Masterful Leaders – The Leader as Coach, Mentor and Teacher

Graphics Courtesy of Fuller Design

Among the many attributes a leader must possess, the most important is the ability to effortlessly transition from one leadership approach to another, in effect gliding between styles that best serve the developmental needs of those individuals they serve.  Truly masterful leaders know how and when to bring those approaches to bear.

A leader can be a mentor some of the time, a coach on other occasions, and a teacher when it is useful.  Think of the three attributes – Mentor, Coach and Teacher – as some of the most powerful tools in your leadership toolbox.

Each can serve the needs of others.  And notice that I intentionally don’t use the word “subordinate,” because we often are serving the needs of colleagues or team members and even bosses that have a desire to grow.  It’s an important distinction, especially considering that sometimes those we serve end up being in positions that might later have a higher “rank” in the chain of command.  In effect, we take turns leading others, but if the habits are there to help others on their developmental journeys, does it really matter what position she or he holds?  In that regard, I often use the famous Chaucer quote, “And gladly would he learn and gladly teach,” to remind myself and clients of that philosophy.

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Courage For Brands 2.0

Our current principle Run Farther Together represents how valuable it is to bring others along with us on the journey unified around a clear purpose. The benefit is not just better results, but a deeper, positive impact on the people and the world around us. But it takes courage and uncommon sense to expect more and define the destination beyond the normal measures of success.

Courage for brands

Without courage, leaders of companies today, like individuals, live in a place of permanent uncertainty and weakness. Without bravery, perseverance and honesty there is little hope for change in circumstance and zero chance of achieving one’s full potential. Those who live in a state of fear wait endlessly for others to make the next move and operate with uncertainty, reacting to others. They are relegated to miserable vulnerability and insecurity.

Courage is the essential ingredient for both survival and growth, and as Winston Churchill so eloquently put it, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees all others.” It’s evident at birth and embedded into the first steps that an individual or a company takes, or it’s found as a result of hardship and circumstance. Without courage, we go nowhere.

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Leadership is The Sum of All Parts

According to the dictionary definition “leadership is the action of leading a group of people or an organization”.  Perhaps we should look at leadership from a different perspective. Leadership is the cooperative action that is demonstrated through the talents and skills of people either in a family, community or by employees at all levels of a corporate organization.

Without the collective performance of an orchestra, a conductor has no music and an audience is cheated out of a symphony.

When people think of a leader, generally pictures of a single person appear. Some are feared while others are admired. Shifting perspective to view leadership from the group or the team—in which each person, member of a company works to achieve an overall goal through individual contributions using their talents, skills to innovate or serve others—creates incredible results every day. Both the leader and the team share a more expanded view of what leadership is and is more likely to consider the contributions of all members of the enterprise.

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Assume Capability Not Intent

Assume Capability

“Assume capability, not intent,” is part of a military maxim used in intelligence.  While somewhat more arcane when employed in intelligence, its shortened form can serve as an effective and simple reminder of how to approach those with whom we interact in the business world.

Have you ever sat in a meeting and watched the people around the table and started writing your own narrative about them? Your thoughts range from:

“He doesn’t care,” you say about one person.

“She has an agenda she’s trying to push,” you smugly say to yourself about another.

And then there is the inevitable, “He’s lazy and doesn’t want to get the job done.”

What’s the common denominator of such narratives?  They are all judgment based and blindly come to conclusions about the intent of each individual, based on nothing more than opinion and feelings.  As such they do nothing to enhance our personal and professional relationships and thus materially contribute to distrust, making them detrimental to how a team operates.

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Chris Cancialosi on Imparting Knowledge to Younger Workers

Tony Lee and Chris Cancialosi discuss imparting knowledge to younger workers, viewing knowledge as intellectual capital, the variables to consider when preparing for a transition in a company, pre-emptive knowledge transfers and what Chris’ deployment to Iraq taught him about the process of transferring knowledge. Listen to the podcast below and read the article here: How to Prepare for Leaders Leaving

imparting knowledge to younger workers

Working With Difficult People

Working With Difficult People

In every organization, there will be people that you find to be “difficult”. The question is how to navigate these people in a productive way and that doesn’t cause excess stress for you or your team. What can you do? What you do say? What do you ignore? gothamCulture’s Chris Cancialosi discusses this topic with Wanda Wallace on VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Click here to listen!

Preventing Potential Dysfunction in the Boardroom

There is no shortage of research on the impact that boards can have on the performance and profitability of the organizations they serve. In today’s business context, boards face higher expectations, increased scrutiny by the community, press, politicians, and the street, and significant increases in the velocity of demands of their attention. These realities create a need for boards to be as effective as possible in driving profitability for the firms they serve. Board inefficiencies and lack of effectiveness are simply not something that organizations can afford. Setting up boards for success starts during the recruitment process and some recent research sheds some light on how to make this process have greater positive impact. Read More…

Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Organizational Resilience and Agility

Chris Cancialosi’s article was just published in July’s issue of TD at Work.

How do organizations not only survive, but thrive in today’s new operating environment? By developing resilience and agility. Knowledge transfer is critical to this, and talent development practitioners are positioned to help companies prepare. In “Knowledge Transfer: The Key to Organizational Resilience and Agility,” Chris Cancialosi details:

  • what knowledge transfer is and why it is critical to organizations’ resilience and agility
  • the role of effective knowledge transfer in the future of work
  • ways to develop and strengthen an organization’s ability to effectively transfer and manage knowledge.