What Makes Millennials Good Leaders

It’s dangerous to paint entire generations with the same brush; some tendencies or narratives can quickly become exaggerated. On the subject of Millennials and leadership, two conflicting stories often emerge: the first, that Millennials want a fast track to leadership roles without being willing to pay their dues; the second, that Millennials are not willing to accept the sacrifices — working long hours at the expense of family — expected of leaders.

A recent global study by France’s INSEAD shows that some of these narratives are misleading. According to the study, based on interviews with thousands of Millennials in 43 countries, 70 percent of the Millennials considered becoming a leader “important” or “very important,” and nearly 64 percent said they were willing to work longer hours and have more stress for the opportunities to be leaders. While past studies and books might focus on Millennials in their role as future leaders, a new book declares that the future has arrived. Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader, by Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, is written for and not about Millennial leaders and managers. Step by step, the authors lay out the challenges and best practices for Millennial managers already in leadership positions or preparing for the next step. The authors use their own surveys and research as sources for their prescriptions.

Because of their youth, Millennial managers immediately face unique challenges…

 

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Guest Blog, Part II: Specific Secrets that Prevent Leaders from Success

Webinar: How to Win Big in Business and in LifePart II of AmyK Hutchens’ guest blog on the specific secrets that prevent leaders from achieving greater success faster.

Don’t forget to sign up for AmyK’s webinar:
How to Win Big in Business and in Life
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM

 

(Continuation of Part I)

  1. Likeability Malady Leaders do not wake up and consciously think, “What can I do today to get my followers to like me?” However, they often avoid conflict by choosing harmony over discord and choosing likeability over criticism.

When leaders focus on being liked, they unconsciously attempt to please the people they’re leading, and people-pleasing can lead to a lack of clarity, integrity and truth about what they stand for, where they’re going and why. People-pleasing alienates followers and fractures the group, reaping the exact opposite of what they were trying to do – gather people together for a common cause, a common goal, a common destination. When leaders focus too much on being liked, they lose the courage to say what needs to be said or do what needs to done. This lack of courage generates missed opportunities and yields diluted results.

Focusing on leading does not require leaders to abandon kindness. Behaving in a likeable manner, showing mercy, offering forgiveness, and demonstrating self-respect conveys leadership and yields results—a bonus, ironic byproduct is that others followers often like leaders more when they’re focused on leading instead of worrying about likeability. Instead of trying to be everything to all people, leaders need to be themselves in order to maintain integrity in their words and actions. Those that follow them will do so because they believe in the authenticity of the leader and his or her ultimate mission.

  1. Comparison Condition is one of the worst forms of self-abuse. Many leaders are so busy comparing themselves to other businesses and/or other leaders, living in a world of “should haves” and “should bes,” that they lose focus on their own path to success. When leaders compare themselves to everything and everyone, they end up taking detours, trying out other peoples’ paths. They dilute their talent and ultimately lose their mojo. When leaders lose their sense of self, when they drift too far, they often burn out and lose their followers. Staying on their own path is integral to focus, productivity, performance and results. It’s hard to charge full-steam ahead when you’re always looking sideways.

 

When leaders are willing to expose the secrets they keep – even if only to themselves, and work through them – they can positively and exponentially transform their business success. Often times, leaders say they pay a high price to chart a new course. The price leaders pay is a direct reflection of the secrets they keep.

 

AmyK Hutchens is the Founder of AmyK Inc., a firm specializing in leadership, innovation and sales Think Tanks. Recently awarded International Speaker of the Year by Vistage UK (World’s leading CEO membership organization), and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Secrets Leaders Keep, AmyK is a catalyst for igniting brilliance in leaders. More than 40,000 executives in over nine countries have benefited from her keen insight and intuitive understanding of the issues leaders face. Learn even more at www.amyk.com. Follow AmyK on Twitter at @AmyKInc.

 

Stop Fighting Human Nature and Increase Your Performance, Engagement and Influence

Selfish, Scared and Stupid examines the psychology behind why even the best ideas sometimes fail. Gregory and Flanagan help businesses design their organizations for reality rather than perfection and offer strategies to head off unprecedented levels of disengagement within and outside the business. They answer baffling questions around why the public sometimes fails to engage despite overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, why so many new products end up on clearance shelves, and why so many great salespeople often fall short of their monthly targets.

Selfish, Scared and Stupid is built on the idea that businesses must return to a more human engagement methodology in order to succeed. It is an informative read for anyone interested in improving influence, growing business reach, improving sales figures or understanding the complexities of human behavior.

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One Businessman’s Secret to Success

Although known mostly for his conservative political activism, Charles Koch is also the CEO and chairman of a privately owned company that he has grown from a $21 million valuation in 1961 to $100 billion today. In his new book, Good Profit, Koch introduces a management framework called Market-Based Management, or MBM, which consists of five elements:

Vision. Create products and services that profit the consumer and society as a whole. The title of his book, Koch writes, comes from this viewpoint; good profit is good for all.

Virtue and Talents. Hire people that adhere to the values of the company first and foremost, before focusing on specific skills or knowledge.

Knowledge Processes. These are processes that enable the sharing of knowledge. Organizational structures that encourage collaboration, both internally and with external partners, are vital. Measurement processes, such as benchmarking, are also key. Finally, knowledge-sharing also depends on open two-way communication between employees and supervisors — specifically in allowing employees to “challenge their bosses respectfully if they think they have a better answer.”

Decision Rights. This is the business equivalent of the economic concept of “property rights” — in other words, ownership. The importance of ownership is another familiar but important component of good management. The more employees feel an ownership stake in what they are doing, the more care and conscientiousness they will apply to the task.

Incentives. Motivate employees to “maximize their contribution.” Koch uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, specifically the culminating need of “self-actualization,” as inspiration. Employees must feel that when the company benefits, they benefit. For Koch, there is no self-actualization motivation in automatic raises, including COLA raises.

The unfettered free-market politics of Koch, which is detailed in the first part of the book….

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Guest Blog: Every Leader Has Secrets – What are Yours?

Today’s Guest Blogger is AmyK Hutchens, Founder of AmyK Inc., a firm specializing in leadership, innovation and sales Think Tanks. For more from AmyK, sign up for her webinar:

How to Webinar: How to Win Big in Business and in LifeWin Big in Business and in Life
Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time:
12:00 PM
Speaker:
AmyK Hutchens

 

 

 

 

Every Leader Has Secrets – What are Yours?
by AmyK Hutchens

Part I

There are reasons why leaders pop antacids, drink a little too much, abuse their power, lose followers or fall from grace. Everyone keeps secrets and leaders are no exception. In fact, there are three specific secrets leaders share that prevent them from achieving greater success faster: Imposter Syndrome, Self-Criticism Fixation and Comparison Condition. These afflictions, when not dealt with, truncate success. However, when they are overcome, not only do they unleash potential, they help leaders meet and exceed their vision.

1. Imposter Syndrome is when leaders experience feelings of inadequacy and chronic self-doubt that persist even when results indicate that the opposite is true. Leaders often have the internal mantra, “I do not belong here. I’m not worthy of being taken seriously, and everyone will soon discover that I’m a fraud.” Unfortunately, many successful, smart, talented leaders believe they are neither good enough nor have enough to play in the coveted sandbox of “innovator and game changer.” These leaders end up behaving poorly in an attempt to cover up their fears. Leaders who fear being “caught” may avoid taking risks that could reveal their perceived inadequacies, or they settle for less, not believing they deserve better than mediocre results, mediocre talent or average opportunities. These fears undermine their success by manifesting real life mistakes and self-induced failures.

When leaders replace their feelings of inadequacy and paranoia about being discovered a “fraud” with a healthier, more realistic assessment about their strengths and contributions, they build self-confidence. Their confidence then helps them move forward with greater momentum. When leaders focus less on their skill-gaps and more on how best to leverage their gifts and talents, as well as the gifts and talents of those they lead, they create new value.

 

To continue reading about the other 2 secrets, Self-Criticism Fixation and Comparison Condition, check back next week for Part II of AmyK Hutchens’ Guest Blog.

Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

In Disrupt You!, Jay Samit, a digital-media expert who has launched, grown and sold startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, describes the unique method he has used to invent new markets and expand established businesses. He reveals how specific strategies that help companies flourish can be applied at an individual level to help anyone achieve success and lasting prosperity –– without needing to raise funds from outside investors. Incorporating stories and anecdotes from innovators and disruptive businesses, Samit shows…

 

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Guest Blog: The 6 Critical Steps Required to Transform Culture

Part II of John Mattone’s thoughts on cultural transformations in your organization
Don’t forget to sign up for John’s webinar with us, tomorrow, January 26th!

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The 6 Critical Steps Required to Transform Culture

  1. Culture starts with the CEO. Are you a CEO who ‘Thinks Different” and “Thinks Big”?
  2. Do you counter-balance “Thinking Different” and “Thinking Big” with heavy doses of humility? In other words, do you have the guts to be vulnerable and recognize that while you may be great in certain areas both individually and collectively as a company, you still have …gaps that need to be addressed to achieve greatness? Are you able to see and feel the pain associated with staying the same and are you able to get your team to see and feel the pain? People only consider changing when the pain associated with staying the same is perceived to be worse than the pain associated with change.
  3. Creating a compelling future for your people and teams? It starts with great leadership at all levels.
  4. Are you able to change mindsets? If you can change mind sets you can change behavior. If you can change behavior, you will change results.
  5. Are you able to push the talent levers in support of your new culture?
  6. Are you passionate and diligent in measuring progress and course-correcting?

Corporate Culture Exists Whether You Define It or Not

Whether you articulate it or not, your organization has its own culture. When corporate culture is ignored, it might evolve in a way that’s good, but then again, it might calcify into a culture that drives away your best people and stifles improvement efforts. Know the goals you want the organization to achieve and learn what changes are necessary to achieve them. Change is hard, but nothing worthwhile is easy.

 

About John Mattone

John Mattone is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership, talent and culture. He is the author of eight books, including three best-sellers and has been recognized by The Thinkers 50 and Globalgurus.com as one of the world’s top ten leadership authorities and executive coaches.

 

Our Declining Abilities as Humans

In the early years of cellphones, the younger generation’s affinity for texting might have been seen as another generation-gap marker. Almost surreptitiously, however, the cellphone has become much more than just the new way of doing things for a new generation. As eloquently documented in psychoanalyst Sharon Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming Conversation, the cellphone — and, more specifically, the smartphone — has dramatically shifted the core element at the heart of human society: human relationships. The havoc wreaked by the cellphone is not generation-specific because all generations are guilty.

Turkle encapsulates the problem as one of losing both the desire and even the ability of conversation. We avoid face-to-face conversations, or even phone conversations, in favor of texting or email.

Granted, texting or email can, in the right circumstances, be more efficient. And indeed, the efficiency argument is one that underpins much of the enthusiasm for the smartphone. As revealed through the many interviews Turkle conducted in her research for the book, the generation that grew up with cellphones is perplexed as to why anyone would prefer a live conversation that one cannot edit or control (you must respond immediately). This apparent efficiency, however, is insidious, because “Human relationships,” she writes, “are rich, messy and demanding. When we clean them up with technology, we move from conversation to the efficiencies of mere connection (author’s emphasis). I fear we forget the difference. And we forget that children who grow up in a world of digital devices don’t know that there’s a difference.”

Pilots in a Cockpit

In her disturbing book, Turkle details the negative impact of moving from conversation to “mere connection.” It ranges from the end of imaginative and creative daydreaming — with a phone always handy, any spare second is filled with trolling through apps or checking Facebook — to the inability of being empathetic to others — which requires eye contact, listening and attending to someone — to even the inability of being true to one’s self. Today, unfettered journal entries have been replaced by carefully constructed positive posts on Facebook.

The damage of the age of the cellphone impacts everything we do. In the workplace, for example, employees turn on their screens and put on large earphones to block out the rest of the world — resembling pilots in a cockpit, according to one manager. It is not that the employees want privacy or solitude. In fact, the fear of solitude is one of the major changes wrought by the smartphone; people are never alone and never want to be alone. As a result, even the simple assignment of working on a project is unfathomable to younger employees; they need to work in groups.

Turkle is not anti-technology. She does not pine for a past that has disappeared. Instead, she compellingly describes how we are becoming unnecessarily diminished in our abilities as humans. The answer is not to reject technology but to use it properly. “We can become different kinds of consumers of technology, just as we have become different kinds of consumers of food,” she writes. Reclaiming Conversation is an important book, one that hopefully will be read and talked about — or at least posted about extensively on social media so that its vital message can break into the millions of cockpits that now make up our society.

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Guest Blog: The #1 Reason Why Business Transformation Efforts Fail

Today’s guest blogger is John Mattone, author of Cultural Transformations. For more about transforming your organization, sign up for his webinar.

Webinar: The Disruptive Leadership "Mindset" That Will Transform Your OrganizationLessons of Leadership and Corporate Reinvention
Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Time: 12:00pm
Speaker: John Mattone

 

 

 

 

Part I

Look no further than culture.

Requirements for Successful Corporate Culture Change

To know which direction to go, the CEO and c-level team has to define what they want the desired culture to be like and reasons why it’s necessary to get there. The most important question to ask and answer is, “What is the business imperative for culture transformation?” My culture transformation consulting team and I can’t be of much help if company leadership isn’t specific about the business outcomes it wants. Are you trying to become more innovative? Customer-oriented? Institute a stronger execution culture? This is where successful transformation efforts begin.

Measure, measure and measure again. Yes, culture can be measured. The problem is only about 15% of global companies measure the health and vibrancy of their culture. By comparison, 75% of global companies measure engagement levels of their employees. Yet, it is culture that drives engagement. Therein lies the problem: Most companies are not calibrating and addressing the “leading indicators” that drive engagement and ultimate operating success.

It’s also necessary to define for every employee why it’s in their personal interest to embrace cultural change. Everyone needs to be able to envision the benefits of cultural change so they’re motivated to make the necessary changes in their day-to-day work.

But cultural change doesn’t mean throwing everything out. There may be ways the current culture works well and can help achieve organizational goals. In these cases, recognizing those cultural touch points can reduce everyone’s change-related anxiety. But company leadership must support the desired culture through rewards systems, performance management, and training for change to really gain traction.

Check back next week for Part II where John Mattone discusses the 6 Critical Steps Required to Transform Culture.

Creating an Environment That Energizes Everyone

The Optimistic Workplace

When it comes to work these days, we’re expected to do more with less –– but is this nose-to-the-grindstone philosophy the best way to run a business? Alarmingly low employee engagement numbers indicate otherwise.

So, if pushing everyone harder isn’t the path to productivity, what is? Supported by the latest research, The Optimistic Workplace argues that our best work is the product of a positive environment. That’s good news for you as a manager. While you can’t personally transform the corporate culture, you can influence the workplace climate and create meaningful and lasting change.

Advocating a steward model of management, The Optimistic Workplace demonstrates how a people-centric focus ignites employee potential, increases innovation and catapults the organization to new levels of performance. Author Shawn Murphy reveals how to explore personal and organizational purpose and align them for astonishing results, build camaraderie and deepen loyalty, increase intrinsic motivation and more. Far from being a wish-upon-a-star discussion of workplace happiness, The Optimistic Workplace presents an array of surprisingly simple strategies to focus your actions and make employee optimism not just a worthy goal but a real and measurable result.

 

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