Thursday, April 25, 2013

7 leadership development trends for a stronger bottom line

Business leaders looking for meaningful growth are all about investing in their people to cultivate an engaged workforce, and ultimately, achieve higher sales and a stronger bottom line. Here are seven trends we’re watching:

  1. Uncertainty is the new normal. Organizations are launching more change initiatives than ever – as many as five per year, on average. However, the increased uncertainty among companies may be preventing these changes from sticking. Research has found that twice as many business leaders say “the ability to lead change” is a key challenge.
  2. The management talent shortage is intensifying. For business leaders, the top concern during the next few years is the talent shortage. Don’t expect to be able to hire fully capable managers from outside. Instead, hire promising talent early and invest in their training and retention. Look for emerging leaders and, again, invest in them.
  3. First-line leaders matter. First-line leaders make up 50-60 percent of management. They are the linchpin in strategy execution, customer satisfaction and employee engagement. They are the last stop for communicating strategy and enabling employee success. In order to keep up with competitors, invest at least one-third of your total leadership development budget in your first-line leaders. Your bottom line will thank you.
  4. Organizations that focus on people-leadership practices will reap rewards. Research has shown that the ability to lead people effectively is about three times more important to a leader’s career success than other skills and knowledge. In fact, thinking like a leader, coaching your team, gaining results through others and engaging people are the four most critical people-leadership skills. Businesses must ensure that all leaders, and especially first-line leaders, are trained in these four critical practices.
  5. Employee engagement will continue to be a key concern. Organizations with engaged workforces have significantly lower absenteeism, turnover and safety incidents, according to Gallup’s “State of the Global Workplace,” while productivity and profitability are much higher. Having an engaged workforce is a huge market advantage. Leaders need to know the factors that contribute to their team’s engagement.
  6. Leadership is becoming more collective. Leadership during the past 50 years has been about the individual. However, in the last 15 years, this model has become less effective and has transitioned to being more collaborative. Organizations must create multilevel leadership development systems and ensure steadiness between levels of consistent competencies, concepts, language and themes.
  7. Boot-camp training is out. A recent survey of 700 leaders worldwide found that 91 percent of respondents feel they have too much work on their plate. Seventy-five percent said they have “little or no” capacity to “do more with less.” When it comes to education, it’s time to give learners a break – boot camp-style learning is out. Workers are tired and “pedal-to-the-metal” training will only make them more tired. Learning needs to be practical and challenging, but also include chances for team bonding and laughter, quiet time and reflection, free-wheeling discussions with colleagues and a bit of surprise and adventure.

If organizations can implement these trends into their initiatives, they’ll achieve an even more productive year.

Source: wrote by Jocelyn Davis

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why Leadership & Team-Development Programs Fail

Research shows that most development programs fail to deliver expected returns. Here, experts offer tips to master the real drivers of behavior for sustainable change.

Every organization wants to maximize the potential of their leaders and employees in order to achieve superior results. In fact, significant investments are made in programs that aim to improve performance by changing the way leaders, employees or teams behave. However, research shows that most development programs fail to deliver expected returns. Too often, there is more effort put into the design of the program, instead of what people need to experience in order to develop. If executives understood the mechanics of the mind and what it takes to create sustainable behavioral change, they would rethink their approaches to leadership and employee development and challenge their current beliefs about how behavioral change actually happens. 

We now know so much about how the brain learns and how people develop. Recent advances in neuroscience are highlighting connections between cognitive and emotional functions that have the potential to revolutionize the way we develop our leaders and employees. In particular, the relationship between learning and emotion and what needs to happen in the brain for learning and behavioral change to take place. Those who are developing leadership and team development programs don’t always incorporate these advances in their approaches being. 

The following are the key reasons why most leadership- and team-development programs fail:



Personality assessments are often used in developmental programs to help leaders and team members to increase their self-awareness. However, existing approaches focus on strengths/weaknesses or preferences, leaving out insight into unconscious patterns of behavior and emotions that typically get in the way of development, despite everyone’s best intentions.  For leaders or employees to develop, they must understand how this happens for them by being aware of their nature, emotions, and how their brain is organized. This allows them to know how they process information and what gets in the way -- fear, embarrassment, etc. -- of trying new behaviors and shifting from unproductive reactions to other people and work situations.

Read complete at: wrote by Anne Dranitsaris and Heather Hilliard

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

The New Leaders

Of all the big issues facing healthcare organizations, leadership development is the least pressing but arguably the most important. Leadership skills are requisite beyond the CEO's office, particularly in an era when demands for change press on all functions and levels. An executive roundtable at the HealthLeaders Media CEO Exchange, held last fall at The Lodge at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif., discussed leadership development programs for executives and physicians alike, the rise of new leadership competencies, and sources of inspiration.

Some health systems, particularly large organizations with many eadership positions, have long recognized the importance of developing leaders from within. MemorialCare Health System, the six-hospital, $2 billion integrated delivery system in Southern California, has enrolled 20 business-side executives and physician leaders in dual "leadership academies" each year since 1997. CEO Barry Arbuckle, PhD, said, "Below the senior level, closer to the front lines, we spent a lot of time on leadership development. We've had MemorialCare Academy in place for 16 years. We also have now a physician leadership academy. … Those have been an enormous benefit for developing and grooming leaders in the company. If you look at who has been promoted over the last 15 years, you can draw a direct line right back to the academy."

But the leadership requirements for healthcare organizations are shifting with the advent of new payment structures and operational models. New competencies are needed to handle risk management, case management, and medical informatics. "I think leadership is changing rapidly," said Christopher Howard, president and CEO of SSM Health Care-St. Louis. "The ability of a physician to think like a CEO and to deal with the issues that are in front of the lay leaders on a daily basis—the balance sheets, the income statements, every other report and responsibility we have, the ability to grasp and understand that and see a holistic picture—is going to be key for physician leaders of the future."

Read complete at

Monday, March 18, 2013

Personal Leadership Development

Excellent video from Michael Berry:

A Personal Leadership Development Business Opportunity. It's Success Education. The winner of two prestigious awards. Industry experts refer to our unique business model as a "refreshing alternative to franchises & traditional businesses". Now in over 56 countries around the world.

A one of a kind pay structure. We're a direct sales company with one profit paid per product sold. But this is not for everyone. I know this, therefore I interview everyone to see if this might be a fit for both of us. I am looking for people who know they deserve an abundant life and are ready to reap the rewards of being self employed. These people are serious about getting significant results in their life, highly motivated and committed to the journey of achieving success with their own business.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

How To Develop The Highest Potential Leaders

The world's best companies purposely identify and develop high-potential managers and leaders. Because those with the right talent and experience are more likely to deliver results, businesses should begin their succession planning efforts by identifying and selecting leaders with a scientifically validated leadership talent assessment.

No amount of experience will turn an average leader into a great one.

But it's equally important for businesses to prepare high-potential leaders with experiences that will develop their potential. "When it comes to preparing emerging leaders for executive roles, general experience isn't important," says Barry Conchie, a Gallup Senior Scientist and coauthor of Strengths Based Leadership. "Very specific kinds of experience benefit high-potential leaders most."

Identifying experiences that encourage leadership success

Every leader needs what Conchie calls additive experiences. These kinds of experiences include running a risky project or integrating a complex acquisition. "Additive experiences are rare, and leaders who are more successful have them," Conchie says. "So if you want to be a top leader, it's imperative to plan a career to acquire them."

But the best leaders have another realm of experiences so transformative that Conchie calls them breakthrough experiences. They include:

  • being promoted to a high-visibility position before feeling ready. One example of this kind of experience is putting an executive into a lead position on a key market segment when the executive does not feel comfortable or fully prepared to be in that role.
  • navigating extreme cultural adversity. Managing a highly unionized environment, leading the turnaround of a highly disengaged and antagonistic workforce, running a location a great distance from the company's geographic center, or managing a function on the far edge of the company's core competence are examples of this type of experience.
  • leading a cross-functional team on a major initiative. Examples of this type of experience include leading a team to decide a new product market segment where none exists or pulling together technology, marketing, and finance professionals to work up a new product sourcing process without having any relevant experience in those areas.

These challenges are so rare that they need to be reserved for candidates with the highest potential. "That's one very good reason to know precisely who your emerging leaders are," Conchie says. "You don't want to waste a breakthrough experience on someone who won't benefit from it -- and may botch the job."

Read complete at

Friday, January 18, 2013

5 Leadership Trends to Watch in 2013

Wrote by, Lindsay Olson

Think social media is the only trendy thing in the business world? Think again. Management techniques and leadership styles have trends too, and as experts crop up with new strategies for managing employees, these trends evolve. Andrew Graham, president and CEO of The Forum Corporation, a Boston-based learning organization, has some interesting predictions of leadership trends in 2013.

1. You must lead change. With unemployment rates bouncing up and down, and companies cutting pay increases and bonuses, constant volatility has become the new norm in the workplace. And that can make for an uncomfortable environment ... unless you manage it. Graham says Forum research points to three critical practices for leaders:

  • Build your context agility 
  • Exercise judgment in action
  • Develop professional intelligence
Essentially, give your team confidence that change doesn't necessarily mean upheaval, and make decisions on a case-by-case basis, rather than applying blanket actions to every situation.

2. Good managers will be hard to find. Because of that very change mentioned in No. 1, many qualified managers are turning to entrepreneurship rather than continuing to climb the corporate ladder. For companies, that means the search for good help will be difficult in 2013. "Don't expect to be able to hire fully capable managers from outside," Graham says. "Instead, grow your own: Hire promising talent early and invest in their training and retention. Look for emerging leaders and, again, invest in them."

Make sure you've got an excellent training program and a clear-cut path for your staff to move into increasingly higher roles of responsibility. Not only will you cultivate great leaders, but you'll also reduce turnover.

3. People-leadership skills will be more highly valued. Of all the skills and experience a manager gets on the job, the ability to lead people is ranking higher every year. According to the research and management firm Leadership IQ's "Talent Management in America and China," organizations with managers who use certain people-leadership skills tend to perform better in their industries. Companies that are leaders in their industries report much higher use of people-leadership practices than lower performing organizations.

Companies that want to lead the pack on this should incorporate these four tenets in employee training:

  • Think like a leader 
  • Coach a team
  • Get results through others
  • Engage people
4. It will take a village. Whereas past leadership efforts have been all about the individual as a leader, in 2013 it will be about the collective efforts of a team. Because leaders are coming across new challenges, there isn't any history to base making an informed decision on, and leaders must look to their social networks, employees, and other leaders to make the best decision.

Graham suggests leaders "create multilevel leadership development systems, and a) ensure consistency between the levels: consistent competencies, concepts, language, and themes; b) give each level a strong role in the programs for the next level down; c) be intentional about bringing together leaders from different business units, functions, and geographies for training and development opportunities."

It's okay to show that you don't always have the answer. A good leader at the very least knows where to find that answer.

5. Boot camp training is so 2012.
In recent years, companies have taken a boot camp approach to training, trying to cram as much information as possible in the minds of employees in just a few hours. Graham says we're starting to see a backlash. "Learners have no desire to come to a training class in which they're forced to work at a breakneck pace all day, complete difficult assignments in the evening, and at the same time keep up with all their regular work."