Visit Our Store February 2, 2011

In This Issue:
Why Are Adaptive Leaders So Effective?
Give Your Training Program a Boost
Employee Engagement Now: Insights from Lee Colan

Learn core employee development skills in just 5 minutes in our media library.

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Why Are Adaptive Leaders So Effective?

As leadership guru Jim Collins tells us, organizations go from good to great when personalities step aside and let purpose become the focus. Essentially, great organizations are purpose-driven (versus leader-driven).

So how can you become an adaptive leader in your organization, and still stay on purpose?

Adaptive leaders understand that:

-Change happens incrementally.

-Learning can be painful, so anticipate and counteract reluctance.

-Continuously connect change to core values of the organization.

What else can you do to embrace adaptive leadership?

Give key people responsibilities to junior leadership that rest right at the edge of their ability level and experience set. Your role is to take one thing off your own plate, and instead accomplish the same task by coaching a junior leader through it. This may sound like it takes more energy than doing it yourself, but the more comfortable you are with the process, you’ll realize that you accomplish two goals; getting a job completed and fostering new leadership in the organization.

Consistently assess the processes and relationships that are not in line with the core values of the organization and be willing to let them go. Consider this an organizational “don’t do” list. Are there processes that aren’t working anymore? Employees that make you wish you weren’t a boss? Imagine how your focus could shift when these items, relationships or perceived priorities drop off your list.

Start following adaptive leadership truths and key behaviors to find a new focus in your leadership.

Learn more leadership skills that aren’t taught in school!

Give Your Training Program a Boost

Across the country and across industries, training budgets have become tighter than ever, and companies are still feeling the aftershocks of a tough economy. In the midst of these challenges, training employees has become more critical, both to keep the company moving forward and to retain high potential employees.

So, with a chiseled-down budget and waning morale, what do you do to engage the team in the training that they need? Here are some broadly practical takeaways that you can use in your training programs (or even presentations and conferences!) today:

1. Continuously emphasize the most critical concepts. Re-introduce concepts using multiple media and engaging as many senses as possible.

2. Create visual keys for abstract concepts. Many of today’s learners are visual learners. A simple diagram can be more valuable than a thousand words.

3. Utilize in-class activities to reinforce newly presented material. After a new concept or subject has been presented via text reading, lecture, or class discussion, allow participants to put the concept into action by completing an in-class assignment. And, as a bonus – Attendance tends to improve in courses that have in-class assignments!

4. Create links between concepts and information. These overlaps build on information that has already been learned and helps learners acquire the new knowledge at the same time.

Each of these takeaways can help motivate even the most lethargic employee.

Set the scene with an expectation of high performance and mutual respect, along with the takeaways above, to keep your employees performing at a higher level and growing their career, even in the face of challenging constraints.

Leaders with the most impact are those who can build and successfully manage great teams. Every day, we help our clients and colleagues achieve their highest levels of professional presence and personal effectiveness. That includes everyone on the ladder, from company presidents to project managers, to staff members. Contact us at 800-282-3374 to find out how we can help you impact your own productivity and the productivity of your entire organization.

We deliver results-oriented training programs that increase productivity, effectiveness, & performance. Call 800.282.3374

Employee Engagement Now: Insights from Lee Colan

Our author this time is Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. Dr. Colan is the author of 10 books, with most of them being translated into several languages. He is an expert in personal, team and organizational leadership. In addition to 25 years of hands-on industry and consulting experience, Lee earned Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Tell us about the prevailing themes in leadership right now.

I’m a big believer in stepping back and looking at broader trends. Over the past year, we have been seeing engagement concerns coming to the surface again. In the previous six months, we were seeing plenty of resources out there, because of supply and demand.

For example, if you are walking through the desert and see a puddle, you still are in the middle of the desert. Essentially, the broader trend is that there is much more demand than there is supply (of qualified employees). The leaders who are being proactive right now realize that there is still a desert, so they are focused on acquiring and engaging good talent.

How are organizations handling employee development differently than in the past?

Many companies are looking for workers who are further along in their careers. Employers are wondering how to effectively tap into them; maybe it’s not a traditional structure, but leaders are trying to soak some knowledge from them. Even though the young leaders are there with their energy, organizations don’t want to lose the skills and experience of the older employees.

Why are leaders grappling with employee engagement?

They know the concept, but are wondering what to do; the “how to” of employee engagement seems overwhelming or at best, unclear. This applies across the board.

Essentially, people are trying to deal with continuous, rapid change. Envision going into the ocean, where you get hit with one wave, and before you stand up, another one hits you again. This environment means that rapid learning and immediate application are important.

Lee recently released his latest title, Engaging the Hearts and Minds of All Your Employees: How to Ignite Passionate Performance for Better Business Results.