Taking the Lead or Playing to Please

Taking the Lead or Playing to PleaseIt’s a brand new role. No one else has been here before. You have the opportunity to make a real mark. And here is where you face your first dilemma as the leader of this newly identified role. How is my success being assessed?  For that matter, even if it’s not a new role, a leader coming into a role new to her (or him), often realizes the difficulty of understanding how success in the role will be determined.

And one of the easiest ways to address the dilemma is to work hard to please the people who are most influential in determining your success. But that may not equate to the long-term success you’re looking for in your reputation as a leader. Continue reading

Changing Yourself – Fix a Problem and Create a New One?

Change Decision Making ConceptEthan was, in his own words, a reasoned decision maker.  Others saw him as glacially slow, overly analytical, prone to second-guessing himself and others, and afraid to make a decision until he was armed with a semi-trailer load of facts confirming his path.  While no one questioned the general accuracy of his decisions, feedback clearly showed that his long deliberations and inability to accept even minimal risk created an unacceptable bottleneck in the new product development area. Continue reading

Making the Most of a Coach

Young man coaching young women.Wise business leaders (and leaders-in-the-making) have learned what Olympic athletes and opera singers have long understood: you get better at your job faster with the help of someone experienced who holds you accountable.  What is often less understood is how to optimize that help.

Whether your help comes from an outside coach, or an internal coach developed by your company, how you establish your goals and expectations are crucial to the success of the relationship.  Here are some key points to consider in a highly beneficial coaching relationship. Continue reading

Great Leaders Are Made, Not Born – 5 Reflections to Form Your Leadership Persona

great leaders made not bornCommon wisdom says that great leaders are born with intuitive traits that make them remarkable.  But the only leg up they have on other leaders is that they practice naturally what others have to stop and think about.  These leaders continually give thought to who they want to be as leaders.  Five reflective questions will help you to ‘make’ yourself a great leader: Continue reading