Tag: Leadership


Innovative Leadership – What do Companies look for?

More than ever, companies are focusing their attention on recruiting innovative leaders to forge an ever-evolving path for their organization. They want leaders to push the limit with questions, observations, networking, experimenting, and advanced thinking – never ceasing to discover the unimaginable.

Being part of a team who works for an innovative leader, organizational growth can be exponential as they explore new concepts and break down barriers. These leaders have the innate ability to imagine the impossible and communicate their vision to others who will add to the bigger picture. With a charismatic character, innovative leaders foster an environment of futuristic change and are ambitious in obtaining an optimal result.

As new ideas are established and set in motion, enhancements to the company can be used to help drive it to even greater success. Introducing and exploring technological advancements and digital improvements are necessary for growth. Centering on a digital footprint provides companies with an infinite, information-based foundation, leveraging information that may otherwise be unknown or out of reach. With the right digital extensions, the corporate business initiatives will thrive and create opportunities beyond today!

What constitutes a transformational leader?

There is an overwhelming sense of responsibility taken on by any leader. Strong leadership evokes a belief in the shared vision and the charisma to guide others has the ability to propel the strengths of the team. The way employees define their manager’s leadership style, has a large impact on the continuation of a successful leadership cycle.

There are nine identified frameworks of leadership styles – transformational, transactional, laissez-faire, servant, autocratic, democratic, bureaucratic, charismatic and situational. With these nine styles, also comes nine different ways a team can define their leader’s approach. Believing in a one-size-fits-all methodology may cause more adversity than prosperity. Leaders must have the ability to adapt their leadership strategy to fit the situation and their employees.

The responsibility taken on by any leader is more than just a guide towards the right direction. A leader must be willing to make the hard decisions, earn the trust and respect of his/her employees, believe and articulate a shared goal, and inspire people to do their best. Having the foresight to know what may lie ahead and recognize that a shared vision will distinguish a transformational leader from the rest.

Should Succession Planning be on your Company Agenda?

As the structure of an organization matures and employees begin to mature and transition from their initial roles, succession planning becomes a key piece in ensuring the organization will continue to run smoothly.

Be proactive in outlining a succession plan that works best for the culture of the company. Set aside adequate time to identify the key traits needed for another leader to fill the soon-to-be vacant position. Even if a transition is not expected immediately, proper timing and planning make a difference in the midst of any occupational shift.

In the spirit of timing, this offers an excellent opportunity to provide training to other employees that may be interested in leadership roles down the road or perform trail runs for potential candidates whom may be closer to the level of accepting more responsibility. Opening up the chance for employees to actively seek leadership roles and identifying top performers, organizations pave a greater road towards smoother transitions.

Through training and vetting, it is important to relay the shared vision of the organization. Engaging in transparent strategic conversations will not only help develop a greater vision for future success inter-departmentally but it will also magnify the strengths of top-performers.

Once an internal succession structure is identified, the process should be mirrored and appropriately transitioned to fit the hiring strategy, establishing the traits valued in top-leadership parallels that of new additions.

How to Properly Resign as an Executive

After deciding to forge a new career path, resigning from the current position is naturally one of the next steps. As an executive, the utmost importance falls on how their departure transpires and how it affects the company in the long haul.

Appropriate transparency and confidence will define how any executive leaves their current role. Naturally, as a leader departs, followers begin to raise suspicion. Being confident in the transition without making vague excuses will alleviate that worrisome feeling that may arise in employees. The reasoning behind such change should be professional and future-centric rather than focused on the specific instances that led to the transition.

An in-person announcement to the organization is the best way to break news for any leave. Falling in line with transparency, this method allows current employees the chance to ask questions, witness organizational support and positivity and, most importantly, observe the raw emotion that is paired with any goodbye. No matter the circumstances, good or bad, executives will be able to better gauge the reaction of their team and quash any potential rumors or “this is what I heard” scenarios.

Leaving the company in good standing should be at the forefront of any executive’s mind after deciding to depart from their current role. While two weeks’ notice may be the norm, more time may be needed to ensure adequate measures and plans are in place to set the company up for future success. Whether it be two weeks or two months, a proper go-ahead plan should be established and communicated to support the company that such executive was once a part of.

Never Under Estimate Your Value!

Confidence within the workplace is key to a successful career, and a portion of such confidence is the power that comes with knowing ones true value. Social interactions, energy and attitude play a major part in how people interact with one another in the workplace. Positive interactions are driven by value-led thoughts.

Believing that you have what it takes to make a powerful impact in your role and not accepting less than what is deserved solidifies the understanding of your self-worth. Have the confidence to say what you want because you know it is earned but also, have the humility to realize unrealistic expectations.

Evaluate who you are and who you want to be, while celebrating your accomplishments. Prioritizing your commitments and personally valuing who you are will translate into value in any situation.

Growing Leaders

If you ask people around you to define leadership, chances are there will be a large variety of answers. Words like coach, power and respect are often riddles in the responses but the same general tone to describe leadership is someone with influence.

Oftentimes though, people mistake leaders for some in high ranking positions when leaders can be found even in the most entry-level positions. The key is fostering those early leadership skills to support a possible rise in position status within the company.

The most fundamental foundation to any strong leader is trust. When times get tough, it is important that employees have trust in their leader to be the calm in the storm. Establishing an environment that allows for vulnerability fosters the ability for employees to think independently with the notion that failure is okay and encourages bridging the gap between the executives and the team they manage.

Communication goes hand-in-hand with trust. Employees need to trust that they can communicate with their leader. Setting forth a pragmatic point of view will challenge employees to think about how they can improve on mistakes made and enable them to creatively work to find solutions in the future. Disclosing noncritical company information, both successes and failures, provides employees with a sense of belonging as they begin to understand their role through both a micro and macro view of the company.

Transitioning to the C-Suite

The ascension to the C-Suite is often paired with redesigned goals and ideas to ensure success in the new role. Fostering a successful transition can bring challenges as aligning others around those specific objectives is not always an easy feat.

To combat these common struggles, it is best to establish a shared vision on company priorities. Aligning the organization to understand and believe in the strategic design of the organization is a critical component to build success when executives are promoted or have accepted  a senior role. By creating an environment where employees buy-in to the vision of the company, executives will work to establish an immediate and long-term impact in the foundation of the organization.

Accepting that the answers are not always clear, and can be a significant learning curve during any transition. Making quick and calculated moves to establish a trustworthy team allows for any executive to begin to influence others with designed support.

Taking all of this into account, nothing can be done without the thought and preparation of self-readiness. By designating the appropriate amount of time to a purposeful tenure, ascending into the C-Suite will be complimented with proven results.

Learn from Experience

In recent months, top companies have been the topic of conversation because of errors that were made. Now, it is up to other companies to learn from their missteps to avoid the same downfall.

It all starts with leadership…

Since February, the ride-sharing service, Uber, dealt with charges of sexual harassment, disparagement from top management, a federally-charged criminal investigation and publicly shared internal emails encouraging the use of drugs and sexual relations between employees. These conflicts all pointed to weak leadership values as the CEO eventually took a leave of absence in June. Uber’s weaknesses highlight the impact that leadership can have on company culture. By establishing a base of active and value-focused top management, companies will succeed from the top down.

Holding people accountable…

Another scandal that shook the business world was the 2016 Wells Fargo scandal. Found guilty of creating millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts, Wells Fargo paid more than $150 million in fines. And, amidst the spotlight shining on its practices, Wells Fargo was recently reported as having charged auto loan customers for unneeded car insurance. Nonetheless, some key players are still being compensated despite the hailstorm brought to the banking industry. Not only does it fall in line with leadership failures, but by holding Wells Fargo executives accountable, the company could have avoided the latest news reports. It is important to look at all factors at stake and take corrective action on those that should be held accountable.

Prepare for anything…

While the Uber and Wells Fargo issues could have been stopped through past choices, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 nightmare was something that could not have been predicted. The way Samsung addressed the issue is something to learn from. After reports of the Galaxy 7 catching fire, Samsung posted a statement telling owners to power the phone down immediately and obtain a refund or exchange. That message, however, was posted discretely to consumers – fielding issues of secrecy and complexity. Not only did this cause users to be wary of Samsung products but it lessened the amicable relationship between Samsung and its carriers. By preparing for the worst and placing a priority on public relation messages if anything should go wrong, companies have the ability to come out of any controversy, successful and stronger in the eyes of the public.

Adapting for the 21st century


Corporate America has begun to transition into a new way of thinking for employees. The days of lifelong careers are no longer in sight as “over seven million of today’s jobs are expected to disappear by 2020” (SagePeople, 2017).

Employers have been forced to make a swift adjustment to cater to the disruption of the work force. By transforming the current employee mentality, employers will be able to evolve the company to match the new revolution and alleviate the risk of failure.

As the need for instant gratification grows so does the eagerness of employees to experience many different roles to see what fits best. Employees are looking to expand their skillset and transition horizontally, being less focused on vertical advancements but interested, rather, in lateral changes. A higher value is placed on unending learned and development, acquiring new skills as they transition within their career.

This change in mentality is a great opportunity for employers to adapt and face the challenges head on. Proactively engaging employees and offering the opportunity for optimum success will counteract any downfalls that may be experienced. With a constant rotating employee pool, recruiters can more selectively pick talent lending the chance to establish a workplace foundation focused on staff retention.

Employers can begin to mold key positions and mitigate the potential hit of the shifting employee mindset by identifying the key roles that are going to bring success in the future and pinpointing impactful skillsets. Abilities such as creativity, logical reasoning and problem solving will be held at a higher regard in future occupations (SagePeople, 2017).

The change of the workplace is inevitable and evolving quickly. Focusing on meaningful position development and employee support will help relieve the impact of the predicted unsettled employee mindset.

Mastering performance reviews

Performance reviews – a historically dreaded time in the office. Understanding how to take advantage of the review process and what personal and organizational improvements can be made will help both managers and employees alike to develop as an employee and contribute more to the company.

Meetings between manager and employee allows for the construction of individualized plans geared toward success. Not only do these conversations open a clear line of communication and transparency but they align company and employee goals and strategy. Setting goals that are smart, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (S.M.A.R.T.) allows employees to prioritize their work in the coming months based on personal and company goals.

And while performance reviews provide managers and employees the chance to speak openly about position performance, no review should come as a surprise. Employees should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses beforehand allowing the time allotted for a performance review to be focused on goals to improve or further success. The categories that are being evaluated must be clearly outlined to establish a clear line of expectations.

After the performance review, managers should take the time to review their notes that were taken during the meeting. Rather than stuffing the file into a folder and storing until the next performance review comes up, taking the time to map out a timeline of the milestones that the employee must hit to be considered successful is important to continue departmental success. This practice will not only provide managers the ability to map out their expectations, but it will also provide an insight into practices within the office that may require more focus.

One-on-one reviews are great to establish relationships between managers and employees; however, creating a system that allows the department to anonymously submit general feedback and personal role evaluation allows the opportunity for staff to identify micro-level needs regarding professional development.