. Many people find they learn best through experience, and that includes experiencing failure. Of course, this isn’t easy, as we tend towards safety and comfort. The combination of humility and compassion helps us learn and better connects us with others. While success may increase confidence, it is failure that builds wisdom.