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Dr. Holly Latty-Mann's Blog

Archive for April 2015

Leadership Development Methodologies: What Do People Really Want?

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on April 29th, 2015    No Comments

It was the aftermath of 9/11, and The Leadership Trust® noticed a preponderance of die-hard workaholic managers and executives showing an almost overnight interest in rekindling their family fires. How did this impact the delivery of our leadership development programs? This signaled what Generations X and Y really want in a leadership program. We thus made two immediate major changes followed by some major changes today:  1) We faded out our weekend-format programs over the course of 4 years, and today we offer a wellbeing program, the benefits of which trans-generalize to work. So it was the tragedy of 9/11 that expedited the manifestation of these changes.

That’s not all that changed. I distinctly remember speaking to a room packed with Systems Engineers. More specifically, I was surrounded by brilliant, left-brained rocket scientists (literally, these were NASA scientists). It was immediately evident that anytime I spoke to personal relationship dynamics, whether marriage, parenting, or simply self-reflection beyond work issues, their body language changed dramatically indicating intense engagement (e.g., leaned forward in their seats, nodded occasionally, glanced around in agreement with others). There was what appeared to be an insatiable hunger for what could nurture a meaningful human connection with their loved ones. Resultantly, we promoted opportunities to strengthen family relationships as part of our leadership programs. These were opportunities only, meaning nobody had to comply with including family feedbacks, and neither did they have to share anything beyond work.

The results were remarkable with regard to immediate permanent positive change at work. Why? Just as work affects home, home also affects work, yet it was the stronger motivation to change for the sake of their loved ones that ultimately impacted those changes at work.

Finally, I remember thinking the real secret to effective leadership was getting everyone to hunger for meaningful human connections at work. So I started asking the simple question, “How do you want your adult children’s manager to treat them when they make a mistake, solve a problem, or come to him or her with a problem?” Your answer is your roadmap to the next higher level in effective leadership. Those visionary leaders upon promoting these kinds of meaningful relationships at work soon find solid support for their company vision.

As lofty as this may sound, if everyone were mindful of their work relationships as described herein, world peace would become feasible rather than simply that for which we hope and pray.

 

Coach K’s Key to National Championship is also Key to Highly Effective Leadership: “Attitude is Never a Problem…Allows for Creativity.”

  Posted by Dr. Holly Latty-Mann on April 7th, 2015    No Comments

Managers can learn a lot about effective leadership from Coach K’s comments following Duke’s 2015 National Championship for men’s basketball last night. When managers catch on to what creates team cohesion and collaboration at its best, they also get to enjoy team harmony, all because attitude is never an issue or problem.  Coach K talks “with” his players, not “at” them or “to” them. He connects with them on a meaningful human level because he sees them at the seat of their soul, much the way parents see and appreciate the uniqueness of their children. What makes Coach K special is he sees each of his players as Somebody’s baby all grown up playing their hearts out in exchange for the respect and firm support he has given them. Not all that different from effective parenting, he further knows how to set firm parameters regarding life beyond the court, which is clearly pivotal for how things play out on the court. Again, Coach K can count on healthy compliance in exchange for his mature, humanistic leadership.

The Leadership Trust® enjoyed an alliance with Coach K’s Center on Leadership and Ethics shortly after relocating from Greensboro to Durham more than a decade ago, and frankly speaking, I have learned more about leadership from observing Coach K with his players than any other aspect of his Center. Likewise, as a Duke Alumna from my internship at Duke Medical Center, I further learned more about leadership from Dr. Ara Tourian, a now-retired neurosurgeon with whom I made rounds for a year, than the hospital itself. The point I’m making is people follow people, not companies and not departments. When you create a positive experience for one to have of himself or herself in your presence, that’s a key piece to creating team cohesion, collaboration, and harmony – one team member at a time.