Hugh Ballou banner image 0
Hugh Ballou banner image 0 Hugh Ballou banner image 1
Hugh Ballou on May 25th, 2015

 

Memories

Anamnesis

It is the idea that humans possess knowledge from past incarnations and that learning consists of rediscovering that knowledge within us. *

In a wider sense, Anamnesis is a key concept in the liturgical theology: in worship the faithful recall God’s saving deeds.[1] This memorial aspect is not simply a passive process but one by which the Christian can actually enter into the Paschal mystery. **

Memorial Day 

Memorial Day was born out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed.***

Bowen Theory: Multigenerational Transmission Process

We all possess learned behaviors that have been taught to us knowingly and unknowingly through multiple generations. Response to these emotional triggers results in less differentiation of self. Observing these patterns allows us to make good decisions staying true to our basic self.****

 

Remembering Applied to Leadership

Now, having said all that in quotes, our memory of our past is an integral part of who we are as leaders. We are formed by our family or origin and our decisions are shaped by how we understand and utilize these memories. Science has shown that we inherit the DNA from multiple generations. The theory developed by Murray Bowen consists of 8 concepts, one of which is the Multigenerational Transmission Process quoted above.

As the anamnesis in Christian worship is our remembering God’s work with humankind throughout multiple generations, telling and listening to stories of our ancestors reminds us of who we are as individuals. We are shaped by our past, but not bound by our past. Ineffective leaders give excuses of how they were taught, or how they were wounded by parents, or how they were deprived as children, or some other non-reason for justifying behaviors and decisions. Those leaders are fused to their parents, grandparents, siblings, or spouses and are limited in making decisions because of that fusion.

The differentiated leader is not fused and has clear guiding principles that are informed by the past, relevant to the present, and provide for a better future.

Today is Memorial Day. It’s a day of remembering for our country. It’s a day for honoring those who have died protecting our freedom.

I’m remembering those fallen soldiers. I’m remembering my baptism and am grateful. I’m remembering the people who have trusted in me when I was nothing but potential. I’m remembering the lessons from things I tried that didn’t work.

It’s more than the remembering, however. It’s what I do with what I remember and not being bound to the past. I’m informed by the past.

What memories guide your decision making?

Attributions:

* Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamnesis_(philosophy)

** Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamnesis_(Christianity)

*** History of Memorial Day http://www.usmemorialday.org/?page_id=2

**** The Bowen Center http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptmtp.html

 

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Hugh Ballou on May 22nd, 2015

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending May 22, 2015

5 blogs that matterEvery day I learn something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. Here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

 

 

MARCELLA BREMER

Positive Leadership Toward Reinventing Organizations

Marcella BremerPositive Leadership, based on positive psychology, makes a tremendous difference in any workplace no matter how hierarchical its structure may be, or how plain the tasks at hand. Recently, some great books have been published about “new organizations” for the 21-st century, such as “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux and “My Steam Engine is Broken” by Mark Powell and Jonathan Gifford. I’ll discuss them in a later blog post, but the point is: reinventing organizations takes time and some people may be discouraged when they think of applying this to their workplace. “Great idea – but it won’t work here!” That’s where positive leadership comes in.

Just because you can’t reinvent your organization overnight to turn into a self-organizing, vibrant, fulfilling and energizing workplace doesn’t mean you are powerless! You can always apply positive leadership.

Read the post…

 

Jesse Lyn Stoner 

Vision Requires Action: 7 Tips to Move and Keep Moving

Jesse Lyn StonerCreating a shared vision is one of the most important roles of a leader. But vision alone is not enough. Vision requires action.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. – Japanese proverb

First: Do a “Vision Check” to make sure you really have a shared vision.

➤ Does your vision include all three keys to a compelling vision?

➤ Did you involve others in creating it? Does the vision resonate with their own hopes, and can they see how they can contribute?

Now: Take action!

1.  Start now. Take the first steps and other steps will be come clear.

Read the post… 

 

David Tumbarello

The Most Important Job of a Leader – With a Surprising #1

David TumbarelloI was one or two weeks into my new position as a Systems Analyst in an auto manufacturing facility.  I walked with my manager down the second floor hallway in one of the cleaner parts of the facility.  As we passed his new boss, my manager had some conversation with this man and then turned to me and shared what he considered to be the most important leadership quality.  Over time, I am convinced this is the most important leadership quality as well.

As I prepared for writing today, I did a quick Google search for the phrase, “The most important job of a leader”.  I did not expect the results that came up from that search.  I opened article after article in disbelief as I anticipated seeing my #1 leadership quality listed.  None of the top 10 results listed what I expected to see.  Instead I read different perspectives on the number one job of a leader in the articles below.  These are the top 10 results and below I describe the number one job of a leader according to what I learned from my manager 16 years ago.

Read the post…

 

Karin Hurt 

9 Career Lessons I Wish I’d Learned Sooner 

Karin HurtI’m sure many someones warned me and shared their wisdom. But, sadly, most of my career lessons I learned the hard way. When you’re totally immersed it getting it done, it’s easy to lose perspective.

Today I share my biggest career lessons- learned from years of angst and my fair share of stupidity. Looking forward to hearing your #10’s.The stress I imposed on my family alone is enough to warrant seeing the silver lining earlier in the game: bad bosses; being turned down for a promotion; stupid decisions; office politics; projects that lost funding; insert your favorite tragedy here_________. Situations that felt horrible at the time led to vital learnings, new opportunities, and improved perspective. I haven’t nailed this, but it remains top of my list of advice to you. Look for the subtle blessings in even the most stupid situations.

Bad Situations Are A Blessing – I wish I had back all those hours I spent being ticked off, worrying, and otherwise lamenting the bad scenes I’ve encountered. The stress I imposed on my family alone is enough to warrant seeing the silver lining earlier in the game: bad bosses; being turned down for a promotion; stupid decisions; office politics; projects that lost funding; insert your favorite tragedy here_________. Situations that felt horrible at the time led to vital learnings, new opportunities, and improved perspective. I haven’t nailed this, but it remains top of my list of advice to you. Look for the subtle blessings in even the most stupid situations.

Read the post...

 

John Smith

Thoughts About Big Changes Vs. Little Changes

John SmithAs someone who takes leadership and coaching seriously, I have been reading up on goal-setting, aspirations, and all that change stuff.

As a coach, I help others identify, clarify, plan for, and achieve goals. Throughout my careers, goals have always been important elements of my work. However, as an employee and manager, I was usually responsible for meeting someone else’s goals.

So my experience was heavy on the “planning how to do it” side, but rather light on the “dream a little dream” personal side. As I focus more intentionally on the art and science of goal-setting in the context of coaching, two distinct camps seem to emerge:

Dream Big Or Don’t Dream At All

The idea behind thinking big is that anything is possible, with the proper will

Read the post…

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Sharing Leadership Ideas from Real Life

I’m Hugh Ballou, an entrepreneur. This post is about entrepreneurship and National Holidays…Balance in life.

ForumOn Thursdays, I’ll often launch a topic for discussion, dialogue, debate, and introspective conversation. In group facilitation situations, I ask the participants to reframe disagreement from the category of a “weapon” to the category of a “creative tool.” This change in paradigm allows for very lively and productive discussions to happen. It takes away the risk of feeling like participants are criticizing each other and allows them to be free to point to ideas and concepts without having to pretend to be polite or pretend to agree. We have been conditioned to feel that disagreement is not polite. In fact, disagreement is a way to be in integrity.

We find that it’s okay to disagree. Many times we find new ideas, fresh perspectives, and opposite polarities that make sense. Healthy dialogue does not depend on everybody agreeing; in fact, if everybody agrees, it’s a boring discussion, and we might get trapped by not exposing blind spots that could limit our effectiveness as leaders and as an organization.

In that spirit, I offer a chance for dialogue on topics related to leadership. I will choose topics that have high visibility in the news or in certain communities of interest, such as business, entrepreneurship, religion, and social benefit work. I welcome suggestions for other topics. I’m sure that there are many, many to choose from.

Will you contribute your ideas? Please comment using the form below.

Today’s topic:

 

Being an entrepreneur provides freedom to do what we want to do when we want to do it…or does it? When our income depends on productivity, what happens when we take time off for a holiday?

The next holiday now is Memorial Day and I’ll be taking a long weekend off with family. I have systems in place to continue generating passive income, but I still think about working because I like what I do and it’s not work to me.

Time off with family is important for the balance in life, so getting out of work mode is important.

It’s time to breathe and regenerate.

Questions to answer:

  1. What is the leadership challenge in balancing life by taking holidays off? How do you move out of work mode into “time off” mode?
  2. Entrepreneurs, many times, depend on working to generate revenue. What happens when we take the day off for a holiday?
  3. What’s the value in your life for time off?

Please comment below.

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Tags: , , , ,

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation. – Saint Augustine

Excellence comes at the intersection of reverse polarities. – Hugh Ballou

Planning

This is a continuation of the post from May 13.

Here are some of the parameters for unleashing creativity through structure:

  1. Structure Enables Creativity: If you have ever listened to a jazz ensemble, you might not have realized that this most creative of musical performance genres is actually very structured. To a non-musician, it seems as if there is no structure and the performers just make things up. Well, not true. The chord structure, the meter, the tempo, the form, and the melody, are just a few of the things that are structured. Mastering these elements allows each performer to then improvise around this structure. This is a simultaneous right/left brain function – being creative within a structure. Getting off the chord progression, or playing too loud when it’s not your solo, are reasons for not being invited to the next performance with that ensemble. Knowing the structure allows each performer to then be creative…they don’t need to spend energy thinking about what’s already defined. This is the same principle in non-musical settings: the structure prompts and encourages active engagement.
  2. Consistency: Knowing the sequence and the milestones allows all the participants to coordinate efforts. The plan identifies what activities are concurrent and which are continuous. It also identifies what activities depend on the completion of other activities. This is necessary for consistency and synergy in the group’s performance.
  3. Quality: When the outcomes are specifically defined, the benchmark for quality is a measurable objective. Quality, like artistry, is attention to detail. If the plan is good and the team is engaged, then there’s an identifiable quality standard for all.
  4. Control: Having the plan written with clearly defined objectives, and successfully articulated and communicated to all team members, allows the team to develop the synergy of peer-to-peer accountability, similar to how an ensemble develops its synergy. The orchestra or choir develops what is defined as “ensemble” which is a higher standard of unity. It’s not something the conductor can force, however it’s something the conductor inspires and creates the space to happen. The same is true for leadership in general. Create the expectations…define the process and accountabilities…get out of the way…nurture and coach for success…affirm success…be the example…be faithful to the process you champion.

Structure is the container for freedom and creativity.

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Resources

Let’s Chat About Leadership…

This blog series appears on Tuesdays, and focuses on resources that I use as I pace my ability to continually strive for my greatest effectiveness. Leaders get things done. In order to accomplish this objective, it’s important to have the necessary skills and systems in place. I have tried many things over many years and have settled on what’s simple, reliable, and consistent.

Each resource will appear under one or more of my four leadership principles:
  1. Foundations: Clarity of purpose and outcomes, and equipping oneself for excellence;
  2. Relationships: Building and maintaining healthy and effective relationships;
  3. Systems: Tools and processes for leading and empowering transformation; and
  4. Balance: Managing multiple priorities and managing self.

Each resource I blog about is one I have tested and used personally. I do not make money on these referrals unless specifically stated in the post.

Today’s resource:

Finance

Garrett Gunderson

My friend, colleague, and nationally renowned financial expert, will be presenting a webinar for my contacts. Tonight, Tuesday, May 19 at 9 pm EDT.

Register for the Webinar HERE

Garrett Gunderson is the CEO of Wealth Factory and author of the NY Times bestselling financial blockbuster, Killing Sacred Cows. Garrett’s a regular contributor to online financial magazines like Entrepreneur.com and has been featured on Forbes.com. He’s made frequent television appearances including  on ABC News Now, Your World with Neil Cavuto on Fox, CNBC’s Squawk on the Street, First Business, as well as hundreds of radio interviews and newspaper articles. Garrett lives in Salt Lake where he and his wife keep busy raising two sons.

On the Webinar, Garrett Gunderson will reveal… 

  • The secret “Closed-Door Personal Finance Strategies” of the ultra-wealthy. (These strategies are usually only available to individuals worth at least $50 million, however Garrett shows how you can tap into these secrets to grow your wealth up to 10x faster)
  • How a little-known “Reverse Tax Audit” technique can produce a $800 … $8,000 … even an $88,000 windfall for you by the end of the year (Garrett will show you his own 5-figure “rebate” checks from IRS after he used this technique)
  • How to “Retire IN Your Business” in as little as 2-3 years (without being tied down to it, or having to trade your time for money)
  • Why 98% of entrepreneurs take home far less than they should. (Garrett reveals the 3 biggest ways to increase your “take-home pay” without working harder)
  • The 5-step process to get off the “entrepreneurial treadmill” and start living the life you love NOW (no need to wait until retirement if you make this one simple shift in your retirement planning)
  • The #1 mistake most small business owners make when setting their business structure (get this wrong and you’ll pay WAY more than your “fair share” of taxes. Garrett provides a simple fix.)

Register for the Webinar HERE

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Hugh Ballou on May 18th, 2015

“Coaching is 90% listening, and 10% listening.” – Julio Olalla

Coaching

Yes, that quote is right…coaching is intentionally listening. Listening is a skill within itself, as I wrote recently here: http://transformationalstrategist.com/leadership-skills-listening/

Leadership and communication are both based on relationship. Creating and maintaining relationships is the key.

Leaders listen.

So, what’s up with listening and coaching? Many people think that coaching is about telling people what to do or what decisions to make…that’s wrong! Coaching is working with people to assist them in making their best decisions and in building their best skills. Coaching is the leader’s way to improve team performance by raising the functioning of leaders on teams.

Transformational Leadership is a culture of high performers, similar to a musical ensemble, in which each musician takes responsibility for his or her own performance. The conductor does not function for the players. The conductor, like the business leader, influences the group to function with passion and effectiveness.

Here are my personal guidelines for coaching:

  1. Clarity: At the beginning of a coaching session, I ask what the other person or persons expect to accomplish in the session. I also define the length of the session. This is key: define what you want to accomplish and what the time boundaries are. Be clear on your objectives if you, the leader, have initiated the session. Be clear that the session is about their performance and not about you, if that’s the case. Some things are collaborative; however, if you lead an organization, it’s your vision that must be maintained. Be clear on levels of decision making, as well. Define what others can decide, with and without your input and/or approval.
  2. Affirmation: Be sure to affirm what’s going well. It’s good to start here. When thinking about change, be sure to keep what’s good. It’s also good for a person’s attitude to focus on what’s good first before moving to corrections or changes. Affirmation also comes with listening. Listen while the other person is speaking and after they have finished. Leave about 3 seconds of silence after the other person is finished talking. This is also affirmation.
  3. Change: Define what you want to have changed, as well as what the other(s) think should be changed. This category might include things to stop doing. Focus on the impact of the change in the big picture. It’s the overall strategy that matters. The pathway to success can vary and many corrections will ensure that the objectives are completed.
  4. Consent: Be sure to identify your variables and non-variables. Your principles are clear, as are your long-term objectives and short-term goals. As the leader, it’s your prerogative to define those outcomes. Getting to them might be negotiable. Let the person coached know what their choices are and what choices are not acceptable.
  5. Action: End up by reviewing actions agreed upon and ask for them in writing. If the other person writes up what’s decided, you know that they have understood.

There are three basic steps to coaching:

  1. Set the Stage: Identify what’s expected in the session.
  2. Focus on Process: Getting to the objectives and creating an understanding of priority, importance, and sequence.
  3. Review Actions and Decisions: Asking for the person coached to identify the value received and their commitment to change lets you know that they have understood what you want, or that they have identified how to move forward with their plans.

Coaching has many definitions and many styles. This one works for me and I refine my processes continually.

It’s important, however, to remember to listen. Listen with intent. Listen with your eyes, as well as your ears. Practice silence following each time the other person speaks. Silence is affirmation. Silence is clarity. Silence is a time to think.

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

 

Get my free report, “Build the Business of Your Dreams” HERE

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hugh Ballou on May 15th, 2015

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending May 15, 2015

5 blogs that matterEvery day I learn something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. Here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

 

 

Matthew Toren 

3 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Entrepreneurship

Matthew TorenWhen you have kids, you want to give them everything, and more important than things, that often means teaching them the skills they’ll need for a happy, confident and adventurous life. Entrepreneurship provides the skills that people of every age will need to be successful in our ever-changing world.

While kids may not be able to grasp the in-depth details of every aspect of business that we as adult entrepreneurs are responsible for, they’re a lot smarter and intuitive than we often given them credit for. The skills and character traits kids can learn as little entrepreneurs will help them thrive their entire lives.

Read the post…

 

Alan Zimmerman 

9 Tests Every Leader Must Pass

Alan ZimmermanFor hundreds of years, people have wanted to know the answer to one question: Are leaders born or made?

In other words, is leadership a matter of having the right genes or the right education?

After decades of research and thousands of published studies, the answer is a definitive “yes.”

In other words, some people are more inclined to exhibit leadership behavior — it comes to them naturally. But everyone can learn to become a more effective leader.

Read the post…

 

Richard Koch

Koch’s 7 Tips For Imagination Expansion

Richard KocWhat is the difference between you and your cat or dog?  Obviously many things, but the one I’d like you to think about for five minutes is that you have imagination, and however wonderful your pets are, they don’t.  Imagination is arguably the most important source of wealth today.  Imagination has given us scientific discoveries, new technologies, and new products – nuclear power, life-saving drugs, the personal computer, the internet, the iPod, computer games, Harry Potter, and every new form of entertainment.

Not only that.  I believe that every new business and every entrepreneur relies primarily on imagination.  Einstein said “everything you can imagine is real.”  What entrepreneurs do is to dream up a new product or service, and the quality of their imagination, and that of their team, is the starting point for any successful venture.  Entrepreneurs also need imagination to surmount all the roadblocks that inevitably plague a new business.  Information and experience are fine, but as my friend Perry Marshall says, imagination always requires you to step outside of known rules and envision the outworkings of assumptions that you must make.  Imagination is closely related to faith, faith in what you have imagined and want to make come to pass.  Business is ultimately a creative process, and the greatest value is added by imagination.

Read the post…

 

Jaime Stein 

Why We Sent a Single Tweet 44 Times 

Jamie SteinIn the past three months, Hootsuite’s main Twitter handle (@hootsuite) has Tweeted a single piece of content 44 times. Soon our social media team will probably do it again, making an even 45. We’re not afraid to repeat our content, and we don’t think you should be either.

I would be the first to lament the fact that social media has become less social and more automated. But how people use social media, particularly Twitter, has changed. It has developed into a discovery channel where audiences come to find content. As a result, organizations with strong content marketing presences have altered how they operate within the unwritten rules of this ecosystem.

In the early days, repeating Tweets would have been a cardinal sin. There were unwritten rules that grew from the behaviours and assumptions of Twitter’s early community, and ‘no repeats’ was one of them—if your whole audience sees every Tweet you send, duplicated content will bore and annoy people. However, times have changed.

Read the post…

 

Daniel Burke 

Millennials leaving church in droves, study finds

Daniel BurkeAt its core, Christian life aims to be an unbroken circle, in the words of an old hymn — a set of sacred traditions linking generations of Sunday school stories, youth ministry morals and family gatherings sanctified by prayer.

In modern America, that circle may not be completely shot, but it is wobbly and badly bent, according to a new landmark study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Released Tuesday, the survey of 35,000 American adults shows the Christian percentage of the population dropping precipitously, to 70.6%.

Read the post…

 

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation. – Saint Augustine

Excellence comes at the intersection of reverse polarities. – Hugh Ballou

PlanningMany times in interviewing leaders about their organizational culture, performance standards, and strategy, I get the response that there’s not sufficient time to write down the plan and it’s not important anyway. The response to my question as to why it’s not important typically is, “Too much structure interferes with my creativity.”

In my discipline as a musician, I understand that creativity is unleashed when the structure is clear. In addition, it’s crucial for the performer(s) to master the techniques and the notes, to then be able to be creative.

My 4th leadership principle is about Systems, “Rehearse for Success.” It’s mastering the notes that leads to excellence in performance. We don’t utilize this concept in non-musical settings. We just go directly to performance and continue playing the wrong notes, so to speak. We continue to proceed by ignoring the very things that compromise our performance and limit our results.

There’s a natural tension between form and freedom. There are many ways to interpret this dynamic. As a musician, I’m able to process information by using both sides of my brain. Those who are not musicians consider us to be right-brain thinkers without structure, when, in fact, we must learn to be creative within a very rigid structure. Music is a highly structured and organized system that’s mathematical and linear, very much like computer programming.

This post is part one on the topic of the reverse paradigm of form versus freedom. I invite your comments as I explore the different ways this principle plays out in the cultures we lead.

More on May 21…

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Tags: , , , ,

Hugh Ballou on May 8th, 2015

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending May 8, 2015

5 blogs that matterEvery day I learn something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. Here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

 

 

Mary C. Schaefer

Do You Have What It Takes To Be Inspiring?

Mary Schaefer“Mary, I Need Some Inspiration.” 

This is what I heard one day from one of the staff members when I walked into my favorite local coffee shop. I know them well. I’m their unofficial den mother.

Looking For Inspiration.

The word often puzzles me, especially when we are looking to someone else for inspiration. Lists of leadership traits often include the ability to inspire. Can we actually inspire someone else deliberately or is it just the outcome of being ourselves?

Read the post…

 

James daSilva

What’s a connection culture, and how do we get there?

James deSilvaCulture is a real field of study and real, if nothing else, in the sense that people believe in it and can perceive good, bad and nonexistent cultures.

But “culture” used off-hand is vague. It implies stasis when individual humans are not static. An organization is merely a collection of individual humans, and so culture is always fluctuating, affected by internal and external forces, and fragmenting.

This difficulty in moving from the concept to the murkier reality is possibly why John Traphagan recently warned against the term “company culture”…

Read the post…

 

Sean Pomeroy

5 Reasons Your Employees Leave (And 1 Big Reason They Stay)

Sean PomeroyThere’s a lot of disagreement about why employees leave their jobs. Is it because they don’t have the chance to grow? A lack of work/life balance? Not being paid enough?

Many of the statistics cited in this article will disagree on what the biggest reason is (since survey responses change depending on where, when, and how a survey is applied). Regardless of ranking, however, it’s clear that the following reasons are why your employees get fed up and leave. Keep these top reasons in mind the next time you’re recruiting, handing out a performance review, or wondering why a top performer took off.

Read the post…

 

Lindsay Bell

Social Media: Why We Share Things Online

Lindsay BellWhat we share through social networks is usually driven by our personal and social values, and has become an important part of how we shape our online identities. What we choose to share can reveal a great deal about our likes and dislikes, our interests, and our motivations.

In short, the types of content we share says a great deal about who we are and how we would like to be perceived.

To better understand the motivation to share, the team at creative digital agency Fractl surveyed more than 1,000 people across the U.S. to learn how identity and content sharing are linke.

Read the post…

 

Drew Hendricks

6 Times Multi-tasking Doesn’t Work 

Drew HendricksUnfortunately, the idea of multi-tasking has been so drilled into our heads that everyone thinks they can and should do this juggling act. A better approach is taking a triage strategy, tackling one item at a time by importance and/or time required. However, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none because people love to think they’re saving time by doing multiple projects at one.

There are some times, tasks and projects where multi-tasking simply shouldn’t make an appearance. Any time you multi-task, you’re not giving 100 percent to any projects. This is what leads to shoddy work, oversights, and double work. If you’re a manager, encourage your employees to ditch multi-tasking for priority tasking.

Read the post…

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”

― Ernest Hemingway

Listening vs TalkingRecently, I created a post about listening. As a musician, I have learned to listen, however there is listening, and there is listening with intention. We often listen without really listening for intent. We listen to form our response, or prejudge the content, or prejudge the context, reason, or content of the person talking.

For the musical conductor, there are many layers of listening. What we listen for includes the following:

  • Balance
  • Correct notes
  • Intonation
  • Blend (especially in choral music)
  • Phrasing
  • Articulation
  • Emotion relevant to the score
  • Dynamics
  • Tempo consistency
  • Tone quality

And that’s not the full list. Conductors listen to multiple layers simultaneously. Some choral conductors sing along with the choir. I’m not sure what their logic is, but it’s not possible for me to sing and listen at the same time. My singing blocks my ability to listen.

I remember talking to someone and thinking that they were not really listening. They were formulating their response while I was talking. Therefore, they could not fully respond to the content or context of what I was saying.

I have also experienced the overtaking leader. Sometimes overtaking is a sign of anxiety, if the leader is afraid of the comments they anticipate will be critical, rather than listening for a perspective that they might not have considered. In this instance, and many others, the leader actually blocks receiving information that could be helpful.

Gathering information, gaining perspective, and testing assumptions are all a part of an effective decision making process. Making good decisions requires having good information. Overtaking, not listening, multi-tasking, and cutting people off before they are finished, are all barriers to effective leadership. Listening is essential to being an effective leader.

We are all guilty of underperforming by compromised listening.

By the way, silence after listening to the other person indicates that you were listening with intention and gives you time to process the information.

Leadership begins with changing self.

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound.

– James Allen

* My post on listening http://transformationalstrategist.com/leadership-skills-listening/

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Tags: , , , ,