Most of us focus on the external -- what our bosses and co-workers do and say. But relationships can benefit if we spend a little time on what is behind behavior -- the human wiring that makes up each of us.
I don't believe in leadership styles. We certainly hear plenty from all sorts of business gurus that this style or that is ideal. I would argue, however, that talking about styles has little value because we are incapable of leading in a way that is inconsistent with who we are as people.
The brand starts with the employees, which are the catalysts for a healthy company. What they say, how they act, how they talk to customers, and more importantly, how they buy into the company value system is critical.
Earlier this month, a group of my employees spent a week churning out some of their greatest work, all while taking breaks to go swimming and shoot hoops in idyllic country air. And we owe it all to the Rolling Stones.
The act of getting out of the office can inspire employees to chat about non-work-related topics and increase feelings of closeness. Friendships often blossom and, ultimately, bonds created translate to healthy and supportive working environments.
While I am fortunate to own a business I enjoy, have great clients and a fantastic team, I owe much of my success to the many misjudgments, miscalculations and plain stupid decisions that I have made over 26 years in business. Fortunately each mistake has led to a "aha!" moment.
It starts with a great idea. It's exciting at the beginning. But then, as you try to implement it, your efforts aren't greeted with enthusiasm. Instead you encounter apathy, resistance, and derision. Thus begins the long slow slog of getting things done.
History is filled with examples of men and women who overcame their fear and adversity on behalf of something bigger than themselves. Thankfully, business doesn't carry the same risks as battle. But it does require courage.
In our Building Best Teams course, we all realized that we needed to learn, or re-learn, the language we used in talking to others in our team, in giving feedback to colleagues, and, when asked, to our boss.
We used the word "team" a lot but had given no thought to what it meant. So I thought, let's get someone from one of the major football clubs to talk to my leadership "team" about achieving high performance.
There is often a certain level of discomfort which increases productivity, but if you go beyond it productivity falls off abruptly. So the skilful leader takes risks with discomfort, but keeps the door open so he can take the temperature back down again.
At the end of the day, your team is first (or a close second) in what makes your business successful. But it's definitely first in line for how happy you are everyday when you are slaving away on building something new.
Some HR professionals think that younger generations sabotage the work of others in order to keep the limelight on themselves, or lack leadership experience, so I developed a list of tips to help Generation Y managers delegate and elevate.
Innovation expert Steve Shapiro says, "If you are working on an aerospace engineering challenge, add a biologist, a musician, a nanotechnologist or someone from the movie business, you might find some different solutions."