Accommodating Leadership or Indulgent Leadership – Which Are You Practicing?

Dorothy, whose company is staffed by college-educated professionals, recently posed a concern:  “We have a work environment that demands extra work hours on an unpredictable schedule.  People are expected to be away from families at times and they have to make adjustments for the company.  We, in turn, try hard to be accommodating of their individual needs, giving them extra compensatory time off, work from home, time to attend children’s activities and vet appointments, time to go to a baseball game with an old friend, or whatever they say they need.  But sometimes we wonder if we’re getting the short end of that.  Whatever we give, they want more.  And it’s beginning to feel like our generosity has become an expectation, and if we say ‘no’ to any request, we’re seen as being unreasonable.  Last week we had a blow-up because we were unwilling to allow everyone in a work unit to take off the day after Thanksgiving, even though they know that by law, we’re obligated to have staff on call.  What are we doing wrong?” Continue reading

The Neglected Basics of Leadership

“I don’t think the leadership training the company offered was all that great,” observed Rebecca.  “It was long on process, but short on basics.”  And what, I wanted to know, did she mean by ‘basics’?  “The fundamental instincts you need to call on to be really effective in everyday situations as a leader,” she replied. Continue reading

Is Reflection Dead?

You may have noticed that there are a few notions we return to over and over again as part of the ‘holy grail’ of outstanding leadership, and one of those is the imperative of leaders mastering – and encouraging – the practice of reflection – the time to allow our minds to work on their own creative agendas instead of being directed toward hundreds of tasks.
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Discourse: The Value of 19th Century Discussion

The English language has numerous words for the act of talking to one another: conversation, discussion, dialogue, debate, discourse, even confab, for example.  The dictionary definitions look strikingly similar, but with some nuanced differences that are worthy of a leader’s attention. Continue reading