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Training employees to become better managers or executives is an important part of maintaining a strong leadership pipeline. Without this type of development, an organization can be left with leadership gaps that result in decreased productivity, unintentional shifts in the company culture, and potentially lost profits. That is why it is crucial to address certain leadership topics throughout an employee’s development, in order to improve communication skills and team dynamics.

The types of leadership topics that are most relevant will depend on factors like where an individual is on their development path and the foundation of skills that has already been created. Consider including these ideas as you develop your leadership development program.

1. Communication

For those individuals who are early in their journey to becoming a leader, learning how to effectively communicate is critical. Learning and implementing techniques for active listening is the first step in avoiding misunderstandings and overcoming roadblocks. As they continue to grow into leadership positions that require managing people, they can achieve greater impact by learning how to solicit and provide feedback to improve performance. Senior leaders benefit from learning how to create and deliver the consistent messages that will promote a unified culture.
Why leaders engage: Everybody faces challenges that can be resolved using strong communication skills. Leaders in training want to know how they can be better at communicating effectively so that they can generate the results they expect from their teams.

2. Execution

One of the many strengths that makes an individual a great leader is the talent for developing brilliant strategies. However, in order to be effective, this skill must be paired with the ability to execute. Learning how to implement smart strategies through creating plans, tracking milestones, and leveraging innovation enables leaders to demonstrate that their strategies are valid by delivering results.

Why leaders engage: Teaching leaders how to put their strategies into action empowers them to develop new initiatives and gives them confidence in their ability to bring them to reality.

3. Leadership During Transitions

One of the most challenging times for any organization is a period of transition. Whether it is a change in leadership, a merger, or opening a new branch office, employees crave structure, knowledge, and security in their roles. With the right approach and solid change management skills, leaders can continue to drive productivity during transitional times.

Why leaders engage: This type of training is always relevant but is particularly powerful before a planned transition. Having a clear approach allows executives to respond to change with confidence and poise.

4. Empowering Others

All leaders must delegate tasks, both large and small. In addition to knowing which tasks are appropriate for the right people, a good leader also has the skills to engage individuals in the decision-making process so that they feel empowered to do whatever is required to produce the best results. Leaders who know how to empower others unleash the full potential of their teams.

Why leaders engage: Leaders who focus on optimizing results want to learn how to get the most from their teams. Although they might know how to maximize their own productivity, they might not yet know how to encourage the same in others.

5. Team Performance

By its very nature, a leadership role requires an individual to guide other people. Different personalities, work ethics, skill sets, and other factors contribute to the many challenges a leader might face when trying to improve team performance. Having the practical skills to overcome these various hurdles enables a leader to both help individuals grow and foster higher levels of collaboration.

Why leaders engage: Effectively leading teams is an ongoing process that requires a broad but refined skill set in order to handle the wide range of situations that will arise.

Development programs for emerging leaders, managers, and executives can include many types of leadership topics. Select the ones that make the most sense for everyone depending on their career level, the challenges they currently face, and the journey you expect them to take as they continue to grow as leaders.
About the author

John_Profile_WebSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

 

Re- Blogged From:- Eagles’s Flight

“Entrepreneurship” has been a buzzword for years now, ever since the tech boom propelled big-name entrepreneurs to the forefront of cultural consciousness. These days, corporations large and small want to tap into the power of entrepreneurial thinking, even if their employees aren’t technically entrepreneurs themselves. As markets shift and change, having teams of nimble-minded employees who are able to solve problems creatively—traits commonly associated with entrepreneurs—has become a big goal of companies for their employees.

But how can companies boost entrepreneurial thinking in their employees? The answer: experiential learning.

How Experiential Learning Boosts Entrepreneurial ThinkingThis unique type of hands-on, discovery-based training fosters an entrepreneurial mindset in trainees. In fact, top universities around North America are incorporating experiential training into their entrepreneurship programs, reaffirming the link between the two. At prestigious Rice University, MBA students have the option to join Entrepreneurial Experiential Learning Labs to develop entrepreneurial skills. And at Babson College, Professor Sebastian Fixson has identified several links between entrepreneurial leadership and experiential training, which he explores in the classroom. Fixson states: “We have found that experiential learning, and the active engagement of the student in the learning experience, is the most effective method for enabling students to develop the cognitive ambidexterity characteristic of an entrepreneurial leader.”

Watch the video: Understanding & Integrating Experiential Learning Into Your Existing Initiatives

Here’s how this type of training contributes to the development of three key modes of entrepreneurial thinking: problem-solving, willingness to take risks, and taking initiative.

1. Problem-Solving

Experiential training boosts participants’ problem-solving skills in a big way. How? Its hands-on nature puts the onus on the learner to figure out the lesson of the training, meaning it puts the learning outcome into the participant’s hands. That’s in contrast to more passive training methods, like lectures, videos, and workbooks, where a participant is required to read, watch, or listen. These methods of training do not guarantee the learning sticks with participants, as it does not activate creativity, because everything they need to know is in front of them.

In experiential learning, the discovery-based training requires full participation by all trainees. Trainees must work through scenarios that mirror real-world workplace problems, without knowing what a solution looks like—it’s up to them to create and carry out the solution, which also creates complete accountability for the result. That’s what ignites entrepreneurial problem-solving skills. Without a clear path or plan in front of them—or a lecturer at the front of the room—participants must rely on their own creative and innovative instincts and often do so with conviction.

2. Risk-Taking

True entrepreneurial innovation just can’t happen if a company—and its employees—are too afraid to take calculated, well-thought-out, disciplined risks. Only by being willing to take risks can you reap big business rewards. In addition to being an incredibly effective tool for sustained learning, experiential scenarios can also help make participants comfortable with taking these kinds of risks.

That’s because, in an experiential activity, participants must take risks and get out of their comfort zones to “win” at the experience. Moreover, these sessions are designed to make doing the uncomfortable as comfortable as possible by creating a safe space for trial and error. As explained, an experiential scenario mirrors the problems that participants face on the job—but doesn’t mimic these problems exactly. Instead, they’re masked using a fun, game-like metaphor, like searching for gold in a desert. Using a metaphor removes the discomfort that participants feel at the prospect of making a misstep on the job (as nobody wants to make a mistake at work), which allows them to stretch themselves creatively and take risks to solve problems. The threat of failure just isn’t as strong in an experiential learning scenario, and that’s by design. Once participants see that taking risks can pay off big-time, they’ll be likelier to reflect that kind of calculated risk and coordinating confidence into the “real world,” if their company supports a high-performance culture driven by innovation.

3. Taking Initiative—and Responsibility for One’s Actions

Finally, experiential learning helps participants adopt an entrepreneurial mindset by driving them to take initiative—and take ownership of their actions. Creative thinking and innovation will fall flat in an environment where everyone tries to pass the buck.

So how does experiential training accomplish this? As discussed, this training method is designed so that participants must take actions to solve the scenario’s problem and therefore learn from the experience. Unlike the on-the-job scenarios that they mirror, however, these experiential scenarios are stripped down so that participants can clearly see how their actions lead to certain consequences, good and bad. Budget constraints, deadline extensions, and other common workplace issues aren’t present to cloud the results of participants’ actions. The result? Participants know exactly how their own actions influence the success or failure of the session. That does two big things:

  1. It gives participants the confidence they need to take decisive action on the job, because it illustrates clearly how big an effect their actions have on outcomes.
  2. It eliminates opportunities for participants to hide behind excuses for poor outcomes, which instills a sense of personal responsibility. Thinking like an entrepreneur means being action-oriented, a trait that experiential training helps instill.

Have you implemented experiential learning initiatives in the past? If so, what other ways have you seen experiential learning boost entrepreneurial thinking in your employees?

About the author

Dave_RootDave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

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The way a manager leads a team is a driving factor behind what their team accomplishes and produces. It can impact the productivity of their staff and the overall output of the organization. Organizational efficiency is a byproduct of each department, which can be significantly influenced by the different forms that management can take.

Unfortunately, there’s no universal standard or approach, when it comes to management styles. The most appropriate approach ultimately depends on the structure of your team, including your people—their experience and expectations—and situational factors such as short- or long-term growth and organizational goals.

How Different Management Styles Affect Business OutcomesWhile there is no definite way that managers can apply every organizational style to their management technique, it’s best for leaders to at least be aware of a range of leadership characteristics so that they can appropriately apply facets of the techniques to specific situations.

Directive

Also known as the coercive style, the directive management technique has a primary objective of obtaining compliance from employees. This authoritarian approach closely monitors employees, motivates employees through discipline, and generally positions the manager at the center of the organizational structure. While this management technique is effective when there is a crisis or potentially perilous situation in the mix, it is not effective as a long-term management strategy if you wish to further develop employees.

Ultimately, this managerial style is useful when deviation from the norm is a risky decision. In highly litigious industries or situations, the directive manager drives their team to success. However, if employees are highly skilled, or you’re looking to develop certain skill sets, this management preference can stifle growth. Little to no learning happens within this style, and employees often become frustrated and unresponsive to the micromanagement that occurs.

Authoritative

Authoritative managers lead with the idea of implementing long-term direction and foresight across their teams. Also referred to as visionary leaders, these managers embody the “firm but fair” mentality. While they provide employees with clear explanation and direction, they may choose to motivate by persuasion. These leaders include a large amount of feedback on their employees’ performance.

Authoritative leaders are effective when clear direction and standards are needed. These leaders lead by example and manage with a high level of conviction. When leaders are credible, employees are apt to follow their guidance. While this leadership technique works in some situations, like directive management, it does not develop employees to their fullest ability. Because management provides guidance, employee insight and opinions often take a backseat, which can limit collaboration.

Affiliative

Affiliative leaders work to develop strong teams. This style of management is concerned with creating harmony between employees, management, and departments. These leaders promote open communication and place an emphasis on building cross-departmental, interpersonal relationships. Often, managers work hard to avoid conflict and motivate their employees by keeping them happy.

This management style generates positive results across companies that rely on structured teams. When combined with other management styles, affiliative leadership can help coach employees. Leaders manage and mitigate conflict, which ultimately fosters a collaborative work environment that produces results. While this management technique does build harmony, it does not create much accountability. Therefore, this style is most effective in work environments in which tasks are routine and performance is reliable.

Participative

Commonly recognized as democratic leadership, participative management has an overarching objective of fostering commitment and consensus across a team. In this style, management actively encourages every employee to voice their opinions in the decision-making process. As opposed to directive and authoritative leadership—in which management emphasizes individual performance—participative managers motivate by rewarding team effort.

This honest, transparent work environment can inspire employees to feel involved and part of their organization. It’s especially effective when an organization has a structure in which experienced, credible employees work together in a steady, stable environment. Participative managers can foster collaboration and drive creative solutions. However, much like affiliative management, this style does not work well in environments that need to be closely monitored.

Coaching

The coaching technique is a self-explanatory style that centers on learning. Much like the authoritative leadership, this management style has a primary objective of fostering long-term professional growth and development. Managers spend significant time training, evaluating, and coaching employees. By encouraging employees to develop specific skill sets and strengths, managers can positively influence the performance and output of their team members.

While this style doesn’t directly contradict team-driven approaches such as participative and affiliative management, it does tend to drive a one-on-one mindset. Taken to an extreme, managers that deploy coaching techniques can be misinterpreted as micromanages. In this regard, it’s important for managers to offer coaching opportunities to every employee, which, in some situations, may be time-consuming.

While each of these leadership traits has something different to offer, not every management style will suit your organization. How would you describe your own management style?

About the author

John_Profile_WebSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

It’s no secret that organizations who wish to be successful over the long term strategically pay attention to their leadership pipeline. Yet shockingly, 56% of companies report that they are not ready to meet their future leadership requirements. When considering the necessary elements to include in an organization’s leadership pipeline strategy, alignment with and demonstration of organizational values is rapidly migrating to the forefront for many Human Resource executives.The question remains, how can a focus on values and culture be woven into the leadership pipeline process? Here are three simple strategies:

Know the Culture and Values You Want
Culture is the aggregate sum of the behaviors exhibited within an organization. Unfortunately, an organization can have a culture that they did not plan for and do not want. For example, an organization may be driving for increased revenue growth and hence be incentivizing employees around upselling or offering add-ons. This may inadvertently rob them of the customer-service culture they identify in their values or mission statement, because employees and managers are more focused on what they are incentivized with or measured against.

                              
The solution is to bring clarity to leaders surrounding the priority of values and initiatives. Not only is it necessary for employees and leaders to deliver on the revenue growth commitments, it is also critical that they deliver on the agreed-upon service standards. Knowing that this is the standard, right from the top, will help build a pipeline of leaders who are Maximize Zone Leaders, who can both deliver on their  commercial commitments and model culture and values
Explicitly Incorporate Your Values into Leadership Development Training
When cultivating and grooming future leaders, it is critical to design leadership development training that reflects the culture and values that will set the organization up for future, long-term success. It is ideal that current leaders, who already have the vision of the culture and values, have a significant influence in the development of the training.Rich Butler, Senior Director of Global Training and Development for Papa John’s, who has been spearheading Papa John’s Leadership and Culture initiative over the past two years, states, “It has been very important to our CEO and founder (John Schnatter) that Papa John’s fuel our growth with leaders who will role-model the culture and values that are near and dear to his heart.”

Thus, Butler and Papa John’s have been explicitly training the organization’s leaders, around the values, leadership behaviors, and culture they expect their leaders to model, coach, and require.

This has had “incredibly positive results” on both attracting great future leaders into the organization, and building a great pipeline for the future, reflects Butler. “We have always had a passion to promote from within,” says Butler, “however, being explicit about the values and leadership culture we expect and training our leaders, is putting us in a position to fill our leadership pipeline faster and more effectively.”

Measure Leaders Frequently and Link Advancement to Quality Scores
Organizations have relied on instruments like 360-degree assessments for years to measure the values and leadership behaviors that they want their leaders and future leaders to espouse.

While a powerful tool, 360-degree assessments can be cumbersome to execute, and often cannot provide the frequency necessary to assess if leaders are accurately modeling the expected values and leadership behaviors required, as they also strive to deliver their commercial commitments. Thus, organizations often find themselves promoting leaders who are only delivering on commercial commitments. Over time they regret these promotions, as the leaders are not modeling the values and leadership behaviors. Further, they are not coaching or requiring the behaviors of their direct reports, because they simply lack the credibility to hold anyone accountable for that which they do not do themselves.

What is a viable solution to frequently measuring values and leadership behaviors?

One solution is the Pulse Check. A Pulse Check operates similarly to a 360-degree assessment; however, it is much shorter (6 to 12 questions) and can be executed monthly or bimonthly. This increased frequency helps to promote higher levels of awareness and accelerates behavior change. Moreover, when the results are discussed with regularity and leaders can see the connection between advancement and the quality of their scores, it builds a deep conviction in them of the importance of living by these values and beliefs. It also viscerally demonstrates the importance of coaching and requiring these values and behaviors into the next generation of leaders.

When every leader in the leadership pipeline understands the organizational values and embraces their accountability to model, coach, and require these values as they deliver their commercial commitments, and as they experience the connection between living these values and their professional advancement, the result is a leadership pipeline full of future leaders who know and live the organizational values and culture.

This alignment contributes to fewer leadership gaps, smoother leadership transitions, and the ability to stay on the charted course of building strong leaders who deliver on commercial commitments and model the culture and values.It’s no secret that organizations who wish to be successful over the long term strategically pay attention to their leadership pipeline. Yet shockingly, 56% of companies report that they are not ready to meet their future leadership requirements. When considering the necessary elements to include in an organization’s leadership pipeline strategy, alignment with and demonstration of organizational values is rapidly migrating to the forefront for many Human Resource executives. The question remains, how can a focus on values and culture be woven into the leadership pipeline process? Here are three simple strategies: Know the Culture and Values You Want Culture is the aggregate sum of the behaviors exhibited within an organization. Unfortunately, an organization can have a culture that they did not plan for and do not want. For example, an organization may be driving for increased revenue growth and hence be incentivizing employees around upselling or offering add-ons. This may inadvertently rob them of the customer-service culture they identify in their values or mission statement, because employees and managers are more focused on what they are incentivized with or measured against.    The solution is to bring clarity to leaders surrounding the priority of values and initiatives. Not only is it necessary for employees and leaders to deliver on the revenue growth commitments, it is also critical that they deliver on the agreed-upon service standards. Knowing that this is the standard, right from the top, will help build a pipeline of leaders who are Maximize Zone Leaders, who can both deliver on their  commercial commitments and model culture and values.  Explicitly Incorporate Your Values into Leadership Development Training When cultivating and grooming future leaders, it is critical to design leadership development training that reflects the culture and values that will set the organization up for future, long-term success. It is ideal that current leaders, who already have the vision of the culture and values, have a significant influence in the development of the training. Rich Butler, Senior Director of Global Training and Development for Papa John’s, who has been spearheading Papa John’s Leadership and Culture initiative over the past two years, states, “It has been very important to our CEO and founder (John Schnatter) that Papa John’s fuel our growth with leaders who will role-model the culture and values that are near and dear to his heart.” Thus, Butler and Papa John’s have been explicitly training the organization’s leaders, around the values, leadership behaviors, and culture they expect their leaders to model, coach, and require. This has had “incredibly positive results” on both attracting great future leaders into the organization, and building a great pipeline for the future, reflects Butler. “We have always had a passion to promote from within,” says Butler, “however, being explicit about the values and leadership culture we expect and training our leaders, is putting us in a position to fill our leadership pipeline faster and more effectively.”   Measure Leaders Frequently and Link Advancement to Quality Scores Organizations have relied on instruments like 360-degree assessments for years to measure the values and leadership behaviors that they want their leaders and future leaders to espouse. While a powerful tool, 360-degree assessments can be cumbersome to execute, and often cannot provide the frequency necessary to assess if leaders are accurately modeling the expected values and leadership behaviors required, as they also strive to deliver their commercial commitments. Thus, organizations often find themselves promoting leaders who are only delivering on commercial commitments. Over time they regret these promotions, as the leaders are not modeling the values and leadership behaviors. Further, they are not coaching or requiring the behaviors of their direct reports, because they simply lack the credibility to hold anyone accountable for that which they do not do themselves. What is a viable solution to frequently measuring values and leadership behaviors? One solution is the Pulse Check. A Pulse Check operates similarly to a 360-degree assessment; however, it is much shorter (6 to 12 questions) and can be executed monthly or bimonthly. This increased frequency helps to promote higher levels of awareness and accelerates behavior change. Moreover, when the results are discussed with regularity and leaders can see the connection between advancement and the quality of their scores, it builds a deep conviction in them of the importance of living by these values and beliefs. It also viscerally demonstrates the importance of coaching and requiring these values and behaviors into the next generation of leaders. When every leader in the leadership pipeline understands the organizational values and embraces their accountability to model, coach, and require these values as they deliver their commercial commitments, and as they experience the connection between living these values and their professional advancement, the result is a leadership pipeline full of future leaders who know and live the organizational values and culture. This alignment contributes to fewer leadership gaps, smoother leadership transitions, and the ability to stay on the charted course of building strong leaders who deliver on commercial commitments and model the culture and values.

Author Bio
John Wright is President of Leadership Development and Learning Events, Eagle’s Flight. John has extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership Development and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions.
Source- http://bit.ly/2uspkmQ

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John_Profile_Web

Far too often, millennial employees are mistakenly labeled as entitled, unsatisfied job-hoppers. According to a Gallup study, however, it’s not that they’re necessarily entitled. Instead, it’s that many of them feel indifferent and detached. According to the study, only 29 percent of millennials are engaged and feel an emotional and behavioral connection to their job and company. What’s more, another 16 percent are actively disengaged, meaning they are susceptible to burning out or negatively impacting a company.

That’s a whopping 55 percent of millennial workers who do not feel engaged with their work. So what does this mean? Are all millennial employees a risk to your company? Are they all actively seeking new opportunities?

While situations certainly vary from company to company, overall, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, a 2015 IBM study indicates that 47 percent of Gen X’ers would leave their job for one that offers more money, compared to 42 percent of millennials. Additionally, 70 percent of baby boomers think their organization ineffectively addresses the customer experience, compared to 60 percent of millennials.

As this illustrates, many millennials’ thoughts and beliefs aren’t all that different than their older peers. They don’t all need a trophy for every single accomplishment, and not every millennial is willing to jump ship if a job doesn’t fulfill their agenda. Read on to find out what type of corporate culture supports the success of millennials and in turn, the organization.

What Do Millennials Value?

For starters, it’s worth noting that the millennial workforce is more racially and ethnically diverse than those before them. According to the Brookings Institute, this racial diversity is the generation’s most defining and impactful characteristic. This diversity has led to a more accepting and charitable collective worldview, as illustrated in a recent Deloitte survey, which showed that 77 percent of millennials are involved in charity or a “good cause.”

Since 2013, Deloitte has measured millennial world and professional views. As this year’s survey illustrates, many feel accountable, to a fair degree, for many issues in both the workplace and the world at large, but that they are unable to make a meaningful influence. It’s in the workforce, however, that they feel a greater sense of control. It’s here where they feel most impactful. They are excited by the influence they can have on their peers, customers, and suppliers, even if the impact is on a smaller scale.

Despite the fact that many struggle with debt, millennial workers are generally not motivated by money. Instead, as the Deloitte survey already illustrates, they are driven by making the world more compassionate, sustainable, and innovative. To drive this point home, according to a Net Impact survey, 40 percent of millennials deem getting a job that can make a difference as “very important.”

Aligning Culture with These Values

As a whole, millennials are driven by making a difference. The truth is that many companies use words such as “impact” and “purpose-driven” without truly understanding what they mean to their organization. To help attract and retain millennial team members, it’s up to your organization to implement the type of corporate culture that not only discusses altruistic views, but also embodies them.

While it’s true that not every company can save the world, they can certainly strive to be transparent about how they’re using technology and resources. They can also strive to create shared value and enact social and environmental changes. Remember, it’s not necessarily the scope of the impact that millennial workers care about—it’s the efforts in the first place.

Part of this rests in your organization’s ability to align its cultures with the values of your millennial employees. In the same Deloitte study, 86 percent of respondents believe the success of a business should be measured in terms of more than just its financial performance, with the top issue ranking as “education, skills, and training.” In this regard, it’s important to create opportunities for development, coaching, and mentorship.

As the Gallup study illustrates, the relationship between a manager and its millennial employees is a vital link in performance management. In fact, 44 percent of millennials are likely to be engaged with managers who hold regular meetings. Consistent feedback not only impacts engagement, but it also produces positive performance. Employees who regularly meet with management perform better for their team and company.

Providing feedback and implementing a leadership development program not only aligns your organization with values shared by a majority of millennial employees, but it can also result in growth for both your employees and your company. These programs enable you to cultivate leaders from within your organization. By offering leadership training to your entire organization, you’re able to ensure that frontline professionals with no direct reports can develop their individual potential and leadership strengths.
About the author

John_Profile_WebSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

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Dave_Root

You can have the most talented employees in the world, but if they’re not fully supported by your leadership, their talents will be wasted. That’s because a high-performance culture starts at the top of an organization. Leaders set the tone for a company’s focus and its values. If you want a culture of excellence to be one of those focuses, ensure your leadership team possesses these three key qualities.

1. Empowerment

A leader who hovers over their employees, watching their performance like a hawk, isn’t a true leader—that’s a micromanager. By contrast, a leader in a high-performance culture empowers employees to make smart decisions for themselves, and take responsibility for the results of those decisions. Yes, that means there may be some missteps along the way, but giving employees responsibility over their day-to-day actions and projects always pays off. When your employees become personally invested in their work, they truly give it their all. If their work is just going to be corrected by a “leader” no matter what, why bother to put effort into the work the first time around?

Great leaders can empower their employees in two big ways:

  • By Understanding the Importance of and Investing in Training for Employees

In order to improve and do their best work, employees must continually hone their skills. Skills training focused on instilling lasting behavior change is the ticket to a high-performance culture. When leadership invests in training like this, it sends a message to employees that their personal and professional growth is of utmost importance to the company.

  • By Modeling Desired Behaviors

You want your employees to feel empowered to make decisions and take responsibility for their actions? That’s not going to happen if, for example, your leadership team gets in the habit of asking employees to behave in a way they do not behave themselves. Employees take behavioral cues from leadership, so if you want your employees to feel empowered to behave a certain way in the workplace, the first step is to ensure your leadership team embodies those desired behaviors.

2. Authenticity

What does it mean to be an authentic leader? It means being true to oneself, yes—but it also means being true to those you serve. Transparency and honesty from leadership are hallmarks of a high-performance culture. Transparent leaders are dedicated to communicating frequently and openly with their employees—which makes employees feel vital to the organization. If employees constantly feel like they are being left out of the loop, chances are high that they may start to distrust leadership. A high level of distrust between leadership and employees is one of the biggest signs you might be dealing with a toxic workplace culture.

High-performance leaders are also honest, especially when it comes to employee performance. Sugarcoating feedback to employees only harms them in the long run, since it robs them of an opportunity to improve. Leaders at all levels must focus on providing feedback that draws a clear line between employees’ behaviors and the consequences of those behaviors. As discussed above, leaders can then empower employees to improve those behaviors by investing in time-tested skills training.

3. Open-mindedness

For a company to creatively flourish, a leadership team must recognize that the best ideas often don’t come from the top of the organization. An open-minded leadership encourages innovative thinking—and action—at every level of a company. Cultivating an open-minded culture of innovation may require some leaders to rewire their approach to success. That’s because for innovation to flourish, employees must feel safe to take risks…even if that occasionally leads to failure. Of course, employees are expected to learn from that failure and apply their new knowledge of what works and what doesn’t to their future endeavors.

In other words, leaders in a high-performance culture exhibit open-mindedness in two main ways:

  1. They’re open-minded about where good ideas come from. Hint: It’s not always the boardroom!
  2. They’re open-minded about what success looks like; success may not always translate to a direct impact on the bottom line.

When leaders tweak their mindset to define success as learning from calculated risks, then an innovative, high-performance culture will truly flourish. It’s worth noting as well that not all leaders are born with these qualities—and that’s okay. That’s what leadership development programs are for.

In your experience, what other qualities do you think a solid leadership team should possess?

About the author

Dave_Root

Dave joined Eagle’s Flight in 1991 after having spent a number of years with a Toronto-based accounting firm. Since that time, he has held a number of posts within the company, primarily in the areas of Operations, Finance, Legal, and IT. In his current role as both Chief Financial Officer and President, Global Business, Dave is focused on ensuring the company’s ongoing financial health as well as growing its global market share. In pursuing the latter, Dave’s wealth of experience and extensive business knowledge has made him a valued partner and trusted advisor to both our global licensees and multinational clientele.

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What Great Leaders Do to Make Culture Transformations Effective

Culture transformations have the power to make a company more efficient, effective, and profitable in incredible ways. If a company’s leaders do not take an active role in the transformation, any attempt at permanently changing culture will fall flat. So, what role should leaders play? Here are three things all great leaders do to lead their organizations through a successful culture transformation.

1. Great Leaders Start Now

Leaders at the top of an organization usually know if their company needs to undergo a culture change. Whether it’s departments operating in silos, a lack of innovation, or another culture issue, it’s often clear that change in the culture has been needed for some time. Unfortunately, even if leaders acknowledge this need, it rarely makes the top of the to-do list. There are always more pressing matters to attend to—matters that seem to have much more of an immediate effect on the company’s bottom line than amorphous culture changes would.

Great leaders, however, know that the time for a culture transformation is as soon as you identify the need for one. As it would equip your colleagues with the new skills and behaviors they need to optimally approach their jobs, putting one off just makes achieving every other company goal harder. Plus, great leaders recognize you can concretely analyze culture transformations. They know that strategic changes drastically improve employees’ well-being and the company’s bottom line. For example, an organization can measure the success of an innovation culture transformation in part by how many more products the company brings to market or how many new system processes are developed or improved. Great leaders use hard data tied to concrete outcomes to light a fire throughout an organization and underscore the need for immediate culture change.

2. Great Leaders Take Responsibility for the Final Outcome

While leaders don’t necessarily need to be involved in the tactical, day-to-day implementation of culture transformations, their robust involvement is imperative to success. They need to be culture change advocates who are vocal about the need for a transformation and the expected outcome. When a company’s leaders take culture transformation seriously, so will its employees.

What’s more, a great leader never tries to pass the buck when it comes to the result—success or failure —of a culture transformation. While a great leader smartly relies on HR to help implement one, they take responsibility for the final outcome. When leaders and employees throughout an organization see how authentically executive leadership cares about a culture transformation, it sends the message that the latter is a top priority.

3. Great Leaders Walk the Walk

Great leaders not only talk the talk about the importance of culture transformations, they walk the walk. In other words, they change their behaviors right alongside their employees during a culture transformation. They don’t believe they’re “above” doing the hard work that culture change demands. That’s because great leaders understand the importance of modeling appropriate behaviors. Leaders have an outsized influence on establishing cultural norms in the workplace. Therefore, when a leader’s actions and words are out of alignment, that muddles the message for employees who then may wonder: If our CEO doesn’t do things the right way, why should we? Culture transformations start at the top with leaders who embrace change with their words and embody it in their actions.

That’s why it’s also so important for leaders to adopt new behaviors early. The sooner they transform their own behaviors, the sooner employees will follow suit, which cuts down on confusion and swiftly ushers in a new culture that fosters high performance. Great leaders take the “leading” part of their jobs seriously during a culture transformation in blazing the changed behavior trail for the rest of the organization.

Have you tried to implement a culture transformation at your organization before? How (or how didn’t) your organization’s leaders contribute to the change?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

john_profile_webSince 1991, John has acquired extensive experience in the design and delivery of a diverse portfolio of programs. In addition to his executive responsibilities as President of Leadership and Learning Events, John is considered a valued partner to many executive teams. His insight and experience enable him to effectively diagnose, design, and implement complex culture change initiatives in a collaborative and engaging manner. Moreover, John’s experience in global implementations allows him to draw from a deep well of history to create unique and customized solutions. John’s passion for developing people makes him a sought after speaker, partner and coach and is evident in the high praise he receives from clients.

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

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Corporate Event

Obvious news flash: Many decisions go into planning a corporate event, from finding the right location and determining menu selections to agenda constraints and giveaways or no giveaways. You even need to consider lighting. Before you can plan the details of your event, take time to brainstorm what will truly make it successful. These four tips will help you plan an event that’s memorable, informative, and dare I say, fun.

1. Determine the Goals of Your Corporate Event First

Educate, inform, drive behavior change, introduce, celebrate, or improve skills—these are all potential goals. Whatever you choose will drive the rest of your event planning, from your budget and venue choice to content and approach. Ensure the goal is strategically aligned with the company’s overall business goals, which will improve the chances that your executives are more eager to buy into your plans. Determining goals first also allows you and your team to clarify a plan of action for measuring event ROI, something else near and dear to the executives.

2. Incorporate a Fun, Relevant Theme

Pick a fun theme to excite and engage your participants throughout the event. You can even get them involved beforehand by asking them to  brainstorm ways they can come to the event fully immersed in the theme—outfits, bringing theme-related items, viewing related videos prior, or team-related pre-work. Themes don’t just present an opportunity to amp up excitement; they can also be used to make your corporate event feel more cohesive, especially if it spans multiple days. Weave elements of your theme throughout different activities to connect the dots for participants.

When you do decide to incorporate a theme into the event, make sure you pay close attention to the details. A half-hearted attempt at carrying out a theme may deflate participants more than it pumps them up, whereas a carefully considered and well-executed one sends the message that your company has invested time and energy into creating this event—and participants are expected to do the same.

3. Keep Participants Engaged with Immersive Activities

If one of the goals of your event is to teach participants new skills, explore training approaches that require active participation. Getting your participants out of their chairs and interacting with one another creates excitement throughout the event. Plus, participatory learning is often more effective in the long term for retention. When participants learn by doing, that knowledge stays with them much longer in comparison to passive learning strategies. We have all been there before and know it’s far easier for participants to “clock out” on a lecture or PowerPoint presentation than it is with an engaged a hands-on learning activity.

If you’re thinking about including immersive training activities at your event, be sure to consider experiential learning. In an experiential learning exercise, participants are tasked with working together to tackle a fun but challenging “project” and the skills needed to successfully complete the challenge are the same ones needed to succeed at work. One of the biggest benefits is that it teaches participants new skills and allows them to practice them during the same exercise. Allowing participants to practice in a conference setting, wherein they’re able to get immediate feedback from facilitators, gives them a chance to refine and perfect those skills before they use them on the job. Plus, experiential learning is a good fit for all types of learners, thereby making it ideal for events put on for a diverse workforce.

4. Invest in Retention Tools and Strategies

No corporate event should be a “one-and-done” affair. If it focuses on teaching participants new skills and information, make sure you have a plan in place to help participants remember the lessons learned. Some post-event retention tools may include:

  • Online videos or webinars that serve as refreshers on event training
  • Interactive online games that test participants’ knowledge and retention of key concepts
  • Group discussions that explore the challenges and solutions addressed during the event
  • Forums on which participants can post follow-up questions and discussions

Keeping retention in mind throughout the planning process also helps you design components that support long-lasting learning.

If you planned a particularly well-received corporate event before, let us know what elements you think contributed to its success.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PaulAs Executive Vice President Global Performance, Paul has extensive experience in consultation, design, and delivery of programs over his 20 year career with Eagle’s Flight. Through his genuine personable approach, Paul is not only a trusted advisor but also a valued partner to his clients; he works seamlessly to ensure that Eagle’s Flight solutions are aligned to their needs and desired outcomes. As a result, Paul is the account executive for Eagle’s Flight largest account. Many of his clients are multi-year accounts from multinational, Fortune 500 companies.

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corporate event planning

From SXSW to TED Talks, there are a few national and international events that stand out among all event planners. Not only are these noteworthy events massively popular, but they are wildly successful. From engaging participants from diverse backgrounds to inspiring attendees to take a specific action, these special events capture interest and make an impact on attendees, for days, months, and even years after.

Experiential learning is a training method that engages participants through immersive, themed training events. By transporting participants to another world, themed scenarios such as a jungle expedition or a treasure hunt make learning more intuitive, memorable, and enjoyable. Creating an exciting environment masks work scenarios and real-world situations and creates a hands-on experience that encourages participants to take risks.

Studies show that when participants learn by doing, they retain 75 percent of the new information and skills learned. In this regard, it’s important to pay attention to the details and transform a dull meeting room into a verdant jungle or tropical island, complete with sensory, auditory, and visual props. If it is appropriately themed, then the participants are likelier to accept the challenge, activity, or mandate posed by the experience as “intriguing” and to engage fully.

Hands-on learning encourages participants to work through problems together by actively engaging, rather than the passive listening that’s required by traditional, presentation-based training.

Here are two inspiring themes for your next corporate event that easily incorporate experiential learning.

PRODUCE A BLOCKBUSTER MOVIE

Calling all movie buffs! Give your audience the chance to serve as producers during the Golden Age of Hollywood at your next corporate event. By emphasizing creative expression and group collaboration, this theme encourages team members to think outside of the box to create a final product.

Designate individuals to serve as producers and agents who are tasked with the overarching goal of making as much money as possible. Team members must work together to assemble the necessary resources to create the most effective, engaging movie idea possible within a specific category. They must negotiate contracts to secure the talent, the screenplay, the score, the location, and the special effects.

Finally, teams work to create movie posters designed to illustrate the talent they have acquired and to market their movie to the public. By tasking team members with the goal of creating a final product, this theme encourages team members to pull together resources and interact with nearly everyone in the room.

YOUR MISSION HAS BEEN ASSIGNED

Who doesn’t love a thrilling mission? Channel your inner James Bond and create a spy-themed corporate event. Because many people get their news from social media, you can bet that these platforms are an easy way to connect with your team members. Start dropping clues about your meeting before it happens. Whether you choose to designate a Twitter feed to send out cryptic messages or Facebook to send out visual clues, building excitement before the event can build engagement.

On the day of your event, in addition to serving martini-glass appetizers and delivering registration packets stamped “CONFIDENTIAL,” be sure to continue the social media efforts. Research shows that 70 percent of top companies and brands consider it “extremely important” or “very important” to extend and amplify event programs using social media. In the context of a spy theme, you can send your team members on a mission that involves cracking a cyber crime and requires attendees to tweet information on Twitter to crack the code.

”Missions” can help team members diagnose, learn, self-correct, and respond with improved outcomes. After the event, be sure to debrief participants—while still retaining the spy theme—to reveal the connections between the training exercises and their professional realities. By equipping teams with the tools to engage in proactive problem-solving, you can illustrate how these newly acquired skills are relevant to the real world.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian_ProfileIan has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

 

 

Re-blogged from Eagle’s Flight.

 

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Leadership

If a key executive member—including you—left your organization tomorrow, would your company crumble? The long-term success of a business depends on the sustainability of leadership. If your company is currently successful, it can be assumed that your leadership program is effective. However, many companies do not invest in the resources to prepare future leaders for future roles.

Developing a strong leadership pipeline can help your organization not only achieve immediate success, but also ensure that success over a longer period of time. To help grow your leadership strategy, consider these five techniques.

1. Mentoring and Coaching Initiatives

Coaching and mentoring are crucial components of an effective leadership pipeline. That’s why it’s important for your strategy to engage existing senior leaders so that they devote time to nurturing potential leaders across your team. Establish a mentoring program and make it a responsibility for leaders to coach employees through both formal and informal mentoring sessions.

An effective coaching program emphasizes the connection between the coach and the student. Your leadership team must first take the time to connect, to understand, and to build trust and respect with their team members. Once this is established, it’s far easier to share industry insight and expertise, instruct on important organizational operations, and share role-specific hard skills.

2. Leadership Development Programs

Implementing a leadership development program allows you to cultivate leaders from within your organization so that you have a stable of prepared, talented individuals who can step up when need be. While many organizations have programs that either cater toward senior-level employees or require team members to apply for consideration, think about offering leadership training to your entire organization. When you keep the program open, you create a pool of candidates to fill open positions.

For front-line professionals with no direct reports, leadership training can help develop individual potential and overall leadership strength for the future. These programs drive focus, improve efficiency, and maximize individual contributions to the organization. For mid-level leaders, or those who display focus and confidence in their assessment and coaching techniques, leadership programs help develop their own capabilities in order to tap into the potential of those they lead.

3. Real-World, Real-Time Experiences

On-the-job training programs should be supportive and challenging. To truly groom leaders, offer them more and more responsibilities over time and challenge them with new situations and assignments. Much of what individuals learn happens in real time, so encourage them to work through situational problems to experience real-life workplace situations. Ultimately, it’s your executive team’s responsibility to offer team members the necessary training and resources to be successful.

4. Regular Feedback

According to a Gallup study that measured how Millennials want to work, regular meetings and consistent feedback improve engagement and performance. The survey found that 44 percent of Millennials are more likely to be engaged when their manager does meet with them on a regular basis. Despite these benefits, only 21 percent of Millennial workers meet with their managers on a weekly basis. Your team members want feedback; it’s up to you to provide it.

Relevant, on-the-job training can mirror real-life situations. Without feedback, however, employees are left to assume that their behavior is acceptable. It’s clear that feedback is an essential motivator in developing leaders. Be aware that this applies to both negative and positive feedback. On one hand, a leadership team that does not correct poor employee performance can’t expect change. Conversely, without positive feedback, employees are not provided with the opportunity to flourish and grow.

5. Cross-Departmental Learning

Silos and turf wars impact even the strongest organizations. That’s why it’s up to your current management team to create opportunities in your leadership pipeline for different departments to work together. After all, executive leaders must actively engage with all employees. When departments collaborate and communicate with each other, they gain a greater understanding of the role of other team members and how they function, as well as a more comprehensive overview of how the entire organization functions.

Below are some ideas for cross-departmental learning:

  • Team building events
  • Peer mentorship
  • Cross-departmental project teams
  • Job shadowing assignments

Not only can cross-departmental exposure help future leaders understand your company as a whole, but it can inspire ideas for their own roles. This type of learning can improve productivity and ensure that individuals have the right amount of diverse work experience to step into leadership roles.

IanABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ian has been with Eagle’s Flight since 1997, and is Executive Vice President, Global Accounts. He holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from the University of British Columbia. Ian spent 12 years at Nestlé Canada and brings a wide range of experience that includes practical business experience in management, sales, program design, development and mentoring. He works closely with the Global licensees to ensure their success as they represent Eagle’s Flight in the worldwide marketplace. He has developed outstanding communication skills and currently is the Executive in Charge of a large Fortune 500 client with a team of employees dedicated to this specific account. As a result, Ian has been instrumental in driving the company’s growth and strategic direction.

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