A Woman Leader’s Self-Esteem – 7 Self-Esteem Issues Faced by Women in Leadership

Women in Business
Women in Business

If you are a woman leader, others look up to you for advise, wisdom, and action. Just being a woman in leadership doesn’t mean you don’t face self-esteem issues at times. Here are 7 self-esteem issues faced by many women in leadership positions.

1. Doubt. It’s not unusual to doubt yourself as a leader. Doubt comes from feeling that you’re not up to the task of being the one in charge. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to know everything. You just have to know enough to find the information you need to deal with the tasks in front of you at any moment.

2. Unfinished Projects. It is detrimental to your self-esteem to feel that your rarely get things finished. Leadership means needing to multitask but working on several projects at once can mean having a lot of loose ends at the same time too. It’s important to know when you have actually reached the end of what you are required to accomplish with any project. Sometimes, you have finished but don’t realize it because you delegated the final touches to someone else. You have to know what being finished means for any task. Make a list of your projects to see what’s really finished and what’s not. Do what you can and then move on.

3. Incomplete Ideas. Leaders are expected to come up with ideas. Others look for you to tell them what to do and to know how to solve problems. You might feel that you’re jumping from one idea to the next. In reality, you might be using several of your ideas but maybe not the complete idea as you originally thought of it. Leadership can move fast. Write down your ideas. Use the portions that fit with the issues at hand and save other portion of your good ideas fro another time, or let them go. Your creative mind will come up with new ideas when you need them.

4. Feel Like a Fake. Did leadership come very quickly to you? Maybe you made a statement that was inspiring or took the reigns on an important issue at just the right time and the rest of the people designated you the leader. If leadership came to you quickly you might not feel up to the task or even feel that you are a fake. You don’t have to remain in a leadership role forever. Complete the issue you were put in charge of and then move on. If you remain as the leader, build your leadership skills so you feel comfortable in the position.

5. Need a Mentor. Women in leadership often lack the support and mentoring that is given to men in leadership. This can cause you to feel alone and lonely when you’re making decisions that affect the lives of others. Seek your own mentors. It might start with reading a biography of another leader and gleaning leadership ideas. Look for leaders in your area and see if you can take her to lunch to discuss issues. There are ways to approach others to be your mentor or you can find an executive coach to help you along in a confidential manner.

6. Need Support. Being in a leadership role can be a time consuming task. It’s important to have support to do tasks and to take some of the load off your plate. Being overworked and worn out is bad for your self-esteem so do take the leadership initiative to do something about it. If you don’t already have help, be pro-active to select someone to work with you even if it’s in a volunteer position. The benefit to you will be relief from some tasks. The benefit to the other person is to get grooming for a future leadership role.

7. Stressed out. Being stressed for sustained periods of time affected your levels of confidence and self-esteem. Leadership can be a stressful position. The need to constantly make a decision, be in the spot light and have the right answers is stressful. As a leader you will need to take control of your schedule and find ways to manage your time to leave space for adequate self-care. If you don’t take care of you, no one else will. Step up the plate, know when to say no, and keep your health in tack to have a high self-self-esteem.

Being in the role of leadership means needing to solid self-esteem. Not all women in leadership have the self-esteem required to be a strong leader. But knowing some of the trouble areas can help you build your self-esteem. You will know how to make decisions that let you get the support and mentoring needed to have a good self-esteem for leadership success.

Consuelo Meux, PhD. owns the Confident Business Women programs for women who are determined to succeed in life and business. Women learn to embrace levels of confidence needed to maximize success and to live an authentic life on purpose. Find out about the upcoming Embracing Confidence Program or join the monthly Confident Women Cafe. Go to the website to find out how at http://www.confidentbusinesswomen.com

Author: Consuelo Meux

Leadership Team Building in Business

Team Commitment
Team Commitment

Many times in business a project must be completed by a group of qualified individuals. As the head of this group, you may have problems making them pull together. Leadership team building is what you may need. You will have to find a way to rally the troops. This may be harder than expected.

One of the problems with leadership team building is communication. In order for things to run smoothly people must know what each part of the group is doing. Effective communication is a key element for making a team run smoothly. When people are talking they are sharing. This means ideas are flowing. Brainstorming with each other is an effective tool in getting teams to work together.

Recognizing the assets of your group is another motivational tool you can use in leadership. Team building can be greatly enhanced when the group knows what they are capable of. Pointing out individual attributes helps with this. People try harder to get the job done when they know it will be appreciated.

Another key element in getting the team to work together making sure the people want to be there. You will find when someone does not want to participate, they probably won’t. To ensure proper leadership, team building means getting the right people. When someone enjoys what they are doing, the job gets done so much better. This means commitment.

In leadership, team building means making and getting a commitment. You must dedicate yourself to the project and ensure it follows the project plan. You must also determine if your team is committed in following this plan. The project plan must be implemented correctly. A dedicated team will make sure each step is followed so the project can reach it’s goal.

Setting goals is a big part of the leadership in team building. You must have a goal the team can work towards. With no set plan or goal, the team may be working on the same things for months. Chaos accomplishes nothing. Directing the team towards a common goal or setting vision will enable everyone to complete the task.

As part of the leadership team, building trust is crucial. When someone is working in an environment where no one trusts each other, there can be strife. Very little work will get done when the team is bickering with each other. You are to act as the liaison between the group members to build trust and confidence.

You will also have to act as a motivator. Part of the leadership, team building will mean motivating the group to accomplish the tasks which they are given. This can come in the form of recognizing a job well done. It can be simply telling someone what their key assets to the team are. Pointing out why they are important to the group can make all the difference in the world. You may have the best programmer in the world, but unless he or she has confidence the work might be sub-par.

There are many things which come into play when in the position of leadership. Team building is not difficult. It just takes a few people skills. These skills can help build the team and get the job done.


Author: Hal Lewis

What Role-Playing Excercises can Do for Your Leadership Skills and Team Building

Leadership activity: Non-Leaders Can Benefit Too

Role Playing in Business Leadership
Role Playing in Business Leadership

Some aren’t so lucky to be born with the natural skills that we recognise in our leaders. For those people it is important to prepare a good leadership activity so that they can acquire and practise the skills required to lead a group of people. This can be in a professional setting, or a social context.

Enjoying the Activity

Role-playing in a leadership activity can make it a pleasurable experience, even fun! It should certainly be interesting as those involved act out the various scenarios. Anyone who may otherwise feel awkward or uncomfortable when surrounded by a group should hopefully feel that much more relaxed and it is. As a result the learning process should be facilitated.

Ideally, leadership activity should give the person the chance to experience specific scenarios from the perspective of the leader and those being led. In this way they will learn the necessary understanding of the needs of the group from the individual’s perspective. This understanding can help them in acquiring the skills to be a more effective leader.

In this role-playing activity, one person assumes the role of leader, and the followers work together under the leadership towards a shared goal. After this, someone else will have the opportunity to lead the group while that person then retreats within the group. During the leadership activity all participants should have opportunity to assume both roles.

There should be a constant alteration of the goals set and the leaders, thereby making the tasks more difficult and the challenges more rewarding. Participants then have to respond in real-time to the challenges as they are presented to them – just as in a real life leadership context.

All those involved in any kind of management, or position of authority over others, should be trained using some type of leadership activity. Participants may include; executives, teachers, policemen and supervisors.

Of course this doesn’t just apply to the workplace, we need leaders in social settings too. There are those who feel uncomfortable constantly following the wishes of the group, and desire to assert themselves more. They may wish to work towards personal objectives and will doubtless gain much from a well conducted leadership activity.

Ethics and Leadership

It is important to stress that with leadership activity the aim must be the creation of effective leaders. It is not to get one over on those around you, or to take advantage of followers. Ethics are therefore important for leaders and should be emphasised as part of a good leadership activity.

We should find then that good leaders result from a good leadership activity.

Mark J Emslie has been a business leader most of his working life. There is more useful information and additional resources on Business Leadership Training at http://www.Leadership4All.com.

Author: Mark J Emslie


Three Questions For Today’s Leadership Teams

Leadership BreakthroughI had the opportunity recently to work with a group of incredible young people chosen to participate in a unique and forward-thinking program to groom future community leaders. The city of Lewiston, Maine believes that listening to teenagers, tapping into their perspectives, and putting their budding talents to work in city government is key to getting and keeping them engaged, as well as motivated to work in the future to ensure the community’s vibrancy and prosperity. At the orientation of the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council I facilitated a program that focused on learning how to form and work effectively as a team. Typically the team development work that I do is remedial – helping dysfunctional leadership teams figure out what isn’t working and why, and getting them back on the success track. How refreshing to have been involved in helping a brand new team learn proactively how to get it right and keep it going! An important part of the program covered the 4 progressive stages of team development (Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing), and, despite their youth and inexperience, they had no trouble understanding the relationship between who is on the team and the consequences of how it behaves as a whole. They also didn’t miss a beat when I asked them to “rip a current or recent story from the news” for an example of a leadership team in corporate America, sports or politics that hasn’t reached the final PERFORMING stage where the group is highly effective at successfully achieving goals as a unit…”The government and health care reform”, shouted out several participants without hesitation, “They won’t be able to get anything accomplished if they are stuck in the STORMING stage!” No doubt about it, these kids (and other future leaders, including the ones in your organization) are paying attention to the type of leadership behaviors that deliver results, as well as those that don’t!

Great organizations are led by those who are capable of demonstrating the dynamics and successful outcomes of collaborative teamwork to the rest of the organization. Research by the Fuqua/Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University shows that those who placed the long-term interests of a group ahead of their personal goals are likely to ensure the long-term survival and success of the organization.


1. Surveys show that less than 25% of senior leaders are committed to or participate in their own leadership development. How will you be capable of showing us how to lead together effectively for a common purpose?

2. We see how power plays, personal agendas and career aspirations within a group of even the most talented individuals can sabotage good intentions and result in chaos, frustration and performance decline. What will you do now to better define, choose and prepare the team of people who will need to carry the leadership torch into the future?

3. Contrary to conventional wisdom, breakthrough innovation and performance is the fruit of collaboration rather than that of a genius working alone. If we demonstrate effective leadership team behavior and deliver excellence, how will you reward us differently than the current system that tends to disproportionately reward the top executive?

The future may depend on your answers.

Author: Marilyn Lustgarten
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Leadership Coaching – Vital to an Organization

Leadership CoachingIt is vital to have proper leadership coaching in an organization. It is unfortunate that in many companies, management teams have no clear understanding of how to lead. The default for them is to micro manage others by pushing out their chest feathers and showing “who’s in charge”. Hundreds of books exist on how to best lead a team of people and have an amazing concept between them; however you cannot effectively learn how to lead people from pages in a book.

The position you hold may hold a title of leadership, but it doesn’t mean that you automatically exude the leadership qualities. Keep in mind; even the largest corporations have CEO’s that do not know how to effectively manage others. Other employees of the company may have been with the company for 20 years and know their job inside and out. Does this mean they know how to coach others? It is important for a leader to gain respect, confidence and above all – TRUST – of their employees. What is the first two ways to do that? Treat them like a human; not a number and be able to do their job! If you are willing to do their job from time to time, they are willing to go above and beyond for you most of the time.

Do you need to be over 40 to be a good leader? Absolutely not! Age does not matter in the least when it comes to leadership skills. It has to do with personality. If you have the natural leadership qualities it takes to be an amazing leader, you don’t need to be 40. Quite a few 20 year olds hold an important leadership position! You see, a great leader is not noticed for the title, but for the ability to motivate the team consistently; one who is always searching for new ways to motivate and improve standards. In the effort to improve standards, the leader needs to identify weaknesses in the company and present and/or implement solutions to assist the company in gaining strength.

Another important quality of a great leader is education. Not the degree itself. It is all about the education on the company they work for and the understanding they have of all of the intricate details of the company. Without this, how could the leader make a well informed decision about the company that would benefit everyone? Is the leader able to adapt to any situation? In the corporate world, the fancy term is “change management”. There are those employees that are unfortunately labeled “change inept”. We think of them as those who will come close to having a panic attack and the mention of change. Why label them? Why not apply the leadership skills you have and work with them to make the transition as easy as possible?

In leadership coaching, it is not training, it’s an attitude!

Elle Wood recommends LeadershipIQ for outstanding leadership coaching. LeadershipIQ’s leadership programs deliver cutting-edge content with no fluff. Their leadership coaching is based on research, tackles thorny issues, is highly-interactive while making your leadership management more accountable with specific tools for immediate action.

Author: Elle Wood
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Building Your Leadership Pipeline

Building leadership pipelineTimes have changed and so has the competitive landscape of business management. Traditional business models told business owners and executives that to become more competitive, you had to invent something new to sell or service, or improve an existing product or service. That was all there was to it. In general terms, the inputs and outputs haven’t changed much, but companies are continuously changing their internal processes to improve company performance. How so and what does this mean to the business world?

Repeat after me, “I will make a concerted effort to obtain top talent.”

For smaller businesses, this presents a problem. Often, smaller businesses don’t have the capital to hire superstars, and in some areas, the superstars just aren’t there. Case in point: Metropolitan New Orleans, post-Katrina. So what is a business to do when they can’t always find “the best”?

There is a solution to the depleted leadership pool. “If you can’t find them, then make them.” Remember. Leaders are created, not born. The process began with parents, teachers, and coaches. With any luck, some leadership skills were transferred during college and military stints. Often though, a person’s leadership development stagnates when he or she takes a job. It’s a shame. Many potential leaders have been ruined by a lack of mentoring, coaching, bonding, and training.

However, you don’t have to let this happen. By taking a proactive approach to your business leadership, you can keep your pipeline filled with home-grown leadership candidates. Instead of searching outwards for the “perfect” candidate, you can develop the characteristics and skills of the people you have now. Leadership is an ongoing process and keeping the flow going, you can continue to improve.

Look for “That Spark”

By “spark,” I mean the natural ability to communicate with people. Add to that, look for the ability to connect – meaning the ability to communicate and relate to people and build on this. The ability to connect is absolutely necessary because as a leader, one must have the ability to win others over. Communication, connecting, and relating are skills required to persuade…without a hammer or whip.

Train a cross section of promotable candidates on a regular basis

Create Development Plans

Create development plans for the individuals with that spark. Teach them to leverage the talents that they already have and help them figure out their leadership performance gaps. Encourage them to leverage their current talents and persuade them to develop in other areas where their skills are inadequate for a leadership role.

Don’t: Use cookie cutter development plans for all candidates. I know it’s easy to point, click, and email, but it cheapens the process…it makes it seem less sincere and more obligatory.

Do: Create specific plans for the individual. It makes the candidates feel special…like you’ve got an interest and a stake in their professional well being. After all…you do!

Coach and Mentor…Continuously, Without Annoying

Coaching and mentoring are crucial. The process starts with a relationship between you and the candidate then continues with regular bonding and nurturing. It sounds kind of “touchy-feely,” I know, but the relationship, bonding, and nurturing sessions are critical to the molding process of the candidate. You must coach candidates with the intent of creating a business partner. Get their opinion on current company challenges (be careful of the can of worms you open here.)

It’s a great conversation starter and a chance to help mold their thinking about certain business topics. Discuss together how you intend to combat them. Let them in on some info that’s not confidential, but not readily available to the troops. A great technique is to allow them to observe management meetings (With the exception of certain confidential meetings.) You are beginning to let them into your circle of leadership. Watch them blossom as they begin to feel like they are part of “The Club.”

Don’t: Coach for the sake of coaching…meaning, don’t coach if you don’t have anything to coach on. It’s both annoying and ineffective.

Do: Encourage dialogue by asking questions and telling stories. Tell stories that relate to a topic that you would like to discuss, though you should at least attempt to keep it the context of business.

Classroom Training

I recommend that you create or outsource leadership and management training for the existing leaders and for the individuals that you would like to develop. It’s a great refresher for existing leaders and a great learning tool for prospective leaders. It’s important that you continue to train and develop your leaders and your workforce. Remember that training is a process, not an event. You should concentrate on basic leadership skills as well as management but remember to place the emphasis on leading people.

Don’t: Do a mass training event every few years with large time gaps between sessions.

Do: Establish an ongoing training program. Choose attendees for the monthly/quarterly sessions based on their specific needs, as documented in their development plans. Breaking the training up into monthly or quarterly sessions helps spread the costs out over time as well.

These recommendations seem difficult en masse, but if you break them into phases or projects, it’ll be much easier to handle. If you do the things mentioned above, you’ll have a much better chance of creating a team of superstar leaders. These superstars will align team actions with company goals and ultimately pave the way for your company’s success.

Jarrod Clavelle

┬ęCopyright, Mosaic Business Solutions, LLC 2008

Jarrod Clavelle is the CEO and Principle Consultant of Mosaic Business Solutions, a New Orleans-based consulting firm. Mosaic Business Solutions specializes in Organizational Development, Leadership, Sales, and Customer Service training. Go to [http://www.mosaicbusinessonline.com] for a complete listing of services.

Author: Jarrod Clavelle
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Team Building Maneuvers and the Team’s Leadership

Vision of Team AlignmentConquering the Challenge of “Change” through Team Building Maneuvers

Nothing is as upsetting to your people as change. Nothing has greater potential to cause failures, loss of production or failing quality. Yet nothing is as important to the survival of your organization as your people and their response to change.

Research tells us that 70 percent of all change initiatives fail (Source: Author Peter Senge, “The Dance of Change,” Doubleday Press, Toronto, Ont. 1999, p. 3-4). Beyond a doubt, the likelihood of your change initiative failing is overwhelming. Since 2004, I’ve studied, facilitated and taught change processes and experience tells me that change efforts fail for one, two, or all of the following three reasons:

1. Failure to properly define the Future Picture and the impact of the change.
All too often, the “change” initiative addresses the symptoms of current challenges and problems rather than the future the organization wants or needs to create. Change is about creating a desired future, not just correcting current problem/symptoms.

2. Failure to properly assess the current situation, in order to determine the scope within the requirements for change.
Organizations perpetually assess the current situation against current measures of performance. However, change is not the same as problem-solving or project management. Rather, managing change is about moving an organization strategically forward to achieve its vision of the future.

3. Failure to effectively manage the transition of moving from the present to the future.
Experience demonstrates that failure to effectively manage the transition/transformation need is the leading cause of failure for strategic change initiatives. The change itself is not the problem. Change is an event; it is situational: deciding to implement a new system, target a new market, acquire or merge two organizational cultures (Source: Author William Bridges, “Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change,” Addison Wesley, Don Mills Ont., p.3). The problem occurs with what happens within the gap between the present and future, after the “change” and before you get to “there.” The reality of change is that change is about people not structures – people are the reasons for stop gaps in change initiatives!

Failure to successfully execute often comes from seeing the change as solely structural, so once the new system is designed and ready for implementation, the new organization is agreed upon and the doctrine papers are signed to legalize the “deal,” everyone, including the CEO, walks away from what is considered (prematurely) a “done deal.” This is a mistake that goes on all too often like a broken record. History is full of examples of organizations and teams that failed when experiencing changing environments (most of them are now extinct). The secret to successfully managing change, from the perspective of the people within the organization and their teams, is “definition” and “understanding.” To make it clear, I’ll explain them in subsets.

Definition and Understanding for the “WHAT” in Teams

It is important to understand that not everyone who works together or in close proximity is a member of a team. This concept is a misnomer for a lot of people. A clear explanation of a team is a group of individuals who are interdependent with respect to intelligence, information, transferable skill sets, resources, and tools and who seek to combine their efforts to achieve a shared-vision towards a common goal. A team, for instance, is either building or falling apart. An essential aptitude for true team building and the maneuvers they require is leading the team into building on a continuous basis. Team building maneuvers lead a group into higher levels of team spirit, cooperation and interpersonal communication. Building teams is the process of developing on the team-dynamics and interpersonal relationship of the people that come together to make-up the unit. Team spirit either grows or it dies based on the dynamics of the unit.

Teams have specific characteristics that should be addressed:

– Teams must be constructed to achieve a shared-vision for a shared goal.
– Team associates are interdependent regarding some common interests; teams are the instrument of sustained and enduring success in leadership and management.
– Teams use strategic thinking, acting, and influence – associates each possess the authority to manage their own stimulus for change.
– A team is a type of group, but not all groups are teams – team leaders know this to be true.
– Teams are formed to best facilitate learning and peak performance while operating in a socialist environment.
– Team associates are not responsible to “self,” but to their team and its mission; their obligation is to guide the unit to find its voice, while strategically and flawlessly executing.
– Teams learn to navigate positive transition to disseminate authority and power for change – and, they understand when it is a “must” to move into greater levels of performance (the difference between ordinary and extraordinary high performance teams).

The difference between ordinary teams and high performance teams are its people and their abilities to overcome the fear of change. High performance teams place a focus on the people who drive the overall performance within the system: “how do you define a high-performance team?” A high performance team is a group of people who are led by an exception leader, ALL having complementary skills, who understand roles and goals, and who are committed to achieving those goals through a shared-voice, as one unit or body, to demonstrate strategic and flawless execution measures for overcoming changing environments.

This team format learns quickly how-to work together toward mutual goals using their individual skills to support one another regardless of the situation they are engaging or any amount of resistance to change from a fear of the unknown or an expectation of loss or failure.

The “alpha” of the high performance team’s resistance to change is how they perceive the change. The “omega” is how well they are equipped to deal with the change they expect. The team member’s degree of resistance is determined by whether they perceive the change as good or bad, and how they expect the impact of the change to be on the entire unit. Their ultimate acceptance of the change is a function of how much resistance the team member has and the quality of their coping skills and their support system. The job role of the team leader is to address their resistance from both perspectives by helping each member reduce it to a minimal, manageable process level. The success of the response depends on the leader’s ability to lead by example, their level of trust from the members on the team and their ability to persuade the members to overcome their resistance so the unit can move ahead. When the leader is able to communicate a low threat level and/or limited risk, the member’s perception will be one of trust for engaging the objective. Simply, it will all come down to the leader’s relationship with the team; hence, the success of the team not only depends on its members, but also on the leadership they follow.

Definition and Understanding for Accepting “CHANGE” on Teams and Organizations

Now, we’ll look at how teams can manage change and fear, and overcome them both to perform at its peak as a unit, and pronounce its leadership style to permeate peak performance across an entire organization. The “alpha” here begins by looking at change as an emotions state that is synonymous with fear. Fear stipulates an uncomfortable emotional response to potential threats and a way of life. It is a basic survival mechanism that occurs in response to specific stimulus of future events, such as worsening of a situation or continuation of a situation that is unacceptable. It needs to be addressed by the leadership personnel in as much detail and as early as possible. Leadership must be able to provide updates as things develop and become clearer if any chance is possible for overcoming the fears that are the precursor for change.

“Definition” is a two-way street. In addition to defining a problem that causes fear, team leaders need to get their members to a point that they feel comfortable defining the reasons behind their resistance. “Understanding,” the “omega” here is also a two-way street. Team leaders must be prepared to clearly explain to their members what is changing and why. They must also be clear about the member’s reluctance. Here are a few things that the team leaders must be aware of:

– Team leaders must not try to rationalize the issues, but focus on opening and maintaining clear channels of communication with their team members so they understand what is coming and what it means to them and the unit.
– Team leaders must be able to help their member gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation at hand, both the positives and negatives.
– Team leaders must inform their members what the change will be, when it will happen and why – what is not changing and how the anchors on the team (the characteristics, such as “trust” that holds the team together) will be affected as they face the winds of uncertainty and change.
– Team leaders must be able to understand the specific fears of each member. What their concerns are and how strongly they feel about the potential outcomes, both the positives and negatives (do they perceive it as a good or a bad thing?).

The Bottom Line: Definition and Understanding

Conquering the challenge of “change” through team building maneuvers requires innovation, creativity and some good old fashion “leadership.” People yearn for ideas (big and small ones) and think that if they just had that one “right” idea for the team or organization, success would surely come. Certainly, we can all do things to be more creative, but having ideas isn’t the biggest, or even first, source of our challenges.

Think about it this way. You’ve experienced what is believed by you to be the greatest workshop ever attended, so you go back to the workplace to integrate what you’ve learned – only, you never do. You’ve thought about trying a new approach to your meetings, but never did. You’ve had a great idea that never went anywhere. You’ve had an idea for a new process, but failed to introduce it to other the leaders. The list can go on and on and you’ll see that there’s no shortage of ideas or creativity that is stopping you. What is stopping you is fear, the fear of change or the fear of failure. Either way you look at it, fear is the stimulus that stops great people from doing great things – the action that is required for successful progress in life and in the workplace.

Change and Failure (Breakdown)

Failure and success are the outcomes of change. No matter how you look at them both, they each have a constant that cannot go unnoticed, “leadership.” We cannot succeed at higher levels of performance if we maintain status quo, but inherent in change is the possibility that we might fail or experience a breakdown in process. So any discussion of the “fear of change” or the “fear of failure” needs to start with a discussion on transition and transformation. While there are downsides and risks involved in change (including the risk of failure) think of all of the positives that can come from change:

– Process Improvement to Leadership and Management,
– Overall Employee Performance Increases,
– Team Development, Transition and Transformation,
– Greater Satisfaction (Individual) – Personal Proficiency,
– Organizational Renewal – Professional Mastery, and
– Marketplace Expansion, and much more.

And these are just a few. The next time you feel the fear of failure, think about how you feel about change and how it impacts your level of fear. All change involves a certain amount of uncertainty and ambiguity and those two conditions provoke anxiety. This is a reason to hold onto the past for lessons learned; it’s familiar, and as the adage goes, “better what you know versus whet you don’t know.” So, although change has the ability to promote new systems, structures, organizations and teams, people will always conform to the “same old~same old,” unwilling to let go of the past. That is why looking at the positives and keeping an open mind is so critical to the success of experiencing change.

Structuring Failure and Success (Breakthrough)

One individual’s failure is another individual’s success; it’s all based on a decision that “must” be made at some point. Sun Tzu, arguably the greatest military strategist that many still follow, had his say on success and failure: “Consideration and analysis of The Five Elements, “Dao” – Moral Unity, “Tian” – Weather Condition, “Di” – Geographical Condition, “Jiang” – Leadership Quality, “Fa” – Discipline and Organization Structure, a must know for all commanders. Victory to those who understand and no victory to those who does not. The Five Elements will determine success or failure of conducting war.”

Here’s an explanation of Sun Tzu’s statement through comparison and an analytical lens. The Five Elements will reveal the factors of success and failure of all battle, namely: Moral Unity, Weather Condition, Geographical Condition, Leadership Quality, Discipline and Organization Structure.

Moral Unity determines the cohesiveness between the ruler and his subjects, the leader and his followers, the general and his soldiers. Ultimately, to achieve full support by fellowman, putting aside life and death matters and share the view of the ruler’s is the goal of Moral Unity. Only when a view or decision is fully supported, can orders be carried out smoothly by the team.

Weather Condition such as summer/winter and drought/flood will have significant affects on how plans are executed. When weather is an element that no one has any control, the best strategy will be take full advantage of the conditions when able. Going against the force of nature may prove rewarding when one overcomes, but it usually spells destruction.

Geographical Condition here refers to distance of near/far, terrain/mountainous/flat regarding the battle space, wide/narrow the battle field and whether the location chosen to engage the battle favors attack/defense.

This will limit the size, type and performance of the troop. The same for business – this will also determine the team’s reaction to the mission and the amount of resources – people, process and management of initiative that will be required to win.

Leadership Quality (my favorite) concerns the general/commander’s leading capability. There are five qualities of a good leader: “wisdom, trustworthiness, benevolence and deportment, courage (both physical and emotional) and sternness (temperament).” These five qualities will affect the leading capability of a commander, his culture and climate for organizational behavior effectiveness within the environment and the efficacy and value of his command being carried out by the people under his leadership.

Discipline and Organization Structure is the system of open communication and the vehicles used to do so – how each level within the organization manages and leads the people and process, including logistics. It requires a fair, consistent and clear communication to everyone. Communication is the greatest resource in all of life, not only in organizations, but in all we set out to accomplish. Effective communications is leadership’s greatest tool to win its people, systems, processes and management of functions.

As The Five Elements are inter-related, no leader can either ignore or fail to understand the constructive/destructive nature of each element. Victory will overcome “failure” and “success” will fall upon those who analyze and clearly understand The Five Elements. Therefore, by asking who offers fairest reward and punishment, whose troop, team or organization is best trained and led, whose equipment and resources are more efficient and plentiful, who can deliver and communicate order/leadership smoothly, effectively and thoroughly, who has better geographical/weather advantages (culture and organizational climate), who has more resourceful leaders and followers – teams, whether the appointed leader/leadership is wiser, more strategic in their thinking, tactical in their approach to engage and has virtue… the winner is clear, defined and understood.

Constructing it all to Enhance Leadership for Teamwork as an Essential Goal

What am I referring to in the term “Leadership for Teamwork?” Organizations can try to influence leaders to work as a team, but only leaders themselves can make it work. Why should you want to be a team-oriented leader, and how can you take steps to make it happen, even when the status quo is not favorable? A strong motivator to becoming a better cohort with your leaders-colleagues-peers is to take stock of what “not” collaborating is costing you during the tough times (and, even the not so tough times).

As you attempt to lead others and yourself, it is important to keep in mind your quintessential intention to enhance, deepen and strengthen the spirit of “we are absolutely on the same team, sounding with one unified voice, and committed to achieving the same outcome/ Future Picture for one another.” Integrate the improvement of the quality of leadership for effective teamwork into your objective, strategy and tactics. Include it in the vision and mission and ensure that all members across each level of the organization understand and can communicate it without fail. It must not “only” be written on a fancy picture and placed on the wall (the all too common inspirational). It must run like blood through veins and become as important as the air we breathe.

Express your value of Leadership for Teamwork and team fortitude by ensuring that the cost factor is not as important in the decision to remain on a continuum to train organizational behavior, transformational leadership, strategic execution and team building maneuvers as the decision to make all allocations to do so. The cost of not doing it, even when things are tough, offers a far more potential for failure.

If you overlook Leadership for Teamwork and effective team building maneuvers by focused exclusively or excessively on the outcome you want teamwork to accomplish, you’ll place your team and organization in a position to neglect the means to your end and eliminate the solution-centric outcomes in your future. This would be like a U.S. Marine purposely neglecting to adequately care for his weapons while on the battlefield.

How you think about each individual and team in the organization is the most critical aspect in Leadership for Teamwork. By leading your own thoughts, you begin leading in the most significant way. So discipline yourself to think about those you are responsible for leading as members of your team, and not as your problems, adversaries or competitors. You have to “mentally embrace” them as for you, and not against you, particularly when they demonstrate difficult conduct. This is the truest form of selflessness that, in most cases, is forgotten.

An effective and easy tool to form the greatest disciplines in Leadership for Teamwork is for everyone to do his best to interpret the behaviors of others, however dissonant, as a sign of a core challenge or initiative that needs immediate attention. It’s important to realize that behaviors are a form of communications to address Leadership for Teamwork and this action can transform bad feelings of resentment into positive organizational behaviors and gratitude. Our President Barack Obama, the 44TH of the United States, used similar techniques to successfully win the elections to lead the American people; “CHANGE and Leadership for Teamwork!” His message rings true around the world and is also being used to bring communities and Governments (also forms of teams) together in ways that at one time, would never have been thought of. Marcus Aurelius said, “Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.”

This statement can be applied to teams and defines the true meaning of Leadership for Teamwork. The team that is not overwhelmed with being productive and full of life is far too busy dying. Life is born from every member and led by every member. Regard Leadership for Teamwork as an essential means for overcoming fear, winning change and leading through cooperation to experience peak performance that takes the organization to the next level.

How to Lead your Team to the Next Level

What is the worst thing that could happen? Actually, people will ask a more rhetorical question: “what could happen?” But, they never really get the answer they are hoping for because of fear. Most of the time, just asking the question seems like progress is being made or, a significant amount of time (meetings to schedule more meetings that promotes nothing but time and talk) planning and not executing. This is a question that simply hangs in the spam folders, lost in internet space or on a memo at the water cooler. Don’t let it become a technical “error message” that requires someone else to get it done. Take the initiative to go against the status quo and get the question answered yourself. Consider the very worst thing that could happen; answering the question for yourself can and will stimulate movement in a positive direction. Often, the absolute worst case isn’t as bad as might think.

What is the best possible outcome? Seriously, what is the best thing that could happen? Think about the scenario where everything goes perfectly. Will this be your outcome? Maybe not, but your worst case scenario likely won’t happen either. It takes both of these questions to really understand your situation. Chances are, your results will be somewhere between the two. Once you have considered the range of possibilities, you are in a better position to decide whether to proceed or not, and you will have definitely reduced your fear of failure if you do take that step forward.

Next, you can explore the development of a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU) for the team. This is designed for people to learn broadly, to inspire the service out of generosity for others, and to prepare them to lead courageously into the future. A Memorandum of Understanding encourages a perspective to become firmly grounded in the potential for successful growth using a series of constructs – a portfolio management approach – that everyone buys into for effective deportment and forward movement. A Memorandum of Understanding acts as the blueprint for strategic leadership on the teams and across the organization.

Are you wondering how to build an organization in which executive leaders, team leaders, middle managers and front line staff will flourish? To build an environment where people, teams and organizations will flourish and achieve peak performance, you must get the best leaders to pay close attention to the design of the elements around them (situational awareness).

The Memorandum of Understanding articulate a lucid purpose, helps to create effective leadership teams, prioritize their initiatives carefully, redesign organizational structures, employ strategic intent meets strategic agility to result flawless and strategic execution and, most importantly, integrate all these tactics into one coherent strategy.

The Memorandum of Understanding must include the following constructs:

– The Cardinal Rules,
– The Guiding Precepts,
– The Forms of Disposition,
– The General Orders,
– The Strategy Forward – Establishing Professional Mastery, and
– The Centers of Gravity.

The Cardinal Rules are a set of guidelines that are invaluable for people and organizations to follow while planning and executing at the strategic or tactical level. These rules, once established by the individual(s) or teams are the rules that govern forward movement and must not change (i.e. To manage by mind, lead by heart).

The Guiding Precepts are designed to inform people what they should and should not be doing in accordance with executing a well designed strategy to win. They also inform of the reasons “why” an action must occur and the repercussions should the individual and/or organization fail at meeting such a task (i.e. Unselfishness; this trait is the avoidance of providing for one’s personal comfort and advancement at the expense of others. The comfort, pleasure, and recreation levels should be placed above everything. Looking out for the needs of others is the essence of self-leadership).

The Forms of Disposition offer a substantive transformation in “thought” about how people achieve a perspective on things in life. It refers to an orchestrated, systemic and revolutionary new world-view resulting in a “change” of societies, cultures, and marketplaces due to behavioral perspective. This is today often called “systems theory,” which sees a web of relationships coalescing to become something greater than the parts. Individuals must be able to look at things from a perspective that they are always changing and evolving into new forms – thinking “out-of-the-box!” We are doomed to a slow death unless radical change occurs in the way we think. Change your way of thinking or die a slow death (i.e. Mistakes are a fact of life that requires an eraser; it is the ability to respond to error that counts. You can’t live without an eraser).

The General Orders are broad, community-wide “need statements,” designed to encompass a variety of related issues in a person’s life or within the life cycle of an organization. These related issues are referred to as “Guiding Objectives,” which are specific items that need to be addressed. The Guiding Strategies (developed to fit current and future circumstance) are the methods identified for addressing the Guiding Objectives, and the Guiding Policies are the specific action steps that are recommended to implement the Guiding Strategies. The General Orders, all eleven of them, offer the ability to explore implications in an open and reflective manner and reinforce each other in providing a coherency and wholeness often lacking in life cycles (i.e. Know yourself as a “Leader” and seek continuous improvement).

The Strategy Forward – Establishing Professional Mastery. The traditional values are the foundation of the modern day; that was yesterday. Tomorrow, you have an opportunity to create commitment and the needed momentum to establish, publish, share, and teach a different set of life’s code, values, and ethics to journey into the future. After much hard work, you are prepared to develop a strategy to move forward and plan the next steps to target critical successes for winning the Future Picture. What a legacy you will leave when executed with personal and professional bearing for others to follow. This is the way of the future. This is a new chapter (i.e. Remove the Jars’ Lid: Allow for profound growth by employing Transformational Thinking to navigate the maze of organizational politics – and the schedule to do so – to accept change).

The Centers of Gravity. Just as time changes, so does the internal and external influence in your life and in the life cycle of an organization. The Centers of Gravity are the dynamics within a process that offer the greatest impact on the overall system when change happens. They offer a high level of “value” and return on your energy “investment.” When combined with the concept of parallel deposits (creating energy from various perspectives in a short period of time), the Centers of Gravity make possible the seemingly impossible task of realizing success in changing paradigms. The Centers of Gravity places significant influence on the five established epicenters of any changing system to receive desired effects: Leadership, Processes, Infrastructure, Population, and Action Units.

In summary, a Memorandum of Understanding, your blueprint for strategic leadership, offers an opportunity to free up our actions as public servants. It is empowering, it is enabling and it grounds us in a public way on the fundamentals that we all must share. There is no ethical malaise. It is important to realize that the new is not a finding from what has been lost. Rather, we are like the journey of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz story in search of a brain (brain power in this context); the Tin Woodsman in search of a heart, and the Cowardly Lion in search of courage. Your value system is intact and has been with you the entire way thus far. The Memorandum of Understanding simply articulates and reaffirms the core value and behavioral perspective that already underlie your personal and professional appearance and conduct to achieve significant growth.

Develop, learn and instruct the Memorandum of Understanding well. It will make the difference between winning and losing in every aspect of your life – personally and professionally – and maintain a positive team building attitude.

Finally, Maintain a Positive Team Building Attitude

To lead most effectively, the leader’s attitude needs to be strongly and deeply rooted in the dynamics of the team and its fortitude, particularly when relating with individuals who are also seeking to grow themselves and the organization they are a part. The Memorandum of Understanding has been used to lead successful transformation efforts for organization and teams to achieve their goals in and away from the organization and the battlefields of life. A paradigm-changing approach, the Memorandum of Understanding concurrently addresses multiple disciplines across the entire transformation life cycle; enabling leaders and teams help people build a stronger, more responsive and resilient organizations.

Rather than relating to a series of ongoing problematic behaviors as a hindrance or as a threat to your objective, relate to the development of your Memorandum of Understanding as a guide for how you need to build teamwork and team spirit and fortitude to meet the inevitable challenge of change and effective leadership.

If you would like to receive a copy of our Memorandum of Understanding to guide you with developing your own, simply send me an email at Dpitts@thebisongroup.com. God Speed as you continue on your path to experience your own unique state of Leadership for Teamwork, using team building maneuvers to take your people and team to new levels and conquer the challenge of overcoming the “fears of change” across the organizations and teams you are leading.

Damian D. “Skipper” Pitts, the Founder and Chairman of the Bison Group ┬« Corporation, is charged with leading a team of U.S. Marines turned business professionals specializing in transformational leadership, organizational behavior, team building and strategic execution. He is the author of 8 books including his most recent, Business WARFIGHTING For GREAT Teams, 11 published journals and his upcoming release, The Seven “T’s” of Oz: Getting Results through Critical Thinking, Effective Decision-Making and Team Building Maneuvers. Additionally, he has authored his flagship executive education military-style leadership and organizational behavior program, “The Process of LeaderShaping,” that is currently being taught at Temple University in Philadelphia. The program includes 15 modules and 45 lectures/lessons, providing a wealth of summary, discussion, and applicable presentation material for participants to execute strategy to achieve their own level of “Personal Proficiency,” while increasing their state of “Professional Mastery.”

Author: Damian D. Pitts
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Blasting Through Employee Anxiety – A Leadership Role in Times of Change

Managing Change Great amounts of change in organizations, such as downsizing, reengineering, restructuring and reorganization, have occurred in recent years. These changes bring about anxiety for employees, although over the years they have become as comfortable as possible with these changes and their anxieties. Change is very much a part of our everyday lives; therefore, change leadership needs to be part of any leader’s essential skills. The ability to manage a successful change initiative stems from the leader’s personal ability to handle change. In an effective leader, personal experience is the best foundation for any attempt to lead others through change. The manner in which leaders handle change within themselves will shape how they handle change in their leadership role and therefore in their employees. Since the number of changes will only increase leaders must prepare their followers and organizations to adapt to the new economic environment This paper seeks to identify the characteristics of leaders who initiate, guide, and provoke change.


The most important factor for leaders to consider in times of change for an organization is that they must deal with cultural (norms) and behavioral (emotions) obstacles to change. They must also consider Schein’s (2004) three key features of organizational life: the firm’s culture (basic assumptions, values and artifacts), the leadership of the change effort, and the existing network of power. Leaders must identify and understand the current culture in order to bring about any real change. Rather than trying to change the culture which may take years, the leadership should work with and through the current culture to transform the organization. The first step is that they need to foster what Kotter (1996) advises as a sense of urgency within the organization. Kotter states that “a higher rate of urgency does not imply ever present panic, anxiety, or fear; it means a state in which complacency is virtually absent” (p. 43). Once a sense of urgency is established, Kotter continues with the thought that only the leadership can blast through the resistance with motivation actions and alter the culture and behaviors with support from every level within the organization. Andrews et al (2008) argue that assumptions and practice norms can thwart the conception, adoption, and implementation of critical actions such as change because the problems of implementing change reflect long-standing distinctive organizational cultures.

Useem (2009), Wharton management professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management, on the other hand argues that a key criterion for leadership is boldness in taking on the most challenging problems. Being pragmatic is another example of an important leadership trait. The possibility of being able to acquire and use these characteristics represents a positive perspective for organizations, employees and leaders alike. Leaders who lead and guide employees in organizational changes take risks but not carelessly or without planning. Furthermore, they encourage others to be risk takers by providing an environment that makes it safe for employees reluctant to change. Being an effective communicator and listener are also key components to being a proactive, risks taking leader who can manage a change leadership initiative.

We see this type of leadership in Fritz Henderson at General Motors. Effective leaders are proactive and confront rather than avoid, anticipate rather than react to situations and circumstances in their industries. GM has had to take a long look internally at the barriers to success and its emergence from bankruptcy. In the October 19, 2009, Workforce Management Journal, Henderson admits to a complete overhaul of General Motors, especially a cultural change in order to sustain the organization for an additional 100 years. This proactive cultural change initiative includes risk-taking, accountability, speed of decision making and customer and product focus. Henderson believes that a leader’s values have an impact on employee successes; he and his leadership team share the belief that employee learning, mentoring and coaching are of primary importance. This common ground appears to facilitate the development of a new clear and compelling vision for GM.

Schein and Kotter, as quoted by Flatt and Kowalczyk (2009) reveal that individuals within an organization such as GM share a common value. The common value is an advantage that Henderson (2009) can use to demonstrate the characteristic of valuing human resources; this manifests in three dimensions: valuing the contributions and efforts of co-workers, relating effectively with others, and fostering collaboration. This characteristic of effective leaders of change connects with a leader’s ability to listen, evaluate and communicate with employees. Henderson’s communicating and listening skills are the basis for his ability to articulate a vision, develop a shared mission, and express the belief that the human capital in GM is valued.


Contemporary leadership as mentioned by the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change Management (2009) includes individuals who are prepared to lead multinational organizations in today’s economic environment with diverse workforces, and a demand for high performance which make it imperative for organizations to become more flexible, results-oriented, and have faster decision-making processes. Organizations are finding that leaders must be capable of not only understand the environment, but also the level of anxiety and resistance to employees brought about by change.

Resistance can build because of poor communication which fails to legitimize the change, misrepresents the chances of success and fails to call people to action. Leaders need to be able to adapt their leadership style to the level of resistance within their organization when it comes to organizational changes. Dover in his article in April 16, 2007’s Managing Organizational and Social Change states that researchers argue that resistance is a convenient label, something which change agents or leaders can use to make sense of reactions to their initiatives, absolving them of their responsibilities if the project fails. Dover concludes, however, that the danger is that this label can divert attention away from the change initiative, even contributing to the level of resistance by failing to recognize that change often breaks an understood and expected pattern of cooperation.


Chris Argyris (1993) in his book Knowledge for Action: A Guide to Overcoming Barriers to Organizational Change in chapter 2 outlines the steps for leaders to facilitate change within an organization:

(1) Interview and observe the players,
(2) Organize the findings for learning and action,
(3) Conduct meaningful feedback sessions,
(4) Facilitate the change seminar with live cases, and
(5) Manage the clash of expectations and needs to build new team leadership, getting feedback from below, and discussing and correcting out-of-control routines
The steps laid out by Argyris (1993) account for communication as a last step because “people under stress, that is, those who feel threatened or put at risk by some force beyond their control, experience ‘mental noise’ that can cause them to lose up to 80 percent of their ability to process information” states Wojtecki & Peters, 2000, p. 3). The level of anxiety associated with change makes it necessary to have a plan and a strategy in place prior to communicating the actions to the organization. Leaders need to filter the communication to disseminate the right information to the right people at the right time. Thus, Miller and Monge (1986) suggest that information or too much information prior to a strong change plan can assure resistance from employees.

Markus Amanto (2009) in his change leadership model website discusses the Sense of Coherence model (SOC) by Aaron Antonovsky. SOC deals with the manner in which employees handle change. The higher and stronger the level of an individual’s Sense of Coherence, the better the individual’s ability to cope with change. SOC consists of three different parts: meaningfulness, manageability and comprehensiveness.
1. Meaningfulness – The degree the individual finds a meaning in what is happening.
2. Comprehensiveness – Can I understand what is going on? Am I getting the kind of information I need to understand what is happening? And is it delivered in such a way to fit my preference of communication?
3. Manageability – Do I feel I have the tools, internal and external, do deal with the change? Do I feel I have access to the resources needed?


As leaders begin to think of what changes their people and organizations need, they must be aware of the factors that require managing in order for change to occur. According to Glaser (2004), leaders’ biggest challenge is leading the change. Hence, in order for leaders to succeed in the form of loyalty, respect and engagement from employees, they have to reshape themselves first, then their organization. Leaders need to acclimatize their employees slowly to the new change environment instead of leading with the same old autocratic style and expect change to succeed. In the words of Glaser (2004), groups have the potential for mistrust, doubt, and animosity; effective leadership would engage employees by developing behaviors that recognize, guide, and work through change anxiety in order to maximize the potential for acceptance, regardless of roles and titles.

Leaders need to be able to recognize shifts in the environment and steer their organization to take the initiative rather than be responsive to those changes. They are aware of the realities of their environment and thus guide the organization to rethink the vision and mission to coincide with the new realities. Henderson (2009) has taken the initiative to change the focus of General Motors away from maintaining the status quo to exploring various options by asking his leadership team to assess the present, identify gaps and determine a course of action.


Being a good listener is one of the foremost skills of a leader, especially when dealing with change. The ability to understand different individuals’ needs, to make them feel both seen and heard is also critical. Keeping employees informed of factors that affect not only their positions but also their lives is essential during a time of high anxiety and uncertainty. Successful change leadership begins prior to the time it is put into effect; by building trust and respectful relationships with employees, leaders are much more able to manage change initiatives with those they lead.

Author: R. Kenny Leblanc
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Transformational Leadership Theory – The 4 Key Components in Leading Change & Managing Change

Transformational leadership theory is all about leadership that creates positive change in the followers whereby they take care of each other’s interests and act in the interests of the group as a whole. James MacGregor Burns first brought the concept of transformational leadership to prominence in his extensive research into leadership.

“Essentially the leader’s task is consciousness-raising on a wide plane. The leader’s fundamental act is to induce people to be aware or conscious of what they feel – to feel their true needs so strongly, to define their values so meaningfully, that they can be moved to purposeful action.”

In this leadership style, the leader enhances the motivation, moral and performance of his follower group. So according to MacGregor – transformational leadership is all about values and meaning, and a purpose that transcends short-term goals and focuses on higher order needs.

At times of organisational change, and big step change, people do feel insecure, anxious and low in energy – so in these situations and especially in these difficult times, enthusiasm and energy are infectious and inspiring.

And yet so many organisational changes fail because leaders pay attention to the changes they are facing instead of the transitions people must make to accommodate them.

In my view it is the responsibility of the director leading the change to supply an infusion of positive energy.
The transformational approach also depends on winning the trust of people – which is made possible by the unconscious assumption that they too will be changed or transformed in some way by following the leader.

The transformational approach also depends on winning the trust of people – which is made possible by the unconscious assumption that they too will be changed or transformed in some way by following the leader.

This is often seen in military commanders and wartime political leaders. An example of this would be the way in which Lady Thatcher – as Prime Minister of the UK Government during the Falklands War in 1982 – was able to engender an enhanced feeling of British national identity amongst the UK population.

Sounds like this leadership style is ideally suited to change management, doesn’t it? However – this approach requires absolute integrity and personal behaviour that is consistent and resonant with your vision and message.

I can recall a ridiculous situation, at one UK company I was involved with, where the directors were attempting to effect a culture change of greater inter-departmental trust and communication yet still retained a separate directors dining room and specially allocated car parking places closest to the office front door!

OK here’s the important bit – how NOT to apply transformational leadership theory to change management

– Be preoccupied with power, position, politics and perks
– Stay focused on the short-term
– Be hard data oriented
– Focus on tactical issues
– Work within existing structures and systems
– Concentrate on getting the job done
– Focus processes and activities that guarantee short-term profits

Doesn’t all this just sound like a description of a typical good project manager with a task driven mentality?

And hey, I have nothing against this style of leadership and management. There is a time and place for the Attila the Hun school of leadership. I have done it many times myself and very effectively – and with no regrets.

But, this leadership style is not enough in a change management situation and particularly in the current climate.

The four components of the transformational leadership style are:

(1) Charisma or idealised influence – the degree to which the leader behaves in admirable ways and displays convictions and takes stands that cause followers to identify with the leader who has a clear set of values and acts as a role model for the followers.

(2) Inspirational motivation – the degree to which the leader articulates a vision that is appeals to and inspires the followers with optimism about future goals, and offers meaning for the current tasks in hand.

(3) Intellectual stimulation – the degree to which the leader challenges assumptions, stimulates and encourages creativity in the followers – by providing a framework for followers to see how they connect [to the leader, the organisation, each other, and the goal] they can creatively overcome any obstacles in the way of the mission.

(4) Personal and individual attention – the degree to which the leader attends to each individual follower’s needs and acts as a mentor or coach and gives respect to and appreciation of the individual’s contribution to the team. This fulfills and enhances each individual team members’ need for self-fulfillment, and self-worth – and in so doing inspires followers to further achievement and growth.

Transformational leadership applied in a change management context, is ideally suited to the holistic and wide view perspective of a programme based approach to change management and as such is key element of successful strategies for managing change.

And, to ensure that you ARE employing successful strategies for managing change – that are appropriate to your organisation – you need to know how to apply: (a) these transformational leadership skills, AND (b) how to apply the supporting programme management based processes – to ensure that you avoid the catastrophic 70% failure rate of ALL business change initiatives.

For more on this: ” Transformational leadership theory

I invite you to take advantage of this FREE download: Starting the Change Process

Find out the 3 main reasons for the 70% failure rate of all step change initiatives and how to avoid it. This FREE 29 page document offers a brief introduction to some of the key themes and key points that you need to consider in starting the change process.

Stephen Warrilow, based in Bristol, works with companies across the UK providing specialist support to directors delivery significant change initiatives. Stephen has 25 years cross sector experience with 100+ companies in mid range corporate, larger SME and corporate environments.

Author: Stephen Warrilow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Story Telling As a Project Management Tool

Before the human race had words, stories in gestures and drawings were the base for learning and continuous improvement. Here are 7 ways that stories are still effective tools today.

1. Communicate Stories get the message across in concepts that can be universally understood. Whether it’s pictures on cave walls, parables, fairy tales, folk tales, or anecdotes, people understand a concept in the form of a story. They can “see” what you’re saying in your word pictures.

2. DemonstrateThe word pictures in your story make it easy for your listeners to understand your point. People get it when they hear about the fox and the grapes. They get the idea of applying negative aspects to something that seems too hard to get and how counterproductive that can be.

3. Educate When you present your points in a story you have many devices to help you illustrate the differences between the current situation and the anticipated change. A story with pictures can be that light bulb over the head moment for your audience.

4. Elevate Like an assembly worker who was startled to be called a subject matter expert and seemed to grow in stature, aligning the team members with the hero of your story inspires them to greater things. An awareness of their importance to the project gets commitment.

5. Motivate Deliver a very clear idea of where you’re going. Stories lead to morals or calls to action. They can change behavior for better or worse depending on the speaker’s motivation. A story with a successful outcome brought about by the kind of action you’re encouraging is very motivational.

6. Collaborate The common understanding and vision brought about by your story provide the foundation for the team effort. You’ve got everyone on board and ready to work together. They’re poised to hear and understand the call to action.

7. Activate Use your story as a springboard for the requests you’re going to make. You want some specific tasks to be completed to ensure the successful completion of a project. Make sure the story you select supports the action you want the team to take.

Conclusion: Your presentation will be more effective and achieve the results you’re after with relevant, clear, concise communication in the form of stories.

Got drama in your workplace? Drama comes from confusion and resulting dissatisfaction. Put a solid, structured business system and clear, concise communication in place and end the drama.

Joy Montgomery converts business requirements to system specifications, presentations, and documents in a way that strengthens teams – a friendly way. She puts you in a position to succeed with consistently satisfied customers and employees.

Author: Joy Montgomery