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Tag Archives: Principle 4

Research shows that only 49% of employees trust senior management, and only 28% believe CEOs are a credible source of information.

In this article, Stephen Covey  explores the concept of trust within leadership and in our society at large.

Consider the loss of trust and confidence in the financial markets today. Indeed, "trust makes the world go 'round," and right now we're experiencing a crisis of trust. This crisis compels us to ask three questions. First, is there a measurable cost to low trust? Second, is there a tangible benefit to high trust? Third, how can the best leaders build trust in and within their organizations to reap the benefits of high trust?

Most people don't know how to think about the organizational and societal consequences of low trust because they don't know how to quantify or measure the costs of such a so-called "soft" factor as trust. For many, trust is intangible, ethereal, unquantifiable. If it remains that way, then people don't know how to get their arms around it or how to improve it. But the fact is, the costs of low trust are very real, they are quantifiable, and they are staggering.

In 2004, one estimate put the cost of complying with federal rules and regulations alone in the United States -- put in place essentially due to lack of trust -- at $1.1 trillion, which is more than 10% of the gross domestic product. A recent study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that the average American company lost 6% of its annual revenue to some sort of fraudulent activity. (more…)

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Good communication is one of the best ways to have a positive impact. It is not just about what you say and write, but also about how you say and write it.

Here are some tips on how you can use your verbal and non-verbal communication skills to ensure you make a positive impact.

What You Say

Be Direct: If you are to get a message across effectively, you must be direct and accurate. Use short, punchy sentences and try to summarise whenever possible. If people have to identify the important information from a long dialogue, they will eventually give up and your message will be lost.

Be Appropriate: Consider the person you are addressing and the time and place. For example, you wouldn’t use a team meeting to speak to an individual about their poor performance.

Take Responsibility: Taking ownership of your message shows assertiveness, e.g. stating: “in my opinion …”. This is not confrontational, as you are offering an opinion rather than stating fact. People are less likely to respond defensively or aggressively to your opinion and are more likely to take your view into consideration.

Tackle The Problem: Avoid confrontation by tackling the problem and not the person. For example, “Why can you never get anywhere on time?” is a personal attack; while “Please make sure you are here on time” is a solution to a problem. (more…)

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This inaugural survey aims to capture the leadership and development challenges that people in organisations face and how those issues can affect the effectiveness of organisations.

It also looks to establish what executives see as the: top leadership challenges facing their organisation most important skills for successful leaders, reasons why leaders fail to reach their potential ¢ most useful training and development programmes, key talent management challenges, including the effectiveness of training and development.

Key Findings:

The five toughest challenges facing leaders today are employee engagement, effective strategy execution, talent management, driving work across organisational boundaries and encouraging collaboration across the organisation.

80% of respondents said change in their companies is mandated by senior management.

10% of respondents said change was driven at a lower level and later “blessed” by senior management. (more…)

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Many of the defining characteristics needed for effective leadership -- like having a vision, integrity, commitment and resilience – are innate.

Happily, another quality, as essential for success as the others, can be learned. It is the ability to mobilise a fire-in-the-belly effort among employees to help the leader realise ambitious goals. This quality can be acquired by observing the behaviours of leaders who deploy these skills, by being coached or incrementally with "stretch” efforts by the leader to generate the needed employee commitment.

The power of the leader’s position alone cannot command enthusiasm and dedication from today's workforce. Instead, employees must be convinced that the leader’s objectives are achievable, understand that meeting the goals will provide a personal payoff and be inspired to make their own full force contribution. To generate the needed support from everyone in the organisation, the leader has to put their leadership on parade:

He must be visible, crystal clear about his message and take every opportunity to demonstrate, live and in person, his passion for his goals. Unless he shows how deeply he cares, few others will care and his plan may be seen as another flavour of the month.

Some leaders believe it is sufficient to communicate their goals to the workforce through the organisation's internal media: employee publications, intranet, video conferencing, etc. -- the more sophisticated the technology the better. Many have become enamoured with blogging because it makes possible instant communications with large numbers of employees, assuming they make the effort to log on.

All this is useful because it allows for repetition of the leader's message, which is essential for making an impact. But using media is not a substitute for interacting with employees face to face. Media cannot convey the intensity of feeling the leader has for his plan nearly as well as human contact does. The very fact that the leader is there, that he has left the comfort of the office to communicate with employees, gives the message importance. (more…)

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Strategic self-reflection can help a leader expand their viewpoint and decision-making capability, acknowledge alternative beliefs and create a bridge between information and wisdom.

As stated by Talmud,

“We do not see things as they are; but as we are.”


This doctrine from the eighth century speaks to our perceptions and questions our ability to understand people and situations accurately.

In a competitive and fluid corporate environment, executives make decisions based on their experiences and ability to navigate complex change situations. But many leaders fail to look through the lens of the opposing viewpoints and limit their decision quality by projecting only their own thoughts, insights and experiences into a situation without acknowledging alternative angles or beliefs. Strategic self-reflection can enable leaders to create a bridge between information and wisdom.

Executives rarely receive direct feedback, and some may develop a distorted vision of the corporate reality. They likely don’t test their ability to understand organisational behaviours. Consider the following scenario. It’s the last executive team meeting, and everyone agreed to implement a new process. Six months pass, and there is still resistance and limited progress on that process.

During the original meeting, heads nodded in agreement; the new process would streamline processes, but leaders may have missed organisational behavioural cues that indicate disagreement, covert resistance, or a misalignment of agendas.

Leaders should not be surprised at this common symptom of a failed change management attempt. Understanding organisational behaviours is a nebulous task. Employees can see, interpret and understand situations differently even when everyone experienced the same event. Many things influence a person’s perception and how they experience the world around them, such as personal experiences, memories and beliefs. These experiences help formulate how we interpret external stimuli, which develops our personality, perceptions and viewpoints. (more…)

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The Johari Window, created by psychologists Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, is a model of communication, describing how an individual gives and receives personal feedback.

It encourages free and open communication, thereby fostering good interpersonal relations and helping people to realise their full potential. The model can be used for developing self-awareness in any communication context, although it serves as a particularly useful framework for effective communication within teams.



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This review paper underlines the importance of transactional management and leadership at times of organisational transition.

In particular, the need for senior managers to heavily invest their own and others’ time in the direct management of the human side of transition is highlighted, along with a requirement for specific attention to be paid to the psychological support needs of senior and middle managers.

Relentless communication of the purpose and detail of changes is required, along with a range of personal, team and organisational development interventions.

Careful evaluation and measurement of the transition is essential if organisations are to be able to learn from the experience and use this learning when considering organisational merger as a tool for bringing about change in the future.

The Role of the Leader in Organisation Transition


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