What does it take to lead well? Surprisingly even in high-tech, high-powered Silicon Valley, it takes less technical know-how than it does clarity of thought and expression, a sense of what makes people tick and how to motivate them, and a willingness to ask good questions of the right people and listen well to their answers. It’s really not rocket science but it DOES take a blend of skills that may not be rare as individual traits but are infrequently encountered in the optimum mix in one person.
Here’s a list of 5 of the best practices of the best leaders:
1. Develop the culture you know can bring success.
If you want your strategy to succeed, you need to create and embrace an organizational culture that supports it. Be clear about the kind of corporate culture that aligns with your business strategy and then exert all your influence to shape it. This will involve you as a leader articulating just what values drive the organization and defining the way business will be done on a day-to-day basis. Communicating your ideal organizational culture comes first. Then you must not only model it, you need to hire the right people, reinforce the right behaviors and put processes and practices in place that ensure organizational alignment and consistency.
2. When organizational change is needed, communicate it clearly.
Not many organizations can succeed without being able to flex with and adapt to internal and external changes. But organizational change often inspires fear and decreased performance in employees. The best leaders know when change is needed and are able to deliver the message in a way that inspires, rather than demotivates, their work force. To support major organizational change of any kind, employees need to understand the rationale behind the change, know what their role will be in accomplishing the change and feel confidence that management can affect the change in a way that puts the company on a winning path. The goal is organizational effectiveness. Once that is understood, the majority will work toward the better future.
3. Facilitate more than lead.
Many leaders suffer from an over-inflated ego. They rise to the top of their organizations and begin to think they know it all, especially if they surround themselves with fawning flatterers who don’t dare to disagree. Instead, the best leaders know what they don’t know. They seek differing opinions and ask good questions. They listen carefully to answers from those they respect and are willing to change their own thinking from what they learn. Good leaders are curious, eager to grow and encourage challenging discussion to get the best results.
4. Link behavior to results.
All successful leaders need to bring in results; but the best leaders focus less on the specific results than on the critical few behaviors and leading indicators that are predictive of the desired results. In other words, it matters more in the long-term that your employees are able, committed to the goals and doing their best to achieve their objectives in a way that makes sense than the actual short-term results.
5. Use time as part of a winning strategy, not the determining factor.
All effective leaders have become masters of time management. They have to be able to set priorities and use their time wisely. However, the best leaders do not focus on time alone; they keep the big picture in mind. The goal is not to do more things in the time allotted but to do the most important things and, when time has run out, adapt the strategy to what can be accomplished within the available time frame.
5 Steps to Hiring the Right Talent
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Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
The Next Generation Management Development courses have helped me communicate more effectively with my peers and teammates. By utilizing effective communication techniques such as clarifying and confirming, and asking open ended questions, I have been able to clarify and understand information in situations where I would have otherwise asked limited questions and made false assumptions.
Firmware Engineering Manager
We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
Barry L. Byrd, SPHR
Human Resources Manager
I’ve been associated with LSA for the last 8 years and have found them to be an extremely professional, well managed full service training organization. Since working with LSA, I’ve participated in a number of solutions ranging from Performance Management to Assertiveness Training – I’ve found that the quality of the resources is superior. They are well prepared and have definitely done a considerable amount of pre-work in order to customize our culture and business into the total learning experience – making it most beneficial for our employees.
Human Resource Manager
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP of Human Resources
Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.
VP Human Resources
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Director, Organizational Excellence & Development
SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.
We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.
Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President
Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.
Vice President of Human Resources
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.
Director, Software Engineering, EPG
I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development and management expertise and quality of advice and facilitation that LSA has to offer. What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help leaders attract, engage, develop and retain top talent.
Director, HR Business Partner
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