EVERYDAY LEADERS: INSPIRE

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAelAAAAJDNhY2JlNWJkLTMxN2ItNGJmNC05NzcyLWI3ODEwNjJlYWE5YQ“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” – Robin S. Sharma

This year I am focusing on everyday leaders. Not those who hold a formal position of authority, but those of us who, through our behaviors, have the ability to influence and inspire those around us just by being us. This is the fourth installment of articles that focus on one specific behavior that can make a huge difference in our ability to impact the lives of others.

This month I want to talk about inspiration. What does inspiration have to do with being an everyday leader? Everyday leaders serve to inspire others. They share their passion, their vision for the future, and they set an inspirational example for others to follow. So, what does inspiration look like in everyday leadership?

Share your passion:

When you are passionate about the work you do; your vision of the future; and your dedication to your values, you have a level of energy that is contagious. As an everyday leader, you can share your passion with others. When they see the energy it provides you, it just might inspire them to find their own passion.

Something bigger:

We all want to feel that we are an important part of something that is bigger than ourselves. When, as an everyday leader, you help others see the big picture; the meaning behind the work; and the value that their contribution brings, you inspire a strong attitude of teamwork. This teamwork builds relationships, trust, and loyalty that benefits every member individually as well as the team as a whole.

Higher standards:

When you set high standards for yourself, you set a wonderful example for those who are watching you. There is nothing more inspirational than seeing someone commit to their values whole-heartedly. Let those around you see your light and your energy as a beacon that inspires them to reach further than they ever dreamt possible.

Everyday leaders inspire others by providing a view of the future, an energy level, and a positive example that lifts those around them. They share their passion, their belief in working toward something bigger than themselves, and they live as an example of dedication to values through the higher standards they set. Through sharing their inspiration, everyday leaders make an impact on the lives of those around them.

How can you start being an inspiration to others today?

 

© 2018 Liz Stincelli

 

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

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

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EVERYDAY LEADERS: ENCOURAGEMENT

powerofEncouragement1“If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it.” – John C. Maxwell

 

This year I am focusing on everyday leaders. Not those who hold a formal position of authority, but those of us who, through our behaviors, have the ability to influence and inspire those around us just by being us. This is the third installment of articles that focus on one specific behavior that can make a huge difference in our ability to impact the lives of others.

This month I want to talk about encouragement. What does encouragement have to do with being an everyday leader? It is the encouragement of everyday leaders that cheers us on when we are on the verge of giving up. This encouragement shows us that we are not alone, that others have confidence in us, and that someone truly cares and stands behind us. So, what does encouragement look like in everyday leadership?

You are on their side:

In the depth of our struggles, it is easy to feel like we are alone. The everyday leader is a comrade to those who are feeling cast-aside as if they were one against the world. When you encourage others, you show them that they have someone on their side who is rooting for them.

You can see beyond the obstacles:

When the going gets tough, it can be hard to see beyond the obstacles. The everyday leader sees and shares the hope and opportunity that exists in every situation. When you encourage others, you can share with them the view from beyond the obstacles they are facing.

You are vested in their success:

Sometimes it feels as though everyone and everything is working against us. The everyday leader wants to see everyone around them succeed and they are willing to give of themselves in the service of others. When you encourage others, you show them that you are truly vested in their success.

As John Maxwell pointed out in the quote at the beginning of this article, encouragement changes others. Encouragement allows everyday leaders to provide the support and hope to those around them that makes a real difference not only in their lives, but in who they are. Through their encouragement, everyday leaders make an impact on the lives of those around them.

 

How can you start encouraging others today?

 

 

© 2018 Liz Stincelli

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVERYDAY LEADERS: EMPATHY

21199InFocus3“When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.” – Stephen Covey

This year I am focusing on everyday leaders. Not those who hold a formal position of authority, but those of us who, through our behaviors, have the ability to influence and inspire those around us just by being us. This is the second installment of articles that focus on one specific behavior that can make a huge difference in our ability to impact the lives of others.

This month I want to talk about empathy. What does empathy have to do with being an everyday leader? It is the empathy of everyday leaders that disarms the defensive and negative attitudes of those around them. It shows the support and understanding that lifts spirits and gives strength when the going gets tough. So, what does empathy look like in everyday leadership?

Seeing through the eyes of others:

It’s easy to see things only from your point of view. When you take the time to see situations and circumstances through the eyes of others, you are better able to understand where they are coming from; why they have the opinions they have, and what factors may be impacting their attitudes and actions. Seeing things from our own perspective leads to biased opinions, actions, and decisions. So many conflicts and misunderstandings stem from an inability to see things from different perspectives. When we develop and exercise this skill, we gain the trust and respect of those we work with. They know that we are able to be unbiased in our evaluation of them and their situation.

Stepping in their shoes:

Just like seeing through the eyes of others, stepping in their shoes gives us a better understanding of who they are. It is easy to judge and make assumptions from the outside looking in; standing in someone else’s shoes can put things in perspective. We never know what someone is going through until we take the time to really find out. When we put forth the time and effort to gain insight into someone else’s inner world, it shows we care. And, everyone needs to know that they are worth caring about.

Setting an example of courage and support:

We all have moments when we feel weak and alone. Everyday leaders truly empathize with others; they show the courage to stand by and support those who need it the most. Their example sets the tone for others to follow. Imagine how every member of a team can thrive when there is an environment of support and understanding.

Empathy allows us to help set others up for success. Everyone struggles, faces obstacles, and feels excluded on occasion. Everyday leaders create an environment of inclusion and support where every member of the team can succeed. Through their empathy, everyday leaders make an impact on the lives of those around them.

How can you start showing empathy today?

 

 

© 2018 Liz Stincelli

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dysfunction of Toxic Leadership-Guest Post by Stephanie Wimmer

Research suggests that more and more employees are working with toxic leadership in the workplace which has been shown to cause dysfunctional behaviors in the organization, a lack of employee commitment to the organization, and an overall loss of job satisfaction. So what is toxic leadership and what makes someone a toxic leader? The term “Toxic Leadership” was first used by M.G. Whicker in the book ‘Toxic Leaders: When Organizations Go Bad” (Watt, 2016). This type of leadership is defined by the behaviors exhibited within an organization. A toxic leader is not just the typical bad boss who might have a bad attitude or may lack the knowledge or experience to be in a leadership position, but rather a person whose behavior is intentionally destructive and has serious effects on those they lead.

Over the past few years, a number of research articles have focused on a type of destructive leadership called “toxic leadership” (Goldman, 2006; Boddy, 2014; Boddy, 2015; Gallos, 2008; Goldman, 2006; Lipman-Blumen, 2005; Walton, 2011). These articles describe the destructive effects of toxic leadership in a wide range of organizations. For example, authors have suggested that toxic leadership might impair the physical and mental health of employees, invoke dysfunctional group behavior, and may increase absenteeism and employee withdrawal.

A toxic leader is one who uses the power their position awards them to control and manipulate by any means to further their career or to bring more power to themselves and do this without any regard to the individuals that are beneath them. Aggressive tactics such a bullying, threats, and manipulation along with passive tactics such as withholding relevant information or providing incorrect information purposefully are just a few of the ways a toxic leader operates. Toxic leaders have been described by their employees as bullies, narcissists, and even as psychopaths, which any of these personality types can be detrimental to the environment and productivity of the organization. One study (Armitage, 2015) suggests that three in every ten persons in a leadership position could be considered to be a toxic leader. With numbers this high, one could see how this type of epidemic in the workplace could be cause for concern.

According to a study on toxic leadership and how it affected healthcare workers (Ozer, 2017), there are four categories that the behaviors of toxic leaders fall. They are Inapprecitiveness, which includes such behaviors as humiliating employees in front of and behind the employee’s backs, does not value the employee, does not listen, and unsympathetically reminds the employee of past mistakes. Next, is Selfishness, which includes such behaviors as blaming the employee for his or her failures, takes credit for things only when they have gone well, places personal interests ahead of everyone else, and only cares about how they look to superiors. Selfishness is another category that consists of behaviors such as the belief that they deserve the position they are in (or one even higher), the belief that they are more talented, excellent, and deserving than anyone else, and that the organization will only do well if they are in charge. Lastly is a negative spiritual state which consists of behaviors such as if they are in a negative mood it affects the climate of the workplace and the employee’s act according to the negative mood of the leader.

There is a synergetic relationship between the toxic workplace and the toxic leaders who occupy them. As an employee and employer, we tend to follow the natural order in the workplace. There are employees and leaders and the employee naturally looks to the leader for information, training, mentoring, and advice concerning their position within the organization. When there is a toxic leader involved in that natural order, it can cause dysfunction within the organization. As we think about the way an organization functions, it might help to visualize a wheel with many spokes. Each spoke represents a functional area of the organization. When a toxic leader is in control, the spokes of the wheel start to disconnect and break, which causes dysfunction not only to the spoke but the entire organization as a whole. Therefore, the consequences of a toxic leaders’ behavior on the organization are vast. Research has shown that workplace deviance by subordinates who work for toxic leaders has increased (Pelletier, 2010). Employees tend to show counterproductive behavior and even retaliatory behavior in order to try and balance out the perceived scale of injustice. Negative behavior is disadvantageous for any organization and the trickle-down effect causes more dysfunction within the organization.

As an example of a toxic leaders behavior, let us suppose that the leader of an organization while giving an employee a task to do, did not give the employee pertinent information to carry out that task. Consequently, that task is going will be incorrect. The toxic leader can use this to their advantage in many ways, such as pointing out the inferior work of the employee to superiors or coming to the rescue and “fixing” the employee’s mistakes in front of superiors, thus taking credit and making themselves look admirable in the eyes of others. These types of behavior can cause a myriad of dysfunction in the workplace. The employee spends time working on something that no matter how he or she does it, it will be incorrect. Superiors see the employee as incompetent or lazy. And, the employee could either retaliate or have a “why bother” attitude toward the leader and the organization.  With just this one example, one broken spoke on the organization wheel; it is clear that more than just the employee is affected by a toxic leader.

The dysfunction caused by toxic leadership can also lead to a lack of commitment to the employer and the organization. How can an employee commit to an organization that has a leader that bullies, threatens, or interferes with their ability to do a job? Studies have shown that a very large number of employees prefer to leave an organization rather than endure a toxic leader (Thoroughgood, 2012). An employee who is a victim of a toxic leader would have a lack of trust in the organization which would make it more untroublesome to move on.

One experimental study (Boddy, 2011) showed that in reaction to a toxic leaders behavior and the absence of commitment, employees would engage in counterproductive work behavior that they normally would not have engaged in otherwise. Employees interviewed in the survey admitted to deviant behavior against the organization and not just the toxic leader. Purposely doing work incorrectly or slowly, not following instructions, wasting the employer’s materials or supplies, and even damaging equipment or property are some of the ways the employees took out their frustration and lack of commitment towards the organization. Another study (Goldman, 2008) showed that an employee could have a reduction in loyalty towards an organization just by witnessing toxic behavior directed at another employee. An example of this sort of behavior could be one employee overhearing a toxic leader divulging private or personal information about one employee to another or even speaking badly about an employee behind their back while acting pleasant to their face. This kind of behavior can make an employee think that if the toxic leader could do this to one employee, it could be done to them as well. Not only is there a lack of faith in the toxic leader but also in an organization that would allow one of its leaders to behave in this manner. When an organization condones this type of behavior, directly or indirectly, it sets a workplace culture that this type of behavior is acceptable. Asking an employee to put their faith, trust, and commitment into an organization that permits one of its leaders to disrespect their privacy seems unthinkable. Once an employee no longer feels a commitment to the organization the easier it is for them to be able to move on to another organization, thus the higher turn-over rate for an organization with a toxic leader.

When leadership becomes disengaged, unapproachable, dishonest, unsupportive and untrustworthy and the organization looks the other way it is defining the culture of the organization. This type of culture can make the organization just as dysfunctional and toxic as the leaders controlling it. Looking at the organization as you would a personal relationship, one can see why an individual would not want to commit to a toxic individual any more than they would want to commit to a toxic organization.

A lack of overall job satisfaction is another side effect of toxic leadership within the organization. As human beings we have deep-rooted psychological needs to be accepted and to feel like we make a difference. The turbulence caused by a toxic leader can undermine our feeling of importance. As stated by research (Lipman-Blumen, 2005) constantly being forced to confront fears and uncertainty in the work environment could be not only detrimental to the individual’s job performance and job satisfaction but to the individuals mental and physical health. This “sickness” can carry over and become contagious throughout the organization. Toxic leadership can lead to poor morale, decreased productivity, increased absenteeism and higher turnover rates. Employees feel cynical and frustrated, leading to decreased energy, enthusiasm, and self-esteem.

Leadership toxicity is an omnipresent aspect of many organizations, yet few organizations recognize it for what it is. Leadership toxicity seems to be an alluring part of the organizational atmosphere that undermines personal and organizational growth and performance. It could be described as a silent killer among organizations. It can consume individuals, groups, and organizations. Failure to recognize and take action can destroy the organization.

To conclude, toxic leadership is extremely dangerous not only to individuals that are affected by it but also to the vitality of the afflicted organization. Individuals having toxic behaviors and dysfunctional traits should not be allowed to lead an organization under any conditions. Toxic leadership and their behaviors will remain within the organizations unless steps are taken to stop it before it becomes an issue.

 

 

© 2017 Stephanie Wimmer

 

 

Stephanie Wimmer is a Business Management student at Western Governors University working toward her MBA. She is passionate employee/management relations and communication, writing, and sustainability. Connect with her on LinkedIn at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/%20stephanie-wimmer-9b854244. She can be contacted at stefwimmer@comcast.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Happens When You’re an Inconsiderate Leader?

Inconsiderate

“Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.” — John Tillotson

Just because you have worked your way up the corporate ladder doesn’t mean that you no longer need to be considerate of others. When you are inconsiderate of those working with or for you, you actually diminish your ability to be and effective leader. An inconsiderate leader does not concern themselves with treating employees with respect, they do not care if they take all the credit when things go good and point the finger of blame when they go bad, and they don’t care if they make everyone else’s job more difficult than necessary. So, what happens when you are an inconsiderate leader?

You lose respect

No one has respect for a leader who does not have enough respect for them, as individuals, to even be considerate. No one wants to stand behind and support a leader who is selfish and self-absorbed. Without the respect of your employees, you have no ability to inspire or influence the way a leader must to be successful.

You lose empathy

You need your employees to be able to see things from your perspective. When you are inconsiderate, employees no longer care how you feel, what you want, or what your perspective is. All empathy for what you, as a leader, are going through flies out the window when you treat employees inconsiderately.

You lose cooperation

Once you have lost the respect and empathy of your employees, you will soon lose their cooperation. If you are an inconsiderate leader, your employees will stop caring what you need. They will do the bare minimum necessary to meet their job requirements but don’t expect any more from them than that.

You End Up Alone

If you are inconsiderate as a leader, at the end of the day you end up alone. No one will have your back. No one will go above and beyond to help you look good and accomplish your goals. And, no one will care what happens to you. When you are inconsiderate, you send the message that it is every one for themselves. And, mark my words, you will reap what you sow.

Check your leadership behavior today. Are you an inconsiderate leader?

© 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.

 

Improving Management Team Performance

Team-1“Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others’ success, and then standing back and letting them shine.” —Chris Hadfield

The key to improving management team performance is summarized quite nicely in the Chris Hadfield quote above. When your management team can lay the groundwork for their employees to succeed and then stand back and let them shine, the whole organization performs better. So, what should you be looking at to improve the performance of your management team?

What is their focus?

What are your managers focusing on? It can be easy for them to get caught up in focusing solely on the bottom line and forget about the employees who are contributing to that bottom line. Or, they can become so concerned with gaining recognition for themselves that they forget about the people who are really doing the work. The best management teams focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘who’. When management spends their energy on supporting their employees in determining the ‘how’ for themselves, performance improves at every level of the organization.

How are their relationships?

What kind of relationships are your managers developing? Relationships are built on mutual trust and respect; they cannot thrive in an us vs. them environment. Without strong relationships managers are ineffective. If you want to improve the performance of your management team, help them build strong, trusting, inclusive relationships.

How do they accomplish objectives?

How do your managers accomplish the objectives that you have set for them? Many managers defer to micromanagement as a means for accomplishing tasks and achieving goals. Micromanagement kills employee engagement and does more harm to productivity than good. When you put an end to micromanagement and empower employees to make decisions and take action on their own you greatly improve performance.

As Your Management Team Performs

As your management team performs, so will their employees. Make sure your managers are focusing on the right things. Help them build the relationships that lead to efficiency and top performance. Teach them to empower and support employees in accomplishing objectives rather than micromanaging them. When your management team provides the foundation employees need to succeed and can then stand back and lets employees shine, everyone’s performance improves.

What action will you take today to start improving the performance of your management team?

 

 

© 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.

 

Are You Pulling Others Up or Pushing Them Down?

pulling“There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” —Booker T. Washington

The saddest thing about business and success is the internal political games that some people are willing to play in order to get themselves ahead. There are two different ways of getting to the top and they both look very different and have different impacts on your ability to lead. You can get to the top by pulling others up; serving them, inspiring them, and encouraging them. Or, you can get to the top by pushing others down in an attempt to make yourself look better and eliminate any competition. When you pull others up you serve in a hero role; you earn trust, respect, and loyalty. When you push others down you become the enemy; losing all trust, respect, and influence. Here are three questions to help you determine if you are pulling or pushing.

What is your attitude?

Do you see others as being capable and willing to do the task at hand? If you have the attitude that you are the only one capable of doing things right, I guarantee you are pushing others down. Recognizing the strengths that others bring to the table and giving them the opportunity and support to use those strengths is the trademark of a leader who is pulling others up.

Do you have the influence?

Do you inspire others? Do they trust and respect you? Without these things you do not have influence. If you do not have influence you cannot lead effectively. You gain the ability to inspire others and you earn their trust and respect by being a leader who reaches out and helps them along. If you continually push others down, you may have the false illusion that you have influence, but your employees know different.

Are you willing to make the investment?

If you are unwilling to invest your time and resources into building others up, then you are selfishly pushing them down. I’m sure you had a mentor at some point in your career, someone who you looked up to, someone who was willing to invest their time and energy into showing you the ropes and helping you grow. These are the true leaders. When you are unwilling to mentor others, you appear to have a hidden agenda. Employees will feel that you are withholding pertinent information in an attempt to make yourself look better.

Pull Others Up

Whether you are pulling others up or pushing them down, it will be reflected in your attitude, your ability to influence, and your willingness to invest in others. True leadership is about pulling others up, making them look good, and helping them to become the best they can be. This is the type of leadership that actually makes you, as the leader, look good. When you are pushing others down as you climb your way to the top, you are really showing everyone that you are not actual leadership material at all. Leadership is not about you so reach down and start pulling others up!

 

 

© 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.