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Tag Archives: Honesty



McKinsey report that executives can thrive at work and in life by adopting a leadership model that revolves around finding their strengths and connecting with others.

They have conducted interviews with more than 140 leaders; analysed of a wide range of academic research in fields as diverse as organisational development, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, positive psychology, and leadership; held workshops with hundreds of clients to test their ideas and undertaken global surveys.

Through this research, they have distilled a set of five capabilities that, in combination, generate high levels of professional performance and life satisfaction.

The five capabilities are:

Meaning : Managing Energy : Positive Framing : Connecting : Engaging

 CENTRED LEADERS


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Next time you defend your blunt candor as something noble, consider what you might be covering up and what it’s costing you in terms of trust, authenticity and integrity.

Is it just me, or have you seen a surge in the popularity of “telling it like it is?” Whether it’s a brash, in your face CEO — many of whom boast about their direct, no-nonsense, unvarnished telling of the truth — many leaders wear it like a badge of honor.

But when people learn more about their personalities, their communication preferences and their distress patterns, they progressively back off on their bluster about telling it like is. Why? Because they gain insight into some important, and sometimes uncomfortable, truths.

  • You can be direct without being honest.
  • Telling it like it is often reveals more about our own distress than anything else.
  • An “in-your-face” approach to leadership undermines effectiveness in the long run.
  • Being blunt often reveals lack of skill to use a more effective approach.
  • Healthy conflict with another person is a learned skill that few people acquire naturally.

So, where’s the confusion? The problem comes from failing to distinguish authentic emotions from cover-up emotions.

When people are in distress, they mask their authentic feelings with cover-up emotions. For instance, emotional displays can be deceptive and cunning, appearing legitimate, but they’re often just diverting attention from the real issue. Four cover-up emotions are closely associated with an attitude of telling it like it is.

Righteous Arrogance: Righteous arrogance is often expressed through opinionated, judgmental pushing of beliefs. These people believe it’s okay to tell others what’s right and wrong, and push their pious beliefs. Statements like, “You should know better,” or “Clearly you lack the moral character to be a leader” cover up their own fear of not being up to the task. If these people were truly honest, they’d share their fear that they might not always be right and might not be able to perfectly live up to their responsibilities. This fear keeps them up at night wondering if they are worthy. Instead of owning it, they question everyone else’s worthiness, claiming they are just telling it like it is.

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In this Thoughts on Leadership, Paul Bridle talks about integrity and what it stands for - and what you stand for!


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Receiving effective feedback, both positive and developmental, is very helpful to anyone at work.

Feedback is valuable information that will be used to make important decisions. Top performing companies are top performing companies because they consistently search for ways to make their best employee even better - and providing them with effective feedback is an important aspect of achieving this.

This toolkit can help you and your team colleagues review and develop your feedback skills. It provides you with:

  • Examples of different approaches to giving and receiving feedback, and
  • Tasks and activities that can use with your team.

 FEEDBACK SKILLS


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Leadership has been in the spotlight as never before, as people around the world look to their leaders in all spheres of social, political and organisational life. Rather than help, though, leaders often seem to be part of the problem.

When it comes to politicians, fingers are often pointed at the leaders of political parties for failing to provide a clear vision, for their personal moral failings, or for their inability to deliver on their promises.

Theresa May, the UK prime minister, was widely blamed for the Conservative party’s poor performance in the country’s 2017 general election. Her robotic mantra of “strong and stable” leadership was much-criticised.

Meanwhile, a seemingly never-ending flow of news reports catalogue US President Donald Trump’s alleged lies and question his fitness for office. Conversely, there has been a growing trend for politicians around the world to back or block policies for moral, as opposed to economic reasons.

In organisational settings, we often hear that levels of trust in leaders are at an all-time low in the wake of the financial crisis, a series of corporate scandals, and the ongoing challenges faced by employees in securing “good work”.

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How would you describe an effective leader? What traits are most important? 

As a leader, you have likely spent time thinking about the strengths that would make you, or leaders on your team, more effective. But the “street view” of leadership may reveal some entirely different ideas about what does and does not work.

An independent research firm undertook a robust approach to obtaining  360-degree feedback about two groups of senior executives - those who were seen to be the most creative leaders and those who were the most reactive leaders. Feedback was provided on senior executives from 176 large companies, covering 29 industries in six countries. The study included 2,893 raters who provided 900 pages of written feedback comments on these two groups.

The top 10 of 40 strengths most frequently attributed to the creative leaders are:

  • Strong people skills.
  • Team builder.
  • Personable/approachable.
  • Leads by example.
  • Passion and drive.
  • Good listener.
  • Develops people.
  • Empowers people.
  • Positive attitude.

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