Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association Weekly (9/5/11)

This week's contents:

Topic of the Week  Bad Teacher: How To Be An Effective Leader:

 Bad Teacher: How To Be An Effective Leader:

  • · DO assume the best.
  • · DO show the love.
  • · DO cut people loose.
  • · DON'T overlook team chemistry.


 

Bad Teacher: How To Be An Effective Leader
Leadership is a complicated stew of pressures, history, emotions and urgency. It is tough in the best of times and hardly anyone would argue that these are the best of times. Which reminds me of a conversation that I had with my daughter Frankie recently. We were driving in the car listening to Cyndi Lauper's song, "Money Changes Everything." I said, "If money changes everything for Cyndi, what do you think changes everything?" My seven-year old daughter paused for just a moment before saying, "Weapons." Who could disagree? But as a leader you have to go past weapons and threats to get the most out of your people. That's why I've included three Do's and one Don't to help you to become a better leader. For more, check out Robert I. Sutton's book "Good Boss, Bad Boss" (Business Plus, 2010).

DO show the love. This shows that I've probably given one too many speeches in Las Vegas. Which I have. But you've got to put time and energy into making your people feel like you care. Recognition, rewards and respect are three things that hardly anyone gets enough of in today's workplace. Want your people to go above and beyond the call of duty? The look at your management approach and ask if you go above and beyond the call of duty in giving energy, support and direction back to them. Don't ever be scared to show the love.

DO assume the best. Did you ever have a parent, coach or friend who always assumed the worst from you? Like Pigpen in the Peanuts cartoon strip, someone who walked around with a cloud of negative energy swirling over his or her head at all times. How did it feel to be constantly second-guessed? To have your integrity and motives constantly questioned? If you haven't experienced this, then take it from me, it's not any fun. Err on the side of trusting your people, at least until they give you a good reason not to.

DO cut people loose. People can tell when they're on the short leash. Why look for new places to raise revenue or cut costs when no one will listen? Most organizations today can't afford to have people asleep at the switch. One of my favorite stories came from a speech that I gave in Dallas to a group of corporate executives. A VP from Texas Instruments described an employee who was causing all kinds of trouble on a task force. I asked her how she dealt with him. "I appointed him chairman." She said he did an excellent job.

DON'T overlook team chemistry. Most executives don't have time for squabbling among team members. But this is the very sort of behavior that can grind a company to a halt. I'm not saying that work should be a never ending coffee klatch, but you do need to pay attention to the chemistry at work.

Follow these tips and you'll have all the weapons you need to become a better leader.

About the Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, "The Boss's Survival Guide." If you have a question for Bob, contact him via bob@workplace911.com.

Thought of the Week

"Wise Words: A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves."

–Anonymous

Blog of the Week

Top Five News Headlines

    List of the Week

    from CLASP

    Laborless Day: Current Stats About Work

    Five to one: The ratio of job seekers to jobs. For every five people looking for work, there is one job opening.

    4.5 million: The number of workers (32 percent of the 14 million unemployed workers) who have been out of work for a year or more. Another 1.7 million have been unemployed for six months to a year.

    30.1%: Percent of the nation's 26.7 million part-time workers who are doing so involuntarily because employers cut their hours were cut or they can't find full-time jobs.

    58 %: The current employment-to-population ratio, or percent of the population working, which is at its lowest level since 1983

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