Archive for February, 2009

I still see a number of companies whose leaders appear to think that this recession is something that they can survive by simply cutting costs arbitrarily. I don’t believe that is a strategy for success.

Visionary leaders will act as results deviate from plans and disruptive events occur

Visionary leaders will act as results deviate from plans and disruptive events occur

Booz & Co. says this recession is a “once in a hundred years event” that is going to take out the weak and marginal players in many industries. The winners will be those who are conservative financially, retreat to their strengths and study the emerging business environment, watching for opportunities and disruptive events. Today’s news of GM losing $9.6 Billion in 2008Q4, an expected 2009 US deficit of $1.75 Trillion, and rising unemployment claims support that this recession is going to be very bad.
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Leaders, what do you do when your followers march in a different direction? Do you stay where you are and continue promoting your plan? Or do you try something else - and if so, what?

If your followers ignore your lead, you must rejoin them to regain their trust and devotion.

If your followers ignore your lead, you must rejoin them to regain their trust and devotion.

This leadership dilemma faces Rick Wagoner and the GM board. Once upon a time, GM was the undisputed market leader, even when Toyota and Honda started eating away at its middle class car-buyer base and BMW ate away at its Cadillac luxury base. Most people still believed in what GM and the other US automakers had to say. Congress and the executive branch followed dutifully along, setting national policy to match what Detroit said was needed.
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Categories : Approaches & Styles
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You’ve been through the good times and success seemed easy. Now what? Will your leadership skills
support you in bad times?
When you are busy scrambling to hold your business together, will your leadership approach be knee-jerk responses? Do you cut jobs, cut products and cut production facilities arbitrarily? Or do you have a plan based on your vision to guide you?

Your leadership success starts with your vision and plan
Your leadership success starts with
your vision and plan

How current is your vision and plan?

How long has it been since you planned for the future? When did you last create a dream of more prosperity? When we are entrepreneurs of small companies, many of us say there isn’t the time for such luxuries. And we say that such planning is what big companies do. We’ll do it when we become big and can afford the luxury of the extra staff to do it. Are we being smart leaders if we don’t have a vision and a plan?

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Leaders find the right goal and keep their eyes on it

Leaders find the right goal and keep their eyes on it

As a leader, you should be able to influence others to want to do what you believe needs to be done. In this respect, GM and Chrysler are failing, once again, to show leadership in the automotive industry.

GM and Chrysler have failed for years - even decades - to convince the American public that they are leaders in energy efficiency, styling, safety or quality. Now, again, they are asking the American public to fund their inability to make a profit, even after begging for money as recently as the first week in December.

Should the American taxpayer give them another $21.6 billion, as they are requesting? Or have they failed to keep their eyes on the American goal of getting our economy going, without rewarding negligence or incompetence (didn’t we do enough of that with Paulson’s bailout of the Big Banks?)?
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How often do you wish you had more power in your life? A greater opportunity to be a leader in all that is important to you?

The truth is you do have the power to be a leader! You have leadership skills and you should use them! By exercising your leadership skills regularly, your personal effectiveness will increase, giving you more control over your life and work.

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Categories : Approaches & Styles
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Without followers, you aren't a leader

Without followers, you aren't a leader

The first impressions you make are very, very important. In fact, split-second first impressions are extremely important. Why? Well, what does every leader need to be a leader? Followers! That’s right, you can’t be a leader unless others choose to follow you.

Leaders Avoid Negative First Impressions

How quickly can someone reject you as a leader? In less than a tenth of a second. That’s all it takes for someone in your target audience to decide that her survival and your survival are not linked, that her welfare will not be enhanced by you. Once that first tenth of a second is over, you may never have another chance to lead that person because of our species’ innate survival mechanisms.
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Categories : Qualities & Skills
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Leadership skills are essential in getting followers to commit

Leadership skills are essential in getting followers to commit

Which comes first? The leader or the follower? And what does skillful leadership require?

Whenever a group of people have a common goal, one or more leaders will emerge from the pack. As Napoleon said, a leader is someone who is a dealer in hope. It may be hope for more money, a better life, the end of an injustice - or even hope for revenge. Yet the leader must do more than simply offer hope. The leader must present a deal which rings true to the potential followers, something in which they believe they can trust. It must be a deal that inspires the followers to take actions the leader wants done because the followers believe they will realize their hopes.

What we start with, then, is an issue. Within a group, one or more people visualize potential solutions for that issue. Does the person who visualizes the best solution become the leader with his or her solution adopted? Often, the answer is “No.”

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Categories : Qualities & Skills
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Feb
12

Leadership: What Comes First?

Posted by: Gary Clayton | Comments (0)

Which comes first? The leader or the follower? And does the prospective leader’s approach affect his or her success?

Leadership Begins with a Common Goal and Hope

Leaders create hope that the common goal can be achieved

Leaders create hope that the common goal can be achieved

Whenever a group of people have a common goal, one or more leaders will emerge from the pack. As Napoleon said, a leader is someone who is a dealer in hope. It may be hope for more money, a better life, the end of an injustice - or even hope for revenge. Yet the leader must do more than simply offer hope. The leader must present a deal which rings true to the potential followers. It must be a deal that inspires the followers to take actions the leader wants done because the followers believe they will realize their hopes.

What we start with, then, is an issue. Within a group, one or more people visualize potential solutions for that issue. Does the person who visualizes the best solution become the leader with his or her solution adopted? Often, the answer is “No.”

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Categories : Approaches & Styles
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Feb
11

Leader or Manager?

Posted by: Gary Clayton | Comments (0)

Are you managing or leading your team?

Are you leading or managing your team?

Which are you? Leader or manager? In our culture, we tend to use the two terms interchangeably. Yet their definitions show a significant difference between them.

Manager definitions tend to state “a person who conducts business or whose work or profession is management.” Definitions for leader focus on “a person who directs a military unit or who has commanding authority or influence.” There is a distinction in that the manager is focused on work while the leader is focused on people.

In this blog, I go one step further and say the competent leader is one who accomplishes objectives by positively influencing others to want to do – and actually complete - the necessary work.

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Categories : Approaches & Styles
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Corporate leadership approach must anticipate crisis to avoid chaos

Corporate leadership approach must anticipate crisis to avoid chaos

All too often, a single short event can send your world into chaos. Whether your business survives the crisis depends upon your leadership approach. It must encourage early recognition of the crisis and an appropriate response to the situation. I have seen such shock-waves slam the companies of entrepreneurs, who abruptly learned of a quickly advancing terminal disease, seen their finances wiped out by an action of a single major customer or bank, and many more disastrous situations. It can be as simple as a moment of carelessness with a blowtorch or a car hitting a utility pole miles away.

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Categories : Approaches & Styles
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