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Number of posts : 305
Age : 68
Registration date : 2007-10-04

PostSubject: LEADERSHIP SKILLS   Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:46 pm

What is leadership?

Leadership is an interactive conversation that pulls people toward becoming
comfortable with the language of personal responsibility and commitment.
Leadership is not just for people at the top. Everyone can learn to lead by discovering the
power that lies within each one of us to make a difference and being prepared when the call
to lead comes.

Albert Einstein once said, "We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of
course, powerful muscles but no personality. It cannot lead; it can only serve." Leaders
know and science has discovered emotionality's deeper purpose: the timeworn mechanisms
of emotion allow two human beings to receive the contents of each other's minds.
Emotion is the messenger of love; it is the vehicle that carries every signal from one
brimming heart to another.

Leadership is applicable to all facets of life: a competency that you can learn to expand
your perspective, set the context of a goal, understand the dynamics of human behavior
and take the initiative to get to where you want to be.

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Self-coaching helps you develop your leadership skills, clarify your values and guiding
principles and build your reputation. Self-knowledge provides the personal integrity to
engage in productive and authentic relationships.

Effective leadership coaching can happen on the dance floor of conversation
Here are five guiding principles that guide respectful conversations:

1. When peers connect change happens. Effective coaching can happen on the
dance floor of conversation.

2. It's OK to begin a conversation by confronting the other person with questions
that seem awkward but set the stage for a respectful exchange. Why waste time
on small talk? Just ask to-the-point information-seeking questions, like: "What are
you here for? How do you want to spend our time together?"

3. Conversations are not meant to be structured. Be open to conversations that
you are unprepared for and focused on the interests of the other person (not your

4. Don't get pulled into solving problems that may not matter to the other person.
Allow time for the person to get to what's really important. Provide spaces where
they can express their doubts and fears by being a thoughtful listener--without
taking on the responsibility to fix or debate the issue. After all, you have invited
the person to talk about what matters to her or him, not you, so allow time for
the articulation of those thoughts and feelings.

5. Personal transformation happens when the right questions get asked--not by
providing answers. When you focus on the solution, you are trying to sell the person
something. When you allow people to answer their own questions, they discover
what they were not aware of---and what is needed to move forward. Personal
transformation leads corporate transformation--one person at a time.

That is why leadership development is not an event. It is a process of participating
in respectful conversations where the leader recognizes his or her own feelings and
those of others in building safe and trusting relationships.

For human beings, feeling deeply is synonymous with being alive.

"I'm most effective with one-on-one coaching. I would guess I coach 100 to 200 employees in a given month. I don't really think you can do the kind of leadership I do on a formal basis. It has to be genuine. I don't think you can force a human connection." Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy

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To provide mentoring tips in effective leadership. Leadership coach John Agno believes we must develop our leadership ability to achieve the success we seek. We can learn to pay more attention to our intentions. Getting to where we want to be happens by: gaining greater self-awareness, being on-purpose, building personal strengths and developing a sense of well-being.

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Does Executive Leadership Education Work?
Although the executive education debate still rages on whether leadership is learned or innate, there is no doubt that the subject is being taught.
In October 2003, BusinessWeek reported that 134 companies from 20 nations spent $210 million to enroll 21,000 employees in executive leadership programs. Since leadership development is not an event, that's a significant investment in classroom activities that may or may not produce company leaders or even better managers.

Beginning in October 2005, the University of Michigan Executive Education Program (rated third in open enrollment behind Harvard and Pennsylvania's Wharton programs) is offering a 3-day "Becoming an Exceptional Coach" for $4,350. Compare that classroom training with six-months of weekly personal executive coaching for only $6,000 to create a positive leadership mindset and a positive work environment.

A survey of 3,000 leaders and associates in 117 organizations reports that 63% plan to increase spending on leadership development programs that 75% of HR executives surveyed don't give a high quality rating to.

The paradox of spending more on what's not working is due to leadership development being seen as a classroom event. Yet, you don't fix people by sending them off to training. Managers need ongoing coaching to get in the habit of being good leaders.

The survey reported that two-thirds of the respondents said leaders at their company exhibited at least one potentially fatal flaw or "derailer"--a personality attribute that interferes with leadership effectiveness. Derailers are more personality-oriented than skill-based and are more difficult to change than teaching someone a new skill.

For all the money spent on them, we still don't know if leadership programs work.

Bottom Line: Leadership development is self-development. Learning how to not micromanage, not be overly concrete, not fail to explicitly state expectations and other unproductive inter-personal behavior only happens through the increased self-awareness gained in a personal coaching or mentoring relationship.

“The crux of leadership development that works is self-directed learning: intentionally developing or strengthening an aspect of who you are or who you want to be, or both.” Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee (Harvard Business School Press)

Sources: Leadership Paradox by Warren Bennis in October 1, 2004, CIO/Insight and Assessment of the state of corporate leadership by Bridgeville, PA-based Development Dimensions International


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