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Posts Tagged ‘Leadership’

September 26th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice

How to Help Others ImproveOne of the best ways to make yourself more valuable on your job, and in your life, is to learn some of the basic skills involved with helping others to get what they want.

You don’t have to make a career of coaching to offer other people significant help in dealing with a crisis, making tough choices, or gearing up to improve themselves.

First Steps

The start of any helpful encounter with another person is to work together to establish both the problem to be addressed, and the details of what a solution would look like.

Is the person out of shape? What would being “in shape” look like? Does the person face a difficult decision? How can he or she know they’ve made a satisfactory choice? Is the person having difficulties at work? What’s the standard for knowing those “difficulties” are over?

In setting these criteria for monitoring improvement, remember to make them as specific as possible. That way, they’re more likely to stay fixed and achievable as the situation improves.

These standards should also be measurable in some way.

You also want to make sure, as a helpful person, that these performance standards are realistic, so there’s a fair chance of achieving - and recognizing - success.

Second Steps

With the problem defined and the goals or standards for success established, it’s important to take some time and clarify the problem situation. Try to identify the important actions the person is taking, as well as the people and the forces in play. Any or all of these may be contributing to the problem or become a pathway to a solution.

The more details that are explicitly itemized about what’s going on in the person’s life and work, the more likely you’ll find the best path to an acceptable solution.
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August 20th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

AccountablilityIt doesn’t take a genius to look around our world and see that it’s sorely lacking in accountability. People in both prominent and obscure situations say and do the strangest things, and rarely are they held fully accountable.

That’s a real problem, particularly in the practical worlds of jobs, business, and the professions, but also in human relations.

Whether you’re leading a team or simply managing your own life, you can kick up the levels of effectiveness, responsibility, and success by practicing (and where possible, encouraging in others) meaningful accountability.

Here are some guidelines to help you:

Stop Ducking Responsibility

We live in an intertwined world, so it’s rare that a simple, single cause (”I overslept”) can result in a problem, a missed deadline, or a lost opportunity. Sure, it can happen. But, it doesn’t have to happen to you.

Practice accountability by taking meaningful steps to honor your commitments and live up to your responsibilities. If you take these seriously enough, you can be pretty sure you’ll never have to say “it’s entirely my fault”.

Set Up Accountable Situations

Airplane maintenance is a wonderful example of how to set up an accountable situation. Every maintenance procedure is clearly spelled out, and every mechanic who performs a procedure must attest to what he or she did with a signed and dated form. Many procedures also require a supervisor to check the work and sign to affirm his or her approval.

If you’re not in a life-and-death situation, you may not need such a rigorous, formal system. But you increase accountability when you have a plan of action with clear steps to be followed, and when you are careful to follow that plan. It’s even more accountable to have multiple layers of inspection and supervision.

With such a plan in place, results can more easily be traced back to the plan, and to everyone who implemented it. Whether the results are positive or negative, there’s clear accountability.
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July 27th, 2012 by Juliana Weiss-Roessler   Posted in Career Advice, In the Workplace

Things That Affect Your ProductivityIn part 1 of this series, I started to discuss the different ways that your environment can affect the way that you work. I brought up the three types of environmental factors that researchers point to - psychological, territorial, and physical - and discussed how your own psychology can negatively impact your ability to get things done.

Today’s post will focus on the ways in which functionality and territoriality can help or harm your productivity levels. What do those two terms even mean? Read on.

Control Matters

When we go to work, sometimes it can seem like our employers want to control every little aspect of our time there. We have specific lunch times and break times. We only have access to certain filing cabinets and offices. We share a thermostat, with no way to change it. Websites and applications are blocked - and not always the ones that you would expect.

For employers, this allows them to better dictate what we will be doing and how we will be doing it. In their minds, they are helping productivity by dictating the things that we can do and have control over. In some ways, this probably does help, such as blocking time-wasting sites like Facebook that don’t really have any true work use. Unfortunately, taking too much control and “ownership” away from us can actually hurt our productivity.
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March 1st, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Resumark News

Opportunities for New Leaders Part 2Whether you slide into a leadership position with a new company, or get newly promoted to leadership within your present organization, fitting yourself into a new-to-you leadership role automatically creates some wonderful opportunities (that are less-readily available to old-timers) to upgrade your level of success.

Last time we talked about extending your time horizon, your readiness to share credit, and your willingness to let others lead.

Here are three more suggestions on how to take advantage of opportunities that come with a new leadership post:

Gather Your Information From Many Sources

One of the most common ways organizations begin to flounder and fail is that good, solid, timely information stops trickling upwards to where leaders can make proper use of it. This happens because short-sighted or selfish leaders tend to rewards bearers of glad tidings, and punish bearers of sad tidings. The result: honest information has a harder time moving up the chain of command.

As a new leader, you have an unparalleled opportunity to forge brand new channels of communications that will keep you aware of what’s really going on around you. To do this, try:
  • Keeping your eyes and ears open. This is primary. Although you can’t possibly see and hear everything that goes on around you, the more you’re directly in touch with people and events, the better you can evaluate the accuracy of other, secondary channels of information.
  • Establish regular channels of communication with knowledgeable people both inside and outside your organization - including constituents, stakeholders, or whatever you want to call them. Keep these channels wide open by using them frequently, and check what you learn from each one against what you learn from the others. All together, they can bring you a broad, accurate picture of events and trends in your organizational environment.
Keep Sending A Consistent Set of Messages

If you’re phony, it takes a lot of time and energy to remember what you’re supposed to be communicating to each person or group in your environment. And should they start talking to each other, they’ll discover the inconsistencies and become suspicious. That’s just one reason it’s so much easier and more effective to start off simply, openly and honestly in your new leadership position.
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February 28th, 2012 by Robert Moskowitz   Posted in Career Advice

Opportunities for New LeadershipWhether you slide into a leadership position with a new company, or get newly promoted to leadership within your present organization, fitting yourself into a new-to-you leadership role automatically offers some wonderful opportunities (that are less-readily available to old-timers) to set a faster pace toward success.

Here are some suggestions on how to take advantage of opportunities that come with a new leadership post:

Lead For The Long Term

There’s always a strong incentive to make things pleasant right now and let the future take care of itself. The problem is, of course, that today’s small glitch can become an insurmountable problem in the future. That’s why taking a new leadership position presents a great opportunity to set a long-term strategy, to identify both problems and opportunities out there on the horizon, and to initiate actions and programs to help the future turn out closer to the way you’d like.

Obviously, you need to balance concern for the future with concern for the present, but your new leadership position allows you a short-term window of opportunity to:

Establish monitoring mechanisms so events won’t take you by surprise.

Find and empower people who nicely match or complement your balance of present/future concerns.

Teach those around you in the organization to appreciate and support your balance of present/future concerns.

Set the Tone for Teamwork and Credit

As a leader, you’re automatically going to get the credit for your team’s successes and the blame for its shortcomings. But effective leaders have learned that eagerly sharing the credit and doggedly shielding the team from excessive blame nearly always leads to higher levels of effectiveness and success. Team attitudes about a leader’s loyalty and selfishness are notoriously difficult to change, so taking a new leadership position is the optimum time to set a new standard for how you’ll behave. For example, why not:

Establish a rewards program that acknowledges individual contributions to team successes
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