Category Archives: Leadership Matters

Deconstructing Delegation

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

Delegation may be among the most misunderstood and mishandled of all supervisory responsibilities. Ask any employee and you’ll hear stories of managers throwing tasks “over the wall” with little or no direction or support. At the other end of the continuum is the criticisms of leaders who can’t let go and end up limiting their careers by insisting upon doing everything themselves. It’s rare to hear of the Goldilocks delegator who does it “just right.” This may be because delegation is far more complex and nuanced than most realize. Many managers perceive delegation as a monolithic supervisory responsibility, something they …

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Life, Leadership and the Ukulele

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

On a recent trip to Hawaii, I decided to escape the afternoon sun for a complementary ukulele lesson offered by a local musician, Jason Jerome. About ten hotel guests gathered – from age 8 to 80 – to learn a little about how to play the instrument… and a lot more. After a few minutes of instruction, we had mastered three simple chords that would allow us to play hundreds of songs. Sensing that we were ready to go to the next level and get fancier with our technique, Jason took the opportunity to demonstrate his mastery of the instrument …

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Developing Employees is Like Brushing Your Teeth

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

Helping others develop, learn and grow. It may be among the most fundamental responsibilities human beings have to one another. And it’s played out for millennia, as the lessons and cultural norms of past civilizations were passed on generation to generation much like parents today guide their children toward adulthood. Yet, in the workplace, where it plays an equally vital role supporting organizational (and sometimes individual) advancement and survival, development doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Over the years, leaders have become confused about what it is and how it operates. They’ve internalized some inaccurate beliefs that drive ineffective …

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The Supervisory Squeeze

| Julie Giulioni | 1 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

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

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

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

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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