Posts Tagged ‘hit’

Just the other day i got on a conference call my community holds weekly with regard to leadership master minding and it was powerful

Just the other day I got on a conference call my community holds weekly with regard to leadership master minding and it was powerful.  It’s funny how sometimes the obvious or simple perspective that has the biggest impact potential is overlooked.  This was one of those discussions that shed in the light of a lightning bolt, flash!  There it was, simple, to the point, and delivered in a way I got…in a BIG way.  Think about this statement…A leader (you) allows others to see themselves in you.

This one statement brought together leadership and personal branding like sliding in the last puzzle piece to hours of work.  As a leader, looking to constantly improve, I now understood that the reason anyone follows another has nothing to do with a business, product, service, or opportunity…it’s the personal connection.  We have all heard it before, but it just never hit me like it did at that moment.  By just being me, what I do, how I do it, why I do it, where I do it, and with whom I do it…is what resonates with others that share these points in common.  They relate to me as I do to them.

So in the realm of leadership and building your personal brand your target should be YOU!  By stepping up and delivering the goods on what you’re about and what you are doing this group of like people will be attracted to you naturally.  These connections will lay the ground work for a team to build, a focused group effort deploys and remarkable results are brought to frusion.  Your leadership has now evolved into many leaders helping one another grow and spread the message.  Now that’s leadership on full tilt.

Today take a few minutes to look at your leadership perspective and see if your efforts can benefit from a simple leadership lesson to pass on…

No doubt many of you have heard of napoleon hill and his book “think and grow rich” – it was the spark that ignited “the secret” phenomenon of last year

No doubt many of you have heard of Napoleon Hill and his book “Think and Grow Rich” – it was the spark that ignited “The Secret” phenomenon of last year. As a Project Manager, what you may not realise is that during his 20 years of interviewing the most successful men and women in America, Hill determined the attributes that he believed most contributed to the success or failure of a leader.

It makes for fascinating reading, and many of his insights hold as true today as they did in the early 1930’s when this book was written.

In his book, Hill lists 11 attributes that make for a successful leader:

The first attribute Hill refers to as unwavering courage, however it could more easily be described as self confidence and knowledge. According to Hill “unwavering courage (is) based upon knowledge of (one’s) self and of one’s occupation. No follower wishes to be dominated by a leader who lacks self-confidence and courage”.  Think of any great leaders you may have worked with or witnessed, and they all demonstrate a marked degree of confidence in their own ability, a confidence that is not misplaced.

The second attribute is self control. In Hill’s words “the man who cannot control himself can never control others. Self-control sets a mighty example for one’s followers “. This is especially true when projects hit a hurdle or when some major calamity befalls the project or team. If the leader shows lack of control, the project is doomed. Great leaders stand out in times of crisis as being level headed and able to steer their project calmly through stormy seas.

The third attribute is “a keen sense of justice” or fairness. Without a sense of fairness and justice, no leader can command and retain the respect of his followers”. No one can respect a leader who has attained their position through taking advantage of others or using them as stepping stones in their career, yet this is an attribute seen in many senior managers today! Real leaders have the respect of their peers and their teams, and they treat everyone as equals in terms of the amount of respect they are due, from the lowliest assistant to the General Manager.

The fourth attribute Hill refers to as “definiteness of decision”. Hill states that “the man who wavers in his decisions shows that he is not sure of himself. He cannot lead others successfully”. Strong leaders make decisions quickly and fairly, and then stick to those decisions. Any equivocation implies the poorness of the decision making process in the first instance, and is never contemplated by a great leader. However, should a decision be shown to be flawed (due to, say, new information coming to light which was not available at the time the original decision was made) a great leader is strong enough to admit that a better decision can now be made.

The fifth attribute Hill calls “definiteness of plans”. By this, Hill explains “the successful leader must plan his work, and work his plan. A leader who moves by guesswork, without practical, definite plans, is comparable to a ship without a rudder. Sooner or later he will land on the rocks”. And as Project Managers we know that a solid, workable plan is essential to the success of any project!

The sixth attribute is “the habit of doing more than paid for” although this attribute might better be called fairness and work ethic. Hill explains that “one of the penalties of leadership is the necessity of willingness, upon the part of the leader, to do more than he requires of his followers”.  This can be interpreted as the concept of never expecting anyone to do a task you would not willingly do yourself, whether that be excessive overtime or dealing with difficult people. No leader can command respect who regularly delegates the more odious tasks to others.

The seventh attribute Hill calls “a pleasing personality” and goes on to state that “no slovenly, careless person can become a successful leader. Leadership calls for respect. Followers will not respect a leader who does not grade high on all of the factors of a Pleasing Personality”. Hill makes a great deal in this book about the importance of neatness of attire and of personal habits. Whilst this may seem quaint in today’s world, if you have ever worked with someone with less that perfect personal hygiene, you’ll understand where this is coming from!

The eighth attribute is sympathy and understanding. According to Hill “the successful leader must be in sympathy with his followers. Moreover, he must understand them and their problems”. Today we refer to this as empathy rather than sympathy, however the meaning is the same. A great leader takes time to get to know the team members and their goals and aspirations.

The ninth attribute Hill refers to as “mastery of detail”. Following one from the first attribute “knowledge of (one’s) self and of one’s occupation”, Hill advises us that a great leader is able to master the details required in any situation. That is not to say that the leader is the subject matter expert, only that they are capable of understanding the details presented to them, and being able to challenge, dissect and act upon those.

The tenth attribute is the willingness to assume full responsibility. Hill notes that “the successful leader must be willing to assume responsibility for the mistakes and the shortcomings of his followers. If he tries to shift this responsibility, he will not remain the leader. If one of his followers makes a mistake, and shows himself incompetent, the leader must consider that it is he who failed”. Leadership, as in project management, requires that the leader or person in charge be accountable for the success or failure of the project. Whilst many Project Managers and leaders nod to this accountability, when things go wrong it is distressing to see how many of these so-called leaders quickly find someone else to blame. True accountability, heartfelt accountability, is the mark of a great leader.

The eleventh and final attribute is cooperation. According to Hill “the successful leader must understand and apply the principle of cooperative effort, and be able to induce his followers to do the same. Leadership calls for POWER, and power calls for COOPERATION”. Here Hill refers to the ability to achieve through others, which is the hallmark of a successful leader or project manager. Great leaders and project managers have great teams with great teamwork.

Whilst I, personally, would have included a few more attributes, such as coaching and mentoring of staff, leading by example and able to grasp new ideas and concepts quickly, and perhaps left some out, such as neatness and hygiene, Hill’s list is a very useful summary of the key attributes required to be a successful leader today. In summary, to be a successful leader you must have:

  1. Self confidence, be knowledgeable about your work
  2. Self control, remain calm under pressure
  3. Sense of justice, fairness & respect for others
  4. Decisive and stand by decisions
  5. Organization & planning skills
  6. Strong work ethic
  7. Neatness & hygiene
  8. Empathy
  9. Mastery of details
  10. True accountability in deed as well as word
  11. The ability to achieve through others

In my next article, I will look at Hill’s views of the 10 most common reasons why leaders fail.

Middle and upper management use performance appraisal to gauge how effective the staff are in their job functions

Middle and upper management use performance appraisal to gauge how effective the staff are in their job functions. Over the years, this management tool has evolved from a simple employee evaluation tool a powerful method of improving the overall performance of the organization. Needless to say, performance appraisal has become a very important periodic event that leaves managers scrambling to provide the most accurate appraisal for their staff. Truth be told, it is not something managers look forward to considering the paperwork that it entails. However, evaluating employees doesn’t have to be a painstaking activity. In fact, there are tools available that will help managers be as specific as possible in writing down the appraisal in the corporate pro-forma form. Managers should be very specific with their performance appraisal comments so that the employee being appraised will have a clear idea of how he or she is faring up against the criteria set up by the company.

It has long been argued that performance appraisals are more subjective than objective, but if the company designs a rating system, then the managers will be able to balance the subjective and objective aspects of the process. This is why effective performance appraisal comments are designed to capture the employee’s performance without being too subjective. The more specific the comments are, the more it shows how involved the manager is in the process. This means that if the manager uses comments that are spot on to the employee’s actual performance, then it would appear that the manager is in constant interaction with the employee throughout the year. Such involvement shows how the manager is committed to improving the employee’s performance, consequently boosting the entire organization’s chances of hitting the corporate targets.

Effective performance appraisal comments contain details that would show that time and effort are spent in evaluating the employee. It is not enough to say that a particular employee is not doing his or her job; the specific situations that led to the conclusion should be mentioned so as not to invite untoward incidents, caused by questionable insinuations. In this regard, it is important to note down the situations, whether good or bad, which greatly affect the performance of the employee. With specific situations being recorded or noted, then it becomes easier for the manager to answer and quell disputes.

If there are specific criteria that have been set up where the employee performance can be evaluated against, then it becomes much easier for the manager to come up with specific and accurate comments. Such accuracy contributes to a more effective evaluation process that is able to capture the actual performance of the employee and subduing possible disagreements between parties involved. Performance appraisal is one of the more sensitive aspects of management, but it is indeed a very important tool in keeping staff at bay. It also provides upper management a quick and condensed version of the overall performance of the organization. As such, the appraiser needs to utilize this tool to keep all parties involved in a harmonious co-existence.

When you joined the company, you did so because what

When you joined the company, you did so because what? You had certain needs to be met. Not so? Perhaps needs for money, status, training, location. But as time went on…something curious happened, probably without you even noticing it.

Sure, you may have felt it. But few realise before it’s too late what happened.

Let me tell you. What happened was that the BALANCE OF NEEDS shifted big-style. No sooner had your needs been met, than the company put it’s needs continually higher on the agenda, whilst yours slid to the bottom.

Time-off? What about the project? More money? In the present competitive climate? A transfer? We need you here! More interesting work? Where do you think you are, a sweet shop?

Sound familiar?

A good sign that we have bought into the company game, or their version of the world, is when we feel stuck.

Here’s what we need to do in order to redress the balance of needs, and put our needs up their with the company’s…

1. Get Yourself a Much Bigger Game

Think long term. Think about what you want to do after this work. Consider what your heart it whispering. Put the job to one side for a moment, and ask yourself, if I wasn’t doing this, what would I love to do?

2. Spend Time Enriching This.

Consider your feelings on the matter. What it would mean to you? What might you need to learn to bring it about? How much fun you would have? In a nutshell, what kind of journey do you want?

3. See The Company as a Resource.

Now, clearly you have signed a contract and have certain responsibilities to undertake. That is fine, and you should do them to the best of your abilities. That said, you can also look at the way you approach your work, and consider what skills, contacts, qualities, information you want to develop that would stand you in good stead in your much bigger game.

Just make a list of some of the things you want to have in place when you leave.

Yes, when you leave. Because you will. Either of your own free choice, or circumstances will kick you out, or you’ll be carried out. One of the three.

So this is by way of a strategic approach. You with me?

4. See Each Day as a Framework for Learning

Rather than see each day as “another day at work” ask yourself, “What can I learn today that will bring my much bigger game a step towards me?”

See those 8 hours as potential. Sure you have a job to do, but there is much you can learn by adapting your APPROACH.

For example, you might want to develop determination, confidence, creativity, organisation, time-keeping, discipline, or a whole range of other qualities.

You might want to develop a range of contacts with interests that would support your much bigger game. Go find them as you go about your day.

5. Notice the Gratitude

A curious side-effect of this approach is that you may start to feel gratitude for the company for providing you with so many opportunities to grow.

Any resentment you may have felt can easily turn into a willingness to achieve even greater results!

The company will often wonder what it has done to engender such a turn-a-around. Hey, they may even promote your manager!

6. Spot the other Players

As you work with this strategic approach, you will start to notice others within the company who are on the same page.

You will notice a lightness in the way they handle “stressful” situations. Why? Because for them, this is not the be-all-and-end-all. It is a stepping stone, and so everything is in a more healthy context.

7. As the Pieces, Come Together

As the pieces of your puzzle come together, prepare well for your jump from this stone to the next. Having developed the resources you need, you will have confidence in your ability and a clear plan to hit the ground running.

So remember to step back from the company game you are in to see the wider, broader picture. See where this vehicle is taking you and what else you might learn from the ride. Consider where you want to go next, and how this journey can support that.

Most importantly, redress the balance of needs, and put your own back up there with the company’s.

Make you job work for you! 🙂

Have a great time

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