A fundamental paradox of effective leadership is getting people to pursue excellence without thinking about it, eliciting top performance on “autopilot.”
Most people have had the experience of driving and arriving at a destination without remembering the trip. Much of human thinking and behavior is unconscious, essentially on “automatic pilot.” Expert marketers, politicians, and stage magicians are known for how they use unconscious “default” behavior to exert influence in what people think, perceive, and choose. Savvy leaders do well to adopt the same influence tools.
There can indeed be a fine line between manipulating and tricking people on the one hand, and nudging and influencing with integrity and transparency on the other. But as Thaler and Sunstein note in their book, Nudge, rarely is there a “neutral” option in choices and decisions. Leaders will invariably find themselves to be choice architects, influencing others whether they want to or not.
Listen to hear seven ways that leaders can consciously influence unconscious “automatic” behavior...
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Organizations and individuals alike are constantly implored to develop a competitive advantage. Paradoxically, what may give you a real edge is a well-honed capacity to collaborate. In an increasingly complex world, leaders are more likely to face the challenge of collaborative projects and partnerships - efforts that will require different professions or different organizations to work together, including endeavors that span business, nonprofit, and public sectors.
There is hardly a better competitive advantage than being comfortable and effective in working across boundaries to achieve mutually beneficial results. Collaboration is not for the faint of heart. The following outlines seven essential ingredients leaders should include to assure success in collaborative projects.
read the summary leadership article on Leadership Momentum
Your network is the sum of connections you have with other people that might be used to share benefits. Networking is the intentional actions you take to build your network.
Networking is a lifelong endeavor, likely to play a vital role in making the achievements you desire a reality. There is no time like the present to take the initiative, and begin networking wisely. This session outlines seven fundamental principles of successful networking for long-term value.
Poor speaking is so tolerated as normal for business that perhaps no other skill gives as quick a payback for effort as learning to speak with clarity, brevity and energy. Small and basic improvements in speaking in front of others will typically elevate one well above the crowd. Plus effective speaking is one of the best tools for cultivating influence.
Acquiring the skills to improve speaking is not actually difficult to do, but takes time, practice and discipline. This session gives leaders seven key points to remember...
Listen to the new 7 Ideas Coach series that expands the material covered in this session > Powerful Speaking Series
Effective leaders develop agility in understanding themselves, interacting with others, and managing their life endeavors by intentional development and application of specific modes of thinking. This coaching session outlines seven modes of thinking that are of particular importance to leaders.
How Do You Learn Leadership? Through experience. There is no other way.
So how do you get the kind of experience that builds your leadership skill faster and with better results? How do you find leadership opportunities, and how do they find you? Through regular cultivation of the right practices, habitual activities related to a particular purpose.
Skill in the following seven practices help you benefit your organization, field, or profession, and at the same time foster opportunities for you to gain important leadership experiences. These practices often go beyond the minimum requirements of your job or role. Cultivate them anyway, and over time watch them accelerate your ability to influence others and achieve results. (Note: each practice described in this article is explored in more detail in a corresponding 7 Ideas Coach audio podcast (available free on the web at www.ThinkLeadershipIdeas.com and from Apple iTunes. An e-book, Leadership Momentum - 49 Ideas to Accelerate Leadership Influence and Achievement includes the podcasts, a 7-point executive summary of each practice, and links to related articles).
Leadership competency is gained through a developmental process, i.e. occurring through experiences over time, passing through a predictable series of stages. For leadership, this entails learning to become...
- a contributing individual
- an effective team member
- a competent manager
- a results-effective leader
- a shaper of the “ecology” of one’s organization or field of endeavor.
Moreover, the developmental process of becoming a leader parallels the developmental process of maturing your character. These practices are applicable wherever you are in your development of leadership and character. They are lifelong endeavors, worth polishing no matter how well you already do them.
Seven practices to gain Leadership Momentum...
Credibility generates an assumption of your capacity to accomplish objectives. Moreover, credibility generates trust, which automatically gains a leader the benefit of the doubt. People carry on with their efforts, look beyond mistakes, and work around annoyances and inconveniences. go to podcast
Focus on Strengths
Individuals and companies alike still persist in approaching development and performance management by identifying relative weaknesses and then trying to shore them up. The trouble is, if you do everything generally well, you will probably avoid failing but certainly fail to achieve excellence.
go to podcast
Thinking comes in many forms, and effective leaders develop agility in their thinking by intentional development and application of specific kinds of thinking: e.g., critical, emotional, disciplined, ethical, strategic, possibility, and reflective thinking. go to podcast
Poor speaking is so tolerated in business as a norm, perhaps no other skill gives as quick a payback for effort as learning to speak with clarity, brevity and energy. Small simple improvements in speaking will typically elevate one well above the average, as well as build capacity for influence.
Cultivate Your Network
Your network is the sum of connections you have with other people that might be used to share benefits. Networking is the intentional actions you take to build your network. Not all networks are created equal, and what will make the difference in the value of your network is following essential principles that make networking effective.
Develop a Collaborative Advantage
Organizations and individuals alike are implored to develop a competitive advantage...but what may give you a real edge is a well-honed capacity to collaborate. In an increasingly complex world, leaders are more likely to face the challenge of collaborative projects and partnerships - efforts that will require different professions or different organizations to work together, including endeavors that span business, nonprofit, and public sectors.
Leverage Automatic Behavior
A fundamental paradox of effective leadership is encouraging people to pursue excellence without thinking about it. Savvy leaders accomplish this through careful design of organizational structures, cultivating the company culture, and attention to psychological “defaults” of human behavior.
by Tom Stevens (c)2010
Tom Stevens helps leaders create and sustain exceptional organizations. To contact him, visit www.ThinkLeadershipIdeas.com
This article may be freely reprinted in your company, association, or publication (or website) under the following terms: that the author attribution, copyright notice, contact information, and this reprint notice be included; and that you inform us that you are using the article (samples appreciated).
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If you truly are driven by escaping mediocrity and accelerating achievement, you have to resist what most people do, which is focus on weaknesses.
Most people have been introduced to the idea that they should emphasize building on their strengths. Even so, Individuals and companies alike still persist in approaching development and performance management by identifying relative weaknesses and then trying to shore them up. The trouble is, if you do everything generally well, you will probably avoid failing but certainly fail to achieve excellence. This session offers seven ideas to focus on strengths as a way to generate Leadership Momentum.
Credibility generates an assumption of capacity to accomplish objectives. Moreover, credibility generates trust, and trust automatically gains a leader the benefit of the doubt. People carry on with their efforts, look beyond mistakes, and work around annoyances and inconveniences.
Savvy leaders know that multiple credibility indicators are more compelling than any single credential or quality. The seven assets and qualities discussed in this session are not exhaustive, but certainly among the most likely to broadly gain leaders credibility.