Inward Blog

Viewing entries tagged with 'leadership'

Leaders who think they can control everything are setting themselves up for disappointment

I admit it. I’m a control freak. Sitting on my desk is a plaque with a constant reminder of the need to overcome that weakness… a saying by Reinhold Niebuhr, “Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference”.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Accountability Drives Commitment And Performance

Commitment and accountability go hand in hand. In order to have a culture of high engagement and performance, all team members need to be accountable to each other. Notice I said ALL team members. Whether in a leadership role or not, everyone on a team must be accountable to each other for their part in achieving the vision, strategy, goals, and objectives. The greatest attribute of effective leadership is leading by example. To create an inspired and engaged workforce, leaders must be willing to be held accountable to those they lead, while holding others accountable for their commitments.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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It’s My Decision And I Stand By It!

Leaders are faced with making decisions every day that have consequences impacting themselves, their companies, and those they lead. How leaders make decisions and how they deal with the consequences of those decisions has a direct impact on their ability to engage and inspire others. Some of those decisions end up with very positive outcomes. But often, even with the best intentions and best intelligence available, decisions are made that end up with less than desirable results. Effective leaders understand that there is no decision that is 100% risk free. There is always one more piece of information that could be reviewed before making a decision. There are those who make impulsive decisions with little or no input and there are those who analyze information to death and do not make decisions in a timely manner. Effective leaders find the balance between making a quick decision and considering intelligence and input before making that decision.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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The Team With The Best Players Doesn't Always Win

Is it possible to have a team of very high performers and yet not be a high performing organization?  It happens all the time, in sports and in the business world. How many times have you watched a ball game where a roster of highly talented players can’t seem to work together to win the game? Similarly, how many organizations do you know with an extremely talented leadership team, and yet they consistently fall short of expectations and goals? Individual talent alone is not enough to win in team sports, and in many ways, running a business is in fact a “team sport”.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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What Is The Most Important Role In An Effective Organization?

Let me cut to the chase and then explain. Every role within an organization is equally important. To be clear, I’m not talking about which role carries the most responsibility, which one has the most exposure, or which one establishes vision and strategy. I’m talking about which role is most important to the success of an organization. For an organization to reach its vision and goals, EVERYONE has to do their job. Senior leaders can develop the most compelling strategy and vision in their industry, but successful execution of that strategy depends on everyone in the organization buying into that vision. Creating a culture of high employee engagement requires everyone to do their job and do it well. It does no good to develop and manufacture a great product if the sales people don’t sell it, the logistics team doesn’t deliver it, and the accountant doesn’t bill and collect payment for it. 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Have the Courage to be Uncomfortable So You Can Make Others Comfortable!

We get used to doing things a certain way and there is great comfort in that routine and stability.  The Myers Briggs Personality Type is a great assessment tool that helps leaders understand their natural behavioral tendencies.  There are sixteen different categories, that are based on determining if someone is an extravert or an introvert, whether they perceive and understand based on sensing or on intuition, whether they form judgments and make choices based on thinking or on feeling, and whether their actions are more based on planning or taking things as they come.   But understanding our natural tendencies is only the first step in exhibiting strong leadership that drives a culture of employee engagement and inspiration.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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What Do You Really Know About The People You Lead?

One of the top issues facing senior leadership today is the lack of employee engagement among those they lead.  Research from a number of sources, including Gallup, Towers Watson, and Modern Survey all indicate that only about 30% of the workforce is fully engaged.  So how do you get people engaged? 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Trust Doesn't Come with a Title...It Has to Be Earned

Trust is at the center of all relationships.  In fact, I would go as far as to say that without trust, there is no relationship.  One of the greatest leaders of our time, Jack Welch, made the statement in a recent interview that there are two principles of successful leadership today, truth and trust.  When trust is violated, our relationships both personally and with our business associates become strained.  And if it is violated, it is extremely difficult to restore.  Think about the impact of high trust or a lack of trust on our ability to lead others or on our willingness to follow others.  When I completely trust what a leader says as demonstrated by what he/she does, my level of engagement goes through the roof and I’ll take the hill for him/her.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Is culture really important?

Every organization has a culture, whether it’s clearly articulated or not.  So what exactly is “culture”?  Merriam Webster simply defines it as a “way of thinking, behaving, or working that exists in a place or organization.”  Defining the culture always comes down to articulating the values and beliefs of the leadership.  For example, if family values are a core belief of leadership, the culture will be one that supports a strong work/life balance focus.  Or if innovation is important to the leadership, the culture will be one of continuous improvement and leadership in the market.  Apple is an obvious example of an innovation culture.  So if vision represents what an organization is trying to achieve, culture defines how people are going to behave and what values they are going to embrace while they strive to achieve that vision. 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Put A Face on Your Customer Experience Programs to Avoid Failure

It is both logical and common knowledge that there is a direct correlation between high customer experiences with high levels of employee customer experiences.  When aligned properly, it provides incremental revenue and customer satisfaction. There have been numerous studies cited by the NRF and Gallup, which substantiates this finding.  Yet, all too often I see external customer experience programs falter and fail. They start out with a lot of enthusiasm and support and after about six months, new initiatives and priorities come into play and the customer experience program wanes while the focus shifts somewhere else. Ultimately management loses interest or doesn’t see the benefit/value. The programs get canceled and get the bad rap of being ineffective. I often hear clients say, “we’ve tried that before and it failed.”

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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