Employers forced to promote ‘technical experts’ despite poor leadership qualities by Tom Newcombe

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Employers are facing increased pressure to promote “expert employees” even though they display poor leadership qualities, according to a report published today.

The report Leading technical people, published by employee engagement and leadership development firm BlessingWhite and seen exclusively by HR magazine, revealed the retention of such experts is a particular business challenge in industries where expertise is rare and in high demand, such as petrochemical engineering and specialist law practices.

The report also found the ability of an organisation to attract technical talent in the first place is based on a reputation for being a place where technical people can thrive.

‘Best of a bad option’

However, the report revealed the majority of these technical experts “stumble” when taking on managerial roles or leadership positions.

Fraser Marlow, head of marketing and research at BlessingWhite, said: “Organisations are increasingly dependent on the passion, creativity, energy and engagement of the workforce, and in particularly on expert employees in fields such as finance, engineering, design and technology.
“However, making them [technical experts] leaders is the best of a bad option,” said Marlow.

Poor leadership

The report found technical experts often have poor people management skills, and feel disempowered when given leadership responsibilities.
But despite this companies have no choice but to increase their reliance on technical leaders, the report said.

– See more at: http://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/hro/news/1077928/employers-forced-promote-technical-experts-despite-poor-leadership-qualities#sthash.eyHFr6ZX.dpuf

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Three Qualities Every Leader Needs to Succeed on a Team by PETER BREGMAN

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Here’s a great article from one of my favorite authors. Enjoy!

“I want your help developing my direct reports into stronger leaders,” John* the new CEO of Fasseni, a $350 million technology company, told me several years ago.

Initially, I approached the request like any consultant might.

First, I asked John why he wanted my help. He told me that Fasseni had stagnated. They had been hovering around the same revenue point for years and their competitors were gaining market share. He saw opportunity and knew that success lay in the hands of his direct reports. That made sense to me.

So John and I defined a list of qualities a great leader should have, like expertise in their field, strategic thinking capability, common sense intelligence, powerful communication skills, problem solving prowess, and similar traits.

Then I spent some time interviewing him and his direct reports to better understand their strengths and weaknesses as they related to the list of leadership qualities we had defined.

Identify the goal, assess the current situation, understand the gap, and then close it. Consulting 101. Simple, right?

Only in this case, it wasn’t so simple — because there was no gap.

On the whole, the leaders at Fasseni were smart, capable, communicative, strategic people. A few were even charismatic. They were good leaders. Maybe we could have made incremental improvements, but, I told John, I didn’t believe it would be a good use of his resources. Our work wouldn’t move the needle enough.

We sat in silence for a moment and then I chanced a gut feeling. “There is one more thing I’d love to do. I can’t exactly tell you why, but I’d love to see your direct reports in a meeting together.” He hesitated — so far I hadn’t added much value — but he took a risk.

Here’s what I saw:

One item on the agenda was the slow down in sales. When that conversation started, the head of sales started to defend his organization. Prices are too high, he said, because of the CEO’s focus on margins. If manufacturing could reduce costs, then sales would pick up.

What is Your Worst Habit by Cameron Morrissey

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“My troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” ~Walt Disney

“Leaders are more powerful role models when they learn than when they teach” – Rosabeth Moss Kantor

What if you could eliminate your greatest weakness? Public speaking, anger management, procrastination, etc. How would that improve you career and your life? You don’t get better at something by avoiding it, you get better at it by acknowledging it and coming up with a plan to work on it. Doing so is empowering and immediately begins mitigating the effects of the poor habit. But to tackle your absolute worst trait, I recommend you try this:

Don’t decide what you biggest weakness is yourself…..ask your staff

What we may think is the worst thing isn’t actually the most impactful weakness, and often we even hide our weaknesses from ourselves. Once you have a weakness to tackle, then start working on it:

Lessons – Are there classes you can take if it is a skill or behavior. Sign up for some. Isn’t the benefit of not having that weakness WELL WORTH the investment of time and possibly money?

Read more here: http://themanagersdiary.com/diary-entry-150-what-is-your-worst-habit/

Cameron Morrissey has a business career that spans over 20 years and includes Management positions in Fortune 500 companies, government organizations and small companies. Born and raised in Seattle and currently residing in Las Vegas. Catch his daily posts on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. Also check out his blog posts at: http://www.themanagersdiary.com

12 Tips to Communicate Better and Improve Business Results by David Grossman

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Whether you need to leverage new technology, engage employees to deliver better for customers, or just keep meeting your business goals, good communication is critical to any success strategy. Strong leadercommunicators know that when it’s effective, communication does much more than make people feel good. It is directly linked to business results.

In fact, good communication is inextricably linked to strong leadership. It inspires employees to commit their best effort by helping them understand the goals of the organization and how their individual efforts contribute to overall success.

Here are twelve tried and true ideas for communication that drives results:

Don’t settle for good…be great: Good communication gets the message out, great communication connects the dots. Whether it’s in your detailed job description or not, your role is to connect the dots so others know what’s possible and their role in making it happen.

Build trust and credibility: Be visible and approachable, engage others openly, fully and early on.

Context and relevance: Remember to provide context and make information relevant so your audiences understand how they fit in and what it means to them. Provide job-related information so those you work with have the essential information they need to do their job effectively and/or make the best decisions.

Communicate with integrity: Tell the truth always and without exception.

Match your words and actions: Talk is cheap…especially when it comes to leaders and their ability to build and maintain trust. Just ask anyone (especially employees). At the end of the day, it’s actions and results that matter most.

Read the rest here: http://www.yourthoughtpartner.com/blog/bid/59638/12-Tips-to-Communicate-Better-and-Improve-Business-Results

End of Blog? by Jim Johnson

I may be ending this blog. Recently, I have been threatened for sharing an article I came across.

Some things that many must misunderstand about this blog:

1. I make no income from this blog. It is not monetized in any way. Never has been. I have directed many (almost 4,000 now) to the “professional” bloggers ‘ sites. I have stolen nothing.

2. My goal is to inspire. I started it to share my own experiences with others as well as to share articles and book excerpts that I felt would be helpful to other experienced and emerging leaders in their growth.

3. I want to be resourceful. I have posted the web links, author info, and have many times promoted their books, seminars, etc. I get no monetary perks from that. Good info should be shared with others.

I’ll make my decision on this blog soon. I may end this one and start something new. I’ve got an idea.

Thanks to those who have visited Go, Leader, Grow! I appreciate the comments and readers from all over the world. This has been fun and a great learning experience.

More people are doing marketing badly… by Seth Godin

than any other profession I can imagine. What an opportunity…

If we were building bridges this badly, the safety of our nation would be in doubt.

The local sub shop makes a fine sub, but has a dumb name, a typo in their sign, no attention paid to customer service and on and on. Same for the big hospital down the street and the politician you wish would get a clue.

There are three reasons for this:

1. Everyone is a marketer, so there’s a lot more of it being done.

2. Most people who do marketing are actually good at doing something else (like making subs) and they’re merely making this up as they go along.

3. There’s no standards manual, not easy way to check your work. Without a rule book, it’s hard to follow the rules. (For the innovators and creators out there, this is great news, of course.)

The cure? Noticing. Notice what is working in the real world and try to figure out why. Apply it to your work. Repeat.

Learn to see, to discern the difference between good and bad, between useful and merely comfortable.

And after you learn, speak up. Noticing doesn’t work if you don’t care and if you don’t take action.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2013/07/more-people-are-doing-marketing-badly.html

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