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Assessment Archives, Page 1 of 1
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Sep22
Leadership Techniques at Core of Clinton Global Initiatives Success

Congrats to the Clinton Foundation and to Bill Clinton for his ability to draw $7.3 billion from private donations at his 2nd annual Clinton Global Initiatives. The money will be used to take action against world problems such as energy and climate change, global health, poverty alleviation, and the mitigation of religious and ethnic conflict.

Clinton has used effective leadership techniques to succeed in this ambitious endeavor. Clinton successfully galvanized a variety of personalities, cultures, races, and political viewpoints into one cause. His leadership in elevating the importanceCGI Bush.jpg of the issues above the differences of the participants is clear. The Clinton Global Initiatives describes itself as

“a non-partisan catalyst for action, bringing together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

From the Clinton Global Initiatives conference and website, Clinton’s implementation of effective leadership strategy is apparent as it emphasizes commitment, measuring results and empowering others. From the Clinton Global Initiatives web site:

 

Commitments translate practical ideas into meaningful action. They generally meet the following criteria:

  • Original: a new or expanded project that is initiated in anticipation of, or as a result of, the Clinton Global Initiative. President Clinton’s “call to action” highlights the growing opportunities for businesses, governments and the nonprofit sector to affect public problems by moving beyond activities or programs already in place.
  • Specific: A project that defines clear and feasible objectives.
  • Measurable: an endeavor that within its fixed time frame shows continued progress and produces a quantifiable outcome
Any leader could implement these features to accomplish an organizational goal:
  • Define clear and feasible objectives
  • Translate practical ideas into meaningful action through commitment
  • Establish a fixed time frameIdentify a quantifiable outcome
  • Measure and monitor progress

Clinton’s ability to attract and retain global, non-partisan support for this important cause is due in part to his use of these leadership tenets, encompassed by the principle of commitment.

AP Photo - Seth Wenig

Jul16
Six Principles of Leadership Coaching
I came across an article entitled Six Principles of Leadership Coaching in the July 2006 newsletter for the Center for Creative Leadership.

I found it interesting because I have always thought of leadership coaching as the trade of professional consultants and coaches. However, leadership coaching can and should also occur in an organization where leaders have an opportunity to develop leadership in their direct reports and peers.

Internal organizational coaching requires a different approach and perspective - and also offers different challenges — than external, professional leadership coaches. As the article points out, internal leader coaches should follow the same "rules of engagement" as the pros to create a foundation for effective coaching. The following six principles will “help you establish new coaching relationships, adapt your coaching style to meet different needs and work through challenges and struggles that may arise.”

"When a coaching relationship isn't going well, go back to the basics," says CCL's Douglas Riddle. "Whether the frustration lies on the part of the coach or the coachee, the beginning of a solution can often be found by looking to these six core principles."

Principle 1: Create a safe and challenging environment. It is the coach's responsibility to create a safe environment in which the coachee can take risks and learn. Creating a sense of safety can be a real challenge for leader coaches. Your role as boss or manager may cause the coachee always to wonder if and how information he shares will be used outside the coaching discussion. To counter this, aspire to hold an open and nonjudgmental attitude. Find a balance between challenging and supporting the coachee.

Continue Reading
Mar29
Where are the Leaders?
Editors Note: Thank you to Andrew Thorn for contributing this post as a Guest Blogger.  Andrew is the founder of Telios Corporation, a leadership development firm focused on using assessment, training and coaching to accelerate individual, team and organizational growth.

Leaders are in short supply. It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify high potential and emerging leaders. Those that are good, know it, and are demanding high levels of compensation. Leaders are more transient than ever. Not only are they willing to change jobs, but they are also willing to change careers and industries. I am constantly asked to identify the characteristics of a successful leader.

Successful leaders understand how to self-govern. They do not wait for somebody to tell them what to do or to provide training. They constantly seek their own training program and look for ways to develop individually. They understand the importance of leading across the organization. This means that they may at times lead their managers, peers and/or direct reports. They are comfortable in doing this. They understand their role and the power they possess. They do not overstep their boundaries, yet they manage to create success on all levels.

How do they do this? They do it by understanding their own personal strengths and the areas where they need to develop. They are constantly seeking information about their abilities and behaviors. They are not afraid to ask others for help. They are not afraid to share their goals. They clearly define what needs to be done, before they ask how they are going to do it. Once it is defined they will not settle for mediocrity. They are continually stepping up to new levels and leveraging the perceptions of others to reach those great heights. They do not expect to be told what to do, they determine what do and then do it.

Not only do they know what to do, they also understand what not to do. They avoid the traps that can derail their success. They live in the moment and forgive themselves when they make a mistake. They let others make mistakes and treat each mistake as a learning opportunity rather than a setback. They avoid winning at all cost. They do not make destructive comments about co-workers, instead they build others up. They add value, but not too much value. In other words they understand that the contributions of others carry equal weight to their own. They are not self-centered; they can easily subordinate their own agenda to that of the group or team. They do not wait for success to come to them; they go out and get it.

The characteristics of a successful leader are too numerous to discuss and list here. The next time you are wondering what successful leaders do, find someone you think demonstrates these characteristics and pick their brain. You will be surprised to find that they are more than willing to share their secrets. They know how important it is to learn from others and so they are willing to help others learn.
Mar27
Plan, Prepare, Practice
I was at a community event last night. The topic of discussion was emergency preparedness and response. Since 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina, this has been a frequently discussed topic among government, education and business.

One of the speakers offered a simple recipe for emergency preparedness and response. It is..........

Plan, Prepare, Practice

This concept resonated with me as I thought about my own personal preparedness. It also seemed like excellent advice for leadership of any organization, activity or event. I also thought of the words of John C. Maxwell who noted that “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

Leadership is rarely successful by adhering to a set of strict rules. Leaders tend to be creative and flexible, capable of balancing many competing forces. This holds true for planning, preparing and practicing. There is no secret formula. Rather, what follows are concepts that require you to think, act and assess – and use your unique experience and expertise to lead.
Continue Reading
Jan13
Leadership Styles to Meet Needs
So how can my colleague in the Pacific Northwest provide leadership and create a better environment for himself and his employees? What can he do differently to motivate and lead his employees?

Is his leadership in line with their motivation? Perhaps his employees would react differently to a different leadership style. He expected them to be self-motivated and team players. They have likely been trained to be authority or fear motivated. Can this be changed?

The chart below may be helpful in matching your leadership style to the motivation of your employees. If you feel like you are not effectively leading (your followers are not responding), maybe you need to better understand your followers and align your leadership style to their motivational needs.

You can do this by trying to understand what motivates your employees. This can be done in a group and/or individually. Pay attention to what seems to effect each employee’s performance. Is it praise from you? Recognition from peers? Financial incentives? Once you understand their needs, apply the leadership style that matches. Simple? Not really.

Leadership is a process. It takes time to listen, to show appreciation and to win trust. But the effort is worth it as employees become motivated to be more loyal, more skilled and more committed to their job. By listening and responding you will find what will motivate and inspire your employees.

The following chart was found at Motivation Tools.

Continue Reading
Nov28
Assessing Leaders
As leaders, we often review and offer feedback to those in our organizations. This activity is a critical aspect of leadership. Such feedback provides a path for continuous improvement for an individual and assures that every person in your organization is aligned with the organization’s vision.

However, who provides you as a leader with a performance review? Maybe you are lucky enough (hah hah) to report to a board of directors or other oversight committee. Or maybe you are bold enough to invite your team members to make suggestions to you. But who wants to criticize the boss even if it is constructive?

Help is on the way if you want a dose of personal feedback and you sit at the top. I learned this as I participated in a leadership assessment for a former colleague over the weekend. I found it quite fascinating. It was all about measuring his leadership qualities and performance. He had retained a company, Telios Corporation, to undertake this assessment.  Telios believes that success in leadership development is founded on the disciplines of Assessment, Coaching and Training.

My part in the assessment was simple and easy. I was provided a link to a website and login. The entire process was conducted online and was very efficient. Over a series of about 70 questions, I was able to rate my colleague on several aspects of his leadership ability including his:

  • Ethics and character
  • Ability to define and execute strategy
  • Domain expertise and knowledge
  • Teamwork
  • Capability to lead during change
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Communication skills

More importantly, before I finished, I was asked to rank the primary leadership characteristics that comprised the survey. I can only assume that my ratings will be weighted by how much I value each leadership characteristic. That makes good sense. If I give someone a high or low rating but I don’t value the characteristic, it should carry less weight.

I found that this was a valuable experience for me and I can only imagine how this feedback will help my colleague in his quest to become a better leader.

Not having seen the results of the survey and how it is presented and implemented, I can’t offer any additional insight into the value of this particular product. But I think the concept is important and if you are brave enough to face what your employees do on a regular basis, give it a try. By the way, the folks at Telios share this quote by famed Dallas Cowboy coach Tom Landry on their website,

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.”

We could all use a little of that.

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