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Archive for September 2009

10 Most Common Leadership Shortcomings

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 29th, 2009    No Comments

Let’s talk about bad leadership.  The Harvard Business Review published a list of the top 10 qualities of bad leaders.  These are described in more detail in the article online, accessible here.

The Worst Leaders:

1. Lack energy and enthusiasm.

2. Accept their own mediocre performance.

3. Lack clear vision and direction.

4. Have poor judgment.

5. Don’t collaborate.

6. Don’t follow the standards they set for others.

7. Resist new ideas.

8. Don’t learn from mistakes.

9. Lack interpersonal skills.

10. Fail to develop others.

As one reads the list, this information seems pretty obvious.  Online Ezine Expert, Shari Alexander, mentions how seemingly simple these bad traits appear to be.  “Everyone knows to avoid these problems.  Before you disregard this information, take a look at what the surveyors also discovered: ‘…the ineffective leaders we studied were often unaware that they exhibited these behaviors.  In fact, those who were rated most negatively rated themselves substantially more positively.’  In order to improve your leadership abilities, you need to check [your] ego at the door and routinely ask for honest feedback.  Otherwise, you might be making detrimental mistakes and not even know it,” Alexander writes.

The author further offers practicality in her insights regarding how to effectively change 5 of the 10 behaviors instantly.  Read her suggestions here.  At The Leadership Trust, we are in the business of perceptions management.  How others perceive us and how we perceive them are filled with unintended errors and thus greatly impact the effectiveness of our leadership skills.  Through our unique 360+ degree feedback instrument and process, we offer our participants the equivalences of an MRI versus a cat scan when it comes to a comprehensive overview of the misperceptions that are floating around out there at work and beyond.  More importantly, throughout the 5-day program, we get at root causes of these misperceptions, thereby making the chances of permanent, positive change a lifelong reality.  Contact Us today to learn about our tuition guaranteed programs!

Sources: Shari Alexander, Avoid Being a Bad Leader

The Harvard Business Review Blog, Voices

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood. – Freeman Teague, Jr.

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 24th, 2009    No Comments

Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood. – Freeman Teague, Jr.

The CEO of The Leadership Trust has a severe hearing loss.  Talk about opportunities for miscommunication!  How about the time in a noisy room when someone said, “Wouldn’t it be nice,” and she exclaimed, “And then we’ll become mice!”  Although this is indeed an extreme example, do count your blessings you have normal hearing, yet Teague tells us that there is nonetheless still a lot of room for misinterpretations.  Read on.

This website offers some guidance on how to help increase effective communication.  The most effective things we can do to improve our communication is to understand how others are perceiving us.  In short, we are the creation of someone else’s mind.  Perceptions create reality, and everyone’s perceptions can be very different.  Anybody can improve his or her communications skills.  It is not about vocabulary, syntax, or semantics.  Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “What you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you’re saying.”  Therefore, consider it is all about to what degree you come across as a real live human being with a heart beat, which is all about authentic leadership.  Tough decisions still must be made regardless of style, but if Person A is to be fired, it is preferable that you carry out this assignment as a humanistic leader rather than a tough-nosed autocrat.  Communication skills training provides a natural ascension from your current communication style to one known to retain and profitably engage your best human talent, all the while avoiding the unnecessary repercussions when a firing can not be avoided.

Learn more about how our Personalized Leadership Development Program can help you develop a natural sense of social knowingness as a by-product of optimizing your communication skills.  It’s an exhilarating journey withing, because you just can’t go to the next higher level until you’ve traveled to the next deeper level.

The Art of Giving Praise

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 22nd, 2009    No Comments

Steve Demaio, contributor to the Harvard Business Review blog, offers some advice on how to give praise to your employees.  Read his full article here.  Giving the right kind of praise helps reinforce the positive behaviors we see in others.  Here are some examples of his principles:

1. Be truly specific.  Precise feedback helps the person understand where their strengths were realized.  General comments like “Great job!” just aren’t specific enough.

2. Don’t confuse politeness with praise.  Simply put, being polite doesn’t reward your employees for their hard work.  Aim your praise to the employees’ specific accomplishments and contributions to the team.  Example, ” Your timeliness always helps be do my job better.  Thanks.”

3. Praise with action, not just words.  Actions speak louder than words, so follow up your praise with an action that the employee can build upon for next time.

4. Don’t pad constructive criticism with empty praise.  Criticism sandwiched with praise is certainly a good delivery method, but using generalized praise will only undercut the authentic praise you give at other times.

Demaio offers some great advice on how to provide genuine praise so your employees can keep doing the great work that has contributed to the success of the team.  Because being authentic is key to making praise work, The Leadership Trust helps connect your head with your heart so that your praise is experienced as genuine.  This means you won’t feel awkward offering praise if this has not been a natural behavior or yours.  This is what is meant by authentic leadership, and we have unique processes designed to help you with this.  Read more about our Personalized Leadership Development Program and how it gets you reacquainted with your real self.  Now that’s freedom!

Three C’s of Leadership Learned in Kindergarten

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 17th, 2009    No Comments

Bnet blog writer, CC Holland, experienced her first child going to kindergarten last week.  In the chaos surrounding the first days of school, she realized that there are Three C’s of Leadership learned in kindergarten.

Holland writes about poor communication, a lack of collaboration, and no commiseration in her blog post.  Read the full post here.

Communication– “It doesn’t take much to proactively keep people in the loop, and it pays off big time with a calmer, more prepared team.”

Collaboration– “If you aren’t collaborating with your team- working together to solve problems, encouraging give and take, respecting their comments and concerns and valuing their contributions- then you’re actively disengaging them.”

Commiseration– “When you’re asking a lot of your employees but can’t reward them with raises, tell them you know it stinks, but you appreciate their hard work.  Put yourself in their shoes on a regular basis and ask yourself what you can do to show you care about them.”

The Leadership Trust values these same 3 issues Holland mentions in her blog post.  We see two major issues in those seeking leadership development: (1) Some leaders are too harsh in their direct style and thus need help with soft skills/people skills (we tell kindergartners to “just be nice”) or (2) Certain other leaders struggle with appropriate confrontation and thus need help with self-assertiveness (kindergartners are great at just telling it like it is).

Communication deficiencies are often the reason why leaders fail, and why we have developed specializations through programs and on-site consulting to help you with that. 

As for collaboration, we treat each interaction with our clients as a collaboration in excellence.  It’s the best and only way to ensure all needs are met so that results from our training events exceed our clients’ expectations. 

Empathy is the word we use for Holland’s Commiseration, and we use processes designed to connect your head with your heart, thereby catapulting your intellectual gifts to a whole new level while simultaneously engaging team members in a way that enhances their feeling valued and appreciated.

Learn more about our unique Personalized Leadership Development Program.  We consider it a privilege to play a role in taking you from great to greater!

Want new leaders? Start early!

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 15th, 2009    No Comments

Want to grow a better crop of leaders?  Start by selecting the right seeds, watering the garden, removing the weeds and in a season or two, you’ll have a bumper crop of ready-to-harvest leaders.” – Dan McCarthy

Developing the leaders within your company begins at their hire date.  To truly gain the most from your emerging leaders, start early with creating and implementing a program that recognizes the potential leaders.  Leadership expert, Dan McCarthy, calls it a “pre-leadership” program. Read his article.

McCarthy wrote, How to Develop a Leadership Preparation Program, in which he lists “the benefits of a “pre-leadership” program, or leadership preparation program, are:

1. Shorter learning curves for newly promoted managers.

2. Improved opportunities to assess high potential management candidates; which leads to better selection.

3. Better career choices- which leads to improved satisfaction and job fit.

4. Improved ability to recruit employees that are looking for leadership development opportunities.”

The Leadership Trust can be a integral part of your “pre-leadership” and leadership programs for your company.  People who graduate from our Personalized Leadership Development Program are better able to identify other potential leaders in your company.  Through our customized consulting programs, we can work with you to develop a highly effective “pre-leadership” program tailored to your unique needs and goals.  Contact us today!  Our goal is to exceed your expectations!

Can a Leopard REALLY Change Its Spots?

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 8th, 2009    No Comments

We at The Leadership Trust say that pain- and love- are highly motivating factors to change, and change management is a huge part of leadership training.  Becoming a better leader, most likely means changing some of your current processes, beliefs, styles, techniques so that you are continually bettering yourself.  Marshall Goldsmith, author or Ask the Coach blog on the Harvard Business  website, addresses change and provides 5 reasons to stay the course.  Read the full article here and discover that leopards absolutely can change their spots (figuratively speaking, of course).

Change is hard.  It takes forever and I don’t even know if it’s working.  Any tips for making this process easier?

Change takes longer than we think and the process is difficult.  Acknowledging these facts can make your attempts more successful.  My co-author Dr. Kelly Goldsmith, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and I researched why people give up on their goals.  We discovered that there are five common reasons.  Understanding these roadblocks will help you apply some preventive medicine- and increase the odds that you won’t fall into the same old traps.” – Marshall Goldsmith, blog post.

Our program helps you in compelling fundamental ways to begin the process of permanent positive change.  Read more about our unique Personalized Leadership Development Program  and you’ll be able to feel the difference in our approach.  You don’t have to take our word for it though- read and video view  what our graduates have to say about their experiences weeks, months, and years after attending our signature program.  This will answer affirmatively the age-old question about the leopards, and we’d find it a real privilege to be your change agents!

Building Trust in Business by Trusting

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 4th, 2009    No Comments

With a name like The Leadership Trust, we get a glimpse through our website analytics how many people are researching trust and leadership.  We even endorse a phenomenon we coined “the boomerang effect” that supports the notion that in giving trust you get it.  Some people may refer to this as the Law of Attraction, but no matter what you want to call it, BusinessWeek author, Dov Seidman, speaks of how to get what you want by giving it.  We all want loyal, trustworthy customers and employees, but are we willing to meet them halfway?  In this article, Seidman speaks of how a doughnut shop owner decided to let his customers make their own change from coins he left on the counter.  Read not only what happened profit-wise and otherwise from this seemingly small business maneuver, but also the more dramatic and riskier ones.  Even our most jaded skeptic may reconsider “it is in giving that we receive.”

Trust in leadership is a huge topic.  Our solid track record is evidence that we can help you with that.  In our Personalized Leadership Development Program, we offer unique and highly compelling processes that create, as a by-product, that much coveted trust with your employees and customers.  Our graduates speak to this in their testimonials.  In Siedman’s company, they tried meeting their employees half way during a restructuring process.  They found that by not requiring the formal approavl on the expense reports but instead used random report checks, there was less friction between managers and team members and more time to do their work.  Read about their striking restructuring results from their recently surveyed employees.

Don’t you want your employees to feel the same way?  Aren’t you glad there is a proven process to make it so?  Visit us and take that first step toward creating a culture of trust.

Source: BusinessWeek online

Integrative Leadership Linked to Dr. Oz Holistic Healing Approach

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on September 1st, 2009    No Comments

Since I completed my internship at Duke Medical Center in 1994 and participated in the grass roots efforts to promote integrative medicine, I began linking Dr. Oz’ holistic work to leadership training.  On August 31st, Dr. Oz, who was popularized by Oprah, appeared on Good Morning America speaking about his unique approach to healing his patients.  Watch the video here

 Dr. Oz is a well established cardiologist who currently directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital.  Dr. Oz is on the cutting edge of integrative medicine, using a holistic approach that honors the entire picture of the person by looking at all the systems of the body during heart surgery, because the health of the heart is affected by these other systems.

When our graduates report that they learned in their workshop how to manage their chronic headaches and stress or eliminate asthma and stuttering (Graduate Testimonials), they are actually reporting on how they learned to harness and redirect their energy in a way that is linked to Dr. Oz’ recognition that energy is important to wholeness and complete wellness.  In our integrative leadership development approach, we also look at all of the areas and roles impacting one’s life, because work affects home and home affects work.  If, for example, you are focused on your child’s current struggle and find a new role you can play to help resolve that, you will perform better at work because your focus will be there, not at home.

Like Dr. Oz, our medical model approach to leadership development holds that for every diagnosis (specific leadership challenge), there is a treatment plan (solution that may include physical healing).  Wholeness and wellness are important for all of us, and not just attended to in the medical realm.  Attend one of our signature Personalized Leadership Development Programs  and start your journey to better leadership and a better life.  Email us today to learn more! (