Category Archives: Learning

Leaders and the Learning Organization

senge2It is a testament to our naïveté about culture that we think that we can change it by simply declaring new values. Such declarations usually produce only cynicism. ~ Peter Senge

Peter Senge is one of my favourite Thought Leaders. You will probably know that he has been around for a while but his message, at least for me, is as relevant to our current time as it was when he first introduced his book, The Fifth Discipline, twenty something years ago.

So far, in my experience anyway, we have not been great students of his philosophies…or we have been great students but just, well, crappy at the execution part, proof perhaps that naïveté also lives in our belief that any of this stuff is easy.

There was a time when everyone was jumping onto The Learning Organization bandwagon. This usually happened when times were good, when organizations felt a little more ebullient about their prospects and generous toward their employees. And then when things started to look a little gloomy, heads turned back to the way things were. Budgets were cut and the Learning part of the organization dried up while the focus snapped back in line with the notion that wisdom and decisions could only come from the few and learning for the many was a luxury no one could afford.

I’m thinking though that it is in the difficult times that leaders need to embrace the concepts of the Learning Organization and to build a culture of shared leadership.

I must confess that not being particularly academic in my own learning process, I found The Fifth Discipline a little dry. Having said that, I also think the five main components of a Learning Organization continue to make great sense and are actionable, to greater or lesser degrees, by everyone regardless of whether we lead in large organizations, small ones, or are simply striving to lead a meaningful life.

Each of the Learning Organization components, personal mastery, mental models, team learning, shared vision and systems thinking allow for the opportunity to create lives and organizations that are resilient, flexible, inclusive and dynamic. The question often is though, how do we to start?

Here are some of my thoughts about that:

Personal Mastery: is, for me, the place where everything really begins. Taking the time to study and understand our reality, and our purpose, serves not only ourselves but also everyone with whom we come in contact.

Practically speaking, there are a lot of instruments available on the Internet that will help us confirm what we might already inherently know about ourselves or uncover some things we didn’t know. However we do it, the key to successful personal mastery, I think, is to trust in the information we receive; to be curious and ask questions either formally or informally; to observe the impact we have on others when we interact with them; and to act on any new knowledge we get about ourselves.

Mental Models: are, simply put, about assumptions and biases in our thinking. There is a proverb that says, “If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.

This speaks to the dangers of clinging to, and operating from, narrow perspectives. I believe the goal for leaders in this century is to widen the lens of their thinking by challenging not only their own assumptions but also the beliefs and biases on which their organizations operate. I hazard to say that if we were each to bring heightened awareness to our assumptions, our ability to be receptive to change would be that much greater.

Team Learning: There are many books written on the topic of teams, and an amazing array of teams within organizations too. It can get pretty complex. But suffice it to say that in an age where shared leadership is, or will become, critical, the need to understand the dynamics and functional operation of teams is pretty great. Here, I think it starts with gaining an understanding of what a truly successful and highly functional team looks like. In my observation, it always seems to come down to how team members communicate with each other; how they manage conflict and; how they examine their successes and more particularly, their failures.

Shared Vision: I expect this one is pretty familiar to most people. And yet its usefulness is so often diminished because the vision is developed at the top of the organization and seldom shared by those who are expected to work toward its achievement. To me, a Shared Vision is just that…shared. It may start with one person but if it is going to come alive and guide the company’s activities, it must be embraced and shared by all. It doesn’t have to be a sweeping statement with big words either. For example, Zappos.com, the online department store’s vision is, Delivering Happiness. It is a clear, simple statement that provides great direction to anyone who works there. To me, the message is, if what you do delivers happiness, it’s probably the right thing.

Systems Thinking: When most people talk about Senge’s model of a Learning Organization, they usually start with Systems Thinking. I keep it to the end because really this is about paying attention to the connections between and among a variety of elements that make up the whole. In organizations, we have this tendency to create silos of operation where people make decisions based only on their own needs. When this happens, others are affected, (often negatively) and that creates unnecessary and unproductive tension within the organization.

So, I suppose a place to start with respect to systems thinking is to ask, Who will be affected by what we are about to do? How do we involve them? Why should we care?

Really, systems thinking is  kind of like the plumbing in an old apartment complex. If there is a breakdown in one person’s apartment, it can affect the water supply to all of the others.

Some people may think the concepts put forth in The Fifth Discipline are old too. But, I think that they are timeless. If more organizations were to embrace and enact these philosophies, they would find ways to remain pliable and resilient in even the most treacherous of time.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

*note: this post was originally published in 2010

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Filed under Change Management, Leadership, Leadership Development, Leadership Vision, Leading Teams, Learning, organizational culture, organizational Development, Organizational Effectiveness

When the Grasshopper Teaches the Master

Little Man Business cut out 72dpi-resized-201.jpgThere is a lot to be said for learning from younger people. While we veterans can teach the invaluable lessons of the past, they can teach us the path to the future. And that is worth paying attention to.

For instance, people of my generation often grapple with the wonders of technology with varying degrees of success. Some of us are totally immersed and intrigued by what can be accomplished in a wireless world, (including all the cool toys that come along with it). Others of us are hard pressed to know how to turn on our computers, if indeed we even own one. But, no matter where we are on the technology learning curve, the one thing we know for sure is that to learn it, we have to consult those who have the skill and it’s highly doubtful that we will find this expertise in people older than ourselves.

That’s why I like the idea of mentorships in organizations working both ways.

It should be pretty simple really.

Take Young Person A, who knows about something and put him or her together with Older Person B who doesn’t know much at all about that particular something. Then let the learning begin.

All right, so it’s not that simple.

People of the older generation… well, we have our pride. We like the idea of mentoring someone younger because it seems to us to flow with the accepted order of things… you know, the Master and Grasshopper type of relationship. However, when it is the Grasshopper doing the teaching, it can make us feel somehow redundant, even stupid and that’s not something one willingly puts a hand up for.

Alternately, people of a younger generation may not see the benefits of slowing down to help us older ones learn things that are, to them, elementary my dear Watson. They may also feel they are carrying a load for someone who might even make more money than they do and from whom they see no reciprocal reward. There’s not much fun in that either.

So to begin with, I think that a successful Young master/Old Grasshopper relationship needs to begin with an attitude check on both sides.

And you spell that R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Of course along with that has to come a certain measure of empathy that allows the older to appreciate the skills and knowledge of the younger; and the younger to give credence to the lessons that only an older generation can teach.

With that established, I can think of a few practical steps that might help the Young Master/ Old Grasshopper set off on the road to building a mutually rewarding relationship. Here they are:

Determine a skill base line

There is nothing more counterproductive, or annoying, than making assumptions about what a person knows or does not know. Spending a little time determining current skill levels within the context of the subject matter is a good use of time.

Take time to set some goals

Technology, for instance, encompasses a huge body of knowledge. To make some headway and avoid being overwhelmed, discuss what you want to be able to do and how it might benefit your work before you start tackling applications that may, or may not, move you in the right direction. Goals will also give you benchmarks against which you can monitor progress. There is something very satisfying about that for both parties in the relationship.

Establish good communication habits

For the most part this means speaking plainly; being truthful; and regularly checking for understanding.

Have Fun

Working with someone to learn something new and seeing that new thing being applied in real time is exciting! Enjoy the journey and the person with whom you are taking it and my hunch is, you will both profit from the experience.

That’s what I think anyway. What do you think?

 

* Note: originally posted in January 2010

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Filed under Building Relationships, communication, Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning

*Leadership and the Value of Exploring Beyond Your Door

Jabiroo&MtRainierBefore I start, just let me say, I am not a sailor.  In fact being one of those humans with middle-ear issues, my experience with anything that goes with the flow has been known to involve something decidedly, and messily, unpleasant.  I have, however, nothing but admiration for those who choose, (and have the stomach for) sailing.  In fact, I’m slightly jealous of them.  There is a certain kind of freedom associated with living out on the open water.  It offers experiences that go beyond the imagination of the ordinary landlubber.  And, it proffers the kind of education that expands the worldview in a way that no bricks and mortar educational institution could match.

Witness Tristan Bridge, a thirteen year-old sailor and writer who produced this remarkable essay:

https://gwynteatro.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/2f19f-quotationmarks_edited.jpg

I am born from days without seeing land, those days when the horizons seem to blend into one another.  I am from the swells of the ocean rocking me to sleep; then I wake up and I’m not quite sure which country I’m in.  I am from those hours when the world seems to pause finally stopping to catch a breath.  I am from the most isolated settings, places that have yet to feel the taint of human interference.  I am an adolescent of the world, born from the simplicity of life, caught somewhere in between passive existence and the struggles of mortality.

Exploring by Cheval, my family’s Outremer 55 catamaran, is a way of existence.  We are the people with an unquenchable desire for answers.  We are the people who truly have no bounds.  The world unfolds at our hands – a mixture of peoples, a mixture of every lifestyle.  There are no boundaries to our curiosity.  We live only to cross the next horizon, to set foot on the next continent.  Our shoes have trod the corners of life.  We flourish in the secluded portions of our globe, and we retain experiences from each place we visit.  Our planet has much to offer; many possibilities await us.  Out at sea, anything can happen; places exist that seem beyond the imagination, and there are people to meet who define kindness.  I challenge you to immerse yourself in cultures and learn the traditions of our world.  Cast off the chains of immobility, because there’s something beyond your door”

We may not all be sailors.  But what this passage says to me is that we can all be explorers of one kind or another.  And, if you are a leader in any capacity and haven’t yet thought beyond the boundaries of your balance sheet, you may be wise to better develop the muscle that will stimulate your own unquenchable desire for answers”.

You should do this because the world is small and you will need to understand what’s going on in it if you are going to survive.  That sounds dramatic, I know. But, more and more I’m noticing that success, and happiness too, depend on people being able to work together effectively. It’s so much easier to do that if you can bring empathy and wisdom that comes from varied experience to the table.

That’s the philosophy anyway.  And, from the level of maturity and intelligence that emanates from Tristan Bridge, it is a pretty sound one.

On a more practical level, aside from setting sail to places unknown, how might more leaders widen their own worldview and provide similar opportunities for those who follow them?

Well, not being short on opinions, I have some thoughts about that and here they are:

Read widely and encourage others to do the same ~. This may sound like a given but in my observation, those who read a wide variety of material seem better able to make bigger picture connections.  I’m not talking about just reading business books.  While those can be helpful in building skill, to achieve more worldly understanding I think you have to read other kinds of books too including novels, biographies and history books, magazines and newspapers.  As well, for those who prefer visual learning, there are a great many excellent films that serve to open eyes and provoke thought.  All these provide much insight into human nature, trends and patterns of behaviour.

Honour Diversity ~ This speaks to Tristan’s challenge to “immerse yourself in cultures and learn the traditions of the world”.  It’s not easy, this diversity thing.  We are creatures of habit.  We like structure.  We are fond of our opinions and our biases.  And yet, there is much to be learned from seeking to understand other perspectives and from being curious about how the world works for someone else.  It helps us build empathy and while empathizing does not equal agreeing it can help us to soften the edges of our rigidity and open doors to things we may not have considered before.

Engage people whose experience is deeper and richer than the content of their resumes ~ Some leaders will seek solely to hire those whose academic credentials will meet, or even exceed, job requirements. While this certainly has to hold weight in hiring decisions, those who bring rich life experience to the table often prove to be better decision-makers and problem-solvers than those who don’t.

==================================

The bottom line is that success in these times depends on our ability to reach beyond our current level of understanding about the world and about each other. Whether we choose to sail to far-flung places or find other ways to expand our knowledge, we must reach out and explore beyond our own particular doors.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

*Originally published in December 2012

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Filed under building awareness, diversity, Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning

When the Grasshopper Teaches the Master

This post, from January 2010, is about the importance of being open to learning from those we might traditionally expect to teach.

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My son has been helping me learn more about Social Media.  He is the one who turned me on to the joys of blogging.  He helped me get started on Twitter too.   As a person with a degree in New Media, he is almost evangelical about the advantages and benefits of social networking. It is the way of the future, he says.  I believe him.  And, I know there is so much more that he can teach me.

Thinking about this more, and in the context of leading organizations, there is a lot to be said for learning from younger people. While we veterans can teach the invaluable lessons of the past, they can teach us the path to the future.  And that is worth paying attention to.

For instance, people of my generation often grapple with the wonders of technology with varying degrees of success.  Some of us are totally immersed and intrigued by what can be accomplished in a wireless world, (including all the cool toys that come along with it). Others of us are hard pressed to know how to turn on our computers, if indeed we even own one.   But, no matter where we are on the technology learning curve, the one thing we know for sure is that to learn it, we have to consult those who have the skill and it’s highly doubtful that we will find this expertise in people older than ourselves.

That’s why I like the idea of mentorships in organizations working both ways.

It should be pretty simple really.

Take young Person A, who knows about something and put him or her together with older Person B who doesn’t know much at all about that particular something. Then let the learning begin.

All right, so it’s not that simple

People of the older generation… well, we have our pride.  We like the idea of mentoring someone younger because it seems to us to flow with the accepted order of things…  you know, the Master and Grasshopper type of relationship.   However, when it is the Grasshopper doing the teaching, it can make us feel somehow redundant, even stupid and that’s not something one willingly puts a hand up for.

Alternately, people of a younger generation may not see the benefits of slowing down to help us older ones learn things that are, to them, elementary my dear Watson. They may also feel they are carrying a load for someone who might even make more money than they do and from whom they see no reciprocal reward.  There’s not much fun in that either.

So to begin with, I think that a successful Young master/Old Grasshopper relationship needs to begin with an attitude check on both sides.

And you spell that R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Of course along with that has to come a certain measure of empathy that allows the older to appreciate the skills and knowledge of the younger; and the younger to give credence to the lessons that only an older generation can teach.

With that established, I can think of a few practical steps that might help the Young Master/ Old Grasshopper set off on the road to building a mutually rewarding relationship.  Here they are:

Determine a skill base line

There is nothing more counterproductive, or annoying, than making assumptions about what a person knows or does not know.  Spending a little time determining current skill levels within the context of the subject matter is a good use of time.

Take time to set some goals

Technology, for instance, encompasses a huge body of knowledge.  To make some headway and avoid being overwhelmed, discuss what you want to be able to do and how it might benefit your work before you start tackling applications that may, or may not, move you in the right direction.  Goals will also give you benchmarks against which you can monitor progress.  There is something very satisfying about that for both parties in the relationship.

Establish good communication habits

For the most part this means speaking plainly; being truthful; and regularly checking for understanding.

Have Fun

Working with someone to learn something new and seeing that new thing being applied in real time is exciting!  Enjoy the journey and the person with whom you are taking it and my hunch is, you will both profit from the experience.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

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Filed under communication, Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning

Failure…The Other “F” Word

This post, from 2009, is about the possibilities that failure can provide if viewed as something other than a personal defeat or an instrument of blame.  After all, in the wise words of Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

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Failure. I don’t like it.  And, I defy anyone to put up a hand and volunteer if asked, “Okay, so who wants to fail today?”

The fact is though, unless we live in a bubble and do nothing, we are going to fail at something.  Failure is a part of living and, often, the very thing that makes success so exhilarating, if only by contrast.

Leaders experience failure all the time. Indeed, it is often failure that gives them the fuel and determination to succeed in the end. So, if you are new to leadership, know that to be a good leader, sometimes you’re also going to fail.

Some people will say that however you look at it, failure is failure.  But I can think of two kinds of failure, the glorious kind and the pointless kind.

The late Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, talked about glorious failure. As a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh PA, he regularly put out challenges to his students and then gave an award to the team of students that failed to meet their stated objectives.  He gave the award in acknowledgement of their dedication to new ideas; to their willingness to take risk and; to the effort they made toward achieving something that no one else had dared to try.

To me, glorious failures are also those that come from genuine effort.  These are failures that are used as springboards to something else.  They represent a piece of a larger puzzle and are used for learning, growth and exploration.

But, failures become pointless when we don’t pay attention to the lessons they teach.  I expect we do this for a number of reasons.  It can be embarrassing to try something and fall flat on our faces.  So the temptation to pretend it didn’t happen or to find someone to blame is often very strong.

Indeed, in some organizations, there is little tolerance for failure, at least in my experience.  Time is spent, and wasted, in rationalizing and blaming. The lessons that come from failure then become lost and useless.  And, people are less and less willing to explore new possibilities.

When it comes to trying new things I believe that good leaders do two things.

First, they focus on success.  That means they will do whatever they can to anticipate potential pitfalls that could get in the way of achieving their goal and work on mitigating these obstacles so that the way to the goal becomes less onerous.

Second, should they fail to meet their intended objective, they focus on learning. That means they will examine the outcome and circumstances  as dispassionately as possible with a view to squeezing as much juice out of the situation as possible.  To me, it goes something like this:

  • Determine what worked and keep it for use at another time
  • Acknowledge what didn’t work and determine what might be done differently next time.
  • Take corrective action as required
  • Remember the lesson and move on

And, if looking for someone to blame, good leaders look in the mirror first.

Oh, and just in case you want more evidence that failure can indeed lead to success consider this:

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

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Filed under Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning, organizational culture, Organizational Effectiveness

Leadership and the Value of Exploring Beyond Your Door

‘Jabiroo’ & Mount Rainier

Before I start, just let me say, I am not a sailor.  In fact being one of those humans with middle-ear issues, my experience with anything that goes with the flow has been known to involve something decidedly, and messily, unpleasant.  I have, however, nothing but admiration for those who choose, (and have the stomach for) sailing.  In fact, I’m slightly jealous of them.  There is a certain kind of freedom associated with living out on the open water.  It offers experiences that go beyond the imagination of the ordinary landlubber.  And, it proffers the kind of education that expands the worldview in a way that no bricks and mortar educational institution could match.

Witness Tristan Bridge, a thirteen year-old sailor and writer who produced this remarkable essay:

https://i0.wp.com/4.bp.blogspot.com/_te6Auhb9B1M/RualM7PM1mI/AAAAAAAAAMI/oRJaQRskKms/s200/quotation+marks_edited.jpg

I am born from days without seeing land, those days when the horizons seem to blend into one another.  I am from the swells of the ocean rocking me to sleep; then I wake up and I’m not quite sure which country I’m in.  I am from those hours when the world seems to pause finally stopping to catch a breath.  I am from the most isolated settings, places that have yet to feel the taint of human interference.  I am an adolescent of the world, born from the simplicity of life, caught somewhere in between passive existence and the struggles of mortality.

Exploring by Cheval, my family’s Outremer 55 catamaran, is a way of existence.  We are the people with an unquenchable desire for answers.  We are the people who truly have no bounds.  The world unfolds at our hands – a mixture of peoples, a mixture of every lifestyle.  There are no boundaries to our curiosity.  We live only to cross the next horizon, to set foot on the next continent.  Our shoes have trod the corners of life.  We flourish in the secluded portions of our globe, and we retain experiences from each place we visit.  Our planet has much to offer; many possibilities await us.  Out at sea, anything can happen; places exist that seem beyond the imagination, and there are people to meet who define kindness.  I challenge you to immerse yourself in cultures and learn the traditions of our world.  Cast off the chains of immobility, because there’s something beyond your door”

We may not all be sailors.  But what this passage says to me is that we can all be explorers of one kind or another.  And, if you are a leader in any capacity and haven’t yet thought beyond the boundaries of your balance sheet, you may be wise to better develop the muscle that will stimulate your own unquenchable desire for answers”.

You should do this because the world is small and you will need to understand what’s going on in it if you are going to survive.  That sounds dramatic, I know. But, more and more I’m noticing that success, and happiness too, depend on people being able to work together effectively. It’s so much easier to do that if you can bring empathy and wisdom that comes from varied experience to the table.

That’s the philosophy anyway.  And, from the level of maturity and intelligence that emanates from Tristan Bridge, it is a pretty sound one.

On a more practical level, aside from setting sail to places unknown, how might more leaders widen their own worldview and provide similar opportunities for those who follow them?

Well, not being short on opinions, I have some thoughts about that and here they are:

Read widely and encourage others to do the same ~. This may sound like a given but in my observation, those who read a wide variety of material seem better able to make bigger picture connections.  I’m not talking about just reading business books.  While those can be helpful in building skill, to achieve more worldly understanding I think you have to read other kinds of books too including novels, biographies and history books, magazines and newspapers.  As well, for those who prefer visual learning, there are a great many excellent films that serve to open eyes and provoke thought.  All these provide much insight into human nature, trends and patterns of behaviour.

Honour Diversity ~ This speaks to Tristan’s challenge to “immerse yourself in cultures and learn the traditions of the world”.  It’s not easy, this diversity thing.  We are creatures of habit.  We like structure.  We are fond of our opinions and our biases.  And yet, there is much to be learned from seeking to understand other perspectives and from being curious about how the world works for someone else.  It helps us build empathy and while empathizing does not equal agreeing it can help us to soften the edges of our rigidity and open doors to things we may not have considered before.

Engage people whose experience is deeper and richer than the content of their resumes ~ Some leaders will seek solely to hire those whose academic credentials will meet, or even exceed, job requirements. While this certainly has to hold weight in hiring decisions, those who bring rich life experience to the table often prove to be better decision-makers and problem-solvers than those who don’t.

============================================================

The bottom line is that success in these times will depend on our ability to reach beyond our current level of understanding about the world and about each other. Whether we choose to sail to far-flung places or find other ways to expand our knowledge, we must reach out and explore beyond our own particular doors.

That’s what I think anyway.  What do you think?

10 Comments

Filed under building awareness, diversity, Leadership, Leadership Development, Learning

Take a Look at Yourself ~ And Then Make That Change

This week, I’d like to introduce you to Kaity Nakagoshi. Kaity is employed by the University of Notre Dame’s on-line certificate program where she “works closely with leaders and managers whose voices are on the web through community outreach and internet marketing”. I have invited Kaity to write a guest post here because I believe online education plays an important role in our opportunity and ability to learn, and apply new learning, on a daily basis. 

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Today’s leaders must be experts in change management in order to guide their teams towards organizational goals. In business, change is the one thing you can always count on – and now, it happens faster than ever. Unfortunately, not everyone embraces change. In fact, some employees actively resist it. Not everyone is a born leader, but most can learn the tools and techniques used by respected leaders to influence others and bring about change.

Building Trust Leads to Embracing Change

Would you like to inspire your employees to embrace new initiatives and work toward common goals? For some leaders, that may seem effortless, but in reality, they’ve worked to gain the trust of the people they lead. Cultivating a high level of trust is essential to getting things done efficiently and cost-effectively – both of which are required in a competitive business environment. Here are three tips to quickly build trust:

  1. Trust Yourself: To be a leader, you need self-confidence. Confident people live their beliefs. They back up their words with commitment, and they always speak the truth. When you trust in yourself first, your ability to earn the trust of others will follow.
  2. Acknowledge Past Missteps: Perhaps you weren’t completely truthful, or haven’t followed through on your promises. If so, it’s quite likely that your staff noticed your missteps. Before you can ask for their trust, you must take responsibility for past actions.
  3. Be Accountable: Effective leaders require accountability from their people, and are accountable to their people. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver. For example, have your bicycle commuters requested a bike rack? Be proactive and have one installed. Is flexible scheduling a wish-list item for your employees? These efforts will not go unnoticed – they will trust that you “walk the walk.”

Continuous Improvements Require Thorough Training

A smooth-running, productive team is comprised of individuals who have the opportunity to contribute their best efforts toward common goals. But first, they must clearly understand the reasons and objectives behind a new project or process, and how they fit in. Next, they need to feel comfortable taking on their share of the responsibility. If there are any gaps in the team’s capabilities, it’s time for additional training. Effective leaders recognize each employee’s strengths and abilities, and assign tasks accordingly.

Effective Leaders Focus on Customers

Customer-driven enterprises exist to serve the needs of customers. All improvements to processes, procedures and operations must support this goal. The best leaders track customer demands and share with their teams, so everyone can fully understand the changes they are asked to implement. Operations improvements that will benefit the customer are much more accepted.

Don’t Settle For Less Than Excellence in Communication

Your team will trust in your leadership, as long as they know that their efforts are for the greater good. But it’s also important to be consistent and honest in your communication. Empowering your team members to feel comfortable with sharing information, asking questions and voicing their ideas is a key to success. Good, honest communication helps build trust, and it’s no stretch to say that every great leader is an excellent communicator.

Change Management Comes From Effective Leadership

The best leaders have the ability to keep their own goals in sight, while also focusing on those of their team members and the organization at large. Moving a business toward meeting its objectives requires that each member of the team have a stake in those objectives. When procedures change, individuals often feel uncomfortable and lose sight of the goal. This can lead to a drop in confidence, morale, and productivity. Building trust, providing training, focusing on customers’ needs and providing clear communication are essential to fostering effective change. Try these ways to strengthen your leadership skills, and you’ll have a much better impact on your team’s performance

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This article was submitted by the University of Notre Dame, in partnership with the University Alliance. The University of Notre Dame provides all the necessary tools and resources to gain an executive certificate in leadership and management online.  To see additional information please visit http://www.notredameonline.com/.

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Filed under Change Management, communication, Leadership, Leadership Development, Leading Change, Learning, organizational Development