We are excited to announce that LEAP Masters Forum is launching in Q2 of 2019! LEAP Masters Forum was created as an opportunity for LEAP® Graduates to continue to accelerate their leadership performance. This is what our graduates have been asking for!
The LEAP Masters Forum brings the best practices from the monthly LEAP Leadership Acceleration Program experience, combined with the best from monthly C-level forum groups like CEO Masters Forum and Vistage to offer an opportunity for exponential professional growth. Peer forums like CEO Masters Forum and Vistage have proven to be an invaluable tool for business leaders for over 60 years. The consistent benefits of peer forum participation are substantial in terms of professional effectiveness, personal growth and financial outcomes.
LEAP Masters Forum is available to graduates of the LEAP (and LEAP University) program. Register for a live informational webinar to learn more. Questions? Contact Lynda Silsbee at email@example.com or Tim Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are ready to apply for the LEAP Masters Forum, submit your application today!
LEAP Masters Forum Webinars
Click on the link below to register for a LEAP Masters Forum live informational webinar. This is an opportunity for graduates of the LEAP program to learn more about the LEAP Masters Forum and get your questions answered.
This year's Seattle Vistage Executive Summit is on May 9th at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington at Seattle's Southport. Vistage members from across the region will join for a day of learning, inspiration and connection. We are proud to be a sponsor of the 2019 summit!
If you plan to attend, please visit our booth. Also, don't miss Kim Leifsen's morning workshop titled "Transformational Recruiting and Talent Spotting". Kim, a local Workforce Strategist and LEAP Leadership Development Coach, will share her own experience as well as draw on HBR's article "21st-Century Talent Spotting." In the 2018 survey "Hard to Hire: Third Party Recruiting & State of Talent Acquisition", 90% of respondents "feel the current hiring market is more challenging now than in the past." Walk away with new strategies to attract, engage and keep top performing employees.
LEAP® is the Leadership Acceleration Program that develops mid-level managers into heroes of the workplace, helping them take ownership of their team, drive employee engagement and lead performance management initiatives. LEAP has generated transformational results for individuals and their companies since 2002. It is the first program of its kind to bring Fortune 500 leadership development to mid-career managers. There are three pathways to transform managers into leaders:
Curious to learn more? Register for our next webinar and get your questions answered by a LEAP Coach. If you're ready to reserve your spot in an upcoming cohort, apply now!
Leading change is not for the faint of heart. It requires intentional action, attention and engagement. In today's increasingly complex, rapidly changing and competitive marketplace, leaders struggle to advance needed change in their organizations. Register today for our Executive Breakfast Briefing titled “Leading Change: A Full Contact Sport” on May 15, 2019 in Redmond, Washington. Super Early Bird pricing going on now through April 5th.
In this session:
Immediately following the executive briefing and breakfast, our venue host will offer an optional tour of the Genie showroom and lean admin customer service matrix. As a leading, global manufacturer of aerial lift equipment, Genie is dedicated to minimaxing waste, improving quality, listening to customers and providing outstanding support long after the sale.
LEADING CHANGE: A FULL CONTACT SPORT
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 in Redmond, WA
Location: Genie - A Terex Brand
7:30am - 9:00am
Breakfast & Networking followed by a 1-hour executive briefing
Presented by: Pamela Jones-Anderson, New Performance Horizons
"Everyday Leadership Acts Of Courage: To Lead, You Must Be Vulnerable" originally appeared on Forbes.com.
In my first article in this series, I wrote about 360-degree feedback, which, in and of itself, is an act of courage. After all, a business leader who agrees to receive feedback from everyone must be brave enough to face disapproval — and even harsh criticism. In other words, they must become vulnerable, and that’s what I’d like to discuss this time.
Often, 360-degree feedback can cause a series of emotional responses, including surprise, denial, rationalization and acceptance, which are natural because we’re all human. The key is to use the feedback to become the best you can be rather than retreating into old bad habits.
For example, say a CEO shares with her senior leadership team two areas of her 360-degree feedback that she's struggling with: clarity of communication and availability for face-to-face discussions. She explains why receiving negative feedback in these areas is hard for her — she’s always considered herself a great communicator with an open-door policy — and states her commitment to do better. She even goes one step further by inviting her team to hold her accountable if/when she cancels a meeting or is unclear in her communication.
Being upfront in this manner is a very courageous act because she’s made herself vulnerable and is sharing her imperfections with others. In turn, she builds even greater trust and understanding with her team members, who help her refine her messaging and spend more time interacting directly with her employees.
On the other hand, let’s say a newly hired CEO receives 360-degree feedback and learns that he’s too closed off to others. One of the respondents recommends that he share his personal history — be vulnerable — and tell others about where he grew up and how that contributes to his leadership style. So at a companywide meeting, he shares the challenges of his childhood, where nothing he did was ever good enough for his parents, and that to get to where he is today, he had to be better than others — smarter, faster and loyal to the right people. What his leadership team hears in his disclosure is not vulnerability but rather a message of his ego and perfectionism. Within a few short months, his behavior shows that he plays favorites, shuns or shames anyone who disagrees with him and openly bullies one or two members of his leadership team during meetings. This leader thinks he was being open and vulnerable with his team, but he only created a culture of fear and distrust. Eventually, all but two of his original leadership team leave, and the board who hired him starts to notice the decline in the organization.
This is an example of how becoming vulnerable isn’t always a good thing if a leader responds to that openness by doubling down on negative traits. Your response should be a move toward the positive — even if your initial reaction to feedback is hurt feelings.
When all is said and done, leadership isn’t necessarily a position or title. It’s about how one chooses to show up to work, demonstrate one’s values to others and, in doing so, lead an organization forward in an affirmative, productive direction. There’s no doubt that leadership takes courage, but remember, courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s feeling the fear of being vulnerable and stepping into it authentically in an honest effort to improve and grow.
I believe we all can be leaders if we choose to be. It’s a choice first, and only afterward can we learn and practice the skills to become better leaders. I believe leadership can be developed in three simple (but not necessarily easy) steps:
1. Choose it.
Sometimes even those in leadership roles, such as managers, executives and business owners, are reluctant leaders. They second-guess every decision they make and often look to those in even higher positions or outside advisors to make tough choices. Good leaders must first be able to look in the mirror and say to themselves, “Yes, I’m in charge.” Putting oneself in the hot seat is an act of vulnerability.
2. Learn it.
Being a leader isn’t simply giving orders; it’s developing a wide range of skills to gather information and make good decisions. This is an ongoing — even lifelong — process. Leadership development is also an act of vulnerability because it involves regularly admitting, “I don’t know everything” and “I’ve got to get better.”
3. Do it.
Leadership involves execution. You can only theorize and float ideas around for so long before you need to put tangible, practical plans into action. If those plans go awry, then you must take those lessons to heart and learn from them. Risking failure is — you guessed it — an act of vulnerability.
If you happen to be a fan of research professor Brené Brown, you might have guessed that she's one of my inspirations for this article. In an interview on CBS, Brown said, "Vulnerability is, I believe... the only path to courage, and it is the birthplace of innovation, creativity, trust, empathy."
While Brown was a doctoral student, one of her professors told her, “If you cannot measure it, it does not exist." I’ve always believed this to be true as well. In fact, it drove me to create our own way to measure leaders' confidence and competence. By measuring these items over time — at the beginning, middle and end of a planned development effort — you can often see measurable growth in courage, confidence, trust and empathy. Before measuring leaders' confidence and competence, I always congratulate them for allowing themselves to become vulnerable in this manner.
Ultimately, courage, openness and vulnerability are core strengths that every leader needs to cultivate to be more influential, inspire others and become more effective.
POST WRITTEN BY
Founder, Alliance for Leadership Acceleration and the LEAP Leadership Acceleration Program
"Everyday Leadership Acts of Courage: 360-Degree Feedback" originally appeared on Forbes.com.
“Leadership Acts of Courage” is a series of articles I started on Memorial Day 2018 as I reflected on my gratitude to those, past and present, who have chosen to be leaders in serving our country. While most of us may never serve as leaders in this way, I got to thinking about some of the leadership acts of courage that I see in the workplace.
So, this is the first article of the series for existing and emerging leaders on courage. Not the “lay down your life” acts of courage so common to those in the military, but the seemingly simple — though not necessarily easy — acts required to improve one’s organization and achieve important goals.
I’ll begin with Winston Churchill. Churchill was a world leader at a very difficult time in history. He was far from perfect and had quite a few leadership wins and losses during World War II. But historians have said that part of the reason Great Britain (and its allies) ultimately prevailed was that Churchill always sought and listened to the advice of his generals. How often do you ask for honest feedback from those who work with you? Have you ever?
Too many leaders/managers in business today still think they must have all the answers. The reality is you can’t. The people in the field, doing the work, are the ones who really know whether a strategic move is likely to work on a practical, doable level. Great leaders/managers have the courage to ask their opinions and use their expertise.
My company has been developing leaders since 2003. Our program is over 12 to 13 months and includes 360-degree feedback surveys at the beginning and end of their “LEAP Year.” When we sit down to coach them using this feedback for the first time, I always ask whether they have ever participated in a 360-degree survey before. Virtually all of them say no; this is the first time in their entire management careers that they have received any real feedback from not only their bosses, but also peers, direct reports and others such as key customers, board members or colleagues in other business units.
I can usually see the trepidation on a leader’s face, wondering what people will say, how survey respondents will rate them and whether they are doing OK. I always tell them that they are among a relatively few courageous leaders simply because they have asked for this type of feedback, and I promise it will be beneficial.
One woman remarked that it opened her eyes to a couple of blind spots that never would have surfaced otherwise and to a few strengths that she had no idea were so helpful to those she worked with and managed. She told me recently that she’s still using that feedback 10-plus years later and has achieved her greatest career desires.
So, what makes issuing a 360-degree survey, and acting on the feedback gathered, an act of courage? Well, some might say that undertaking such an initiative is an invitation to chaos. No longer are you adhering to the simple model of “supervisor reviews employee.” The process now involves many voices from a variety of perspectives. And it’s not hard to imagine a cacophony of feedback rather than a simple conversation.
What’s more, no one in leadership — or at any organizational level, for that matter — can say that they unconditionally welcome feedback on their performance without any worry. Everyone cringes at the notion of receiving criticism from those around us, even if it’s constructive. And it’s especially hard for long-time leaders who have never experienced 360-degree reviews before in their careers.
But, at the end of the day, a 360-degree feedback survey can be a powerful tool because it creates better leaders, improves organizational culture, and more accurately reflects the performances of individuals and teams. Employees have more clarity and feel empowered and confident. Meanwhile, the C-level executives guiding their people along the leadership journey report major increases in innovation, better problem solving and more effective overall management.
POST WRITTEN BY
Founder, Alliance for Leadership Acceleration and the LEAP Leadership Acceleration Program
Speaking with a colleague recently on the content for our Executive Briefing "Real Leadership Lessons from Steve Jobs" we were brainstorming how to simplify the 14 lessons presented in the original HBR content to make them simpler to "get on the field", aka make them actionable for everyone.
A common thread throughout the lessons? Jobs was high on agility and high on consistency. This is what made him such a strategic leader. It takes skill to be balanced in focus and consistency, but also be agile and responsive. But the misconception is that it takes a natural leader. That's really not the case. This is a skill that can be taught. Some leaders, like Steve Jobs, act this out naturally, but most of us need guidance to understand how to be agile without being unfocused, and how to be consistent without being rigid.
I learned early on as a CEO that engaged employees help to drive delighted clients, and delighted clients help to drive financial / stakeholder results and growth. We use the leading tool for measuring employee engagement - the Gallup Q12* employee engagement survey, to track our performance and find areas to celebrate and improve.
The big challenge today that I am hearing frequently from many peer CEO’s is that they are under assault from recruiters trying to poach away their key talent.
How do you “Poach Proof” your team, or at least make them “Poach Resistant?”
According to Gallup (and my own years of direct experience) engaged employees largely equal retained employees. According to the research, one of the top drivers of employee engagement (and thus retention) is the opportunity to learn and grow.
According to Gallup, 87% of Millennials said that the opportunity to learn and grow is a top factor in job selection and tenure.
Compensation, healthcare, and other benefits are also important tools for retention, but their impact on real engagement (and performance) is muted.
Here are a few suggestions to “Poach Proof” your staff with powerful opportunities to learn and grow:
Would you like to schedule a few minutes to use me as a sounding board for your ideas or situation? I am always available. Tim@ceomastersforum.com or 206.779.2021.
Being a CEO is a tough job and am happy to be a resource.
CEO Masters Forum
Why is employee engagement important? Top quartile business units in employee engagement deliver:
However, 65%+ of U.S. workers are not engaged at work (source Gallup, February 2017).
All too often we're taking a one-size-fits-all approach to management and as the numbers suggest, we're losing out on a lot of potential productivity, customer loyalty, and PROFIT.
It's not hard to drive up employee engagement, but it requires being thoughtful and, initially, it feels like more effort. But the effort produces far greater results. Read the article from Harvard Business Review on "What Great Managers Do" and if you're interested in having a facilitated discussion around what your managers can do to be great leaders, hire one of our Certified LEAP Coaches to present the full content and help you Accelerate Your Leadership.
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Lynda Silsbee is Founder and President of the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration. She has spent more than 30 years creating and leading high performance teams. Along with the other LEAP Certified Coaches, she reports that helping managers make the LEAP to leader is one of the most fulfilling aspects of her work.