Member Login

Leadership

New Technologies Transform Work and Life

We coach leaders to cultivate creativity, clarity, focus and trust in a full engagement culture.

New Technologies

To be competitive, many companies may find themselves in a Houdini-like twist. How can they respond quickly and nimbly to the ever-changing business environment without getting caught in knots?

In today’s data-driven age, the ability to use new technologies to quickly transform information into insight creating new markets for their products and services is core to sustainability. Companies need to breathe innovation and be passionately customer-focused.

Technology can play an important supporting role in enabling organizations to become more innovative and agile. Technology should function as a change agent in the use and adoption of best-in-class information sharing processes, so company’s can improve their use of targeted customer data.

Transform Work and Life

A couple of real work-life examples follow:

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is transforming his company’s culture from self-indulgent egocentric hackers feeding on their owncompetiveness and self-gratification to creating apps for mobile devices focusing on loving their customers. Jay Elliot CEO of iMEDGO and author of The Steve Jobs Way developed an app to monitor customer’s vital health functions and in an emergency alert medical assistance. Creating loving customer relationships to connect, consume and communicate through new technology is truly the killer app transforming work and life.”

You can develop these qualities by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put positive innovation into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more innovative? Innovative leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a new technology savvy leader who helps individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop more innovative products and services.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders adopt new technology and passionately love their customers. You can become an innovative leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman

Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
Mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence Leadership Development Expert

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com


Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 

Connect with me on these Social Media sites.
http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

Different Ways to Motivate the Millennial Workforce

How Are Millenials Different?

What happens when younger workers don’t share the same values and beliefs about workplace success? Millennials have different workplace values and definitions of success.

Millennials aren’t interested in time-honored traditions or “the way things have always been done.” Rather, they’re single-mindedly focused on what it takes to get ahead to reach their perceived career destination.

This group shuns past definitions of success: climbing the company ladder and earning the rewards that come with greater responsibility.The company ladder, in their view, is irrelevant.

Mature workers and Boomers in managerial and leadership positions struggle with these differing values and beliefs, wondering how to motivate their younger colleagues. If promotions, raises and bonuses fail to motivate, then what does the trick?

We can identify several differences in values. The new generation of workers has:

1.  A work ethic that no longer respects or values 10-hour workdays

2.  An easily attained competence in new technologies and a facility to master even newer ones with little discomfort

3.  Tenuous to nonexistent loyalty to any organization

4.    Changed priorities for lifetime goals achievable by employment

Younger workers view work as “something you do,” anywhere, any time. They communicate 24/7 and expect real-time responses. The rigidity of set work hours seems unnecessary and even unproductive in the information age.

To younger workers, success isn't defined by how many hours one spends at a desk. Success is defined not by rank or seniority, but by what matters to each person individually.  Younger workers want to cut to the chase and define their true value. They don’t want to be paid for time; they want to be paid for their services and skills.

For younger employees with working spouses and children, work-life balance and flexible conditions have greater priority. Is someone who arrives at 9:30 a.m. necessarily working less hard than those who arrive at 8:30 a.m.? Differences in generational attitudes must not interfere with progress and productivity.

Newer workers learn “on demand,” which to Boomers means they just want to “wing it,” figuring things out as they go. Gen-Y learning is interactive, using the Internet, Wikipedia and blogs. They rely on Google and web searches to find answers.

Gen Y doesn’t hesitate to call a friend or send an email directly to the CEO. They ask questions and get their information instantaneously. They are easily bored by training sessions, manuals and programs that spoon-feed information over time.

Questions to Ask Younger Generations

How can leaders harness Millennials work force’s skills? What is required to lead young people who believe Boomers are outdated and out of touch?

Leaders should ask themselves the following questions:

  1. What do my employees want from their jobs, bosses and work experience?
  2. How do salary, benefits and promotion opportunities affect loyalty?
  3. How do my direct reports define themselves? How do one’s job and the company enter into this equation?
  4. Do my newer workers believe in paying their dues for a given time period, or are they motivated by challenges and self-fulfillment right from the very beginning?
  5. How self-sufficient are my younger workers? Are they still living at home? How much are they committed to their jobs as their only means of support?

For younger generations, the job future has never been more precarious and uncertain. As a leader, one of your primary responsibilities is attracting and retaining employees, especially talented ones.

You need to learn to put yourself in the younger generations’ shoes, without prejudice or judgment, even though it’s human nature to view them as inexperienced and naive.

Business consultant Cam Marston presents new insights into motivating the Millennial Generation in Motivating the “What’s In It For Me?” Workforce (2007, John Wiley & Sons).

You can learn how to better motivate millennial employees by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders better motivate millennial employees? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more positive about Millennials? Mindful leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a leader who motivates all individuals to achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop their millennial employees.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture millennial employees. You can become a more mindful leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

We coach leaders to cultivate, creativity, clarity, focus and trust in a full engagement culture.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman


Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams


Mindfulness & Emotional Intelligence Workplace Expert

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. 

Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.



“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching 



For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.



Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com

Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 


Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman

http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

Categories: 

ADAPT RATHER THAN PRESCRIBE

There are two fundamental approaches to leadership: “telling” employees what they should do, and “asking” employees what they think they should do. I call this Prescriptive leadership (“here is what I want you to do next,”) and Adaptive leadership (“what do you think you should do now? How can I support or help you?”).
 
I often find that leaders who perceive themselves as overwhelmingly "busy" use the Prescriptive leadership approach. They are prescriptive because employees constantly ask them seemingly simple or obvious questions (questions they believe the employees should already know the answer too). These leaders perceive that employees ask these simple questions because they truly don't know the right answer and are concerned at moving forward without having clarity. Prescriptive leadership provides the executive or manager with a sense of worth. If no one asks me anything, I don’t feel like they need me as a leader.
 
Adaptive leadership however is much different. In Adaptive leadership we ask questions of employees to direct them towards making suggestions and taking actions on solutions to the challenges or opportunities they face. Adaptive leadership means that as a leader I “adapt” to the suggestions that my employees provide, allowing me to support them in introducing, pursuing, or implementing their ideas. To achieve success in this approach, we must focus on being in the moment, attentive to employee needs, and flexible in allowing employees to understand the desired outcome rather than the path to get there.
 
If you want more time to focus on strategic issues, put effort into being an Adaptive leader. You will have more time available for your priorities, and employees who feel empowered to make decisions and take action.
 

Categories: 

Leadership Self-Knowledge

Overcoming Leadership Blind Spots

“Leadership is a struggle by flawed human beings to make some important human values real and effective in the world as it is.”~ Steven Snyder, Leadership and the Art of Struggle

There’s no escaping it: Everyone has blind spots. No matter how hard we try to be self-aware, everyone—including the best leader—has unproductive behaviors that are invisible to us but glaring to everyone else.

Our behavioral blind spots create unintended consequences: They distort judgment, corrupt decision-making, reduce our awareness, create enemies and silos, destroy careers and sabotage business results.

Leaders are particularly vulnerable. They often buy into the overpowering belief that they should have all the answers and easily handle challenges great and small. They exploit their powers of self-confidence at the expense of introspection and self-questioning. For many, the need to be right trumps their mandate to be effective.

These leaders fail to see that their behaviors can be destructive to themselves and others, even when their intentions are positive. They forget that others judge them on their behaviors and results—not by intentions.

Research Revelations

A blind spot is a performance-hindering mindset or behavior of which you’re unaware or have chosen to overlook. A recent Business Weekarticle cites some important research:

· A Hay Group study shows that an organization’s senior leaders are more likely to overrate themselves and develop blind spots that can hinder their effectiveness.

· A study by Development Dimensions International, Inc., found that 89 percent of front-line leaders have at least one skills-related blind spot.

The Hay research suggests that, as executives rise within an organization, the less likely they are to see themselves as others perceive them. They often lose touch with those they lead—not surprising, given their increased isolation and the executive suite’s “rarified” atmosphere. As they reach the pinnacle of their profession, they have fewer peers and greater power. Honest feedback and open dialogue often become rare commodities. This poses a serious problem, as researchers have found a direct correlation between high performance and accurate self-awareness.

You can learn to spot leadership blind spots by:

· Establishing 360-degree feedback processes (even in the executive suite)

· Providing executive coaching

· Fostering a culture that values open feedback and dialogue (particularly at the top)

Two Minds: Fast and Slow

“Blind spots are the product of an overactive automatic mind and an underactive reflective mind.”~ Snyder
The brain has two systems for thinking, explains Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow:

· System 1 for fast thinking

· System 2 for slower thinking

The fast, or automatic, mind reaches judgments and conclusions quickly, but often prematurely. Intuitive and aware, it makes associations with already-stored and easily accessible information. It is eager to achieve order and understanding, and therefore subject to making errors.

System 2, also known as the reflective mind, is slower and more methodical. It is capable of rational thought and even metathought: the ability to consciously observe one’s thinking processes from a distance. It challenges assumptions and generates alternatives, objectively evaluating and analyzing them.

System 2 helps us take conscious and intentional actions—but it’s also slow and requires lots of energy. It therefore often cedes control to the automatic mind, which conserves energy resources.

Great leaders learn to train Systems 1 and 2 to work synergistically. They nurture their reflective mind to be more proactive and sagacious, while training their automatic mind to increase its associative powers. They are ultimately rewarded with more creative ideas for the reflective mind to consider.

Five Common Blind Spots

An Internet search for “blind spots” produces a virtually endless list of disastrous leadership decisions, based on common cognitive biases that led to faulty thinking.

We can group the most common blind spots into five key categories:

1.  Experience

2.  Personality

3.  Values

4.  Strategy

5.  Conflict

The Experience Blind Spot

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” ~ Microsoft Founder Bill Gates, The Road Ahead

Success boosts confidence—and while it can feel especially good, it leads to errors in thinking.

We rarely examine or analyze what led to a successful outcome, including luck’s role in the process. We automatically assume we were right on the money. Our automatic mind consequently encodes the strategies and tactics we used, along with the confidence we gained.

When we encounter a new situation, we spontaneously draw on our memories of success, without questioning whether prior strategies fit the current circumstances.

Thus, a long history of accolades and achievements can potentially produce troublesome blind spots. There is danger in assuming that past results will guarantee future successes. Intuition takes over, shutting down the need for proper investigation and analysis.

The experience blind spot comes into play when you move into a new role or change jobs. It also surfaces when you’re entrenched in a job and neglect to pay attention to shifting priorities and environmental changes.

The Personality Blind Spot

Personality-based blind spots are epidemic. You cannot avoid them unless you have a high degree of self-awareness, monitor your thoughts and make frequent course corrections.

Each personality type has strengths and weaknesses. But when carried to the extreme or inflamed by stressful situations, even our core strengths can become career-damaging weaknesses.

For example, if you’re naturally optimistic, your thinking is biased toward the positive. This is usually good if you’re charged with inspiring others. But there are times when optimism backfires and leaves you blindsided by negative realities—something you miss until it’s too late.

Similarly, an affable personality usually benefits from strong interpersonal relationships. Unfortunately, he may also avoid necessary conflict. For every strength, there’s a related blind spot.

Personality blind spots are often hard to discover because we value our strengths so highly. We often fail to see the downside of what works so well for us. But with increased awareness, you can train yourself to detect emerging blind spots.

Ask yourself:

· Am I playing to the downside of my strengths?

· How will I know when my strengths blind me to my inherent weaknesses?

· Who can be a sounding board as I work toward increasing self-awareness?

Blind spots restrict our options. Soliciting diverse perspectives helps expand our awareness.

The Values Blind Spot

When your attitude and emotions are out of sync with your values, you become uncomfortable and unbalanced—a state psychologists call “cognitive dissonance.” In short, what we say and do is incongruent with what we believe and who we are.

Values blind spots can occur on a personal or group level. They are particularly insidious when you’re somewhat aware of them, but fail to take appropriate corrective action.

In business situations, a values blind spot can affect large groups. Can you think of a time when an implicit incentive to maintain the status quo conflicted with a change initiative? That’s a typical values blind spot in action.

Strategy Blind Spots

Organizations often reward conformity and punish critical or questioning voices.

When a collective worldview becomes self-reinforcing around a set of practices, assumptions or beliefs, there is potential for groupthink. Creativity and agility suffer because conformance is valued above change, and risk is discouraged.

Strategy blind spots can occur in any organizational area. They’re not restricted to values. Unfortunately, they are often spotted in hindsight, after an important opportunity is missed.

Leaders who prize openness and transparency have the best chance of spotting strategy blind spots. They encourage input at all levels, fostering a culture of trust where ideas are honestly debated.

The Conflict Blind Spot

Conflict can be healthy in relationships and organizations where trust has been established. Diverse perspectives challenge tunnel vision and the status quo, while promoting learning and innovation. When issues are constructively debated, new solutions emerge.

But it’s human nature to want to defend and win an argument. Conflict becomes destructive when positive energy turns negative and erodes trust. Empathy and insight are tossed aside when we filter incoming information through the lens of what we believe and want. We categorize others as the enemy, who must be wrong.

Instead of debate, conflict becomes a power struggle that prevents you from seeing any solution (other than winning your point). The automatic mind is in full force, fueled by strong emotions, and the reflective mind is ignored.

You must reactivate your higher intelligence to find your way out of a conflict blind spot. Slow the discussion; perhaps even take a break. Breathe deeply and re-center yourself. When you return to discussions, acknowledge common ground instead of focusing on gaps. What problem do you both want to solve? What goals and values do you share?

Overcoming Blind Spots

“Only in acknowledging our own flaws and vulnerabilities can we become authentic leaders who empower people to perform to the best of their abilities.” ~ Snyder

A blind spot’s effects may not show up right away. Without paying careful attention, you may miss the warning signs. It’s therefore critical for you to proactively work toward discovering them, before you feel the effects.

Consider working with a professional coach who can help you collect data from your boss, colleagues and coworkers. Your coach can administer a personality test and then show you how to evaluate and interpret input.

Also take a look at past or current struggles to determine whether blind spots have hindered your performance. What can you learn from your mistakes? What would you do differently in the future? Reframe situations from others’ perspectives.

When you have a vague awareness of a blind spot, fight against the normal psychological inclination to remain anchored in safe, established patterns. Change occurs only when you engage others in the process.

Above all, don’t blame others for yourblind spots or comfortably coast along in unproductive patterns.

You can develop these qualities by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put positive leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more positive? Positive leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture positivity in the workplace. You can become a positive leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

How Mindful Leaders Overcome Blind Spots

Leadership Blind Spots

No matter how hard we try to be self-aware, everyone—including the best leaders—has unproductive behaviors that are invisible to us but glaring to everyone else.

A blind spot is a performance-hindering mindset or behavior of which you’re unaware or have chosen to overlook. A recent Business Week article cites some important research:

  • A Hay Group study shows that an organization’s senior leaders are more likely to overrate themselves and develop blind spots that can hinder their effectiveness.
  • A study by Development Dimensions International, Inc., found that 89 percent of front-line leaders have at least one skills-related blind spot.

The Hay research suggests that, as executives rise within an organization, the less likely they are to see themselves as others perceive them. They often lose touch with those they lead—not surprising, given their increased isolation and the executive suite’s “rarified” atmosphere. As they reach the pinnacle of their profession, they have fewer peers and greater power. Honest feedback and open dialogue often become rare commodities. This poses a serious problem, as researchers have found a direct correlation between high performance and inaccurate self-awareness.

We can group the most common blind spots into five key categories:

1. Experience

2. Personality

3. Values

4. Strategy

5. Conflict

The Experience Blind Spot

We rarely examine or analyze what led to a successful outcome, including luck’s role in the process. We automatically assume we were right on the money. And when we encounter a new situation, we spontaneously draw on our memories of success, without questioning whether prior strategies fit current circumstances.

Thus, a long history of accolades and achievements can potentially produce troublesome blind spots. There is danger in assuming that past results will guarantee future successes.

The Personality Blind Spot

Each personality type has strengths and weaknesses. But when carried to the extreme or inflamed by stressful situations, even our core strengths can become career-damaging weaknesses.

For example, if you’re naturally optimistic, your thinking is biased toward the positive. This is usually good if you’re charged with inspiring others. But there are times when optimism backfires and leaves you blindsided by negative realities—something you miss until it’s too late.

Personality blind spots are often hard to discover because we value our strengths so highly. We often fail to see the downside of what works so well for us. But with increased awareness, you can train yourself to detect emerging blind spots. Ask yourself:

  • Am I playing to the downside of my strengths?
  • How will I know when my strengths blind me to my inherent weaknesses?
  • Who can be a sounding board as I work toward increasing self-awareness?

The Values Blind Spot

When your attitude and emotions are out of sync with your values, you become uncomfortable and unbalanced. What we say and do is incongruent with what we believe and who we are.

Values blind spots can occur on a personal or group level. They are particularly insidious when you’re somewhat aware of them, but fail to take appropriate corrective action.

In business situations, a values blind spot can affect large groups. Can you think of a time when an implicit incentive to maintain the status quo conflicted with a change initiative? That’s a typical values blind spot in action.

Strategy Blind Spots

Organizations often reward conformity and punish critical or questioning voices.

When a collective worldview becomes self-reinforcing around a set of practices, assumptions or beliefs, there is potential for groupthink. Creativity and agility suffer because conformance is valued above change, and risk is discouraged.

Strategy blind spots can occur in any organizational area. Unfortunately, they’re often spotted in hindsight, after an important opportunity is missed.

Leaders who prize openness and transparency have the best chance of spotting strategy blind spots. They encourage input at all levels, fostering a culture of trust where ideas are honestly debated.

The Conflict Blind Spot

Conflict can be healthy in relationships and organizations where trust has been established. Diverse perspectives challenge tunnel vision and the status quo, while promoting learning and innovation. When issues are constructively debated, new solutions emerge.

But it’s human nature to want to defend and win an argument. Conflict becomes destructive when positive energy turns negative and erodes trust. Empathy and insight are tossed aside when we filter incoming information through the lens of what we believe and want. We categorize others as the enemy, who must be wrong.

Instead of debate, conflict becomes a power struggle that prevents you from seeing any solution (other than winning your point).I

You need to reactivate your higher intelligence to find your way out of a conflict blind spot. Slow the discussion; perhaps even take a break. Breathe deeply and re-center yourself. When you return to discussions, acknowledge common ground instead of focusing on gaps.

Overcoming Blind Spots

A blind spot’s effects may not show up right away. Without paying careful attention, you may miss the warning signs. It’s therefore critical for you to proactively work toward discovering them, before you feel the effects.

Consider working with an executive coach. Also take a look at past or current struggles to determine whether blind spots have hindered your performance. What can you learn from your mistakes? What would you do differently in the future? Reframe situations from others’ perspectives.

When you have a vague awareness of a blind spot, fight against the normal psychological inclination to remain anchored in safe, established patterns.  

You can develop these qualities by working with an executive coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put positive leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more mindful? Positive leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a positive leader who helps individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop more positive teams.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture positivity in the workplace. You can become a positive leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

 

Categories: 

How Gaps in Skills Impact the Growing US Economy

How Will Gaps in Skills Impact the Growing US Economy?

It is impossible to ignore the skills gap that exists in today's labor market.  Thousands of job openings go unfilled because far too many individuals lack the requisite skills to perform these jobs.

Four years after the Great Recession, good paying jobs remain scarce and unemployment painfully high.  According to some employers,good jobs that do exist can go unfilled for lack of qualified workers. The best jobs – jobs that pay well with benefits are often in health care, high-tech and finance. All require advanced training or years of school. The challenge is to find workers with the right skills, or quickly provide those skills, to support the economic recovery and lift the long-term unemployed out of an ever deepening hole.”

One hopeful spot – public and private partnerships for job retraining offers a possible solution. But the commitment to an overall solution is necessary to reverse some worrisome trends.

Long-term joblessness is alarmingly high. The longer people remain unemployed or underemployed – working in low-paying jobs without benefits or opportunities for advancement the more difficult it will be for them to land a good job.

Without public and private investment in job retraining, workplace experts warn of a permanent underclass of workers trapped in low-skill, low-wage jobs. Employers need to invest more in joint education and job-training programs to fill the thousands of jobs nationally that remain unfilled due to the lack of qualified candidates. Colleges, employers, federal, state and local governments need to collaborate to expand education and training programs that connect adult learners to jobs.

At a time when our nation is focused on job creation and economic recovery, addressing adult education is critical. These programs should be viewed as an important investment in people and our growing economy.”

You can develop the emotional intelligence skills you may need by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 © Copyright 2014 Dr. Maynard Brusman

Categories: 

Put Positive Leadership into Action

Positive Leadership

John Lennon once said, “Life is something that happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” Of course, you can listen to Woody Allen, who famously said: “Half of life is just showing up.”

Executive coaches and leadership consultants who encourage positive thinking often encounter cynical, hard-driving executives with a close eye on the bottom line.

But positivity coaches have come a long way since author Norman Vincent Peale preached his positive philosophy of faith and miracles. Today’s positive-psychology movement is founded on empirical evidence. Social scientists have documented the benefits of optimism, emotional intelligence and happiness in multiple work settings.

Positive leadership is no longer seen as a feel-good ideal with little bearing on business results. Mounting evidence reveals that leaders who focus on their people’s positive contributions, while concomitantly achieving tough goals through measurable tasks, enjoy higher performance outcomes.

While positive leadership is gaining traction among CEOs and executive teams, it’s often poorly understood and implemented. University of Michigan management professor Kim S. Cameron, PhD, offers a cogent definition of the term in his new book,  Practicing Positive Leadership: Tools and Techniques That Create Extraordinary Results (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013):

“Positive leadership refers to the implementation of multiple positive practices that help individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise.”

Finding the Right Feedback Ratio

A wave of research reveals that “soft”-sounding positive management practices — including conversations focused on dreams, strengths and possibilities — motivate people to achieve higher performance levels. In fact, the more positive the message, the better the outcome.

But managers are charged with pointing out what’s not working and solving real problems — a mandate that presents a potentially frustrating leadership dilemma: How can you focus on the positive when continually required to make corrections?

Richard Boyatzis, PhD, a professor of organizational behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, offers a pragmatic solution: “You need the negative focus to survive, but a positive one to thrive. You need both, but in the right ratio.”

Let’s quantify this ratio. Effective leaders should provide 3–5 positive messages for every negative message they deliver. Your communication must skew heavily toward the positive, without sounding incongruent or inauthentic. If you fail to “accentuate the positive” (to borrow a World War II-era song title), you remain stuck in negative feedback patterns that demotivate your staff.

Barbara L. Frederickson, PhD, a psychologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has found that positive feelings expand our awareness of a wider range of possibilities. Instead of looking at what needs to be fixed, we learn to focus on what’s right and needs to be reinforced. When we emphasize positive deeds, using positive language, achievement builds upon itself.

Dr. Frederickson’s psychology research shows that a positive focus bestows greater attentiveness, more flexible problem-solving, enhanced creativity and improved teamwork.

Organizational Positivity

You can identify companies that have implemented positive practices throughout history and compare their mission statements with those of their less successful counterparts.

Positivity clearly appears in mission statements that value societal contributions over the desire to be “No. 1”:

•    Ford Motor Company: democratize the auto (1900s)
•    Boeing: bring the world into the jet age (1950s)
•    Sony: obliterate the image of poor-quality Japanese goods (1960s)
•    Apple: one person, one computer (1980s)

Compare those mission statements with the following:

•    GE: be No. 1 or 2 in every market we serve
•    Walmart: become the first trillion-dollar company
•    Philip Morris: knock off R.J. Reynolds as the No. 1 tobacco company
•    Nike: crush Adidas
•    Honda: destroy Yamaha

Improving your leadership positivity starts with your organization’s mission statement. Ask “why” you and your organization are here; then, ask yourself and your colleagues what you/they want on a deeper level:

•    Which values merit coming to work each day to give your best?
•    How will you inspire staff and customers to make contributions that benefit the world?

Begin to transform your team by attaching everything you say and do to higher goals and values. Leaders, managers and staff become more positive when they pay attention to the language they use. Rephrase statements in a more positive way, without sacrificing honesty or reality.

If you’re in a management position, everything you say – or don’t say – is magnified, making it even more important to boost your positive/negative ratio. Aim for a least a 3:1 (ideally, a 5:1) ratio of positive to negative statements. When you adopt this approach, others will follow suit.

Show Frequent Appreciation

Instead of seizing on what your people do wrong, start to verbally acknowledge what they’re doing right. Track and recognize progress. Most people perform better when they know they’re appreciated, even if it’s only for small wins.

This doesn’t mean you should suppress bad news. Instead, learn to deliver it in ways that are less likely to provoke defensiveness. Your execution will improve with practice. You’ll gain respect and better performance outcomes.

In Search of Best Practices

If we want to staff our organizations with executives who can deliver results and demonstrate superior social skills, we need to start identifying them during the hiring and promotion processes.

Results-oriented executives can learn to improve their social skills by retaining an experienced executive coach. Additionally, organizations can improve their effectiveness by:

1.  Hiring for both technical and social skills
2.  Training equally for social skills and technical savvy
3.  Rewarding goal attainment and displays of social skill
4.  Promoting those who demonstrate social prowess

CEOs and upper management must realize that rewarding achievement alone has its limits. Organizations must provide incentives for behaviors, even when people take risks and “fail up.”

You can develop these qualities by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put positive leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to be more positive? Positive leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “ An I a positive leader who  helps individuals and organizations achieve their highest potential, flourish at work, experience elevating energy and achieve levels of effectiveness difficult to attain otherwise?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders develop more poitive teams.


Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture positivity in the workplace. You can become a positive leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.


Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman
http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman
http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 

Categories: 

Optimists and Pessimists at Work

“Success is measured by your ability to maintain enthusiasm between failures.”

-- Sir Winston Churchill

Mahatma Gandhi, Norman Cousins, Helen Keller, Christopher Reeves and Thomas Edison are just a few names that come to mind in a discussion about optimism and success.

Mozart is another example of a genius who had exemplary self-confidence in the face of adversity. A psychological analysis of his correspondence shows that he carried optimism to an almost pathological extreme. Toward the end of his life, when he suffered the deaths of four children, serious illnesses and repeated professional and financial disasters, his optimism actually rose.

People who are considered successful in life measure high on assessments of optimistic attitudes. It would be easy to presume they are optimistic because they are successful, but there is enough research to show that the optimism comes first.

Traditional wisdom puts forth the idea that to be successful, you must have two things:  

1. Talent or aptitude

            2. Motivation

More recent research shows that a third element contributes strongly to success:

3. An optimistic attitude, particularly in the face of adversity.

High scores for optimism are predictive of excellence in everything from sports to health, elections and sales. Dr. Martin Seligman has shown that optimists not only do better educationally and in their careers, they also enjoy superior health and longevity. Dr. Seligman, a researcher and psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, is the author of Learned Optimism. He has spent a lifetime studying why some people are more resilient than others.

Optimism Can Be Learned

Very few of us were lucky enough to have been raised with an attitude of optimism. Research shows that it is learned in childhood from maternal caretakers. Psychologists who teach the skills of optimism in their books are Seligman (Learned Optimism), Albert Ellis (Rational Emotive Therapy), David Burns (Feeling Good), and Aaron Beck (Cognitive Therapy and the Emotional Disorders).

Pessimists, passive optimists and dynamic optimists all selectively focus their attention. Studies show that pessimists are actually more realistic than optimists. Dynamic optimists interpret their experiences differently than other people. They also influence outcomes differently by translating effective thoughts into specific kinds of actions.

The different ways in which optimists and pessimists focus their attention lead to noticing different things, experiencing different motivations, and taking different actions. The pessimist focuses on problems, pains, and pitfalls. The passive optimist sees only what is encouraging and enjoyable and does not see potential obstacles. This leads to missed opportunities or limited success.  At its worst, it leads to failure, frustration and ill health.

Thus the dynamic optimist dwells on the constructive and enjoyable while de-emphasizing pain, difficulty and frustration. Such a person can look at a frustrating event, fully accept its reality, then choose to interpret the event in a way that leads to action, growth and mastery. They recognize dangers but have a wider vision open to solutions, possibilities.

“Optimalists tend to be benefit finders—the sort of people who find the silver lining in the dark cloud, who make lemonade out of lemons, who look on the bright side of life, and who do not fault writers for using too many cliches. With a knack for turning setbacks into opportunities, the Optimalist goes through life with an overall sense of optimism.”~ Tal Ben-Shahar from The Pursuit of Perfect

Seeing that optimalist and optimism come from the same Latin word for “best” (optimus), it makes sense that an optimalist would be an optimist.

I appreciate the distinction between “fault finders” and “benefit finders.”  Which are you? Do you focus on the lemonade when you get a lemon or do you prefer to complain about what life gives you? 

Now seems like a good time to explore this distinction further. What’s the #1 thing that’s stressing you out right now? 

If it’s *really* bothering you, we can rest assured that you’re in fault finding mode. The best way to get your optimism and therefore “Optimalist”) on is to get into a benefit finding mode.

What are the top 3 things you can really appreciate about your current challenges?

1. __________________________________________________

2. __________________________________________________

3. __________________________________________________

If you are working with an executive coach, you can use the opportunity to work on developing the skills of optimism.

1. Become mindful of your awareness: look at how you selectively focus on events.

2. Examine your internal dialogue; then change what you tell yourself.

3. Do something pleasurable to distract yourself from bad events.

You can develop these qualities by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders become more optimistic? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to develop positivity? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I an optimist or pessimist?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching to help leaders create a positive work culture.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders be more optimistic about the future. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

© Copyright 2014 Dr. Maynard Brusman

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

The Myth of the 10,000 Hour Rule – Why Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect

The 10,000 Hour Rule

"Ask the great athlete or the concert pianist or the successful actor if they arrived at the place where they need no further practice. They will tell you that the higher you climb in proficiency and public acceptance, the greater the need for practice."~ Eric Butterworth from Spiritual Economics

People who consistently stay on mission and on task with focused intensity for an entire decade are often world-class in their special endeavor. They are likely a national brand, or soon will be. In his fascinating book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes that one of the keys to attaining high levels of success is spending ten thousand hours of practice at your chosen craft. The Beatles spent countless hours playing at summer festivals before you ever heard of them. Peyton Manning, widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play football, has been known for his work ethic since he was a child.

Carol Dweck wrote in her great book Mindset: “Is it ability or mindset?Was it Mozart’s musical ability or the fact that he worked till his hands were deformed? Was it Darwin’s scientific ability or the fact that he collected specimens non-stop from early childhood?”

Geniuses & Clods

"The great piano virtuoso Paderewski was once playing before an audience of the rich and the royal. After a brilliant performance, an elegant lady waxed ecstatic over the great artist. She said, "Ah Maestro, you are a genius!" Paderewski tartly replied, "Ah yes, madam, but before I was a genius I was a clod!" What he was saying was that his present acclaim was not handed to him on a silver platter. He, too, was once a little boy laboriously practicing his scales. And even at his peak, behind every brilliant performance there were countless hours of practice and preparation."~ Eric Butterworthfrom Spiritual Economics

It's too easy to look at someone we admire and just assume he or she was simply born a genius or "got lucky." Behind every genius in any field is a clod turned into a genius we admire. Tiger Woods? Check. Oprah? Check. Steve Jobs? Check. These men and women have "practiced" more than most can imagine driven to perform at the highest level of mastery. How about you? What are you putting countless hours of practice and preparation into?

Exceptional people work really hard. But is there more to the story?

The Myth

The “10,000-hour rule”that this level of practice holds the secret to great success in any field has become widely accepted as true. The problem according to Daniel Goleman in his terrific new book is that it’s only half-true. Daniel Goleman"Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence."

According to Goleman, if you are a bad golfer, and continue to make the same mistakes every time you try a certain swing or putt, 10,000 hours of repeatedly practicing that error will not improve your game. You’ll still be a duffer.

My then eight year old son learned this the hard way when he was learning to swim and dive. Maddison would bravely dive off the diving board and do a belly flop. He bravely tried again and again with the same result. I asked one of the swim instructors to coach him on the correct technique, and he rapidly improved.

Anders Ericsson, the Florida State University psychologist whose research on expertise spawned the ten-thousand-hour rule-of-thumb, told Goleman, “You don’t get benefits from mechanical repetition, but by adjusting your execution over and over to get closer to your goal.” “You have to tweak the system by pushing allowing for more errors at first as you increase your limits.”

Ericsson argues the secret of winning is “deliberate practice,” where an expert coach takes you through well-designed training over months or years, and you give it your full focus.

How experts in any endeavor pay attention while practicing makes a crucial difference. While novices and amateurs are content to let their passive, bottom-up neural systems take over their routines, experts never rest their active concentration during practice.

For instance, in his much-cited study of violinists – the one that showed the top tier had practiced over 10,000 hours – Ericsson found the experts did so with full concentration on improving a particular aspect of their performance that a master teacher identified. The feedback matters and the concentration does, too – not just the hours.

Daniel Goleman asserts that that learning how to improve any skill requires top-down focus. Neuroplasticity, the strengthening of old brain circuits and building of new ones for a skill we are practicing, requires our undivided attention: When practice occurs while we are focusing elsewhere, the brain does not rewire the relevant circuitry for that particular routine.

Daydreaming or letting our mind wander defeats practice. Those of us who browse TV while working out will never reach the top ranks. Paying full attention and being mindful boosts the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expands or creates neural networks for what we are practicing.

As you master how to execute the new routine, repeated practice transfers control of that skill from the top-down system for intentional focus to bottom-up circuits that eventually make its execution effortless. At that point you don’t need to think about it. You can then do the routine well enough on automatic.

And this is where amateurs and experts are strikingly different. Amateurs are content at some point to let their efforts become bottom-up operations. After about 50 hours of training whether in skiing or driving people get to that “good-enough” performance level. They can go through the motions more or less effortlessly. They no longer feel the need for concentrated practice, but are content to coast on what they’ve learned. No matter how much more they practice in this bottom-up mode, their improvement will be limited.

The experts, in contrast, keep paying attention top-down, intentionally counteracting the brain’s urge to automatize routines.They concentrate actively on those moves they have yet to perfect, on correcting what’s not working in their game, and on refining their mental models of how to play the game. The secret to smart practice boils down to focus on the particulars of feedback from a seasoned coach.

Daniel Goleman’s brilliant insights apply to mindful leadership. Leaders can receive feedback, and develop these new and more productive habits by working with an executive coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your professional-development capabilities.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders practice the right behaviors? Does your organization provideexecutive coaching for leaders who need to learn how to model effective   Mindful leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I consistently practicing the right behaviors for success?” Emotionally intelligent and compassionate companies provide executive coaching to help leaders model desired competencies.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders be more focused. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged withthe vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.” — Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 © Copyright 2014 Dr. Maynard Brusman

Categories: 

Job Creation and the Economic Recovery

Skills Gap

It is impossible to ignore the skills gap that exists in today's labor market. Thousands of job openings go unfilled because far too many individuals lack the requisite skills to perform these jobs.

Four years after the Great Recession, good paying jobs remain scarce and unemployment painfully high.  According to some employers,good jobs that do exist can go unfilled for lack of qualified workers. The best jobs – jobs that pay well with benefits are often in health care, high-tech and finance. All require advanced training or years of school. The challenge is to find workers with the right skills, or quickly provide those skills, to support the economic recovery and lift the long-term unemployed out of an ever deepening hole.”

One hopeful spot – public and private partnerships for job retraining offers a possible solution. But the commitment to an overall solution is necessary to reverse some worrisome trends.

Long-term joblessness is alarmingly high. The longer people remain unemployed or underemployed – working in low-paying jobs without benefits or opportunities for advancement the more difficult it will be for them to land a good job.

Without public and private investment in job retraining, workplace experts warn of a permanent underclass of workers trapped in low-skill, low-wage jobs. Employers need to invest more in joint education and job-training programs to fill the thousands of jobs nationally that remain unfilled due to the lack of qualified candidates. Colleges, employers, federal, state and local governments need to collaborate to expand education and training programs that connect adult learners to jobs.

At a time when our nation is focused on job creation and economic recovery, addressing adult education is critical. These programs should be viewed as an important investment in people and our growing economy.”

You can develop the emotional intelligence or soft skills you may need by working with a professional coach. The investment is well worth the reward: your ability to influence the future, your career and your personal-development capabilities.

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies and Law Firms Assess, Select, Coach, Engage  and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Executive Coaching; Leadership Development; Performance-Based Interviewing; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; Culture Change; Career Coaching and Leadership Retreats

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach
Trusted Advisor to Senior Leadership Teams

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies select and develop emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

“Maynard Brusman is one of the foremost coaches in the United States. He utilizes a wide variety of assessments in his work with senior executives and upper level managers, and is adept at helping his clients both develop higher levels of emotional intelligence and achieve breakthrough business results. As a senior leader in the executive coaching field, Dr. Brusman brings an exceptional level of wisdom, energy, and creativity to his work.”
Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., President, College of Executive Coaching

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

Subscribe to Working Resources Newsletter: http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard's Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com 
Connect with me on these Social Media sites.

http://twitter.com/drbrusman
http://www.facebook.com/maynardbrusman

http://www.linkedin.com/in/maynardbrusman

http://www.youtube.com/user/maynardbrusman

 

 © Copyright 2014 Dr. Maynard Brusman

 

Categories: 

Pages

 
Box 1009, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Phone: 401-884-2778
Fax: 401-884-5068
info@summitconsulting.com
 
© Society for the Advancement of Consulting. All Rights Reserved. Web Site Design and Hosting by
WebEditor Design Services, Inc.