Archives For leadership development

iStock 000020051380XSmall The Secret to Communicating with ExecutivesWithout executive support your project will fail.  You need funding, headcount, and time.  Your team’s counting on you to manage up well.  You’re looking for the secret sauce to convince your boss.  Start by avoiding these 5 mistakes.

5 Big Mistakes When Communicating with Executives

1.  Over-Confidence

Executives are suspicious of rose-colored glasses.  Water down you exuberant optimism.   If it’s going great, speak to “early positive indicators.” or about being “cautiously optimistic.”  Throw in a few things you’re worried about for good measure.  Execs like to worry.  Throw them a bone. Continue Reading…

frontlinefestival 300x300 300x300 23 Great Thoughts on Leadership Development:  A Frontline FestivalI’m delighted to present the September edition of the Frontline Festival.  This month’s focus:  Leadership Development.  I encourage you to read the insights and share your perspectives. Namaste.

Leadership Development

Jon Mertz of Thin Difference offers, You Are Born to Be Brave: How Do You Sustain It?  “To be an effective leader, we need to understand where our bravery comes from and what empowers it so that we can lead with purpose and solve problems with the right actions.”  Amen.

Julie Winkle Giuliani of  shares Everything I Needed to Know About Leadership, I Learned… When My Kids Entered Kindergarten.  So great that we get to relive these important lessons with our kids.  I must say, I’m learning a lot from second grade and freshman year in college too.

Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak shares his post How Peter Drucker Mentored.  The best point:   “Accountability requires a volunteer.”

Jesse Lynn Stoner, Seapoint Center,  shares The Space Between Closely Supervising and Delegating.  She shares practical advice for leading in the space between closely supervising that can be too much, and delegating which can be too little.  Fantastic read for frontline leaders.

Dan McCarthy, of Great Leadership shares his recent post 10 Succession Planning Best Practices.  For a practical guide to implementing leadership development and succession planning programs check out his ebook as well. Continue Reading…

iStock 000024830320XSmall 200x300 Cross Training to Strengthen Leadership Skills

 Today’s cross-training moment is a guest post from David Tumbarello.  When he’s not guest blogging for Let’s Grow Leaders, David provides data and writing solutions in the health care field. The leisure activity he enjoys the most is coaching children in the art of creative writing.  Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Cross-Training to Strengthen Skills

I was injured – it was another summer when I couldn’t run as much as I would have liked.  My body told me it had to exercise but my Achilles wouldn’t comply.  The solution was as old as the sport – begin another exercise and work out different muscles.  I pulled down the bicycle and began biking around the lake.  It was my summer of biking.

In athletics this is called cross-training.  Instead of repeatedly using the same muscles every day, the athlete develops complimentary muscles.  Instead of strengthening the running muscles, it was time to let those rest and develop the biking muscles. Continue Reading…

Finding the REAL You transparent 300x225 Leadership Development Made EasyLeadership development used to be easier.

Early in my career, my team was small, and I was in HR leading other HR folks. We all spoke the same language, and everyone believed in leadership development.

Then a move out of HR to a team 50 times the size in a union environment.  More tricky, but all in a few large call centers.  I could physically model the leadership I was looking to grow.

Next to a sales role, with a team of 2000 spread out in 100 locations within a 9 hour radius.  Still close enough to show up to support as needed, and to easily pull groups together for leadership development sessions.

Today I lead a team in 22 locations across 3 time zones supporting 7 companies.  We need to develop leadership capabilities on our internal team and influence 10,000 leaders and followers.  I have fantastic leaders at each level contributing to this mission.   Leadership development is up to all of us.   I could just delegate, but this is vital.   How do I also personally touch as many leaders as possible?

Continue Reading…

b42 300x200 60 Reasons Leaders Stop Learning

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” -Henry Ford

Competent, lazy leaders are dangerous.

  • “Why fix something that’s working?”
  • “I was promoted to this position for a reason.”
  • “I’ve seen this movie before.”

Beware of highly skilled, non-learning leaders.

I Already Know How To Swim

This summer my son, Sebastian, refused to take swimming lessons.  Why?  Because he “already knows how to swim.”  Well, technically, I suppose that’s true.  And if he were to fall off a dock, I’d want him to believe it.

REAL leaders inspire confidence while exposing growth opportunities Continue Reading…

gradcrowd1 300x259 9 Ways to Maximize Your College Leadership Experience

Centennial High School 2013

I’m often asked which colleges are the best for “leadership.”  The short answer is “most will do just fine.”  As with most of life, it’s what you make of it.  College is a great place to grow as a leader.

Much of your leadership learning will come from peripheral aspects of the college experience.  Being involved.  Living with strangers.  Leading without authority.  Getting along in diverse groups.  Projects with assigned (potentially lazy) teams.  Live it deeply.  Make mistakes.  Try new approaches.  Keep leading and learning.

This post is for my son, Ben, and other young leaders graduating high school and heading to college.  I’ve collected advice from seasoned leaders across the globe.   If you aren’t headed to college,  please comment with your advice, and pass the post along to an aspiring young leader.

Annette Schmeling, VP of Student Development at University of Dayton, suggests making a specific plan.

  • Focus first on Academic Success
  • Identify 3-5 “activities outside the classroom” to be involved in.  List the activities, explain why they are important to you
  • Make connections with the career services office and learn about internships and professional development opportunities starting the freshmen year
  • Learn how to utilize social media tools to engage with others. Start early to establish a purpose-fueled online reputation Continue Reading…

iStock 000022885869XSmall 300x270 Powerful Presentations:   Teaching Your Team To Talk StrategyA “stand and deliver” presentation on your results is always nerve-wracking.  But– watching your team do one is down right scary.

Remember when you…

  • couldn’t sleep the night before
  • were so stressed, you missed the main idea
  • failed to anticipate the political dynamics
  • used the wrong words, which took the entire conversation downhill
  • didn’t have supporting documentation
  • couldn’t answer obvious questions
  • left them with the wrong impression?

What didn’t kill you can make them stronger. Continue Reading…

growinunfamiliarplaces 300x300 Volunteer and Grow?  Side Effects of VolunteeringHas volunteering made you a better leader?

As I was getting established in my career, going to grad school at night, and becoming a mom, I kept thinking (and saying), “I just don’t have time to volunteer.”

Sure,  I would bake the cupcakes or volunteer at church, but certainly nothing that required sustained energy and effort. I thought, “people with more time would surely be better at that than me.”

Looking back now, that sure sounds like an excuse… and a mistake.

I regret what I missed in the giving and in the growing that comes from volunteering during that phase of my life.  The growing is more fun these days.

I am delighted to have a guest post this week on SmartBlog:  Smartbrief on Leadership entitled How Volunteering Makes You a Better Leader.

I hope you will take the time to check it out and leave a comment.  How has volunteering made you a better leader?