"Everyday Leadership Acts of Courage" is a series of articles authored by Lynda Silsbee, Founder of the Alliance for Leadership Acceleration and member of the Forbes Coaches Council. The article series, as seen on Forbes.com, reflects on Lynda's gratitude to those, past and present, who have chosen to be courageous leaders in the work-world and the lessons everyone can learn from them.
In Lynda's first article in the series, she writes about 360-degree feedback, which in and of itself, is an act of courage. The second article titled "To Lead, You Must Be Vulnerable" focuses on courage, openness and vulnerability.
We look forward to introducing the final article in the series in the next issue of our Leadership Matters newsletter. If you would like to be added to our mailing list to stay in the loop on topics similar to this, sign up to join our mailing list here.
LEAP was proud to be a sponsor at this year's Seattle Vistage Executive Summit. On May 9th, the Hyatt Regency at Seattle's Southport was filled with Vistage members from across the region for a day of learning, inspiration and connection.
Thank you to all the Vistage members who stopped by the LEAP booth and attended Kim Leifsen's morning session titled 'Transformational Recruiting & Talent Spotting'!
Think about the last person that left your organization, voluntarily or involuntarily. They didn't leave because of something that could have been found on a resume or in an application. Chances are they didn't leave because of something that could have been discovered in an interview. They left because of job fit!
Join us on July 9 in Tacoma for 'Hiring for Job Fit & Potential'. In this session, you will learn about the following job match types and why these are the reasons people leave organizations:
HIRING FOR JOB FIT & POTENTIAL
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
7:30am - 9:00am
Location: C.I. Shenanigans in Tacoma, WA
Breakfast & Networking followed by a 1-hour executive briefing
Presented by: Kim Leifsen, Hiring Strategies
Many of us have learned the virtues and necessity of delegating responsibilities and tasks. This is typically trained from the delegator's point of view. However, since many more are delegatee's, there isn't much that has been published on how to be a great delegatee. Being a great delegatee will distinguish you as someone who can be trusted and gets things done.
Checklist: How to be a great “Delegatee"
Checklist: How to honor your word when you can’t keep your word.
POST WRITTEN BY:
Principal, CEO Masters & LEAP Leadership Development Coach
LEAP Masters Forum is the next big step in your LEAP Leadership Acceleration. 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 is available to graduates of the LEAP (and LEAP University) program. The LEAP Masters Cohort is forming now. Register for a live informational webinar to learn more.
Contact Lynda Silsbee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tim Riley at email@example.com. 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
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.