Photo: Mathias Jensen

#WorkTrends: Leading Through Uncertainty

These times have truly challenged us all, leaders or not, to look at the critical role leadership plays in a crisis. Doug Butler of Reward Gateway came to #WorkTrends with plenty of answers to the pressing question: what’s the best way for leaders to bring teams together, through, and past these times?

Start with open, honest and clear communication, said Doug. When it comes to decision-making, employers need to explain the uncomfortable. And if the business is facing risks, say so. Share the potential “ramifications to the business” of a certain strategy, he added. But don’t leave out a sense of hope. Employees need to hear “that there will be something on the other side.” Meghan noted that a balance — between transparency and cautious optimism — can do much to build a sense of trust. And trust during a crisis is what we all need.  

Maintaining visibility means being there — and video is a great tool for that, said Doug. Another factor to maintain is balance. Change brings opportunities, he pointed out, but it’s important to focus on the priorities — it’s not a time to undo an entire system that’s working just because you can. Keep listening and be receptive both to ideas and mistakes. More than ever, a culture of understanding is powerful right now, Meghan added. 

For any leader, these times are testing our organization’s ability to pivot, and pushing our employees to be agile — and willing to embrace (and not resist) change. It’s a time of growth for all of us — and leaders are no exception.   

Listen to the full conversation and see our questions for the upcoming #WorkTrends Twitter Chat. And don’t forget to subscribe, so you don’t miss an episode.

Twitter Chat Questions

Q1: Why are some organizations struggling in today’s economic crisis? #WorkTrends
Q2: What strategies can help organizations better survive a crisis? #WorkTrends
Q3: What can leaders do to best lead their company through a crisis? #WorkTrends

Find Doug Butler on Linkedin and Twitter

This post is sponsored by Reward Gateway

Driving Employee Engagement Will Drive Your Client Engagement

Happy employees lead to happy clients. Knowing that, why do so few companies focus on employee engagement?

At my company, we prioritize employee engagement for two reasons: First, disengaged employees are less productive at work, lowering the quality of deliverables and harming the company’s culture and reputation; and second, disengaged employees present themselves poorly to clients, creating negative impressions and reducing conversions.

To avoid a destructive company culture and disappointed clients, leaders should focus more on engaging their employees. Not only will this lead to greater efficacy and efficiency in the workplace, but it will also bolster client engagement and, by default, company success.

The Perks of an Engaged Workforce

A company that wants to foster employee engagement — and benefit from it — must engage all its people, not just the client-facing ones.

Engaged employees bring energy and innovation to the office — working harder, thinking differently, and investing more in their jobs as result of this stimulation. As a result, they’re able to solve complex problems with creative solutions, producing more revenue and outpacing their disengaged competitors.

Simply put, an engaged workforce renders a more successful company. There’s a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and client satisfaction. When employees are more positive and helpful in their interactions, this positivity translates to clients, driving stronger service and building better relationships. And clients reward this good service with repeat business and by spreading brand awareness — through either word-of-mouth advertising or posting online reviews.

What Leaders Should Know About Engagement

Though compensation is a primary way to create engagement, money isn’t everything. According to Gallup, while 54 percent of disengaged employees would leave their jobs for a raise of less than 20 percent, only 37 percent of engaged employees would do the same.

By treating each employee as an individual rather than as a cog in a machine and listening to what they value, leaders can better understand their employees and their individual needs and preferences, creating engagement outside of compensation. Mangers can then customize ways to engage employees within the company or provide the resources that can bolster an employee’s own engagement practices.

My company, for instance, encourages employees to hone in on and maximize what makes them most happy and most productive. While for me that may be flexibility, for others that might be the ability to work in different locations around the world. Others value the ownership they have on specific projects, the educational support or wellness perks they receive, or the time off our company offers. It’s all about preference.

More than salary, leaders should focus on company culture as an effective engagement strategy, and they can do this by following these three strategies:

  1. Schedule Frequent, Transparent, and Direct Conversations with Employees

Transparent leaders discover and solve employee problems more quickly, with 70 percent of employees being more engaged when their leaders regularly update them on changes in company strategy or goals. What’s more, effective communication can also reduce the impact or pervasiveness of individual problems.

While many employees may be afraid to approach their managers and talk things through spontaneously, leaders who arrange opportunities to sit down with employees one-on-one often find these opportunities are a great way to understand and address any issues or needs. Don’t beat around the bush during these meetings, though. Get the answers you need by asking the right questions: What keeps your employees engaged? What do they love about their jobs? What would make them love their job more?

It all boils down to frequent and direct communication, because the more you talk openly with your people, the better you understand what’s going on with them.

  1. Remove Barriers That Make Life Harder

While communication is the first step to understanding employee engagement, realize engagement largely hinges on giving people the tools and structures they need in order to flourish.

The larger an organization becomes, for example, the more convoluted workflows get, which can lead to worker frustration. To assess these workflows and how exactly your employees are affected, you can take inventory of the most necessary processes, break down unnecessary silos, or automate what can be automated. Making life easier for employees is a quick way to engage them.

If some employees don’t like a specific workflow or feel overworked given the way their roles operate, you should first discuss these barriers with them, then explore options that can make everyone work smarter and, finally, budget to accommodate that change.

  1. Acknowledge and Support Personal Goals

A company culture of engagement should account for both today and tomorrow, as few employees want to stay in the same role forever. Many of today’s workers aren’t wedded to a particular company, with only 13 percent of Millennials believing that they should stay at a job for at least five years before leaving. Acknowledging personal development goals and providing educational opportunities to help employees grow is essential to not only engagement, but also retention.

You must recognize that turnover is inevitable, but employees who feel valued and respected, achieve good work-life balances, and are more engaged in their jobs are more likely to stay. Not to mention that at an average hiring cost of $4,000 for a new employee, it’s far more expensive to hire than it is to retain top talent.

Employees want to perform at high levels, but companies don’t always make it easy for them to stay engaged. Opening up communication, building stronger interpersonal relationships, giving workers the tools they need to succeed, and creating opportunities for satisfaction inside and outside the office are great ways for leaders to promote engagement. Your devoted workforce will reward your efforts with higher client satisfaction, stronger revenue, and a happier culture. Who wouldn’t want to work at a place like that?

Photo Credit: Dr Carr at ISU Flickr via Compfight cc

Team Building Exercises That Won’t Cause Eye Rolls

We’ve all “been there and done that.” I am referring to those team building exercises that leaders come up with that are supposed to result in comradery and bonding. The concept is a good one. Get people together in non-work environments and have non-work activities that will “force” them to work together. The problem is this: the same tired, old, and, quite frankly, boring activities are planned—thus, the eye rolls.

As a leader, you can avoid the eye rolls by selecting some more creative and unique team building activities that may make you a hero while still serving the bonding purpose for which they are intended. Here are some activities you might consider suing with your team:

  • Perform Community Service

Community service is a team-building event that is rarely thought of—do some good while you bond. Plan a day to clean up a park or to serve meals to the homeless. Plan two half days to go to a hospital and read to young children. People feel good about themselves and their colleagues when they are contributing.

  • Have an Airband Battle

Divide people into groups of three. Each team picks a song (you’ll need a device with the ability to pull up the song and hook it to a small speaker). One member of each group will be the guitarist, one will be the drummer, and one the singer. Give each team a bit of time to practice. Then they each perform playing their “instruments” while the singer(s) lip sync the song. Have a third party judge.

  • Trivia at the Office

Divide the participants into teams of three or four people. Give each person trivia questions that are all related to the office. How many windows are there? What is the color of the floor tile in the staff lounge or cafeteria? How many people are in the HR department? What is the brand name of the desktop computer monitors?

  • Learn to Juggle

Provide simple instructions for learning to juggle (There is a book called, Learn How to Juggle Today or play a YouTube instructional video). Each team gets three bean bags for juggling. The idea is that everyone in the team learns how to juggle. As one team member is learning, the other team members are coaching him or her. If anyone in the group already knows how to juggle, that person moves from group to group providing coaching as well. The first team to have all members able to do at least two “jugs” with three bean bags wins.

  • Drawing Back-to-Back

This exercise is done in pairs. They sit back-to-back. One member gets a piece of paper with a simple picture on it – a geometric figure, a house, a tie, etc. the other person gets a blank piece of paper and pencil. The partner with the drawing begins to describe how to draw the object, without naming the object. When finished, they compare their drawings. You can run this one several times, changing partners and drawing in many different ways.

  • The Tower

Each team of three to four people is given a roll of tape, a marshmallow, 20 strands of uncooked spaghetti, and a yard of string. With these items, the team is to build a tower that will stand free for at least five to six seconds. The rules are this: the goal is to make the tallest tower possible; the marshmallow must be at the top; and the tower must stand alone.

  • The Rembrandt Activity

Each group of three to four members is given a good-sized canvas, paint, and brushes. As a team, each group will decide on a painting to create. At the end, the paintings can all be grouped together to make a long mural for the office, or they can be individually hung on walls around the office. The mural idea is probably the best, because each time they walk by it, it will remind the team members that they created this “masterpiece” together.

  • Derby Race

Any of your team members who were boy scouts will remember the Pine Box Derby competition. Buy enough kits for teams of three to four people each. They will construct a Pine Box car from the kit. You can also buy the wedge for about $3.00 for the “hill” to race them. The kits allow for variations, so that teams can “play” with aerodynamics before they finish their mini cars for the big race. Have a tailgate party beforehand. A variation on this is model airplanes, with competitions for distance or length of time in the air.

Bonding for Remote Teams 

If a team is working remotely, it is more difficult to plan activities that will promote bonding and working together. It will require greater creativity, but here are a few suggestions for relationship building with remote team members:

  • Trivia Via Conference Call

This is standard trivia only it is done via digital conferencing venue. Team members compete individually, or they can be paired up and have a private chat feature in place to collaborate.

  • Play Charades

Again, this is the traditional game with everyone taking turns of acting out a book, movie, or TV show title.

  • Office Guess

Everyone on the team takes a picture of their offices and sends it to you. There can be no identifying stuff in the picture. Then present a picture and have team member guess whose office it is.

  • Team-Played Online Games of Strategy and Problem Solving

If you have a relatively small team, they can become a team playing some of the online games that have multi-player teams. These can be on-going so that the teams can schedule a “play date” when it is convenient for everyone. Or you can set a schedule for play during the workday.

The activities provided are just a small sampling of the kinds of things you can do to build a team. There are many books on the market now with new and unique angles on team-building exercises. The important thing is that you follow-through with additional exercises after the initial few, so that your team re-bonds periodically.

Photo Credit: teambuildinggallery Flickr via Compfight cc

Choosing to Be a Leader, Without Forgetting How to Follow

A true leader isn’t someone who operates in a single mode all the time. Our Western culture has a lot of myths about leadership. One is that to be a leader; you have to be “On” all the time. We have phrases like Alpha and Type A, which, though they do tend to describe some people within our society, aren’t descriptors that often accompany healthy lives.

Individuals who lead and never follow tend to become arrogant or unstable, often pushing themselves beyond their natural limits without taking care to rest and recover properly. Leading from a place of exhaustion is a good way to make sure your efforts will be undermined, sometimes by yourself! Here are a three vital tips to ensure that your leadership is balanced and able to follow.

  1. Put Yourself in Situations Where You Don’t Take Charge. It’s important for strong leaders to have people in their lives who take the reins. In your case, this might be your doctor or therapist. Choose someone who is obligated to hear your secrets and keep them; someone who shows you ways to improve your life and keep yourself together. It can be difficult for talented leaders to trust others to do the same to them. One valuable resource, the Leadership Challenge Overview, can help clue you into some of these challenges, even as it reveals some of your own hidden strengths.
  1. Invite Criticism. It’s common for leaders to build walls between themselves and honest feedback. We do this for many reasons. Maybe we feel that if others were to be able to express themselves honestly regarding our leadership styles, we’d lose our position and move backward in our careers. While that may be slightly true, the alternative is often much worse. Leaders who don’t listen often work themselves into a corner. Their followers notice the things that are wrong, which are going unaddressed. Sometimes a mutiny is scaled behind closed doors, or the board decides it’s time to replace you. The only way to prevent this is to invite honest criticism in the first place, and humbly adapt yourself to the people you are meant to lead and serve.
  1. Find Time to Reflect. There are a lot of leaders who run into problems when they don’t have time for rest and reflection. Many leaders aren’t true extroverts. Introverts (And really, people of any personality type at all) need time away from people. These times are very helpful at keeping you between the lines, so to speak. It allows you to reflect on recent things that have worked, and things that haven’t. It lets you adjust your own attitude and make plans for better days. It lets you recharge, so you aren’t leading out of exhaustion.

There are many ways to be a better leader. Most of them involve being less demonstrative, not more. That may seem counterintuitive. Lots of leaders seem to advocate endless pushing. But this is only a recipe for exhaustion, mistakes, and excess. Keep yourself in the right spot and you’ll do better in the long run.

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5 Most Important Decisions a Leader Can Make

As a leader, you do have a choice as to how you spend your decision-making time; there are numerous possibilities when it comes to which decisions to make yourself and those that you leave for others.

How do you determine the “my decision” areas?

The criteria I used was payback. Where could I add the greatest value to the organization?

It’s not about what you enjoy doing or where your strengths are; it’s about where OTHERS will realize the maximum benefit if you focus your decision-making time there.

You may be amazing at financial analysis and enjoy dabbling in numbers, but if marketing is a critical element of the organization’ strategic plan, for example, you need to leave financials to someone else and re-vector your decision-making efforts.

Decide on these 5 strategic issues. These must be owned by the leader and no one else.

  1. The strategic game plan for the organization. Leadership value starts with deciding on the organization’s future. And it should be created by the leader and not chosen from a number of options submitted by management. What business you intend to be in and how you intend to differentiate yourself from your competition can only be decided by the leader who is directly accountable to ownership. It’s not something you can delegate to business development folks.
  1. The values that shape culture. Values describe how employees behave with each other “on the inside” and externally with customers. The leader must decide on the values critical to their strategic success and they must make the call on eliminating the traditional values that are no longer appropriate.
  1. The talent that gets recruited. Strategy and values are the determinants of the people you recruit. The leader must have their fingerprints on the “people strategy”. They must decide if it will do the job; it can’t be delegated to human resources. The wrong people in critical roles will drive your strategy to fail. I used to participate in candidate interviews; an excellent way to monitor how your expectations are being met, as well as a great learning experience for the other managers in the room.
  1. The “customer moment” architecture. If the leader isn’t personally involved in defining what the customer transaction with the organization “looks like”, dysfunction results; everyone does their own thing and offers up their own version of serving the customer in an exemplary manner. The leader must decide what the moment looks like at the frontline level where customer perception is controlled. Leaders don’t like to engage at this level of detail, but this micro-managing is essential.
  1. Aligning activities with the game plan. Aligning activities is where most things go wrong. The strategy says one thing but the people in the various functions behave in a manner inconsistent with the chosen direction. The leader must decide on an alignment plan developed by every department in the organization; it’s the only way synergy is guaranteed.

Strategy, values, people, customers and organizational synergy. What could be more important to decide on for a leader?

photo credit: arrows via photopin (license)

Dealing With Feelings: Be An Emotionally-Aware Leader

A leader can fall too easily into the trap of seeing the people who work for them as employees first and people second. Yet, it’s the people who determines whether or not your company will be successful.

How can leaders better understand what drives employees and how to deal with their feelings? It isn’t easy but the payoff can be huge. Being emotionally aware lets you balance your workforce to meet new challenges, get day-to-day work done and innovate. Plus, emotionally-aware leaders build engagement with employees. In turn, these employees are more committed to the organization, deliver better results, please customers and drive value, according to a report by the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. Fail to build engagement, and employee retention and business results will suffer.

While being emotionally aware can be pivotal to a company’s strategy, it can be tricky to execute. The best leaders are aware of the emotional state and cues people are sending all the time. Decoding emotion takes an understanding of different communications and personality styles.

For those looking for a little guidance, here is a bit of advice.

Get in touch with your emotions. Many leaders think emotion is a handicap in the workplace, but it’s actually critical to good management. Effective leaders lead with emotion. They do this by learning or using four skill sets:
  • Self-awareness: understanding their own emotional state
  • Self-management: the ability to control their own emotions and reactions
  • Social-awareness: the ability to pick up emotional cues from others
  • Relationship-management: an approach combines communications and team building with the ability to manage conflict and influence employees.

If you are aware of your emotional state, you are living in the now, connected to your feelings and less likely to let them influence perceptions of others. You’ll be open to the emotional states of your employees and able to understand where they are performing well and where they’re experiencing difficulty.

Identify the emotional cues you might be missing. Many people are experts at hiding their emotional states. While this skill may help them feel more in control, it can have a toxic effect on the organization, which is why it’s so important to be sensitive to non-verbal and verbal emotional cues.

Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries talks about four toxic leadership styles, which could easily be employee behaviors with emotional cues:

  • Narcissist: These people are entitled, selfish, inconsiderate, they need attention and put themselves above the needs of others.Emotionally-aware leaders can spot narcissists for their self-focus, charm, lack of awareness of others’ needs and self-directed world view. They’ll often start every sentence with “I,” redirect conversations to be about themselves, resent other’s successes and scheme to discredit other employees they view as being “against” them. Try to avoid them. If you can’t make sure you think before you act with these personality types.
  • Manic-depressive: An illness and a way of behaving. Manic-depressives swing wildly between moods and typically have some awareness of their condition but little motivation to change. They love the highs and blame others for the lows.Recognize them for their volatility, lack of insight, disruptive behavior and tendency to micro-manage yet be erratic. This behavior drives other employees away – you could end up having severe retention problems. What’s the best day to talk to them? You will have to sense it out every day.
  • Passive aggressive: Probably the biggest employee cohort. Difficult to deal with since they avoid confrontation and express emotions indirectly. How to spot them easily? They suffer from low self-esteem and act passively. They may take it out on others by promising to do work, procrastinating and missing deadlines. Then they’re defensive and make up excuses.Don’t challenge them. Instead, help them find more direct ways to deal with their anger and resentment.
  • Emotionally-disconnected: Recognize them for their flat manner, inability to read the emotional cues of others and their chill. They may experience emotion as physical distress. For instance, frequent headaches or stomach aches. Drawn to hierarchy and order, this group will be less productive in an environment of change and creativity.Either put them in a work situation where there’s lots of order and tactical work or try to help them see the links between their physical symptoms and the emotional needs of others.

Avoid the emotional traps. Emotionally-aware leaders will be on the alert for emotional traps. The rest of us, on the other hand, need to learn to spot them and adapt. The big traps I see in my consultation with clients are:

Passivity. Employees who agree with everything you say then miss deadlines and try to shift the blame drain a leader’s energy, alienate co-workers and disappoint clients. Deal with passivity swiftly: Here are a few pointers.

Manipulation. Many personality types will turn to manipulation to get what they want. Be on the lookout for employees who suck up to you, rat out other employees or who try to control meetings, interactions and relationships. Manipulation, as this article points out, is not the same as persuasion. Know the difference.

Bullying. Some people have a mean streak. They generally have poor self-esteem and issues with authority and control. They compensate by bullying others — co-workers, vendors and probably family members. Deal with a bully head-on — not in a confrontational mode but by neutrally informing them you are on to their methods and won’t tolerate the behavior. More tips here.

Drama. Every workplace has a drama queen or king. This person has outsize reactions to everything, gossips about everyone, starts rumors and listens in to private conversations. They complain incessantly. Don’t reward the drama queen — call his or her bluff, pointing out the negative effect their behavior has on their co-workers.

It may seem impossible to avoid emotional traps and deal with people of varying personality types, but it’s possible if you are tuned in to your own emotional state, willing to address issues head-on and aware your business will suffer if you don’t take action. Tune in and become an emotionally-aware leader — you’ll be rewarded with better hires, higher employee engagement, more customer satisfaction and better business results.

A version of this article was first published on on 4/6/14

Are You a One-Pitch Leader?

In baseball, the term “one pitch pitcher” refers to a pitcher who is overly reliant on one type of pitch (fastball, curveball, etc.) to be effective. History tells us this approach has limitations and ultimately limited success. They lack the versatility in their repertoire of pitches to solve the many different kinds of situations they face in the course of a game. Experts will tell you that the best pitchers have 3-4 different pitches they can throw at any given time and at any velocity they choose to solve the predicament in front of them.

Now, imagine that you are the leader of an organization and have many competitors who are looking to beat you to market and/or dominate market share.

Let’s take this scenario one step further and give you “one pitch capability” and we’ll give your competitors “three pitch capability” to solve all the problems that come your collective way. Now, the bad news, you are not going to win this competition. We’re sorry, we know that one pitch has carried you a long way and you have been successful wherever you have “played”. However the game has changed. The market place is changing daily, the complexity of data coming at you is mind boggling, innovation cycles are becoming shorter and shorter and what once made you successful now has you out of breath.

We can guess with some degree of accuracy what happened to you. Here is a short list of possibilities.

  1. You just don’t like coming out of your comfort zone.
  2. You have over-relied on a set of leadership behaviors that are not too different from each other and were greatly rewarded for this approach. It could be any set of behaviors. For our purpose we’ll choose decisiveness, hard driving and being directive. All great qualities but in the realm of leadership it translates to one pitch… FASTBALL! This is limiting. It leaves you with very little leadership versatility. You’re predictable.
  3. You greatly over value one aspect of leadership and strongly under value the opposite behavior. For example you might greatly over value decisiveness and almost completely dismiss consensus building. This could leave you very “lopsided” in this area of leadership and cause you to make a misinformed decision, leave people out of the process and ultimately not gain followership from key stakeholders. You won’t miss or fail a high percentage of the time, but enough to impact your career and your organization.

Here is the bottom line, the leadership development field has really never measured/assessed for leaders overusing their strengths. More of a good thing is always better… right? In fact what’s wrong with being decisive, hard driving and directive? Nothing actually, unless you are doing it most of the time with most of the problems you are trying to solve. If you mixed up your “pitches” and at the right time threw in some listening, asked for other opinions, facilitated dialogue between two opposing views from other leaders and called for additional data……well then you would be that more versatile and an effective leader who has 3-4 “pitches” they can rely on to get the best outcome.

So how do you uncover whether or not you have become a one pitch leader?

Here are you first steps in the change process:

  1. Pull out your most recent 360 review and capture the themes where people have indicated you’re doing too much of a particular behavior.
  2. Now, to the best of your ability make note of what meetings and with what people you are over-doing these behaviors.
  3. In order to balance out your behaviors and “show up” differently, look to demonstrate behaviors that are at the other end of the behavioral continuum. For example if people have indicated that your point of view tends to dominate meetings you could counter that with several possibilities; that might include a) asking questions to gather more data, b) asking someone else for their perspective or c) even “softening” your point of view with a caveat that sounds like: “I could be off the mark here, but I do think that we need to pursue this path of action…”
  4. Ask for feedback. Let someone you know and trust what you are working on and ask them to give you feedback on what they’ve observed.

Your objective is to become a versatile leader who can bring the right amount of the right behavior and the right time and be the most effective leader you can be. This is not easily done and perfection is not the goal here. Becoming more versatile in your leadership approach to solving big problems is our objective.


Author: Jeff Lugerner, Executive and Leadership Coach, Leadership Development Institute


Image: bigstock

The Authentic Side Of Leadership #TChat Recap

The Importance of Authentic Leadership

What is authentic leadership? Well, the answer to that question is a millionfold, as we learned last night on the latest #TChat. Everyone seemed to have a definition to go into the bucket when it came to leadership that was…real. In order to be authentic, some surmised you have to be true to your style of leadership and perfect THAT, not necessarily try to fit into someone else’s definition of what leadership could, should and would look like to them.

We’ve heard that leaders should be everything under the sun; from assertive to humble, servant to conqueror, honest to canny, tyrant to buddy. Where does the aspiring leader look to find their answers? One answer may come from inside the team:

@lori~translation lady said:

A1: Authentic leadership means collaborating and empowering because you can accomplish so much more with teamwork and community. #TChat

That was echoed in many sentiments. Your team often informs just what kind of leader you need to be. In fact, the authentic leader would do well to study the “following” styles of his or her team before settling on a “my-way-or-the-highway” leadership style.

@terriklass said:

A1. Authentic leadership means being able to share all sides of us. Being truthful of who we are. #tchat

What Bubbled Up:

Regardless of varying ideas of what defined authentic leadership, there were qualities that no one could argue with (or at least no one did!). They were:

  • Honesty
  • Transparency
  • Empathy or Heart
  • Team-oriented or holistic
  • Action-oriented

What’s not in there? Careful attention to share prices and nary a mention of productivity. Efficiency is a KPI to which many leaders are held. How do we emulate the above characteristics (or allow our leaders to emulate them) while still ensuring we get our gosh-darn jobs done? That too, nearly always falls to the leader:

  • The leader is usually the most selfless person in the room.
  • A leader ensures that her team is reprimanded in private.
  • A leader keeps the workload manageable for his team.
  • True leaders use honesty to motivate the team, rather than hiding crucial information from them.

Stuff You Can Do

Didn’t have time to attend? Try these five-minute new tricks to make baby steps toward authentic leadership:

  1. Try to figure out what your team needs by watching them take criticism and/or praise. Take notes.
  2. Write down your strengths (honesty, empathy etc.) and try to trace a path to how you can use those to reach specific KPIs in your organization.
  3. Check the recommended reading and add Cy Wakeman’s books and blogs to your reading list.
  4. Make a list of leaders who have inspired you personally (3) and mentors in the public eye you admire (10).
  5. Invite someone from the first list to coffee or dinner. Pay.
  6. Watch a speech or video of a person on the second list and write down what it is that makes you admire their leadership qualities.

Did you miss all the #TChatty goodness?

Well you can catch up by listening to this week’s #TChat Radio Show or taking a look at our Storify of the #TChat conversation.

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Todd DeWett for giving us an inspiring look into authentic leadership! Check out his site at!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the workplace talent frontier? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it!! If you recap #TChat make sure to use this link so we can find you! 

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll be talking about wholehearted leadership and employee engagement. Kevin Kruse is going to be our radio guest and Nancy Rubin will be our moderator. See more information in the #TChat Preview this weekend, and save the date: Wednesday, April 2!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our NEW Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels.

Think you have what it takes to write for TalentCulture? Submit an application to be a contributor NOW!

photo credit: Steven | Alan via photopin cc