Challenging the Process & Embracing Change

Effective leaders “challenge the process” -- encouraging innovation, accepting and embracing change, encouraging risk taking, and rewarding new ideas.  It is human nature to avoid/resist change, but change is necessary to become a better leader or, for that matter, a better person.  So how do we get there?   First, of course, is painting a picture of what you want the change to be . . .

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Douglass Teschner
Leading with Purpose

“It all starts with a commitment to purpose, worthwhile work and making a difference,” wrote Quint Suder in his book Hardwiring Excellence. Do the leaders on your team fully understand and embrace these key ideas in their day-to-day work? Are they so focused on short-term priorities that they don’t have time to inspire and motivate their employees to achieve a high level of performance? Read more in Dr. Teschner’s NH Business Review column: https://www.nhbr.com/January-18-2019/How-to-lead-with-purpose/.

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Douglass Teschner
Using Time Most Effectively

This challenge of finding enough time for important leadership tasks is all too common in busy workplaces, but Stephen Covey reminds us in his classic The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People that we need to “put first things first.” The urgent/important matrix is a useful way to understand this dilemma. Leaders find themselves often in Quadrant I (urgent/important) and Quadrant III (urgent/not important), reactively responding to the needs of the moment. Quadrant II (not urgent/important) may be underutilized, even though it includes very important leadership activities.

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Douglass Teschner
Inspiring a Shared Vision

The most effective leaders paint a compelling image of the future that is well communicated and embraced by their team.  Quint Suder notes in Hardwiring Excellence that the most successful leaders, “connect results back to purpose, worthwhile work, and making a difference.” Inspiring a shared process is a key leadership competency cited by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in their book The Leadership Challenge.  Sadly, however, this is not always achieved -- 78 percent of US employees are not convinced that their leaders have a clear direction for their business or organization.

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Douglass Teschner
Enhancing Staff Retention

Nearly all of the factors that lead to high staff retention and low turnover are directly related to a leader’s actions and behaviors. What steps could you take to motivate employees and reduce staff turnover? Please check out the latest Growing Leadership column in the New Hampshire Business Review: “Measuring Effective Leadership: You Can Start by Assessing Staff Retention and Turnover”  https://www.nhbr.com/October-26-2018/Measuring-effective-leadership/ 

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Douglass Teschner
Model the Way

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing. -- Albert Schweitzer. You expect great results from those you lead, but it has to start with you!  In their book The Leadership Challenge, Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner highlight modeling the way as one of five key leadership practices.   Modeling the way has many aspects including: leading by example, setting and affirming values. . . .

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Douglass Teschner
Managing Expectations

Managing expectations is a key element for leadership and organizational success.  A leader needs to know what s/he expects from staff and ensure that these expectations are proactively communicated and well understood by each person on the team. Expectations should be based on values and driven by the organization’s purpose and the leader’s vision. 

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Douglass Teschner
Creating a Positive Work Climate

One important mark of leadership excellence is creating and sustaining a positive work climate that reinforces a sense of belonging.   A positive work climate enhances motivation, teamwork, collaboration, and employee problem solving. But what do leaders do to achieve this?  There are many aspects, but I will focus on three. First is the leader’s energy level:  positive energy is contagious and motivating for others, while negative energy can have the opposite effect.

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Douglass Teschner
Embracing Servant Leadership

The most effective leaders understand a fundamental truth -- that great leadership, “is not about me.”  Of course, it is natural to think about our individual needs, be they for recognition, approval, or control, but servant leaders hold themselves accountable to devoting time and energy on finding and developing the potential in people. . .

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Douglass Teschner
Leadership Connected to Our Deepest Selves

An effective leader understands that quality leadership is driven by what Robert Adams and William Anderson call “inner game” qualities and behaviors.   In Mastering Leadership, they write that, “Great leadership is connected to the deepest parts of ourselves.”  Here is a list of some important “inner game” qualities . . .

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Douglass Teschner