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The Mindset of Effective Leaders

Working Resources is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

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

The Mindset of Effective Leaders

Leadership consultants Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown explore how leaders make their people better in Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness, 2010). Wiseman and McKeown divide leaders into two camps, based on the results they achieve: multipliers or diminishers.

Leadership effectiveness can be judged on a continuum. Some leaders, for example, are unintentionally diminishing, but they can switch directions when armed with the right mindset and communication tools.

Leaders are likely to act on one of two extreme beliefs:

1. Diminishing leaders believe their people will never be able to figure things out without explanation from a leader who provides all the answers.

2. Multiplying leaders believe their people are smart and can come up with solutions on their own.

The following table outlines the differences in these leaders’ approaches:

Challenge

Diminisher’s Mindset

Multiplier’s Mindse

How would you manage talent?

I must closely supervise people if I want them to complete assigned tasks.

If I can identify people’s genius, I can watch them succeed on their own.

 

How would you motivate for outcomes?

 

Pressure increases performance.

People’s best ideas must be given, not taken.

 

How would you solve problems?

I need to have all the answers.

People get smarter by being challenged.

 

How would you run debates?

There are only a few people worth listening to.

With enough minds, we can figure it out.

 

How would you develop your people?

People will never be able to figure things out without me.

People are smart and will figure things out independently.

Leading like a multiplier requires more than mimicking the approaches described above. You must believe in your people’s capabilities and trust them to use their intelligence and creativity to develop their own solutions. Act as a guide instead of an expert to achieve buy-in and self-sufficiency.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who have a multiplier mindset? 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 multiplying or diminishing leader?” Emotionally intelligent and sociallyintelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

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 you bring out the best in people. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

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 Smart Leaders Bring Out the Best in People

Working Resources is an Executive Coaching San Francisco Bay Area Firm Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

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

Smart Leaders              

Some corporations have made hiring the most intelligent individuals a core strategy on the basis that smarter people can solve problems more quickly than the competition. But that only works if the organizations can access that intelligence.~ Stephen R. Covey

According to surveys on engagement, most workers have greater capabilities, creativity, talent, initiative and resourcefulness than their jobs allow—or even require—them to use.

Other surveys reveal that most workers feel pressured to produce more with less.

These results are paradoxical: People are underutilized and overworked at the same time.

Fortunately, some leaders understand how to create genius within their teams: They bring out the best in people. They’re “genius-makers.”

Many bosses, however, seem to excel at draining people of their intelligence and abilities.

Management guru Peter Drucker predicted the challenge of managing knowledge workers in the 21st century:

The most valuable assets of the 20th-century company were its production equipment. The most valuable asset of a 21st-century institution, whether business or non-business, will be its knowledge workers and their productivity.

For the most part, leaders are highly intelligent and capable professionals—traits that facilitate their promotion to management. Some, however, experience a bumpy climb up the leadership ladder. So, how does one successfully make the shift from genius to genius-maker?

Leadership consultants Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown explore this question in Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness, 2010).

Some bosses make us better and smarter by eliciting and revitalizing our intelligence. Others seem to stifle intelligence and capability, always wanting to be seen as the smartest person in the room. They suck the energy out of the team, whose members end up looking or feeling dumb. IQs seem to drop, and meeting times double.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who maximize their people’s capabilities? 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 a genius or genius-maker?” Emotionally intelligent and sociallyintelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their transformational peak performance leadership development program.

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 you bring out the best in people. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

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: 

Genius or Genius-Maker? How Smart Leaders Bring Out the Best in People

Genius or Genius-Maker?
How Smart Leaders Bring Out the Best in People   

I’ve learned over the years that my most inspiring executive coaching leadership clients are congruent with how they feel and what they say. They get excited in my office telling me inspiring stories that engage their people. They are honest, humble, optimistic, and forward thinking.

Emotionally intelligent leaders know that creating a workplace culture and climate where emotions are appropriately expressed increases engagement and moves things forward.  In order for people to be fully engaged, they need to feel they are following trustworthy leaders who inspire them emotionally.      

According to surveys on engagement, most workers have greater capabilities, creativity, talent, initiative and resourcefulness than their jobs allow—or even require—them to use.

Other surveys reveal that most workers feel pressured to produce more with less.

These results are paradoxical: People are underutilized and overworked at the same time.

Fortunately, some leaders understand how to create genius within their teams: They bring out the best in people. They’re “genius-makers.”

So, how does one successfully make the shift from genius to genius-maker?

Leadership consultants Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown explore this question in Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter (HarperBusiness, 2010).

Producing More with Less

Wiseman and McKeown interviewed and assessed more than 150 leaders on their managerial practices. Their research sheds light on the important differences between the geniuses and the genius-makers:

  • It isn’t how much you know that matters, but the access you have to what other people know.
  • Team members should be smart, but success depends on how much of that intelligence you can draw out and put to use.

People who work for genius-makers say they give more than 100 percent of their energy and abilities (often citing 120 percent). Genius-makers encourage people to stretch their capabilities and “get smarter.” Conversely, those who work for non-genius-makers report giving only 20 to 50 percent on the job.

Many leaders tackle productivity challenges by hiring more people and achieving linear growth. Genius-makers extract the capabilities of the people already employed, achieving more with the same headcount.

The Mindset of Effective Leaders

Wiseman and McKeown divide leaders into two camps, based on the results they achieve: multipliers or diminishers.

Leaders are likely to act on one of two extreme beliefs:

1. Diminishing leaders believe their people will never be able to figure things out without explanation from a leader who provides all the answers.

2. Multiplying leaders believe their people are smart and can come up with solutions on their own.

The following table outlines the differences in these leaders’ approaches:

Challenge

Diminisher’s Mindset

Multiplier’s Mindse

How would you manage talent?

I must closely supervise people if I want them to complete assigned tasks.

If I can identify people’s genius, I can watch them succeed on their own.

 

How would you motivate for outcomes?

 

Pressure increases performance.

People’s best ideas must be given, not taken.

 

How would you solve problems?

I need to have all the answers.

People get smarter by being challenged.

 

How would you run debates?

There are only a few people worth listening to.

With enough minds, we can figure it out.

 

How would you develop your people?

People will never be able to figure things out without me.

People are smart and will figure things out independently.

Leading like a multiplier requires more than mimicking the approaches described above. You must believe in your people’s capabilities and trust them to use their intelligence and creativity to develop their own solutions. Act as a guide instead of an expert to achieve buy-in and self-sufficiency.

5 Ways Leaders Diminish Others

Diminishers, who hog the spotlight and focus on ways to boost their careers, fall into five categories:

1. Empire Builders hoard resources and underutilize talent.

2. Tyrants create a tense environment that suppresses people’s thinking and capabilities.

3. Know-It-Alls issue directives that showcase how much they know.

4. Decision Makers make centralized, abrupt decisions that confuse the organization.

5. Micromanagers drive results through their personal involvement.

The 5 Disciplines of Genius-Makers

Multipliers follow five principles to bring out the best in people. Each allows workers to stretch so they can contribute greater effort and productivity.

1.    Attract and Optimize Talent: Be a Talent Manager

a. You attract the best people when you take full advantage of their strengths.

b. They subsequently let other talented people know about the benefits of working on your team.

c. Talented people seek opportunities to grow and appreciate your efforts.

2.    Create Intensity That Requires Best Thinking: Be a Liberator

a. You create an intense environment that demands people’s best thinking and work.

b. People flourish under the right amount of pressure and support to perform their best work.

c. You are empathetic, yet firm about expectations for high-quality work.

3.    Extend Challenges: Be a Challenger

a. You define an opportunity that causes people to stretch.

b. You give them freedom to make mistakes, learn from them and be creative.

c. Instead of giving people answers, you ask the right questions and then stay out of their way.

4.    Debate Decisions: Be a Debate Maker

a. You drive sound decisions through rigorous debate.

b. People own outcomes and participate in course corrections without blaming.

c. You challenge your people to ask the right questions and debate the true issues.

5.    Instill Ownership and Accountability: Be an Investor

a. You give other people ownership for results and invest in their success.

b. You hold high expectations across the organization, which leads people to hold themselves and each other accountable.

c. You provide the necessary resources for success.

Becoming a Genius-Maker

Instead of trying to perfect all five disciplines, create a development plan with your executive coach. Pick one key area of strength and develop it to a higher level.

Next, choose an area of weakness and strive to make improvements.

You needn’t excel in all five disciplines to be considered a multiplier who brings out the best in your people. You must, however, master two or three disciplines and be “good enough” in the remaining ones.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for enlightened leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders develop an emotionally intelligent business environment?  Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I a smart leader bring out the best in people?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who are a genius or genius-maker .

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 you create a happy and sustainable company or law firm where everyone is motivated and fully engaged. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

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: 

No Leadership without Good Followers

Good Followers

I recently consulted with a San Francisco Bay Area multi-billion dollar financial institution who wanted to create a succession plan for their retiring CEO. We created a Competency Model for the CEO position, and I presented it to the company’s Board of Directors at their semi-annual retreat.

One of the competencies was servant leadership which reflected the core values of this fast growing company. I was the executive coach for two of the vice presidents, and potential successors focusing on emotional intelligence-based leadership development and inspiring committed followers.

There is no leadership without followership. Good leadership requires good followers, who may be passive or active (depending on context). But followers have generally been slow to embrace empowerment and participate in the leader/follower tango.

Flawed Followers

Perhaps today’s leaders can get away with various and sundry peccadilloes because their followers fail to demand accountability.

“Leading in America has never been easy,” writes Barbara Kellerman in The End of Leadership. “But now it is more difficult than ever—not only because we have too many bad leaders, but because we have too many bad followers.”

Many of us are too timid, disengaged or alienated to speak up, making it easy for corporate leaders to do what they want—and what’s best for their bank accounts.

The leadership-development industry has become huge, with $50 billion a year spent on corporate training. Shouldn’t the curriculum include elements of followership? Everyone, including the CEO, has to answer to someone, be it a board, stockholders or a senior team.

What Followers Can Do

If bad leaders are to be stopped or slowed, followers must play a bigger part.

But many followers consider the price of intervention to be too high. There are real benefits for going along, along with real costs and risks for not going along. We often choose to mind our own business. Nevertheless, incompetent and unethical leaders cannot function without followers.

Followers can strengthen their ability to resist bad leaders by observing these guidelines:

  • Empower yourself.
  • Be loyal to the whole, not to any one person.
  • Be skeptical; leaders are not gods
  • Find allies; develop your own sources of information.
  • Be a watchdog (especially if the board seems too compliant).
  • Take collective action (even on a modest scale, such as assembling a small group to talk to the boss).
  • Hold leaders accountable; use checks and balances already in place.

Luckily, more followers are stepping up to the plate, demonstrating a willingness to share responsibilities, power, authority and influence. They know that once bad leaders are entrenched, they seldom change or quit of their own volition. It’s up to us to insist on change—or an early exit.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help followers become more effective? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to inspire followers? 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 is “Does our company support and develop fully engaged followers?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

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 followers engage leaders.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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

Working Resources is a  Strategic Talent Management and 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; Career Coaching and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

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

Subscribe to Working ResourcesFREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

Categories: 

Collaborative Leadership Worth Following

Collaborative Leadership Worth Following

I recently consulted with a San Francisco Bay Area financial institution who wanted to create a succession plan for their retiring CEO. We created a Competency Model for the CEO position, and I presented it to the company’s Board of Directors at one of their retreats.

One of the competencies was servant leadership which reflected the core values of the company. I was the executive coach for two of the vice presidents and potential successors focusing on emotional intelligence-based leadership development and developing trust with followers.

The end of the 20th century marked the demise of command-and-control leadership, although some bosses stubbornly insist on trying to make it work. In its place, leaders are advised to become more participatory—to lead by cooperation and collaboration.

Leadership success is judged on three criteria:

  • Is the leader ethical?
  • Is he/she effective?
  • Does the business make money and provide jobs?

In the workplace, however, followers judge their leaders and ask:

1. Does my boss have my best interests in mind (and does he/she even know what they are)?

2. Is my boss looking out for the company’s best interests?

3. Why should I believe, follow and trust this person?

What Leaders Can Do

Leaders can become more effective and ethical by following these steps:

  • Limit tenure in positions of power; share power.
  • Don’t believe your own hype; get and stay real.
  • Compensate for your weaknesses by hiring and delegating well.
  • Stay balanced and healthy.
  • Remember the mission.
  • Develop a personal support system (mentor, advisor, coach, best friend).
  • Establish a culture of openness in which diversity and dissent are encouraged.
  • Be creative, reflective and flexible.
  • Avoid groupthink; ask the right kinds of questions.
  • Question assumptions; get reliable and complete information.
  • Establish checks and balances.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders become more effective? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to inspire followers? 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 is “Does our company have collaborative leaders worth following?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

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 you become a leader worth following. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

Working Resources is a  Strategic Talent Management and 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; Career Coaching and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

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

Subscribe to Working Resources FREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

Categories: 

The Leadership Trust Gap

The Leadership Trust Gap

I recently consulted with a large financial institution who wanted to create a succession plan for their retiring CEO.  We created a Competency Model for the CEO position, and I presented it to the company’s Board of Directors. One of the competencies was servant leadership which reflected the core values of the company. I was the executive coach for two of the vice presidents and potential successors focusing on servant leadership development and developing trust with followers.

In a perfect organizational world, we would be blessed with transformational servant leaders who are intrinsically motivated to provide benefits to their followers. But in the real world, bosses are rarely that accommodating. We nevertheless expect our leaders to make things better for both the business and our careers.

Corporate leadership is simultaneously envied and disdained. We are in awe of strong personalities who take charge and earn big compensation packages, bonuses and perks. At the same time, we cannot deny that the gap between the rich and poor has been steadily increasing for decades, and the middle class has declined.

Furthermore, the financial crisis—the worst since the Great Depression—has been slow to recover. Many blame executives at our top financial institutions for eroding trust in leadership. We are left with an impression of widespread corporate corruption that continues to be amply rewarded, even when CEOs are dismissed for poor performance.

A 2011 Gallup poll confirmed that corporate America’s reputation is in tatters, with 62% affirming they want major corporations to have less influence in the future—a figure that increased 10% in a decade. A whopping 67% of those polled said they resent big business’ influence.

A survey of Fox News’ right-of-center viewers found that most overwhelmingly believe (a 6:1 margin) that corporate leaders have done more to hurt than help the economy.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to end bad leadership? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to inspire followers? 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 is “Does our company have transformational servant leaders?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

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 you become a leader worth following. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

Working Resources is a  Strategic Talent Management and 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; Career Coaching and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

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

Subscribe to Working ResourcesFREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

Categories: 

The End of Bad Leadership

The End of Bad Leadership

“Being a leader has become a mantra. It is a presumed path to money and power; a medium for achievement, both individual and institutional; and a mechanism for creating change sometimesalthough hardly alwaysfor the common good.” ~ Barbara Kellerman, The End of Leadership

Leaders everywhere are in disrepute. Hardly a day goes by without news of corporate ethical violations, financial fudging and CEO failures. Yet, compensation packages and bonuses continue unabated, even when disgraced leaders are sent packing.

Corporate leaders are being pushed out in record numbers. In 2002, 100 CEOs from the world’s 2,500 largest companies were replaced—almost four times the number in 1995.

What is happening to our efforts to develop good leaders? In spite of the billions spent annually to train high-potential candidates, why do those promoted to positions of power, with critical responsibilities, continue to fail?

Harvard Business School Professor Barbara Kellerman criticizes the leadership-development industry in her new book, The End of Leadership (HarperBusiness, April 2012). She asserts:

·  Leaders at every level, across all industries, are failing the people who depend on them.

·  Leadership programs have done an inadequate job of producing effective and ethical leaders.

·  We don’t really know how to grow good leaders, and we know even less about how to stop or slow the bad ones.

·  Today’s business environment is rapidly changing in ways leaders are unable or unwilling to grasp.

·  Followers are disappointed and disillusioned, even though they are more empowered, emboldened and entitled than ever before.

Leadership’s Devolution

Until only recently, we presumed that leaders should dominate and followers must do as they’re told. But after several revolutions, labor movements, human-rights legislation and the spread of democracy, the world has radically changed.

Power, authority and influence are in scarce supply for even the most charismatic CEOs, and continuing to devolve. Workers in the middle and at the bottom of the hierarchy have an expanded sense of entitlement, but they’re demanding more and giving less. Technology has helped level the playing field.

Workers are often indifferent, disengaged or outright resistant. There are only two reasons they’ll follow a leader:

1.  They have to.

2.  They want to.

The end of the 20th century marked the demise of command-and-control leadership, although some bosses stubbornly insist on trying to make it work. In its place, leaders are advised to become more participatory—to lead by cooperation and collaboration.

Leadership success is judged on three criteria:

·   Is the leader ethical?

·   Is he/she effective?

·   Does the business make money and provide jobs?

In the workplace, however, followers judge their leaders and ask:

1.  Does my boss have my best interests in mind (and does he/she even know what they are)?

2.  Is my boss looking out for the company’s best interests?

3.  Why should I believe, follow and trust this person?

Like most other animals, humans tend to look to strong males to provide what’s most important: safety and security. We’re just like baboons, deferring to males whose strength and capacity to lead have been tested.

There is no leadership without followership. Good leadership requires good followers, who may be passive or active (depending on context). But followers have generally been slow to embrace empowerment and participate in the leader/follower tango.

The Leadership Trust Gap

In a perfect organizational world, we would be blessed with transformational servant leaders who are intrinsically motivated to provide benefits to their followers. But in the real world, bosses are rarely that accommodating. We nevertheless expect our leaders to make things better for both the business and our careers.

Corporate leadership is simultaneously envied and disdained. We are in awe of strong personalities who take charge and earn big compensation packages, bonuses and perks. At the same time, we cannot deny that the gap between the rich and poor has been steadily increasing for decades, and the middle class has declined.

Furthermore, the financial crisis—the worst since the Great Depression—has been slow to recover. Many blame executives at our top financial institutions for eroding trust in leadership. We are left with an impression of widespread corporate corruption that continues to be amply rewarded, even when CEOs are dismissed for poor performance.

A 2011 Gallup poll confirmed that corporate America’s reputation is in tatters, with 62% affirming they want major corporations to have less influence in the future—a figure that increased 10% in a decade. A whopping 67% of those polled said they resent big business’ influence.

A survey of Fox News’ right-of-center viewers found that most overwhelmingly believe (a 6:1 margin) that corporate leaders have done more to hurt than help the economy.

Income: The Great Divide

Most of us expect our leaders to be paid more than we receive. We recognize that they work long and hard, are intelligent and experienced, and shoulder responsibilities and risks most of us wouldn’t want.

But has the economic and lifestyle gap grown absurdly large?

Between 2002 and 2007, the bottom 99% of American incomes grew only 1.3% a year, compared to a 10% bump in compensation for the top 1%.

Let’s look at a few examples of CEOs’ annual compensation:

·  In 2008, Oracle’s Larry Ellison received nearly $193 million

·  Countrywide Financial’s Anthony Mozilo: $102.84 million

·  Aflac’s Daniel Amos: $75 million

·  Safeway’s Steven Burd: $67 million

The median pay for top executives at 200 big companies in 2010 was $10.8 million, a 23% jump from 2009.

These examples contribute to our dislike and distrust of those at the helm. These leaders seem to grow excessively rich as the average American struggles to make ends meet.

Flawed Followers

Perhaps today’s leaders can get away with various and sundry peccadilloes because their followers fail to demand accountability.

“Leading in America has never been easy,” writes Barbara Kellerman in The End of Leadership. “But now it is more difficult than ever—not only because we have too many bad leaders, but because we have too many bad followers.”

Many of us are too timid, disengaged or alienated to speak up, making it easy for corporate leaders to do what they want—and what’s best for their bank accounts.

The leadership-development industry has become huge, with $50 billion a year spent on corporate training. Shouldn’t the curriculum include elements of followership? Everyone, including the CEO, has to answer to someone, be it a board, stockholders or a senior team.

Question These Assumptions

Kellerman asks those in charge of leadership-development programs to question the assumptions the industry promotes:

·  Leadership can be learned by most—quickly and easily; over months, weeks or weekends.

·  Leaders matter more than anyone else.

·  Followers are secondary.

·  Context is tertiary.

She also suggests several important mindset shifts based on these assumptions:

1.  We cannot stop or slow bad leadership by changing human nature. No amount of preaching or sermonizing—no exhortations to virtuous conduct, uplifting thoughts or wholesome habits—will obviate the fact that our nature is constant (even when our behaviors change).

2.  We cannot stop or slow bad leadership without stopping and slowing bad followership. Leaders and followers are always interdependent.

3.  We cannot stop or slow bad leadership by sticking our heads in the sand. Amnesia, wishful thinking, the lies we tell as individuals and organizations, and all of the other mind games we play to deny or distort reality get us nowhere. Avoidance inures us to the costs and casualties of bad leadership, allowing them to fester.

What Leaders Can Do

Leaders can become more effective and ethical by following these steps:

·  Limit tenure in positions of power; share power.

·  Don’t believe your own hype; get and stay real.

·  Compensate for your weaknesses by hiring and delegating well.

·  Stay balanced and healthy.

·  Remember the mission.

·  Develop a personal support system (mentor, advisor, coach, best friend).

·  Establish a culture of openness in which diversity and dissent are encouraged.

·  Be creative, reflective and flexible.

·  Avoid groupthink; ask the right kinds of questions.

·  Question assumptions; get reliable and complete information.

·   Establish checks and balances.

What Followers Can Do

If bad leaders are to be stopped or slowed, followers must play a bigger part.

But many followers consider the price of intervention to be too high. There are real benefits for going along, along with real costs and risks for not going along. We often choose to mind our own business. Nevertheless, incompetent and unethical leaders cannot function without followers.

Followers can strengthen their ability to resist bad leaders by observing these guidelines:

·  Empower yourself.

·  Be loyal to the whole, not to any one person.

·  Be skeptical; leaders are not gods.

·  Find allies; develop your own sources of information.

·  Be a watchdog (especially if the board seems too compliant).

·  Take collective action (even on a modest scale, such as assembling a small group to talk to the boss).

·  Hold leaders accountable; use checks and balances already in place.

Luckily, more followers are stepping up to the plate, demonstrating a willingness to share responsibilities, power, authority and influence. They know that once bad leaders are entrenched, they seldom change or quit of their own volition. It’s up to us to insist on change—or an early exit.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to end bad leadership? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to inspire followers? 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 is “Does our company have bad leaders?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

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 you become a leader worth following. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

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: 

Productive Narcissists and Visionary Leadership

Productive Narcissists

The great accomplishment of [Steve] Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.~ Malcolm Gladwell

There’s a compelling business case to be made for narcissistic CEOs who can lead companies to greatness, inspire followers and achieve game-changing solutions in our rapidly changing world. In the words of Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails: “It is narcissistic leaders who take us to places we’ve never been before, who innovate, who build empires out of nothing.”

There is a strong need for bold, visionary, productive narcissists who can lead companies through 21st-century periods of uncertainty and transition. In the last 20 years, we’ve enjoyed innovative advances from companies led by productive narcissists like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Andy Grove, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey.

A strong case can be made  against obsessive, by-the-numbers personality types as leaders because their conservative approach to running companies doesn’t allow for sufficient risk-taking or innovation. Much depends, however, on the specific business environment.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone like Steve Jobs could succeed, in spite of his lack of emotional intelligence, the answer may lie in his strengths as a productive narcissist, coupled with his strategic intelligence. The same can be said for many stellar leaders over the last 20 years: Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Andy Grove, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson and Herb Kelleher. Each is a strong personality with narcissistic tendencies of the productive kind.

Visionary Leadership

Given the huge social and economic stakes, there’s a critical need to understand leadership personalities, including the value of the narcissistic leader. The best way to avoid leadership derailment is to steer narcissistic leaders onto stabilizing paths by developing their strategic intelligence.

Working Resources is a  Strategic Talent Management and 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 & Team Building Retreats

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

Subscribe to Working Resources FREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

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: 

Narcissistic Leaders and Visionary Leadership

Narcissistic Leaders and Visionary Leadership

The great accomplishment of [Steve] Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.~ Malcolm Gladwell

Like it or not, we are in the midst of great social, economic and political upheaval. The way we live and work has changed tremendously in the last 10 years, and it’s likely to be radically different in another decade.

Perhaps we need to take another look at what’s needed in leadership style during this period of uncertainty and transition. Is it time to call on intensely visionary leaders?

There’s a case to be made for narcissistic CEOs who can lead companies to greatness, inspire followers and achieve game-changing solutions in our rapidly changing world. In the words of Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails: “It is narcissistic leaders who take us to places we’ve never been before, who innovate, who build empires out of nothing.”

Unfortunately, with the banking meltdown and recession that followed in 2008, capital has been shifted away from risky investments, spurring more conservative, by-the-numbers leadership personalities to take charge.

This doesn’t change the fact that we’re still living in an era of continuous invention and experimentation. It takes strong, visionary leaders to unleash the power of emerging technologies, turn ideas into practical tools everyone can use, and change the way we live and do business.

Conservative leadership, focusing on what works now, can negatively impact the technological and social advances required over the next 20 years — particularly in emerging fields like nanotechnology, genomics and gene therapy, robotics, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, bioengineered food, environment, energy and health care.

Given the huge social and economic stakes, there’s an urgent need to understand leaders’ personality types — particularly, the promise and peril of radical, visionary leadership. When does visionary leadership veer off into unproductive narcissism?

Narcissists can be honest or crooked, brilliant or ordinary, wise or foolish. The label is often misused and misunderstood, and it’s usually applied in a negative context. Consider this: Narcissists can be passionately bold visionaries, highly capable of persuading others to embrace the value of their ideas.

In the last 20 years, we’ve enjoyed radical advances from companies led by productive narcissists like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Andy Grove, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey.

While some thought leaders claim that sustained business success depends on bold innovators and productive narcissists, many caution against celebrity CEOs who lead Enron-and Tyco-type scams.

Obsessive business leaders excel at cutting costs, culling nonperformers from the pack, and implementing the right processes and systems. On the other hand, productive narcissists want to create new games, changing the way we live and work. Which approach is better for leading your company?

The answer depends on the context.

At this time in history, we need creative energy and passion more than ever before. What differentiates the more successful visionary leaders from the failures is strategic intelligence.

Strategic Intelligence

Think of Jack Welch, Bill Gates and Herb Kelleher, the flamboyant self-promoter who built Southwest Airlines. These leaders developed disciplined management styles by partnering with operational managers who implemented their strategies.

These visionary leaders (and others who succeed as productive narcissists) are strategically intelligent. It’s not enough to be a creative genius with media-worthy new ideas.

Building an innovative organization requires leaders who know how to motivate talented and ethical people within a socioeconomic system that creates value for customers, employees and owners.

Many companies, even those known for innovation, don’t want to hire narcissists.No matter how much their leaders boast of encouraging independent thinking and creativity, many businesses have  little tolerance for true originals or mavericks. They prefer the obsessive type who is driven to please and enforces company rules.

Too often, promotions are in short supply for high-performing, creative visionaries who aren’t “team players.” Indeed, most narcissists don’t “play well with others” — unless, that is, they have strategic intelligence and pay close attention to the crucial requirements for leading a company to sustainable success.

Five Elements of Strategic Intelligence

According to Maccoby, visionary leaders succeed because they have mastered five elements of strategic intelligence:

1.  Foresight

2.  Systems thinking

3   Visioning

4.  Motivating

5.  Partnering

Foresight

Any coherent view of strategy involves thinking about the future.Leaders anticipate how current movements, ideas and forces will play out in the short and long terms. They can identify evolving products, services, technology systems, global gaps, competitors, and customer needs and values.

Foresight is more complex than extrapolating today’s market into the future. The dot-com bust between 1995 and 2000 is a perfect example of the difference between foresight and extrapolation. Aspiring entrepreneurs came up with ways to make it big on the Internet. They asked, “How do I capitalize on what already exists?”

Foresight would have required them to ask, “How do we capitalize on what doesn’t exist now but will in the future?” It’s not about linear thinking. Leaders must connect the dots among many interdependent forces and determine how they will coalesce. Foresight requires systems thinking.

Systems Thinking

Visionary leaders understand how disparate parts influence the whole. They synthesize and integrate various elements to build and maintain healthy systems.

Those who want to lead companies in new directions must have competency in systems thinking, as well as the other interdependent elements of strategic intelligence.

Visioning

Foresight and systems thinking are pure intelligence skills. The other components of strategic intelligence—visioning, motivating and partnering—are real-world skills, sometimes referred to as “street smarts.” Unforeseen events, people’s quirks and qualities, messy interactions with other companies and a volatile economic climate make business success a complex affair.

Visioning combines foresight and systems thinking into a realistic view of business goals. In some companies (IBM, GE), visionary leaders have had the foresight to shift from selling products to selling solutions in a knowledge/service economy.

A focus on learning ensures that visioning evolves with the times.Yet, even the clearest vision can fail if a leader lacks the skills to motivate.

Motivating

Motivating is the most misunderstood and elusive element of strategic intelligence. It’s one thing to talk up a storm about how a corporate initiative designed to improve sales and profits will help you crush the competition. It’s quite another to grasp the importance of “soft” skills like influencing others to act as you see fit.

Motivating is difficult because it involves the messy work of igniting people’s passions so they’ll carry out your vision. A business model that neglects human motivations won’t get the buy-in needed to make your vision a reality.

Consider appealing to the four “Rs”:

·  Reasons

·  Rewards

·  Relationships

·  Responsibilities

You must reward positive behaviors to further your vision. By building genuine relationships, you convince people to take ownership of the responsibilities you’ve entrusted to them.

Many leaders motivate only their immediate teams, often ignoring front-line workers and lower-level employees. A CEO with strategic intelligence recognizes the need to motivate the entire hierarchy.

Partnering

Partnering is the ability to forge key strategic alliances. It’s different than making friends; a leader with strategic intelligence makes allies. You need to understand how each alliance fits into your corporate vision.

Partnering is the opposite of acquiring companies to bolster overall financial holdings. Leaders who operate in this fashion are merely “serial acquirers.” You must learn how to partner internally (with advisers who complement your personality) and externally (with companies that add value rather than size). This requires an understanding of how companies work together to motivate a social system that achieves one’s vision.

Self-Assessment

There is no established measurement tool for strategic intelligence. In Narcissistic Leaders, Maccoby offers several questions that can help you self-assess your abilities.

The real test of a leader’s strategic intelligence is in the workplace:

·  Foresight: How well do you stay abreast of marketplace trends? Do you excel at imagining new products, services and paradigms for the future?

·  Systems Thinking: Do you think in terms of systems, synthesizing and integrating feedback and hard-to-imagine possibilities?

·  Visioning: How well can you take an idea and translate it into a workable vision with measurable goals?

·  Motivating: Do you inspire others to buy into your vision and execute your ideas?

·  Partnering: How well do you forge strategic alliances, both internally and externally? Do you recognize that alliances are two-way streets and encourage collaboration?

Summary

There is a strong need for bold, visionary, productive narcissists who can lead companies through 21st-century periods of uncertainty and transition. The best way to avoid leadership derailment is to steer narcissistic leaders onto stabilizing paths by developing their strategic intelligence.

Maccoby makes a strong case against obsessive, by-the-numbers personality types as leaders because their conservative approach to running companies doesn’t allow for sufficient risk-taking or innovation. Much depends, however, on the specific business environment.

If you’ve ever wondered how someone like Steve Jobs could succeed, in spite of his lack of emotional intelligence, the answer may lie in his strengths as a productive narcissist, coupled with his strategic intelligence. The same can be said for many stellar leaders over the last 20 years: Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Andy Grove, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson and Herb Kelleher. Each is a strong personality with narcissistic tendencies of the productive kind.

Given the huge social and economic stakes, there’s a critical need to understand leadership personalities, including the value of the narcissistic leader.

Working Resources is a  Strategic Talent Management and Executive Coaching Firm Helping Innovative Companies 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 & Team Building Retreats

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

Subscribe to Working Resources FREE E-mail Newsletter:
http://www.workingresources.com
Visit Maynard’s Blog: http://www.workingresourcesblog.com
E-mail: mbrusman@workingresources.com
Voice: 415-546-1252

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: 

Radical Times Call for Visionary Leadership

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

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

Visionary Leadership

The great accomplishment of [Steve] Jobs's life is how effectively he put his idiosyncrasies - his petulance, his narcissism, and his rudeness - in the service of perfection.~ Malcolm Gladwell

Like it or not, we are in the midst of great social, economic and political upheaval. The way we live and work has changed tremendously in the last 10 years, and it’s likely to be radically different in another decade.

There’s a case to be made for narcissistic CEOs who can lead companies to greatness, inspire followers and achieve game-changing solutions in our rapidly changing world. In the words of Michael Maccoby, author of Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails: “It is narcissistic leaders who take us to places we’ve never been before, who innovate, who build empires out of nothing.”

Conservative leadership, focusing on what works now, can negatively impact the technological and social advances required over the next 20 years. Given the huge social and economic stakes, there’s an urgent need to understand leaders’ personality types—particularly, the promise and peril of radical, visionary leadership. When does visionary leadership veer off into unproductive narcissism?

Narcissists can be honest or crooked, brilliant or ordinary, wise or foolish. The label is often misused and misunderstood, and it’s usually applied in a negative context. Consider this: Narcissists can be passionately bold visionaries, highly capable of persuading others to embrace the value of their ideas.

Strategic Intelligence

Think of Jack Welch, Bill Gates and Herb Kelleher, the flamboyant self-promoter who built Southwest Airlines. These leaders developed disciplined management styles by partnering with operational managers who implemented their strategies.

These visionary leaders (and others who succeed as productive narcissists) are strategically intelligent. It’s not enough to be a creative genius with media-worthy new ideas.

Building an innovative organization requires leaders who know how to motivate talented and ethical people within a socioeconomic system that creates value for customers, employees and owners.

Many companies, even those known for innovation, don’t want to hire narcissists. No matter how much their leaders boast of encouraging independent thinking and creativity, many businesses have little tolerance for true originals or mavericks. They prefer the obsessive type who is driven to please and enforces company rules.

Too often, promotions are in short supply for high-performing, creative visionaries who aren’t “team players.” Indeed, most narcissists don’t “play well with others” — unless, that is, they have strategic intelligence and pay close attention to the crucial requirements for leading a company to sustainable success.

Five Elements of Strategic Intelligence

According to Maccoby, visionary leaders succeed because they have mastered five elements of strategic intelligence:

1. Foresight

Leaders anticipate how current movements, ideas and forces will play out in the short and long terms. They can identify evolving products, services, technology systems, global gaps, competitors, and customer needs and values.

Foresight is more complex than extrapolating today’s market into the future. The dot-com bust between 1995 and 2000 is a perfect example of the difference between foresight and extrapolation. Aspiring entrepreneurs came up with ways to make it big on the Internet. They asked, “How do I capitalize on what already exists?”

Foresight would have required them to ask, “How do we capitalize on what doesn’t exist now but will in the future?”

2. Systems Thinking

Visionary leaders understand how disparate parts influence the whole. They synthesize and integrate various elements to build and maintain healthy systems.

Those who want to lead companies in new directions must have competency in systems thinking, as well as the other interdependent elements of strategic intelligence.

3. Visioning

Foresight and systems thinking are pure intelligence skills. The other components of strategic intelligence—visioning, motivating and partnering—are real-world skills, sometimes referred to as “street smarts.”

Visioning combines foresight and systems thinking into a realistic view of business goals. In some companies (IBM, GE), visionary leaders have had the foresight to shift from selling products to selling solutions in a knowledge/service economy.

4. Motivating

Motivating is the most misunderstood and elusive element of strategic intelligence. It’s one thing to talk up a storm about how a corporate initiative designed to improve sales will help you crush the competition. It’s quite another to grasp the importance of “soft” skills like influencing others.

Motivating is difficult because it involves the messy work of igniting people’s passions so they’ll carry out your vision. A business model that neglects human motivations won’t get the buy-in needed to make your vision a reality.

5. Partnering

Partnering is the ability to forge key strategic alliances. It’s different than making friends; a leader with strategic intelligence makes allies. You need to understand how each alliance fits into your corporate vision.

Partnering is the opposite of acquiring companies to bolster overall financial holdings. Leaders who operate in this fashion are merely “serial acquirers.” You must learn how to partner internally (with advisers who complement your personality) and externally (with companies that add value rather than size).

Self-Assessment

There is no established measurement tool for strategic intelligence. In Narcissistic Leaders, Maccoby offers several questions that can help you self-assess your abilities.

The real test of a leader’s strategic intelligence is in the workplace:

·  Foresight: How well do you stay abreast of marketplace trends? Do you excel at imagining new products, services and paradigms for the future?

·  Systems Thinking: Do you think in terms of systems, synthesizing and integrating feedback and hard-to-imagine possibilities?

·  Visioning: How well can you take an idea and translate it into a workable vision with measurable goals?

·  Motivating: Do you inspire others to buy into your vision and execute your ideas?

·  Partnering: How well do you forge strategic alliances, both internally and externally? Do you recognize that alliances are two-way streets and encourage collaboration?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow visionary leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to inspire others? 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 a visionary leader?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their peak performance leadership development program.

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 you become a visionary leader. 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.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies assess, select, coach, and retain 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.

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

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