Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Leadership Deficit

The Leadership Deficit

Top 5 leadership skill deficiencies, according to APQC research.

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Nearly 80 percent of 547 respondents indicate that current business challenges require a different leadership style, but only 21 percent believe their organization’s leadership practices are effective, according to a new study, “The Leadership Deficit,” from APQC, a nonprofit leader in benchmarking and best practices research, and sponsored by THEaster Consulting. Further, 46 percent report that their organization places little or no priority on leadership development.

When skills needed versus skills employees possess were compared, APQC identified the following as the top five leadership skill deficiencies:

  • Strategic planning
  • Change management
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Listening
  • Emotional Intelligence

Interesting information from Training magazine this month…how does your organization stack up to the statistics?  Let us help address the Leadership Deficit.

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Managing through conflict

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the ability to cope with it” –Anonymous

Conflict is a part of our lives, both personally and professionally.  It has to be accepted as such, but some deal with conflict far better than others and ultimately live more peaceful lives as a result.

In a workplace setting, Conflict can arise from a variety of sources such as power struggles, poor communication, or personality differences.  All of these factors can present rather complicated challenges and often have multiple sub-factors going on for each party involved.  However, as a Leader in your organization, it is essential that you discover methods for diffusing conflict with creative, mutuality-based solutions.  Our own personalities play such a big part in the way we approach a conflict; some choose to simply avoid dealing with it.  However, no resolution will be made with this tactic.  Some will acquiesce if they are not confident in their leadership skills, but giving in also does not resolve the conflict in a mutually fair way.  Some leaders will compete and insist that they get their way with no room for the other party to feel gratified.  Some will compromise which far closer to a resolution than any of the above approaches, but both parties have to give plenty to receive only some.  Finally, some leaders understand the value of collaboration.  This is the best scenario, but also the hardest to achieve effectively.  It takes time, understanding, emotional intelligence and perseverance.  However the result of collaborating through a conflict is that both parties receive far more in the end while strengthening the relationship.  This mutually satisfying resolution is the goal of any conflict and natural leaders will be able to employ this method due to the trust they have built with their team members. 

For more information on managing through conflict, please read Managing from the Inside Out by Jim Hornickel.  Available at

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Why Platinum is stronger than Gold

Remember the Golden Rule we were all taught in gradeschool?  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  This rule implies the assumption that other people would like to be treated the same way you would like to be treated…When we really think about this notion, it appears rather self-oriented and assuming. Have you ever heard of the Platinum Rule?  The Platinum Rule states: "treat others the way they want to be treated".  It sounds over-simplified, but isn’t it the very goal of our desire to treat others kindly and with respect?  The Platinum Rule accommodates the feelings of others and opens us up to an exploration of
what do they want and how am I able to give it to them?  It is a productive form of thinking that advances our relationships positively.  When we are able to internalize this doctrine, we see the world in a new light.  We view our relationships through a different lens. Personal relationships will surely benefit from Platinum Rule thinking; however it is not about becoming submissive in any way, in fact it is an empowering notion.  It’s about expanding our thinking and creating the conditions for positive reciprocity within a relationship.  This applies equally to relationships at work. The Platinum Rule will transform your professional relationships to create a stronger, healthier framework for dealing with workplace challenges. Conflicts arise in any workplace environment.  We can become more equipped to deal with them proactively by simply applying the Platinum Rule thinking to the situation.  The conflict can be addressed respectfully while strengthening the relationship rather than deteriorating it.  It also opens the door for the mutual exchange of thoughts and respect which in turn boosts morale. X

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Finding the Courage to Succeed

"Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. -Christopher Robin to Pooh"  A classic sentiment from A.A. Milne’s most beloved characters…And not irrelevant at all in our modern, stressful world.  Courage is something we all possess and must tap into at intervals of change and challenge.  Most often, however it is needed when we are experiencing moments of fear.  In the workplace, fear can arise when we must confront a coworker, handle an important project we don’t feel qualified for, or ask a boss for a pay raise.  Whatever your level of fear around the topic, courage is the antidote.  Growing your "courage factor" is like expanding anything else about yourself…it takes the ability and willingness to be conscious and to practice.  Like muscles needing to be worked to strengthen, so too does our courage factor need to be exercised.  If you desire a promotion or secretly wish you could be an inspiring leader to others, but feel inadequate then perhaps fear is the culprit.  The realization that one can overcome that fear and build their courage is liberating in and of itself.  By focusing on developing your courage through practice and determination, one can dramatically change their reaction to fearful situations and gain confidence and resolve as a result.  Many public figures whom we admire admit to living in fear at various times in their lives, yet we see them as larger than life and immune to "negative" traits like fear and insecurity.  However, they have risen above their fears through courage and honed their speaking skills, leadership abilities or remarkable talents to become the admired people they are today. 

We have to believe that the result is greater than the fear.  And we have to practice in incremental ways, what we fear most in order to progress toward our goals.  A determined, conscious effort with courage will ultimately bring you closer to your goals. 

To learn more about Courage and Management and learn strategies for practicing skills, please see
Managing from the Inside Out by Jim Hornickel.

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