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The Engaging Leader: Winning with Today’s Free Agent Workforce

“People don’t quit their jobs, they quit their bosses.  Skilled people want to work for winning leaders.  Grade A talent wants to work for Grade A leadership.  It won’t settle for less.”

In The Engaging Leader, Dr. Ed Gubman communicates how to draw out employees’ enthusiasm and commitment; how to retain and nurture companies’ most prized and priceless assets — employees:

  • Engaging leaders are drivers and buildersDrivers are decisive decision makers; putting results first, stress the bottom line, and crack the whip (maintaining pressure on accountability and come down hard when goals aren’t met).
  • Builders put people and process first.  Builders are relationship-oriented.  Builders let solutions emerge, take a long-term focus, stay behind the scenes more, and are more positive than critical. (They are, by no means, indecisive.  Builders possess goals and visions.  They rely on natural consequences vs. immediate consequences by an authority).

Engaging leaders know when to be drivers and when to be builders.

Furthermore, Dr. Gubman states, “Employees (talent) want freedom, control, accountability, and caring.” 

  • Freedom — the freedom of expression and the ability to be who you are, not someone you’re not.
  • Control — people enjoy their work when they know what their responsibilities are and have the autonomy to achieve them.  They don’t want to be micromanaged.  Even when what-to-do comes from above, talented employees expect to figure out how to do it themselves.
  • Accountability — giving someone an assignment and holding him or her responsible for delivering results.
  • Caring relationships increase people’s investments in your workplace.  Warm relationships help employees feel connected and will motivate them to work for you — to help you meet your goals.  Employees will confide in personal matters if they feel safe.  They also want some friends in the workplace.

Tough and tender, a loveable task master, realistic optimist … whatever you call it, the intersection of driving and building behaviors is what engages most people. 

Successful leaders learn this in their interactions with people.  They become more versatile, expanding their own styles by taking on some behaviors that are unnatural to them at first, but become second nature as followers reinforce them by responding favorably. 

The ability to incorporate parts of these seeming opposites, like the skill of reconciling group goals and individual needs, will make you an engaging leader and a long-time, big time winner.  (Full Story)



April 11, 2010 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Business, Change, Collaboration, Compassion, Dream, Education, Freedom, Fun, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Peace, Politics, Purpose, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Spirituality, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Work With Bad Bosses and Difficult Managers

There are good bosses and bad bosses.  There are great bosses and REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD bosses — ones who eat, breathe, and sleep incompetence.

Like it or not, they’re here to stay.  So might as well learn how to work with them (much easier said than done.  If I repeat the sentence long enough, maybe, just maybe, I’ll get brainwashed)!

Last night, I came across an article in InTouch (Sept. 2008), categorizing bosses into four personality types. BAD BOSSES : What the Bible says about working for difficult managers provides Biblical insights on how to work with difficult managers:

The Angry Boss (Nebuchadnezzar)

  • Stick to the issues and keep emotions out. Never fight fire with fire (I can’t be human?!).  Remove from the situation or remain silent.
  • After a day or two, schedule a discussion with your boss on how her angry comments make you feel and affect your productivity.
  • Document explosive incidents and, if necessary, report abuse through proper channels.

The Absent Boss (Potiphar)

  • Communicate like crazy. With an absentee boss, your communication efforts are vital.  You need to be assertive in your requests.
  • Your boss may even be unaware of how her lack of direction impacts you; tell her.
  • Be proactive in your communications. Request periodic meetings or provide weekly updates of what you’ve accomplished.

The Moody Boss (Saul)

  • Stay cool.  Resist the temptation to get defensive. Instead of saying, “Why are you treating me this way?” say “You seem to be having a rough day.”  This puts the negative emotion back on the boss.
  • Moodiness is about your boss, not you.  Don’t internalize these emotions.  Find an outlet such as exercise, venting to a non-coworker, or venting to God.

The Wimpy Boss (Xerxes)

  • Position yourself to lobby for what is right, good, and true. An organization with a wimpy boss is fertile breeding grounds for dysfunction or worse (subordinates jockey for power in the leadership vacuum s/he creates).  Work with, not against, your boss.
  • Ask open-ended questions to get as much input as possible; then act decisively.
  • Perform your tasks with excellence and even give your boss the credit. She will realize the source of her new success and make sure she has you by her side.  Soon she’ll be championing you.

The Bible also says, “Remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established through righteousness” (Prov, 25:5 NIV).

Maybe you can’t fire the evil doers in your workplace, but you can out-influence them.  Your boss’ ineptness doesn’t excuse your low profile.  It creates an opportunity for you to be salt and light in an otherwise gloomy situation.

THANK YOU GOD!  Thank you InTouch Ministries for your timely wisdom!

Thoughts? 🙂

May 17, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Business, Change, Christianity, Education, God, Health and Wellness, Heart, Introspection, Leadership, Mind, Passion, Purpose, Self Help, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help! Ten Ways to Resolve Workplace Conflict?!

If I can become wiser eating articles, I would.  But life’s never that easy.  Even I know I can’t change others, only myself.

A friend once said, “The average learns from others’ mistakes.  Idiots never learn.  Unresolved issues will resurface until given the proper attention they deserve.”

As I get older I’m supposed to be getting wiser, so remaining stupid is not an option — implementing ineffective conflict resolution techniques result in nothing but precious time wasted.

So what do you do when you work for an incompetent inner-city school principal lacking spine and leadership skills, where kids rule, who believes gossip can’t be helped — it’s just human nature?!

In desperation, I sought wisdom online.  I stumbled on ten helpful tips (I can certainly use more.  I’d greatly appreciate your input!):

  1. Be specific in formulating your complaints. “I’m never invited to meetings” is not as effective as “I believe I would have been able to contribute some ideas at last Thursday’s marketing meeting.”
  2. Resist the temptation to involve yourself in conflicts that do not directly involve you or your responsibilities.
  3. Try to depersonalize conflicts. Instead of a “me versus you” mentality, visualize an “us versus the problem” scenario. This is not only a more professional attitude, but it will also improve productivity and is in the best interests of the company (A coworker whom I respect and admire shared this priceless tidbit with me.  Her advice has been a life saver!).
  4. Be open and listen to others’ points of view and reflect back to the person as to what you think you heard. This important clarification skill leads to less misunderstanding, with the other person feeling heard and understood.
  5. Don’t always involve your superiors in conflict resolution.  (We’re adults.  We solve our problems — yeah right.  I wouldn’t be writing this post if I had all the answers.)
  6. If an extended discussion is necessary, agree first on a time and place to talk.  Take it outside and away from the group of inquisitive coworkers if they’re not involved in the problem (some, unfortunately, thrive on gossip).
  7. Limit your complaints to those directly involved in the workplace conflict. Character assassination is unwarranted.  “He missed last week’s deadline” is OK; “He’s a total idiot” is not.
  8. Know when conflict isn’t just conflict. If conflict arises due to sexual, racial, or ethnic issues, it’s harassment. Take action and discuss the problem with your supervisor or human resources department.
  9. Consider a mediator if the problem gets out of control, or if the issue is too emotional to resolve in a mutual discussion.
  10. Take home point: It’s not all about you — You may think it’s a personal attack, but maybe your co-worker is just having a bad day. Take time to think BEFORE you speak in response to an insensitive remark. It may be that saying nothing is the best response.

(Full Story)

Thoughts? 🙂

April 18, 2009 Posted by | Attitude, Business, Change, Collaboration, Education, Gratitude, Heart, Leadership, Mind, Peace, Politics, Self Help, Soul, Spirit, Stress, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where Credit is Due

Meet Seth Godin, the author of Tribes — We Need You to Lead Us, but more importantly, the marketing guru and a leader with a BIG heart!

I’m frequently asked about getting credit.

People want to know how to be sure they get credit for an idea, especially when they have a boss who wants to steal it.

Real leaders don’t care.

If it’s about your mission [and not about you], about spreading the faith, about seeing something happen, not only do you not care about credit, you actually want other people to take credit.

There’s no record of Martin Luther King Jr., or Gandhi whining about credit.

Credit isn’t the point.  Change is.


(See also Clarity Among Chaos)

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Attitude, Book Review, Change, Heart, Marketing, Mind, Passion, Spirit, Success | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment