Scrooge

The Spirit of Getting it Right

That unseasonal cold snap we in the Eastern US endured last week, with nearly a foot of snow for some people, made it feel more like Christmas than Easter. In that spirit, I thought I’d share one of my Blue Ridge Business Journal articles, the one that always puts me in mind of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol, (even though it has only one spirit, not three). It goes like this: Ken was unhappy. His staff was angry with him. Excited about finishing a project, they had asked to work overtime. Ken would have approved the request, but his boss had emphatically told him to rein in expenses. So Ken denied the request. (Scrooge!) With the staff angry, he knew from experience that their productivity would be lousy until this cloud passed over. Every time there was an upset, it showed itself in performance. Ken sat in his office at the…

What the New Boss Did

My client (let’s call him Tom) and I had been working together for about 18 months when he was asked to take over the leadership of a department numbering about 800 associates. This department had earned a reputation as being “the place where they send projects to die.” As a result, the previous leader had been fired, and Tom was asked to take over. When Tom met with the Senior Leadership “Team” (N = 7) of his new department, he was not received with open arms. Right or wrong, these seven people had loved their previous boss, and were worried about what the “new broom” might have in mind. Their track record gave them good reason to worry. Fortunately, as you will see, rather than losing their jobs, the seven enjoyed success that, initially, they couldn’t see coming. Tom found the seven members of the group (while they were called…

More Choices for Leaders: Last in the Series

This is the last in a series of four blog posts that provide a model you can use to help your clients make their organizations more profitable (which of course will go a long way toward your getting ongoing business from those organizations). Because not everyone may have read each of the previous three posts, here’s a brief review. We started by reporting research shared by Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee in their book Primal Leadership. That research found that an organization’s climate, profitability, and leadership styles intertwine. Companies with emotionally positive climates (think EQ) are much more profitable than those with negative climates. Leadership style directly controls 50 – 70% of climate, which in turn controls 20 to 30% of profitability. There are a number of learnable leadership styles. To maximize leader effectiveness, leaders should match leadership style to situational needs. In posts two and three of this series, we…

Leaders Have More Choices

Want to help your clients make their organizations more profitable? This is the third in a series of four blog posts that provide a model for you to do just that. Thus far, we’ve examined how an organization’s climate, profitability, and leadership styles relate, as reported by Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, in Primal Leadership: Companies with positive climates are much more profitable than those with negative climates. Leadership style directly controls 50 – 70% of climate There are a number of learnable leadership styles To maximize leader effectiveness, match leadership style to situational needs. In our previous post, we described two of the six leadership styles discussed in Primal Leadership: Coercive (or Directive), and Visionary. We looked at: times when each of those styles can work well times when they shouldn’t be used which EQ skills support their success, and the five steps which you, as a coach, can take…

Leaders Have Choices

Our most recent post explained that climate controls 20 to 30% of profitability, and that leaders control 50 to 70% of climate. The better the climate, the better the profit. As a coach, you can help leaders leverage that connection. Let’s talk about how. Basically, leaders have choices about how they lead, which in turn influences climate, though they may not realize it without your help. Many people get promoted to leadership positions because they are great students of their technical or business area, not necessarily of leadership. When they are thrust into leading, they do what comes naturally to them, typically modeling leaders they have known in their own lives, including parents, teachers, and previous bosses. As a result, they develop a default leadership style and apply it regardless of the situation they face. Directive leaders tend to be directive even when it isn’t called for. Democratic leaders tend…

Organizational Co-Dependency

Sheri was a smart, ambitious, and energetic executive. She had lifted herself up through many of the barriers that arise in all growing careers, and through many of the barriers  unique to women leaders. How? First, she had the requisite talents and competencies. She brought as much to the table as anyone. Wise superiors and mentors recognized her value and leveraged it. it was win/win. Second, Sheri maintained a can-do attitude. She never said no. It was a great asset. But it almost killed her, and it almost killed her career. She, like most of her colleagues, both male and female, had not recognized how the nature of organizations elicits co-dependent behavior. What is Co-Dependency? The term co-dependency comes from the field of addiction. As professionals were gaining an understanding of the nature of addiction, they came to recognize that people who loved the addict often unwittingly contributed to the…