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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Leadership Skills Lacking in Over 50% of US Managers

According to a recently published survey, the majority of workers in the U.S. find their bosses likeable, but feel the management within their companies have room for improvement.

When asked to rank which qualities their boss best exhibited, likeability took the top spot among U.S. workers, followed by leadership, honesty, fairness, patience and loyalty.

Although leadership ranked second, just less than half of workers polled (49%) thought their managers exhibited strong leadership skills – a sobering data point reinforcing the need for renewed focus on leadership development.

Among other key findings from the survey are:

•Motivation & Mentorship Lagging: Only 24% of employees polled felt that their manager displayed motivational skills, and the same number noted that their supervisor failed to mentor and explain the choices made from an organisational perspective.

•Career Growth Continues: The majority of workers surveyed (66%) still feel that their manager promotes work and career growth internally – an important element to ensuring strong retention and engagement as the economy turns around.

•Leadership Is Remaining Honest About Economic Climate: 75% of employees trust their manager to be honest about their job security, and 77% agree that their supervisor should be candid about the company direction.

Regardless of how the economy is fairing, it's mission critical that organisations look inward and consistently review how their employees perceive the actions being made by supervisors and management. Employees that feel underappreciated and unmotivated are less productive and will be the first to leave once the job market shows signs of improvement. Developing strong leadership – at all levels of an organisation - is essential to solve this problem effectively and improve employee morale and retention.

Here are some thoughts for organisations looking to improve leadership development:

•Focus on identifying and developing leaders in critical roles at all levels of the organisation. It is essential for organisations to develop their leadership talent beginning with emerging leaders who may be in their first managerial roles and continuing through more senior high potentials and succession candidates. This comprehensive focus on development drives a culture of leadership excellence and improved performance throughout all levels of management.

•Ensure that leadership development efforts are aligned with specific business objectives and strategies. Leadership development activities should reinforce strengths and close skill gaps to enable leaders to bring their own performance and the performance of the teams they lead to the highest level of effectiveness in ways that are aligned with the evolving needs and goals of the business.

•Implement development approaches, such as executive coaching, that reinforce sustainable behaviour change. Development investments must drive a positive impact on the business in a method that can be sustained over time. Effective executive coaching is a strategic way to help management gain vision while continuing to expand skills.
For more, see - http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lee-hecht-harrison-survey-finds-strong-leadership-still-lacking-in-the-workplace-82679982.html

Business Leader becomes Sports Leader

To David Brandon, leadership is about fostering integrity and character, eliminating divisiveness and encouraging hard work.

That leadership style - including a strong grasp of branding principles - provides a framework for how the outgoing Domino’s Pizza CEO is likely to run the University of Michigan’s athletic department. Brandon, speaking to reporters recently, said he would emphasise an intense work ethic and values as fundamental qualities necessary to improve the athletic department. And Brandon's business colleagues said in interviews that his comments fit with his general leadership philosophy.

Brandon formed his leadership philosophy from his days as a Wolverine football player for Bo Schembechler to his 11 years as CEO of Ann Arbor-based Domino’s. Brandon understands that U-M’s athletic success - or lack thereof - bears significant implications for the university’s educational reputation. After U-M won the national championship in 1997, for example, applications to the university rose by 22 percent.

“It provides an enormous benefit and has a huge impact on the Michigan brand,” Brandon told reporters. “I really view it as somewhat of a selling point for the University of Michigan.”

Brandon’s leadership qualities were born when he won three Big 10 championships as a backup quarterback for Schembechler in the 1970s. “He surrounded himself with terrific people," Brandon said of Schembechler. "I learned that from him. He recruited character and integrity. I learned that from him, and I translated that to the way I conduct my business career."

Improving Workplace Communications for Improved Results

Take a read at these communication tactics for a hospital  Emergency Room and think about how they might translate into your leadership style in business for improved staff performance and results:

Tactic #1: Rounding for Outcomes – Rounding for outcomes is the consistent practice of asking specific questions one-on-one of staff and patients to obtain actionable information. It enables a leader to play offense, not defense.

Rounding on staff is the single best way to raise employee satisfaction and loyalty and ultimately attract and retain high performing employees. Rounding on patients improves clinical outcomes, promotes patient safety, and increases efficiency in the ER.

Tactic #2: Key Words at Key Times – Use Key Words at Key Times in the ER so patients know why you are doing what you are doing, to be compliant with regulations, and to ensure consistency in communications to reduce patient anxiety and increase safety.

Use key words for pain, plan of care, and keeping patients informed (duration) since these match patient priorities in the ER. Choose a few key words and key times and then use them with every patient every time. Be relentless!

Tactic #3: Patient Post-Visit Phone Calls – Post-visit (discharge) phone calls improve clinical outcomes, increase patient satisfaction and market share, reduce complaints, and decrease costly and unnecessary re-admissions. They save lives.