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Gritty Bosses: The True Grit Mindset

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Gritty Bosses

Good bosses are hard working and resilient.They keep employees inspired in good times and bad. Failure is seen as bumps on the way to winning and success.

One of my CEO coaching clients admirably models true grit. She taps into the creative DNA of employeesby helping people weather failure, and instilling optimism that success is just around the corner. She believes in her people and their shared purpose.

Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. In his interesting book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) he focuses on how to be a better boss.

 “Gritty bosses are driven by the nagging conviction that everything they and their people do could be better if they tried just a little harder or were just a bit more creative,” Sutton writes.

Such bosses instill grit in subordinates. Without creating the impression that everything is an emergency, great bosses have a sense of urgency.

They are dogged and patient, sensing when to press forward and when to be flexible. As Albert Einstein once stated: “It’s not that I am so smart; it is just that I stay with my problems longer.”

University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Duckworth, PhD, and her colleagues define grit as perseverance and passion toward long-term goals.

“Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress,” they wrote in a 2007 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology paper.

Without becoming discouraging, bosses with grit believe that progress isn’t always good enough—that you can never stop learning or rest on your laurels.

Four Questions to Ask Yourself

True Grit

1. Do you treat work as a marathon or a sprint?

2. Do you look for quick fixes?

3. Do you instill a sense of urgency without treating everything as a crisis?

4. In the face of failures, do you persist or give up?

Dr. Maynard Brusman, Consulting Psychologist
San Francisco Bay Area Executive Coach|
Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

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

Categories: 

Why You Shouldn’t Follow the Leader

Category: 

This past weekend I took a trip with some friends to ride our snowmobiles from Ville-Marie to Val D’or Quebec.  We had a great time, although I’m sore in places I didn’t know could get sore. There was an important lesson I was reminded of during the trip, something I’ve observed in action amongst teams in virtually all working environments.

I call it, “Follow the Leader Syndrome”.

No, I’m not referring to a children’s game, but a natural human response that must be curbed if your team is to function at high levels of creativity and performance.

The realization came to me during our ride when I was following fairly closely to a friend of mine who was leading us. We passed a sign that identified the trail turning to the right, and very shortly after I was faced with a decision to either follow the trail which clearly turned to the right, or follow my friend into a heavily treed area.

Which direction do you think I took? That’s right, I followed my friend into the trees – luckily with plenty of room to stop and turn around. No bruises except our egos.

What struck me as odd was that I clearly saw the sign to turn right, and saw the trail turning right, yet ignored this in favor of following John into the trees.

I was experiencing a natural human instinct. I had become so focused on doing what John did and following him as the “leader” of our group that I began to ignore what was right in front of me.

This same phenomenon happens in team settings. Someone speaks up to suggest what the group should do or be doing, and then others simply follow with no pushback, disagreement, or discussion.

Worse yet, for the few employees who do challenge this leader, most are dismissed as being “difficult” or “disgruntled.”

The reality is quite the opposite.

The success of a business is not built upon its leaders; it’s built upon the people. Great leaders, whether formally or informally, act as conduits. They offer ideas, support, and feedback, but expect the employees to take the lead.

Are your people over eager to follow? Here is a test you can try.

Ask a few employees if there has ever been something their leader (which might be you!) has ever suggested that they disagreed with. Once they identify something (and there should be something), ask them what they did about it.

  • Did they ask questions?
  • Did they share alternate ideas?
  • Did they push back on the premise?

Or did they simply follow through, all the time feeling more disgruntled and less valuable?

In my experience, virtually every employee has at some point, simply followed through, which is not the culture that you seek if you want to tap into the collective intelligence and power of our team.

My advice?

  • Challenge your people to challenge you
  • Push back if they simply accept your ideas
  • Pose more questions than you do answers

Your team’s independence and creativity depends on it.

© Shawn Casemore 2017. All rights reserved.

Leadership in a Year of Disruption

Category: 

Given the financial and societal impact of global business, there’s an urgent need to understand leaders’ personalities. If we fail to appreciate how personality influences strategic decisions, we risk selecting leaders who are incapable of setting an organization’s direction.

We are in the midst of great social, economic, scientific and political change. Intelligent approaches count more than ever if we’re to build sustainable results in rapidly changing, complex markets. The way we choose strategic plans is influenced by leaders’ personality, priorities and worldview.

Today’s leaders must excel at managing globalization’s systemic challenges. There’s no such thing as economic or political insularity. Every society’s problems affect the international community.

There’s no going back. Business cannot return to the leadership that was effective decades ago. If we’re to move forward, leaders must strive for economic success and the well-being of workers, customers and the environment.

Across the globe there’s growing political unrest, terrorism, climate change, economic disparities among nations and health-care needs for an aging population. If these issues aren’t sufficiently daunting, companies are dealing with continuous invention and experimentation. There’s a technology surplus today; we have invented much more than practical applications require.

2017 will be a year of disruption. Every industry will be affected by some kind of discontinuity or disruption – whether it’s the introduction of new business models or innovative technologies.

To prepare for our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous multilateral world, resilient company leaders need to introduce radical change in their organizations. The companies with a higher probability of success will see disruption as an opportunity to instill a positive sense of urgency in their organizations.

Organizations that flourish will need a clear sense of purpose. Everyone in your company will need to be engaged, and play to their strengths within a culture of trust and collaboration.

One of the most important ideas is to resist fear and develop a growth mindset.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more fulfilling future.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindfulleadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman

http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Narcissistic Leaders Need to Achieve Greatness

Category: 

Narcissists” are driven by the need to be unique, express their creativity and achieve greatness, and they’re readily spotted in leadership positions. The term carries a negative connotation, but it was originally meant to be descriptive (neither good nor bad). A narcissist can be productive (or not) and moral (or not). We often misuse the term, applying it to leaders who are egocentric, greedy, self-aggrandizing, and of little benefit to their organizations and colleagues. A productive narcissist may be viewed as a visionary leader.

Narcissists’ need to achieve greatness overrides everything else. They seldom listen to others and often show little interest in their coworkers (except for those who can help them get what they want). Few social controls are built into their mental model of how the world works. They aren’t worried about conscience or losing others’ love or respect, and they don’t bend to peer pressure or what the public wants.

The narcissist has few internal demands to do the right thing. He answers to himself as to what is right, decides what he values and determines what gives him a sense of meaning.

While the other personality types are deeply motivated to do whatever it takes to maintain their sense of security, narcissists never garner security from relationships or skills. Rather, they recruit people to join them in their worldview.

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.

“It is narcissistic leaders who take us to places we’ve never been before, who innovate, who build empires out of nothing.” ~ Michael Maccoby, Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails (Crown Business, 2012).

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

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/drmaynardbrusman
http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

Categories: 

Narcissistic or Visionary Leadership

Category: 

By creating a vision others can follow, narcissists gain personal security and overcome isolation. This is what motivates them to be captivating, inspirational, charming and seductive.

History and business have witnessed legions of successful, productive narcissists who led their organizations to great success: Napoleon, Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Churchill. 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. Many companies, even those known for innovation, don’t want to hire narcissists who are visionary. No matter how much their leaders boast of encouraging independent thinking and creativity, many have little tolerance for true originals or mavericks. They prefer the obsessive leader who is driven to please and enforces company rules.

Productive narcissists want to create new paradigms that change the way we live and work. Conversely, obsessive business leaders excel at cutting costs, culling nonperformers from the pack, and implementing the right processes and systems. Which is the better leadership personality type for the future?

The answer, of course, depends on context. At this time in history, we need creative energy and passion more than ever before.

What apparently differentiates the more successful visionary leaders from the failures (besides moral reasoning) is strategic intelligence, which is why leadership personality matters.

Leaders in charge of developing business strategies set priorities based on their personality type and innate drives. Selecting future leaders cannot be based on one’s prior experience or successes without including assessment of leadership personality.

“All people, especially leaders, need a healthy dose of narcissism…it's the engine that drives leadership.” ~ Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action?Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational 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 transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations 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 create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring 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 Resourcesis a San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindfulleadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman

http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch What You Wish For

Category: 

Most executives have been asked this question by a consultant at some point: “If I had a magic wand, what do you wish I would accomplish for you?” The purpose of that question is to begin gaining a common understanding of what success looks like for the project under discussion. None of us holds a magic wand, of course. Except Gordon. Gordon had one, and used it once.

As Gordon met with his client executive, he asked the question. Henry, his manufacturing executive client replied: “Well, first I want every one of my employees to show up on time for work every single day.” Gordon responded: “I can make that happen.” Henry then added: “And then I want all our suppliers to ensure that every order we’ve given them is delivered on time in the quantity we requested.” Gordon assured him that would be accomplished as well. And finally, Henry requested: “And I really want to see sales growth.  Gordon knew that his magic wand could meet three requests, so again assured his new client that he could create these successes very soon. Gordon asked: “Are you sure that’s what you need?” Henry nodded.

The next day, every employee was lined up at the time clock. A few had the flu, and a few brought sick children that day care wouldn’t agree to keep. But all employees were on time.  Supplier shipments began to arrive. Receiving was astounded to discover that every late shipment and every order due arrived. Simultaneously, customer service was ringing the “new order” bell frequently, as the largest customers called asking for more products.

Gordon was proud of achieving the agreed upon goals so quickly, and walked into Henry’s office to share the good news. But Henry wasn’t smiling at all. The workers had clocked in, but were lazing around. They weren’t sure what to work on first and were missing needed supplier parts. As had often been the case, too much of some and not enough of others to meet production goals. The new customer orders created a mess as well. They were low margin offerings that required bottleneck equipment. On top of that, only a handful of workers knew how to make those goods. Every order would be late to the customer.

Henry and Gordon should have identified objectives differently. Henry did what too many executives do. He asked a consultant to eliminate symptoms of problems not well understood. He prescribed tactics instead of business results. Gordon also failed as a consultant. It is our responsibility to challenge client thinking and get to the root of the all-important “why” questions. He failed to probe beyond his mild “Are you sure?” He failed to gain information about the reasoning behind Henry’s stated needs. They agreed on what to do, but not on business results.

There is no magic wand like Gordon’s. To transform business results requires much more than a checklist of superficial problems. It requires insight, experience and expertise. It requires honest communication among all parties. It requires hard questions and different thinking. Most of all, transforming business requires transforming operations. No marketing campaign, no global expansion, no new product introduction, no blue ocean strategy can transform a company without the operational capabilities to support them.

At Fulcrum ConsultingWorks, we are Transforming Operations. Transforming Business.Ò

Personality Type in Leaders Matters

Category: 

The way we’ve chosen leaders over the last 50 years may not serve us well in coming decades. We used to be a manufacturing society, with leaders who excelled at processes that could be replicated, measured and improved. Operations were key to success, and leaders tended to be obsessive, “by the book,” and conservative. They preserved order and maintained company values.

In contrast, 75% of today’s employees provide services. They’re knowledge workers who perform mental tasks instead of assembling product parts. Companies need leaders who can engage the workforce, manage people, and inspire collaboration and innovation.

Why Personality Type Matters

Freud pioneered our understanding of human nature with his classification of three personality types: erotic, obsessive and narcissistic. One of his students, psychologist Erich Fromm, added a fourth: the marketing personality.

Erotics” (not a sexual term) are driven by love, a need to care for others and, in return, be loved and appreciated. These individuals are relationship-oriented. Some management theorists call this personality type “enabling,” while others name it “amiable,” “diplomatic,” “supportive” or “compliant.” Erotics are often found in education, social services and health care, but they exist in every field. When they are most productive, they bring people together, making connections and facilitating collaboration. The downside to this personality is codependency and indecisiveness.

Obsessives” are driven by a need for security, consistency, rules and logical order. You’ll spot them in every field—especially government bureaucracies, engineering firms, and law and financial offices. As leaders, they focus on operations, details and numbers. They’re often called “analytical,” “detail oriented” or “numbers people.”

The problems associated with the obsessive personality type are well known:

·      They become mired in details and rules.

·      They lose sight of overall goals.

·      They’re more concerned with doing things “the right way” than doing the right thing.

·      They may become control freaks and/or micromanagers.

·      They resist change to the point of obsolescence.

·      They can be rigid, judgmental and cheap.

·      They insist on being right.

The “marketing personality” describes people who, as the name implies, adapt to the market’s demands. They’re driven by the need to be accepted and fit into society. They sense what the market wants and needs, and they conform to it. They align themselves with key people, thrive on change and seek others’ approval. Most of us adopt some of these aspects to survive in today’s volatile workplace. The biggest challenge with marketing types is their lack of a firm center and continual anxiety. They favor style over substance, spend a lot of energy selling themselves or chasing the next shiny thing, and may be incapable of fully committing to anything or anyone.

Narcissists” are driven by the need to be unique, express their creativity and achieve greatness, and they’re readily spotted in leadership positions. The term carries a negative connotation, but it was originally meant to be descriptive (neither good nor bad). A narcissist can be productive (or not) and moral (or not). We often misuse the term, applying it to leaders who are egocentric, greedy, self-aggrandizing, and of little benefit to their organizations and colleagues. A productive narcissist may be viewed as a visionary leader.

Narcissists’ need to achieve greatness overrides everything else. They seldom listen to others and often show little interest in their coworkers (except for those who can help them get what they want). Few social controls are built into their mental model of how the world works. They aren’t worried about conscience or losing others’ love or respect, and they don’t bend to peer pressure or what the public wants.

Productive Personality Types

All personality types have positive and negative potentials that can be described in terms of two hierarchies: productiveness and moral reasoning.

Productive vs. Nonproductive: Productive individuals are healthier than less developed, or even disturbed, personalities. A productive person is active and enthusiastic—someone who bounces back from failure and perseveres.

In contrast, unproductive people are less free and more reactive. They lack a clear purpose and are driven by addictive needs that make them fearful and dependent.

Moral Reasoning: Higher levels of moral reasoning don’t guarantee that actions will always have their intended benefits; however, we want leaders who seek to achieve a common good, not just feather their own nests.

While morally developed people are almost always productive, there are active, enthusiastic, productive people who cut corners (or worse) and score poorly on the moral-reasoning scale.

Narcissistic or Visionary Leadership?

History and business have witnessed legions of successful, productive narcissists who led their organizations to great success: Napoleon, Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Churchill. 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.

Many companies, even those known for innovation, don’t want to hire narcissists who are visionary. No matter how much their leaders boast of encouraging independent thinking and creativity, many have little tolerance for true originals or mavericks.

Productive narcissists want to create new paradigms that change the way we live and work. Conversely, obsessive business leaders excel at cutting costs, culling nonperformers from the pack, and implementing the right processes and systems.

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 (besides moral reasoning) is strategic intelligence, which is why leadership personality matters.

Leaders in charge of developing business strategies set priorities based on their personality type and innate drives. Selecting future leaders through assessment of leadership personality can the right fit.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational 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 transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations 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 create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring 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 and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman
http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Finding Future Leaders: Why Personality Matters

Category: 

 

Given the financial and societal impact of global business, there’s an urgent need to understand leaders’ personalities. If we fail to appreciate how personality influences strategic decisions, we risk selecting leaders who are incapable of setting an organization’s direction.

We are in the midst of great social, economic, scientific and political change. Intelligent approaches count more than ever if we’re to build sustainable results in rapidly changing, complex markets. The way we choose strategic plans is influenced by leaders’ personality, priorities and worldview.

Today’s leaders must excel at managing globalization’s systemic challenges. There’s no such thing as economic or political insularity. Every society’s problems affect the international community.

There’s no going back. Business cannot return to the leadership that was effective decades ago. If we’re to move forward, leaders must strive for economic success and the well-being of workers, customers and the environment.

Across the globe there’s growing political unrest, terrorism, climate change, economic disparities among nations and health-care needs for an aging population. If these issues aren’t sufficiently daunting, companies are dealing with continuous invention and experimentation. There’s a technology surplus today; we have invented much more than practical applications require.

The next 20 years will see radical advances in nanotechnology, genomics and gene therapy, robotics, artificial intelligence, bioscience, bioengineered agriculture, environmental and energy research, and medicine. Will our organizations’ leaders rise to meet the challenges?

For progress to occur in nondestructive ways, we need strong, visionary leaders who can unleash the power of emerging technologies and manage global diversity for the benefit of the common good.

But the way we’ve chosen leaders over the last 50 years may not serve us well in coming decades. We used to be a manufacturing society, with leaders who excelled at processes that could be replicated, measured and improved. Operations were key to success, and leaders tended to be obsessive, “by the book,” and conservative. They preserved order and maintained company values.

In contrast, 75% of today’s employees provide services. They’re knowledge workers who perform mental tasks instead of assembling product parts. Companies need leaders who can engage the workforce, manage people, and inspire collaboration and innovation.

Why Personality Type Matters

Evaluation of leadership personality types is an essential part of the selection process for CEOs and top executives. Most of us intuitively recognize different personality types. We routinely notice personality quirks in coworkers that baffle us, challenging our responses and relationships.

Personality typing is not an intellectual pursuit for psychologists, nor a parlor game that helps us get along with others. Leaders in charge of developing business strategies set priorities based on their personality type and innate drives.

Many popular assessment tools reveal personality preference, including the Myers-Briggs Indicator, DISC personal assessment tool and 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. Each is useful, yet few of us have a precise understanding of what they divulge.

Leadership selection can no longer be based solely on one’s prior experience or successes. Yesterday’s challenges (productivity, profit, efficiency) remain critical, but today’s leaders must also grapple with new technologies, global diversity, and political and environmental instability.

Basic Personality Types

Freud pioneered our understanding of human nature with his classification of three personality types: erotic, obsessive and narcissistic. One of his students, psychologist Erich Fromm, added a fourth type: the marketing personality.

These terms are somewhat misleading because of their negative connotations. The four types are classified according to what drives people and how they achieve a sense of security.

Erotics” (not a sexual term) are driven by love, a need to care for others and, in return, be loved and appreciated. These individuals are relationship-oriented. Some management theorists call this personality type “enabling,” while others name it “amiable,” “diplomatic,” “supportive” or “compliant.” Erotics are often found in education, social services and health care, but they exist in every field. When they are most productive, they bring people together, making connections and facilitating collaboration. They seldom turn down a favor or someone in need. The downside to this personality is codependency and indecisiveness.

Obsessives” are driven by a need for security, consistency, rules and logical order. You’ll spot them in every field—especially government bureaucracies, engineering firms, and law and financial offices. As leaders, they focus on operations, details and numbers. They’re often called “analytical,” “detail oriented” or “numbers people.” Obsessives are guided by rules set by some higher authority (a father figure, strict conscience or “the way things have always been done”). Most middle managers and some top executives are obsessives, especially CFOs, COOs and some CEOs. The most productive obsessives are viewed as “systematic” or ”analytical.”

Obsessives often hold the Number 2 position to a narcissistic CEO—an unbeatable combination of narcissistic vision and obsessive implementation. The problems associated with the obsessive personality type are well known:

·      They become mired in details and rules.

·      They lose sight of overall goals.

·      They’re more concerned with doing things “the right way” than doing the right thing.

·      They may become control freaks and/or micromanagers.

·      They resist change to the point of obsolescence.

·      They can be rigid, judgmental and cheap.

·      They insist on being right.

The “marketing personality” describes people who, as the name implies, adapt to the market’s demands. They’re driven by the need to be accepted and fit into society. They sense what the market wants and needs, and they conform to it. They align themselves with key people, thrive on change and seek others’ approval. Most of us adopt some of these aspects to survive in today’s volatile workplace. The biggest challenge with marketing types is their lack of a firm center and continual anxiety. They favor style over substance, spend a lot of energy selling themselves or chasing the next shiny thing, and may be incapable of fully committing to anything or anyone.

Narcissists” are driven by the need to be unique, express their creativity and achieve greatness, and they’re readily spotted in leadership positions. The term carries a negative connotation, but it was originally meant to be descriptive (neither good nor bad). A narcissist can be productive (or not) and moral (or not). We often misuse the term, applying it to leaders who are egocentric, greedy, self-aggrandizing, and of little benefit to their organizations and colleagues. A productive narcissist may be viewed as a visionary leader.

Narcissists’ need to achieve greatness overrides everything else. They seldom listen to others and often show little interest in their coworkers (except for those who can help them get what they want). Few social controls are built into their mental model of how the world works. They aren’t worried about conscience or losing others’ love or respect, and they don’t bend to peer pressure or what the public wants.

The narcissist has few internal demands to do the right thing. He answers to himself as to what is right, decides what he values and determines what gives him a sense of meaning.

While the other personality types are deeply motivated to do whatever it takes to maintain their sense of security, narcissists never garner security from relationships or skills. Rather, they recruit people to join them in their worldview.

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.

“It is narcissistic leaders who take us to places we’ve never been before, who innovate, who build empires out of nothing.” ~ Michael Maccoby, Narcissistic Leaders: Who Succeeds and Who Fails (Crown Business, 2012).

The Productive Personality Types

All personality types have positive and negative potentials that can be described in terms of two hierarchies: productiveness and moral reasoning.

Productive vs. Nonproductive: Productive individuals are healthier than less developed, or even disturbed, personalities. A productive person is active and enthusiastic—someone who bounces back from failure and perseveres to achieve a reasoned purpose.

In contrast, unproductive people are less free and more reactive. They lack a clear purpose and are driven by addictive needs that make them fearful and dependent.

Moral Reasoning: Higher levels of moral reasoning don’t guarantee that actions will always have their intended benefits; however, we want leaders who seek to achieve a common good, not just feather their own nests.

While morally developed people are almost always productive, there are active, enthusiastic, productive people who cut corners (or worse) and score poorly on the moral-reasoning scale. In other words, being productive doesn’t necessarily mean being good.

Narcissistic or Visionary Leadership?

By creating a vision others can follow, narcissists gain personal security and overcome isolation. This is what motivates them to be captivating, inspirational, charming and seductive.

History and business have witnessed legions of successful, productive narcissists who led their organizations to great success: Napoleon, Rockefeller, Roosevelt and Churchill. 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. Many companies, even those known for innovation, don’t want to hire narcissists who are visionary. No matter how much their leaders boast of encouraging independent thinking and creativity, many have little tolerance for true originals or mavericks. They prefer the obsessive leader who is driven to please and enforces company rules.

Productive narcissists want to create new paradigms that change the way we live and work. Conversely, obsessive business leaders excel at cutting costs, culling nonperformers from the pack, and implementing the right processes and systems. Which is the better leadership personality type for the future?

The answer, of course, depends on context. At this time in history, we need creative energy and passion more than ever before.

What apparently differentiates the more successful visionary leaders from the failures (besides moral reasoning) is strategic intelligence, which is why leadership personality matters.

Leaders in charge of developing business strategies set priorities based on their personality type and innate drives. Selecting future leaders cannot be based on one’s prior experience or successes without including assessment of leadership personality.

“All people, especially leaders, need a healthy dose of narcissism…it's the engine that drives leadership.” ~ Manfred F.R. Kets de Vries

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational 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 transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations 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 create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring 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 and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman
http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Creating Flow and Meaningful Work

Category: 

One of my CEO executive coaching clients is working with his executive leadership team to create an organizational culture that unleashes employees’ intrinsic motivation and a state of flow. I am coaching him to become more effective at appealing to employees’ intrinsic motivation and core values, and helping leaders at all levels of the organization become more fully engaged in creating a culture that supports flow.

The CEO knows that for the organization to thrive depends on creating an organizational culture and climate that nourishes constant innovation. Human Resources is partnering with me in supporting senior leaders to motivate people by building authentic relationships. Our current executive coaching and leadership consulting work is also focused on helping leaders throughout the organization increase their ability to motivate team members by tapping into their purpose and values.

The CEO and his senior leadership team members are each heading up two strategic initiatives to energize growth and increase revenues. The goals are clear and tap into each leader’s purpose and desire to pursue meaningful work. In our executive coaching meetings, company leaders are reporting a significant increase in their energy, happiness and business results.

Each senior leader has autonomy over what they’re doing and how they do it, including choosing their time, tasks, team and techniques. They have the opportunity to master their work and make progress through deliberate practice. The executives have a sense of purpose in their work — to something higher and beyond their job, salary and company. They are empowering their direct reports and all company employees with the same opportunities and creative mindset.



"The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." ~ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow, 1990, p. 3)



Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called “Flow”. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity that involves their creative abilities. During this "optimal experience" they feel "strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities."

Similar to the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, Csikszentmihalyi found that happiness does not happen automatically. Rather happiness is created in a person setting challenges that are neither too demanding nor too simple for ones abilities.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the pioneers of the scientific study of happiness. He was born in Hungary in 1934 and, like many of his contemporaries, was affected by World War II in ways that deeply affected his future. During his childhood, he was put in an Italian prison. It was here, amid the misery of loss of family and the bitterness of war, that he had his first inkling of his seminal work in the area of flow.

Later during a trip to Switzerland, Csikszentmihalyi heard Carl Jung speak sparking an interest in psychology. As an artist who had dabbled in painting himself, Csikszentmihalyi started his initial psychological observations and studies on artists. He noted that the act of creating seemed at times more important than the finished work itself and he was fascinated by what he called the “flow” state, in which the person is completely immersed in an activity with intense focus and creative engagement. His life’s work became to scientifically identify the different elements involved in achieving such a state.

The main thesis of Csikszentmihalyi’s most popular book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), is that happiness is not a fixed state but can be developed as we learn to achieve flow in our lives. The key aspect to flow is control: in the flow-like state, we exercise control over the contents of our consciousness rather than allowing ourselves to be passively determined by external forces. 
Cziksentmihalyi defines flow as “a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter".

As an executive coach, I strive to help people achieve greater satisfaction at work utilizing Cziksentmihalyi’s research to inform our coaching conversations. I utilize the following eight characteristics to help leaders reflect on activities that will produce the flow like state and the resulting increase in work satisfaction:   

1. There are clear goals every step of the way.

2. There is immediate feedback to one’s actions.

3. There is a balance between challenges and skills.

4. Action and awareness are merged.

5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness.

6. There is no worry of failure.

7. Self-consciousness disappears.

8. The sense of time becomes distorted.

Leaders can ask themselves, “what activities do I engage in that create these flow characteristics? How can I engage in more of these rewarding activities at work and when will I do it?  If I am not experiencing “flow”, what can I do and when will I do it, to manifest the flow state within?”
 

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders create a state of flow? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational 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 transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations 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 create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring 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 and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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 and mindful leaders. 

Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader. 

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership flows from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman
http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: 

Strengths-Based Leadership: When Overused Strengths Fail

Category: 

In the last decade, leadership-development experts have enthusiastically pushed to improve their clients’ strengths instead of addressing their weaknesses. This approach may have some success in growing individuals’ effectiveness, but it’s fundamentally flawed.

Strengths training and coaching have somewhat of a cult-like following among HR and coaching professionals. Leaders are encouraged to develop their unique strengths and focus on fortifying areas in which they’re naturally talented.

In some companies, even the word “weakness” has become politically incorrect. Staff is instead described as having strengths and “opportunities for growth” or “challenges.”

It’s easy to see why concentrating on leadership strengths is popular. It’s more enjoyable to home in on innate strengths and avoid discussing weaknesses. But when strengths-oriented programs emphasize a single leadership area, they’re often overused.

“We’ve seen virtually every strength taken too far: confidence to the point of hubris, and humility to the point of diminishing oneself. We’ve seen vision drift into aimless dreaming, and focus narrow down to tunnel vision. Show us a strength and we’ll give you an example where its overuse has compromised performance and probably even derailed a career.”—Robert B. Kaiser and Robert E. Kaplan, “Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weaknesses,” Harvard Business Review, April 04, 2013

Management assessment tools are usually ill-equipped to pick up on overplayed strengths. Feedback and performance reviews are commonly structured on scales that range from “never” to “sometimes” to “always” (or “doesn’t meet expectations,” “meets them” or “exceeds them”). Assessment scales rarely indicate that a leader exercises too little, the right amount or too much of a quality.

Career Derailment

Overplayed strengths are often at the root of career failures. Analyses of derailed leaders show they often rely excessively on qualities linked to past successes but less relevant to current roles.

Many leaders fear they’ll lose their edge if they stop overplaying a strength. They must instead learn to use this strength more selectively. This may be the hardest developmental work you take on. Behavioral changes are a demanding goal, and it’s even harder to change or modulate what you’ve always done well.

Lopsided Leadership

All managers, regardless of level, are likely to overuse strengths. Doing so not only corrupts these strengths, but creates specific weaknesses. If you believe your strengths are the only way to manage people, you’ll ignore equal, but opposing, strengths. This leads to lopsided leadership, Kaiser and Kaplan explain in Fear Your Strengths: What You Are Best at Could Be Your Biggest Problem (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2013).

Most leaders are familiar with the concept of skill sets coming in pairs. Multiple assessment tools classify people’s preferences as either “task-oriented” vs. “people-oriented,” “big picture” vs. “detail-oriented” or “analytic” vs. “intuitive.”

Our preferences are usually unconscious, reflecting our experiences and innate qualities. We’ve learned to define ourselves as one thing and not the other. Over the course of our careers, one strength grows while the other decays.

Leadership Dualities

While there are many different models of leadership competencies, the one proposed by Kaiser and Kaplan illustrates the tension of dualities that arise in the execution of leadership responsibilities.

“…there are two core dualities that confront all leaders: the need to be forceful combined with the need to be enabling, and the need to have a strategic focus combined with the need to have an operational focus. Together these dualities constitute the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ of leading.”

The authors have used their Leadership Versatility Index (LVI), a 360-degree assessment tool, with more than 7,000 managers who have been rated by 60,000 coworkers. Their results show that the more forceful leaders are, the less enabling they’re likely to be. Strategic and operational leadership are also inversely related.

Big-picture/visionary leaders tend to struggle with implementation, while masters of implementation tend to ignore or underplay strategy. The same holds true for the forceful/enabling dynamic, Kaiser and Kaplan note.

The LVI data reveal a strong association between strategic leadership and high scores on curiosity and open-mindedness, coupled with low scores on rule-abiding/detail-orientation. The opposite associations were found for operational leadership.

Forceful and enabling leadership were related to a different set of traits. Forceful leadership was associated with high scores on ambition and low scores on interpersonal sensitivity. Enabling leadership was associated with the opposite scores.

·   Strategically oriented leaders are often lauded for their aggressiveness and vision, but criticized for not being sufficientl grounded in reality.

·   Operationally oriented leaders are often admired for their focus and ability to systematically drive an organization toward its goals, but they are also faulted for having tunnel vision and a lack of strategic boldness.

Goldilocks Leadership

How can you manage people “just right” and take full advantage of your natural talents, without going too far?

The first step is to acknowledge where you overuse your strengths. Start with a review of the ratings on your most recent 360-degree report. Ask coworkers:

1.  What should I do more?

2.  What should I do less?

3.  What should I continue doing?

Ask yourself whether you privately pride yourself on being superior to other leaders in any way. This is precisely the attribute you’re at risk of overdoing. Work with an executive coach to experiment with new or underused behaviors.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development to help leaders put strengths-based leadership into action? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders who need to build a company culture built on trust? Transformational 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 transformational leader who inspires individuals and organizations 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 create a culture where respect and trust flourish.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-i 2.0, Hogan Lead, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders nurture strengths-based conversations in the workplace. You can become an inspiring 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 and leadership development firm helping innovative companies and law firms develop emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders. We help build coaching cultures of positive engagement.

...About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach|
Trusted Advisor to Executive Leadership Teams
 Emotional Intelligence & Mindful Leadership Workplace Expert

I coach leaders to cultivate clarity, creativity, focus, trust, and full engagement in a purpose-driven culture.

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.

“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

The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded rare "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Alan Weiss, Ph.D., President, Summit Consulting Group

Are you an executive leader who wants to be more effective at work and get better results?

Did you know that research has demonstrated, that the most effective leaders model high emotional intelligence, and that EQ can be learned? It takes self-awareness, empathy, and compassion to become a more emotionally intelligent leader.

Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders inspire people to become fully engaged with the vision and mission of their company.  Mindful leadership starts from within.

I am a consulting psychologist and executive coach. I believe coaching is a collaborative process of providing people with the resources and opportunities they need to self manage, develop change resiliency and become more effective. Utilizing instrumented assessments - clients set clear goals, make optimal use of their strengths, and take action to create desired changes aligned with personal values.

I have been chosen as an expert to appear on radio and TV, MSNBC, CBS Health Watch and in the San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Forbes and Fast Company.

Over the past thirty-five years, I have coached hundreds of leaders to improve their leadership effectiveness.

After only 6 months, one executive coaching client reported greater productivity, and more stress resiliency helping her company improve revenues by 20%. While this may depend on many factors most of my clients report similar satisfaction in their EQ leadership competence leading to better business results.

You can choose to work with a highly seasoned executive coach to help facilitate your leadership development and executive presence awakening what’s possible. 

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/drmaynardbrusman
http://google.com/+maynardbrusman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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