Leaders Know that True Kindness Beats Niceness

I live in Iowa, and a term that gets floated a lot is “Iowa Nice.” As time goes on, though, it gets used ironically as much as it gets used sincerely. I think that’s because “Nice” doesn’t always equal “Kind.” Some leaders need to be reminded that giving positive you’re-on-the-right-track feedback is important and motivating. … Read more

Things Successful Leaders Avoid Saying (Part 10)

Successful leaders avoid this phrase:

“I need you to…”

Although this is a common way for leaders to assign tasks, it is poor wording for these reasons:

It turns servant leadership upside down; leaders are supposed to meet the needs of others, not to seek to have their own needs met.

Use Micro-Management as a Learning Tool

Micromanagement gets a bad name. Deservedly so – you will alienate your best people if you tell them how to size the columns and what font to use for the Tracking Performance Spreadsheet reports, and really make them feel like children when you stand over them to dictate the angle of the staple when they attach … Read more

Leaders Deliver to Those They Lead

Remember that two-word definition of leadership – “Meet Needs” ? You can really put that into action by staying conscious of things that you can deliver to the people who report to you. Your team is so used to deliverables they’re accountable for, that it’s a nice change of pace when you ask them specifically, … Read more

How Much Hand-Holding? Onboarding and Situational Leadership

Hersey and Blanchard’s concept of Situational Leadership dictates that we provide a level of leadership and attention that is appropriate to a follower’s levels of expertise and motivation. Often, leaders believe they are “empowering” and “granting autonomy” by being hands-off, and letting people learn on their own. While that sounds good, it only works in cases … Read more