When you agree to mentor someone, you’re trading away hours that you could use to pursue your own career goals and spending them on someone else’s.
You don’t want to waste your time, so choose a mentee who you’ll be eager to invest in.
Assess potential mentees for curiosity, organization, efficiency, and engagement.
Ask candidates to prepare a presentation in their area of expertise, or to join you on a sales call or strategy offsite and then write up their observations.
This will give you a good sense of their thinking process, communication skills, and level of interest.
If they don’t complete the assignment, don’t be annoyed. Instead, breathe a sigh of relief that you avoided taking on an uncommitted protégé.
Curated by Trevor Lee
Do you dream about changing careers but worry that the costs of switching are too high — and that the possibility of success seems too remote?
Instead of plugging away in your current job, unfulfilled and slowly burning out, do both: Keep your current job while pursuing your new career.
You don’t have to forgo sleep if you can find ways to enhance your existing role with your new pursuit.
For example, if you’re interested in becoming a public speaker, look for ways to build your presentation skills within your current company.
Volunteer to take on the next company-wide presentation or join a panel at a conference.
When you follow your curiosities, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled in life — and to be more satisfied in all of your roles.
Curated by Trevor Lee
Having emotional intelligence, often referred to as EI, is an important part of being a stronger, more effective leader.
But too many people assume that it’s all about being sweet and chipper. Sure, some EI competencies are related to sociability, sensitivity, and likeability, but others are connected to leadership skills like achievement, influence, and conflict management.
The key is to have a balance.
If you’re strong in some of the softer, emotional skills, then focus on honing skills like giving unpleasant feedback. For example, rather than using your EI to smooth over interactions with a co-worker who is overbearing and abrasive, work on bringing up the issue to your colleague directly, drawing on conflict management to give direct feedback and on emotional self-control to keep your reactivity at bay.
Collaboration takes time and resources. So if you want people to work together, you have to make it as easy as possible.
For example, you can use simple, off-the-shelf tools like Dropbox and Skype to help people share and communicate. (Be sure that any programs you use work seamlessly with your IT system.)
If some of your employees aren’t confident with the technology, pair them with someone who is. People are much more likely to adopt a new technology if they have someone they can turn to for help, rather than learning it on their own or relying on an IT hotline.
And for major collaboration projects, consider assigning co-leaders who can shoulder the administrative burdens.
Most people do their best work when they know their manager trusts them. If they worry that you think they’re lazy, incapable of directing their behavior, or lack integrity, they’re unlikely to take feedback or coaching from you.
So go out of your way to gain your employees’ trust by demonstrating positive assumptions about them.
Give challenging assignments, with the clear and confident belief that your expectations will be met.
And don’t hide information, or assume people will mishandle it. Instead, promote transparency.
Try adding a “through the grapevine” agenda item to meetings as a fun, informal way for people to share company information they’ve heard, so you can either confirm or debunk the rumor. When managers demonstrate positive assumptions, employees respond in kind.
There is a lot of expertise in any organization. It often remains within the individual and rarely gets to benefit others in the peer group.
When newer Managers encounter difficulty, they usually don’t know whom to approach.
They are hesitant for various reasons but mainly out of fear of appearing dumb.
There is a need for an informal setup in the organization that promotes collaboration by encouraging the (expert) Managers to coach the (novice) Managers. An internal network if you will.
Problems are a constant for any Manager – how does she solve them? She most often seeks the help of a peer or a senior Manager within the organization. What happens if the senior Manager has a problem?
She asks another one and so on via their internal network (of trust). All it takes to start such a network is for one Manager to help another. Reciprocating help then becomes the normal. In this way all the Managers in the organization will coalesce in a way that no formal roles or hierarchies will. The camaraderie between Managers will be infectious, thanks to this small gesture. It just takes one person to start the process – could that be you?
• Increased goodwill between Managers within the organization
• Best Practices sharing by an informal network
• Problems get solved as quickly as they arise
Bureaucracy is the biggest obstacle. As long as there is no sign of this being an official initiative, the network will become self-sustaining. It may take a while for it to evolve – but once established, it will be very effective in binding the whole management team to a common purpose.
As C-suite leaders you should prompt, even start, such an initiative. Just watch it grow – it will be truly empowering both wide and deep within your organization.