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Archive for August, 2011

Measuring Leadership Effectiveness

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 31, 2011 NO COMMENTS

It’s easy to get caught up in leadership skills and development. Plus, when things are going well, it’s even easier to ignore any measurements that tell you how effective the leadership really is in your organization. There are numerous ways to measure effectiveness, but all of these analytics occur in four broad categories. Let’s examine each category of leadership measurement.

The first category of leadership measurement is in the subjective realm. When subjective measurements are mentioned, people have the tendency to dismiss them. But can the subjective measurements of your organization tell you how effective the leadership is? Absolutely. First, and in general, you must take an honest look at the overall morale of the organization. Is it deflating or non-existent? Or is morale high, even in the face of new challenges and obstacles? Low morale is a good indicator that leadership is not effective. What about participation and attendance? For example, if you begin to offer “town hall” style meetings or “brown bag” lunch sessions, are you hard pressed to find anyone who is interested? If you have to beg people to communicate or improve, that’s another subjective measurement of leadership. Is innovation a part of every day life at your organization? What about continuous process improvement? Do people feel comfortable speaking out when they see inefficiency better ways to do things? If not, this is a definite sign that leadership needs to step up.

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Leadership Analytics

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 24, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Maintaining the leadership pool is a challenging task for an organization and its top leaders. There are a number of activities, as well as developmental exercises, that can be undertaken to grow leadership at every level within the organization. But how can organizational leaders measure leadership? And, more importantly, what analytics can be used to ensure that leadership talent is used efficiently and appropriately? Let’s look at some broad categories of leadership analytics.

First, behavioral profiling is an excellent analytical tool. There are two ways to approach behavioral analytics for leaders. First, you can identify behavioral characteristics of well-known leaders, either in the world at large or within the organization itself. These general characteristics can be used as a “yardstick” for leadership development and leadership measurement. There are many sources of popular leadership profiles, but how can you profile within the organization? Myers-Briggs type indicators are one example. A certified Myers-Briggs consultant can assess leaders, name their “types”, and help the organization build profiles, communication plans, and job-specific characteristics – and use these items as leadership analytics.

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Risks of Leadership

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 18, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Leaders can inspire, champion change, and engage followers who will stop at nothing to watch the vision become a reality. Being in a leadership position enhances your own personal and professional image, as well. But there are risks involved in leadership. Let’s discuss five common leadership risks and how you can avoid them.

History will tell you that leaders can become isolated. In an organizational environment, this is sometimes caused by growth. For example, leaders who start out in a small organization that grows in leaps and bounds can suddenly find themselves alone, without a proper support system and sounding boards. Perhaps the other leaders he or she relied on have their own groups to lead. There is also the possibility that the leader got lost in the shuffle – inspiration can cause people to charge ahead without stopping until the vision is complete. How can you avoid becoming isolated? One of the key ways is to maintain constant communication with other leaders and with the organization as a whole. Leaders who conduct “town hall” style meetings, even in bad times, will be able to keep in touch with the

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Adaptive Leadership

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 13, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Adaptive leadership is a step up from other leadership skills. Typically the term is applied to leadership situations that involve neither technical nor operational issues. Issues that require a form of adaptive leadership are normally problems that do not have the clarity of an operational issue, as well as a lack of clear solutions. How you, as a leader, react to adaptive issues will set the tone for problem solving going forward. Let’s first look at specific qualities of adaptive issues, and then discuss some ways you can lead adaptively.

With adaptive issues, you may notice a difference between what the organization would like to see happen and the reality of the situation. This could come about when the organization tries to create its vision, knowing that quite a bit of work is needed to make the vision a reality. Adaptive issues are those that require responses that are outside the norm or outside of the box. If you cannot respond to an issue with the normal “tool box”, then the issue may require an adaptive stance. An adaptive issue may also require leadership to make tough decisions or decisions that are not so popular.

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Leading High Performance Teams

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 10, 2011 NO COMMENTS

General leadership is always a task that moves an organization forward. But creating and leading a high performance team may increase retention, efficiency, and even profit. In an age when buzz words sometimes get more notice, let’s look at high performance teams and determine how to make that team a reality instead of simply a popular term.

First, leaders must define what high performance really is. There are general leadership attributes that can be reached and exceeded by leaders at all levels and in all types of organizations. But the true definition of high performance leadership is going to center on the organization, its needs, and the way it will become a leader in its field. For example, simply providing customer service is not a high performance attribute. But providing 100% customer satisfaction in every customer interaction is a high performance standard, especially when that standard is measured and is part of accountability. So to begin creating a high performance team, determine what attributes create high performance at the individual, group, and organizational level.

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Which Social Media Website Do Digitals Prefer Most and Why?

By Bryant Nielson, Managing Director On August 3, 2011 NO COMMENTS

Nothing has ever defined the true potential of technology and digital media better than Social Media. From family to business, social media has touched every single corner of our lives. No wonder a big part of the credit for social media’s popularity goes to the digitals. They have always been the ones to embrace technology as it comes. They don’t just use it for the sake of it; they utilize its true potential to make our lives better in some way and for them social media turned out to be a genie in a bottle.

Although digitals are socially driven people, it didn’t take them long to realize how they can use the newly found ‘digital interaction’ to circulate ideas and views around the internet. The digitals incorporated the benefits of social media to help them in managing personal matters and maintaining professional profiles. Consequently, social media was suddenly a powerful tool that allowed businesses to interact with the consumers like never before- A haven for both the digital consumers and the digital producers.

Since digitals are the ones who are somehow born with the ability to make the best out of technology, it really pays to follow in their foot steps. Out of a plethora of social media sites, there are few that the digitals prefer the most. Their judgment is not based on speculations, but on their sharp and deep analysis of the features and benefits.

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