Tag: understanding

Why Leaders Can Feel Overwhelmed

Many people think of leaders as invincible, that they know all of the answers, and never become overwhelmed. But when it comes down to it, leaders can become stressed just like any other team member. From feeling incompetent to not having accountability, there are many reasons why a leader may be feeling stressed. Today we will be looking into why leaders can feel overwhelmed in the workplace.

Leaders can be reluctant to ask for help. 

As a leader, you are usually the go-to person when it comes to answering questions and most of the time you are expected to know the answer. But sometimes leaders have question and feel hesitant about asking for guidance. Many leaders feel that by asking for help, they will seem incompetent in their role. So instead they internalize their stress as they struggle to come up with the right answer.

Leaders feel like they can’t be authentic. 

Many leaders feel like they can’t be themselves while at work. They feel as though they have to “fit a mold” or portray an ideal image. Thinking about your every step and constantly analyzing how you are saying something can be quite draining.

Leaders try to hide their fears. 

Leaders have many fears and anxieties. People on the outside looking in, don’t think of leaders are afraid of anything, but they couldn’t be more far from the truth. Leaders are often afraid of change, failure, and upsetting others.

Leaders can feel defeated by challenging personalities. 

Not everyone in the workforce is looking out for you. Sometimes leaders have to deal with people who purposely keep them out of the loop. Without the right information, wrong decisions can be made, making you look bad. Someone who is sabotaging your work and blocking you out can easily make you feel overwhelmed.

Leaders can become exhausted.

When you are put in a leadership role, in addition to carrying your own weight, you carry your entire team’s. This can be both physically and mentally exhausting. Exhaustion can claim even the strongest leaders and make them want to quit.

Leaders feel like they can’t count on anyone. 

When there is a lack of accountability with your team, a lot of stress can form. If team members are not finishing their work, a leader may feel like it’s up to them to finish everything that needs to be done.

Remember that as a leader, you are never alone. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

5 Key Tips for Introverts In Leadership Positions

5 Key Tips for Introverts In Leadership Positions

Top 3 Skills of Exceptional Leaders

Top 3 Skills of Exceptional Leaders

3 Essential Ways to Improve Leadership

leadership chess

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase discussed the most effective ways to become and maintain leadership in his most recent conference appearance in New York City. Below are Dimon’s top ways to achieve a higher level of leadership.

1. Transparency

In order to build and foster a culture of trust between leaders and other employees, Dimon makes a point for leaders to not only share much of the information with others, but to also not engage in hiding bits of valuable information from employees. Interestingly enough, the Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase that the two way conversation of sharing information is the key when it comes to cultivating this trust relationship.

As a means to include employees who both may feel as though they are in the dark about certain business related initiatives, sharing information such as strategy or the company’s changed financial status is an effective, inclusive way to interact with your employees

2. Deal with problems as they arise

Leaders should also consistently encourage open communication among employees regardless of the situation. Basically, no one should feel uncomfortable to express their thoughts, concerns, or problems at any given time.

Speaking up during a team or company wide meeting sparks internal discussions that can improve a certain situation or prevent a problem. Dimon reaffirms that as a result of leaders fostering a comfortable environment where everyone feels comfortable enough to speak up, this will create a more open dialogue company wide.

3. Understand your business

With the constant changes and mishaps in any business, it can be common for leaders to be out of touch or even disconnected from the needs of their employees. While this is a difficult to achieve, it is important for leaders to connect or touch base with employees of all levels or departments to gain a better understanding of how the organization can improve.

“You don’t sit in your office by yourself and somehow you make big decisions because you read something carefully,” Dimon said. “Talk to your people. … Ask them what you can do better.”

8 Tips to Successfully Lead in Today’s Market

8 Tips to Successfully Lead In Today's Market

1. Two-way conversations
A great leader always communicates in a way where he/she allows for two way communication with other co-workers or employees. Conveying information in a concise but articulate manner is essential when it comes to highlighting success, receiving feedback, and making strides for improvement.

2. Attitude is everything
Maintaining a positive but realistic attitude both shapes your leadership in a conducive manner while also setting a great example for your team and your company. As you are a solid representation of the organization, making sure your attitude encourages others is essential.

3. Growing talent
Viewing your employees as valuable resources to be nourished and developed instead of business transactions will have two useful outcomes for the company. On one hand, these employees will be grateful that the company is expanding their skill set (webinars, seminars, workshops), and will directly become of more use to the company.

4. Motivate others
Providing a fair amount of emotional support for your team will incentivize performance in order for them to excel in every aspect of their day to day jobs. Some ways to motivate others include encouraging them to challenge their skillsets, acknowledging their successful efforts in a public space, and organizing events for team bonding.

5. Remain impartial
Try to your best to avoid engaging in any favoritism with any co-worker at the office. Remember to evaluate an individual based on his/her performance, how they challenge themselves, and the ways they want to improve the company’s mission. Showing impartial respect to others is the best form of effective leadership.

6. Set the standard
Establishing your legacy at the company is most effective when you lead with actions that support your strengths. Matching or exceeding the work ethic shown by your team members will also create an environment that promotes excellence and dedication to your craft.

7. Decisiveness
In addition to not allowing external factors to affect your decision making, be sure to take the time to support any decision you make with sound logic throughout the thought process. A successful leader can always support any decision with rationale.

8. Educate Yourself
A true leader never stops learning or challenging him/herself to understand the latest market trends or ways to improve the efficiency of a certain internal process. Whether it is reading the journal everyday or attending seminars on a monthly basis, leaders are always looking for ways to improve themselves.

With all this in mind, processing and implementing these tips will also allow you to become the type of leader that people not only admire, but would want to emulate in the future. Leadership is not only about making decisions for the team. It is strongly based on the notion to create an environment of mutual respect to produce a cohesive work environment for everyone.

How Leaders Should Support Internal Hires

When hiring external candidates for various open positions at a company, there is a certain process that allows for support, training and structure offered to the new employee regardless of department. Unfortunately, far too commonly internal hires lack various forms of structure which is generally offered to employees who come externally from other firms, companies or organizations.

Unlike internal hires, external hires received intensive onboarding support, briefings on how the business or organization operates and emotional support to assimilate to the new company culture. In many companies, the process related to helping internal hires or employees to adjust to their new job was often times less prioritized for resources to help guide newly employed external candidates.

Faulty leadership can create a mentality for new internal hires based on the “sink or swim” notion that definitely is more detrimental to not only, the employee, but also for the department she/he is currently affiliated with. This overall lack of emotional support in various areas is prone to not only a high turnover, but, in addition, a great loss of talent that has not been properly fostered in a nurturing way geared towards long- term success.

As an increasing amount of companies and organizations are realizing this fault in what is called their “inboarding process,” this provides an ideal time for leaders to initiate the necessary changes in order to alter the ineffective nature of the process in place.

According to a recent study at Genesis Advisers categorizing around 500 leading HR companies, roughly a third of new hires at any given company are employees from other internal departments. One very useful way for leaders to rectify this lack of support in this employee transitional phase is to most effectively “assess transition risk” in order for every party involved to benefit from this internal transfer.

The first step for leaders to better understand and assess transition risk is to create a model to frame major shifts in the company. These shifts can include promotions, business deals between departments and their brief job history. With all these factors in mind, this could develop into an essential tool to decipher the kind of support need for internal hires.

The main takeaway from this assessment of the transitional risk model is to not only better set priorities in a more effective way, but also for leaders to dismantle to the ongoing politics or setbacks in departments where internal transfers are made. This will in turn create a more holistic level of awareness across various areas to improve both individual and professional performance.

Utilizing Open-mindedness in Leadership

Intelligence is without a doubt one of the most fundamental properties that help others strive to be better while simultaneously improving the company’s overall mission through knowledge. Unfortunately, it has been a common trend for highly intelligent CEO’s to make a set of mistakes that ultimately have led to the downfall of their companies. To illustrate this point, some of the most global, well known digital tech companies have declined in both popularity and their profit margins by simply neglecting to maintain a certain type of open-mindedness that is essential for business plans.

Based on a study by Professor Finkelstein at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business, the below key points are some accurate ways to ensure that your business flourishes from an open-minded perspective that could allow for an overall clearer vision. The following points touch upon how to rectify any intentional or unintentional habits leaders in upper management may be acting on, which can be detrimental to your establishment.

Room for improvement

While taking pride in your work is salient in terms of progress, be mindful that this is one quality that has the potential of spiraling out of control fairly easily. Leaders that develop a strong obsession or become particularly entranced with specific concepts that they have created, statistically show a high level of contentment, therefore not allowing them to question their current state. With this in mind, leaders often firmly believed that the success created will never decline.

Dont dwell on the past

One common trend among company leaders is that when the financial or creative situation of their brand was not performing too well, it resulted in these CEO’s or other members of higher up management to recreate old plan of actions or strategies. Although many of these strategies were not necessarily pertinent or beneficial to the business endeavors at the time, leaders were convinced they would result in success simply because it was effective in the company’s recent history.

Company first

Sometimes if the founder of a company or a CEO becomes too attached to the establishment, this tends to be counterproductive, with these leaders tending to focus in on securing the brand’s image instead of emphasizing transparency. Thus, it is actually fairly common for upper management to get caught up in their work that they often forget to envision plans in accordance with the company’s goals or missions.


Success Through Moderate Self-Criticism

While there are opposing views as to whether being actively self-critical can positively or negatively affect the way you can operate or better yourself in the workplace, one chief recruiting officer based out of Chicago thinks of this concept in a different light. While also stating that being overly critical can definitely damper your self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, there is no doubt that Krisi Rossi O’Donnell doesn’t effectively use self-criticism as a means to improve herself in her career. Promoted ten times at LaSalle network in Chicago in the past ten years, there is no question that O’Donnell is aware of how to successfully tap into self-critique as a motivating, useful way to push herself in her career.

The first beneficial part of being self-critical is the process of overthinking every move or decision in order to holistically view a certain situation or address a specific issue. By sometimes over analyzing aspects of your work life, you have the potential of developing the mentality of not only coming up with the best solution through intense examination, but also envisioning what potential outcomes could result in your decision. This art of envisioning for both the short term and long term effects will help you anticipate many outcomes until the result occurs which is very useful for managing expectations.

In terms of self-awareness, O’Donnell highlights some ways in which we are able to embrace this notion without overusing it excess, which in turn can be detrimental. “People who are self-critical are self-aware,” O’Donnell says. “They know exactly where they need to improve, which is crucial to continue growing and developing in your career.” It’s certainly true that the ability to see yourself as others see you is a key skill for effective leaders, and just about everyone else.

Moreover, with all this self-criticism as a primary way to provide you with the mental or emotional resources to strive and therefore better yourself, one of the salient ideas to keep in mind is to always remember there is more room to learn. Growing through the process of never failing to learn in your career is an essential cornerstone in relation to building and moving forward in your respective industry.

Similarly, by embracing failures more than successes in your career is the most beneficial form of capitalizing on how to improve some of your weak points that you weren’t previously aware of. While self-criticism is a great resource for advancement, using it sparingly is a must to achieve a healthy balance or dose of emotional security in your day to day work life.

Emotional Intelligence Now Considered Key Leadership Skill

Emotional intelligence is a pretty recent concept. It was coined in 1990 in a research paper by John D. Mayer of UNH and Peter Salovey of Yale. It was later defined by Mayer in the Harvard Business Review thusly:

“From a scientific (rather than a popular) standpoint, emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately perceive your own and others’ emotions; to understand the signals that emotions send about relationships; and to manage your own and others’ emotions. It doesn’t necessarily include the qualities (like optimism, initiative, and self-confidence) that some popular definitions ascribe to it.”

Almost a decade later, Rutgers psychologist Daniel Goleman established the important connection between emotional intelligence and business leadership. In HBR’s 1998 article, “What Makes a Leader,” he states that the most effective leaders all have a high degree of emotional intelligence. IQ and technical skills are irrelevant when it comes to reaching an executive position.

Emotional intelligence has five major components:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy for others
  • Social skills

Each of these components allow people to recognize, learn from, and connect with other people’s mental states.

According to HBR, understanding what constitutes emotional intelligence is important not only because it is so central to leadership, but because people who are strong in some components of it may be lacking in others. One example used by Salovey during a 2010 leadership conference was Bill Clinton, who was remarkable in his empathy yet devoid of self-control.

Mayer and Salovey coined the term “emotional intelligence” the same year that the functional magnetic resonance imaging machine was invented. For the first time, people could look at what was happening in the brain while it was functioning. Golemans extensive work on the subject of emotional intelligence is infused with findings from these studies. With that research Goleman and others have been able to further establish the connection between emotional intelligence and leadership.

They’ve been able to understand what physically happens to the brain when you understand what another person is saying, for example. They’ve also found definitively that emotions like anger can lead to bad decision making and that sometimes things like flattery simply do not work. All of these modes of research lead to a simple conclusion. In order to be a better leader you need emotional intelligence of a high degree.

There are still some counterarguments though, notably a Wharton progessor named Adam Grant who has reported that there is a lack of correlation between tests results measuring emotional intelligence and business results. His methods are obviously contested by Goleman and others.