Category Archives: Leadership Matters

The Supervisory Squeeze

| Julie Giulioni | Leave a comment Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Being a front-line supervisor can be the most gratifying and exciting of roles that anyone will ever experience. It can also be the most terrifying, overwhelming and demoralizing. This is because new supervisors generally have no idea of the “squeeze” into which they are stepping. The front line is the firing line Imagine a place where the most challenging of work is reserved for those who are least seasoned and least prepared. Welcome to most organizations. After the initial glow associated with the promotion fades, new supervisors find themselves facing a difficult set of dynamics. They are fundamentally responsible for …

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How Exceptional People Developers Beat Bad Systems

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A manager who doesn’t appreciate the value of something or simply doesn’t want to do it will always find an excuse not to. And, when it comes to employee development, one doesn’t have to look far for a legitimate one! Organizations unwittingly create impediments to growing people—something that’s recognized as a competitive advantage and requirement for sustainable success. Which barriers have you witnessed or experienced? A corporate schedule requiring that hours and hours of development planning and conversations be forced into a short window—frequently in the same time frame as budgeting or other mission-critical activities. Unnatural performance management systems and …

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Are You a Micromanager or a Macromanager?

| Julie Giulioni | 1 Comment Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Micromanager. It’s one of the least flattering labels one can be tagged with in business today. It connotes an unproductive level of involvement in the work and work products, excessive need for control, nit-pickiness, attention to unnecessary details and a generally unpleasant overall workplace experience. Nobody wants to be a called a micromanager. Question: But, what’s the alternative? Answer: Become a macromanager! Macromanagement is an alternative way of dealing with employees and others that honors who they are and what they know, while at the same time driving engagement and sustainable results. This table provides a high-level overview of how macromanagement differs …

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What’s your Story? Leadership and Storytelling

| Julie Giulioni | 3 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Storytelling — once the stuff of childhood nighttime rituals — has grown up and is quickly becoming a go-to tool in the very adult world of business. MBA programs, workshops, and coaches all offer strategies and support to help today’s leaders craft a better story. And it makes sense. According to Pamela B Rutledge, Ph.D., in her post on Psychology Today, “The Psychological Power of Storytelling,” “Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. … Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how …

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Agility is Today’s Most Critical Leadership Competency

| Julie Giulioni | 2 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

A friend who coaches a girls soccer team recently shared, that after a tough loss, one of her 13-year-old players said, “Well, you know coach, you either win or you learn.” Yeah! We really are coming to appreciate the value of failure and experiments that don’t go exactly as expected. But it’s not just mistakes that have value; there’s tremendous instructive power in successes as well. In fact, what distinguishes today’s most effective leaders is that they learn from everything and everyone they encounter. They demonstrate learning agility. Why learn agility now? No one will argue that today’s business climate …

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The Risky Business of Leadership Development

| Julie Giulioni | 4 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Business success today demands careful attention to risk management. Contingency plans, redundant systems, business continuity insurance, and countless other vehicles protect organizations from the volatility and unpredictability of today’s business landscape. But there’s one area where risk should actually be cultivated rather than averted, and it’s the on-the-job growth, learning and development of leaders. By definition, developing a leadership capability, skill or experience set means throwing someone into the unknown to do what he or she has not mastered or perhaps even attempted before. There are no guarantees of success when a leader is given an opportunity to develop on …

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Creativity: It’s What’s Missing from Career Development

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A significant investment is made each year on studies, training, portals and programs related to career development; yet, the return on this investment continues to disappoint organizations, leaders and employees alike. And it’s unfortunate, because what’s needed doesn’t cost even a dollar. What’s needed to ensure healthy, sustainable career development is creativity. “Creativity” and “career development” rarely come up in the same sentence. In fact, many organizations have inadvertently wrung a lot of creativity out of career development through the creation of complicated systems, processes, step-wise tools and forms. Yet what they’re discovering is, the more sophisticated the individual development …

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If Not the Annual Performance Appraisal, Then What?

| Julie Giulioni | 6 Comments Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

The annual performance appraisal might be among the most reviled of time-honored workplace traditions. And it makes sense. Managers must invest countless hours in a process that endeavors to boil a year’s worth of a human being’s contribution down to a series of check boxes, numeric ratings, and bulleted highlights. Employees—those human beings whose contributions are being over-simplified—may look forward to a chance to discuss their performance (since those conversations generally happen infrequently) but often leave feeling empty, demoralized, and undervalued. As organizations like Microsoft, Adobe Systems, and The Gap jump ship on the traditional performance appraisal and the press …

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The Versatile Coach

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Guest Post by Karen Voloshin The makeup of the workforce has never been more varied. A mix of cultures and backgrounds surround us. We bring a wide range of different work and life experiences. Motivations and priorities differ. Differences in style, work preferences and the conditions under which we do our best work—all are part of the fabric of who we are. The best leaders take all of this into account, particularly in the way they coach. In this article, you will learn how to adjust your coaching conversations to better connect with each individual and get the best results. …

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The FUEL that Propels Today’s Organizations

| Julie Giulioni | 1 Comment Share on Twitter  Share on LinkedIn  Share on Facebook  Share with Email

Organizations today face unparalleled pressures and challenges—from balancing the needs of customers and shareholders to combating new and evolving competitive forces to anticipating and planning for an uncertain future by ensuring a never-ending flow of innovations and improvements. It’s an exhausting 24/7 effort that can leave many organizations—and the individuals within them—depleted. Yet despite the punishing conditions, some organizations thrive. Their employees remain energized and effective in the face of initiatives and tasks that are daunting to others. What accounts for the difference? Why are some organizations propelled forward while others stall? It all comes down to what powers the …

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