Design Thinking For CEOs

What do I mean by Design Thinking for CEOs? Let's break that down. What is Design Thinking? According to Wikipedia: Design thinking is a method for the practical, creative resolution of problems using the strategies designers use during the process of designing. Design thinking has also been developed as an approach to resolve issues outside of professional design practice, such as in business and social contexts. The reason I add the CEO qualifier as in Design Thinking for CEOs is many people who run businesses believe Design Thinking is for Software Developers or Product Managers or Interior Decorators and not for them. Design Thinking for CEOs or anyone is a way of thinking. It's constantly asking, "Why am I doing it this way?" It's constantly asking, "Is there a better way?" Everyone benefits from design thinking. Look at something as simple as a water fountain. Water fountains have changed very little in the last 100 years. Yet culture and habits have changed. Due to the emerging emphasis on health (drinking more water) and the environment protection have changed human habits so that many of us walk around with water bottles. In fact, some of us don't walk around with water bottles because 3 years ago...

Critical Leadership Traits

What can I say about Leadership Traits? I've worked for leaders, been a leader and coached leaders for over 40 years. In that time, I've recognized certain leadership traits are common to the majority of great leaders. That's my subjective observation. In my coaching practice, I use personality assessment tools to help me, coach, understand my clients, and to help them understand themselves and their teams. I compiled a list of all company leaders/ CEOs with whom I've administered a personality assessment in order to objectively determine which leadership traits are most common. The leaders in this survey all run companies ranging from $1 million in revenue to $40 million. Most Personality Assesment tools measure Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality. Good tools, like Predictive Index, and Ngenio's MPO realize that these traits fall on a spectrum. For instance, in the case of formality, which measures things like precision, attention to detail and rules following. Some people are extremely rigid and precise while others are extremely flexible, and others still may just be slightly precise. For instance, in the case of the Predictive Index the spectrum looks like this: Low -3 -2 -1 Trait +1 +2 +3 High Agreeable Agreeable Humble Unselfish A Independent Resolute Forceful Assertive Amenable Accepting Peaceable Dominance Competitive Autonomous Aggressive Acquiescent Collaborative Caring Self—starting Venturesome Controlling Compliant Pleasing Attentive Resourceful Innovative Self-reliant Accommodating Modest Supportive Inventive Directing Confrontational Obliging Willing Cooperative Determined Challenging Unyielding Reserved Private Imaginative Quiet B Sociable Simulating Expressive Outgoing Standoffish Reserved Sincere Extraversion Persuasive Enthusiastic Gregarious Separate Unpretentious Introspective Talkative Socially poised Enticing Reticent Ruminant Contemplative Open Compelling Outspoken Isolated Insightful Candid Encouraging Eloquent Influential Reclusive Pensive Reflective Eager Animated Convincing Impatient Zealous High-strung Tense C Relaxed Deliberate Extremely steady Steady Volatile Hurried Quick Patience Stable Measured Placid Edgy Intense Hasty Calm Unhurried Habitual Impulsive Fast-paced Prompt Cool Peaceful Easygoing Urgent Abrupt Ready Composed Serene Even-tempered Rushed Rapid Restless Collected Unruffled Mellow Flexibility Spontaneous Familiar Casual D Conservative Precise Dutiful Conforming Unstructured Unworried Uninhibited Formality Thorough Careful Inflexible Extemporaneous Undaunted Easy Respectful Cautious Structured Instinctive Unconcerned Facile Loyal Exacting Strict Impulsive Carefree Flexible Diligent Proper Vigilant Improvising Unfussy Pliable Serious Rigorous Correct What patterns emerge from evaluating my database. Most of the leaders I work with are...

Situational Leadership – Different Strokes for Different Folks

What is Situational Leadership? Just as every leader is different, so is every team. In fact, every member of every team is different which means that not every leadership style is suitable for every team. An effective leadership style for one team is probably not well-suited for another time with another team. Such is the theory of Situational Leadership. As anyone who has watched 4-year old’s play soccer knows, you wouldn’t coach a soccer team of pre-schoolers the same way you would coach a world cup championship team. In fact, you wouldn’t want to coach a team of kids whose parents dragged them to soccer practice the same way you’d coach a group of kids who hounded their parents to be there. Acknowledging that coaching styles differ based on the commitment level to the cause or skill is the genius of the Situational Leadership Model developed by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, in the 1970s. Their theory posits (a word this author uses to seem more credible as does this author refers to himself in this note as this author), that there are different strokes for different folks or that there are four major leadership styles that work best with teams depending on their...

Leadership Versus Management

I had the good fortune to sit down with Jonathon Abermen, Managing Director of Amplifier Ventures, to discuss leadership versus management. Below is the audio of the interview which was broadcast April 27, 2018, on WFED, Fed Radio 1500. Press the little play button to hear the interview: [sc_embed_player fileurl="https://drivenforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WFED_Leadership_versus_management.mp3"] Transcript of Leadership Versus Management Interview ABERMAN: Glen, thanks for joining us. HELLMAN: Thank you for having me. ABERMAN: Leadership. I think a lot of people think they know what it is, but what is leadership? HELLMAN: So, probably the best way to sum it up is the difference between leadership and management. Management is how you take care of two-year-old children or less. You put up gates, you give them systems, you protect them, but you don’t do anything that’s not under your control. Leadership is, if you haven’t taken your 17-year-old and led them, when they’re out in the car alone, on a Friday night, at ten o’clock, you have failed. You can’t manage 17-year-old when they’re not in your view. Leadership is creating an environment around your team where they behave the way you would want them to if you were there. Leadership scales, management fails. Subscribe to the What’s Working in Washington podcast on...

Leaf Branch Root Coaching

Leaf Branch Root, it's a method to coach, empower, and learn to trust your team. Lately, in my coaching, I encounter the micromanager who say they don't want to micromanage and inevitably this is a trust issue. It's part hero issue, I must save the day...

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership

According to Harvard Business Review, Emotional Intelligence or EQ is an essential ingredient for success as a leader. In a study of one company, leaders with high Emotional Intelligence outperformed the average manager by 20% while low EQ leaders performed nearly 20% lower than average. What are the elements of Emotional Intelligence? There are five major factors: Self-awareness - defined as an awareness of who you are and your effect on others. People who believe they have no room for improvement are not self-aware. People who recognize, admit and work to overcome their shortcomings make better leaders. Self-aware people are: Realistic about their self-assessment Display a self-deprecating sense of humor Are confident Self-regulation - defined as controlling one's impulses and thinking before acting. Leaders with strong self-regulation tendencies create an atmosphere of trust resulting in higher productivity. They display: Thoughtfulness Comfort with ambiguity Integrity Motivation - motivated people are driven to perform beyond expectations. Their drive to exceed goals is contagious. They are motivated by greater things than just money. Motivation is displayed by: Passion for the work Desire to continuously improve - Daniel Pink Calls this Mastery Optimistism - everything is an opportunity Empathy - is essential to coaching, motivating individuals and creating cohesive...

Business Focus – The Video

Business Focus A couple of weeks ago, I sat down over a beer and over an internet connection and about 800 miles of distance with Max Traylor of Beers with Max. We talked about lessons of a Turn-Around executive and why companies fail. Here's an excerpt from the interview on Business Focus. If you're getting this via RSS-Feed or Email, link here for the video. Max:  What would you say was the was the biggest challenge if you did notice any trends in these failing startup companies? What would you say is the biggest challenge and don't let the audience being sales and marketing professionals taint your answer. Mr. Cranky: Business Focus...