I recently was asked by asked by John Mattone, an executive coach and the world’s top authority on Intelligent Leadership (IL) to reveal some of the vital skills all corporate leaders must master that I’ve learned from the leaders that have been featured on the Fast Leader Show.
“Vital skills all corporate leaders must master.” Click to Tweet
I shared why I decide to create the podcast. I shard my story about growing up in East Chicago, Indiana and how that impacted me.
So Many Questions
I’ve always had questions. Why do people do the things that they do? How do people find a right fit? How do you engage employees? How do you engage customers? How do you engage with colleagues? How can you make a greater impact? How can you help more people?
All of these questions and my never-ending desire to find answers combined with the joy that I receive by recognizing others are some of the foundational reasons why started the Fast Leader Show podcast.
Some common mistakes
What are some of the most common mistakes?
There have been a few commonly-cited leadership mistakes that the guests on my podcast have admitted to on the show. With the storytelling format of the show, how people discover their mistakes and the circumstances surrounding their mistakes are unique to the individual and make each show unique.
Fear gets in the way
One of the more common mistakes that people cite is allowing fear to rule their decisions. People allow fear to prevent them from exploring opportunities within their existing role or new opportunities, standing up to others, expanding their current role, doing what they know is right, and enjoying themselves.
Ultimately, fear is an internal restriction. Sometimes the fear is purely internally manifested, while sometimes the fear comes from external forces and yet we allow it affect us.
“Fear is an internal restriction.” Click to Tweet
For all of us, fear is something that we must admit exists and learn how to manage it.
Leadership Program Failures
The main reason[s] that over 80 percent of leadership programs fail is that learning is only the beginning. Development takes time. People must practice leadership skills and attitudes. And they must have effective coaching to be led to success.
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The high failure rate of leadership programs has been around for a very long time. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) in leadership training and development is considered to be an important element in human resources and beyond. The ROI of training and development is frequently a topic presented and discussed at conferences, workshops, and professional associations. Journals and media regularly present the subject with more and more emphasis. Yet nothing is changing.
Executives have come to expect ROI projections and estimates in requests for leadership training and development funding. Leadership educators now find that asking for return on investment information is commonplace, but they’re frightened to reveal the true results. And they should be.
There are three key ways I see people sabotaging their chances to get ahead.
- Emotional Intelligence: People are not actively improving their emotional intelligence (EQ) skills. The evidence is very clear: those with higher EQ advance further and make more money over those with higher IQ. By not proactively improving your emotional intelligence, you are literally blocking yourself from moving onward and upward faster. You are costing you and your family a better livelihood. Get the 54 Emotional Intelligence Competencies List
- Blending In: People are not amplifying their uniqueness and exploring ways to use their uniqueness to add value to others. They are choosing to fit in, keep their head down, and not make waves to stand out above the rest. Ironically, this behavior increases the chances of you being affected by downsizing and reorganization. Career security resides in being unique. It’s your responsibility to reveal it.
- Coaching: Those that do not seek the support of a coach will be passed by those that do. All of the experts and masters of anything in the world have coaches. As individuals, we have blind spots to the things that are blocking us from obtaining what we seek. We all have unintentional blindness. A coach helps you to see what you can’t.
Get to know what you don’t know
You can’t improve what you know nothing about. So there are two things to do. First, learn about the competencies you need to improve to increase your emotional intelligence. The next thing is to assess your emotional intelligence. Unless you know what you need to work on, you are not going to be efficient with your time and effort.
“You can’t improve what you know nothing about.” Click to Tweet
Once you know what you need to work on, you must be willing to put in the practice to improve. Knowledge is not what improves your emotional intelligence. You must practice the new behaviors you’ll need to practice in order to experience any gains.
“Knowledge is not what improves your emotional intelligence.” Click to Tweet
Victims of Poor Morale
The symptoms of poor internal morale are presented in a multitude of different ways. The innocent victim in most of these cases is the customer.
“The innocent victim of poor morale is the customer.” Click to Tweet
Poor morale can impact the customer experience by:
- Chronic problems experienced
- Poor product/service development
- Low levels of feeling valued
- Mixed messaging
- Cumbersome interaction processes
- Higher cost
- More time invested
All of these symptoms end up pushing customers to your competition. Causes of these symptoms are most often misdiagnosed as technology or process problems. What people fail to realize is that people design, implement, and support the technology and processes. So it’s people that are the problem. And when poor morale and engagement are present, people don’t work well with one another.
Essential skills that leaders need in the future
Leaders of today have to do these things now to be successful. The future is now.
“Master these four vital skills to accelerate your career.” Click to Tweet
If you want to rapidly accelerate your progression to greater levels of responsibility and compensation, you’ll need to master these four vital skills.
- Perspective Taking: To be able to consider various points of view or assumptions about situations and people and to seek alternative options and choices. To view various situations through the eyes of others in order to better understand their behavior, positions, or requests.
- Decision Making: You can’t merely gain perspective. With all of your perspective taking, you need to be able to make a decision and set a course of action. Knowing when to convert all of the insight gathered into a plan is key. Make a decision and move forward. And let your perspective taking continue so you can make adjustments when needed.
- Persuasion: Nothing in an organization is done solo. You need to be able to persuade others of the merits of your decision so they work in concert to execute the plan. Being able to influence and persuade others to join you in the pursuit contributes to the outcome experienced.
- Platform Building: In today’s noisy world, it’s more difficult to stand out from the rest. But for you to receive more opportunities to obtain greater success, you must. Creating a platform enables you to get seen and to be heard. Without it, you are just one of many. If you’re serious about taking yourself to the next level, you can’t succeed without a platform.