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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Getting To The Top

The skills and strengths that sent your career soaring aren’t the same ones you’ll need to survive and thrive in the executive ranks. That’s why 40 percent of new leaders don’t last more than 18 months. So how can you beat the odds? Let go of old beliefs and behaviours—and pick up new ones.

Let go of self-doubt. An insecure executive makes a lousy leader. Put confidence in your presence and purpose—even if it doesn’t come naturally at first.

Let go of running flat-out until you crash. Working 24/7 may have made you a superstar. Keep it up at the top—where the expectations are enormous—and you’ll burn out. Break the cycle by building time for recovery and renewal into your schedule.

Let go of one-size-fits-all communication. Customise every message for the group and goals at hand. Less is more, so become a master of the headline.

Let go of self-reliance. Replace “me” with “we.” You may have advanced on your own, but now you’re only as good as your team.

Let go of the urge to tell “how.” No more micromanaging. Set the agenda for what gets done and leave the how to your team.

Let go of responsibility. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Responsibility for a few results belongs to your team. Accountability for many results belongs to you.

Let go of only looking up and down. There’s more to consider than what’s up with the boss or what’s going down with the subordinates. Look left and right, too. Partnerships with peers are key to success.

Let go of an inside-out view. An internal perspective may have served you in the past, but not now. Lead with an outside-in view by understanding the issues in the external environment.

Let go of the small footprint. Your days of being “low-profile” are over. At the top, you act and speak on behalf of your entire company. Mind your manners—and your messages.

You Can't Manage People - You Can Only Manage Their Environment

Many leaders don't understand what it means to truly motivate people to perform at their best. Here are three principles of motivation that should help you understand what drives people in the work environment:

You can't motivate other people: While there are many leaders who think they are motivational or inspirational, the word "motivation" comes from the root word "motive," so motivation is what moves people to action. The drive or energy to do something can only come from within the person. People only do what they want to do or choose to do. The question for leaders is not, "How can I motivate people?" The question is, "How can I help people be self motivated to do the right things?"

All people are motivated:  You may be thinking, 'I know some people who aren't motivated'. Well, some people are motivated to do absolutely nothing and some are motivated to do just enough to keep their jobs. Others are motivated to do the opposite of what you want them to do. The reality is, everyone is motivated to do exactly what they are doing right now... that is why they are doing it.

You can create an environment where people are motivated to perform at their best: This should be the first lesson in Leadership 101. The key to getting great performance from employees is to create a great work environment. Unfortunately, many managers believe that the key to great results is to control people, and in the process they create an environment that kills creativity, passion, and performance.