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...

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...

The Acquired Taste

I'm an acquired taste. Many people try me once and gag. Some come back again, give it another try and eventually, I become a habit. Huh? Mr. Cranky...

Hank O’Donnell on Hero Syndrome

Hank O'Donnell is a Philadelphia-based Business Coach. I met Hank O'Donnell several years ago when I attended a Vistage Coach Training Seminar in Leesburg Virginia and Hank led several of the sessions. I was a relatively new Vistage Coach at that time and O'Donnell as a veteran coach was working with a group of coaches to help us hone our craft. This was back when Vistage still invested heavily in Coach Training (see Why I Quit Vistage). Since then I've moved on as has Hank O'Donnell but I still learn from him via his emails and video blogs. Here's a great example of one of his videos. Watch and learn as Hank drops leadership knowledge. Quoting from Hank: I've discovered a major flaw in many leaders — myself included. I call it The Hero Complex, and it creates what Dr. Stephen Karpman calls The Drama Triangle. I love to rescue people! It made me feel good to solve my team’s problems, but after a while, it became exhausting. I’d become the “victim” myself, and they became the “persecutors.” I’d find myself saying, “Why don't they take responsibility and first try to tackle problems on their own? Why do they always come to me?” What I didn’t...

How Can You Get Better Company Results Next Year?

Want better company results? There is no lonelier person than a leader. I’ve been there. I understand the isolation of leadership. In my 30+ years of business, my leadership teams, boards of directors, and family were all available all the time, and yet I was often isolated. I required advisors whom I could trust, who had no agenda, and who would ask me tough questions. I needed to deliver better company results. As an executive coach, I strive to be that safe, nonjudgmental, confidential, critical thinking partner. I strive to be the cure for the loneliness at the top. I believe in: Asking questions Questioning answers Critical thinking Finding truth Authenticity Integrity Making a difference Caring What Does That Mean to You? Studies show that isolation can lead to missteps, but when business leaders have a safe place to discuss issues, a nonjudgmental strategy partner, and the aid of a quality executive coach, they make better decisions and achieve better results. How do you find out if this will work for you? Find a coach who: Has experience leading companies Has been trained and certified by a reputable coaching organization Follows a disciplined coaching methodology Allows you to try a coaching session because every great...

Driven Forward Business Coaching Methodology

When hiring an executive or business coach a potential client should inquire is there a business coaching methodology? Is there a process that the executive coach follows? About My Business Coaching Methodology Driven Forward Coaching Methodology is adapted from training and certifications Glen Hellman obtained a decade of business coaching. Many people confuse coaching with consulting. Effective coaching, however, differs from consulting in that a quality coach asks questions and avoids proposing solutions. A good coach guides a client to develop an optimum, prioritized action plan through spirited questioning to enable the client to develop a plan that they will commit to execute. Research shows that people have a higher probability of executing plans they develop as opposed to plans that are developed for them. As a coach, it is my responsibility to vigorously question your thinking in order to help the client crystallize the best path forward. Coaches are like gloves...

Harvard Business Review – HBR Business Coach Study

Just completed, an HBR Business Coach Study which is the result of a survey of 140 leading coaches. The data was then reviewed by respondents and "five experts." The Headlines of the HBR Business Coach Study The Bar Must Be Raised - Coaches shouldn't be able to just hang up a shingle and call themselves a coach. Experience and Training Count Fixing Toxic Corporate Culture Major Driving Force - Over the last decade coaches were engaged to fix the toxic behavior of corporate leaders Development of Top Performers - Companies are realizing that offering coaches to top performers is a wise investment Blurred Lines - Coaches and clients should be aware of the difference between a business coach and a therapist Gaining Legitimacy - Coaching is more and more being acknowledged as providing value Buyer Beware - Check out references, experience, training before hiring a coach HBR Business Coach by the numbers   HBR Business Coach Buying Guidelines Other HBR Business Coach Study Findings Ingredients of a successful coaching relationship Is the executive highly motivated to change - the best coaching recipients are gree and growing, lifelong learners Good chemistry between coach and client is essential The C-suite needs must be committed to retain and develop coached executives Shifting focus...

Fire Bad Customers

Giving Bad News

On Leaders Giving Bad News Courage is a prerequisite for leadership and how leaders give bad news speaks volumes regarding their courage. Most of us don't like delivering bad news. Many fear giving bad news. Yet courage is not defined by the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in the face of and despite fear. A recently completed study by BYU linguistics professor Alan Manning and the University of South Alabama's Nicole Amare, indicates that people want their leaders to be direct when giving bad news. No hemming and hawing allowed. The study finds that beating around the bush with chatter like, "This is very difficult for me and I'm sure you know that we haven't been happy with your performance so we are going to have to let you go," are sub-optimal. As is the very direct Trumpian, "Your Fired!" The research found that people prefer a tiny buffer like, "We have to talk. I'm sorry, but we have to let you go." Short and sweet, proceeded with a quick buffer is the way to go. Folks, criticism without compassion is brutality.  I know what you're saying right now, "Wait! What? Did Mr. Cranky just say criticism without compassion is cruelty?"  Yes, he did and if you could just...