Peter Drucker says that being a good executive happens in three stages: getting the knowledge you need, converting this knowledge into effective action, and then ensuring that the whole organization feels responsible and accountable.
He says that the way to get the knowledge you need is to:
Effective leaders find one priority (or two at the most) which are the most important at the time and focus on it. Then when they are done with that task they ask again what needs to be done instead of going right to the second task. Also effective executives focus on those tasks they are especially good at and delegate the rest. They also focus on the enterprise as a whole and not any one constituent or group.
The second stage is converting knowledge into effective actions. This includes:
Action plans create statements of intention, a way of checking results against expectations.
According to Daniel Goleman Emotional Intelligence distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones. He says that when a group of senior managers had the following key capabilities of emotional intelligence, their divisions outperformed earnings goals by 20%. These capabilities include:
Goleman says we are all born with certain levels of emotional intelligence, but we can strengthen these abilities through practice and persistence. The first three skills in emotional intelligence are self-management tools, while the last two are how people interact with others.
Goleman says that out of leaders with similar technical skills emotional intelligence was the skill that set them apart. It was their ability to deal and manage people, relate to them, create rapport with them, and motivate themselves as well as their employees that really created success.
It was also their knowledge of themselves, their values and what makes them tick as well as their ability to regulate strong emotions in a way that balances things out.
I do agree with the author that people skills are a key component of the effectiveness of a leader as I believe the hallmark of a good leader is drawing people into your vision.
So where are you on the emotional intelligence scale? Are there any of the five skills listed above that you need to work on? If so what steps can you take in order to enhance that skill?
If you are going through a large scale change in your organization - be it a technology implementation, a change in strategy, or new legislation - there will inevitably be some resistance to from your employees. Why? Because each person reacts differently to a change, stress, or moving out of their comfort zone. There are some typical reasons, however, that employees resist change. Here are the top five:
1.They don’t know why the change is happening - if an employee does not understand why a change is happening and how it could be important for the organization as a whole they will often not accept or be resistant to the change. By making and communicating out a “case for change” employees can understand why the change is needed.
2.They don’t think that the “rewards” outweigh the “cost” - often people like to stay in their comfort zone. They want to keep doing what they are used to doing unless the benefits of the change can be made for them. With the case for change, leaders need to clearly state the benefits of the change and why the new change will be better than the old one. Then employees will begin to feel more comfortable with the change process.
3.There is not enough clarity around the change - often when there is change information is not provided as frequently or as well as is necessary. Openness and transparency are important when going through a change process. It is imperative to share information down from the leadership on why, when, and how the change is happening and keep employees informed about the progress of the change.
4.They don’t feel part of the change - If employees are not asked for feedback as part of the change process then they don’t feel part of the change, which can lead to resistance. Feedback is an integral pat in of creating buy-in and having employees feel like their input and feelings are being heard and integrated into the change process.
5.Past change efforts have failed - some employees can feel like this effort will be just like the others and therefore are not supportive of it. Communicating why this one is different and why and how it will be successful will go a long way to reassuring people as well as showing “wins” during the implementation time frame.
Are you seeing any of these behaviors exhibited from your employees during change efforts? What have you done to alleviate resistance to change in your organization?
What is effective communications? Communications is happening all of the time in organizations whether in formal channels such as town halls, meetings, memos, or emails. But communications can also happen in informal channels such as gossip, water cooler talk, and informal networking.
While informal communications can be helpful, the most effective communications are done in formal channels, consistently over time, and in a way that creates transparency in the organization.
Effective communications includes top down communications through meetings - informing leaders of key news who then communicate that information down to their teams. It also includes grassroots communications that conveys timely and consistent messages out to the entire organization through mediums such as newsletters, email blasts, and intranet updates. When employees of organizations receive key messages it is important that leaders have a bit more information than their staff so that they can answer questions as they arise.
Effective communications also includes feedback mechanisms where employees and leaders can provide their input to the organization. It is important for employees to feel heard and part of the process of effecting the organization. Feedback mechanisms can include email boxes, customer service phone numbers, anonymous mail boxes for suggestions, and openness in meetings to allow for suggestions and thoughts.
If formal communications channels are not used effectively or information is not open and transparent, gossip and “filling the void” occur. This means that employees will make up information to fill the “vacuum.”
Does your organization have some of these key elements of effective communications? If not what can you implement in order to increase the transparency in your organization and “fill the void?”
Once you have your business goals set for the year it is imperative to begin thinking about how are you going to market and communicate the benefits of what you are doing to your customers. Begin to think through the following questions:
-Who are my customers?
-What is my unique selling proposition?
-What product or service are you selling/offering to your customers?
-Where do my customers spend time?
-What is the best way to reach out to my customers (e.g. - networking events, blog, speaking engagements, conferences, media, etc)
-What am I best at/comes easiest to me in terms of marketing?
-What can I plan to do each month to market to my customers?
Once you think about these questions you can implement a good marketing plan to reach out to your customers, stay front of mind, and close a deal. What can you start implementing today in order to increase your business?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.