It’s dangerous to paint entire generations with the same brush; some tendencies or narratives can quickly become exaggerated. On the subject of Millennials and leadership, two conflicting stories often emerge: the first, that Millennials want a fast track to leadership roles without being willing to pay their dues; the second, that Millennials are not willing to accept the sacrifices — working long hours at the expense of family — expected of leaders.
A recent global study by France’s INSEAD shows that some of these narratives are misleading. According to the study, based on interviews with thousands of Millennials in 43 countries, 70 percent of the Millennials considered becoming a leader “important” or “very important,” and nearly 64 percent said they were willing to work longer hours and have more stress for the opportunities to be leaders. While past studies and books might focus on Millennials in their role as future leaders, a new book declares that the future has arrived. Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader, by Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, is written for and not about Millennial leaders and managers. Step by step, the authors lay out the challenges and best practices for Millennial managers already in leadership positions or preparing for the next step. The authors use their own surveys and research as sources for their prescriptions.
Because of their youth, Millennial managers immediately face unique challenges…
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Part II of AmyK Hutchens’ guest blog on the specific secrets that prevent leaders from achieving greater success faster.
Don’t forget to sign up for AmyK’s webinar:
How to Win Big in Business and in Life
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
(Continuation of Part I)
- Likeability Malady Leaders do not wake up and consciously think, “What can I do today to get my followers to like me?” However, they often avoid conflict by choosing harmony over discord and choosing likeability over criticism.
When leaders focus on being liked, they unconsciously attempt to please the people they’re leading, and people-pleasing can lead to a lack of clarity, integrity and truth about what they stand for, where they’re going and why. People-pleasing alienates followers and fractures the group, reaping the exact opposite of what they were trying to do – gather people together for a common cause, a common goal, a common destination. When leaders focus too much on being liked, they lose the courage to say what needs to be said or do what needs to done. This lack of courage generates missed opportunities and yields diluted results.
Focusing on leading does not require leaders to abandon kindness. Behaving in a likeable manner, showing mercy, offering forgiveness, and demonstrating self-respect conveys leadership and yields results—a bonus, ironic byproduct is that others followers often like leaders more when they’re focused on leading instead of worrying about likeability. Instead of trying to be everything to all people, leaders need to be themselves in order to maintain integrity in their words and actions. Those that follow them will do so because they believe in the authenticity of the leader and his or her ultimate mission.
- Comparison Condition is one of the worst forms of self-abuse. Many leaders are so busy comparing themselves to other businesses and/or other leaders, living in a world of “should haves” and “should bes,” that they lose focus on their own path to success. When leaders compare themselves to everything and everyone, they end up taking detours, trying out other peoples’ paths. They dilute their talent and ultimately lose their mojo. When leaders lose their sense of self, when they drift too far, they often burn out and lose their followers. Staying on their own path is integral to focus, productivity, performance and results. It’s hard to charge full-steam ahead when you’re always looking sideways.
When leaders are willing to expose the secrets they keep – even if only to themselves, and work through them – they can positively and exponentially transform their business success. Often times, leaders say they pay a high price to chart a new course. The price leaders pay is a direct reflection of the secrets they keep.
AmyK Hutchens is the Founder of AmyK Inc., a firm specializing in leadership, innovation and sales Think Tanks. Recently awarded International Speaker of the Year by Vistage UK (World’s leading CEO membership organization), and the author of the Amazon bestseller, The Secrets Leaders Keep, AmyK is a catalyst for igniting brilliance in leaders. More than 40,000 executives in over nine countries have benefited from her keen insight and intuitive understanding of the issues leaders face. Learn even more at www.amyk.com. Follow AmyK on Twitter at @AmyKInc.
Selfish, Scared and Stupid examines the psychology behind why even the best ideas sometimes fail. Gregory and Flanagan help businesses design their organizations for reality rather than perfection and offer strategies to head off unprecedented levels of disengagement within and outside the business. They answer baffling questions around why the public sometimes fails to engage despite overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, why so many new products end up on clearance shelves, and why so many great salespeople often fall short of their monthly targets.
Selfish, Scared and Stupid is built on the idea that businesses must return to a more human engagement methodology in order to succeed. It is an informative read for anyone interested in improving influence, growing business reach, improving sales figures or understanding the complexities of human behavior.
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Although known mostly for his conservative political activism, Charles Koch is also the CEO and chairman of a privately owned company that he has grown from a $21 million valuation in 1961 to $100 billion today. In his new book, Good Profit, Koch introduces a management framework called Market-Based Management, or MBM, which consists of five elements:
Vision. Create products and services that profit the consumer and society as a whole. The title of his book, Koch writes, comes from this viewpoint; good profit is good for all.
Virtue and Talents. Hire people that adhere to the values of the company first and foremost, before focusing on specific skills or knowledge.
Knowledge Processes. These are processes that enable the sharing of knowledge. Organizational structures that encourage collaboration, both internally and with external partners, are vital. Measurement processes, such as benchmarking, are also key. Finally, knowledge-sharing also depends on open two-way communication between employees and supervisors — specifically in allowing employees to “challenge their bosses respectfully if they think they have a better answer.”
Decision Rights. This is the business equivalent of the economic concept of “property rights” — in other words, ownership. The importance of ownership is another familiar but important component of good management. The more employees feel an ownership stake in what they are doing, the more care and conscientiousness they will apply to the task.
Incentives. Motivate employees to “maximize their contribution.” Koch uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, specifically the culminating need of “self-actualization,” as inspiration. Employees must feel that when the company benefits, they benefit. For Koch, there is no self-actualization motivation in automatic raises, including COLA raises.
The unfettered free-market politics of Koch, which is detailed in the first part of the book….
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Today’s Guest Blogger is AmyK Hutchens, Founder of AmyK Inc., a firm specializing in leadership, innovation and sales Think Tanks. For more from AmyK, sign up for her webinar:
How to Win Big in Business and in Life
Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016
Time: 12:00 PM
Speaker: AmyK Hutchens
Every Leader Has Secrets – What are Yours?
by AmyK Hutchens
There are reasons why leaders pop antacids, drink a little too much, abuse their power, lose followers or fall from grace. Everyone keeps secrets and leaders are no exception. In fact, there are three specific secrets leaders share that prevent them from achieving greater success faster: Imposter Syndrome, Self-Criticism Fixation and Comparison Condition. These afflictions, when not dealt with, truncate success. However, when they are overcome, not only do they unleash potential, they help leaders meet and exceed their vision.
1. Imposter Syndrome is when leaders experience feelings of inadequacy and chronic self-doubt that persist even when results indicate that the opposite is true. Leaders often have the internal mantra, “I do not belong here. I’m not worthy of being taken seriously, and everyone will soon discover that I’m a fraud.” Unfortunately, many successful, smart, talented leaders believe they are neither good enough nor have enough to play in the coveted sandbox of “innovator and game changer.” These leaders end up behaving poorly in an attempt to cover up their fears. Leaders who fear being “caught” may avoid taking risks that could reveal their perceived inadequacies, or they settle for less, not believing they deserve better than mediocre results, mediocre talent or average opportunities. These fears undermine their success by manifesting real life mistakes and self-induced failures.
When leaders replace their feelings of inadequacy and paranoia about being discovered a “fraud” with a healthier, more realistic assessment about their strengths and contributions, they build self-confidence. Their confidence then helps them move forward with greater momentum. When leaders focus less on their skill-gaps and more on how best to leverage their gifts and talents, as well as the gifts and talents of those they lead, they create new value.
To continue reading about the other 2 secrets, Self-Criticism Fixation and Comparison Condition, check back next week for Part II of AmyK Hutchens’ Guest Blog.
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