Monday, 27 February 2017

How to Be Confident In Everything You Do by Kenneth Wallace

Expert Author Kenneth WallaceConfidence is a vital ingredient in successfully beginning, pursuing and completing difficult undertakings. Lack of confidence is the primary reason for lack of implementation of good ideas. If we delve into the etymology of the English word "confidence," we find that the prefix, "con," is Latin meaning "with" or "together." The root, "fido," translates into "trust," "believe," "confide in." Whenever you see an English word that begins with "con" or "com" it very often indicates that the original meaning of the word involved a concept that was communally formed: the word was intended to convey that other people were inextricably interwoven in what happens to the individual.

We often refer to "self-confidence." However, according to this analysis, this term is actually a redundancy. The word confidence is sufficient to express one's positive attitude toward personal competence, capability and self-sufficiency. The word confidence literally means to trust or believe together with others in an interdependent community. An individual will find it difficult to be confident without the positive input and support from others.

The existence of confidence in any member of a community indicates that that community has an established culture of mutual trust and respect among its citizens. This does not necessarily hold true for all cultures and communities that a person happens to be a part of. For instance, you could be totally confident of yourself within your home environment but totally lacking in confidence within any number of other organizations and associations of which you are a member. This has as much to do with the kinds of input from others in these respective environments as it does with one's membership qualifications of family, ability, preparation, experience or knowledge, for example.

We weave our personal realities mainly from the multiple inputs from others. A boy was struggling to move a large rock. His father walked by and asked, "Son, are you using all your strength to move that rock?" His son replied, "Yes, Dad." His father retorted, "Son, you are not using all your strength because you have not yet asked me to help you." Our strength and personal realities are formed and sustained by the contributions from others. We are not nearly so strong or confident without them. When others are encouraging and supportive, confidence builds and you are more likely to stretch as well as strengthen your talents and abilities toward successful and innovative applications and outcomes.

When You Know You Know

One of the ways a community demonstrates its support for its individual members is to provide solid practical information regarding what it takes to succeed within the community and beyond. The knowledge that is passed down and around becomes the foundation for an individual's confidence in making decisions and behaving in ways that are conducive for success.

After this knowledge is disseminated, the supportive community will then provide practical opportunities for the individual to apply what was learned. These experiences create an internal sense of what works and what doesn't work. When you know you know how to succeed, your confidence in performing the necessary tasks that lead to successful achievement soars. Your confidence helps you assess risks realistically and to bounce back from failure quickly.

Becoming Confident in All You Do

How do you become confident in all the situations in your life? It's simple, really. You give to others what you want them to give to you. Life echoes. It ripples. What you give out you get back in waves.

Although confidence is socially constructed, the individual has a large part to play in creating a community environment in which confidence is engendered and nurtured. Mahatma Gandhi wisely observed, "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." I would paraphrase this slightly to make it more immediate to one's personal environment and also say, "you must be the change you wish to see in others." If you wish to be around people who smile more, then smile more! If you want to work in an environment that is characterized by teamwork and mutual respect, then demonstrate to others how these characteristics can be embodied and pragmatically expressed on a consistent basis.

I realize that to adopt this approach is to invite the possibility of failure, perhaps even ridicule. Life is full of risks. It certainly is a risk, albeit rather innocuous in nature, to smile at someone who clearly is in no mood to smile. They might scowl back! Then how would you feel? But it's not about how you feel. It's about how you act. If you want to be around people who have more reasons to smile then you should take the risk that the smile you offer will not be returned at that very moment. You might feel awkward and uncomfortable. Big deal! By smiling, even when you don't feel like it, you're giving permission for others to do the same, if not now then later. You're setting the stage for their subsequent behavior toward you and others not just their immediate reaction to your current behavior. Helen Keller, who had more reasons than anybody else in history to be grumpy and sad, nonetheless proclaimed, "Be happy. Talk happiness. Happiness calls out responsive gladness in others."

Changing Others By Changing Yourself

You've no doubt heard that you can only change yourself and not others. This is true if you try to change someone else's behavior without first trying to change your own. It has been my experience that you can, in fact, alter others' ways of acting by altering your own first, just as Gandhi noted. William James, pragmatist philosopher & psychologist (1842 - 1910) said, "the greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." I would go further and say that human beings can alter other people's lives by altering their own personal attitudes of mind, as I've described above. When you change your attitude of mind, that is, the way you habitually think (an attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought), then you alter the way you behave and this, in turn, alters the ways others behave toward you.

There are two ways to change yourself that will also result in changes in others. When you change something about yourself, especially your behavior, others are naturally challenged to change their responses to the "new you."

By changing yourself you are also altering the social environment from which you receive your cues and clues about how to be confident. In effect, you are setting up a "virtuous cycle" (as opposed to a "vicious cycle") that creates the conditions for perpetual mutual benefit for both the individual and the community.

Here are the two ways to change yourself:

o Think your way into a new way of acting

o Act your way into a new way of thinking

It's true that habitual behavior stems from habitual thought and that the quality of your actions flow from the quality of your thinking. This is the "garbage in - garbage out," "excellence in - excellence out" notion in behavioral psychology. Thinking your way into a new way of acting is effective. However, it often takes a long time because you must think the new thought repetitively in order for it to erase and replace the old way of thinking and for this new way to finally change your behavior. Often there is not enough time to allow for this way of changing to work itself out.

More immediate change can be achieved by simply acting the way you want others to behave. It's a curious fact of life that by doing something, even if you don't feel like doing it, you make it easier to do again. Smiling elicits a desire, no matter how small or subconscious, to have reason to continue smiling. Treating co-workers as colleagues of equal worth even if they aren't of equal status creates in their minds a reason to want to collaborate with you in the future. This sort of "risky behavior" engenders trust and tames the tentativeness toward teamwork because it results in the experience of mutual respect that fosters the desire to repeat the behavior. The action gives rise to the thinking that guides and supports future actions. This is the "virtuous cycle" out of which confidence and achievement flow.

"Be Sure You're Right, Then Go Ahead"

General Robert E. Lee, widely respected for his military and personal leadership, said, "You have only always to do what is right. It will become easier by practice, and you enjoy in the midst of your trials the pleasure of an approving conscience." As a young child, I listened to the song of the story of Davy Crockett countless times while sitting on the floor of my bedroom in front of my little record player. I recall the spoken words that immediately preceded the beginning of the song. "Be sure you're right, then go ahead." This was Crockett's philosophy of life. It was his personal motto. It shaped his behavior and tuned his integrity throughout his life.

In fact, doing "only always" what you're sure is right is the only true source of confidence. When you possess "the pleasure of an approving conscience" in all that you do, you feed your soul with the necessary nutrient that keeps it strong, resolute and successful, even in failure. We esteem General Lee today because of his strength of confidence, character and wisdom even though he failed to win a great war that he believed was right to fight.

Doing right means that you do things you don't always feel like doing. It means that you do things you don't have to do. But it's precisely these things that determine what you'll be able to do more easily and with greater impact in the future. Doing right creates the inspiration to continue to do right and the confidence that you are doing right. The great early twentieth century composer, Igor Stravinsky, said, "Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning."

Self-Made Communities Count, Too

We can now say with confidence that community, within which confidence is born, is not merely something into which one is born and therefore has no control over. It can be more than that. A community can be formed in the mind of an individual by means of reading and meditating. We learn how to be confident from the mental and spiritual communities we form throughout our lives as well as the physical communities of family, neighborhood, city, school, church, synagogue, mosque, associations and job. And we have control over these inner communities in that we can continually modify our sources of wisdom and understanding of what is right and worthy of our efforts.

Getting It Right From the Start

Confidence is telling the truth in advance of experiencing it. You can lead with confidence when you start something even if you've never done it before because your confidence is a predictor of the successful completion of the endeavor. Confidence is a term to describe belief in one's ability to succeed in life. William James comes again to aid our understanding: "our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that insures the successful outcome of our venture." And again, "be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."

In the September 22, 2006 issue of the USA Today newspaper, an article on the "soul of a champion" quotes Patrick Cohn, sports psychologist and President of Peak Performance Sports, on the need for confidence in order to attain championship levels of performance. "Self-confidence is probably the number one mental skill that championship athletes possess. Simply put, it is their belief in their ability to perform. They see themselves as winners." Confidence is seeing yourself as successfully accomplishing something you haven't yet done, bringing that future positive self-image into the present and then using it as the impetus and inspiration to succeed at doing it.

So Then, It Works Both Ways

Confidence arises from and is fed by both the past and the future. It begins in the communities that the individual participates in, both visible and invisible. It is nurtured by history and visualization, by experience and expectation, by fact and dream, by knowledge and hope, by achievement and aspiration.

Acquiring and growing confidence is the responsibility of each individual. You are in charge of how confident you feel and how confidently you act by choosing what to focus on in your past and in your future. If you're sure you're right in your focus, you'll be sure to bring about what you're thinking about. And the realization of this confidence will contribute to the community the confidence others need to do what they're sure is right. And thus the virtuous cycle is formed that results in increasingly greater achievements and benefits for humanity and the world.

Ken Wallace, M. Div., CSL has been in the organizational development field since 1973. He is a seasoned consultant, speaker and executive coach with extensive business experience in multiple industries who provides practical organizational direction and support for business leaders. A professional member of the National Speakers Association since 1989, he is also a member of the International Federation for Professional Speaking and holds the Certified Seminar Leader (CSL) professional designation awarded by the American Seminar Leaders Association.

Ken is one of only eight certified Business Systems Coaches worldwide for General Motors.

Article Source 

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Improve Self-Confidence - Model the 7 Habits of Highly Self-Confident People - Dr. Camelia Furlan

Expert Author Dr. Camelia FurlanThere is no doubt that one sure way to improve self-confidence is to model highly self-confident people.

Self-confidence is all about believing in yourself, your own worth, your power and abilities, regardless of the situation you are in.

A lot of people believe that self-confidence comes from the possession of high skill sets or knowledge. While being excellent in a particular area of expertise can give you a sense of high self-worth, it is not a necessarily a prerequisite for self-confidence.

People who have high self-confidence have a strong sense of assurance and belief in themselves. They exude calmness, composure and self-awareness, and that is because, they have formed a set of habits that have become part of who they are and how they live their life.

So, let's look at these habits in more detail:

HABIT 1: Keep Your Word - To Yourself And Others

This sounds very simple - but often it isn't.

For example, how often do you tell yourself you're going to do something and then you don't, like exercise perhaps? How often do you NOT keep your promise to others?

Whenever this happens, not only is there an underlying feeling of dissatisfaction within yourself but also you are providing your subconscious mind with evidence that you don't do what you say you will... that you are someone whom can not be trusted.

This is incredibly destructive to your self-confidence, because you don't get to trust and know who you say you are and do. You say one thing, but don't deliver, and this costs you your trust in yourself and your self-confidence.

High self-confident people understand the importance of keeping their word. They understand that coming from this space of integrity, where their word is law, IS the key to accessing their own power and self-confidence, and in my opinion, is also the most important habit that leads to success in life.

The trick is to start making smaller promises that you know you won't let yourself or others down. Be honest with yourself. Don't say yes to something when you know you can't fit it in.

Baby steps are the key here. If you try to do too much too soon, you will inevitably let something slip, and guess who will be watching?

HABIT 2: Choose Positive Self Talk

The primary keyword here is CHOOSE. No matter how many successes we have or how many things we do well, we continually doubt ourselves and our abilities.

It might have something to do with the fact that over 75% of what we think is negative, which is completely counterproductive. With these kinds of statistics, it's no wonder we struggle to feel good about ourselves.

One of the most important changes we can make in our life is choosing our self-talk.

Highly self-confident people have learned the habit of catching negative thoughts before they can have an effect on their moods, feelings and performance. They consciously choose to cancel these thoughts and replace them with positive empowering thoughts instead.

They have formed the habit of saying: stop, cancel or pass, whenever they catch a negative thought... not giving any power to that thought... not reacting to it.

Affirmations are a very powerful way of re-educating our minds to think empowering thoughts rather than the counterproductive negative thoughts.

So CHOOSE to improve self-confidence by choosing positive thoughts and practice these using affirmations.

HABIT 3: Focus On Your Strengths

Lack of self-confidence is a result of losing sight of our great qualities, and exaggerating our flaws instead.

High self-confident people know their strength and focus on what they can do, rather than what they can't.

When you think you are not good at something, try to consciously focus on the qualities that you have that are important to carry out that task.

For example, if you are doing public speaking and are not confident at delivering a speech, but you are a great researcher, writer and organiser... focus on these attributes instead, and know that you can be confident and proud of the content of that speech. Focusing on the great content will make the delivery of the speech less significant.

HABIT 4: Be Courageous

Get out of your head and just do it!

Low self-confident people tend to procrastinate and worry. They end up being hung up over negative outcomes and failures of the past, and they can't seem to find the courage to move forward.

Highly self-confident people have learned that in order to succeed, they can create the possibility of being courageous anytime they want... this way, even if they are afraid, they can choose to take action... in spite of fear!

You see COURAGE is not acting without fear; courage is acting in spite of fear.

When you make it a habit of being courageous you will increase self-confidence, because you are more likely to give the things you want a go, and when you are more focused on the doing rather than the thinking and worrying, you've overcome half the battle.

HABIT 5: Act and Feel Important

High self-confidence people have a habit of thinking highly of themselves through the way they behave and the image they portray. They have high levels of energy.

If we were to look at their behaviour, you will notice that self-confident people stand up for themselves and speak up when it is appropriate.

The image of self-confidence is also portrayed by the physiology and body language, by way they look after their body and the way they dress.

Do you see many self-confident people who walk around with slumped shoulders and are dressed badly?

No one is more conscious of your physical appearance than you are, so make it a priority to look good and feel important.

Here are some basic things you can do at the physical level to improve self-confidence... by modeling the image that highly self-confident people portray:

Good posture - walk confidently, stand up straight and tall with shoulders back and head up, and make eye contact.
Dress sharp - look presentable and smart. When you are dressed well, doesn't that instantly make you feel great and important?
Get your energy up - listen to upbeat music to instantly get energy up, and exercise regularly. Not only will exercise give you energy, but also the side effect is... great physical appearance... which will also help to improve self-confidence.

HABIT 6: Be Grateful

There is no doubt that High Self-Confident people have an attitude of gratitude. I'm talking about heartfelt gratitude and not so much about forced gratitude, because... there is a difference.

How do you recognize the difference between forced gratitude and heartfelt gratitude?

If you've ever expressed gratitude by starting a sentence with, "At least... " you understand the meaning of forced gratitude. For example... at least I have food on the table, or... at least I have a good job, etc. We force ourselves to feel grateful, but this is coming from emptiness and it isn't a long-lasting habit, because as soon as our circumstances change, we may not feel the same.

Heartfelt gratitude is a much deeper feeling. It is a feeling of appreciation and connection with life itself, which when present, gratitude triggers positive feedback loops.

This is the secret habit that high self-confidence people rely on to get access to this amazing positive mental attitude that they have.

So, to improve self-confidence start the habit of being grateful.

An exercise you can do everyday is to spend 5 minutes acknowledging the small things you like about yourself, things that make you feel self-confident and successful right now.

You can write these down in a gratitude journal and review them weekly.

Another powerful thing to do is find an unsuspecting or unlikely target to unleash your gratitude upon.

Gratitude often works best where you would least expect it to. Perhaps you can show appreciation or be grateful to a friend or family member, or you have seen a beautiful tree or flower that brightens your day, perhaps appreciate your favourite song, or a really good hug... you will be surprised how many things you will find that you can appreciate and be grateful for everyday!

HABIT 7: Focus On Contributing To Others

People with low self-confidence tend to focus too much time on their own problems and flaws, they undervalue what they are capable of, and spend too much time being critical of themselves.

They get caught up in this kind of thinking and as a result feel low in self-confidence.

High self-confident people focus on the needs of other people, they take the attention away from themselves and focus on how they can be of service and contribute to others.

The more they contribute to the world, the more they are rewarded with personal recognition and success.

So, to help increase self-confidence, the one thing you can do IS stop focusing on yourself and start contributing and helping others.

Article Source

Friday, 24 February 2017

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4 Secrets for Improving Self-Confidence by Phillip Ramphisa

Expert Author Phillip RamphisaThis article shares 4 secrets to improving self-confidence. Most people tend to focus on specific areas when they try to improve self-confidence such as improving the way that they speak or give presentations in business meetings. This is important but it is not the priority to focus on when trying to improve self-confidence. Below I break down the 4 secrets to self-confidence.

1. Improve your emotional fitness and mental state

Self-confidence is about emotional fitness. Most of what we experience around the area of self-confidence gets influenced more by emotions. Just think about what you go through when you feel that you have poor self-confidence. Most likely you feel anxious, doubtful, fearful and uncertain. At times you might even feel like you will embarrass yourself in a public place or a meeting. It is not always that we are not skillful, able or talented. Most of the time it
is our feelings that get in a way and cause us to be fearful. Feelings of uncertainty and inadequacy are also associated with low self-confidence. Fear of Rejection, failure, embarrassment. All of these things are influenced by our emotions and mental state than anything else. It is not uncommon to have someone who is capable being afraid to do something due to fear of failure, rejection and embarrassment. The journey to becoming self-confident therefore starts with improving your emotional fitness and conditioning yourself to have a mind that supports you instead of a mindset that works against you.

When you feel that you have poor self-confidence it is very tempting to focus on the specific area where you want to improve self-confidence such as speaking or your ability to present in meetings. This is essential but it is more of the end than the beginning. To really improve self-confidence you need to first improve your emotional fitness and mental strength before focusing on the specific area that you want to improve. Doing this sets you up more for success than if you improve your skill set without dealing with inner issues.

Improving emotional fitness and your mindset before improving your specific skill set will help you create more lasting change. Let me give you an example of how what I am talking about right now works using marathon runners as an example. An amateur runner cut corners when it comes to stretching. He or she might feel like it is a waste of time spending 15 minutes stretching and warming up before the run and get tempted get started with the exercise or marathon right away. This in the short-term might look like a good decision because 15 minutes of stretching and warm up is saved as running starts immediately. It is a grave mistake when considering the long-term perspective because the amateur runner might get injured from not stretching and suffer a long prolonged period without exercising and competing due to injury.

Professional runners know that stretching and warm-up before the marathon is as important as the marathon itself and therefore spend time before running to stretch and warm up, knowing it will benefit them.

Improving self-confidence sometimes works the same way. Before trying to improve self-confidence on the specific area of your life whether this is about singing or cooking or speaking well you need to spend time improving your emotional fitness and mindset. Because self-confidence is more about emotional strength and mindset. When you take care of your emotional fitness a priority, your journey to improve self-confidence becomes much more easier.

From doing this you will gain the same benefit that the long distance runner gets from spending 15 minutes stretching before he starts running. You will be able to create lasting change in your life. What is even more exciting is that we the right level of emotional fitness you will be able to bounce back should you make mistakes or something crushes your ego as you are trying to improve your self-confidence. One person said that self-confidence is not about walking into the room and have everybody get excited to see you. It is about walking into the room knowing that if nobody accepts you or if you make a mistake and embarrass yourself you will be OK and have the ability to get up and dust yourself up without being too miserable. To get to this level of self-confidence takes emotional fitness. So first focus on emotional fitness to improve your self-confidence.

2. Improve mastery

Even though emotional fitness is the first priority to improve self-confidence, I would like you to note that no one is confident doing something that they feel they are not skillful in doing. You might feel comfortable speaking in public and maybe enjoy it, when you get asked to sing and dance in public a different story might unravel. Unless you are extremely multi-talented you might feel timid, nervous and hesitant.
This is because doing one specific thing well does not make one a master in everything. It is important to practice and improve your mastery level to improve self-confidence. After you have conditioned yourself emotionally and mentally identify what it is that you would like to do well and improve your self-confidence doing. Maybe you would like to feel less anxious in social situations or to speak. Whatever it is that you want to improve your self-confidence on, identify it and spend time mastering the skills to develop it. This will help you improve your self-confidence. As you learn and try to improve you might take some time to master the skills that you want to improve well. If you have developed the right emotional strength and mental strength you will find yourself recovering well after setbacks and getting encouraged until you improve your self-confidence.

3. Improve self-esteem

When trying to improve self-confidence, having low self-esteem can sometimes work against your efforts. No matter how good you become at doing something if you do not accept yourself and see yourself in a positive light you might always find ways to criticize yourself and second guess yourself. Having a healthy self-esteem is therefore extremely important for improving self-confidence. Improving your self-esteem will help you easily develop self-confidence in the specific areas of your life and be able to enjoy any success that you create as the result of improved self-confidence.

4. Train your self-confidence

Self-confidence is like a muscle. The more you teach yourself to be self-confident in challenging situations, the more you get better. Self-confident people aren't vastly different from anyone else. They have just learn to manage their feelings in the face of pressure or adversity. One of the best ways to improve self-confidence is to act despite fear and anxiety. The best way to learn to act despite fear and anxiety is to act despite fear and anxiety. Doing this will train your self-confidence. One person said that those that are successful do experience fear, they just learn to act despite fear.

Whatever it is that you fear begin practicing conquering it. If you have social anxiety and are afraid to meet people in social situations playfully start meeting people and push yourself to act despite your anxiety. If you fear speaking up during meetings start pushing yourself and say a few words in the next meeting that you have. Feel the anxiety as it tries to stop you but act anyway. Many people who face challenging situations and pressure including athletes, sky divers and even entrepreneurs learn to act despite anxiety. Do the same thing that they do in your life, it will help you.

Remember, you have all that it takes within you to succeed.

To live to your true potential, you need to believe in yourself and your abilities. Most people overlook self-confidence when trying to succeed. They are not even aware of how poor self-confidence affects them on a subconscious level. Poor self-confidence has the potential to cause pain and failure. I would like to encourage you to move to a place of higher self-confidence in your life.


The skill of self confidence | Dr. Ivan Joseph | TEDxRyersonU

Learn the skill of self confidence from Dr Ivan Joseph a sports coach.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Three Leadership Mindsets for Achieving Excellence in Execution by Leland Russell

What does it take to achieve Excellence In Execution Leadership?

A Proven Leadership Formula

A proven formula for Excellence In Execution Leadership emerged from research and hands-on Execution work with leaders in the Fortune 500, non-profit sector, government agencies and the military. An especially useful source has been the leadership of the Desert Storm air campaign-one of the most successful campaigns in military history. Because of its size and complexity and the fact that it was such a rapid victory, it contains valuable leadership lessons for today's environment.

When asked this seminal question, "How would you describe the leadership success formula of Desert Storm?", Colonel John Warden, the architect of the air campaign, paused for a moment and then crisply replied, "Think Strategically, Focus Sharply, and Move Quickly."

The benefits of applying these mindsets in your organization are faster, better results in the three interdependent phases of Execution: strategic thinking, planning and implementation.

Leadership Mindset 1 - Think Strategically

A Case Study: Organizations that consistently win in the New Normal have one thing in common-committed proactive leadership that thinks strategically about the organization's challenges and
opportunities and acts accordingly. That was the case with Texas Instruments (TI). For over ten years, during a period when many of its competitors, including Intel and Motorola, were experiencing major growth in their market value, TI's market value was flat. By the mid 1990's, TI's leadership began to realize that the problem was not their tactical capabilities. It was a lack of smart strategic thinking about how to win in the Internet and mobile communications marketspace.

So how did TI's leadership put that insight into practice and what was the result?

They shaped a new vision and new Grand Strategy during a series of strategic leadership retreats that engaged over two hundred of the top leaders from around the world. Big decisions were made and aggressively implemented across the organziation.

One key decision was their target market. Instead of continuing to fight competitors for a share of the memory chip market, TI targeted the explosive market for digital signal processors-DSPs, which are a key component of Internet and mobile communication devices. And, most importantly, they decided to be dominant in the DSP market.

They made other tough leadership decisions, such as shedding their huge defense unit, a long-time sacred cow, in order to pump more money into the DSP effort.

The new TI leadership attitude was summed up by the CEO in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. He declared, "This isn't a market we want to play in; this is the market where we intend to win." And they did win and win big: TI's market value increased six-fold over the next three years.

Leadership Mindset 2 - Focus Sharply

There's a consistent concern among the leadership teams that are responsible for implementing strategies-resource constraints. They wonder if they have the enough resources to get the job done and somehow achieve breakthrough performance.

In today's challenging operating environment, resource constraints are always going be a factor, but there's a proven leadership solution: sharply focus your available resources on the Leverage Points in your organization and market for maximum strategic impact.

What is a Leverage Point?

The trim tab on a boat rudder is a good example of a Leverage Point. Buckminster Fuller, the futurist best known for coining the term "Spaceship Earth," explained it this way:

Think of the Queen Mary-there's a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It's a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. It takes almost no effort at all.
Every successful Execution leader intuitively knows the 'People' Leverage Points within their own organizations. That is why, when they want to get something done, they reach out to the key leadership Leverage Points-board members, other senior executives, top customers and the informal leaders that the rank-and-file in the organization tend to follow.

What may not be so obvious are the population, processes and physical infrastructure Leverage Points, such as interest groups (population Leverage Point) strategy making and leadership decision-making (processes Leverage Points) and technology platforms (physical Leverage Point).

The leadership lesson is this: to have maximum strategic impact with available resources and significantly increase your probability of success, sharply focus resources on key Leverage Points and affect a critical mass of them in the right way at the right time.

Leadership Mindset 3 - Move Quickly

There is a fundamental truth about leadership in a world that is operating on Internet Time: laggards lose. Organizations need speed, and the speed of leadership determines the speed of the organization. The world's most successful companies have leadership that moves quickly to spot new opportunities, mobilize resources and bring new products and services to market in a flash.

A prime example of high-velocity leadership is Virgin Group's Sir Richard Branson. You are probably familiar with the Virgin brand from its music megastores and airlines. What you may not know is how rapidly Virgin has launched one new business after another. "Often the window of opportunity is very small," explains Branson. "So speed is of the essence."

In the vast majority of leadership situations, time is NOT on your side - the slower you move, the less chance you have of achieving your objectives. One reason is Murphy's Law, which states that "anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Another reason for speed is the ever-changing environment. No matter how theoretically perfect your original plan may be, as the execution timeline lengthens, its value depreciates because the context changes.

Leadership that operates with a Move Quickly mindset will win for a number of reasons

  • External competitors are outpaced.
  • Internal opposition to change is pre-empted.
  • Key planning assumptions don't become obsolete.
  • There are fewer unanticipated consequences.
  • Implementation gaps quickly surface and can be corrected.
  • Fast wins create a positive psychology in the organization.
  • Desired results and benefits are accelerated.

How fast should you move? The answer is simple: move at the speed you need to succeed. With few exceptions, this means moving faster than the rate of change in your environment and faster than your competitors.

SUMMARY - The three leadership mindsets we've just reviewed-Think Strategically, Focus Sharply, Move Quickly-are the keys to faster, better results in the three interdependent phases of Execution: strategic thinking, planning and implementation.

Leadership Mindset 1 - Think Strategically: Organizations that consistently win in the New Normal have one thing in common-committed proactive leadership that thinks strategically about the organization's challenges and opportunities and act accordingly.

Leadership Mindset 2 - Focus Sharply: To have maximum strategic impact with available resources and significantly increase your probability of success, sharply focus resources on key Leverage Points and affect a critical mass of them in the right way at the right time.

Leadership Mindset 3 - Move Quickly: Laggards lose. Organizations need speed, and the speed of leadership determines the speed of the organization. The world's most successful companies have leadership that moves quickly to spot new opportunities, mobilize resources and bring new products and services to market in a flash.

Together, these leadership mindsets provide a comprehensive mental model for Excellence In Execution-three leadership imperatives for winning in the 21st century.

Article Source 

Self-Confidence | How To Develop Your Confidence

Do you think you can learn the skill and mindset of self confidence?

3 tips to boost your confidence - TED-Ed

I thought this was a fun click on boosting confidence. Have a look and see what you think.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Leadership Starts From Within by Dr. Richard Norris

Expert Author Dr. Richard NorrisThe global recession, directly or indirectly, will impact leadership - yours, your market, your competition, your region and, yes, your nation. Why?

Because leadership is ubiquitous. It is all around us. It is of primary importance. Yet, it is seemingly underserved, undervalued and under resourced. Need some proof?

According to the Development Dimensions International 's Global Leadership Forecast 2008/09 (1) from research of 1493 HR professionals and 12,208 business leaders across 76 countries: 

75% of business leaders identified that improving or leveraging of leadership talent was their #1 priority.
Only 41% of business leaders are satisfied with the help they get to develop leadership capabilities.
One of the core needs within organizations is to create a sustainable supply of quality leaders.
The primary skill shortfall amongst organizations is in leadership skills and interpersonal skills.
Leadership is a leaking bucket. All organizations, large and small, from the family to local sport team to government to the boardroom of a leading global company, will at some time need to replace leaders. This arises from necessity and/or from natural attrition. From the information above, there is clearly a pervasive problem or, in a more positive tone, there is an opportunity - an opportunity to address this chronic shortcoming. How?

Start with yourself. Leadership starts from within.



To begin to explore this important distinction let's start by looking at the definition of leadership.According to the Oxford Dictionary leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization, or the ability to do this.


To lead is to cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward.

Leadership therefore requires influence, direction and action. However, for leadership to manifest so that others follow, it stands to reason that the leader, whoever or whatever that may be, must first influence themselves, give self-direction and act on that direction.

Chronic Question

There exists a perennial question about leadership - "Are leaders born or made?" or to rephrase it "Nature versus nurture".

Why does it need to be one or the other? Do you see many babies leading Fortune 500s or governments or the local sports team? Regardless of your opinion or perceptions one thing is for sure. Leadership is something into which you grow. Importantly, we are all born to lead ourselves at least!

In nature there must be reasonably synchronous growth regardless of the "ecosystem". Teenagers may experience growing pains when their bones are growing at a faster rate than their muscles. Our DNA is programmed so that eventually growth levels out and all systems are aligned and developed to their full design specification.

An individual promoted to a new role in an organization can experience a skill, attitude and/or ability gap compared to the new demands. To address the gap or deficit, the same individual must seek within first and begin the process of change there.

Admittedly, in organizations it is possible to experience growing pains too - sales and demand exceed the ability to supply and/or service the customer. Leadership must, therefore, develop within the organization to address the imbalance and ensure that harmony is restored.

What Does Google Have To Say?

As Google is the #1 search engine, it gives an impartial and objective perspective on leadership.

Just by typing in "leadership" yields 118 million results - sites, references etc. According to Google AdWords searches on the word "leadership" receives >4 million hits globally per month. Both of these facts suggest that leadership is a topic of significant interest and that there is a huge diversity of data, opinions, perceptions, models, styles, concepts and experts. The monthly searches also suggest there is a perpetual quest for answers, solutions and information on leadership.

Interestingly, when the global search is narrowed there are only: 

4400 hits per month for "successful leadership"
33,100 hits per months for "effective leadership" and
18,100 hits per month for "self-leadership".
It is interesting that, in the face of all the need out there for leadership, the refined search on successful and effective leadership globally produces comparatively so few hits. Why is that? Is there a global delusion that we just need to know more about leadership or just understand it better rather than define what it takes to make a good leader or even a great one or to establish a legacy of outstanding leadership?

People - Your Most Important Asset

The mantra that people are your most important asset is spoken around the world. Too bad the mantra is wrong.

People are not your most important asset - the right people are. And that is especially true for the right leaders. The right leaders will attract, inspire, develop and retain the right people. The right leaders will be intent on growing other leaders. The right leaders will start by growing themselves - from the inside out. They know that to be a great leader they have to establish their own strong foundation of principles, values and attitudes.

A skills-based approach to leadership, however, takes an outside-in approach. That is where many individuals, teams and organizations get it wrong and contribute significantly to the statistics of the Global Leadership Forecast 2008/9. A skills approach to leadership assumes that good foundations have been laid upon which to lay the skills. To outright ignore examining and establishing the right foundation is in place is a huge risk. Regrettably, whether assumptions have been made or the matter outright ignored, this often equates, effectively, to throwing skills on Teflon. The result is skills will not stick.

Applying the skills-based approach, consider a formula for success, here applied to leadership, as Be x Do = Have. Have = good right leadership. Do = skills. Be =? Without addressing the 'Be' it is no surprise that leadership is chronically found wanting.

You get the people you deserve. It's your decision. For you to attract and lead better people you need to become the leader those people need and desire. That means you must invest in yourself first.

Where to Start

The majority of leaders should know and understand that people are the core building block of their team and/or organization. But to be an effective leader, you need to know the core building block of your people - their respective roles.

Many organizations just look at their people in their professional capacity. Whilst they may invest in their development and endeavour to lead them they often miss the mark. To ensure that your leadership "fits" and attracts the right people doing the right things to generate the right results, you need to ensure that you take into account all the roles each person comes to work with - within and outside the team or organization. This means you must address their personal roles outside of work e.g. parent, spouse, charity volunteer, team captain of local hockey team and coach of daughter's swim team (5 roles).

All of a person's roles show up at work. A leader is no different. They have as many if not more roles. The right leader will be addressing their growth and development in each role according to priorities and available "resources" (time, money etc.).

Self-leadership therefore begins by identifying core roles, prioritizing them, planning their development and then acting on the plan. To do all that it must begin from within.


Interestingly, a leader will attract into their lives people and circumstances from which to learn and grow. Life is, after all, a mirror. The quality of your leadership is determined by the quality of your relationships.

There are two often quoted adages - love your neighbour as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. These both stress the importance of meaningful relationships and emphasize that all relationships start with you.

So leadership starts with your relationship with yourself. To improve your relationships with others so that you can become a better leader, you need to improve your relationship with yourself first. Regrettably, this revelation is often overlooked and/or not given the attention it is due.

A Critical Ingredient

Any relationship starts with you. Leadership starts with you. Self-leadership (and any leadership for that matter), to be effective, is dependent on the ability to communicate well - internally and externally. There is plenty of focus on external communication. For example, throughout the school systems around the world there is an emphasis regarding training around the messages from our mouth and from our pen or keyboard. However, what has been sadly overlooked is the greater importance of our internal communication.

All communication starts as a thought before it is translated into words and messages. How many of us have allowed ourselves to "speak first and think later"? What was the result? In many instances it likely created some unwelcome ripples in your life and in your leadership.

We all have an internal voice - actually we have two - our internal ally or our internal adversary. Our ally is working for us. Our adversary is working against us. As a leader which voice is loudest most often or to which one do you listen to most? When the adversary prevails it is often because we are reacting to a situation or challenge. Self-leadership knows to proactively and consciously control the voice to which it listens.

With self-leadership our internal (and external) communication must be open, honest, clear, timely and, at times, radical. Integrity then flows from this. When our thoughts line up with our words our actions will follow in alignment. We are congruent. We walk the talk. When we do that people do what people see. Your self-leadership then flows into leadership.

Parting Questions

To help initiate your self-leadership here are some extremely helpful questions for you to consider: 

  • What is the detailed profile of the ideal leader for you, your team or your organization?
  • What are the foundations for self-leadership?
  • On a scale of 1-10 (1 being poor and 10 being excellent) how do you score on self-leadership?
  • In the event you did not score a 10 for #3 what do you need to be and/or do to improve your score to an 8+?
  • How do you encourage and develop self-leadership individually and/or as team or organization?
  • Where applicable, how will you integrate self-leadership into your existing leadership development?


There is a global need for leadership - always will be. The important distinction is the need for great leadership. Great leaders lead themselves well first. But before they become great they know they have to grow into it. To do that means they must invest in themselves first and begin that by developing themselves from the inside out role by role. Ultimately, the quality of your leadership is determined by the quality of your relationships which are determined by the quality of your internal or self-communication.

Leadership brings change. Change is inevitable; growth is optional. To grow as a leader, whether as an individual, team or organization, you must therefore change. That change must begin with you. Leadership starts from within you.

Article Source:

The Biggest Mistake a Leader Can Make

Listen to the biggest mistakes you can make as a leader. Do you agree?

Leadership - Engage your Team - Create a Culture of Engagement

How to engage your team as a leader.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Fascinating Leadership Styles From Cricket for Organisations and Leaders by Ramachandran S

Expert Author Ramachandran S

An in-depth and extensive analysis of the game of Cricket has provided following fascinating variety of Leadership styles that can be adopted by organizations and leaders. Adaptation of suitable leadership style is to be based on the organisation/team composition, strength and weakness of members, organization and individual goals, nature of assignments to be handled-as to long/medium/short-term, commercial or social, new assignments or repeat/ standard ones and so on. By identifying multiple situations that can confront leaders in their career path, this article brings to focus forcefully that leadership style cannot be static for a leader and will require them wearing different leadership hats, suiting a variety of situations.

We have chosen the fascinating game of Cricket to identify leadership styles for organizations and leaders, as it is characterized by the following features:

1) It offers a variety of formats like Test Matches, One-day, 20-20, knock-out, League format and so on, requiring different skill sets from team members and different leadership styles to handle them. 2) The long- history of Cricket has witnessed a phenomenal variety of leaders (Captains) , some of them legends, some great, some average/passable, some downright failures and so on 3) On the personal side Cricket is a team game and has always consisted of a great variety with respect to the team composition, as to location, culture, language or dialect or way of speaking, economic strata, age, experience, physical appearance, nature and so on 4) On the technical side the complexity of skill sets consisting of Match winners, All-rounders, Batsmen (Aggressive hitters, balanced ones capable of long-hauls, slow-pick-up) , Bowlers (Fast, Medium, Off-Spinners, Leg-spinners) Fielders (Close in, out-field, out-standing, good, bad and to be protected etc) , Wicket-keeper and so on.

5) Also leadership styles to suit the style, stature and strength of opponents, type of pitches, situation in a series, qualifying requirements, availability of /injury to players etc. 6) A great entertainer (on its day) and a money spinning spectator sport. 7) However great you are (like star performers in an organization) , you have to abide by the authority of umpires and captains on the field, with selective/limited options for appealing, calling for judicious usage Of such opportunities. 8) Need for all team members to alter their style to the format of the game or situational requirements and hence the expectation from the captains to prepare and mould them accordingly.

The fascinating range of Leadership styles unearthed as part of the in-depth analysis of game of Cricket reads as follows The leadership styles are listed in the alphabetical order for easy recall and do not signify any order of importance etc.


Here we are analysing the 11 leadership styles:

1) ACTIVE (OMNIPRESENT) LEADERSHIP - Here the captain/the leader adopts the style of being present virtually everywhere, signifying an intention to be in the know of all and sundry happenings. Team members are likely to feel the leader virtually breathing behind their neck. Hence to avoid being over-active, as that may communicate a lack of confidence with the team members This"OMNIPRESENT"style of leadership (somewhat duly modified) , may be relevant in organizations/teams consisting of predominantly freshers, less skilled etc requiring and looking for constant guidance. The exceptions in the team need to be handled differently and hence the modification indicated.

2) AGGRESSIVE (TIGER ON THE PROWL!) LEADERSHIP - This is generally the style of leadership adopted by Australian Captains, who invariably with a strong and aggressive team backing them, mostly tried to play a psychological game (almost bordering on mini-warfare) of conveying to the opponents that Australians are supremely confident of winning and out to make a mince-meat of hapless opponents. While mostly it has worked for strong teams, when this borders on over-confidence or gross underestimating of opponents, this can back-fire very badly. In an organization/team environment such a style can succeed if the team members know and have adopted to this style of their leader. In a situation of mixed team of old and new members, the new ones need to be put in through an orientation of this "TIGER ON THE PROWL" leadership style and old team members style of
functioning, for this to succeed. Otherwise it can back-fire very badly, as new members may get alienated. Also this may work well even with new comers like ambitious management graduates, who believe in aggressive leadership for fast-track growth

3) CHARISMATIC (ROYAL!) LEADERSHIP - This style of leadership has occurred whenever captains have been towering personalities of the game or with royal lineage etc. We have instances of both legendary and successful captains and miserable failures under this category. In an organization/ team set-up this can work (without much modifications) , if the team members deem it a privilege to be working under a star personality. Otherwise there is a definite need for such leader to communicate in no uncertain terms, he is very much approachable and his stature need not be a deterrent for the team members

4) CONFIDENCE-BUILDING (IDENTIFYING GEMS!) LEADERSHIP - One of the examples always quoted in cricket for this style of leadership is Imran khan of Pakistan, who is credited with unearthing gems like Wasim Akram, Abdul quadir and others. Sensing their potential, he is supposed to have been always on their side, when they were down and out, to build confidence in them. Together they played a key part in taking Pakistan to their pinnacle of glory by winning world championship. In an organization/team set-up such leaders can be an asset in identifying and moulding gems. However they will be disasters, if they are seen to be playing the game of favouritism, misusing their position.

5) COOL (ICE-BERG) /PASSIVE LEADERSHIP: One classic case of Cool leadership (as coined by commentators, Media& others) has been Mahendra Singh Dhoni of India. This type of leadership has the risk of being classified as cool, when the team is winning and passive when the team is losing! In an organizational/Team environ this style of leadership can work, if you have a well settled team/products/ services, stable organizational /economic environ and the organization/team is perceived to be succeeding. When this situation changes, unless there is a perceptible change in leadership style, the leader will be branded "PASSIVE"or inactive.

6) ENDURING (STABILITY&COMMANDING RESPECT) LEADERSHIP: Even though many Australian captains have exhibited such leadership style, slightly lesser credit is being given here for their endurance, as their teams have been virtually "WORLD-CHAMPIONS" for prolonged periods of time. Very rarely a boat is disturbed, when the sailing is smooth. Hence a little bit more focus is on leaders/ captains like Daniel Vettori of New zealand, Greame Smith of South Africa, Mahela Jayawardane of Srilanka as they have been Enduring leaders, inspite of their teams not being the Champs. This style of leadership in organizations/teams is possible for leaders, who are perceived as people oriented and when no major competing leader of stature is in sight. The stability should not lead to too much comfort, familiarity& personal equations with the team members leading to difficulties in extracting performance. Also this style of leadership may not sustain when strong alternate leader emerges (with general preference for change) and when the performance of the organization/team goes below certain benchmarks.

7) INSPIRATIONAL (TRANSFORMATIONAL) LEADERSHIP: Possibly the most striking example in cricket for this style of leadership is Mike Brearly of England, whose leadership qualities are termed out-standing. The legend goes that he could have been part of any team in the world as a captain, but not as a player!The classic example is that of Ashes series, after England was down &out 2-nil after 2 matches and their star performer Botham performing miserably, as per Australia's aggressive game plan of containing Botham ( who is a match winner on his day) . The arrival of Mike as a Captain from the 3rd test turned the series on its head, with the totally transformed Botham, single-handedly winning the remaining 3 matches and the Ashes for England. Such inspirational is highly relevant for Organizations /Teams involved in creative activities, has star performers/ Orgaisations/Teams undergoing bad patch, to transform people at leadership levels and so on, rather than in routine and mundane type of activities. They can be ideal for start-ups to inculcate a sustaining performance culture from the beginning itself.

8) PARTICIPATIVE (OUTSTANDING OR STAND-OUT?!) LEADERSHIP - Possibly a positive example of this style of leadership is former Indian Skipper Saurav Ganguly, going both by his track-record and the team members, recalling his leadership always with fondness and pride, long after he ceased to be the Skipper. There are many examples in International cricket, where captains have carried it to the extreme and failed.
This style of leadership will have to ensure in an organisation /team environ, that it is clearly communicated that while quality participation from the team is welcome and appreciated, the final decision taking authority, based on facts, figures and organizational requirements will rest with the leader. Also such leadership should avoid excessive, endless, free for all participation bordering on LAISSEZ FAIRE style of "NON-LEADERSHIP"Instead of being an"outstanding leader "the leader may have to "stand out" of the leadership position!.

9) PROJECT STYLE (SLAM-BANG!) LEADERSHIP: This style of leadership requirement is akin to having different captains for shorter versions as against test matches. For instance Bailey for Australia, Kohli for India and so on. Generally they are perceived to be more aggressive captains, basically more risk-taking in nature to meet the deadlines as demanded by shorter versions of the game. In an organization/team situations, leadership is required to complete different types of tasks/ projects with deadlines, uncertainties etc, through being very alert and dynamic, risk taking, able to take decisions at very short notice, even with limited information. A word of caution would be, though dynamic such leaders need to have a mature head on their shoulders and capable of reasonable restraint, otherwise in the name of dynamism, there is every possibility of going overboard with decisions with disastrous results.

10) TASK-MASTER (MILITARY TYPE) LEADERSHIP: We have come across this type of leadership in cricket. Some have shown good results, handling a team of rookies and some have miserably failed, trying this style even to an experienced team leading to resentment. This style of leadership is difficult to practice in letter and spirit in modern organizations. Still this is being followed with varying degrees of control on shop-floors, wherever routine, compliance oriented and automated operations are pre-dominant etc. Such leadership style should provide flexibility for potential employees to grow, lest they leave

11) UNOBTRUSIVE (CARROT& STICK ) LEADERSHIP: These are leaders in the know of things with their hands on the pulse of the situation and the team, without forcing themselves on the team, all the time. Anil kumble of India was considered one such captain. In the organization /team situations, such leaders can produce good results, if the team consists of experienced/senior professionals, who normally prefer a hands-off leadership style and if the leader has the stature to command their respect, when required. The leader should ensure that the leaders presence is clearly felt, in all Important decision-making by the team. This type of leadership, makes their presence felt by rewarding right behavior and vice-versa. The leadership style should be never allowed to degenerate in to passive /Laissez faire category in the name of extended freedom for the team. Such leaders need to be more hands-on, when the composition of the team changes with more of fresh/lesser experienced team members requiring guidance

Article Source 

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

What You Need to Know About Leadership by Jason Taylor, Ph.D.

Expert Author Jason Taylor, Ph.D.Executive Summary

Since the inception of business, organizations have searched for clues to help identify and select successful leaders. They have searched for men and women of vision with that rare combination of traits that help them serve as motivator, business driver, and authority figure. The concept of leadership has been widely observed and frequently studied, but a thorough understanding of what defines successful leadership has always remained just out of reach.

I wanted to find the answer(s) to the age-old question, "What makes a great leader?" After studying the behavioral attributes of thousands of business leaders, the resulting data could reveal commonalities that define strong leadership. What similar patterns or behaviors might possibly be found over and over again? By forming a concise "leadership recipe," the never-ending search for quality leaders could finally be simplified to a standardized set of characteristics that might help predict successful leadership in any organization. But could science and behavioral psychology be successfully applied to extract these leadership "revelations" from the data?

I centered my investigation on 30 behavioral leadership models that were used across 24 unique companies encompassing 4,512 business leaders from all performance levels. These companies included several from the Fortune 500 list. Each of the 30 leadership models was analyzed to identify the most common behaviors that differentiate higher-performing leaders from low-performing leaders. The findings compiled from this data set revealed new evidence that must serve as a foundational piece of every leadership hiring or training endeavor.

Expectations of the Study

Leadership is a concept that is difficult to capture. You know it when you see it, but it is difficult to quantify. The components of leadership are often examined and observed, but the ability to predict successful leadership has thus far avoided the confines of a repeatable recipe. Many approaches have been used in an attempt to document commonalities among successful leaders, but only with mixed results at best. Taking a new approach to the issue, I set out to study the behavioral characteristics of successful leaders in comparison to leaders of lower performance levels. The two main objectives of this study were:

To identify the three most important behaviors that are predictive of leadership performance.
To identify the level or degree of the three most common behaviors that are predictive of leadership performance.
Behavioral Leadership Models

Before discussing the study findings, it is important to lay the groundwork of this study using the behavioral leadership model. The behavioral leadership model is the cornerstone to this research study since it is designed to capture the behavioral preferences of successful leaders currently working in the position. Essentially, the behavioral leadership model captures the unique combination of behaviors that predicts success. Each unique model was created using the same methodology, but the customization was made possible by using performance data related to a specific position. To create a behavioral leadership model, each organization used the following three-step process.

Define Success-Traditionally, leadership success is determined by education, experience, potential, or other non-performance related measures. For this study, success was determined by actual performance on the job. We want to better understand the behaviors of the real leaders who produce results on a daily basis.

To keep the study focused on leadership productivity, each company defined success based on their business practices, and their leaders were evaluated on their ability to produce the desired business results. Those who did not produce the desired outcomes were considered ineffective leaders while others who produced the desired results were considered successful leaders. Each organization utilized specific performance data captured from those leaders actively engaged in the leadership role. The types of performance data collected ranged from subjective data (i.e., performance evaluations, soft achievement ratings, etc.) to objective data (i.e., store sales, percent to plan, profit metrics, etc.).

Use a Behavioral Assessment-The objective in this step is to capture the behavioral preferences of each leader (across all levels of success). The leaders in each organization were assessed using a behavioral assessment tool that measured 38 core behaviors. The 38 behaviors provided insight into the deeper motivations and preferences of each leader.

Build a Leadership Model-To create the leadership model, the behavioral assessment data was combined with the performance data for each leadership role. The result was a behavioral depiction of successful leadership across 38 behaviors. The leadership model determined how important each dimension was when compared to all 38 behaviors. Understanding the importance provides insight into the comparative ability of each behavior in predicting leadership performance. Equally as important is the degree in which the dimension needs to exist (ex: "high" Attention to Detail, "medium" Assertiveness, or "low" Insight into Others). The degree of a behavior will greatly affect leadership in terms of productivity, communication, and many other leadership activities.

Each leadership model was constructed in the same manner. The specific combination of dimensions (both importance and degree) was a reflection of current performance data from active leaders in the role. The models were customized to capture the true essence of leadership as it exists on the job and as it relates specifically to daily performance or contribution to the organization.

Behavioral Leadership Study

For this study, leadership roles were analyzed across 30 leadership models using the behavioral and performance data of 4,512 business leaders. For each role, a unique leadership model was created to assemble the strongest predictors of leadership according to behavioral preferences as they relate to actual quantified performance on the job. The process included comparing each of the 30 leadership models in a search for common behaviors predictive of leadership success (also considering the importance and degree). The study was based on the following parameters:

There were (n = 24) companies represented, some with multi-billion-dollar annual revenues, across (n = 10) industries: Medical, Grocery, Retail, Financial, Restaurant, Hotel, Food Service, Property Management, Industrial, and Customer Service.
Successful leadership was defined as a consistent and quantified achievement of current business objectives as designated by the organization. For example, in situations where the organization defined leadership success as achieving a higher "percent to plan," good performance was reflected through a consistent and strong production of high "percent to plan" numbers.
The average tenure for the (n = 4,512) leaders with varying performance levels was 2,242 days (over six years).
For descriptive purposes, leadership roles were banded according to range of responsibility. For this study sample, Level 1 leaders, or 36.67%, are responsible for a small direct group of employees. Level 2, or 56.67% of the sample, are responsible for a location, site, store, or entire office. Level 3, or 6.67%, were responsible for a region, multiple sites, multiple stores, multiple locations, or multiple offices.
Leadership Study Findings

Importance-Most Frequently Occurring Behaviors

Over the course of the study, each of the 30 leadership models was analyzed and the top ten "most predictive" behaviors were recorded and compared. The objective was to use the top ten behaviors across the 30 models as the method to capture the most predictive behaviors.

The next step was to identify the three most common behaviors (out of the top ten) across the 30 leadership models. The focus was limited to the top three most common behaviors to provide a more concise view of successful leadership. By identifying the three most frequently occurring behaviors, insights would be gained into the three most important behaviors that predict leadership success across a wide variety of leadership roles in a wide variety of industries. The data showed some surprising results:

Interestingly, all 38 behavioral dimensions were represented somewhere within the lists of top ten behaviors across the 30 leadership models.
Least Important Behaviors-There were two behaviors that were consistently the lowest in importance. Reflective (deep thinking and/or the ability to anticipate long-term outcomes) and Team Orientation (desire to work with groups) had the lowest frequency, occurring in just 10.00% of the models.
Most Important Behavior-Across all 30 of the leadership models, Energy appeared in the top ten more than any other behavior (14 out of 30, or 46.67%) among all the leadership models. The mere presence of Energy in the behavioral model did not indicate the degree most suitable for the position, only that it played an important role in the overall behavioral equation for successful leadership.
Second-Most Important Behavior-The dimension of Competitive Fierceness appeared in 13 out of 30, or 43.33%, of the top ten lists of the leadership models studied. Some successful leaders may be more competitive while others prefer a supportive environment. As with Energy, Competitive Fierceness was found to be a primary part of many behavioral models in varying degrees.
Third-Most Important Behavior-Acceptance of Authority appeared in 12 out of 30, or 40.00%, of the top ten lists of the leadership models studied. Whether these 12 behavioral models required a high, medium, or low degree of this dimension required further study (see the following section).
There were 38 behavioral characteristics studied across the 30 leadership models. The objective was to find the most predictive or most frequently occurring behaviors that drive successful leadership. The research data revealed that Energy, Competitive Fierceness, and Acceptance of Authority appeared in the top ten lists most frequently. The most predictive or most frequently occurring behaviors provide the avenue to further explore the degree or amount of each behavior needed to predict leadership success for each of these three behaviors.

Challenging Leadership Assumptions

Based on the three most important or predictive leadership behaviors (Energy, Competitive Fierceness, and Acceptance of Authority), assumptions can be formed based on common (natural) perceptions of successful leadership. It is a common practice to assume that successful leaders exhibit a strong relation to, or very high degree of, a particular behavior. For the purpose of this study, I examined the varying degrees required to be successful across each of these three important behaviors.

Assumption #1 - Leaders must be "high energy" to be successful.

Energy was considered the most predictive (or most frequently occurring) behavior in 14 of 30, or 46.67%, of the leadership models.

• 21% of the models required below average Energy levels

• 37% of the models required average Energy levels

• 21% of the models required an above average Energy level

• 21% of the models required high Energy levels

• 0% of the models required an extremely high level of Energy

Although the majority of the leadership models required an above average amount of Energy, there were no models that required extraordinary levels of Energy.

Assumption #2 - Successful leaders must be highly competitive to be successful.

Competitive Fierceness was a top ten behavior in 13 of 30, or 43.33%, of the leadership models studied.

• 23% of the models required a more Supportive approach

• 39% of the models required a balance between being supportive and competitive

• 38% of the models required a more competitive approach

• 0% of the models required a high level of Competitive Fierceness

• 0% of the models required an extremely high level of Competitive Fierceness

The majority of the leadership models required an average to slightly above average level of Competitive Fierceness. None of the leadership models required a high or extremely high level of Competitive Fierceness.

Assumption #3 - Successful leaders need a more rebellious nature to be a high performer.

According to the data studied, Acceptance of Authority was considered one of the most predictive behaviors in 12 of 30, or 40.00%, of the leadership models.

• 42% of the models required a more rebellious approach

• 41% of the models required a balance between accepting authority and being rebellious

• 17% of the models required a more Acceptance of Authority approach

• 0% of the models required a high level of Acceptance of Authority

• 0% of the models required an extremely high level of Acceptance of Authority

According to the data studied, 84% of the leadership models required a below average or average level of Acceptance of Authority. None of the leadership models required a high or extremely high level of Acceptance of Authority.

Conclusions Drawn from the Study

Data Point #1-All 38 behaviors play a role in successful leadership. It is important to point out that across the leadership models studied, all 38 behaviors appeared in the top ten of at least two or more of the leadership models. The entire group of 38 behaviors was present and accounted for in identifying successful leadership. This helps us to better understand the need to view each behavior as potentially valuable.

Conclusion-there were no behaviors that could be ignored or excluded from the recipe for successful leadership.

Data Point #2-Successful leadership behaviors are situational. Even the most common or frequently occurring leadership behavior showed up in less than 50% of the models. Stated another way, slightly more than half of the 30 leadership models did not consider Energy (the most frequently occurring behavior) as an important differentiator in identifying successful leadership. The data does not support the notion of a universal or "off-the-shelf" behavioral leadership model that will predict successful leadership.

Conclusion-there was no cut-and-dried combination of behaviors that predicted successful leadership (not even some of the time).

Data Point #3-Most leadership roles required higher than average levels of Energy, but not as high as you might think. Only 21% of the leadership models required high levels of Energy and none of the leadership models required extremely high levels of Energy.

By definition, a high level of Energy is often manifested through lots of activity, but the negative byproduct is hyperactivity, waste, and inefficiency. Practically, an above average level of Energy translates to the leader's ability to keep a group of people focused and moving at the proper pace and in the proper direction without the frustration of hyperactivity. From the follower's perspective, it is important to understand the implications of a sporadic or over-reactive leadership style (extremely high Energy). Think of how frustrating it is to do something and then redo it "just to stay busy" or doing busy work just "because the boss can't sit still." Associates perceive this style as scattered, confusing, and they struggle to find success and fulfillment under such a leadership style. Over time, credibility and respect can be lost, leaving this type of leader ineffective.

Conclusion-The most successful leaders possess above average amounts of energy, but not too much!

Data Point #4-Great leaders are competitive, but they also understand the importance of being supportive. According to the data, 23% of the leadership models required a more supportive approach to leading others. Combined with the 39% of leadership models that required a balanced approach, these findings provide helpful insights to the task of understanding strong leadership. Intuitively, the concept of balancing support with competition makes leadership sense. Leaders must know when competition is appropriate and when being supportive of those around them is more valuable than competing. Think of it as healthy competition-knowing when to turn the competitive juices on and when to turn them off. Without a firm grasp of this concept, overly competitive leaders may alienate those around them and create toxic environments.

Conclusion-A balance of respect for authority and rebelliousness is a common predictor of successful leadership.

Data Point #5-This we know to be true: successful leaders tend to challenge conventional structure and rules. In fact, 42% of the leadership models required a more rebellious approach to leadership. Many organizations rely on their leaders to challenge the current structure and methods that have been historically successful (or unsuccessful, as the case may be). Strong leaders often have an eye for creating positive change that removes stumbling blocks to success.

However, do not go overboard and think that your next leadership hire

must behave like James Dean in "Rebel Without a Cause." Keep in mind that 41% of the leadership models required a balance between following authority and challenging the establishment. Not to be forgotten, another 17% of the leadership models required leaders to accept and embrace the structure around them. The practical reality is that successful leaders know how to "choose their battles." Sometimes being a rebel is productive and provides the necessary change, but that must be balanced with the recognition of situations where one must accept the current structure and operate within it.

Conclusion-Successful leaders often have a "rebellious streak" that leads them to challenge the current structure and methods, but they choose their battles wisely.

Summary of Findings

Remember the original question: "What makes a great leader?" Contrary to preconceived notions of what we might expect the answers to be-for example, all successful leaders must be high-energy and extremely competitive while battling the powers-that-be at every opportunity-what I found was not nearly so clear-cut. In fact, successful leaders were scattered all over the behavioral board, ranging from a below average degree of one behavior to a high degree of another.

What do these findings tell you about your organization? Everyone is different, and every leadership behavioral model will vary from company to company. Any so-called "Leadership Model" that offers a one-size-fits-all solution is most likely a failure waiting to happen. As proven in the data for over 4,500 leaders, your leadership staff is very different than the one at the company across the street. As a matter of fact, there is ample documentation of extreme differences between leadership preferences in groups working together within the same organization.

What is the solution to identifying and hiring successful leaders for your team? Learn your organization's strongest leadership traits that translate into success on the job. To accomplish this task manually, look to your own executive and managerial team for clues as to the behaviors that help leaders succeed. A thorough understanding of their job function, productivity expectations, and behavior will provide insight into what makes one person more effective than another in a particular role.

There is an easier way to determine the perfect leadership recipe for your organization across multiple behavioral dimensions. The "automated" method is to use a good behavioral assessment to measure the behaviors of your incumbent leaders. In approximately 30 minutes-the time it takes to complete a validated, reliable behavioral assessment-you could have access to a behavioral profile for every assessed leader in the company. From this data, a profile of a successful leader can be generated and used to duplicate your current crop of successful leaders through better hiring decisions. In addition to bringing more successful leaders on board, behavioral profiles provide content for an employee development program that will drive higher productivity for years to come.

Dr. Jason E. Taylor is the Chief Science Officer at PeopleAnswers Inc. He is a leader in the field of talent assessments in business. Since receiving his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, Dr. Taylor has pioneered the development of several assessment technologies since the late 1990s. He is an active member of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP).

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