Tag Archives: development

Equitable Leadership – Worth the Effort

My last LeaderSips blog took on what I consider to be - for the most part - a lazy and unfair leadership style: the "equal" approach. And judging from the response, I thought the topic warranted a deeper gulp rather than a morning sip.

While the opinion that "equal is unfair" seems counterintuitive, consider this scenario: you have enough money budgeted to send 2 colleagues to a week long training course. If you ascribe to the equal approach, you will put all the names of your department in a hat and let fate take its course. This will not take into account your employees who have the skills and the interest in the course. Nor will it recognize the employees who have worked hard at bringing their skill set to the point that additional training will be beneficial. It will send a message to your entire team that individual effort means nothing.

But you can rest easy because you treated everyone equally, right? Um, no.

For those who fall on the side of "equal" I make this argument: every employee is not equal. Their abilities, attitude, history, and contributions are all different. If, by chance, you have two employees who truly are equal - then by all means, treat them exactly the same. This will serve you particularly well if your team is made up of Stepford wives.

If, on the other hand, your team is comprised of humans, you might explore equitability. Taking this approach means more work. It means spending more time developing policies that are flexible, fair, and reasonable. It means knowing the needs, talents, and accomplishments of your employees. It means you know who has made significant contributions and you know who is skating by.

Often the fear of a disgruntled employee making accusations of favoritism keeps leaders from equitable decisions. The good news is, we're not in kindergarten. Support your decisions with facts, not opinions. This keeps you from going on the defensive - and gives you an opportunity to work with employees who feel they have been mistreated. "Why yes, David, Susan is going to the conference. You and I have talked about your attendance record, your inability to meet a deadline, and the customer complaints we've received. When you have shown demonstrable improvement in these areas, you certainly will be a candidate for a conference."

The decision then is in their hands. If they opt to put in the time and effort that is required, they can be afforded the same chances as their peers. Equal leadership gives everyone the same reward, regardless of effort. Equitable leadership ensures everyone knows where they are on the playing field - how close they are to the goal line, and what they must do to score. As a leader, it is requires a great deal of work. But if you are asking your team for extra effort, shouldn't you be doing the same for them?

3 Ways To Give Feedback That is Actually Helpful

If you're an effective leader, you know that waiting for the annual review to give your employee feedback is an utter waste of time. Ongoing, in-the-moment feedback is the best way to provide your employees with information that

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3 Reasons Being A Mentor Benefits You 

I don't care how old you are or where you are in your career arc. You have the ability to mentor someone. Here's why you'll be the better for it.

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3 Truths for Emerging Leaders

I've seen a lot of potential leaders, and I've seen many of them derail over commonly held myths. Here's some truths I want emerging leaders to know.

  1. Leadership is about behavior, not title. Just because you have a bright shiny new title doesn't mean people will automatically follow you. In the same vein, don't wait for the title to lead. Leadership is about influence, and ultimately it is your behavior that will be the deciding factor for those who chose whether or not to follow you.
  2. You are going to screw up. And when you do, your team will be watching carefully to see how you handle it. Set the right tone by admitting your error. Talk about the lessons learned. Apologize if appropriate. While you may be concerned that these responses show weakness, they actually prove one's grace and grit - and will go a long way to building trust and loyalty.
  3. Leading and managing are two different functions. Managers rely on systems and rules. Leaders create a culture of accountability. Managers maintain. Leaders innovate. Managers rely on control. Leaders inspire trust. Managers give orders. Leaders steward ideas.

Assessing Your Executive Presence

 

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Do people stop and notice when you begin speaking? Do you have the ability to command a room? If you do, then you have executive presence. If you're not sure, then chances are you don't. How do you cultivate this important yet elusive trait?

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3 Novels That Will Improve Your Leadership Skills

 

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THREE SIPS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT

TO START YOUR DAY

If you're looking to develop your business skills, don't fall into the trap of thinking that all  knowledge falls within the realm of the bookstore's business aisle. Keep the blood flowing to both sides of your brain by delving deeper into the inner life of characters that may be facing the same obstacles and challenges that you do on a daily basis.

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3 2016 Leadership Books You Should Put On Your “To Be Read” List

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You've made it through the Mother of All Mondays and 2016 is underway. There are new ideas coming down the pike and here are 3 to keep an eye out for. Find original ways to champion creativity, communicate effectively and memorably, and tackle challenges with forceful persistence.

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3 2015 Leadership Books You Should Go Back and Read

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THREE SIPS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT

TO START YOUR DAY

It's Book Week at LeaderSips...first up, here's 3 must-reads you may have missed in 2015. Learn how to think on your feet, build a team through unconventional means, and change behavior that will last.

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LeaderSips: 3 Reasons Your Career Is Stuck

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 THREE SIPS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT

TO START YOUR DAY

Feeling stuck? Wondering why other people seem to magically find new opportunities and professional growth? You might actually be sabotaging yourself. Start off 2016 with a fresh outlook, and consider these 3 sips...

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3 Questions for Reflection vs. Resolution

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THREE SIPS OF LEADERSHIP INSIGHT

TO START YOUR DAY

It's a time honored tradition to approach the New Year with a list of resolutions for self-development, equally time-honored is forgetting them by January 15. Instead, consider reflection as a more meaningful New Year's tradition. Continue reading