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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Take Your Leadership to the Next Level

Craft Your Own Personal Leadership Model

Dunham and Pierce's Leadership Process Model Offers a Long Term and Lasting Approach to Leadership Development

This model highlights the dynamic nature of leadership.
Leadership is about setting direction and helping people do the right things. However, it can involve so much more than this!

In particular, leadership is a long-term process in which - in a very real and practical way - all actions have consequences, and "what goes around comes around."

Dunham and Pierce's Leadership Process Model helps you think about this, and understand why it's important to adopt a positive and long-term approach to leadership.

We'll look at the model in this article, and we'll explore why it's so important to understand it. We'll also look at how you can apply the model's lessons to your own situation.

What is the Leadership Process Model?

The Leadership Process Model was developed by Randall B. Dunham and Jon Pierce, and was published in their 1989 book "Managing." You can see our interpretation of the model in figure 1, below. (We've redrawn this for clarity.)

Figure 1 – The Leadership Process

The model shows the relationship between four key factors that contribute to leadership success or failure. These are:

1.      The Leader: This is the person who takes charge, and directs the group's performance.
2.      Followers: These are the people who follow the leader's directions on tasks and projects.
3.      The Context: This is the situation in which the work is performed. For instance, it may be a regular workday, an emergency project, or a challenging, long-term assignment. Context can also cover the physical environment, resources available, and events in the wider organization.
4.      Outcomes: These are the results of the process. Outcomes could be reaching a particular goal, developing a high-quality product, or resolving a customer service issue. They can also include things like improved trust and respect between the leader and followers, or higher team morale.

Most importantly, the model highlights that leadership is a dynamic and ongoing process. Therefore, it's important to be flexible depending on the context and outcomes, and to invest continually in your relationship with your followers.

Essentially, everything affects everything else. In a very real way, negative actions feed back to negatively affect future performance, and positive actions feed back to improve future performance.

Dunham and Pierce used a different format for the diagram illustrating this model. You can see their version in Chapter 9 of the book "Leaders and the Leadership Process."

How to Apply the Model
Pierce and John W. Newstrom highlighted several ways that you can apply the insights from this framework to your own development as a leader, and to the development of your people:

1. Provide Regular Feedback
Probably the most important thing that the Leadership Process Model highlights is how important it is to give good feedback, so that your team can grow and develop.

When you give feedback to your team, it influences the context and helps to improve the outcome. This then cycles back to influence you and your team in a positive way.

Regular feedback also helps you take your people in the right direction, as outcomes and the context change.

2. Be Aware of Actions and Reactions
The model makes it clear that, no matter what you do, your decisions, behavior, and actions directly affect your followers. Every action has a reaction. You, your followers, the context, and the outcome are all tied together in a dynamic relationship.

As a leader, it's essential that you keep this in mind at all times. There will be consequences when you say something thoughtless, or lash out at a team member, even if you don't see them immediately. Those consequences might include diminished performance, reduced morale, increased absenteeism, and accelerated staff turnover.

This is why it's important to develop self-mastery, both of your thoughts and of your actions. Also, learn how to control your emotions at work, and be a good rile model.

3. Lead Honestly and Ethically
The model also illustrates the relationships between leader and followers. If this relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, then the context and outcomes will get better and better. However, if the relationship is based on animosity, resentment, or even fear, the effect on context and outcomes will be negative.

Your people need and deserve a leader who they can trust and look up to, which is why it's important to be an ethical leader. Of course, your people may have to follow your instructions. However, if you're a leader who they trust to do the right thing, they'll want to follow you, and they'll go above and beyond for you because the relationship is deeper. This makes the difference between an average team and a great team.

Also, be authentic in your actions and communication, lead with integrity, and be humble. These qualities will inspire the trust of your people and strengthen the relationship you have with them.

It's also important to build trust actively with your team members. Do your best to support their needs, and always keep your word with them.

4. Lead with the Right Style
In business, transformational leadership is often the best leadership style to use. Transformational leaders have integrity, they set clear goals, they communicate well with their team members, and they inspire people with a shared vision of the future.

However, you'll occasionally need to adopt different leadership approaches to fit a particular follower, outcome, or context. This is why it helps to be able to use other leadership styles when appropriate.

5. Consciously Assign Tasks
Do your people get to use their skills and strengths on a regular basis? If you've been assigning tasks and projects in an ad-hoc way, then this answer might be "No".
We're all happiest when we can use our strongest skills. Try to assign tasks that fit the unique skills of everyone on your team.

6. Focus on Relationship Development
As a leader, you often depend on your people more than they depend on you. Your working relationships should therefore be built on trust, respect, and transparency. The deeper your relationship with your team, the better a leader you'll be.

Start by developing your emotional intelligence; this encompasses many of the traits that we've already mentioned. When you have high emotional intelligence, you are self-aware, you manage your emotions, and you act according to your ethics and values.

You also need to show empathy with members of your team. When your people see you as an empathic leader, they feel that you're on their side, and that you can see things from their perspective. This deepens the relationship they have with you.

Lastly, reward your people for the good work that they do: even a simple "thank you" will show your appreciation.

Key Points
The Leadership Process Model highlights the dynamic and long-term nature of leadership. It shows how your actions and behaviors influence your people, just as their actions and behaviors influence you.

As well as having an awareness of the model, you can also apply lessons from it by doing the following:

1.               Providing regular feedback.
2.               Being aware of actions and reactions.
3.               Leading honestly and ethically.
4.               Leading with the right style.
5.               Assigning tasks consciously and intelligently.
6.               Focusing on relationship development.

Overall, the Leadership Process Model helps you see the interdependent nature of leadership and its effects on situations and outcomes. Use this framework to be aware of your actions and to deepen the relationships you have with your people.

All the success!

Peter Mclees

The Leadership Pipeline Model

Develop a "pipeline" of future leaders for your organization.

Imagine that several mid-level managers in your organization are planning to retire in the next few months, and, as a result, you're facing a serious staffing problem.

Do you start searching outside your organization, or should you focus on finding people from within the company, so that you can quickly train them for these positions?

Many organizations spend a lot of time searching for good people for their leadership teams. It's often most efficient to promote from within, as internal people are "known quantities," and are already familiar with how the company works.

However, many organizations don't have a process in place for "growing their own leaders," so they need to search for outside talent to bring in.

In this article, we'll look at the Leadership Pipeline Model, a tool that helps you plan for internal leadership development. We'll then look at how you can apply this model to your organization.

About the Model
Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel developed the Leadership Pipeline Model, based on 30 years of consulting work with Fortune 500 companies. They published the model in their 2000 book, "The Leadership Pipeline," which they revised in 2011.

The model helps organizations grow leaders internally at every level, from entry level team leaders to senior managers. It provides a framework that you can use to identify future leaders, assess their competence, plan their development, and measure results. Put simply, you can use the model to think about how you'll train your people to take the next step up the leadership ladder.

According to the model's developers, leaders progress through six key transitions, or "passages," in order to succeed. These six leadership transitions are show in Figure 1, below.

Figure 1 – The Leadership Pipeline Model

Each leadership stage needs different skill-sets and values, and, at each transition, leaders have to develop these in order to lead successfully.

According to the model, senior leaders in the organization should mentor more junior managers through each leadership transition, to ensure that they're using the appropriate skills for their current level. Staying "stuck" without the right skills, even if the manager progresses upward, can cause leaders to stagnate, become ineffective, and, ultimately, fail.

Uses of the Model

There are several benefits of using the Leadership Pipeline Model.
First, promoting leaders from within is better than searching for outside talent. These outside leadership stars often flit from one organization to the next, looking for the best opportunities, and leaving the organizations they have finished with to fill the gaps. The model's "pipeline" ensures that organizations have a steady stream of internal candidates qualified for open leadership roles.

The Leadership Pipeline encourages leaders to develop new skills and mind-sets for leading at the next level, rather than reverting to those used at the previous level, and this increases their flexibility and effectiveness.

If an organization's culture focuses on developing existing employees, this can raise the morale of the entire workforce. When people see opportunities to advance, staff turnover goes down and productivity and engagement go up. Furthermore, the investment in development pays off, because professionals stay with the organization longer.

As well as being useful for organizations that want to develop the next generation of leaders internally, this model is also helpful for planning your own career trajectory. Because you can identify the skills and approaches that you'll need for each transition, you can start to prepare yourself for your next promotion.

Applying the Model

Let's look at the six transitions in the Leadership Pipeline Model, and discuss how you can prepare people to make these transitions successfully.

1. From Managing Self to Managing Others
When someone is transitioning from working independently to managing others, a significant change in attitude and skill set must take place. The new leader is now responsible for getting work done through others รข€“ a drastically different style of working.
To manage others successfully, these leaders must share information, offer autonomy, be aware of people's needs, and provide direction.

Navigating This Transition
Organizations need to make sure that first-time managers understand what's required of them.
New leaders need to focus on their communication skills, and communicate effectively with their teams. Partly, this involves communicating clearly in writing, but it can also be as simple as making time for subordinates to discuss their concerns. They need to know how to plan short- and long-term goals, define work objectives, and manage conflicting priorities.

New managers must also focus on their team members' needs. Coach new managers to practice management by walking around which helps them stay in touch with their people. Encourage them to provide feedback so that everyone on the team can improve.

It's important for new managers to know how to delegate effectively. At this level they're responsible for other people, and, if they can't delegate, they'll be harried, overworked, and stressed. This will also harm your organization's ability to get work done quickly.

Last, if you're coaching new managers through this transition, make sure that you monitor their progress to help them navigate the process successfully. Sit in on their interactions with direct reports, consider using 360 degree feedback to see how others view their abilities as a manager, and help them address any issues that arise.

2. From Managing Others to Managing Managers
This transition often presents a dramatic jump in the number of hands-on professionals that the manager is responsible for, which means that a number of new skills and working values are needed.

Navigating This Transition
First, new managers at this level need to know how to hold level one managers accountable. This might include becoming a coach or mentor to help them develop, and providing appropriate training. Managers in level two are also responsible for training the managers in level one, so make sure that they're aware of available training resources, and ensure that they know how to develop effective training sessions.

At level one, new managers might know how to get people to work together to accomplish a goal. But, at level two, managers must have the knowledge and skills needed to build an effective team.

Finally, these managers need to know how to allocate resources to the people and teams below them. These resources could be money, technology, time, or support staff, and they need to know how to budget effectively. They must know how to identify teams or units that are wasting resources, as well as knowing where to apply additional resources to improve performance.

3. From Managing Managers to Functional Manager
Functional managers often report to the business's general manager, and they are responsible for entire departments, such as manufacturing or IT. Making a transition to this level requires a great deal of maturity, and the ability to build connections with other departments.

Navigating This Transition
Functional managers must learn how to think strategically and manage with the entire department, or function, in mind.

Leaders at this level must know how to think over the long-term, as they'll need to plan for the medium-term future. They must also understand the organization's long-term goals, so that their functional strategy aligns with these aims.

Coach new functional managers to stay up to date on trends, so that they can take advantage of new advances: managers who are aware of technology and trends can adjust their strategy to better contribute to the organization's competitive advantage.
Although all managers need to be good listeners, this skill is particularly important at functional manager level. Teach your functional managers how to use active listening skills. They also need to be skilled at reading body language, so that they can avoid misinterpretation and spot untruths.

4. From Functional Manager to Business Manager
This transition may be the most challenging of the six leadership passages, because these professionals have to change the way that they think. When you're managing a business, complexity is high, the position is very visible, and many business managers receive little guidance from senior leaders.

Business managers oversee all of the functions of a business, not just one, and this requires a shift in values and perception.

Navigating This Transition
New business managers have to adjust their thinking to focus on future growth in all areas of the organization. They need to understand each function of the organization and know how these functions interrelate. Without this understanding, business managers will likely only focus on one or two functions, which could damage the organization's growth.

Encourage new business managers to get to know their functional managers well – for example, by talking with them and taking them on important trips; this will allow them to get to know the decision makers in each function and help them understand each function's value to the organization.

This group needs to know about the organization's core business processes, and understand where the profit lies within these processes. Without this knowledge, business managers can make costly strategic mistakes.

Last, and this isn't as trivial as it may seem, business managers need time management skills. Managers who lack these skills won't spend enough time on key projects or with key people, so make sure that this group knows how to focus on important, not just urgent, tasks.

5. From Business Manager to Group Manager
To be a successful group manager, another subtle shift in skills must take place. At this level, managers are responsible for individual businesses which are often dispersed around the world. They must have the ability to get these businesses working together to accomplish the broader organization's long-term goals and objectives.

Navigating This Transition
Group managers need the ability to value others' success, and they must be humble enough to help others succeed. They need to learn how to critique the business managers' strategy-formulation, and provide effective feedback.

Group managers should know how to create the right mix of investments in their businesses to help the organization succeed. Resource allocation, market prediction and segmentation, and global business etiquette are all important skills here.

They also need to stay on top of all of their businesses to ensure that they're obeying the law, sticking to corporate policy, acting in a way that's consistent with corporate strategy, enhancing the global brand, and making a robust profit.

The businesses in their group that show the most promise in all these areas are the ones that will be fully funded. So, group managers must know how to maintain good relationships with businesses, even if they aren't getting the funding they want. They also need analytical skills in order to balance what's good for their businesses, versus what's good for the organization.

6. From Group Manager to Enterprise Manager
The enterprise manager, or CEO, is on the final rung of the career ladder for managers. This is the most visible position in the company; after all, if the CEO fails, it influences how people perceive the organization.

Navigating This Transition
Future CEOs need to understand that once they ascend to this level, they're responsible for a number of different stakeholder groups and organizations, such as the board, financial analysts, investors, partners, the workforce, direct reports, and local communities. Failing any of these groups means a loss of credibility.

By the time that managers reach this stage, they should already have developed many of the leadership skills mentioned in this article. However, there are several ways in which they can develop further.

Often, CEOs, because of their number of responsibilities, have to make good decisions under an incredible amount of pressure. Make sure that potential leaders are familiar with a wide range of decision-making techniques, and know how to think on their feet.

Last, risk taking is a given at this level, but future CEOs need the courage to take calculated risks, even when they face opposition from others. This requires character, integrity, decisiveness, and inner strength.

Key Points
Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel developed the Leadership Pipeline Model and published it in their book, "The Leadership Pipeline." The model highlights six progressions that managers can go through as they develop their careers.

These progressions are from:
1.               Managing self to managing others.
2.               Managing others to managing managers.
3.               Managing managers to functional manager.
4.               Functional manager to business manager.
5.               Business manager to group manager.
6.               Group manager to enterprise manager.

While organizations can use these progressions to help develop their people, individuals can also use them to grow personally, increasing their knowledge and skills so that they're ready for their next promotion.

All the success!

Peter McLees

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What standup comics can teach you about public speaking

Comedians are the ultimate public speakers. They know how to grab the audience's attention and hold it—whether for an eight-minute set or a 90-minute show.

By Mike Michalowiz

Mike Michalowicz is the author of The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur  He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurial topics and is the CEO of Provendus Group  a consultancy that ignites explosive growth in companies that have plateaued. A version of this article first appeared on The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. 

        Click here to link to the article