What’s Driving Your Team?

Last time, I shared an example that I hoped would help make the case for the clear difference between managing and leading an organization. One is just as important as the other and neither can be overlooked, but we cannot mistakenly consider those two very different actions to be one in the same! That said, I’m sure you’ve seen that exact thing happen just as frequently as I have…

Let me be clear here; I don’t believe the terms - leadership and management - are interchanged with the intention of creating confusion (most of the time). In the majority of the scenarios I’m picturing, supervisors and managers definitely hold responsibility for leading their teams. But all too often, they’ve never been provided with the tools necessary for combining any kind of effective leadership with the technical steps of managing the outcomes of the processes they’re overseeing. We’ll circle back to that shortly…

Before that though, I want to...

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Who’s Really Leading?

The entire time I was in manufacturing, nearly twenty years, the facility I worked in held a meeting each Tuesday afternoon that was often referred to as The Leadership Team Meeting. The plant manager led this meeting and each of the department managers participated, reviewing the metrics they were each responsible for tracking, discussing issues they were facing, and whether or not they were within budget to that point in the quarter. If one of those managers happened to be out of the plant, they would tap someone on their team to attend in their place…

Sound familiar? I expect it does since nearly every company I’ve interacted with in the years since holds similar meetings. But are those really leadership team meetings?

When Cindy and I had a conversation with Carly Fiorina a while back, she shared this with us regarding the difference between managing and leading, “Managers produce results within existing constraints and conditions. Leadership CHANGE or ...

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Systems for Accuracy and Precision

Several years ago, Cindy and I led a session covering The DISC Model of Human Behavior for a local client where a friend of mine was one of the participants. He and I had served on a board together prior to that so I had a solid understanding of his day to day responsibilities and I knew that he was really good at what he did. That said, he worked in a highly regulated field and he had to provide a ton of information to several different monitoring agencies. It didn’t surprise me at all that someone with a significant amount of this final primary behavioral style would excel in a role like…

To this point, we’ve looked at tools we can each consider, whether we’re more DRIVEN, INSPIRING or SUPPORTIVE, as we build systems that help us be more productive over the long haul - at work or at home. Before we close the loop by looking at the last of the four primary styles, we have to keep in mind that none of us have just one of these! Even if one style is...

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Supportive Systems We Can Stick With

Having looked at some things we can consider adding to our systems when we have either of the two more Outgoing styles, a more DRIVEN approach or a more INSPIRING blend, let’s change our pace a bit and focus on what we need to considering building into our systems if we’re have the primary behavioral style that likely makes us one of the nicest people in the world - the SUPPORTIVE style.

Since this group represents the largest segment of the population at around 35%, there’s a significant chance that you either have this as a large part of your overall blend (even if it’s not your primary style) or you deal with someone on a daily basis who does! Whether we’re working to build systems into our own routines that we can sustain over the long haul to achieve high levels of productivity or we’re coaching one of team members on how they can do this, massive amounts of change won’t SERVE us in reaching the goal! Folks with this primary style tend...

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Systems We Enjoy

 Last time, we looked at the Systems that Get Results most of us DRIVEN folks need in order to have a solid chance at sticking with them long term. Since they only represent about 10% of the world, let’s press on by looking at what we should consider building into our systems for productivity if we happen to fall in the next 30% that happens to be just as Outgoing but more People-Oriented: the INSPIRING ones…

While this more INTERACTIVE style happens to be the second highest in my overall blend, when I’m operating on cruise control as well as when I’m under stress, it’s dwarfed by the part of me that simply DEMANDS results. That said, the above average amount of this I can display when things are going smoothly gives me a personal level of insight for what we can consider for folks with this as their primary style!

The one thing that tends to put fuel in this groups’ tank is an experience they enjoy - having fun whenever possible! When it...

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Systems We Can Each Sustain - Starting with Ones that Get Results!

We started down this path by looking at How to Be More Productive - at Work and at Home then we worked through some Personal Productivity Tools that Support Great Systems. As I mentioned before though, we’ll each need to develop our own unique approach if we want to create systems in our lives that we can stick with over the long haul to achieve our goals and avoid burning out along the way. What works for you may not work for me - and vice-versa!

A few millennia ago, a fellow named Confucius suggested the importance of knowing ourselves… If you’ve read these messages for a while or you’ve been part of almost any training session that Cindy and I have done over the last several years, you’ve likely heard me stress the importance of being able to recognize the communication style of each person we interact with on a daily basis so we can communicate with them like they need us to rather than just how we prefer to communicate. The DISC Model of Human...

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Overcoming the Timing Gap

A new coaching client asked me (Cindy) recently what my favorite book on leadership was.  Without hesitation I shared the single most impactful book for me other than the Bible is, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  As leaders, we must lead ourselves well before we have any hope of leading others well.  And we cannot lead ourselves well without continuing to grow personally. 

At the time I was studying some of the Growth Gaps described by John Maxwell as gaps we need to close to lead ourselves effectively.  In my last blog I shared The Assumption Gap.

Another gap we can face as we step out to grow is The Timing Gap.  The Timing Gap says, “It’s not the right time to begin.”  And maybe it is not the right time for many things in our lives but it’s always the right time for personal growth. 

I remember a mentor sharing with me the idea of growing every day.  And specifically what happens if we choose to NOT grow every...

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What Works for You May Not Work for Me!

In the second lesson of our Emerging Leader Development course, Cindy and I emphasize that building strong connections with the people we’re responsible for leading requires energy. We go on to stress that putting energy into connecting with our teams requires each of us to make sure we’re intentional about recharging as well so we’re able to invest energy each time it’s necessary - which is really every time we interact with someone. When we’re leading a team, it’s often our responsibility to build processes in place that help the leaders around us recharge. The challenge with this really boils down to understanding that something may energize one person while sucking the energy right out of another!

Like many couples starting out together, Cindy and I didn’t have much paid time off built up or much extra money to afford many vacations. The few times we were able to take the kids somewhere reasonably nice, I wanted to be sure to squeeze in...

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The Best Way to Be Authentic, Even Within a System

Several years ago, Cindy and I were leading a group through a fairly in depth study of John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect when one of the folks in the group expressed concern about how applying the five principles and five practices outlined in the book could be viewed as manipulative. My response was simple… The best way I know to not come across as being manipulative is to not have a manipulative motive when you’re applying the principles or practices. When we’re genuine in our intent, the people we’re interacting with usually sense that. But when someone is trying to slip something by us, don’t we typically sense that too? Even the best principles and practices only work over the long haul when our motives are right! As a quick side note, while I do still like the individual who shared that concern, I have seen them do several things in the years since that have come across as manipulative...

Last time I shared about how much of...

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Bridging the Growth Gap

Recently, we provided our Emerging Leader Development training to a group of 15 or so managers and supervisors.  One of my (Cindy) favorite parts we’ll land on next week with this group is on the topic of having a growth plan.  With this, we explain some of the gaps each of us face as we step out to grow.  One of these being The Assumption Gap adapted from the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.

The Assumption Gap says, “I assume I will automatically grow.”  I believe most people have good intentions and assume those good intentions will become great deeds done.  But how many times have you intended to call a friend, family member, or co-worker who had been sick or could use an encouraging word, only to let time pass and your good intention never happened?

It’s no different with personal growth.  Unless we schedule time for growth it won’t happen in our day to day journey and we can find ourselves drifting along in life with no...

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