A LEADER’S TOOLKIT
A Google search of ‘leadership’ returned 127,000,000 hits that contain millions if not trillions of words that might tell the reader how to become and remain a leader, think strategically yet act in the here and now, and, most importantly, be authentic. The down to earth version – including those for MBAs – is that working in the real world, a leader needs to be hands on and involved to gain intelligence on the best use of the skills and talents of their followers for a positive impact on the company’s bottom line. At the same time, the sea change of technology advancements challenges leaders to use their internal GPS to stay on a path to achieve their vision. Leaders learn that while technology is an indispensable tool (see below), there are other tools like art and science to successfully develop leaders.
Using the tool of the art of leadership is most effective when you are your authentic self. Like every masterpiece by Vincent Van Gogh, you are one of a kind, someone who demonstrates a unique presence to your audience. You engage in observational awareness of organizational behavior to Promote Real! and have conversations with your staff arranging for talent development workshops such as those Leigh conducts, mentoring high-potentials, rocking the boat by engaging in more effective routines, overseeing staff’s innovative ideas, etc. while demonstrating emotional intelligence.
The science of your leadership tool is built around being intellectually stimulated to apply research by academicians such as Warren Bennis, results of surveys conducted by major organizations like Gallup, articles by top leaders and consultants in publications like the Harvard Business Review, theories in textbooks that describe ways to motivate staff, etc. It is staying on top of your game by keeping up with global economic news, understanding the value of yet more social media or new technology, finding resources to resolve tensions between the younger generation entering the workplace and the older generation remaining in the workplace. It is also being the subject of a self- or 360° leadership assessment to get a statistical summary of your performance.
Technology is a rapidly increasingly large component of a leader’s tool kit. It is also a double-edged sword, one that can lead to greater efficiency and sales or one that can lead to less effective employee performance and less efficient productivity. The global culture – as well as the workplace culture – is being greatly influenced and seduced by social media technology that can blur the line between business and personal issues. Questions you can ask yourself about the effectiveness of social media include: Will all the technology used during a workday add business value? Will social media bring you and your company the expected returns on investment by being on Facebook, having someone tweet on Twitter, developing a company profile on LinkedIn, and showing up on other sites that like spring flowers are blossoming on the Web? Do you have the time to develop and enforce the practices and policies for usage of the Internet to keep high employee daily production?
Information that may be helpful to forming your answers include: On May 15, 2012, General Motors withdrew $10 million of ads from Facebook because they just didn’t work to sell cars. A study of more than 1,000 professionals conducted in 2010 by Pierre Khawand, Founder and CEO of People-on-the-Go, revealed that employees can spend around four hours of their work day on e-mail and social media sites, and, depending on the generation, about two hours of that is for personal use. Around 92% of employees check personal e-mail daily and some employees interrupt their work flow 43% of the workday to check their ‘inboxes’ – what can be called a street crime since employees show up for work but they are not there. Many companies have not set up e-mail or social media policies and practices; however, it would be a good idea to do so since over 80% of Gen Y employees spend time on Facebook. For business and legal reasons, a clear and direct policy that has been vented by an approval committee is crucial to be transparent on who owns company technology and social media.
If the effort to keep your tool kit fresh with new ideas and innovative projects, let’s talk! You can reach Leigh by phone (646-373-4321) or e-mail Leigh@LTR-NYC.com to set up a complimentary half-hour appointment.