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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Emotional and Social Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence first made popular by Daniel Goleman's: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ has had a profound effect on understanding the value of interpersonal relationships both socially and professionally. In Goleman's new book Social Intelligence he offers a close at social intelligence, how two people relate to and change each other through that social relationship.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Generational Leadership--Podcast from the Center for Creative Leadership

  • Listen and learn Learn 10 principles about how to lead across generations. This Center for Creative Leadership research study of 7 years and thousands of people explodes a number of myths about how to lead different generation.
  • Learn about what different generations want in their leaders.
  • Different leaders for different generations or not?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Generational Leadership--The Millennials

Generational Leadership deals with how different generations supervise others. Boomers, Gen X and now the Millennials. Hear what 60 Minutes had to say about these new entrants into the world of work.
The "Millennials" Are Coming, Morley Safer On The New Generation Of American Workers - CBS News

Monday, November 12, 2007

Leadership--Marine Corps Essay Veterans Day 2007

Everything I ever needed to know about leadership, I learned in the US Marine Corps.

Steve Gladis, Ph.D.

Like my two daughters, few children of their generation will ever serve in the military. And like many fathers of my generation, I want them to know what I learned as a young Marine officer who served for 3 years-including a tour in Vietnam. What I learned while in the Marines has helped me as a father, husband, and professional manager more than any degrees, courses, or training I've received since then.

The fundamentals of Marine Corps leadership can be found in its basic field manual entitled Leading Marines (FMFM 1-0) which contains both the US Marine Corps Core Values and Principles of Leadership. These values and principles will help anyone lead people at home, in business, industry or wherever they go. They are the best things I've ever learned when it comes to leading people.

Core Values

At the core of being a leader are a set fundamental values. In Leading Marines, the US Marine Corps says that, "…the most important responsibility in our Corps is leading Marines." And at the epicenter of this leadership are the US Marine Corps Core Values: Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

* Honor: Simply put, leaders don't lie, cheat or steal. Honor is all about trust and integrity. It's a bedrock for any group of people because without it there is no trust or justice. And without trust everyone suspects the worst of a fellow team- or work-group member. I strongly believe that every organization should have an honor code that charges every person with monitoring the group to ensure that honor is never breached and, if it is, to root it out. A community of trust is essential to great organizations.
* Courage: Mental, moral, and physical courage distinguish leaders from the herd. To lead you must have mental toughness to make difficult decisions. Moral courage, like mental courage, means making tough calls when others around you might say, "But everyone's doing it; it must be OK." Finally, physical courage is placing yourself in harm's way for another…taking risks. And such protection works on all three levels: mental, moral and physical courage.
* Commitment: Leaders stick with the team. Loyalty is essential if you expect to succeed. Just like marriage or any institution, endurance and commitment of each other to the union is essential. If leaders jump ship every time a better looking deal comes along, imagine the chaos that results and the souls that are lost along the way. Now, loyalty need not be blind. Strong institutions must question underlying assumptions, but commitment must also be a bedrock value. In fact, the Marine Corps' motto is Semper Fidelis-always faithful.

Principles of Leadership

To be an effective leader, the Marines have provided a number of principles. Again, in their basic manual they say, "… if we expect Marines to lead and if we expect Marines to follow, we must provide the education of the heart and mind to win on the battlefield and in the barracks, in war and peace." These principles are drummed into every new officer at the Marine Corps Basic School at Quantico, Virginia. They too will be found in the Marine Corps basic field manual entitled Leading Marines.

* Set the example. Values are caught, not taught. This is the most important leadership principle I ever learned in the Corps: Lead by example. Don't tell your troops…show them. If you want them to work late on a project at the office, you'd better get there before them and leave after them if you want their respect. Don't tell them to abide by the rules while you violate them, or tell your kids not to drink or smoke if you do. Don't expect troops to dress, speak or write well, if you don't. You must earn the right to lead-and that's through example.
* Be technically and tactically proficient. As a leader, you must know how to do your job well. You must be competent to earn the respect of your troops. As a leader, you must also keep up with knowledge. You must become a lifelong learner to ensure that you are a knowledgeable leader. Our knowledge base is expanding exponentially, and leaders who get left behind fail their troops. Keep going to school, reading and soaking up new tools of technology wherever and whenever you can.
* Know yourself and seek self improvement. This means being honest with yourself. You can't be great at all things. Know where your strengths and weaknesses lie and work with them, share them and seek out complementary personalities when making decisions so that you strike a balance. Look for help where you're weak and help others who need your strengths. Leadership is about knowing and admitting you need help, as well as giving help freely. Learn from others and teach others.
* Know your Marines and look out for their welfare. Leadership is knowing about and caring for your troops. People are all different, and you need to learn their differences and work with them. Learn what motivates them, their strengths, and their weaknesses. People who work for you know whether you care about them based on how you treat them. Treat them the way you like to be treated…the simple golden rule.
* Keep your Marines informed. Communication ensures knowledge and both are key to a smooth functioning team. If people don't know what's going on, they invent rumors to fill the communication void. Often those rumors hurt rather than help organizations. Stop the cancer of rumors by letting your troops know what's going on. Send notes, post information on bulletin boards, e-mail…your ability to communicate quickly and well is widened today by technology.
* Ensure the task is understood, supervised, and accomplished. Telling the troops to get something done does not ensure it ever will. First you have to articulate what you want done. That means knowing what you want. This sounds simpler than it is. Next, you must sell the importance of the task to your troops. Ordering or telling (in business) only goes so far. If people don't buy in with their hearts and minds, what you get is malicious obedience-doing what they're told and hoping for failure. Give troops a reasonable time to accomplish the task and then check on it. Complement when it gets done well or counsel until it does get done correctly.
* Train your Marines as a team. As a leader, you are a teacher. You must not only keep yourself current in your field, but you must train your troops as well. Train as a team on projects rooted in your business; you'll see demonstrable results. An old coach once told me, "You only do in a game what you did in practice." So practice-practice as a team. Nothing is better than a team tackling a common problem with Esprit de Corps… the spirit of the group. And, there's nothing like the feeling of a team reaching a tough goal together.
* Make sound and timely decisions. Sound decisions are born out of good information and counsel. Read, research, study before you decide-do your own homework. Look at what others have done-benchmarking. Read the research-don't reinvent the wheel. Next, try to make timely decisions. Sometimes you'll have little time and must rely on your instincts. But remember that if you put off a decision too long, you are still making a decision…not to decide.
* Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates. Delegate a task and get out of the way. Oversupervising troops annoys them and takes up too much of your time. Empower people by giving them rights and responsibilities. With every freedom we have, there is a corresponding responsibility. We have freedom of speech, but the responsibility not to slander another. When leading troops, give them the freedom to solve problems and the responsibility to live with the results.
* Employ your unit in accordance with its capabilities. Know your troops' capabilities and work within that framework. Business has learned that to be successful, you must focus on what you do well, rather than trying to do everything. It's also called finding your market niche. You will never be able to be all things to all people; so don't try. Just do what you do-and do it well.
* Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions. No one ever became a leader by shying away from responsibility. The old saying, "never volunteer," should be: "Always volunteer-if you want to grow." To get to a new job, you have to show that you can handle it. That often means extending your responsibilities-stretching yourself. Volunteer to help out on projects and teams and I guarantee you'll be better off for the experience.

Semper Fidelis

Dr. Steve Gladis, a former US Marine Corps officer (1968-1971), is on the faculty of the University of Virginia, serves as the Director of its Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, and is a former FBI Special Agent (1973-1996).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Coaching to the Next Level of Leadership

Amazon Book Review of Marshall Goldsmith's Bestseller: What Got You Here Won't Get You There.

Marshall Goldsmith's Declaration of Interdependence
By Steve Gladis, Ph.D.

Marshall Goldsmith is the Thomas Jefferson of executive coaching. Like Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, Goldsmith, with coauthor Mark Reiter, has crafted his own Declaration of Interdependence for leaders: What Got You Here Won't Get You There (Hyperion, 2007). Having read Marshall Goldsmith's work in the past, I'd consider his new book of wisdom his manifesto for successful people, one that acknowledges that good leaders need others around them to become great leaders.

Drawing from years of both academic and practical experience with CEO's and the C-level leaders, Goldsmith provides a treasure trove of wisdom in engaging, down-to-earth, classic Goldsmith prose. For example, when offering a strategy to a hypothetical client about how to be nicer (something many senior leaders could use a healthy dose of), instead of setting up an elaborate behavioral goal-setting system focused on "being nice," Goldsmith advises, "All you have to do is stop being a jerk. It doesn't require much."

In this new book, Marshall Goldsmith offers a great summary of his past theory and practice and much more. For example, we not only get a nice review of feedforward, Marshall's future-oriented process of seeking help from colleagues to change behavior, but we also get much more. I especially enjoyed The Twenty Habits chapter--knowing what to stop--the things leaders do that prevent them from getting from "here to there." Here are just a few bad habits; see if they don't ring true as barriers to leaders: "Winning too much: The need to win at all costs; Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting comments that make us [leaders] sound sharp and witty; Withholding information: The refusal to share information to maintain an advantage over others." Goldsmith explains each of these in detail with clear examples.

I also enjoyed Section Three of the book containing the following useful chapters: Feedback, Apologizing, Telling the World, Listening and Thanking. In this section, Goldsmith teaches leaders how to get others around them to help them make necessary and important changes. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on apologizing--The Magic Move, as he so aptly names it. It took me many years to employ this particular skill--I'm still a work-in-progress, just ask my wife. Goldsmith describes it this way: "...I regard apologizing as the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make...without the apology there is no recognition that mistakes have been emotional contract between you and the people you care about...."

So let me finish this review with an open apology to Marshall Goldsmith:

I'm sorry for not having read your work earlier in my life. I'll try to do better in the future.

Trust at Work

Every relationship, whether personal or professional, depends on trust. In his new book, The Speed of Trust, Stephen Covey takes a hard look at this principle that is as important today to every leader as it was in the days of Aristotle, who first discussed trust many years ago. Covey discusses the two most important principles of trust—character and competence.
  • Character—Does the person have high integrity, consistency, and honesty, and good intent—no hidden agenda—and have the best interest of others at heart?
  • Competence—Does the person have capabilities—knowledge, skills and abilities, and does the person get results—a track record for getting the job done?
Covey discusses the cost of trust.
  • When trust is low in an organization, it takes more time and costs more money to get things done. He calls it a hidden “tax” on our business.
  • When trust is high, speed increases but cost decreases—a trust dividend, as Covey calls it.

The book is worthwhile, a readable text with a number of practical steps about how to build trust, and by inference, build a strong and healthy climate in an organization.

Please pass this on to anyone inside or outside your organization who may have an interest.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

About Survival Leadership

My leadership training started in the United States Marine Corps, especially in combat in Vietnam. While not all leadership takes place in such a dramatic setting, day-to-day challenges at work often feel like we're in a survival, almost combat mode. I intend this site to help leaders, especially emerging leaders, survive and succeed in their leadership challenges.

GMU Leadership and Coaching Certificates

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