Monday, April 23, 2012

Management Monthly April 2012

Management Monthly
A monthly source of management theory, thoughts, tips and best practices

April 2012
This Month’s Tip:

Train Your Supervisors. The key to your business success is the productivity of your employees. The key to employee productivity is their perception of their immediate supervisor. Invest in training your supervisors and managers. It will pay off.

6 Ways Leaders are Different

For more than a decade, I've used the metaphor of an iceberg to talk about leadership -- the 10% above the water line represents the skills of the leader and the 90% below represents their character. The Secret, a book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard, outlines what we believe great leaders do -- the skills part of the picture. However, the question I have gotten consistently ever since we started using the iceberg illustration is this, "What are the character traits of great leaders?"

On more than one occasion, I have answered the character question by asking, "What are the traits you are trying to instill in your children?" Typical responses would include: dependability, honesty, integrity and hard work. I would say, "That's what leaders need." Now that I look back, my answer was incorrect. Dependability, honesty, integrity and hard work are needed by EVERY employee -- including the leaders; therefore, none of these are distinctive of leaders.

So the first question I've been wrestling with is: Are leaders really different? My answer is yes. Clearly, we all want our leaders to be dependable, honest, show integrity and be hard working, but our organizations demand more and so do we. Therefore, my second question has been -- How are leaders different?

Here's a short list of six attributes that I believe you're more likely to see in leaders than non-leaders. It is not an exhaustive list, but most of the great leaders I've known personally, and those I've studied, have demonstrated some measure of the following traits.

Optimism -- Men and women in leadership are generally optimistic. They see a preferred future and can envision a path to make it a reality – despite the obstacles.

Judgment -- The best leaders have the ability to make good decisions – even when the data is incomplete.

Ownership -- Great leaders are willing to take responsibility for their actions, the actions of those they lead and the outcomes of their efforts.

Initiative -- Good leaders are known for being proactive. They are willing to act – and often, they are the first to act.

Courage -- To lead well requires bold decisions, decisive decisions - to stand alone if necessary. To lead well requires courage.

Servanthood -- The best leaders are motivated by a heart to serve. They want to serve the organization, their people, their customers and all their stakeholders.

What character traits do you see in the best leaders?

© 2012 Mark Miller, co-author of Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life

Flex Your Brain Muscles
It’s a common myth that we use only 10 percent of our brains. Actually, we use all of it. But just like your body, you can improve your mental fitness to increase your brain power and keep it healthy as you age.
Perfect your posture. Try solving a problem while slouching versus sitting upright and see how it impacts your mental clarity. Now sit up straight.
Use trapped downtime. Plan ahead with an MP3 or iPod loaded with a good book or advice from a personal-development expert for when you’re stuck in traffic, in line or in a waiting room.
Tell a good story. Sharing experiences in a compelling and fun way sharpens your mental recall.
Mix up your routine. Take a different route to work, or eat your salad after the main course. Changing your typical way of doing things tells your brain to wake up and pay attention.
Write. Writing notes, poetry, stories or in a journal helps your memory, clarifies your thinking and engages your creativity.
Work on your intuition. Every time you follow through on a hunch or listen to your inner dialogue, you are working your intuitive muscle.
Walk. The rhythmic pace of walking gets you breathing and limbered up, creating a physical and mental state conducive for clear thinking.
Laugh. Endorphins released when you laugh lower your stress and can help your long-term health. Ever notice you feel better after a big laugh?
Reprinted from Seeds of Success Newsletter produced by Success Media, Dallas TX

No comments:

Post a Comment