Leadership stripped bare


From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leaders Blog

“But bosses can pretty much do what they want, that’s what’s so sad”

These were the exact words said by a woman pacing up and down a deserted aisle in the supermarket one evening. She was on her mobile talking to what seemed to be a colleague, based on the contents of their conversation. I didn’t want to eavesdrop but those words spoke volumes about her state of mind and were hard not to hear.

There was a sense of resignation about her comment and her body language that really made me wonder what had happened, specifically. I couldn’t really hang around to listen, but I would have loved to hear more.

As I left the store, I reflected on the impact a leader can have – for better and for worse.

A leader’s responsibility is to lead and operate in such a way that his or her employees can better do their jobs. When leaders do that effectively, they include and involve the people in question rather than just “doing things their own way”.

You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life
Zig Ziglar

I don’t know what happened to the woman in the supermarket, or her boss, but I know that leaders that want to get results should pay heed to the impact they are having on people around them and include people all along the way. Otherwise they may end up with so much resistance that good results become impossible, and everyone loses out.

Leadership stripped bare is quite simple:

  • Share a vision, give direction (so people understand WHY)
  • Involve people in HOW to get there
  • See people (everyone wants to be seen and heard), see and understand the individual
  • Make use of each person’s unique strengths and possible contributions
  • Foster open communication. Never shoot the messenger – if things are going on, you are better off knowing about it!
  • Let go of the need to be right (no-one has all the answers anyway), keep an open mind and encourage others to do the same
  • Follow up and give feedback, so people know how they are doing and that what they are doing matters
  • And be genuine (find your own leadership style that suits you) while always being respectful

It’s not always easy to lead but taking control of your impact makes it easier. Think about how you make people feel. Choose the impact you want to have for the future.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Leadership is about effective conversations. This book is a very useful ready reckoner for leaders everywhere seeking the words and methods needed each day at work. Sanjay Gupta, CEO English Helper Inc, India.

Have smart questions not smart answers

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s blog 
If someone asks us a question or asks for our advice, it is amazing how many times we feel that we have to know the answer. Yet sometimes the opposite is true.

The most effective and successful people will not always just give you the answer but will instead ask you really good, smart questions to help you find the answer yourself. When you are given the answer by someone you don’t learn as much as you would if you found that answer for yourself.

We can use Stephen Covey’s insightful thinking:

“Seek first to understand then be understood.”

This may sound like such a simple phrase yet if we apply it, it has a big impact.

If you ask questions you can learn from what the other person is saying and then decide if your answer really was the best answer. Invariably there is a better, enhanced answer after a few open and inviting questions. This allows you to explore more, learn more and indeed get to a better result or solution. It opens you up to be innovative and invites fresh new thinking, which can create new ideas and new thoughts.

As the world moves into more complexity and with even more change ahead, we will find ourselves being a member of many work teams or partnerships where new solutions need to be found. In those constellations we cannot possibly have all the answers or indeed keep up with ALL the changes needed. So we need to work together as a team to find the answers and ask smart questions to get us to the smart answers

For practical tips on asking questions, check out our previous post herehttp://wearethecity.in/future-leaders-questions/

Go ahead give it a go today, be ready with your smart questions and get to even smarter answers.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book here.

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leadersDebbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA

You are unique!

From WeAreTheCity’s Future Leader’s blog 
If someone asks us a question or asks for our advice, it is amazing how many times we feel that we have to know the answer. Yet sometimes the opposite is true.

The most effective and successful people will not always just give you the answer but will instead ask you really good, smart questions to help you find the answer yourself. When you are given the answer by someone you don’t learn as much as you would if you found that answer for yourself.

We can use Stephen Covey’s insightful thinking:

“Seek first to understand then be understood.”

This may sound like such a simple phrase yet if we apply it, it has a big impact.

If you ask questions you can learn from what the other person is saying and then decide if your answer really was the best answer. Invariably there is a better, enhanced answer after a few open and inviting questions. This allows you to explore more, learn more and indeed get to a better result or solution. It opens you up to be innovative and invites fresh new thinking, which can create new ideas and new thoughts.

As the world moves into more complexity and with even more change ahead, we will find ourselves being a member of many work teams or partnerships where new solutions need to be found. In those constellations we cannot possibly have all the answers or indeed keep up with ALL the changes needed. So we need to work together as a team to find the answers and ask smart questions to get us to the smart answers

For practical tips on asking questions, check out our previous post herehttp://wearethecity.in/future-leaders-questions/

Go ahead give it a go today, be ready with your smart questions and get to even smarter answers.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book here.

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leadersDebbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA

It’s OK to have an attitude

From WeTheCity’s Future Leaders blog

Your attitude matters. In life, at work, in leadership.

Attitude, perspective, approach, outlook – whatever we call it – it changes or impacts everything.

Imagine if something unexpected or even unwanted happens. What if you ‘failed’ at something, or even lost your job, or you simply didn’t meet your goal?

We can’t control things that happen, that’s a given. What we can control though is our attitude. We can choose our outlook and perspective on what has happened.

This may sound obvious and simple, but yet, when we really need that attitude, we don’t always look for it. We get stuck in the ‘automatic’ reaction of anger, sadness, disappointment or sense of failure. The key word here is to go look for the attitude. It’s definitely a choice and that choice can be made at any time, in any situation, whatever we are facing.

And an easy way to look for it and find it, is to be prepared with an attitude, a thought, a mantra if you like, which can promptly get you on the right path of taking the next step to progress, success and results.

Here are a few examples that have helped us keep an optimistic attitude in challenging situations:

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn” – Anonymous

“It’s all happening perfectly” – Susan Jeffers PhD

“When things go wrong, don’t go with them” – Elvis Presley

Yes, our attitude is everything. Being able to look at any situation and find something good or at least valuable in it is a question of choosing our attitude to it.

We have met so many people who have been disappointed or sad or angry when something happened and who have later on realized that it was the best that could have happened to them.

  • People who have failed at something and then realised that they never would have come up with that brilliant new idea unless they had failed and had been forced to rethink.
  • People who have lost their job and then understood that it was the push they needed to take the long overdue step of doing something new that they had wanted to do for a while but not dared to do.
  • People who have experienced conflict within their team and realised that it made them take a new approach to collaboration, leading to better team climate and better results.

Some of the best leaders we have ever met are extremely good at this. And as we are really keen for leaders to get ready for the future – do you think this a crucial ability to have? So do we. So many things will not go our way – it’s part of change – but our way of looking at it is ALWAYS ours to choose.

Yes, attitude is everything, and one of the few things in life completely within our own control – if we choose to take that control.

So go on, have an attitude! You’ll like it.

About the authors

Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.

Their latest book, multi-award-winning ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions”, published by Financial Times International is a practical tool for building winning teams. You can download a free chapter of the book at www.leadingteamsbook.com

Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”Enjoyable to read. Simple to understand. Practical to implement. A must read for team members or leaders”Debbie Fogel-Monnissen, Executive Vice President, International Markets Finance Officer, Mastercard, NY, USA

Everyone is a leader


WeAreTheCity’s Future Leaders blog

You may aspire to be a leader or you may already have a leadership role.

Regardless of what your official role is, what we know is that you influence and have an impact on people every day. And you are therefore a leader. In fact, many of the most influential leaders in the world are informal leaders. They are the people that that others listen to, and also feel heard and seen by.

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Leadership is not really something you learn in a classroom. Yes, you can learn useful principles, acquire relevant models and tools that can help you practice leadership, but real leadership development occurs when you start to apply your knowledge in your daily work situations. It’s how you act and behave that builds your leadership effectiveness and influence.

Yes, leadership is most definitely about influencing others. To influence is to have an impact. And impact happens through how you behave towards others.

What impact are you having? And what impact could you have?

Being leaders ourselves, and having worked with many hundreds of leaders around the world, here are some of our observations of what the best, most influential leaders do. They:

  • Take an interest in and care about other people
  • See the uniqueness in each person and how they can contribute to the team and the organisation
  • Listen attentively to others
  • Stay 100% present in the moment
  • Involve others and invite them to contribute and participate in things that impact them
  • Recognise when people do a good job
  • Hold themselves and others accountable
  • Practice what they preach
  • Convey a clear sense of purpose and vision for the team
  • Are generous in sharing their knowledge, skills, ideas and wisdom
  • Are authentic, they stay true to themselves, making the most of their unique strengths and capabilities

This is not an exhaustive list, but it gives a number of pointers on how influence works.

We would love to hear from you.

What are the best experiences you’ve had with leaders around you? How did they behave and how did it impact you? What great leadership have you seen?

Please share your thoughts, observations and comments below. Thank you.