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LeadershipNow 140: April 2015 Compilation


twitter Here are a selection of tweets from April 2015 that you might have missed:
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:26 AM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140


Creating a Dare-to-Serve Culture

Dare to Serve

COMMAND and control is a leadership style that is in many ways our default leadership position. It’s very human. Leadership that serves is far more demanding of a leader. These demands easily drive us back into our old styles of leadership. It’s the daily grind that derails our best intentions.

Cheryl Bachelder became the CEO of the ailing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in 2007. By 2014 she had turned it around by deciding to lead through service. Dare to Serve is her account of the turnaround. It is valuable because it describes the thinking behind the servant leader approach and the daily decisions that were made and are necessary to successfully adopt servant leadership in an organization. This is not servant leadership theory. It is servant leadership in day-to-day behavior.

She began with two decisions: to think positively about the people you lead and to be a leader who serves others over self-interest. These are based on six behaviors that are essential to serving people well and delivering superior performance: passion, listening, planning, coaching, accountability, and humility. These behaviors define how we will work together.

Bachelder lists five benefits to becoming a Dare-to-Serve Leader:

  1. People will tell you the stuff you need to know because they have taken the time to get to know their people well.
  2. People will be more likely to follow your bold vision because they know you have their best interests at heart.
  3. People will actually do the stuff you need to get done without a lot of reminding because they are not “leader dependent.”
  4. People will perform better because they have a safe environment focused on personal growth, promotion opportunities, and the “fun” of winning together.
  5. People will watch out for you and protect you from yourself because they, like you, are doing what’s right for the team.

What do you believe enough to act on? These are core beliefs that are so important to you that you will act promptly to rectify the situation when they are violated. Dare-to-Serve Leaders act on three core beliefs: human dignity, personal responsibility, and humility.

We tend to be careless with human dignity says Bachelder. We don’t listen, we are impatient, we publicly criticize, and joke in ways that hurt. Push your daily situations through a filter of what you would like someone to do for you.

“Lack of personal responsibility in a leader is just another form of self-absorption.” You must look at yourself and understand your own imperfections. “You will have no capacity to serve others unless you can take responsibility for your own self.”

Humility is the “behavior” that makes it all work. “We agreed that we are not naturally humble either. That means there are plenty of days we are hell to work for, too. Therefore, humility must be a principle that we have conviction about—or we will never demonstrate humility to our teams. This principle will forever be an aspiration, not an accomplishment. As hard as we try, we will repeatedly fall short.”

Bachelder has included 40 reflections for Dare-to-Serve Leaders to help you think about the leader you are.

How do you gain meaningful feedback from those you serve?

How well do you know the people who work for you? Do you know the three or four events of their lives that have shaped who they are today?

What is your daring aspiration for your team that is beyond what they know how to accomplish?

How would your daily behaviors be different if you put them through a filter of serving others well?

In short, “If you move yourself out of the spotlight and dare to serve others, you will deliver superior performance results.”

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:30 PM
| Comments (0) | Culture , Leadership


How a Lean CEO Thinks and Why You Should Too

How a Lean CEO Thinks

The Lean CEO by Jacob Stoller gets to the thinking behind why Lean management works. I think "Lean" is a poor moniker to give the approach. It tends to make people think of cost-cutting or how to get the most work out of the fewest number of people. It sounds like a manufacturing thing. But that is misleading.

It is a holistic approach to management. It produces excellence because it is good leadership. It is “a fundamental overhaul in the way companies manage people.” To be sure it is about creating the most value from the resources you have whether it be time, money, people, or equipment. It strips away any event that does not add value by creating leaders at all levels.

Stoller points out, Lean organizations outperform non-Lean organizations for two basic reasons:

Lean Brings Out the Best in People

Lean is respectful of people, develops and makes use of people’s gifts. “Lean provides the antidote for the common complaint ‘I love my work, but I can’t stand all the other stuff that goes on.’ Lean sees that ‘other stuff’ as waste, and any employee who feels that frustration can lead the charge to get rid of that waste.” It builds teamwork. How can we produce the best work together?

Lean Gets Leaders in Touch with Reality

Management does not lack data. What is typically lacking is context. Lean provides that context. It connects every member of the team to what is really going on. A Lean organization is essentially a learning organization which makes it especially suited for uncertain times.

“Lean provides a disciplined structure that allows an organization to focus resources on measurable customer-oriented goals, essentially codifying what has made the company successful. Because Lean creates a continuous improvement environment where all employees are asked for input on decisions, the Lean journey allows the CEO to naturally evolve from reactive day-to-day decision maker to proactive teacher, coach, and strategist.”

Stoller begins The Lean CEO with an exceptional survey of how we got to be so wasteful. Wasteful of people’s time, energy, and talent in particular. Abundance often leads to waste and hides issues that should be dealt with. Many Lean CEOs would not have adopted Lean practices without a crisis.

Stoller profiles 28 Lean CEOs in this book that have implemented Lean in a variety of industries with great success. There is a lot to glean from these pages. Here are some ideas to reflect on:

Lean creates the ideal environment for motivating workers. Recognition, variety, autonomy, and the opportunity to learn are all intrinsic to the employee’s role in a culture of continuous improvement.

Productivity was not about more effort and being more tired at the end of the day. It was about working together to create the conditions to be more productive.

Leaving a person to sink or swim violates what may be the most important pillar of Lean: respect for people.

Accountability is about making sure that everybody understands where we’re trying to go. If they don’t get to the goal, that doesn’t mean they necessarily did something wrong. It might mean that they weren’t set up for success by something I did or whatever. So it’s about supporting them so that they can be successful. And accountability means coming back with an action, or something they did next, and a plan for what they’re going to do next. “I did this, this, and this, and this is what I learned, this is where I am, and this is what I’m going to do next. What do you guys think?

We celebrate the individual, not the numbers. The numbers are a by-product.

It’s about high levels of engagement that accelerates the art of observation and the sharing of ideas in the interest of commonly held goals.

It bothers me when I hear Lean people say you have to get rid of barriers as fast s you can. Are they a barrier, or are they providing another kind of input?

A self-serving leader would never survive in a Lean environment.

Lean is not just a manufacturing system. It is a way of thinking about people that applies to any organization. Lean is a culture. It’s not a directive. It’s a way of thinking. It is about being open and humble. It’s about diversity of thought and understanding that good ideas come from anywhere.

The Lean CEO gets to the heart of what it means to lead from anywhere.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:54 PM
| Comments (0) | Management


Cleaning the Toilet Can Make You a Better Leader

Clean Toilet
Leadership doesn’t make you better than anyone else, it make you more responsible.

As a leader you are more than an individual contributor. Leaders think about the context—the big picture—not just their function. Focused on the outcome, they do whatever needs to be done to move the organization forward. They do whatever they can to facilitate the work of others.

Leaders are connected to what others are doing. And we can accomplish this be asking, “How can I help you?” And then doing what needs to be done.

Michael Janda Founder of the creative agency RiSER, put it this way in Burn Your Portfolio:
I believe you are a better person if you’ve ever had a job that required you to clean a public restroom. This humbling task teaches so many lessons, among which is the willingness to do whatever the job requires. I have seen over and over again in my career that the people who are willing to go the extra mile and do whatever task is required of them by their boss or client are among the most valued in the company.

Ultimately, cleaning public toilets early in life is not the only way to learn gratitude and humble service to others. Many people are fortunate to learn these lessons in their homes. Others are born with service built deep inside of them. Regardless of how you learn to serve, learn it and learn it well.
Doing what needs to be done—including cleaning toilets—is taking ownership for the outcome. Going the extra mile—doing what needs to be done—helps to create a true culture of leadership in your organization—by example.

We don’t serve because we are leaders, we have the privilege to lead because we serve.

Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:34 PM
| Comments (0) | Leadership


First Look: Leadership Books for April 2015

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in April.

  Return on Character: The Real Reason Leaders and Their Companies Win by Fred Kiel
  Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock
  Getting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe Segal
  Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out by John Calipari and Michael Sokolove
  A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General by Ann Dunwoody with Tomago Collins

Return on Character Work Rules Getting There Players First A Higher Standard

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 08:10 AM
| Comments (0) | Books



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