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Leadership

11 Leadership Styles That Shape A Winning Organization

Building and shaping the culture of an organization begins with the behavior of the leaders. When leaders are behaviorally smart, and understand their leadership and communication style, they are more likely to set the kind of example they want everyone to follow.

There is no one leadership style fits all. The key, through self-awareness, is to find the balance that works with the teams you lead.

The Fast-Paced Leader

A leader who is fast paced, logical, challenging and tends to be critical may well deliver results, but can damage the talent they are responsible for leading. This style of leadership births a culture of stress, staff turnover and unwillingness to want to work under their leadership.

The Analytical Leader

The analytical, systematic, rigid, work by the rules, style of leadership may be a gatekeeper in terms of the processes of the organization, but can shut down innovation, spontaneity and the kind of creative approach to decision making required when things go wrong. This inflexible and rigid style of leadership does not inspire a culture of shared goals, thoughts and ideas.

The Skeptical Leader

In today’s rapidly changing market, businesses need innovation to survive. A skeptical leader who is not open to ideas, continually questions, is guarded and fails to build trust with their teams, will not create the kind of innovative culture that breeds success. Finding a successful balance between trust and a healthy skepticism that protects the business is tough.

The Competitive Leader

Similarly, leaders whose focus is solely on results, who is very competitive and wants always to be the one who sets the agenda, can push teams too hard to achieve goals. If these leaders see targets slipping away they can become manipulative and assume a driven style of leading that causes teams to crash and burn. This approach leads to a toxic culture – very difficult to recover from.

The Peoples Leader

Leaders who are highly people focused and expressive, can inspire passion and purpose, but if this style of leadership is not based on a foundation of a clearly articulated vision and mission, the culture they create is one of chaos and confusion – but fun. Leaders such as this need strong boundaries and need to learn to focus on one goal at a time.

The Risk-Taking Leader

Some leaders are comfortable with taking risks. They know their limitations and are comfortable with managing failure. However, when risk taking leads to over confidence, leaders will cut corners placing the business in jeopardy. Further, team members assume the culture of risk extends to them. This can lead to outlier behavior as they take inappropriate risk that undermines the organization.

The Creative Leader

The highly creative leader embraces new ideas, can be quite abstract in their thinking and open to imaginative approaches to decision making. However, such creative ideas need to have value, they can’t be random as this leads to a culture of anything goes. Creativity in leadership works when it’s part of a culture that is sensitive to teams, colleagues and the overall needs of the business.

The Cooperative Leader

Not many organizations survive on a cooperative style of decision making. When a leader is seen to be compliant others very quickly take advantage of them. They may well be able to communicate the vision and encourage input from teams, but without their own understanding of how to be behaviourally smart, this style of leaderships leads to the loudest voice getting their way. Further, it can lead to a culture of frustration as the leader seeks everyone’s opinion before making a call.

The Reserved Leader

Generally, the reserved, reflective leader tends to be a loner. They do not have an open-door policy and can be withdrawn. This style of leadership breeds a culture of suspicion and can lead to more outgoing team members driving the culture and making decisions that are inappropriate. However, when the leader understands the importance of building relationships, this style of leader is likely to be much more accurate in their instructions. They prefer to get things right first time and will reflect and focus on this.

The Patient Leader

When a leader is overly understanding and tolerant there will always be others who will take advantage of this. A culture of leniency will prevail and mistakes will be repeated leading to frustration and discontent from team members. Generally, this leader tries to create a culture of stability, believing that everyone will function more effectively within the environment. This approach only works when everyone has knowledge of each other’s preferred environment for working, otherwise the culture will be too relaxed.

The Spontaneous Leader

Spontaneity challenges many people who prefer leadership to be structured and predictable. A spontaneous leader creates a culture of impulsiveness and lack of planning and forethought. Spontaneity panics some people and can lead to disruption and stress in the workplace.

A Leader who can create a successful organization culture will not only understand their own natural behavior and how to manage it, they will invest time gaining insight into the behaviors of their teams. When they achieve this balance, the culture they create looks like this:

  • There is a shared vision – communicated in a way that everyone feels valued in role for delivering it
  • There are high levels of personal confidence
  • Everyone has a can-do attitude
  • Teams collectively look for solutions
  • The leaders listen to other ideas and suggestions
  • The individuals feel motivated
  • Attrition is low
  • There are clear goals and everyone knows where they fit in delivering them
  • Success is shared
  • Trust goes both ways
  • There are quantifiable measurable outcomes that demonstrate the culture of the organization
HOW TO ENGAGE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS

How to Engage Different Personalities for Business Success

The winds of change are moving fast through the modern economy. Business performance improvement is no longer just about left brain rational processes, new products, technology and information. Rather, it is about integrating a more right brained engaging approach by navigating the human differences of diverse employees and clients (or customers). Further, in order to improve revenues and productivity, businesses need to customize employee and client experiences.

In the new behavioral economy, deeper relationships with employees and clients are being built based on higher levels of emotional engagement. By engaging employees, the organization can build confidence for open communication with others on the individuals terms. The key to maintaining engagement, however, is fostering a culture of two-way communication.

Independent research indicates an increase of up to 240% in bottom line performance achieved by emotionally engaging BOTH your employees and clients. Many businesses focus on the customer or client experience and engagement which ultimately affects the bottom line.? Whats more interesting to note is that engaging employees also affects the bottom line and cuts down on counterproductive behaviors like passive aggressiveness, lethargic pace, or gossip. An engaged person is more involved, produces ideas, and is willing to own their role as part of the bigger company vision and structure.

Here are some pressing reasons to start engaging your employees and encouraging them to engage each other:

  • Keeping on budget
  • Meeting project scope and quality
  • Efficiency of work completed
  • More and better ideas for a better end result
  • Avoiding burnout or dropout
  • Happy employees
  • Unified goal
  • And ultimately, bottom line growth

Here are powerful ways to achieve engagement for any reason:

  • Tailor workflows based on natural talents ? do you have a project team that envies each others role but not their own?
  • Keep an open pathway of multi-directional communication ? encourage relationships within team and across teams so that everyone feels part of the same unified company and will therefore champion the business goals and vision forward.
  • Encourage awareness ? it is fundamentally easier to practice the give and take of a great and engaging relationship when both the weaknesses and strengths of team members are known
  • Find business/team harmony ? regardless of number results, a long-term successful team and company will have a variety of personality types that will hold each other accountable while also respecting differences.

Behavioral Approach to Hiring Trap: The Dangers of Hiring Yourself

Right Person, Right Job, Right Fit

Hiring is one of the most significant functions of leadership. Hiring people that fit the culture of the organization can be more important than focusing on talent and skills alone. Hiring candidates that are culturally fit with your organization can help companies improve employee retention, engagement, loyalty and organizational stability. Understanding behavioral styles and how candidates would fit into not just the company culture, but the team dynamics and the specific tasks they have to perform, is fundamental to the hiring process.

Results of studies over the years vary on the exact cost of hiring the wrong person. But unquestionably, a bad hire brings exorbitant costs in the efforts of time, training, productivity, disruption, and possibly lost sales. These costs certainly include a lost opportunity to have had the right person accomplishing the tasks.

Overall, hiring is an expensive investment as it takes one of the most valuable resources: time. Therefore, it shouldn’t be rushed. Every hire must add value and fulfill a strategic role that enables the vision of the business to be expressed and implemented.

If the candidate performs well at the interview stage and theres a personal connection, exercise careful consideration as you might be in danger of hiring yourself. Hiring candidates who reflect your characteristics is a costly trap many leaders fall into.

If you are a leader involved in hiring, ensure that there is a very clear idea of the job to be filled and the value getting the right hire brings to the business. Feeling familiar and comfortable with a potential hire might not be good for the business but it takes an evaluation. Understanding how to manage different communication and behavioral styles to best engage hires with the business is a key to the evaluation and solution/ answer.

Wise leaders hire and develop people who are smarter than themselves. To be a proactive leader, understand the gaps in your own skill set and look for candidates who are able to fill those gaps in order to build a team that can deliver continuous excellent outcomes. A well rounded team leverages each team members strengths to match the tasks to be completed.

The key is to understand how to manage individuals behaviors within a team environment. Successful teams will always include, for example, relationship builders as they glue the team together and manage stake-holders expectations. Strategists, who are the planners, steer the team to deliver required outcomes on time. Initiators, who are the take charge type, motivate and author changes in direction and pace if required. Reflective thinkers question and evaluate the details.? Such behavioral factors working together bring strengths to an organization or team but also present some blind spots. As a leader, it is important to understand this dynamic and use the knowledge to draw together a cohesive, balanced, and high performing team.

Hiring the right person for the right job should involve a variety of viewpoints and skill sets. You want your team to challenge each other to achieve at the next level.

Understanding communication and behavioral styles uncovers:

  • Talents ? predictable behaviors that are ingrained
  • Learned Behaviors ? behaviors that are developed or evolved:
  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Experiences
  • Environments
  • Core Foundations:
  • Passion
  • Values
  • Purpose
  • Healthy Money Attitude

Leaders, heres your challenge: Use your understanding of different behavioral styles as a stepping stone guide to the right hire and:

  1. Be clear on the company and team values and company culture; who will fit in and/or what complimentary styles need to be added
  2. Evaluate the process, role, specific tasks and responsibilities that require an additional person
  3. Develop a benchmark for the “desired” behavioral style of the new hire that fits the role, the team and the company
  4. In addition to reviewing resumes, references and interview results, add a behavioral assessment for each candidate to see how close to the desired benchmark profile they are for another data point in the decision making process.
  5. Look at what the team will look like with the new person on the team (should there be a shift in responsibilities to leverage individual strengths?)
  6. Include a discussion on behavioral styles in the hiring process (this offers some really great discussions and insights that regular interview questions don’t provide.)

Invest time into building your team through both resume content and uncovering natural behavior, which provides stability over the long-term. Natural behavior is the unique mix of ingrained traits that shape how a person responds to other factors in their life that constantly change ? upbringing, workplace, learning, passion, relationships. Uncover this and you will have the right person in the right job delivering the right fit and will not have fallen into the trap of hiring yourself.

The Two Best Predictors of Team Productivity

Why do some teams get excellent results while others seem to struggle? In order to answer that question, most leaders will focus on analyzing the metrics such as sales, number of office visits, average call handling time, and number of issues resolved, to understand the performance gap.? While the numbers can provide the bottom line story that CEOs want to hear, the how of getting to a high level of team performance might surprise you.
DNA Talent Management
Researchers at MITs Human Dynamics Laboratory found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a teams success.? Not only that, but they are as significant as all the other factors – individual intelligence, personality, skill, and the substance of discussions – combined!

The best predictors of productivity are a teams energy and engagement outside of formal meetings. Together, these two explained one-third of the variations in dollar productivity among groups!

What behavior performance gaps are holding back your sales team or service centers from increased revenue and productivity? How can you identify the communication styles of your team to guarantee more success???Find out your communication style.

Management Principle: Thinking and Staff Development

In today’s world we’re not really encouraged to think, and by that I mean to wrestle long and hard over issues that involve different mindsets, considering tradeoffs, and then arriving at specific well thought out conclusions. Rather, we are asked to adopt and accept certain belief systems and simply conform. Since Pavlov’s famous experiment with man’s best friend, humanity has become the target of social conditioning, where like food shopping, we pick our favorite brand off the shelf–a concoction that if we could only see how it was made, we would likely decide to raise it and cook it ourselves. As the late Dr. Glenn Martin, professor at Indiana Wesleyan University would say, “Ideas have consequences.” What this means for organizational leaders is that developing today’s staff will present a very different challenge compared to other eras. Applying time-tested professional techniques are going to feel foreign, strange and even unsettling, particularly with the emerging generation.

Thinking and Staff Development, business planning, business management, employee engagementIf we want to effectively mentor and develop others then we must get them to think. Why? Good thinking yields good judgment; good judgment yields good decision-making; good decision-making yields win-win scenarios for all parties involved. It produces an owner mindset if we are careful to create a culture that supports risk-taking and innovation. Yet in juxtaposition to thinking cultures are many of today’s business environments, where we’ve followed the same protocol as the rest of society, engaging in telling platforms, communicating conformity rather than encouraging the originality and creativity that come from contemplation and having our conclusions tested by the questions and thinking of others.

If we really want to develop staff into people that can ultimately take our place, we have to engage in a more radical approach. I remember becoming aware of this truth when my boss walked into my office one day as I was standing in front of my window, staring at the outside world. He snuck up behind me and said in a pronounced voice, “Caught you!” I was so embarrassed–I knew I wasn’t really “working.” I’ll never forget his next statement… “I caught you thinking, and just so you know, that’s what I pay you to do.” He then walked out. This boss of mine is the reason I am who I am today, thanks to his ability to know the right and professional thing to do to make me a better man and a more professional manager.

Below are some keys steps to develop thinking in your staff:

  • Ask Questions. A professional manager will ask discovery-based questions rather than provide answers when employees approach them with problem-solving needs. This can feel uncomfortable for staff, since it exposes their current (and usually inadequate) thinking and makes them feel vulnerable. A safe culture is a prerequisite. In school, when taking tests, we are presented with questions for which we must provide answers. We study because we know we are going to be asked difficult questions. And if we’ve studied hard enough, we’ll give the right answer. Telling bosses stunt the growth and development of their staff.
  • Next Steps. To ensure an employee fully owns their job, all next steps must be placed on them. If we say to our staff, “Let me think it over and I’ll get back with you,” we’ve stumbled in our professional role. What we are really saying when this happens is, “I don’t trust your thinking, so I’m going to use my thinking until I come up with the right answer.” One of the key principles when training a soldier how to shoot is to keep the instructor’s finger off the trigger. If we hope to increase our employees’ competency over time, we need to push the thinking down, keep the problem-solving on them, and avoid doing their work.
  • Insure Decision-making. It would be a disaster if, by only asking questions and assigning next steps, our employees went out like the old cartoon character Tennessee Tuxedo and acted on their half-baked ideas. We’d spend much of our time accounting to our boss, making excuses for the actions of our employees and our inability to lead. This is why I like Bill Oncken’s Freedom Scale. Depending on our anxiety level, there are certain levels of freedom we assign to employee decisions to insure sound actions. If we don’t like their ideas, rather than give them the answer, we find the next best question to ask to help them see the bigger picture.

I know what you are thinking. All this sounds great but it takes too much time. And, time it does take. But, like a good financial investment, it means delaying current gratification for long-term gain. The truth is, for a telling boss, he or she will spend most of their time answering the same questions over and over again, which is a waste of time. By applying these principles on the front end of staff development, we’ll produce people who will ultimately think and judge the same way we do. If you want your staff to improve in their judgments and decision-making, then you must cultivate your thinking in them. This same process works well with teenage children, by the way.

Coaching questions: When your employees seek your direction or some version of problem-solving, how do you usually respond? How can you take steps to make sure your thinking is being developed in them, so that they can ultimately replace you in a succession process? Write your answers in your journal.

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

5 out of 60 Cause Execution Blockages

As a leader have you ever looked into your business to discover where the execution blockages are? If you have done this, did you pinpoint the exact blockage points?

Of course, the blockage points are with specific people on your team or in the broader business. There only needs to be one square peg in a round hole for there to be a problem. It does not need to be many people out of place. However, it is often difficult to objectively see who is causing the blockages.

Last week we did an organizational review of a company with 60 employees. Our starting point was to have each employee complete their Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery. Then we were able to apply talent benchmarks for each role to determine the optimal fit of each person. Our initial external view was that 5 people performing leadership and sales roles were a poor fit.

The leader then confirmed that these 5 people were performing below the required level and in one case a business unit was significantly under achieving its goals. The good news is that the problems were identified and a plan was developed to assign these valuable people to other roles whilst maintaining engagement.

To learn more about the processes you can use to increase employee engagement, please visit www.businessdnaresources.com or email inquiries@dnabehavior.com.