Do Not Create a Culture of Fear

fear“This world of ours… must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower

For as long as we have had written history, we know that people in power have used fear as a tool to control others. While fear may be an effective means of exerting control, it shows desperation on the part of a leader who is at a loss for any other means of gaining influence. Fear creates a culture where gains and progress are short lived. Employees will not thrive in this type of environment and where employees do not thrive, neither do the leaders or the organization as a whole. So, do not create a culture of fear!

Fear

A culture of fear will result in dread. Employees who dread coming to work will never give 100% of their potential productivity. A culture of fear creates a destructive circle where all trust is lost. And, without trust you, as a leader, lose your ability to influence others and in turn must resort to fear as a means of control. By creating a culture of fear you are drastically reducing your options for getting the results you desire.

Hate

A culture of fear is a breeding ground for hate. Hate creates a contentious environment where energy and focus are diverted from the tasks at hand to hateful and disgusted feelings toward others. When you, as a leader, use fear to control others you pit one group against another in order to perpetuate the fear and trigger distrust. Hate and distrust eliminate any chance for effective teamwork and collaboration. By creating a culture of fear you are undermining your own leadership effectiveness.

You Have the Control

As a leader, you have control over the culture you chose to create. If fear is your only option to influence your employees, you need to seriously reconsider whether you are leadership material. A culture of fear only leads to distrust and hate. This is not a culture that encourages teamwork and the contribution of 100% of employee potential to achieving organizational goals. You have the control. Either you will create a culture of fear that will give you short-term results but will undermine your leadership in the long run or you will create a supportive, trusting environment where everyone wants to work together for the success of the whole.

© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

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Where Does Your Power Come From?

DSCN7614“Power is like being a lady… if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” —Margaret Thatcher

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Sources of Power

Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others, to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things they may not otherwise do. There are two main bases of power: positional power and personal power. You can access these bases through several sources. You can possess positional power as either legitimate, reward, or coercive. Your personal power can be either expert or referent. Each of these forms of power can achieve differing degrees of effectiveness based on the specific situation you are facing.

Just as you use various leadership styles to motivate others and get things done, you are in a better position to influence others if you have access to different sources of power. So, where does your power come from?

Positional power

Positional power is based on your rank within the structure of your organization and is granted to you by someone who is your superior. This form of power is task oriented and focused on giving orders without asking subordinates for their input or ideas. Much of its effectiveness is dependent on your ability to either reward or punish those who work under you. Use of positional power often results in low work satisfaction, lack of commitment, high job stress, high turnover, and even sabotage.

Legitimate power

Legitimate power is a form of positional power that can also be referred to as formal authority. This source of power relies solely on holding a position of responsibility. With legitimate power, you have the right to command others based on your position within the structural hierarchy of the organization.

Reward power

Reward power is a form of positional power that is based on your ability to control tangible benefits such as parking spaces, flexible work schedules, promotions, or bonuses. Reward power operates on the desires of others. When you have the authority to determine who will receive rewards or eliminate unpleasant penalties, you have reward power.

Coercive power

Coercive power is a form of positional power that is based on your ability to punish, discipline, or withhold rewards when subordinates do not act in accordance with commands or requirements. Coercive power operates on other’s fears. When you have the authority to determine and deliver punishment or withhold desired rewards, you have coercive power.

Personal power

Personal power is based on individual qualities. It is not necessarily given by superiors, but instead, by subordinates themselves. This form of power is relationship oriented. Personal power is held by individuals who behave in ways that motivate and inspire others. They create a supportive organizational environment where they recognize and acknowledge the individual needs of others. They are active listeners who encourage two-way communication and focus their energy on helping others grow. Use of personal power usually results in higher motivation and productivity, lower stress levels, and stronger commitment.

Expert power

Expert power is a form of personal power that stems from the unique expertise, specific knowledge, or skill set of an individual. If you possess expert power, you influence others because you have specific qualities and proficiencies that they value. You are the go-to person for advice. You are an expert as solving problems or performing tasks.

Referent power

Referent power is a form of personal power that stems from an individual’s charisma and reputation. It is derived from personal characteristics that result in admiration from others. If you possess referent power, you have the ability to influence others based on your charisma and reputation. People like you and admire your accomplishments. They believe in your causes and see you as a role-model. People trust you and follow you willingly.

Where Does Your Power Come From?

Leadership is influence and power is the tool that gives you the ability to influence the behavior of others. Both positional and personal power can be effective in specific situations. The task oriented nature of positional power is effective at accomplishing short-term, production oriented goals but can have a negative effect on job satisfaction and motivation in the long run. Being relationship oriented, personal power builds a strong culture and increases productivity.

It is important to evaluate and understand your sources of power. Which one will work best based on your current situation and goals? Which one will serve you best in the long-run? By answering these questions, you will become more effective at influencing others.

So, where does YOUR power come from?

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

Growing New Leaders

“Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.” —Warren Bennis

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Why Grow New Leaders?

Developing leaders throughout your organization places you in a position to conquer new leadership challenges where innovation and flexibility are the keys to success. When you build on the expertise within the ranks of your organization you improve efficiency and effectiveness. Growing new leaders allows you to tap into the talent and potential of your team members. Let’s look at three of the factors that promote the growing and nurturing of new leaders.

Environment

You must start by creating an environment where others have the opportunity and are encouraged to lead. Develop a culture where employees embrace collaboration and open communication. Value the diversity that offers a continual flow of new perspectives. Provide employees with an environment that challenges them in a way that engages and inspires. Encourage the sharing of ideas by asking great questions and valuing the answers you receive. Provide work that employees can feel passionate about. Network and relationship building are important factors in leadership. Help and encourage employees to build their network and develop strong relationships built on trust and respect. Implement programs where new leaders can be mentored.

Opportunity

If you want to grow new leaders you must provide them with experiences that help them understand who they are, what they stand for, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Give them the opportunity to participate in solving difficult problems. Allow them to make mistakes and help them learn how to grow from the lesson these mistakes teach. Encourage them to share their ideas and allow them to participate in planning and implementation of new ideas. Every employee has valuable ideas, insights, and perspectives; engage them in productive conversations. When employees feel like they are an integral part of the organization they will be more motivated and engaged in growing as a leader.

Aptitude

Give employees the training and experiences they need to develop leadership skills. These skills will enable them to have a positive influence on colleagues, make informed decisions, and contribute new ideas. Help them develop an understanding of their own biases and how these biases can impact decision making. Teach them to appreciate the benefits of obtaining diverse points of view. Help them develop the ability to ask the right questions so they can make sense of overwhelming amounts of information. Teach them the value of networking. Create in them an ownership mentality. And, most importantly, serve as a role-model of good leadership and show them how to bring out the best in others.

Everyone Wins

Everyone wins when you grow new leaders and develop the leadership pipeline throughout your organization. When you have individuals with leadership ability at every level of your organization you increase the speed at which you can respond to change, your ability to be flexible, and your ability to respond to uncertainty. When you become more involved in the leadership development of your employees you will experience improved employee and customer satisfaction. By growing new leaders, your organization becomes more nimble and innovative, able to respond more quickly to customer needs and changes in the business environment.

  

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

 

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.

 

So, You’re a New Leader

So, You’re a New Leader

“The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.” —Henry A. Kissinger

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

        A New Leader

So, you’ve been promoted into a leadership position. While, as the leader, you are now responsible to plan and direct the actions of those you lead, more importantly, you must learn to inspire and empower them. You are now under the scrutiny of your new team. They want to know if you are worthy to be followed. It’s up to you to earn their trust and respect. They are going to be looking to you to provide a sense of purpose that each of them can buy into.

        What Now?

Are you prepared to lead? One of the very first things you must do as a new leader is to determine where you’re starting from, where you need to be going, and the obstacles you may face. You need to learn how things really work on the front lines so you will be better prepared provide direction and make decisions. You need to get to know your team and earn their respect. Here are some starting points for your leadership journey.

                       Self-confidence

Followers need to know that you believe in yourself. This is not arrogance but confidence. Do your homework; make sure that when you speak you know what you are talking about and then trust yourself and your judgment. Set out on a quest to continually gain new knowledge and experiences. Show followers that you are competent to lead. Live your life as an example that you can be proud of.

               Establish a foundation

Establish a solid foundation of principles, expectations, and values. Develop and clearly demonstrate through your words and actions a shared purpose and vision. Provide meaningful work where followers can take pride in their contributions. Demonstrate the authenticity of your intentions through transparent and open communication.

Develop a culture that values consistent behavior, the sharing of knowledge, and encourages collaboration. Put the right people in the right roles and show a commitment helping them become successful. Commit to quality and set up measures to monitor results. Ask great questions and really listen to the answers. Foster an environment of strong relationships, teamwork, and collaboration.

                       Engage

Be supportive of your employees. Clearly outline your expectations and give them the opportunity to come up with their own ideas rather than you dictating what they should do. Value each member of your team for what they can contribute not for their position. Remember, you don’t have all the answers so trust the knowledge and skills of your team members. Engage and encourage each of your followers to participate in the leadership of the organization. Help followers to continue to develop personally and professionally.

Encourage your team to challenge the status quo with innovative thinking. Urge team members to voice differing perspectives, not for conflict, but to improve performance. Encourage team members to connect authentically and show them how by the example you set. Form a diverse team to ensure a continual supply of new perspectives. Emphasize accountability and ownership. Give credit to team members where and when it is due.

                       Character

Your character will play a pivotal role in your success or failure as a leader. Make sure your service is focused on others and not self-serving. Know what you stand for and why. Be committed to your values and principles. Always be authentic. Lead with purpose and compassion. Demonstrate patience and strength under pressure.

Build deep and meaningful relationships with those you work with. Show everyone they matter by giving them your time and making them feel valued. Show them that you recognize and appreciate their efforts. Demonstrate your competence. Do what others won’t and be willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Be courageous and embrace the lessons that failure has to offer. Show humility. Be fair and consistent in your leadership. Be a good listener. Always practice what you preach. And, strive to inspire and motivate those around you.

Intentions

Lead for the right reasons. If your intentions are not authentic your employees will quickly see through the façade and you will lose their trust and respect. Lead not for the benefits to you personally but to leave a legacy through the lives you have impacted. Be a compassionate leader. Share your wisdom. Help others grow and reach their full potential. Share and grow your vision. Always stand by your principles. Inspire all who come in contact with you. Serve to encourage and lift others through inspiration and hope.  

        Take-Away

As a new leader you must determine where your team is, where they are going, and how they are going to get there. You need a strong vision for the future that your team can support. If you always put the needs of your team before your own they will become your loyal supporters. Don’t lead for the sake of the position; take this new opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those you work with. Leadership is a journey, not a destination.

© 2014 Elizabeth Stincelli

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.